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How To NOT Start Getting Into Horror

For the past few months, I’ve been writing a series for people who don’t watch and/or appreciate horror. The series, which I’ve simply and lovingly called “How To Start Getting Into Horror” has taken multiple subgenres of horror and made several film recommendations to get someone interested in learning more.

At first, this series was met with no small amount of derision and scorn. Horror fans asked why such a series would exist and how this would even reach the people it was intended for. I’ll fully admit that I need your help in that matter to share it with those people. After all, they’re not going to seek it on their own.

But maybe you, fellow horror fan, have that person in your life that you would love to see at least appreciate your passion. That’s who this series is for. That’s who you share it with. That’s who you take the time to slowly but surely introduce to the films that we hold so near and dear to our hearts.

So, while I know you have the best of intentions to try and bring someone into the fray, sometimes it’s best to take a step back and let them flounder and discover things on their own.

That’s why this week is a small series of lessons to non-horror people who want to learn more (with thanks to Starship Troopers). But these are the ground rules for how to proceed, because we don’t want you to run away screaming. After all, that’s the job of the ancillary characters in the films.

With all that long-winded intro out of the way, let’s hit these rules!

Don’t Do It On Your Own

I know that everyone wants to be independent these days. But you don’t have to be. It’s not a weakness to ask for help or to look up places to begin. Hell, that’s why I wrote this whole series to begin with!

Doing it on your own might work. But there’s a far likelier possibility that it won’t and that’s just statistics talking. Everyone wants to try and prove, to themselves or to others, that they can handle things that are often a bigger bite than they can chew. There’s nothing wrong with starting easy and working your way into something, hence why I recommended films like The Mummy or The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. You start with something that has horror elements and build from there.

The analogy I think is somewhat appropriate is learning how to play the guitar. Trying to play Van Halen’s “Eruption” immediately after picking up a guitar is impossible. You need to build up the callouses on your fingers first, which takes time. And as you build those callouses, everything else you begin to practice and play becomes easier and more manageable.

Take. Your. Time.

Don’t Ask The “Randy” In Your Life

We all have that friend that’s super passionate about something. I love hanging out with these people because that passion is infectious, it’s contagious, and it’s exhilarating. But many of these people don’t know how to bring it down from a “10”. They want to throw you into their passion pool head first, right into the deep end.

Can you imagine if someone were to say, “Oh, you want to get into horror? Alright, let me grab my copy of Cannibal Holocaust!” Yeah….no. No no no.

You need someone a bit more chill, a bit more relaxed. Find that friend that’s into the casual horror movie, the one that gives them a few shivers of the spine but not much else. They’re the ones who will give you the best recommendations on what to start with.

And furthermore, many of them will watch it with you, which leads me to my next point…

Don’t Watch Them Alone

Coming back to the first point, you don’t have to try and prove anything to anyone by watching a horror movie on your own. If they scare you, having people nearby who will watch with you is a comfort, a way to feel safe.

Look at the above clip from Scream. It’s a bunch of pals enjoying themselves to Halloween, which is considered one of the scariest films ever made. The movie can subtly mess with you later, haunting you as you walk through your place in the dark, but you’ll always have good memories attached to it. And that makes a big difference.

Some of the best memories we have in our lives, the ones we cherish the most, are the ones that we share with others. Horror doesn’t have to be any different.



  • RidleyScottIsADirector@gmail.c



    • SugarShane333

      This is so on point it’s amazing. Well done, sir. Also, on cold Sundays during winter if it’s gray and snowing I must put on the thing before football starts. I’ve said to my girl many times, “start the thing and the chili” before getting out of bed. Come on cold weather!

      • RidleyScottIsADirector@gmail.c

        Oh yes! The Thing is the ultimate horror film to watch while it’s cold or snowy. Puts you right at the camp with the characters.

        • SugarShane333

          Exactly! I never noticed until recently that I never watch the thing until the winter months come around. Time of day and time of year are very crucial elements to consider for certain movies. Thanks for bringing this up man!

  • Blade

    Awesome article, I think this is perfect advise for somebody trying to get into horror but has no idea where to start.

  • Kyle Ord

    I love throwing people into the deep end. The gorier the better!

    • And how do they respond to that?

      • Kyle Ord

        Lol not to well actually :s lol

    • Gluke

      I did this with my cousin recently.
      “Yeah I have a pretty good movie on blu ray we can watch.”
      *inserts The Hills Have Eyes*
      She actually ended up really liking the movie.

  • I think the best approach is to pick a good film to watch together that is horror but don’t tell them what it is. Also, it’s best that you pick a film that someone who is not into horror would normally hear about. So don’t pick Halloween for obvious reasons. This way if the film is good, they may find themselves enjoying it and won’t be bothered by the horror which will make it easier to convince them to watch more in the future. But if they do get scared then they’ll have your shoulder to lean on. My point is that if they’re hellbent on hating horror films then you’re only hope to change their mind is if you sneak one in front of them.

    • So, like ‘The Orphanage’? Or ‘The Others’?

      • Something like that, you don’t want to go too mainstream as they’ll recognize its horror and protest against watching it.

        • RidleyScottIsADirector@gmail.c

          Well if they don’t want “help” then don’t give it to them lol

          • True. But even though horrific, some horror films have great stories which non horror folk miss out on simply because they can’t see passed the horror label.

  • dr.chimrichalds

    I recommend starting with Martyrs, Inside, Cannibal Holocaust, A Serbian Film or either of the Hostel films. A nice, safe segue into horror.

    • After watching those don’t be surprised if they’ll want to kill you.

      • dr.chimrichalds

        That’s actually my litmus test for whether or not I stay with a girl. I show her one or more of those on our first date & if she likes them, she stays. If she expresses any dissatisfaction, I murder her and wear her skin.

        • How romantic.

        • DAWnofthedead 91

          Oddly enough, I thought of CH for a date night movie… maybe a *later* date than the first. I think it’d be wiser to ease into that territory (that’s what she said!).

          • dr.chimrichalds

            So when exactly did she say that?

    • chris

      Don’t forget Slaughtered Vomit Dolls if want to go easy on them…

      • dr.chimrichalds

        I also sometimes go with Anthropophagus, Ebola Syndrome, the Guinea Pig films, Grotesque, Men Behind the Sun, Nekromantik, Pieces, Society, Street Trash, Audition, Philosophy of a Knife, Visitor Q, In My Skin, Dead Alive, Frontier(s), Ichi the Killer or Salo.

        • chris

          Great films all, but if someone doesn’t like Dead Alive they need a lawn mower to the face!

          • dr.chimrichalds

            I agree. How can you not love a film that features a living intestine checking itself out in a mirror, a preacher doing kung fu and zombies getting it on?

        • amir ezra

          Salo, yes… Art meets horror, so you can show them the “beauty” of horror

      • Meisha’s Taint

        Holy shit what is Slaughtered Vomit Dolls???!?!? Is that a real thing??? I must experience this

    • DAWnofthedead 91

      I think the “Hostel” films are outliers on your list. Although, for what it’s worth, I’ll cop to being pussy enough to having promised myself *never* to watch “A Serbian Film.”

      CH and “Martyrs” hold a special place in my heart, though.

      • dr.chimrichalds

        Don’t consider yourself a pussy for not watching A Serbian Film. There are things you cannot unsee and things that should never be put on film. ASF takes those things & rapes them. I’m not joking when I say I felt the need to shower afterwards. That movie actually made me shower after I finished watching it.

    • Meisha’s Taint

      Listen to Dr Chimrichalds he is right on the money kiddies. Try Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer afterwords as a nice pallet cleanser

      • dr.chimrichalds

        Yeah. Listen to me. I’m a doctor.

  • Charlie Kelly


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  • Krug09

    If i could go back i would watch the films in order if i could. I had seen Halloween so far after all the other slashers came out and sequels it seemed tame.

  • D2Kvirus

    Easy starter’s guide for getting into horror: if it’s a Hollywood remake of a foreign language horror film, avoid it and watch the original.

  • Brett Strohl

    I just recommend “Wake in Fright” to everyone, and then go about my day…

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  • Chrissie-Watkins

    I think getting someone into horror also depends on WHY they think they don’t like it. If they live alone, and feel like they would get too freaked out, maybe start with some creature feature that could never really happen, like Cloverfield or Lake Placid. If they feel like they don’t like blood and guts, try a ghost movie, like The Haunting or Insidious. Personally, I was thrown in at a very young age (a family member popping in a tape of NOES when I was 8), but that could really go either way, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

  • Evan3

    Thanks so much fort his series. It was really enjoyable. I can’t wait until my 3-year old is old enough to enjoy horror with me.

  • Meisha’s Taint

    It was unbearable to read this “series” It feels like a child wrote these articles.

    “Some of the best memories we have in our lives, the ones we cherish the most, are the ones that we share with others. Horror doesn’t have to be any different” Is this bloody disgusting or a Dr. Phil episode???? Ughhhh

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