While Cannibal Holocaust is considered one of the first “found footage” horror films, it was The Blair Witch Project that shot it into the mainstream, creating a cultural phenomenon that was unheard of at the time. Heavily using the internet as a means to “confirm” the “truth” of the film, there were many that believed (and some who foolishly still do) that the events that took place in this film were 100% real. Almost as shocking as its wild box office success was how well received it was by critics, garnering almost universal acclaim (something we horror fans know is a rarity).
The film that kicked off the J-horror remake craze, it is also the best of the bunch. While remaining quite faithful to the original source material, it added heaps and heaps of atmosphere, creating a tense, eerie film that captured the interest of a nation. It was one of the rare instances where a film made more in its second week of release than the opening weekend.
This film created a global sensation, spawning the “one a year” franchise concept that was being used by the Paranormal Activity series up until The Marked Ones. What made this movies stand out was its meager budget that was almost entirely unnoticeable. Each scene exuded atmosphere and a griminess that hadn’t really been felt since 1995’s Se7en. Add to it that the film’s twist ending was something that no one saw coming and the makings of a classic were guaranteed. Though the first film does not fall under the loathed “torture porn” moninker, the subsequent sequels do, which, as a result, saw a huge rise of ultra gory, ultra violent films.
Alright readers, what are some horror films that you feel changed the game entirely?