It’s not often that I watch a movie that profoundly scares, upsets or disturbs me, but which is a tough one to recommend. Such was the case with Requiem For A Dream, for instance: I watched it alone, at night, in my dorm room, and it stayed with me for weeks. Although not a horror flick per se, it terrified me far more than any monster or haunted house movie ever could, because in the case of Requiem, the horror factor was all too real. It’s not for everyone, therefore I wouldn’t be quick to recommend it to a lot of people, unless they have the stomach for it.
Torture porn movies are also famously hard to recommend, even to a horror fan, because I realize not everyone shares my tolerance for gore. Yes, they fit the bill in that they’re scary, but they’re also quite disgusting, and a far cry from the type of horror flicks that seem to top ‘best of’ lists, such as The Babadook, Insidious, The Conjuring and every type of paranormal activity movie that usually leaves me cold. (The one exception to the rule was The Blair Witch Project, and only because of the is-this-real-or-not hype surrounding its original release, back when the internet and social media weren’t readily available to help debunk urban legends).
All of this is by way of explaining that, for me, what classifies a movie as ‘horror’, or at least good horror, is quite subjective.