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Horror Movies For The Non-Horror Fan

Horror Movies For The Non-Horror Fan


As many of you may know I am not a horror movie fan, matter of fact I would rather not watch anything at all and sit in silence than watch a horror movie. However sad that may seem to you, I’m actually quite alright with it, I know my mental limits, I know what my brain and adrenaline I can handle and I like the suspense of a lot of films but just can’t get through horror. The problem is I’m dating someone who is not just a horror fan but who I would say is an aficionado on things that are scary, spooky, gore-guts and horror related. His affinity for horror hasn’t rubbed off on me at all BUT I have been able to venture into a few films that fit within that genre that don’t make me want to cry or lock myself in a room with only one entrance. 

Also to explain it’s not that I don’t like the feeling of being scared only, I also just don’t like the panic that sits in my chest during a horror film. Most particularly I do not like horror films that are realistic such as The Strangers which in the trailer they express the reason they are tormenting poor Liv Tyler and her family is because “you were home.” Well F—— me for being a homebody… so here is my list of Horror Movies for the Non-Horror Fan with a little score of whether if it’s actually scary to the point of no return or just good cinematic fun.

It Follows

  • Released: 2014
  • Directed: David Robert Mitchell

Released in 2014 , you can read my review of the film here. Since then I’ve re-watched this movie once (no joke only once I’m not an insane person) and I’ve come to like it quite a bit. It’s definitely what most would consider Art-House Horror than actual Horror. They say this because it’s stylized, with the central antagonist being more of a bump in the night rather than a living breathing entity that is after you. I also liked that there was a bit of social commentary on sexuality, femininity tied into an 80s flair. 

Horror Score 7 / 10 – this score is because there is still panic inducing moments and a sense of urgency throughout the film as our protagonist attempts to escape the shadow that follows her. 



House on Haunted Hill 

  • Released: 1959
  • Directed: William Castle, Rosemary Horvath

This Vincent Price classic is newer to my repertoire as in August of 2018 new. I had never seen it before but was in the mood for a black and white film and then compromised with my partner on it being a “scary” movie. This film takes place in a single night in a manor where a group of people are sequestered for the night to win money from their illustrious and illusive host (Vincent Price.) Promised 10,000$ to survive the night this film is more of a thriller, suspense than horror ; I will also admit that there are things about this movie that I don’t like because they are unexplained entirely.

Horror Score 3/10 – this score is because there are some jump scares that will still get you but overall the film is not based in horror as it is more suspenseful and “what will happen next?”


  • Released: 2018
  • Director: Ari Aster

This recent release is another along the lines of Art House Horror, its a bit out there when it comes to concept and design. The trailer doesn’t much provide insight to the actual story instead it tries to focus on the relationship between mother and daughter when in reality the story itself is much more gore-y and creepier than it seems. There are definitely jump scares and unexpected moments (electricity poles are involved) but on the whole this movie is less horror and more haunting than I had originally expected. Extremely well acted and with every moment a bit more curious this is not a movie I would skip if you are slowly treading into the waters of horror unknown. 

Horror Score 8/10 – this film is still scary at moments, and the suspense sits in a lump in your throat throughout the last 30 minutes without a doubt but again it is more suspenseful, hauntingly creepy than outright scary.


The Witch

  • Released: 2015
  • Directed: Robert Egers

When I think of movie trailers related to horror this one still gives me the creeps. I still am frightened by the idea of this story because the concept is meant to go against all of your previous knowledge and understanding. I think that’s what makes this film really work is these fantastic bits and breaks of remembering history vs. the reality on the screen. This film follows a colonial family now separated from their village due to religious differences, eldest daughter, twin brats and small bundled baby live on the outskirts of a darkened wood. Suddenly the baby goes missing and that’s when things begin to change, the story becomes more about the humanity of the people involved versus the reality of a potential witch in the woods the devil in disguise. Although it appears quite bland this film is delicious with imagery and symbolism throughout. I would still keep this in the horror genre even if it also leads more into the suspense side of things. 

Horror Score 7/10 (not ours) – This film has unexpected moments and is carefully depicted so as to not reveal any item too soon. It is a meticulous horror-suspense with an amazing ending. 


For fear of this article becoming to redundant I’ll stop there but here are my two honorable mentions as well. 

Creature from the Black LagoonClassic monster movie that still will get you to scream.

Night of the Living DeadClassic undead movie that coins the classic phrase “No don’t go in there” that you will undoubtedly yell at your TV. 

All in all if you choose any of the above for someone just starting to step into horror genre, any of these are good beginners that touch on themes of horror without putting a killer in their face and making them want to hide in the closet. (No I’m not speaking from experience I’ve never hid in a closet afraid of a killer after watching a horror movie…)


Natasha Paiva Natasha Paiva is a San Diego native born and raised along the shores of Ocean Beach and hills of Point Loma. Natasha is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in English Literature, California currently she writes in her free time while working full time for a tech company. She hopes to one day see one of her scripts produced into a film, or one of her books published.