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  • Writer's pictureJustin Anthony

Horror Films for Non-Horror Fans - The Year of Corona (Part 3)

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Going crazy yet?

Perhaps you are a horror fan isolated with non-horror fans in one home and you need a horror fix! If that’s the case, now is a great time to show them why people like you are fans.

Horror gets attributed to gore. But as a fan of horror myself, I know that does not always need to be the case. In fact, I prefer horror films not to have much gore.

The genre is a way to be scared while keeping completely safe; allowing that feeling of terror to come out and pass once the credits role. That does not require blood and guts.

It’s valid catharsis, like that felt from watching a sad romantic film to get out a good cry; sometimes you just need a good scare.

In these times of job loss, isolation and general uncertainty of what the current pandemic could mean it is always good to keep perspective that no matter how scary things get they can always be scarier.

I mean, at least you’re isolated at home and not at the Overlook hotel …

I have made a list of 8 films that are great to show non-horror fans who could use a few hours away from real horror sans gore … well, maybe a tiny bit (but I’ll mark those instances).

A lot of these films were scary for their time but along with the desensitization of our culture bits of their original terror are (arguably) lost on most. The most important thing is if the stories hold. And they do.

I’ve also included ways to persuade the non-fans into watching each movie without spoiling the stories 'cause spoilers SUCK … so good luck!



A vastly underrated film about a family trying to preserve their unit by saving their youngest daughter from the monster in the closet. This is a Spielberg produced -- and maybe directed -- film. Everyone loves Spielberg! If you can handle Jurassic Park you can do this. The relationship between mother and daughter is what makes the audience resonate with love rather than fear. The efforts in cheering for the good guys pays off.


*Cheesy gore, clearly fake blood.

Ah, the dance studio film with completely over-dubbed dialogue. The story around this film may help ease the terror of it; the script was originally written to feature 10 year old girls and while that changed from hesitation to make a film with all young actors, the script did not. That is why there are absurd moments between grown women that seem like they were plucked from a playground drama. Because they were. This absurdity from that is part of its charm. Make a game with your non-horror fan to spot those moments. (Hint: doorknobs)


I think the best way to sell this puppy is with its cast -- Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Kiefer Sutherland -- all icons of the ‘80s. It’s campiness makes the horror more menacing than scary and the drama is as high of a fixture as the comedy. Again, the bond here between the brothers makes the film rise above being just a vampire film. And the soundtrack is boppin’! There's a lot of fun to be had with this one.


Cinematic history. It’s black and white so no red blood to worry about nor any big jump scares. It is crime storytelling wrapped up in the guise of horror. This shouldn’t be a hard sell, especially if you show a photo of Anthony Perkins -- who can resist such an innocent, trustworthy face? Maybe just leave out the part of how people stopped showering after the release of this film …


Yes, I know this isn’t a horror film but it’s a perfect companion piece after watching PSYCHO. Also, it will reveal how the film was made and “get the scare” out of your non-horror fan after watching a horror film. This may help reveal the magic of how these films are made and maybe your non-fan will get curious about other titles in horror … ;-). Or at the very least, appreciate them.


*Some gross factor gore and disturbing scenes.

This film is getting more love these days as its topical subject matter falls into the #MeToo category. It was written by the Juno creator Diablo Cody -- Juno was hilarious! This film is about female friendships … and sacrificial lambs. Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried spearhead this film and rock the comedy. This has a few gross moments and one very not-nice scene regarding Jennifer but nothing radically gory to keep one up at night.


This may be more mystery than horror but its atmosphere lends itself to the genre. The tone is slightly Hitchcockian and the mystery takes the audiences in many "Huh?" and "What da frick!" moments. Also it's a great popcorn flick with Hollywood greats Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer! I’d say this is a safe bet for anyone, especially after watching PSYCHO.

IMDb (Do NOT watch the trailer, gives away the WHOLE MOVIE. Seriously, don't watch it.)


If you’re feeling exhausted by being inside to fight the pandemic, this film will make you grateful to NOT be outside. No strong gore and fascinating concept. And if you had dived into the Hitchcock biopic as suggested above perhaps the non-fan in your life will naturally be interested in this title! Maybe avoid if you have PTSD from being swooped at during hatching season. Personally, mine flares up at this time of year. *shudder*

And that's the list!

Anything else you would have added? Let me know if you try one of these films on your non-horror fan families and what they thought!

Though I am not responsible for any nightmares. Just a little disclaimer, there.

Happy watching!

Chime in on the convo either here, on my Twitter or at Instagram!

Sharing the post with someone who would love it is very appreciated.

What would you have liked to have seen on the list?

Check back on Friday for next week's blog!

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