What is the list?
Decades of Horror is my list of horror movies that were released in years ending with the last digit of the current year—for example 2009, 1999, 1989, and so on. See the list for yourself here.
What are my goals for the list?
I want to explore lesser known horror movies and to discover hidden gems that I wouldn’t otherwise know about. I also want to get a bird’s-eye view of trends and landmarks through the decades.
How do I decide what goes on the list?
I start with IMDB’s advanced search tools, which allow me to filter movies by release year, genre, and other criteria that are useful for the list (here’s an example). Afterward I add anything that doesn’t meet the IMDB search criteria but I feel belongs on the list. There are a lot more gray areas than I expected, so it was necessary to pick some rules for the list to follow.
Genre: What counts as horror? I want to cast a wide net here, so here’s the definition I use: Any movie with the “horror” tag on IMDB, or any movie that anyone has made a case for being or celebrating horror. Super vague, but it serves the list.
Year: How do I determine release dates? They can be tricky, with different resources listing different years for the same movie. Often horror movies have limited festival releases in the fall and aren’t widely released until the following spring. So here’s where I just had to pick a rule and stick with it: I go by what IMDB says, which is when the movie entered the world. Movies are released into specific times and places, and that context is important to me, not when it was released in American theaters or streaming services.
Popularity/Rating: Do I include every movie that meets the criteria? There would be way too many, so I use IMDB’s filters for number of votes and IMDB rating. I set a minimum number of votes, depending on how many total movies there are for that year. Then I do a second search that includes movies with a 5.5 or higher rating below the minimum number of votes, down to a smaller minimum.
What are my rules for watching?
I have none. I watch what I want, and I don’t have to watch anything I don’t want to.
How do I watch?
Many movies are available streaming for free through sites like Kanopy, Hoopla, Tubi, and Vudu. I also have subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, and most importantly, Shudder. I am also blessed to live in Seattle and have access to Scarecrow Video, which has their impressive Psychotronic Room. Finally, JustWatch is an indispensable tool for finding movies across streaming services; I take the time to add every movie on the list to my JustWatch watchlist, which I can filter to show only movies available on my streaming services.
What’s my purpose for this blog?
First, to present and explain the list. Second, to archive and comment on what I’ve watched, as much for myself as for whatever audience I may have.