The length of movies continues to keep getting longer and longer, but most horror movies are right around a certain time frame. I posed a theory on episode #06 with Rob, but we only scratched the surface of this theory on horror movie times, I also posed the question to the Real Horror Queen herself on episode number 14 of the Nightmare365 Podcast. The theory I have been putting to the test is that horror movies running time above 90 minutes are usually pretty good, where as horror movies running slightly around or below that 90 minute mark, seem to lack a bit of that movie quality or magic.
Granted this is a just a theory of mine and I haven’t heard too many people talking about this topic, just something I’ve noticed. I’ve been exploring it and want you to test it out on your own favorite or hated horror movies and see if running times of horror movies plays into the quality of them.
I have been checking up some of the newer horror movies and some of the classics people can’t get enough of to put my theory to the test. Below is a short list of newer horror movies, which I have seen. I found the 90 minutes plus movies I would countless times and movies that are right around 90 minutes or below, I didn’t think much of. The ones falling below the 90 minute mark, I felt could have been better if the film developed a bit more character roles and the plot.
90 minutes plus: Movies I thought were good
- Insidious 103min
- The Conjuring 112min
- Mama 100min
- The Purge Anarchy 103min
- The Lords of Salem 101min (I thought was ok, no great)
Right around 90 minutes: Movie I didn’t think much of
- The house that october built 91min
- Annabelle 99min
- The Babadook 93min
- Cabin in the woods 95min
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) 94min
There will always be exceptions to the rules. like Paranormal Activity (86 minute run time) which I thought was a good movie for what it was. I am talking about the first one in 2007, even though I not a huge fan of found or first person footage, it was well done. I thought the Ice Cream Man which has a running time of 84 minutes was so bad it was good, but that is a totally different debate as well. Movies are all relative to your taste and emotional fears.
Listed below, are the classics horror movies that everyone seems to talk about and relive in our homes on a daily bases. Maybe not so much the last one, “The Gate” which gave me nightmares as a kid and one of the first horror films I saw. You can see from the times below my theory might not hold water with the older movies. Maybe my theory only holds true to newer horror movies that are being made.
Classic Horror Movies:
- Halloween (1978) 91min One of my Favorite
- Friday the 13th 95min
- The Shining 146min Great movie
- Nightmare on Elm Street 91min
- The Exorcist 122min
- Psycho 109min
- The Gate 85min – scared the crap out of me as a kid
Putting my theory to the test gave me another perspective on movies and shows me that older horror movies running times doesn’t translate into a bad or good movie. It could just be that we change our minds as we get older and have a new appreciation for them. It seems that my movie time theory only rings true to newer movies and not with some of my favorite classics ones, but that could be cause I like them. My horror movie time theory can be throw out or it could be the ones being made today aren’t made with the same quality as back in the day.
I might just be an old timer purest when it comes to the classics, either way movies are in the eye of the watcher. I’ll give you some homework and test my theory with horror movies you love. Make a list of your favorites and ones you hate, to see if the movie times hold true or is just a bunch of BS!