The Chilling Horror Elements from 3 Influential Science fiction Films of 1968!
1968 was a tumultuous year full of tragic events from political assassinations to protests and civil unrest, including the heartbreaking assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, and The My Lai Massacre that was committed during the Vietnam War" these tragic events served as a nihilist component from that year, which ’complemented” a crop of refreshing concepts within cinema. Horror movies have been a staple genre within the film industry for decades, with filmmakers using various psychological elements to scare and thrill audiences. There were at least three classic science fiction films from the 1960s that have stood the test of time are not only influential, but underneath two out of the three, at its core, are finely disguised horror films, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, and Night of the Living Dead. These films had unique horror elements that set them apart from other horror movies of their era.
First up is 2001: A Space Odyssey. This classic film by Stanley Kubrick may not seem like a horror movie at first glance, but it's full of elements that are sure to give you chills. The film's most iconic moment is when astronaut Dave Bowman confronts the AI computer HAL 9000. The red, glowing eye of HAL is unforgettable, and the way he calmly tells Dave that he's afraid and can't let him do what he's trying to do is deeply unsettling. The idea of a machine becoming self-aware and turning on its human creators is a classic horror trope, and 2001: A Space Odyssey does it with a modicum of style and intelligence.
Next, is Planet of the Apes. This movie, based on a novel by Pierre Boulle, takes place in a future where apes have evolved to be the dominant species on Earth, and humans are treated as inferior beings.
The horror element in this movie comes from the fact that the apes are so eerily human-like, complete with their own complex societies and emotions. When Charlton Heston's fellow astronauts along with other humans are captured and subjected to experimentation, these scenarios are both horrific and haunting as we witness the dystopian nightmare of how the apes, once considered a primal species are now in control of a human-reduced society, made for eerie and unsettling horror.
And finally, we come to obvious pick within the context of this subject matter, Night of the Living Dead, released in 1968 and directed by George A. Romero, this groundbreaking film introduced and revolutionized the horror genre by cleverly using the audience's fear of the unknown and our primal fear of being eaten alive. The movie takes place during a zombie apocalypse, and the horror element comes from how zombies are portrayed. They're slow-moving, mindless creatures, but they're relentless, seemingly unstoppable and hunger for human flesh. The tension is incredibly high while the main characters are trapped in a house, as the zombies are trying to break in.
One of the more memorable scenes is when Harry, his wife Helen, and their young daughter Karen are trapped in a basement who has been bitten and turned into a zombie. The gradual realization of what the survivors must do to stay alive during the 3rd and final act is both horrific and tragic.
In conclusion, these three movies all have very different horror elements, but they're all incredibly effective at scaring audiences. Whether it's the cold, calculating AI of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the unnerving human-like apes of Planet of the Apes, or the relentless zombie horde of Night of the Living Dead, these classics have proven their timelessness and their contributions to cinema history.