History of Horror S02 E01: Things we learned from Houses of Hell

Eli Roth's History of Horror. Image courtesy AMC
Eli Roth's History of Horror. Image courtesy AMC /
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History of Horror
James Brolin (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) /

The Amityville Horror

Everyone knows the story of how the Lutz family only stayed for 28 days in their Amityville dream home before fleeing in a panic due to excessive demonic activity.

It’s More than a Portal to Hell

  1. The most horrifying scene in the movie occurs when Kathy’s brother loses his money to pay for his wedding caterer at their house. Later, when George finds the empty clip under the couch, he knows that there is a larger force at work tormenting him.
  2. Economic distress is definitely a part of this film which is a real-life horror. George and Kathy went into debt to acquire their dream dwelling and they are always concerned with finances. Demonic activity only exacerbates this constant worry by trying to drive the family unit apart.
History of Horror
Richard Jenkins (L) and Bradley Whitford (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI) /

The Cabin in the Woods

Every film dealing with an eerie cabin in the woods owes its existence to Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. His franchise set the bar high for horror stories in remote locations.

This Joss Whedon penned meta work about a horror film within a horror film takes every trope in the genre and turns it upside down. Basically, it is about a government agency that appeases ancient gods by sacrificing humans to them via monsters and serial killer scenarios.

I’m Paranoid? You’re Paranoid!

  1. A conspiracy theorist’s dream, Cabin in the Woods underneath the obvious begs the question, can we trust our government? Considering everything that is going on in the world today, Whedon’s flick is very prescient.
History of Horror
Wes Craven (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) /

The Last House on the Left

Cons on the lam who brutalized, raped and killed two girls have the misfortune of spending the night with one of the parents of their murder victims. Things get bloody and very violent.

War, What Is It Good for?

  1. This Wes Craven movie was released in 1972 at the height of the Vietnam War. The director, like many of his peers was bombarded with images of the confrontation on a daily basis.
  2. The ultra-violent nature of The Last House on the Left is a direct result of the influence of the coverage of the conflict. These images infiltrated every aspect of American life during that time.
  3. Craven and his partner Sean S. Cunningham just capitalized on those topical issues and incorporated them into their effort much like Romero dealt with the consequences of racism in Night of the Living Dead.

Next. Burnt Offerings and other creepy horror locations to avoid. dark

Eli Roth’s History of Horror airs every Saturday at 10 p.m. on AMC.

What is your favorite house of hell? Let us know in the comments.