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1950sThe fear: The worries of the nuclear age pushed aside the feelings of classic gothic horror, producing multiple species of radioactive monster movies.

The films: “Godzilla,” “The Blob,” “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” “Tarantula” and “Them” were best in breed.

1960sThe fear: Violent assassinations showed how sinister men and women could become, even in daylight.

The films: “Psycho,” “Cape Fear,” “Peeping Tom,” “Targets” and “Repulsion” added to the cultural anxiety.

1970sThe fear: As the baby boom cooled, films wrestled with child-focused nightmares.

The films: “Halloween,” “The Shining,” “The Omen,” “The Exorcist” and “Carrie” featured weird, possessed kids while “Alien” introduced gross, chest-bursting childbirth.

1980sThe fear: AIDS pushed body horror past the emergency room and onto the screen.

The films: “The Thing,” “Scanners,” “Re-Animator,” “Videodrome” and “The Fly.”

1990sThe fear: A focus on manipulative sociopaths delivered a hearse full of chills.

The films: “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Misery,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Se7en,” “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and “Single White Female.”

2000sThe fear: The new century favored films about people fighting their own war on terror to survive. The films: “28 Days Later,” “Saw,” “The Descent,” “The Mist” and “Shaun of the Dead.”

2010sThe fear: Worries about technology have gone viral. The films: “Unfriended,” “Ex Machina,” “Smiley,” “The Den” and “Untraceable,” where every game of Chatroulette moved from live-streaming to dead-streaming.


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