Preserving the foundations of horror for generations to come

Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Michael Myers, and Jason – the terrifying icons of horror. The eighties ushered in a decade of the best horror films ever created and ultimately brought these menacing characters to life. Nothing compares to these chilling classics, and if you’re a devout horror fanatic, you most likely have many of these originals on VHS.

Many horror fans today find it hard to connect with the new genre of horror. For most of us, a movie that has been art directed to death is a real killer. It’s hard to get at the soul of horror films when you’re watching digital photography and CG blood. The aesthetics of the eighties’ VHS films worked well for horror and created a world that many of us crave today.

However, these VHS tapes are degrading. VHS tapes tend to degrade 10 to 20 percent over the course of 10-25 years, so how do we make sure we sustain the origins of horror for future generations? The answer is digitization. Here are some steps to digitize your home horror collection without outsourcing to a professional. 

Things You Need to Get Started: The most important thing is the VHS player itself. If you’ve gotten rid of it, you can probably buy one from eBay or any other auction site for about $30. You will also need an analog converter for a PC or Mac, depending on what type of computer you have. Some of the best and easiest to use are Diamond VC500 and VIDBOX. You can also find these on Amazon or eBay.

Digitizing Your Tape: First, you will want to install the software that came with your converter onto your computer. Then, plug the USB part of the converter into the computer, and the three color-corded AV cables correctly into the VCR. Once everything is connected, launch the software on your computer and insert your old VHS into the VCR. Pause the video on the VCR and adjust your output and destination settings on the computer. The program you downloaded should allow you to choose where you want to store your video and the format. The best format to store these videos are .MPG, .MOV, or .MP4.

Once you configured your settings, it’s time to transfer. You can un-pause the VHS and it should play on your computer screen. Simply hit the record button on the screen and your computer will capture and store the video. Remember that if you fast-forward, rewind, or pause the VHS player during conversion, your video will be recorded just like that in your digital version. 

Storage Options: Once you save the files, you can store them on your computer or an external hard drive. However, if you have a lot of films to digitize, you might want to look into cloud storage options. Sites such as SugarSync, Sync.com, and pCloud are rated as the best cloud solutions for movies. With these sites you will have tons of space to keep them organized and you will also have the ability to access your library wherever and whenever you like. 

Share the Love: Be sure to share your love of horror films with others so that these classic characters don’t die out. Many of the cloud storage options allow you to easily share videos with your family and friends. Since you can now show the films on any media, you can even broadcast the films in your home theater or throw an outdoor horror movie night and project a film on the side of your house. With digitization, the possibilities are endless and you can help Freddy, Chucky, Michael, and Jason live on forever.


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