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#126-#250

The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Horror Films: #1-#125

The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Horror Films: Introduction | #1-#100 | #126-#250 | Full List | Sources

Bijitâ Q

126. Bijitâ Q

Takashi Miike

2001 / Japan / 84m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb

Ken’ichi Endô, Shungiku Uchida, Kazushi Watanabe, Jun Mutô, Fujiko, Shôko Nakahara, Ikko Suzuki


“Despite this mayhem’s stunning, pornographic inappropriateness, Visitor Q eventually reveals itself to be both a sly critique of reality TV as well as a conservative statement about the decay of the Japanese family – and the necessity of traditional familial roles – during which each character reassumes his or her “proper” place in the household (father/provider, mother/nurturer, son and daughter/dutifully loyal offspring). But social commentary or not, any film brazen enough to interrupt a sex scene between a man and a dead woman with a joke about fecal matter is, to put it bluntly, the shit.” – Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness

A Quiet Place

127. A Quiet Place

John Krasinski

2018 / USA / 90m / Col / Monster | IMDb

Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward, Leon Russom


“While it is mostly devoid of dialogue, it is a film rich in subtle textural detail. From the sand-strewn paths on which the family carefully tread to their simple white-light/red-light warning system, the visual tapestry of their everyday life is a constant reminder of how they cope with their predicament… despite its well-played jump scares, it operates at a deep emotional level. Aside from the fleeting appearance of an ill-fated elderly couple, there are no other human characters on screen; this apocalyptic tale is told entirely through the prism of a single family, one struggling to cope not only with actual monsters, but also with insidious personal demons of grief, blame and guilt.” – Nikki Baughan, Sight & Sound

Koroshiya 1

128. Koroshiya 1

Takashi Miike

2001 / Japan / 129m / Col / Splatter | IMDb

Tadanobu Asano, Nao ômori, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, Shun Sugata, Toru Tezuka, Yoshiki Arizono, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Satoshi Niizuma


“‘Ichi the Killer’ is a bizarre sado-masochistic love story, an unnerving excursion into criminal and sexual extremes, and a comicbook explosion of lurid colours and freakish characters – but most of all, it is a furious, frenetic and at times very funny piece of bravura filmmaking, with outstanding performances, spectacular setpieces, dizzying moodswings, a killer soundtrack, and a mindbending conclusion. Guaranteed to amaze, shock, disgust and intrigue in equal measure, ‘Ichi the Killer’ is one of the most striking films ever made.” – Movie Gazette

Bubba Ho-Tep

129. Bubba Ho-Tep

Don Coscarelli

2002 / USA / 92m / Col / Comedy | IMDb

Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, Bob Ivy, Edith Jefferson, Larry Pennell, Reggie Bannister, Daniel Roebuck, Daniel Schweiger


“Campbell could have been born to play Elvis – he completely nails both the voice and the mannerisms, even under a hefty amount of old age make-up. It’s a superb performance – if there were any justice, Campbell would get an Oscar nomination. Davis is equally good and the pair make a great screen couple – their friendship is genuinely touching… Bubba Ho-Tep isn’t quite the full-on schlock-fest you might be expecting – in fact, it’s relatively short on action, and the actual showdown, though funny, is rather anti-climactic. Instead, the film emerges as a surprisingly moving story about death, dignity and doing what needs to be done. (Noting, in the process, that anything’s better than meeting your maker while on the toilet).” – Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

Gokudô kyôfu dai-gekijô: Gozu

130. Gokudô kyôfu dai-gekijô: Gozu

Takashi Miike

2003 / Japan / 129m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb

Yûta Sone, Shô Aikawa, Kimika Yoshino, Shôhei Hino, Keiko Tomita, Harumi Sone, Renji Ishibashi, Ken’ichi Endô, Kanpei Hazama, Masaya Katô


“There is an intense emphasis on the sexual, especially on the interplay between imported Western taboos and the traditional (but now largely suppressed) explicit sexual celebrations of the spring fertility festivals. Boldly, Takashi has sidelined phallic imagery to concentrate on various aspects of feminine reproductive sexuality, especially lactation. From this he derives much of his trademark crude humour, but the female characters are never diminished by it. His unrelenting camera draws viewers in to the complex psychology of his virginal hero, at once attracted and repelled by the possibilities inherent in sexual contact, waiting for the remorseless supernatural to liberate him from his mundanely violent life.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

Splinter

131. Splinter

Toby Wilkins

2008 / USA / 82m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb

Charles Baker, Jill Wagner, Paulo Costanzo, Shea Whigham, Rachel Kerbs, Laurel Whitsett


“A really smart little horror flick. How horrific is it? I’m far from brave, but good at temporary detachment – at the eager restoration of disbelief – and I still had to turn away at several points… This modest little genre piece is smarter than most of the overproduced and heavily marketed studio fare that’s been filling the multiplexes this fall. It’s short, taut, nicely shot, well-acted, astutely directed, specific where it might have been generic, original enough to be engrossing and derivative enough to be amusing. In other words, it knows exactly where it belongs and how to be its best self. What a revolutionary concept.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

Wrong Turn

132. Wrong Turn

Rob Schmidt

2003 / USA / 84m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth, Julian Richings, Garry Robbins, Ted Clark, Yvonne Gaudry


“This horror flick about young campers stalked and slaughtered by gruesome backwoods barbarians is a fairly decent crossbreeding of Friday the 13th and Deliverance. Despite the typical hunky-guys/babes-in-tank-tops Hollywood cast, Wrong Turn is gritty and uncompromising, and it includes several suspenseful and shocking moments. Unlike Deliverance, though, it’s not consistently believable enough to make you think seriously about cancelling that next trip into the forest… If screenwriter Alan B. McElroy had found more plausible ways to put his characters in danger, Wrong Turn could have been a real doozy of a fright flick. But it’s still chilling enough to please fans of nature-set nasties like The Hills Have Eyes.” – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

Unfriended

133. Unfriended

Levan Gabriadze

2014 / USA / 83m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb

Cal Barnes, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson, Shelley Hennig, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Mickey River, Heather Sossaman, Moses Jacob Storm, Jacob Wysocki


“Rather than attempting to take us on a Hackers-style trip behind the screens, Unfriended plays on the addictive pull of the screen itself. Like James Woods being physically seduced by his TV in David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, the real horror here is our irritating antiheroes’ inability to pull themselves away from their laptops. Despite repeatedly telling each other to “just log off”, all are compelled to stay online; to open links that can only work their destructive magic if empowered to do so by the “user” – a word with entirely appropriate drug-addiction overtones. While the cast expend much energy trying to figure out the identity of their tormentor (the narrative follows the familiar “anniversary of death” riffs of Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, I Know What You Did… etc), the film forces its audience to spend 80-odd minutes effectively staring the bogeyman straight in the face.” – Mark Kermode, Observer

The Lords of Salem

134. The Lords of Salem

Rob Zombie

2012 / USA / 101m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Judy Geeson, Meg Foster, Patricia Quinn, Ken Foree, Dee Wallace, Maria Conchita Alonso, Richard Fancy


“Movies by Rob Zombie, the goth rocker turned cult filmmaker, aren’t for everybody. But he couldn’t care less. He makes movies exactly the way he wants to, with no thought of pleasing mainstream audiences. They can like it or lump it. His latest effort, “The Lords of Salem,” is true to form… [fans] will want to rush out to see this stylishly lensed work, which references Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby” and Dario Argento’s “Suspiria,” Others are advised to look elsewhere for fun in the dark.” – V.A. Musetto, New York Post

Diary of the Dead

135. Diary of the Dead

George A. Romero

2007 / USA / 95m / Col / Zombie | IMDb

Michelle Morgan, Joshua Close, Shawn Roberts, Amy Lalonde, Joe Dinicol, Scott Wentworth, Philip Riccio, Chris Violette, Tatiana Maslany, Todd Schroeder


“Diary may initially struggle to get up to speed as it reprises business from the earlier films, but Romero has lost none of his wild inventiveness. This film has more left-field weirdness and edgy suspense than Land, with unexpected characters (a deaf, dynamite-throwing Amish farmer), grim jokes (the zombie birthday clown who bleeds when his red nose is pulled off) and horror scenes you have never seen before (in a crowded, gloomy warehouse, amid reserves of gasoline, a single, hard-to-find zombie mingles with jittery, well-armed folk). It turns out that despite decades of experiment, there are still spectacular new ways of killing zombies on screen (a slow acid-dissolve of the skull), while presenting state-of-the-art make-up effects vérité-style recalls the impact of the gruesome intestine-gobbling scene in 1968.” – Sight and Sound

Demon

136. Demon

Marcin Wrona

2015 / Poland / 94m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Itay Tiran, Agnieszka Zulewska, Andrzej Grabowski, Tomasz Schuchardt, Katarzyna Herman, Adam Woronowicz, Wlodzimierz Press, Tomasz Zietek, Cezary Kosinski, Katarzyna Gniewkowska


“One of the brilliantly conceived and genuinely effective aspects of the story was to set the action during, of all things, a wedding ceremony. As a joyous, celebratory, life-affirming festival – a wedding is the perfect place for patrons to get loose, let their guard down and eschew every trivial care in the world. So, when the horrific hammer does finally strike down, it not only comes as a jolting surprise, but it serves as an inherently jarring counterpoint to the good-willed nature of the gala itself. Also, as mere metaphor, the marrying of two souls through non-consensual possession is quite a clever one, and plumbed here – though ad nauseam at times – for all the humor its worth.” – Jake Dee, Arrow in the Head

Piranha

137. Piranha

Alexandre Aja

2010 / USA / 88m / Col / Nature | IMDb

Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Jerry O’Connell, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele


“Sometimes a title can tell you everything you need to know. Such is the case with Piranha 3D, a film in which prehistoric piranhas fly out of the screen at your face. If that sounds like a good time at the movies then run to the cinema immediately. Filled with recognisable faces, packed with excessive blood and gore and jokes as corny as they are hilarious, Piranha 3D is, if nothing else, the most honest and unpretentious piece of filmmaking of 2010… Aja has found a wonderful mix of horror and laughs and even manages some scenes of tension that’ll have you gripping your armrest. Piranha 3D is a pure, unadulterated fun.” – Glenn Dunks, Trespass Magazine

The Invitation

138. The Invitation

Karyn Kusama

2015 / USA / 100m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Aiden Lovekamp, Michelle Krusiec, Mike Doyle, Jordi Vilasuso, Jay Larson, Marieh Delfino, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman


“The Invitation doesn’t sustain the evening’s tension so much as allow you to forget it, subsuming each unsettling occurrence into the stricken whole. Will and Eden’s bereavement is itself so inconceivable, to us as to their friends, that any outcome becomes possible. And by the time the climax arrives, culminating in the film’s utterly chilling final image, The Invitation externalizes the disquiet that swirls and eddies around all of us, most succinctly expressed in the medieval proverb: In the midst of life, we are in death.” – Matt Brennan, Slant Magazine

Black Death

139. Black Death

Christopher Smith

2010 / UK / 102m / Col / Historical Drama | IMDb

Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, John Lynch, Tim McInnerny, Kimberley Nixon, Andy Nyman, David Warner, Johnny Harris, Emun Elliott, Tygo Gernandt


“As it turns out, no one is without sin in “Black Death,” a grungy, cynical little number from the British director Christopher Smith that slams Christians against pagans with little love for either… With old-fashioned style and old-school effects — you can feel the weight of the broadswords and the crunchy resistance of every hacked head — “Black Death” takes Dark Ages drama to the limits of moral ambivalence. Here, excessive piety and rampant paganism are equally malevolent forces, the film’s baleful view of human nature mirrored in Sebastian Edschmid’s swampy photography. As is emphasized in a nicely consistent coda, the Lord’s side and the right side are not necessarily one and the same.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

House of 1000 Corpses

140. House of 1000 Corpses

Rob Zombie

2003 / USA / 89m / Col / Splatter | IMDb

Bill Moseley, William Bassett, Karen Black, Erin Daniels, Matthew McGrory, Judith Drake, Dennis Fimple, Chris Hardwick, Walton Goggins, Sid Haig


“The movie has absolutely no interest whatsoever in sanitized horror. Rob Zombie wallows quite comfortably in squalor, doling out mutilation, gore, sweaty close-ups, bad teeth, bad skin, fetid-looking clutter everywhere. Even the four college students — two male, two female, by the book — whose agony provides most of the fuel for the plot motor are not empty UPN/WB clones. Zombie has made a conscious and, yes, loving throwback to nuclear-family geek shows like Chainsaw, Mother’s Day, and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes. If it doesn’t sound original, well, it isn’t. Zombie never designed this to be the new fresh thing in horror; he simply wants to blow away all the shiny teen crap that passes for horror nowadays and cover the audience in grime, spit, intestines.” – Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic

Shutter

141. Shutter

Banjong Pisanthanakun & Parkpoom Wongpoom

2004 / Thailand / 97m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Ananda Everingham, Natthaweeranuch Thongmee, Achita Sikamana, Unnop Chanpaibool, Titikarn Tongprasearth, Sivagorn Muttamara


“If you’ve seen any Asian horror movie of the last ten years, you know the drill: ghosts with bad hairdos, a Grudge from beyond the grave and technophobia that turns ordinary household objects (here the humble 35mm camera) into gateways to the next world… For all its technology-obsessed focus, Asian horror’s always been fascinated with the relationship between the living and the dead. Shutter’s no exception. “We think spirits long for their loved ones,” claims the editor of Ghost magazine (Thailand’s answer to The Fortean Times) as our heroes look for answers. It’s a line that’s laced with irony, although you won’t get it until after the credits roll.” – Jamie Russell, BBC

The Last Exorcism

142. The Last Exorcism

Daniel Stamm

2010 / USA / 87m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb

Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Louis Herthum, Caleb Landry Jones, Tony Bentley, John Wright Jr., Shanna Forrestall, Justin Shafer, Carol Sutton


“The movie’s first forty-five minutes acts as a legitimately witty satire of religious fundamentalists and the now-totally-lame concept of exorcisms (“the spirit of Christ compels you … yawn”). When the stakes are raised in the final act, the audience has been utterly disarmed. And instead of winking at us and promising that it will be all right, they trust that we want to feel terror.” – Simon Miraudo, Quickflix

Lovely Molly

143. Lovely Molly

Eduardo Sánchez

2011 / USA / 99m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden, Field Blauvelt, Camilla Zaidee Bennett, Kevin Murray, Katie Foster, Doug Roberts, Bus Howard, Josh Jones


“Since scaring the living daylights out of audiences with Blair Witch, writer-director Eduardo Sanchez has rather been left behind in the found-footage stakes thanks to the likes of Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity. Here he returns to the concept (as Molly gets increasingly frazzled she captures it all on a camcorder) with a truly disturbing sequence of events that rely on a rumbling sound design and the occasional big bang to keep audiences teetering on the brink… We could have probably done without the libidinous preacher and the running time could do with a trim, but this succeeds thanks to Lodge’s extraordinary central performance, a terrifyingly mesmerising study of a woman in diabolic torment” – Tim Evans, Sky Movies

Halloween

144. Halloween

Rob Zombie

2007 / USA / 109m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Tyler Mane, Daeg Faerch, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Richard Lynch, Udo Kier, Clint Howard, Danny Trejo


“The good news is, Zombie in no way diminishes our nightmares. While not so much a unique vision as a loving tribute, director Zombie updates the classic with a tighter script, re-thought locations for some key scenes, and a decent cast willing to to make a true slasher film, teen nudity and all. Unlike The Fog remake that threw out all the elements that made the original so scary and watchable, Zombie lifts scenes and lines from the original while making better sense and setting a better pace. Amazingly, Zombie’s Halloween is an improvement over the original film, exactly the kind of film one expects when lamenting, “Wow, can you imagine what this movie would be like if they made it today?”” – Kevin A. Ranson, MovieCrypt

1408

145. 1408

Mikael Håfström

2007 / USA / 104m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb

John Cusack, Paul Birchard, Margot Leicester, Walter Lewis, Eric Meyers, David Nicholson, Holly Hayes, Alexandra Silber, Johann Urb, Andrew Lee Potts


“Whatever its weaknesses, 1408 holds you captive. The film may seem like a one-room version of THE SHINING, condensed and tight rather than big and sprawling like the Kubrick movie, but Hafstrom does an impressive job of keeping its limited space visually interesting for feature length, and when all else fails the story succeeds on the strength of Cusack’s performance. The actor is allowed to give a virtual one-man show, ranging from funny to fearful, alternating between broad physical action (when the character explodes in rage against the room’s asault on him) with quieter interludes of angst and despair. Forcing the audience to experience his terror with an almost first-hand immediacy, Cusack runs the emotional gamut, delivering a performance as layered and complex as any of the 2007s Oscar nominees. Thanks in large part to his efforts, 1408 comes close to being a character study rather than a horror film – WILD STRAWBERRIES, with ghosts. Unlike too many movies that aspire to more than mere horror, this one achieves its goal without neglecting the fear factor.” – Steve Biodrowski, ESplatter

Fritt vilt

146. Fritt vilt

Roar Uthaug

2006 / Norway / 97m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Rolf Kristian Larsen, Tomas Alf Larsen, Endre Martin Midtstigen, Viktoria Winge, Rune Melby, Erik Skjeggedal, Tonie Lunde, Hallvard Holmen


“Roar Uthaug’s debut feature is a conventional but nicely handled slasher pic that makes good use of spectacular mountain range locations. Widescreen lensing format and above-average perfs add a touch of class to the tale of five snowboarders who take shelter in the wrong mysteriously abandoned (or is it?) ski lodge… Likeable characters are given more personality than the usual genre cannon fodder, and, while the basic premise is routine, pic orchestrates its scares with brute effectiveness. The only letdown is the killer himself, a generic “Halloween”-y faceless ghoul in goggles and heavy winter wear.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

The Woman in Black

147. The Woman in Black

James Watkins

2012 / UK / 95m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb

Emma Shorey, Molly Harmon, Ellisa Walker-Reid, Sophie Stuckey, Daniel Radcliffe, Misha Handley, Jessica Raine, Roger Allam, Lucy May Barker, Indira Ainger


“Director James Watkins expertly uses shadows and empty spaces to create a percolating sense of dread, and he waits until the last possible moment before allowing his audience the catharsis of a shock… there’s barely a glimpse of anything scary in this film, but that’s precisely what makes it so terrifying. Neither the 1989 televised adaptation nor the enduringly popular stage play are entirely faithful to Hill’s novel, and this latest version takes the plot down some cobweb-strewn corridors of its own, but its marriage of gothic fiction and gothic fashion feels entirely right for our times. Like all of the best ghost stories, The Woman In Black is only enriched in the retelling.” – Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph

The Crazies

148. The Crazies

Breck Eisner

2010 / USA / 101m / Col / Zombie | IMDb

Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker, Christie Lynn Smith, Brett Rickaby, Preston Bailey, John Aylward, Joe Reegan, Glenn Morshower


“Don’t be afraid of the horror remake stigma here; be afraid of The Crazies’ constant, electric hum of dread. Be afraid of the unpredictable bursts of violence and well-earned jump scares. Be afraid of director Eisner’s unexpected mastery of the material — he seems to have been a standout horror filmmaker-in-waiting all this time, and The Crazies shows that off in a huge way. He understands timing and mood and how important a good score is to a horror film (Mark Isham’s synth score is noticeably great, like a quiet callback to John Carpenter’s way of scoring horror). He gets the actors to take the material seriously, he’s not afraid to go bleak and nasty, and he knows how to build suspense (a talent too rare in studio horror).” – John Gholson, MovieFone

The Signal

149. The Signal

David Bruckner & Dan Bush & Jacob Gentry

2007 / USA / 103m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb

Anessa Ramsey, Sahr Ngaujah, AJ Bowen, Matthew Stanton, Suehyla El-Attar, Justin Welborn, Cheri Christian, Scott Poythress, Christopher Thomas, Lindsey Garrett


“An outright horror film that nonetheless veers on occasion into surreal black comedy, The Signal… takes Marshall McLuhan’s famous statement “the medium is the message” to extremes not explored since David Cronenberg’s seminal, frighteningly prescient Videodrome in 1983… The Signal is a shuddery critique of the ultrapervasive influence of big (and little) media on humanity and the paranoia engendered by its sheer invasiveness. It’s also a snarky stab at the desensitizing aspects of everything… Both apocalyptic and suitably vague, The Signal’s only serious weakness comes from some borderline histrionic performances; then again, it’s tough to call hysteria anything other than a sane response to a world gone mad.” – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

Cheap Thrills

150. Cheap Thrills

E.L. Katz

2013 / USA / 88m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

Pat Healy, Sara Paxton, Ethan Embry, David Koechner, Amanda Fuller, Laura Covelli, Todd Farmer, Elissa Dowling, Eric Neil Gutierrez, Ruben Pla


“Katz walks a fine line between humor and malevolence in his directing debut and handles it deftly, making sure that a laugh is never far away even if you’re cringing at the next method that Colin dreams up for Vince and Craig to debase themselves. And while it would be easy for a movie like this to descend into simple torture porn or gross-out comedy, it never does because we are invested in Healy’s poor schlub right from the start. His desperation and looming financial and housing crises ring all too true, and even as Craig begins to lose touch with his basic decency, you root for him because he’s trapped in an unwinnable situation.” – Don Kaye, Den of Geek

Dagon

151. Dagon

Stuart Gordon

2001 / Spain / 95m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Meroño, Macarena Gómez, Brendan Price, Birgit Bofarull, Uxía Blanco, Ferran Lahoz, Joan Minguell, Alfredo Villa


“Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon returns to literary horror with Dagon, another H.P. Lovecraft adaptation that takes his trademark grisliness to Spain for a real fish-out-of-water yarn having to do with love, sex and demon worship… Despite the Lovecraftian pedigree, what we really have here is a cheap horror potboiler: Stuart Gordon’s Attack of the Fish People. I swear that’s not a bad thing… Given the downright conservative tone of most horror films lately, the ripping and raping that caps Dagon’s leisurely build is itself startling. Replete with gore and nudity, the final reels make it to giddy exploitation territory.” – Bryant Frazer, Deep Focus

Final Destination 2

152. Final Destination 2

David R. Ellis

2003 / USA / 90m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Ali Larter, A.J. Cook, Michael Landes, David Paetkau, James Kirk, Lynda Boyd, Keegan Connor Tracy, Jonathan Cherry, Terrence ‘T.C.’ Carson, Justina Machado


“While watching the original isn’t necessary to enjoy the sequel, it certainly contributes to a deeper appreciation of the pair of films overall. Part two doesn’t just repeat the premise and scenes of part one–it intricately links to its predecessor with impressive continuity and offers a legitimate reason for why death comes a-knockin’ once more. Characters and circumstances from the original end up having direct ties to the seemingly random characters of the sequel. In many ways, Final Destination 2 also patches up some of the weaker points of the original… but ends up replacing them with new shortcomings. Still, the central premise of a stalking death remains interesting, and there is enough eye-popping violence to keep the pace brisk.” – Andrew Manning, Radio Free Entertainment

Grace

153. Grace

Paul Solet

2009 / USA / 84m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb

Jordan Ladd, Stephen Park, Gabrielle Rose, Serge Houde, Samantha Ferris, Kate Herriot, Troy Skog, Malcolm Stewart, Jeff Stone, Jamie Stephenson


“Many horror filmmakers say they want to capture the look and feel of classic ’70s horror films like “The Exorcist” or “Rosemary’s Baby,” but Solet has achieved it on many levels combining the film’s quiet and somber tone with a haunting ambient score to keeps you on the edge of your seat. That said, the movie certainly isn’t one for the squeamish, which was quickly discovered from one of the stories that circulated around the movie’s famous midnight premiere at Sundance when two men apparently fainted, but who’s to blame them? This is clearly the sickest and most disturbing movie you’ll see this year, extremely effective on every level without cowtowing to the overused formulas that have become standard in modern horror.” – Edward Douglas, Coming Soon

Identity

154. Identity

James Mangold

2003 / USA / 90m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, John C. McGinley, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey, Pruitt Taylor Vince


“The great thing about a movie like this is that it only reveals knowledge when it expects its own characters to be on the same page; if they are out of the loop, we are stuck right alongside them. And perhaps that’s what identity itself is all about, too: learn things as they come to you rather than have everything implanted in your head ahead of schedule. Watching the film is one of the most engaging experiences you will have at the movies; it is a taut, intelligent and fresh hybrid of a thriller that has as many effective ideas as a mind has brain cells. It tells a story not unlike the conventional murder mystery on the surface, but one very much stimulating and challenging once its skin has been ripped away.” – Peter Anderson, Nameless Horror

Hatchet

155. Hatchet

Adam Green

2006 / USA / 85m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Joel David Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Kane Hodder, Mercedes McNab, Parry Shen, Joel Murray, Joleigh Fioravanti, Richard Riehle, Patrika Darbo


“For people who miss the early-’80s heyday of the slasher film, Hatchet will seem like a gift from the horror-movie gods; for everyone else, it’ll at least be a fun way to kill 80 minutes… There’s nothing revolutionary about Hatchet; with its simplistic plot and cameos from horror legends Robert Englund and Tony Todd, it’s a deliberate throwback to the uncomplicated slasher movies of yore. But Green re-creates the style with affection and a knack for building suspense. The acting is above average, the bits of comic relief are actually funny, and multiple limbs are severed in highly graphic fashion. What more could you ask for?” – Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly

Black Sheep

156. Black Sheep

Jonathan King

2006 / New Zealand / 87m / Col / Comedy | IMDb

Nathan Meister, Peter Feeney, Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis, Oliver Driver, Tandi Wright, Glenis Levestam, Nick Blake, Matthew Chamberlain, Nick Fenton


“Jonathan King’s Black Sheep, from New Zealand, has no doubt about the style of movie it is attempting to make: trash gothic. It duly makes it. A deadly chemical escapes from a South Island animal lab and turns sheep sociopathic. Never mind the silence of the lambs. Listen out for the bloodthirsty baa-ing of the man-eating ovines. The special effects are of the kind you could do at home with a bottle of ketchup and leg of mutton. The scream-ridden soundtrack is often drowned out by audience laughter. It is all good, camp fun.” – Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

Ich seh, Ich seh

157. Ich seh, Ich seh

Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz

2014 / Austria / 99m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Susanne Wuest, Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz, Hans Escher, Elfriede Schatz, Karl Purker, Georg Deliovsky, Christian Steindl, Christian Schatz, Erwin Schmalzbauer


“Standing in opposition to the overplayed, action-orientated, blood curdling, visceral gorefest synonymous with horror, Goodnight Mommy employs similar psychological tactics found in film noir and the gothic by arousing the same cultural moods of paranoia and mistrust, which have resulted from a disruption to a seemingly, civilized ideal. Unfolding in an achingly, laborious manner, the trudging, sedate pace plays on audience’s anticipatory senses by teasing out the narrative to the point of complete exasperation, the prickly tension designed to unnerve and infuriate, rather than thrill and titillate. The film’s exquisite style, captured through a palpably unsettling lens, becomes all the more disquieting, as slow, dark tracking shots and throbbing, pregnant silences, tear down the illusions of familial normality, to put the depraved, the sinister and the corrupt, firmly in the spotlight.” – FilmIreland

V/H/S

158. V/H/S

Various

2012 / USA / 116m / Col / Anthology | IMDb

Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Kentucker Audley, Adam Wingard, Frank Stack, Sarah Byrne, Melissa Boatright, Simon Barrett, Andrew Droz Palermo, Hannah Fierman


“Remarkably, given the premise, only one of the five short segments that make up V/H/S is an outright failure. The others — from such US indie darlings as House Of The Devil director Ti West, mumblecore luminary Joe Swanberg and fledgling YouTube collective Radio Silence — share an experimental bent, a knack for well-timed twists and they don’t pander to the squeamish. It puts these spooky miniatures head and shoulders above the bulk of this year’s featurelength horror fare… Forever chasing scares both cerebral and visceral, the filmmakers leave little space for cynicism and plenty for admiration — an invaluable accomplishment in a film form that’s so susceptible to weak spots.” – Charlie Lyne, Little White Lies

The Poughkeepsie Tapes

159. The Poughkeepsie Tapes

John Erick Dowdle

2007 / USA / 81m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb

Stacy Chbosky, Ben Messmer, Samantha Robson, Ivar Brogger, Lou George, Amy Lyndon, Michael Lawson, Ron Harper, Kim Kenny, Iris Bahr


“It’s a mockumentary, minus the comedy and satire. It’s a mockumentary that houses a two-pronged attack of brutally accurate portrayals of torture, murder and dismemberment seamlessly interwoven with expert analysis and the thoughts and memories of those who were affected by the killers rampage, and those who were hunting him down. In fact, it’s not too far removed from what the Discovery channel and TLC show on a daily basis… The writing leaps off the screen, as the Dowdle brothers concoct a credible, highly intelligent, innovative killer and sets him loose in the “Anywhere, USA” suburbs of Poughkeepsie, New York.” – Alex Seda, Midnight Showing

Starry Eyes

160. Starry Eyes

Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer

2014 / USA / 98m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Alex Essoe, Amanda Fuller, Noah Segan, Fabianne Therese, Shane Coffey, Natalie Castillo, Pat Healy, Nick Simmons, Maria Olsen, Marc Senter


“A savage allegory about the sacrificial, soul-crushing price of fame and recognition in a town notoriously guilty for building up its talent only to tear them down, the perfectly titled “Starry Eyes” spares no one. Shooting on location in Los Angeles… writer-directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer paint a despairing but, from certain angles, accurate portrait of Hollywood’s grim underbelly. Beyond the sunshine and palm trees is an imminent danger that nears, each callback Sarah receives taking her closer to the part and further from her identity… Soaked in viscera and complemented by composer Jonathan Snipes’ phenomenally foreboding old-school, synth-heavy music score, the powerful finished product announces Kolsch and Widmyer as filmmaking forces to watch and remember.” – Dustin Putman, TheFrightFile.com

We Are Still Here

161. We Are Still Here

Ted Geoghegan

2015 / USA / 84m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb

Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Lisa Marie, Larry Fessenden, Monte Markham, Susan Gibney, Michael Patrick Nicholson, Kelsea Dakota, Guy Gane, Elissa Dowling


“Bored with shiny horror movies featuring perfect-looking, plastic-souled teens you care for not one jot? Then this throwback haunted house pic is for you. Not only does it feature middle-aged protagonists, genuine suspense and a creepy mythology, it boasts some of the best ghosts since The Devil’s Backbone… Then, just as you’re thinking We Are Still Here is akin to Ti West’s The House Of The Devil and The Innkeepers in its old-school, modulated menace, it takes a left-turn into balls-out bloodletting. Arteries spray, torsos spill, heads pop. It might have unbalanced the movie were it not an extension of the carefully seeded fun – far from being cruel and torture porn-y, this is Geoghegan now tapping the outré horrors of the ’80s. He splashes in plasma and viscera like a kid in a puddle, and his joy is infectious.” – Jamie Graham, Games Radar

Mother!

162. Mother!

Darren Aronofsky

2017 / USA / 121m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, Jovan Adepo, Amanda Chiu, Patricia Summersett, Eric Davis


“mother! is more successful in how it goes about its concerns as opposed to what it’s about. This speaks to Aronofsky’s filmmaking in general, which is defined by its confrontational, oft-times discomforting qualities… But the virtuosity of his filmmaking, a kind of sensibility that combines cinema vérité with a distinct spiritual omnipresence, gives the auteur a distinct voice. He’s a filmmaker that is capable of projecting anxious gestures from the movement of his camera. The way he spirals around his characters suggests an apprehension that’s unspoken but felt… However uneasy or discomforting mother! may be thematically, Aronofsky’s formal bravura has reached an apex.” – Daniel Nava, Chicago Cinema Circuit

The Void

163. The Void

Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski

2016 / Canada / 90m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb

Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong, Mik Byskov, Art Hindle, Stephanie Belding, James Millington, Evan Stern


“This throwback to John Carpenter/Clive Barker horror films is completely insane, horribly acted, and totally great for anybody who likes their horror served up with a side of cheese… the style of the movie, which features schlocky special effects, and both over- and under- acting, makes the whole mess work in an effective horror revival sort of way. If you hate horror films full of blood and puss where skinless doctors are bellowing devilish incantations, this one isn’t for you. If you are a fan of the recent Stranger Things and the Carpenter fare of old, this one will satisfy you.” – Bob Grimm, Reno News and Review

10 Cloverfield Lane

164. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Dan Trachtenberg

2016 / USA / 103m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr., Douglas M. Griffin, Suzanne Cryer, Bradley Cooper, Sumalee Montano, Frank Mottek


“Long before 10 Cloverfield Lane gets to the issue of whether or not there are monsters above ground, it’s evident that Howard is monster enough below it: a figure of frustrated, resentful masculinity (he alleges, offhand, that his ex-wife turned his daughter against him) finally crowned with the authority he feels has long been denied him. While the original Cloverfield deliberately positioned its cast of twentysomethings to be dwarfed by a largescale disaster, 10 Cloverfield Lane is rewardingly claustrophobic, keeping its focus tight on the characters and their cramped space while whatever disasters there are loom outside the bunker.” – Allison Willmore, Buzzfeed News

Noroi

165. Noroi

Kôji Shiraishi

2005 / Japan / 115m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb

Jin Muraki, Rio Kanno, Tomono Kuga, Marika Matsumoto, Angâruzu, Hiroshi Aramata, Yôko Chôsokabe, Dankan, Tomomi Eguchi, Gôkyû


“Noroi’s sense of realism may be unmatched in found-footage, and the journey of its idealistic, headstrong protagonist makes for gripping viewing; it’s the inseparable nature of the film’s form and content, however, that makes it a contender for one of the best horror films I’ve ever seen. Kobayashi’s film must feel real or else his journey would feel fake. If Noroi possessed the slightest suggestion of falsehood, the audience would have free reign to retreat to a comfortable spectator’s position, ready to let this fiction play out without any personal consequence. By convincing us of its veracity and giving us a protagonist whose drive for earth-shaking answers mirrors our own, Noroi directly interrogates our hunger for truth. In seeking truth, Noroi concludes, we become swallowed up by it. We’ve sought out Pandora’s box and wrest it open, and we deserve whatever comes out.” – Julian Singleton, Cinapse

February

166. February

Oz Perkins

2015 / Canada / 93m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lauren Holly, Lucy Boynton, James Remar, Emma Holzer, Peter J. Gray, Tori Barban, Veronica Cormier, Douglas Kidd


“There are evils in this movie that linger in shadow and puppeteer the movements of certain characters within it. The slow-burn dread in this film was accompanied by some of the slowest walking I have ever seen, and it worked. It worked so well, in fact, that I found myself squirming in my seat as the elongated dread lingered and pulsed… Both the scene and the narrative itself simmer to the sound of silence and build to strings, drones, and other malicious sonorous instruments of torture. The consequence of the play between the evocative quiet and acrimonious sound… left me feeling suspended in the anticipation of something dreadful in the shadows.” – Laura Birnbaum, Film Inquiry

Wyrmwood

167. Wyrmwood

Kiah Roache-Turner

2014 / Australia / 98m / Col / Zombie | IMDb

Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey, Leon Burchill, Keith Agius, Berynn Schwerdt, Luke McKenzie, Cain Thompson, Damian Dyke, Catherine Terracini, Meganne West


“Wildly apocalyptic with dollops of silliness, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead proves to be a splendidly gritty affair, a tale that feels like it’s being told from the back of a jeep as it races away from doomsday on a very bumpy road in Australia… Director Kiah Roache-Turner, working from a screenplay he co-wrote with his brother Tristan Roache-Turner, is conscious of delivering comic relief from the otherwise constant tone of ominous foreboding, a bit like occasional comic eulogies in the midst of a sober funeral. It’s somewhat too jarring at times, inducing a dose of disorientation, but when it scores it lends a welcome, raucous edge to the proceedings.” – Peter Martin, ScreenAnarchy

The Visit

168. The Visit

M. Night Shyamalan

2015 / USA / 94m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb

Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Samuel Stricklen, Patch Darragh, Jorge Cordova, Steve Annan


“The Visit is a surprise not because Shyamalan shoots and scores, but because the whole crazy idea works. It’s a bit like a modern-day fairy tale, where innocent children skip through the woods to grandma’s house, only to find a wolf instead. The scenario is a parental nightmare, yet never loses itself in the utterly ludicrous setup of child versus granny. Scares are cooked up, laughs are shared, tremendous amounts of baked goods are eaten, and Shyamalan delivers an “OH SHIT” moment sure to cause a momentary spell of fear-consumed paralysis. The dramatic exposition might be a little overly-sappy at times, but everything comes together nicely, like a passionately knitted sweater from Hell.” – Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

Backcountry

169. Backcountry

Adam MacDonald

2014 / Canada / 92m / Col / Nature | IMDb

Missy Peregrym, Eric Balfour, Nicholas Campbell, Jeff Roop


“Backcountry is never some cheesy, over-the-top creature feature about a CG’d, genetically enhanced animal that you’d find any day on the Syfy channel, and it’s all the more character-driven, more authentic, and much more effective because of it. It builds slowly, but surely, by observing Alex and Jenn as a couple and saving the unsparing final half-hour to become more of a taut, rattling, visceral experience. When the bear attacks, director Adam MacDonald and cinematographer Christian Bielz simultaneously shows and leaves enough to the imagination, never dulling the intensely savage brutality of a bear attack.” – Jeremy Kibler, Diabolique Magazine

Housebound

170. Housebound

Gerard Johnstone

2014 / New Zealand / 107m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb

Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Ross Harper, Cameron Rhodes, Ryan Lampp, Mick Innes, Bruce Hopkins, Wallace Chapman, Millen Baird


“It’s difficult to talk too much about Housebound without spoiling it. First-time writer-director Johnstone’s ingenious script consistently wrong-foots the audience and shifts from one subgenre to another without ever once losing its grip on the comedic elements. It’s creepy, tense and scary. The film’s greatest success is the relationship between Kylie and her mum. Their back and forth, complete with ancient resentments, is beautifully observed, and both O’Reilly and Te Wiata are absolutely spot-on as the bitter teen and the well-meaning mum respectively. It’s also worth mentioning Harper, who is a particularly deadpan delight as Graeme.” – Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

Afflicted

171. Afflicted

Derek Lee & Clif Prowse

2013 / Canada / 85m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb

Derek Lee, Clif Prowse, Michael Gill, Baya Rehaz, Benjamin Zeitoun, Zach Gray, Jason Lee, Edo Van Breemen, Gary Redekop, Lily Py Lee


“To take the handheld genre and some creature mythology and push it forward is fun to witness, especially for a work that simply doesn’t feel like a freshman effort. Showing a surprising understanding of what makes a film like this work, the duo gets us to care for our characters before dragging them through hell and back. Additionally, the use of practical effects helps sell the chaos even more, particularly with a low budget… While the use of the cameras in the found footage genre often feels tacked on, here it’s not only integral to the way it is shot, but the story itself. Every action and shot is so painstakingly planned out that it becomes fascinating to think about how they possibly created the effects they did without the use of heavy CGI sequences.” – Bill Graham, The Film Stage

Crimson Peak

172. Crimson Peak

Guillermo del Toro

2015 / USA / 119m / Col / Gothic | IMDb

Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Burn Gorman, Leslie Hope, Doug Jones, Jonathan Hyde, Bruce Gray


“To absorb the extraordinary details, colors, shapes and situations that are rife with layered danger is to witness this director’s fierce commitment to his own vision of what life could, or should, be. Del Toro’s latest, “Crimson Peak,” is a case in point. Set in the early 20th century, the action takes place almost entirely in the confines of a dark, decaying, sprawling manor house in northern England called Allerdale Hall. The hall sits atop a mine of red clay that brings about all kinds of building stress: red liquid oozing from walls, thick red water clogging the pipes and trickling down faucets, as if the whole place is in a permanent state of menstrual seizure… But del Toro has always trafficked in very expensive, well curated yuck. And as a result, “Crimson Peak” is all sexy gothic decor mixed with dungeon-like discomfort.” – Kaori Shoji, Japan Times

Creep

173. Creep

Christopher Smith

2004 / UK / 85m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Vas Blackwood, Ken Campbell, Kathryn Gilfeather, Franka Potente, Grant Ibbs, Joe Anderson, Jeremy Sheffield, Sean De Vrind, Ian Duncan, Debora Weston


““Creep” is a very atmospheric film, both in its early depiction of instantly recognisable London life, and its latter scenes of dark, oppressive tunnels that seem to have been influenced by the “Resident Evil” series of videogames. There are a good number of genuine scares, and the whole film has a claustrophobic feel which the director exploits to the full with uncomfortable moments, often involving the legions of rats which the creep seems to command. Similarly, in terms of blood, the film will certainly satisfy fans, with a good amount of splatter, and a couple of genuinely foul scenes that are sure to raise a shudder.” – James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood

The Transfiguration

174. The Transfiguration

Michael O’Shea

2016 / USA / 97m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Jelly Bean, Phyillicia Bishop, Dangelo Bonneli, Andrea Cordaro, Larry Fessenden, Danny Flaherty, Anna Friedman, Jose Ignacio Gomez


“George A. Romero’s Martin is the most overt inspiration for The Transfiguration, with writer/director Michael O’Shea, like Romero, stripping out the supernatural elements of the usual vampire movie for a stark realism… the deeper Milo dives into his obsession with the vampire lifestyle, the more disturbed he becomes by the violence he commits. The Transfiguration gradually reveals itself to be a coming-of-age tale, one whose central figure reaches a point at which he’s forced to reckon with the evil lurking within himself. Whether the conclusion Milo ultimately reaches is a moment of clarity or simply the tragically inevitable endpoint of his demented obsession is something O’Shea leaves unsettlingly open.” – Kenji Fujishima, Village Voice

Don't Breathe

175. Don’t Breathe

Fede Alvarez

2016 / USA / 88m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb

Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Emma Bercovici, Franciska Töröcsik, Christian Zagia, Katia Bokor, Sergej Onopko, Olivia Gillies


“The key highlight of director Fede Alvarez’s movie is innovation. There’s a segment in the movie shot in pitch darkness with grey night vision and that has the potential to be the most frightening 10 minutes of your life. Even the build up on the sequence where the gang breaks in to the house at night is just nerve-wracking. You can easily compare Don’t Breathe to thriller horror classics like Psycho, Old Boy and Vertigo. The tension here is so authentic and gripping this film can impress even those with nerves of steel. Forget those CGI-driven ghost soap operas that pretend to be horror movies. This film, its dark basement environments and its superlative camera and sound work is like a real life nightmare unfolding on the big screen.” – Rachit Gupta, Filmfare

Friday the 13th

176. Friday the 13th

Marcus Nispel

2009 / USA / 97m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Julianna Guill, Ben Feldman, Arlen Escarpeta


“Marcus Nispel’s remake… isn’t really a remake at all. After dispensing with Mrs. Voorhees before the opening credits, it launches into a brand new slaughterfest that sporadically pays homage to scenes from the first three films but stays truest only to their formula. And yet it works. It is easily the best Friday the 13th ever made, if only by virtue of the fact that it’s actually pretty good. How good? That depends what you’re looking for. By now, you know whether Friday the 13th is your kind of movie, and if it’s not, you’ve probably stopped reading by now. If it is, be assured that the acting is passable, the effects are impressively convincing, and the suspense is real. It’s not a great film, but it is a frightening one, and what more do you need to know?” – Rossiter Drake, San Francisco Examiner

The Neon Demon

177. The Neon Demon

Nicolas Winding Refn

2016 / USA / 118m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Elle Fanning, Karl Glusman, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Desmond Harrington, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Charles Baker, Jamie Clayton


“For all its shimmery surface modernity, this story about the commodified consumption of youth is as old as the hills, a carefully choreographed carnival of voyeurism in which corruptible beauty is “the only thing” and every look comes with daggers. Motel rooms are stalked by beasts both real and metaphorical (Keanu Reeves giving good creep) and photographers are indistinguishable from serial killers (shades of Eyes of Laura Mars). But while Jesse may faint like Sleeping Beauty, with rose petals falling around her goldie locks, it’s her own image that grabs her by the throat. Mirrors are everywhere, to be stared into, scrawled upon, kissed and smashed. And the more Jesse looks, the more she sees nothing but herself…” – Mark Kermode, Guardian

The Sacrament

178. The Sacrament

Ti West

2013 / USA / 99m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb

Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Kate Lyn Sheil, AJ Bowen, Gene Jones, Kentucker Audley, Shawn Parsons, Madison Absher, Derek Roberts, Donna Biscoe


“A clever and thoroughly chilling tale of group psychosis, Ti West’s thriller “The Sacrament” takes its inspiration (and many of its details) from the 1978 events at Jim Jones’ People’s Temple in Guyana… If you don’t know what happened at Jonestown, this film will shock you; if you do know, it brings an entirely different kind of horror — that creeping-up knowledge that something inevitable and awful is coming, and can’t be stopped. West’s found-footage structure doesn’t always entirely make sense, but it’s easy to forgive “The Sacrament” its flaws. The eerie quiet, near its end, is utterly haunting; a lost Eden, in the sunshine.” – Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

V/H/S/2

179. V/H/S/2

Various

2013 / USA / 96m / Col / Anthology | IMDb

Lawrence Michael Levine, Kelsy Abbott, L.C. Holt, Simon Barrett, Mindy Robinson, Mónica Sánchez Navarro, Adam Wingard, Hannah Hughes, John T. Woods, Corrie Lynn Fitzpatrick


“More tales of terror are unearthed from another pile of dusty old videos in this slick sequel to the 2012 horror anthology. Like the original, the top-and-tail story takes place in an “abandoned” house where, on this occasion, it’s two private investigators on a missing-persons case who come across the cassettes. But whereas the first film’s quintet of stories were of varying quality, the calibre of the four shorts here is consistently higher… the pick of the bunch is Safe Haven, co-directed by Timo Tjahjanto and The Raid’s Gareth Huw Evans, in which a film crew’s visit to the compound of an Indonesian cult turns decidedly nasty. The deceptively sedate beginning soon gives way to a cornucopia of artery-rupturing gruesomeness, which will assuredly have some viewers all a-splutter.” – Jeremy Aspinall, Radio Times

Under the Shadow

180. Under the Shadow

Babak Anvari

2016 / Iran / 84m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi, Arash Marandi, Aram Ghasemy, Soussan Farrokhnia, Ray Haratian, Hamid Djavadan, Behi Djanati Atai, Bijan Daneshmand


“Those cracks in the ceiling are hiding a lot more than dry rot in “Under the Shadow,” a satisfyingly tense and atmospheric thriller set in a haunted Tehran apartment during the terrifying final days of the Iran-Iraq War. Slyly merging a familiar but effective genre exercise with a grim allegory of female oppression, Babak Anvari’s resourceful writing-directing debut grounds its premise in something at once vaguely political and ineluctably sinister; imagine an Asghar Farhadi remake of “The Babadook” and you’re halfway there… In its harrowing final moments, “Under the Shadow” reveals itself as a horror story rooted in the dreams and pathologies that mothers pass down to their daughters, and the defiant gestures it may take for cycles of persecution to be broken.” – Justin Chang, Variety

La casa del fin de los tiempos

181. La casa del fin de los tiempos

Alejandro Hidalgo

2013 / Venezuela / 101m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb

Rosmel Bustamante, Adriana Calzadilla, Simona Chirinos, Gonzalo Cubero, Alexander Da Silva, Miguel Flores, Guillermo Garcia, Amanda Key, José León, Guillermo Londoño


“Written and directed by Alejandro Hidalgo, the film not only serves as a solid supernatural thriller but also as a gothic mystery and family drama. Hidalgo assuredly weaves in and out of both the past and present as Dulce recounts or remembers events from 30 years ago. His narrative is complex but not too much to the point of losing the audience. The story is one that could have collapsed upon itself, but it remains cohesive and really pays off in the end. Hidalgo co-edited the film with Miguel Ángel García and Judilam Goncalves Montilla, who keep the film moving at an effective pace, and Cezary Jaworski’s rich cinematography really captures the eeriness of the titular home.” – Ernie Trinidad, Film Pulse

Grindhouse

182. Grindhouse

Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino et al.

2007 / USA / 191m / Col / Anthology | IMDb

Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Tracie Thoms, Rose McGowan, Jordan Ladd, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Quentin Tarantino


“An exuberant double feature by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, evokes the exploitation flicks that used to play, several decades ago, in moldering theaters with flypaper floors. Thus a go-go dancer’s leg goes missing during a zombie attack, and the action is occasionally interrupted by title cards that proclaim “Missing Reel.” (That touch is more affectionate than factual, since projectionists and sleazy distributors of the slasher/horror genre didn’t brag about such omissions.) Little else seems to be missing from this work of wild-eyed archaeology – not the slime or drool, spurting blood, throbbing engines, screeching tires or jeopardized women. Yet value has been added as well – the most thrilling car chase ever committed to film, a sequence that also shows, by cutting to the psychosexual chase, why fans embraced the tawdry genre in the first place.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

The Devil's Candy

183. The Devil’s Candy

Sean Byrne

2015 / USA / 79m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Kiara Glasco, Tony Amendola, Leland Orser, Craig Nigh, Oryan Landa, Richard Rollin, Shiela Bailey Lucas


“What makes “The Devil’s Candy” a standout is how well-developed these characters are. This is ultimately a movie about parenting, and how even “hip” moms and dads fear the choices they make are hurting their young. More importantly, Byrne is as skilled as ever at constructing sequences at once bizarre, suspenseful and oddly beautiful. In his cinematic universe, even something as simple as a pane of red glass or a heavy metal guitar riff can turn in an instant from innocuous to ominous.” – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

Byzantium

184. Byzantium

Neil Jordan

2012 / UK / 118m / Col / Vampire | IMDb

Saoirse Ronan, Barry Cassin, Gemma Arterton, David Heap, Warren Brown, Ruby Snape, Thure Lindhardt, Jenny Kavanagh, Glenn Doherty, Edyta Budnik


“Nearly 20 years after Interview with the Vampire, director Neil Jordan returns to the land of the living dead with Byzantium, the tale of a mother-daughter vampire duo whose 200-year history is threatened when their existence comes to light. Though much surer in tone than its predecessor, this is not quite as far from the Tom Cruise-Brad Pitt, big-budget razzle-dazzle as it would appear on the surface. While certainly made on a much smaller scale, Byzantium shares the earlier movie’s gorgeous look, signature Jordan lyrical touches and the material again focuses on the brooding nature of its central characte… this is a romantic, sensual, bloody good time of a movie for sophisticated adults.” – Richard Knight, Windy City Times

American Mary

185. American Mary

Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska

2012 / Canada / 103m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb

Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren, Paula Lindberg, Clay St. Thomas, John Emmet Tracy, Twan Holliday, Nelson Wong, Sylvia Soska


“We’ve seen medical gear — gurneys, rubber aprons, cutlery — in myriad horror movies, “The Human Centipede,” “Dead Ringers” and “Audition” among them. But maybe not metaphors like the caged bird Mary keeps, in a nod to Jean-Pierre Melville, or her uncommon path to self-sufficiency (at one point she literally sews up her own wound), a transformation skillfully elucidated by Ms. Isabelle. This film — the second from the Soskas, and shot in their hometown, Vancouver, British Columbia — combines gore, quiet dread, feminist conviction and a visual classicism, often using a red palette, with impressive, unbelabored dexterity. (In an amusing sequence, the Soskas play goth twins who want to surgically exchange their left arms.)” – Andy Webster, The New York Times

Frozen

186. Frozen

Adam Green

2010 / USA / 93m / Col / Nature | IMDb

Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers, Ed Ackerman, Rileah Vanderbilt, Kane Hodder, Adam Johnson, Chris York, Peder Melhuse


“Adam Green’s fun 2006 horror film ‘Hatchet’ revelled in the art of self-aware pastiche, but it is in his second major work that he has found a legitimately great concept out of which to wring more nuanced thrills… If anything, Green suggests here that is likely a much better director than a writer; especially exciting is an overhead shot of the lift as a wolf darts by in the distance. The lean nature of the narrative dictates that the small things count, and as such, Green chooses to focus on them – frostbite scabs, the barely-threaded bolts on the ski-lift, and the frayed steel wires holding them precariously in place – to chilling effect.” – Shaun Munro, What Culture

A Dark Song

187. A Dark Song

Liam Gavin

2016 / Ireland / 100m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Steve Oram, Catherine Walker, Susan Loughnane, Mark Huberman, Nathan Vos, Martina Nunvarova, Breffni O’Connor, Sheila Moloney


“Fans of Ben Wheatley’s oeuvre will recognize a certain amount of that director’s offbeat influence… but ultimately Gavin’s debut is its own brand of nightmare. Walker and Oram are perfectly cast here. It’s impossible to figure out who’s the madder one, so driven by their collective need to break the bounds of reason. The harsh, atonal score by composer Ray Harman is a masterpiece of hair-raising instrumentality that’s every bit as grand and discomfiting as the images onscreen, and cinematographer Cathal Watters’ use of natural light – or the lack thereof – is profoundly distressing, in the best possible way.” – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

188. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Marcus Nispel

2003 / USA / 98m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen, Mike Vogel, Eric Balfour, Andrew Bryniarski, R. Lee Ermey, David Dorfman, Lauren German, Terrence Evans


“The main problem with the film is that it feels like a cynical repackaging of an already established classic. However, as remakes go, it’s very well made and decently acted and it never approaches ‘bad movie’ levels – even the script is pretty good… It is, however, much gorier than the original – the violence and pain on display here is worse than anything in Kill Bill. Legs get chainsawed off (chainsawn?), people get hung on meat-hooks (as in the original), people get chainsawed in the back, and so on – it’s pretty much non-stop terror from the moment the first one of them disappears and you’re more or less guaranteed to end up hiding behind your hands at some point.” – Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

Monsters

189. Monsters

Gareth Edwards

2010 / Netherlands / 94m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb

Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies, Justin Hall, Ricky Catter, Paul Archer, Kerry Valderrama, Jonathan Winnford, Stan Wong


“Monsters’ strengths lie in its simplicities; the aliens are rarely seen and the action is sporadic, which is admittedly frustrating yet effective in equal measure. Overuse of CGI effects could have potentially rendered the film as a bog standard “B movie” spectacle. Thankfully, Monsters gives its other-worldly creatures just the right amount of exposure to keep the audience on the edge of their seats throughout its slender 90 minute runtime. Beautifully shot and capably handled, Edwards’ cinematic directorial debut is a heartfelt and touching exploration of two well-drawn, troubled characters, which just happens to feature extraterrestrials as a backdrop to the central narrative.” – Edward Frost, CineVue

Tusk

190. Tusk

Kevin Smith

2014 / USA / 102m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb

Michael Parks, Justin Long, Genesis Rodriguez, Haley Joel Osment, Johnny Depp, Harley Morenstein, Ralph Garman, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Harley Quinn Smith, Lily-Rose Melody Depp


“The first two-thirds of Tusk is arguably the best film Kevin Smith has both written or directed. The dialogue feels more natural and distinctly menacing, he commands the camera like an auteur, and the performances from all involved are especially strong for this genre… If you are looking for an absurd yet original horror-comedy, Tusk mostly fills this void. The performances are all top-notch and, even though the last act spirals out of control a bit, the story is consistently engaging throughout. While this might not be Kevin Smith’s best work, it is by far the strongest direction from his storied career and all of the words I could muster would still not do the film’s story justice. Tusk demands to be seen to be believed.” – Aaron Peterson, The Hollywood Outsider

This Is the End

191. This Is the End

Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen

2013 / USA / 107m / Col / Comedy | IMDb

James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz


“Here, bunched into one tale, are the two most profitable strains of recent filmmaking. On the one hand, gonzo domesticity: youngish men, thrown together and obliged to deal in their purest currencies—alcohol, drugs, and, more addictive still, a heap of dirty words. On the other hand, enormous, city-trampling special effects, urging us to savor a destruction so complete, and so heedless of individual pain, that it can be regarded only as a joke. First the vanities, then the bonfire. What links the two, of course, is that both require us to regress, back through adolescence, toward a naughty childhood, with its inbuilt love of the spectacular.” – Anthony Lane, New Yorker

Grabbers

192. Grabbers

Jon Wright

2012 / Ireland / 94m / Col / Monster | IMDb

Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey, Lalor Roddy, David Pearse, Bronagh Gallagher, Pascal Scott, Clelia Murphy, Louis Dempsey, Micheál O’Gruagain


“Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley deliver charming, likeable performances and make a terrific onscreen duo, sparking genuine chemistry together: Bradley, in particular is extremely funny, especially when her (teetotal) character is required to get drunk. There’s also colourful support from Tovey, Roddy and David Pearse and Bronagh Gallagher as the landlord and landlady of the island’s only pub… In addition, Wright keeps things moving at a decent pace and the film is stunningly shot throughout, with cinematographer Trevor Forrest making terrific use of the island locations: an early shot of Ciaran and Lisa arriving on the beach just after sun-up is breathtakingly beautiful.” – Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

Hereditary

193. Hereditary

Ari Aster

2018 / USA / 127m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne, Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Christy Summerhays, Morgan Lund, Mallory Bechtel, Jake Brown, Harrison Nell, BriAnn Rachele


“This remarkable directorial debut from Ari Aster builds on classical horror tropes — the occult, possession, mental illness — to craft its own unique spin on terror… The finale, in which I may or may not have curled up in my chair, manages to be both terrifying and so over-the-top it allows you a shaky laugh or two. I knew Collette was a versatile performer, but I didn’t know bone-chilling shrieks were in her repertoire… All you need to know is you’re in good hands, and that this is the kind of deeply primal, psychological horror that gives the genre a good name.” – Sara Stewart, New York Post

Mandy

194. Mandy

Panos Cosmatos

2018 / USA / 121m / Col / Action | IMDb

Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy, Olwen Fouéré, Richard Brake, Bill Duke, Line Pillet, Clément Baronnet, Alexis Julemont


“One could catalog all the awesome things in “Mandy” — the dueling chainsaws, the Cheddar Goblin, the nightmarishly enveloping score by the late Jóhann Jóhannson, Nicolas Cage at his screaming-in-his-tighty-whities best — without quite penetrating the awesomeness of “Mandy.” Suffice to say that Panos Cosmatos’ metal-to-the-max revenge thriller is more than just the sum of its deranged set pieces, choice as they are: Its slow-drip blend of hardcore pulp and demonic fantasy has a patience and all-consuming conviction that simply cannot be faked. Pulverizing though it may be, “Mandy” isn’t an assault; it’s an immersion, and one that demands the attention of a big screen.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

The Ritual

195. The Ritual

David Bruckner

2017 / UK / 94m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton, Paul Reid, Matthew Needham, Jacob James Beswick, Maria Erwolter, Hilary Reeves, Peter Liddell


The Signal director David Bruckner’s deft adaptation of Adam Nevill’s acclaimed novel is an effective serving of woodland terror laced with psychological depth and eerie creature-feature spectacle, and proves old-school horror can be upgraded in a chillingly relevant way. After the violent murder of their best friend, four mates go on a hike of remembrance in northern Sweden’s mountain terrain. Taking an ill-advised shortcut through dense forest, they stumble on a derelict cabin where their pagan nightmares truly begin. Commandeering imagery from The Wicker Man, Troll Hunter and the Blair Witch franchise, Bruckner pulls off merciless tension between the well-played-out bickering to get up an uncommonly spooky head of scream.” – Alan Jones, Radio Times

Curse of Chucky

196. Curse of Chucky

Don Mancini

2013 / USA / 97m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb

Chantal Quesnelle, Fiona Dourif, Jordan Gavaris, Danielle Bisutti, A Martinez, Maitland McConnell, Brennan Elliott, Summer H. Howell, Adam Hurtig, Darren Wall


“Curse of Chucky shows serious restraint, which is rare for a fifth sequel. Instead of jumping right in, Mancini works his way to the reveal, treating the film like an introduction to a completely new, younger audience. And even after ol’ Chuckster is on a path of destruction, Mancini continued to peel layer, after layer, after layer off of the story, blasting the hardcore fans with more hat-tips than they’ll be able to handle… It’s a sincere love letter to the fans that really drop the gloves and goes for it. For some, the self-referential model may even be a little too much – but it without question carries the biggest geek-out moments since the 2003 Freddy vs. Jason.” – Brad Miska, Bloody Disgusting

Contracted

197. Contracted

Eric England

2013 / USA / 84m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb

Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Alice Macdonald, Katie Stegeman, Matt Mercer, Charley Koontz, Simon Barrett, Ruben Pla, Dave Holmes, Celia Finkelstein


“The terrors of slow metamorphosis have been rendered in other fright films, notably in David Cronenberg’s “The Fly”; Mr. England summons a similar dread, making shrewd use of a meager budget and talented actors, including Katie Stegeman as Samantha’s estranged girlfriend and, in a turn as the one-night partner, the horror writer-director Simon Barrett (“V/H/S”). For her part, Ms. Townsend, with the help of a skilled makeup team, capably portrays a descent into living death. The ending to this fable misses the opportunity for broader metaphorical resonance, but getting there has its own unnerving rewards.” – Andy Webster, The New York Times

We Need to Talk About Kevin

198. We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lynne Ramsay

2011 / UK / 112m / Col / Drama | IMDb

Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell, Rock Duer, Ashley Gerasimovich, Siobhan Fallon, Alex Manette, Kenneth Franklin, Leslie Lyles


“Tilda Swinton is the support of this film, offering a complicated look at a woman in trouble who has no idea how to deal with the problems life has dealt her. She rarely does the best thing for herself, her family and her community, but these choices are realistic. And that’s part of what’s so terrifying. The most chilling aspect of this film is how dangerous the world can be for anyone, even in the safest environments we can imagine. Even if you do everything right, tragedy can strike and do irrefutable harm to you and your loved ones. And there’s often no one to blame for this. It’s not an easy film to watch, but it’s a significant one. It will challenge your thoughts on family and humanity, and to keep ourselves vigilant, those thoughts should be challenged periodically.” – Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures

The Living and the Dead

199. The Living and the Dead

Simon Rumley

2006 / UK / 83m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Leo Bill, Roger Lloyd Pack, Kate Fahy, Sarah Ball, Neil Conrich, Richard Wills-Cotton, Alan Perrin, Richard Syms, Hilary Hodsman


“A bizarre psychological study of degeneration and dependency, “The Living and the Dead” is a horror movie only in the most literal sense. Skirting genre conventions, Simon Rumley’s twisted feature inhabits shores where the gore is minimal and the demons unseen — neither of which makes it any less disconcerting… The travails of Britain’s inbred aristocracy have long been mined by its filmmakers, but rarely with such eccentricity or unrelieved ruthlessness. As James darts around the house, chased by Richard Chester’s increasingly dissonant score, the movie suffers lapses of looniness that strain credulity. Yet by plunging us visually and aurally into outright madness, the director — whose own mother died after a lengthy illness — finds the tragedy in deterioration. Sometimes that’s horror enough.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

Donnie Darko

200. Donnie Darko

Richard Kelly

2001 / USA / 113m / Col / Mystery | IMDb

Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase, Mary McDonnell, James Duval, Arthur Taxier, Patrick Swayze, Mark Hoffman


“Maybe Richard Kelly’s fate is to be the cult circuit’s Michael Cimino — forever admired for one great film amid subsequent missteps, including a director’s cut of the same movie. Kelly has yet to match the mysterious mood or magnitude of his filmmaking debut, 2001’s “Donnie Darko” — a collision of time-travel sci-fi, commentary on ’80s Reaganomics malaise and teen angst that’s simultaneously witty and poignant… And what works as nervy comedy also foreshadows Donnie’s burden and reinforces Kelly’s thematic idea that teens can be capable of amazing, world-changing things. Concluding with compassionate nobility and an unforgettable epilogue, “Donnie Darko” represented the one moment when Kelly’s eccentricities weren’t extraneous and ambition matched his grasp.” – Nick Rogers, The Film Yap

Blade II

201. Blade II

Guillermo del Toro

2002 / USA / 117m / Col / Vampire | IMDb

Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Norman Reedus, Thomas Kretschmann, Luke Goss, Matt Schulze, Danny John-Jules, Donnie Yen


“Director Guillermo del Toro effortlessly switches gears from these sequences to quiet explorations of dark, brooding settings typical of the horror genre and back again. The horror scenes have genuine tension to them, and del Toro is always aware of the grotesque nature of the material. He’s not afraid to showcase pools of blood, dismemberment, characters sliced in half, vampires dissolving, and, of course, Reaper dissections. The story is pure comic book, which essentially means that it should be ignored to enjoy the strengths of the film. Eventually, though, the storyline delves into some mythology similar to another famous horror story, and there’s actually something a bit insightful about these scenes. Along with the more disturbing elements, the film has the feel of a graphic novel. Scenes are dark, dreary, and atmospheric. The performances, led by Wesley Snipes’ complete immersion into the fun of his role, are pure camp—just right for this material.” – Mark Dujsik, Mark Reviews Movies

Severance

202. Severance

Christopher Smith

2006 / UK / 96m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, Babou Ceesay, Tim McInnerny, Laura Harris, Danny Dyer, David Gilliam, Juli Drajkó, Judit Viktor


“A tidy mixture of old and new horror motifs, the British-German thriller “Severance” is sometimes scary, often silly and occasionally jaw-droppingly daring. While it initially invokes such German silent classics as “Nosferatu” and “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” it quickly introduces a modern bogeyman: war criminals who were unleashed during the Soviet breakup… “Severance” can be taken as a political satire aimed at the military-industrial complex and its promoters, but despite its pretensions, it’s no “Lord of War.” At heart, it’s a sophisticated variation on “Friday the 13th,” a splatter film with a slightly more interesting collection of targets.” – John Hartl, Seattle Times

The Mothman Prophecies

203. The Mothman Prophecies

Mark Pellington

2002 / USA / 119m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Richard Gere, David Eigenberg, Bob Tracey, Ron Emanuel, Debra Messing, Tom Stoviak, Yvonne Erickson, Scott Nunnally, Harris Mackenzie, Will Patton


““The Mothman Prophecies,” delves into numerous sightings that occurred in Point Pleasant in the 1960s. But director Mark (“Arlington Road”) Pellington’s stylishly eerie movie would be just as effective without this knowledge. Using shadows and strikingly designed sounds, he skillfully creates an atmosphere of otherworldly, invisible menace. Gere and Linney, both solid, dance around the edges of a romance. Alan Bates contributes a juicy cameo as a spooked-out scientist. Pellington knows, as did the 1940s master of horror Val Lewton, that what you don’t see can raise far more goose bumps than what you do.” – David Ansen, Newsweek

Willard

204. Willard

Glen Morgan

2003 / Canada / 100m / Col / Nature | IMDb

Crispin Glover, R. Lee Ermey, Laura Harring, Jackie Burroughs, Ashlyn Gere, William S. Taylor, Edward Horn, Gus Lynch, Laara Sadiq, David Parker


“As Willard Stiles, a moistly quivering loser who makes friends with the rats in his basement because they’re the only creatures around who don’t threaten his self-esteem, Glover is doing what should be a camp goof on Norman Bates. He plays it straight and intense, though, building each scene to an elegant Gloverish crescendo of fear and loathing and operatic hysteria. It’s no faint praise to say that he’s every bit as creepily sympathetic as Bruce Davison was in the 1971 original. The new version is actually better. It’s still a fairly ham-handed revenge-of-the-nerd horror fable, but you don’t go to a movie like ”Willard” for subtlety. You go to be skeeved out by rats, rats, and more rats, and I’m tempted to say that ”Willard” does a fairly rat-tastic job of it.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Saam gaang yi

205. Saam gaang yi

Fruit Chan & Takashi Miike & Chan-wook Park

2004 / Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea / 118m / Col / Anthology | IMDb

Bai Ling, Pauline Lau, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Meme Tian, Miriam Yeung Chin Wah, Sum-Yeung Wong, Kam-Mui Fung, Wai-Man Wu, Chak-Man Ho, Miki Yeung


“These short films collectively are an ambitious, well-conceived, beautifully presented example of what can be achieved when a director is allowed to present a completely original concept around a common theme, without censorship or meddling studio hands to muck things up. While most if not every frame presented shows an original and new spin on the term “horror”, these films present an elegance that surpasses one singular, often cheaply-perceived genre. Each director has his strength: for Fruit Chan, a strong narrative and a coherent and intriguing plotline; for Chan-Wook Park , a macabre new version of the classic guts and gore mystery; and for Takashi Miike, it’s a surprisingly sympathetic, subtle, and thoughtful philosophical work that is as heavy on the eyes as it is on the viewer’s emotions.” – Tyler Robbins, Snowblood Apple

The Cell

206. The Cell

Tarsem Singh

2000 / USA / 107m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Jennifer Lopez, Colton James, Dylan Baker, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Gerry Becker, Musetta Vander, Patrick Bauchau, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vince Vaughn


“The Cell is a clear, classic case of a director’s vision invigorating standard material. The film moves at an effectively erratic pace: action in the real world moves fairly swiftly, but once it’s in the world of the mind, the pace becomes more languid, befitting the surrealism of dreams. It is in this latter realm that the film really soars. Dream worlds in movies are nothing new–witness the oeuvre of David Lynch or, for a less highfalutin example, the Nightmare on Elm Street series–but the visual ideas put forth by Singh are spectacular and unique; there’s an atmosphere of excess that hasn’t even been reached in Lynch’s famously bizarre work.” – Michael Dequina, The Movie Report

Coraline

207. Coraline

Henry Selick

2009 / USA / 100m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb

Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr., Ian McShane, Aankha Neal, George Selick


“You know from the very first sequence that Coraline is an extraordinary movie that is going to rattle the bejeezus out of young audience members and – the truth be told – their fathers as well… the most imaginative film in memory, a carnival of wonders – magical gardens, a charmingly choreographed circus of mice, a couple of old actresses who get together to put on a fairly lewd but very funny variety show – that at the same time seems to come directly from your nightmares. Seeing Other Mother change from button-eyed ideal to long-necked witch with steel-needle fingers and a hunger to keep you prisoner, is a deeply shaking transformation that isn’t easy to throw off once the show is over. Coraline will haunt you.” – Jay Stone, Canada.com

Silent Hill

208. Silent Hill

Christophe Gans

2006 / Canada / 125m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates, Tanya Allen, Alice Krige, Jodelle Ferland, Colleen Williams, Ron Gabriel


“The film is overlong, with too many unnecessary scenes (a lot of the movie seems like pointless running around), but it packs in a few scary moments and offers a nicely ambiguous conclusion. In Silent Hill, atmosphere trumps storyline… I have never played the game Silent Hill, but that didn’t stop me from appreciating some of what director Christophe Gans (who displayed a similar visual flair in Brotherhood of the Wolf) puts on the screen – although I suspect aficionados will have a better grasp of what is transpiring. Silent Hill looks great. The town is suitably eerie and the periods of darkness are ominous. The movie is all about visual appeal, feel, and tone, because the story underwhelms.” – James Berardinelli, ReelViews

Resident Evil

209. Resident Evil

Paul W.S. Anderson

2002 / UK / 100m / Col / Zombie | IMDb

Ryan McCluskey, Oscar Pearce, Indra Ové, Anna Bolt, Joseph May, Robert Tannion, Heike Makatsch, Jaymes Butler, Stephen Billington, Fiona Glascott


“This science-fiction cannibal zombie adventure does not dislodge George Romero as czar of the Living Dead but does implant Paul Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon) as a possible franchise horror director. The story about genetics experimentation and corporations that think they are above the law offers a balanced blend of high-tech conspiracy and low-tech flesh munching… The gruesome action borrows Cube’s slice and dice laser and The Matrix’s combat special effects while bloodied Dobermans from Hell and rotting humans chomp at the gorgeously stone-faced Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element), the ever-pouting Michelle Rodriguez (Girlfight) and their male entourage.” – Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review

Eskalofrío

210. Eskalofrío

Isidro Ortiz

2008 / Spain / 95m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

Junio Valverde, Francesc Orella, Mar Sodupe, Jimmy Barnatán, Blanca Suárez, Paul Berrondo, Roberto Enríquez, Josep Maria Domènech, Andrés Herrera, Juli Mira


“For much of the film the viewer never sees what is slaughtering the townspeople, both adult and child alike, with only a rustle in the undergrowth or shifting shadow letting the characters, and you, know something is there. Which of course makes the shock all the greater when, not until well into the film, the source is actually revealed. The other real horror is the isolation, both physical and psychological, which [main character] Santi feels, not only from his over protective mother, but also from the villagers, suspicious of this withdrawn loner who has appeared in their midst.” – Cleaver Patterson, CineVue

Mum & Dad

211. Mum & Dad

Steven Sheil

2008 / UK / 84m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

Perry Benson, Dido Miles, Olga Fedori, Ainsley Howard, Toby Alexander, Micaiah Dring, Mark Devenport, Chris Roebuck, Clare Dyer, Penny Andrews


“A blackly comical twist on the torture porn genre, this lean, mean British horror is just gonzo enough to overcome the limits of the formula and keep us entertained. And it’s a truly vicious satire of family life… Filmmaker Shiel is pretty daring to take on heavy shades of the Fred and Rosemary West story here, mixing a biting pastiche of family movies with extreme gore. Cleverly shot and edited, the film continually shifts from bright and perky to dark and terrifying within moments, and constantly undercuts the horror with grim humour. It’s a bold mix, and credit should go to Shiel and his cast for making it work as well as it does.” – Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

Feast

212. Feast

John Gulager

2005 / USA / 95m / Col / Comedy | IMDb

Balthazar Getty, Henry Rollins, Navi Rawat, Judah Friedlander, Josh Zuckerman, Jason Mewes, Jenny Wade, Krista Allen, Clu Gulager, Anthony ‘Treach’ Criss


“We’re introduced to our buffet of victims in unique style, as each cast member is presented with accompanying text giving their nickname (“Hero,” “Grandma,” “Bozo”), occupation, and life expectancy. Such an obvious goof on horror movie cliché nets some laughs, but might lead you to think you’re in for another excruciating post-modern genre wankfest. Such concern is unwarranted, happily, and the audience finds out rather quickly that everything presented in the first five minutes was a diversion, and absolutely no character is safe… This is a superior horror film. It hits hard and fast, letting up only to inject some black humor and amp up the tension again before coming back for more. “Feast” is nasty, brutish, and short, just like Hobbes said all horror flicks should be.” – Pete Vonder Haar, Film Threat

The Collector

213. The Collector

Marcus Dunstan

2009 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

William Prael, Diane Ayala Goldner, Juan Fernández, Josh Stewart, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Karley Scott Collins, Madeline Zima, Haley Pullos


“Writer/director Dunstan, emerging from the ‘creative’ team behind a bevy of the Saw films, takes this relatively simple conceit and milks it for maximum chills. That said, much of the film’s gut-level effectiveness comes from his staging of some truly hideous moments; scenes involving fish-hooks, cockroaches, Alsatian guard dogs and bear traps go pretty close to crossing the line, as does the involvement of pre-teen actress Collins, who is party to several particularly heinous acts. (And cat owners…trust me, avoid at all costs) […] Collaborators on the film all seem at the top of their game – the film benefits from atmospheric, dreamlike lighting; Jerome Dillon’s music nods to electro-soundtrack maestros, Tangerine Dream; and restrained, precise editing, especially of scenes shot in slow-motion, adds to the overall ‘waking-nightmare’ impact.” – Simon Foster, Screen-Space

Isolation

214. Isolation

Billy O’Brien

2005 / Ireland / 95m / Col / Nature | IMDb

Essie Davis, Sean Harris, Marcel Iures, Crispin Letts, John Lynch, Ruth Negga, Stanley Townsend


“Looking for an overlooked film? A little something much better than it sounds? A film you might pass by on the video shelf because you’ve never heard how good it is? Then check out ISOLATION. Working from a rather inauspicious premise (a genetic experiment on an Irish cow farm creates a killer mutant calf), writer-director Billy O’Brien conjures a remarkable genre achievement: a somber, sad, and absolutely convincing film that is also genuinely terrifying. ISOLATION is a wonderful example of the heights that the genre can achieve when the material is treated with absolute conviction and human sympathy, instead of the gleeful gore that mars too many modern efforts.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Fido

215. Fido

Andrew Currie

2006 / Canada / 93m / Col / Zombie | IMDb

David Kaye, Jan Skorzewski, Kevin Tyell, Andy Parkin, Lynn Pendleton, Gary Slater, Taylor Petri, Glenn Richards, Raphael Kepinski, Carl-James Kalbfleisch


“[The] set-up sounds like an amusing premise for a mild little low-budget spoof, but FIDO is much more than that: it’s a full-blown social satire with zombies at its center. Equal part LASSIE, old TV sit-coms, and 1950s movie melodramas, the film pokes fun at contemporay society in the tradition of the old TWILIGHT ZONE series – by hiding its commentary in another time, another place. It’s not very scary; it’s not even always hysterically funny. But its satire is always sharp as steel, cutting through the facade of happy, everyday “normality” with almost as sting as David Lynch’s BLUE VELVET.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Dead End

216. Dead End

Jean-Baptiste Andrea & Fabrice Canepa

2003 / USA / 85m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden, Billy Asher Rosenfeld, Amber Smith, Karen S. Gregan, Sharon Madden, Steve Valentine, Jimmie F. Skaggs


“Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa’s Grimm fable is hardly blessed with originality, its road trip to hell device being a staple of everything from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the recent Wrong Turn. Moreover, those with even a passing acquaintance with the genre will guess how the movie pans out long before it reaches its abrupt and rather unsatisfying conclusion. Where it scores is in its canny exploration of family dynamics and a jet-black gallows humour that will have you tittering into your popcorn… while there’s ultimately less to Dead End than meets the eye, it remains an ingenious exercise in nerve-shredding tension that makes a virtue of its limited means.” – Neil Smith, BBC

Dead & Breakfast

217. Dead & Breakfast

Matthew Leutwyler

2004 / USA / 88m / Col / Zombie | IMDb

Jeremy Sisto, Erik Palladino, Bianca Lawson, Oz Perkins, Ever Carradine, Gina Philips, Zach Selwyn, Miranda Bailey, Brent David Fraser, Diedrich Bader


“While the movie doesn’t fall into the scary movie category it never the less provides some thrills and spools, more claret than a Liberal party cabinet meeting can get through, and a high level of comedy. Yes we’re talking a splatter fest mixed in with a lot of sight gags and one liners rather than an out and out attempt to scare your knickers off you. Director/Writer Matthew Leutwyler knows exactly what he is doing and has this puppy collared and on a leash, if you don’t have a smile on your dial by the end credits then you are pretty much as brain dead as one of the possessed rednecks the movie is littered with.” – ScaryMinds

Død snø

218. Død snø

Tommy Wirkola

2009 / Norway / 90m / Col / Zombie | IMDb

Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jeppe Beck Laursen, Jenny Skavlan, Ane Dahl Torp, Bjørn Sundquist, ørjan Gamst


“I’m not going to bother here with the argument that tremendously over-the-top gore like this is or isn’t a wicked thing, or a guilty pleasure, or balls-out fun; when I’m watching a movie in which the filmmakers are plainly loving their gore as much as Tommy Wirkola plainly loves gore, that is what I am going to respond to. Dead Snow is a movie made with a childlike glee for the material, which translates into marvelously playful geysers of blood. It’s all so much fun, made with a minimal level of contempt for the characters that makes it far unlike so many American horror films, and for this reason the comedy in the film (which is a horror-comedy more than it is a horror film with comedy relief) actually works, better than the comedy works the vast majority of English-language horror. This is the sprightliest movie about mowing down revenants with a chainsaw that you are are ever likely to see.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Pitch Black

219. Pitch Black

David Twohy

2000 / USA / 109m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb

Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Claudia Black, Rhiana Griffith, John Moore, Simon Burke, Les Chantery


“Weirdly cool, coolly weird, assembled with throwaway flair from cast-off sci-fi-thriller pistons and gears… Pitch Black is so jaunty, so limber, and so visually self-assured that art peeks through where crap has traditionally made its home… Rarely has the unknown looked so grubby and yet so beautiful; rarely have crash landings felt so visceral. Besides, the movie’s outlaw aesthetics liberate relatively unknown actors to make the most out of characters sketchier than guests on the Enterprise.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

Signs

220. Signs

M. Night Shyamalan

2002 / USA / 106m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb

Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones, M. Night Shyamalan, Patricia Kalember, Ted Sutton, Merritt Wever, Lanny Flaherty


“What makes Signs such an odd but enthralling film is the way its story is open to interpretation. Taken literally, it’s War of the Worlds populated with characters carrying a lot of baggage. At the same time, it’s a metaphor for faith and an examination of how beliefs shape reality. In fact, the surreal and detached atmosphere offers debate for what exactly is “real” in this movie. Enough peculiarities pop up here and there to make you wonder… If you’re not interested in symbolism with your cinema, rest assured that Signs also boasts a good deal of thrills at face value. Tension and unease abound, and the movie has its fair share of sudden jolts and monsters in unseen places.” – Andrew Manning, Radio Free

Hard Candy

221. Hard Candy

David Slade

2005 / USA / 104m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, Odessa Rae, G.J. Echternkamp


“Hard Candy works superbly as a character-driven piece, rather than one which has to resort to graphic violence and standard-issue thriller clichés to get its point across. What’s more, the did-he-or-didn’t-he? element is bound to divide audiences — Jeff comes across as a likeable guy, one who dispels the stereotypical image of the internet paedophile as sleazy and/or socially awkward — and it’s all too easy to end up feeling sorry for him in spite of his alleged crimes. Like many movies which focus on just a few characters and a handful of settings, this would make a great stageplay — but as a cinematic experience, it delivers the goods.” – Caroline Westbrook, Empire

Eight Legged Freaks

222. Eight Legged Freaks

Ellory Elkayem

2002 / USA / 99m / Col / Nature | IMDb

David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Scarlett Johansson, Doug E. Doug, Rick Overton, Leon Rippy, Matt Czuchry, Jay Arlen Jones, Eileen Ryan


“Decidedly goofy, Eight Legged Freaks is a modest horror comedy reminiscent of the campy B-movie creature flicks of yesteryear. Armed with cheesy humor and a tongue-in-cheek story, it offers light-hearted entertainment fit for a sci-fi monster movie marathon… Ultimately, Eight Legged Freaks is too polite to be a classic in its genre. But as horror comedies go, it’s breezy fun that recognizes its limitations and revels in its own absurdity. With that rare quality of self-awareness, it puts itself considerably above ill-conceived peers that take themselves too seriously.” – Andrew Manning, Radio Free Entertainment

The Cottage

223. The Cottage

Paul Andrew Williams

2008 / UK / 92m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb

Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison, Steven O’Donnell, James Bierman, Cat Meacher, Danny Nussbaum, Logan Wong, Jonathan Chan-Pensley


“The Cottage improves immeasurably following an out-of-left-field plot twist that hits at around the 55-minute mark – as the film, in a manner reminiscent of From Dusk Till Dawn, essentially morphs into a far more entertaining and altogether horrific endeavor than its comparatively sedate opening might’ve indicated. The degree to which the movie is redeemed by its impossible-to-anticipate third act is consequently quite staggering, as one can’t help but derive a fair amount of enjoyment from the downright brutal situation the central characters find themselves embroiled in. The inclusion of an appropriately grisly finale only cements The Cottage’s effective late-in-the-game turnaround.” – David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

Otis

224. Otis

Tony Krantz

2008 / USA / 100m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb

Tarah Paige, Bostin Christopher, Ashley Johnson, Tracy Scoggins, Illeana Douglas, Daniel Stern, Gary Kraus, Kristen Trucksess, Jared Kusnitz, Angelo Custino


“The script is amusing and irreverent and does a wonderful job at poking fun of the plethora of torture-for-tortures-sake films that have emerged in the last decade. There is little in the way of gore, until the final third of the movie but when there is, it’s both hilarious and horrifying… It’s a solid movie stemmed from a solid idea and for anyone becoming tired of the increasingly laboured gore-porn output, you might just find this to be a refreshingly alternative spin on a heavily saturated and overly familiar sub-genre.” – Sarah Law, Gorepress

From Hell

225. From Hell

Albert Hughes & Allen Hughes

2001 / USA / 122m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane, Ian Richardson, Jason Flemyng, Katrin Cartlidge, Terence Harvey, Susan Lynch, Paul Rhys


“The Hughes brothers take a lush, atmospheric approach to the tale, positing an engaging whodunit beneath a gorgeously realized London. They do a fine job realizing the tale’s romantic aspects – the fog-shrouded streets, the haunted moon, the Ripper with his bag and top hat – without overwhelming the mystery. Strong supporting performances from some fine British actors (topped by Robbie Coltrane as Abberline’s keeper/assistant) round out the lovely visuals. From Hell has a good eye for historical detail, contrasting nicely with story’s sensationalist aspects. The plot here is pure fantasy, and yet fits the facts… The brothers do an admirable job of balancing myth with fact, and keep their story neatly ensconced with the historical details of the case.” – Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium

Split

226. Split

M. Night Shyamalan

2016 / USA / 117m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula, Izzie Coffey, Brad William Henke, Sebastian Arcelus, Neal Huff, Ukee Washington


“Though the central character of “Split” is a man with a split personality, the film also tells the story of a split in the world. Just as “Unbreakable” suggested the origins of a superhero in a near-death childhood experience, so “Split” shows a young woman able to combat evil because of the strength she has developed from horrific personal trauma. With its crude realization of the shibboleth that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, the movie is more than a story of feminist survivalism; it also makes the perversely tawdry suggestion that a woman’s tragic knowledge—and necessary power—comes with an unbearably high price.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Carriers

227. Carriers

David Pastor & Àlex Pastor

2009 / USA / 84m / Col / Post-Apocalyptic | IMDb

Lou Taylor Pucci, Chris Pine, Piper Perabo, Emily VanCamp, Christopher Meloni, Kiernan Shipka, Ron McClary, Mark Moses, Josh Berry, Tim Janis


“A PG-13 virus thriller might sound like a contradiction in terms, but for the most part, “Carriers” spreads its bleak vision of post-pandemic terror to fairly chilling effect. Alas, in apparent avoidance of an R, the film fails to clarify the particular threat of its infected citizens, red-faced ghouls who look plenty scary and are indeed contagious, but are never shown to bite. Put into extremely limited release by Paramount Vantage after spending years in studio lockdown, “Carriers” has moments of genuinely communicable horror and thus deserves better than a de facto theatrical quarantine.” – Rob Nelson, Variety

La piel que habito

228. La piel que habito

Pedro Almodóvar

2011 / Spain / 120m / Col / Psychological | IMDb

Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet, Roberto Álamo, Eduard Fernández, José Luis Gómez, Blanca Suárez, Susi Sánchez, Bárbara Lennie


“Everything made by Pedro Almodóvar seems to have been developed from the outside in: surfaces yield psychology, decor becomes depth, kitsch proves porous, a parade of pop props dimpled with wells of violently conflicted feelings and frustrated lusts. Seen through this lens, The Skin I Live In, based on Thierry Jonquet’s 1995 novel Tarantula, can be read as a work of perfect unity between its filmmaker’s MO and its fabulous premise… An uneasy forecast of looming advances in posthuman sciences, an extravagant extrapolation of Eyes Without a Face, and a fresh opportunity for Almodóvar to fix his unapologetically (queer) male gaze on more immaculate female flesh, The Skin I Live In embodies a rather studied sort of perversion that nonetheless resonates with Almodóvar’s evolving concerns in interesting ways.” – José Teodoro, Film Comment Magazine

Attack the Block

229. Attack the Block

Joe Cornish

2011 / UK / 88m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb

Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones, Franz Drameh, Simon Howard, Maggie McCarthy, Danielle Vitalis, Paige Meade, Gina Antwi


“On the action side of things, Cornish display’s a talent and confidence rarely seen in a first time director, ratcheting up the frights and the thrills every time the exceptionally designed and rather terrifying looking aliens – realized terrifically through a combination of costume and CGI – give chase. Jump scares abound, while a sequence along a dimly lit smoke filled corridor is fraught with tension. The rest of the time, chase scenes pulsate with intensity, backed by a stylish score by Steven Price and Basement Jaxx that mixes orchestral music, R&B and electro, as well as classic UFO sound effects. The violence, when it happens, is deliciously grisly.” – Tom Clift, Movie Dex

Final Destination 5

230. Final Destination 5

Steven Quale

2011 / USA / 92m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Ellen Wroe, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P.J. Byrne, Arlen Escarpeta, David Koechner, Courtney B. Vance, Tony Todd


“Fans of this franchise know precisely what to expect, and the film delivers it with wit and flair. The Final Destination movies are like inspired Kentucky Fried Movie sketches, but also like deadpan satires of a particular sub-genre they invented in the first place… This being a 3D movie, there are loads of sharp objects flying directly out of the screen. A group of youthful interns are employed at a drab office, presided over by a managerial nerd, adjoining a factory shopfloor. (So to the list of American institutions indirectly influenced by Ricky Gervais we can now add the Final Destination movies.)” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Dead Silence

231. Dead Silence

James Wan

2007 / USA / 89m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb

Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Laura Regan, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Judith Roberts, Keir Gilchrist


“So what makes Dead Silence more creepy and clever than the dozens of horror films that have preceded it in this decade? It comes directly from the talents of director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell. The scenarios they set in motion combine logical storytelling with strong suspense filmmaking and keep us in the audience in a constant state of alert, sitting on the edge of our seat, unable to predict what is going to happen next. Wan and Whannell never retreat to the typical horror cliches to achieve their scares. There are no unnecessary shock cuts, no red herrings and no abuse of bombastic musical scoring to tell audiences when to be scared. Where so many modern horror films are utterly predictable, the Saw pictures, all written by Whannell with producer credits for Wan on Saw 2 and 3, and now Dead Silence avoid predictibility by employing great staging and scene setting. The audience is so busy covering their eyes in anticipation of the next scare, they simply don’t have time to predict what comes next.” – Sean Kernan, Smart-Popcorn

What Lies Beneath

232. What Lies Beneath

Robert Zemeckis

2000 / USA / 130m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb

Michelle Pfeiffer, Katharine Towne, Miranda Otto, James Remar, Harrison Ford, Victoria Bidewell, Diana Scarwid, Dennison Samaroo, Jennifer Tung, Eliott Goretsky


“A slick cross between a Hitchcock movie (two in particular, but to identify them would give away too much) and Stir of Echoes, What Lies Beneath is a supernatural thriller whose plot struggles to hold water. It’s the sort of thriller where the twists and surprises are decided first, and then the writers hang the story around those twists as best they can… What Lies Beneath works – to the extent that it works – because of Robert Zemeckis… Zemeckis is synonymous with slick, but he does have an impressive record of making the most out of material even when it’s weak. He gets an audience to care about what’s going on in a story rather than think about what’s wrong with the story. He knows how to entertain.” – Carlo Cavagna, AboutFilm.com

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

233. Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

Jon Knautz

2007 / Canada / 85m / Col / Comedy | IMDb

Robert Englund, Trevor Matthews, Daniel Kash, David Fox, Dean Hawes, Rachel Skarsten, James A. Woods, Ashley Bryant, Stefanie Drummond, Chad Harber


“A midnight screening classic in the making, Jon Knautz’s film is a winning marriage of schlocky horror and comedy. It’s the story of Jack Brooks, a plumber with a short fuse who has been suffering from emotional rages since the grizzly death of his parents at a tender age… When Brooks is confronted with a monster attack at a night class (he’s trying to better himself), he makes the decision to fight back rather than run away and the result is a glorious 20-minute murderous rage of a finale full of zombie-like monsters, gushing geysers of bodily fluids and a monster who looks like a cross between Jabba the Hutt and paper mache.” – Marina Antunes, Row Three

Excision

234. Excision

Richard Bates Jr.

2012 / USA / 81m / Col / Splatter | IMDb

AnnaLynne McCord, Roger Bart, Ariel Winter, Traci Lords, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jeremy Sumpter, Matthew Fahey, Sidney Franklin, Molly McCook, Natalie Dreyfuss


“Excision is a film in metaphoric overload, where Pauline’s every waking moment is consumed by images and thoughts pertaining to sex, blood and conflict. McCord, a mens-mag favourite whose resume to date gave no indication she was capable of crafting such a wondrously disturbed character, conveys the inner-collision of Pauline’s sympathetic reality and psychotic extremes with equal measure profundity and black, black humour. Her final on-screen moments are nightmarishly impactful. The young director’s trope dissection is cut entirely from the chick flick/teen outcast cloth, but without the airs and graces of the kind that the late John Hughes might have employed; had David Cronenberg and Dario Argento co-directed Sixteen Candles it might have looked a bit like Excision. But Bates’ piercing originality and keen eye for framing and ear for dialogue sets it own precedents, standing tall on the stooped shoulders of Pauline and her teen-dream bloodlust.” – Simon Foster, Screen-Space

Open Water

235. Open Water

Chris Kentis

2003 / USA / 79m / Col / Nature | IMDb

Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Saul Stein, Michael E. Williamson, Cristina Zenato, John Charles


“Chris Kentis, who wrote, directed, edited, and shot the film (with his wife, Laura Lau), is working with prime pulp material—but he doesn’t have a pulp sensibility. I mean this as a compliment. Shot on digital video and micro-budgeted, Open Water is terrifying precisely because it doesn’t go in for cheesy shock tactics and special effects. (Those sharks are real.) Strictly speaking, it’s not even in the shark-attack genre—it’s more like a black comedy about how things can go horribly wrong on vacation. You think you’re safe, and the next thing you know you’re lost at sea and something’s nibbling your gams. That’s an apt metaphor for a lot more than scuba diving.” – Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

Dance of the Dead

236. Dance of the Dead

Gregg Bishop

2008 / USA / 87m / Col / Zombie | IMDb

Jared Kusnitz, Greyson Chadwick, Chandler Darby, Carissa Capobianco, Randy McDowell, Michael Mammoliti, Mark Lynch, Justin Welborn, Mark Oliver


“It’s difficult if not damn near impossible to really pull off homage. You have to forgo the obvious and create a living breathing entity that can stand wholly on its own. If you don’t do that, you’ve cut off half of your audience before they ever see the first five minutes of your magnum opus. What writer Joe Ballarini and Director Gregg Bishop (THE OTHER SIDE) accomplish is the very nearly impossible—a fully functional film that delivers the laugh-a-minute but heartfelt humor of AMERICAN PIE with the furious gore of 28 DAYS LATER. The film never gives up it’s horror to service its comedy and in the same respect it waters down the laughs in order to up the tension.” – David Harley, Bloody Disgusting

Laid to Rest

237. Laid to Rest

Robert Hall

2009 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Bobbi Sue Luther, Kevin Gage, Lena Headey, Sean Whalen, Richard Lynch, Johnathon Schaech, Thomas Dekker, Nick Principe, Jana Kramer, Lucas Till


“The gore effects are about as good as they get in a film with this kind of budget, which is hardly surprising given the directors exhaustive make-up effects resume. They are gleefully over-the-top and excellently realised from start to finish and it‘s nice to see a complete lack of CGI. ‘Chrome Skull’ makes for a fantastic villain, his concealed face looking like a bizarre cross between the distorted Edvard Munch-inspired Scream mask and Donnie Darko’s twisted futuristic rabbit… On too many occasions filmmakers get bogged down with including some convoluted rhyme and reason when it simply isn’t necessary. Hall, instead presents us with a gloriously straight-forward, blood-soaked, 80’s throwback of a stalk ‘n’ slash movie.” – Sarah Law, Gorepress

Devil

238. Devil

John Erick Dowdle

2010 / USA / 80m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Jenny O’Hara, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend, Jacob Vargas, Matt Craven, Joshua Peace


“[John E. Dawdle and Brian Nelson]’s synergy inspires creative and technical sparks that announce them as guiding forces in the ongoing evolution of this genre; Nelson is careful to observe his story from the inside without removing emphasis from characters, and his vision is brought to life by a director who shoots the material in steep camera angles, as if watching critical events from beyond the realm of the living. What they have created together in “Devil” is a movie that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, and more: namely, tango with a vivid representation of evil while suggesting, without shame, that the forces guiding the actions of these characters are more than just the stuff of superficial horror film plot devices.” – David Keyes, Cinemaphile

Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed

239. Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed

Brett Sullivan

2004 / Canada / 94m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb

Emily Perkins, Brendan Fletcher, Katharine Isabelle, Tatiana Maslany, Susan Adam, Janet Kidder, Chris Fassbender, Pascale Hutton, Michelle Beaudoin, Eric Johnson


“The story behind Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed is an old, familiar one: scrappy little indie horror flick is released to critical acclaim. Scrappy little indie horror flick goes on to become a cult classic. Scrappy little indie horror flick suddenly looks like an opportunity to turn a profit with an unnecessary sequel. But the good news is that this story has a pretty happy ending, as Unleashed is a very respectable sequel even despite a few missteps and its expendability… As tempting as it must have been, director Brett Sullivan and screenwriter Megan Martin resist the urge to embrace total schlock and just make a big dumb, movie with a werewolf tearing through a rehab clinic full of vulnerable girls. It has its violent outbursts, but each is in service of the story” – Brett Gallman, Oh the Horror!

Scream 4

240. Scream 4

Wes Craven

2011 / USA / 111m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Lucy Hale, Roger Jackson, Shenae Grimes, Dane Farwell, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Aimee Teegarden, Britt Robertson, Neve Campbell, Alison Brie


“It was the interplay between genre-fueled expectation and smart storytelling that created a number of memorable set-pieces (as well as twists) in the original trilogy. However, there’s no doubt that Scream 2 and (especially) Scream 3 failed to live up to the bar set by the original… Scream 4 is without a doubt a much better film than the prior Scream sequels – offering plenty of scares, suspicion, as well as light-hearted commentary about the state of the horror genre. More than any of the previous Scream installments, this film is unapologetic about meta-references and horror-film expectations – turning audience anticipation upside down once again. There are plenty of plot holes and a number of bland performances but for the most part the actors and filmmakers deliver an enticing and intentionally cheesy diversion from the current genre staples” – Ben Kendrick, ScreenRant

The Midnight Meat Train

241. The Midnight Meat Train

Ryûhei Kitamura

2008 / USA / 98m / Col / Splatter | IMDb

Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields, Vinnie Jones, Roger Bart, Tony Curran, Barbara Eve Harris, Peter Jacobson, Stephanie Mace, Ted Raimi


“As a horror picture plain and simple (though Midnight Meat Train is too convoluted to be called simple), there’s certainly no reason to complain here. The film delivers the goods in terms of graphic, bloody and quite brutal horror. This is one of the bloodier films in recent memory, and yet it is never goes into the area of torture porn. The film doesn’t linger over pain for its own sake and isn’t in the least sadistic in the manner of so much that passes for horror these days. Oh, it’s nasty enough—make no mistake. This is not a film for the squeamish, and I can easily imagine people who would be offended by its in your face bloodiness. I can also imagine a good many viewers who would be turned off by its occasional outbursts of dark-hued splattery comedy, especially the fate of the Jurgis character. Put bluntly, if bloody horror and the occasional flying eyeball aren’t your flagon of grue, this isn’t your movie.” – Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress

Hostel: Part II

242. Hostel: Part II

Eli Roth

2007 / USA / 94m / Col / Splatter | IMDb

Lauren German, Roger Bart, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Richard Burgi, Vera Jordanova, Jay Hernandez, Jordan Ladd, Milan Knazko, Edwige Fenech


“As gruesome as [the filmmakers’] creations can appear, a twisted sense of humor underlies the entire operation, as if sheer outrageousness might offset the effects’ startling realism. Indeed, the only way to watch is to suspend any literal-minded analysis and appreciate Roth’s Grand Guignol sensibilities on their own level. Could Roth have accomplished the same thing without introducing such patently offensive imagery into the world? Absolutely, but then he wouldn’t have bested the recent efforts of his peers, who keep upping the ante with pics like “High Tension” and “Saw.” Nor would he have involved us so thoroughly in the action that we’re complicit in the pic’s incredibly satisfying climax. There are no innocents here — least of all the audience.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

Vacancy

243. Vacancy

Nimród Antal

2007 / USA / 85m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry, Scott G. Anderson, Mark Casella, David Doty, Norm Compton, Caryn Mower, Meegan Godfrey


“There is no gore to be found in Vacancy, and while the script sets up many opportunities for “boo!” type scares, he doesn’t really take advantage of them. Instead, he uses a simple assortment of techniques to keep our POV yoked to David and Amy’s, and he plays up the suffocating closeness of the spaces both interior and exterior, bringing a terrifying claustrophobia to the goings-on (I couldn’t list every instance in which one or both of the protagonists are “caged,” by Antal’s frame, or an element of framing within the mise en scène, but car mirrors, doorways, phone booths, and decorative fencing are all used at some point to increase that claustrophobia). In effect, he turns the characters into trapped animals, aware that they’re being watched and aware that there’s no way to escape. It’s worse than scary, it’s stifling; and that is terrifying, to me at least.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Rogue

244. Rogue

Greg Mclean

2007 / Australia / 99m / Col / Nature | IMDb

Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, Sam Worthington, Caroline Brazier, Stephen Curry, Celia Ireland, John Jarratt, Heather Mitchell, Geoff Morrell, Damien Richardson


“Rogue may keep its creature hidden for large stretches in order to generate tension through omnipresent suggestion, but its expertly orchestrated set pieces don’t skimp on the killer-croc goods, providing enough glimpses of the beast feasting on terrified humans to deliver requisite horror-premise payoffs. Mclean’s tight scripting rarely relies on stupid behavior to elicit scares and refuses to one-dimensionally condemn its characters for less-than-noble reactions to trauma, exhibiting shrewd, nonjudgmental consideration for the strains its stranded travelers are under. All the while, his evocative widescreen cinematography of the Australian landscape – part Terrance Malick-entrancing, part John Carpenter-creepy – lends the action a sense of encompassing ominousness, and in its reverence for the natural world, proves in tune with the director’s own respect for his characters, his B-movie genre, and his audience.” – Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness

World War Z

245. World War Z

Marc Forster

2013 / USA / 116m / Col / Zombie | IMDb

Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, Fana Mokoena, David Morse, Elyes Gabel, Peter Capaldi


“Gone are the slowly stumbling zombies of earlier generations, replaced by a frantic horde who dive, tackle and bite like a snarling biblical horde of rats, a mass of bodies that wail and gnash teeth, thrashing insatiably in search of human flesh. And although plenty are slaughtered by Pitt and company, the gory details are spared, Foster wisely playing this as thriller rather than splatter. With all the action, there’s little time for character development or heart, but Pitt holds his own as an hero with a mission to save the world. And given what he goes through, it’s just as well he’s more indestructible than the average zombie.” – Simon Weaving, Screenwize

My Bloody Valentine

246. My Bloody Valentine

Patrick Lussier

2009 / USA / 101m / Col / Slasher | IMDb

Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Edi Gathegi, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe, Megan Boone, Karen Baum, Joy de la Paz


“Most of the three-dimensional effects are precisely what you would expect, with everything from pickaxes to tree limbs to various body parts coming out of the screen. It’s undeniably hokey, but also giddily effective, turning what might otherwise be a routine slash-and-hack job into a ridiculously gory theme park ride (the fact that “3-D” is part of the film’s official title is a clue as to how important it is to its effectiveness). Director Patrick Lussier plays everything to the hilt, taking additional license with the third dimension to goose the audience with both old-school make-up special effects and digital trickery that, in the movie’s first true shock moment, puts an eyeball right in your lap.” – James Kendrick, QNetwork

The Girl Next Door

247. The Girl Next Door

Gregory Wilson

2007 / USA / 91m / Col / Crime | IMDb

William Atherton, Blythe Auffarth, Blanche Baker, Kevin Chamberlin, Dean Faulkenberry, Gabrielle Howarth, Benjamin Ross Kaplan, Spenser Leigh, Daniel Manche, Mark Margolis


“Daniel Farrands and Philip Nutman’s screenplay sticks close to Ketchum’s novel, which was inspired by the notorious 1965 torture-murder of Indiana teenager Sylvia Likens. Neither Ketchum nor the filmmakers take an exploitative approach to the material; their focus is the way the youngsters’ petty cruelty erupts into murderous sadism through exposure to Ruth, whose homey manner conceals a sociopath’s warped worldview. Baker is chilling as Ruth and young actress Auffarth gives a strong performance as the brutalized Meg, which only makes the film’s unsettling subject matter more difficult to watch.” – Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide

The Conjuring 2

248. The Conjuring 2

James Wan

2016 / USA / 134m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb

Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor, Lauren Esposito, Benjamin Haigh, Patrick McAuley, Simon McBurney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Simon Delaney


“In this Conjuring, the haunted-house tropes play second fiddle to something less graspable, even though there’s no question that a game of fright is in full, masterful swing. Cinematographer Don Burgess’ camera prowls and swoops, Bishara’s choral score sends shivers up the spine and Wan uses prolonged silence as well as sounds — creaking floorboards, a screeching backyard swing — to maximum unsettling effect. The director knows how to turn objects, from an antique zoetrope to a ringing telephone, into icons of free-floating evil or, in the case of a crucifix, into tools of redemption.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

Mama

249. Mama

Andrés Muschietti

2013 / Spain / 100m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb

Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse, Daniel Kash, Javier Botet, Jane Moffat, Morgan McGarry, David Fox, Dominic Cuzzocrea


“Mama proves to be a great horror film for about half of its running time — the half in which we can’t see who or what this Mama character is… unfortunately, the more we learn about Mama, the more it seems as though she’s just malnourished and misunderstood… To make up for the dearth of suspense, there is at least great acting. Chastain toughens up to portray one of those rare heroines in a horror film who isn’t about to walk down to the basement on her own when the power is out… Devotees of this genre should make a point of seeing the film, if only because it’s a great example of how to be creepy without resorting to cliché. But don’t expect any true horror to emerge” – Vanessa Farquharson, National Post

Joy Ride

250. Joy Ride

John Dahl

2001 / USA / 97m / Col / Thriller | IMDb

Steve Zahn, Paul Walker, Leelee Sobieski, Jessica Bowman, Stuart Stone, Basil Wallace, Brian Leckner, Mary Wickliffe, McKenzie Satterthwaite, Dell Yount


“Directed by the meticulous John Dahl (1994’s “The Last Seduction”), who excels at telling noirish stories of murder and mayhem, “Joy Ride” is an absolutely merciless thriller–exciting, marvelously crafted, strongly acted, and with more than a few moments destined to increase your heartbeat. Taking a short premise that could be described as “three victims terrorized by a giant truck,” director Dahl and screenwriters Clay Tarver and J.J. Abrams thankfully do not clutter the ingenious storyline with lots of subplots, nor do they feel it necessary to ever visually unveil the psychopath behind the big rig. Not knowing exactly what Lewis, Fuller, and Venna are up against makes for an even more unshakably eerie experience.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy