They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

#101-#200

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: #101-#200

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: Introduction | #1-#100 | #101-#200 | #201-#300 | #301-#400 | #401-#500 | #501-#600 | #601-#700 | #701-#800 | #801-#900 | #901-#1000 | Full List | Sources | The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Horror Films | Top 50 Directors

The House of the Devil

101. (+8) The House of the Devil

Ti West

2009 / USA / 95m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Greta Gerwig, AJ Bowen, Dee Wallace, Heather Robb, Darryl Nau, Brenda Cooney, Danielle Noe

“Yet another of this year’s homage-facsimiles, The House of the Devil forgoes campy self-awareness in favor of reverential faithfulness—and in doing so, implicitly critiques contemporary horror cinema. With its cinematography combining unadorned realism and angular expressionism, and its title sequence emblazoned with yellow title cards and marked by synth music, freeze frames, and sudden zooms, Ti West’s latest mimics ’80s horror flicks with a straight face. Its rhythms, dialogue, and period detail are so finely attuned to the style of its chosen era that, were it not for a technical dexterity generally absent from its predecessors, the film might pass as an exhumed relic.” – Matt Noller, Slant Magazine

I Walked with a Zombie

102. (+6) I Walked with a Zombie

Jacques Tourneur

1943 / USA / 69m / BW / Zombie | IMDb
James Ellison, Frances Dee, Tom Conway, Edith Barrett, James Bell, Christine Gordon, Theresa Harris, Sir Lancelot, Darby Jones, Jeni Le Gon

“I Walked With a Zombie is a master class in sight, sound, and suggestion from beginning to end. Jane Eyre’s gothic romance is transplanted to the West Indies, where Betsey Connell (Dee) confronts the power of voodoo. In the film’s most famous sequence, Betsey takes an extended trip through a sugar cane field and encounters the zombie Carrefour (Jones). Tourneur’s images cast an unnerving spell, suggesting that the emotionally frustrated living may be the real zombies.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

From Dusk Till Dawn

103. (-4) From Dusk Till Dawn

Robert Rodriguez

1996 / USA / 108m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, Fred Williamson

“George Clooney, in his only horror role to date, gives a ballistic performance as the gangster Seth Gecko who has to fight for his life, while Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, and Harvey Keitel are bittersweet as the disjointed Fuller family who have to come together and make their peace when the vampires gain the upper hand mid-way. “From Dusk Till Dawn” is that perfect party horror movie that’s infinitely rewatchable. It’s filled with quick one-liners, top notch performances, and endless laugh out loud moments that double as genuine scares. Despite the low budget, every cast member puts their A game in the film, and “From Dusk Till Dawn” remains that genuinely excellent nineties horror film that you simply can’t help but adore.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht

104. (+1) Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht

Werner Herzog

1979 / Germany / 107m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor, Walter Ladengast, Dan van Husen, Jan Groth, Carsten Bodinus, Martje Grohmann, Rijk de Gooyer

“One striking quality of the film is its beauty. Herzog’s pictorial eye is not often enough credited. His films always upstage it with their themes. We are focused on what happens, and there are few “beauty shots.” Look here at his control of the color palate, his off-center compositions, of the dramatic counterpoint of light and dark. Here is a film that does honor to the seriousness of vampires. No, I don’t believe in them. But if they were real, here is how they must look.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Pet Sematary

105. (-3) Pet Sematary

Mary Lambert

1989 / USA / 103m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby, Brad Greenquist, Michael Lombard, Miko Hughes, Blaze Berdahl, Susan Blommaert, Mara Clark, Kavi Raz

“A motion picture of loss and regret, “Pet Sematary” imagines the worst in its view of the permanent disintegration of a family. Haunting, sorrowful and reverberatingly eerie, the film is also complemented by the punk-rock flair of The Ramones (who perform the title track over the end credits) and the thoroughly unsettling, gothically enhanced instrumental score by Elliot Goldenthal (2007’s “Across the Universe”). That “Pet Sematary” is as creepy as it is without bogging down in genre trappings is a rare miracle in horror circles. Director Mary Lambert trusts in the universality of her characters, their tightly drawn relationships with each other, and the insurmountable conflicts they face to carry the story forward. It is these things that most resonate—these are what we relate to and can connect with, after all—and the reason why “Pet Sematary” has endured and not been forgotten in the twenty years since its release. ” – Dustin Putman, The Movie Boy

King Kong

106. (-3) King Kong

Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack

1933 / USA / 100m / BW / Monster | IMDb
Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher, Sam Hardy, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemente, James Flavin, King Kong

“If this glorious pile of horror-fantasy hokum has lost none of its power to move, excite and sadden, it is in no small measure due to the remarkable technical achievements of Willis O’Brien’s animation work, and the superbly matched score of Max Steiner… The throbbing heart of the film lies in the creation of the semi-human simian himself, an immortal tribute to the Hollywood dream factory’s ability to fashion a symbol that can express all the contradictory erotic, ecstatic, destructive, pathetic and cathartic buried impulses of ‘civilised’ man.” – Wally Hammond, Time Out

Ju-on

107. (-1) Ju-on

Takashi Shimizu

2002 / Japan / 92m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Megumi Okina, Misaki Itô, Misa Uehara, Yui Ichikawa, Kanji Tsuda, Kayoko Shibata, Yukako Kukuri, Shuri Matsuda, Yôji Tanaka, Yoshiyuki Morishita

“The creep factor in this film is high, not because either the kid, or the specter look particularly scary (though the latter may fit that description at points), but because Shimizu is a master of camera shots, timing and the unexpected. Your nerves are left perpetually unsteady, never knowing the reach of the specter’s killing power. Not even the best of the slasher movies can compete with the non-stop, pulse-racing tension found here.” – John Strand, Best Horror Movies

Onibaba

108. (-1) Onibaba

Kaneto Shindô

1964 / Japan / 103m / Col / Jidaigeki | IMDb
Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Satô, Jûkichi Uno, Taiji Tonoyama, Senshô Matsumoto, Kentarô Kaji, Hosui Araya, Fudeko Tanaka, Michinori Yoshida

“No masterpiece by any means, it’s at times overplayed, but it’s striking visually, handling swift horizontal movement – and using the claustrophobic body-high reeds among which the women live – very well. It’s also genuinely erotic, and the treatment in detail of the women’s lives as essentially bestial is interesting so long as Shindo stops short of portentous allegorising about the human condition.” – Time Out

The Brood

109. (-5) The Brood

David Cronenberg

1979 / Canada / 92m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, Henry Beckman, Nuala Fitzgerald, Cindy Hinds, Susan Hogan, Gary McKeehan, Michael Magee, Robert A. Silverman

“From its wintry Canadian setting to its prominent mad scientist figure, from its darkly imaginative plot to its chilling Howard Shore soundtrack, and from its psychosexual transformations to its unflinchingly repellent body horror, it is unmistakably a film by David Cronenberg – but what makes it unique amongst the visionary auteur’s œouvre is its close connection to his personal biography. For at the time he wrote the script, Cronenberg had just been through a difficult divorce and bitter custody battle for his own daughter – and if The Brood is concerned with transgressively extreme ways of finding release for inner feelings of rage and recrimination, then it is also clear that the film itself allowed the director to give ‘psychoplasmic’ expression to his own sense of anger and frustration.” – Anton Bitel, Movie Gazette

Wolf Creek

110. (0) Wolf Creek

Greg Mclean

2005 / Australia / 99m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
John Jarratt, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips, Gordon Poole, Guy O’Donnell, Phil Stevenson, Geoff Revell, Andy McPhee, Aaron Sterns

“McLean captures that real horror in a brutally unHollywood way, one that goes beyond the frank, almost documentary style of the cinematography and performances and the presentation. The young actors playing the kids are so simply effective that they couldn’t be more removed from the jokey, self-aware snarkiness of most modern “horror” movies, in which everyone knows they’re following a formula and the ending is preordained and it’s all a big joke. And John Jarratt’s Mick is something of a throwback, in the best sense: he’s not a cartoon maniac, like Jason or Freddie, but a genuine human person who’s gone off a deep end that is, unfortunately, all too familiar in the modern annals of crime and depravity. Mostly, though, it’s how McLean refuses to give in to the expectations we typically bring to horror movies, that everything must wrap up in a particular way and concepts like justice and fairness must prevail. Cuz as we all know, the real world is only rarely that satisfying.” – MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher

In the Mouth of Madness

111. (0) In the Mouth of Madness

John Carpenter

1994 / USA / 95m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow, David Warner, John Glover, Bernie Casey, Peter Jason, Charlton Heston, Frances Bay, Wilhelm von Homburg

“Carpenter uses the abnormal to his advantage also creating a finale that is so remarkably bizarre with his use of makeup effects to create odd looking zombie characters, and his change of colors and textures; you begin to feel absorbed into the film as well. The last moments of the movie is such a head trip, it will stay in your mind for days on end when you’ll begin to wonder what was real in the film and what wasn’t and ask who has the trick been played on? The characters in the film, or the audience watching it? Hardly terrifying, but where Carpenter fails in that device he makes up for in ambitious leaps of mind-boggling and odd entertainment. His knack for change in perspective and illusion truly make this a memorable masterpiece.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Gwoemul

112. (+1) Gwoemul

Joon-ho Bong

2006 / South Korea / 119m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Hae-il Park, Doona Bae, Ah-sung Ko, Dal-su Oh, Jae-eung Lee, Dong-ho Lee, Je-mun Yun, David Anselmo

“The mood shifts wildly between comedy, horror, serious drama, and action – but Bong always seems in control and by the end leaves one feeling satisfied (though not overstuffed) with the results as it’s both exciting and ballsy. Even our protagonists have an endearing everydayness about them which makes them easy to root for. In spite of its assorted lumpy bits, this is a far more successful monster movie than any creature feature Hollywood has churned out in a LONG time.” – Garth Franklin, Dark Horizons

The Invisible Man

113. (-1) The Invisible Man

James Whale

1933 / USA / 71m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Henry Travers, Una O’Connor, Forrester Harvey, Holmes Herbert, E.E. Clive, Dudley Digges, Harry Stubbs

“The megalomania that ensues upon Rains’ ability to go about unseen is played for suspense, pathos and tongue-in-cheek humour (he can’t go out in the rain, because it would make him look like a ridiculous bubble). The real strengths of the movie are John P Fulton’s remarkable special effects (Rains removing his bandages to reveal nothing, footsteps appearing as if by magic in the snow), lending much-needed conviction to the blatant fantasy; and the fact that we never see the scientist without his bandages until the very end of the film.” – Time Out

Kaidan

114. (+2) Kaidan

Masaki Kobayashi

1964 / Japan / 183m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Rentarô Mikuni, Kenjirô Ishiyama, Ranko Akagi, Fumie Kitahara, Kappei Matsumoto, Yoshiko Ieda, Otome Tsukimiya, Kenzô Tanaka

“One of the most meticulously crafted supernatural fantasy films ever made, Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan is also one of the most unusual. While such classic black and white chillers as The Uninvited, The Innocents and The Haunting teasingly speculate on the existence of ghosts, this lavish widescreen and color production deals with the spirit world head-on, as something completely and frighteningly real.” – David Ehrenstein, The Criterion Collection

Possession

115. (+2) Possession

Andrzej Zulawski

1981 / France / 127m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent, Johanna Hofer, Carl Duering, Shaun Lawton, Michael Hogben, Maximilian Rüthlein, Thomas Frey

“There are marriages on the rocks and then there’s the fever-pitch non-bliss between Mark (Neill) and Anna (Adjani) in this head-spinning masterpiece from Poland’s Andrzej Zulawski… Possession incorporates more and more fantastical elements as it goes on—such as a spectacular goo-and-gore-covered creature built by E.T. designer Carlo Rambaldi—but the story somehow remains rooted in the harsh realities of human experience. That the film is much more than a gawk-at-it freak show is testament to Zulawski’s talent for making even the most exaggerated behavior resonate with pointed and potent emotion.” – Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

Army of Darkness

116. (-2) Army of Darkness

Sam Raimi

1992 / USA / 81m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Michael Earl Reid, Bridget Fonda, Patricia Tallman, Ted Raimi

“It would be wildly easy for this to turn into something sour and cynical, to the point where it would be almost unbearable to watch. The only reason it doesn’t is because of how much joy is going into the project: Army of Darkness is a movie’s movie, cheerfully referencing the great Jason and the Argonauts, and lingering over its vibrantly cheesy special effects with real, obvious love for the sets and monsters it evokes. I is a celebration of artifice and spooky atmospherics, refusing to take its content seriously mostly because it’s so pleased to have fun, and if that leaves it the shallowest of the Evil Dead trilogy, it is nonetheless maybe the most wholly charming.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

The Babadook

117. (+25) The Babadook

Jennifer Kent

2014 / Australia / 93m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight, Benjamin Winspear, Noah Wiseman, Carmel Johnson, Hayley McElhinney, Craig Behenna, Peta Shannon, Cathy Adamek

“At the beginning, the tension is all wrapped up in this out-of-control child. Wiseman, who was 6 when the film was shooting and is making his screen debut, is an ideal mix of wide-eyed innocence and tantrum-throwing rage. At one point, as his screeches fill the car, you may wonder how his mum has managed to go this long without strangling him… That is the subtext running through the film — the threat of imaginary monsters and the real ones humans are capable of becoming… Many times along the way, you fear you know where things are going. But Kent is clever in choosing unexpected spots to pull the rug out from under you.” – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

Insidious

118. (+3) Insidious

James Wan

2010 / USA / 103m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Barbara Hershey, Andrew Astor, Corbett Tuck, Heather Tocquigny

“The masterminds behind the first Saw and Paranormal Activity join forces on Insidious for a bump-in-the-night shocker, which plays out in such a high, trilling key of baroque anxiety it’s both jumpy and ludicrous. Laughter in horror movies is often a good sign they’re doing something right, but this goes beyond even Sam Raimi’s brazen Drag Me to Hell as an elaborate wind-up, and reaches a tipping point where the guffaws take over from genuine scares… The final act is pure horror camp, even if director James Wan has raided the dress-up box to death by then. His film, barging its way around the genre with unrestrained glee, is nothing more objectionable than a rickety ghost-train ride, cackling as it speeds up and flies off the rails.” – Tim Robey, The Telegraph

The Last House on the Left

119. (-4) The Last House on the Left

Wes Craven

1972 / USA / 84m / Col / Rape and Revenge | IMDb
Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess, Fred J. Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler, Richard Towers, Cynthia Carr, Ada Washington, Marshall Anker

“What does come through in “Last House on the Left” is a powerful narrative, told so directly and strongly that the audience (mostly in the mood for just another good old exploitation film) was rocked back on its psychic heels. Wes Craven’s direction never lets us out from under almost unbearable dramatic tension (except in some silly scenes involving a couple of dumb cops, who overact and seriously affect the plot’s credibility). The acting is unmannered and natural, I guess. There’s no posturing. There’s a good ear for dialogue and nuance. And there is evil in this movie. Not bloody escapism, or a thrill a minute, but a fully developed sense of the vicious natures of the killers. There is no glory in this violence.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The Hills Have Eyes

120. (-1) The Hills Have Eyes

Wes Craven

1977 / USA / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
John Steadman, Janus Blythe, Peter Locke, Russ Grieve, Virginia Vincent, Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Dee Wallace, Brenda Marinoff, Robert Houston, Martin Speer

“Though not particularly bloody, THE HILLS HAVE EYES is an extremely intense and disturbing film. As is the case with Sam Peckinpah’s classic, STRAW DOGS, it becomes oddly and distressingly exhilarating to watch the nice family become increasingly savage in their efforts to survive. Not for the squeamish, this low-budget potboiler is one of the prime examples of the what was so fascinating about American horror films in the 1970s. It can be profitably read as the kind of thematically rich meditation on the dark side of the American family that could only be done in the exploitation horror genre.” – TV Guide’s Movie Guide

May

121. (-3) May

Lucky McKee

2002 / USA / 93m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris, James Duval, Nichole Hiltz, Kevin Gage, Merle Kennedy, Chandler Riley Hecht, Rachel David, Nora Zehetner

““May” is a wonderful and powerful statement on the struggle for perfection and acceptance, and what lengths many of us will go through for it. Even the mentally unstable ones. A marvelous cinematic debut from director Lucky McKee, “May” is a tragic and gut wrenching look at a girl who would do anything to become the ideal person for the people in her life, and eventually unwound from the aftermath of imperfection and idealistic visions of our loved ones.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Gremlins

122. (-2) Gremlins

Joe Dante

1984 / USA / 106m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Hoyt Axton, John Louie, Keye Luke, Don Steele, Susan Burgess, Scott Brady, Arnie Moore, Corey Feldman, Harry Carey Jr., Zach Galligan

“It’s a bit of Halloween at Christmastime, as the wicked are punished while the righteous simply have the wits frightened out of them, all for our edification and amusement. That puts some of the film’s darker materials into context. Dante crafts his funhouse with care, and in order to scare us, he needs to convince us of the seriousness of the threat. The gruesome sights of gremlins buying it in the microwave or meeting the wrong end of an electric juicer shock us, but also establish the idea that these are dangerous creatures. With that in place, Dante can then temper the mayhem with his gentler instincts and give us a happy ending without diminishing from the fright-wig shocks that crop up along the way.” – Rob Vaux, Mania.com

Trick 'r Treat

123. (0) Trick ‘r Treat

Michael Dougherty

2007 / USA / 82m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord, Lauren Lee Smith, Moneca Delain, Tahmoh Penikett, Brett Kelly, Britt McKillip, Isabelle Deluce, Jean-Luc Bilodeau

“[A] welcome addition to the post-modern meditation on the genre. An anthology at its core, but more a triumphant return to old school shivers, this unique narrative experience will instantly remind the viewer of cold Fall nights, years ago, when 31 October was a date to be reckoned with. A quasi-classic, this exceptional look at what Halloween really means is the byproduct of writer/director Michael Dougherty’s desire to craft, what he lovingly refers to, as tales of “mayhem, mystery, and mischief. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this love letter to ghosts, ghouls, and goblins is how accomplished it is. With only a few scripts under his belt (he co-wrote X2 and Superman Returns), Dougherty turns out to be as visually compelling as Tim Burton, or even Terry Gilliam.” – Bill Gibron, PopMatters

The Phantom of the Opera

124. (-2) The Phantom of the Opera

Rupert Julian

1925 / USA / 93m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Gibson Gowland, John St. Polis, Snitz Edwards, Mary Fabian, Virginia Pearson

“The result bears out the suggestion that Phantom belongs to Chaney more than anyone else, and not just because the famous unmasking scene and the rousing finale have an energy not seen elsewhere in the film. It belongs to Chaney for the same reason Frankenstein belongs to Boris Karloff and Dracula to Bela Lugosi: His monster’s indiscriminate rages, consuming desire, and world-shattering emotions make the world around him seem tiny by comparison.” – Keith Phipps, A.V. Club

Creepshow

125. (0) Creepshow

George A. Romero

1982 / USA / 120m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, Carrie Nye, E.G. Marshall, Viveca Lindfors, Ed Harris, Ted Danson, Stephen King

“Romero and King have approached this movie with humor and affection, as well as with an appreciation of the macabre. They create visual links to comic books by beginning each segment with several panels of a comic artist’s version of the story, and then dissolving from the final drawn panel to a reality that exactly mirrors it. The acting also finds the right note. Such veterans of horror as Hal Holbrook, E. G. Marshall, and Adrienne Barbeau know how to paint their personalities broadly, edging up to caricature. Nobody in this movie is a three-dimensional person, or is meant to be. They are all types. And their lives are all object lessons.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Child's Play

126. (+8) Child’s Play

Tom Holland

1988 / USA / 87m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb
Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif, Dinah Manoff, Tommy Swerdlow, Jack Colvin, Neil Giuntoli, Juan Ramírez, Alan Wilder

“Putting a menacing spin on the childhood idea that ours toys are alive, “Child’s Play” is a character-based thriller with a particularly creepy dark streak and a rare protagonist who is barely out of kindergarten. The film’s economically incorporated special effects, a mixture of animatronics, puppetry and human stand-ins, bring Chucky to vivid life, while Catherine Hicks (later going on to star in the long-running television drama “7th Heaven”) and young Alex Vincent (in his acting debut) are always convincing as an endangered mother and son faced with an unthinkable terror. With humor taking a backseat to good, old-fashioned suspense, and a sterling climax that raises the ante on the notion of an “unstoppable” killer, “Child’s Play” is an impressive horror highlight of the late-’80s film scene.” – Dustin Putman, The Movie Boy

The Lost Boys

127. (+2) The Lost Boys

Joel Schumacher

1987 / USA / 97m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Jamison Newlander, Brooke McCarter

“In the grand scheme of things, this is obviously just a frothy teen picture, just edgy enough in its depiction of subcultures and violence to seem more cutting-edge than condescending, and just free enough with jokes that it’s safe for non-fans of horror to come in, despite a considerable amount of blood for its presumptive target audience – then again, in the 1980s, teen films weren’t half as sanitary and washed-out as they are now. The nervy sexual undercurrent to the whole thing makes it relatively unique among most of the films in the same wheelhouse from the same time, but it’s such a small thing in the overall scheme of the movie. Still, its fleet, and it’s not nearly as stupid as “Peter Pan with vampires” could easily be, and like I said: great final line. I’m disinclined to call it anything other than well-made trash, but the key here is well-made: a breezy, fun teen genre film that’s pleasurable without being taxing.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Village of the Damned

128. (-4) Village of the Damned

Wolf Rilla

1960 / UK / 77m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Martin Stephens, Michael Gwynn, Laurence Naismith, Richard Warner, Jenny Laird, Sarah Long, Thomas Heathcote

“A modest but intelligent and extremely effective adaptation of John Wyndham’s novel The Midwich Cuckoos, about a small English village which mysteriously and inexplicably succumbs to a 24-hour trance-like sleep, after which the womenfolk all discover that they are pregnant. The alien children, strangely alike in appearance, prove to be endowed with telepathic and kinetic powers…You don’t get much explanation, and the overall plot may not withstand detailed analysis. But the atmosphere and pace are superbly handled, and the performances of the sinister, inhumanly intelligent ‘children’ never falter. The allegorical possibilities (generation gap?) are there, but they don’t get in the way.” – Time Out

House on Haunted Hill

129. (+1) House on Haunted Hill

William Castle

1959 / USA / 75m / BW / Haunted House | IMDb
Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook Jr., Julie Mitchum, Leona Anderson, Howard Hoffman, Skeleton

“The number of people who have made B-pictures and seemed to genuinely love that they were doing it is a small list indeed, and rare indeed is the B-movie artist whose work suggests such enthusiasm for his job – it puts Castle on a rarefied level next to the like of John Carpenter, a director you could not otherwise compare him to. House on Haunted Hill might be dumb and corny and reliant to a ludicrous degree on Price’s withering sarcasm, but it not only knows what it is, it loves being what it is, and that’s enough to make it one of the very best “boo!” movies that I have ever seen.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Event Horizon

130. (-3) Event Horizon

Paul W.S. Anderson

1997 / USA / 96m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, Peter Marinker, Holley Chant

“What saves Event Horizon from becoming some hokey Amityville Horror in space is the realistic performances of the cast—including Joely Richardson (Vanessa Redgrave’s daughter) and Apollo 13’s Kathleen Quinlan—and the strong element of psychological horror built into the script by first-time screenwriter Philip Eisner. Director Paul Anderson (Mortal Kombat) knows precisely when to insert action elements to beef up the film’s terror quotient, and its atmospheric art direction and meticulous production design—which is on a par with that of the great-looking Alien films—makes the spooks-in-space idea frighteningly believable.” – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

The Amityville Horror

131. (+1) The Amityville Horror

Stuart Rosenberg

1979 / USA / 117m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Don Stroud, Murray Hamilton, John Larch, Natasha Ryan, K.C. Martel, Meeno Peluce, Michael Sacks

“The Amityville Horror has reached classic status not only among the “ghost story” freaks but among most horror freaks that I have had the pleasure of coming in contact with – and I believe it has earned that status. Even though the film is a little dated, The Amityville Horror stills succeeds in what the film makers set out to accomplish. It still gives you that creepy, eerie feeling that every good ghost story should create.” – Lee Roberts, Best Horror Movies

The Mummy

132. (-4) The Mummy

Karl Freund

1932 / USA / 73m / BW / Monster | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Arthur Byron, Edward Van Sloan, Bramwell Fletcher, Noble Johnson, Kathryn Byron, Leonard Mudie, James Crane

“The clear stand-out – and, my love for Freund notwithstanding, the reason that The Mummy still works so beautifully – is Karloff, whose bandaged-up mummy is a memorable image, but whose stiff, menacing Ardath Bey is a magnificent performance of a tremendously compelling villain. There’s none of the plummy charm that he frequently brought to his subsequent villains; Bey is not without wit (which he uses to cutting effect against the blithely imperialistic British characters), but he is without humor, and Karloff’s performance is an unimpeachable triumph of presence and restraint.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Zombieland

133. (+2) Zombieland

Ruben Fleischer

2009 / USA / 88m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Amber Heard, Bill Murray, Derek Graf

“You could argue that the film is really about ‘family’ or ‘friendship’ or ‘romance’ or ‘finding acceptance’, because these are the elements that make up life, and thus, are the building blocks of most stories. But, life in Zombieland isn’t exactly life at all. Our four protagonists struggle to find normalcy in their situation, and although they succeed to a certain degree, it is only once they learn to accept (and enjoy) the disemboweling of their undead enemies. No, this film is not some Michael Haneke-esque lecture condemning audiences for enjoying the violence within. It is a celebration. It’s nice to see a movie in which the very fabric of society falls apart, yet humanity still soldiers on; not through feats of extreme bravery or powerful self-sacrifice, but through a sense of humour.” – Simon Miraudo, Quickflix

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

134. (-8) What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Robert Aldrich

1962 / USA / 134m / BW / Psychological | IMDb
Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Wesley Addy, Julie Allred, Anne Barton, Marjorie Bennett, Bert Freed, Anna Lee, Maidie Norman

“What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a classic for a reason: it’s gorgeously atmospheric in both the visuals and the soundtrack, and it’s a marathon of high-impact Grand Dame acting. The film came out in the moment when “film history” was really beginning to find its footing as a discipline, and in some ways, this is one of the great first moments in film nostalgia: it counts on its audience knowing the actors’ work and being suitably terrified by their transformation from leading ladies to aggressors in a bleak psychological battle; it is scariest not just because Jane is a terror, but because Bette Davis is the one bringing her to that point.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Spoorloos

135. (-4) Spoorloos

George Sluizer

1988 / Netherlands / 107m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege, Gwen Eckhaus, Bernadette Le Saché, Tania Latarjet, Lucille Glenn, Roger Souza, Caroline Appéré

“”The Vanishing” is a thriller, but in a different way than most thrillers. It is a thriller about knowledge – about what the characters know about the disappearance, and what they know about themselves. The movie was directed by George Sluizer, based on a screenplay he did with Tim Krabbe, which in turn was based on Krabbe’s novel The Golden Egg. Together they have constructed a psychological jigsaw puzzle, a plot that makes you realize how simplistic many suspense films really are. The movie advances in a tantalizing fashion, supplying information obliquely, suggesting as much as it tells, and everything leads up to a climax that is as horrifying as it is probably inevitable.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

American Psycho

136. (0) American Psycho

Mary Harron

2000 / USA / 102m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage, Chloë Sevigny, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, Matt Ross, Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe

“[American Psycho] regards the male executive lifestyle with the devotion of a fetishist. There is a scene where a group of businessmen compare their business cards, discussing the wording, paper thickness, finish, embossing, engraving and typefaces, and they might as well be discussing their phalli… It is their uneasy secret that they make enough money to afford to look important, but are not very important… I have overheard debates about whether some of the murders are fantasies (“can a man really aim a chain saw that well?”). All of the murders are equally real or unreal, and that isn’t the point: The function of the murders is to make visible the frenzy of the territorial male when his will is frustrated.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Creature from the Black Lagoon

137. (0) Creature from the Black Lagoon

Jack Arnold

1954 / USA / 79m / BW / Monster | IMDb
Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, Nestor Paiva, Whit Bissell, Bernie Gozier, Henry A. Escalante

“A much more antic, exploitative experience than the Frankenstein/Wolfman/Mummy/Dracula pictures it stands alongside, Creature from the Black Lagoon perfectly typifies the transition from older, more European horror styles into bloodthirsty schlock and ever-cheaper thrills. Though the creature will destroy anyone who stands between him and Kay, who he continually sweeps up in his arms to drag off to do God-knows-where, it’s Denning actually forms the movie’s (human) conscience. An aspiring romantic stuck in a chiseled man’s-man persona, he’s all about the kill, as the audience must inevitably be as well. It’s still a man’s world—or is it?” – Steve Macfarlane, Slant Magazine

Martin

138. (-5) Martin

George A. Romero

1976 / USA / 95m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest, Elyane Nadeau, Tom Savini, Sara Venable, Francine Middleton, Roger Caine, George A. Romero, James Roy

“George Romero’s quasi-comic movie (1978) about a teenage vampire (John Amplas) remains his artiest effort, and in some respects his most accomplished work. To some extent, the film is as much about the boredom of living in a Pittsburgh suburb as it is about anything else. It is also about the death of magic that this banal existence brings about. Despite the usual amounts of gore, this is a surprisingly tender, ambiguous, and sexy film in which Romero’s penchant for social satire is for once restricted to local and modest proportions.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

The Devil's Rejects

139. (+1) The Devil’s Rejects

Rob Zombie

2005 / USA / 107m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook, Geoffrey Lewis, Priscilla Barnes, Dave Sheridan

“The Devil’s Rejects is a visceral little film that reverberates with nasty attitude, a knowing smirk, and a demented gleam of the eyes. That said, this is not a film for everyone. It’s a hard R, filled with disturbing imagery and f@#k laced spurts of dialogue, but it’s all part of the package and those who get it, however, will be treated to a high-octane thriller that operates on a much deeper level than your average slash-and-gore film. In the end it’s not only a perversely entertaining yarn, but a wickedly intelligent one, as well; a film that is destined to become a cult classic of the highest caliber.” – Spence D., IGN

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

140. (+4) The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Robert Fuest

1971 / USA / 94m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith, Terry-Thomas, Virginia North, Peter Jeffrey, Derek Godfrey, Norman Jones, John Cater, Aubrey Woods

“The whole thing is a deadpan, blood-soaked lark, buoyed by uniformly terrific performances – I’ll admit that knowing Cotten’s role was intended for Peter Cushing makes it a lot harder to like what he’s up to in the part – and bright, contagiously weird visuals, and one of the oddest soundtracks that any “horror” movie has ever received (mostly smoky jazz and swing recordings of pop standards – and anachronistic for 1925, to boot). It may even be the quintessential Vincent Price vehicle: it is, after all, a sustained exercise in being very smart about being a very dumb B-movie, and this, applied to acting, describes nearly all of Price’s great roles (though some, like Witchfinder General and a few of the Roger Corman Poe movies, find him genuinely acting well).” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Funny Games

141. (-3) Funny Games

Michael Haneke

1997 / Austria / 108m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch, Frank Giering, Stefan Clapczynski, Doris Kunstmann, Christoph Bantzer, Wolfgang Glück, Susanne Meneghel, Monika Zallinger

“No facile explanations are offered for the killers’ behaviour; rather, through their regular asides to the camera, and by occasionally disrupting the otherwise ‘realist’ narrative, Haneke explores both the emotional and physical effects of violence, and interrogates our own motives in consuming violent stories. Amazingly, very little violence is actually seen; we hear its perpetration and witness its aftermath, which (though no less disturbing) is absolutely crucial to the responsible treatment of such a horrific subject. Brilliant, radical, provocative, it’s a masterpiece that is at times barely watchable.” – Time Out

Final Destination

142. (-3) Final Destination

James Wong

2000 / USA / 98m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith, Kristen Cloke, Daniel Roebuck, Roger Guenveur Smith, Chad Donella, Seann William Scott, Tony Todd, Amanda Detmer

“Wong’s old-school modus operandi is superficially reflected in the decision to name the movie’s characters after well-known horror filmmakers (ie Hitchcock, Lewton, Browning, etc), yet it’s the ease with which the director cultivates an atmosphere of suspense that ultimately sets Final Destination above its slasher brethren – with the surprisingly tense opening fifteen minutes certainly standing as a highlight within the proceedings. Sawa’s personable turn as the hero is matched by a uniformly effective supporting cast rife with familiar faces , which – when coupled with Wong’s thoroughly capable directorial choices – cements Final Destination’s place as an innovative (and unexpectedly influential) exercise in horror.” – David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

Le locataire

143. (+3) Le locataire

Roman Polanski

1976 / France / 126m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, Bernard Fresson, Lila Kedrova, Claude Dauphin, Claude Piéplu, Rufus, Romain Bouteille

“Movies about madness tend to lose me after a certain point. The tension vanishes when one realizes that any absurdity, any trick, is available to the film maker. The director and his audience must share a set of rules for what passes for ordinary behavior if suspense is to be maintained. These rules do not exist in “The Tenant.” That “The Tenant” works so well is because it’s not strictly about madness, though that is its narrative form. It’s about emotional isolation that has become physical.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times

Cube

144. (-3) Cube

Vincenzo Natali

1997 / Canada / 90m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett, Nicole de Boer, Nicky Guadagni, Andrew Miller, Julian Richings, Wayne Robson

“When one slows down to consider the amount of energy and planning that had to go into setting up shots and piecing them together and focusing on just the right bits of the walls to make sure that scenes would flow right, and transition from one to the other properly, Cube can only be regarded as a titanic masterpiece of resource management. That’s just about the least sexy thing you could ever praise a filmmaker for doing, but making the movie this seamless required tremendous skill and attention, and at the level of pure craftsmanship, Cube is among the most genuinely impressive low-budget films that I have ever seen.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

The Masque of the Red Death

145. (-2) The Masque of the Red Death

Roger Corman

1964 / USA / 89m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher, David Weston, Nigel Green, Patrick Magee, Paul Whitsun-Jones, Skip Martin, Robert Brown, Julian Burton

“In one of his best villainous performances, Price displays admirable restraint, avoiding the over-the-top ham that typified his horror roles at this time, instead putting his tongue-in-cheek style in the service of his bemused character (instead of using it as a sarcastic comment on the character), and the script is sophisticated in a way that few horror films are. Corman does the best work of his career, aided by the wonderful cinematography of Nicolas Roeg. MASQUE is not only the pinnacle of Corman’s Poe films; it is also one of the best horror films ever made.” – Steve Biodrowski, Hollywood Gothique

The Black Cat

146. (+1) The Black Cat

Edgar G. Ulmer

1934 / USA / 65m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Julie Bishop, Egon Brecher, Harry Cording, Lucille Lund, Henry Armetta, Albert Conti

“Filled with startling visuals—perhaps one of the single greatest images to come out of the Universal horror cycle is the breathtaking image of Poelzig’s collection of dead women hovering in glass cases as he walks among them stroking his cat, admiring his “pussy” as it were—and meticulously designed as one of the genuine triumphs of the first period of expressionist cinema, the film has been unfortunately overshadowed by inferior films from the Universal horror period. The Black Cat’s ability to peer around the corners of its own genre notions of master criminals and horror fiends allows for a film that is both luxuriously mysterious and strangely relevant, the shadow of a social critique within the elaborate body of a work of baroque horror.” – Joshua Vasquez, Slant Magazine

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

147. (-2) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Rouben Mamoulian

1931 / USA / 98m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert, Halliwell Hobbes, Edgar Norton, Tempe Pigott

“March deservedly won an Oscar for his astonishing “dual” role (shared with Wallace Beery for THE CHAMP), but perhaps the real star of the film is director Mamoulian, whose audacious use of symbolism and careful pacing increase the mystique of this strange story. His heavy use of point-of-view editing is entirely appropriate to the story, and Struss’s outstanding photography is a marvel to behold. Made before the Production Code clampdown in 1934, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE not only uses violence to great effect but also does not shy away from the links between horror and sexuality.” – TV Guide’s Movie Guide

The Hills Have Eyes

148. (+1) The Hills Have Eyes

Alexandre Aja

2006 / USA / 107m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan, Vinessa Shaw, Emilie de Ravin, Dan Byrd, Tom Bower, Billy Drago, Robert Joy, Ted Levine, Desmond Askew

“The remake to “The Hills Have Eyes” (Wes Craven who has his hand firmly placed in the cookie jar as producer) still isn’t a perfect film, but for what it gives us in its ninety minute run time, is a true definition of a horror movie. Aja knows how to make a horror movie that’s realistic, bold, and provides all the bloodhounds with a satisfactory amount of gore. This remake of “Hills” is superior not only because it provides us with the amount of violence that’s been missing from horror for years, but basically because it has more focus on the survival aspects. There’s more tension, more urgency, more dread, and less camp. Aja’s new film has a sort of eeriness to it from the very beginning as we’re introduced to this family taking a crossroad journey for their vacation (you know how the usual story goes).” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Dog Soldiers

149. (-1) Dog Soldiers

Neil Marshall

2002 / UK / 105m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham, Thomas Lockyer, Darren Morfitt, Chris Robson, Leslie Simpson, Tina Landini, Craig Conway

“One of the best all-out, no-apologies, hell-bent-for-leather horror films to emerge from the beginning of the 21st century—a modestly-budgeted, action-packed effort that pits British soldiers against local werewolves with a taste for human flesh. DOG SOLDIERS is derivative of any number of previous films (reduced to its essence, one might call it a hybrid of THE HOWLING and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD), but it works on its own tongue-in-cheek terms, fillings its dialogue with references to its antecedents.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

El laberinto del fauno

150. (+1) El laberinto del fauno

Guillermo del Toro

2006 / Spain / 118m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil, Álex Angulo, Manolo Solo, César Vea, Roger Casamajor, Ivan Massagué

“With its painterly palette and densely detailed production design, Pan’s Labyrinth evokes great works in any number of artistic mediums, from the paintings of Goya and Balthus to the films of Luis Bunuel and Dario Argento… It’s in its sophisticated politics that “Pan’s Labyrinth” qualifies as Del Toro’s most mature work; he depicts fascism not just as a failed political or philosophical system… but primarily as the failure of imagination. As Ofelia makes her quiet and courageous way through the faun’s to-do list — while the sentient world around her falls apart — her own imagination, her willingness to surrender to her own creative subconscious, becomes the means not just of escape but of survival.” – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

Tenebre

151. (+4) Tenebre

Dario Argento

1982 / Italy / 110m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Anthony Franciosa, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D’Angelo, Veronica Lario, Ania Pieroni, Eva Robin’s, Carola Stagnaro, John Steiner, Lara Wendel, John Saxon

“The film synthesizes all the familiar Argento motifs (psycho killers, bloody violence, convoluted plot twists, pulse pounding music) into an almost perfect symphony of fear that overcomes many of his traditional shortcomings (credibility and characterization). The truly impressive achievement of this movie is that it is not just a collection of outrageous set pieces, tied together by an off-the-wall plot; it is a compact, tightly structured unit that attacks the viewer’s comfort zone with all the precision of a deftly wielded scalpel.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Antichrist

152. (+5) Antichrist

Lars von Trier

2009 / Denmark / 108m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

“Antichrist is a boldly personal film, tossing all von Trier’s ideas about faith, fear, and human nature into an unfettered phantasmagoria, full of repulsive visions and fierce scorn. It’s also the most lush-looking movie von Trier has made in about 20 years. Antichrist starts with a gorgeous black-and-white prologue—spiked, in typical von Trier perversity, with explicit sex and operatic tragedy—then moves to woodland sequences where the edges of the frame look subtly distorted… Cinema’s leading Brechtian wouldn’t seem like the best choice for a visceral examination of real emotional pain, but von Trier makes Antichrist about how aesthetic control can be as impotent as therapeutic control when it comes to dealing with nature at its wildest.” – Noel Murray, A.V. Club

Kairo

153. (+7) Kairo

Kiyoshi Kurosawa

2001 / Japan / 118m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Haruhiko Katô, Kumiko Asô, Koyuki, Kurume Arisaka, Masatoshi Matsuo, Shinji Takeda, Jun Fubuki, Shun Sugata, Shô Aikawa, Kôji Yakusho

“Cross the “Ring” series with “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and the result wouldn’t be far from “Pulse,” another step on the road back to the psychothriller genre by which cult Japanese helmer Kiyoshi Kurosawa first made his name overseas… Though “Pulse” has vague correspondences with Kurosawa’s more serious movies, like “Charisma,” it never strays far from its genre roots, with an ambiguous tone that oscillates between sheer psychothriller silliness and moments of haunting abstraction when time and the real world seem to momentarily freeze. Lensing by Junichiro Hayashi is a fillip throughout, with a cold, clammy patina in several scenes (such as Ryosuke and Harue in the subway) that could come from no other director.” – Derek Elley, Variety

Vargtimmen

154. (-2) Vargtimmen

Ingmar Bergman

1968 / Sweden / 90m / BW / Psychological | IMDb
Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gertrud Fridh, Georg Rydeberg, Erland Josephson, Naima Wifstrand, Ulf Johansson, Gudrun Brost, Bertil Anderberg, Ingrid Thulin

“A brilliant Gothic fantasy about an artist who has disappeared, leaving only a diary; and through that diary we move into flashback to observe a classic case history of the Bergman hero haunted by darkness, demons and the creatures of his imagination until he is destroyed by them. The tentacular growth of this obsession is handled with typical virtuosity in a dazzling flow of surrealism, expressionism and full-blooded Gothic horror… In its exploration of the nature of creativity, haunted by the problem of whether the artist possesses or is possessed by his demons, Hour of the Wolf serves as a remarkable companion-piece to Persona.” – Tom Milne, Time Out

Dead Ringers

155. (-2) Dead Ringers

David Cronenberg

1988 / Canada / 116m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Barbara Gordon, Shirley Douglas, Stephen Lack, Nick Nichols, Lynne Cormack, Damir Andrei, Miriam Newhouse

“[Cronenberg] clearly understands that a small amount of medical mischief can be more unnerving than conventional grisliness. Even the film’s opening credits, which present antiquated obstetrical drawings and strange medical instruments, are enough to make audiences queasy. Who, then, will be drawn to this spectacle? Anyone with a taste for the macabre wit, the weird poignancy and the shifting notions of identity that lend ‘Dead Ringers’ such fascination. And anyone who cares to see Jeremy Irons’s seamless performance, a schizophrenic marvel, in the two title roles. Mr. Cronenberg has shaped a startling tale of physical and psychic disintegration, pivoting on the twins’ hopeless interdependence and playing havoc with the viewer’s grip on reality.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Hostel

156. (+2) Hostel

Eli Roth

2005 / USA / 94m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jan Vlasák, Jana Kaderabkova, Jennifer Lim, Keiko Seiko, Lubomír Bukový

“Eli Roth’s “Hostel” is an agonizing experience to sit through – disheartening, unpleasant, bursting with torture, detached and harsh, and unrelenting in its passion for the horrific. To call it a challenge in the visual sense does not begin to explain its ability to completely rob you of the comfort of artifice; it so fully indulges in its reality that every cut, every bloodcurdling moment in which pain is inflicted on a number of unsuspecting victims, is felt rather than seen. That may rob the movie of repeat value even in the hands of audiences who willingly embrace this overzealous sub-genre of torture-driven horror, but it does provoke deeper considerations: in the hands of skilled filmmakers who know how to establish reason and perspective, can extreme visual depravity rise above its nature to merely sicken and appall?” – David Keyes, Cinemaphile

Slither

157. (-3) Slither

James Gunn

2006 / Canada / 95m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Don Thompson, Nathan Fillion, Gregg Henry, Xantha Radley, Elizabeth Banks, Tania Saulnier, Dustin Milligan, Michael Rooker, Haig Sutherland, Jennifer Copping

“It’s no surprise that the majority of laughs are ably captured by Fillion, showing off the knack for deadpan delivery previously tapped by Joss Whedon in Serenity. As Pardy, he fills out the role of an unlikely hero dealing with extraordinary events, bringing bumbling affability to a part that could so easily have been lost to square jaws, steely eyes and other clumsy stereotypes. Tipping its hat at everything from the original Puppet Masters to bargain-bin trash like Ted Nicolaou’s TerrorVision, Slither is a carefully crafted parody (the Predator nod in particular will bring a smile to your face). But this is the scalpel to the Scary Movie series’ bludgeoning sledgehammer, skirting cheap imitation in favour of affectionate irreverence and managing to produce a genre hybrid that’s far more than the sum of its pilfered parts.” – James Dyer, Empire Magazine

House of Wax

158. (-8) House of Wax

André De Toth

1953 / USA / 88m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Paul Picerni, Roy Roberts, Angela Clarke, Paul Cavanagh, Dabbs Greer, Charles Bronson

“House of Wax is not particularly scary or suspenseful, but it is a lot of fun and effectively creates an atmosphere of dread using bright colors and shadows. One great 3-D effect has Buchinsky leaping from just under the foreground, so that it looks like he has come out of the audience. The movie also has a sense of humor, as shown by the use of the paddleball man in front of the wax museum who whacks the toy into the audience. The movie is also known as Vincent Price’s first foray into horror, for which he is now best remembered.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

It Follows

159. (+39) It Follows

David Robert Mitchell

2014 / USA / 107m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Linda Boston, Caitlin Burt, Heather Fairbanks, Aldante Foster, Keir Gilchrist, Ruby Harris, Christopher Hohman, Olivia Luccardi, Maika Monroe, Lili Sepe

“It Follows is simply one of the most fascinating and atmospheric horror movies in recent memory. It oozes dread with its simple, single-minded concept that is as unrelenting as the titular “it” terrorizing the protagonists. It doesn’t waste time with extraneous subplots, long-winded backstories or even an explanation of what “it” is and where it came from. This is a lean, mean film that’s all about making you feel the paranoia that its characters experience.” – Mark H. Horror, AboutEntertainment

28 Weeks Later

160. (-4) 28 Weeks Later

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

2007 / UK / 100m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack, Idris Elba, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton, Amanda Walker, Shahid Ahmed

“Coincidence or not, the visual aesthetic and energy of Fresnadillo’s film bears a striking resemblance to Cuarón’s — both use a pallette of dull and desaturated colors, as if the colors itself were weary of the worlds they’re inhabiting. Fresnadillo’s camerawork, like that in Children of Men, is jittery, so restless and panicky, in fact, that you think it might burst forth from the screen. It’s the director’s deft and sylish hand with this material that makes 28 Weeks such a refreshing jolt, plying a genre routinely deadened by sub-par slasher-fests. The exhilaration evident in the smartly-cut action sequences, the glances at pathos in the sequences of loss, betrayal, guilt, and abandonment underscore Fresnadillo’s considerable directorial powers; the man is taking his job seriously and at full-steam, never condescending to it.” – Jay Antani, Cinema Writer

Shivers

161. (+3) Shivers

David Cronenberg

1975 / Canada / 87m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, Allan Kolman, Susan Petrie, Barbara Steele, Ronald Mlodzik, Barry Baldaro, Camil Ducharme, Hanka Posnanska

“Cronenberg is obviously an artist who exploits our disgust at the gore and goo of carnality, our shame over, and fear of, physical decay. (Is anything more frightening than the violent eruption of incomprehensible symptoms of an illness?) Furthermore, he detects in our vague anxieties an unacknowledged, horrifying sensuousness, a pathological confusion of sex with death that often haunts us. Finally, “Shivers” is an unnerving vision that overwhelms the medical profession’s complacent rationalism. It takes malicious pleasure in the transmission of a sexual plague by a simple, superficially harmless kiss. Perhaps the most oral of horror films, Cronenberg’s work reaches its chilling climax as the fashionable housing project is transformed into a hive swarming with cries of a dreadful, undesirable ecstasy.” – Bob Stephens, San Francisco Examiner

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

162. (-3) Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

Neil Jordan

1994 / USA / 123m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, Virginia McCollam, John McConnell, Tom Cruise, Mike Seelig, Bellina Logan, Thandie Newton, Lyla Hay Owen, Lee E. Scharfstein

“For all its queasy scenes of rat-eating and throat-slashings, “Interview” isn’t a horror movie. It’s not meant to scare, because we’re asked to identify with the vampires, not their victims. The dramatic problem Jordan can’t quite surmount is that there isn’t a whole lot at stake. Can a murderer hold on to his scruples, or will he succumb to the emptiness of immortal vampire life? Yet I found myself admiring Jordan’s brave attempt to translate Rice’s kinky fatalism to the screen. This is not a movie that holds up under daytime logic. It’s about seduction, and either you succumb to its inky entrapments or you resist. When its mojo was working, I was happy to be had.” – David Ansen, Newsweek

The Strangers

163. (+2) The Strangers

Bryan Bertino

2008 / USA / 86m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Alex Fisher, Peter Clayton-Luce, Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis, Glenn Howerton

“This premise is so simple, only a tyro writer-director like Bryan Bertino would dare pitch it. Even the similar French-Romanian movie Ils (Them) was constructed around a revelation that complicates its couple-terrorised-by-barely-seen-intruders business. This is a single idea, with only enough characterisation to force an audience to invest emotionally in the victims… an ingredient is missing – the most vicious ’70s horror films still had humour and perspective. This shows only a relentless commitment to being no fun at all, which is vaguely admirable but ultimately self-defeating. The message of ’70s horror was that straight society was crazy; the 2008 version is that other people are shit – it’s a fine distinction, but makes a depressing difference.” – Kim Newman, Empire Magazine

Witchfinder General

164. (-3) Witchfinder General

Michael Reeves

1968 / UK / 86m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Rupert Davies, Hilary Heath, Robert Russell, Nicky Henson, Tony Selby, Bernard Kay, Godfrey James, Michael Beint

“Price is superb as real-life witchhunter Matthew Hopkins, who satisfies his lusts for money, power and sex under the guise of a Christian seeking to rid the world of Satan worshippers. Writer-director Michael Reeves pulls no punches with this absorbing material, and while the film (based on Ronald Bassett’s novel) fudges many of the historical facts, it’s unrelenting in its depiction of the way in which unbridled evil has the power to destroy all forms of innocence and virtue.” – Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing

Pontypool

165. (+8) Pontypool

Bruce McDonald

2008 / Canada / 93m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly, Hrant Alianak, Rick Roberts, Daniel Fathers, Beatriz Yuste, Tony Burgess, Boyd Banks, Hannah Fleming

“Scriptwriter Tony Burgess knows that by entering the world of cinematic zombiedom, he has a responsibility to comment, to satirise – to not just tear open and chew on but also engage the mind of his characters and audience. He does this via a stunning reveal as to the nature of the ‘plague’ that has corrupted the collective mind of society (a clue is in Mazzy’s role as a lowbrow social commentator). In the hope of curing the population of its new-found fleshy hunger, Mazzy unleashes a last-gasp broadcast that is a wild, frenzied meld of brilliant scripting and tour-de-force acting. Spouting nonsensical gibberish at an electrifying pitch, Stephen McHattie throws himself into the film finale with wild abandon and it is a sight to behold. Horror fans may gripe at the lack of blood-&-guts (though a couple of moments keep the ‘that’s gross!” factor high). Fuelled by committed acting, tight direction and a wonderfully focused script, Pontypool proves a winning combination of shuddery suspense and intelligent observations.” – Simon Foster, SBS

It

166. (-3) It

Tommy Lee Wallace

1990 / USA / 192m / Col / Evil Clown | IMDb
Jonathan Brandis, Brandon Crane, Adam Faraizl, Tim Curry, Emily Perkins, Marlon Taylor, Seth Green, Ben Heller, Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher

“Stephen King creates the ultimate boogeyman and he happens to be a clown who is neither man nor monster. Though “Stephen King’s It” is filled with the usual King doldrums of a small town, hidden demons in the town, and at least one character that wants to be an author, director Tommy Lee Wallace’s adaptation is a very good bit of nostalgia, and a perfectly good horror film. All things considered. It gets a lot of flack for straying from the original novel greatly, but it is a 1990 television movie, so for the resources director Wallace is given, it offers up a creepy and spooky tale about the past coming back to haunt you.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Frailty

167. (+3) Frailty

Bill Paxton

2001 / USA / 100m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe, Matt O’Leary, Jeremy Sumpter, Luke Askew, Levi Kreis, Derk Cheetwood, Missy Crider, Alan Davidson

“A resoundingly old-fashioned and well crafted study of evil infecting an American family, “Frailty” moves from strength to strength on its deceptive narrative course. Though Brent Hanley’s script feels like it’s based on an account of white Anglo-Saxon serial killers run amok in middle America, it’s a genuine invention that has its cinematic roots in the rich soil plowed by such disparate works as Charles Laughton’s “Night of the Hunter” and Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Pic’s dark-night-of-the-soul mood derives from the former, while the latter inspired the notion that the family that kills together stays together. Final effect is of a timeless work that could have been made at any point in the past 20 years.” – Robert Koehler, Variety

The Exorcist III

168. (-2) The Exorcist III

William Peter Blatty

1990 / USA / 110m / Col / Possession | IMDb
George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller, Nicol Williamson, Scott Wilson, Nancy Fish, George DiCenzo, Don Gordon, Lee Richardson

““Exorcist III” is an old-fashioned, precise nightmare machine, trusting the grip of psychological torment to generate wicked scares. It’s certainly a talky picture, but outrageously cinematic, with a predatory sound and visual design that seeps into the skin, gradually churning unease as Kinderman pieces together the ghastly details of the crimes. Blatty directs with an eye toward intangible menace, using composition and stillness as a way of creating threat — there’s little about the film that plays by standard genre rules as we know them today. Sure, a few shocks strike from the shadows, and there’s a bit of gore to keep the hungry happy, but the majority of the film is played frigidly to optimize the creeps. I could kiss Blatty for making such a patient effort. “Exorcist III” is watchful, internalized, vulnerable. It’s, gasp, scary.” – Brian Orndorf, BrianOrndorf.com

Häxan

169. (-7) Häxan

Benjamin Christensen

1922 / Sweden / 91m / BW / Witchcraft | IMDb
Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan, Elith Pio, Oscar Stribolt, Tora Teje, John Andersen, Benjamin Christensen, Poul Reumert, Karen Winther, Kate Fabian

“Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious—instead it’s a witches’ brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous.” – The Criterion Collection

Hausu

170. (+6) Hausu

Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

1977 / Japan / 88m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Ohba, Ai Matsubara, Mieko Satô, Eriko Tanaka, Masayo Miyako, Kiyohiko Ozaki, Saho Sasazawa, Asei Kobayashi

“No summary really does House justice. And every little thing about it demands attention: from the schoolgirls themselves—precocious archetypes who go by the nicknames Gorgeous, Melody, Fantasy, Prof, Sweet, Mac, and Kung Fu—to the anything-goes flourishes of gimmick and technique, which evoke everything from silent film to children’s shows, classic surrealist cinema to Italian giallo. Obayashi crams every frame with a surplus of mad ideas, as if his background in 30-second spots demanded he never let the screen remain calm for an instant. He loves superimpositions, Day-Glo matte horizons and cotton-candy color schemes, crudely animated special effects (like amputated fingers playing a piano and a watermelon that becomes a carnivorous, high-flying human head), and jarring, jaw-dropping juxtapositions.” – Steve Dollar, Paste Magazine

White Zombie

171. (+3) White Zombie

Victor Halperin

1932 / USA / 69m / BW / Zombie | IMDb
Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer, John Harron, Brandon Hurst, George Burr Macannan, Frederick Peters, Annette Stone, John Printz

“White Zombie’s canvas is too condensed to achieve absolute greatness but the mastery of mood and emotion on display suggests a work that has been fully realized within its own boundaries, elevating itself above its particular minutiae and into the realm of myth. Through its own ravishing simplicity, the film achieves the near-operatic.” – Rob Humanick, Projection Booth

The Hitcher

172. (-4) The Hitcher

Robert Harmon

1986 / USA / 97m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey DeMunn, John M. Jackson, Billy Green Bush, Jack Thibeau, Armin Shimerman, Gene Davis, Jon Van Ness

“All in all, the film is bottomlessly nihilistic, which certainly accounts for the acidic reception it received in 1986 (it has since picked up a bit of a cult; you’ve no doubt picked up by now that I enthusiastically count myself a member). But it earns the nihilism, I think; for one, by casting things so clearly as a kind of dark fantasy, divorced from the actions of real people. And also, by being so utterly damn good at creating that nihilism: it is a brilliantly shot and acted film with drum-tight editing and a tetchy, synth-driven score that should sound irredeemably like the ’80s (and honestly, that’s often just how it does sound), but hits certain points where it’s sufficiently otherworldly to boost those scenes to an extra level of bleakness. Just because something isn’t nice doesn’t mean it can’t be well-made.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Tremors

173. (-6) Tremors

Ron Underwood

1990 / USA / 96m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, Robert Jayne, Charlotte Stewart, Tony Genaro, Ariana Richards, Richard Marcus

“With a tip of the hat towards its ’50s forefathers, this canny genre entry exploits its novel subterranean threat to the max, the ingenious situations being orchestrated with considerable skill by first-time director Underwood. Bacon and Ward project a wonderful low-key rapport, based initially on jokey ignorance before giving way to terse apprehension. It’s great to hear authentic B movie talk again, especially when the cast takes it upon itself to name the monsters, only to come up with ‘graboids’ by default, and to debate their probable origin: ‘One thing’s for sure…them ain’t local boys’. This is what a monster movie is supposed to be like, and it’s terrific.” – Time Out

The Curse of Frankenstein

174. (-5) The Curse of Frankenstein

Terence Fisher

1957 / UK / 82m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Robert Urquhart, Christopher Lee, Melvyn Hayes, Valerie Gaunt, Paul Hardtmuth, Noel Hood, Fred Johnson, Claude Kingston

“Frankenstein was the biggest name in horror from 1931 until 1948 when Universal’s flathead met Abbott and Costello, at which point the tragic, fearsome Monster became a laughable goon… Then Hammer Films, a small British production company, had an unexpected hit with The Quatermass Experiment (1956) and cast around for another monster. They seized on the idea of remaking the original science-gone-mad property, in bloody colour and with as much bodice-ripping and eyeball-in-a-jar action as the censors would allow… it adds dynamism and British grit to a genre that had previously tried to get by on atmospherics and mood alone. It manages to be shocking without being especially frightening, and its virtues of performance and style remain striking.” – Kim Newman, Empire

Reazione a catena

175. (+7) Reazione a catena

Mario Bava

1971 / Italy / 84m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Claudine Auger, Luigi Pistilli, Claudio Camaso, Anna Maria Rosati, Chris Avram, Leopoldo Trieste, Laura Betti, Brigitte Skay, Isa Miranda, Paola Montenero

“It’s immaculately constructed, filled to the brim with well-developed characters that are simply delightful to hate, and it’s got some of the loveliest location photography of any movie from the whole decade. By all accounts, it was Bava’s favorite among his films, and it’s not at all hard to see why. Everything works in Reazione a catena, from the broadest elements of the story arc to the tiniest details of mise en scène, and if only one-hundredth of the films it influenced had one-hundredth of its perfection, the horror film would be a much less disreputable and more wonderful thing than has been the case.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

The Night of the Hunter

176. (-5) The Night of the Hunter

Charles Laughton

1955 / USA / 93m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason, Evelyn Varden, Peter Graves, Don Beddoe, Billy Chapin, Sally Jane Bruce, Gloria Castillo

“The Night of the Hunter—incredibly, the only film the great actor Charles Laughton ever directed—is truly a stand-alone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell, whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters, are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic—also featuring the contributions of actress Lillian Gish and writer James Agee—is cinema’s most eccentric rendering of the battle between good and evil.” – The Criterion Collection

I tre volti della paura

177. (+1) I tre volti della paura

Mario Bava

1963 / Italy / 92m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Michèle Mercier, Lidia Alfonsi, Boris Karloff, Mark Damon, Susy Andersen, Massimo Righi, Rika Dialina, Glauco Onorato, Jacqueline Pierreux, Milly

“The dexterity Bava exhibits across these quite distinct narratives is somewhat astounding, from the lurid colors and serpentine camera pans of his giallo-ish opener, to the palpable suspense and gothic beauty of his triumphant Karloff-headlined second story, to the EC Comics-style spookiness of his concluding entry, which features a corpse whose undead smile is unforgettable. Black Sabbath is a gem of stunning visuals, but more fundamentally, it’s also – like the rest of his finest films – an exemplar of expressionistic visual storytelling.” – Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness

Salem's Lot

178. (-6) Salem’s Lot

Tobe Hooper

1979 / USA / 112m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
David Soul, James Mason, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres, Julie Cobb, Elisha Cook Jr., George Dzundza, Ed Flanders, Clarissa Kaye-Mason

““Salem’s Lot” presents a very humanistic approach toward vampire folklore. Ben Mears, filled with desperation and literally nothing left to lose in the face of a fantastic situation, finds himself in a local morgue prepared to face down one of the unholy walking dead by taping together two tongue depressors and scotch tape, supplying a makeshift crucifix… It about sums up the whole of “Salem’s Lot,” a film wrapped around despair and tension where a small town’s unrest and inner turmoil of infidelity and abuse is brought to the surface when faced with a hidden menace in the shadows, in the form of a vampire striking down town residents one by one.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Cloverfield

179. (+1) Cloverfield

Matt Reeves

2008 / USA / 85m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Annable, Anjul Nigam, Margot Farley, Theo Rossi, Brian Klugman

“Reeves, who’s been near anonymous in the pre-release hype, is masterful at choosing shots without appearing to do so. We view this unlovely goliath from all angles – a fleeting leg here, full-length in crafty helicopter shots on news footage there – but he’s even more effective as an unseen presence. There’s equal, if not more, dread in hearing furious roars as our band cowers in a side street, watching the military throwing everything they have uselessly at the beast. This is as much a triumph of sound design as of seamlessly blended CG and unsettling camerawork. Wise to the fact that the most frightening attack is the one without apparent reason, Cloverfield never chooses to explain its monster’s arrival. It’s suddenly there and, as one soldier notes, “it’s winning”. It intends to scare, not educate. The constant air of panic is so pervasive that it’s easy to miss the skilful creation of the sequences, which include a rescue from a collapsing skyscraper and a tunnel sequence so butt-clenching you’ll crap diamonds for a week.” – Olly Richards, Empire Magazine

Dèmoni

180. (-5) Dèmoni

Lamberto Bava

1985 / Italy / 88m / Col / Possession | IMDb
Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny, Fiore Argento, Paola Cozzo, Fabiola Toledo, Nicoletta Elmi, Stelio Candelli, Nicole Tessier, Geretta Geretta

“Sure, when you break it down nothing about this movie (co-written by Dario Argento) makes a lick of sense, but none of that matters at all because Bava throws so much unmitigated carnage, and havoc, and blood, and rage, and sheer terror at the screen that it just becomes a minute flaw. In the midst of these clawed, mindless, merciless, cunning monsters mutilating and tearing their poor human victims to pieces one is either too excited or horrified at the madness ensuing on screen that you never once stop to think “Wait–where is the goddamn story?” It doesn’t matter at all. Lamberto Bava is one of the few directors who have gotten away with creating a horror film with zero plot because the special effects and tension and mayhem are so well played and so brilliantly crafted that it becomes utterly irrelevant. For a low budget movie from the eighties, the make up is phenomenal and these monsters look absolutely bloodcurdling as if transferred from our worst nightmares and fears.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Scanners

181. (-2) Scanners

David Cronenberg

1981 / Canada / 103m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Jennifer O’Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane, Michael Ironside, Robert A. Silverman, Lee Broker, Mavor Moore, Adam Ludwig, Murray Cruchley

“Part conspiracy thriller, part political tract, it is Cronenberg’s most coherent movie to date, drawing a dark (but bland) world in which corporate executives engineer human conception to produce ever more powerful mental samurai. And he punctuates it with spectacular set piece confrontations which really do dramatise the abstract, ingenious premise. As always, there’s a nagging feeling that the script is not quite perfectly realised on screen, but Patrick McGoohan’s bizarre cameo performance, and the extraordinary moral and sexual ambiguity of the final scanning contest, more than make up for it.” – Derek Adams, Time Out

Island of Lost Souls

182. (+7) Island of Lost Souls

Erle C. Kenton

1932 / USA / 70m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Bela Lugosi, Kathleen Burke, Arthur Hohl, Stanley Fields, Paul Hurst, Hans Steinke, Tetsu Komai

“One of the best-kept secrets in rock criticism is that all of Devo’s original act—from the “de-evolution” rap down to the chant of “Are we not men?”—was a straight cop from this 1933 adaptation of H.G. Wells’s Island of Dr. Moreau. Charles Laughton, with an obscene caterpillar mustache, is the mad doctor working on the transformation of animals into (sub)human beings by means of sickening “surgical techniques”; Richard Arlen and Leila Hyams are two shipwreck survivors who, unsuspecting, wash up on his shore. It’s a grand, hokey chiller, dripping with sex and sadism and photographed in dense, Sternbergian shadows by the great cinematographer Karl Struss.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

183. (+1) Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Scott Glosserman

2006 / USA / 92m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Robert Englund, Scott Wilson, Zelda Rubinstein, Bridgett Newton, Kate Miner, Ben Pace, Britain Spellings, Hart Turner

“Once Vernon gets into character and stalks his prey, he’s a force to be reckoned with, and no one will stand in his way. The last act plays out how we suspect, but we’re left wondering if it will play as Leslie hopes or in a completely different manner. You can pretend to know what’s coming, but you don’t know shit. Either way, we’re left with one final satisfaction; Glosserman has given us a surefire horror classic, and I couldn’t be happier. And for the love of god, stick around after the credits. As a hardcore fan of the slasher genre, “Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon” is a wet dream of a slasher re-construction that sets itself apart from every other slasher film ever made. Compared to this, “Scream” is pure child’s play, a wannabe that states the obvious. “Behind the Mask” is a pure horror film masterpiece, and slasher fans would be best to acknowledge it.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Sei donne per l'assassino

184. (-7) Sei donne per l’assassino

Mario Bava

1964 / Italy / 88m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Ariana Gorini, Dante DiPaolo, Mary Arden, Franco Ressel, Claude Dantes, Luciano Pigozzi, Lea Lander

“Bava was never known for the strength of his stories — which may be the single reason he is not better known and appreciated today — but Blood and Black Lace is actually one of his stronger narratives, a dark mystery building to a memorable payoff. It’s one of Bava’s most accomplished works, executed with a dazzling, unprecedented use of bright colors and deep shadows (sometimes both at once). The killer wears a very creepy, faceless mask, and mannequins are constantly on display, not to mention the grim, reserved countenance of the models; this gives the entire production a weird quality, which is broken only when the characters meet their maker. The violence is surprisingly brutal for its day, and still has the power to shock, especially given the stoic beauty of the rest of the film.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

Eden Lake

185. (-2) Eden Lake

James Watkins

2008 / UK / 91m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender, Tara Ellis, Jack O’Connell, Finn Atkins, Jumayn Hunter, Thomas Turgoose, James Burrows, Tom Gill, Lorraine Bruce

“Though nightmarish and visceral, it’s the most intelligent horror film to have been made by a British director since Jack Clayton’s The Innocents in 1960. And it fulfils the two purposes of horror: it involves you emotionally and it’s frightening… It’s a thoroughly credible set-up and the process of escalation whereby Jenny and Steve alienate, then anger these feral youths until they’re ready to stab, torture and even burn them to death is worryingly authentic. Unlike most horror films, in which the heroes steer themselves into danger by their own stupidity, Jenny and Steve behave with complete plausibility and a tragically unrequited sense of kindness and social responsibility.” – Chris Tookey, The Daily Mail

The Thing from Another World

186. (0) The Thing from Another World

Christian Nyby

1951 / USA / 87m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James Young, Dewey Martin, Robert Nichols, William Self, Eduard Franz, Sally Creighton

“One of the great sci-fi classics, a Hawks film in all but director credit (he produced, planned the film, supervised the shooting). The gradual build-up of tension, as a lonely group of scientists in the Antarctic discover a flying saucer and its deadly occupant, is quite superb; while The Thing itself (played by Arness) is shown sufficiently little to create real menace. As in most of Hawks’ work, the emphasis is on professionalism in a tiny, isolated community, on a love relationship evolving semi-flippant fashion into something important, and on group solidarity.” – Time Out

The Dead Zone

187. (-6) The Dead Zone

David Cronenberg

1983 / USA / 103m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Dewhurst, Martin Sheen, Nicholas Campbell, Sean Sullivan, Jackie Burroughs

“It makes for gripping supernatural drama, all the more notable because it wasn’t quite what any of the principals had done before or since. Walken rarely gets a chance to play Ordinary Guy like he does here, while Cronenberg’s penchant for the weird and obtuse is abandoned without losing the exquisite sensibilities that make him such a great filmmaker. Even King moved in a slightly different direction with this one, staying away from straight-up horror for one of the first times in its career. It kind of sneaks up on you. This is not a noisy film, and won’t attract the kind of spotlights that an evil Plymouth or rabid St. Bernard might. But it delves deeper than they do for its ideas, and travels much further as a result.” – Rob Vaux, Mania.com

Tucker and Dale vs Evil

188. (-1) Tucker and Dale vs Evil

Eli Craig

2010 / USA / 89m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, Philip Granger, Brandon Jay McLaren, Christie Laing, Chelan Simmons, Travis Nelson, Alex Arsenault

“High-concept horror comedies that actually work are a rare breed, yet Tucker & Dale vs. Evil manages to continually make the comedy-of-errors shtick work. Props should go not only to Labine, but Tudyk as well, who bears the brunt of the comic violence heaped upon the clueless duo. Thankfully, the laughs are evened out with a heaping of gore that’ll please the horror hounds in the crowd. Amazingly, even the unbelievable romance between Allison and Dale comes off as rather sweet. In its own pleasantly blood-soaked way, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil delivers a whole lot more than just a one-joke concept, making it a very worthy watch for genre devotees.” – Jeremy Wheeler, TV Guide’s Movie Guide

The Old Dark House

189. (-4) The Old Dark House

James Whale

1932 / USA / 72m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Lilian Bond, Ernest Thesiger, Eva Moore, Raymond Massey, Gloria Stuart, Elspeth Dudgeon, Brember Wills

“Whale was probably more at home with The Old Dark House than any of the other horror films, due to the sophisticated characters, witty dialogue, and the wonderful old house set. He’s very good at providing chills that aren’t as campy as his monster movies, but are still slightly corny and funny. […] I have to give Whale credit for shooting the movie on a single set, but avoiding staginess or play readings. He made an example of a real moving picture. The screenwriter, Ben Levy, must also be credited for some of the brilliant dialogue, as Whale was able to obtain the best and wittiest of them for his horror movies. (The movie was adapted from a novel by J.B. Priestley.) It’s the ultimate haunted-house movie, and the ultimate spoof of them at the same time.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

Cronos

190. (-2) Cronos

Guillermo del Toro

1993 / Mexico / 94m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook, Margarita Isabel, Tamara Shanath, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Mario Iván Martínez, Farnesio de Bernal, Juan Carlos Colombo, Jorge Martínez de Hoyos

“The overt references to Dracula (the final shot of a white-skinned Gris is a stunner), the cutaways inside the cronos to the throbbing bug operator, and Perelman’s deliriously wacky performance all stand out as fascinating tangents in a film constantly looking for solid narrative ground. Del Toro is at his best when gleaning the most complex moments from one genre universe and smashing them into another (The Devil’s Backbone is still his greatest achievement for this reason). But those cinematic concerns are there from the very beginning of his career, and Cronos acts as a fascinating introductory course on del Toro the humanist, someone wholly concerned with juxtaposing symbols of innocence (children, fairy tales) with the horrors of the adult world (war, greed), all while finding the dark comedy underneath the madness.” – Glenn Heath Jr., Slant Magazine

Prince of Darkness

191. (+3) Prince of Darkness

John Carpenter

1987 / USA / 102m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount, Dennis Dun, Susan Blanchard, Anne Marie Howard, Ann Yen, Ken Wright, Dirk Blocker

““Prince of Darkness,” while still the same trapped in a house formula, manages to hold up as a creepy and dread soaked horror film that Carpenter is able to direct with immense flair. Carpenter is a genius about confining stories to one setting and building an incredible narrative from it. “Prince of Darkness” garners a considerably low budget, but the terror and urgency is so present, you can’t even care. The characters are stuck in the church with no holy presence, and trapped by possessed armies of the homeless that tear anyone apart who dares to attempt escape. Meanwhile, there is no one aware they’re in this church, so they’re an island in an urban setting, along with zero hope. Much of “Prince of Darkness” is based around mounting dread and an ultimate pay off, and Carpenter builds every scene to a great crescendo.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

The Legend of Hell House

192. (-2) The Legend of Hell House

John Hough

1973 / UK / 95m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill, Gayle Hunnicutt, Roland Culver, Peter Bowles

“Relying upon suggestion and anxious anticipation over violence, “The Legend of Hell House” earns a fair share of chills, many of them dealing in the expert use of shadows (one on the ceiling, another silhouetted through a shower curtain) to depict the mind games played by its encroaching apparitions. As spiritually open communicator Florence Tanner, Pamela Franklin is a standout among the above-average cast, charismatic, vulnerable and emotionally riveting in equal measure. Drenched in atmosphere and fog (and little exterior moonlight, as every nighttime establishing shot oddly appears to have been shot in the middle of the day), the film is adeptly made, if noticeably laid-back.” – Dustin Putman, The Movie Boy

Planet Terror

193. (-2) Planet Terror

Robert Rodriguez

2007 / USA / 105m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Jeff Fahey, Michael Biehn, Rebel Rodriguez, Bruce Willis, Naveen Andrews, Julio Oscar Mechoso

“Planet Terror – Robert Rodriguez’s contribution to his Grindhouse collaboration with Quentin Tarantino – is a first-rate homage to the schlocky, sleazy B-movies of decades past, loading on the gore, clichés, and self-referential dialogue like there’s no tomorrow with a cascade of influences from John Carpenter, James Cameron, George A. Romero and Lucio Fulci (just to name a few), all the while topping off its gimmicky (though totally effective) construction with countless scratches, blips, audio/visual inconsistencies and even a carefully placed “missing reel” in its loving ode to the almost lost end-of-the-line theater experience.” – Rob Humanick, Projection Booth

¿Quién puede matar a un niño?

194. (+2) ¿Quién puede matar a un niño?

Narciso Ibáñez Serrador

1976 / Spain / 107m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Lewis Fiander, Prunella Ransome, Antonio Iranzo, Miguel Narros, María Luisa Arias, Marisa Porcel, Juan Cazalilla, Luis Ciges, Antonio Canal, Aparicio Rivero

“Ibáñez Serrador methodically draws out the waiting game, and as the kids gather their sinister forces and close in on our unsuspecting couple, a moral conflict arises. The adults are forced to contemplate the unthinkable, doing battle with the little monsters and struggling with the notion that they may have to kill or be killed. Tom manages to get his hand on a machine gun, and he carries it around with him protectively as the audience wonders to themselves how he’ll answer the question posed in the title. Whether or not the answer surprises us during these cynical times, the aftermath is as disarming as it is disturbing. The closing 10 minutes come from a different era in filmmaking, when horror movies could spit in the eye of the status quo and say that good does not always prevail, no matter how much we’d like it to.” – Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine

They Live

195. (-3) They Live

John Carpenter

1988 / USA / 93m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George ‘Buck’ Flower, Peter Jason, Raymond St. Jacques, Jason Robards III, John Lawrence, Susan Barnes, Sy Richardson

“It’s an effective ploy, forcing us to confront certain basic facts about the state of the world around us without sounding preachy, and it articulates a decidedly working-class anger in response to social iniquity without sounding self-righteous. And it does all of this while retaining the surface appeal of its B-movie origins, frequently (and entertainingly) indulging in the seductive spectacle of ghouls and guns in combat—though always with ulterior motives.” – Calum Marsh, Slant Magazine

The Uninvited

196. (-3) The Uninvited

Lewis Allen

1944 / USA / 99m / BW / Haunted House | IMDb
Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Dorothy Stickney, Barbara Everest, Alan Napier, Gail Russell

“There’s nothing particularly frightening about “The Uninvited.” Its thrills and chills are little frissons that tickle the imagination instead of grabbing by the throat. Instead, it has earned its honored place in the haunted house genre primarily by dint of its earnestness. Even when Rick and Pamela fire off one-liners, one never gets the sense that Allen or the screenwriters have planted tongues in cheeks. The twisty back story has its campy elements, but they’re always taken seriously and the film delivers a potent emotional payoff as a result.” – Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis

You're Next

197. (+29) You’re Next

Adam Wingard

2011 / USA / 95m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton

“Given its title, you can be forgiven for assuming that Adam Wingard’s home-invasion thriller will be just another blood-soaked body-count flick. But You’re Next is better than that… The relentless violence does get to be a bit much, but what juices this bare-bones premise and lifts it above the weekly slew of run-of-the-mill splatterfests is Wingard’s canny knack for leavening his characters’ gory demises with sick laughs and clever Rube Goldberg twists (razor-sharp piano wire hasn’t been used this well since 1999’s Audition). It’s like Ordinary People meets Scream… It’s so deliciously twisted, it will make you walk out of the theater feeling like you just endured a grueling, giddy workout.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

Halloween II

198. (+7) Halloween II

Rick Rosenthal

1981 / USA / 92m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer, Lance Guest, Pamela Susan Shoop, Hunter von Leer, Dick Warlock, Leo Rossi, Gloria Gifford

“Actually, ”Halloween II” is good enough to deserve a sequel of its own. By the standards of most recent horror films, this – like its predecessor – is a class act. There’s some variety to the crimes, as there is to the characters, and an audience is likely to do more screaming at suspenseful moments than at scary ones. The gore, while very explicit and gruesome, won’t make you feel as if you’re watching major surgery. The direction and camera work are quite competent, and the actors don’t look like amateurs. That may not sound like much to ask of a horror film, but it’s more than many of them offer. And ”Halloween II,” in addition to all this, has a quick pace and something like a sense of style.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times

Inferno

199. (+8) Inferno

Dario Argento

1980 / Italy / 107m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi, Daria Nicolodi, Sacha Pitoëff, Alida Valli, Veronica Lazar, Gabriele Lavia, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Leopoldo Mastelloni

“Inferno is at its core a haunted house movie, with a succession of increasingly supernatural encounters as various characters investigate the strange happenings, both in New York and Rome. Very much a mood piece, trying to decipher Argento’s ‘riddles’ is a futile exercise and one that actually detracts from the principal appeal of soaking up the incredible atmosphere and suspense filled set-pieces. This isn’t a mystery to solve, it’s one to surrender yourself to. Resist the urge to question motivations and non sequiturs and you quickly become immersed in the theatrically lit sets and mesmeric photography. Some key scares are masterfully built up too – an underwater scene early on will have you rubbing your feet for security.” – James Dennis, Twitch

House of 1000 Corpses

200. (-5) 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