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#301-#400

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: #301-#400

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

Viy

301. (+28) Viy

Konstantin Ershov & Georgi Kropachyov

1967 / Soviet Union / 77m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Leonid Kuravlyov, Natalya Varley, Aleksey Glazyrin, Nikolay Kutuzov, Vadim Zakharchenko, Pyotr Vesklyarov, Vladimir Salnikov, Dmitriy Kapka, Stepan Shkurat, Georgiy Sochevko


“Running a tight 72 minutes, this film never overstays its welcome and wisely leaves the viewer wanting more. The second and third witch attacks are among Ptushko’s finest work, as the witch rides her coffin in circles through the air, monsters pour from the walls, giant hands erupt from the floor, and “Viy” himself makes an appearance for the grand finale. The rest of the film is a skillful example of the balance between wonder and dread, with religion playing a prominent role from the opening moments to the final, ironic closing lines.” – Mondo Digital

The Invisible Ray

302. (+5) The Invisible Ray

Lambert Hillyer

1936 / USA / 80m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake, Frank Lawton, Violet Kemble Cooper, Walter Kingsford, Beulah Bondi, Frank Reicher, Paul Weigel, Georges Renavent


“The Invisible Ray is a creepy, suspenseful, and thought-provoking science fiction film by Lambert Hillyer—relevant to Universal Monster buffs for directing Dracula’s Daughter. Especially fascinating is the underlying message explored in this feature, which indicates that scientific discovery in the wrong hands can lead to devastating consequences—a prescient topic for a 1930s motion picture to examine… Also worth commending is the gravitas of Lugosi, who, though remembered for playing creeps, kooks, and creatures of the night, offers an uncharacteristically restrained and delicate performance in this film.” – Jon Davidson, Midnite Reviews

Hereditary

303. (+172) Hereditary

Ari Aster

2018 / USA / 127m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne, Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Christy Summerhays, Morgan Lund, Mallory Bechtel, Jake Brown, Harrison Nell, BriAnn Rachele


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

Scream 2

304. (+93) Scream 2

Wes Craven

1997 / USA / 120m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Neve Campbell, Liev Shreiber, Timothy Olyphant, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, Jerry O’Connell, Laurie Metcalf, Jada Pinkett Smith, Omar Epps


“It would be unfair to reveal too many twists, but the windy plot allows Wes Craven to demonstrate again just how good he is at punching your scare buttons, employing sharp editing and a superb sound mix to make even the hokiest sudden-appearance-out-of-the-dark a moment guaranteed to spill your popcorn. In-joke fans will especially relish the extracts from Stab, in which – as she feared in the first film – Sidney is played by Tori Spelling. In Stab, key moments from Scream are done again with caricature cheap horror movie twitches that pile up on what were already essays in textbook genre-making. Clever parody of the sequel trend; once again we are treated to a movie mocking its own conventions.” – Kim Newman, Empire

Under the Skin

305. (+171) Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer

2013 / UK / 108m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay, Dougie McConnell, Kevin McAlinden, D. Meade, Andrew Gorman, Joe Szula, Krystof Hádek


“Glazer reportedly spent ten years developing Under the Skin, and some aspects of it are so immaculately realized that they seem eerily inevitable. The audio design immerses the listener, its layered soundscapes suggesting how overwhelmed the alien might feel on earth. Glazer disorients the viewer through his use of the Steadicam, exploiting its uncannily smooth movement to suggest, as Stanley Kubrick did in The Shining, the perspective of a superhuman voyeur. The most impressive effects come during the seduction sequences, as Glazer creates the blank, ever-shifting environment of a nightmare… Like its protagonist, Under the Skin effectively draws us in while managing to stay beyond our grasp.” – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

The Serpent and the Rainbow

306. (-106) The Serpent and the Rainbow

Wes Craven

1988 / USA / 98m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae, Paul Winfield, Brent Jennings, Conrad Roberts, Badja Djola, Theresa Merritt, Michael Gough, Paul Guilfoyle


“Depending largely on hallucinations and psychological terror (a la Altered States), and working from a Richard Maxwell and A.R. Simoun screenplay inspired by Wade Davis’s nonfiction book of the same title, Craven provides more atmosphere and creepy ideas than fluid storytelling. But it’s nice for a change to see some of the virtues of old-fashioned horror films—moody dream sequences, unsettling poetic images, and passages that suggest more than they show—rather than the usual splatter shocks and special effects (far from absent, but employed with relative economy).” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

The Last Man on Earth

307. (-32) The Last Man on Earth

Ubaldo Ragona & Sidney Salkow

1964 / USA / 86m / Col / Post-Apocalyptic | IMDb
Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, Emma Danieli, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Umberto Raho, Christi Courtland, Antonio Corevi, Ettore Ribotta


“Human ugliness is more than skin-deep here, and Morgan’s ultimate foes aren’t the undead but rather a group of infected-but-treated men and women who consider him an enemy—ironic, considering they’re the only ones left with the capacity for reason and communication. Morgan’s solitude was bad enough when it was thought that his was the last mind capable of such things, and the revelation of these semi-humans’ intent to dispose of him further amplifies it. The Last Man on Earth is indeed about both life and death, creation and destruction, and the fact that each facet is as grim and uninviting as the next is its most chilling statement on the way things once were and the way they might one day become.” – Michael Nordine, Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Akmareul boatda

308. (0) Akmareul boatda

Kim Jee-woon

2010 / South Korea / 142m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, In-seo Kim, Seung-ah Yoon, San-ha Oh, Chun Ho-jin, Bo-ra Nam, Kap-su Kim, Jin-ho Choi, Moo-Seong Choi


“I SAW THE DEVIL is a shockingly violent and stunningly accomplished tale of murder and revenge. The embodiment of pure evil, Kyung-chul is a dangerous psychopath who kills for pleasure. On a freezing, snowy night, his latest victim is the beautiful Juyeon, daughter of a retired police chief and pregnant fiancée of elite special agent Soo-hyun. Obsessed with revenge, Soo-hyun is determined to track down the murderer, even if doing so means becoming a monster himself. And when he finds Kyung-chul, turning him in to the authorities is the last thing on his mind, as the lines between good and evil fall away in this diabolically twisted game of cat and mouse.” – Gabriel Chong, Moviexclusive

Werewolf of London

309. (-31) Werewolf of London

Stuart Walker

1935 / USA / 75m / BW / Werewolf | IMDb
Henry Hull, Warner Oland, Valerie Hobson, Lester Matthews, Lawrence Grant, Spring Byington, Clark Williams, J.M. Kerrigan, Charlotte Granville, Ethel Griffies


“Werewolf of London benefits from a crackerjack script, taut direction, and fine scenic design, not to mention some of the best uses of supporting characters to ever prop up a monster movie. Every moment is filled to the brim and purposeful, and the two comic relief characters, elderly Mrs. Whack and Mrs. Mancaster, deserve a movie all their own. And nowhere else will you see such a dapper, well-spoken werewolf. Just try to find another body-slashing man-beast who dons his hat, coat, and scarf before heading out into the night. Werewolf of London is a genuine surprise treat.” – Mark Bourne, DVD Journal

It

310. (+167) It

Andy Muschietti

2017 / USA / 135m / Col / Evil Clown | IMDb
Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgård, Nicholas Hamilton, Jake Sim


“I’m no expert on Stephen King, and I leave it to other writers to weigh up this movie’s faithfulness to the canon from which it derives. But a look into the grief of children can only come across in a movie that’s been put together well, and this one has. Go expecting jump scares, and you will be rewarded handsomely. But you’ll also find a well-crafted meditation on the pain that communities refuse to see and the effect that pain has on the young and powerless. It is study in trauma to match the best of them.” – Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic

Son of Dracula

311. (-13) Son of Dracula

Robert Siodmak

1943 / USA / 80m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Robert Paige, Louise Allbritton, Evelyn Ankers, Frank Craven, J. Edward Bromberg, Samuel S. Hinds, Adeline De Walt Reynolds, Pat Moriarity, Etta McDaniel, George Irving


“If you can cope with the dated ideologies, and big lug, Lon Chaney Jr, looking more out of place than a priest in a day care center, you’ll find much to celebrate in SON OF DRACULA. All that priceless Universal atmosphere is here in spades. The soundtrack, the Gothic splendor, the hot ladies and the cold, dark shadows…all here. It’s a forgotten, roughly hewn gem, but its one worth seeking out for lovers of ‘ye olde horror’. The atmosphere is palpable, the plot is unique and the strange change of setting from olde world England/Transylvania, to the deep south, is a refreshing one. Give SON OF DRACULA a little of your time, and you may be pleasantly surprised. And besides, if you don’t watch it, Lon Chaney will eat you!” – Kyle Scott, The Horror Hotel

Busanhaeng

312. (+173) Busanhaeng

Sang-ho Yeon

2016 / South Korea / 118m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Woo-sik Choi, Sohee, Eui-sung Kim, Gwi-hwa Choi, Terri Doty, Jang Hyuk-Jin


“Crucially, [director] Yeon has come up with a take on zombies that is rooted deep in the genre but still feels innovative. Like Romero’s undead, these are an inescapable evil spreading across the world to offer a sly commentary on our modern society… Yeon establishes himself as a gifted action director: one mid-journey stop at an apparently deserted station turns into a terrifying set-piece that’s among the year’s best. But it’s a slow struggle through carriages full of infected people to reach a stranded loved one that really stands out… In the end, Yeon goes back to the human story and delivers a surprisingly emotional climax. It may seem like a shift of tone, but maybe family ties were the point all along.” – Helen O’Hara, Empire Magazine

The Loved Ones

313. (+100) The Loved Ones

Sean Byrne

2009 / Australia / 84m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee, Richard Wilson, John Brumpton, Andrew S. Gilbert, Suzi Dougherty, Victoria Eagger


“An Australian horror picture in the tradition of New French Extremism, Sean Byrne’s The Loved Ones adheres to the principle that if you delve into full-tilt repulsiveness wholly enough, the rest will just sort of take care of itself. You could call it “torture porn,” as many critics have since it was released in its native Australia two years ago, but then this isn’t exactly Hostel either; its tone is too light, its manner too cavalier, to be bogged down by the kind of portentous posturing that made Eli Roth’s film reek of self-importance. Byrne, a first-time director, has a lot of fun with what is essentially rote slasher material, endowing it with the kind of blackly comic wit and levity that virtually guarantee its entry into the contemporary midnight-movie canon.” – Calum Marsh, Slant Magazine

You're Next

314. (+23) 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

Friday the 13th Part 2

315. (+85) Friday the 13th Part 2

Steve Miner

1981 / USA / 87m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette, Walt Gorney, Marta Kober, Tom McBride, Bill Randolph


“Friday the 13th Part 2 is every bit as crude, senseless, and blunt as they accuse it of being, and it’s not surprising that discerning filmgoers with higher aspirations than the slasher genre offers would find it somewhat unnerving to be in a roomful of kids who seem to revel in make-believe bloodlust. Friday the 13th Part 2 cannot be defended intellectually, yet, the film’s very simplicity and directness gives it a kind of folkloric power, albeit power that works only if you give yourself over to it. If you do, it not only allows you to find a queasy sense of pleasure in being unashamedly goosed and grossed out, but also to ignore just how utterly nonsensical the film’s ending actually is.” – James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk

Horror Express

316. (+15) Horror Express

Eugenio Martín

1972 / UK / 84m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa, Julio Peña, Ángel del Pozo, Telly Savalas, Helga Liné, Alice Reinheart, José Jaspe


“Full of quaint, old-timey racism—there are lots of conniving Chinamen—and 70’s style sexism—Wells’ assistant is smart “for a woman”—”Horror Express” is ridiculous and cheesy. The characters jump to wild conclusions with no proof or even clues, and everyone simply accepts the outlandish claims, because why the hell not? There are clunky metaphors, and the whole thing is a mishmash of zombie, monster, and religious horror with elements of science fictions. All of this adds up to a schlocky, tacky, raucously entertaining time that I thoroughly enjoyed this from beginning to end. “Horror Express” is a blast.” – Brent McKnight, Beyond Hollywood

Society

317. (+47) Society

Brian Yuzna

1989 / USA / 99m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Evan Richards, Ben Meyerson, Charles Lucia, Connie Danese, Patrice Jennings, Heidi Kozak, Ben Slack, David Wiley


“Ostensibly, it would seem that Society is an allegory for adolescent growth, told in the familiar mechanism of a teen’s amateur investigation and resulting contamination. Justifiably, the film recalls Scooby Doo, Blue Velvet, Salò, and even presages Eyes Wide Shut. In this case the concept is rendered in the mechanics of 80s horror and Cold War paranoia; it may be dated, but the film’s finale, scored in a reprisal of “The Blue Danube” and ample prosthetic body makeup, retains a striking ability to repulse and frighten… Society’s effectiveness as a satire is somewhat overshadowed by its shocking final scene, which is a masterpiece of prosthetic special effects.” – Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Brain Damage

318. (+48) Brain Damage

Frank Henenlotter

1988 / USA / 84m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter, Vicki Darnell, Joseph Gonzalez, Bradlee Rhodes, Michael Bishop, Beverly Bonner


“From its depiction of the initial orgasmic rush that launches its user into a life bent around being steeped in a state of euphoria where problems are forgotten, to the sudden meteoric plummet that follows once the high is wears thin. In his usual brilliant insight, Henenlotter creatively portrays to viewers how addiction winds up taking its toll not only on users, but those closest to them, as well. Despite the laughable oddity of the seductor, Aylmer, ‘Brain Damage’ manages to tell it to us straight with a dark, horrifying, even often comical story in the realm of fantasy-horror providing a truly masterful message film about the dangers of drug use and the nature of addiction.” – The Trash Cinema Collective

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

319. (+49) Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Tony Randel

1988 / USA / 97m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman, Sean Chapman, William Hope, Doug Bradley, Barbie Wilde, Simon Bamford, Nicholas Vince


“‘Hellbound’ is a film of many excesses – beyond the blood, there’s the heightened sound of pain, some bizarre sexuality and a slew of sadistic effects. Barker’s original conception was intriguing: an ornate puzzle box serves as a passage into an underworld (the Outer Darkness) where the thin line between pleasure and pain is constantly being tested both by weak-willed humans who fall under the box’s power and its citizen Cenobites, ghastly demons who embody, in extremely visual ways, all their realized perversions… Even if you discount the cliche’s, there are enough bizarre and shocking effects here to satisfy all but the most demanding genre fans.” – Richard Harrington, Washington Post

The Tomb of Ligeia

320. (-5) The Tomb of Ligeia

Roger Corman

1964 / UK / 81m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, John Westbrook, Derek Francis, Oliver Johnston, Richard Vernon, Frank Thornton, Ronald Adam, Denis Gilmore, Penelope Lee


“Of all the Corman/Poe films, Tomb of Ligea has stood the test of time most successfully, although a case can also be made for Masque of the Red Death. The standard elements of the other films in the series, the malignant and presumably dead wife, the tormented widower overwrought with melancholy, and the threatened innocent, are certainly present, but Corman plays Tomb of Ligea straight. This is likely due to the script by Robert Towne, whose characters are believably complex and compelling. Price is remarkably restrained as a romantic lead, given his over-the-top portrayals in the other Poe films, and Elizabeth Shepherd manages to strike exactly the right note in her role as Lady Rowena.” – Bud Simons, Austin Chronicle

Kill List

321. (+9) Kill List

Ben Wheatley

2011 / UK / 95m / Col / Crime | IMDb
Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Harry Simpson, Michael Smiley, Emma Fryer, Struan Rodger, Esme Folley, Ben Crompton, Gemma Lise Thornton, Robin Hill


“It often looks like a film by Lynne Ramsay or even Lucrecia Martel, composed in a dreamily unhurried arthouse-realist style that is concerned to capture texture, mood and moment. Perhaps inspired by Thomas Clay’s The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael, Wheatley has set out to supersaturate ostensible normality with a flavour of evil. In many scenes he succeeds impressively. It’s not entirely clear if Kill List is more than the sum of its startlingly disparate parts, or if the ending lives up to the promise of something strange and new, but its confidence is beyond doubt.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

The Stepford Wives

322. (+2) The Stepford Wives

Bryan Forbes

1975 / USA / 115m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson, Nanette Newman, Tina Louise, Carol Eve Rossen, William Prince, Carole Mallory, Toni Reid, Judith Baldwin


“The Stepford wives are, in fact, not women; they are bloodless, soulless robots, created by the men in Stepford to replace their presumably intelligent and enterprising wives who might see more to life than getting the upstairs floor to a glistening shine and having sex whenever their husbands desire it. Much is made of the fact that the women in Stepford had once belonged to a popular feminist group, which shows that, prior to their replacement, they had been independent thinkers. This is one of the keys to the film and the understanding that it does not look down on women… The robots are simply a twisted male fantasy of the ultimate woman: sexy, submissive, and mentally vacant. That this fantasy is pathetic in the extreme says much about the film’s view of the male animal and his capacity for feeling and imagination.” – James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk

Pumpkinhead

323. (+48) Pumpkinhead

Stan Winston

1988 / USA / 86m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D’Aquino, Kimberly Ross, Joel Hoffman, Cynthia Bain, Kerry Remsen, Florence Schauffler, Brian Bremer, George ‘Buck’ Flower


“When Pennsylvanian country-dweller Ed Harley’s kid gets (accidentally) killed by a group of marauding young townies on motorbikes, the aggrieved father (Henriksen) seeks justice, or more precisely, vengeance. Aided by the mythically wizened old crone from Black Ridge (Schauffler), he invokes the rampaging form of Pumpkinhead, a 15-foot monstrosity who doesn’t believe in penal reform and with whom one does not mess lightly. From there on it’s stiff-city for the unfortunate kids, as well as some hellish rewards for Harley himself.” – MK, Time Out

Eden Lake

324. (+8) 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

Black Swan

325. (+67) Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky

2010 / USA / 108m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder, Benjamin Millepied, Ksenia Solo, Kristina Anapau, Janet Montgomery, Sebastian Stan


“By the end, resentment has entered a psychotic dimension, and melodrama has morphed irretrievably into horror movie. Of course the possibility of it has been there, perhaps from the very first minutes when we saw Nina at home in her mother’s bedroom, plastered with self-portraits, a shrine to herself. If you think it all sounds overblown – nuts – you’d probably be right. But The Red Shoes was nuts, too, and it’s still a masterpiece. Black Swan dances itself dizzy in its urge to overwhelm us, but Aronofsky’s boldness and Natalie Portman’s exquisite, raw-nerved performance make the surrender very enjoyable.” – Anthony Quinn, The Independent

Yabu no naka no kuroneko

326. (-13) Yabu no naka no kuroneko

Kaneto Shindô

1968 / Japan / 99m / BW / Jidaigeki | IMDb
Kichiemon Nakamura, Nobuko Otowa, Kei Satô, Rokko Toura, Kiwako Taichi, Taiji Tonoyama, Hideo Kanze, Eimei Esumi, Shôji ôki, Kentarô Kaji


“Shindô eventually buries viewers in the sprits’ ghastly abode, a suffocating set piece bathed in the shadows of bamboo reeds. Most films would be content to drop you in the middle of the forest, and this one does thrive on the basic, primal isolation of the situation (it also helps that there’s really only one other major location, so the audience truly does feel cut off). However, Kuroneko is especially atmospheric in its choice of locales, as the remote hut is an extension of its wraithlike inhabitants. The film’s most memorable shot seems like a simple establishing shot of the hut; however, one can see that it’s subtly gliding among the bamboo grove, as if it exists outside of space and time. A brief but vital scene, it perfectly captures the understated, unnerving creepiness of the film.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

327. (+7) Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

Pier Paolo Pasolini

1975 / Italy / 117m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Paolo Bonacelli, Giorgio Cataldi, Umberto Paolo Quintavalle, Aldo Valletti, Caterina Boratto, Elsa De Giorgi, Hélène Surgère, Sonia Saviange, Sergio Fascetti, Bruno Musso


“Pier Paolo Pasolini’s last feature (1975) is a shockingly literal and historically questionable transposition of the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom to the last days of Italian fascism. Most of the film consists of long shots of torture, though some viewers have been more upset by the bibliography that appears in the credits. Roland Barthes noted that in spite of all its objectionable elements (he pointed out that any film that renders Sade real and fascism unreal is doubly wrong), this film should be defended because it “refuses to allow us to redeem ourselves.” It’s certainly the film in which Pasolini’s protest against the modern world finds its most extreme and anguished expression. Very hard to take, but in its own way an essential work.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Sinister

328. (+7) Sinister

Scott Derrickson

2012 / USA / 110m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ransone, Michael Hall D’Addario, Clare Foley, Rob Riley, Tavis Smiley, Janet Zappala, Victoria Leigh


“Put them all together and they make Sinister the horror film to beat this Halloween: scary and suspenseful without insulting our intelligence. The underlying concept proves sound, the development deftly avoids genre cliché, and the twist builds upon what came before instead of trying to blow our minds at any cost. It pulls threads from earlier horror movies like Ringu and The Shining, but remains beholden to none of them: creating an atmosphere that, while not completely original, remains resolutely its own. And good God, it actually comes from an original script. In an era (and a genre) littered with sequels, Sinister should be commended for standing by its ideas. It’s scary as fuck too: the only criteria that really matters for a movie like this.” – Rob Vaux, Mania

My Bloody Valentine

329. (-64) My Bloody Valentine

George Mihalka

1981 / Canada / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight, Alf Humphreys, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy, Rob Stein, Thomas Kovacs, Terry Waterland


“My Bloody Valentine, especially in its restored state, definitely stands the test of time as one of the most entertaining 80s-era slashers. The death scenes are quite gruesome and ingenious; the miners are likeable; the obligatory “funny fat guy” (played by Keith Knight) is endearing; the young ladies are voluptuous (but sorry guys… no gratuitous nudity); and there’s the token “crazy old man” spouting warnings; properly solemn small-town law enforcement officers, and a few other other characters who are more than just cardboard cutouts. The dialogue is laugh-out-loud hilarious at times, and you’ve gotta love the dated tunes and far-out fashions.” – Staci Layne Wilson, Horror.com

The Most Dangerous Game

330. (-54) The Most Dangerous Game

Irving Pichel & Ernest B. Schoedsack

1932 / USA / 63m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Leslie Banks, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemente, William B. Davidson, Oscar ‘Dutch’ Hendrian


“Count Zaroff remains obsessed with the hunt… “Kill, then love,” he tells Rainsford. “When you have known that, you have known ecstasy.” Once he has hunted down Bob, he will rape Eve. Rather than wait around to see who wins, Eve joins Bob, and as they flee and lose and finally survive, through every chase and twist, they of course fall in love. The irony is that the erotic horror verbalized by Zaroff, the primal male urge to obliterate an enemy and celebrate in bed, is implicitly, and by more civilized and formulaic means, achieved by Rainsford… a superbly paced, sexually charged, tightly constructed, no-holds-barred adventure film with moments of dark, Germanic horror that stick in the mind, a movie that moves.” – Bruce Kawin, Criterion Collection Notes

Pontypool

331. (+2) 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

Tucker and Dale vs Evil

332. (+28) 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

Wait Until Dark

333. (-17) Wait Until Dark

Terence Young

1967 / USA / 108m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Jack Weston, Samantha Jones, Julie Herrod


“Young’s remarkable ability to create a believable oppressive locality in Wait Until Dark obscures plot holes and irrationalities right up to the film’s extended final showdown. By the time Suzy realizes she’s completely and hopelessly alone in her apartment (she’s sent the dorky Lisa off on a futile mission to locate Sam at Asbury Park), the cumulative effect of Hepburn’s palpable desolation and Arkin’s ruthlessness (combined with Henry Mancini’s overpoweringly harrowing score) bring the film to a justly celebrated climactic bacchanalia, complete with one of suspense cinema’s first and most effective shock leaps.” – Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine

Mulholland Dr.

334. (+2) Mulholland Dr.

David Lynch

2001 / USA / 147m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Ann Miller, Dan Hedaya, Justin Theroux, Brent Briscoe, Robert Forster, Katharine Towne, Lee Grant, Scott Coffey


“As difficult as Mulholland Drive may appear at first glance, every trajectory in this metaverse is the equivalent of dreams spiraling into REM sleep… [It] isn’t a movie about dreams, it is a dream (or, at least, until the blue box is opened) — a Hollywood horror story spun by a frustrated actress yet to cross into consciousness. Lynch’s narrative is carefully configured, painstakingly difficult to decipher, but boldly obvious should one embrace its dream logic… Mulholland Drive is a haunting, selfish masterpiece that literalizes the theory of surrealism as perpetual dream state.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

Jisatsu sâkuru

335. (+149) Jisatsu sâkuru

Shion Sono

2001 / Japan / 99m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Ryo Ishibashi, Masatoshi Nagase, Mai Hosho, Tamao Satô, Takashi Nomura, Rolly, Joshua, Masato Tsujioka, Kôsuke Hamamoto, Kei Nagase


“As frustrating as Suicide Club may be, there is no denying that it does succeed in hooking viewers with its highly original concept. The film manages to establish a sense of creeping dread; the anticipation of what lurks around each corner proves far more terrifying than the cheap scare tactics employed in other films. Ryo Ishibashi exudes a sense of decency and commitment to his mission—qualities that have a definite payoff later in the film. As Kuroda, Ishibashi gives the viewers a solid protagonist they can latch onto during the dark journey ahead. The lack of clear answers will frustrate many (this reviewer included) but what Suicide Club attempts to say and do, coupled with its success in executing some of those goals, makes the film worth recommending. And even with its baffling conclusion, there’s at least one lesson to be gleaned from Suicide Club: J-Pop may be hazardous to your health.” – Calvin McMillin, Love HK Film

Gin gwai

336. (+13) Gin gwai

Oxide Pang Chun & Danny Pang

2002 / Hong Kong / 99m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Angelica Lee, Lawrence Chou, Jinda Duangtoy, Yut Lai So, Candy Lo, Edmund Chen, Yin Ping Ko, Florence Wu, Wisarup Annuar, Yuet Siu Wong


“The story winds up going to familiar places, with Mun and her doctor (Lawrence Chou) doing the obligatory investigation into the former owner of Mun’s new eyes. But while this is stuff we’ve seen before, the screenplay (written by the Pangs and Jo Jo Hui) goes the unexpected route and finds an emotional base to these later scenes. There’s a great sadness hanging in the air here, mixing with the horror in such a way that the frights never feel cheap. This movie understands that while ghosts may be here to scare the crap out of us, whatever happened to make them ghosts must add some sort of tragedy to their existence. This is a ghost story that cares about its ghosts as much as it cares for its living characters. By giving their movie such emotional weight, the Pangs have crafted a horror movie that’s more effectual than most because it reaches us on a more complete level. But don’t think it’s all emotion here – there are plenty of powerful shocks and nifty spook-outs to satisfy anyone looking for a strong horror treat.” – David Cornelius, eFilmCritict

Isle of the Dead

337. (-106) Isle of the Dead

Mark Robson

1945 / USA / 71m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer, Katherine Emery, Helene Thimig, Alan Napier, Jason Robards Sr., Ernst Deutsch


“Lewton’s signature, of course, was atmospheric spookiness, not shocks. A couple of good jumps aside, his movies have endured because of his remarkable talent in fusing the eerie with the melancholy. But whether it was by design or pressure from Gross, Isle of the Dead offers both the unsettling and the truly startling as it reaches its climax. The fear of being buried alive gets its ultimate expression here. At first that fear is played out in indelibly understated creepiness — the camera slowly moving in on a closed casket, wrapped in the shadows of tree branches swaying in the wind. And then… a noise. It builds from there when Thea slowly walks through the same area later. Obscured by heavy darkness and aided by a strikingly modern use of flash frames, a figure appears so fleetingly you are not sure you’ve seen her at first. But then she makes her presence definitively known. Taken together, these scenes rank among the most bone-chilling moments from any era of horror cinema.” – Joel Wicklund, Classic-Horror

Cloverfield

338. (+5) 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

Deliverance

339. (-22) Deliverance

John Boorman

1972 / USA / 109m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass, Randall Deal, Bill McKinney, Herbert ‘Cowboy’ Coward


“‘Deliverance’ is a movie of contrasts, the primary one emphasizing the differences between modern Man, with his impulse to change things, and primal Nature, with its pristine beauty. Man chews up the landscape, as symbolized by the bulldozers and earth movers we see at the beginning, and spits it out. The four city slickers, eager to commune with what they view as the underlying structure of the universe, are ironic emblems of the modern world’s need to destroy for its own good. Despite their being a part of the root problem, they’re out to prove their understanding of the wild by taming a river, a river the state is about to dam up and spoil forever… At its most fundamental level ‘Deliverance’ is a story of survival, but it’s not just about surviving the hazards of the wilderness; it’s about surviving one’s own heart of darkness, about confronting one’s basest needs and accepting or rejecting them.” – John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis

Night of the Comet

340. (+21) Night of the Comet

Thom Eberhardt

1984 / USA / 95m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Sharon Farrell, Mary Woronov, Geoffrey Lewis, Peter Fox, John Achorn, Michael Bowen, Devon Ericson


“The easiest way to describe a popcorn flick like Night of the Comet would be to call it a mash up between George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978) and John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club (1985). The wacky offbeat sensibility of Night of the Comet is a joy to behold. For genre fans, it’s easy to fall in love with a farcical 80s sci-fi horror movie with zombies. It’s the whimsical warmth of Thom Eberhardt’s direction that gives this movie its heart. It’s obvious he’s a genuine fan of B-movies. Like other cult classic B-movies there is more to Night of the Comet than its wacky sense of humour. It contains genuine terror. An electric piece of cult cinema, Night of the Comet is a classic! ” – Curtis Owen, My reviewer

28 Weeks Later

341. (-1) 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

God Told Me To

342. (+10) God Told Me To

Larry Cohen

1976 / USA / 91m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Tony Lo Bianco, Deborah Raffin, Sandy Dennis, Sylvia Sidney, Sam Levene, Robert Drivas, Mike Kellin, Richard Lynch, Sammy Williams, Jo Flores Chase


“A delirious mix of sci-fi, pseudo-religious fantasy and horror detective thriller, with Lo Bianco as the perfect existential anti-hero – a New York cop and closet Catholic, guiltily trapped between wife and mistress. His investigations into a bizarre spate of mass murders lead right to the top: Jesus Christ, no less, is provoking innocent citizens to go on a murderous rampage. God Told Me To overflows with such perverse and subversive notions that no amount of shoddy editing and substandard camerawork can conceal the film’s unusual qualities. Digging deep into the psyche of American manhood, it lays bare the guilt-ridden oppressions of a soulless society.” – SW, Time out

Stir of Echoes

343. (-33) Stir of Echoes

David Koepp

1999 / USA / 99m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Zachary David Cope, Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Erbe, Illeana Douglas, Kevin Dunn, Conor O’Farrell, Lusia Strus, Stephen Eugene Walker, Mary Kay Cook, Larry Neumann Jr.


“With a minimum of movie cliches, the film plunges these normal people into extraordinary situations to create tension and a real sense of dread. It helps that Bacon and the entire cast are superb, playing it with authentic humour and fear that draws us into the tale (based on Richard Matheson’s novel). Koepp handles all of the elements perfectly, crafting a visually fascinating film and building an internally wrenching drama amid all the scary stuff. And even if the ending seems a bit tidy, the film is still effective and nicely creepy–definitely worth seeing.” – Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

Bad Taste

344. (-92) Bad Taste

Peter Jackson

1987 / New Zealand / 91m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Terry Potter, Pete O’Herne, Craig Smith, Mike Minett, Peter Jackson, Doug Wren, Dean Lawrie, Peter Vere-Jones, Ken Hammon, Robin Griggs


“Ever since Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead” re-wrote the horror film as slapstick comedy, guerrilla filmmakers with low budgets and big dreams have tried to emulate the punk magic of this cult masterpiece. Most have been merely derivative, but by delving deeper and darker, writer and director Peter Jackson made “Bad Taste” both a gut-wrenching slasher classic, and a surreal – almost hallucinogenic – comedy. Despite being little more than a rambling selection of lame characters and imaginative – if hammy – executions, the film’s farcical energy and glorious B-movie schlock keeps you hooked until the apocalyptic finale. This is a film without heroes… All you can do is sit back, hold on, and watch the roller coaster carnage unfold.” – Matt Ford, BBC

Tetsuo

345. (+24) Tetsuo

Shin’ya Tsukamoto

1989 / Japan / 67m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Tomorowo Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Naomasa Musaka, Renji Ishibashi


“Though it may just seem like one big geek show gross out, Tetsuo: The Iron Man is actually a movie about revenge. It’s about man’s revenge against man, technology’s revenge against humans, nature’s revenge against technology and the neverending revenge between elements of karma and the primal forces of the universe. It’s a sick, cyclical meditation on physicality, mixing imagery both derivative and disgusting. It plays tricks with cinematic convention, drops narrative in favor of nastiness, and always manages to make sense, even if it is in its own obtuse, offensive way. It’s part comic book, part alien autopsy, and all visual violence, laced with enough wicked cinematic style to make other wannabe cyberpunks pale in comparison.” – Bill Gibron, DVDTalk

The Hills Have Eyes

346. (-28) 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

30 Days of Night

347. (-3) 30 Days of Night

David Slade

2007 / USA / 113m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior, Mark Rendall, Amber Sainsbury, Manu Bennett, Megan Franich, Joel Tobeck


“Like “28 Days Later,” this is a film in awe of its creations, eager to unleash them into a world that lacks the glitz and polish of a supernatural thriller and focused in the intent to expand their visage into one of remarkable believability. There are moments here when we are not just staring back at movie villains or even watching on with misplaced hope at the antics of a cluster of desperate survivors. If a good horror picture means to transport us into the fabric of its bleak narrative and imprison us there, then here is one of those rare movies that penetrates the membrane separating all those disposable “gotcha” scarefests from genuinely engrossing supernatural thrillers, and finds a resonating chord.” – David Keyes, Cinemaphile

The Burning

348. (+27) The Burning

Tony Maylam

1981 / USA / 91m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua, Jason Alexander, Ned Eisenberg, Carrick Glenn, Carolyn Houlihan, Fisher Stevens, Lou David


“The movie has stayed with me for some twenty years. I think it’s because The Burning feels, at times, as if it were made by Cropsy. It is powered by a strong sense of anger and disgust… This is a slasher movie with a difference, though it plays by almost all the rules and is generally too predictable to be “scary”… It tries to drum up audience rapport with the doomed counselors (though Jason Alexander shows his comedic gifts even here), but our sympathies are unavoidably with Cropsy, based on the filmmakers’ empathy with the horrors he went through… All of this is an attempt to dig out why The Burning has stayed with me since 1982 or so. It’s a legitimately ugly movie; it gets under your skin.” – Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic

Paura nella città dei morti viventi

349. (+30) Paura nella città dei morti viventi

Lucio Fulci

1980 / Italy / 93m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Michele Soavi, Venantino Venantini


“With its fog-shrouded settings and doomy score by Fabio Frizzi (built on a heartbeat-aping bass throb, and more than a little reminiscent of the soundtrack of Dawn Of The Dead), this is a tremendously atmospheric film. And the gore setpieces are simply jaw-dropping – particularly the one where that dead priest’s baleful gaze causes a young woman to spew up all her internal organs (at length) – that’s one hell of a Paddington Bear hard stare. Watching actress Daniela Doria with her mouth jammed full of sheep guts, you understand how Fulci gained something of a reputation for having a sadistic attitude to his cast. Whilst not as outlandish as The Beyond, undoubtedly Fulci’s finest fever-dream, City Of The Living Dead is still startlingly crackers.” – Ian Berriman, SFX Magazine

Psycho II

350. (+20) Psycho II

Richard Franklin

1983 / USA / 113m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, Dennis Franz, Hugh Gillin, Claudia Bryar, Robert Alan Browne, Ben Hartigan, Lee Garlington


“Director Richard Franklin, working from Tom Holland’s screenplay, has infused Psycho II with a deliberate sensibility that echoes the original film’s slow build, and although the pacing is occasionally just a little too sedate for its own good (ie the first half feels more like a psychological drama than a horror flick), Franklin effectively lures the viewer into the proceedings by emphasizing Perkins’ striking performance and by offering up a handful of admittedly suspenseful interludes… Psycho II boasts an increasingly compelling mystery at its core that ensures the film grows more and more engrossing as it progresses – with the inclusion of a few unexpected twists lending the movie’s third act a surprisingly engrossing quality that proves impossible to resist.” – David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

351. (+23) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Tobe Hooper

1986 / USA / 101m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow, Bill Moseley, Bill Johnson, Ken Evert, Harlan Jordan, Kirk Sisco, James N. Harrell, Lou Perryman


“”The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” is as potent a follow-up as one could expect from the series, unapologetically traveling in fresh directions while serving up audiences the gory goods. The cinematography by Richard Kooris is vibrant and alive, taking full advantage of the locations and making particularly effective use of the neon colors at the radio station and the rainbow-colored Christmas lights strung along the walls of the Sawyers’ underground hell. The soundtrack is also superb, with choice cuts from The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Timbuk 3, Concrete Blonde, Lords of the New Church, and Stewart Copeland nicely complementing the action. When it comes to humor-laced horror that isn’t an outright spoof, there are few films that work quite as well (or with the same amount of bravado) as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.”” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

The Revenge of Frankenstein

352. (-29) The Revenge of Frankenstein

Terence Fisher

1958 / UK / 90m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Peter Cushing, Francis Matthews, Eunice Gayson, Michael Gwynn, John Welsh, Lionel Jeffries, Oscar Quitak, Richard Wordsworth, Charles Lloyd Pack, John Stuart


“Frankly, it’s about as close as Hammer ever came to an outright masterpiece: great mood combining with outstanding performances and writing, and at 89 minutes, the film understands the value of not screwing around. It is one of the great horror films, then and now, unerringly assembled by talented craftsmen who weren’t looking to redefine cinema, and didn’t; but in no small way, The Revenge of Frankenstein helped to set in stone the high standard of excellence that kept Hammer at the forefront of genre filmmaking for almost ten years; though Dracula probably did more to catapult the studio to financial acclaim, and it’s great all around, Revenge trumps it across the board.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Cabin Fever

353. (-14) Cabin Fever

Eli Roth

2002 / USA / 93m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern, Arie Verveen, Robert Harris, Hal Courtney, Matthew Helms, Richard Boone


“Cabin Fever establishes its terror alert early on — contamination! eek! — and treats it lightly while taking it seriously. The comedy here is not the reflexive sort, wherein the characters have all seen this movie before. It comes out of the realistic reactions a group of none-too-bright underclassmen might have when faced with blood-spewing doom. Filled with gratuitous gore (at one point, an entire jeep drips with the stuff) and sex (a comely female character muses that she should be grabbing the nearest guy and having a last bout of we-who-are-about-to-die-have-sex activity; cut to her jumping the bones of the nearest grateful guy), the film is solidly of a subgenre I over-reference, but it fits: the beer-and-pizza flick.” – Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors

354. (-8) Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors

Freddie Francis

1965 / UK / 98m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Roy Castle, Peter Cushing, Max Adrian, Ann Bell, Michael Gough, Jennifer Jayne, Neil McCallum, Bernard Lee, Alan Freeman


“Inspired by the black humour-filled E.C. comics of the 50’s, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors was to set off Amicus’ long-standing obsession with making horror anthologies. It was a successful formula as long as most of the stories in them were entertaining. You were always going to get some clunkers but with the array of acting talent that Amicus managed to get to appear in small roles, it was a price worth paying… Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors has dated quite a bit by now and as a result, it’s not going to keep you up at night. But with some great performances by THE best actors this genre has to offer as well as one or two unnerving moments, you can do no harm by having your fortune read by the doc.” – Andrew Smith, Daily Dead

Nightbreed

355. (+57) Nightbreed

Clive Barker

1990 / USA / 102m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, David Cronenberg, Charles Haid, Hugh Quarshie, Hugh Ross, Doug Bradley, Catherine Chevalier, Malcolm Smith, Bob Sessions


“One can hardly be too upset when a film is exuberant and grandiose in the way Nightbreed is; after all, Barker’s fiction (like Stephen King’s, now that I think of it—no wonder Barker earned an endorsement from the master) often sends audiences hurtling down rabbit hole after rabbit hole—it’s not enough for Nightbreed to focus on a secret society of monsters and its prophecies, so it follows that there would also be a bloodthirsty butcher from a slasher flick hunting them down. That the two modes sometimes find difficulty jelling seems besides the point—the film might be exhausting, but it’s equally as breathtaking whenever Barker really lets loose and indulges the most unhinged parts of his macabre id, where men and monsters spill each other’s bloods among gothic ruins.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!

When a Stranger Calls

356. (-37) When a Stranger Calls

Fred Walton

1979 / USA / 97m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Carol Kane, Rutanya Alda, Carmen Argenziano, Kirsten Larkin, William Boyett, Charles Durning, Ron O’Neal, Heetu, Rachel Roberts, Tony Beckley


“The ultimately slow-moving film is book-ended by some truly classic horror movie moments, but if you’re expecting a teen-slasher, you’re better off call-waiting for the remake. When A Stranger Calls is dated — no *69 back then, nothing but pencils and erasers to do your homework with — but that’s in large part what makes it work so well as a “What would you do?” psychological thriller.” – Staci Layne Wilson, Horror.com

Splinter

357. (+70) Splinter

Toby Wilkins

2008 / USA / 82m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Charles Baker, Jill Wagner, Paulo Costanzo, Shea Whigham, Rachel Kerbs, Laurel Whitsett


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

Cape Fear

358. (-33) Cape Fear

Martin Scorsese

1991 / USA / 128m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis, Joe Don Baker, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, Martin Balsam, Illeana Douglas, Fred Dalton Thompson


“As originally directed by J. Lee Thompson, “Cape Fear” pitted the wholesome Bowdens against the unsavory Max, a convicted rapist intent on exacting revenge against Sam, who years earlier had testified against Max at his trial. Despite the sexy insolence of Robert Mitchum’s performance, that film’s struggle was essentially a one-note one between good and evil. Mr. Scorsese, not being prone to such oversimplifications, has done his best to muddy the waters… he has invested the Bowdens (now played by Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange) with a history of marital infidelity, turned their daughter into a rebellious nymphet, altered the circumstances of the rape trial and given Max’s vengeance a biblical dimension.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times

The Stepfather

359. (-39) The Stepfather

Joseph Ruben

1987 / Canada / 89m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Terry O’Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack, Charles Lanyer, Stephen Shellen, Stephen E. Miller, Robyn Stevan, Jeff Schultz, Lindsay Bourne, Anna Hagan


“So what is so memorable about a movie where a knife-wielding psycho kills in order to obtain a perverse ideal attainable only in his mind? It’s all about the manner in which it’s presented and that’s where The Stepfather separates itself from not only its timely peers, but also many similar genre efforts. Director Ruben deserves a hefty chunk of credit for keeping things moving at such a fierce clip that the audience is always on edge when it comes to Blake. The opening scene, which dually establishes the titular character while providing a genuinely unnerving and chilling moment, sets the audience at the edges of their proverbial seats before the main story is even underway. There’s a fair degree of subtlety, too. Ruben wisely avoids delving into the backstory of the killer. Sorry, modern audiences, you don’t get to learn why the Stepfather does what he does. It doesn’t matter. But we’re given several interesting character pieces along the way without being smacked over the head with them.”

It's Alive

360. (-68) It’s Alive

Larry Cohen

1974 / USA / 91m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, James Dixon, William Wellman Jr., Shamus Locke, Andrew Duggan, Guy Stockwell, Daniel Holzman, Michael Ansara, Robert Emhardt


“The proudly independent Larry Cohen finally struck it rich in the mainstream with this unnerving tale of a monstrous baby that puts a novel twist on the concept of being brought into the world kicking and screaming. As the marketing campaign for the film declared, the only thing wrong with Frank and Lenore Davies’s second child is that it’s alive, and, after being received with horror by the rest of the world, it does not hesitate to defend that life to the utmost. One part allegory on familial tensions and one part commentary on environmental and biological poisoning, It’s Alive is a multi-layered work that is at the same time starkly clear and chillingly precise in its observations.” – Josh Vasquez, Slant Magazine

Grave

361. (+121) Grave

Julia Ducournau

2016 / France / 99m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurent Lucas, Joana Preiss, Bouli Lanners, Marion Vernoux, Thomas Mustin, Marouan Iddoub, Jean-Louis Sbille


“This exhilarating French-Belgian debut from writer/director Julia Ducournau is a feast for ravenous cinephiles, an extreme yet intimate tale of identity crises that blends Cronenbergian body horror with humour and heartbreak as it sinks its teeth deep into the sins of the flesh… Directed with the same cross-genre dexterity as Kathryn Bigelow’s seminal vampire western Near Dark, Raw is a thrillingly confident and vigorously executed work. From the chilling opening shot of a car crash to the woozy, single-take sojourns through drunken student raves, Ducournau and cinematographer Ruben Impens lead us effortlessly into Justine’s underworld. A tethered horse on a treadmill canters in slow motion through Justine’s tortured dreams, while scratching fits and metamorphosing sweats are captured from within the claustrophobic confines of imprisoning bed-sheets.” – Mark Kermode, The Observer

Mil gritos tiene la noche

362. (+162) Mil gritos tiene la noche

Juan Piquer Simón

1982 / USA / 85m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña, Edmund Purdom, Ian Sera, Paul L. Smith, Jack Taylor, Gérard Tichy, May Heatherly, Hilda Fuchs


“Throughout the course of the narrative we’re given absurd red herrings, hammy acting, and bad dubbing all set to the tune of pure nihilistic gore and grue that involves the shadowy figure mutilating these women in the most horrific ways imaginable and stealing parts of their bodies. The mystery leads us down many roads and suspects where Simon plays with the audiences perceptions and allows them a guess or two with tricky camera shots and slight of hand, but by the time the climax rolls around it’s clear he’s just given up and is intent on making the most out of this insane scenario while making his stamp on the horror genre living in cult infamy. “Pieces” is such a fun little blood soaked gem, you’ll be surprised if you don’t see it again immediately after to catch its little nuances.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Parents

363. (+2) Parents

Bob Balaban

1989 / Canada / 81m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Randy Quaid, Mary Beth Hurt, Sandy Dennis, Bryan Madorsky, London Juno, Kathryn Grody, Deborah Rush, Graham Jarvis, Helen Carscallen, Warren Van Evera


“Under exquisite direction by Bob Balaban, Parents hums along in an ominous, bizarro Brady Bunch-like universe. It’s wrapped in dark humor and enough winks and nudges to let you know that the whole thing is all in good fun, at least until nighttime comes; that’s when all the monsters come out to play. Shifting between comedy and creeping terror is the film ‘s bread and butter and by the end of the story the toast is a wet mush. It’s a tribute to a fine script by Christopher Hawthorne, playing off the imagination of a child who sees what he thinks he does and not being able to digest it. Even after multiple viewings Parents continues creeping on to deliver a ferocious bite. Where other films fall away to scrutiny, Balaban managed to keep his film eerie, fresh and watchable. From creative camera work to solid performances to the Esquivel-esque music, it’s like falling into a time-warp we’ve all experienced in some capacity throughout our lives.” – Michael Treveloni, Film School Rejects

Arachnophobia

364. (-6) Arachnophobia

Frank Marshall

1990 / USA / 103m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Jeff Daniels, Harley Jane Kozak, John Goodman, Julian Sands, Stuart Pankin, Brian McNamara, Mark L. Taylor, Henry Jones, Peter Jason, James Handy


“Are you arachnophobic? You’ll know for sure within 10 minutes of the opening credits. And even if you’re that rare type who can pick up a spider without involuntary convulsions, this movie is so loaded with bug-a-boos, you’ll be squirming and twitching and thinking twice about setting your popcorn under your seat… It’s a one-joke movie, a funhouse ride, the cinematic equivalent of having a rubber spider thrown in your lap. But it doesn’t matter if you reject the wispy script or the plot, which has as much substance as a spider’s web; you’ll jump every time.” – Joe Brown, Washington Post

Twins of Evil

365. (-71) Twins of Evil

John Hough

1971 / UK / 87m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Peter Cushing, Dennis Price, Mary Collinson, Madeleine Collinson, Isobel Black, Kathleen Byron, Damien Thomas, David Warbeck, Harvey Hall, Alex Scott


“The joy of Twins is in the zip. Not a moment is wasted on uncessary dialogue or character development; not a frame is lacking in blood or flesh… The movie represents a moment of change in British society. Hammer in the 1960s was puritan: evil was evil and good always triumphed over it. In the 1970s it began to absorb some of the cultural trend towards relativism. So when the movie opens the bad guy is someone who would once have been regarded as the good guy – the witch hunter… You might say that Twins is a mess. Its plot is daft, the actors seem to be playing out private melodramas and the message is convoluted. But the result is actually something that feels incredibly alive.” – Tim Stanley, The Telegraph

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

366. (-4) Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Terence Fisher

1969 / UK / 98m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Freddie Jones, Simon Ward, Thorley Walters, Maxine Audley, George Pravda, Geoffrey Bayldon, Colette O’Neil, Frank Middlemass


“Cushing’s coldly articulate and seemingly alien Baron Frankenstein is matched perfectly with the film’s minimalist (for Hammer) set design, depicting as it does an England struggling under the environmental weight of lunatic asylums and abandoned estates. This sense of a crumbling landscape is perversely reflected in Frankenstein’s drive to experiment and lacerate bodies in the name of a modernist religion of progress. Adding to the film’s appeal is a compellingly exhausted and desperate performance by Freddie Jones as Frankenstein’s all too human monster. There is a swift yet sophisticated precision to Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, a concentrated ferocity and subtle unification of narrative, image and theme that is indicative of the very height of Cushing and Fisher’s working relationship.” – Joshua Vasquez, Slant Magazine

Wrong Turn

367. (+59) Wrong Turn

Rob Schmidt

2003 / USA / 84m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth, Julian Richings, Garry Robbins, Ted Clark, Yvonne Gaudry


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

The Leopard Man

368. (-54) The Leopard Man

Jacques Tourneur

1943 / USA / 66m / BW / Crime | IMDb
Dennis O’Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, James Bell, Margaret Landry, Abner Biberman, Tuulikki Paananen, Ben Bard


“The Leopard Man is at its best when it concentrates on small details like this, building its unsettling atmosphere through the accumulation of sounds, shadows, and slowly building tension. It’s a film without a center, economical in its storytelling and yet giving the impression that it has time for plenty of detours into the lives of its characters, even the least “important” ones. This meandering quality to the plotting is the film’s greatest strength, and it’s inevitable that as the structure begins to tighten up in its final act, the film loses some of its charm. Despite a vaguely unsatisfying resolution, this is a fine low-key horror production from Lewton and Tourneur.” – Ed Howard, Only the Cinema

Dance of the Vampires

369. (-80) Dance of the Vampires

Roman Polanski

1967 / USA / 108m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Jack MacGowran, Roman Polanski, Alfie Bass, Jessie Robins, Sharon Tate, Ferdy Mayne, Iain Quarrier, Terry Downes, Fiona Lewis, Ronald Lacey


“An almost-forgotten but mainly delightful entry in the Roman Polanski filmography, this is a beautifully-designed, subtly subversive parody of the 1960s Hammer films. Best remembered for the gag in which Jewish vampire Alfie Bass laughs off a peasant girl’s brandished crucifix, this is a rare spoof that works less for its laugh-out-loud moments than for a delicate, genteel rearrangement of the clichés of genre. Polanski himself is the earnest disciple of a mad old vampire hunter (Jack MacGowan) who sets out to destroy the coven of dignified Count Von Krolock (Freddy Mayne), but our sympathies wander from the supposed heroes to the fey, irritating, elegant vampires.” – Kim Newman, Empire

The City of the Dead

370. (-17) The City of the Dead

John Llewellyn Moxey

1960 / UK / 78m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Dennis Lotis, Christopher Lee, Patricia Jessel, Tom Naylor, Betta St. John, Venetia Stevenson, Valentine Dyall, Ann Beach, Norman Macowan, Fred Johnson


“Horror film aficionados have long known about an underrated, little-recognized gem from the early ’60s called Horror Hotel. Due to its low budget, The City of the Dead was completely filmed on a sound stage. No scenes were filmed outside. However, instead of becoming a liability, this limitation actually works in the film’s favor, giving it a strong sense of claustrophobia, which makes the horror all the more palpable… One of the movie’s greatest virtues is its sense of a secluded other-worldly environment of near-Lovecraftian implications.” – Gary Johnson, Images Journal

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

371. (+6) Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Joseph Zito

1984 / USA / 91m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Kimberly Beck, Peter Barton, Corey Feldman, Erich Anderson, Crispin Glover, Clyde Hayes, Barbara Howard, Lawrence Monoson, Joan Freeman, Judie Aronson


“The difference with this film is what sets it apart from most of the series: It’s dark and extremely brutal. The first three tried to be serious but had moments of lightness and even in the midst of the bloody attacks you could either flinch or laugh at what you were watching. Part 4 is vicious and cruel. Rather than showcasing stupendous new special effects techniques, the murder scenes are just people getting gorily butchered. Some characters might be asking for it, but at times even I was wincing (and I’ve sat through more horror films than I would ever care to count).” – Kyle, Mutant Reviewers

I Know What You Did Last Summer

372. (-46) I Know What You Did Last Summer

Jim Gillespie

1997 / USA / 101m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prinze Jr., Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Anne Heche, Johnny Galecki, Muse Watson, Stuart Greer, J. Don Ferguson


“Laying its claim to succeed ‘Scream’ as a high-grossing, blood-drenched date-night crowd-pleaser… Once again, the screenwriter is Kevin Williamson, working from a novel by Lois Duncan about four teen-agers haunted by a secret: their decision to dispose of the body hit by their BMW… Though it flies in the face of credibility and becomes downright silly by its end, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ knows its way around the rules of the popular horror-film genre: the prefiguring ghost story around the campfire, the teen-age sex that insures murder, the spooky killer, plenty of steamy shower rooms and crab vats, pop-up bodies, references to other films and television and an ending that sets the gurney for as many sequels as the public can stomach.” – Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

373. (-14) The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Jim Sharman

1975 / USA / 100m / Col / Musical | IMDb
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adams, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray


“There had never been – and, since its release, never has been – a movie like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In terms of both the successfully over-the-top mixture of horror, camp, rock’n’roll, science fiction, sexual transgression, and purposefully bad B-movie dialogue within the film itself and the even more over-the-top behavior it has inspired in audiences during midnight screenings for decades, it is absolutely unique in the annals of cinema… it has not only become the ultimate cult object, but has been selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”” – James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk

The Frighteners

374. (+36) The Frighteners

Peter Jackson

1996 / New Zealand / 110m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Peter Dobson, John Astin, Jeffrey Combs, Dee Wallace, Jake Busey, Chi McBride, Jim Fyfe, Troy Evans


“The Frighteners, which starts out like a screwball comedy with ecotoplasm, then deepens into a movie about redemption, is directed by Peter Jackson, best known for 1994’s marvelous Heavenly Creatures. But viewers who loved that film’s air of quiet menace may be put off by the cranked-up pace and volume of The Frighteners; this movie is much more like Jackson’s wacky 1992 horror film Dead Alive. Which is to say, the relentless Frighteners is overloaded with jokes… and unsettling special effects (the villain surges through walls, mirrors, and rugs with shocking speed). The Frighteners is also that rare horror film that actually gets better as it proceeds; this scare machine has a heart and a brain.” – Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

Razorback

375. (+3) Razorback

Russell Mulcahy

1984 / Australia / 95m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood, David Argue, Judy Morris, John Howard, John Ewart, Don Smith, Mervyn Drake


“Mulcahy also takes a page out of Spielberg’s playbook by keeping his monster on the edge of the frame, empowering the beast with a near-mythic quality, and it doesn’t hurt that when we are given a good look at the titular terror, the results are impressively authentic (courtesy of designer Bob McCarron). The slaughterhouse finale, with its crackling sparks and grime-covered machinery, delivers the final reel shocks and splatter we deserve without compromising any of the well-grounded work that has gone before.” – Horror 101 with Dr. AC

Blood for Dracula

376. (-9) Blood for Dracula

Paul Morrissey

1974 / Italy / 103m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Joe Dallesandro, Udo Kier, Vittorio De Sica, Maxime McKendry, Arno Juerging, Milena Vukotic, Dominique Darel, Stefania Casini, Silvia Dionisio, Inna Alexeievna


“Outrageous, over the top in the sex, skin and gore department (the film was rated X when it came out, and I doubt it would get any rating at all today), Blood for Dracula is at once a horror film and a spoof—but it’s also something more. A strange, lingering sadness hangs over the film in its depiction of the end of an era. There’s a somber quality to Kier’s Dracula and also to the eldest daughter of the house, Esmeralda (Milena Vukotic)—a quality that lasts long after all the blood spurting, severed limbs and sex have passed. It’s a strange film—sometimes a beautiful one—but it’s also the textbook definition of “not for everyone.”” – Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress

Dracula: Prince of Darkness

377. (-30) Dracula: Prince of Darkness

Terence Fisher

1966 / UK / 90m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Thorley Walters, Philip Latham, Walter Brown, George Woodbridge


“This classic vampire approach still works for me, despite the 40 plus year old imagary. Sure it’s got its age to contend with and modern horror filmaking is a whole different sport to this but serve me up a slow moving, creepy Dracula luring you into his cape for a nibble above where vamps seem to be at the moment… Movies need to get back to classic vampire imagary like this again and make them scary. Dracula Prince of Darkness, while pretty silly as a movie has the king of all Transylvanian blood suckers doing everything right and this is a fine place to be reminded of just how great Dracula can be.” – Marcus Doidge, DVDActive

Frankenstein Created Woman

378. (-15) Frankenstein Created Woman

Terence Fisher

1967 / UK / 86m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters, Robert Morris, Duncan Lamont, Peter Blythe, Barry Warren, Derek Fowlds, Alan MacNaughton, Peter Madden


“Of course, it still works as straight-up Gothic horror, albeit on a level less horrifying (and frankly, less Gothic), than some of the earlier Hammer works. Cinematographer Arthur Grant, working in one of Hammer’s A-list horror franchises for the the first time, was not as accustomed to the murky blacks and hushed shadows that had marked the form to that point; and Fisher didn’t seem inclined to emphasise the story’s Expressionist possibilities either. The result is a clean, even bright mise en scène – it is the most daylight-heavy of all Hammer’s Frankenstein films – that is less scary than it is troubling: troubling that Frankenstein should be such a stone-cold villain and yet be so engaging and charming that we can’t help but like the bastard.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Bakjwi

379. (+112) Bakjwi

Chan-wook Park

2009 / South Korea / 135m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hae-suk Kim, Ha-kyun Shin, In-hwan Park, Dal-su Oh, Young-chang Song, Mercedes Cabral, Eriq Ebouaney, Hee-jin Choi


“Throughout very audible kissing and slurpy blood-drinking, the film proves to be scary, remarkably moving, and startlingly evocative. And like most Park films, it doesn’t end when the audience expects it to. The final section of the film transforms the characters and retains their humanity, even amid their most frenzied embrace of their obsessions. Park’s film is an ingenious look at a sleepy topic, proving that the vampire movie hasn’t lost its verve, but that most directors making them have. Place a filmmaker like Park behind the camera and suddenly the genre awakens from its slumber, digs itself from out of its own grave, and emerges ready to feed from the ideas of a great director.” – Brian Eggert, Deep Focus Review

House of 1000 Corpses

380. (+16) 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

Blue Velvet

381. (+23) Blue Velvet

David Lynch

1986 / USA / 120m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Hope Lange, Dean Stockwell, George Dickerson, Priscilla Pointer, Frances Bay, Jack Harvey


“The most brilliantly disturbing film ever to have its roots in small-town American life. Shocking, visionary, rapturously controlled, its images of innocence and a dark, bruising sexuality drop straight into our unconscious where they rest like depth charges. Lynch has become a master at giving form to what is not permitted – rage, revulsion, our darkest imaginings – and by making them tangible, lets us acknowledge them… “Blue Velvet” takes us behind the working-class American facade, beneath the Technicolor grass, literally underground to the churning turmoil of black, shiny beetles below.” – Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times

Death Line

382. (+27) Death Line

Gary Sherman

1973 / UK / 87m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Donald Pleasence, Norman Rossington, David Ladd, Sharon Gurney, Hugh Armstrong, June Turner, Clive Swift, James Cossins, Heather Stoney, Hugh Dickson


“Deathline is also very violent (the spade in the head segment), extremely nasty (just about any scene featuring “the man”), funny (take another bow, Mr Pleasance), frightening, touching and off-the-wall (the two minute pointless inclusion of Christopher Lee for no good reason other than he was around that day). There’s even some spectacular camerawork on display (take a trip with the special effects men as they seamlessly move from the underground charnel house to the bustling Underground station above).” – Chris Wood, British Horror Films

Un chien andalou

383. (+8) Un chien andalou

Luis Buñuel

1929 / France / 16m / BW / Experimental | IMDb
Simone Mareuil, Pierre Batcheff


“Not only was ‘Un Chien Andalou’ Buñuel’s first film, but also his first collaboration with Salvador Dali (with whom he worked again a year later on L’Âge d’Or). His stated intention was ‘to admit no idea, no image for which there might be rational, psychological or cultural explanation’ – and even if some of the film’s bourgeoisie-baiting and psycho-sexual imagery is far from opaque, Buñuel has created an enigmatic and uncanny stream of (sub)consciousness which continues even today to exert its influence on the dark imaginings of both cinemagoers and cinema itself. For, apart from showing filmmakers just how dreams can be realised on celluloid, ‘Un Chien Andalou’ is arguably the reason that we all dream in black and white. – Movie Gazette

Planet Terror

384. (+118) 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

Non si sevizia un paperino

385. (+52) Non si sevizia un paperino

Lucio Fulci

1972 / Italy / 105m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian, Irene Papas, Marc Porel, Georges Wilson, Antonello Campodifiori, Ugo D’Alessio, Virgilio Gazzolo, Vito Passeri


“The signature Fulci bit is also the devastating culmination of the film’s autopsy of corrupt patriarchy, a bravura episode of pitiless, protracted violence against Bolkan’s lupine “witch,” chains, pipes, torn flesh scored outrageously to radio channel-surfing and capped with a sendup of Il Bidone. An oversized crucifix hangs in the woods, although Fulci remains utterly distrustful of church piety, small-town virtue and even childhood innocence – what Bouchet and Milian ultimately unearth isn’t the solution to a mystery, but the awareness of Fulci’s horror erupting as vividly and messily from bucolic vistas as from decomposing zombies.” – Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion

House of Frankenstein

386. (-84) House of Frankenstein

Erle C. Kenton

1944 / USA / 71m / BW / Monster | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., J. Carrol Naish, John Carradine, Anne Gwynne, Peter Coe, Lionel Atwill, George Zucco, Elena Verdugo, Sig Ruman


“House of Frankenstein may be one of the weaker entries in Universal’s horror series, but this doesn’t prevent it from being fun. Even when the screenwriters were happy merely to regurgitate old ideas and reinforce the famous cliches, there is still some magic to be found in that eerie black-and-white Gothic fantasy world that Universal created for us. The plots may be as well-worn as the floor coverings at Hampton Court Palace, the later films may have been made for the most cynical of motives, but who can fail to take delight in the sight of the old horror icons as they emerge from their shadowy cobwebbed lairs to chill and thrill us?” – James Travers, Films de France

Dead & Buried

387. (-59) Dead & Buried

Gary Sherman

1981 / USA / 94m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson, Dennis Redfield, Nancy Locke, Lisa Blount, Robert Englund, Bill Quinn, Michael Currie, Christopher Allport


“However, Dead and Buried isn’t great simply because it’s a little unique; instead, it works because it’s just a solidly entertaining film featuring good performances and a sense of spooky mystery that pervades the entire thing. A morbidity that’s both sort of grim and cheeky hangs in the air; the stark violence is off-set by the presence of the quirky mortician and other folksy, small town charms. There’s a sense that something is just a bit off from the moment a photographer is savagely set aflame by a mob that seemingly materializes from nowhere. The film hides its cards well as more, similarly bizarre events happen that allow you to begin connecting the dots; it plays its best, most twisted hand last, though.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror!

The Faculty

388. (+118) The Faculty

Robert Rodriguez

1998 / USA / 104m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Christopher McDonald, Bebe Neuwirth


“Scream writer, Kevin Williamson, has teamed up with Robert Rodriguez, the director of Tarantino’s Mexican vampire gorefest, From Dusk Till Dawn. The result is far more intelligent than you might dare suppose. As a teenage take on Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, it combines strong characters with paranoid thriller techniques – can I trust her? Is she one of them? – and wicked special effects. The film succeeds so well in a genre, where pastiche is the norm, by accepting absurdity as real. Rodriguez is less showy than he was with From Dusk Till Dawn and Desperado. He takes it seriously, as do the young actors, all of whom deserve praise. It makes the difference between shlock horror and interesting fear.” – Angus Wolfe Murray, Eye for film

Piranha

389. (-94) Piranha

Joe Dante

1978 / USA / 94m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies-Urich, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Dick Miller, Barbara Steele, Belinda Balaski, Melody Thomas Scott, Bruce Gordon, Barry Brown


“That’s it in a nutshell, and yes, the storyline is both random and goofier than shit. Yet, that’s all part of Piranha‘s charm. This flick is by no means good; in fact, for the most part it’s just a really blatant rip-off of Jaws, but wow is it fun. We’re talking turn your brain off entertainment at its finest, folks. Piranha delivers more than its fair share of laughs, intentional and otherwise, while keeping in tune with the campy boobs and blood flicks of its time. None of it really makes any sense, but it’s a safe bet that by the time these creatures start their nibbling, plot holes will be the last thing on your mind.” – Steve “Uncle Creepy” Barton, Dread Central

Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural

390. (+48) Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural

Richard Blackburn

1973 / USA / 80m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Lesley Taplin, Cheryl Smith, William Whitton, Hy Pyke, Maxine Ballantyne, Steve Johnson, Parker West, Charla Hall, Jack Fisher, Buck Buchanan


“Lemora is a film that transcends the confines of the medium and reaches a place in our lives where we have felt the most vulnerable and alone. Our nightmares. It brings a fantasy tale to life and presents it in the most morbid of ways. The use of lighting, locations, sounds, and music, are so complete and intact throughout the film and at such an even level of dream-likeness, that you’d be hard pressed to find anything that remotely comes close to delivering the atmospheric quality that it so relishes in. This film is highly recommended to anyone who loves low budget horror films that ascend their shackles and for anyone that has ever gotten lost in their own dreams.” – Jay Shatzer, The Lucid Nightmare

The Walking Dead

391. (-85) The Walking Dead

Michael Curtiz

1936 / USA / 66m / BW / Zombie | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Ricardo Cortez, Edmund Gwenn, Marguerite Churchill, Warren Hull, Barton MacLane, Henry O’Neill, Joe King, Addison Richards, Paul Harvey


“Warner Brothers zaps Boris Karloff back to life with a plot device torn from the headlines so he can exact vengeance on a group of racketeers… The Film Daily reported that for The Walking Dead’s premiere at the New York Strand the lobby display was comprised of several still photos of the Lindbergh Heart scene from the movie, accompanied by real newspaper clippings triumphing the actual invention… The Walking Dead is run-of-the-mill gangster stuff with a horror twist but an exemplary performance by Boris Karloff, who always gave heart and soul to his work, that boosts its status in both genres. It’s a must for Karloff fans and will be enjoyed by those who love both the Universal monsters and Warner Brothers gangsters.” – Cliff Aliperti, Immortal Ephemera

The Toxic Avenger

392. (-19) The Toxic Avenger

Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman

1984 / USA / 82m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl, Dick Martinsen, Chris Liano


“”The Toxic Avenger” has a weird joyfulness that’s infectious, even while it stages ghastly deaths and dismemberments. Kaufman and Herz construct a rather effective silent comedy in the midst of all the brutality, with the picture playing just as effectively with the sound shut off. With a cast that wildly gesticulates with every line reading, broad physical comedy, and a hulking, deformed hero, it’s fairly easy to follow the feature without hearing it, as it periodically reaches Vaudeville-style shenanigans. It’s not a tasteful endeavor (maybe babies should be spared the magic of moviemaking), but it has a defined spirit that carries the adventure from beginning to end, stopping occasionally to assess character motivations and explore the romance between Toxie and Sara. Horrible, and I mean horrible stuff happens in “The Toxic Avenger,” but rarely does the effort sit around and wallow in ugliness, always on to the next bit of awful it can manipulate into horror and comedy.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

The Vampire Lovers

393. (-107) The Vampire Lovers

Roy Ward Baker

1970 / UK / 91m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Ingrid Pitt, George Cole, Kate O’Mara, Peter Cushing, Ferdy Mayne, Douglas Wilmer, Madeline Smith, Dawn Addams, Jon Finch, Pippa Steel


“What really makes this a good film, however, is the treatment of the supernatural presence. Whereas all of Hammer’s previous vampire movies were about very physical creatures, the fresh type of vampire presented here has a far eerier ambience and gives the sense of a ghostly otherworldliness that helps the picture immensely. These are beings who command through their minds and their sexual charisma, and only rarely through physical strength. At times they vanish like specters, at times they – maybe – turn into cats. It’s a wholly different take on the vampire, and one that achieves the combination of allurement and fearsomeness which most vampire tales strive for but fail to reach.” – Anton Mistlake, Mistlake’s Blog

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

394. (+39) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tim Burton

2007 / USA / 116m / Col / Musical | IMDb
Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Laura Michelle Kelly, Jayne Wisener, Ed Sanders, Gracie May


“In lesser films, songs can prove to be an alienation device by emphasising the constructed artifice of the film, foregrounding the performance aspect and losing the audience’s belief in the onscreen events. Here, they fit in seamlessly as part of the cohesive and bold direction from Burton. The calibre of acting is uniformly sublime from the veteran thespians to the younger performers. Depp and Bonham Carter complement each other well as the devious couple, their sunken eyes often saying more than several pages of script. Similarly, Burton’s expressionistic landscapes also convey a great deal, with the rare flashes of bright colour serving a narrative function by transporting us into the warmer memories of Barker/Todd. They also highlight the brutal barber’s potential for compassion and good, eroded by the injustices of humanity.” – Ben Rawson-Jones, Digital Spy

Seconds

395. (+53) Seconds

John Frankenheimer

1966 / USA / 106m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Rock Hudson, Salome Jens, John Randolph, Will Geer, Jeff Corey, Richard Anderson, Murray Hamilton, Karl Swenson, Khigh Dhiegh, Frances Reid


“Frankenheimer and his cinematographer James Wong Howe (who justifiably won the Oscar) are operating in full baroque mode from the shadowy, off-kilter crowd scenes in Grand Central. Wong’s canted, expressionist angles and lusciously dark and pinprick-sharp depth of focus become even more overpowering in the film’s third act, as Arthur is kicked back into the company’s infernal machinery. He failed to remake himself as an all-new kind of American and so is now meant for the scrap heap like every other worn-out cog in the machine. Within a few years, the capitalist and consumerist critique that Seconds put to such thrilling use would be more commonplace in a film industry desperate for counter-cultural cachet. But unlike many of those rebel statements against the mainstream, Frankenheimer’s film understood that there were no easy answers to Arthur’s kind of despair.” – Chris Barsanti, PopMatters

Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte

396. (-12) Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Robert Aldrich

1964 / USA / 133m / BW / Psychological | IMDb
Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Cecil Kellaway, Victor Buono, Mary Astor, Wesley Addy, William Campbell, Bruce Dern


“Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte is a finely executed psychological thriller/horror film. There is a surprising amount of gore and swearing for a picture of this time and that works in its favor. It lends a realistic quality to a film that could otherwise be a little ridiculous. It’s well paced and offers no end of surprises. The ending haunts you long after it’s over and makes you recalculate everything you just saw.” – Doug Heller, Next Projection

1408

397. (+2) 1408

Mikael Håfström

2007 / USA / 104m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
John Cusack, Paul Birchard, Margot Leicester, Walter Lewis, Eric Meyers, David Nicholson, Holly Hayes, Alexandra Silber, Johann Urb, Andrew Lee Potts


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

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

398. (-8) The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Alfred Hitchcock

1927 / UK / 68m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney, June, Malcolm Keen, Ivor Novello


“What’s most impressive about The Lodger is the inventiveness and audacity with which Hitchcock solves problems. He creates moods that effortlessly modulate from gaiety to dread, dark humour to suspense, suspicion to fear, right through to concern, sympathy, a sense of identification and release. It’s no spoiler to say that for Hitch, the casting of matinee idol Novello made things complicated – as matters of innocence and guilt often are. The questions that he sets himself – and we, the audience, must ponder – are: who can doubt that this creepy lodger is the killer? And yet matinee idol Novello can’t be the villain, can he?” – Wally Hammond, Little White Lies

Quatermass 2

399. (+73) Quatermass 2

Val Guest

1957 / UK / 85m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James, Bryan Forbes, William Franklyn, Vera Day, Charles Lloyd Pack, Tom Chatto, John Van Eyssen, Percy Herbert


“With no contrived plot twists or overly complex narrative it is an exemplar to film making basics, age old principles that can be as appreciated now as they were in 1959. While the cinematography experiments with a range of techniques, it is executed well and complements the movie beautifully. Due to excelling in its core elements, Quatermass 2 has aged exceptionally well. The acting, while stilted, is indicative of its time and curiously compliments the underlying sense of urgency, with Donlevy’s staccato delivery actually hastening the frenetic plot. Likewise the excellent use of implied horror doesn’t rely on the sort of effects that would traditionally date such a film. Only the finale exhibits any sort of overt fantasy and even this is handled flatteringly, distance and darkness mitigating the scene as if the director was aware of his limitations and conscious that time would frown on anything too explicit.” – Alex Barahona, That Film Guy

Signs

400. (-55) Signs

M. Night Shyamalan

2002 / USA / 106m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones, M. Night Shyamalan, Patricia Kalember, Ted Sutton, Merritt Wever, Lanny Flaherty


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