They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

#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

The Hills Have Eyes

301. (-153) 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

When a Stranger Calls

302. (-54) 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

The Stepfather

303. (-4) 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.”

The Stepford Wives

304. (+55) 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

Christine

305. (-28) Christine

John Carpenter

1983 / USA / 110m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky, Harry Dean Stanton, Christine Belford, Roberts Blossom, William Ostrander, David Spielberg

“Technology running amok and turning against humans is one of Stephen King’s favourite topics for creating suspense stories, but Christine also works as a metaphor for the destructive impact of the automobile age. Christine succeeds in effortlessly transforming the staid and cerebral Arnie to a self-obsessed anti-social maniac, and destroys all his relationships, in other words a direct if exaggerated parallel to the impact of the auto industry on overall societal behaviour.” – The Ace Black Blog

Slither

306. (-149) Slither

James Gunn

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

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

Cabin Fever

307. (-58) 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

Night of the Comet

308. (+24) 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

309. (-149) 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

Cape Fear

310. (+143) 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

Day of the Woman

311. (-22) Day of the Woman

Meir Zarchi

1978 / USA / 101m / Col / Rape and Revenge | IMDb
Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace, Anthony Nichols, Gunter Kleemann, Alexis Magnotti, Tammy Zarchi, Terry Zarchi, Traci Ferrante, William Tasgal

“Man and nature are both all-consuming in Meir Zarchi’s landmark horror film I Spit on Your Grave, seamlessly surrounding attractive young novelist Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton) as she drives deep into the New York countryside to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life. It’s hard not to admire Zarchi’s disavowal of substantive character traits and narrative foundation for thematic shock and awe. His film oozes with aggression from all sides, taking form in the sharp reds, blacks, and greens of the film diverse chromatic scale. One can’t mistake I Spit in Your Grave for anything other than a raging political text, a rigorous reminder to the power of a disturbed imagination, be it victimizer or victim.” – Glenn Heath Jr, Slant Magazine

The Grudge

312. (-38) The Grudge

Takashi Shimizu

2004 / USA / 92m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, William Mapother, Clea DuVall, KaDee Strickland, Grace Zabriskie, Bill Pullman, Rosa Blasi, Ted Raimi, Ryo Ishibashi

“For the American émigrés that populate ‘The Grudge’ are portrayed as struggling with the basics of Japanese language, confused even by the products on a Japanese supermarket shelf, and generally lost and out of place – and it is a mutually uncomprehending relationship between an American and a Japanese which turns out to have engendered the curse at the heart of the film. Shimizu, it seems, is not only exploiting this cultural clash to amplify his characters’ alienation, hopelessness, and terror, but also to comment wryly on the bizarre love affair between America and Japan which makes a film like this possible. It is as though the original ‘Ju-on’ had been merged with Lost in Translation, and the result is an intelligent reflection on Hollywood’s flawed attempts to recreate Oriental horror in its own image –as well as a great scare or three for the uninitiated West.” – Anton Bitel, Movie Gazette

From Beyond

313. (-59) From Beyond

Stuart Gordon

1986 / USA / 86m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel, Ken Foree, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Bunny Summers, Bruce McGuire, Del Russel, Dale Wyatt, Karen Christenfeld

“From Beyond is an updated adaptation of an old H. P. Lovecraft tale about those malignant creatures that share our world, unseen, existing in their fourth dimension just waiting to get back into ours. With the help of computer technology and something called a ”resonator,” Dr. Pretorious has provided the means by which these beings can return… The film’s most spectacular moments belong to the sebaceous cyst school of special effects, pioneered in ”Alien” and in the films of David Cronenberg: lumps, on or in various parts of the body, which swell up and then burst to reveal something oozily unspeakable within.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times

Ravenous

314. (-107) Ravenous

Antonia Bird

1999 / UK / 101m / Col / Western | IMDb
Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette, Jeremy Davies, Jeffrey Jones, John Spencer, Stephen Spinella, Neal McDonough, Joseph Runningfox, Bill Brochtrup

“From the moment Michael Nyman and Damon Albarn’s tinny, non-traditional score rises, there’s a, “Wait, did they mean to do that?” quality to the film. Ravenous doesn’t sound or look like other movies—for better and for worse. That eccentricity helps once it becomes clearer that Ravenous is meant to function as a historical/political allegory, using the “survival of the fittest” plot as an analogue to the way the U.S. gobbled up land throughout the 19th century. The movie is really about Boyd’s ethical crisis as he realizes that being a soldier—and a cannibal—means swallowing things he finds distasteful. Bird and Griffin aren’t shy about making that point; Ravenous openly declares its meaning over and over during its final half-hour. But the rest of the film is so entertainingly odd that the lack of subtlety doesn’t seem so egregious. Whatever the circumstances that led to the cast and crew of Ravenous feeling abandoned and aimless, from scene to scene, they did their best to make something distinctive.” – Noel Murray, The Dissolve

I Know What You Did Last Summer

315. (+8) I Know What You Did Last Summer

Jim Gillespie

1997 / USA / 100m / 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

Shutter

316. (-78) Shutter

Banjong Pisanthanakun & Parkpoom Wongpoom

2004 / Thailand / 97m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Ananda Everingham, Natthaweeranuch Thongmee, Achita Sikamana, Unnop Chanpaibool, Titikarn Tongprasearth, Sivagorn Muttamara

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

Cloverfield

317. (-138) 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

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

318. (+27) Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Tommy Lee Wallace

1982 / USA / 98m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’Herlihy, Michael Currie, Ralph Strait, Jadeen Barbor, Brad Schacter, Garn Stephens, Nancy Kyes, Jonathan Terry

“Was it a cheat that Halloween III skipped out on more Michael Myers mayhem? Well, it certainly was annoying that the advertising didn’t let audiences know that little fact in the teasers and trailers. And a great many fans are still pissed about that to this very day… But, to be frank, people need to lighten up about this third entry because Season of the Witch is actually a pretty terrific little midnight movie, in keeping with John Carpenter’s other chillers of the era, specifically The Fog and The Thing. On many levels, the films kinda play like an eerie trilogy of haunting ghost stories, filled with monsters, mad men and vengeful ghouls… Season of the Witch has grown in popularity over the years as fans have healed from the initial sting and gave the film a second chance.” – R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD

The Last Man on Earth

319. (-54) 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

Quatermass and the Pit

320. (+148) Quatermass and the Pit

Roy Ward Baker

1967 / UK / 97m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley, Julian Glover, Duncan Lamont, Bryan Marshall, Peter Copley, Edwin Richfield, Grant Taylor, Maurice Good

“Skillfully directed by Roy Ward Baker, Quatermass is resplendent with suspense, action and melodrama that never verge too far into the realms of camp. Despite seeming dated and unintentionally funny to contemporary audiences, the film remains valid and actually is one of the more thought provoking of science fiction horror films out there. By turning the typical sci fi film plot on its head, Quatermass is actually unpredictable and poses intelligent questions that help give it a sense of realism that can obviously not be found in the bulk of Hammer’s work (I mean, however great the films are, we all know that Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster aren’t actually real!). Although the prospect of alien invasion is often considered implausible, Quatermass certainly makes a compelling case for the plausibility of a past invasion that never came into fruition. Aside from this, it’s quite simply a very enjoyable film!” – Stuart Cummins, What Culture

X

321. (+153) X

Roger Corman

1963 / USA / 79m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, John Hoyt, Don Rickles

“There’s always a raw integrity in a Roger Corman film where parody and melodrama slip into moments of realism, an aesthetic contradiction of crude production values, outlaw characters and surrealist solutions. The Man With The X-Ray Eyes is just such a film, at times as bad and ludicrous as anything in the thrill genre, at others as brilliant and expressionist as an Antonioni of the same period. It’s pop art, the Pathecolor tonality and Spectorama effects anticipating the psychedelic genre, just like the renegade doctor and his quest for a higher level of consciousness.” – Lawrence Russell, Culture Court

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

322. (-39) 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

30 Days of Night

323. (-87) 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

Horror Express

324. (+135) 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

Paura nella città dei morti viventi

325. (-54) 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

Bad Taste

326. (-58) 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

The Burning

327. (-42) 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

Piranha

328. (-17) 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

Tales from the Crypt

329. (-12) Tales from the Crypt

Freddie Francis

1972 / UK / 92m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Ralph Richardson, Geoffrey Bayldon, Joan Collins, Martin Boddey, Chloe Franks, Oliver MacGreevy, Ian Hendry, Susan Denny, Angela Grant, Peter Cushing

“Subotsky bought the movie rights for all the E. C. horror titles from their publisher, William M. Gaines, and “Tales from the Crypt” is the first film made from the material. It’s put together something like the comic books, with the old Crypt Keeper acting as host and narrator… The five stories all work on the principle that an evildoer should be punished ironically by his own misdeed… The direction is by Freddie Francis, who has something of a cult following among horror fans, and the visuals and decor have been planned in bright basic colors and gray, so they look something like comic panels. One further note: If Santa Claus knocks at your door tonight, don’t answer.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Dead & Buried

330. (-79) 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!

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors

331. (+324) 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

Dracula: Prince of Darkness

332. (+48) 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

House of Frankenstein

333. (+372) 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

Stir of Echoes

334. (-97) 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

Tourist Trap

335. (-7) Tourist Trap

David Schmoeller

1979 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness, Robin Sherwood, Tanya Roberts, Dawn Jeffory, Keith McDermott, Shailar Coby, Arlecchino, Victoria Richart

“With an atmosphere recalling such memorably intense shockers as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and anticipating such future horror classics as The Evil Dead, Tourist Trap just might be one of the most underappreciated low-budget horror films of the 1970s. Favoring unsettling sound and imagery in favor of gratuitous gore and shock tactics, and featuring a giddily loony performance by Chuck Connors, Tourist Trap’s nightmarish atmosphere and logic propel it a step ahead of its contemporaries. Numerous scenes of screaming mannequins menacing their victims have a certain way of getting under your skin despite the temptation toward awkward laughter, with a surreal night-terror logic often teetering between downright silly and absolutely horrifying. ” – Allmovie

God Told Me To

336. (-14) 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

Yabu no naka no kuroneko

337. (-79) 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

The Lair of the White Worm

338. (+171) The Lair of the White Worm

Ken Russell

1988 / UK / 93m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg, Peter Capaldi, Sammi Davis, Stratford Johns, Paul Brooke, Imogen Claire, Chris Pitt, Gina McKee

“Christianity and paganism clash in Ken Russell’s The Lair of the White Worm, a campy account of the horrors that beset a small England town when the mysterious Lady Sylvia Marsh (Catherine Oxenberg) decides to conjure up the ghosts of worms from long ago… Russell’s compositions are gorgeous to look at though it’s the deliciousness with which the story unravels that made Lair of the White Worm Russell’s most enjoyable film since his masterpiece Crimes of Passion. One amusing scenario here says everything that needs to be said about Russell as a director: James discusses worm-lore while his friend Angus (Peter Capaldi) voraciously chews on spaghetti. Cheap effects and gratuitous displays of nudity only heighten the film’s delirious demeanor.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

Eden Lake

339. (-154) 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

Psycho II

340. (+1) 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

Children of the Corn

341. (-43) Children of the Corn

Fritz Kiersch

1984 / USA / 92m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin, Courtney Gains, Robby Kiger, Anne Marie McEvoy, Julie Maddalena, Jonas Marlowe, John Philbin

“So Children of the Corn is goofy and campy, but it’s also awesome. The atmosphere is killer, evoked by some eerie shots of cornfields both in the daytime and at night – and it’s surprising how scary this is even when most of the film takes place during the day. The kids, while not GREAT actors, do get the job done and manage to come off as legitimately creepy rather than just silly. The main characters are both good, with real personalities and as an added bonus, they actually DO things rather than just letting things HAPPEN to them, which is a big problem a lot of horror movies have. By avoiding that pitfall, this movie has a lot of drive and momentum and remains consistently exciting all throughout its duration.” – Lawrence Griff, Doc Universe

The Revenge of Frankenstein

342. (+180) The Revenge of Frankenstein

Terence Fisher

1958 / UK / 89m / 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

Pumpkinhead

343. (-36) 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

The City of the Dead

344. (-5) 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

Motel Hell

345. (+50) Motel Hell

Kevin Connor

1980 / USA / 101m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Rory Calhoun, Paul Linke, Nancy Parsons, Nina Axelrod, Wolfman Jack, Elaine Joyce, Dick Curtis, Monique St. Pierre, Rosanne Katon, E. Hampton Beagle

“The whole concept of cannibalism is appropriately icky here. The sight of innocent people buried like heads of lettuce in a garden feels creepy, while the much-beloved finale – involving a chainsaw-wielding Farmer Vincent wearing a pig’s head – achieves an aura of genuine dementedness. Meanwhile, as sick as some of the story’s events are, you often can’t help but laugh at them. Motel Hell goes just far enough over the top to avoid being offensive. There’s a tongue-in-cheek spirit to the movie (in addition to an admirable restraint when it comes to gore) that is, dare I say, kind of charming.” – Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat

The Tomb of Ligeia

346. (+179) 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

Two Thousand Maniacs!

347. (+197) Two Thousand Maniacs!

Herschell Gordon Lewis

1964 / USA / 87m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Connie Mason, William Kerwin, Jeffrey Allen, Shelby Livingston, Ben Moore, Jerome Eden, Gary Bakeman, Mark Douglas, Linda Cochran, Yvonne Gilbert

“Maniacs is a gleefully absurd and vicious social satire (as well as something of a spoof of Brigadoon) in the guise of an intensely gory horror film. The rednecks of Pleasant Valley, Georgia are so hell-bent on killing the tourists they have lured to their town, yet they have so much fun doing it, that it is hard not to want them to succeed. The Yankees in the film are such drips anyway (and Connie Mason always makes a good girl-in-peril) that one begins to take delight in the inventive methods of demise the rednecks think up for them. After all, is this not the reason we watch films like this, to get a kick out people (literally) spilling their guts?” – Matt Bailey, Not Coming

Viy

348. (-2) 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 Rocky Horror Picture Show

349. (+75) 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

Gritos en la noche

350. (+470) Gritos en la noche

Jesús Franco

1962 / Spain / 90m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Conrado San Martín, Diana Lorys, Howard Vernon, Perla Cristal, María Silva, Ricardo Valle, Mara Laso, Venancio Muro, Félix Dafauce, Faustino Cornejo

“The audio elements of Orlof complement the visuals, combining efforts to keep the audience on their toes. The dizzy musical score by José Pagán and Antonio Ramírez Ángel… Actually, I misspeak – “music” is far too nice a word for the cacophony of percussion and bizarre arrangements that permeate Orlof’s soundscape. Pagán and Ángel’s work is more of a thrumming wakeup call to the senses, a bucket of cold water tossed down the ear. The camerawork and the soundtrack combine to form a general aesthetic of “screw aesthetics,” infusing Orlof with a manic, exhilarating energy that enlivens and rejuvenates the clichés in the script.” – Nate Yapp, Classic-Horror

Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte

351. (+190) 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

The Curse of the Cat People

352. (+123) The Curse of the Cat People

Gunther von Fritsch & Robert Wise

1944 / USA / 70m / BW / Fantasy | IMDb
Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Ann Carter, Eve March, Julia Dean, Elizabeth Russell, Erford Gage, Sir Lancelot

“Though very different in purpose and tone to Cat People, Val Lewton’s ‘sequel’ is far more closely tied to its predecessor than is commonly believed. For one thing, all the main characters remain very much the same as they were in the earlier film, to which there are many specific references; for another, both films concern the way that guilt, fear and fantasy can arise from isolation and misunderstanding. In this case, it’s a small girl, lonely and repeatedly scolded by her parents and shunned by her friends for indulging in day-dreaming; when she populates her solitary world with the ghost of her father’s dead first wife (Simon, heroine of Cat People), her imagination (or is it?) gets her into serious trouble. Far from being a horror film, it’s a touching, perceptive and lyrical film about childhood, psychologically astute and occasionally disturbing as it focuses entirely on the child’s-eye view of a sad, cruel world.” – Geoff Andrews, Time Out

I Was a Teenage Werewolf

353. (+312) I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Gene Fowler Jr.

1957 / USA / 76m / BW / Werewolf | IMDb
Michael Landon, Yvonne Fedderson, Whit Bissell, Charles Willcox, Dawn Richard, Barney Phillips, Ken Miller, Cynthia Chenault, Michael Rougas, Robert Griffin

“There are few horror titles which are as evocative as I Was a Teenage Werewolf, immediately a klaxon announcing bad make-up, bad acting, drippy 50’s pop culture trappings and throw-away chaff. In actual fact, it is a well-made, well-shot drama which, though having the worst song and accompanying dance routine in the history of cinema, is a more successful commentary on teenage life than many alien invasion/nuclear bug films were at decrying The Bomb. Landon, almost squeaky in his youth (he was actually 21 years-old) plays the role of every-man perfectly well, whilst his generic group of friends and sundry adults prove to be a more believable agitate than a parade of well-known names.” – Horrorpedia

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

354. (+180) 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

Frankenstein Created Woman

355. (+385) 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

The Ghost of Frankenstein

356. (+437) The Ghost of Frankenstein

Erle C. Kenton

1942 / USA / 67m / BW / Monster | IMDb
Lon Chaney Jr., Cedric Hardwicke, Ralph Bellamy, Lionel Atwill, Bela Lugosi, Evelyn Ankers, Janet Ann Gallow, Barton Yarborough, Doris Lloyd, Leyland Hodgson

“Overall Ghost of Frankenstein is a better movie than if often gets credited for. While this might be the weakest of the series (ignoring the crossover movies) it’s still a pretty good movie with solid characters and solid acting. While Lon Chaney isn’t anywhere near the level of Karloff as the Monster, Chaney still delivers an excellent take on the Monster and with a strong cast Ghost of Frankenstein is a fun B-Movie and while it may not reach the epic of heights of past Frankenstein films it does provide a fun time.” – Last Road Reviews

It Came from Outer Space

357. (+315) It Came from Outer Space

Jack Arnold

1953 / USA / 81m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake, Joe Sawyer, Russell Johnson

“It Came from Outer Space stands out from the 50’s alien-invasion-movie crowd in so many ways that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. For one thing, there’s the portrayal of the aliens themselves. These spacefarers are a far cry from the Martians of War of the Worlds or Invaders from Mars, but they are equally far from the stern but benevolent Klaatu of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Of all the movie aliens of the time, I believe these are the most plausibly portrayed, the ones whose actions and motivations most closely resemble what one would expect from intelligent organisms in their position. They are neither villainous conquerors led by a diabolical megalomaniac (think Earth vs. the Flying Saucers) nor beatific missionaries of interstellar peace. They are reasonable beings who have gotten themselves into trouble, and who are willing to do whatever they have to in order to get out of it again. If that means treating the natives a bit roughly, so be it.” – Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours

Arachnophobia

358. (+53) 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

The Hound of the Baskervilles

359. (+131) The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sidney Lanfield

1939 / USA / 80m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Richard Greene, Basil Rathbone, Wendy Barrie, Nigel Bruce, Lionel Atwill, John Carradine, Barlowe Borland, Beryl Mercer, Morton Lowry, Ralph Forbes

“Although The Hound of the Baskervilles remains stubbornly set-bound, it still manages to generate a nice atmosphere which is due mostly to its insistence on depicting Dartmoor as a gloomy, perpetually mist-shrouded domain of escaped prisoners, scruffy hawkers and, of course, a ferocious hound with a habit of howling at the moon. But it’s also the familiarity of Rathbone and Bruce in the roles which largely defined their careers that gives classic movie buffs a case of the warm-fuzzies. They bring Donan Coyle’s characters to life in a very real way that no other actors have come close to rivalling, so that each seem to harbour a genuine fondness for the other – even though Watson is prone to bluff and bluster when shown by Holmes how far off the mark he invariably is.” – Richard Cross, A Tankful of Gas

The Ghost Breakers

360. (+385) The Ghost Breakers

George Marshall

1940 / USA / 85m / BW / Comedy | IMDb
Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, Willie Best, Pedro de Cordoba, Virginia Brissac, Noble Johnson, Anthony Quinn, Tom Dugan

“All in all, “The Ghost Breakers” is a crowd-pleasing popcorn movie with a lot to offer audiences patient enough to follow its labyrinthine plot. It delivers in all areas. Hope, Best and Norton elicit some of the biggest laughs of their formidable careers. Goddard emerges as one of if not the most memorable heroine in the classic horror-comedy genre. The scares are not only genuine but the overall tone of dread is consistent – consider even the scenes on the boat to Cuba, enhanced by highly effective, shadowy, mist-shrouded black and white cinematography. Hope and Goddard come off as a convincing romantic couple-in-the-making (bolstered by the fact that Hope could more easily pass as a leading man than some of the less attractive male comics – his charm in the scene where he and Paulette dance in her stateroom is ingratiating).” – Paul Castiglia, Scared Silly

Phantom of the Opera

361. (+269) Phantom of the Opera

Arthur Lubin

1943 / USA / 92m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Nelson Eddy, Susanna Foster, Claude Rains, Edgar Barrier, Leo Carrillo, Jane Farrar, J. Edward Bromberg, Fritz Feld, Frank Puglia, Steven Geray

“Universal’s big, splashy Technicolor 1943 remake (made on the same set) of its 1925 hit Phantom of the Opera is often dimissed as “too much opera” and “too little Phantom.” There’s some truth in that, but it’s still a good — and certainly good-looking — thriller with its fair share of jolts. In its own way, this film added to the basics of the narrative by providing the Phantom with a backstory, which has found its way into many subsequent tellings of the tale.” – Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress

The Leopard Man

362. (+83) 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

Un chien andalou

363. (+431) 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

Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

364. (-9) Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

Pier Paolo Pasolini

1975 / Italy / 116m / 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

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

365. (+406) 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

Get Out

366. (new) Get Out

Jordan Peele

2017 / USA / 104m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Marcus Henderson, Betty Gabriel, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Root, LilRel Howery

“Writer and director Peele has pulled off a masterstroke with one of the most timely and horrifying satirical takes on anxieties facing African Americans in the 21st century. If that’s not enough, it also takes aim at the horrendous slaving past that blights the country’s history… Peele’s writing is sharp and to the point. There’s not wastage in the story. It gets straight to the point – that racism in all its forms is a horror story in and of itself. While it may make some audiences uncomfortable shining a light on the subject in an entertaining way, it doesn’t lessen the impact of the ignorance. The film even has the balls to take a pop at US policing in a suitably scathing remark on how some officers go beyond their powers to target people of colour.” – Garry McConnachie, Daily Record

The VVitch: A New-England Folktale

367. (+183) The VVitch: A New-England Folktale

Robert Eggers

2015 / USA / 90m / Col / Witchcraft | IMDb
Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Lucas Dawson, Ellie Grainger, Julian Richings, Bathsheba Garnett, Sarah Stephens, Wahab Chaudhry

“Laying an imaginative foundation for the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials that would follow decades later, writer-director Robert Eggers’ impressive debut feature walks a tricky line between disquieting ambiguity and full-bore supernatural horror, but leaves no doubt about the dangerously oppressive hold that Christianity exerted on some dark corners of the Puritan psyche. With its formal, stylized diction and austere approach to genre, this accomplished feat of low-budget period filmmaking will have to work considerable marketing magic to translate appreciative reviews into specialty box-office success, but clearly marks Eggers as a storyteller of unusual rigor and ambition.” – Justin Chang, Variety

Mulholland Dr.

368. (-158) 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

369. (-9) 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

Valerie a týden divu

370. (-103) Valerie a týden divu

Jaromil Jires

1970 / Czechoslovakia / 73m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Jaroslava Schallerová, Helena Anýzová, Petr Kopriva, Jirí Prýmek, Jan Klusák, Libuse Komancová, Karel Engel, Alena Stojáková, Otto Hradecký, Martin Wielgus

“Jaromil Jires’s overripe 1970 exercise in Prague School surrealism. The 13-year-old title heroine, who’s just had her first period, traipses through a shifting landscape of sensuous, anticlerical, and vaguely medieval fantasy-horror enchantments that register more as a collection of dream adventures, spurred by guiltless and polysexual eroticism, than as a conventional narrative. Virtually every shot is a knockout—for comparable use of color, you’d have to turn to some of Vera Chytilova’s extravaganzas of the same period, such as Daisies and Fruit of Paradise. If you aren’t too anxious about decoding what all this means, you’re likely to be entranced.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Kurutta ippêji

371. (+58) Kurutta ippêji

Teinosuke Kinugasa

1926 / Japan / 70m / BW / Surrealism | IMDb
Masuo Inoue, Ayako Iijima, Yoshie Nakagawa, Hiroshi Nemoto, Misao Seki, Minoru Takase, Eiko Minami, Kyosuke Takamatsu, Tetsu Tsuboi, Shintarô Takiguchi

“A stunning invocation of the world as viewed by the mentally ill, within minutes, as the rapid montage of the opening storm sequences dissolves into the surrealistic fantasy of the sailor’s wife dressed in an exotic costume dancing in front of an art-deco inspired backdrop featuring a large spinning ball flanked by ornate fountains, A Page of Madness bowls you over with a barrage of startling images utilising every technique known to filmmakers of the time. Even now, Kinugasa’s film seems as fresh as a daisy and when seen on the big screen, as eye-popping an experience as anything you’re likely to see released nowadays.” – Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye

Cure

372. (-58) Cure

Kiyoshi Kurosawa

1997 / Japan / 111m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Kôji Yakusho, Masato Hagiwara, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Anna Nakagawa, Yoriko Dôguchi, Yukijirô Hotaru, Denden, Ren Ohsugi, Masahiro Toda, Misayo Haruki

“Writer/Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa is not a Japanese David Fincher, while Fincher makes “Seven” seem cool, Kurosawa makes “Cure” real. This is not an over-stylized film. We see the murders like a witness, with far away static shots. When the detective is investigating, we are his partner and we stay a few paces away just listening. The film’s score is nearly non-existent, the scenes are filled with ambient sound, the rumbling of the ocean or a dryer. “Cure” is a movie to get lost in. From the very beginning we’re thrown into something where we’re never quite sure what is going on. It is wonderful to feel misplaced, knowing that this will not end with a foreseeable plot twist. There is no clear-cut conclusion. The film is not wrapped up in a nice neat little package. Kurosawa shows us a glimpse into this strange world and then pulls away, leaving us to figure out the answers, answers that may never come.” – Ross Williams, Film Threat

House of 1000 Corpses

373. (-174) 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

Scream 2

374. (-78) 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

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

375. (-27) Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

David Lynch

1992 / USA / 135m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Phoebe Augustine, David Bowie, Eric DaRe, Miguel Ferrer, Pamela Gidley, Heather Graham

“The film is alarmingly dark. It isn’t especially funny, or quirky, or even much in keeping with the spirit of the series. But in its own singular, deeply strange way, Fire Walk With Me is David Lynch’s masterpiece… Laura’s world is morally confused, and Lynch presents it as basically illegible: the only way he can show us the truth is by articulating it in code, shrouding it in fantasy and mystery and conspiratorial intrigue. It’s why the film seems, at times, like a puzzle. The contrasting halves of the film’s bifurcated narrative find two worlds crashing together, the first a plane of frustrated desire and inscrutable mystery, the second a void into which a young woman is swallowed up. The procedural elements of the first are fundamentally disconnected from the tragedy of the second, suggesting that, in the final estimation, we can’t really on institutions to protect us. They’re solving the wrong case.” – Calum Marsh, Village Voice

Pontypool

376. (-211) 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

Friday the 13th Part 2

377. (-64) 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

Sinister

378. (-173) 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

Cujo

379. (-8) Cujo

Lewis Teague

1983 / USA / 93m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Christopher Stone, Ed Lauter, Kaiulani Lee, Billy Jayne, Mills Watson, Sandy Ward, Jerry Hardin

“The attacks are startling, and Cujo unleashes his wrath on the helpless pair who can do nothing but hope for the dog to grow bored with its assaults and move on to another target. But his rage seems almost supernatural to where Donna and her son are just prime targets Cujo almost lusts toward mauling under its diseased teeth and nails. With subtexts about sin and infidelity coming around to become our ultimate undoing, “Cujo” is still a very effective and terrifying nature run amok film. With excellent editing and direction from Teague that make this a horror film worthy of its classic status, “Cujo” is a favorite. Dee Wallace provides yet another riveting performance in a nature run amok horror classic that hasn’t aged a bit. Wonderful performances, an primal villain, and a compelling story make this a horror gem worthy of re-discovering time and time again.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Signs

380. (-3) 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

Blue Velvet

381. (-27) 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

Woop

382. (+211) Woop

Brian De Palma

1978 / USA / 118m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress, Charles Durning, Amy Irving, Fiona Lewis, Andrew Stevens, Carol Eve Rossen, Rutanya Alda, Joyce Easton

“Despite its flaws, The Fury is a fascinating and unpredictable film, darker and more difficult than Carrie with a flashy, unexpected conclusion designed to shock and disorient. There are plenty of cartoonish and over the top moments, but they seem to work for the film, namely the outrageous ending where De Palma shows us a person exploding over and over again from a variety of angles. There is something comic book-like about The Fury and I can’t help but think of some of the darker X-Men story lines where characters struggle to live with their superhuman powers.” – Samm Deighan, Diabolique Magazine

Flesh for Frankenstein

383. (+100) Flesh for Frankenstein

Paul Morrissey

1973 / USA / 95m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Joe Dallesandro, Monique van Vooren, Udo Kier, Arno Juerging, Dalila Di Lazzaro, Srdjan Zelenovic, Nicoletta Elmi, Marco Liofredi, Liù Bosisio, Fiorella Masselli

“Disgusting? Yes. Obscene? Oh, certainly. Likely to deprave and corrupt? Paul Morrissey absolutely hopes so. And above all else, wildly fucking funny. The genius of the film lies not in the director’s willingness to “go there” with every depraved idea that crops into his head, but to go there with a song in his heart and a big smile on his face. If I had to come up with one adjective to describe Flesh for Frankenstein, it would probably be “silly”. Or maybe, “goofy”. But surely not sick, violent, over-the-top, any of those other things – for if it is indeed a wicked, wicked film, it is all in the service of its gloriously self-indulgent camp attitude.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Drácula

384. (+185) Drácula

George Melford

1931 / USA / 104m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Carlos Villarías, Lupita Tovar, Barry Norton, Pablo Álvarez Rubio, Eduardo Arozamena, José Soriano Viosca, Carmen Guerrero, Amelia Senisterra, Manuel Arbó

“Still, the Melford-Avalos Dracula is a big step up from the Browning version. Its substantially longer running time (more than 20 minutes in excess of the English version’s) allows for more and better character development, and provides the opportunity to plug up plot holes left gaping in its better-known counterpart. The directors’ firmer grasp of their medium shines through in every scene, resulting in a film that is livelier despite its greater length. The more competent cast rises to the occasion throughout, putting in performances with far greater depth of feeling than the English-speakers who played their roles on the same sets by day. With a more forceful actor in the all-important title role, this Dracula could really have been the classic Browning’s version is generally regarded to be.” – Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

Society

385. (-88) 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

The Little Shop of Horrors

386. (+91) The Little Shop of Horrors

Roger Corman

1960 / USA / 72m / BW / Black Comedy | IMDb
Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph, Mel Welles, Dick Miller, Myrtle Vail, Tammy Windsor, Toby Michaels, Leola Wendorff, Lynn Storey, Wally Campo

“Though it lacks the gloss and sophistication of its successor – in places, the sets actually shake, and the quality of surviving prints is universally dreadful – this is still a stylish piece of work. Denied colour, Roger Corman plays with light and shadow like a master of film noir. This adds a creepy edge to scenes where Seymour is skulking round the backstreets of the city, an atmosphere which emphasises the agony of his moral dilemma. It’s a darker film in every sense, but this is alleviated by some brilliant comic performances from various minor stars of the time, patched together in a quirky style which is positively surreal.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

Kill List

387. (-183) 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 Loved Ones

388. (-146) 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

Blood for Dracula

389. (+126) 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

You're Next

390. (-190) 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

Brain Damage

391. (+42) 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

Tucker and Dale vs Evil

392. (-204) 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

Taste the Blood of Dracula

393. (+336) Taste the Blood of Dracula

Peter Sasdy

1970 / UK / 91m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Gwen Watford, Linda Hayden, Peter Sallis, Anthony Higgins, Isla Blair, John Carson, Martin Jarvis, Ralph Bates

“While all of the Hammer Dracula films emphasize the physical and psychological lasciviousness and decay that accompanies a vampiric plague, an infection that in many ways only represents the unlocking of hidden desires, Taste the Blood of Dracula is unusual in that it keeps Dracula somewhat on the sidelines. He is more the force behind a kind of twisted moral retribution rather than just the aggressor in a struggle between good and evil. Even the film’s proscriptive title indicates a temptation to ingest that which is forbidden.” – Josh Vasquez, Slant Magazine

Planet Terror

394. (-201) 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

Død snø

395. (-181) Død snø

Tommy Wirkola

2009 / Norway / 90m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jeppe Beck Laursen, Jenny Skavlan, Ane Dahl Torp, Bjørn Sundquist, ørjan Gamst

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

Tetsuo

396. (-172) 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

Black Swan

397. (-125) 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

Ghost Busters

398. (+27) Ghost Busters

Ivan Reitman

1984 / USA / 105m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William Atherton, Ernie Hudson, David Margulies, Steven Tash

“What Reitman’s film did was blend genres in a way that was truly novel and is still tough to pull off. When I read about the series being rebooted, I always wince because I feel like someone will get the recipe wrong. It’ll either be too funny, or too serious. ‘Ghostbusters’ is the rare tentpole that’s hilarious throughout, but also has real stakes… Watching the film now, it can’t help but feel miraculous just to see how seamlessly all the elements blend together, and how on-point everyone from the actors to the special fx guys, to the set designers, composers, etc., were here… This pretty much made Murray the cult icon he is today, with him being the “cool-guy funny man” which is a tough gig to pull off.” – Chris Bumbray, JoBlo’s Movie Emporium

1408

399. (-165) 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

Jurassic Park

400. (-1) Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg

1993 / USA / 127m / Col / Adventure | IMDb
Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, Samuel L. Jackson, BD Wong

“A true movie milestone, presenting awe- and fear-inspiring sights never before seen on the screen. The more spectacular of these involve the fierce, lifelike dinosaurs that stalk through the film with astounding ease… They appear only for brief interludes, but the dinosaurs dominate “Jurassic Park” in every way. Amazingly graceful and convincing, they set a sky-high new standard for computer-generated special effects. But thoughts about how those effects were achieved aren’t likely to surface while the film is under way. The most important thing about the dinosaurs of “Jurassic Park” is that they create a triumphant illusion. You will believe you have spent time in a dino-filled world.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times