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#401-#500

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: #401-#500

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

Cujo

401. (-22) 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

Trilogy of Terror

402. (+21) Trilogy of Terror

Dan Curtis

1975 / USA / 72m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Karen Black, Robert Burton, John Karlen, George Gaynes, Jim Storm, Gregory Harrison, Kathryn Reynolds, Tracy Curtis, Orin Cannon


“Short and to the point (the three stories are told in a scant seventy-two minutes), Trilogy of Terror wastes little time on clumsy exposition or subsidiary characters. Throughout the trilogy, Karen Black gets ample opportunity to demonstrate her range. Her four roles over the three episodes (in the middle entry, she plays twins) see her play prim and passionate, twins and terrified. It’s a real showcase for the actress, who is asked to carry the entire film. Her performance is to credit for most of the tension that the first two tales manage. In many scenes, she’s the only person on screen, whether she is having a phone conversation with an off-screen character or merely talking to herself at length. The slightly demented demeanor that Black brings to all of her roles pays major dividends here, whether she is playing a creepy seductress, engaging in a deadly mind game, or ensuring us, with a look of complete fear in her eyes, that the doll that is stalking her is truly alive.” – Jeremy Heilman, MovieMartyr

Lifeforce

403. (+5) Lifeforce

Tobe Hooper

1985 / USA / 116m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Steve Railsback, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Mathilda May, Patrick Stewart, Michael Gothard, Nicholas Ball, Aubrey Morris, Nancy Paul, John Hallam


“If Lifeforce is an examination and perhaps even condemnation of promiscuous, rampant sexuality, it is also a supreme, unsettling entertainment. It surprises constantly, and features a number of nice homages to classic horror cinema. I mentioned George Romero’s Dead cycle, but Lifeforce also harks back to an older, British tradition: the Quartermass and Nigel Kneale’s legacy. There, aliens from space were the source of our mythology. They came to Earth and were reckoned with in terms of scientific and military solutions. Lifeforce is very much the same animal…plus huge heaping helpings of sex and visual effects. I also happen to believe the film does possess a sense of humor, but that it makes those jokes straight faced, in a staccato rat-a-tat-tat of overlapping dialogue. Lifeforce is about a “destroyer of worlds,” but if you read the film closely, it suggests that our desires — and our inability to resist them — is the very thing that could destroy humanity.” – John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Film and Television

Blue Velvet

404. (-23) Blue Velvet

David Lynch

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


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

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

405. (-3) The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Scott Derrickson

2005 / USA / 119m / Col / Possession | IMDb
Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Carpenter, Colm Feore, Joshua Close, Kenneth Welsh, Duncan Fraser, JR Bourne, Mary Beth Hurt


“By giving us the facts as seen through the eyes of the various beholders, the film is asking us to be the jury that decides the case, and the information provided is very intentionally left open to interpretation. Rather than seeming wishy-washy and indecisve, this results in a film with a great deal of tension and suspense. Structuring the story as a courtroom drama increases the horror because it takes place in a believable context: whether you think Emily is ill or possessed, what happens to her is almost beyond endurance. Moreover, because the fate of the priest rests on the trial’s outcome, it’s clear that the horrific events in the story have dramatic consequences: what happens is part of a convincing story, not just a series of gratuitous special effects shocks.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

The Little Shop of Horrors

406. (-20) 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

Damien: Omen II

407. (+10) Damien: Omen II

Don Taylor

1978 / USA / 107m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
William Holden, Lee Grant, Jonathan Scott-Taylor, Robert Foxworth, Nicholas Pryor, Lew Ayres, Sylvia Sidney, Lance Henriksen, Elizabeth Shepherd, Lucas Donat


“While demonic undertones continually propel this film series forward, Damien, The Omen II never ceases to give away actual intentions and methods until the right moment, and in doing so, delivers thought provoking chills in the process. While consistently hoping good prevails over evil, it becomes increasingly clear that this will not be the case, and the overall premise can be biblically frightening.” – Thomas Scopel, Horror News

Plan 9 from Outer Space

408. (+14) Plan 9 from Outer Space

Edward D. Wood Jr.

1959 / USA / 79m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Duke Moore, Tom Keene, Carl Anthony, Paul Marco, Tor Johnson, Dudley Manlove, Joanna Lee, John Breckinridge


“When it comes to naming the worst film ever made, there is an almost unanimous candidate that gets pegged for that sorry title: Edward D. Wood Jr.’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” But to be perfectly frank, I could never understand why this weird little movie has generated so much enthusiasm for allegedly being the single worst endeavor in screen history. Even in the realm of legendary bad movies, “Plan 9 from Outer Space” is far removed from the excesses of awfulness… First, “Plan 9 From Outer Space” falls in the category of “so bad it’s good” – a film whose cluelessness is so overwhelming that you cannot help but laugh at its many mistakes. It is clearly a very entertaining movie, if only for the wrong reasons, and one can easily come away from the film with a hearty (if slightly guilty) smile. Can a film that makes you feel good really be the worst of cinema?” – Phil Hall, Film Threat

Death Line

409. (+18) Death Line

Gary Sherman

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


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

The Frighteners

410. (+22) The Frighteners

Peter Jackson

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


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

Manhunter

411. (-8) Manhunter

Michael Mann

1986 / USA / 120m / Col / Crime | IMDb
William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Dennis Farina, Tom Noonan, Stephen Lang, David Seaman, Benjamin Hendrickson, Michael Talbott


“Michael Mann’s vision of Thomas Harris’ novel is as close to the heart of the book as you could get. The complex plot is told from opposing views, based around Graham’s pivotal role. Although the killer does not appear until almost halfway into the movie, we experience his viewpoint through Graham’s intense investigation, leaving us with a disturbing feeling of voyeurism but also one of frustration as we sympathise with the police. Being caught in the middle in this way helps build tension and suspense throughout the film. William Peterson’s performance as the troubled Will Graham is central to a film in which all the actors are excellent, not least Brian Cox delivering a first and chilling screen incarnation of Hannibal Lecter.” – Ali Barclay, BBC

Nightbreed

412. (+1) Nightbreed

Clive Barker

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


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

The Loved Ones

413. (-25) 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

Sien nui yau wan

414. (-4) Sien nui yau wan

Siu-Tung Ching

1987 / Hong Kong / 98m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Leslie Cheung, Joey Wang, Ma Wu, Wai Lam, Siu-Ming Lau, Zhilun Xue, Jing Wong, David Wu, Ha Huang, Yau Cheung Yeung


“Truly a classic, and a film any fan of Hong Kong cinema needs to have seen. Its energy is boundless but never overwhelming or out of control. It does not depend on its special effects or wild choreography and instead remains faithful to the central romance even when the most insane stuff is happening and Wu Ma is being attacked by a giant tongue. Joey Wong may have glided elegantly off into retirement, but for a whole generation of film fans, and hopefully for generations yet to come, the image of her sitting amid the silks streaming across an otherworldly pavilion remains one of the great, iconic images from the heyday of the Hong Kong New Wave.” – Keith Allison, Teleport City

C'est arrivé près de chez vous

415. (+14) C’est arrivé près de chez vous

Rémy Belvaux & André Bonzel & Benoît Poelvoorde

1992 / Belgium / 95m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Benoît Poelvoorde, Jacqueline Poelvoorde-Pappaert, Nelly Pappaert, Hector Pappaert, Jenny Drye, Malou Madou, Willy Vandenbroeck, Rachel Deman


“For all its This Is Spinal Tap in-jokes, Belvaux’s film can be a difficult thing to watch (one scene in particular has managed to send record numbers of viewers scurrying from the theatre in revulsion, and although the Austin print of the film is unedited, the national distributor has removed the offending bit from most versions). Shot in black-and-white, Man Bites Dog has the feel of a genuine documentary, which makes it all the more grisly. The questions raised — Where is the line between reality and fiction? How much is too much? and, of course, That’s Entertainment? — are dodgy enough in themselves but the film never resorts to preaching — it doesn’t have to. Shocking, audacious, compelling, and more than a little humorous, Man Bites Dog is a stunning original: Love it or hate it, you’ll never forget it.” – Marc Savlov, The Austin Chronicle

Burnt Offerings

416. (+14) Burnt Offerings

Dan Curtis

1976 / USA / 116m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Burgess Meredith, Eileen Heckart, Lee Montgomery, Dub Taylor, Bette Davis, Joseph Riley, Todd Turquand, Orin Cannon


“On its release, I was happy to find Burnt Offerings to be a serious-minded, slavishly faithful adaptation of the book (with the exception of a more cinematic, crowd-pleasing ending) that avoided the usual post-Exorcist bombast and instead concentrated on mood and atmosphere. It’s one of those rare films that can give you a good, solid scare when you watch it alone, yet provide plenty of unintentional laughs when you watch it with friends. Contemporary audiences are likely to find the film predictable, slow, over-reliant on tried-and-true clichés (there should be a moratorium on rainstorms in haunted house movies), and hampered by the kind of empty ambiguity that often signals poor storytelling; but it’s those who saw Burnt Offerings when they were very young (the film was rated PG) or before The Shining and the Amityville series drove the genre into redundancy, that today recall the film with the most fondness..” – Ken Anderson, Le Cinema Dreams

Humanoids from the Deep

417. (+16) Humanoids from the Deep

Barbara Peeters

1980 / USA / 80m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, Vic Morrow, Cindy Weintraub, Anthony Pena, Denise Galik, Lynn Theel, Meegan King, Breck Costin, Hoke Howell


“It’s this sort of attention to detail that makes Humanoids from the Deep an effective monster movie. Sure, it’s silly and exploitative, but it’s also a hoot to watch, particularly for gorehounds, Corman fans and cult enthusiasts. This isn’t a film built for most mainstream audiences – it’s simply too audacious, too nasty, and too off-the-wall to be accepted as A-level entertainment. But, in an era where movies like Alien and Halloween were filling theaters with teen fans hungry for more, Humanoids delivers in bloody spades. And years later, in continues to impress.” – R.L. Shaffer, IGN

Shadow of the Vampire

418. (+16) Shadow of the Vampire

E. Elias Merhige

2000 / UK / 92m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes, Catherine McCormack, Eddie Izzard, Aden Gillett, Nicholas Elliott, Ronan Vibert, Sophie Langevin


“The movie does an uncanny job of re-creating the visual feel of Murnau’s film. There are shots that look the way moldy basements smell. This material doesn’t lend itself to subtlety, and Malkovich and Dafoe chew their lines like characters who know they are always being observed (some directors do more acting on their sets than the actors do)… Vampires for some reason are funny as well as frightening. Maybe that’s because the conditions of their lives are so absurd. Some of novelist Anne Rice’s vampires have a fairly entertaining time of it, but someone like Schreck seems doomed to spend eternity in psychic and physical horror.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The Fury

419. (-37) The Fury

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

Innocent Blood

420. (+16) Innocent Blood

John Landis

1992 / USA / 112m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Anne Parillaud, David Proval, Rocco Sisto, Chazz Palminteri, Anthony LaPaglia, Robert Loggia, Tony Sirico, Tony Lip, Kim Coates, Marshall Bell


“As the undead body count rises amidst lots of extremely messy gore effects, genre chills turn to urban thrills as contemporary vampire horror becomes ultra-violent action movie. French beauty Parillaud is superbly confident in her first Hollywood picture, conveying a languid sensuality with a melancholy edge befitting a character of… ‘indeterminate’ age. John Landis struggles to do for vampires what An American Werewolf In London did for lycanthropes, but the flaws of Innocent Blood are relatively minor when compared to most of today’s vampire films, and the director almost succeeds in finding the ideal balance of animalistic horror and aggressive comedy, with an element of modern fantasy romance thrown in.” – Ian Shutter, Nunayer Business

Lord of Illusions

421. (-2) Lord of Illusions

Clive Barker

1995 / USA / 109m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Scott Bakula, Kevin J. O’Connor, Joseph Latimore, Sheila Tousey, Susan Traylor, Ashley Tesoro, Michael Angelo Stuno, Barbara Patrick, J. Trevor Edmond, Wayne Grace


“With Lord of Illusions, Barker was beyond establishing himself as one of the genre’s most exciting directors; however, it does offer proof that he had no intention on resting on any sort of laurels. It’s just as sharp of a departure from Nightbreed as that film was from Hellraiser. Seeking to infuse his supernaturally-tinged narratives with a neo-noir style (much like Alan Parker did in Angel Heart), Barker presides over a twisty, snaking narrative that becomes increasingly convoluted as secrets are divulged and intertwined with sexual trysts. Lord of Illusions has enough twists, turns, and sultriness expected of any film noir, not to mention the aesthetic: this is a grimy, low-key pot-boiler draped in shadows and sweat—it just so happens to also feature enough eviscerated corpses to fill up a slasher film.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

I vampiri

422. (+4) I vampiri

Riccardo Freda & Mario Bava

1956 / Italy / 66m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Gianna Maria Canale, Carlo D’Angelo, Dario Michaelis, Wandisa Guida, Angelo Galassi, Renato Tontini, Charles Fawcett, Gisella Mancinotti, Miranda Campa, Antoine Balpêtré


“But the most important link between I vampiri and the films to follow isn’t narrative at all, but the fact that it’s breathtakingly beautiful. Bava’s later career as a greatly influential and important director has tended to obscure the reality that he was one of his country’s all-time greatest cinematographers, and the uses he and Freda find for the CinemaScope frame is positively miraculous. There’s hardly a single composition that isn’t packed within an inch of its life with evocative imagery, and even such banal things as a conversation taking place in a two-shot are framed to have depth and layers far beyond the basic need to have two people chatting. The lighting in the film is equally inspired: growing ever darker from the start of the film to the end, but so gradually you can hardly tell, with the noir-inflected shadows growing longer with the greatest subtlety.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

House of Dracula

423. (+12) House of Dracula

Erle C. Kenton

1945 / USA / 67m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Martha O’Driscoll, Lionel Atwill, Onslow Stevens, Jane Adams, Ludwig Stössel, Glenn Strange, Skelton Knaggs


“Silly as the film undoubtedly is, and this is a film that elevates silliness to a fine art, House of Dracula sill manages to be eminently watchable and it is easily one of the more entertaining of Universal’s classic horror films. As if the combined monstrosity of Dracula, Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s monster isn’t enough, we are also offered a hunchbacked nurse and a variant on the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story. As the mad scientist (who is clearly related to Fritz Lang’s Dr Mabuse), Onslow Stevens steals the show, delivering far more thrills than the anaemic Dracula and his jaded monstrous entourage. This is a film which ought to be unremittingly awful but it isn’t. It may not scale the heights of Universal’s other great monster movies of the 1930s and ’40s, but it is still an enjoyable, well-crafted horror romp, marred only by its unimaginably daft plot.” – James Travers, Films de France

Tales of Terror

424. (+13) Tales of Terror

Roger Corman

1962 / USA / 89m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Vincent Price, Maggie Pierce, Leona Gage, Peter Lorre, Joyce Jameson, Basil Rathbone, Debra Paget, David Frankham, Lennie Weinrib, Wally Campo


“Tales of Terror is ultimately an effective piece of horror precisely because it has no pretensions; it truly is simply a set of spooky tales, which is precisely what Poe excelled in. Unlike many horror anthologies, there’s no true frame story here. Instead, each tale is introduced by a short monologue from Price that’s centered around Poe’s favorite theme: death. Each segment represents a different phase of death: what happens after, before, and at the moment of death, respectively. It’s an interesting way to tie together the film just enough so that isn’t just a completely random set of tales.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror

The Return of the Vampire

425. (+13) The Return of the Vampire

Lew Landers

1944 / USA / 69m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Bela Lugosi, Frieda Inescort, Nina Foch, Miles Mander, Roland Varno, Matt Willis


“The Return of the Vampire is an interesting, WWII-set take on the overdone vampire genre that gets point[s] for having a female Van Helsing character… The script, written by Randall Faye, Griffin Jay, and Kurt Neumann, doesn’t just explore the boundaries of the genre through the female protagonist; they introduce and hone a supernatural world living just below the surface of our real one. The war is raging in London, with the dropping of bombs literally unearthing the vampiric plague that could decimate the world; in essence, the war and vampirism are the same. It could be too on-the-nose, but I thought it was intriguing that the script doesn’t lie to the audience.” – Kristen Lopez, Journeys in Classic Film

Wrong Turn

426. (+50) Wrong Turn

Rob Schmidt

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


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

Splinter

427. (+35) Splinter

Toby Wilkins

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


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

The Mothman Prophecies

428. (-3) The Mothman Prophecies

Mark Pellington

2002 / USA / 119m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Richard Gere, David Eigenberg, Bob Tracey, Ron Emanuel, Debra Messing, Tom Stoviak, Yvonne Erickson, Scott Nunnally, Harris Mackenzie, Will Patton


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

Doctor X

429. (-18) Doctor X

Michael Curtiz

1932 / USA / 76m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy, Preston Foster, John Wray, Harry Beresford, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Leila Bennett, Robert Warwick, George Rosener


“The film’s a comedy for most of its running time, but that melts away for the most part as the last act reveals the criminal mastermind. We’re treated to a lengthy sequence showing how the villain transforms himself by means of ‘synthetic flesh’, which he hauntingly repeats as he rubs goo over his face. Director Michael Curtiz delves into dreamlike imagery for this sequence, and lets the killer’s body modification glow in unearthly oranges and with horrifying delight. The sequence has been called ‘Cronnenberg-esque’ by many, and its hard to deny that the film sees scientific attempts to modify and supplement the body as the path to a new, grotesque species of madmen. Don’t be fooled, though, for about 60 minutes of the film’s 77 minute run time, this film is a rather dark tinged comedy. Lee Tracy’s pratfalls, double takes, and backbiting witticisms are on full display.” – Danny Reid, Pre-Code

Cat People

430. (+10) Cat People

Paul Schrader

1982 / USA / 118m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard, Annette O’Toole, Ruby Dee, Ed Begley Jr., Scott Paulin, Frankie Faison, Ron Diamond, Lynn Lowry


“Cat People contains long, seemingly endless stretches where little happens. It has many horror-movie cornerstones, but it’s paced like an art movie: slow, deliberate, and with pronounced emphasis on mood and tone over action. The film is punctuated by brief intervals of explicit, unusually effective gore, but it works best as a mood piece. Moroder’s icy electronic score adds to the aura of sex, violence, and mystery surrounding the film, but it would flatline without the remarkable performances of Kinski and McDowell, whose menacing otherworldliness has seldom been so deftly employed.” – Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve

Wishmaster

431. (+11) Wishmaster

Robert Kurtzman

1997 / USA / 90m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Tammy Lauren, Andrew Divoff, Robert Englund, Chris Lemmon, Wendy Benson-Landes, Tony Crane, Jenny O’Hara, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Ricco Ross


“A well directed, extremely gory, funny romp. It grabs you in the beginning with an over the top slaughter fest set in old Persia and never lets go. This flick has enough imagination for three movies and is not ashamed to also borrow elements from previous genre films . A little bit of “Hellraiser” here, a pinch of “Elm Street” there…hey…it never hurts. This film is a throwback to 80’s vibe horror with jaw dropping special effects, weird dream sequences, funny one liners and a wonderful nasty villain.” – The Arrow, Arrow in the Head

Horrors of the Black Museum

432. (+11) Horrors of the Black Museum

Arthur Crabtree

1959 / UK / 93m / BW / Crime | IMDb
Michael Gough, June Cunningham, Graham Curnow, Shirley Anne Field, Geoffrey Keen, Gerald Anderson, John Warwick, Beatrice Varley, Austin Trevor, Malou Pantera


“The film is considered the first of what is known as the Sadian trilogy, along with Circus Of Horrors and Peeping Tom, films dealing with sadistic murder and psychology as opposed to Hammer’s more gothic and fantastic output of the same period. It’s probably the weakest of the three films, but, that said, it’s still an interesting and enjoyable movie and worth watching. Interestingly the role of Bancroft was intended for Vincent Price, but he proved too expensive. The film was also originally released in “Hypno-vista”, a William Castle style gimmick, and the film began with 15 minutes of psychologist Emile Franchel explaining hypnotism and including a woman having needles inserted through the skin of her arm while under hypnosis.” – Mark Satchwill, Classic Horror Campaign

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

433. (-21) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tim Burton

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


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

The Sender

434. (-19) The Sender

Roger Christian

1982 / UK / 91m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Kathryn Harrold, Zeljko Ivanek, Shirley Knight, Paul Freeman, Sean Hewitt, Harry Ditson, Olivier Pierre, Tracy Harper, Al Matthews, Marsha A. Hunt


“If there’s anything that The Sender can score high points with, it’s atmosphere and the always present feel of horror. It’s not a normal film where horror dimensions are added in here and there. The Sender will forever remind you that this is a horror-thriller through well represented mental disorderly personalities and John Doe’s constant gloomy attitude to what only he knows.” – Josh G., Oh, The Horror

The Black Room

435. (+23) The Black Room

Roy William Neill

1935 / USA / 68m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Marian Marsh, Robert Allen, Thurston Hall, Katherine DeMille, John Buckler, Henry Kolker, Colin Tapley, Torben Meyer


“This unassuming period thriller about fratricide, ancient familial prophecies, and lust for power remains an enjoyable treat for film fanatics, thanks primarily to the central performance by inimitable horror icon Boris Karloff. Karloff embodies the dual roles of both “good brother” (Anton) and “bad brother” (Gregor) with relish and nuance, immediately convincing us that they’re two different men — but his most impressive work comes once he’s playing Gregor-as-Anton, maintaining a simmering aura of calculated greed and sociopathic arrogance underneath a facade of noble charm. The screenplay is surprisingly tight and suspenseful — especially given that Anton is killed off fairly early — and the denouement offers a nifty resolution to the ancient prophecy. Atmospheric cinematography, creative direction, and appropriately baroque set designs add to the ambience of this compelling B-level flick.” – FilmFanatic

The Other

436. (+45) The Other

Robert Mulligan

1972 / USA / 108m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Uta Hagen, Diana Muldaur, Chris Udvarnoky, Martin Udvarnoky, Norma Connolly, Victor French, Loretta Leversee, Lou Frizzell, Portia Nelson, Jenny Sullivan


“”The Other,” which is based on the novel by former actor Tom Tryon (you saw him as “The Cardinal”), has been criticized in some quarters because Mulligan made it too beautiful, they say, and too nostalgic. Not at all. His colors are rich and deep and dark, chocolatey browns and bloody reds; they aren’t beautiful but perverse and menacing. And the farm isn’t seen with a warm nostalgia, but with a remembrance that it is haunted. The movie isn’t scary in the usual horror-film way, but because Niles is such a creep – the kind of kid who would pull the wings off a fly and then claim the big boys made him (and get them in trouble, and go out looking for more flies). Kids like that will stop at nothing. – Roger Ebert, Chicago-Sun Times

Non si sevizia un paperino

437. (+62) Non si sevizia un paperino

Lucio Fulci

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


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

Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural

438. (+1) Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural

Richard Blackburn

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


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

Race with the Devil

439. (+2) Race with the Devil

Jack Starrett

1975 / USA / 88m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit, Lara Parker, R.G. Armstrong, Clay Tanner, Carol Blodgett, Phil Hoover, Ricci Ware, Paul A. Partain


“What sets “Race with the Devil” apart from all the others of its ilk is that Starrett takes his time in developing the ensuing carnage between the cult and our helpless victims and takes a route very similar to “Duel” where no matter how far they run, their nightmares catch up with them. This leaves us with some truly memorable and freakish incidents involving the hanging of a cat and a slithery intruder that shrinks their world more and more as the time rolls on. They’re not sure who they can trust and that makes this more of a mystery since most of the cult remains faceless and without remorse. They’re truly vile villains who can be just about anyone they desire and they chase our foursome through county after county attempting to silence them. “Race with the Devil” is something out of the mind psychedelic storytellers since it’s such a tense and urgent piece of filmmaking with a talented cast who make us believe we’re being sucked in as they are.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Vampyres

440. (+16) Vampyres

José Ramón Larraz

1974 / UK / 87m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Marianne Morris, Anulka Dziubinska, Murray Brown, Brian Deacon, Sally Faulkner, Michael Byrne, Karl Lanchbury, Margaret Heald, Gerald Case, Bessie Love


“As an actual work of evocative, erotic horror, Vampyres works surprisingly well. Much of the credit must go to director/writer (under a pseudonym) Jose Ramon Larraz. He creates a narrative filled with unexplained scenes, missing information and wildly suggestive sensuality that keeps the viewer tantalized and teased throughout the running time. He utilizes the incredibly moody settings and countryside of England to give his movie more than a modicum of menace. He then adds those red herrings and scenes of mysterious consequence to keep things unsettled and surprising. Match that with a couple of curvaceous creatures and the aforementioned torrents of red torment, and you’ve got a good little gothic terror on your hands.” – Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

Scream and Scream Again

441. (+26) Scream and Scream Again

Gordon Hessler

1970 / UK / 95m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Judy Huxtable, Alfred Marks, Michael Gothard, Anthony Newlands, Peter Sallis, David Lodge, Uta Levka


“It doesn’t really matter that much of it is nonsense, since it moves at a brisk pace and there are all those grand performances. The music is rather interesting, from the funky opening theme to the generic chase music, to the Amen Corner’s extended jams in the Busted Pot, to the climax where the variety of tunes come together with a bewildering swiftness (the triply scene with Kontratz walking through a series of TV screens is very well done). If stoned plot development and structure are not an impediment , the Scream and Scream again is worthy of the highest accolades.” – Wendell McKay, The Shrieking Sixties: British Horror Films 1960 – 1969

Blacula

442. (+5) Blacula

William Crain

1972 / USA / 93m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Thalmus Rasulala, Gordon Pinsent, Charles Macaulay, Emily Yancy, Lance Taylor Sr., Ted Harris, Rick Metzler


“You might look at the genre and silly title and assume it’s just gonna be a bunch of soul music, funny trash talk with pimps and caddies, and a tenuous plot involving a vampire, but thats not the case at all. Blacula tries its best to be a legitimate horror film, keeping the traditional mythos and tropes in tact. It stays pretty true to the spirit of the Universal version of the Dracula story, with eternal love being Blacula’s motivation (and not just evil for evil’s sake).” – Ryan Matthew Ziegler, nine18pictures

Taste the Blood of Dracula

443. (-50) 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

Young Frankenstein

444. (0) Young Frankenstein

Mel Brooks

1974 / USA / 106m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, Liam Dunn, Danny Goldman


“It’s a silly, zizzy picture — a farce-parody of Hollywood’s mad-scientist—trying-to-be-God pictures, with Wilder as the old Baron Frankenstein’s grandson, an American professor of neurology, who takes a trip to the family castle in Transylvania. Peter Boyle is the Frankenstein monster, and Madeline Kahn is the professor’s plastic-woman fiancée, who becomes the monster’s bride. It isn’t a dialogue comedy; it’s visceral and lower. It’s what used to be called a crazy comedy, and there hasn’t been this kind of craziness on the screen in years. It’s a film to go to when your rhythm is slowed down and you’re too tired to think… You can go to see it when you can barely keep your eyes open, and come out feeling relaxed and recharged.” – Pauline Kael, New Yorker

The Haunted Palace

445. (+33) The Haunted Palace

Roger Corman

1963 / USA / 87m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr., Frank Maxwell, Leo Gordon, Elisha Cook Jr., John Dierkes, Milton Parsons, Cathie Merchant, Guy Wilkerson


“Though slightly toned down when compared to Corman’s gussied up Poe films, The Haunted Palace is stylistically in the same ballpark, to be sure. The baroque sets and theatrical lighting compliment the outsized performances nicely. Vincent Price, who starred in most of Corman’s films of the era, is the clear standout among this stalwart cast, chewing scenery and oozing menace in a double role. He is complimented nicely by fellow horror icon Lon Chaney Jr., who maximizes the effect of his small part as Price’s creepy caretaker. Given their presence in a story that also includes summoned monsters, mutant townsfolk, and a burning at the stake, it’s easy to get a little spooked by The Haunted Palace.” – Jeremy Heilman, Movie Martyr

The Mummy's Hand

446. (-1) The Mummy’s Hand

Christy Cabanne

1940 / USA / 67m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Wallace Ford, Eduardo Ciannelli, George Zucco, Cecil Kellaway, Charles Trowbridge, Tom Tyler, Sig Arno, Eddie Foster


“Admittedly, modern audiences are likely to be underwhelmed by the moments of horror but some of the imagery is highly effective and occasional shock moments are still quite effecting. Credit should certainly go to whoever had the brilliant idea to black out Tom Tyler’s eyes – it makes the Mummy far more disturbing than in any of the other films of the period and the result, combined with Tyler’s shambling walk (exacerbated by arthritis), is memorably disquieting. Consequently, if you stick with the rather slow and annoyingly unfunny first half, you’ll find yourself well rewarded and the final third of the film is certainly up there with Universal’s best moments.” – Mike Sutton, The Digital Fix

Lisa e il diavolo

447. (-43) Lisa e il diavolo

Mario Bava

1973 / Italy / 95m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Alessio Orano, Gabriele Tinti, Eduardo Fajardo, Alida Valli, Franz von Treuberg, Kathy Leone, Espartaco Santoni


“”Lisa and the Devil” is a mesmerizing, singularly one-of-a-kind experience. The story, driven by an artistic eye for stunning imagery and quixotic cinematography by Cecilio Paniagua, is spellbinding to watch unfold. Deliberate pacing is mixed with striking mise en scene compositions and floating camerawork that also incorporates low angles, representing Lisa’s foreign landscape crushing down upon her, and a number of startlingly effective zoom-ins—a calling-card of Mario Bava’s work.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Seconds

448. (-2) Seconds

John Frankenheimer

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


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

The Night Stalker

449. (-1) The Night Stalker

John Llewellyn Moxey

1972 / USA / 74m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Darren McGavin, Carol Lynley, Simon Oakland, Ralph Meeker, Claude Akins, Charles McGraw, Kent Smith, Elisha Cook Jr., Stanley Adams, Larry Linville


“An exceedingly enjoyable vampire film and top-notch investigative horror film, in which the resolution of a mystery results in horror, I can’t recommend this film highly enough. Carl Kolchak is without a doubt my favorite horror hero and the sort of which I’d like to see more of; forget the quip-spitting wise-ass with a shotgun, give me the cautious wise-ass smart enough to piece together the puzzle and run screaming from the results long enough to grab a stake and mallet.” – Bill Adcock, Radiation-Scarred Reviews

Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse

450. (-1) Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse

Fritz Lang

1933 / Germany / 122m / BW / Crime | IMDb
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gustav Diessl, Rudolf Schündler, Oskar Höcker, Theo Lingen, Camilla Spira, Paul Henckels, Otto Wernicke, Theodor Loos, Hadrian Maria Netto


“What is perhaps most striking about Das Testament des Dr Mabuse is its scale and sophistication. Not only does it qualify as a masterpiece on artistic grounds (some of its imagery is the stuff of film legend), but it is by far and away the most ambitious dramatic thriller of its time, thanks to some extraordinary action sequences (which incudes one of cinema’s most imaginative car chases). Lang uses sound almost as effectively as he uses image to tell his story and create an unsettling mood of paranoia and anticipation.” – James Travers, French Film Site

Uzumaki

451. (+8) Uzumaki

Higuchinsky

2000 / Japan / 90m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Eriko Hatsune, Fhi Fan, Hinako Saeki, Eun-Kyung Shin, Keiko Takahashi, Ren Ohsugi, Denden, Masami Horiuchi, Tarô Suwa, Toru Tezuka


“Directed by Higichinsky, this freaky Japanese horror film uses all kinds of physical cinema techniques, such as shock cuts, flash cuts, dissolves, skip frames and superb digital effects in a constant effort to keep the film alive and spinning. Occasionally it employs a William Castle-like device of digitally swirling a small spot in the corner of the frame — and you may not even notice. Some scenes are so unbearably spooky that they give you that cold, clammy feeling and make your stomach drop out from under you, as if in a terrible nightmare. It’s one hell of a brilliant horror film with an original idea and style to spare.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

Danza macabra

452. (+3) Danza macabra

Antonio Margheriti

1964 / Italy / 87m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Barbara Steele, Georges Rivière, Margrete Robsahm, Arturo Dominici, Silvano Tranquilli, Sylvia Sorrente, Giovanni Cianfriglia, John Peters, Merry Powers


“One of Barbara Steele’s most impressive vehicles, and one of the cornerstones of the classic Euro Horror Renaissance (1956-66), Castle of Blood is perhaps the best film by the erratic, prolific Antonio Margheriti. A very nifty ghost turn involving a perpetual cycle of sex and murder among a quintet of libidinous ghosts, the story brings in vampiric ideas as well. Edgar Allan Poe makes an appearance as a character, which is all well considering that the story attribution to him is a complete falsification.” – Glenn Erickson, DVDTalk

The Raven

453. (+4) The Raven

Roger Corman

1963 / USA / 86m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Hazel Court, Olive Sturgess, Jack Nicholson, Connie Wallace, William Baskin, Aaron Saxon


“It’s a breezy lark, funny without being brazenly hilarious, and feeling not at all like a Poe movie, though the contrast between Daniel Haller’s ubiquitous sets (and, once more that House of Usher fire footage) and the matinee silliness of the story is pretty damned appealing all on its own. The film manages to poke fun at the Poe movie formula without ever actually mocking it, a fine needle to thread; but Corman’s filmography is pockmarked by examples of self-lacerating light humor, though he is not customarily thought of in those terms. Anyway, it’s a charmingly off-kilter hybrid, not a comic masterpiece and not a Gothic classic, but hugely entertaining on its own very low-key terms.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

West of Zanzibar

454. (+14) West of Zanzibar

Tod Browning

1928 / USA / 65m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Lon Chaney, Lionel Barrymore, Mary Nolan, Warner Baxter, Jacqueline Gadsden, Tiny Ward, Kalla Pasha, Curtis Nero


“Even by today’s standards, West of Zanzibar is pretty seedy, sort of a Jacobean revenge tragedy by way of Heart of Darkness, the film is pure, unfiltered cruelty. While it looks like the stuff of melodrama, its underlying themes tap into the horror of the destruction of man’s body and soul. In an echo of Victorian-era fear (which was making a comeback during this decade), it takes the exotic badlands of Africa to truly transform the victimized Phroso into a hateful, almost otherworldly specter who rules the local tribes with his stage magic. The film derives much of its power from its exoticism, as there’s a certain unreal quality about the soundstage jungle that amps up its claustrophobic qualities.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!

The Ninth Gate

455. (+27) The Ninth Gate

Roman Polanski

1999 / France / 133m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin, Emmanuelle Seigner, Barbara Jefford, Jack Taylor, José López Rodero, Tony Amoni, James Russo, Willy Holt


“The film is a very engaging (and appreciably dark) film noir throwback that just happens to have something to do with the occult. Call it a noir thriller mystery drama if you like – it’s still a pretty solid flick… As usual, Depp is the man. Here he’s playing a slightly sleazy and definitely opportunistic little man, but damn if Depp doesn’t find that root of gnarled humanity and brings it right to the fore… Sometimes dry, sometimes wacky, but surprisingly compelling throughout, The Ninth Gate falls firmly in the middle of Polanski’s eclectic filmography. It sure isn’t as good as The Tenant or Rosemary’s Baby — but it definitely isn’t Pirates, either.” – Scott Weinberg, DVDTalk.com

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

456. (+4) Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

Freddie Francis

1968 / UK / 92m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing, Barry Andrews, Ewan Hooper, Marion Mathie, Michael Ripper, John D. Collins, George A. Cooper


“Fortunately, the production values and Gothic atmosphere remain as lush as ever, and former cinematographer Freddie Francis does a spectacular job in the director’s chair, milking every scene for maximum visual impact, emphasizing not only the Gothic horror but also the romance. He puts the camera in close during Dracula ravishment of Maria, creating a seductive intimacy that goes even a little bit beyond what director Terence Fisher had focused on in HORROR OF DRACULA and DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique Online

Puppetmaster

457. (+6) Puppetmaster

David Schmoeller

1989 / USA / 90m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb
Paul Le Mat, William Hickey, Irene Miracle, Jimmie F. Skaggs, Robin Frates, Matt Roe, Kathryn O’Reilly, Mews Small, Barbara Crampton, David Boyd


“The puppeteering while ancient is still rather eye catching as Schmoeller saves time and money by picture most of the puppets through point of view shots and roaming angles through the hotel while relying on stop motion to do the rest of the work vividly painting a picture of the characters and their own innovative defense mechanisms. Including the Tunneler and his steel drill atop his head, and Blade whose own hook and knife combo would become a trademark of the series. “Puppet Master” ends as a fairly Frankenstein-ish film that meshes dream like paranoia with classic monster movie tropes to bring us the first of a lasting money fueling legacy for the Full Moon collective.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Silent Night, Deadly Night

458. (+7) Silent Night, Deadly Night

Charles E. Sellier Jr.

1984 / USA / 79m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Britt Leach, Nancy Borgenicht, H.E.D. Redford, Danny Wagner, Linnea Quigley, Leo Geter


“Silent Night, Deadly Night is a really decent slasher movie that is more than just a “tab-a into slot-b” horror. It delves deep into the mind of our protagonist and it raises interesting questions about nature vs. nurture and how this can effect the mind of someone who is already troubled. Billy may be doing the killings, but the true villain of the film is Mother Superior who shows no compassion for Billy’s troubled past. Watching his parents get murdered by a guy dressed as Santa was certainly the catalyst for Billy’s troubled childhood, but it is Mother Superior’s teachings that he’s dishing out – just on a more violent scale. Because of this, Silent Night, Deadly Night is a lot different to the slasher movies that were out at the time as it focused more on the psyche of its killer as opposed to just putting a guy in a mask and giving him killing implements.” – Luke Owen, Luke Writes Stuff

Silver Bullet

459. (+30) Silver Bullet

Daniel Attias

1985 / USA / 95m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Megan Follows, Robin Groves, Leon Russom, Terry O’Quinn, Bill Smitrovich, Joe Wright, Kent Broadhurst


“What Stephen King’s adaptation of “Cycle of the Werewolf” has going for it, beyond everything else, is heart. In many ways, “Silver Bullet” is a multi-faceted horror film that can appeal to fans of family dramas and murder mysteries. “Silver Bullet” is a tension soaked eighties horror film that demonstrates rich characterization and complex feelings with a villain who isn’t completely black and white when all is said and done. Even the worst afflictions can rot anyone who means well enough, and “Silver Bullet” shines a light on two characters with afflictions they can not battle who have potential to rot from the inside out. One individual has embraced the darkness, and the other insists on seeing the bright side of everything, even in the face of pain, misery, and pure evil staring him right in the face.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Film Threat

Night of the Living Dead

460. (+6) Night of the Living Dead

Tom Savini

1990 / USA / 92m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, Tom Towles, McKee Anderson, William Butler, Katie Finneran, Bill Moseley, Heather Mazur, David W. Butler, Zachary Mott


“The idea of remaking the classic “Night of the Living Dead” would certainly seem like sacrilege to many fans. Yet the resulting movie stands on its own merits as a taut if slightly sterile horror film… Zombie films always suffer in critical terms. But what this boils down to, just as the original does, is a classic siege situation. Tempers fray, fear builds, the final stand-off looms and this movie exploits the form well, with some real tension building among some fine shock moments. Some purists will not condone this remake, but there’s little denying that this is a better horror film than most made in the 1990s.” – Almar Haflidason, BBC.com

I Married a Monster from Outer Space

461. (-8) I Married a Monster from Outer Space

Gene Fowler Jr.

1958 / USA / 78m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Tom Tryon, Gloria Talbott, Peter Baldwin, Robert Ivers, Chuck Wassil, Valerie Allen, Ty Hardin, Ken Lynch, John Eldredge, Alan Dexter


“Released at the peak of the sci-fi craze, I Married a Monster From Outer Space comprises the basic tenets of the 1950s sci-fi craze, but uniquely tells the story from a female perspective. The heart of the movie lies in Bill’s change post-wedding… Once Bill and the other men are turned, the implication is marriage changes men, turning them into automatons whose sole purpose is breeding and the continuation of their lineage. When Bill discusses the destruction of his alien planet, the goal is to repopulate and keep the bloodline going… Is the movie commenting on the various changes affecting men through marriage; the belief they’re saddled with one woman forever; that they’ll be changed to please their ladies and thus lose their identity and masculinity?” – Kristen Lopez, Journeys in Classic Film

The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb

462. (+7) The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb

Michael Carreras

1964 / USA / 78m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Terence Morgan, Ronald Howard, Fred Clark, Jeanne Roland, George Pastell, Jack Gwillim, John Paul, Dickie Owen, Jill Mai Meredith, Michael Ripper


“Although lacking the sheer opulence of the 1959 production, Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb is certainly better looking than the impoverished follow-ups. The tomb itself is a thing of real beauty with some highly authentic looking artifacts while Sir Giles’ study is very well realised. The Mummy itself is well put together and Carreras works around it very effectively – the creature’s first appearance through the London fog is a masterwork… Despite a rather lacking script, Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb is an enjoyable film with some nice sets and solid acting – the highlight is certainly the mummy itself which appears genuinely menacing and terrifying.” – Timothy Young, Mondo Esoterica

Something Wicked This Way Comes

463. (+7) Something Wicked This Way Comes

Jack Clayton

1983 / USA / 95m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Diane Ladd, Royal Dano, Vidal Peterson, Shawn Carson, Mary Grace Canfield, Richard Davalos, Jake Dengel, Jack Dodson


“In the end, “Wicked” likely proved too edgy and existential for what was ostensibly meant as a slightly more dangerous Disney film. But it does what all of Bradbury’s greatest works do — shine a harsh light on the consequences of choices, the inevitability of aging, and the true cost of shame, greed, vanity, anxiety and other very human fears… Bradbury spikes a rarely tapped vein of paternal dread here, and uses it as a powerful, lyrical entry point to pit Charles against Mr. Dark. Theirs is an inclement battle of ideals rather than one of physical violence. Furthermore, the stakes are perfectly high for a father who feels powerless to protect his son but must summon the strength to save the boy from the devil himself” – Nick Rogers, Suite101.com

The War of the Worlds

464. (+10) The War of the Worlds

Byron Haskin

1953 / USA / 85m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne, Robert Cornthwaite, Sandro Giglio, Lewis Martin, Houseley Stevenson Jr., Paul Frees, William Phipps, Vernon Rich


“The special effects were state-of-the-art for the time, and they remain impressive today. If a few wires are visible to discerning eyes, at least the images are interesting in design and colorful in execution; something about the smooth, sleek look of the Martian hovercraft make them fascinating to watch, even if their miniature origins are sometimes apparent. Although subsequent films (such as INDEPENDENCE DAY) would outdo WAR OF THE WORLDS in terms of depicting mass destruction, this film retains its classic status thanks to the dramatic conviction with which it portrays its characters helplessly fighting against an unstoppable enemy bent on driving humanity into extinction.” – Steve Biodrowski, Hollywood Gothique

Notre-Dame de Paris

465. (+10) Notre-Dame de Paris

Jean Delannoy

1956 / France / 115m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Gina Lollobrigida, Anthony Quinn, Jean Danet, Alain Cuny, Robert Hirsch, Danielle Dumont, Philippe Clay, Maurice Sarfati, Jean Tissier, Valentine Tessier


“If this version is overlooked due to lacking the strength of the title performance of the earlier versions, one thing that must be said in its favour is that it is an extremely faithful to the original Victor Hugo novel. It brings out many aspects that have been tossed out in other versions – the visit to the Kingdom of the Thieves and Beggars, more time given over to minor characters like Gringoire and Clopin. Most notable is the full treatment of Phoebus, which other adaptations (most notably the Disney version) have pumped up into a romantic hero, whereas this is accurate to the original writing of the character as a cad” – Richard Scheib, The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review

The Mummy's Curse

466. (new) The Mummy’s Curse

Leslie Goodwins

1944 / USA / 60m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Lon Chaney Jr., Peter Coe, Virginia Christine, Kay Harding, Dennis Moore, Martin Kosleck, Kurt Katch, Addison Richards, Holmes Herbert, Charles Stevens


The Mummy’s Curse is… the most visually engaging episode in the series, as the setting allows Goodwins to exploit that mist-riddled foliage of the bayous and rough-hewn rural buildings, and generate some proper creepiness, in a manner looks forward to the later phase of regionally-made and set horror movies. One scene stands as legitimately unsettling in a manner virtually nothing else from the Universal horror cycle can match today, in which Ananka and Cooper listen to the sound of Kharis approaching, a mere scuffling sound that portends the arrival of a force that refuses all reason and annihilates anything that stands in its path. Cooper steps through the tent flaps to behold something from the back corners of a nightmare looming out of the dark.” – Roderick Heath, Film Freedonia

Murders in the Zoo

467. (+93) Murders in the Zoo

A. Edward Sutherland

1933 / USA / 62m / BW / Crime | IMDb
Charles Ruggles, Lionel Atwill, Gail Patrick, Randolph Scott, John Lodge, Kathleen Burke, Harry Beresford


“Murders in the Zoo is by no means a flawless horror-comedy film, bumping around between two tones with impunity and with nowhere near the grace or atmosphere as the amiable Doctor X from a few reviews back. However, Atwill and Burke make the movie’s moments of horror truly memorable set pieces and demonstrate how true human predators can operate outside cages. The rest, thankfully, will fade.” – Danny Reid, Pre-Code

The Vampire Bat

468. (+3) The Vampire Bat

Frank R. Strayer

1933 / USA / 65m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Maude Eburne, George E. Stone, Dwight Frye, Robert Frazer, Rita Carlyle, Lionel Belmore, William V. Mong


“[This] 1933 effort by Majestic Pictures (which had no other meaningfully long-lived productions before it was absorbed into Republic Pictures at the end of the ’30s) is very close to the platonic ideal of a cheap-ass attempt to simultaneously copy both Universal’s Dracula and Frankenstein, the two films that ignited the horror boom of the ’30s while almost single-handedly introducing the notion of paranormal horror into American cinema in the first place… The movie is no timeless classic, but it’s definitely a unique one-off in the annals of pre-1968 horror, even though its individual elements are extensively mined from pre-existing material.” – Tim Brayton, Alternate Ending

The Mummy's Ghost

469. (+17) The Mummy’s Ghost

Reginald Le Borg

1944 / USA / 61m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Robert Lowery, Ramsay Ames, Barton MacLane, George Zucco, Frank Reicher, Harry Shannon, Emmett Vogan, Lester Sharpe


“Directed by Reginald Le Borg, this picture would continue the Mummy’s foray back into straight horror, forgoing all of the comedy that had come before it. It looked great with an ample use of light and dark and good cinematography, with a decent soundtrack and a slow-building tension that would continue until the eventual final showdown with Kharis come the end of the film. One of the best things about the whole picture was the ending in fact, as it was something quite different than what had come before. It also proved that either Kharis was indeed a monster or that he truly loved his princess as their final fates were entwined. It was in fact the best ending to have been seen out of them all, excluding the Karloff original, and if they were to have ended the series at this point, it would have been perfect.” – Geoff Rosengren, The Telltale Mind

Fatal Attraction

470. (+21) Fatal Attraction

Adrian Lyne

1987 / USA / 119m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, Stuart Pankin, Ellen Foley, Fred Gwynne, Meg Mundy, Tom Brennan, Lois Smith


“Years hence, it will be possible to pinpoint the exact moment that produced ‘Fatal Attraction,’ Adrian Lyne’s new romantic thriller, and the precise circumstances that made it a hit. It arrived at the tail end of the having-it-all age, just before the impact of AIDS on movie morality was really felt. At the same time, it was a powerful cautionary tale. And it played skillfully upon a growing societal emphasis on marriage and family, shrewdly offering something for everyone: the desperation of an unmarried career woman, the recklessness of a supposedly satisfied husband, the worries of a betrayed wife. What’s more, it was made with the slick, seductive professionalism that was a hallmark of the day.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times

Tower of London

471. (+1) Tower of London

Rowland V. Lee

1939 / USA / 92m / BW / Drama | IMDb
Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Barbara O’Neil, Ian Hunter, Vincent Price, Nan Grey, Ernest Cossart, John Sutton, Leo G. Carroll, Miles Mander


“By emphasising Richard’s enjoyment of causing pain director Lee flirts with a perversity more associated with fellow Universal employee James Whale. This is also explored in Mord, a character absent from history and Shakespeare and another of Karloff’s grotesques… For one of Universal’s lesser known movies from their Golden Age, it is intriguing that the studio should have decided to sidestep fantasy to show a very real evil. And because of this focus on human dictators and deranged power it is the closet the studio ever got to a kind of direct allegory. After all in the 1930s men like Richard were re-emerging on the other side of the Atlantic.” – Tom Fallows, Classic-Horror.com

Quatermass 2

472. (+42) Quatermass 2

Val Guest

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


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

La residencia

473. (+45) La residencia

Narciso Ibáñez Serrador

1969 / Spain / 99m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Lilli Palmer, Cristina Galbó, John Moulder-Brown, Maribel Martín, Mary Maude, Cándida Losada, Pauline Challoner, Tomás Blanco, Víctor Israel, Teresa Hurtado


“Gore hounds may find the long excursions into character development rather disappointing and it’s true that the maniac killer is not the key point in the plot for the entire ninety-nine minutes. But with that said, when he does strike, the slaughters are excellently conveyed and the film’s approachable characters and Samson-like-in-strength performances make this something of a cinematic treat. It’s nice to see a movie where every shot has been painstakingly planned to perfection and the net-result is a visual masterpiece that excels from start to finish.” – Luisito Joaquin Gonzalez, A Slash Above

The Wizard of Oz

474. (new) The Wizard of Oz

Victor Fleming

1939 / USA / 102m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Pat Walshe, Clara Blandick


“This fantasy masterpiece is as bizarre as it is beguiling; more frightening than enchanting for younger children. Its malevolent hag, flying monkeys and Scarecrow dismemberment are bad enough, but the moment when the Wicked Witch sets the Scarecrow afire featured prominently in Empire’s Scariest Moments readers’ poll, alongside horror movies and shockers galore… What the film brilliantly seizes on is that The Wizard Of Oz is one of the great world stories, not because of the wonderful things the wizard does, but because it’s the Odyssey myth for children. Amid the colourful characters and delightful songs, it plays on their most instinctual fears.” – Angie Errigo, Empire

Hereditary

475. (new) Hereditary

Ari Aster

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


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

Under the Skin

476. (+199) Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer

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


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

It

477. (+255) It

Andy Muschietti

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


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

Evil Dead

478. (+9) Evil Dead

Fede Alvarez

2013 / USA / 91m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore, Phoenix Connolly, Jim McLarty, Sian Davis, Stephen Butterworth, Karl Willetts


“Evil Dead is relentless. Once it starts, it never lets up. It becomes a constant barrage of gory fun, and in the spirit of the original, Alvarez and his team use make-up and real-world special effects rather than relying solely on CGI. Another distinctive and key part of the original series were the off-kilter and exaggerated camera angles. Alvarez adopts the film language of Raimi’s films, adds more to the bag of tricks, and keeps the sardonic attitude without necessarily being slapstick.” – Eric Melin, Scene Stealers

Blade

479. (+78) Blade

Stephen Norrington

1998 / USA / 120m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N’Bushe Wright, Donal Logue, Udo Kier, Arly Jover, Traci Lords, Kevin Patrick Walls, Tim Guinee


“[Blade] is a movie that relishes high visual style. It uses the extreme camera angles, the bizarre costumes and sets, the exaggerated shadows, the confident cutting between long shots and extreme closeups. It slams ahead in pure visceral imagery… Wesley Snipes understands the material from the inside out and makes an effective Blade because he knows that the key ingredient in any interesting superhero is not omnipotence, but vulnerability… By embodying those feelings, Snipes as Blade gives the movie that edge of emotion without which it would simply be special effects.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Trouble Every Day

480. (+363) Trouble Every Day

Claire Denis

2001 / France / 101m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey, Béatrice Dalle, Alex Descas, Florence Loiret Caille, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Raphaël Neal, José Garcia, Hélène Lapiower, Marilu Marini


“Denis’s films have always been shot through with a current of menace just waiting to be made explicit: it’s present in their off-balance close-ups, faintly unstable camera moves, obsessive attention to the texture of hair, clothes, and skin, and habit of letting the camera slide caressingly around actors’ bodies when they’re at their least self-conscious and most exposed. Where other Denis films seem to circle and drift around indecisively, Trouble Every Day itches with a kind of nervous forward momentum. It’s an extended come-on, full of teases and hints and come-hither gestures, finally climaxing — in every way — with two scenes of gruesome sexual violence.” – Max Nelson, Film Comment Magazine

Inland Empire

481. (+29) Inland Empire

David Lynch

2006 / USA / 180m / Col / Experimental | IMDb
Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux, Karolina Gruszka, Jan Hencz, Krzysztof Majchrzak, Grace Zabriskie, Ian Abercrombie, Karen Baird, Bellina Logan


“Because watching movies is a bizarre business, and a movie creates its own world, in some ways more persuasively cogent and real than the reality surrounding it, Lynch positions himself in the no man’s land between these two realities and furnishes it with a landscape and topography all his own… It is mad and chaotic and exasperating and often makes no sense: but actually not quite as confusing as has been reported. Even the most garbled of moments fit approximately into the vague scheme of things, and those that don’t – those worrying rabbits – are, I guess, just part of the collateral damage occasioned by Lynch’s assault on the ordinary world. How boring the cinema would be without David Lynch, and for a long, long moment, how dull reality always seems after a Lynch movie has finished.” – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Grave

482. (+504) Grave

Julia Ducournau

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


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

Bug

483. (+12) Bug

William Friedkin

2006 / USA / 102m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr., Lynn Collins, Brían F. O’Byrne, Neil Bergeron, Bob Neill


“Bug is not surprisingly being advertised as being “from the director of The Exorcist,” which says almost as much about the lingering power of that 1973 horror classic as it does about the disappointing nature of Friedkin’s career over the past three decades. The comparison is not just a marketing ploy, though, as Bug allows Friedkin to play on his strengths as a director–namely, managing actors in close quarters. For all the talk about pea soup and head-spinning in The Exorcist, that film was in many ways a chamber piece, with its issues of faith, religion, and the true nature of evil playing out largely within the tight confines of a little girl’s bedroom. By the end of Bug, Agnes’s motel room is as unrecognizable as Reagan’s bedroom was, transformed from a place of ordinary existence into a realm of extraordinary degradation in which two people finding love and acceptance culminates into a literal inferno.” – James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk

Jisatsu sâkuru

484. (-115) 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

Busanhaeng

485. (+148) Busanhaeng

Sang-ho Yeon

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


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

Let Me In

486. (+148) Let Me In

Matt Reeves

2010 / USA / 116m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, Elias Koteas, Sasha Barrese, Dylan Kenin, Chris Browning, Ritchie Coster, Dylan Minnette


“In transliterating a foreign-language horror hit into an Anglophone movie it doesn’t follow [shot-for-shot]… though it does lift many scenes verbatim… If anything, this is a grimmer reading: as per Lindqvist, Abby genuinely feels for Owen, but the film suggests – via a photo-strip showing that she has been with her current protector since he was Owen’s age – that the vampire is going through another iteration of a relationship she has had before and will have again… Let Me In isn’t as rich or daring as Let the Right One In and seldom improves on it – but it plays better as a horror film, more concentrated in its focus on the creepy and shocking aspects of its unusual love story.” – Kim Newman, Sight and Sound

Ils

487. (+1) Ils

David Moreau & Xavier Palud

2006 / France / 77m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Olivia Bonamy, Michaël Cohen, Adriana Mocca, Maria Roman, Camelia Maxim, Alexandru Boghiu, Emanuel Stefanuc, Horia Ioan, Stefan Cornic, George Iulian


“Them has obviously been shot on the cheap, and although it lacks the professional sheen you get with bigger budget productions, its griminess suits the tone perfectly – stripped down to the bare essentials with no theatrics and no pyrotechnics, it’s an ugly movie that is wise to stick to the shadows, playing to its strengths by using what you can’t see rather than what you can. It could have perhaps done with a little more time in the editing room – some shots are re-used and the sound mix leaves something to be desired – but Them hits hard where it counts: the money shots are all worth their weight in gold. Perhaps ‘horror’ isn’t quite the right term to describe Them; ‘terror’ sums it up much better. Although the word has been associated with bearded bombers and cartoon advertisements of late, it’s not a movie that revels in gore or tries to shock you, rather one that tells a terrifying story that everyone can relate to. Sparingly shot and ingeniously executed, it’s a film that subscribes to the idea that real life is far scarier than anything you’ll see in the movies.” – Ali Gray, TheShiznit

Orphan

488. (-38) Orphan

Jaume Collet-Serra

2009 / USA / 123m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder, Jimmy Bennett, Margo Martindale, Karel Roden, Aryana Engineer, Rosemary Dunsmore, Jamie Young


“Spaniard Jaume Collet-Serra’s wickedly entertaining, if slightly over-stretched, variation on the familiar ‘evil child’ scenario displays an unusually complex grasp of twisted psychology… Producer Joel Silver regularly specialises in routine horror remakes, such as Collet-Serra’s previous ‘House of Wax’. But here, courtesy of an insidious screenplay by David Leslie Johnson, we are in more disturbing territory. More of a psychological thriller than a horror movie, ‘Orphan’ does contain explosions of shocking, though not especially graphic, violence.” – Nigel Floyd, Time Out

Dead Silence

489. (-28) Dead Silence

James Wan

2007 / USA / 89m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb
Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Laura Regan, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Judith Roberts, Keir Gilchrist


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

The Woman

490. (+84) The Woman

Lucky McKee

2011 / USA / 101m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Pollyanna McIntosh, Brandon Gerald Fuller, Lauren Ashley Carter, Chris Krzykowski, Sean Bridgers, Angela Bettis, Marcia Bennett, Shyla Molhusen, Gordon Vincent, Zach Rand


“A harrowing and often darkly hilarious horror satire about family values, feminism, and the nature of violence from the twisted minds of Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum. A true find at Sundance for all fans who love gore and the twisting of Americana… When most horror movies today are concerned about gory pay offs instead of character driven violence or death, McKee connects us to the family and their dramatic dynamic through a series of musically-cut vignettes that add a haunting layer to the underlying theme of American Dream traveling through the bowels of hell. While the main focus is on Chris and the woman, each one of the characters in the Cleek family give exceptional performances.” – Benji Carver, Film School Rejects

Bakjwi

491. (+6) Bakjwi

Chan-wook Park

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


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

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

492. (-15) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Marcus Nispel

2003 / USA / 98m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen, Mike Vogel, Eric Balfour, Andrew Bryniarski, R. Lee Ermey, David Dorfman, Lauren German, Terrence Evans


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

Alucarda, la hija de las tinieblas

493. (+106) Alucarda, la hija de las tinieblas

Juan López Moctezuma

1977 / Mexico / 78m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Claudio Brook, David Silva, Tina Romero, Susana Kamini, Lili Garza, Tina French, Birgitta Segerskog, Adriana Roel, Antonia Guerrero, Martin LaSalle


“Alucarda is delirious, never once faltering or running out of steam, a frenzied assault on the viewer with the filmmaker constantly staying one step ahead to ensure each new scene becomes a revelation of fabulous obscenity. Story and coherence is just thrown out in favour of intensity, naked flesh and a generous helping of bodily fluids to just ooze things along. If this isn’t doing it for you, I really don’t know what will, but if there is one thing I can be certain of, Alcuarda is not for the faint of heart. If, on the other hand, you really get your kicks from seeing content that goes against the moral grain to deliver something fiendishly fruity, this film is essential viewing.” – Kat Ellinger, The Gore Splattered Corner

The Crazies

494. (-4) The Crazies

Breck Eisner

2010 / USA / 101m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker, Christie Lynn Smith, Brett Rickaby, Preston Bailey, John Aylward, Joe Reegan, Glenn Morshower


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

Scary Movie

495. (+39) Scary Movie

Keenen Ivory Wayans

2000 / USA / 88m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Carmen Electra, Dave Sheridan, Frank B. Moore, Giacomo Baessato, Kyle Graham, Leanne Santos, Mark McConchie, Karen Kruper, Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams


“A raucous, satirical attack on slasher movies, teenage horror movies and “The Matrix.” I saw the movie, I laughed, I took notes, and now I am at a loss to write the review. All of the usual critical categories and strategies collapse in the face of a film like this… The bottom line in reviewing a movie like this is, does it work? Is it funny? Yes, it is. Not funny with the shocking impact of “Airplane!,” which had the advantage of breaking new ground. But also not a tired wheeze like some of the lesser and later Leslie Nielsen films. To get your money’s worth, you need to be familiar with the various teenage horror franchises, and if you are, “Scary Movie” delivers the goods.” – Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com

Beetle Juice

496. (+11) Beetle Juice

Tim Burton

1988 / USA / 92m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Annie McEnroe, Maurice Page, Hugo Stanger, Michael Keaton, Rachel Mittelman, Catherine O’Hara, J. Jay Saunders, Mark Ettlinger


“”Beetlejuice” is an extraspectral experience, a wonderfully wacko look at the hereafter’s relationship with the here and now. It’s a cartoon view of the afterlife landscape, where the living haunt the dead and death’s no escape from life’s little irritants – like waiting rooms and elevator music. Tim Burton, the Disney animator who directed “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” is the mind behind this stylish screwball blend of Capraesque fantasy, Marx Brothers anarchy and horror parody. And Michael Keaton is the juice that makes it go. He’s a stand-up zombie as the revolting free-lance bio-exorcist hired to help Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin, playing the Maitlands, a couple of flummoxed young newly deads… It’s strong on lines and situations, but absolutely, happily preposterous. And the moral is a fairy-tale bromide played for laughs: You can’t escape your problems.” – Rita Kempley, Washington Post

Phantom of the Paradise

497. (-12) Phantom of the Paradise

Brian De Palma

1974 / USA / 92m / Col / Musical | IMDb
William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham, George Memmoli, Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor, Peter Elbling, Colin Cameron, David Garland


“If you take the film at face value, then it’s this incredibly fun and surreal retelling of classic stories like The Phantom of the Opera and The Picture of Dorian Grey with fantastic music and a wild 1970’s feel. If you look a little bit deeper, you’ll realize what makes Phantom of the Paradise all the more terrifying when it comes to monopolizing music and movie charts and how this obsession with an individual’s depravity of morals could ultimately lead to in our society.” – The Wolfman Cometh

Trolljegeren

498. (+138) Trolljegeren

André Øvredal

2010 / Norway / 103m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Johanna Mørck, Tomas Alf Larsen, Urmila Berg-Domaas, Hans Morten Hansen, Robert Stoltenberg, Knut Nærum, Eirik Bech


“With this Bizarro-World trek through the fjords, fields and mountaintops of wintry Norway, Andre Ovredal joins a select group of European filmmakers who have clearly paid attention to Hollywood’s lessons – particularly in the class on creature-features old and new – without negating their own specific cultural sensibility… Some plot turns don’t entirely hold water in the exciting climactic stretch, and the agitated hand-held visuals can grow wearying. But this is nonetheless an original and highly assured fusion of B-movie lore and fairy-tale terror. The premise may be absurd but the filmmaker and his able cast show unwavering commitment to the story’s elaborate mythology.” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

La casa dalle finestre che ridono

499. (+16) La casa dalle finestre che ridono

Pupi Avati

1976 / Italy / 110m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Lino Capolicchio, Francesca Marciano, Gianni Cavina, Giulio Pizzirani, Bob Tonelli, Vanna Busoni, Pietro Brambilla, Ferdinando Orlandi, Andrea Matteuzzi


“What is… haunting, is the number of questions, especially concerning the different villagers’ behaviours and motivations, that The House With Laughing Windows leaves entirely unresolved. For the film is not only about a particularly unspeakable series of crimes, but about the way a closed community’s code of silence can spread complicity and guilt far beyond the original wrongdoers. So while The House With Laughing Windows is certainly a gripping murder mystery, it is also an intelligent allegory… of post-war Italy’s struggles to emerge from the Fascist outrages of its recent past.” – Anton Bitel, Eye for Film

Batoru rowaiaru

500. (+17) Batoru rowaiaru

Kinji Fukasaku

2000 / Japan / 114m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Sôsuke Takaoka, Takashi Tsukamoto, Yukihiro Kotani, Eri Ishikawa, Sayaka Kamiya


“A few twists and turns keep the formula from becoming repetitive, and Fukasaku brings enough compassion to the deserving to keep the grizzly deaths from numbing our moral sensitivities. A sharp sense of humor assists him: aimed towards insight and ridicule rather than the nihilistic glee to which it might have succumbed. It chills us even as we snicker, and the resulting mayhem ultimately reads as a condemnation of our own violent tendencies rather than a tacit celebration. The underlying messages combine with sharp filmmaking for a gloriously entertaining ride, provided you have a taste for dark material and don’t mind the occasional poke in the ribs. Battle Royale completely engages us without losing track of its anti-violence message, a tricky balance that has sent many lesser productions spinning into hypocrisy.” – Rob Vaux, Mania