They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

#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

The Mothman Prophecies

401. (-24) 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

Funny Games U.S.

402. (+121) Funny Games U.S.

Michael Haneke

2007 / USA / 111m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart, Boyd Gaines, Siobhan Fallon, Robert LuPone, Susi Haneke, Linda Moran

“This transposed Funny Games registers more strongly than the original as a film about privileged white people… Next to their Austrian equivalents, Corbet and Pitt seem less outwardly presentable, more outlandish and fey… While both iterations of Funny Games are schematic to a fault, their anti-illusionism opens up a Pandora’s box of unanswered questions. Haneke scolds us for our bloodlust, yet leaves us wondering how the suffering of a fictional character can carry any weight at all. As onscreen narrators employed to articulate these puzzles, Peter and Paul could be cousins to the Joker in The Dark Knight or Javier Bardem’s smiling assassin in No Country For Old Men.” – Jake Wilson, The Age

Fido

403. (-21) Fido

Andrew Currie

2006 / Canada / 93m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
David Kaye, Jan Skorzewski, Kevin Tyell, Andy Parkin, Lynn Pendleton, Gary Slater, Taylor Petri, Glenn Richards, Raphael Kepinski, Carl-James Kalbfleisch

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

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

404. (+40) The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Wallace Worsley

1923 / USA / 133m / BW / Melodrama | IMDb
Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Kate Lester, Winifred Bryson, Nigel De Brulier, Brandon Hurst, Ernest Torrence, Tully Marshall, Harry von Meter

“The storytelling is mix of the grandiose and the clumsy, with Chaney largely anchoring the film and the size and scope of the spectacle elevating production. The sets are magnificent, the biggest that Universal had built to date (the giant exterior of the cathedral and surrounding building remained standing for decades and were reused for Universal’s defining horror classics of the thirties)… Chaney’s make-up is spectacularly grotesque… But the make-up is only the surface. Chaney gave Quasimodo a dynamic physical life, scrambling down climbing ropes (he was at times doubled by a stunt man) or hanging from the bell rope like a big kid, and a childlike innocence that gave every emotion a purity and intensity that drove his loyalties.” – Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies

La ragazza che sapeva troppo

405. (-5) La ragazza che sapeva troppo

Mario Bava

1963 / Italy / 86m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Letícia Román, John Saxon, Valentina Cortese, Titti Tomaino, Luigi Bonos, Milo Quesada, Robert Buchanan, Marta Melocco, Gustavo De Nardo, Lucia Modugno

“At any rate, it’s notoriously hard to define a giallo. It’s not a formula quite as much as a mood and a point of view, and if The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a bit breezier than many of its children, it still shares their casual acceptance of metaphysics as a component of medical science, cops who’ll believe anything but the hero’s eye-witness account, people doing everything they can to find a killer, and are then shocked when they run across the killer. In the next few weeks, I hope to dig up some of these trends when I can find them: in the meanwhile, let me conclude by proposing that The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a gialli like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a slasher: it created the genre, and the rules followed, and thus it’s hardly the germinating film’s fault if it occasionally ignores those rules.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

The Signal

406. (-17) The Signal

David Bruckner & Dan Bush & Jacob Gentry

2007 / USA / 103m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Anessa Ramsey, Sahr Ngaujah, AJ Bowen, Matthew Stanton, Suehyla El-Attar, Justin Welborn, Cheri Christian, Scott Poythress, Christopher Thomas, Lindsey Garrett

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

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

407. (+57) The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Jim Sharman

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

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

Identity

408. (-6) Identity

James Mangold

2003 / USA / 90m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, John C. McGinley, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey, Pruitt Taylor Vince

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

V/H/S

409. (+28) V/H/S

Various

2012 / USA / 116m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Kentucker Audley, Adam Wingard, Frank Stack, Sarah Byrne, Melissa Boatright, Simon Barrett, Andrew Droz Palermo, Hannah Fierman

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

April Fool's Day

410. (-30) April Fool’s Day

Fred Walton

1986 / USA / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jay Baker, Pat Barlow, Lloyd Berry, Deborah Foreman, Deborah Goodrich, Tom Heaton, Mike Nomad, Ken Olandt, Griffin O’Neal, Leah Pinsent

“Lest it seem like “April Fool’s Day” is but a talky, introspective bore, the film does a solid job of intermixing the character work with a well-paced horror plot that grows creepier and more involving once the ensemble has been whittled down to only a few. The climax, wherein Kit and boyfriend Rob (Ken Olandt) piece together the dark secrets from Muffy’s past as they sense an immediate danger lurking around them, generates slick suspense, several indelible images (murdered baby dolls and eyes behind a painting spring to mind), and a whopper of a twist ending that lifts the picture above and beyond the typical, standard-issue slasher fare.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

411. (-3) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

John S. Robertson

1920 / USA / 49m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
John Barrymore, Brandon Hurst, Martha Mansfield, Charles Lane, Cecil Clovelly, Nita Naldi, Louis Wolheim

“John S. Robertson’s vision is not boggled down by repetition or clichés, and he breaks from the shackles of Stevenson’s immortal story in every detail. The scenes preceding the transformation have a light and delicate touch to them, but it is the dank and menacing scenes afterwards that seem to grab our attention the most. Most of the characters, during the transformation, are seen walking around in damp alleys, in which the light of a lamppost is the only relief from the shadows. One might even call these scenes early examples of the 1940s film noir. “Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde” is not just a movie about unleashing our dark sides, but controlling them.” – David Keyes, Cinemaphile

Kurutta ippêji

412. (+9) Kurutta ippêji

Teinosuke Kinugasa

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

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

Severance

413. (-34) Severance

Christopher Smith

2006 / UK / 96m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, Babou Ceesay, Tim McInnerny, Laura Harris, Danny Dyer, David Gilliam, Juli Drajkó, Judit Viktor

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

Arachnophobia

414. (0) Arachnophobia

Frank Marshall

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

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

The Crazies

415. (+23) 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

Triangle

416. (+3) Triangle

Christopher Smith

2009 / UK / 99m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Melissa George, Joshua McIvor, Jack Taylor, Michael Dorman, Henry Nixon, Rachael Carpani, Emma Lung, Liam Hemsworth, Bryan Probets

“After his passable, low-budget horror movie, Severance, the British writer-director Christopher Smith takes a big leap forward with this clever and compelling occult thriller. Shot on the coast of Queensland but set in Miami, it interweaves to potent effect Nietzsche’s theory of “eternal recurrence”, the mystery of the Mary Celeste and Sutton Vane’s once popular play Outward Bound… It’s creepy, atmospheric stuff and at every twist of this Möbius strip we wonder how Smith will keep things going. But he manages it with considerable skill and we leave his picture suitably shaken.” – Philip French, The Observer

Motel Hell

417. (-30) Motel Hell

Kevin Connor

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

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

Dead End

418. (-6) Dead End

Jean-Baptiste Andrea & Fabrice Canepa

2003 / USA / 85m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden, Billy Asher Rosenfeld, Amber Smith, Karen S. Gregan, Sharon Madden, Steve Valentine, Jimmie F. Skaggs

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

C'est arrivé près de chez vous

419. (+13) 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

The Mummy

420. (-50) The Mummy

Terence Fisher

1959 / UK / 86m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, Eddie Byrne, Felix Aylmer, Raymond Huntley, George Pastell, Michael Ripper, George Woodbridge, Harold Goodwin

“Despite the overwhelmingly cliché story, it is so well told that you never realize you’re watching something familiar. The pacing is fantastic, never too slow, never too fast. The story begins in the past, offering a brief backstory and explaining both John Banning’s limp and the motivations of the mummy. Once in the present, the story jumps right in with a crazy old man’s stories of living mummies, a mysterious box falling into the bog, and the mummy arising from the mud and murk into turn-of-the-century England. The instant you start to get bored, the story changes yet again, moving into a flashback sequence that explains how the mummy came to be, creating not just a monster, but a character we can sympathize with. Before you know it, the film is half over. And then the fun really begins – the last sequences being filled mostly with mummy attacks and anti-mummy stratagem.” – Julia Merriam, Classic-Horror.com

La piel que habito

421. (+41) La piel que habito

Pedro Almodóvar

2011 / Spain / 120m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet, Roberto Álamo, Eduard Fernández, José Luis Gómez, Blanca Suárez, Susi Sánchez, Bárbara Lennie

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

Irréversible

422. (+13) Irréversible

Gaspar Noé

2002 / France / 97m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel, Jo Prestia, Philippe Nahon, Stéphane Drouot, Jean-Louis Costes, Michel Gondoin, Mourad Khima, Hellal

“What we have here is a genuine outlaw work of art. They are to be treasured. From Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s twisted tales of the perverse in ’30s Paris to Henry Miller’s examination of the extremes of heterosex and John Rechy’s of the extremes of homosex, and Jim Thompson’s bleak, nihilistic noir fables, to Sam Peckinpah’s blood-spattered Götterdämmerungs, they are tough to sit through and impossible to forget. They get way deep inside, to the reptile walnut of brain still in the center of the head…. it seems to be Noe’s first philosophical position, that natural man is a monster.” – Stephen Hunter, Washington Post

Deranged

423. (-50) Deranged

Jeff Gillen & Alan Ormsby

1974 / USA / 82m / Col / Crime | IMDb
Roberts Blossom, Cosette Lee, Leslie Carlson, Robert Warner, Marcia Diamond, Brian Smeagle, Arlene Gillen, Robert McHeady, Marian Waldman, Jack Mather

“Deranged belongs alongside other cult black comic horror curios like Motel Hell and two films namechecked in Arrow’s publicity blurb, Carnival of Souls and The Honeymoon Killers. The viewer is constantly surprised by jarring turns of tone and sharp juxtapositions of wild humour with tough, uncompromising imagery. While some ideas work better than others, at least this film has them in abundance; with many low budget films from the 60s and 70s, necessity really was the mother of invention, and mavericks with talent and an eye for horror’s sense of wonder could let their imaginations rip. The final sequence lingers long in the memory and delivers the enduring image from the Ed Gein case. According to the blurb, “…this is one of American horror cinema’s great one-offs, an eerie, genuinely unsettling but also darkly comic experience,” and this reviewer can’t disagree with that.” – John Costello, This is Horror

La cabina

424. (+44) La cabina

Antonio Mercero

1972 / Spain / 35m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
José Luis López Vázquez, Agustín González, Goyo Lebrero, Tito García, Carmen Martínez Sierra, Carmen Luján, María Vico, Felipe Martín Puertas, José Montijano, Blaki

“What La cabina manages to capture perfectly is the collective psychological blindness that emerges in totalitarian societies which allows most people to live a ‘normal’ life. While the crowd surrounding the phone box are initially sympathetic and concerned, once it becomes clear that they are powerless to help they quickly turn their backs in an attempt to ignore – or mock – the obvious elephant in the room, or ‘Man in the phone box’. In drawing out his reaction and that of the various characters who stumble across him, Mercero dances between light drama, comedy and Twilight Zone-esqu eeriness with such effortlessness that the impact of the ending is doubly horrific.” – Carl Swift, Black Lagoon

The Woman in Black

425. (+56) The Woman in Black

James Watkins

2012 / UK / 95m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Emma Shorey, Molly Harmon, Ellisa Walker-Reid, Sophie Stuckey, Daniel Radcliffe, Misha Handley, Jessica Raine, Roger Allam, Lucy May Barker, Indira Ainger

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

The Most Dangerous Game

426. (-29) The Most Dangerous Game

Irving Pichel & Ernest B. Schoedsack

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

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

Halloween

427. (+47) Halloween

Rob Zombie

2007 / USA / 109m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Tyler Mane, Daeg Faerch, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Richard Lynch, Udo Kier, Clint Howard, Danny Trejo

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

The Ninth Gate

428. (-56) 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

The Devil-Doll

429. (+31) The Devil-Doll

Tod Browning

1936 / USA / 78m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O’Sullivan, Frank Lawton, Rafaela Ottiano, Robert Greig, Lucy Beaumont, Henry B. Walthall, Grace Ford, Pedro de Cordoba, Arthur Hohl

“It’s no classic like Freaks, but it’s distinctly fun, with appropriately melodramatic performances by a delightful cast. The secret “toy” factory in the toyshop is minimalist for conveying weird scientific equipment but it’s a nice set even so, & the FX for shrunken animals & people are likewise kept simple but very appealing. So if you’re in the “mood” for experiencing & appreciating period horror it’s authentically scary stuff. A viewer who can’t quite relate to it in the spirit of its era will yet enjoy it, but probably find it a mite comical, which is still enjoyable.” – Paghat the Ratgirl, Weird Wild Realm

Tras el cristal

430. (-3) Tras el cristal

Agustí Villaronga

1987 / Spain / 110m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Günter Meisner, David Sust, Marisa Paredes, Gisèle Echevarría, Imma Colomer, Josuè Guasch, David Cuspinera, Ricardo Carcelero, Alberto Manzano

“Like the film’s characters, we find ourselves party to scenarios involving the most extraordinary fetishisation of suffering and death, horrors which invoke a troubling combination of impressions: they are sensual, grotesque, dreamlike, oddly beautiful, almost pornographic, usually painful to witness. But however horrifying the experience, Tras el cristal is bound to make for rewarding viewing. It is profoundly disturbing, potently evocative and easily one of the most lyrical nightmares ever concocted.” – Chris Gallant, Kino Eye

Dagon

431. (-40) Dagon

Stuart Gordon

2001 / Spain / 95m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Meroño, Macarena Gómez, Brendan Price, Birgit Bofarull, Uxía Blanco, Ferran Lahoz, Joan Minguell, Alfredo Villa

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

The Collector

432. (-40) The Collector

Marcus Dunstan

2009 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
William Prael, Diane Ayala Goldner, Juan Fernández, Josh Stewart, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Karley Scott Collins, Madeline Zima, Haley Pullos

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

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

433. (-40) The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Nicolas Gessner

1976 / Canada / 100m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman, Scott Jacoby, Dorothy Davis, Clesson Goodhue, Hubert Noël, Jacques Famery, Mary Morter

“One of the things that make Nicolas Gessner’s film crazier than most ‘70s killing sprees, is that it’s a 13-year-old girl murdering everybody. This, alone, should disturb us – but it doesn’t. Because all the people that die by Jodie Foster’s hands – or rather, in Jodie Foster’s house – had it coming. We don’t know these people that well, but what we do know about them would certainly make us want to kill them too (perhaps not us now, but us in the ‘70s). They are intrusive, harassing, irritating and arrogant, self-involved and out-of-touch. We should be disturbed every time someone dies in the little girl’s house down the lane, but all we can really find in us to do is cheer for her. We don’t disapprove of what she does, we’re just taken aback with how mature and matter-of-fact about it all she is.” – Angeliki Coconi, Unsung Films

The Addiction

434. (+86) The Addiction

Abel Ferrara

1995 / USA / 82m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco, Paul Calderon, Fredro Starr, Kathryn Erbe, Michael Imperioli, Jamal Simmons, Robert W. Castle

“Shot in b/w, with an effectively murky jungle/funk/rap score, this is the vampire movie we’ve been waiting for: a reactionary urban-horror flick that truly has the ailing pulse of the time. AIDS and drug addiction are points of reference, but they’re symptoms, not the cause. Ferrara’s chiaroscuro imagery is as striking as anything in Coppola’s Dracula, while the voice-over narration often recalls Apocalypse Now. Scary, funny, magnificently risible, this could be the most pretentious B-movie ever – and I mean that as a compliment.” – Time Out

Grave Encounters

435. (+10) Grave Encounters

Colin Minihan & Stuart Ortiz

2011 / Canada / 92m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Ben Wilkinson, Sean Rogerson, Ashleigh Gryzko, Merwin Mondesir, Juan Riedinger, Shawn Macdonald, Arthur Corber, Bob Rathie, Fred Keating, Max Train

“The crew for a fake TV ghost-hunting show has an unfortunate brush with genuine supernatural phenomena in “Grave Encounters.” Debut feature for duo Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz, who’ve dubbed themselves the Vicious Brothers (not to be confused with fellow horror helmers the Butcher Brothers), treads by-now-familiar scary-mockumentary terrain… Still, pacing is taut, the setting eerie, and eventual scares are fairly effective if never particularly original. If a somewhat formulaic air hangs over whole enterprise, it’s nonetheless creepier and less cookie-cutter than your average mainstream slasher. Tech/design factors are polished within the faux-verite concept.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

The Prowler

436. (-20) The Prowler

Joseph Zito

1981 / USA / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Farley Granger, Cindy Weintraub, Lisa Dunsheath, David Sederholm, Bill Nunnery, Thom Bray, Diane Rode

“But without a doubt the movie’s strongest and most talked about asset is its groundbreaking special effects, courtesy of Friday the 13th‘s Tom Savini. By far his most impressive work, his gruesome makeup includes a pitchfork being stabbed through several stomachs and a rather nauseating throat slashing (with the help of a bayonet). The effects were convincing enough for the movie to run into censorship trouble in Britain, where it was eventually released as Rosemary’s Killer, although thankfully the films manages to stand on its own two feet even without the bloodletting. Over the years, The Prowler has become a favourite among many slasher fans due to its fresh spin on the genre but, more importantly, the brutal violence that is littered throughout, which results in an impressive head shot to rival Savini’s previous attempt on Maniac.” – Christian Sellers, Retro Slashers

Silver Bullet

437. (+15) 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

The Children

438. (-10) The Children

Tom Shankland

2008 / UK / 84m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jeremy Sheffield, Rachel Shelley, Hannah Tointon, Rafiella Brooks, Jake Hathaway, William Howes, Eva Sayer

“For parents, the film will play on their personal fears and insecurities. Some parents (non-horror fans and insecure parents) will likely be appalled by the idea of children killing their parents, and vice versa (likely the reason why the film didn’t see a theatrical release). Others will simply enjoy the scary good ride – which is a brilliant byproduct of our own fears driven by pandemic paranoia. Director Tom Shankland skillfully crafts intensity through mostly non-scary images. With the help of his equally talented editor (Tim Murrell), Shankland intercuts several horrifying moments, juxtaposed with an energetic, pitch-perfect score from Stephen Hilton. And with such quick, focused intensity at play, seemingly innocent images like pinwheels and coffee mugs, or shots of children playing, drive fear into the hearts of his audience.” – R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD

Werewolf of London

439. (-44) Werewolf of London

Stuart Walker

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

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

Razorback

440. (-22) Razorback

Russell Mulcahy

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

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

Brain Damage

441. (-38) Brain Damage

Frank Henenlotter

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

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

The Vampire Lovers

442. (-29) The Vampire Lovers

Roy Ward Baker

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

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

Le pacte des loups

443. (0) Le pacte des loups

Christophe Gans

2001 / France / 142m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Samuel Le Bihan, Vincent Cassel, Émilie Dequenne, Monica Bellucci, Jérémie Renier, Mark Dacascos, Jean Yanne, Jean-François Stévenin, Jacques Perrin, Johan Leysen

“Christophe Gans’ “Brotherhood of the Wolf” takes a colossal leap at that opportunity, melding all sorts of different genres, visual styles, scripting techniques, plot gimmicks, characterizations and story arcs like it were collecting souvenirs on a tourist’s excursion through the northern hemisphere. What’s quite remarkable about the result, at least other than the basic effort to use every element it can in 140 minutes, is how well the movie is made without seeming overly worked or lazy in the process. This isn’t a product that requires time to adapt to all the techniques tossed into the court, either, because it masters a balanced pattern almost as swiftly as the characters sail through their dialogue. It’s a stylish, smart, edgy, exciting and profoundly involving trek though familiar folklore, often better than the masses have been told and even more appealing after repeat viewings.” – David Keyes, Cinemaphile

The Midnight Meat Train

444. (-39) The Midnight Meat Train

Ryûhei Kitamura

2008 / USA / 98m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields, Vinnie Jones, Roger Bart, Tony Curran, Barbara Eve Harris, Peter Jacobson, Stephanie Mace, Ted Raimi

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

Cape Fear

445. (+16) Cape Fear

Martin Scorsese

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

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

The Stuff

446. (-56) The Stuff

Larry Cohen

1985 / USA / 93m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris, Paul Sorvino, Scott Bloom, Danny Aiello, Patrick O’Neal, James Dixon, Alexander Scourby, Russell Nype

“The Stuff should be an awful film, it should cause anger and upset for wasting your time with an inconsequential plot and terrible characters. Liking a film because “it’s so bad it’s good” has become such an irritating ironic pastime these days, but it’s hard to knock when a film like The Stuff shuffles into view. It’s like the mad friend of a friend who shows up at your party, sicks up on the cat, knocks over the telly and wanders off. It’s stupid, badly put together, and often infuriating, but yet – somehow – oddly engaging and, well, entertaining.” – That Film Guy

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

447. (+29) Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Joe Dante

1990 / USA / 106m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover, Robert Prosky, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lee, Haviland Morris, Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph, Gedde Watanabe

“Let’s be honest – Gremlins 2: The New Batch is a pretty strange sequel to Gremlins. It’s like if Scream were a direct sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street. Not to say that Gremlins 2 is a bad film, not by a long shot. Rather, it was a risky endeavor, and as the box office numbers show ($153 million for Gremlins vs. $41 million for Gremlins 2), the world wasn’t ready for a sequel as blatantly meta as Gremlins 2… a film that spins the potential franchise on its heels, focusing more on comedy and quirk than actual horror. While, on some levels, this is disappointing for those who loved the classy blend of freakish horror and bizarre comedy from the first outing, it does make for an interesting, and often very funny, sequel.” – R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI

448. (-14) Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI

Tom McLoughlin

1986 / USA / 86m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen, Renée Jones, Kerry Noonan, Darcy DeMoss, Tom Fridley, Alan Blumenfeld, Matthew Faison, Ann Ryerson

“The previous FRIDAY films were one-note affairs; this time out, a slightly new tune is being played (this is literally the case: composer Henry Manfredini’s familiar theme music is augmented with a couple songs performed by Alice Cooper (including “He’s Back: The Man Behind the Mask”). Whatever its weaknesses, JASON LIVES is a reasonably fun attempt at remaking the franchise into an old-fashioned monster movie, and fans of Frankenstein, the Mummy, and other creatures of the walking dead may find it appealing.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Street Trash

449. (-23) Street Trash

J. Michael Muro

1987 / USA / 91m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sferrazza, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Pat Ryan, Clarenze Jarmon, Bernard Perlman, Miriam Zucker

“Awful business aside, “Street Trash” is a fantastically directed picture, enjoying fluid camera movement and textured locations, with crisp, smartly framed cinematography that makes the minimal budget look like the production spent millions of dollars. Muro has a terrific eye for the dark delights of the movie, and his visual sense is masterfully boosted by extraordinary achievements in set design and make-up effects, with the melt scenes unforgettable. It’s unnerving how polished “Street Trash” is, once again disturbing expectations with a virile cinematic appearance.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-Ray.com

Berberian Sound Studio

450. (+138) Berberian Sound Studio

Peter Strickland

2012 / UK / 92m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Toby Jones, Cosimo Fusco, Antonio Mancino, Fatma Mohamed, Salvatore LI Causi, Chiara D’Anna, Tonia Sotiropoulou, Eugenia Caruso, Susanna Cappellaro, Guido Adorni

“Berberian Sound Studio has something of early Lynch and Polanski, and the nasty, secretive studio is a little like the tortured Mark Lewis’s screening room in Powell’s Peeping Tom, but that gives no real idea of how boldly individual this film is. In fact, it takes more inspiration from the world of electronic and synth creations and the heyday of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and it is close in spirit to Kafka’s The Castle or to the Gothic literary tradition of Bram Stoker and Ann Radcliffe: a world of English innocents abroad in a sensual, mysterious landscape… With a face suggesting cherubic innocence, vulnerability and cruelty, Toby Jones gives the performance of his career, and Peter Strickland has emerged as a key British film-maker of his generation.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

The Woman in Black

451. (-15) The Woman in Black

Herbert Wise

1989 / UK / 100m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker, Pauline Moran, David Ryall, Clare Holman, John Cater, John Franklyn-Robbins, Fiona Walker, William Simons

“With the phenomenal success of both the West End play and the recent Hammer Films adaptation, it’s easy to forget this earlier version of Susan Hill’s spine-chilling ghost story. Broadcast on the ITV network on Christmas Eve in 1989 The Woman in Black still manages to stir up a few scares in a slow-moving but effective yarn… Adrian Rawlins as Arthur Kidd is particularly sympathetic and you cannot help but feel for our handsome but haunted hero as he is mercilessly pursued by the terrifying spectre of the mysterious woman in black… there are enough twists and turns of the plot to leave an uneasy chill long after the credits have rolled.” – Richard Gladman, Classic Horror Campaign

The Leopard Man

452. (+5) The Leopard Man

Jacques Tourneur

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

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

Horror Express

453. (-68) Horror Express

Eugenio Martín

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

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

The Quatermass Xperiment

454. (-44) The Quatermass Xperiment

Val Guest

1955 / UK / 82m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean, Thora Hird, Gordon Jackson, David King-Wood, Harold Lang, Lionel Jeffries, Sam Kydd, Richard Wordsworth

“Other fine moments, such as an ill-fated car ride with his wife, make The Quatermass Xperiment a little more haunting than you may expect. Though it’s set up as a standard creature feature, it doesn’t capitulate to that mode until the very end, when the monster is finally revealed. It probably looks a little silly to modern audiences, and the film itself is certainly quite tame, this was the stuff of an “X” rating in its heyday (which also explains the odd spelling of the film’s title, which is a marketing ploy). Most of its terrors at the time would have been the psychologically unnerving sort, as audiences were only a decade removed from atomic horrors and UFO hysteria was about to reach manic heights. Guest’s film definitely taps into all of that, though it still works as a brisk, cool horror movie without those subtexts.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror

Twins of Evil

455. (+35) Twins of Evil

John Hough

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

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

Images

456. (+26) Images

Robert Altman

1972 / UK / 101m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Susannah York, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi, Hugh Millais, Cathryn Harrison, John Morley

“Altman’s direction is faultless; he ratchets up the tension, teasing details and weaving backstories into the narrative, whilst always keeping the audience on a knife edge. Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography is equally stunning, using the near-mythic Irish countryside to great effect and making the house a disorienting and labyrinthine prison for Cathryn. John Williams also delivers one of his most experimental scores although collaborator, Stomu Yamashta, may be the biggest influence on the Japanese influenced arrangements. Haunting, eerie, hallucinatory and exquisitely crafted; Images is a film that demands greater attention.” – Man With a Movie Blog

The Toxic Avenger

457. (-33) The Toxic Avenger

Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman

1984 / USA / 87m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl, Dick Martinsen, Chris Liano

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

Spalovac mrtvol

458. (+58) Spalovac mrtvol

Juraj Herz

1969 / Czechoslovakia / 95m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlasta Chramostová, Jana Stehnová, Milos Vognic, Zora Bozinová, Ilja Prachar, Eduard Kohout, Jirí Menzel, Míla Myslíková, Vladimír Mensík

“Herz’s direction has an expressionist feel, shot in black and white with a striking use of shadow and marked gothic sensibility. The film is very much seen through Kopfrkingl’s eyes, and as such, the city is given the look of a tomb, with the crematorium resembling the grand temple of death which he imagines it to be. This does mean that the proceedings do at times slip into the realm of the surreal, though this is skilfully done and works well as a method of illustrating both the character and the country’s decent into madness, giving the atmosphere that of an inescapable nightmare. “The Cremator” is a unique example of modern gothic cinema, being both fantastic and grimly realistic.” – James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood

Inland Empire

459. (+19) 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

Black Sheep

460. (-14) Black Sheep

Jonathan King

2006 / New Zealand / 87m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Nathan Meister, Peter Feeney, Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis, Oliver Driver, Tandi Wright, Glenis Levestam, Nick Blake, Matthew Chamberlain, Nick Fenton

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

Burnt Offerings

461. (-39) 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

Night of the Demons

462. (+11) Night of the Demons

Kevin Tenney

1988 / USA / 90m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Hal Havins, Allison Barron, Alvin Alexis, Harold Ayer, Billy Gallo, Cathy Podewell, Karen Ericson, Lance Fenton, Donnie Jeffcoat, Linnea Quigley

“”Night of the Demons” doesn’t have anything of importance to say and offers no deep messages. Instead, it’s got violence, sex, nudity and a good-humored script. There are all different types of genre films, and this one was purely made to entertain. Its technical and creative ingenuity is but a plus on the scorecard, and its wraparound sequence, involving a grouchy old man who has the tables turned on him when he slips razorblades in the trick-or-treaters’ apples, is a bewitchingly grim capper. “Night of the Demons” isn’t free of flaws, but it is practically dripping with the blood, sweat and tears of those who set out to make a genuinely good party movie, and did exactly that.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Messiah of Evil

463. (+30) Messiah of Evil

Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz

1973 / USA / 90m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Michael Greer, Marianna Hill, Joy Bang, Anitra Ford, Royal Dano, Elisha Cook Jr., Charles Dierkop, Bennie Robinson, Morgan Fisher, Emma Truckman

““Messiah of Evil” is the kind of movie that’s made from its flaws as much as its strengths. The incoherence of the screenplay is actually a prime example of great horror storytelling. On the surface, it pretends to explain all, but the “explanation” only succeeds in raising more questions. A great horror film leaves giant holes in the screen for us to project our own fears and does not reassure us in the end that all is well. At its most basic level, a good horror story is about uncertainty, and “Messiah of Evil” is one of the most uncertain movies ever made.” – Brian Holcomb, Beyond Hollywood

Pitch Black

464. (+16) Pitch Black

David Twohy

2000 / USA / 109m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Claudia Black, Rhiana Griffith, John Moore, Simon Burke, Les Chantery

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

Quatermass and the Pit

465. (-54) Quatermass and the Pit

Roy Ward Baker

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

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

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

466. (new) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Ana Lily Amirpour

2014 / USA / 99m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains, Rome Shadanloo, Milad Eghbali, Reza Sixo Safai, Ray Haratian, Pej Vahdat

“Iranian-American writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour describes her weirdly exhilarating feature debut, which premiered at Sundance last year, as the Iranian love-child of Sergio Leone and David Lynch, with Nosferatu as a babysitter. It is set in the fictional Iranian ghost town of Bad City (the name nods toward Frank Miller’s Sin City) and plays out like the missing link between Kathryn Bigelow’s first two features; the ultra-cool biker pastiche The Loveless and the latterday vampire flick Near Dark. It is steeped in the pop iconography of the past, yet its crystalline anamorphic black-and-white photography has an unmistakably contemporary edge. Cinematically, it exists in a twilight zone between nations (American locations, Iranian culture), between centuries (late 19th and early 21st), between languages (Persian dialogue, silent cinema gestures) and, most importantly, between genres.” – Mark Kermode, The Observer

The Little Shop of Horrors

467. (+51) 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

The Night Stalker

468. (+30) 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

The Woman

469. (+36) 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

A Clockwork Orange

470. (-23) A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick

1971 / UK / 136m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke, John Clive, Adrienne Corri, Carl Duering, Paul Farrell, Clive Francis, Michael Gover

““A Clockwork Orange” is about the rise and fall and rise of Alex in a world that is only slightly less dreadful than he is… Yet Kubrick has chosen to fashion this as the most elegantly stylized, most classically balanced movie he has ever made–and not, I think, by accident… It seems to me that by describing horror with such elegance and beauty, Kubrick has created a very disorienting but human comedy, not warm and lovable, but a terrible sum-up of where the world is at. With all of man’s potential for divinity through love, through his art and his music, this is what it has somehow boiled down to: a civil population terrorized by hoodlums, disconnected porno art, quick solutions to social problems, with the only “hope” for the future in the vicious Alex.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times

Lisa e il diavolo

471. (-32) 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

Nekromantik

472. (-13) Nekromantik

Jörg Buttgereit

1987 / Germany / 75m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Bernd Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski, Harald Lundt, Colloseo Schulzendorf, Henri Boeck, Clemens Schwender, Jörg Buttgereit, Holger Suhr, Volker Hauptvogel

“Watching Nekromantik felt like being an accomplice to a crime. Guilty by association. The film has the same transgressive, sub-cultural feel as amateur porn or extremist political broadcast. Engineered purposefully to shock and challenge notions of taste and conformity, Buttgereit’s film feels political in itself. A provocation from the fringes to remind us the world is a volatile place, filled with unpleasant things. To deny the dark half of both our nature and all nature is to put oneself to sleep. Buttgereit’s film wakes you up, not with breakfast but with a direct, sharp slap.” – Peter Cox, The Lost Highway Hotel

Mystery of the Wax Museum

473. (+15) Mystery of the Wax Museum

Michael Curtiz

1933 / USA / 77m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell, Frank McHugh, Allen Vincent, Gavin Gordon, Edwin Maxwell, Holmes Herbert, Claude King, Arthur Edmund Carewe

“Compared to other horror movies of the same vintage, the thing one primarily notices about Mystery of the Wax Museum is that it doesn’t spare anything: right from the images of wax models melting in a grotesque parody of human decay and rotten, near the very start of the film, the filmmakers pile on images that are more concerned with scoring fast knockouts than sidling around behind us to be creepy and subdued. Mystery of the Wax Museum has many wonderful characteristics, but not subtlety. The camerawork is often heavily artificial and exaggerated, a clear and rather exciting attempt to bring the discordant angles and geometry of Germany Expressionism into the by-necessity well-lit interiors and florid colors of red-green Technicolor. Farrell’s performance, which I find absolutely captivating, has all the grace and insinuation of a machine gun nest.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

X

474. (+9) X

Roger Corman

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

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

The Curse of the Cat People

475. (-34) The Curse of the Cat People

Gunther von Fritsch & Robert Wise

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

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

Histoires extraordinaires

476. (-20) Histoires extraordinaires

Federico Fellini & Louis Malle & Roger Vadim

1968 / France / 121m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Jane Fonda, Terence Stamp, James Robertson Justice, Salvo Randone, Françoise Prévost, Peter Fonda, Marlène Alexandre, David Bresson

“This tryptich is notable for sporting three of the most recognizable names in 1960s European cinema: Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, and Federico Fellini. Each director was tasked with visualizing an obscure Poe story, translating Poe’s dream-like prose poetry to the movie screen. The results could hardly be more mixed… Roger Vadim starts us off with a plodding gender-bending retelling of Poe’s “Metzengerstein”… Malle’s episode is an engaging enough entry, but in the end it doesn’t amount to much and leaves too many plot holes unfilled… Episode 3, however — this is the one people talk about when they talk about Spirits of the Dead. Federico Fellini’s “Toby Dammit” stars Terence Stamp in a piece that’s a Fellini film festival in miniature… stylish, dense, hypnotic, and a perfect 40-minute introduction if you’ve been wondering what “Fellini-esque” means. By itself this makes Spirits of the Dead worth a look.” – Mark Bourne, DVDJournal.com

The Last Exorcism

477. (-11) The Last Exorcism

Daniel Stamm

2010 / USA / 87m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Louis Herthum, Caleb Landry Jones, Tony Bentley, John Wright Jr., Shanna Forrestall, Justin Shafer, Carol Sutton

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

Frightmare

478. (+33) Frightmare

Pete Walker

1974 / UK / 88m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Rupert Davies, Sheila Keith, Deborah Fairfax, Paul Greenwood, Kim Butcher, Fiona Curzon, John Yule, Trisha Mortimer, Victoria Fairbrother, Edward Kalinski

“”Frightmare” is perhaps [Pete Walker’s] most admired production, if only because it caused quite a stir during its initial theatrical release, upsetting critics at the time with its X-rated vision of cannibalism and murder, while offering a provocative condemnation of criminal rehabilitation services. In 2014, it’s difficult to understand why such a fuss was raised, with the genre now exposing every perversion and evil known to man, but what remains under the aged layers of condemnation is a crafty chiller, wonderfully performed and executed with a refreshing grimness. “Frightmare” has its share of ugliness, but it’s also considered work from Walker, who isn’t merely out to sicken, but haunt his audience with this effective picture.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

Trilogy of Terror

479. (-24) 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

The Other

480. (-32) 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

The Slumber Party Massacre

481. (+29) The Slumber Party Massacre

Amy Holden Jones

1982 / USA / 77m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella, Debra De Liso, Andree Honore, Gina Smika Hunter, Jennifer Meyers, Joseph Alan Johnson, David Millbern, Jim Boyce

“Even if one wanted to ignore the obvious overtones, they’re left with a pretty rad little slasher with impressive gore and ass-kicking girls. I’m not sure why anyone would want to discard the interesting subtext, though—it’s much more fun to read it as a film by two women who were quick to call the slasher genre out on its bullshit. Their initial vision may have been somewhat thwarted, but the hints in the margins here result in a slasher film that’s actually more interesting now than it was when I first watched it as a kid (when I was interested in it for all the things Brown and Jones were trying to highlight, of course).” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Blade

482. (+19) 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

Flesh for Frankenstein

483. (+32) Flesh for Frankenstein

Paul Morrissey

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

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

Isle of the Dead

484. (-59) Isle of the Dead

Mark Robson

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

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

House

485. (-32) House

Steve Miner

1986 / USA / 93m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
William Katt, George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz, Mary Stavin, Michael Ensign, Erik Silver, Mark Silver, Susan French, Alan Autry

“Even though the creatures in the film are truly disgusting, there is a lack of blood and gore. That makes this the perfect kind of film for the horror hunting 12 year old kids out there. Just creepy and gruesome enough to satisfy their curiosity, but not enough to have them sleep with the lights on. The lighthearted nature that some of the more frightening scenes take helps to ease the tension. House ranks up there as one of the best horror comedies around, sitting in a list that includes Evil Dead 2 and Dead Alive. There’s a lot to enjoy here, and it’s pretty fast paced, rarely slowing down once the insanity starts. If you haven’t had a chance to watch this one yet, I suggest picking it up right now. You won’t be disappointed.” – The Film Reel

The Hound of the Baskervilles

486. (-7) The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sidney Lanfield

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

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

Phantasm II

487. (+12) Phantasm II

Don Coscarelli

1988 / USA / 97m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
James Le Gros, Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm, Paula Irvine, Samantha Phillips, Kenneth Tigar, Ruth C. Engel, Mark Anthony Major, Rubin Kushner, Stacey Travis

“Angus Scrimm is a valuable asset, too. As the Tall Man, he’s deeply menacing. The perpetually grimacing Scrimm looms over the other actors, speaking his dialogue in a booming, quiver-inducing voice. And then there are those glorious orbs, which inflict gruesome damage upon helpless victims. Their sheer unlikeliness as instruments of death makes them sinister, while the film devises ingeniously nasty things for them to do. Phantasm II’s special effects team does magnificent work showing the ghastly results of a ball attack. Phantasm II has plenty of these moments, and that’s what makes it fun, in spite of a half-baked plot. There’s even a subtle sense of humor displayed; a briefly-seen bag of cremated ashes lists the them as being the body of “Mr. Sam Raimi,” a nod to the director of The Evil Dead. I don’t know whether you could accurately call Phantasm II “good” or not, but as a gore-filled piece of ’80s horror with a premise unlike any other in the genre, it’s completely enjoyable.” – Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat

Freddy vs. Jason

488. (+6) Freddy vs. Jason

Ronny Yu

2003 / Canada / 97m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette, Brendan Fletcher, Katharine Isabelle, Lochlyn Munro, Kyle Labine

“Two dead horror franchises and two one-note jokes combine their burnt-out story lines and collective myths in “Freddy Vs. Jason,” and the result is a horror movie that’s better than it has any right to be… The Jason (‘Friday the 13th’) and the Freddy Krueger (‘Nightmare on Elm Street’) series were limp self-parodies long before they went dormant. But something in the combination of the two villains wakes things up. The presence of Freddy liberates this Jason entry from the monotony of a guy lumbering about with a ski mask and a sword, while the presence of Jason liberates this Freddy film from the monotony of the usual endless dream sequences… Director Ronny Yu… keeps it as light as possible.” – Mick LaSalle, SFGate

Alucarda, la hija de las tinieblas

489. (-26) Alucarda, la hija de las tinieblas

Juan López Moctezuma

1977 / Mexico / 85m / 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

Little Shop of Horrors

490. (+70) Little Shop of Horrors

Frank Oz

1986 / USA / 94m / Col / Musical | IMDb
Levi Stubbs, Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, Tichina Arnold, Michelle Weeks, Tisha Campbell-Martin, James Belushi, John Candy

“Shot in vivid colour and interspersed with some terrific songs, this is a formulaic story but a hell of a ride. It benefits from pitch-perfect performances all round and a great villain in the form of the ever more elaborate plant. This is a film which the whole family can enjoy, but little ones may hide their eyes towards the end, when the plant resorts to violence. More graphic but without the darkness of the original, it’s a tale whose power is in the telling. After seeing it, you won’t look at your flowerbeds the same way again.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

Terror Train

491. (-2) Terror Train

Roger Spottiswoode

1980 / Canada / 97m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield, Derek McKinnon, Sandee Currie, Timothy Webber, Anthony Sherwood, Howard Busgang, Steve Michaels

“And damn me, but I left Terror Train feeling not just satiated as one will after watching a slasher film, full but slightly queasy and aware of the imminent fact of indigestion, as after the final bite of a Big Mac with large fries; I was engaged, and delighted. It’s such a snazzy way to end what was already an irreproachably decent flick that it’s even easy to overlook that Terror Train has effectively no gore to speak of and blandly-staged killings: amazingly, when you have compelling, entertaining filmmaking on your side, you don’t need to do anything tawdry to keep things interesting.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Intruder

492. (+62) Intruder

Scott Spiegel

1989 / USA / 83m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Elizabeth Cox, Renée Estevez, Dan Hicks, David Byrnes, Sam Raimi, Eugene Robert Glazer, Billy Marti, Burr Steers, Craig Stark, Ted Raimi

“While Intruder follows much of the slasher film formula, it truly stands out from the ilk of that time for many reasons, the first being Speigel’s amazing style. As one of the guys behind the first two Evil Dead movies, Director and co-writer Scott Speilgel brings that same kinetic look to this movie. There are some crazy angles and snake-like movements, including some of the most innovative POVs, you’ve ever seen. Ever wonder what it would be like to see the POV of a bucket, telephone, or floor? Well, you’ll see it here. Add in the tight and ingenious editing and you have a movie that is technically superior to many of the stalk and slash that were out at that point in time. Speigel knows how to build up the tension. Intruder takes it’s time setting up the place, situation, and, more or less, the characters. The climax is pretty exciting and highly suspenseful.” – Giovanni Deldio, Best Horror Movies

Straw Dogs

493. (+28) Straw Dogs

Sam Peckinpah

1971 / USA / 113m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna, Del Henney, Jim Norton, Donald Webster, Ken Hutchison, Len Jones, Sally Thomsett

“Straw Dogs frustrates and compels not because it tells us easy things like “violence lurks in the hearts of men” (which it does), but because it ultimately refuses to make any absolute value judgments about such a statement. Peckinpah clearly believed that humans are inherently violent beings—he said as much in interview after interview. Yet, he was also a committed liberal democrat and humanist who detested the violence and scandal of the world around him. Thus, like its depictions of violence, the film’s stand on David’s descent into destruction to protect what’s his is, in the end, ambiguous.” – James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk

Deadgirl

494. (+9) Deadgirl

Marcel Sarmiento & Gadi Harel

2008 / USA / 101m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Candice Accola, Eric Podnar, Jenny Spain, Andrew DiPalma, Nolan Gerard Funk, Michael Bowen, David Alan Graf, Susan Marie Keller

“A good deal of the effect of “Deadgirl” rests on the atmospheric widescreen cinematography by Harris Charalambouse, which belies what must have been an extremely low budget (the long tracking shots in which the camera prowls the underground tunnels beneath the asylum are honestly gripping), and Phillip Blackford’s editing, which isn’t afraid to take things slowly, though in the action moments it’s appropriately swift and abrupt. Effects-wise, the picture is hardly state-of-the-art, and in fact the level of gore is pretty modest compared to the avalanche of blood and innards that fans of torture-porn are accustomed to. The fact that it’s relatively subdued by modern standards may, in fact, limit the movie’s popularity among the gross-out crowd, at the same time that its storyline turns off more mainstream viewers. That would be too bad, because “Deadgirl” is, despite some weaknesses, a surprisingly effective character study dressed up as a grisly horror movie.” – Frank Swietek, One Guy’s Opinion

The Hound of the Baskervilles

495. (+53) The Hound of the Baskervilles

Terence Fisher

1959 / UK / 87m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Peter Cushing, André Morell, Christopher Lee, Marla Landi, David Oxley, Francis De Wolff, Miles Malleson, Ewen Solon, John Le Mesurier, Helen Goss

“Fisher, at the peak of his career, used Conan Doyle’s plot to establish a stylish dialectic between Holmes’ nominally rational Victorian milieu and the dark, fabulous cruelty behind the Baskerville legend. This opposition is expressed within the first ten minutes, when he moves from the ‘legend’ with its strong connotations of the Hellfire Club (the nobleman tormenting a young girl with demonic satisfaction) to the rational eccentricities of Baker Street. Holmes is indeed the perfect Fisher hero, the Renaissance scholar with strong mystical undertones, and Cushing gives one of his very best performances, ably supported by Morell (who does not make the usual mistake of overplaying Watson). Lee is in equally good form as the Baskerville heir, and Jack Asher’s muted Technicolor photography is superb.” – Derek Adams, Time Out

Maniac

496. (+97) Maniac

Franck Khalfoun

2012 / USA / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Nora Arnezeder, Brian Ames, America Olivo, Genevieve Alexandra, Liane Balaban, Jan Broberg, Aaron Colom, Joshua Delagarza, Alex Diaz, Megan Duffy

“With the accomplished Maxime Alexandre serving as cinematographer, and Raphael Hamburger providing a euro-trashy synth score, Maniac proves exploitative horror flicks need not seem hastily slapped together to unsettle and disturb. Maniac is technically impressive, which is more than can be said for most schlock of its ilk. If you’re watching Maniac to admire cinematic handiwork, to ponder our culpability in slasher flicks, or to compare Wood’s performance with the original’s Joe Spinell, I can safely recommend it.” – Simon Miraudo, Quickflix

Piranha

497. (+112) Piranha

Alexandre Aja

2010 / USA / 88m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Jerry O’Connell, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele

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

Hostel: Part II

498. (-12) Hostel: Part II

Eli Roth

2007 / USA / 94m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Lauren German, Roger Bart, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Richard Burgi, Vera Jordanova, Jay Hernandez, Jordan Ladd, Milan Knazko, Edwige Fenech

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

The Lair of the White Worm

499. (+9) The Lair of the White Worm

Ken Russell

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

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

Srpski film

500. (+29) Srpski film

Srdjan Spasojevic

2010 / Serbia / 104m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic, Slobodan Bestic, Katarina Zutic, Luka Mijatovic, Ana Sakic, Lena Bogdanovic, Miodrag Krcmarik, Nenad Herakovic

“The escalating incidents of pedophilia, incest, and necrophilia that follow reflect a country traumatized by otherwise unspeakable acts of violence committed under the auspices of war. We witness the disgusting underbelly of a broken civilization where human values no longer exist. There are no degrees of separation from a communal psychosis that affects every citizen. By putting the narrative in a psycho-sexual-cinematic context Spasojević invites the viewer to compare his made-up pornography of death to the similar underlying nature of capitalism’s commercial cinema of the West and its attendant sponsors. In order to see the message of Srđan Spasojević daring work of filmic art you need only consider the capitalist aspect that makes it possible.” – Cole Smithey