They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

#601-#700

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: #601-#700

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

I Drink Your Blood

601. (-9) I Drink Your Blood

David E. Durston

1970 / USA / 83m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, Jadin Wong, Rhonda Fultz, George Patterson, Riley Mills, John Damon, Elizabeth Marner-Brooks, Richard Bowler, Tyde Kierney, Iris Brooks

“Energetic, sloppy and entirely watchable (especially if you’re sitting down with bong and/or beer), David Durston’s I Drink Your Blood is true-blue camp all the way. Plus it’s vicious, violent, and frequently fall-down funny. Clearly created with a grindhouse-style audience in mind, IDYB doesn’t worry too much about the quality of what’s onscreen, but the quantity of outrageous shit it can pull off before the end credits hit the scene. Frankly you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a gang of Satanist hippies massacre a house full of rats before chowing down on rabid dogmeat and flying into a mega-murderous rage. Before it’s all over, I Drink Your Blood has turned into a decidedly stupider version of Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead, but the thing whizzes along like a really bad hit of acid. And while it’s highly unlikely to ever be considered a “good film” (by any definition of the phrase), there’s little denying that I Drink Your Blood delivers on its promise of wild, weird and frequently wacky material.” – Scott Weinberg, DVD Talk

The Terminator

602. (+152) The Terminator

James Cameron

1984 / USA / 107m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller, Shawn Schepps

“As an action film, The Terminator remains a surprisingly meditative work, its concentrated visceral bursts not unlike punctuation marks among something more brooding, even prayerful… It’s one of the most hopeful films ever made, and its one that we can yet take much from. Knowing what she does of the future, Sarah driving off into the coming storm in the films final shot is a profound acceptance of unimaginable responsibility, but the film argues further that every life is meaningful, even vital, in the final equation. Even on the eve of self-destruction, mankind is still worth saving, and the most complex machine can yet fall to the simplest.” – Rob Humanick, Slant Magazine

Ugetsu monogatari

603. (+54) Ugetsu monogatari

Kenji Mizoguchi

1953 / Japan / 96m / BW / Jidaigeki | IMDb
Machiko Kyô, Mitsuko Mito, Kinuyo Tanaka, Masayuki Mori, Eitarô Ozawa, Sugisaku Aoyama, Mitsusaburô Ramon, Ryôsuke Kagawa, Kichijirô Ueda, Shôzô Nanbu

“Like a painter determined to catch one vista in canvas after canvas, Mizoguchi considers how the price of indulging men’s desires is often the suffering of women. This is done in individual shots (e.g. the highway robbers in the background gorging themselves on food the victimized Miyagi was carrying) as well as in the film as a whole. On another level the film can be read as paralleling the plight of post-WWII Japan. Either way, the film’s subtle mix of realism and fantasy (consider a tracking shot with a near-invisible dissolve which “impossibly” links a sensual bath with a picnic) makes for challenging viewing. Working within Japanese genre conventions which seek to validate traditional values, Mizoguchi also considers their inherent contradictions. Look carefully at the pan and tracking shot as the errant Genjuro thinks he’s returning to home and hearth near the end and you will witness a great moment in the history of cinema as both art and social commentary.” – TV Guide’s Movie Guide

Requiem for a Dream

604. (+73) Requiem for a Dream

Darren Aronofsky

2000 / USA / 102m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher McDonald, Louise Lasser, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Janet Sarno, Suzanne Shepherd, Joanne Gordon

“Director Darren Aronofsky, fortunately, is addicted to images. He has put together a phantasmagoria of self-destructive obsession that is so visually astounding it becomes its own saving grace. Otherwise, we might not be able to bear it… Feverish hallucinatory moments and shocking “prequel” flashes of a character’s imagination are only the beginning of Aronofsky’s visual repertory. He finds a way to make a scream of despair visible. Other screams will make the screen rattle. He splits the screen, horizontally and vertically, and – addictively – repeats flashing close-ups of pill-popping, snorting and shooting up. The dreamy effects of the drugs circle upward. Their less-dreamy effects make refrigerators throb, and the screen distorts. The camera moves relentlessly across an apartment as the figure within frantically jumps and darts.” – Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle

Mientras duermes

605. (+135) Mientras duermes

Jaume Balagueró

2011 / Spain / 102m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Luis Tosar, Marta Etura, Alberto San Juan, Petra Martínez, Iris Almeida, Carlos Lasarte, Amparo Fernández, Roger Morilla, Pep Tosar, Margarita Rosed

“As the film’s character based plot wraps its well scripted hands around the viewer’s neck, the same noose closes in on César, as he dodges and uses his false smiles and quick thinking to avoid detection. Both eerily realistic and uncomfortable, the viewer can never be sure whether what they are watching borders on the absurd. But the movie loses all pretension that is found in more Americanised horrors, and avoids the temptation of over-scoring itself in an attempt to add drama, and instead lets the looks and silence in-between them to create the tension. This ensures a well rounded but by no means flat film, that will leave you squirming in, and on of the edge of, your seat.” – Ross Shapland, Shapstik on Screen

Mama

606. (+212) Mama

Andrés Muschietti

2013 / Spain / 100m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse, Daniel Kash, Javier Botet, Jane Moffat, Morgan McGarry, David Fox, Dominic Cuzzocrea

“Mama proves to be a great horror film for about half of its running time — the half in which we can’t see who or what this Mama character is… unfortunately, the more we learn about Mama, the more it seems as though she’s just malnourished and misunderstood… To make up for the dearth of suspense, there is at least great acting. Chastain toughens up to portray one of those rare heroines in a horror film who isn’t about to walk down to the basement on her own when the power is out… Devotees of this genre should make a point of seeing the film, if only because it’s a great example of how to be creepy without resorting to cliché. But don’t expect any true horror to emerge” – Vanessa Farquharson, National Post

Et mourir de plaisir

607. (-49) Et mourir de plaisir

Roger Vadim

1960 / France / 87m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Mel Ferrer, Elsa Martinelli, Annette Stroyberg, Alberto Bonucci, René-Jean Chauffard, Gabriella Farinon, Serge Marquand, Edith Peters, Nathalie Lafaurie, Carmilla Stroyberg

“In some ways, Blood and Roses strikes me as a much-belated European response to Val Lewton’s horror movies for RKO. Like the majority of those films, Blood and Roses cloaks what is fundamentally a psychological thriller in a skin of supernatural horror, and circumvents the target audience’s natural antipathy for “rational” explanations by making the validity of the supernatural manifestations the story’s central mystery. Obviously, that demands from Vadim and his collaborators a much more acute understanding of people’s mental and emotional processes than was typically displayed by horror filmmakers in this era, together with a far greater investment in character development. At a time when most fright films were simplistic stories of good vs. evil, Blood and Roses presents a startlingly mature examination of sexual neurosis and the dark side of exactly the sort of romanticism in which escapist cinema normally trades.” – Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours

Dracula

608. (-26) Dracula

John Badham

1979 / USA / 109m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence, Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve, Jan Francis, Janine Duvitski, Tony Haygarth, Teddy Turner, Sylvester McCoy

“This film is not a standard horror film, though there are some horrific moments. It plays up the notion that Dracula is a sensual, smoldering, sexual creature rather than an animal with no soul. In that respect, Frank Langella (who played the role on stage) plays it up to the hilt and delivers – using his body language and his fluid lines with the mark of a real actor. He is a tall, charismatic and towering presence and brings Dracula alive with more relish and attitude than most others who have attempted the role.” – Jerry Saravia, Jerry Saravia on Cinema

Rogue

609. (-13) Rogue

Greg Mclean

2007 / Australia / 99m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, Sam Worthington, Caroline Brazier, Stephen Curry, Celia Ireland, John Jarratt, Heather Mitchell, Geoff Morrell, Damien Richardson

“Rogue may keep its creature hidden for large stretches in order to generate tension through omnipresent suggestion, but its expertly orchestrated set pieces don’t skimp on the killer-croc goods, providing enough glimpses of the beast feasting on terrified humans to deliver requisite horror-premise payoffs. Mclean’s tight scripting rarely relies on stupid behavior to elicit scares and refuses to one-dimensionally condemn its characters for less-than-noble reactions to trauma, exhibiting shrewd, nonjudgmental consideration for the strains its stranded travelers are under. All the while, his evocative widescreen cinematography of the Australian landscape – part Terrance Malick-entrancing, part John Carpenter-creepy – lends the action a sense of encompassing ominousness, and in its reverence for the natural world, proves in tune with the director’s own respect for his characters, his B-movie genre, and his audience.” – Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness

Paranormal Activity 2

610. (+7) Paranormal Activity 2

Tod Williams

2010 / USA / 91m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
David Bierend, Brian Boland, Molly Ephraim, Katie Featherston, Seth Ginsberg, Sprague Grayden, William Juan Prieto, Jackson Xenia Prieto, Micah Sloat

“Following the series’ conceit of presenting edited found footage, “Paranomal Activity 2” consists of house surveillance videos and some interactions caught by camcorder. Much of what’s captured on tape and hard drives is mundane, but it’s precisely the ordinariness and long takes in these scenes that can make them so unnerving when the supernatural element disrupts the tranquility… It’s in this manner that “Paranomal Activity 2” consistently succeeds at constructing jump moments with deliberation during routine home settings. The scares in “Paranomal Activity 2” aren’t as frequent or always as well built as the original film’s, but those that exist are still pretty effective.” – Mark Pfeiffer, Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal

611. (+4) Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal

Joël Séria

1971 / France / 102m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Jeanne Goupil, Catherine Wagener, Bernard Dhéran, Gérard Darrieu, Marc Dudicourt, Michel Robin, Véronique Silver, Jean-Pierre Helbert, Nicole Mérouze

“Never released in the United States and “banned” for blasphemy, this potent dose of pretty poison presents a wonderfully deceiving package. The story of two teenage convent girls who “dedicate ourselves to Satan” could have been some dippy horror movie — a T&A fest with demons and multiple slayings and loads of sex. It could have been one of those ’70s horror films that make you run for the shower directly upon watching because even your soul feels soiled. But that’s not what Don’t Deliver Us From Evil is attempting. Really about the obsessive nature of female friendship, of girls suffering a tedious, square world filled with hypocrisy and becoming hopped up by literature and the forbidden and hellfire and all the stuff that’s so intense when you’re 15, the movie is a fiendish paean to the freaky bad girl — girls who, when staring into that bland void would rather, quite literally, burn out than fade away.” – Kim Morgan, Sunset Gun

The Lodger

612. (+2) The Lodger

John Brahm

1944 / USA / 84m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
Merle Oberon, George Sanders, Laird Cregar, Cedric Hardwicke, Sara Allgood, Aubrey Mather, Queenie Leonard, Doris Lloyd, David Clyde, Helena Pickard

“If “The Lodger” was designed to chill the spine—as indeed it must have been, considering all the mayhem Mr. Cregar is called upon to commit as the mysterious, psychopathic pathologist of the title—then something is wrong with the picture. But, if it was intended as a sly travesty on the melodramatic technique of ponderously piling suspicion upon suspicion (and wrapping the whole in a cloak of brooding photographic effects), then “The Lodger” is eminently successful.” – The New York Times

Terrore nello spazio

613. (+7) Terrore nello spazio

Mario Bava

1965 / Italy / 86m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell, Ángel Aranda, Evi Marandi, Stelio Candelli, Franco Andrei, Fernando Villena, Mario Morales, Ivan Rassimov, Federico Boido

“Planet of the Vampires certainly is schlock and pulp that’s been gorgeously rendered by Bava’s art house sensibilities. It’s perhaps as beautiful as a film can be when it’s dealing with reanimated bodies and soul-sucking beings from outer space, but it doesn’t come without that signature, underlying Bava weirdness that makes it genuinely effective beyond its goriness. At this point in his career, Bava still couldn’t be fussed to move his films along at the breakneck, nightmarish pace of his later work, so Planet of the Vampires is another one of those half-remembered dreams that unfolds in puzzle-like increments that are slowly pieced together.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Vampire's Kiss

614. (+8) Vampire’s Kiss

Robert Bierman

1988 / USA / 103m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Nicolas Cage, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jennifer Beals, Elizabeth Ashley, Kasi Lemmons, Bob Lujan, Jessica Lundy, Johnny Walker, Boris Leskin, Michael Knowles

“Practically nothing happens other than gradual deterioration of any distinction between reality and fantasy, and the theme is closer in some ways to Jekyll and Hyde (with the emphasis almost entirely on Hyde) than to Dracula or Nosferatu. What really makes this worth seeing is Cage’s outrageously unbridled performance… Even for viewers like myself who have never been especially impressed with Cage, his over-the-top effusions of rampant, demented asociality are really something to see, and they give this quirky, somewhat out-of-control black comedy whatever form and energy it has.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Underworld

615. (-25) Underworld

Len Wiseman

2003 / UK / 121m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Erwin Leder, Sophia Myles, Robbie Gee, Wentworth Miller, Kevin Grevioux

“It is the perfectly cast Beckinsale who lifts Underworld out and away from the film’s many moments of silly gravitas and steers it into a truly interesting take on the whole vampires ’n’ werewolves genre. With a plot that can be viewed as either a metaphor for race relations or a direct lift from Romeo and Juliet (or both, for that matter), Underworld is a hoary, wannabe epic that nonetheless springs to icily gorgeous life every time Beckinsale enters the frame… The film is an American/British/Hungarian/German co-production, with the emphasis on Hungary and its legacy of blood. All told, it looks sumptuously deceased and enticing” – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

Mimic

616. (+42) Mimic

Guillermo del Toro

1997 / USA / 105m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Giancarlo Giannini, Charles S. Dutton, Josh Brolin, Alix Koromzay, F. Murray Abraham, James Costa, Javon Barnwell

“Told in the darkly dreamy style of a particularly grim fairy tale, the creepy, beautifully designed Mimic embraces the clichs of the big-bug story-scientific hubris and the inevitable revenge of nature-and makes them seem, if not fresh, then certainly as robustly vital as the oversized vermin that stalk its pervasive shadows. Mimic also has an unusually high yuck factor, involving all manner of sticky, slippery, squishy things, but to call it a gross-out movie would be, well, grossly inaccurate. Making his U.S. debut, Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro (Cronos) rejects the adrenaline-charged, roller-coaster ride approach that drives so many recent thrillers in favor of constructing a densely imagined nightmare of damp streets and nightmare alleys.” – Maitland McDonagh, Film Journal

The Skeleton Key

617. (+9) The Skeleton Key

Iain Softley

2005 / USA / 104m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard, Joy Bryant, Maxine Barnett, Fahnlohnee R. Harris, Marion Zinser, Deneen Tyler, Ann Dalrymple

“The setting, the house, and the stories surrounding it invoke the mood the film feeds on, and the cinematography and sound use it well. The conclusion is smart and not a studio-directed decision, because all the evidence of it is onscreen from the first scene. Better yet, while the film ends satisfactorily, it also seeds the set up an equally interesting sequel if all the players agreed to return. The Skeleton Key may not be a slasher film with buckets of fake blood, but fans of Gore Verbinski’s remake of The Ring already understand what a creepy atmosphere, a good ghost story, and a great heroine can bring to a modern thriller.” – Grim D. Reaper, Movie Crypt

The Call of Cthulhu

618. (-42) The Call of Cthulhu

Andrew Leman

2005 / USA / 47m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Matt Foyer, John Bolen, Ralph Lucas, Chad Fifer, Susan Zucker, Kalafatic Poole, John Klemantaski, Jason Owens, D. Grigsby Poland, David Mersault

“[A] rousing throwback to the silent film era, the time where horror meant the twang of the score, and actually paying attention, focusing on the horror of our actors as they face this menace. In the silent era, actors were more based upon their facial expressions and presence upon the screen, and “The Call of Cthulhu” captures the mood of those old silent films, with the sheer goth of HP Lovecraft… Leman’s direction is gorgeous with wonderful set pieces, and beautiful cinematography, while the story’s tension mounts minute to minute for the big pay off. For a film that didn’t really seem to have a big budget, it sure had some fantastic special effects, especially in the climax where the sailors finally go above and beyond this legend.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Film Threat

Daybreakers

619. (-57) Daybreakers

Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig

2009 / Australia / 98m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Harriet Minto-Day, Jay Laga’aia, Damien Garvey, Sahaj Dumpleton, Allan Todd, Gabriella Di Labio, Ben Siemer, Peter Welman, Ethan Hawke, Callum McLean

“Daybreakers is the pinnacle of fun, modern sci-fi horror actioners. Supported by a killer cast including Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe (in his seventh movie of the last year), the film creates a lush, dark universe in which the vampires won, humans lost, and now the world just might come to an end in a bloody orgy of self-destruction, quite literally tearing itself apart. Beautifully shot and masterfully crafted, it hits all the right notes, delivering what can best be described as a fun experience that doesn’t for a second cheat your brain out of the ride. This isn’t a “shut your brain off” action film. On the contrary, it is a great piece of speculative fiction with a lot to say about human nature and our disregard for the limits of our resources. All while rocking your face off with taut pacing, incredible action, and dark pathos.” – C. Robert Cargill, Film.com

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

620. (-18) The Hunchback of Notre Dame

William Dieterle

1939 / USA / 117m / BW / Drama | IMDb
Charles Laughton, Cedric Hardwicke, Thomas Mitchell, Maureen O’Hara, Edmond O’Brien, Alan Marshal, Walter Hampden, Harry Davenport, Katharine Alexander

“The first thing that is noticed right off the bat, at least in relation to the Disney version of the story, is that this film is much more dramatic, serious and dark than Disney’s, which makes sense. The nature of the beast that is Quasimodo is much more terrifying and the job the filmmakers do on Charles Laughton is spectacular. The make up and everything else that went into making Laughton look like the hunchback is true movie magic. In addition, Laughton gives a good performance in the role. There isn’t a whole lot to do with the character except look a bit forlorn and misunderstood, but when given the chance he does a good job.” – Adam Kuhn, Corndog Chats

The Prophecy

621. (+4) The Prophecy

Gregory Widen

1995 / USA / 98m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, Viggo Mortensen, Amanda Plummer, Moriah ‘Shining Dove’ Snyder, Adam Goldberg, Steve Hytner, J.C. Quinn

“Yes, this is Walken’s show, but you have to give credit to Elias Koteas, Eric Stoltz and Virginia Madsen for doing a fantastic job, and also to a very young Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer himself. The Prophecy is a superb horror, which has a great story, some decent shocks and a nice level of gore which is not too much. The only thing that really lets it down is some of the effects are a bit crap, but hey, it would seem the director put most of his effort into creating a great story and getting the best from his actors, which he has done to brilliant effect.” – Matt Wavish, Horror Cult Films

The Tell-Tale Heart

622. (-61) The Tell-Tale Heart

Ted Parmelee

1953 / USA / 8m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
James Mason

“Surprisingly tense, this cartoon immediately achieves a gripping quality that most horror movies would gladly kill to attain. Its deft little script moves with startling immediacy throughout Poe’s narrative, reaching mad climax and sweaty calm with equal aplomb. Each measured minute of it seems both an exciting realization of Poe’s vision and a testament to the talents of the little-remembered UPA animation studios that produced it. Given its sheer singularity, it must have seemed doubly shocking to its contemporary audiences. Really, though, the film’s undeniable strength lies in its visual design. Chock full of surrealist imagery, the look of the movie feels like what would result when Salvador Dali had a nightmare. Undeniably painterly, but no less disturbing for it, the short still looks distinctive today. The unremittingly subjective camera angles place the audience directly in the mind of the killer, and the look of the short feels appropriately askew as a result, with angular character designs, and deep, inescapable shadows.” – Jeremy Heilman, Movie Martyr

Matka Joanna od aniolów

623. (+102) Matka Joanna od aniolów

Jerzy Kawalerowicz

1961 / Poland / 110m / BW / Drama | IMDb
Lucyna Winnicka, Mieczyslaw Voit, Anna Ciepielewska, Maria Chwalibóg, Kazimierz Fabisiak, Stanislaw Jasiukiewicz, Zygmunt Zintel, Jerzy Kaczmarek, Franciszek Pieczka

“Kawalerowicz is making a defining statement with the way he has shot Mother Joan of the Angels. By allowing the lens to act as the eye of God, he opens up the film from being a standard work of witchy horror, and rather allows it to become a statement about filmmakers, filmmaking, and the way art can capture things that could go otherwise unseen by the world and each other. Furthermore, what if characters in film were presented so plainly and cleanly with the face of God; what would it reveal? The vitality of its imagery and the immediacy of its actions suggest a director who seeks a more powerful truth even in a folly as potentially silly as possessed nuns, allowing it to take on a bigger, bolder, grander importance.”- Glenn Dunks, Glenn Dunks, Writing

Only Lovers Left Alive

624. (+198) Only Lovers Left Alive

Jim Jarmusch

2013 / UK / 123m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright, Slimane Dazi, Carter Logan, Aurelie Thepaut, Ali Amine

“The film is marked by a mood of exhaustion, an end-of-era fatigue that comes across as strangely heady in its world-weariness. Jarmusch undertakes this project in the full knowledge that if you’re making a vampire film now, you might as well be making it as if it were to be the very final example of its genre: a genre facing its exhaustion, even luxuriating in it. For this is an authentically Romantic (with a capital R) take on vampirism and on certain of its elements in particular: blood-linked love; immortality and its attendant ennui; the need to withdraw into nocturnal isolation; and the idea that if you had endless time to live, then you might benefit by accruing endless knowledge, however useless on the earthly plane that knowledge might be.” – Jonathan Romney, Film Comment Magazine

Warm Bodies

625. (+137) Warm Bodies

Jonathan Levine

2013 / USA / 98m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, John Malkovich, Cory Hardrict, Daniel Rindress-Kay, Vincent Leclerc

“Once you get past the zombie mythology issues, the script is cleverly written, and does make a lot of valid points on the lack of interconnectedness in today’s society. There is also that Romeo and Juliet parable (note the main characters names) that is wisely alluded to directly in a certain scene, rather than looming over, wanting to be noticed. Levine’s film even features notable cinematography, which is somewhat rare in a film of this ilk… the color saturates and fades as along with the film’s current emotional level. While this is an obvious choice, it certainly works here. Yes, this film has it’s issues, and a lot of its logic is hard to swallow, but its notable performances and direction strengthen its sweet, but not cloying, thesis.” – Caitlin Hughes, Film School Rejects

Oculus

626. (+263) Oculus

Mike Flanagan

2013 / USA / 104m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan, James Lafferty, Miguel Sandoval, Kate Siegel, Scott Graham

“In many ways, Oculus feels like the best J-horror remake not based on an existing film (apart from being based on Flanagan’s own short films). There’s a pervasive sense of tragedy throughout, as the details of Kaylie and Tim’s tragic past are slowly fed to us through flashbacks and hallucinations, calling to mind the disorientation of The Grudge and the mournful quality of Dark Water… Flanagan delivers plenty of horrible little shocks courtesy of the mirror’s ability to delude and misdirect, with a couple of moments that will have you putting your hands over your eyes, but Oculus is refreshingly light on cheap jump scares… By rooting its clever narrative structure in a tragic story, Flanagan has created a horror that pulls on the heartstrings as often as it grabs you by the throat, helped every step of the way by an excellent cast.” – Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

Vacancy

627. (+34) Vacancy

Nimród Antal

2007 / USA / 85m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry, Scott G. Anderson, Mark Casella, David Doty, Norm Compton, Caryn Mower, Meegan Godfrey

“There is no gore to be found in Vacancy, and while the script sets up many opportunities for “boo!” type scares, he doesn’t really take advantage of them. Instead, he uses a simple assortment of techniques to keep our POV yoked to David and Amy’s, and he plays up the suffocating closeness of the spaces both interior and exterior, bringing a terrifying claustrophobia to the goings-on (I couldn’t list every instance in which one or both of the protagonists are “caged,” by Antal’s frame, or an element of framing within the mise en scène, but car mirrors, doorways, phone booths, and decorative fencing are all used at some point to increase that claustrophobia). In effect, he turns the characters into trapped animals, aware that they’re being watched and aware that there’s no way to escape. It’s worse than scary, it’s stifling; and that is terrifying, to me at least.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Vampires

628. (-12) Vampires

John Carpenter

1998 / USA / 108m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, Thomas Ian Griffith, Maximilian Schell, Tim Guinee, Mark Boone Junior, Gregory Sierra, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

“All the while Carpenter does his best with the pretty bad script from Dan Jakoby who fills the movie with forced cheesy dialogue often spouted by Woods whose one-liners tends to fall flat on their backs, not to mention the plot has almost zero exposition in to the origins of the black cross and its functions. Regardless, Carpenter does create a very entertaining film around the almost hackneyed script and answers fan’s questions about his dabbling in to the vampire genre with pure popcorn fare and does like he does it best, with style. All in all, Carpenter does a good job with this stylish and scary vampire movie, giving us a great leading hero and a great villain.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Geung si sin sang

629. (+168) Geung si sin sang

Ricky Lau

1985 / Hong Kong / 96m / Col / Martial Arts | IMDb
Ching-Ying Lam, Siu-Ho Chin, Ricky Hui, Moon Lee, Billy Lau, Siu Fong Wong, Wah Yuen, Ha Huang, Anthony Chan, Ma Wu

“There’s nothing inherently scary about a vampire reduced to hopping around as if its legs were tied together, which is part of what makes the hopping-vampire sub-genre of Hong Kong films so entertaining… Never slowing down for long, Lau piles one comic and stunt-packed setpiece on top of another, blending horror, action, and humor, with an emphasis on the humor. (Still, anyone tuning in for kung-fu antics won’t be disappointed.) For viewers who think they’ve seen it all, or anyone wondering where Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon came up with the notion of pairing martial arts and bloodsucking villains, Mr. Vampire is a must-see. Watching a hopping vampire may not be frightening, but there’s nothing else like it.” – Keith Phipps, The Onion A.V. Club

Bedlam

630. (+29) Bedlam

Mark Robson

1946 / USA / 79m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, Billy House, Richard Fraser, Glen Vernon, Ian Wolfe, Jason Robards Sr., Leyland Hodgson, Joan Newton, Elizabeth Russell

“This situation feels like it would lend itself rather well to traditional horror film terrors, particularly with director Mark Robson and cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca making the inside of the hospital look so despicably dark and forbidding, and there are certainly shots and even entire scenes that click on that level; but ultimately, Bedlam refuses to commit fully to being that kind of horror film, lest it fall into the same trap that it sets for Bowen: namely, talking about how it wants to help the inmates, but secretly being terrified of them. For Bedlam is a full-on message picture about how shamefully we treated the mentally ill back in 1761, and how loathsome was a society that would encourage such treatment just so the rich could keep themselves entertained by exploiting the insane, which is kind of an odd message to sell with quite so much urgency in 1946, but there you have it.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

The Collector

631. (+8) The Collector

William Wyler

1965 / UK / 119m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Terence Stamp, Samantha Eggar, Mona Washbourne, Maurice Dallimore

“If you’re looking for the conventional thriller you may be disappointed as the emphasis is more on the psychological than the suspenseful. There are a few good tense moments including Miranda’s final attempt to escape during a nighttime rain storm, but for the most part the compelling element comes from the way these two multi-layered people deal with each other and ultimately reveal things about themselves that they didn’t know existed. The story also makes an excellent point of how everyone to a certain degree is trapped in a prison and the challenging if not impossible effort it can sometimes be to bond with others especially when reaching across different social-economic lines.” – Richard Winters, Scopophilia

Buio Omega

632. (+10) Buio Omega

Joe D’Amato

1979 / Italy / 94m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Kieran Canter, Cinzia Monreale, Franca Stoppi, Sam Modesto, Anna Cardini, Lucia D’Elia, Mario Pezzin, Walter Tribus, Klaus Rainer, Edmondo Vallini

“A hypnotically gruesome cult hit that may not be for everyone in the genre, especially the squeamish (and the very impatient), Beyond the Darkness is as close to Italian-gore-trash perfection as you’re going to get. Accompanied with a groovy score by Goblin that perfectly juxtaposes Frank and Iris’ evil nature, Beyond the Darkness is a true thrill that will leave you genuinely creeped out and disturbed.” – Juliana Bennett, Horror in the Attic

Stalled

633. (+39) Stalled

Christian James

2013 / UK / 84m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Dan Palmer, Antonia Bernath, Tamaryn Payne, Mark Holden, Giles Alderson, Sarah Suzanne Biggins, Victoria Broom, Marcus Kelly, Victoria Eldon, Chris R. Wright

““Stalled” really has a good grasp on its idea and its premise for the most part, giving WC nowhere to go, while director James successfully turns such a small setting in to an interesting character all its own. While the bathroom seems generic in the beginning, Director James pulls off some fun moments involving the environment, including WC’s attempts to cover the gap under the stall door with a no smoking sign, and his use of a retractable ladder. Though we’re never told what caused the outbreak, James also never wastes time on exploring the zombies.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Blacula

634. (-36) Blacula

William Crain

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

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

The Battery

635. (+161) The Battery

Jeremy Gardner

2012 / USA / 101m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim, Niels Bolle, Alana O’Brien, Jamie Pantanella, Larry Fessenden, Kelly McQuade, Eric Simon, Ben Pryzby, Sarah Allen

“The problem with most modern zombie films is that the writers forget that the humans should be the centerpiece of the film, and not the zombies. Director Jeremy Gardner’s “The Battery” is the prime example of how to handle this kind of genre entertainment with a low budget. Rather than flood the screen with zombies, the monsters are used sparingly and for great moments of terror and memorable scenes, while Gardner focuses primarily on character, building two complex and unique people we can love and hate, in many ways.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Saw III

636. (+13) Saw III

Darren Lynn Bousman

2006 / USA / 108m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Angus Macfadyen, Bahar Soomekh, Donnie Wahlberg, Dina Meyer, Leigh Whannell, Mpho Koaho, Barry Flatman, Lyriq Bent

“After helming the good, if somewhat generic Saw II, the second time is clearly the charm for [Darren Lynn Bousman]. He gets into the splatter spirit early and often. What’s particularly fulfilling, especially in light of all the wonderfully disgusting Jigsaw puzzle setpieces in the film, is how rounded and deep the narrative is. Almost all the characters, from serial killer in training Amanda (Shawnee Smith bringing it once again) to desperate, disconnected doctor Lynn go through some major mental changes during the course of the story, and Bousman allows the movie to meander to provide such a potent underscoring. Also, unlike other franchise films, Saw III actually makes an effort to incorporate elements we saw in the first two installments to keep the overall concepts linked and truly fascinating.” – Bill Gibron, DVD Verdict

Homicidal

637. (-48) Homicidal

William Castle

1961 / USA / 87m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Glenn Corbett, Patricia Breslin, Eugenie Leontovich, Alan Bunce, Richard Rust, James Westerfield, Gilbert Green, Joan Marshall

“Despite its obvious flaws, however, Homicidal comes across today as a reasonably enjoyable cult film, primarily because all its ludicrous elements add up to such silly fun. Plus, though the primary plot twist is far too easy to guess, the hidden secret behind this twist comes as a genuine surprise. If you forget that Homicidal was ever meant as a serious rival to Hitchcock’s masterpiece, you’ll probably get a kick out of its enjoyably campy approach to sibling rivalry, gender, loyalty, and murder.” – Film Fanatic

Mark of the Vampire

638. (+12) Mark of the Vampire

Tod Browning

1935 / USA / 60m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Jean Hersholt, Henry Wadsworth, Donald Meek, Jessie Ralph, Ivan F. Simpson, Franklyn Ardell

“A remake of Browning’s own silent London After Midnight (transported to Czechoslovakia), this semi-parodic vampire thriller creaks here and there, but still has enough style to warrant an honoured place among early horror films. Lashings of lore and atmosphere (strange noises, dancing peasants, bats, spiders and cobwebs) embellish a far-fetched but amusing tale of strange deaths at a sinister castle. It’s hard to decide who overacts the most, with Barrymore, Atwill and Lugosi all candidates, though the ‘surprise’ denouement provides Lugosi with an excuse of a sort. But a real touch of class is present in James Wong Howe’s magnificent photography, not to mention Carol Borland’s stunning apparition as a vampire.” – Geoff Andrew, Time Out

Shutter Island

639. (+24) Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese

2010 / USA / 138m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch

“With an Oscar on his mantelpiece, Martin Scorsese takes a breather from prestige pictures with “Shutter Island,” an exquisitely crafted potboiler… He creates a seriously creepy mood in the film’s opening moments and tightens the screws amid elaborate sets (some scenes were shot in an actual abandoned state asylum) and gorgeous cinematography — though cinematographer Robert Richardson’s rather pretty vision of Dachau made me queasy… “Shutter Island” strikes me as one of Scorsese’s more minor works, a rather elaborate trifle one of our greatest directors has devised for his — and our — amusement.” – Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Just Before Dawn

640. (-13) Just Before Dawn

Jeff Lieberman

1981 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
George Kennedy, Mike Kellin, Chris Lemmon, Gregg Henry, Deborah Benson, Ralph Seymour, Katie Powell, John Hunsaker, Charles Bartlett, Jamie Rose

“Just Before Dawn is a well above average backwoods slasher with several ingredients that set it apart. The film has a deliberate pacing, which is usually a death knell for this sort of movie, but rather than becoming dull the movie builds up well to the inevitable slaughters. The better than expected acting helps maintain interest, and there are some very well done eerie moments. The forest setting creates a claustrophobic feel and the killer’s wheezy laugh is also an effective tool to generate unease. The characters do some stupid things, which is commonplace in this genre, but they’re not so terribly stupid as to be implausible, which is virtually unheard of in this genre.” – Devon B., Digital Retribution

Coraline

641. (+83) Coraline

Henry Selick

2009 / USA / 100m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr., Ian McShane, Aankha Neal, George Selick

“You know from the very first sequence that Coraline is an extraordinary movie that is going to rattle the bejeezus out of young audience members and – the truth be told – their fathers as well… the most imaginative film in memory, a carnival of wonders – magical gardens, a charmingly choreographed circus of mice, a couple of old actresses who get together to put on a fairly lewd but very funny variety show – that at the same time seems to come directly from your nightmares. Seeing Other Mother change from button-eyed ideal to long-necked witch with steel-needle fingers and a hunger to keep you prisoner, is a deeply shaking transformation that isn’t easy to throw off once the show is over. Coraline will haunt you.” – Jay Stone, Canada.com

The House That Dripped Blood

642. (-59) The House That Dripped Blood

Peter Duffell

1971 / UK / 102m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Nyree Dawn Porter, Denholm Elliott, Jon Pertwee, Joanna Dunham, Joss Ackland, John Bennett, Chloe Franks, Tom Adams

“Although the film was made for the general public, the more serious horror fan will have a blast with the film’s story lines as they supply several subtle (and not so subtle) winks to the genre. Within these four tales are several visual references to dark literature (such as The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, and Montague Summers’ The Vampire: His Kith and Kin), mention of the Universal films Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, and Dracula, as well as narratives revolving around genre artists such as actors and writers. The fourth installment (“The Cloak”) is of particular interest to fans as it shows the behind the scenes details of making a low budget feature. These delicate nods to the film’s perceived audience are done with tongue planted firmly in cheek which adds a touch of wit and humor to a picture that was otherwise designed to frighten.” – Bruce Jordan, Classic-Horror

Wild Zero

643. (-39) Wild Zero

Tetsuro Takeuchi

1999 / Japan / 98m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Guitar Wolf, Drum Wolf, Bass Wolf, Masashi Endô, Kwancharu Shitichai, Makoto Inamiya, Haruka Nakajo, Shirô Namiki, Taneko, Yoshiyuki Morishita

“Anyways, for Wild Zero, you can easily see the influences of George A. Romero’s Trilogy of the Living Dead movies throughout this film – from the way the zombies behave and look to some familiar scenes and ideas being thrown up. Unlike Romero’s films, this one does not have any type of satire or social commentary, but just plain craziness, brainless action and Rock ‘n’ Roll! You can expect an abundance of over-the-top action sequences, gore, explosions, tacky situations, lame dialogue, clichés, computerised zombie blasting, dazzling special effects and flamboyant characters! There really is never a dull moment to be had. So just switch off your brain and enjoy the ride!” – Scum Cinema

Excision

644. (-26) Excision

Richard Bates Jr.

2012 / USA / 81m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
AnnaLynne McCord, Roger Bart, Ariel Winter, Traci Lords, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jeremy Sumpter, Matthew Fahey, Sidney Franklin, Molly McCook, Natalie Dreyfuss

“Excision is a film in metaphoric overload, where Pauline’s every waking moment is consumed by images and thoughts pertaining to sex, blood and conflict. McCord, a mens-mag favourite whose resume to date gave no indication she was capable of crafting such a wondrously disturbed character, conveys the inner-collision of Pauline’s sympathetic reality and psychotic extremes with equal measure profundity and black, black humour. Her final on-screen moments are nightmarishly impactful. The young director’s trope dissection is cut entirely from the chick flick/teen outcast cloth, but without the airs and graces of the kind that the late John Hughes might have employed; had David Cronenberg and Dario Argento co-directed Sixteen Candles it might have looked a bit like Excision. But Bates’ piercing originality and keen eye for framing and ear for dialogue sets it own precedents, standing tall on the stooped shoulders of Pauline and her teen-dream bloodlust.” – Simon Foster, Screen-Space

Seance on a Wet Afternoon

645. (-5) Seance on a Wet Afternoon

Bryan Forbes

1964 / UK / 121m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Kim Stanley, Margaret Lacey, Marie Burke, Maria Kazan, Lionel Gamlin, Marian Spencer, Richard Attenborough, Godfrey James, Judith Donner, Ronald Hines

“The film’s opening is slowly and deliberately paced, as we see Myra and Bill exchange increasingly strained and sinister dialogue while making rather mysterious and methodical preparations around their house. Strong character scenes between the submissive husband and the increasingly unbalanced wife play effectively alongside the suspenseful kidnap and ransom sequences. This approach is seen at its best in the film’s central twelve minute section, in which Bill’s frantic collection of the ransom at Piccadilly Circus underground station is intercut with a sedate policeman’s interview with Myra back home. The scene effectively juxtaposes big city anonymity with suburban familiarity.” – Sergio Angelini, BFI

The Driller Killer

646. (-2) The Driller Killer

Abel Ferrara

1979 / USA / 96m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Abel Ferrara, Carolyn Marz, Baybi Day, Harry Schultz, Alan Wynroth, Maria Helhoski, James O’Hara, Richard Howorth, Louis Mascolo, Tommy Santora

“Do not approach Driller Killer expecting a shocking parade of exploitation and horror because you will only be disappointed and miss the sublime squalor of Ferrara’s early artistic sensibilities. It isn’t an exploitation film that attempts to shock and horrify through contrived indecencies, but rather acts as an examination of urban squalor as both a subject matter and an aesthetic sensibility. The film is ugly because the realities of inner city life are ugly, and Driller Killer examines these unexposed realities with macabre fascination.” – Matthew Blevins, Next Projection

Donnie Darko

647. (+233) Donnie Darko

Richard Kelly

2001 / USA / 113m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase, Mary McDonnell, James Duval, Arthur Taxier, Patrick Swayze, Mark Hoffman

“Maybe Richard Kelly’s fate is to be the cult circuit’s Michael Cimino — forever admired for one great film amid subsequent missteps, including a director’s cut of the same movie. Kelly has yet to match the mysterious mood or magnitude of his filmmaking debut, 2001’s “Donnie Darko” — a collision of time-travel sci-fi, commentary on ’80s Reaganomics malaise and teen angst that’s simultaneously witty and poignant… And what works as nervy comedy also foreshadows Donnie’s burden and reinforces Kelly’s thematic idea that teens can be capable of amazing, world-changing things. Concluding with compassionate nobility and an unforgettable epilogue, “Donnie Darko” represented the one moment when Kelly’s eccentricities weren’t extraneous and ambition matched his grasp.” – Nick Rogers, The Film Yap

What We Do in the Shadows

648. (new) What We Do in the Shadows

Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi

2014 / New Zealand / 86m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, Ben Fransham, Rhys Darby, Jackie van Beek, Elena Stejko, Jason Hoyte

“Fans of Clement and Waititi’s previous work know the kind of humour to expect: bone-dry, beautifully observed and deeply silly. There’s a brilliantly funny sequence in which the three speaking vamps furiously debate the washing up rota, the importance of virgin blood is floridly discussed, while a dinner party sequence in which potential victims are confronted with re-enacted Lost Boys sequences is beautifully done… Clement in particular is clearly having a brilliant time, as it soon becomes apparent that the lascivious Vlad’s best years are behind him, while Waititi slays with his portrayal of the sweetly heartbroken Viago. In short, the most important thing to know about What We Do In The Shadows is that it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious” – Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

649. (-107) All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

Jonathan Levine

2006 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Whitney Able, Michael Welch, Edwin Hodge, Aaron Himelstein, Luke Grimes, Melissa Price, Adam Powell, Peyton Hayslip

“Mostly, though, the film works — or doesn’t, depending on your point of view — because Levine hasn’t figured out that he’s directing a genre film, despite the boatload of cliches handed to him by Forman’s script. What ultimately made the movie click for me is that it doesn’t pander, avoiding as many stereotypes as it indulges. Thoughtful viewers may detect thematic whiffs of Columbine, blended with “Carrie,” that darken and complicate the film’s aroma of stale blood. Thoughtful viewers? What kind of teen slasher movie is this? Too dumb for the arthouse, but too smart for the mall multiplex, the movie satisfies, paradoxically, precisely because it doesn’t deliver on expectations.” – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält

650. (-50) Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält

Michael Armstrong

1970 / Germany / 96m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Herbert Lom, Udo Kier, Olivera Katarina, Reggie Nalder, Herbert Fux, Johannes Buzalski, Michael Maien, Gaby Fuchs, Ingeborg Schöner, Adrian Hoven

“Whilst it has been over shadowed a little by Michael Reeves’ equally outstanding Witchfinder General (1968) Mark of The Devil stands as something of a companion piece to that film. Both approach the subject matter with a historical eye and are arguably not horror films in the strictest sense of the word. But where Reeve’s film is now an acknowledged classic, Mark of The Devil has the reputation of being a sleazy, violent exploitation film. To some extent this is a fair criticism as director Michael Armstrong is wholly unafraid to linger on the slow, unpleasant torture of those accused of consorting with The Devil. There is also no escaping the garish and gloatingly manipulative marketing campaign used by Hallmark on its original release. However, for all its horror, the film retains an integrity and intelligence that lifts it far above the simple minded gore films that would begin to flood the market as the 1970’s progressed.” – Stuart Smith, UK Horror Scene

Sien nui yau wan

651. (+51) Sien nui yau wan

Siu-Tung Ching

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

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

The Witches

652. (+139) The Witches

Nicolas Roeg

1990 / UK / 91m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Paterson, Brenda Blethyn, Charlie Potter, Jane Horrocks, Anne Lambton, Sukie Smith

“Based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 children’s fantasy, executive produced by Henson and directed by Nicolas Roeg, it’s the kind of literate, imaginative children’s fantasy we see too rarely… Forgetting the new, questionably “upbeat” ending, Roeg and Scott have served Dahl well, embellished him intelligently… But what [Roeg has] also done is put disturbing flesh on Dahl’s fancies, visualize the witches with such revolting detail, and the mouse-eye view with such horrific vividness, that the movie takes on an unnerving pulse and threat. The setting becomes overwhelming, the evil palpable; Dahl’s book with its light, ironic tone, candy-coated the fear.” – Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times

Rubber

653. (-42) Rubber

Quentin Dupieux

2010 / France / 82m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Wings Hauser, Roxane Mesquida, Ethan Cohn, Charley Koontz, Daniel Quinn, Devin Brochu, Hayley Holmes, Haley Ramm

“The experience inspires feelings of incredulousness, the stark “did that just happen” disbelief only provoked by works of art that dare to step boldly outside the mainstream. The sort of self-reflexive dialogue that comprises much of the production could easily register as smarmy, too cute self-absorptive schlock, but Dupieux and his actors ably tread the tenuous line between the fresh and the pretentious. Their philosophical musings about the nature of storytelling have a spontaneity to them that spurs charmed recognition rather than grating eye-rolls [..] Rubber is a deliberately out-there provocation and such works are geared to be despised. Yet if the WTF idea of a film centered on a psychotic tire fills your heart with joy, if you’ve long-harbored an affinity for the films of Jean-Luc Godard and other masters of this sort of insular fourth wall-shattering fare, you’ll be rewarded with one of the few recent movies to openly, brazenly play with narrative form while telling us something about ourselves.” – Robert Levin, Film School Rejects

Maniac Cop

654. (+35) Maniac Cop

William Lustig

1988 / USA / 85m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree, William Smith, Robert Z’Dar, Sheree North, Nina Arvesen, Nick Barbaro, Lou Bonacki

“Maniac Cop is quite action packed for a slasher and relies more on guns and explosions than than slow death, torment and suspense. Cordell’s victims meet brutal demises but the slash far outweighs the stalk with numerous victims getting nowhere near the expected 15 minutes of fame allocated by popular sayings. Viewers are even treated to a car chase which is also a valuable lesson in physics proving that cars go much faster when the back end is allowed to travel twice as far as the front in the eighties. There is so much to love about Maniac Cop despite it being in the genre of 80s trash horror. Lustig and Cohen’s styles meld together brilliantly, Campbell and Atkins never fail to entertain but most importantly there is not a hint of pretentiousness. The film knows exactly what it is and doesn’t try to be anything more.” – Pazuzu Iscariot, Horror Extreme

Chakushin ari

655. (-22) Chakushin ari

Takashi Miike

2003 / Japan / 112m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Ko Shibasaki, Shin’ichi Tsutsumi, Kazue Fukiishi, Anna Nagata, Atsushi Ida, Mariko Tsutsui, Kumiko Imai, Keiko Tomita, Kayoko Fujii, Yoshiko Noda

“At this point it’s easy to believe that the film has got itself bogged down in a mire of cliché, with no idea of where to go with its momentum. But then it pulls it all back with a series of added twists, and it eventually becomes clear that this is a different kind of beast altogether. The story keeps changing up on you until the very end, and I’m sure that when I watch this a second time I’ll spot a fair few things I missed on the first viewing. This is a good (if not quite excellent) film that cloaks its eccentricity in the hackneyed vocabulary of mainstream horror, with occasionally startling results.” – Ian Shone, Horror News

The House on Sorority Row

656. (-25) The House on Sorority Row

Mark Rosman

1983 / USA / 91m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward, Robin Meloy, Harley Jane Kozak, Jodi Draigie, Ellen Dorsher, Lois Kelso Hunt, Christopher Lawrence, Michael Kuhn

“The score by Richard Band is victorious in setting the mood, deploying an orchestral warmth that carries the movie to a richly cinematic level, while editing by Paul Trejo and Jean-Marc Vasseur concentrates on smooth transitions and tension, building the picture into a legitimately effective chiller, even with a few pokey spots of exposition. Rosman takes cues from the suspense masters and infuses “The House on Sorority Row” with traditional stalking sequences and mysterious happenings, most tied to court jester imagery. The helmer also makes good use of the location, working through basements and bedrooms, while the pool area plays a critical part in the story. The feature is unexpectedly competent, providing refreshing attention to the stages of fear, while allowing for some college student stupidity to open up the viewing experience, with most of the male characters complete oafs, reinforcing the strong feminine viewpoint of the movie.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray

Hannibal

657. (-9) Hannibal

Ridley Scott

2001 / USA / 131m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta, Frankie Faison, Giancarlo Giannini, Francesca Neri, Zeljko Ivanek, Hazelle Goodman, David Andrews

“There is not one inessential scene in Hannibal — it’s extremely plot-centered, and those who treasured the quiet pockets of dread and sadness in Silence will miss those things here. (I would’ve liked a little more competitive scenery-chewing between Verger and Lecter, for instance.) Hannibal hits the ground running and sprints for more than two hours towards its grisly, by-now-infamous climax. What the movie lacks in emotional tonality, though, it more than makes up for in operatic Grand Guignol and dark comedy, as well as a ghoulish parody of a tragic love story. Lecter, it seems, is mesmerized by Clarice — her pain, her strength, but mainly her force of will. In the movie’s major departure from the book, the feeling is not mutual; Clarice wants to save Lecter, but only to bring him back to a cell. The choice he eventually gives Clarice — and himself — in a key moment defines both their characters superbly.” – Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic

Il profumo della signora in nero

658. (-20) Il profumo della signora in nero

Francesco Barilli

1974 / Italy / 101m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Mimsy Farmer, Maurizio Bonuglia, Aldo Valletti, Mario Scaccia, Jho Jhenkins, Nike Arrighi, Lara Wendel, Aleka Paizi, Renata Zamengo, Ugo Carboni

“Camera angles are too acute, making everything seem sinister; much of the blocking feels overtly staged and aritifical. It’s a beautifully lit and appointed world in the film, but the deeper we go, the more we feel that we can’t trust it or even know for sure what’s going on. And having that lack of certainty, following along with Sylvia as her grip on reality ebbs and flows, makes The Perfume of the Lady in Black one of the most tense, and delectably unfathomable Italian horror films ever made. It’s as pure as any cinematic depiction of descent into insanity that I’ve seen, and it surely ranks with the most successful.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Shiryô no wana

659. (+117) Shiryô no wana

Toshiharu Ikeda

1988 / Japan / 102m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Miyuki Ono, Aya Katsuragi, Hitomi Kobayashi, Eriko Nakagawa, Masahiko Abe, Hiroshi Shimizu, Kyôko Hashimoto, Yûko Maehara, Yûko Suwano, Mari Shimizu

“The plot of Evil Dead Trap moves at the speed of sound. Gone are the drawn out scenes of characters discussing their predicament. Who needs those when there are pretty eyeballs to puncture? This film definitely knows where its priorities are. It’s definitely not for the squeamish or for those looking for a cerebral experience. Like the films that influenced it, Evil Dead Trap is a rollercoaster ride of blood and mayhem, with characters becoming isolated and disposed of in various gruesome ways. Don’t let the film’s early predictability get you down—the surprise ending is well worth the wait.” – Ross Chen, Love HK Film

The 'Burbs

660. (+48) The ‘Burbs

Joe Dante

1989 / USA / 101m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore, Courtney Gains, Gale Gordon

“The ‘Burbs may look, feel and seem like a simple movie, and the outset of things it is. It relies on out-of-the-box comedy methods like pratfalls and wacky dialogue delivery to help Dana Olsen’s well-conceived script, but it succeeds on the most basic level of taking ordinary people and putting them in an extra-ordinary situation. Just like a genre classic like Ghostbusters, The ‘Burbs is is laugh-out-loud hilarious because you can see something of yourself and the life around you in this series of very bizarre events.” – Luke Owen, Flickering Myth

Tarantula

661. (-48) Tarantula

Jack Arnold

1955 / USA / 80m / BW / Nature | IMDb
John Agar, Mara Corday, Leo G. Carroll, Nestor Paiva, Ross Elliott, Edwin Rand, Raymond Bailey, Hank Patterson, Bert Holland, Steve Darrell

“Riddled with clichés and populated by cardboard cutout characters spewing the most obvious lines (“I’ve never seen anything like this!”) and daffy dialogue (“Did you ever see your best friend die in your arms?”), Tarantula lumbers along to its inevitable end (U.S. armed forces to the rescue!) set to urgent, super-dramatic music and gasp-inducing special effects. Actually, the f/x — for the period, and the B-factor — are pretty impressive. The ambling arachnid set against the desert dunes looks almost plausible, even as its furry feet occasionally seem to glide above-ground. Also sublime is the sole female lead, a bullet-brassiered Stephanie “Steve” Clayton (Mara Corday, who was also in The Giant Claw), a grad student who steps into the fray with high heeled pumps and 50s femme fearlessness (punctuated by the occasional girly scream).” – Staci Layne Wilson, Horror.com

Alone in the Dark

662. (-41) Alone in the Dark

Jack Sholder

1982 / USA / 92m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jack Palance, Donald Pleasence, Martin Landau, Dwight Schultz, Erland van Lidth, Deborah Hedwall, Lee Taylor-Allan, Phillip Clark, Elizabeth Ward, Brent Jennings

“Director Sholder borrows from many of Carpenter’s storytelling staples, even including the slaying of a sexy babysitter, but for all intents and purposes, those derivations are forgiven. Because, it all sums up as a harrowing glimpse into madness, that becomes a wonderful variation on “Straw Dogs.” Folks like Jack Palance and Martin Landau give utterly menacing performances, as they dive into the personalities of these pure animals, and we’re aware that like it or not, Dr. Potter will have to fight them off eventually. What begins as a revenge film then transforms into a definite survival horror picture in the vein of “Night of the Living Dead” as Potter and his family must fend off the foursome of murderers and attempt to seek help from local police.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Urban Legend

663. (+106) Urban Legend

Jamie Blanks

1998 / USA / 99m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Michael Rosenbaum, Loretta Devine, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, John Neville, Julian Richings, Robert Englund

“The notion of a new horror film devoted to urban legends is somewhat redundant, given that horror films routinely mine urban legends and arguably represent them. Urban Legend, a first feature directed by 26-year-old Australian Jamie Blanks, places the modern-day folktale at the center of what might otherwise be yet another Scream offshoot… As horror movies and first directing efforts go, Urban Legend offers decent suspense and a few genuine jolts; it has a kind of loud, insistent charm, which eventually grinds down. James Chressanthis’ wide-screen cinematography is attractive and assured, but Silvio Horta’s screenplay scarcely breaks new ground, content instead with serving up stock characters in familiar settings.” – Ed Kelleher, Film Journal International

The Lords of Salem

664. (+50) The Lords of Salem

Rob Zombie

2012 / USA / 101m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Judy Geeson, Meg Foster, Patricia Quinn, Ken Foree, Dee Wallace, Maria Conchita Alonso, Richard Fancy

“Movies by Rob Zombie, the goth rocker turned cult filmmaker, aren’t for everybody. But he couldn’t care less. He makes movies exactly the way he wants to, with no thought of pleasing mainstream audiences. They can like it or lump it. His latest effort, “The Lords of Salem,” is true to form… [fans] will want to rush out to see this stylishly lensed work, which references Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby” and Dario Argento’s “Suspiria,” Others are advised to look elsewhere for fun in the dark.” – V.A. Musetto, New York Post

Cannibal ferox

665. (-9) Cannibal ferox

Umberto Lenzi

1981 / Italy / 93m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lorraine De Selle, Danilo Mattei, Zora Kerova, Walter Lucchini, Fiamma Maglione, Robert Kerman, John Bartha, Venantino Venantini

“Cannibal Ferox is a popcorn cannibal flick, if such a thing can exist. Sure, Lenzi throws in the “we’re the savages” type dialogue that cannibal films seemingly all have, but the focus of the film is the gore and nothing else. A lot of dialogue is cheesy in the good way and there are a handful of familiar Italian horror faces to reminisce about and try to decipher just what the hell you’d seen them in before. The score and music in the film is great fun as well and fits the tone of the film perfectly.” – Brett H., Oh, The Horror

Satan's Little Helper

666. (-59) Satan’s Little Helper

Jeff Lieberman

2004 / USA / 96m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Alexander Brickel, Katheryn Winnick, Stephen Graham, Amanda Plummer, Wass Stevens, Dan Ziskie, Melisa McGregor, Joshua Annex, Joyce R. Korbin

“With a solid cast lined up and a strong script, the film exhibits how much can be achieved with limited resources. The autumnal atmosphere of Halloween in New England is effectively established, especially considering that the movie was shot in the summer, and the tone never oversteps its boundaries between what is meant to get laughs and what is meant to disturb the viewer. “Satan’s Little Helper” is an uncompromisingly wicked, subjectively brave chiller practically crying out to be discovered.” – Dustin Putman, DustinPutman.com

Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver

667. (-90) Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver

José Mojica Marins

1967 / Brazil / 108m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
José Mojica Marins, Tina Wohlers, Nadia Freitas, Antonio Fracari, Jose Lobo, Esmeralda Ruchel, Paula Ramos, Tania Mendonça, Arlete Brazolin, Geraldo Bueno

“The film is forcing a wonderful polarization, titillation tinged with terror. The film is unabashedly enticing you with these shots of womanly body parts, and then does its best to disgust be perverting those images with grotesque creatures and the like. Other sequences, such as sex paired with snake attack, provide more of this same dichotomy. But there is more to the visuals than boobs and bile. These shots are well constructed, the lighting is always stark, giving good contrast and keeps the details of the film clear. We are not seeing some shoddily produced horror film, this is a lovingly crafted work.” – Timothy J. Rush, Classic-Horror

It Came from Outer Space

668. (-99) It Came from Outer Space

Jack Arnold

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

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

The Nanny

669. (+53) The Nanny

Seth Holt

1965 / UK / 91m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Bette Davis, Wendy Craig, Jill Bennett, James Villiers, William Dix, Pamela Franklin, Jack Watling, Maurice Denham, Alfred Burke, Harry Fowler

“THE NANNY is a bit of an oddity, even amongst the rest of the studio’s Hitchcock/Clouzot output: most of the horror is implied rather than supplied (not that that’s a bad thing- it did Jacques Tourneur proud until the producers got their hands on him) and most of the suspense, save for one or two visual sections, is actually executed through conversation rather than action. Furthermore, whilst it may have a central (juvenile) male protagonist, who in turn has a close female ally, it has absolutely no hero or heroine. Rather, it relies on the simultaneous subtlety and immenseness of Bette Davis’ performance (OK, and Pamela Franklin’s legs) to carry the viewer through.” – Drewe Shimon, Brit Movie

Naked Lunch

670. (+42) Naked Lunch

David Cronenberg

1991 / Canada / 115m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker, Robert A. Silverman, Joseph Scoren

“Cronenberg, a far more rational talent, plays down the hysteria-pitched homoeroticism and turns Naked Lunch into a poky, absurdist comedy of dehumanization — the story of a man quietly watching his own sanity dribble away. The movie suggests that the suppressed agony of killing his wife has turned Lee into a writer. He has to keep rechanneling his pain into paranoid visions; he literally can’t get the bugs out of his system. Peter Weller, the poker-faced star of RoboCop, greets all of the hallucinogenic weirdness with a doleful, matter-of-fact deadpan that grows more likable as the movie goes on. The actor’s steely robostare has never been more compelling. By the end, he has turned Burroughs’ stone-cold protagonist — a man with no feelings — into a mordantly touching hero. Naked Lunch is a folly, but a surprisingly resonant and amusing one. From first shot to last, it has the courage of its own dementia.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Scream 3

671. (-39) Scream 3

Wes Craven

2000 / USA / 116m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Liev Schreiber, Beth Toussaint, Roger Jackson, Kelly Rutherford, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Julie Janney, Richmond Arquette, Patrick Dempsey, Lynn McRee

“Whereas any old second sequel to a slasher franchise would be more than showing its age by now, “Scream 3” is that rare case in which it is not merely here to cash in on the big bucks, but was all along planned as a trilogy. One could possibly question if this is actually true, or just an excuse by the filmmakers once the original struck pay-dirt, but “Scream 3” does a fabulous job of wrapping things up and filling in the missing pieces, all the while delivering what fans have grown accustomed to: scares, snappy dialogue, believable characters, and some sort of unique spin on the otherwise cliched formula. While “Scream 2” was the most straightforward of the series, in terms of its violence and occasionally messy plot developments, “Scream 3,” like its 1996 precursor, is a multilayered funhouse of chills that does a more than sufficient job of keeping the surprising twists coming.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Wolf

672. (+20) Wolf

Mike Nichols

1994 / USA / 125m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, Kate Nelligan, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Plummer, Eileen Atkins, David Hyde Pierce, Om Puri, Ron Rifkin

“In the business world Stewart is something of a bizarre jellyfish, but in full lycanthropic form, he is something of a surreal and absolutely menacing evil that Spader makes his own. “Wolf” is an underrated horror gem, one that works as social commentary and horror cinema, and it’s a great piece of nineties filmmaking. Filled with an understated intellect and using the werewolf movie formula as a commentary for aging and the battle of the males in a society obsessed with power and dominance, Mike Nichols “Wolf” is one of our favorites of the genre, and a guaranteed good time for anyone looking for a different kind of horror film.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Vredens dag

673. (+94) Vredens dag

Carl Theodor Dreyer

1943 / Denmark / 97m / BW / Drama | IMDb
Kirsten Andreasen, Sigurd Berg, Harald Holst, Albert Høeberg, Emanuel Jørgensen, Sophie Knudsen, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Lisbeth Movin, Preben Neergaard

“Often seen as an allegory on the Nazi occupation of Denmark, this austere and very sombre account of the persecution of witches in 17th century Denmark is arguably Dreyer’s most pessimistic film. When a pious elderly parson sends an old woman to the stake, she curses him. His young wife (the daughter of a woman suspected of witchcraft) falls in love with her stepson; the affair induces the parson’s death. Is the wife, then, herself a witch? Dreyer remains wisely ambivalent, preferring instead to focus on the powerful, earthly emotions of fear and love: the grim, grey confession chambers – location of perhaps the most discreet yet horrific torture scenes in cinema – embody the former, rippling streams and sun-dappled meadows the latter. Almost paradoxically, Dreyer evokes the soul through the physical world; the result is a masterpiece, its slow, measured pace and stark visuals achieving an almost unbearable emotional intensity.” – Geoff Andrews, Time Out

Open Water

674. (-19) Open Water

Chris Kentis

2003 / USA / 79m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Saul Stein, Michael E. Williamson, Cristina Zenato, John Charles

“Chris Kentis, who wrote, directed, edited, and shot the film (with his wife, Laura Lau), is working with prime pulp material—but he doesn’t have a pulp sensibility. I mean this as a compliment. Shot on digital video and micro-budgeted, Open Water is terrifying precisely because it doesn’t go in for cheesy shock tactics and special effects. (Those sharks are real.) Strictly speaking, it’s not even in the shark-attack genre—it’s more like a black comedy about how things can go horribly wrong on vacation. You think you’re safe, and the next thing you know you’re lost at sea and something’s nibbling your gams. That’s an apt metaphor for a lot more than scuba diving.” – Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

Cape Fear

675. (+89) Cape Fear

J. Lee Thompson

1962 / USA / 105m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, Lori Martin, Martin Balsam, Jack Kruschen, Telly Savalas, Barrie Chase, Paul Comi, John McKee

“While this may not be the most original story ever – ex-con looking for payback – it is intelligently written, superbly acted and brilliantly edited. There’s not a scene out of place, not a moment that’s not designed to pull the noose even tighter around our heroes. Mitchum is stunning in his brutal contempt for humanity. Cady is sly and charming, using violence to take what he believes he deserves. It’s a performance you won’t soon forget and one that will make you think twice about the nature of men.” – Crazy 4 Cinema

Phantom of the Opera

676. (+24) Phantom of the Opera

Arthur Lubin

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

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

Parents

677. (-104) Parents

Bob Balaban

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

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

The Last House on the Left

678. (+85) The Last House on the Left

Dennis Iliadis

2009 / USA / 110m / Col / Rape and Revenge | IMDb
Garret Dillahunt, Michael Bowen, Josh Coxx, Riki Lindhome, Aaron Paul, Sara Paxton, Monica Potter, Tony Goldwyn, Martha MacIsaac, Spencer Treat Clark

“Craven’s original had a grungy no-budget tawdriness – the Benny Hill production values and incongruously bouncy music made it all the more disturbing. This time around, we’re braced for what’s coming, partly because director Dennis Iliadis escorts us down the altogether safer road of dark, rainy and ominous… The cast bring a level of reality to this that’s surprisingly impressive – both Goldwyn and Garret Dillahunt push their roles a couple of notches above protective dad and generic psycho, respectively. Where Iliadis botches things is with two moments of ridiculous excess, involving a garbage disposal and a microwave, which jut out of the scenario like shameless sops to the torture-porn dollar.” – Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph

The Day of the Triffids

679. (-17) The Day of the Triffids

Steve Sekely

1962 / UK / 93m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Howard Keel, Nicole Maurey, Janette Scott, Kieron Moore, Mervyn Johns, Ewan Roberts, Alison Leggatt, Geoffrey Matthews, Janina Faye, Gilgi Hauser

“The Day of the Triffids depicts a world-wide meteor storm, a train wreck, a plane crash, military bases aflame, vast metropolitan centers devoid of life (in scenes that seem to forecast images in films such as Day of the Dead [1985] and 28 Days Later [2002]) and also makes the threat of walking. man-eating plants palpable…and by the climax, totally believable. That’s no small accomplishment, and the sense you get watching this film is that everybody – from director and actors to the special effects artists – truly committed to the project. They stretched their miniscule budget as far as it could possibly go, deploying ingenuity to fill the gaps.” – John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV

Le notti del terrore

680. (+10) Le notti del terrore

Andrea Bianchi

1981 / Italy / 85m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Karin Well, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattioli, Antonella Antinori, Roberto Caporali, Peter Bark, Claudio Zucchet, Anna Valente, Raimondo Barbieri, Mariangela Giordano

“Sure, the plot is paper (or should I say slasher) thin, but the direction is competently done. It’s not as artistic or well done as a Fulci film, but there’s a very guerilla, hand-held style that captures the mayhem effectively. Veterans of Italian cinema will notice a lot of other staples here, like the use of long, drawn-out takes, dramatic zooms, and weird voice dubbing. If you’re not use to Italian horror, the dubbing will throw you off at first, but believe me, this film doesn’t come close to offering the weirdest in that respect (anyone that remembers Bob from House by the Cemetery can attest to that). Once you get used to it, however, it really becomes part of the charm. You also get some signature, upbeat music that’s almost a staple of these Italian films; the horror music cues, however, sound like 60s stock music that further contributes to the bizarre Night of the Living Dead vibe.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Dust Devil

681. (-45) Dust Devil

Richard Stanley

1992 / South Africa / 87m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Robert John Burke, Chelsea Field, Zakes Mokae, John Matshikiza, Rufus Swart, William Hootkins, Terry Norton, Russell Copley, Andre Odendaal, Luke Cornell

““Dust Devil” doesn’t rush its story, and it doesn’t intend on creating a fast pace. It’s slow, and steady, and sometimes sluggish, and with the constant narration, Stanley devotes much of the dialogue to exposition on the plot, and on mounting tension. Stanley relies on much of the settings of sand, dunes, mountains, and peaks to create a sense of the barren and void, a world where Dust Devil reigns and controls without hope of outwitting him. He has powers, and he’s utterly relentless, and Stanley lets us explore him while keeping him an enigma. “Dust Devil” is a surreal experience, but it’s also one truly underrated piece of work.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors

682. (-88) Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors

Freddie Francis

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

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

Body Melt

683. (-53) Body Melt

Philip Brophy

1993 / Australia / 81m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Gerard Kennedy, Andrew Daddo, Ian Smith, Regina Gaigalas, Vincent Gil, Neil Foley, Anthea Davis, Matthew Newton, Lesley Baker, Amy Grove-Rogers

“The trouble is that, by doing his thing so well, director Philip Brophy has left audiences unsure if his film is a spoof – but you only have to pay attention to its innovative camerawork, perfectly arranged lighting and seamless continuity to realise that there’s a lot of talent behind it. Whilst it would be entertaining either way, it’s clearly more than just a halfhearted slice of exploitation movie-making – it’s a hilarious tribute to the best-loved cliches of the genre, and the affection and understanding that have gone into it mean it has real spirit, energy and character.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

I Was a Teenage Werewolf

684. (-41) I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Gene Fowler Jr.

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

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

We Are What We Are

685. (new) We Are What We Are

Jim Mickle

2013 / USA / 105m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Kassie Wesley DePaiva, Laurent Rejto, Julia Garner, Ambyr Childers, Jack Gore, Bill Sage, Kelly McGillis, Wyatt Russell, Michael Parks, Annemarie Lawless

““We Are What We Are” is mostly not terrifying, offers almost nothing in the way of traditional horror-movie shocks and jolts, and does not get bloody until the last 20 minutes or so. (At which point, whoo-boy.) It’s a sinister, wistful and even sad portrait of one family that has followed the insanity and bloodthirstiness of American history into a dark corridor with no exit. There’s a hint of Terrence Malick (or David Lowery, of “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”) in the often-gorgeous photography of Ryan Samul, and a hint of Shakespearean grandeur in Sage’s portrayal of a dignified and honorable American father infused with an ideology of madness. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen an exploitation film played so effectively as human tragedy.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

White Dog

686. (+140) White Dog

Samuel Fuller

1982 / USA / 90m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Kristy McNichol, Christa Lang, Vernon Weddle, Jameson Parker, Karl Lewis Miller, Karrie Emerson, Helen Siff, Glen Garner, Terrence Beasor, Tony Brubaker

“The film has a TV-movie cheesiness overruled by Fuller’s expert deployment of the camera, brisk pacing and committed performances – particularly Paul Winfield as the African-American trainer who devotes himself to reversing the animal’s indoctrination… the picture’s single-minded pursuit of its central idea: how prejudice of any stripe is uncontainable, altering the shape of the entire world, but perhaps not irrevocable. (That’s a question that the movie leaves dangling.)” – Ryan Gilbey, New Statesman

Quatermass 2

687. (-81) Quatermass 2

Val Guest

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

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

Eaten Alive

688. (-2) Eaten Alive

Tobe Hooper

1977 / USA / 91m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones, Marilyn Burns, William Finley, Stuart Whitman, Roberta Collins, Kyle Richards, Robert Englund, Crystin Sinclaire

“Even though dated, [Eaten Alive] delivers everything you could want from a Video Nasty, and delivers it head on, in your face and makes no excuses. This is a film which only needs the most basic of plots simply to tie together the scenes of carnage. This is a film which relishes, and glorifies its violence and unsavoury characters, and this is a film which demands you take your head out of your ass and just enjoy horror for what it is. [Eaten Alive] is a horror intended to be enjoyed on face value, there is nothing deep or meaningful here, and you certainly will not need to use your brain. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the madness, the insanity, the completely mad ride into the Starlight Hotel, its owner Judd and is beloved pet Croc out back.” – Matt Wavish, Horror Cult Films

Thir13en Ghosts

689. (+85) Thir13en Ghosts

Steve Beck

2001 / USA / 91m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, JR Bourne, Rah Digga, F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Harrison, Jacob Rupp

“What we’re here for are the ghosts, the gore, and the cheesy thrills. Whatever else may be said about 13 Ghosts, it does deliver those. It also boasts gorgeous production design in the form of the centerpiece haunted house — a bizarre glass-walled structure that proves the old adage, “A house is not a home.” In this case, it isn’t even really a house, but a fantasticated machine “designed by the devil and powered by the dead.” The idea is more interesting than the execution, but at least it’s interesting… Subtle the film may not be, but it does know how to make the audience jump. It isn’t a good movie. It doesn’t pretend to be. It’s just a straightforward thrill ride for the Halloween season. Take it for that and you might have some fun with it.” – Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress

Ganja & Hess

690. (-24) Ganja & Hess

Bill Gunn

1973 / USA / 110m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Duane Jones, Marlene Clark, Bill Gunn, Sam Waymon, Leonard Jackson, Candece Tarpley, Richard Harrow, John Hoffmeister, Betty Barney, Mabel King

“Pieced together in a disjointed, nonlinear fashion, Ganja & Hess is a strange, heady blend of grindhouse horror and avant-garde experimentation. Writer/director Bill Gunn was apparently tasked with creating a blaxploitation vampire movie in the vein of Blacula, but he instead managed to make something that feels wholly separate from any one genre- something bizarre and beautiful and horrible and totally unexpected. It is not an easy film to follow, with its story jumping back and forth, seemingly unfinished scenes, and unstable characters, but its imagery is so potent I found myself transfixed.” – Alex Kittle, Art, Film and Over-Enthusiasm

Idle Hands

691. (+55) Idle Hands

Rodman Flender

1999 / USA / 92m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Henson, Jessica Alba, Vivica A. Fox, Christopher Hart, Jack Noseworthy, Katie Wright, Sean Whalen, Nicholas Sadler

“”Idle Hands” is a delirious, no-holds-barred attempt at creating a slasher movie with lots of campy and outrageous humor. While some of it fails (including the whole subplot dealing with Mick and Pnub, who return from the grave), much of it really is funny, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the so-bad-they’re-great ’80s horror flicks that this film obviously gets its inspiration from. Back in those days, there were very few redeeming qualities, just gory killing after gory killing, intermingled with a helpful dosage of gratuitous nudity.” – Dustin Putman, The Movie Boy

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

692. (+154) The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Charles B. Pierce

1976 / USA / 86m / Col / Crime | IMDb
Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine, Dawn Wells, Jimmy Clem, Jim Citty, Charles B. Pierce, Robert Aquino, Cindy Butler, Christine Ellsworth, Earl E. Smith

“By the conclusion of “The Town That Dreaded Sundown”, a brief confrontation between the authorities and the killer occurs, but nothing comes of it, the “Phantom” mysteriously vanishing afterwards as if into thin air. In the closing moments, the viewer is left to ponder not only the whereabouts of the culprit, but the effect that such inconceivable crimes can have on a community. “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” leaves one with such striking moments of stark, raw terror that it puts many less serious horror films to shame. After all, these crimes actually happened, and just the thought of that is petrifying.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Castle Freak

693. (-58) Castle Freak

Stuart Gordon

1995 / USA / 90m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Jonathan Fuller, Jessica Dollarhide, Massimo Sarchielli, Elisabeth Kaza, Luca Zingaretti, Helen Stirling, Alessandro Sebastian Satta

“It’s a tight, taut little tale fraught with emotion and nail-biting terror. When things come to a head, it can only end in tragedy – though redemption is found as well. This, despite the corny name, is quite a powerful drama, with wonderful performances from Combs and Crampton. Jeff Combs, whose antihero drives the piece, really shines here and shows that he’s not just some over-the-top cult actor. The man is an accomplished and captivating performer.” – Dave Dunwoody, Oh, The Horror

Attack the Block

694. (+151) Attack the Block

Joe Cornish

2011 / UK / 88m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones, Franz Drameh, Simon Howard, Maggie McCarthy, Danielle Vitalis, Paige Meade, Gina Antwi

“On the action side of things, Cornish display’s a talent and confidence rarely seen in a first time director, ratcheting up the frights and the thrills every time the exceptionally designed and rather terrifying looking aliens – realized terrifically through a combination of costume and CGI – give chase. Jump scares abound, while a sequence along a dimly lit smoke filled corridor is fraught with tension. The rest of the time, chase scenes pulsate with intensity, backed by a stylish score by Steven Price and Basement Jaxx that mixes orchestral music, R&B and electro, as well as classic UFO sound effects. The violence, when it happens, is deliciously grisly.” – Tom Clift, Movie Dex

Psychomania

695. (-26) Psychomania

Don Sharp

1973 / UK / 85m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Nicky Henson, Mary Larkin, Ann Michelle, Roy Holder, Denis Gilmore, Miles Greenwood, Peter Whitting, Rocky Taylor, Robert Hardy, Patrick Holt

“It remains an iconic, idiosyncratic anomaly in a creepshow category overrun by reanimated bodies and rotting monsters. Sure, fright fans like their zombies hobbled and hungry, patrolling the countryside for available brains. All the members of The Living Dead want to do is cause trouble and “blow some squares’ minds”. While it may have been intended as nothing more than double feature filler, a 90 minute companion piece to something more substantial, it actually wound up doing what few horror films can – it set itself apart from the rest of the paranormal pack. Cinematic scares are often predictable at best. While it avoids many of the basic bone rattling moves, Psychomania is still one memorable fright flick.” – Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

La chiesa

696. (-67) La chiesa

Michele Soavi

1989 / Italy / 102m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Hugh Quarshie, Tomas Arana, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Barbara Cupisti, Antonella Vitale, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Asia Argento, Roberto Caruso, Roberto Corbiletto

“Only Michele Soavi has ever come close to matching the breathtaking awe of a hyper-stylized Argento set piece. Soavi and Argento are no strangers to perfunctory storytelling, but while a Soavi tableaux may be considerably less colorful than Argento’s stained glass cinema, the man possesses a singular attentiveness for the poetry of signs and symbols. Though sometimes referred to as Demons 3, La Chiesa (The Church) is too visually breathtaking to be treated as another entry in Lamberto Bava’s schlocky Demons series… Soavi’s horror is terrifyingly suggestive, so much so that its difficult to determine what is real and what is the product of subconscious sexual desire and altered consciousness. There’s plenty of schmaltz to go around but there is no denying the dreaminess of Soavi’s stream-of-conscious horror show.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

Damien: Omen II

697. (-87) Damien: Omen II

Don Taylor

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

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

The Poughkeepsie Tapes

698. (-4) The Poughkeepsie Tapes

John Erick Dowdle

2007 / USA / 86m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Stacy Chbosky, Ben Messmer, Samantha Robson, Ivar Brogger, Lou George, Amy Lyndon, Michael Lawson, Ron Harper, Kim Kenny, Iris Bahr

“It’s a mockumentary, minus the comedy and satire. It’s a mockumentary that houses a two-pronged attack of brutally accurate portrayals of torture, murder and dismemberment seamlessly interwoven with expert analysis and the thoughts and memories of those who were affected by the killers rampage, and those who were hunting him down. In fact, it’s not too far removed from what the Discovery channel and TLC show on a daily basis… The writing leaps off the screen, as the Dowdle brothers concoct a credible, highly intelligent, innovative killer and sets him loose in the “Anywhere, USA” suburbs of Poughkeepsie, New York.” – Alex Seda, Midnight Showing

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

699. (-17) A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Renny Harlin

1988 / USA / 93m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Lisa Wilcox, Andras Jones, Danny Hassel, Rodney Eastman, Tuesday Knight, Ken Sagoes, Brooke Bundy, Nicholas Mele, Toy Newkirk, Brooke Theiss

“Though patently silly, the film is certainly gory enough to offer some halfway decent chills, even if the deaths themselves seem relatively un-scary and low-risk. (Besides, how many surviving characters are likely to make it through the next movie?) But with an overstuffed frame and a relentless soundtrack featuring The Fat Boys, Billy Idol, and — you guessed it — Tuesday Knight herself, does the film really need to add genuine fear to the sensory overload?” – Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Threads

700. (+10) Threads

Mick Jackson

1984 / UK / 112m / Col / Nuclear War | IMDb
Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly, Rita May, Nicholas Lane, Jane Hazlegrove, Henry Moxon, June Broughton, Sylvia Stoker, Harry Beety

“Threads is perhaps the strongest anti-nuclear film ever made, the closest thing available to a documentary on post-apocalyptic life. The film takes its title from the concept that all life on earth is interconnected as if by invisible “threads.” The ultimate message of the film is that nuclear war is not simply an issue for politicians to debate, or for just the major nuclear powers. The threat of nuclear war affects all individuals equally and, as such, each individual is responsible for doing something about it. Even in the post-Cold War world of today, it is difficult to imagine anyone viewing Threads and not walking away from the film with that massive burden in the forefront of their minds.” – David Carter, Not Coming to a Theater Near You