They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

#801-#900

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: #801-#900

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

Lord of Illusions

801. (-21) Lord of Illusions

Clive Barker

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

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

Body Snatchers

802. (+39) Body Snatchers

Abel Ferrara

1993 / USA / 87m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Terry Kinney, Meg Tilly, Gabrielle Anwar, Reilly Murphy, Billy Wirth, Christine Elise, R. Lee Ermey, Kathleen Doyle, Forest Whitaker, G. Elvis Phillips

“On the assumption that the audience already knows the premise, Body Snatchers doesn’t explain the alien invasion, it simply shows it with gloopily effective special effects. Ferrara, in a rare medium-budget excursion, shows he can make a smooth-looking, well paced film, while his acute ear for character tensions deftly captures the untidy human emotions that the pods live without. The writing and acting are way above average for a sci-fi quickie: note how a “truth” game between Anwar and soldier hero Billy Wirth sets up resonances that pay off throughout the film.” – Kim Newman, Empire Online

Jack Frost

803. (+5) Jack Frost

Michael Cooney

1997 / USA / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Scott MacDonald, Christopher Allport, Stephen Mendel, F. William Parker, Eileen Seeley, Rob LaBelle, Zack Eginton, Jack Lindine, Kelly Jean Peters, Marsha Clark

“Cooney knows that he cannot pull off everything in the script to perfection so he acknowledges it to the audience by forgoing realism. Rather he winks at the camera giving us something to laugh at that would otherwise be just plain bad. But in making it really, really, horribly bad, Jack Frost is at the very least entertaining. And is there anything else you could ask for from a B-movie about a serial-killing snowman?” – Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views

Juan de los Muertos

804. (+43) Juan de los Muertos

Alejandro Brugués

2011 / Spain / 92m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Alexis Díaz de Villegas, Jorge Molina, Andros Perugorría, Andrea Duro, Jazz Vilá, Eliecer Ramírez, Blanca Rosa Blanco, Susana Pous, Antonio Dechent, Eslinda Núñez

“Cuba’s first zombie flick gives a twist of rum-soaked lime and shuffle-stepped tango to the social satire of George A Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, while also observing the post-modern metacinematic savvy of Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead. For when Brugués is not using the revenant deceased as a prism through which to affectionately lampoon half a century of Cuban history, he is either pastiching everything from the shark-on-zombie action of Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters to the priest who likes to ‘kick ass for the Lord’ in Peter Jackson’s Braindead, or having his characters pose such daftly crucial genre questions as why, when it comes to the post-millennial living dead, ‘some are fast and some are slow.’” – Anton Bitel, Little White Lies

Ghost Story

805. (+9) Ghost Story

John Irvin

1981 / USA / 110m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., John Houseman, Craig Wasson, Patricia Neal, Alice Krige, Jacqueline Brookes, Miguel Fernandes, Lance Holcomb

“Ghost Story plays its horror cards in all suits, from classical atmospheric chills (and as a note to Irvin’s love for detail, watch how the wind doesn’t begin to blow in the graveyard until Houseman says, “And the wind began to blow”) to Dick Smith’s excellent zombie make-up. It’s not gory, really, but some scenes, such as a body falling from a high-rise, shattering through a glass roof, and landing with a thud next to a pool, are more brutal than usual–Irvin graphically captures the tragedy and weight of the fall in a way that splattered body parts simply couldn’t do. The film’s real strength, though, lies in its ability to create ghostly thrills via deep characters who have a reason to be scared. And that, combined with all the other unique, superb elements, make this a must see for any genre fans or any serious fan of film.” – Brandt Sponseller, Classic-Horror

The Devil's Advocate

806. (+7) The Devil’s Advocate

Taylor Hackford

1997 / USA / 144m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Judith Ivey, Connie Nielsen, Craig T. Nelson, Tamara Tunie, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Debra Monk

“You don’t go into a movie called The Devil’s Advocate (Warner Bros.), starring Al Pacino and his gleaming teeth, expecting to see a finely calibrated portrait of evil. You go in expecting a brazenly hokey, in-your-face portrait of evil, and that, I’m happy to say, is just what you get. Directed by Taylor Hackford, The Devil’s Advocate is a schlock-religioso legal thriller — The Firm meets Angel Heart — and it’s at once silly, overwrought, and almost embarrassingly entertaining.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Patrick

807. (+5) Patrick

Richard Franklin

1978 / Australia / 112m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Susan Penhaligon, Robert Helpmann, Rod Mullinar, Bruce Barry, Julia Blake, Helen Hemingway, María Mercedes, Walter Pym, Frank Wilson, Carole-Ann Aylett

“Director Richard Franklin (Psycho II) eventually lets Patrick’s powers go haywire, but the first half of the film combines sinister atmosphere-building with a justified faith that an immobile killer is still an ever-present threat. The spitting is a shock every time—and when Patrick starts getting some feeling back in his lower regions, that’s plenty creepy too—but there’s tension every time Kathie or another hospital worker blithely works the monitors or adjusts the sheets around him. He’s like a coiled rattlesnake ready to strike, and taking a cue from the Italians, Franklin focuses heavily on Thompson’s baby blues, sensing not only life behind his eyes, but a kind of chilling, crystal-ball omniscience.” – Scott Tobias, The Dissolve

Santa's Slay

808. (+3) Santa’s Slay

David Steiman

2005 / Canada / 78m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Bill Goldberg, Douglas Smith, Emilie de Ravin, Robert Culp, Dave Thomas, Saul Rubinek, Rebecca Gayheart, Chris Kattan, Fran Drescher, Alicia Lorén

“The film doesn’t quite keep up the relentless pace the entire time, but it’s mostly one hell of a slay ride, full of cheesy dialogue, colorful characters, and plenty of laughs. It’s obviously silly as hell, but it’s hard not to crack a smile at a movie that features a killer Santa Claus laying waste to a strip club (that’s full of “ho, ho, hos”) and firing explosive gifts from his sleigh. The ridiculous tone permeates the entire film, which features a stocking-full of black humor and satire. Though it features its fair share of clunkers and juvenile humor, there’s some clever wit to be found at times in this instantly-quotable effort, which might be more unbelievable than Santa himself.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

The Wizard of Gore

809. (+43) The Wizard of Gore

Herschell Gordon Lewis

1970 / USA / 95m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Ray Sager, Judy Cler, Wayne Ratay, Phil Laurenson, Jim Rau, Don Alexander, John Elliot, Karin Alexana, Jack Gilbreth, Corinne Kirkin

“In both its approach and execution, the original Wizard of Gore is a sleazy, surreal treat. It uses a shoestring narrative thread that allows Lewis to indulge in his ever increasing bits of brutality. The splatter set pieces are rather inventive, including a human hole punch and a tasty chainsaw attack. While the mystery of what’s happening to these young girls is part of the plot process, Wizard would rather spend the majority of its time watching Sager overact. A longtime associate of Lewis’, this on-set jack-of-all-trades in gray sprayed hair is pure ham as our perverted prestidigitator. His line delivery would be laughable if the actor wasn’t trying to take it all so sincerely. Together with the red stuff, the 1970 Wizard is some goofy, grotesque fun.” – Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

The Omega Man

810. (-26) The Omega Man

Boris Sagal

1971 / USA / 98m / Col / Post-Apocalyptic | IMDb
Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash, Paul Koslo, Eric Laneuville, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Jill Giraldi, Anna Aries, Brian Tochi, DeVeren Bookwalter

“What “The Omega Man” lacks in serious and heavy handed tone is made up with very groovy and stylish action, suspense and even some character driven frivolity. In other words it’s a deep down 1970’s, balls to the wall, sci-fi cult classic. First there is a lot to love with Heston here, playing up the machismo at times, he conveys capably that he is alone, barely sane and desperate. He is just bad ass from frame one till the very closing of the movie.” – Victor De Leon, Horror News

Kim Bok-nam salinsageonui jeonmal

811. (-26) Kim Bok-nam salinsageonui jeonmal

Chul-soo Jang

2010 / South Korea / 115m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Yeong-hie Seo, Seong-won Ji, Min-ho Hwang, Min Je, Ji-Eun Lee, Jeong-hak Park, Jang-hun Ahn, Su-yeon Ahn, Su-ryun Baek, Shi-hyeon Chae

““Bedevilled” is a far more morally complex and challenging film than this synopsis might suggest, and is by no means a straightforward revenge thriller in the traditional sense. Similarly, despite its setting, the film isn’t an exercise in exploitative backwoods fear, nor is it an overtly feminist rant, with Seoul being portrayed as a bleak place full of random violence, and with the island being run by a monstrous matriarchy whose members are every bit as bad as Bok Nam’s male abusers, reinforcing oppression and ignorance. The film also eschews a typical revenge narrative or indeed the usual patterns of victims and abusers as protagonists, beginning with Hae Won as the main character, and later shifting to Bok Nam, only for things to be turned on their head when she turns devilish aggressor.” – James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood

Countess Dracula

812. (+45) Countess Dracula

Peter Sasdy

1971 / UK / 93m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Ingrid Pitt, Nigel Green, Sandor Elès, Maurice Denham, Patience Collier, Peter Jeffrey, Lesley-Anne Down, Leon Lissek, Jessie Evans, Andrea Lawrence

“A Hammer Film production, the picture eschews gothic severity to portray a unique panic tied to the aging process, with the titular character not interested in drinking blood, only out to bathe in the stuff. Details, people. While “Countess Dracula” runs out of drama after the hour mark, this is an engaging effort from director Peter Sasdy… who wisely plays up the exploitation aspects of the production to avoid answering questions, keeping the film more invested in a dark hunt for virgin flesh as it teases strange fairy tale elements, though, overall, it’s executed with enough exposed flesh and growling jealousies to keep it engaging in a B-movie manner.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

Chopping Mall

813. (+2) Chopping Mall

Jim Wynorski

1986 / USA / 77m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Kelli Maroney, Tony O’Dell, Russell Todd, Karrie Emerson, Barbara Crampton, Nick Segal, John Terlesky, Suzee Slater, Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov

“So even if Chopping Mall has horrible characters played by almost uniformly poor actors; it’s still made with a seriousness of purpose and a focus missing in most of its competition. The killbots themselves are a tiny miracle of low-budget production and design, legitimately menacing all the more because they don’t seem to be off in some sci-fi wonderland, and because the puppeteers (and Wynorski, who provided their deep monotone, weirdly amusing voices) put so much little touches into their movements, giving these featureless, emotionless machines more legitimate personality than any of the humans involved. It is a ridiculous film that is above ridicule, and a film that manages to gather up seemingly every current in 1980s genre cinema into one nimble package, in short, and despite a somewhat too-long Final Girl sequence, it does this all without ever dragging. It does not talk down to us, or assume that we are idiots – it knows that it is goofy, but it does not therefore mock itself or ask to be mocked.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Return of the Living Dead Part II

814. (-26) Return of the Living Dead Part II

Ken Wiederhorn

1988 / USA / 89m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Michael Kenworthy, Thor Van Lingen, Jason Hogan, James Karen, Thom Mathews, Suzanne Snyder, Marsha Dietlein, Hanala Sagal, Jonathan Terry, Dana Ashbrook

“Even though the tone is a bit different from the original, the effects and overall look of the film is still intact. The zombie makeup and designs are just as grotesque as before, with decaying bodies and rotten faces looking especially devilish, while the atmosphere is locked in that foggy haze from right out of a nightmare. It’s interesting to see that same kind of visual potency that the original was able to conjure up, is intact in the sequel, and it’s a nice touch that lends to the credibility of the series. As before, the zombies in this flick talk and do all sorts of silly things, but the balance of horror and comedy is just close enough that it doesn’t throw the film into a confusing mess. In the end, the film is just a fun ride that shouldn’t be taken seriously, yet appreciated for its entertainment value.” – Jay Shatzer, The Lucid Nightmare

Zodiac

815. (+4) Zodiac

David Fincher

2007 / USA / 157m / Col / Crime | IMDb
Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Robert Downey Jr., Brian Cox, John Carroll Lynch, Richmond Arquette, Bob Stephenson, John Lacy, Chloë Sevigny

“Running almost three hours, without much action, it’s hard to think that David Fincher’s Zodiac would be as gripping as it is. Fincher employs a strong visual style that doesn’t draw attention to itself right away, but as you sit there you slowly realize that Fincher is indeed flexing is creative muscles. The end result is a complex crime drama that limits its action, opting to save it for the times that bring the greatest impact… It’s subtle and doesn’t jump out and grab you at first. But when you dwell and contemplate it, the fine craftsmanship of Fincher is clearly apparent.” – Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views

La belle et la bête

816. (-27) La belle et la bête

Jean Cocteau

1946 / France / 96m / BW / Fantasy | IMDb
Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon, Michel Auclair, Raoul Marco, Marcel André, Janice Felty, John Kuether, Jacques Marbeuf

“Blissfully free of the PC feminist leanings of the animated version, this black-and-white fantasia revels instead in grandiose medieval settings and technical trickery. Marvellous surreal effects live on the mind’s eye long after the lights go up: the beast’s smoking paws; a living mantelpiece; the billowing white drapes as Belle is carried along a castle corridor, seemingly without moving her feet; and ethereal human arms brandishing candelabra. Cocteau uses wispy strands of lighting to magical effect and, to his credit, never attempts to fashion anything but a fairytale, inducing a childlike wonder rather than some cerebral reaction — the subtitles are of a limited nature. Even the warm comedy of the sleeping footmen in the farmyard and Belle’s spiteful sisters’ bickering still rings true. Years have not dulled the lustre of this classic, the impact of a big screen viewing is nothing short of astonishing.” – Louise Brealy, Empire

Halloween II

817. (+43) Halloween II

Rob Zombie

2009 / USA / 105m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Sheri Moon Zombie, Chase Wright Vanek, Scout Taylor-Compton, Brad Dourif, Caroline Williams, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Dayton Callie, Richard Brake

“Despite the limitations inherent in the genre, it actually delivers. It’s not about the pure scares in a movie like this (almost any junky spookfest can get those, with the old face-in-a-mirror trick and various hoary techniques). No, a “character-based” monster flick – and Michael Myers is in that first generation, make no mistake – needs to play with that conceit, and Zombie’s dirty, disturbing, even dream-based approach works perfectly. And McDowell, that old pro, is a real hoot as Dr. Loomis… in a world where the “Hostel” and “Saw” films are the norm, and the recent remake of “Last House on the Left” set the bar nauseatingly low, Zombie knows a thing or two about keeping it pure.” – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

Masters of Horror: John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns

818. (+8) Masters of Horror: John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns

John Carpenter

2005 / USA / 59m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Norman Reedus, Colin Foo, Udo Kier, Christopher Redman, Chris Gauthier, Zara Taylor, Gary Hetherington, Chris Britton, Julius Chapple, Taras Kostyuk

“Cigarette Burns is a very dialogue-driven story; exposition followed by exposition followed by a gross-out KNB [EFX Group] special, taking us towards a climax that not only delivers, but does so with outrageous OTT aplomb. Such is the stunning originality of the final sequence that it actually comes off as being a little ridiculous. But you know what? That’s fine with me… No JC experience would be complete without his signature music and one of the most pleasant aspects of his latest is that the soundtrack is the debut of one Cody Carpenter – JC’s son. Young Cody has obviously not just been walking past the plethora of musical instruments scattered throughout their home – he has been picking them up, learning how to use them, and has proffered a plinkety-plonk soundscape that his old man would be proud of.” – Zomblee, Eat My Brains

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

819. (-28) Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Fran Rubel Kuzui

1992 / USA / 86m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, Michele Abrams, Hilary Swank, Paris Vaughan, David Arquette, Randall Batinkoff

“Those who look for political import in prom-queen movies may be interested to note that Buffy (Kristy Swanson), the cheerleading, bubble-headed heroine of the blithe teen-age comedy “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” kicks and backflips her way to martial-arts mastery before the story is over. As for other things worth noticing, you may be too old to appreciate one of this film’s main selling points if you’re distracted by its efforts to enhance Luke Perry’s hair. Luckily, there are better reasons for watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” a slight, good-humored film that’s a lot more painless than might have been expected.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Gritos en la noche

820. (+3) Gritos en la noche

Jesús Franco

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

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

The Reptile

821. (-31) The Reptile

John Gilling

1966 / UK / 91m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett, Jacqueline Pearce, Michael Ripper, John Laurie, Marne Maitland, David Baron, Charles Lloyd Pack, Harold Goldblatt

“Despite the threadbare effects, though, and an ending that staggers across the finish line, The Reptile is an oddly restrained, moving, even genuinely eerie little film from the cult production house. No gore, scream queens, heaving cleavage or flirtation with softcore fanservice (okay, don’t all leave at once) – instead we get actual natural-sounding dialogue, character development and horror that stems from something convincingly inhuman. This is still camp, still cult, but you’re laughing with the cast, not at them, and the darker material elicits an emotional response as much as a stifled ‘Ewww!’.” – Matthew Lee, Twitchfilm

13 Ghosts

822. (-30) 13 Ghosts

William Castle

1960 / USA / 85m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow, Martin Milner, Rosemary DeCamp, Donald Woods, Margaret Hamilton, John Van Dreelen

“13 Ghosts suffers from a few plot conveniences (everyone, even those outside the family, seems to accept the existence of ghosts rather matter-of-factly) and the gimmick sticks a knife in any chances it might have of shocking the audience. However, the strong visual effects, the self-aware sense of humor and the well-executed twist ending go a long way toward making up for those setbacks. It’s hard to call this a “classic” of its genre, but it’s certainly an enjoyable product of its time.” – Mark Pellegrini, Adventures in Poor Taste

A Warning to the Curious

823. (-30) A Warning to the Curious

Lawrence Gordon Clark

1972 / UK / 50m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Peter Vaughan, Clive Swift, Julian Herrington, John Kearney, David Cargill, George Benson, Roger Milner, Gilly Fraser, David Pugh, Cyril Appleton

“A perfectly-realized ghost story with no bells and whistles, no gore, no needless filler and no special effects. Instead this offers up excellent direction, fine performances, a low-key, otherworldly score punctuated by frantic violins and stark, low-budget 16mm photography that manages to brilliantly draw the eerie supernatural elements of the story out of the everyday world.” – The Bloody Pit of Horror

Dr. Phibes Rises Again

824. (+83) Dr. Phibes Rises Again

Robert Fuest

1972 / UK / 89m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Vincent Price, Robert Quarry, Valli Kemp, Peter Jeffrey, Fiona Lewis, Hugh Griffith, Peter Cushing, Beryl Reid, Terry-Thomas, John Cater

“Like any good sequel, ‘Dr. Phibes Rises Again’ builds on the first film, recycling what worked while adding some new elements…. If there is a weakness, it is that the sequel tends to emphasize the campy humor at the expense of the horror. With Phibes now nominally the hero, the audience is not really expected to be frightened by him; instead, we are invited to identify and laugh along with him as he polishes off everyone in his way. Still, this is a small price to pay for the faster-paced plot and many imaginative and amusing touches that make this an extremely entertaining fantasy adventure, if not a very scary horror film.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Haze

825. (-31) Haze

Shin’ya Tsukamoto

2005 / Japan / 49m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Takahiro Murase, Takahiro Kandaka, Masato Tsujioka, Mao Saito, Kaori Fujii

“Story-wise, there isn’t much to discuss. A nameless man (Tsukamoto) finds himself trapped in a very narrow passageway with no visible means of escape… Since there’s no clearly-defined characters and no real story to speak of, Tsukamoto relies on his ability to generate palpable suspense to carry the audience through this bleak cinematic nightmare. Watching our hero push his body through such narrow passages frequently forced me to confront my own deep-rooted fears of confined spaces, which only served to intensify the experience. It’s enough to push even the mildest claustrophobics to the proverbial breaking point. Tsukamoto’s inspired and frequently gut-wrenching performance also factors greatly into the film’s overall success.” – Todd Rigney, BeyondHollywood.com

Taxidermia

826. (-29) Taxidermia

György Pálfi

2006 / Hungary / 91m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Csaba Czene, Gergely Trócsányi, Marc Bischoff, István Gyuricza, Piroska Molnár, Gábor Máté, Géza Hegedüs D., Zoltán Koppány, Erwin Leder, Adél Stanczel

“Striking visuals attempt to match allegory; this is the stuff of Taxidermia. From the onset it’s quite clear that Taxidermia isn’t interested in being a typical horror film. The film blends elements of comedy, body horror, and political allegory into as unappealing of a package as possible. That is, however, the reason that Taxidermia is so appealing as a film. The images are often visceral to the extreme, repugnant in the way they depict the characters. People who see Taxidermia will probably never be able to look at competitive eating the same way again. Repugnance is the point of Taxidermia, or rather it is the point that is used to get to the root of the political issues that have plagued Hungary for years.” – Bill Thompson, Sound on Sight

Final Destination 5

827. (-31) Final Destination 5

Steven Quale

2011 / USA / 92m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Ellen Wroe, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P.J. Byrne, Arlen Escarpeta, David Koechner, Courtney B. Vance, Tony Todd

“Fans of this franchise know precisely what to expect, and the film delivers it with wit and flair. The Final Destination movies are like inspired Kentucky Fried Movie sketches, but also like deadpan satires of a particular sub-genre they invented in the first place… This being a 3D movie, there are loads of sharp objects flying directly out of the screen. A group of youthful interns are employed at a drab office, presided over by a managerial nerd, adjoining a factory shopfloor. (So to the list of American institutions indirectly influenced by Ricky Gervais we can now add the Final Destination movies.)” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

War of the Worlds

828. (-27) War of the Worlds

Steven Spielberg

2005 / USA / 116m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins, Rick Gonzalez, Yul Vazquez, Lenny Venito, Lisa Ann Walter, Ann Robinson

“Spielberg has made the first serious post-9/11 sci-fi movie… This is where the vague origins of War’s out-of-nowhere-yet-among-us-everywhere enemies is also useful as metaphor. In the bravura scenes of people fleeing and being trapped, of them helpless and dying, War of the Worlds cannot help but remind us of recent history. The director also makes this timely theme dovetail with a timeless one, in which the American character is always tested in times of stress, and found profoundly heroic. Just as Spielberg can create a character as deeply ordinary as Ray and thrust greatness upon him, so can he create a summer popcorn movie that deserves a great and varied audience to appreciate his achievement.” – Ken Tucker, New York Magazine

The Black Room

829. (+8) The Black Room

Roy William Neill

1935 / USA / 70m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Marian Marsh, Robert Allen, Thurston Hall, Katherine DeMille, John Buckler, Henry Kolker, Colin Tapley, Torben Meyer

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

Fatal Attraction

830. (-31) Fatal Attraction

Adrian Lyne

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

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

The Vault of Horror

831. (+45) The Vault of Horror

Roy Ward Baker

1973 / UK / 83m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Daniel Massey, Anna Massey, Mike Pratt, Erik Chitty, Jerold Wells, Terry-Thomas, Glynis Johns, Marianne Stone, John Forbes-Robertson, Curd Jürgens

“One of the last of Amicus’ portmanteau horror movies, The Vault of Horror was, like Tales from the Crypt before it, based on the popular but at the time controversial comics from William Gaines’ 1950s E.C. line. The originals were marked not simply by their gruesome traits, but by their black sense of humour as well, yet the glee with which they were presented was somewhat lacking when producer and writer Milton Subotsky brought his adaptations to the screen – in fact, they were a little dry. There’s nothing wrong with the stories themselves, as they all have decent set ups and fitting punchlines, it’s just that a more than a modicum of jokiness could have lifted them above the routine. As it is, they are more quietly amusing than all-out thrill rides.” – Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image

The Bay

832. (+1) The Bay

Barry Levinson

2012 / USA / 84m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Nansi Aluka, Christopher Denham, Stephen Kunken, Frank Deal, Kether Donohue, Kristen Connolly, Will Rogers, Kimberly Campbell, Beckett Clayton-Luce, Dave Hager

“Where Levinson really shows his experience is in choosing not to make a ghost story, the subgenre’s most tired cliché; secondly, he’s managed to construct a film from fake Skype, home video and news footage to create something that feels believable… It’s cleverly put together, the threat nicely revealed via various footage and is never over exaggerated to such an extent that it loses touch with reality. There are a few gross-out moments that will definitely make your skin crawl. However the multiple sources and multiple viewpoints mean there is minimal character development. The ending is a bit of an anticlimax but in many ways that also makes it feel more authentic.” – Henry Northmore, The List

La setta

833. (+1) La setta

Michele Soavi

1991 / Italy / 125m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Kelly Curtis, Herbert Lom, Mariangela Giordano, Michel Adatte, Carla Cassola, Angelika Maria Boeck, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Niels Gullov, Tomas Arana

“As much as I usually champion self-indulgence, I have to say that The Sect’s high standing in Argento and Soavi’s oeuvre seems to have more to do with the restraint they show in all respects. As I mentioned, the oil painting-like visuals never take over and the cinematographic techniques aren’t just techniques; they’re storytelling aids. In the same vein, the Goblin-like score doesn’t sound like you accidentally left an early-70s Pink Floyd disc blasting on the stereo while you try to watch a movie-instead it’s understated and always perfect. The gore doesn’t seem intended only to earn a prominent placement in Fangoria-it always serves some other purpose. The surrealness isn’t an excuse for the lack of a coherent script. Etc. Best of all, perhaps, The Sect has the properties that many horror fans think define the genre-it’s creepy and scary.” – Brandt Sponseller, Classic-Horror

Byzantium

834. (-30) Byzantium

Neil Jordan

2012 / UK / 118m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Saoirse Ronan, Barry Cassin, Gemma Arterton, David Heap, Warren Brown, Ruby Snape, Thure Lindhardt, Jenny Kavanagh, Glenn Doherty, Edyta Budnik

“Nearly 20 years after Interview with the Vampire, director Neil Jordan returns to the land of the living dead with Byzantium, the tale of a mother-daughter vampire duo whose 200-year history is threatened when their existence comes to light. Though much surer in tone than its predecessor, this is not quite as far from the Tom Cruise-Brad Pitt, big-budget razzle-dazzle as it would appear on the surface. While certainly made on a much smaller scale, Byzantium shares the earlier movie’s gorgeous look, signature Jordan lyrical touches and the material again focuses on the brooding nature of its central characte… this is a romantic, sensual, bloody good time of a movie for sophisticated adults.” – Richard Knight, Windy City Times

Premature Burial

835. (-29) Premature Burial

Roger Corman

1962 / USA / 81m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Ray Milland, Hazel Court, Richard Ney, Heather Angel, Alan Napier, John Dierkes, Dick Miller, Clive Halliday, Brendan Dillon

“With Premature Burial, Corman’s talent for efficient direction and making the most of limited budgets actual works to the film’s benefit. Corman strips the story of Burial down to its minimum, focusing almost exclusively on Carrell’s unraveling mind and whether he’s doing it all himself or being helped along. To achieve this, Corman turns Poe’s tale into, essentially, a filmed play and puts the emphasis squarely on dialogue and the emotions of the main characters. There’s a modest amount of Corman horror trappings on display (fog, Victorian sets, dim lighting) as well as bits of action, but they only serve as the framework for a grim personal drama. By putting the Carrell character under the intense scrutiny, Corman makes the film much more realistic and terrifying.” – Kevin Nickelson, Classic-Horror

The Pact

836. (+12) The Pact

Nicholas McCarthy

2012 / USA / 89m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Caity Lotz, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Haley Hudson, Sam Ball, Mark Steger, Agnes Bruckner, Casper Van Dien, Dakota Bright, Petra Wright, Sam Zuckerman

“There is little unnecessary expository dialogue and there are few scenes here that fail to pay off with at least an eerie moment, which is refreshing in a genre that so often takes so long to deliver the goods. Though there are not many moments in The Pact that seem likely to make a viewer shriek, at least before its climax, McCarthy is rather masterful at establishing atmosphere, which becomes doubly impressive once one considers that the bulk of the action here takes place in a single, nondescript suburban home. While The Pact hardly forges new ground for the genre, it comes about its scares honestly, without reliance upon gimmicks or cheap tactics.” – Jeremy Heilman, Movie Martyr

Wishmaster

837. (-30) Wishmaster

Robert Kurtzman

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

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

Friday the 13th

838. (+123) Friday the 13th

Marcus Nispel

2009 / USA / 97m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Julianna Guill, Ben Feldman, Arlen Escarpeta

“Marcus Nispel’s remake… isn’t really a remake at all. After dispensing with Mrs. Voorhees before the opening credits, it launches into a brand new slaughterfest that sporadically pays homage to scenes from the first three films but stays truest only to their formula. And yet it works. It is easily the best Friday the 13th ever made, if only by virtue of the fact that it’s actually pretty good. How good? That depends what you’re looking for. By now, you know whether Friday the 13th is your kind of movie, and if it’s not, you’ve probably stopped reading by now. If it is, be assured that the acting is passable, the effects are impressively convincing, and the suspense is real. It’s not a great film, but it is a frightening one, and what more do you need to know?” – Rossiter Drake, San Francisco Examiner

The Last Wave

839. (-34) The Last Wave

Peter Weir

1977 / Australia / 106m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil, Frederick Parslow, Vivean Gray, Nandjiwarra Amagula, Walter Amagula, Roy Bara, Cedrick Lalara, Morris Lalara

“Peter Weir’s extraordinary film is a visually startling and totally engrossing meditation on the close connection between the mysteries of nature and the power of dreams. We have often been told of the importance of dreamtime in the religion of the American Indian. We have seen the same force at work in Carlos Castaneda’s trilogy about Don Juan. Now the theme emerges from the Australian aborigine culture. Yet can we live in the presence of a mystery that consistently baffles reason and challenges our consensual vision of reality? The Last Wave is another in a series of works urging us to attempt the descent into the unconscious. And it does so with an aesthetic sureness that is both salutary and stunning. Russell Boyd’s cinematography and Max Lemon’s editing are absolutely brilliant. They snare us in a web that interweaves everyday happenings with the inexplicable in a totally convincing way.” – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice

Red State

840. (-31) Red State

Kevin Smith

2011 / USA / 88m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Michael Angarano, Deborah Aquila, Nicholas Braun, Ronnie Connell, Kaylee DeFer, Joey Figueroa, Kyle Gallner, Anna Gunn, Matt Jones, John Lacy

“It’s casually referred to as a ‘horror movie’, but that’s not quite right. In fact, Red State feels a bit like a movie grappling with an identity crisis: it’s not gruesome enough to qualify as horror, just as it’s neither exclusively funny enough to be comedy nor ‘action-y’ enough to tempt the Michael Bay crowd, yet it has more than enough of each to remain both gripping and entertaining throughout… Overall, Red State delivers a captivating story unlike most of what finds its way to screens these days. It’s a tense, unnerving, infuriating and even amusing film that pulls no punches when it comes to Smith’s passionate sentiments regarding all things sex, religion and politics.” – Tom Glasson, Concrete Playground

Innocent Blood

841. (+10) Innocent Blood

John Landis

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

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

Squirm

842. (+4) Squirm

Jeff Lieberman

1976 / USA / 92m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy, R.A. Dow, Jean Sullivan, Peter MacLean, Fran Higgins, William Newman, Barbara Quinn, Carl Dagenhart, Angel Sande

“As ridiculous as all this sounds, Squirm really doesn’t veer off into absolute camp—it’s the sort of movie that obviously invites mockery on the premise level but doesn’t actively wink at the audience to goad them into taking the piss out of it. Instead, Lieberman leads the audience right to the precipice and delivers exactly what’s to be expected from a killer worm movie: some grisly, squishy sequences meant to both amuse and disgust all at once.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

The Car

843. (+39) The Car

Elliot Silverstein

1977 / USA / 96m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, R.G. Armstrong, John Rubinstein, Elizabeth Thompson, Roy Jenson, Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Kate Murtagh

“As you watch The Car, pay attention to how the cinematography and the music propel the film to something far more artistically adept than it has any right to be. The use of sweeping vistas, and the gorgeous framing of specific sequences, make The Car as beautiful as it is entertaining. The music may sound familiar to horrorphiles; harboring tinges of the eerie French horn arrangement from the beginning of The Shining, which would be released three years later. They both seem to be formidable iterations of the Gregorian chant “Dies Irae.” Despite its b-movie trappings, The Car is high-quality horror from start to finish and film deserving of far more attention and accolades than its unfortunate obscurity affords.” – Brian Salisbury, Film School Rejects

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

844. (+11) Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

Terence Fisher

1973 / UK / 99m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith, David Prowse, John Stratton, Michael Ward, Elsie Wagstaff, Norman Mitchell, Clifford Mollison, Patrick Troughton

“Returning to the series after the misfire of Horror Of Frankenstein (1970), Terence Fisher turns in one of his finest works. He makes virtue of a minuscule budget by crafting a deeply claustrophobic piece. The image is heavy on greys and browns, Brian Probyn’s cinematography almost radiating stench and decay. Cushing’s final outing as Frankenstein is quite simply inspired. To paraphrase philosopher George Santayana, the Baron has become the definition of a fanatic, re-doubling his efforts long after he has lost sight of his original objective. The Baron of old is still visible, lurking in there somewhere, but the sparkling enthusiasm of the young and eager medical student has been replaced by something cold, world weary, methodical and calculating.” – Richard Phillips-Jones, The Spooky Isles

Frogs

845. (+11) Frogs

George McCowan

1972 / USA / 91m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam, Nicholas Cortland, George Skaff

“Frogs is another entry in the “it’s so bad, it is good”. Frogs took on the idea that the little creatures of the environment, working together, could kick humanity’s butt. The movie has a total, ’70s feel, even down to the totally glamorous Judy Pace (playing Bella Garrington) who as the out of place African-American woman who seems randomly inserted into the plot to reach the full gambit of characters. The music, how it is shot, and how people talk just can’t be recreated now no matter how some directors try. Be it the dialogue or the style of film, Frogs is just laughable. The best part of Frogs, is that the frogs pretty much are just innocent victims of the title. The real threat comes from poisonous snakes, alligators, lizards, and even a giant alligator snapping turtle. The frogs just kind of hop around…it is menacing hopping, but still it is just hopping (and to be honest, I think most of them are toads).” – Jerry Roscoe, Basement Rejects

Murders in the Rue Morgue

846. (+112) Murders in the Rue Morgue

Robert Florey

1932 / USA / 61m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Sidney Fox, Bela Lugosi, Leon Ames, Bert Roach, Betty Ross Clarke, Brandon Hurst, D’Arcy Corrigan, Noble Johnson, Arlene Francis

“It’s silly and frivolous and absolutely deserves to be laughed right off the screen, but for one tremendous achievement: it is one of the best-looking horror films of the ’30s, full stop. It was shot by Karl Freund, who I’m increasingly sure could save anything: if the rumors are true, he’s the only reason Dracula exists as a functional object, and between The Mummy and Mad Love, he directed two of the most excitingly atmospheric films in the first wave of Universal horror. And good God, but does he ever bring the most flamboyant Expressionist zeal to Murders in the Rue Morgue, using sharp delineations of light to hammer home moments of terror and the uncanny, and he and Florey combined for some really amazing camera placements that present a sense of depth and shape to the rather generic Parisian settings that blazes miles past anything in the stagey Dracula.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Dead & Breakfast

847. (-29) Dead & Breakfast

Matthew Leutwyler

2004 / USA / 88m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jeremy Sisto, Erik Palladino, Bianca Lawson, Oz Perkins, Ever Carradine, Gina Philips, Zach Selwyn, Miranda Bailey, Brent David Fraser, Diedrich Bader

“While the movie doesn’t fall into the scary movie category it never the less provides some thrills and spools, more claret than a Liberal party cabinet meeting can get through, and a high level of comedy. Yes we’re talking a splatter fest mixed in with a lot of sight gags and one liners rather than an out and out attempt to scare your knickers off you. Director/Writer Matthew Leutwyler knows exactly what he is doing and has this puppy collared and on a leash, if you don’t have a smile on your dial by the end credits then you are pretty much as brain dead as one of the possessed rednecks the movie is littered with.” – ScaryMinds

Panna a netvor

848. (-31) Panna a netvor

Juraj Herz

1978 / Czechoslovakia / 83m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Zdena Studenková, Vlastimil Harapes, Václav Voska, Jana Brejchová, Zuzana Kocúriková, Josef Laufer, Milan Hein, Jan Augusta, Josef Langmiler, Vít Olmer

“[Beauty and the Beast] already lends itself well to a horror adaptation, especially considering the mysterious castle setting and the fact one of the main characters is, you know, a monster… The Beast is not a big woolly teddy bear as seen in most other versions, but instead a hideous creature with a hairy body, sharp claws, a bird-like head and a thirst for fresh warm blood. He shares his home with a variety of other strange creature servants that mostly lurk in the shadows and barely make their presence even known. Where he’s been forced to live a life of solitude and loneliness for so long, The Beast has also picked up some schizophrenic traits along the way. A whispering, nagging, persistent voice in his head… tries to tempt him back to his more animalistic ways.” – Justin McKinney, The Bloody Pit of Horror

Anaconda

849. (+38) Anaconda

Luis Llosa

1997 / USA / 89m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Jonathan Hyde, Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer, Vincent Castellanos, Danny Trejo, Frank Welker

“To watch “Anaconda” is to get the impression that there is only one snake in the entire rain forest and that it’s been waiting its whole life for a chance to devour Eric Stoltz, Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube. The three play the leaders of the expedition, who are traveling with their crew by barge, looking for the lost tribe. But those actors are mere window dressing for the main attraction of “Anaconda,” Jon Voight, who does to the scenery what the snake does to the supporting players. He plays Sarone, a Paraguayan snake trapper who’s rescued by the crew. Voight gets ethnic in a shameless way reminiscent of Al Pacino in “Scarface.” He turns the corners of his mouth down so far that it’s impossible to tell if he’s smiling or sneering… He is the movie’s all-purpose embodiment of mystery and destruction, and as such he provides some of the most deliriously absurd moments in the picture.” – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

The Burrowers

850. (+13) The Burrowers

J.T. Petty

2008 / USA / 96m / Col / Western | IMDb
Clancy Brown, David Busse, William Mapother, Jocelin Donahue, Alexandra Edmo, Brighid Fleming, Karl Geary, Christopher Hagen, Doug Hutchison, Galen Hutchison

“An atmospheric, slightly loopy mix of western lore and monster movie shocks – best described as The Searchers meets The Thing… Though shot on a measly US$7million budget, The Burrowers recreates the early West and envisions pure evil with an A-grade attention to detail. As a throwback to the great B-movies of years gone by, it echoes the middle America-vs-monster movie Tremors (1990), the astronauts-vs-monster movie Alien (1979) and the lost campers-vs-monster movie Prophecy (1979). Like those films, The Burrowers is a choice example of this paranoid, claustrophobic, tummy-tightening genre.” – Simon Foster, Screen-Space

Doctor X

851. (+112) Doctor X

Michael Curtiz

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

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

Ghost Ship

852. (-32) Ghost Ship

Steve Beck

2002 / USA / 91m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington, Isaiah Washington, Alex Dimitriades, Karl Urban, Emily Browning, Francesca Rettondini

“Director Beck (who also made 13 Ghosts) really keeps things moving, spending the first half of the film setting up the atmosphere, showing us the ship and its ghostly passengers… then suddenly dispatching each character with over-the-top slasher-film gruesomeness. The cast gamely goes along with this combination of action movie heroics and ghost movie terror, injecting humour into every scene to keep us off balance. And it works, because the characters are actually intriguing and the “mystery” plot is preposterous and clever at the same time. It’s refreshing to watch a horror film that’s this unpretentious.” – Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

Lady in White

853. (-32) Lady in White

Frank LaLoggia

1988 / USA / 112m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Lukas Haas, Len Cariou, Alex Rocco, Katherine Helmond, Jason Presson, Renata Vanni, Angelo Bertolini, Joelle Jacobi, Jared Rushton, Gregory Levinson

“The overall mood of the movie changes from charming to alarming and back to charming as the story unfolds to its incendiary ending atop the cliffs by the white cottage. LaLoggia’s simple, old-time, approach using in-camera effects combined with basic process shots build his story in an economical but creative way. Like a good ghost story, simple elements combine to create an ethereal dread, making Lady in White a memorable movie.” – JM Cozzoli, Zombos’ Closet

Los sin nombre

854. (+7) Los sin nombre

Jaume Balagueró

1999 / Spain / 102m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Emma Vilarasau, Karra Elejalde, Tristán Ulloa, Toni Sevilla, Brendan Price, Jordi Dauder, Núria Cano, Isabel Ampudia, Carles Punyet, Aleix Puiggalí

“Rather than bombard viewers with shocking scares, Jaume Balaguero’s multi-award-winning feature debut builds up an overwhelming and oppressive sense of dread with plenty of suspense thrown in. As the characters’ fear grows, so does yours… There are a few plot weaknesses – many questions go unanswered – but The Nameless gets it right in so many other areas it is easy to forgive. Albert Carreras and Xavi Giménez’s cinematography is stunning and creates pit-of-your-stomach dread from the off. There is very little colour in the film – the world is icy blue and grey aside from the old home movies Claudia pores over… Balaguero sets out to define evil – and he manages it in truly graphic yet glorious style.” – Leanne McGrath, Eye for Film

The Incredible Torture Show

855. (+41) The Incredible Torture Show

Joel M. Reed

1976 / USA / 91m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Seamus O’Brien, Luis De Jesus, Viju Krem, Niles McMaster, Alan Dellay, Dan Fauci, Helen Thompson, Ellen Faison, Ernie Pysher, Carol Mara

“A bizarre and irreverent plot which is seemingly just an excuse to exploit every taboo in a movie and take it to its distasteful extreme, Bloodsucking Freaks has to be seen to be believed. With the usual histrionic characters that are expected in a Troma movie and the excessive lengths that the plot evolves to shock and disgust, this is not a movie to take seriously. Fans of hardcore exploitation movies such as Last House on the Left and I Spit on your Grave may find Bloodsucking Freaks a bit difficult to digest with its campiness and farcical interpretation of the genre but would have to appreciate the depths of distaste that the movie is willing to sink to in order to achieve the desired reaction from the audience. A definite cult classic and a defining moment in Troma history in the guise of a sadistic and torturous voyage into the brainwashing and slavery industry where women are used as dartboards before being fed to their feral sisters.” – Pazuzu Iscariot, Horror Extreme

Il mulino delle donne di pietra

856. (+12) Il mulino delle donne di pietra

Giorgio Ferroni

1960 / Italy / 95m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Pierre Brice, Scilla Gabel, Wolfgang Preiss, Dany Carrel, Herbert A.E. Böhme, Liana Orfei, Marco Guglielmi, Olga Solbelli, Alberto Archetti

“These aforementioned artistic elements work in layers to create the films overall sense of mood with Hans’s hallucination sequence being a primary example. After receiving a sedative from Dr. Bohlem, Hans begins to stumble from one room to the next, putting the mill’s bizarre architecture on full display. Pavoni, in turn, fills these rooms with shadows and occasional flashes of red or blue light which adds to the chilling atmosphere. Underlying this is Innocenzi’s score which uses its central motif to build tension, and piercing high pitched arrangements to punctuate terror, as Hans begins to unravel the mystery of the Mill through a series of spectral visions. In these scenes, like many others throughout the film, the combination of visuals and sound allow the film to take on a dreamlike quality that is both ominous as well as frightening.” – Bruce Jordan, Classic-Horror

The Haunted House

857. (-32) The Haunted House

Edward F. Cline & Buster Keaton

1921 / USA / 21m / BW / Comedy | IMDb
Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts, Edward F. Cline

“The Haunted House is a veritable treasure chest of quality gags strung together in an absurd but highly amusing plot and executed with crackerjack speed. Its title is a bit misleading as the titular haunt is only one of several settings in the picture and it isn’t even the most exciting […] The film’s first, and best, set piece is a bit of old style vaudeville comedy wherein Buster spills a pot of glue while handling paper money at the bank. It’s an old comic bit that any modern viewer has seen in dozens of films performed by lesser comedians but Keaton’s dedication, his precise and unselfconscious acting style and the way in which each moment builds upon the next really elicit some hearty laughs.” – Kristen Sales, Sales on Film

The Queen of Spades

858. (+61) The Queen of Spades

Thorold Dickinson

1949 / UK / 95m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans, Yvonne Mitchell, Ronald Howard, Mary Jerrold, Anthony Dawson, Miles Malleson, Michael Medwin, Athene Seyler, Ivor Barnard

“Between the pair of them, and with Dickinson’s drive to exacerbate the melodramatic, feverish atmosphere, they make a virtue out of the small budget and limited sets, using mirrors, shadows, candelabra, religious icons and period paraphernalia to encrust the Countess’s palace and its myriad doorways, passages and rooms. The Countess’s boudoir and the ornate Russian church used in the heartstopping funeral sequence of the film are brilliant examples of their craft and they emphasise the film’s squeezing in and expansion of space, from claustrophobia to agoraphobia.”- Frank Collins, Cathode Ray Tube

The Crow

859. (-35) The Crow

Alex Proyas

1994 / USA / 102m / Col / Action | IMDb
Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, Bai Ling, Sofia Shinas, Anna Levine, David Patrick Kelly, Angel David, Laurence Mason

“One key to the surprising success of “The Crow,” a movie adaptation of J. O’Barr’s comic book saga of a vengeful spirit in a murderous city, is the way its violence is capable of shocking us. The movie has a wild, shivery impact. It’s incandescently brutal and gory-and not just because it’s the infamous film whose star, Brandon Lee, died in a shooting accident on the set. The Lee tragedy-effectively disguised in the film, which was completed after his death-simply makes the picture obvious fodder for op-ed pieces about media violence and Hollywood irresponsibility. What’s scary about “The Crow” is the story and the style itself: American Gothic, Poe-haunted nightmare, translated to the age of cyberpunk science fiction, revenge movies and outlaw rock ‘n’ roll, all set in a hideously decaying, crime-ridden urban hell, populated by victims, cops and psychos.” – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

La corta notte delle bambole di vetro

860. (+48) La corta notte delle bambole di vetro

Aldo Lado

1971 / Italy / 92m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Ingrid Thulin, Jean Sorel, Mario Adorf, Barbara Bach, Fabijan Sovagovic, José Quaglio, Relja Basic, Piero Vida, Daniele Dublino, Sven Lasta

“Liberty is what this film is all about: a simple theme dealt with in an extremely assured and intelligent manner by Lado, who also contributed the surprisingly clever European riff on Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left, Night Train Murders, four years later. By setting the film in Soviet Prague in the 1970s, Lado seems to have managed to fool both his Communist and capitalist masters to the extent that each thought the film was an attack on the other. Certainly, Short Night’s theme of decadent elders feasting on the blood of the young is a potent image and one that could probably be applied to just about any system of government with a reasonable level of success, but it is mainly thanks to Lado’s deft touch that the metaphor is ensured to be universal.” – Michael Mackenzie, The Digital Fix

Black Death

861. (+41) Black Death

Christopher Smith

2010 / UK / 102m / Col / Historical Drama | IMDb
Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, John Lynch, Tim McInnerny, Kimberley Nixon, Andy Nyman, David Warner, Johnny Harris, Emun Elliott, Tygo Gernandt

“As it turns out, no one is without sin in “Black Death,” a grungy, cynical little number from the British director Christopher Smith that slams Christians against pagans with little love for either… With old-fashioned style and old-school effects — you can feel the weight of the broadswords and the crunchy resistance of every hacked head — “Black Death” takes Dark Ages drama to the limits of moral ambivalence. Here, excessive piety and rampant paganism are equally malevolent forces, the film’s baleful view of human nature mirrored in Sebastian Edschmid’s swampy photography. As is emphasized in a nicely consistent coda, the Lord’s side and the right side are not necessarily one and the same.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

El vampiro

862. (-40) El vampiro

Fernando Méndez

1957 / Mexico / 95m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Abel Salazar, Ariadna Welter, Carmen Montejo, José Luis Jiménez, Mercedes Soler, Alicia Montoya, José Chávez, Julio Daneri, Amado Zumaya, Germán Robles

“The movie is enveloped in an all pervading atmosphere of gothic fantasy: cobwebs glisten in artificial moonlight and luminescent mist enshrouds the dilapidated hacienda which is ensconced in permanent shadows. The film has a surprisingly expensive look to it. Although the turn toward horror and fantasy in fifties Mexican cinema was largely inspired by the decline of the industry, the superior production values of it’s heyday in the forties are still very much in evidence in “El Vampiro”. The film is loaded with exceptional moments of directorial brilliance and great imagination – and the camera often moves with a Bava or Argento-like mind of it’s own.” – Blackgloves, Horrorview

House of Dracula

863. (+55) House of Dracula

Erle C. Kenton

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

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

Sílení

864. (-36) Sílení

Jan Svankmajer

2005 / Czech Republic / 118m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Jan Tríska, Pavel Liska, Anna Geislerová, Martin Huba, Jaroslav Dusek, Pavel Nový, Stano Danciak, Jirí Krytinár, Katerina Ruzicková, Iva Littmanová

“By turns absurdly funny, disturbingly dissolute, unnervingly claustrophobic, and caustically misanthropic, Lunacy offers viewers the sort of punishing pleasures that so many of its characters seem, in their different ways, to seek. Perhaps it is not to everyone’s tastes, but if your idea of exotic fun can accommodate the sight of two animatronic cows’ tongues rutting away with sinewy abandon, then you would be mad to miss Lunacy. And the sound of the Marquis’ frenzied cackling, coupled with the film’s final, devastatingly simple image, will haunt the corridors of your mind long after the credits have stopped rolling.” – Anton Bitel, Eye For Film

As Above, So Below

865. (+72) As Above, So Below

John Erick Dowdle

2014 / USA / 93m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, François Civil, Marion Lambert, Ali Marhyar, Cosme Castro, Hamid Djavadan, Théo Cholbi, Emy Lévy

“This is a tidy little horror film heavy on mood, light on gore, and bursting with a refreshing originality of story line. Fans of alchemy will find much to reward them here, including the true meaning of vitriol. Fans of the Lovecraftian school of weirdness will also find much to enjoy. Plus, there’s a dash of Dante, and a hint of Templars that make the mix of hubris and guilt that much more piquant… AS ABOVE SO BELOW gifts us with a lively history lesson on the catacombs of Paris, the history and practice of alchemy, and some nifty insights into ancient engineering practices even as it makes our pulses races. It’s a fun flick that is clever, surprising, and satisfyingly well-executed.” – Andrea Chase, Killer Movie Reviews

4 mosche di velluto grigio

866. (-35) 4 mosche di velluto grigio

Dario Argento

1971 / Italy / 104m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Michael Brandon, Mimsy Farmer, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Bud Spencer, Aldo Bufi Landi, Calisto Calisti, Marisa Fabbri, Oreste Lionello, Fabrizio Moroni, Corrado Olmi

“The little-seen Four Flies on Grey Velvet is perhaps most remarkable for it’s unusual spiritual underpinnings and Dario Argento’s deft attention for sexual signifiers. The title of this third and final film in Argento’s “animal trilogy” is as egregious as the weird science that literalizes the eye as a photographic camera… If Argento’s signature use of a black-gloved killer is noticeably absent, this is compensated by the presence of [Michael] Brandon himself, whose striking features recall those of the giallo director’s. There isn’t much to Four Flies on Grey Velvet besides pent-up rage though much of the film’s sexual frenzy prefigures themes from Deep Red.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly

867. (+49) Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly

Freddie Francis

1970 / UK / 102m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Michael Bryant, Ursula Howells, Pat Heywood, Howard Trevor, Vanessa Howard, Robert Swann, Imogen Hassall, Michael Ripper, Hugh Armstrong

“Girly is not the nightmarish blur of sex, color, and violence one would expect judging by the poster. Instead, it is a slow, psychological meditation, a playful look into the disturbing details of suppressed sexuality, morbid isolation, and the notion of insanity by proxy. We are led into a world fully contained within a decaying mansion, but we aren’t met with a parade of bloody horrors and gleefully violent imagery; instead, we are witness to a coy, clever game of cat and mouse, where no action or emotion is ever true. Comically depraved actions and lustful yearnings hidden behind a strange veil of morality are commonplace.” – James Merolla

Count Yorga, Vampire

868. (+1) Count Yorga, Vampire

Bob Kelljan

1970 / USA / 90m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Robert Quarry, Roger Perry, Michael Murphy, Michael Macready, Donna Anders, Judy Lang, Edward Walsh, Julie Conners, Paul Hansen, Sybil Scotford

“Count Yorga – Vampire (originally conceived as a soft-core porn film entitled The Loves of Count Iorga) is a nifty little low-budget exploitation effort that uses its resources to good effect. The shocks are crude but effective. Although relatively tame by later standards, the gore has a nasty edge to it, underlining the film’s cynical sensibility and downbeat ending… [it] survives on the strength of its title performance and on the inventiveness of its approach to modern day vampirism. Yorga may not be a very refined film, but it packs a lot of attitude, and there’s no denying that the surprise ending is like a wicked little punch in the face.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Frankenweenie

869. (-33) Frankenweenie

Tim Burton

2012 / USA / 87m / Col / Family | IMDb
Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Winona Ryder, Robert Capron, James Hiroyuki Liao, Conchata Ferrell, Tom Kenny

“This ode to Frankenstein and his horror brethren is monstrously good, from its evocative 3-D, black-and-white style, stop-motion animation, to a story that strikes directly at the hearts of everyone who’s ever loved – and lost – a pet. That includes Burton, who conceived “Frankenweenie” from the memory of mourning his own childhood mutt, whom he often fantasized about bringing back to life – Frankenstein style. He touched upon the idea at the beginning of his career with a live-action short, also titled “Frankenweenie.” But he always envisioned expanding the concept into a full-length, animated feature… Next to “Edward Scissorhands,” “Frankenweenie” ranks among Burton’s most personal films, encompassing familiar themes of loneliness, isolation and an insatiable need for love and acceptance” – Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger

Lovely Molly

870. (-35) Lovely Molly

Eduardo Sánchez

2011 / USA / 99m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden, Field Blauvelt, Camilla Zaidee Bennett, Kevin Murray, Katie Foster, Doug Roberts, Bus Howard, Josh Jones

“Since scaring the living daylights out of audiences with Blair Witch, writer-director Eduardo Sanchez has rather been left behind in the found-footage stakes thanks to the likes of Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity. Here he returns to the concept (as Molly gets increasingly frazzled she captures it all on a camcorder) with a truly disturbing sequence of events that rely on a rumbling sound design and the occasional big bang to keep audiences teetering on the brink… We could have probably done without the libidinous preacher and the running time could do with a trim, but this succeeds thanks to Lodge’s extraordinary central performance, a terrifyingly mesmerising study of a woman in diabolic torment” – Tim Evans, Sky Movies

Alien³

871. (-31) Alien³

David Fincher

1992 / USA / 114m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Paul McGann, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Danny Webb, Christopher John Fields, Holt McCallany, Lance Henriksen

“Fincher’s early exterior landscape of Fury 161 has an apocalyptic gorgeousness that’s in tune with the pessimism of his story, which replicates many elements of Alien and Aliens (more the former than the latter) while seeming intent on killing the series off. The much-ballyhooed revelation about Ripley’s physical condition struck many in ’92 as unforgivably mean but, in retrospect, it plays like the natural evolution of the franchise’s running birth-mother-child subtexts, downbeat thematic threads well-suited to Fincher’s gloomy, cynical Christ-like conclusion.” – Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness

Roadgames

872. (0) Roadgames

Richard Franklin

1981 / Australia / 101m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, Grant Page, Thaddeus Smith, Steve Millichamp, Alan Hopgood, John Murphy, Bill Stacey, Robert Thompson

“Director Richard Franklin has openly confessed that his Road Games is an “Alfred Hitchcock derivative.” Replacing Jimmy Stewart’s apartment view in Rear Window with the fly-splattered windscreen of an 8-wheel truck, Road Games hurtles into a world of obsession, mistaken identity and psycho killers as if the master himself were in the passenger seat. But the sheer unhinged energy Franklin injects into the narrative make this more than just a simple pastiche. This is Hitchcock at 80mph and it doesn’t let up for a second.” – Tom Fallows, Classic-Horror

La sindrome di Stendhal

873. (0) La sindrome di Stendhal

Dario Argento

1996 / Italy / 120m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Marco Leonardi, Luigi Diberti, Paolo Bonacelli, Julien Lambroschini, John Quentin, Franco Diogene, Lucia Stara, Sonia Topazio

“Dario Argento’s The Stendhal Syndrome from 1996 is among one of his finest gothic/slash/occult/slash/horror and gore films and the first [Italian] film to use CGI. In this film his own daughter Asia Argento takes the blows, as opposed to his former partner Dario Niccolodi… Dario Argento tries to make a connection, as in all of his films, to the irresistible pull of the supernatural that captivates people and makes them prisoner despite premonitions of danger or perhaps because of them. At least as spectators we know that the danger is out there but when it’s going to hit is an unknown… a compelling film that doesn’t get vulgar or cheap, but stays in some kind of respectable depravity.” – Moira Sullivan, Movie Magazine International

The Last Winter

874. (-31) The Last Winter

Larry Fessenden

2006 / USA / 101m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Ron Perlman, James Le Gros, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Kevin Corrigan, Jamie Harrold, Pato Hoffmann, Joanne Shenandoah, Larry Fessenden, Oscar Miller

“The Last Winter, like many great horror movies, builds upon existing conventions within its genre – the creature feature film – but injects into its narrative contemporary anxieties and tensions that should force horror fans to re-evaluate that genre’s template, meaning, and aesthetic value. With a potent dose of realism – the film’s themes and dialogue echo reports on the evening news – The Last Winter is one of those unique horror films that makes the genre so hauntingly relevant. After watching The Last Winter, viewers will not only gain a newfound respect for classic 1950s creature feature films, and particularly those set in polar regions, but they’ll also gain important insights into some of global society’s most daunting challenges: namely, global warming, climate change, and human ecology.” – Chris Justice, Classic-Horror

House on Haunted Hill

875. (-30) House on Haunted Hill

William Malone

1999 / USA / 93m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Chris Kattan, Ali Larter, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Max Perlich, Jeffrey Combs, Dick Beebe

“House on Haunted Hill revels in the earthy limits it sets for itself, and its infectious tone makes for good cheesy fun for those in the right mindset. And though it dates itself a bit here and there, it holds up quite well in comparison to plenty of more recent horror films. The film was made when computer effects were still getting their feet under them, and the combination of practical make-up and sophisticated optical effects makes for some supremely creepy moments.” – Rob Vaux, Mania.com

The Thing

876. (-34) The Thing

Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

2011 / USA / 103m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Paul Braunstein, Trond Espen Seim, Kim Bubbs

“The good news is that the lack of originality does not preclude effectiveness. An atmosphere of dread and uncertainty is augmented by the relative anonymity of the cast with a lack of star names to latch onto… While the characterisation is thin and delivered in broad strokes, by the time havoc breaks loose it’s unlikely you’ll care too much. Although the slick and plentiful CGI lacks the earthy, visceral punch of the 1982 version… what The Thing lacks in finesse and nuance, it more than makes up for in sustaining a relentless level of threat, progressing at a fast clip and containing its fair share of shocks and surprises.” – Ashley Clark, Little White Lies

Insidious: Chapter 2

877. (-33) Insidious: Chapter 2

James Wan

2013 / USA / 106m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Barbara Hershey, Steve Coulter, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Andrew Astor, Hank Harris

“The story is told with suggestion more than with effects, and director James Wan’s mastery of sound, both soft and loud, not to mention its timing, is once again superb. Most of the effects are practical, which lends a verisimilitude to them that makes them all the scarier for the odd sort of familiarity they evoke… When the supernatural does show itself, it’s not with blaring music and jump cuts designed to make us jump. It’s just sitting there, minding its own business in a quiet corner, all the more terrifying for not being noticed, and for making us wonder what it’s going to do next. Yet nothing is more terrifying than the image of Josh, framed in a doorway, sunlight glowing behind him, streaming around him, and yet leaving him a looming darkness in the midst of it.” – Andrea Chase, Killer Movie Reviews

I Spit on Your Grave

878. (+53) I Spit on Your Grave

Steven R. Monroe

2010 / USA / 108m / Col / Rape and Revenge | IMDb
Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson, Andrew Howard, Daniel Franzese, Rodney Eastman, Chad Lindberg, Tracey Walter, Mollie Milligan, Saxon Sharbino, Amber Dawn Landrum

“Butler is excellent in the lead, striking the appropriate balance between vulnerable victim and kick-ass revenge merchant, so that both seem convincing… The script is a vast improvement over the original film: the characters are better written, their interactions are more believable, there’s much more suspense in the build-up and there’s a hint of class conflict (in the smalltown paranoia/suspicion of “city types”) that adds an extra level to the attack. Similarly, Monroe goes out of his way to ensure that, unlike in the original film, the horrific rape scene is not exploitative… obviously, it’s upsetting to watch, but it’s handled well and serves its purpose in setting up the motive for the violent revenge to come.” – Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

The Comedy of Terrors

879. (+104) The Comedy of Terrors

Jacques Tourneur

1963 / USA / 84m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Joyce Jameson, Joe E. Brown, Beverly Powers, Basil Rathbone, Alan DeWitt, Buddy Mason, Douglas Williams

“Not bawdy or terribly sophisticated, all told, The Comedy of Terrors derives its charm from its talented cast and crew, its oddly-pleasing, familiar period setting and – I don’t mean this word in the pejorative sense which has crept in during the decades between us and this film – its camp style. It’s light Gothic entertainment through and through, a tale signifying nothing, perhaps, but an opportunity to see some of our best-beloved actors having a damned good time.” – Keri O’Shea, Brutal as Hell

Devil

880. (-30) Devil

John Erick Dowdle

2010 / USA / 80m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Jenny O’Hara, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend, Jacob Vargas, Matt Craven, Joshua Peace

“[John E. Dawdle and Brian Nelson]’s synergy inspires creative and technical sparks that announce them as guiding forces in the ongoing evolution of this genre; Nelson is careful to observe his story from the inside without removing emphasis from characters, and his vision is brought to life by a director who shoots the material in steep camera angles, as if watching critical events from beyond the realm of the living. What they have created together in “Devil” is a movie that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, and more: namely, tango with a vivid representation of evil while suggesting, without shame, that the forces guiding the actions of these characters are more than just the stuff of superficial horror film plot devices.” – David Keyes, Cinemaphile

Rituals

881. (-1) Rituals

Peter Carter

1977 / USA / 100m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Hal Holbrook, Lawrence Dane, Robin Gammell, Ken James, Gary Reineke, Murray Westgate, Jack Creley, Michael Zenon

“Rituals is truly a defining slasher film. Although much less known than its brothers, cousins and further mutations as a result of inbreeding, it certainly isn’t due to lack of quality. Slasher enthusiasts celebrate celluloid masochism; they thrive on cinematic pain for pleasure. Without a doubt the subgenre is full of fun and there are all kinds of treasures to find, but it is an area of horror where stereotypes aren’t merely accepted, but are encouraged. It’s for this reason that films like Humongous or The Forest are incredibly well known for such obscurities. The amazing cover/poster art and quirky taglines didn’t hurt, either. Unlike the typical slasher film, Rituals doesn’t go out of its way to thrill the audience with a cheap kill or tit flash; it will have you writhing on the edge of your seat with suspense.” – Brett H., Oh, The Horror

Scary Movie

882. (-3) Scary Movie

Keenen Ivory Wayans

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

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

Darkness Falls

883. (+1) Darkness Falls

Jonathan Liebesman

2003 / USA / 86m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield, Lee Cormie, Grant Piro, Sullivan Stapleton, Steve Mouzakis, Peter Curtin, Kestie Morassi, Jenny Lovell, John Stanton

“As far as semi-abandoned midwinter Hollywood compost goes, though, “Darkness Falls” basically brings home the bacon for horror fans. It may be an utterly formulaic combination of elements borrowed from Stephen King novels and “Nightmare on Elm Street” films (not to mention “The Ring,” the latest re-energizer of the horror genre), and you’re not going to remember much about it in two months. But it offers decent special effects and a nice array of those moments where you shriek and jump and nearly pee your pants but it turns out to be Mom or the cat after all.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

The Deadly Spawn

884. (+54) The Deadly Spawn

Douglas McKeown

1983 / USA / 81m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Charles George Hildebrandt, Tom DeFranco, Richard Lee Porter, Jean Tafler, Karen Tighe, James L. Brewster, Elissa Neil, Ethel Michelson, John Schmerling, Judith Mayes

“The Deadly Spawn is one underrated horror movie that most fans of B-horror films will love. It is like a mixture of a 1960s sci-fi flick and a splatterflick akin to The Evil Dead. The puppets and gore effects are great to behold and there is plenty of blood to spread around. Despite a few hiccups in sound and acting skills the story will hold most viewers until the end. And the movie is worth it alone for the attack of the mini-spawns on the grandma’s luncheon party. If your looking for something fairly mindless and fun then The Deadly Spawn may be just the ticket.” – Noah Patterson, A Slice of Horror

Starry Eyes

885. (-32) Starry Eyes

Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer

2014 / USA / 98m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Alex Essoe, Amanda Fuller, Noah Segan, Fabianne Therese, Shane Coffey, Natalie Castillo, Pat Healy, Nick Simmons, Maria Olsen, Marc Senter

“A savage allegory about the sacrificial, soul-crushing price of fame and recognition in a town notoriously guilty for building up its talent only to tear them down, the perfectly titled “Starry Eyes” spares no one. Shooting on location in Los Angeles… writer-directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer paint a despairing but, from certain angles, accurate portrait of Hollywood’s grim underbelly. Beyond the sunshine and palm trees is an imminent danger that nears, each callback Sarah receives taking her closer to the part and further from her identity… Soaked in viscera and complemented by composer Jonathan Snipes’ phenomenally foreboding old-school, synth-heavy music score, the powerful finished product announces Kolsch and Widmyer as filmmaking forces to watch and remember.” – Dustin Putman, TheFrightFile.com

Hardware

886. (0) Hardware

Richard Stanley

1990 / UK / 94m / Col / Cyberpunk | IMDb
Carl McCoy, Iggy Pop, Dylan McDermott, John Lynch, Mark Northover, Stacey Travis, Paul McKenzie, Lemmy, William Hootkins, Mac McDonald

“With its post apocalyptic setting, robot gone mad, extreme gore and a cast that includes Iggy Pop – well, his voice, anyway – and Lemmy from Motorhead, it is easy to consider Richard Stanley’s Hardware to be essentially a lower budget, more intentionally punk take on The Terminator. This is essentially correct, though Stanley’s film would be a Terminator set in a world where the humans are hell-bent on destroying themselves and their planet while the robotic killing machines are just on the verge of turning on their creators and supposed masters… Though the body count is low there are several truly gruesome moments pulled of with an undeniable, and undeniably revolting, sense of style.” – Todd Brown, Twitch

Raising Cain

887. (-29) Raising Cain

Brian De Palma

1992 / USA / 91m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer, Frances Sternhagen, Gregg Henry, Tom Bower, Mel Harris, Teri Austin, Gabrielle Carteris, Barton Heyman

“Brian De Palma’s Raising Cain is an intricate puzzle, a heady brew of multiple personalities and multiple perspectives vetting a story of American masculinity in crisis; of a director’s film career in crisis, even. Fortunately, De Palma provides viewers all the clues necessary to pick the film’s lock. The keys to the mystery involve cinematic antecedents from Powell and Hitchcock, the language of film grammar and even the specifics of the director’s own canon. And that’s why Raising Cain is no mere retread, but De Palma’s valedictory psychological thriller.” – John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV

Anthropophagus

888. (+1) Anthropophagus

Joe D’Amato

1980 / Italy / 90m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Margaret Mazzantini, Mark Bodin, Bob Larson, Rubina Rey, Simone Baker, Mark Logan, George Eastman

“The hapless bunch come face to face with “the monster” and all chaos ensues in one of the scariest, most atmospheric, jump out of your seat, Suspiria-ish movies you will ever see. The tension is very high as are the atmospherics in the setting, not to mention the suspense. The back-story builds up wonderfully as we make sense of it all and realize that this “monster” is, or at least used to be, all too human. This villain must truly be seen to be believed… he is very odd. I would be leaving an important aspect out if I did not mention the certain… ahem… underground notoriety of Anthropophagus. This film is known in some circles as the ultimate gross-out movie, primarily due to one scene involving the pregnant woman that I wont delve into here, as well as a couple of other extremely gory YIKES scenes. Yes, this is an extremely gory and sometimes shocking movie, but it also has a huge story and so much more.” – Ronnie Angel, Best Horror Movies

Mother's Day

889. (-30) Mother’s Day

Darren Lynn Bousman

2010 / USA / 112m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Patrick John Flueger, Warren Kole, Deborah Ann Woll, Briana Evigan, Shawn Ashmore, Frank Grillo, Lisa Marcos, Matt O’Leary

“While the high level of violence and the respect paid to the source material serve to sell the movie, this version also brings a lot more to the table. The beauty of the film is that through various character arcs and plot points things aren’t as black and white as you’d expect. By the time the film reaches its conclusion, Bousman and writer Scott Milam manage to intelligently create quite a few shades of grey that will garner some true sympathy for their devils while leaving it up to viewers to ultimately decide who exactly said devils are.” – Steve Barton, Dread Central

The Toolbox Murders

890. (+50) The Toolbox Murders

Dennis Donnelly

1978 / USA / 93m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Cameron Mitchell, Pamelyn Ferdin, Wesley Eure, Nicolas Beauvy, Tim Donnelly, Aneta Corsaut, Faith McSwain, Marciee Drake, Evelyn Guerrero, Victoria Perry

“Simply put, The Toolbox Murders is everything you’d expect it to be for the first third of the film. The gore might not be enough to satiate the staunchest of gore-hounds, but it is rather blunt and brutal. The rest of the film chooses to be psychologically disturbing and unsettling with a story that engages a viewer just enough. While you might be a bit put off by the change in pace and tone, you should definitely stick with this one.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Lik Wong

891. (-29) Lik Wong

Ngai Choi Lam

1991 / Hong Kong / 91m / Col / Martial Arts | IMDb
Siu-Wong Fan, Mei Sheng Fan, Ka-Kui Ho, Yukari ôshima, Chi-leung Chan, Tetsurô Tanba, Gloria Yip, Philip Kwok, Bill Lung Biu, Yiu-Sing Cheung

“A martial arts film like no other, with characters’ fists not just making full contact with their opponents’ bodies, but actually going through them. When one person in ‘The Story of Ricky’ threatens to turn another ‘into mincemeat’ or to cut them ‘into little pieces’, their words are meant all too literally… Based on a popular Japanese manga, and released in 1991, ‘The Story of Ricky’ has the honour of being the first totally sex-free Hong Kong film to receive a Category 3 rating (equivalent to the 18 certificate here). Apart from ‘Ichi the Killer’, it is the only live-action film ever to capture the anarchic, excessive, highly stylised violence of manga… a truly visceral film that will leave you feeling battered and bruised, but strangely liberated nonetheless.” – Anton Bitel, Movie Gazette

Curtains

892. (-2) Curtains

Richard Ciupka

1983 / Canada / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
John Vernon, Samantha Eggar, Linda Thorson, Anne Ditchburn, Lynne Griffin, Sandee Currie, Lesleh Donaldson, Deborah Burgess, Michael Wincott, Maury Chaykin

“In lieu of a straightforward plot pitting dopey teens against a psychopath picking them off one at a time, “Curtains” has an entirely adult cast and a layered narrative that embraces its eccentricities. The central goal is not to merely slice through the ensemble—though this does happen, as well—but to explore the seedier cutthroat politics of moviemaking and the desperation that often comes when reality does not match up to one’s aspirations. Beyond that, the film features a truly disconcerting killer cloaked in an old hag’s mask, and a round-up of outstanding horror setpieces, two in particular saturated with an eerie mood and theatrical ingenuity.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

The Sadist

893. (+2) The Sadist

James Landis

1963 / USA / 92m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Arch Hall Jr., Richard Alden, Marilyn Manning, Don Russell, Helen Hovey

“But what sticks out most sharply about The Sadist, at least to my eye, is the way it prefigures the ruthless harshness of 70’s horror and hints at the structural formula of the 80’s slasher movie. When Tibbs pulls the trigger on his first victim, it’s like a slap in the face for the audience— the viewer suddenly realizes that writer/director Landis isn’t kidding around, and that The Sadist is miles removed from the usual safe horror fare of the 60’s. It’s just as disorienting later on, when what looks like a certain rescue for the two surviving teachers is nipped savagely in the bud, leaving them once again to fend entirely for themselves. There’s even a slasher-style “finding the bodies” scene and a concluding reel which looks a lot like a precursor of the Final Girl endings we’re accustomed to today. You just don’t see this sort of thing in movies from 1963, and it’s that shock of the unexpected that gives The Sadist most of its power.”- Scott Ashlin, 1000 MISSPENT HOURS AND COUNTING

Brainscan

894. (-30) Brainscan

John Flynn

1994 / USA / 96m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, T. Ryder Smith, Amy Hargreaves, James Marsh, Victor Ertmanis, David Hemblen, Vlasta Vrana, Domenico Fiore, Claire Riley

“Brainscan is an interesting and engaging film because it takes the violent images so often present in the games, movies, and music popular with teenagers today and uses them to create a moral dilemma for Michael when his violent fantasies start to become reality. Like many of his peers, Michael does not have much of a support system in the outside world, and he is devastated when his inner world becomes a gothic nightmare. Edward Furlong gives a powerful performance as Michael, providing the complexity necessary for his role to work. Sometimes he has the steely-eyed look of a serial killer as he goes through the grisly paces of the Brainscan game or defends his interest in horror movies to his school principal. On the other hand, he shows the vulnerability of a lonely teenager, awkward in social situations with girls which causes him to escape into a world of vicarious sexual desire, embarrassed by his deformity and slight lisp, horrified by what is happening to him, and retreating into his fantasy world of media when unwilling to deal with the real world.” – Chucks Connection

Hocus Pocus

895. (-30) Hocus Pocus

Kenny Ortega

1993 / USA / 96m / Col / Witchcraft | IMDb
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw, Jodie-Amy Rivera, Larry Bagby, Tobias Jelinek, Stephanie Faracy

“Like many movies about sorcery – The Witches of Eastwick comes to mind – Hocus Pocus does not always make a great deal of sense, yet it makes for a great deal of fun. Midler’s fans might be disappointed that she doesn’t have a whole lot to do beyond puckering her kewpie-doll lips and flouncing onto her broom. But the witches have an amusing, Three-Stooges rapport, with a lot of bonking, slapping and cursing (of the witch rather than the profane variety) that make them particularly satisfying villains. Director Ortega successfully fuses their slapstick onto a teen adventure that, by the way, encourages moody big brothers to watch out for their pesky kid sisters – and vice versa.” – Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde

896. (+7) Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde

Roy Ward Baker

1971 / UK / 97m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Ralph Bates, Martine Beswick, Gerald Sim, Lewis Fiander, Susan Brodrick, Dorothy Alison, Ivor Dean, Philip Madoc, Irene Bradshaw, Neil Wilson

“The overall atmosphere is a pitch-perfect evocation of period London, complete with dark, foggy alleyways, street merchants bawling out their slogans, men in top hats and women in flouncy dresses. Then, of course, there’s Jekyll’s laboratory full of Mysterious Equipment, Mrs. Hyde’s signature blood-red outfits, bawdy beer halls, stained-glass windows casting splashes of color – lots and lots of nice sets and costumes and cool stuff. Not to be ignored, either, is the amazing similarity between Martine Beswick’s and Ralph Bates’ facial features, apparently a complete coincidence discovered only after the film had been cast. She really does look quite a lot like a beautiful female version of him, which adds a good deal of authenticity to the transformation sequences, accomplished solely through skillful trick photography.” – Deneb T. Hall, Mutant Reviewers

Schock

897. (+2) Schock

Mario Bava

1977 / Italy / 95m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner, David Colin Jr., Ivan Rassimov

“Shock differs sharply from earlier Bava features as it is much more understated – there is no gothic setting, no baroque décor, and no elaborate costumes. Obviously saddled with a much more economical budget this time around, Bava chose to concentrate on creating a tense, claustrophobic environment within the confines of a family home – and succeeds admirably. He blends psychosomatic and paranormal themes into a nice ambiguous twist – it’s up to the viewer to decide whether the house is really haunted or entirely a creation of Dora’s tormented mind.” – Michelle R., Digital Retribution

Housebound

898. (-32) Housebound

Gerard Johnstone

2014 / New Zealand / 107m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Ross Harper, Cameron Rhodes, Ryan Lampp, Mick Innes, Bruce Hopkins, Wallace Chapman, Millen Baird

“It’s difficult to talk too much about Housebound without spoiling it. First-time writer-director Johnstone’s ingenious script consistently wrong-foots the audience and shifts from one subgenre to another without ever once losing its grip on the comedic elements. It’s creepy, tense and scary. The film’s greatest success is the relationship between Kylie and her mum. Their back and forth, complete with ancient resentments, is beautifully observed, and both O’Reilly and Te Wiata are absolutely spot-on as the bitter teen and the well-meaning mum respectively. It’s also worth mentioning Harper, who is a particularly deadpan delight as Graeme.” – Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

Le frisson des vampires

899. (-32) Le frisson des vampires

Jean Rollin

1971 / France / 95m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Sandra Julien, Jean-Marie Durand, Jacques Robiolles, Michel Delahaye, Marie-Pierre Castel, Kuelan Herce, Nicole Nancel, Dominique

“A nutty mix of hippie vampires, lesbian seduction, and moonlight ceremonies in a graveyard unaccountably bathed in deep reds and blues in the dark of night, it’s full of passages of naked women wordlessly wandering through the castle hallways and towers. And in true Rollin fashion, he can’t seem to decide if the gallant groom or the bloodsucking sensualists are the true heroes of this counter-culture vampire tale. While Isolde gives in to the allure of blood and sex and Pierre holds on to the material world, it’s clear that Rollin’s heart goes with Isolde. Even more deliriously absurd than most of Rollin’s low budget horror fantasies, this is a mad skin flick for surrealists where bad acting, slapdash effects, and narrative abstraction are transformed into an aesthetic.” – Sean Axmaker, Parallax View

Red White & Blue

900. (+6) Red White & Blue

Simon Rumley

2010 / USA / 104m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Amanda Fuller, Marc Senter, Jon Michael Davis, Nick Holden, Patrick Crovo, Mary Mathews, Noah Taylor, Julian Haddad, Ernest James, Jenny Gravenstein

“Restraint pays dividends for British writer/director Simon Rumley in this devastating and demanding revenge tragedy set in Austin, Texas. A low-budget tale of broken lives and misguided retribution, Rumley’s slow-burner is driven by superbly nuanced performances, with Amanda Fuller’s emotionally scarred nymphomaniac gradually forming a relationship with a mysterious Iraq War veteran… When the brutality finally explodes, Rumley continues to focus on reactions rather than action, the harrowing events hitting harder by being kept predominantly off-screen.” – Sloan Freer, Radio Times