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#901-#1000

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: #901-#1000

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

Circus of Horrors

901. (+19) Circus of Horrors

Sidney Hayers

1960 / UK / 92m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Anton Diffring, Erika Remberg, Yvonne Monlaur, Donald Pleasence, Jane Hylton, Kenneth Griffith, Conrad Phillips, Jack Gwillim, Vanda Hudson, Yvonne Romain


Circus of Horrors is your standard 60s British horror which means lots of dialogue peppered with a few scenes of brutality or gore and the whole thing finishing off rather suddenly… Anton Diffring stars in the lead role and he’s fantastic. He plays the role perfectly with charisma and menace. You can never totally hate him because he believes in what he’s doing and his work becomes his obsession, so much so that he turns into a monster – sort of like the Frankenstein of plastic surgery… Able support comes from the bevy of beauties that he turns from freaks into stunners. And Donald Pleasance is even on hand for a few scenes early on before he’s offed by a really cheap-looking stuffed bear.” – Andrew Smith, Popcorn Pictures

The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll

902. (-52) The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll

Terence Fisher

1960 / UK / 88m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Paul Massie, Dawn Addams, Christopher Lee, David Kossoff, Norma Marla, Francis De Wolff, Joy Webster


“Surprisingly sophisticated to a point where it’s easy to see why 1960 horror movie going audiences didn’t flock to it, while many viewers of a more high brow nature wouldn’t have been seen dead going to a Hammer film. Seen today though, its adult approach and persuasive amorality help make it hold up quite well… Just missing the mark as one of Hammer’s greats, The Two Faces Of Dr Jekyll still has a lot to recommend it and is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end as long as you don’t expect the usual blood and thunder. It reminds us very pointedly that it’s what’s on the inside that makes a man either good or bad, as well as being the last example in Hammer Horror of the greatness that was Jack Asher, a true genius of a cinematographer.” – Dr Lenera, HorrorCultFilms

Strangler of the Swamp

903. (-62) Strangler of the Swamp

Frank Wisbar

1946 / USA / 59m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Rosemary La Planche, Robert Barrat, Blake Edwards, Charles Middleton, Effie Laird, Nolan Leary, Frank Conlan, Therese Lyon, Virginia Farmer


“While the film’s sparse setting is no doubt a result of its limited budget, director Wisbar makes it a strength by infusing it with an overbearing gloominess. This is actually a remake of his own film, Fahrmann Maria, and he ports the gothic leanings of his native Germany over in this translation. While it’s not as overtly stylish and expressionist as early German horror, Strangler of the Swamp is bathed in shadows, mist, and moonlight and feels like a spectral dream not unlike The Vampyr. The persistent presence of the ferry recalls Charon and the River Styx, and it’s almost as if viewers are transported to a dismal underworld inhabited by the sprits of the living and the dead.” – Brett Gallman, Oh the Horror!

Cry of the Banshee

904. (-65) Cry of the Banshee

Gordon Hessler

1970 / UK / 91m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Vincent Price, Essy Persson, Hilary Heath, Carl Rigg, Stephan Chase, Marshall Jones, Andrew McCulloch, Michael Elphick, Pamela Moiseiwitsch, Joyce Mandre


“An intriguing, if not always entirely successful, hybrid of occult horror shenanigans and werewolf slasher flick. Hanging heavy with an eerie, doom-laden atmosphere, it revisits, and arguably rehashes, the story of Witchfinder General… It certainly revels in the same sadistic violence as its predecessor and boasts floggings, fiery brandings and buxom wenches burnt at the stake as witches… One of the most exciting and unusual elements of the film is actually its opening credits. The cut-out animations were provided by none other than Terry Gilliam and they really pre-empt his work on Monty Python.” – James Gracey, Behind the Couch

X: The Unknown

905. (-54) X: The Unknown

Leslie Norman

1956 / UK / 81m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Dean Jagger, Edward Chapman, Leo McKern, Anthony Newley, Jameson Clark, William Lucas, Peter Hammond, Marianne Brauns, Ian MacNaughton, Michael Ripper


“Even before their Quatermass Xperiment hit the theaters, Hammer decided they wanted to make a sequel and hired Jimmy Sangster to write the first of his many scripts. Unfortunately, Quatermass’ creator, Nigel Kneale wasn’t about to give them the rights to his character… Rather than waste a good script, they changed a few names and hired Dean Jagger as the inevitable American actor. He brings a very welcome soberness and rationality to the part… one of the details that emphasizes the film’s quiet realism. They wisely keep their monster out of sight for most of the film, although a scene in which it melts the face off the scientist who gets too close to it is as gory a shock as Hammer would put in one of their films for years.” – Mark Cole, Rivets on the Poster

El barón del terror

906. (-69) El barón del terror

Chano Urueta

1962 / Mexico / 77m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Abel Salazar, Ariadna Welter, David Silva, Germán Robles, Luis Aragón, Mauricio Garcés, Ofelia Guilmáin, René Cardona, Rubén Rojo, Carlos Nieto


“Brainiac is delirious, sordid monster fun for ‘undiscriminating audiences.’ Its only practical function is to be able to say “I saw The Brainiac last night,” just to see which of your friends wants to hear more and which suddenly hurry away whenever you approach. Then again, it’s no trashier than any number of gory and cheap American movies of the 1950s… Viewers undeterred by those considerations will be floored by Urueta’s use of tacky, overly bright rear-projected stills to represent all exteriors not shot on interior sets. Like the best of American Z-filmmaking, Brainiac seems to take place in some unused broom closet of the imagination.” – Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant

The Day the Earth Stood Still

907. (-181) The Day the Earth Stood Still

Robert Wise

1951 / USA / 92m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Billy Gray, Frances Bavier, Lock Martin


“Years prior, The United States had dropped The Bomb on Japan, and the Cold War was deep into widespread paranoia, suspicion, and unease. And so, producer Julian Blaustein sought to create a scenario based on those rampant, fearful emotions through drama’s most metaphorical genre: science fiction… Klaatu himself represents a figure of hope and widespread progress, as his assumed name while hiding on Earth is John Carpenter, the initials indicating his Christlike message, and his surname linking to Jesus’ pre-savior profession. Messages such as these are easily found in Wise’s clear-cut science fiction parable, but that’s the point. The film doesn’t want audiences to read between the lines; rather it slaps you in the face and awaits your reaction.” – Brian Eggert, Deep Focus Review

Corridors of Blood

908. (-70) Corridors of Blood

Robert Day

1958 / UK / 86m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Betta St. John, Christopher Lee, Finlay Currie, Adrienne Corri, Francis De Wolff, Francis Matthews, Frank Pettingell, Basil Dignam, Marian Spencer


“Anyone expecting even a mild precursor to the slasher flicks of later decades is bound to be disappointed. We never see Karloff brazenly wielding a scalpel as he lurches through the London tenements (or more refined parlors he’s entitled to visit, for that matter), as much as we might enjoy watching such a spectacle. Instead, we get an impressively sensitive performance from the venerable old actor, around 70 years of age and widely considered washed up or at least irrelevant by the studios who originally employed him and enjoyed great success through his run of the 1930s and 40s following his legendary role in Frankenstein.” – David Blakeslee, Criterion Reflections

The Return of Dracula

909. (-67) The Return of Dracula

Paul Landres

1958 / USA / 77m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Francis Lederer, Norma Eberhardt, Ray Stricklyn, John Wengraf, Virginia Vincent, Gage Clarke, Jimmy Baird, Greta Granstedt, Enid Yousen


““The Return of Dracula” is a vampire movie that rises far above its low budget thanks to a good script, a decent cast, and some clever touches on the part of the director. Francis Lederer (who plays Dracula) may not be a Dracula in the class of Christopher Lee or Bela Lugosi, but he holds his own here. He’s comparable to—and even a little better than—Lon Chaney Jr. While one is always hardpressed to describe a vampire movie as “realistic”, this one comes close… The film also has several unexpected moments of artful creepiness, including one of the spookiest vampire seduction scenes ever filmed. Dracula’s first victim is Jennie, a sick blind girl (Virginia Vincent) who can see him in her mind’s eye as he corrupts her and devours her soul.” – Steve Miller, Terror Titans

Vertigo

910. (-63) Vertigo

Alfred Hitchcock

1958 / USA / 128m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey, Ellen Corby, Konstantin Shayne, Lee Patrick


“The film’s dynamics of chase, capture, and escape parallel the artist’s struggle with his work; the enraptured gaze of the Stewart character before the phantom he has created parallels the spectator’s position in front of the movie screen. The famous motif of the fall is presented in horizontal rather than vertical space, so that it becomes not a satanic fall from grace, but a modernist fall into the image, into the artwork — a total absorption of the creator by his creation, which in the end is shown as synonymous with death. But a thematic analysis can only scratch the surface of this extraordinarily dense and commanding film, perhaps the most intensely personal movie to emerge from the Hollywood cinema.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

The Monster

911. (+13) The Monster

Roland West

1925 / USA / 86m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Lon Chaney, Gertrude Olmstead, Hallam Cooley, Johnny Arthur, Charles Sellon, Walter James, Knute Erickson, George Austin, Edward McWade, Ethel Wales


“The Monster is the precursor for the tongue-in-cheek old-dark-house-with-malevolent-horror-star-as-host movie… The Monster is an oddity in the way it uses star Chaney. Chaney’s body of work goes a considerable distance in debunking his reputation as a “horror” actor. The few horror films Chaney appeared in are more aptly described as bizarre, densely psychological melodramas. The Monster, however, could serve as a prototype for a genre celebrity in a B-movie parody… The Monster is not great cinema, its not the best West, best Chaney, or best Old Dark House movie (James Whale would deliver that seven years later), but it is silent pulp and, in the right mindset, it can take you back to the days of milk duds and acne.” – Alfred Eaker, 366 Weird Movies

Maniac Cop 2

912. (-43) Maniac Cop 2

William Lustig

1990 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Michael Lerner, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Robert Z’Dar, Clarence Williams III, Leo Rossi, Lou Bonacki, Paula Trickey


“The film has a crazed sense of abandon that works with the pulpy material, reminding us at all times of its inherent absurdity, but never to the point that we completely lose interest in the plot. Cordell’s mission makes absolutely no sense, as he kills anyone and everyone, guilty and innocent, even though there is some lip service paid to the idea that he simply wants to have his name cleared. Lustig has even admitted that he punched up a lot of the style to help divert our attention from the plot holes, and it works. An early sequence in which Cordell first appears in a convenience store is garish enough to belong in a Dario Argento film, while the excessive blood sprays from bullet hits and manner in which bodies fly through the air against gravity is the clear product of Lustig seeing a few too many John Woo films […] Points for originality are certainly scarce, but Maniac Cop 2 scores high on sheer bravura and devil-may-care B-movie pleasure. It is exactly what it should be.” – James Kendrick, QNetwork

Donnie Darko

913. (+26) Donnie Darko

Richard Kelly

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


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

The Addams Family

914. (+13) The Addams Family

Barry Sonnenfeld

1991 / USA / 99m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Hedaya, Elizabeth Wilson, Judith Malina, Carel Struycken, Dana Ivey, Paul Benedict, Christina Ricci


““The Addams Family” is more laughs than a casketful of whoopee cushions at a morticians’ convention. More than merely a sequel of the TV series, the film is a compendium of paterfamilias Charles Addams’s macabre drawings, a resurrection of the cartoonist’s body of work… Although the plot is flimsier than cobweb it serves well enough, thanks to the production designers’ elaborate contributions and the performers’ formidable panache. Eleven-year-old Ricci is a revelation as the morbidly fascinating Wednesday. The kid was born deadpan.” – Rita Kempley, The Washington Post

Il boia scarlatto

915. (+16) Il boia scarlatto

Massimo Pupillo

1965 / Italy / 87m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Mickey Hargitay, Walter Brandi, Ralph Zucker, Alfredo Rizzo, Nando Angelini, Albert Gordon, Gino Turini, Roberto Messina, Barbara Nelli, Moa Tahi


“By having a smooth pace, the right amount of action and cheese, and a good dolloping of the old fashioned castle dungeon ambiance, there definitely ends up being very little to not like about Massimo Pupillo’s turn from the black and white Terror-Creatures from the Grave to this colored and near comic-like take on de Sadean torture. The sheer zaniness of it all makes the overly elaborate death devices and unlikely situations perfectly acceptable. It’s just that type of movie. With an energetic, show stealing performance and a fitting resemblance to the flamboyant, masked antiheros populating the fummeti neri boom of the time, it becomes hard to forget Mickey Hargitay’s turn as the cruel but entertaining Crimson Executioner.” – John Plumley, Italian Film Review

The Crow

916. (-20) 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 campana del infierno

917. (-56) La campana del infierno

Claudio Guerín

1973 / Spain / 106m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Renaud Verley, Viveca Lindfors, Alfredo Mayo, Maribel Martín, Nuria Gimeno, Christina von Blanc, Saturno Cerra, Nicole Vesperini, Erasmo Pascual, Antonio Puga


“With a screenplay by Santiago Moncada, the character of John is ambiguous, as we never really know much about his past, how insane he really is and how much of what happens on screen is actually in his mind. But what A BELL FROM HELL may lack in logical contrivance is made up for in style and uniqueness. Even though it owes a bit to Hammer Films’ psychological horrors of the 1960s, the surrealist visions of Louis Bunuel, and the macabre writings of Edgar Allan Poe, the film has a number of clever shocks and a perversity about it that makes it fascinating to watch […] The camera is planted in the most unusual places, boasting some very inventive shots, and the film’s persistent ambiance of sexual and murderous tension, performed by a stellar international cast, makes this one of the genre’s finest of the 1970s.” – George Reis, DVD Drive-In

Critters

918. (+45) Critters

Stephen Herek

1986 / USA / 86m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush, Scott Grimes, Nadine Van der Velde, Don Keith Opper, Billy Zane, Ethan Phillips, Terrence Mann, Jeremy Lawrence


“While Critters rarely does any one thing good, its committment to the premise and its willingness to throw every idea at the camera makes it pretty entertaining. Sometimes it’s funny on purpose; sometimes it’s funny because it fails so bad at being scary. I guess it’s a long shot to make furballs and small hand puppets truly terrifying, but I think the creators were intentionally going for a 50s B-movie vibe. It’s the type of horror film that’s in no danger of freaking its audience out, so it splurges on goofy Critter antics (the alien subtitles are pretty hilarious) and the occasional exercise in gore FX.” – Mutant Reviewers

Poltergeist II: The Other Side

919. (-60) Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Brian Gibson

1986 / USA / 91m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O’Rourke, Oliver Robins, Zelda Rubinstein, Will Sampson, Julian Beck, Geraldine Fitzgerald, John P. Whitecloud, Noble Craig


“If I’m being as objective as possible, I know that the movie just doesn’t measure up to the truly classic first film. There’s no doubt about that… But this doesn’t matter. Poltergeist II is fun, not just the usual, so-bad-it’s-good variety of horror film fun — though it is that, occasionally — but actual fun. You can’t help but enjoy how ridiculously far out it’s willing to go while still remaining completely straight-faced. What other film features a tequila worm monster, killer braces, a levitating chainsaw, and the wackiest failed doomsday prophet this side of Harold Camping?” – Casey Broadwater, Blu-ray.com

House of the Long Shadows

920. (+3) House of the Long Shadows

Pete Walker

1983 / USA / 102m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Desi Arnaz Jr., John Carradine, Sheila Keith, Julie Peasgood, Richard Todd, Louise English, Richard Hunter


“The set-up is sort of hokey, and Arnaz is playing it like he’s in a completely different, and much more shouty, movie, but it’s a really fun premise and features some great, whodunit-style murders, especially once a vacationing English couple show up as well. You probably know the outcome early on, but it’s fun watching it get there. What doesn’t work quite as well are the two (yes, two) fake-out, rug-pulling endings. The movie, though traditional, would have worked just fine without them, but because this is a movie about a writer writing fiction, you can’t quite be sure what’s real and what isn’t. It’s a little too cutesy for my liking, but it doesn’t spoil the otherwise lovely send-up of “Old Dark House” horror films of the ’50s and ’60s. If you enjoy horror of this nature, with a bit of a campy edge, or any of these actors, House of the Long Shadows will be a delightfully Gothic time.” – Kyle Anderson, Nerdist

Deadly Friend

921. (-53) Deadly Friend

Wes Craven

1986 / USA / 91m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Matthew Labyorteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett, Anne Twomey, Anne Ramsey, Richard Marcus, Russ Marin, Lee Paul, Andrew Roperto, Charles Fleischer


“Deadly Friend is an odd movie. It starts off as a 1980s teen romance picture, about a boy genius who wins the heart of the cute girl next door, with the help of his adorable and funny robot. Sort of like what Short Circuit would be like if it was directed by John Hughes. But Deadly Friend wasn’t directed by John Hughes… it was directed by Nightmare on Elm Street’s Wes Craven, and it is full of just as much violence, gore, and horror as it is of awkward teenage romance and cute robot hijinks. It makes for a really disconcerting sensation, like two different movies have been mashed up together. But that just makes the film wonderfully weird and fun to watch.” – Joshua Raymond, Misfit Robot Daydream

I Saw What You Did

922. (+10) I Saw What You Did

William Castle

1965 / USA / 82m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Leif Erickson, Sara Lane, Andi Garrett, Sharyl Locke, Patricia Breslin, John Archer, John Crawford, Joyce Meadows


“The movie has an interesting look. The black and white photography is reasonably atmospheric and there are some interesting sets put together here, along with a couple of very obvious matte paintings (they add to the charm). The cinematography is nice, it gives the film a nice look with a few unexpected but welcome gothic trappings. This actually works quite well. It might not have set the box office on fire when it played theaters and it won’t usurp the reputations of Castle’s better known and more successful pictures but it’s well put together, it features a great cast and it provides plenty of solid suspense.” – Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

Hungry Wives

923. (+15) Hungry Wives

George A. Romero

1972 / USA / 130m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Jan White, Raymond Laine, Ann Muffly, Joedda McClain, Bill Thunhurst, Neil Fisher, Esther Lapidus, Dan Mallinger, Daryl Montgomery, Ken Peters


“For those who think Romero waited until Savini’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD remake to apologize for Barbra, he actually started saying sorry in 1973 with JACK’S WIFE [retitled first as HUNGRY WIVES and then as SEASON OF THE WITCH]. In the opening dream sequence, Joan is a kept woman. Her husband walks her on a leash, and locks her in a cage… It’s blunt, but it does sell the message. In her own mind, Joan is a victim through her own passivity… The film’s greatest asset is Jan White’s performance as Joan. She portrays her insecurities and bewilderment pitch perfectly, capturing the confusion and profound sadness. It’s not a great performance, but it’s realistic, and anchors the film.” – Phil Fasso, Death Ensemble

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb

924. (-42) Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb

Seth Holt

1971 / UK / 94m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Andrew Keir, Valerie Leon, James Villiers, Hugh Burden, George Coulouris, Mark Edwards, Rosalie Crutchley, Aubrey Morris, David Markham, Joan Young


“[Bram Stoker’s The Jewel Of The Seven Stars] was picked up by Hammer in the Seventies and heavily restructured as it made the transition to the screen. The result is a film that has the full-on grand guignol atmosphere at which Stoker excelled, with ancient artefacts and terrible curses and gushing blood, but which manages to hang together as a story much better than it did on the page. Key to its success is Valerie Leon in the meatiest role of her career… Despite the skimpy negligés and prominent cleavage, Leon delivers as much more than just eye candy. Her formidable presence is a match for any of Hammer’s celebrated male leads and gives the film the personality it needs to get away with its sillier aspects – of which there are quite a few.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

925. (+1) Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

Fred F. Sears

1956 / USA / 83m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis, Morris Ankrum, John Zaremba, Thomas Browne Henry, Grandon Rhodes, Larry J. Blake


“Harryhausen pulls out all of the stops once again with some great stop motion animation and the rousing finale with the flying saucers unleashing hell on America is amazing. Stock footage, stop motion, location shooting and miniatures are all mixed together to create the wonderful illusion that these aliens are really taking apart America… The saucers themselves are marvellous pieces of animation – spinning and rotating slowly enough to allow us a good look at them and brought to life with eerie sound effects. It’s not a classic as in the same vein as War of the Worlds but some quality special effects keep the last third of Earth Vs The Flying Saucers quite intense and exciting. B-movie pulp at its 50s best.” – Andrew Smith, Popcorn Pictures

Green Room

926. (new) Green Room

Jeremy Saulnier

2015 / USA / 95m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Anton Yelchin, Joe Cole, Alia Shawkat, Callum Turner, David W. Thompson, Mark Webber, Macon Blair, Eric Edelstein, Michael Draper, Andy Copeland


“A merciless maelstrom set within grungy, cramped quarters for much of its 94 minutes, “Green Room” mounts and mounts with grabby urgency and anything-can-happen danger. A battle of wits and survival begins as Darcy uses his power of persuasion from the other side of the door and asks the band to hand over the gun they’ve retrieved, forcing The Ain’t Rights to become resourceful in other ways as they plan their escape out of that one door. When the kill-or-be-killed spree takes off in the second half, the violence is very savage and matter-of-fact without coming across gratuitous for the hell of it. It’s also underscored by cinematographer Sean Porter having an eye for making nerve-shredding chaos look controlled.” – Jeremy Kibler, The Artful Critic

The Invitation

927. (new) The Invitation

Karyn Kusama

2015 / USA / 100m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Aiden Lovekamp, Michelle Krusiec, Mike Doyle, Jordi Vilasuso, Jay Larson, Marieh Delfino, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman


“The Invitation doesn’t sustain the evening’s tension so much as allow you to forget it, subsuming each unsettling occurrence into the stricken whole. Will and Eden’s bereavement is itself so inconceivable, to us as to their friends, that any outcome becomes possible. And by the time the climax arrives, culminating in the film’s utterly chilling final image, The Invitation externalizes the disquiet that swirls and eddies around all of us, most succinctly expressed in the medieval proverb: In the midst of life, we are in death.” – Matt Brennan, Slant Magazine

The Conjuring 2

928. (new) The Conjuring 2

James Wan

2016 / USA / 134m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor, Lauren Esposito, Benjamin Haigh, Patrick McAuley, Simon McBurney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Simon Delaney


“In this Conjuring, the haunted-house tropes play second fiddle to something less graspable, even though there’s no question that a game of fright is in full, masterful swing. Cinematographer Don Burgess’ camera prowls and swoops, Bishara’s choral score sends shivers up the spine and Wan uses prolonged silence as well as sounds — creaking floorboards, a screeching backyard swing — to maximum unsettling effect. The director knows how to turn objects, from an antique zoetrope to a ringing telephone, into icons of free-floating evil or, in the case of a crucifix, into tools of redemption.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

Gok-seong

929. (new) Gok-seong

Hong-jin Na

2016 / South Korea / 156m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Do-won Kwak, Jung-min Hwang, Jun Kunimura, Woo-hee Chun, Hwan-hee Kim, Jin Heo, So-yeon Jang, Han-Cheol Jo, Chang-gyu Kil, Do-Yoon Kim


“A tense blend of genres, The Wailing succeeds at combining a mood of deep unease with visceral gore, buddy cop comedy, and a hallucinogenic mix of horror tropes, and in this sense the film becomes a unique creation of its own, setting its terrible events against the gorgeous landscapes and mountains of South Korea. And although overlong and not without flaws, there is enough in The Wailing to warrant a viewing, and the subtle force of the film confirms Na Hong-jin’s reputation as a director to be reckoned with.” – Pamela Jahn, Electric Sheep

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

930. (new) The Autopsy of Jane Doe

André Øvredal

2016 / USA / 86m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, Ophelia Lovibond, Michael McElhatton, Olwen Catherine Kelly, Jane Perry, Parker Sawyers, Mary Duddy, Mark Phoenix, Sydney


“Integrating elements of body horror, Agatha Christie and, least interestingly, contemporary horror films, Autopsy has both a cheeky simplicity (the production design of the morgue is at once devilishly eerie and cleanly pragmatic) and Carpenter-inspired formalism: Øvredal lingers on things like hallways and blood dripping down a funnel while familiarizing us with the spaces in the underground morgue. Less a subversion of genre conventions than a relatively effective repackaging of them, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is made up of established pieces that it repositions in a manner ranging from the obvious to the dexterous.” – Josh Cabrita, Cinema Scope

Bone Tomahawk

931. (new) Bone Tomahawk

S. Craig Zahler

2015 / USA / 132m / Col / Western | IMDb
Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons, Evan Jonigkeit, David Arquette, Fred Melamed, Sid Haig, Maestro Harrell


“There’s an elegance to Bone Tomahawk that doesn’t let up even when it veers into cult-movie territory. Zahler is a patient director, willing to let scenes unfold, with tension developing organically. He uses music sparingly; the early scenes in town are almost unnaturally quiet, with the moody, minimalist score (credited to Jeff Herriot and Zahler himself) only kicking in once the search party strikes out for the territory. As the men become more and more desperate, the camera comes in closer and closer. But even the final act is devoid of the kind of unhinged stylistic hysteria that can take over films that upend genre. You could even say that’s what makes it so disturbing — the director’s unflinching eye reveals both character and violence.” – Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

932. (+59) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Ana Lily Amirpour

2014 / USA / 101m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains, Rome Shadanloo, Milad Eghbali, Reza Sixo Safai, Ray Haratian, Pej Vahdat


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

We Are What We Are

933. (+60) We Are What We Are

Jim Mickle

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


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

American Mary

934. (-25) American Mary

Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska

2012 / Canada / 103m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren, Paula Lindberg, Clay St. Thomas, John Emmet Tracy, Twan Holliday, Nelson Wong, Sylvia Soska


“We’ve seen medical gear — gurneys, rubber aprons, cutlery — in myriad horror movies, “The Human Centipede,” “Dead Ringers” and “Audition” among them. But maybe not metaphors like the caged bird Mary keeps, in a nod to Jean-Pierre Melville, or her uncommon path to self-sufficiency (at one point she literally sews up her own wound), a transformation skillfully elucidated by Ms. Isabelle. This film — the second from the Soskas, and shot in their hometown, Vancouver, British Columbia — combines gore, quiet dread, feminist conviction and a visual classicism, often using a red palette, with impressive, unbelabored dexterity. (In an amusing sequence, the Soskas play goth twins who want to surgically exchange their left arms.)” – Andy Webster, The New York Times

Attack the Block

935. (new) Attack the Block

Joe Cornish

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


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

The Lords of Salem

936. (-34) The Lords of Salem

Rob Zombie

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


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

Ich seh, Ich seh

937. (new) Ich seh, Ich seh

Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz

2014 / Austria / 99m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Susanne Wuest, Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz, Hans Escher, Elfriede Schatz, Karl Purker, Georg Deliovsky, Christian Steindl, Christian Schatz, Erwin Schmalzbauer


“Standing in opposition to the overplayed, action-orientated, blood curdling, visceral gorefest synonymous with horror, Goodnight Mommy employs similar psychological tactics found in film noir and the gothic by arousing the same cultural moods of paranoia and mistrust, which have resulted from a disruption to a seemingly, civilized ideal. Unfolding in an achingly, laborious manner, the trudging, sedate pace plays on audience’s anticipatory senses by teasing out the narrative to the point of complete exasperation, the prickly tension designed to unnerve and infuriate, rather than thrill and titillate. The film’s exquisite style, captured through a palpably unsettling lens, becomes all the more disquieting, as slow, dark tracking shots and throbbing, pregnant silences, tear down the illusions of familial normality, to put the depraved, the sinister and the corrupt, firmly in the spotlight.” – FilmIreland

Severance

938. (-84) Severance

Christopher Smith

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


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

ParaNorman

939. (+16) ParaNorman

Chris Butler & Sam Fell

2012 / USA / 92m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Hill, Jodelle Ferland


““ParaNorman” creeps and crawls out of the mind of writer/co-director Chris Butler, a storyboard artist who honed his skills on Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” and Henry Selick’s “Coraline.” It’s no wonder, then, that when Butler receives free rein to tell his own story, he comes up with a spooky, creature-infested campfire story laced with valuable lessons about teamwork, responsibility, courage and the celebration of our inner outcast… After a creaky start, “ParaNorman” comes to life once the dead rise. Zombies stomp, trees throw dagger branches, purple-faced clouds loom, and this roller-coaster ride through an expertly crafted house of terrors culminates with an unfortunately busy finale” – Sean O’Connell, Washington Post

Juan de los Muertos

940. (new) 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

The Children

941. (-47) The Children

Tom Shankland

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


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

The Last Exorcism

942. (-63) The Last Exorcism

Daniel Stamm

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


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

V/H/S

943. (-90) V/H/S

Various

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


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

Coraline

944. (-79) Coraline

Henry Selick

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


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

The Cottage

945. (+9) The Cottage

Paul Andrew Williams

2008 / UK / 92m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison, Steven O’Donnell, James Bierman, Cat Meacher, Danny Nussbaum, Logan Wong, Jonathan Chan-Pensley


“The Cottage improves immeasurably following an out-of-left-field plot twist that hits at around the 55-minute mark – as the film, in a manner reminiscent of From Dusk Till Dawn, essentially morphs into a far more entertaining and altogether horrific endeavor than its comparatively sedate opening might’ve indicated. The degree to which the movie is redeemed by its impossible-to-anticipate third act is consequently quite staggering, as one can’t help but derive a fair amount of enjoyment from the downright brutal situation the central characters find themselves embroiled in. The inclusion of an appropriately grisly finale only cements The Cottage’s effective late-in-the-game turnaround.” – David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

The Devil's Rain

946. (-47) The Devil’s Rain

Robert Fuest

1975 / USA / 86m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino, William Shatner, Keenan Wynn, Tom Skerritt, Joan Prather, Woody Chambliss, John Travolta, Claudio Brook


“The best part about this silly little film is the cast. Where else can you get Ernest Bornine, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, John Travolta, Ida Lupino and William fuckin’ Shatner in the same movie? Hell you even get John Travolta in his first film role (don’t blink or you’ll miss him and if you don’t you might not recognize him thanks to hideous makeup covering his face giving him the appearance of a masked Michael Myers). Surprisingly all these actors also take the silly film seriously (even to the point of over-acting) which only serves in anteing up the hilarity.” – Eric Reifschneider, Blood Brothers

From Hell

947. (+29) From Hell

Albert Hughes & Allen Hughes

2001 / USA / 122m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane, Ian Richardson, Jason Flemyng, Katrin Cartlidge, Terence Harvey, Susan Lynch, Paul Rhys


“The Hughes brothers take a lush, atmospheric approach to the tale, positing an engaging whodunit beneath a gorgeously realized London. They do a fine job realizing the tale’s romantic aspects – the fog-shrouded streets, the haunted moon, the Ripper with his bag and top hat – without overwhelming the mystery. Strong supporting performances from some fine British actors (topped by Robbie Coltrane as Abberline’s keeper/assistant) round out the lovely visuals. From Hell has a good eye for historical detail, contrasting nicely with story’s sensationalist aspects. The plot here is pure fantasy, and yet fits the facts… The brothers do an admirable job of balancing myth with fact, and keep their story neatly ensconced with the historical details of the case.” – Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium

Haunted

948. (new) Haunted

Lewis Gilbert

1995 / USA / 108m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Aidan Quinn, Kate Beckinsale, Anthony Andrews, John Gielgud, Anna Massey, Alex Lowe, Geraldine Somerville, Victoria Shalet, Linda Bassett, Liz Smith


“The cinematography by Tony Pierce-Roberts is superb, and he captures elements of the English countryside and the plays of light and dark as they echo paths between night and day and that grey area that inhabits another dimension. Haunted is a little film that parlays our love of horror and toys with us as a cat does a mouse before tiring of the game and ending all the confusion with a swift slap of the paw. Just when one assumes that they have all the questions answered neatly, another scenario presents and plants itself firmly, sweeping our convictions aside. The ending moments in this production border on the maudlin, but just when we take that deserved sigh of relief, we are cast again onto the rollercoaster for another harrowing ride on the wild side.” – Mary Sibley, The Spinning Image

Deep Rising

949. (-21) Deep Rising

Stephen Sommers

1998 / USA / 106m / Col / Action | IMDb
Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J. O’Connor, Wes Studi, Derrick O’Connor, Jason Flemyng, Cliff Curtis, Clifton Powell, Trevor Goddard


““Cheese Rising” might have been a more apt title for this Giant Monster from the Depths throwback. Despite its obvious drawbacks, however, this patently silly horror show is good, stupid fun if you can just manage to leave your intellect at home for a while… the film manages the look and feel of something far more than the sum of its many-tentacled parts… despite Deep Rising’s off-the-scale cheese factor, it’s still a rollicking good time, frequently poking fun at itself and assorted horror film conventions… While the film is essentially Aliens aboard a luxury liner, Sommers keeps thing fast and loose, negotiating some splendid action set-pieces within the cramped confines of the mammoth ship” – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

Open Water

950. (-102) Open Water

Chris Kentis

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


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

Westworld

951. (new) Westworld

Michael Crichton

1973 / USA / 88m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin, Norman Bartold, Alan Oppenheimer, Victoria Shaw, Dick Van Patten, Linda Gaye Scott, Steve Franken, Michael T. Mikler


“In the 1970’s, writers were still being inspired by the technology of the Disneyland theme park attractions… The machines start breaking down in a pattern that spreads like a disease, thus predicting the computer virus, but calling it a “central mechanism psychosis”. Of course, this plot device was recycled for Jurassic Park… The long final act with the unstoppable robot with infra-red vision anticipates elements of The Terminator, Predator (right down to a crucial plot point), even the robo-vision of Robocop. In fact, the American Cinematographer articles about Westworld… point out that the gunslinger’s electronic viewpoint was the first [film] sequence to use actual computer imaging” – Mark Hodgson, Black Hole DVD Reviews

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

952. (-1) The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

Curtis Hanson

1992 / USA / 110m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Annabella Sciorra, Rebecca De Mornay, Matt McCoy, Ernie Hudson, Julianne Moore, Madeline Zima, John de Lancie, Kevin Skousen, Mitchell Laurance, Justin Zaremby


“Leads Rebecca DeMornay and Annabella Sciorra both deliver knockout performances that transcend the rather thin screenplay, and the movie is expertly edited, slowly building tension until the crackerjack climax. DeMornay has the showy villainous role, vacillating between angelic and sinister from one shot to another, and she’s well-matched by Sciorra, who gives an understated and entirely believable performance. But mostly what stands out the most about this thriller is how many well-realized female characters there are… giving the movie a specifically female vibe despite being written and directed by a man.” – Julien Houle, Pop Culture Thoughts

The Cell

953. (new) The Cell

Tarsem Singh

2000 / USA / 107m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Jennifer Lopez, Colton James, Dylan Baker, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Gerry Becker, Musetta Vander, Patrick Bauchau, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vince Vaughn


“The Cell is a clear, classic case of a director’s vision invigorating standard material. The film moves at an effectively erratic pace: action in the real world moves fairly swiftly, but once it’s in the world of the mind, the pace becomes more languid, befitting the surrealism of dreams. It is in this latter realm that the film really soars. Dream worlds in movies are nothing new–witness the oeuvre of David Lynch or, for a less highfalutin example, the Nightmare on Elm Street series–but the visual ideas put forth by Singh are spectacular and unique; there’s an atmosphere of excess that hasn’t even been reached in Lynch’s famously bizarre work.” – Michael Dequina, The Movie Report

My Little Eye

954. (-24) My Little Eye

Marc Evans

2002 / UK / 95m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Sean Cw Johnson, Kris Lemche, Stephen O’Reilly, Laura Regan, Jennifer Sky, Bradley Cooper, Nick Mennell


“Shooting on digital video and making full use of the premise, Evans cranks up the tension from the beginning with invasive camera angles, atonal music and the incessant soft whirring of the camera motors. He also plays with image quality, lighting, sound and even night vision photography, which makes the actors look like demons with green-glowing eyes! And amid the black humour and grisly surprises, there are echoes of other horror films–a glimpse of an axe here, a bullet there, a shower curtain, urban legends, ghost stories. The fresh-faced cast is terrific, almost too authentic as characters that never become stereotypes. They are everyday people, self-absorbed and self-righteous and pushed into very nasty corners. The whole thing has an improvised feel to it that makes it hard to suspend our belief; it really is like we’re voyeurs watching what we should not be seeing.” – Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

Deadgirl

955. (+42) Deadgirl

Marcel Sarmiento & Gadi Harel

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


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

Zodiac

956. (new) 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

Dans ma peau

957. (-54) Dans ma peau

Marina de Van

2002 / France / 93m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Marina de Van, Laurent Lucas, Léa Drucker, Thibault de Montalembert, Dominique Reymond, Bernard Alane, Marc Rioufol, François Lamotte, Adrien de Van, Alain Rimoux


“It’s mostly the suggestion of what Esther is doing to herself that worms its way into your mind and won’t leave you alone, and that’s what people were finding so uncomfortable that they couldn’t continue to watch the film. Being confronted with a sudden boundary between “me” and “my body” isn’t something many of us have dealt with, and our innate inclination for self-preservation tells us to run from the suggestion that such a thing is possible. That might make In My Skin the ultimate horror movie, one the proposes that, given the right stimulus, we ourselves could be our own worst mortal danger.” – MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher

Hostel: Part II

958. (-178) Hostel: Part II

Eli Roth

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


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

The Last House on the Left

959. (-18) The Last House on the Left

Dennis Iliadis

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


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

Dark Night of the Scarecrow

960. (-56) Dark Night of the Scarecrow

Frank De Felitta

1981 / USA / 96m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Charles Durning, Robert F. Lyons, Claude Earl Jones, Lane Smith, Tonya Crowe, Larry Drake, Jocelyn Brando, Tom Taylor, Richard McKenzie, Ivy Jones


“For a small screen production, the movie manages a terrific autumn/Halloween atmosphere, using the dry, brittle cornfields and even a holiday costume party for mood. It also takes its time with its revenge plot; it keeps the same slow, tense pace throughout to allow time to digest each particular revenge killing and to watch the survivors sweat.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

Idle Hands

961. (-9) Idle Hands

Rodman Flender

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


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

Scream 3

962. (-5) Scream 3

Wes Craven

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


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

Lake Placid

963. (-1) Lake Placid

Steve Miner

1999 / USA / 82m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, Betty White, David Lewis, Tim Dixon, Natassia Malthe, Mariska Hargitay, Meredith Salenger


““Lake Placid” is smart enough to acknowledge that the monsters are usually the most interesting characters in monster movies, but – even better – it’s also smart enough to ensure that the people here are worthy of the monster. An usually witty creature feature, “Lake Placid” was a box-office flop: It was released when theatrical monster movies were out of fashion, and at a moment when old-school practical special effects were augmented but not yet replaced by computer-generated imagery. Thank goodness: It’s the obviously real physicality of the fake crocodile (created by Stan Winston’s studio) that gives this movie its heft, while the clever script by David E. Kelley – yes, the creator of “Doogie Howser” and “Ally McBeal” – gives it its bite.” – John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal

Vinyan

964. (+14) Vinyan

Fabrice Du Welz

2008 / France / 96m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Emmanuelle Béart, Rufus Sewell, Petch Osathanugrah, Julie Dreyfus, Amporn Pankratok, Josse De Pauw, Omm, Apisit Opasaimlikit, Kurlab Lay, Matt Ryder


“There’s a lot that’s questionable about Vinyan if you take it too literally. Would anyone go on such a perilous trip with so little preparation? And isn’t it a bit dodgy that all of the non-white foreigners are either gun-toting sleazebags or painted savages? But from those title credits onwards, the film boots you too far out of your comfort zone to let you do much questioning… To the chagrin of horror fans, no doubt, the film never takes away its protagonists’ options, instead allowing them to continue on an odyssey that’s weirdly beautiful, even if it isn’t what you’d call a relaxing holiday… It’s both a devastating drama about a loving couple’s grief, and a demonstration of how intense cinema can be.” – Nicholas Barber, The Independent

Rogue

965. (+29) Rogue

Greg Mclean

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


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

The Relic

966. (new) The Relic

Peter Hyams

1997 / USA / 110m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Linda Hunt, James Whitmore, Clayton Rohner, Chi Muoi Lo, Thomas Ryan, Robert Lesser, Diane Robin, Lewis Van Bergen


“On paper The Relic probably reads like the kind of movie that would be made for the Syfy channel nowadays, but with a budget rumoured to be around the forty million dollar mark this was far from a B-grade cheapie, and director Peter Hyams used Hollywood’s fat cheque books to produce a slick, atmospheric and entertaining creature feature… Some twelve years after it was released The Relic isn’t fondly remembered by too many, which is a shame as it is a reasonably smart and well acted movie that doesn’t skimp on the essentials like creature action and gore and mixes its straighter faced drama with cheesy monster mayhem and genuinely atmospheric suspense sequences almost perfectly.” – Craig Villinger, Digital Retribution

Wake Wood

967. (+31) Wake Wood

David Keating

2010 / Ireland / 90m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Timothy Spall, Ella Connolly, Ruth McCabe, Brian Gleeson, Amelia Crowley, Dan Gordon, Tommy McArdle, John McArdle


“Wake Wood is the latest evidence that new-model Hammer is harking back to a less atrocity-driven style of horror, built on an accumulation of creepy atmosphere rather than the systematic subjection of disposable teenagers to gruesome ordeals – though there’s no shortage of splatter here… [Keating] directs with a merciful lack of such modern horror tropes as herky-jerky editing and overemphatic score – the soundtrack here leans towards a peculiar pagan-like percussion, echoing the equally peculiar village ritual of banging sticks together. In fact, it’s the oddness of the rituals that provides the film with its most original aspects, combining elements of blood, earth and fire with the caesarean process” – Anne Billson, The Arts Desk

The Sadist

968. (new) 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

Matango

969. (-88) Matango

Ishirô Honda

1963 / Japan / 89m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kenji Sahara, Hiroshi Tachikawa, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Miki Yashiro, Hideyo Amamoto, Takuzô Kumagai, Akio Kusama


“Honda portrays the way in which the rapid economic growth of Japan has resulted in a population divorced from these cultural and natural origins. The rigid mechanical efficiency of a modern society is revealed to be merely illusionary, as the hierarchy crumbles steadily the further this ship of fools is removed from it. Carried away by the forces of nature on a freak ocean tide, the film’s irreversible conclusion is that of evolution turning full circle; man becomes mushroom as he reverts back to the primordial sludge.” – Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye

Miss Muerte

970. (+10) Miss Muerte

Jesús Franco

1966 / Spain / 86m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Estella Blain, Mabel Karr, Howard Vernon, Fernando Montes, Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui, Cris Huerta, Alberto Bourbón, Lucía Prado, Guy Mairesse


“Many viewers will be coerced into pinching themselves to remember this is a Franco film. Beautifully shot in stunning black-and-white, Franco beautifully composes each shot into a tableau of light and shadow, creating an eerie atmosphere throughout the feature. This is a stunningly beautiful film, filled with luscious outdoor sequences and great suspense setpieces (the capture of Nadia in an abandoned theater is one of Franco’s best)… As with many Franco films, jazz is an important element. Not only is the film’s soundtrack made up primarily of catchy little jazz ditties and horn-driven melodies, the film’s climax is an experimental jazz piece laid onto film: frenetic, wild, and outrageous.” – Casey Scott, DVD Drive-In

Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel

971. (new) Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel

Harald Reinl

1967 / Germany / 80m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Lex Barker, Karin Dor, Christopher Lee, Carl Lange, Christiane Rücker, Vladimir Medar, Dieter Eppler


“Based tenuously on Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Pit and the Pendulum,” German director Harald Reinl’s 1967 gothic outing (which is also known as The Castle of the Walking Dead and Blood of the Virgins) is a fun and shivering ride into the macabre. Reinl has spent much of his entire career dealing with spooks and chills, and wastes no time getting the mood lathered on quickly with the execution of Regula at the beginning of the film… From there, after setting up his main protagonists and the shadow of dread that Regula has cast over the countryside, he truly gets things moving with the adventure through the haunted forest as he dishes out gobs of thick fog, arms and legs growing out of trees, and plenty of corpses hanging from the limbs.” – Ryan Midnight, Inside Pulse

Twisted Nerve

972. (-89) Twisted Nerve

Roy Boulting

1968 / UK / 112m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, Billie Whitelaw, Phyllis Calvert, Barry Foster, Frank Finlay, Salmaan Peerzada, Christian Roberts, Gretchen Franklin, Thorley Walters


““Twisted Nerve” is a Bouting Brothers movie and as such every scene is beautifully crafted from the way a camera slides under the stairs to how the light reflects off of a pair of scissors. It means that “Twisted Nerve” is just as likely to entertain those who like to study movies as it will for those seeking entertainment. What this all boils down to is that “Twisted Nerve” is still a fantastic movie, a fantastic character study with great performances all round, especially from Hywel Bennett who when combined with that whistling theme tune becomes sensationally ominous.” – Andy Webb, The Movie Scene

El ataque de los muertos sin ojos

973. (-88) El ataque de los muertos sin ojos

Amando de Ossorio

1973 / Spain / 91m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Tony Kendall, Fernando Sancho, Esperanza Roy, Frank Braña, José Canalejas, Loreta Tovar, Ramón Lillo, Lone Fleming, Maria Nuria, José Thelman


“Director Ossorio amasses a bunch of familiar genre faces and puts them in grave danger, killing them off one at the time in a plot eerily similar to one by a certain John Carpenter from 1979. The reliance on mood and fear in TOMBS is replaced with action and gore in the RETURN. There are some things that improve on Ossorio’s first, but overall this energetic sequel finishes a close second behind it. ATTACK is to TOMBS what ALIENS was to ALIEN. A highpoint in European horror and, like its predecessor, a must-see for horror enthusiasts.” – Brian Bankston, Cool Ass Cinema

Bad Moon

974. (-69) Bad Moon

Eric Red

1996 / USA / 80m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Mariel Hemingway, Michael Paré, Mason Gamble, Ken Pogue, Hrothgar Mathews, Johanna Marlowe, Gavin Buhr, Julia Montgomery Brown, Primo


“Would you believe that the hero and central character of BAD MOON is the family dog? Yup, BAD MOON was actually adapted from a novel entitled Thor, which tells its story from the point of view of its German Shepard protagonist, who does everything in his power to protect the humans he considers to be part of his pack. While I have not read the novel, it is obvious a film could not be made entirely from a dog’s point of view. So, BAD MOON has altered the structure of the original story to suit cinematic conventions. Despite whatever changes were required to translate the story from the printed page to the screen; a German Shepard named Thor remains the heroic center… a fun little werewolf movie that is worth checking out for Halloween or any other night you are in the mood for some horror flicks.” – Derek M. Germano, The Cinema Laser

Incubus

975. (+8) Incubus

Leslie Stevens

1966 / USA / 78m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
William Shatner, Allyson Ames, Eloise Hardt, Robert Fortier, Ann Atmar, Milos Milos


“After the demonic symbol opening titles and, you know, the freaking Esperanto [language the film is shot in], the film’s already a little goofy. For a while, it seems like it might not end up goofy. But it’s a story about a succubus who wants to condemn a clean soul so she can become a demon—she needs to show off to Satan, who’s a giant bat in a fog machine—it’d be hard for Incubus not to be goofy. Stevens’s script runs out of ideas fast. His direction doesn’t. While he does ignore Atmar a little too often, Stevens is otherwise high energy. It’s not always good direction, but Hall shoots most of it well so it at least looks great. And during the bumpier periods, Incubus gets by on the strange factor” – Andrew Wickliffe, The Stop Button

Lady in a Cage

976. (-51) Lady in a Cage

Walter Grauman

1964 / USA / 94m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Olivia de Havilland, James Caan, Jennifer Billingsley, Rafael Campos, William Swan, Jeff Corey, Ann Sothern


“Usually lumped with the other ‘hag horror’ films after What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by virtue of the presence of golden-age screen star Olivia de Havilland, Lady in a Cage is actually an upscale version of marginal movies like The Sadist – realistic accounts of everyday atrocious crimes in the modern world. Tricked up with blatant criticisms of contemporary society, Luther Davis and Walter Grauman’s film can’t escape an essential sickness: Like its low-grade drive-in competition, it is first and foremost an exercise in sordid exploitation.” – Glenn Erickson, DVDTalk

Hei tai yang 731

977. (-44) Hei tai yang 731

Tun Fei Mou

1988 / Hong Kong / 105m / Col / War | IMDb
Jianxin Chen, Hsu Gou, Linjie Hao, Haizhe Jin, Tie Long Jin, Yuanrong Jin, Bolin Li, Pengyu Liu, Xuhui Liu, Zhaohua Mei


“In spite of the relentless death, mutilation and suffering, Men Behind The Sun is actually a very watchable, extremely well-made film. The cinematography is superb with lots of moody, effective lighting, great framing and excellent use of long lenses. The production design is very good – some scenes have thousands of soldiers in uniform. The locations and sets are above what you might expect from a film such as this. The actors all give good performances – especially the ‘evil’ Japanese top brass. And the special effects vary from very good to gruesomely outstanding. The sum of the parts, in this case, definitely do equal more than the whole. Men Behind The Sun may be ‘propaganda’ in the eyes of some; completely true in the eyes of others; but to us it is controversial film-making par excellence. The kind of film that will never be made again – a true sick, chunk-blowing classic.” – The Chelsea Ripper, Sick-Films

La cabina

978. (-42) La cabina

Antonio Mercero

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


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

Images

979. (-42) Images

Robert Altman

1972 / UK / 104m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Susannah York, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi, Hugh Millais, Cathryn Harrison, John Morley


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

Otesánek

980. (+12) Otesánek

Jan Svankmajer

2000 / Czech Republic / 132m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Veronika Zilková, Jan Hartl, Jaroslava Kretschmerová, Pavel Nový, Kristina Adamcová, Dagmar Stríbrná, Zdenek Kozák, Gustav Vondracek, Arnost Goldflam, Jitka Smutná


“Little Otik is a rich and deeply textured movie that could be understood in many ways. You could view it as Eraserhead re-imagined as a black comedy (who’s worse off: Henry, the abandoned single parent of a mutant baby, or Karel, who has a crazed wife to oppose his every attempt to fix the situation?) Although the film is obviously a black satire of “baby fever,” Otik and has voracious appetite could also be seen as an indictment of consumerism and consumption, an interpretation that’s bolstered by a running joke involving the ruthless commercials Alzbetka’s father is constantly watching on the television (“the rest are all poisonous rubbish…” a spokeswoman hypnotically intones during a spot for chocolates). But, at its core Otik is a fairy tale; a fairy tale that becomes self-aware of its own status as folklore when Alzbetka realizes that the mythological events of “Otesánek” are repeating themselves in the real world.” – 366 Weird Movies

Vampire's Kiss

981. (new) Vampire’s Kiss

Robert Bierman

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


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

The Tell-Tale Heart

982. (-42) The Tell-Tale Heart

Ted Parmelee

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


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

Repo! The Genetic Opera

983. (-41) Repo! The Genetic Opera

Darren Lynn Bousman

2008 / USA / 98m / Col / Musical | IMDb
Alexa PenaVega, Paul Sorvino, Anthony Head, Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, Nivek Ogre, Terrance Zdunich, Sarah Power, Jessica Horn


“Cult films are best when they sneak up on the fringe audience, battling failure and disgrace to become something special, appreciated by a select few willing to cherish imperfection. “Repo! The Genetic Opera” is a motion picture that thirsts for alternative acceptance, positioning itself as a juicy piece of unlovable gothic muck that’s guaranteed to turn off mainstream audiences, thus assuring it life beyond the normal distribution timetable. “Repo!” is horrifically calculated to appeal to outsider mentality, but it clicks together rather marvelously, riding an offbeat sense of the macabre to peculiar, yet quite interesting results.” – Brian Orndorf, BrianOrndorf.com

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

984. (-100) Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Stephen Chiodo

1988 / USA / 88m / Col / Evil Clown | IMDb
Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael Siegel, Peter Licassi, Royal Dano, Christopher Titus, Irene Michaels, Karla Sue Krull


“It’s a one-gag movie, but while some of the iterations of that gag are about as hilarious as a squirt in the face from a plastic flower, a few are genuinely rib-tickling: a clown makes a balloon-animal dog… then lets it loose to hunt down a pair of escaping teens; later, a hapless victim is turned into a hissing pile of melted flesh and bone by a barrage of corrosive custard pies. The designs are likeably lurid (particularly the surreal interior of the clown spaceship), and the animatronics are impressive, considering the budget. Killer Klowns was clearly a labour of love for the three brothers responsible (Stephen, Charles and Edward Chiodo). They never made a feature again… but they can be justly proud of their one big achievement.” – Ian Berriman, SFX Magazine

The Call of Cthulhu

985. (-41) The Call of Cthulhu

Andrew Leman

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


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

The Nanny

986. (-40) The Nanny

Seth Holt

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


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

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

987. (-26) Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

Lloyd Kaufman

2006 / USA / 103m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Jason Yachanin, Kate Graham, Allyson Sereboff, Robin L. Watkins, Joshua Olatunde, Caleb Emerson, Rose Ghavami, Khalid Rivera, Joe Fleishaker, Lloyd Kaufman


“Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead is a soft-core scatological zombie kitsch musical complete with social commentary. It was directed and co-written by Lloyd Kaufman, the company’s fabled president, who packs every skeevy genre in history into this mad, mod exploitation mishmash. Poultrygeist is as savage as Dawn of the Dead, as slapstick nutzoid as Evil Dead 2, as gag-on-your-popcorn gross as Pink Flamingos, and as dementedly foulmouthed literate as a Kevin Smith raunchfest. It’s genuine sick fun, and there isn’t a boring moment in it.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Bordello of Blood

988. (-41) Bordello of Blood

Gilbert Adler

1996 / Italy / 87m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
John Kassir, Dennis Miller, Erika Eleniak, Angie Everhart, Chris Sarandon, Corey Feldman, Aubrey Morris, Phil Fondacaro, William Sadler, Kiara Hunter


“If you’re craving a strong story and drawn out characters, look elsewhere. If you’re in the mood for some good laughs, a couple of creamy tits, lots of zany (and well done) visual effects, some quirky side characters, a midget, some hints of lesbianism (always a good thing), lots of ketchup, a holy water squirt gun vampire massacre, Angie Everheart looking like my last solo fantasy and Corey Feldman making an ass of himself, this is the right whore house to smuggle into.” – The Arrow, Joblo.com

Shocker

989. (-17) Shocker

Wes Craven

1989 / USA / 109m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Michael Murphy, Peter Berg, Mitch Pileggi, Sam Scarber, Camille Cooper, Ted Raimi, Keith Anthony-Lubow-Bellamy, Heather Langenkamp, Virginia Morris, John Tesh


“With its freewheeling mixture of gore, surrealism and Freud, it will do almost anything to grab attention. The basic gimmick of the story is that the killer, via black magic, can remain immortal in spirit by repeatedly electrocuting himself with television sets. Through electrical contact, he can also enter the bodies of others and turn them into hissing fiends. The only way to stop him is to turn off the power. If the movie’s metaphors are as obvious and as portentous as the heavy metal music that punctuates the action, ‘Shocker’ at least has the feel of a movie that was fun to make. Just when you think that every trick has been thrown in but the kitchen sink, it goes in too, along with stove and the refrigerator.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

Due occhi diabolici

990. (-41) Due occhi diabolici

Dario Argento & George A. Romero

1990 / Italy, USA / 120m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Adrienne Barbeau, Ramy Zada, Bingo O’Malley, Jeff Howell, E.G. Marshall, Harvey Keitel, Madeleine Potter, John Amos, Sally Kirkland, Kim Hunter


“Two Evil Eyes began life as an anthology horror film to end all anthology horror films, but ended up an occasionally interesting shadow of two genre titans’ best work… This proto- Masters of Horror would’ve featured Argento, Romero, Michele Soavi, Steven King and Richard Stanley as writer/directors. When that fell through, Argento and Romero teamed up near Pittsburg to shoot their own short Poe films, which would be awkwardly stuck together in the form of the final film… Minus one gruesome finale Valdemar is a pretty anaemic film, but effects expert Tom Savani (who has a small role as a homage to ‘Berenice’) gets to pull out the stops for Black Cat, including a horrifically realistic pendulum victim, a toothless corpse, an unnerving hatchet murder, a super icky decayed body, and more fake cats than you can shake a fake dead cat at.” – Gabriel Powers, DVDActive

I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale

991. (-102) I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale

Sergio Martino

1973 / Italy / 89m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont, Luc Merenda, John Richardson, Roberto Bisacco, Ernesto Colli, Angela Covello, Carla Brait, Conchita Airoldi, Patrizia Adiutori


“So overloaded with red herrings that even Scandinavians would find it excessive, Torso is not the most complicated of whodunits. About an hour into the narrative, the identity of our villain is nothing more than a process of elimination. In essence, take whoever’s left alive, subdivide out the possible motives, and make with the Holmesian deductions. The answer, sadly, will seem pretty obvious. That doesn’t mean Martino can’t have a little frisky fun getting to the conclusion. If you like Me Decade ladies unclothed and submission, this movie is your ticket to titillation. Female mammaries are featured so often that they almost become a plot point. Similarly, Martino does his slasher genre best to handle every death from the killer’s bloody perspective. As the knife blade threatens another topless honey, it’s all so gratuitous and sleazy.” – Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

From Beyond the Grave

992. (-92) From Beyond the Grave

Kevin Connor

1974 / UK / 97m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Ian Bannen, Ian Carmichael, Peter Cushing, Diana Dors, Margaret Leighton, Donald Pleasence, Nyree Dawn Porter, David Warner, Angela Pleasence, Ian Ogilvy


“The first of this film’s strengths is that it takes itself seriously. The stories could easily lend themselves to parody or black comedy, but Connor and his screenwriters never fall for that temptation. With the exception of “The Elemental,” which does have one broad, comic character, the stories in this film are presented as straightforward ghost stories. This presentation lends the film a foreboding quality that inculcates a sense of unease that pervades all of the stories. We never get the feeling that the cast or the filmmakers feel that they are above this kind of film, and this adds a sense of believability to the stories.” – Eric Miller, Classic-Horror

Red State

993. (-25) 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

Body Bags

994. (new) Body Bags

John Carpenter & Tobe Hooper & Larry Sulkis

1993 / USA / 91m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
John Carpenter, Tom Arnold, Tobe Hooper, Robert Carradine, Alex Datcher, Peter Jason, Molly Cheek, Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, David Naughton


“Broadcast on Showtime in 1993 as a one-off horror anthology film, Body Bags bears more than a passing resemblance to HBO’s EC Comics-inspired Tales from the Crypt, not only for its reliance on a cast cannily salted with seasoned heavyweights eager to play against type, but also for its unabashed depictions of splattery violence. Body Bags is also notable for bringing together two of modern horror’s best-known names, John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper, as co-directors… That Body Bags largely succeeds, despite the perceptible lack of novel material, can be attributed to the strength of the assembled performances as well as the filmmakers’ attention to the dynamics of visual storytelling.” – Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine

Saw III

995. (-39) Saw III

Darren Lynn Bousman

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


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

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

996. (new) 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

The Reflecting Skin

997. (new) The Reflecting Skin

Philip Ridley

1990 / UK / 96m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Viggo Mortensen, Lindsay Duncan, Jeremy Cooper, Sheila Moore, Duncan Fraser, David Longworth, Robert Koons, David Bloom, Evan Hall, Codie Lucas Wilbee


“Ridley’s debut film is clearly reminiscent of Lynch, but the differences reveal more than the similarities. Ridley’s sense of humor is less flamboyant than Lynch; he also tends to handle his bizarre touches with more subtlety. Most significantly, for better or worse, The Reflecting Skin has a literary sensibility missing in Lynch. It feels like a adaptation of an out-there experimental novella. That’s precisely what we might expect from a first time director whose previous career was as a novelist and playwright… What this web of symbols all may mean, if anything, is left to the viewer to decide… Obviously, there is a theme of loss of moral innocence, and also a theme of encroaching age and decay. But, for the most part, Ridley fills the screen with unresolved metaphors that seethe and boil just below the surface of the narrative.” – Greg Smalley, 366 Weird Movies

Body Parts

998. (new) Body Parts

Eric Red

1991 / USA / 88m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jeff Fahey, Lindsay Duncan, Kim Delaney, Zakes Mokae, Brad Dourif, John Walsh, Paul Ben-Victor, Peter Murnik, Nathaniel Moreau, Sarah Campbell


“One of the things about Body Parts that makes it so different from other horror films of the early nineties is its killer action sequences. Of course, there are tense and suspenseful moments in the film, but while other movies toil away in the undercurrent of dread that they work so hard to create, Body Parts leans on the gas with bar fights, car wrecks, and footraces. The whole film culminates in one of the most awesome car chases ever committed to film… Dikker’s score won him the 1992 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Award for Best Music, and the award is well-deserved” – James Jay Edwards, FilmFracture

Final Destination 2

999. (-40) Final Destination 2

David R. Ellis

2003 / USA / 90m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Ali Larter, A.J. Cook, Michael Landes, David Paetkau, James Kirk, Lynda Boyd, Keegan Connor Tracy, Jonathan Cherry, Terrence ‘T.C.’ Carson, Justina Machado


“While watching the original isn’t necessary to enjoy the sequel, it certainly contributes to a deeper appreciation of the pair of films overall. Part two doesn’t just repeat the premise and scenes of part one–it intricately links to its predecessor with impressive continuity and offers a legitimate reason for why death comes a-knockin’ once more. Characters and circumstances from the original end up having direct ties to the seemingly random characters of the sequel. In many ways, Final Destination 2 also patches up some of the weaker points of the original… but ends up replacing them with new shortcomings. Still, the central premise of a stalking death remains interesting, and there is enough eye-popping violence to keep the pace brisk.” – Andrew Manning, Radio Free Entertainment

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

1000. (-33) Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

Adam Marcus

1993 / USA / 87m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Kane Hodder, Steven Williams, Steven Culp, Erin Gray, Rusty Schwimmer, Richard Gant, Leslie Jordan, Billy Green Bush


“Many faithful Friday advocates refer to this as the series’ lowest ebb and hold New Line contemptible for slaughtering their beloved franchise. On one hand they have a point. It’s unfocused, often inane, and disrespectful to its roots which could be viewed as unforgivable. Despite numerous failings and such a distinct departure from vintage Friday values, it still forms a decent double-bill with Freddy vs. Jason if you’re that way inclined… Taken on its own merits, Jason Goes To Hell is one of the easier Fridays to revisit. It’s not big, certainly not clever, and not particularly respectful of its once great heritage, but it’s 91 minutes of passable fare” – Richard Charles Stevens, Rivers of Grue