They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

#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

Return of the Living Dead III

901. (-275) Return of the Living Dead III

Brian Yuzna

1993 / USA / 97m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Kent McCord, James T. Callahan, Sarah Douglas, Melinda Clarke, Abigail Lenz, J. Trevor Edmond, Jill Andre, Michael Decker, Billy Kane, Mike Moroff

“While it isn’t as gleefully excessive as the previous year’s Dead Alive, Return of the Living Dead III is an incredible display of body horror and splatter. Yuzna’s always been a sort of poor-man’s Cronenberg, but he’s hit some incredible highs during his career, with this being one of them. Not content to merely create nondescript, shambling zombies, Yuzna embraces the franchise’s legacy of unique designs. Tarman might be absent, but he’s not completely missed, as Yuzna conjures up a fun array of creatures, including one that has an elongated spine after his head is almost severed from its body. The accompanying eviscerations, impalements, and, (of course) brai(iiiiii)n eating are messy and gooey, so it’s a great practical effects showcase.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

The Lords of Salem

902. (-273) 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

Dans ma peau

903. (-424) 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

Dark Night of the Scarecrow

904. (-375) 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

Bad Moon

905. (new) 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

Don't Breathe

906. (new) Don’t Breathe

Fede Alvarez

2016 / USA / 88m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Emma Bercovici, Franciska Töröcsik, Christian Zagia, Katia Bokor, Sergej Onopko, Olivia Gillies

“The key highlight of director Fede Alvarez’s movie is innovation. There’s a segment in the movie shot in pitch darkness with grey night vision and that has the potential to be the most frightening 10 minutes of your life. Even the build up on the sequence where the gang breaks in to the house at night is just nerve-wracking. You can easily compare Don’t Breathe to thriller horror classics like Psycho, Old Boy and Vertigo. The tension here is so authentic and gripping this film can impress even those with nerves of steel. Forget those CGI-driven ghost soap operas that pretend to be horror movies. This film, its dark basement environments and its superlative camera and sound work is like a real life nightmare unfolding on the big screen.” – Rachit Gupta, Filmfare

Alone in the Dark

907. (-263) Alone in the Dark

Jack Sholder

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

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

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

908. (new) Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

James Signorelli

1988 / USA / 96m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Phil Rubenstein, Larry Flash Jenkins, Cassandra Peterson, Damita Jo Freeman, Tress MacNeille, Edwina Moore, Mario Celario, Lee McLaughlin, Bill Swearingen, Charles Woolf

“The film is extremely campy, but anybody who chooses to watch a film centered around Elvira knows this going into it. The real question is can Elvira carry an entire feature length film on her own? The answer to this is fortunately “yes”; although much of it consists of deliberately-bad acting or breaking the fourth wall, the character of Elvira is entertaining enough to make it all fun. It’s a film for a certain type of movie fan. Anybody who is a fan of B-grade horror films — or who simply remembers her late 80s media blitz — should already be acquainted with Elvira, and will know what to expect from the film.” – Morgan R. Lewis, Morgan on Media

American Mary

909. (-543) 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

The Car

910. (-67) The Car

Elliot Silverstein

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

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

Paranoiac

911. (new) Paranoiac

Freddie Francis

1963 / UK / 80m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Janette Scott, Oliver Reed, Sheila Burrell, Maurice Denham, Alexander Davion, Liliane Brousse, Harold Lang, Arnold Diamond, John Bonney, John Stuart

“Paranoiac was directed by Freddie Francis, and the screenplay adapted by Jimmy Sangster from a Josephine Tey novel called Brat Farrar. The look of the film is beautiful, rich and moody, whether the setting is the unforgiving, jagged clifftop or the neglected and crumbling buildings on the mansion grounds, and the scares are so well done that they truly shock and leave a mark on your memory. I love this film; it’s stood a number of rewatchings, lived up to all the things I liked about it at different ages, and I’d recommend it highly to anyone who loves a good mystery, gothic or otherwise, with gorgeous cinematography, unique chills and fine acting. One of Hammer’s and Reed’s better movies.” – Kristina Dijan, Speakeasy

Deadly Blessing

912. (new) Deadly Blessing

Wes Craven

1981 / USA / 100m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner, Jeff East, Colleen Riley, Douglas Barr, Lisa Hartman, Lois Nettleton, Ernest Borgnine, Michael Berryman

“[Wes Craven’s] 1981 opus Deadly Blessing, makes good use of the clichés that hadn’t been so severely overused at the time of its release and he also includes a few authentic ingredients of his own, which mark an intriguing addition to the [slasher] formula… The experienced cast members do a good job here, especially Ernest Borgnine who is restrained when handling a potential ham-feast. Obviously someone saw enough in Sharon Stone’s somewhat amateur portrayal, which would begin her on the road to mega stardom. It’s worth noting that Lana is probably the most approachable and sympathetic character that she’s ever played.” – Luisito González, A SLASH Above

The Creeping Flesh

913. (new) The Creeping Flesh

Freddie Francis

1973 / UK / 94m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Lorna Heilbron, George Benson, Kenneth J. Warren, Duncan Lamont, Harry Locke, Hedger Wallace, Michael Ripper, Catherine Finn

“The principal themes of madness, ambition, greed, deceit, and vanity make this a very human tale, and the opposition between palaeontology and psychology is made all the more intriguing by its extension to the principal characters. Naturally Cushing and Lee are on fine form, and although Cushing has the lions share of the screen time Lee makes quite an impression as the more unscrupulous sibling. The Creeping Flesh has an intriguing premise supported by some wonderful images and fine performances, but is never quite able to entangle itself from a messy plot.” – Shaun Anderson, The Celluloid Highway

And Soon the Darkness

914. (-303) And Soon the Darkness

Robert Fuest

1970 / UK / 99m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Pamela Franklin, Michele Dotrice, Sandor Elès, John Nettleton, Clare Kelly, Hana Maria Pravda, John Franklyn, Claude Bertrand, Jean Carmet

“Half of the film’s beauty stems from is very ability on the part of both writer and director to allow the viewer to come to these conclusions themselves: nothing is explicit, and everything is ambiguous. Thus, unlike some, equally great films which more or less make the killer’s identity known from the start by leaving EXTREMELY obvious clues (Deadly Strangers, Assault, I Start Counting, Scream And Die! and Schizo all spring to mind) lying around, Clemens, Fuest and Nation really do provide us with a brainteaser, in which ANY one of the principal protagonists could be the culprit if one gives time to stop and consider it. These subtleties are further underscored by the dialogue, which is still central to the plot but sparser than one would find in many films of the period, allowing the scenery- or rather the characters’ perception of it- to tell the tale.” – Drewe Shimon, Brit Movie

Le frisson des vampires

915. (-16) Le frisson des vampires

Jean Rollin

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

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

Nadja

916. (new) Nadja

Michael Almereyda

1994 / USA / 93m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Elina Löwensohn, Nic Ratner, Karl Geary, Peter Fonda, Martin Donovan, Jack Lotz, Galaxy Craze, David Lynch, Isabel Gillies, José Zúñiga

“Almereyda uses New York clubs as the backdrop for this vampire saga — a stroke of genius — much the way Jean Cocteau did when, in “Orphee,” he set the myth of Orpheus among a group of squabbling Left Bank poets — as a means of giving a classic story a sharp, contemporary edge. Almereyda shares some of Cocteau’s sense of film as a magic plaything. Shot in hallucinatory black-and-white by Jim Denault — who also works the Pixelvision camera used in some sequences — the film has an atmosphere that fluctuates between languid and hysterical. Visually, it’s a thrilling movie, gorgeously, hypnotically textured. Images fly in from all over—a snippet of Bela Lugosi’s Rorschach eyebrows, a few frames of a ravishing peasant girl, a grainy long shot of a skulking, caped figure — as if Almereyda had found a way of patching directly into the collective pop id.” – Hal Hinson, Washington Post

976-EVIL

917. (new) 976-EVIL

Robert Englund

1988 / USA / 80m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Stephen Geoffreys, Patrick O’Bryan, Sandy Dennis, Jim Metzler, María Rubell, Lezlie Deane, J.J. Cohen, Paul Willson, Greg Collins, Darren E. Burrows

“976-Evil is a celebration of everything good and fun about 1980’s horror films: cheesy, eccentric, sexy and a little on the slow side, at first, but sprinkled with supernatural murders and a vague procedural to keep you caring. It spends quality time with its lead characters before things get bad, scary and gory. It’s a little clustered, sure, but it’s part of its charm, as it turns out… Along the lines of the Nightmare on Elm Street, Demons and Child’s Play franchises, it’s a supernatural slasher with hints of possession, demonology, genie mythology, and with a strong, memorable gimmick.” – Steve Hutchison, Tales of Terror

Vierges et vampires

918. (+43) Vierges et vampires

Jean Rollin

1971 / France / 95m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Marie-Pierre Castel, Mireille Dargent, Philippe Gasté, Dominique, Louise Dhour, Michel Delesalle, Antoine Mosin, Agnès Petit, Olivier François, Dominique Toussaint

“A film which is almost totally void of dialog in its first half and void of any significant characterization, REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE is an easily watchable surreal exercise in foreign filmmaking, crammed with bizarre comic art imagery strung together with various incidents of fetishistic kinkiness and sadism. With the usual low budget Rollin was allotted, he makes excellent use of some authentic gothic locations, and the picturesque, massive chateau makes for a better vampires’ liar than any studio could possibly provide. The use of oddball props, including rotted corpses affixed with squirming worms, severed arms protruding from stone walls, a line of hooded standing skeletons and assorted bats real and phony, add to the film’s unique appearance, and the clever use of colored lighting in some of the outdoor nighttime scenes is also noteworthy.” – George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû

919. (+4) Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû

Teruo Ishii

1969 / Japan / 99m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Teruo Yoshida, Yukie Kagawa, Teruko Yumi, Mitsuko Aoi, Michiko Kobata, Yumiko Katayama, Kei Kiyama, Reiko Mikasa, Miki Obana, Michi Tanaka

“Visually the film is breathtaking. Ishii, a director known for revelling in the erotic, violent and bizarre, is on top form in this quirky tale. While the scripting weaves an incredibly intricate and unconventional narrative, the look and feel of the film follows suit. There are some spectacular scenes on offer. The cinematography is just mind-blowing; the colours gaudy and luscious, which makes the whole thing just pop. Ishii also adds in a psychedelic flavour with some innovative editing techniques- also applying light filters in a couple of scenes to build on this factor.” – Kat Ellinger, The Gore Splattered Corner

Circus of Horrors

920. (new) 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

Terrore nello spazio

921. (-316) Terrore nello spazio

Mario Bava

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

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

Subspecies

922. (new) Subspecies

Ted Nicolaou

1991 / USA / 90m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Angus Scrimm, Anders Hove, Irina Movila, Laura Mae Tate, Michelle McBride, Ivan J. Rado, Mara Grigore, Adrian Vâlcu, Michael Watson, Lili Dumitrescu

“Subspecies is unashamedly proud to be a b-movie, and that’s not to be considered a downside so long as that’s the value you’re looking for. In fact, it’s refreshing in a way to have just a plain, no nonsense, badass vampire like Radu (who unlike the other vampires in the movie looks like the bastard son of Max Shreck‘s Count Orloff in Nosferatu, complete with batlike visage and elongated fingers) sticking his fangs into some pretty necks, slobbering blood all over the place as he goes… Toss in the fact there are some elements to the story that are completely barking mad – such as the antagonist’s ability to spawn his own personal miniature demon helpers… and you have something that will certainly keep you interested until the finale, though wisely it’s paced swiftly enough that it moves along at quite a lick and never outstays its welcome.” – Aaron Gillott, Gorepress

House of the Long Shadows

923. (new) House of the Long Shadows

Pete Walker

1983 / USA / 100m / 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

The Monster

924. (new) 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

Lady in a Cage

925. (+1) 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

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

926. (new) 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

The Addams Family

927. (new) 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

Deep Rising

928. (new) 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

Red White & Blue

929. (-29) Red White & Blue

Simon Rumley

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

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

My Little Eye

930. (-180) 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

Il boia scarlatto

931. (new) 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

I Saw What You Did

932. (new) 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!

Hei tai yang 731

933. (-232) 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

Tras el cristal

934. (-494) Tras el cristal

Agustí Villaronga

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

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

Buio Omega

935. (-315) Buio Omega

Joe D’Amato

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

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

La cabina

936. (-488) 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

937. (-464) Images

Robert Altman

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

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

Hungry Wives

938. (new) 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

Donnie Darko

939. (-289) 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 Tell-Tale Heart

940. (-291) 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

The Last House on the Left

941. (-257) 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

Repo! The Genetic Opera

942. (new) 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

Begotten

943. (-401) Begotten

E. Elias Merhige

1990 / USA / 72m / Col / Experimental | IMDb
Brian Salzberg, Donna Dempsey, Stephen Charles Barry, James Gandia, Daniel Harkins, Michael Phillips, Erik Slavin, Arthur Streeter, Adolfo Vargas, Garfield White

“Few motion pictures have the power to jolt an audience with the fury, imagination, and artistic violence of Begotten, a 1991 tour de force from Elias Merhige currently debuting on home video. This cryptic independent production is a film of eccentric brilliance, skillfully balancing the glorious and the grotesque in an unforgettable work of art. Perhaps the most striking aspect of Begotten is its cinematography. Filmmaker Merhige photographed his work on 16-mm black-and-white reversal film and then rephotographed the footage frame by frame on black-and-white negatives through density filters, a four-year labor that required 10 hours of work for each minute of the 78-minute film. The result is a visual work unlike any other – one that looks like an ancient ritual filmed on the scene thousands of years ago and only recently dusted off for viewing.” – Phil Hall, Wired

The Call of Cthulhu

944. (-296) 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

Wake in Fright

945. (-227) Wake in Fright

Ted Kotcheff

1971 / Australia / 114m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson, Peter Whittle, Al Thomas, John Meillon, John Armstrong, Slim DeGrey

“For decades, Wake in Fright (aka Outback in the UK and US) was cinema’s pre-Cern Higgs Boson particle, a theoretical keystone in the construction of the New Australian Cinema of the 1970s, and its gap-toothed relative, the Ocker Comedy. Released in the same year – 1971 – as Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout, Ted Kotcheff’s psychodrama has been variously cited as a precursor for Mad Max, a jumpstart for a national film industry, and, by the reckoning of Rex Reed and Nick Cave, the greatest Australian film ever made… John Grant’s odyssey, for all its excesses, forms a neatly symmetrical, perfectly Kafkaesque narrative.” – Tara Brady, Irish Times

The Nanny

946. (-244) 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

Bordello of Blood

947. (new) 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

Versus

948. (-371) Versus

Ryûhei Kitamura

2000 / Japan / 119m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki, Chieko Misaka, Kenji Matsuda, Yuichiro Arai, Minoru Matsumoto, Kazuhito Ohba, Takehiro Katayama, Ayumi Yoshihara, Shôichirô Masumoto

“All in all, “Versus” delivers on its one basic promise: action, and tons and tons of action. This movie has, for lack of a better word, style. It is obviously a low-budget film, since there are barely any special effects of the computer variety, but many of the old-fashion practicals and gallons and gallons of fake blood variety. It’s gore at its finest, and it’s quite fine, let me assure you. Gorefiends will pray their eyes don’t fail them during the viewing.” – Beyond Hollywood

Due occhi diabolici

949. (new) 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

Trauma

950. (-40) Trauma

Dario Argento

1993 / Italy / 106m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Christopher Rydell, Asia Argento, Piper Laurie, Frederic Forrest, Laura Johnson, Dominique Serrand, James Russo, Ira Belgrade, Brad Dourif, Hope Alexander-Willis

“Dario Argento’s first American feature, was almost uniformly ignored or disparaged as “Americanised,” ie, cleaned up and “dumbed down.” Another adjective, unutterable but couched there in the silence, was “feminised.” The maestro had suddenly gone soft on women… The film’s issues are the stuff of female gothic and 1990s “trauma culture”: anorexia/bulimia nervosa, dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships, oppressive medical institutions, malpractice cover-ups, recovered memories, incest and false memory syndrome. The pop psychology usually left by Argento to subtext or used to wrap an already baroque finale, Trauma foregrounds and then develops in its case-study of a suicidal anorexic and a mother traumatised by the loss of her infant son.” – Linda Badley, Kinoeye

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

951. (new) 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

Idle Hands

952. (-225) 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

Paranormal Activity 2

953. (-329) Paranormal Activity 2

Tod Williams

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

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

The Cottage

954. (-237) 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

ParaNorman

955. (new) 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

Saw III

956. (-316) 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

Scream 3

957. (-248) 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

Grave Encounters

958. (-537) Grave Encounters

Colin Minihan & Stuart Ortiz

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

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

Final Destination 2

959. (-580) 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

Zombie Strippers!

960. (new) Zombie Strippers!

Jay Lee

2008 / USA / 94m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund, Roxy Saint, Penny Vital, Whitney Anderson, Jennifer Holland, Shamron Moore, Jeannette Sousa, Carmit Levité, Johnny Hawkes

“How could you resist a movie set in the nightmare America of George W Bush’s fourth term that shows porn superstar Jenna Jameson reading and claims to be a zombie-and-stripper packed update of Eugene Ionesco’s 1959 play about alienation, conformity and fascism, Rhinocéros?… a brutally unsubtle but nonetheless cleverly layered exposed-breast-fest of a satire of the objectification of women where shotgunned zombie skulls explode with a frequency matched only by the gleefully ponderous dropping of highbrow literary references” – Steven Wells, The Guardian

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

961. (-274) 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

Lake Placid

962. (-232) 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

Critters

963. (-432) Critters

Stephen Herek

1986 / USA / 82m / 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

Child's Play 2

964. (-304) Child’s Play 2

John Lafia

1990 / USA / 84m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb
Alex Vincent, Jenny Agutter, Gerrit Graham, Christine Elise, Brad Dourif, Grace Zabriskie, Peter Haskell, Beth Grant, Greg Germann, Raymond Singer

“An inevitable sequel that’s not as good as its progenitor, but better than most movies with the numbers 2 through 8 in their titles… “2” actually gets clever at the end, when Andy (Alex Vincent) and sidekick Kyle (Christine Elise) battle Chucky in the Good Guys factory amid moving conveyor belts, hydraulic presses and molding units. As surreal as it is suspenseful, the climax may be a little too sophisticated for the genre, but it manages to lower its expectations at the last minute.” – Richard Harrington, Washington Post

Chopping Mall

965. (-152) Chopping Mall

Jim Wynorski

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

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

Needful Things

966. (new) Needful Things

Fraser Clarke Heston

1993 / USA / 120m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia, Amanda Plummer, J.T. Walsh, Ray McKinnon, Duncan Fraser, Valri Bromfield, Shane Meier, William Morgan Sheppard

“During his long career, Wise directed many tales of the eerie, such as the brilliant The Body Snatcher (1945) and The Haunting (1963). He also directed some of the finest women’s films around, including I Want to Live! (1958) and So Big (1953). He also created two classic science fiction films, The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and The Andromeda Strain (1971). His respect for the subject matter of each of these disparate genres, his knowing direction of the women in his films, and the skill he brought to bear to create the appropriate mood for any story come together in Audrey Rose, a disturbing film that stands with the best of his work.” – Marilyn Ferdinand, Ferdy on Films

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

967. (new) 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

Red State

968. (-128) 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

The Island of Dr. Moreau

969. (new) The Island of Dr. Moreau

Don Taylor

1977 / USA / 99m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Burt Lancaster, Michael York, Nigel Davenport, Barbara Carrera, Richard Basehart, Nick Cravat, The Great John L., Bob Ozman, Fumio Demura, Gary Baxley

“Part of a short-lived attempt to bring PG-rated nostalgia back to the genre thanks to predecessors like Doc Savage: Man of Bronze and the big-budgeted 1976 version of King Kong. That said, it’s still a pretty strong PG rating for what remains a fairly perverse and disturbing story, even if it’s less outrageous than the pre-Code extremes of Island of Lost Souls or the notorious insanity of John Frankenheimer’s 1996 freak out starring Marlon Brando… While it’s tempting to imagine how this might have turned out with a dangerous talent behind the camera… the result here is an amusing slice of pulpy entertainment with enough monster faces and action scenes to provide an evening’s entertainment.” – Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

Zibahkhana

970. (new) Zibahkhana

Omar Khan

2007 / Pakistan / 77m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Kunwar Ali Roshan, Rooshanie Ejaz, Rubya Chaudhry, Haider Raza, Osman Khalid Butt, Rehan, Najma Malik, Sultan Billa, Salim Meraj, Razia Malik

““Hell’s Ground” is being touted as ‘Pakistan’s first gore’ movie, and while it certainly offers more blood and guts than the original “Saw,” it is still relatively tame by Herschel Gordon Lewis standards or the recent American remake. It is surprisingly effective, with the cultural perspective adding spice to the mix (the well to do teens speak English, for example, until adrenaline reduces them to their native tongue; Baby’s mother is ostensibly seeking a wife for her son). In addition to the “Saw” like shot compositions, Khan uses plenty of visual and aural Lollywood references and even a few animated asides. The acting is above average for the genre, with Baby a unique treat.” – Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews

Pulse

971. (new) Pulse

Jim Sonzero

2006 / USA / 90m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder, Christina Milian, Rick Gonzalez, Jonathan Tucker, Samm Levine, Octavia Spencer, Ron Rifkin, Joseph Gatt, Kel O’Neill

“The ghosts, says a half-dead Izzie, “want what they don’t have, they want life.” And so the film frames its horror as if the ghosts are so many Pinocchios, yearning for what seems inherently valuable to humans. It’s a lapse of imagination that, following the film’s seeming dedication to the ghosts’ absolute otherness, seems to meta-mirror the still-human characters’ limitations. But Pulse‘s next step, proposing that the ghosts form another sort of life, and don’t just emulate or destroy the life you know, offers a more profound, perverse, and alarming possibility. Communication has turned consumptive. This possibility doesn’t emerge from machines. It lurks within users.” – Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters

Shocker

972. (-50) 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

Leviathan

973. (new) Leviathan

George P. Cosmatos

1989 / USA / 98m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, Amanda Pays, Daniel Stern, Ernie Hudson, Michael Carmine, Lisa Eilbacher, Hector Elizondo, Meg Foster, Eugene Lipinski

“There’s no denying that Leviathan’s story has a hodge-podge quality to it, akin to the film’s own monster that becomes an amalgam of its victims and it’s pretty evident that Cosmatos’ film shares a bit of “DNA” with several of its sci-fi counterparts as well. But what makes screenwriters David Peoples and Jeb Stuart’s story stand out is that the duo cleverly injects a few surprises and innovative twists on the sea beast subgenre, resulting in a film that’s a lot of fun and a near-perfect homage to the B movies of yesteryear.” – Heather Wixson, Daily Dead

Bloody Birthday

974. (+6) Bloody Birthday

Ed Hunt

1981 / USA / 85m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Lori Lethin, Melinda Cordell, Julie Brown, Joe Penny, Bert Kramer, K.C. Martel, Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jayne, Andrew Freeman, Susan Strasberg

“Directed by Ed Hunt, you get the distinct impression that Bloody Birthday was stalking the same crowd that came out in droves for Halloween. Released just four years after Michael Myers broke loose, Hunt’s horror shares many of the same tropes, including Lethin’s final girl, the sexy being punishable by death and – in retrospect – a healthy dose of post-70s kitsch. Obviously, Bloody Birthday didn’t share the runaway success of John Carpenter’s classic but that doesn’t make it any less potent. Despite an undeniably flimsy back story for its killer kids, the way they conduct their bloody business is pretty memorable. The three terror tykes… are never short of an evil plan and turn out performances that implore you to hate them, adding to the film’s endurability for modern eyes.” – Simon Bland, HorrorTalk

Mr. Sardonicus

975. (-240) Mr. Sardonicus

William Castle

1961 / USA / 89m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Ronald Lewis, Audrey Dalton, Guy Rolfe, Oskar Homolka, Vladimir Sokoloff, Erika Peters, Lorna Hanson

“While there is plenty of lurid subject matter throughout Mr. Sardonicus, the film would be nothing without its sinister gothic atmosphere, something that makes the film a perfect fit for a chilly October evening. There are castles hidden by twisted trees, graveyards nestled inside dead gardens, heavy shadows cast over the characters, and thick sheets of fog that hang heavy in the air and coil around like ghostly specters. Castle’s finishing touch is the rotten corpse that leers out from its open grave, a visual jolt that hits the viewer like a strong cup of coffee. There is no doubt that the people over at Hammer Studios were most likely smiling over what Castle achieved here. This atmosphere gives Mr. Sardonicus plenty of personality and on its own, it is enough to give the viewer goosebumps, but the make-up effects really make this picture a macabre affair.” – Steve Habrat, Anti-Film School

From Hell

976. (-215) 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

The Uninvited

977. (-63) The Uninvited

Charles Guard & Thomas Guard

2009 / USA / 87m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel, David Strathairn, Elizabeth Banks, Maya Massar, Kevin McNulty, Jesse Moss, Dean Paul Gibson, Don S. Davis, Lex Burnham

“An effective blend of thriller and horror – of The Hand that Rocks the Cradle and The Grudge – The Uninvited is the best Hollywood adaptation of an Asian horror title since The Ring. Taut, nervy performances, lean, unobtrusive direction and a smattering of wit in the script make this the rare horror picture that rises above cheesy “gotchas” and gore… You can see the payoff coming and like many movies of the genre, there’s a tendency to oversell the coda… But that bit of dumbing down doesn’t make The Uninvited any less welcome.” – Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

Vinyan

978. (new) 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

Gothika

979. (new) Gothika

Mathieu Kassovitz

2003 / USA / 98m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., Charles S. Dutton, John Carroll Lynch, Bernard Hill, Penélope Cruz, Dorian Harewood, Bronwen Mantel, Kathleen Mackey, Matthew G. Taylor

“The casting of Halle Berry is useful to the movie, because she evokes a vulnerable quality that triggers our concern… Berry can act, all right (see “Monster’s Ball”) but she can also simply evoke, and here, where she’s required to fight her way out of a nightmare, that quality is crucial. She carries us along with her, while logic and plausibility (see above) simply become irrelevant. Any criticism of this movie that says it doesn’t make sense is missing the point. Any review that faults it for going over the top into lurid overkill is criticizing its most entertaining quality… It takes nerve to make a movie like this in the face of the taste police, but Kassovitz and Berry have the right stuff.” – Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com

Miss Muerte

980. (new) 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

La corta notte delle bambole di vetro

981. (-121) La corta notte delle bambole di vetro

Aldo Lado

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

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

The Collector

982. (-320) The Collector

William Wyler

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

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

Incubus

983. (new) 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

Frogs

984. (-139) Frogs

George McCowan

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

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

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

985. (-322) Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Dwight H. Little

1988 / USA / 88m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, George P. Wilbur, Michael Pataki, Beau Starr, Kathleen Kinmont, Sasha Jenson, Gene Ross, Carmen Filpi

“Director Little manages to evoke some sense of tension every so often, with Loomis’ attempts to warn police about Myers re-entering Haddonfield, while Jamie and Rachel become victim to Michael’s murderous rampage. Once again under Akkad’s presence, Michael becomes another routine masked slasher who has a knack for doling out some painful murders, and “The Return” is changes its narrative mid-way from a stalk and slash to a suspenseful mission involving Rachel’s efforts to keep Jamie alive. While it’s definitely not the best of the series, it’s an entertaining slasher film with a very good final scene that stands out among the other titles in the series.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Grave

986. (new) Grave

Julia Ducournau

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

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

The Village

987. (-39) The Village

M. Night Shyamalan

2004 / USA / 108m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Brendan Gleeson, Cherry Jones, Celia Weston, John Christopher Jones, Frank Collison

“The Village does require faith; you must commit to it. Go in with a snide attitude, desperate to see The Sixth Sense director fail, and you’ll leave with your prejudices underpinned. Better to embrace the experience and allow Shyamalan to show off his sublime gift for suspense. This may be the most gleefully manipulative movie since prime period Hitchcock. Yet even as the love it/loathe it third act unfolds, its narrative bullets spent, there are social issues to consider for those so inclined. Does the conclusion endorse isolationism or simply state This Is The Way Things Are? Whichever, one disquieting message is clear: we are as troubling as any monsters.” – Nev Pierce, BBC

Ju-on

988. (new) Ju-on

Takashi Shimizu

2000 / Japan / 70m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Yûrei Yanagi, Yue, Ryôta Koyama, Hitomi Miwa, Asumi Miwa, Yumi Yoshiyuki, Kazushi Andô, Chiaki Kuriyama, Yoriko Dôguchi, Jun’ichi Kiuchi

“So this is where it all began. Sort of. In 1998, recommended by Kiyoshi Kurosawa to write and direct one or more of the segments for the Kansai TV horror film anthology “Gakko no Kaidan G”, Takashi Shimizu introduced Japanese audiences to Toshio and Kayako Saeki… If a film can cause a reaction without needing to rely on exposition or narrative, then you know that visually it’s doing something right. And Shimizu has the power to do that. There aren’t many directors that are able to create such a feeling through the use of lighting, composition and montage, I’d say Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Hideo Nakata are the only others who can do this effectively, but Shimizu is in the league of these greats. “Ju-on” is not the perfect horror film. It’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s the start of a style that Shimizu would perfect, and that’s something beautiful.” – Matthew Hardstaff, J-Film Pow-Wow

Die Säge des Todes

989. (new) Die Säge des Todes

Jesús Franco

1981 / West Germany / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Olivia Pascal, Christoph Moosbrugger, Nadja Gerganoff, Alexander Waechter, Jasmin Losensky, Corinna Drews, Ann-Beate Engelke, Peter Exacoustos, Antonia García, Beatriz Sancho Nieto

“Bloody Moon is the legendary cult director Jess Franco’s take on the slasher genre, but as always with Franco he is not out to do something generic just to make a quick buck. The atmosphere of the film and the style it is shot in might not be the best of Franco, but it sure makes the film stand out from the rest of the early 80’s slasher films. The murders are set up nicely, delivering enough blood and guts to keep slasher fans happy. There’s also plenty of nudity, but what fans of slasher films will miss is the intense tone and the lack of attempts at making the film have any scary parts.” – Greg Baty, Cinesploitation

Serial Mom

990. (new) Serial Mom

John Waters

1994 / USA / 95m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston, Ricki Lake, Matthew Lillard, Scott Morgan, Walt MacPherson, Justin Whalin, Patricia Dunnock, Lonnie Horsey, Mink Stole

“A loose remake of Female Trouble with Polyester’s subversively accessible polish, Serial Mom is the strongest film of the post-midnight-movie chapter of John Waters’s career. Successfully uniting his classic themes of celebrity, crime, exploitation filmmaking, the horrors of suburban interior design, and the idiocy of American politesse… Waters uses his watered-down, latter-day aesthetic presentation in much the same way his earlier films adopted a grotesque, hairy sheen; both styles get inside both the main characters milieu as well as the audience’s comfort zone before the filmmaker lets the latter know they’re as much the target of his ridicule as the buffoons on screen.” – Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

991. (-584) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Ana Lily Amirpour

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

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

Otesánek

992. (-230) 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

We Are What We Are

993. (-393) 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

Rogue

994. (-376) 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

Jungfrukällan

995. (new) Jungfrukällan

Ingmar Bergman

1960 / Sweden / 89m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom, Birgitta Pettersson, Axel Düberg, Tor Isedal, Allan Edwall, Ove Porath, Axel Slangus, Gudrun Brost

“The collision between the kindly spirit of the New Testament and the pent-up savagery of paganism runs as a leitmotif through the entire film. The heathen world and its superstitions are symbolized by the sinister old man at the ford, who cherishes his box of relics and terrifies Ingeri, and by the rapist’s furious trampling on the gleaming white candles that tumble from Karin’s bag. The pagan significance of fire, earth, and water emerges in several scenes: from the opening shots of Ingeri blowing alight the morning fire at the farm to the close-ups of a sparkling stream in the forest and, finally, of the water that flows from beneath Karin’s corpse as Töre lifts her head in sorrow.” – Peter Cowie, The Criterion Collection

Eyes of Laura Mars

996. (new) Eyes of Laura Mars

Irvin Kershner

1978 / USA / 104m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, Rene Auberjonois, Raul Julia, Frank Adonis, Lisa Taylor, Darlanne Fluegel, Rose Gregorio, Bill Boggs

“The case has been made… for seeing Eyes of Laura Mars as the first American giallo thriller, and it’s a valid one. A number of the sub-genre’s key elements are here, from the visually stylised POV murders to the film’s attempt to misdirect us by casting suspicion on individuals who may or may not be the killer. It also boasts one hell of a cast, with some initially surprising choices that are later revealed to have their roots planted partly in tradition… Ultimately, it’s the characters and performances that hold the attention and ultimately keep the central concept from feeling preposterous, and Kershner has a local boy’s eye for New York life and has a knack for peppering busier scenes with interesting detail.” – Slarek, Cine Outsider

Deadgirl

997. (-505) 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

Wake Wood

998. (new) 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 Asphyx

999. (-61) The Asphyx

Peter Newbrook

1973 / UK / 99m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Robert Stephens, Robert Powell, Jane Lapotaire, Alex Scott, Ralph Arliss, Fiona Walker, Terry Scully, John Lawrence, David Grey, Tony Caunter

“Visually, The Asphyx is beautiful. The film’s budget probably wasn’t significantly higher than other British horror films of the period, but it’s far more delicately lit and photographed than the typical, rudimentary techniques employed in other ’70s horror pictures. However, as beautifully lit as all the sets are, Newbrook’s direction is singularly inert… The Asphyx bears a passing resemblance to The Private Life of a Sherlock Holmes. Stephens taps into the same melancholy, and both films feature prologues set in present-day Britain, followed by main titles over dusty personal mementos from 70 years before. Newbrook’s lack of experience directing horror films – those he produced were similarly unusual but not good – probably accounts for several bad ideas that work against the film’s effectiveness.” – Stuart Galbraith IV, DVD Talk

When a Stranger Calls Back

1000. (new) When a Stranger Calls Back

Fred Walton

1993 / USA / 94m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Jill Schoelen, Gene Lythgow, Karen Elizabeth Austin, Babs Chula, John B. Destry, Duncan Fraser, Jenn Griffin, Gary Jones

“When a Stranger Calls Back was made for TV, which actually makes it more impressive (seeing as how made for TV horror movies have a history of sucking donkey balls). While the movie itself is slightly better than mediocre, the opening sequence is what makes the film. Julia is a young babysitter who spends a night in a middle class neighborhood. A knock arrives at the front door by a person having car distress. Without ruining the sequence for those that haven’t seen the movie, the suspense is built up very slowly (the scene is about 15 minutes in length) until the “coupe de gras” which will delight even the most well-seasoned horror fan. I have heard that the opening sequences for both of the “Stranger” movies are perhaps the most well-directed scenes in the history of horror. I can’t completely deny that statement.” – Jenn Dlugos, Classic-Horror.com