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May 4th, 2004, 12:41 AM
This thread is to post your list of what you think is essential viewing for the horror fan.

(No order of preference here)

1. The Living Dead series (George A. Romero) – I’m not intending to go into descriptions here but this is a brilliant series of anarchy movies, well worth the experience for anyone who doesn’t have a problem with seeing a lot of gore.

2. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir) – a group of Victorian-era schoolgirls go out on a picnic to a site of volcanic rock strata and some of them disappear under mysterious circumstances. Witness accounts and investigation turn up nothing concrete and all the while an atmosphere of dark foreboding and suffocating tension is built up. The film can also takes a look at the psychological tortures on women induced by the corseted social values of the time.

3. Eraserhead (David Lynch) – one of the weirdest movies made. Of course a lot of it is done ‘for the effect’ so to say, but that takes nothing away from the brilliantly scary and dystopic atmosphere of this nightmarish vision.

4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick) – one of the most high-profile adaptations of a Stephen King novel. Kubrick almost displaces King’s concept of the Haunted Hotel to make the film more of a what-if study into the effect of utter isolation on a family whose sanity is already in question. The absolutely fantastic set-design and cinematography are in themselves sufficient reason to see the film. The only sour note comes from a ridiculously hammy performance by the highly overrated Jack Nicholson.

5. The Evil Dead series (Sam Raimi) – OK, everyone has probably seen this so I’m not wasting time here. My personal favorite is the second film in the series Dead by Dawn whose combination of gory make-up and pitch-black humor (mixed with loads of spot-on slapstick, thanks to the marvelously energetic Bruce Campbell) makes for insane viewing.

6. The Exorcist 1 (William Friedkin) & Exorcist 2: The Heretic (John Boorman) – Everybody has seen the first part and frankly it doesn’t matter if you got cheated out on a few nasty scenes, because IMO the strength of this film is the wholly pragmatic and gritty approach that the film takes towards presenting it’s material. Stuff like the opening shots at the excavation, the relationship between father Karras and his invalid mother or Regan’s medical examination are brilliant in their palpable quality. In fact I lose interest in the film when it nears the splatter-happy climax.
The second part I recommend only as a flawed experiment. The main problem was that Boorman was, as I see it, trying to make a different kind of film, more a kind of Christianity v/s Paganism thing, and the film jars badly whenever it tries to connect with its predecessor, which is quite a lot. The screenplay is vague at best and hopelessly bad performances don’t help. But it still has curiosity value for the horror enthusiast.

7. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock) and Psycho 2 (Richard Franklin) – again everybody knows the first movie, I’m not talking about it. I found the second film rather interesting, if flawed in execution. Here, Norman is released from the asylum, and is trying to gain acceptance as a normal person, while a second string of murders starts to occur at the Bates Motel. The best part of this movie was the warm and very credible portrayal of Norman by Anthony Perkins – there was a palpable sense of the character having matured since the last movie. The movie also has a very interesting ambiguous epilogue.

8. Haxan (Benjamin Christensen) – not really a horror film but an awesome docu-drama on witchcraft in the Middle Ages, which deals with both the superstitions regarding witches as well as the religious persecution and mass paranoia of the period. Some of the visual effects are so brilliant it’s hard to believe it was made in 1922.

9. The Innocents (Jack Clayton) - This 1961 British adaptation of Henry James' Turn of the Screw is one of the spookiest films I've ever seen. There are no outlandish visual effects or cheesy loud noise scares, just pure psychological terror that builds steadily every moment of the fim. Brilliant performances by entire cast and fantastic direction and cinematography.

10. Martin (George Romero) - A beautifully told tragic tale about a young vampire in a prosaic world.

Fat Nerd
May 4th, 2004, 02:45 AM
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper) - The greatest horror film of all time. The sequels were okay but nothing compares to the original.

May 4th, 2004, 08:19 AM

Forget the sequels, only the original is worth watching. The KING of slasher pics.

The Thing

I'm referring to the Kurt Russell-John Carpenter version. Visual effects that still hold up and and excellent creepy setting.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Again, only the original is worth watching. Wes Craven's best film. The sequels try to be funny rather than scary. The first however, goes for the throat.

May 5th, 2004, 11:55 AM
A Nightmare on Elm Street

Again, only the original is worth watching. Wes Craven's best film. The sequels try to be funny rather than scary. The first however, goes for the throat.

I gotta disagree. Dream Warriors is a great film. It has a little more action than the original and it has some great deaths. My only gripe with it is Freddy's one-liners.

May 5th, 2004, 12:30 PM
Friday the 13th (series)

Possibly the best slasher series. Lots of kills. Lots of T&A. A killer who has no motive. I love this series.

Sleepaway Camp (series)

The original is a slasher classic. The two sequels poke fun of itself. Some gruesome kills (drowning is an outhouse!) and lots of T&A.

Last House on the Left

I haven't seen this but from what I've heard it's a very sadistic movie. Many films have been inspired by this.

Black Christmas

If I recall correctly, this is the first slasher film. Creepier than Halloween and starring a gorgeous Olivia Hussey. This film actually spooked me.

May 5th, 2004, 03:21 PM
Of course it's all a matterof choice but ut's a little disappointing to see that most people seem to equate horror with slashers. C'mon guys what about the other kinds of horror films?

May 6th, 2004, 07:13 AM
The Haunting of Hill House – Film by Robert Wise based on the book by Shirley Jackson. Truly superb and an exercise in how you can create tension and scares without actually showing anything. Also has a great introductory sequence.

Psycho – Absolutely great film with a truly mind-boggling performance by Perkins. And an amazing shot right at the end where a skull is superimposed on Perkins face for a split second. So briefly that its almost subconscious.

Halloween – Little else needs to be said about this. Understands that a film needs a nice slow build up to succeed. Also has a wonderful scene wherein Michaels mask slowly becomes visible behind Laurie.

The Fog – a bit more of a guilty pleasure compared to the above but I love ghost stories set around the sea (why aren’t there more of them?) and the opening camp-fire ghost story is wonderfully atmospheric.

The Thing – How do the special effects still stand up today? But they do and the story is tight and superb.

The Shining – For my money better than the book and I love the scene where the wife discovers Jack’s “work”. And I actually like Nicholson’s performance here, especially the ad-libbed “here’s Johnny”.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Any film that manages to convince people that it is very gory whilst actually being remarkably NOT gory has got to be a bit special.

American Werewolf in London – If I even need to say why is great then I know I am not talking to a horror fan. I’ll merely say Moors, Tube Station, Zombies in a porno theatre!

Ginger Snaps – Not strictly a horror but I really like this film.

Salem’s Lot – Pretty damn scary. What is it about the Nosferatu style vampires that makes them so good.

Fright Night – Chessy but good. And its got Roddy McDowell !

Bram Stoker’s Dracula – The title is a blatant lie but I love the artistry in this film even if I hate Keanu’s performance.

Dog Soldiers – Simple but good.

28 Days Later – Really enjoyed this. Fast “zombies” in the Blackwall Tunnel, which is scary enough in rush hour.

Evil Dead 3 – More of a comedy really but what a comedy!!

A Nightmare on Elm Street – The first and in my opinion the only one that actually is a horror film. In this film Freddy was a nasty piece of work whilst in the sequels he was an anti-hero.

Lifeforce – Five words. Hot. Female. Naked. Space. Vampires. Need I say more. (oh and a funky theme tune)

Alien – Maybe only a haunted house story in space but what a story. And is there a better conceived monster than the Alien in cinema history. (O.K. maybe Karloff’s Frankenstein’s monster)

Jaws – Not only a good horror story with perhaps the best signature tune in existence but a very carefully observed character piece too. Very little dialogue tells you all you need to know about Brody, Hooper and Quint.

The Others – Old school horror done the right way.

The Birds – a bit B-Movie’ish in places but worth it for the scene in the playground alone.

Dead of the Night – Do not mess with this preacher.

Poltergeist – like a fair ground fun ride. Quite scary and fun.

Freaks – Holy ****. That last scene!

The Wicker Man – I just love this film.

Southern Comfort – perhaps more of a thriller but I think its very under-rated

May 7th, 2004, 11:37 AM
I agree with many of those mentioned and would add (sorry if they already have been):

The Ring ~ And the Japanese versions are VERY creepy

Blairwitch ~ Probably an average movie but the hype helped create an experience beyond simple movie watching

The Howling ~ Probably the best werewolf movie still, even though Dog Soldiers comes close (I think An American Werewolf in London has the best transformation scene but The Howling was just great).

The Wicker Man ~ Classic witch craft tale and no happy ending here!!!

Angel Heart ~ The best 'Devil' in movies by Mr De Niro and who didn't cringe when you realised who the lead character had been having sex with!!!

The Omen ~ Awesome horror, surprised it wasn't mentioned.

Dawn of the Dead/Day of the Dead ~ Brilliant

If I am honest, a lot of the old horror I couldn't care less about because it just isn't scary and so to me is a waste of time, I am more interested in being entertained than being arty farty.

May 7th, 2004, 07:12 PM
I'm not a big horror fan, so Evil Dead 2 and Night of the Living Dead (either one) are the only two horror-style movies I really enjoy.

May 15th, 2004, 12:59 PM
On the cheesy side of horror, you have to watch Night of the Comet with Mary Stewart and a cast of other great B Movie stars.

Did anyone say The Omen??

Though not really a horror film, but used spookies and the lot:Ghostbusters