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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 11.03.15] horror



So Halloween's over. Whatever. As promised, here's part two of our reader-picked horror films list. You can catch up with the first part here.

While we haven't listed all the films here in part two either (see the FB link for that and to add your own ideas), I think we've captured the breadth of tastes and pleasures that came in. I've even added one of two of my own picks for good measure.


So, grab a pen and start programming the best goddamn Halloween movie marathon possible. Please note these are in no-particular order of preference.



Let's Go!





Hideo Nakata's Ringu is truly a horror classic. The film turned the world's eye towards Japan as a new horror mecca where rules were being broken and the cultural was bringing its own sensibilities to the genre.

Of course, it spawned an enormously successful remake that was also a huge hit so there was a solid ten year period of J-Horror imports and remakes that happened. Good times.






Following the success of Carrie in the late 70's, The 80's may have been the best era for Stephen King adaptations and since Fritz Kiersch's Children of the Corn is one of my favorites, I wasn't surprised to see the title come up.

The first CotC movies stars Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton as a young couple who find themselves stranded in the rural town of Gatlin, Neb., where they encounter a mysterious religious sect of children. No adults. Great hook, hey?

Children of the Corn spawned seven goddamn sequels.






When the dust settles on 2015, I have no doubt you'll see It Follows on a lot of top 10 lists. The decidedly hipster horror is also an exercise in tension and uncertainty and it doesn't hurt that it has a fantastic score. The film has been labeled an STD metaphor and also a film about the fear of social decay creeping into the suburbs.

If you haven't already seen the film, I think it's on Netflix in pretty much every region.






Threads may not be a "horror movie", but it is horrifying. The infamous and award-winning British television drama showed a vision of a possible apocalypse unlike any other and pulled no punches.

To quote the recommender: "not a horror movie technically, but it is easily the most horrifying film I've ever seen. Set (and made) during the most frigid part of the Cold War, it's an unblinking look at a full-scale nuclear war and its aftermath."

Agreed.






This is my pick. Cabin in the Woods is the ultimate love letter to horror movies and the horror movie tropes we all love. I know not everyone thinks the film is as scary as it should be, but I find it to be overtly brutal, particularly how the ending lands.

If we're talking horror comedy, Cabin in the Woods is an instant classic.





Haute Tension (or High Tension as it's known here) was Alexandre Aja's breakout 2003 French shocker. This is the film that kicked the French genre auteurs into high gear and gave Martyrs a shot to be made. Since this one, Aja has had a rocky output at best. The Hill Have Eyes Remake is fantastic, while P2 and Mirrors are mediocre and Horns is an interesting curio at best.

But in the end, Aja has High Tension to hold onto and it really is a shocking ride with two amazing female leads at the steering wheel.






Georges Franju's gorgeous black and white, lyrical horror film from the 1960's was certainly ahead of its time. It's beautiful and gory and heartbreaking and simply wonderful.

At his secluded chateau in the French countryside, a brilliant, obsessive doctor (Children of Paradise's Pierre Brasseur) attempts a radical plastic surgery to restore the beauty of his daughter's disfigured countenance — at a horrifying price.





Despite the late Wes Craven's immeasurable contribution to modern horror, I wasn't all that surprised to see A Nightmare on Elm Street was the only one that came up. Not only did it spawn six more films starring the blade fingered Freddy Kruger, but it is the perfect horror film concept in terms of its simplicity and how it taps into primal teenage terrors.

A Nightmare on Elm street is also the kind of fantastical horror film that I wish we got more of. Horror now is so realistically rendered, I miss the kind of surreal dream imagery and logic that made this so profoundly scary.






A recent Stephen King adaptation that stands out among the rest is 1408. John Cusack (probably the best guy to play a King hero) plays a writer who specializes in debunking the paranormal. When he checks into the infamous room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel, he discovers some ghost stories are real.

Deftly directed by Mikael Håfström (who directed Escape Plan most recently), The Dolphin Hotel swiftly becomes an inescapable nightmare world for Cusack and the viewer. A real gem of a haunted house tale that begs a revisit.






I think a lot of my love for Lamberto Bava's Demons comes from the fact it takes place in a movie threatre. A group of colourful, over-the-top characters become trapped and attacked by gruesome demons while Billy Idol and Motley Crue and Saxon blow up the soundtrack.

The film spawned two sequels which pale in comparison. Man, I love this movie.






Love for Event Horizon has swelled over the past ten or so years which is great to see. Certainly it's the best Paul W.S. Anderson ever done and it remains pretty scary to this day.

A little bit Hellraiser is space, the film concerns an advanced space ship that bends time and space to travel great distances. The crew of The Event Horizon are sent to investigate what happened to a research vessel that has vanished. When they discover the ship deserted, they realize the crew has gone mad and try to figure out why.

The film was made at the onset of cgi and a lot of the FX hold up to this day. I remembered being scared shitless in the theare when I saw this and it still gets me.


Really, we could go on all day. So, let us know what we missed in the comments.


Read Part One of this list


Follow Christopher Webster on Twitter.







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Wumpus (4 years ago) Reply

Event Horizon is definitely *NOT* the best Paul Thomas Anderson has ever done. It is probably the best Paul W.S. Anderson has done, but, well... that's a pretty low bar.

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quietearth (4 years ago) Reply

Kairo (Pulse) should be on here

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Sergemaster (4 years ago) Reply

What about REC? That flick was a 2007 Spanish zombie horror film that definitely works on all levels. Again better than "Event Horizon" by a long shot..

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donc48 (4 years ago) Reply

Both Pulse, and REC should be on here. I think both the Japanese, and American versions of Pulse works.

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Anne Honimous (4 years ago) Reply

Interesting list... No Cronenberg, though? (The Fly?, Dead Zone?) and I'd also add The Mist, Hellraiser, Drag me to hell, Angel Heart, Sleepy Hollow, there are just so damn many... but any list with Event Horizon gets my thumbs up!


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