I love horror movies.
Always have, always will. I wish I had a friend that liked horror as much so I could make a regular movie night with them. Instead, I end up watching a lot of them alone because I seem to be the only one in my inner circle that enjoys it. And I’m the weird one. At least that makes for a creepier experience?
I think the first horror film I saw was David Lynch’s Eraserhead. I realize that isn’t necessary categorized as horror, per se, but to a 5- or 6-year-old mind, it’s definitely scary movie quality. I was entirely engrossed by the dancing cornish gamehens that oozed in their hot pan of death. Never ate one again (ever, come to think of it, since I don’t believe I had one prior to turning 5). Although I loved this movie, and it planted a rare seed in my dark little mind, it’s not on this list. I’m sticking to true horror, and my definition of it in this day and age of gore. Gore is cool and fun, but really not all my thing. Don’t misunderstand me, I like it, it’s a natural element of horror, and some of the movies below will have a fair share of gore, but I get annoyed when that’s all the movie focuses on. I’m into TERROR and being terrorized. It’s almost like a good porno. One with a plot that you can get into. Yes, I like good porn, like Behind the Green Door with Marilyn Chambers (also in Rabid, a horror film). But that would be another post entirely. 😉
Maybe I’m just old (not really that old) so my brain is wired differently. For instance, Ichi the Killer was fun, but just way over the I-want-to-get-as-bloody-spurty-good-as-I-can scale. And it didn’t scare me at all. Not one bit. It actually kinda irritated me because I watched it thinking I’d be freaked out. I wasn’t. That said, I like a lot of foreign horror. But my personal favorite all-time American horror movie is The Exorcist. Not surprising. That movie is truly frightening, engaging, and nightmare-inducing for me to this day. I’ve seen it a million times. Even in the womb, as my mother went to see it in the theater with my dad when she was pregnant with me and had to leave half-way through because she was afraid I’d come out possessed. hehe
So here’s my obscure list. Maybe not to all, but to some, I’m sure these will be new and I consider them should-definitely-see’s. And none of them got very good reviews. They’re all in the mid-range. Watch and see what YOU think of them!
#5: Session 9, 2001. Written and directed by Brad Anderson. CREEPY insane asylum ruins where the spirits of the mistreated patients are restless. I don’t think I need to say any more! So very creepy. I loved this movie! Got it for like $3 at a Blockbuster clearance event and so happy I picked it up. The deep scary voice from this movie – actually from the perpetrator – lives in my nightmares now (along with Candyman’s – but he’s not on this list).
#4: Wolf Creek, 2005. Written and directed by Greg Mclean. I’m really into horror films with scenarios of things that really could happen. Slashers are fun, I adore them, but these are the types I really love. Wolf Creek is one of those movies. A group of friends are stranded in the Australian outback. There is no escape! Crazy family catches their scent, makes their “friendly” move to help, and the rest is a fight for survival with little to no means of possible escape. And the killers are brutal and unforgiving. And I’ve heard the outback is a scary place to be stranded as it is. After seeing Wolf Creek, I doubt I’ll ever feel the itch to find out myself. EEK!
#3: The Strangers, 2008. Written and directed by Bryan Bertino. I want more from this director! I loved the pace and talk about feeling like you’re there in the film with them! It was absolutely spine-tingling, the feeling of Liv’s apprehension and terror. Also, the being home alone and terrorized by a senseless violence so deep it stays with you. Example: “Kristen: Why are you doing this to us? Pin-Up Girl: [pause] Because you were home.” That’s the most frightening to me. You never see the killers’ faces, all the more alluring. And one more memorable interaction from the film: “Dollface: [referring to Christian Living pamphlet] Can I have one? Mormon Boy #1: Are you a sinner? Dollface: [after long pause] Sometimes.” Really? Sometimes?! After just slaughtering a couple in their home for no other reason than because they were home. C-H-I-L-L-I-N-G!
#2: The Collector, 2009. Directed by Marcus Dunstan. In the style of an intense torture fest, The Collector does it with… dare I say a fresh, exciting, hooking tone. Yes, I said hooking. Unknown, masked killer enters and successfully boobie traps the home of a family that a construction worker/ex-con has come to rob to help his own family out of a terrible crisis. There are two story lines going on and it is done without confusion. The traps are great. The terror of being held captive emanates through the screen; you really feel like you’re in it. GREAT movie. And the soundtrack rocks, too. Bonus.
#1: A Tale of Two Sisters, 2003. Written and directed by South Korean director, Jee-woon Kim. This movie is FABULOUS! I can’t rave about it enough. I’m telling you, it is a must-see if nothing else on this list is. It is truly a beautiful, frightening film. The Americans remade it and called it The Uninvited. If I hadn’t loved and seen A Tale of Two Sisters a few times, I may not have realized that was a remake at all. I don’t believe they make any mention of it as such? Unless I just missed it. But it is undoubtedly the same story with only a few subtle changes. It was okay, but nothing near as good as the original. A true foreign masterpiece. Creepy and chilling to the core. And that is all I’ll say about that one. 😉 And don’t forget to set your subtitles. Dubbing doesn’t do it any justice at all…. and unless you speak Korean, you’ll really miss things without subs. I say this because I gave it to my mom to watch and she didn’t know how to set her DVD player up and thereby watched it in Korean. Then called me to say how scary it was but too bad she couldn’t understand what was happening. ?! hehe (Another Honorable Mention by this director is I Saw the Devil.)
ENJOY! And please let me know your thoughts / feelings on my choices. Also feel free to recommend any to me. I LOVE discovering new, great, otherwise-unknown horror-esque films.
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