#Blue Ruin (2013)

Directed by Jeremy Saulnier

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When I discover a film I feel is really special in some way, I usually drag as many people to the theater as possible to see it with me before it’s banished to the streaming realm forever. I’m always excited by the challenge of choosing people I’m sure will enjoy it as much as I do, but I’m not always right.

With Under the Skin (2013), I had about a 50% success rate with people either really loving it or really hating it. With Let the Right One In (2008), I hit a near 100% success rate with the only complaint being having to read subtitles (which is clearly not a complaint about the movie and says more about the viewer). With Blue Ruin I hit my first home run (did I use that sportsball metaphor correctly?). Now, I’ve only shared it with about 4–5 people, but across the board everyone really loved the movie.

Director Jeremy Saulnier needs to write the handbook for making great films on a small budget. The budget for this film was around $420,000, which is just remarkable. I’ve never made a film, but this just seems like an impossible challenge. I’d love to know how they pulled it off. I’m so glad they did.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#The Piano Teacher (2001)

Directed by Michael Haneke

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It’s not Horror, it’s Haneke.™

I dare you to watch this film without looking away once. I dare you to watch almost any Haneke film without looking away. They’re very often confrontational and require work on the viewer’s part to decode. I’ve finished Haneke films with other people where nobody really agreed on what we all just watched (The White Ribbon (2009), which is incredible).

The Piano Teacher isn’t quite so oblique but it’s definitely a challenging watch. Isabelle Huppert’s performance is one to be studied. In fact, there are several actors that have referenced this performance as inspiration for their own award-winning performances. I do wonder, though, with an actor of this calibre, how do you say, “Um, Mrs. Huppert, in this scene I’m gonna need you to masturbate feverishly while huffing a stranger’s discarded sperm-soaked tissue.” I’m just glad we have someone like Haneke to ask the tough questions.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#Orphan (2009)

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

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Orphan is a little too slick for its own good. It looks and feels stylistically like so many other films, which in turn made it difficult for me to really recall anything specific about the film other than the final act. I did remember that I was surprised at how much I liked it, so I gave it a re-watch.

It is much better than you might expect it to be. Isabelle Fuhrman, who plays the titular orphan, is phenomenal and really makes the film work. Vera Farmiga is great but I grew very tired of the frequent weeping sessions, which she tends to lean on a bit too much. Peter Sarsgaard is creepy, and not in a good way. More in the completely two-dimensional male ego way. There is a sort of weak backstory for the family that’s entirely unnecessary, not really used, and barely even touched on.

I wouldn’t consider this my first choice if I were digging through the archives looking for something to watch, but it isn’t half bad for a back-up plan. If it wasn’t for Isabelle Fuhrman’s performance, I’d pass this one over completely.

— B

My rating: 6/10

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#Eden Lake (2008)

Directed by James Watkins

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I originally discovered Eden Lake when I was researching films in the New French Extremity movement. While Eden Lake doesn’t belong to this movement — it isn’t “extreme” or French — I would say it’s definitely New French Extremity adjacent. Interestingly enough, I remember the film being pretty brutal, but upon a re-watch I found much of the violence in the film is implied and not explicit. Many of the more difficult scenes show only a few frames of the violence and leave you to fill in the blanks, or you can hear what’s going on but can’t actually see anything.

My husband Michael and I did show this film to a close friend once. We were in a literal cabin in the woods outside of Asheville, North Carolina, which should by all intents and purposes heighten the effects of any good Horror film, but it wasn’t to be. We were sitting on a super itchy couch that in fact turned out not to just be itchy, but infested with fleas. We didn’t realize until the movie was over, but sitting there scratching away for two hours made it difficult to really enjoy the movie. We loved it as much as the first time, and our friend didn’t like it at all. I’m gonna blame the fleas.

— B

My rating: 8/10

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#Repulsion (1965)

Directed by Roman Polanski

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“The nightmare world of a virgin’s dreams becomes the screen’s shocking reality!”

I first saw this film when I was on a Catherine Deneuve kick (the first of many) in the 90s thanks to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964). I also happened to be on a Roman Polanski kick after seeing Death and the Maiden (1994) in the theater. One plus one equals… I don’t know. I didn’t go to school for math.

Repulsion is such an odd duck. I read that Polanski came up with this film in an effort to have a commercial success which would then help fund the film he really wanted to make, Cut-de-sac (1966). To think that Repulsion was designed to be a commercial success is astounding. This is like the bizarro version of a commercial success. It really has none of the ingredients of a crowd pleaser with the one exception maybe being Catherine Deneuve herself, but that would be something of a red herring. If she were the draw I expect viewers felt pretty bamboozled early in the film.

I remember feeling kind of revolted when I finished the film. The whole thing is really pretty off-putting and unpleasant. But they do such an incredible job of putting you in the mind of Carol. The crumbling interior of the apartment; the rotting rabbit carcass; the silence and isolation. It’s all so powerful.

It isn’t fun or entertaining, but if you’re looking to become immersed in a film that takes you to dark places, look no further.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#The Changeling (1980)

Directed by Peter Medak

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Suggested by Gino Macias

In late 2009 I shared one of my favorite scenes from Black Christmas (1974) on YouTube. The concept of “Best Horror Scenes” didn’t yet exist — I was just sharing a scene from a movie I loved. To my surprise it started getting some views and comments, so I shared scenes from The Tenant (1976), Insidious (2011), The Eclipse (2009), and Exorcist III (1990).

The Exorcist III clip started getting a lot of views and comments right away, with most of the comments being standard juvenile YouTube fare, so I disabled notifications and stopped posting for a while. When I eventually came back I was shocked to see that this clip had more than 1.5 million views and hundreds of comments, and the channel now had nearly 4,000 subscribers.

This ignited a fire in me to start sharing again. Over the next few years I posted several clips from different films, introducing a bit of Best Horror Scenes branding in the videos and adding the Did You Know? feature. In January of 2020 I created besthorrorscenes.com. Where early on I would post just a handful of scenes per year, these days it averages more like one per week.

Over the years many people have reached out to make suggestions for scenes to feature, but no film has gotten nearly the number of suggestions as The Changeling. The Changeling is considered by many people to be one of the greatest Horror films of all time. People like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorcese, who apparently both own their own 35mm prints of the film and used it as inspiration for their own films. These are big words. There are very, very few films that are given that kind of universal praise. But I believe The Changeling deserves it.

It’s a deceptively simple film. It’s almost as much about what happens off-screen as what happens on. In fact, there is very little that actually happens on screen, and what little we do see is very uncomplicated and equally effective (a ball thrown down the stairs from an unknown source; an empty wheelchair chasing a character throughout the house; doors opening and closing on their own; the distressed voice of a child from an empty room). But it all just works and makes for a landmark film in a genre that is woefully void of quality entries that don’t have to rely on jump scares, gore, or revealing outfits.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#The Nightingale (2018)

Directed by Jennifer Kent

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Now before you get angry with me, I know The Nightingale isn’t a Horror film, but that doesn’t make it any less horrifying. I can’t remember another film in recent years that I peeked at through my fingers as much as I did this one. Particularly the scene I’ve featured. It’s destroying. BRUTAL with a capital B.R.U.T.A.L.

As with every film I share here, I highly recommend you watch the full film before you watch just this scene. It concerns a major plot point that you really deserve to learn the way the filmmaker intended, and not out of context on some jerk’s fanboy site.

The Nightingale was written and directed by Jennifer Kent of The Babadook (2014) fame and shows her having grown exponentially since that film’s release (and she was already pretty remarkable). The film is not for the faint of heart, trust. There were several moments where I just had to take a short pause.

Lead actor Aisling Franciosi, who plays Clare, a young Irish convict who seeks revenge for a terrible act of violence committed against her family, is absolutely outstanding. If it weren’t for her, many scenes may have actually verged on being a bit exploitative. But she throws herself in completely and and just tears your heart to shreds. When all is said and done, it almost feels like you actually witnessed something personally.

So while it isn’t “Horror” per se, it is without a doubt some of the most horrifying passages I’ve ever seen on film. If you don’t feel the same after watching it, I’m truly concerned about you.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#Altered States (1980)

Directed by Ken Russell

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Remember when you were a kid and you saw one of those shampoo commercials where the lady’s boobs were just offscreen? Or you found a racy photo in one of your mom’s Cosmopolitans? Or that one tiny photo of Jan Michael Vincent in the nude in the back of a Playboy? Or that ad with Burt Reynolds in just the top half of a football jersey? That first source of adolescent fantasy that sets the stage for your future adult fantasies? Mine was William Hurt in Altered States. The first time I remember going, “Heeeeyyy… who is thaaat??” Also the movie was pretty neat.

The effects are still largely pretty fantastic. Dated, yes, but not in a way that makes it seem cheap, which is saying a lot considering Ken Russell’s history of subpar visual stunts (ahem… The Lair of the White Worm). I still found myself often thinking, “I wonder how they did that??”

This is William Hurt’s first film (and Drew Barrymore’s!), but he’s a good as he’s ever been, even working with material that could very easily have gone super pretentious and esoteric. And Bob Balaban! I know him mostly for his many appearances in Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries, but he’s great here as a young scientist.

So while the film is definitely very of its time, it’s still an enjoyable (and incredibly psychedelic) watch. Even better, it would make for a perfect film to play in the background at a party, or as a double feature with The Holy Mountain (1973).

— B

My rating: 7/10

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#The Babadook (2016)

Directed by Jennifer Kent

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Those that approach The Babadook expecting anything resembling traditional Horror will most likely be disappointed. Sure, there is a “monster” that makes several appearances and is quite unsettling, but it isn’t long before you start to piece together that the entire thing is an allegory for grief. Or something.

The film is honestly kind of punishing. Not an easy watch. Everyone seems so miserable; the color palette is basically “no colors anywhere ever!”; and the kid is just… awful. A lot of people held issue with the kid, saying he ruined the film for them. But I believe that’s the point. By the time the film wraps I’m exhausted and frustrated and ready to wring the kid’s neck myself. Fun! You’re basically seeing the world through lead character Amelia’s eyes (I think), and it does a bang-up job of getting you there and knocking you around for a while.

While reading up on the movie today I stumbled upon an article about the Babadook LGBTQ meme. I’d never heard about it, but apparently Netflix erroneously added the film to their LGBTQ category, and it thrust The Babadook into the gay icon stratosphere. One quote reads:

Whenever someone says the Babadook isn’t openly gay it’s like??? Did you even watch the movie?

Another:

It’s canon basically. I mean he created a pop-up book of himself for the drama of it all???

Check it out. It’s pretty funny. Not the movie, the meme. But the movie, too.

— B

My rating: 8/10

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#The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Directed by André Øvredal

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I’m realizing that several scenes recently featured are from films with very small casts, and on very small sets. Gerald’s Game takes place primarily in a single room with one actor carrying most of the film; the vast majority of The Night House’s runtime features one character (that you can see); The Lighthouse is basically a three-act play featuring two leads; and Antichrist is a prologue, four chapters, and an epilogue featuring two actors.

Much like these films, The Autopsy of Jane Doe takes place entirely on one set with few characters (including Olwen Catherine Kelly who plays the titular Jane Doe). And much like those films, it benefits from strong performances by all, good writing, great direction, and some genuinely creepy visitors. There is a complex mystery at the center of the story, and it’s certainly a good time watching it unfold, but what I remember enjoying most is the various unwelcome guests that make appearances, including and especially the one featured in this scene (that bell!!).

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is directed by André Øvredal, who also wrote and directed the fantastic Troll Hunter (2010), a great double feature if I’ve ever seen one.

— B

My rating: 7/10

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#Gerald’s Game (2017)

Directed by Mike Flanagan

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Sometimes the simplest premise makes for a deliciously chilling ride. In an effort to jump start their failing marriage, Gerald and wife Jessie take to their lake house for a weekend of adventurous role-play and sexual escapades, but things go… wrong.

I saved this film for a night when I couldn’t find anything else to watch. My expectations were low, but it didn’t take long to realize I wasn’t watching another lazy Stephen King adaptation. Gerald’s Game is actually quite good, with the majority of the film being carried more than capably by actor Carla Gugino who is given the impossible task of performing while chained to a bed. There are a few particularly unnerving scenes, one of which I’ve featured here, and another that is incredibly difficult to watch.

So, move this one out of your when-you-can’t-find-anything-else pile and give it a shot!

— B

My rating: 7/10

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#Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Directed by George A. Romero

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I first saw Night of the Living Dead when I was around 9-years-old, but it wasn’t the full film. A comedy troupe called The L.A. Connection had a short-lived television show called Mad Movies (which predated Mystery Science Theater 3000 by a few years) where they would take beloved classic films, edit them down to 20 minutes, and re-dub all new dialogue, always turning the original story completely on its head. For example, they once did The Little Princess (1939) starring Shirley Temple, making Temple possessed by a doll, and only a song-and-dance exorcism can save her.

For Night of the Living Dead, Barbara is throwing a surprise birthday party for herself and the zombies are party goers that arrive too early, throwing Barbara into a frenzy because she didn’t have anything cute to wear and she’s out of lettuce. Every time it cut to a shot of the zombies approaching the house or sticking their arms through windows you would hear them all saying, “surpriiiiisse…” in a mumbled, deadpan tone. It was magical.

For whatever reason the film was never on my radar, even though I knew full well that it was a major milestone in Horror history. I didn’t see the full film until I was a good bit older. I can’t put my finger on it, but despite the terrible practical effects; the sub-par acting; the amateur framing in many scenes; the terrible sound; the canned music; despite all of the things that will usually ruin any chance of disassociating while watching a film, I really enjoyed it. And while I didn’t really feel it was at all scary, there was a unique sense of anxiety and danger underlining the entire film from frame one. I think the high-contrast black-and-white print also played a major role in its success, and the setting itself — a remote country farmhouse — definitely contributed to the claustrophobia.

Night of the Living Dead is one of the most successful independent films of all time, by quite a long shot. The final budget for the film was $114,000 (equivalent to $847,400 in 2020), and it grossed approximately $30,000,000 (equivalent to $223,600,000 in 2020) — over 263 times its budget. Despite its record-making successes, director George A. Romero saw very little of the profit as he didn’t include a copyright at the end of the film. Laws at the time stated this was a requirement, and because he missed it the film almost immediately went into the public domain (which is why you often see it playing on TVs in other Horror films, such as the original Halloween).

And let’s not get started on the fact that this single film is responsible for creating an entire universe of Horror sub-genres, and that many modern day zombie films still adhere to the guidelines set forth by George A. Romero and his crew all of those years ago (zombies are cannibals; they move slowly; they simply adore brains; and you have to shoot them in the head to kill them).

It’s for these reasons that I consider Night of the Living Dead untouchable. Un-review-able. Un-critique-able. Precious, even. And it goes without saying, a must-see film for the Horror completist.

— B

My rating: 10/10

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#Possessor (2020)

Directed by Brandon Cronenberg

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The odds that the child of a legendary Horror film director would themselves turn out to be a pretty great Horror film director are astronomical. I hadn’t seen Brandon Cronenberg’s previous/first film (2012’s Antiviral), so this was my introduction to his work. I actually put off watching Possessor for a while. Truthfully, I love his father’s work so much that I was almost worried Possessor wouldn’t be good and it would somehow sully the Cronenberg name, which is ridiculous.

Fortunately I didn’t have to worry about that as Possessor is very well done with its own unique style and vision. There are definitely moments where you can see his father’s son in the work, but it never feels derivative.

And oh boy, is this thing bloody. Apparently most of what you see on camera was done practically, and it’s often uncomfortably realistic (especially if you consider being stabbed in the neck a particularly disturbing vision).

If you can find it, watch the director’s cut as it includes a few scenes that Cronenberg had to remove to get an “R” rating in the US.

— B

My rating: 8/10

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#The Night House (2020)

Directed by David Bruckner

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I’ve found it more and more challenging in recent years to find a truly great (or event good) Horror film that I haven’t seen. I would venture a guess that the ratio of good to bad films leans more heavily toward the “bad” end in the Horror genre than in any other genre. A quick search led me to this article which, using data from IMDB, ranks genres for films between 2008–2018 based on their average rating across that genre. Guess which comes in dead last?

According to the article, the highest-rated genre is Documentary with an average rating of 7.27 and 218,653 votes, and the lowest is Horror with an average rating of 4.89 and 4,172,760 votes. I don’t know about you, but I’m not at all surprised.

Bottom 5 Genres on IMDB by Rating (2008–2018)

Genre Average Rating Number of Votes
Action 5.70 30,839,648
Western 5.70 63,005
Sci-Fi 5.56 11,097,552
Thriller 5.46 9,588,469
Horror 4.89 4,172,760

Because the genre is so overloaded with subpar films, it makes it all the more special when you stumble upon one that bucks the trend. Such was the case with The Night House. I already knew that I liked David Bruckner’s previous work (see The Ritual), and I love Rebecca Hall, so I felt pretty confident that this film would, at the very least, be somewhat enjoyable. But it wasn’t. It was downright fantastic.

It’s a really fresh take on a ghost story with Rebecca Hall skillfully carrying the weight of the entire film on her shoulders. She is, more often than not, the only character on screen. There are several scenes that could have come across as very hokey (you’ll know which) that instead end up breaking your heart for her. The plot moves along swiftly with several unexpected turns that actually build on the story instead of undermining it. Strong recommend.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#Tourist Trap (1979)

Directed by David Schmoeller

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This film flew under the radar for me until a few years ago. I’d heard about it several times and knew it was considered a classic, but, to be completely transparent, I sometimes have a tough time convincing myself to watch older films for fear that they just won’t hold up well. Particularly films in the Horror genre.

While Tourist Trap is undeniably a product of its time, it’s an important film in the annals of Horror and is often legitimately creepy. I mean, murderous mannequins? EEK! Once, when I asked, “Why do people put concrete deer in their front yard? Is it to ward off other deer?” my friend Toto replied, “Would you go into a house that had a bunch of mannequins in the front yard?”

No. I most definitely would not.

— B

My rating: 8/10

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#The Lighthouse (2019)

Directed by Robert Eggers

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I was tempted to just post the entire film instead of a single clip because the whole thing is so goddamned perfect from start to finish. Robert Eggers has got to be a science experiment. I just don’t understand how he (and Ari Aster and David Robert Mitchell and Jennifer Kent) can step from oblivion fully baked and make films like The Witch and Hereditary and It Follows and The Babadook, respectively. I don’t care where they came from. I’m just glad they’re here.

Robert Eggers is a consummate researcher. Apparently, he usually starts the research process before actually deciding what kind of story he wants to tell, and writes as he digs deeper. He works hard to ensure that the end product is as close to authentic for that time period as possible, even basing decisions re: filming techniques on what was available at the time, or what era a story like this might have been told in.

The results thus far have been two of the best Horror films to have come out in the last decade. Everybody involved — including director Robert Eggers and two leads Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe — is firing on all cylinders here. Both actors were dragged through Hell during filming and delivered career defining performances. I was shocked to see neither received an Oscar nod, but films in this genre are rarely recognized.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a black-and-white film look so glorious, so rich, so textured. Virtually every shot is framed to perfection and feels like you’re watching the film through a portal to the 1920s, all with an aspect ratio that’s nearly perfectly square (1.19:1). The only film I can think of that comes close (and is itself nearly perfect) is Ida (2013), which is 1.37:1.

— B

My rating: 10/10

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#The Boy (2015)

Directed by Craig William Macneill

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A darker, maybe better take on The Good Son. The pacing can be glacial at times, but it is a story about a bored child’s fascination with death, so I think it’s forgivable. A lot of people compare it to Psycho, but I don’t see it at all. The only real overlap is that it focuses on a disturbed boy living at a motel with a parent. Oh, I’m adding a “creepy kid” filter for this film.

— B

My rating: 6/10

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#Alfred Hitchcock Hour: An Unlocked Window (1964)

Directed by Joseph M. Newman

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I’ve written before about the Saturday Nightmares Series the USA Network ran in the ’80s. That series would feature one Horror/Thriller film from 8pm to 10pm, then either The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, or Alfred Hitchcock Presents from 10pm to 11pm. I watched the three-hour block religiously and attribute my early love for Horror to this series. I can also credit the series with the many nights I slept on our itchy couch because I was too afraid to make the dangerous trek from the living room to my bedroom in the dark.

There are a few episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour that stuck with me, An Unlocked Window being my favorite. It’s a quintessential creepy-old-house-in-a-storm tale with a twist. Two other episodes I remember really loving are Where the Woodbine Twineth (season 3, episode 13) and Final Escape (season 2, episode 18). The former being about an orphan with a not-so-imaginary friend, and the latter being about a convict in a state prison that concocts a terrifying plan of escape (also featuring a genius twist). Check them out!!

— B

My rating: 8/10

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#Dressed to Kill (1980)

Directed by Brian De Palma

#87
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When I was little and we were watching a movie, if a scene came up that was maybe a little too risqué for a child my parents would say, “Bub… go to the closet!” (Oh the irony.) It really meant just to cover my eyes, but of course I wouldn’t do a great job of it, and sometimes I’d see a little something and think, “What’s the big deal?”

I remember us starting Dressed to Kill and having to “go to the closet” several times in just the first 10–15 minutes or so, then they stopped the video altogether and we never finished, although I did later catch my brother looking at the shower scene again (he would also get very close to the TV when the Prell shampoo commercials with the lady showering came on and press his face to the screen to try and see if he could look down into the TV and see her boobs). This of course piqued my interest greatly and made this forbidden film one I would later seek out the moment I turned 18 and could rent it myself.

Brian De Palma mastered the art of suspense with many of his early films. He also mastered the art of sneaking soft-core porn into his occasionally above average Thrillers (taking it to a near meta level with his problematic 1984 film Body Double). Dressed to Kill begins with a three-minute pornographic take on the shower scene from Psycho featuring actor Angie Dickinson working up a lather (paying extra close attention to her breasts and vagina, of course), then being raped in front of her husband by a phantom assailant, and finally cuts to said husband using her to get off while she struggles underneath him. I’m sure you can see why a lot of people hold issue with the film. It continues to face accusations of misogyny and transphobia to this day.

My teenage brain of course didn’t put any of that together. Watching it today, it’s impossible to ignore the aforementioned issues, but rather than ignore it or cast it aside, I think we can consider it a benchmark to see just how far we’ve come in such a short time. Like so many movies from decades past, its warts are on full, unabashed display, but does that make it a bad film? I’d love to hear what you think.

— B

My rating: 8/10

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#Black Swan (2010)

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

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Possibly for the first time in his career as a director, most of the post-release chatter centered around Natalie Portman’s performance and the things she had to do to prepare for the role, and not around Aronofsky as a writer or director. There is good reason, as Portman’s performance is thoroughly convincing and gleefully unhinged.

I love so much about this film. I feel like it shows Aronofsky at his artistic peak (well, The Wrestler is pretty fantastic, too). The documentary-style hand-held camera work really adds to the frenetic atmosphere, especially as Nina (Portman) falls deeper and deeper into psychosis. I’m particularly fond of the many scenes where the camera follows Nina from behind as she navigates the city streets and the labyrinthian hallways of Lincoln Center, all the while catching fleeting glimpses of herself in other people’s faces and distorted reflections.

While there are many scenes that might be considered more traditional Horror (Nina’s compulsive skin picking; Beth stabbing herself in the face with a nail file), it’s the psychological hold it takes on you that has the strongest effect. Aronofsky and cinematographer Matthew Libatique do a great job at dropping the viewer into Nina’s paranoid mind, making her a proxy of sorts, and you, the viewer, the intended target.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#Salem’s Lot (1979)

Directed by Tobe Hooper

#85
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I was lucky enough to be the child of parents that didn’t really police what I watched (within reason… ish). Some of my warmest memories are of my mother and I going to our local video store (The Video Station) and spending an hour or more picking a bunch of movies to take home (and also renting a giant VCR as we didn’t own one). I still remember the distinct smell of that place, which I naturally associated with happiness. I spent all of my time in the Horror section, which was surprisingly large for a small town family-owned video shop, and offered films from all over the world.

At some point I discovered that they sold a large catalog of the films their distributor offered. Each film included a synopsis, year, rating, genres, director, and occasionally a one-sentence review. The catalog was $12, a pretty steep fee considering we were actually quite poor. My mother noticed that I always returned to it to look up movies and surprised me one day with my very own copy.

I read it like a book and circled every film I wanted to see, then would dog-ear the pages with circled films. On our trips to The Video Station I would bring the catalog with me and use it as a reference to pick my movies for the day. Salem’s Lot was one of those films, yet they never had the video in stock. It was always rented out.

I know I had already seen it on television, but I was much younger and could remember just one scene: the kitchen scene. I would have been just six-years-old when it originally aired in 1979 and probably hadn’t yet developed a taste for Horror, but that one scene undoubtedly played an integral role in my love of the genre.

I didn’t choose to feature that scene because so many people have suggested the scene that I did feature (I’ll bet you can guess which scene it is). I’d love to hear what you think! Drop a comment below or comment on YouTube if you’d like.

— B

My rating: 8/10

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#Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Directed by Robert Aldritch

#84
0

I used to suffer from terrible growing pains in my legs when I was young. My mother’s answer to every ailment was a warm wash rag and some Horse Liniment, an aggressively medicinal-smelling ointment meant for horses (it stiiiiinnnggs). On one particular night I was struggling with terrible pain and my mother was slathering the liniment around my knees. She asked what would make me feel better. I immediately replied, “I wanna watch TV in Joy’s room!”

Joy, my sister, was staying at a friend’s house. Her room was all gauzy and ethereal, and I secretly coveted it. This was the early ’80s, and we had just gotten cable installed for the first time. In those days, the USA Network had a block they called USA Saturday Nightmares, which was a three-hour block that showed a movie from eight to ten, and at ten o’clock they would show two half-hour horror TV series. Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, etc. I watched every single weekend. This night’s film happened to be Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte.

The wind was howling outside, so I opened her windows to let the white, semi-transparent drapes dramatically flutter around me (her bed was situated under two large windows). Then I nestled into her unusually high, puffy bed, covered myself in several layers of blankets and a comforter, and watched my story.

I remember just two things: the white gown with blood on it, and the head rolling down the stairs. I also remember that I was rendered defenseless and afraid after the movie and was too afraid to run to my room (her room was on the opposite side of the house from everyone else’s, and my Dad had a nasty habit of waiting in the darkness for a very long time just to scare the shit out of us). So I fell asleep in her room, realizing I’d completely forgotten about the pain while I was watching the film. That’s a great film!

— B

My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Directed by Georges Franju

#83
0

I first saw the uncut version of this film on Halloween night at Chicago’s Music Box theater in 2003. This was in fact its first run in the U.S., 43 years after its original release. That was a particularly magical night. I was sitting in one of my favorite theaters in the world, watching my favorite genre in one of my favorite months of the year. I was perfectly primed for this film without even realizing it.

As with most any pre-60s Horror film, the scares don’t really pack the same punch as they would originally have, but there are some iconic moments here, and I’d be willing to bet that the film is much better than you expect it to be.

There is one particularly infamous scene that (as so many films now lay claim to) apparently caused a lot of fainting and had the censors up in arms. Somehow, some way, director Georges Franju was able to get it past the censors and into theaters. I can imagine some of this stuff would have been quite shocking in 1960. Apparently Franju doesn’t consider it Horror, but rather a “tale of anguish.”

I’d love to hear what you think…

— B

My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#Prince Of Darkness (1987)

Directed by John Carpenter

#82
0

This is one of those seminal films that really helped forge the Horror fan that I am today. Particularly, well-directed Horror. This film has so many striking visuals that stand the test of time. Apparently Alice Cooper has tried several times to convince director John Carpenter to film a sequel, stating he “… wants to see more than just the anti-God’s hand but the whole thing.” I really appreciate that we only ever catch glimpses — the silhouette from a distance, the hand coming out of the mirror. We’ve seen “the big reveal” fall flat on its face so many times in Horror films.

And can we talk about Susan Blanchard’s bloody, peeling face for a moment? That image haunted and disturbed me as a child, yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away. To this day I still find it to be so very… unnerving. The juxtaposition of the blood against the pure blond hair is what pushes it over the edge for me.

Like so many of John Carpenter’s films, Prince Of Darkness didn’t perform well in theaters, but had a second life with home video and has since grown a large cult following. It’s apparently one of his personal favorites from his catalog, and I can understand why.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

Directed by Scott Derrickson

#81
0

I saw this film in the middle of a tour with my old band. By this point in the tour we were somewhere in Virginia and had played to a string of empty rooms and were looking for the first distraction we could find. A nearby theater was playing this film and one other. We picked this one knowing it was going to be awful — maybe even bad enough to be funny.

It wasn’t funny, fortunately, but in fact a great take on the genre, focusing primarily on the legal drama and not the exorcism itself, which somehow actually works to underscore the exorcism segments. And while I feel the exorcism story line goes a bit off the rails and cliche as it draws on, lead actress Jennifer Carpenter is an absolute BEAST and a blast to watch. Story goes that all of the crazy positions and poses you see her in are really her and not effects, and that she would practice for hours alone in a room with mirrored walls.

The film was also apparently riddled with “strange occurrences” where several actors and crew members reported unexplainable things happening to them on and off set.

For me, this is the best exorcism film to have come around in some time. Most exorcism films end up being a parody of themselves and rely on many of the same tropes (and I just cannot forgive the ridiculous digital effects on the voices).

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, but it is a viable and enjoyable film in a sea of so, so many terrible ones.

— B

My rating: 7/10

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#The Ritual (2017)

Directed by David Bruckner

#80
0

Director David Bruckner made headlines in the film world when he released his first film, The Signal (2007), which was made on a paltry $50,000 budget. A few years later he would be invited to film a segment for the first entry in the V/H/S (2012) series. Now four films into that series, his segment, titled Amateur Night, is still universally considered one of the best segments of the bunch.

With The Ritual, we once again see him making magic with an incredibly meager budget, this time topping about $1,000,000. That’s a remarkable feat, especially considering the quality of the final product. This film features above-par acting from every cast member, great direction, is visually stunning with some pretty convincing set design, and lots of effectively eerie shots of the forest that gives it a foreboding life of its own. Strong recommend.

— B

My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#Sisters (1972)

Directed by Brian De Palma

#79
0

Split screen mania! Ketchup blood! Only a young, wide-eyed director would have the gumption to use split screen so liberally. I mean, you’re literally filming twice the amount of footage, and orchestrating everything to line up just so must be terribly challenging. I gave “split screen” a search in Google Images and a screenshot from this film was the fifth image.

I remember watching Sisters many years ago and feeling like the twist ended up not being the twist I was hoping for, and I felt the same way after a recent repeat viewing. In fact, I don’t think the ending really works, and even Jennifer Salt (one of the lead actresses) admitted in an interview that she herself had no idea what it was supposed to mean.

Either way, it’s a really fun ride that’s nice to look at, and the score by Bernard Herrmann — Alfred Hitchcock’s composer of choice — is characteristically chilling and moody. I think De Palma must have been giddy beyond measure to work with Herrmann, as the final cut of the film places the score front-end-center at every opportunity.

— B

My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Antichrist (2009)

Directed by Lars von Trier

#78
0

I became an instant fan of Lars von Trier’s when I discovered his early film Europa (1991). Shortly after watching that film, Breaking the Waves (1996) was released and created a frenzy around him and star Emily Watson (making her theatrical film debut), who went on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Breaking the Waves is a near-perfect film for me, but as with most of his projects, Trier made headlines with controversial statements like, “I was determined to write a story that was so far-fetched and so full of clichés that no one could take it seriously, but of course the audience liked it. All you have to do is come up with something really stupid, and it will become a great success.”

I’ve learned not to pay too close attention to anything he says about his own films. But when I heard that he was making a Horror film, and that he wrote and directed it while hospitalized for depression, and that it stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, I found myself once again reading interviews with Trier to learn more. I was seeing comments like, “I watched a documentary where the forests were portrayed as a place of great pain and suffering as the different species tried to kill and eat each other. I was fascinated by the contrast between this and the view of nature as a romantic and peaceful place. At the same time that we hang it on our walls over the fireplace or whatever, it represents pure Hell.” I was intrigued.

Antichrist is far from a perfect film. In some ways I wonder if it should ever have left Trier’s brain (which could be said about many of his films). I think Trier’s films are made up of so many incredible and unique parts that sometimes don’t always fit perfectly together, but those parts are so good that it’s usually easily forgiven.

Antichrist is a deeply personal and original vision. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes it’s difficult to know if you’re expected to be horrified or to laugh (chaos reigns…), but because so many of the parts are so astoundingly beautiful and original, I feel it’s definitely worth a viewing. Be warned, though. There is good reason I blocked out most of the picture in the clip I chose.

— B

My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#Kill List (2011)

Directed by Ben Wheatley

#77
0

Director Ben Wheatley is a tough one to nail down. You truly have no idea what to expect when viewing his films. They often bend genre rules and take you in a direction you would never have expected, and he doesn’t tend to stick to one genre. In interviews he states that Kill List is most definitely a Horror film (which is great as more often than not Horror directors deny the genre label because they’re afraid of being pigeonholed), but it doesn’t really feel like Horror. Until it does.

— B

My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#They Look Like People (2015)

Directed by Perry Blackshear

#76
0

I wish I could remember how I stumbled upon They Look Like People, but I’m so glad I did. It’s a subtle, understated psychological thriller that relies entirely on good writing, good performances, and the viewer’s imagination. There is very little in the way of special effects, save for some truly inspired sound design, but director Perry Blackshear does a wonderful job of facilitating the viewer in filling in those blanks ourselves. Is Wyatt crazy? Or has he really seen something he wasn’t supposed to see?

— B

My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Martyrs (2008)

Directed by Pascal Laugier

#75
0

This one’s another one for the completist horror fan. It’s not a bad film by any means. It’s actually pretty great, and quite terrifying. It’s just… very bleak, with nothing much to wash it down with. Director Pascal Laugier has gotten a lot of guff for this film over the years, including from the two lead actresses. He even went so far as to open the DVD presentation of Martyrs with an apology to its viewers. Laugier wants you to know that he’s sorry for what he has committed to film. He shouldn’t be sorry. He created what’s become an important film in the New French Extremity movement, and those are some great films to be associated with.

— B

My rating: 7/10

No Comments

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#Blow Out (1981)

Directed by Brian De Palma

#74
0

Taking a slightly different approach here and sharing a great scene from a thriller that isn’t necessarily a horror scene, but rather a parody of one. The ghost of Hitchcock is more present than ever here in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, and it’s glorious.

— B

My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#The Woman In Black (1989)

Directed by Herbert Wise

#73
0

Suggested by Reddit user _Scott_Blacula_

An undeniable classic. This film languished for years in a legal battle between the three crew members (!) that owned the rights, which may have inadvertently helped the film reach cult status. For some time the only way to see The Woman In Black was to seek it out on Usenet and download it illegally, and even then the only copies available were low-quality rips pulled from old VHS tapes (which may have added to the mystique).

THIS is how you make a great horror film with no budget and no violence. Just good writing, great performances, great direction, and a little bit of face paint.

Interesting tidbit: Adrian Rawlins, who stars in the original, went on to play Harry Potter’s father in the Harry Potter series. Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, went on to play the lead in the 2017 The Woman In Black remake (which you should probably just skip).

— B

My rating: 10/10

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#Irreversible (2002)

Directed by Gaspar Noé

#72
0

Note for those of you that are familiar with this film: No, I didn’t choose that scene. I just couldn’t. I’ve only watched it once, and even then in 15–30 second increments with sanity breaks. Outside of real-life violence (which I can’t stand witnessing) that scene was probably the hardest of any scene from any film for me to get through. Hell, apparently the actress herself hasn’t ever watched the scene all the way through.

Note for the rest of you: For the first time in Best Horror Scenes history, I’m actually going to recommend you don’t watch this scene unless you’re completely prepared and in a place where nobody else can see your screen. It’s extraordinarily disturbing, the camera work is nauseating and disorienting, the violence is very realistic, and there are a lot of flashes of real S&M.

For those that are not familiar with this film (if you’re here it’s hard for me to imagine you haven’t at least heard of it — it’s truly infamous): Irreversible is incredibly difficult watch, and definitely not for everyone. Director Gaspar Noé makes sure of that at every turn. Firstly, it’s filmed in reverse. The film begins with the final act, and each segment you watch actually happened after the segment that follows it (yes, he was inspired by Memento, but the concept is taken to a whole new level here). Secondly, the camera often appears to be hanging from a spring. It dips and spins and twirls and swings and wobbles like a dying moth, all the while catching flashes of incredibly disturbing imagery (including a shot of the director himself masturbating). Lastly, Irreversible features what is, in my experience, quite possibly one of the most talked about scenes in “horror” film history (while this isn’t really considered traditional horror, it is fucking horrifying like no other film you’ll ever see). If you can make it through that scene without looking away, you may want to consider professional help.

Director Gaspar Noé is either the most nihilistic filmmaker of all time, or an epic, long-running joke on the film world. He makes a point of being controversial and subversive (just look at the title sequence for Enter the Void alone). Of making the viewer work just as hard as he has to make it to the end of his films. But regardless of how you feel about him — and people tend to feel very strongly one way or the other — you cannot deny the fact that this film is one of the most horrifying and disturbing ever (legally) released.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#Coma (1978)

Directed by Michael Crichton

#71
0

You know that thing where you want to revisit a favorite from childhood, but you’re a little hesitant because you don’t know how it’ll hold up and you don’t want to sully the fond memories? While Coma is a pretty lightweight little thriller that smacks hard of 1978 in virtually every way, it’s still a really compelling story with some pretty unforgettable imagery and heart-pounding sequences. File under: good movies for plane rides so nearby passengers don’t have to see decapitated heads or disembodied hands murdering scantily-clad teens.

— B

My rating: 7/10

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#Terrified (2017)

Directed by Demián Rugna

#70
0

This film came as a total surprise. After falling down the “Viewers Also Watched” rabbit hole on Apple TV one night, I found it probably 20 levels deep. It’s since become more popular, but at the time had no marketing or exposure. I went in not expecting much at all, but instead didn’t just like the film, I loved it. It’s thoroughly enjoyable, and genuinely creepy with several truly unnerving scenes. A fresh take on the genre, and follows no well-worn path.

Note: If you can (as a general rule, of course), see if you can find the non-dubbed version of the film. Also: There is nothing creepier than a dead kid, and this film features possibly the creepiest of them all.

— B

My rating: 8/10

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#Snowtown (2011)

Directed by Justin Kurzel

#69
0

I remember finishing Snowtown the first time and feeling kind of upset and dirty. Very similar to the way I felt when, as a teenager, I watched Faces Of Death alone. It was a morbid, giddy fascination that led me to watching that film, but once it was over I knew I’d seen something I shouldn’t have and wished I could erase it from my memory.

Snowtown feels very real from the start. There are only two professional actors in the bunch (Daniel Henshall and Richard Green), yet instead of quickly trying to mold the first-time actors into something they aren’t, Daniel and Richard followed their lead and modified their own respective styles to match the tone. What results is what feels like a shockingly authentic record of events. You feel less like a person watching a documentary (as they are generally carefully edited and presented to tell a story) and more like a witness. I think it’s due to this that we are able to let go and develop a level of trust very early on in the film that is unmatched in most films.

— B

My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#Hounds Of Love (2016)

Directed by Ben Young

#68
0

Ben Young delivers an exceptional first feature with Hounds Of Love, a disturbing little film featuring stellar performances by all with beautiful cinematography and direction. Emma Booth, who plays Evelyn White, is particularly inspired and… unhinged. I believe every moment of her unraveling, and it’s difficult to watch. She’s so good in fact that you find yourself almost rooting for her in one moment and completely repelled by her in the next.

Hounds Of Love isn’t breaking any new ground here, but due to the quality of the final product and a couple of truly harrowing scenes, I’d say it’s worth a watch.

— B

My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Klute (1971)

Directed by Alan J. Pakula

#67
0

I realize it’s a controversial statement, but here goes: this film is perfect. This is a film firing on all cylinders. Jane Fonda is a force of nature. The scene I chose is remarkable for so many reasons, but her performance is one to be studied. Apparently, she planned to play scared for the scene, but when she heard the tape recording of the call girl about to be murdered and the fear in her voice, she unexpectedly started crying. By this point in the film you’ve likely already grown to care for Fonda’s character, Bree. To watch her break down like this, knowing something is about to happen, is absolutely gut-wrenching. Strong recommend.

— B

My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Tesis (1996)

Directed by Alejandro Amenábar

#66
0

Director Alejandro Amenábar, who would later direct The Others (2001), started writing Tesis before graduating from film school. The final product definitely feels like it came from a director with more experience under their belt. This is a nice little thriller that feels maybe a bit dated today, but still holds up nonetheless.

— B

My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Mute Witness (1995)

Directed by Anthony Waller

#65
0

The first 34 minutes of Mute Witness are some of the most suspenseful I’ve experienced in any film, and the first 5 minutes some of the funniest. It features an inspired 15-minute cat-and-mouse chase through a labyrinthian film studio after Billy, a mute make-up artist, stumbles upon a snuff film being shot in the studio after hours. The chase features several perfectly timed near misses that must have been incredibly difficult to nail.

An interesting tidbit: Anthony Waller, the director, had a moment of serendipity when he bumped into Sir Alec Guinness a full three years before filming on Mute Witness began. He took a chance and asked if Alec would be willing to shoot a cameo for his next film. To his surprise, Guinness said he’d be delighted and that he would do it for free. Guinness was booked for the next eighteen months, so Waller suggested they shoot the scene the following morning in an underground car park. Guinness readily agreed and, true to his word, took no payment.

It would be Sir Alec Guinness’s final film.

— B

My rating: 8/10

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#Midsommar (2019)

Directed by Ari Aster

#64
0

The 2010s was such an incredible decade for first-time directors in the horror genre. Jennifer Kent with The Babadook (2014); David Robert Mitchell with It Follows (2014); Robert Eggers with The Witch (2015); S. Craig Zahler with Bone Tomahawk (2015); Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz with Goodnight Mommy (2015); and Ari Aster with Hereditary (2018). Somehow shaking the sophomore slump that so many creative people are cursed with, these filmmakers were able to rally and release something just as good as (and sometimes better than) their first outing.

With Midsommar, Ari Aster tossed most of the horror tropes we’ve grown so tired of out the window (he was never really a subscriber anyway). Midsommar takes place primarily in the bright light of day, and all murders occur offscreen. We only get to see the aftermath, and it isn’t pretty. He starts the film with an illustration that, if studied closely, reveals the entire story he’s about to tell. The visual tone of the film is very bright and washed-out, which makes the moments of violence all the more shocking and disturbing. Blood has never looked so… bloody. Once again, Ari has filled his film with an assortment of easter eggs and subliminal clues, none of which are required to enjoy the film but make the experience all the more engrossing.

I can’t explain why, but while Hereditary was definitely the bleaker film, I walked away from Midsommar feeling… ickier. I really believe this is due in large part to the stark contrast between the visual style of the film and the violence. When something terrible does happen, the camera doesn’t shy away. There are no quick, apologetic shots of gore. When the man leaps from the cliff and lands on his feet, we get a clear, personal, up-close view of the aftermath, and boy is that a striking visual.

Like so many others, I cannot wait to see what else Ari Aster has to share with us.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#Let the Right One In (2008)

Directed by Tomas Alfredson

#63
0

What can I say about this film? It’s as close to perfect as any film I’ve seen, from any genre. The relationship between Eli and Oskar is so beautiful, so pure. So many of us can relate to Oskar’s story. To watch it unfold feels personal and painful, possibly because it taps into so many of our own experiences from childhood, when we felt powerless, alone, and misunderstood.

Oskar and Eli meet at the perfect moment. Both have been alienated by their circumstances, and both desperately desire connection and love. The fact that Eli happens to be a vampire is somewhat moot (until the end of the film, of course). It’s what happens because she’s a vampire that is so important to their connection.

The book that the film was based is also quite good, and, as is typically the case, goes much deeper into each characters’ backstory. We learn so much more about Eli’s origins (e.g. Eli is actually a boy that was castrated, which the film hints at in one particular scene), as well as many other characters (such as Håkan, Eli’s caretaker, who was a pedophile that created a sort of symbiotic relationship with Eli where he would find blood for her and she would… ?).

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this film (and forced others to watch it with me), and save for the cat attack scene (which some say was intentionally humorous, but feels like too much of a momentary shift in tone to me), it’s just as beautiful and impactful today as the day it was released. Strong recommend.

— B

My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#The Void (2016)

Directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski

#62
0

This is such a scrappy little film. The directors partially crowd-funded the project because if you wait for funding to come through, it’s already nearly time to start filming. They wanted to start work on the creatures as soon as possible, and were able to raise enough to do so via an Indiegogo campaign. All effects were practical, and the film was made on a shoestring budget. Yet somehow the final product feels surprisingly polished.

In the end it was worth it. The creatures are truly the stuff of nightmares. One in particular who walks upside-down on its hands and feet in staccato movements (a gimmick we’ve seen a million times in possession films, but… you’ll see in the clip). Well, the one repeatedly ramming the spike through it’s barely-there skull is also pretty inspired.

— B

My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#The Strangers (2008)

Directed by Bryan Bertino

#61
0

It seems I’m in the minority in my love for this film. Something just works for me. The handheld camera work. The simple disguises. Their deadpan and mumbled delivery. Their uncanny ability to be anywhere and everywhere instantly. I remember having a tough time with the ending originally, but now I can’t imagine it any other way.

— B

My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#The House of the Devil (2009)

Directed by Ti West

#60
0

For my 60th installment, I’m covering one of my favorite horror films. For many, this film is too much of a slow-burn. Common adjectives running through IMDB user reviews include “borefest,” “waste of my precious time,” “dull and full of anachronism.” I will acknowledge that this film moves at a much more leisurely pace than your average horror film. But wouldn’t you say that many films in this genre suffer from the opposite problem? Often jumping straight into the action with little to no concern for character development or story.

In stark contrast to many of the other films in this collection, this film relies very little on gore and violence. It does eventually make an appearance, but not without first taking special care to guide us there and bring us closer to the characters along the way, making it all the more impactful once it does finally kick in.

The majority of the film is carried entirely by MOOOOOOOD (all-caps, bolding, and extra “Os” intentional). Shot on 16mm and labored over obsessively, this film looks and feels incredible. The quality of the image and the cinematography are both well above par for the genre. It somehow manages to avoid all of the conventional tropes of a period piece — particularly one set in the ’80s — and instead feels like an honest love letter to the decade and the many familiar stylistic flourishes it’s so inspired by.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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#Exhibit A (2013)

Directed by Dom Rotheroe

#59
0

Simultaneously one of the best and most terrifying found footage films I’ve seen. Very disturbing and convincing.

— B

My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#Goodnight Mommy (2014)

Directed by Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz

#58
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#Green Room (2015)

Directed by Jeremy Saulnier

#57
0

Having seen and fallen completely in love with Jeremy Saulnier’s previous film, Blue Ruin (2013),

— B

My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#The Vanishing (1988)

Directed by George Sluizer

#56
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#The Omen (1976)

Directed by Richard Donner

#55
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

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#Les Diaboliques (1955)

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

#54
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#The Shining (1980)

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

#53
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Jaws (1975)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

#52
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Pet Sematary (1989)

Directed by Mary Lambert

#51
0
My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Psycho (1960)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

#50
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Suspiria (1977)

Directed by Dario Argento

#49
0

Suggested by Nicholas Shaw

My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

Directed by Nicolas Pesce

#48
0

Suggested by Alexa Chermak

My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Directed by Tobe Hooper

#47
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Sinister (2012)

Directed by Scott Derrickson

#46
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Directed by Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

#45
0
My rating: 7/10

No Comments

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#mother! (2017)

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

#44
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#The Descent (2005)

Directed by Neil Marshall

#43
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Poltergeist (1982)

Directed by Tobe Hooper

#42
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Misery (1990)

Directed by Rob Reiner

#41
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#The Brood (1979)

Directed by David Cronenberg

#40
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#28 Days Later (2002)

Directed by Danny Boyle

#39
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Hereditary (2018)

Directed by Ari Aster

#38
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Session 9 (2001)

Directed by Brad Anderson

#37
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Still of the Night (1982)

Directed by Robert Benson

#36
0
My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Don’t Look Now (1973)

Directed by Nicolas Roeg

#35
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

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#The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Directed by Jonathan Demme

#34
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Marathon Man (1976)

Directed by John Schlesinger

#33
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Hellraiser (1987)

Directed by Clive Barker

#32
0
My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#The Witch (2015)

Directed by Robert Eggers

#31
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Deliverance (1972)

Directed by John Boorman

#30
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Signs (2002)

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

#29
0
My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Se7en (1995)

Directed by David Fincher

#28
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#The Thing (1982)

Directed by John Carpenter

#27
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Directed by S. Craig Zahler

#26
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#Annihilation (2018)

Directed by Alex Garland

#25
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

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#A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

Directed by Wes Craven

#24
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Inside (2007)

Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury

#23
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#It Follows (2014)

Directed by David Robert Mitchell

#22
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Directed by Adrian Lyne

#21
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Zodiac (2007)

Directed by David Fincher

#20
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

Directed by John Erick Dowdle

#19
0

Okay, so this found-footage/mockumentary film is really pretty terrible, which seems to be the case with most films that have a good bit of hype and cult following before they’re even released (or in the case of this film, illegally downloaded). The recipe here contains two ingredients: “documentary” footage (cutaways of crime scenes, evidence, interviews, etc.), and the “real” footage left by the serial killer. The former is awful. Just… awful. Truly terrible acting. Dialogue presumably penned by a teen boy. The works. The archive footage, however, is really something. Many of the vignettes are quite terrifying, and surprisingly well-acted.

It’s hard to understand how they ended up with two parts so disparate in quality, but if you’ve got a bit of spare time and feel like fast-forwarding through the bad bits, it’s worth checking out (if you can find it).

— B

My rating: 5/10

No Comments

#[REC] (2007)

Directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza

#18
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#The Orphanage (2007)

Directed by J.A. Bayona

#17
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Lake Mungo (2008)

Directed by Joel Anderson

#16
0
My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Under the Skin (2013)

Directed by Jonathan Glazer

#15
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

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#Mulholland Drive (2001)

Directed by David Lynch

#14
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970)

Directed by Dario Argento

#13
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#The Signalman (1976)

Directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark

#12
0
My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#The Fog (1980)

Directed by John Carpenter

#11
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1989)

Directed by John McNaughton

#10
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1979)

Directed by Philip Kaufman

#9
0
My rating: 9/10

No Comments

#When a Stranger Calls (1979)

Directed by Fred Walton

#8
0
My rating: 6/10

No Comments

#Audition (1999)

Directed by Takashi Miike

#7
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#Wait Until Dark (1967)

Directed by Terence Young

#6
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Exorcist III (1990)

Directed by William Peter Blatty

#5
0
My rating: 7/10

No Comments

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#The Eclipse (2009)

Directed by Conor McPherson

#4
0
My rating: 7/10

No Comments

#Insidious (2011)

Directed by James Wan

#3
0
My rating: 8/10

No Comments

#The Tenant (1976)

Directed by Roman Polanski

#2
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments

#Black Christmas (1974)

Directed by Bob Clark

#1
0
My rating: 10/10

No Comments