Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Best Horror Films

Inspired by Q's never ending lists, here's a compilation of the films that will most likely make you soil yourself. By Stan Moss & Claude Carpentieri

The Shining (1980)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick. With Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd.
By far the scariest film in the history of mankind. Jack is given the unenviable task of looking after a massive, isolated hotel up the Rocky Mountains while it stays shut for the winter season. His only company is his wife Wendy and son Danny. Except that all that solitude slowly drives him insane. Add the bad vibes exuded by said hotel, a psychic son ("Redrum"), snowstorms and it's time to get yourself some nappies. Sod A Clockwork Orange, this is Kubrick at his peak.

REC (2007)
Directed by Jaume Balaguero. With Manuela Velasco, Maria Lanau.
A young TV reporter and a cameraman decide to follow a fire brigade crew along to a routine emergency call. Destination: a creepy old block of flats. Which they won't be allowed to exit.

Christine (1983)
Directed by John Carpenter. With Keith Gordon, John Stockwell.
Based on a Stephen King novel, and back in the days when his stories weren't about spotty monsters and OTT crap, it tells the story of uber-geek uber-bullied Arnie turning the table on his tormentors as he falls in love with a malevolent, red-and-white 1958 Plymouth Fury. A car that, in the words of George Thorogood and his soundtrack, is truly "bad to the bone".

The Exorcist (1973)
Directed by William Friedkin. With Linda Blair, Jason Miller.
My parents wouldn't let me watch it. Then one day my uncle decided it'd be a good idea while they weren't around. Heads rotating 360 degrees, mint sauce coming out of Regan's mouth and scary voices. You can dismiss it as a load of bollocks as much as you like but you're guaranteed to watch it all in one go.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Directed by Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez. With Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams.
1999's marketing masterpiece, this low-budget film was declared the most profitable in the history of cinema. Initially sold to the public as "real footage", found in the woods where four students mysteriously disappeared in 1994. All narrative of course. But the greatest thing is that you don't see any monsters, axe-wielding maniacs or supernatural forces. Think about it next time you head for Lickey Hills.

Creep (2004)
Directed by Chritopher Smith. With Franca Potente
A woman finds herself locked in overnight in the London Tube. If that wasn't scary enough she's being stalked by a minging killer living in the sewers below. And he's not pissed.

The Birds (1963)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. With Jessica Tandy, Rod Taylor.
Watch the legendary adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's classic and you'll get why Ken Livingstone declared war on pigeons...

El Orfanato- The Orphanage (2007)
Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. With Belen Rueda, Fernando Cayo
Laura returns to the orphanage where she stayed for a period as a child. Not short of a bob or two she purchases the massive house, with plans to turn it into a home for disabled children. In the meantime, the parents discover their kid's talking to an imaginary friend. Horror ensues.

Profondo Rosso - Deep Red (1975)
Directed by Dario Argento. With David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia
Italy's horror masterpiece, it tells the story of a music teacher investigating the violent death of a psychic medium. Back in the days when bathtub murders, creepy dolls and children's musicboxes still seemed scary and prog-rock soundtracks still deemed acceptable.

The Ring (2002)
Directed by Gore Verbinski. With Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson
In the American adaptation of the original Japanese story, a young journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it. The videotape bit is possibly the most nightmarish and disturbing thing ever seen. It makes The Exorcist come across as light-hearted as Borat.

Wolf Creek (2005)
Directed by Greg McLean. With John Jarratt, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips
Two incredibly annoying British backpackers and an Ozzie guy end up in the Australian Outback. Their dead car battery won't help but a local bushman will.

Don't Look Now (1973)
Directed by Nick Roeg. With Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie
Another Daphne Du Maurier-inspired classic. Following the tragic death of their daughter, an architect and his wife decide to spend some time in a particularly spectral-looking Venice to recover. Bad call, as it turns out.

Halloween (1978)
Directed by John Carpenter. With Jamie Lee Curtis.
Its legendary status slightly tarnished by the incessant release of useless sequels, it remains a lynchpin of the genre. The Beatles more famous than Jesus Christ? No, but Michael Myers may be.

Cloverfield (2008)
Directed by Matt Reeves. With Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, TJ Miller.
Off the back of post 9-11 syndrome, a giant monster unsuspectingly attacks New York City rudely interrupting a going-away party. The best thing is that you don't really see the monster, which leaves the sense of foreboding more substantial.


Anonymous said...

Mate, you criminally forgot SCREAM and SAW.

Anonymous said...

texas chainsaw massacre