Horror movies

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I have a friend who a I am hosting regular movie night with. At first I was trying to pick movies that weren’t too dark or violent. After about the third movie she admitted that she REALLY enjoyed horror movies. Apparently, and she quotes this with glee to people, I responded by saying, “Oh! That opens up a whole world of possibilities!’ Since then we’ve watched mostly horror movies and are currently working our way through the INSIDIOUS series. INSIDIOUS 2 was a fantastic time and had us on the edge of our seats. With INSIDIOUS 3 we christened the ghost ‘gloopy feet’ which lead to much hilarity when ever it appeared.

I also watched two incredible horror movies recently: HOST, a shorter horror film about friends holding a seance over ZOOM. It is nearly an all female cast and very intense. A Quiet Place Part II a worthy sequel to the first film. Never has so much tension been gleaned from such small, careful actions.

What horror movies have you enjoyed recently or in the past? Do you have a list of all time favourites and what resources do you use to find good new entries in the genre? Here is a YouTube review show I enjoy.

This is my loosely ordered top ten movies. I could, and might, do another ten that I enjoyed almost as much.

Ringu - Scared the crap out of me from the very first scene.
Jaws - Probably my first true horror film. Saw it in the cinema as a teen. It had a massive impact. I loved it and I wouldn’t go into the sea for a good few years.
Tremors - A silly but lovable classic staring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward.
Train to Busan - Fast zombies done right and possibly the best zombie transformation in cinema.
Monsters (2010) - A road trip with sense of impending doom, flawed characters and an ending I adore. You may well not.
Open Water - I was in agony the majority of the latter half of this movie. I cared so much about those people.
HOST - A superb, finely crafted but violent modern horror movie. Don’t hold you seances over ZOOM people! (Use Discord mb?)
It follows - just because you’re getting increasingly paranoid doesn’t mean it’s not following the protagonists.
Alien - I thoroughly spoiled this movie for myself before watching it otherwise it might be higher on the list.
Texas Chainsaw massacre (1974) - It starts out with an oppressive, doom laden atmosphere and ends up being completely bonkers but it grabbed me and didn’t let go until the dizzying end.

I'm a huge fan of ALL the Hellraiser films, despite most of them being awful. One day I'll find the time to edit them into decent flicks.

Lately The Witch and It Follows were hits for me. Both are tense more than scary, but they both worked.

It follows is probably on my all time favourites list. The start is extremely disturbing and I nearly stopped watching but it’s a superb, very original horror film and, as you say, tense. I’m usually up for a good slow burn movie but The Witch didn’t work for me as it did for many folks. I think you just have to be glad for those movies that do work.

Halloween has always been a favorite. The 2018 sequel is definitely worth a look. It ignores all the previous sequels. Rosemary's Baby is pretty twisted, but more of a woman thinking she's going crazy than a slasher or anything. While I haven't seen Part 2, IT Part 1 was a solid horror flick.

edit* If she already loves horror movies, then Cabin in the Woods is required watching.

It starts with Psycho and Halloween, then hits Return of the Living Dead and The Thing, the rest is gravy.

Thanks for the suggestions. It’s wonderful to have a friend who has seen hardly any of the classics. I can experience them again through her eyes. It’s not a horror movie but watching Groundhog Day with her was such a great time.

The Thing is still one of my favorite films. Been a few years, I wonder how it holds up.

Speaking of John Carpenter, it's probably also time for a re-watch of Prince of Darkness as I have a soft spot for Victor Wong. Definitely not one of Carpenter's best but I enjoy it all the same.

The Babadook is high up there. I think it's more effective if you are a parent, but Essie Davis delivers.

I didn't care for the 2017 version of It. Something was off. It was too gory, but not gory enough or in the right ways. Kid acting was fine, which was always a plus. I don't know. Just off.

Don't forget Jaws. If you haven't seen it, it still counts.

I’ve added my top ten movies to the first post.

It’s funny. My instinct is that The Thing is too much but I’m probably the most squeamish of the two of us. I could give it a try with another movie in my back pocket. It’d be certainly fun to watch the horror unfold (no pun intended) with someone who really doesn’t know who to trust.

Babadook is another one I fell off. It might be worth giving it and The Witch another go with the two of us watching and Karen seems to have a preference for movies about ghosts and possession. That could make all the difference to me getting into them. I didn’t realise there were two versions of Babadook. I’ll make sure I get the 2014 Aussie version. I’m pretty sure that’s the one I tried the first time but maybe not.

While I think of it, random thought, one of my pet hates is when protagonists watch some approaching horror for way too long (beyond what a healthy sense for your own self preservation would allow) before running for the hills. In A Quiet Place 2 there is a scene where the creatures turn up and the main characters are instantly getting out of there as fast as possible.

Fun thread.

But I have a question. Are we counting as horror movies those that received an 18 rating (or 'X', if you're old and British)? I know this would squeeze out genuine chillers like 'Jaws' (sorry Grenn), but I think it would be tidier. Otherwise we risk the thread becoming one about "films that I found a bit scary at one time".

My list:

Candyman (1992)
The Thing
Ringu (if only for THAT scene near the end - my skin still crawls when I think about it)
Halloween
Hellraiser (Like garion333, I too felt compelled to watch them all)
Alien
The Omen (1976) (I need to get round to watching the probably execrable Omen IV: The Awakening at some point.)

Honourable mentions to:

American Werewolf in London
Pretty much everything made by Hammer Films in the 60s and 70s. They look creaky today and were pretty tame by even the mid-seventies. Nonetheless, they filled my 1970s childhood with terror... even the posters. 'The Blood Beast Terror', I'm looking at you.

Jaws is high on my list and was probably pivotal in giving me a taste for (or revealing a taste for) horror/monster movies. Also, the film Monsters, which I adore, isn’t actually very scary at all. I don’t think it’ll be a problem if we allow in films that didn’t get an 18 or X rating. I don’t think like there are many good films that would fall into that category and I wouldn’t want to start policing it.

The early Omen films are very good. The first time I saw part of The Omen it was in a crappy student flat and the interference on the TV made the whole thing look like it was taking place in a static storm. It added an extra layer of mystery.

I second The Cabin in the Woods, although it's more of a dark comedy than a horror. It is unlike anything else I've ever seen.

If you want the Korean equivalent to Jaws, check out The Host (2006) by academy award winning director Bong Joon-Ho. True to his motif, there's a lot about Korean cultural hierarchy, but it also has a very unsettling monster and a family comes together to wage war against it.

Higgledy wrote:

Babadook is another one I fell off. It might be worth giving it and The Witch another go with the two of us watching and Karen seems to have a preference for movies about ghosts and possession. That could make all the difference to me getting into them. I didn’t realise there were two versions of Babadook. I’ll make sure I get the 2014 Aussie version. I’m pretty sure that’s the one I tried the first time but maybe not.

Both of these are slower burns, for sure. The Witch is all mood and tension (using actual language taken from witch trials) while the Babadook hinges entirely on connecting with the mother who is losing her mind, basically. The Babadook is a strong metaphor film and Wikipedia tells me it and the Witch are on the art-horror spectrum, which could explain your bouncing off them. You've gotta commit and see em through to the end.

I would say The Hidden, but that might be more science fiction than horror, I'm not sure. Prince of Darkness is goofy fun, with some questionable acting, and a creepy dream sequence.

Some more frequently watched movies:
Jacob's Ladder (whoah...)
Dr Phibes (think Mr Freeze from Batman, without the guilty conscience)
Fright Night (the original)
Bad Dreams (weird movie, great villain)
Slither (great and silly)
Event Horizon (overlook the acting)
Eyes Without A Face (subtitled)
Motel Hell (the hissing noises)
Re-Animator (filmed in WTF Vision)
Dead Alive / Brain Dead (is it still considered necrophilia if both people are dead?)
Popcorn (for the movies at the horrorthon)

Just watched Haunted School which I thought was a serious movie but it was a low budget goosebumps type movie. It was dumb but kids that can might like it.

Also watched Don't Breathe 2 which I liked but it had some janky moments.

Having never seen them before, I finally got around to watching the Hellraiser movies this year. For a franchise that starts out so strong, ti crashed hard and fast.

Now I'm working through another franchise I remember some scenes of from my youth, although I'm sure I never watched an entire movie: Puppet Master. My goodness they are slow burning and cheesy as hell. They are good and silly when the puppets are out there murdering, but drag out the boredom most the rest of their runs.

While it isn't a genre very well represented in anime, I would be remiss not to mention Perfect Blue as a great horror film not mentioned yet.

The Hellraiser franchise seems like it turned into a slasher series, with Pinhead being the new smartass killer.

Mantid wrote:

While it isn't a genre very well represented in anime, I would be remiss not to mention Perfect Blue as a great horror film not mentioned yet.

I haven’t seen Perfect Blue it’s one of those anime that hovers in the back of my head but I never come across it. One day.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

Also watched Don't Breathe 2 which I liked but it had some janky moments.

I’ve heard mixed reports on Don’t Breathe 2. A few folks seem to feel it was reaching for something new and didn’t make it. One reviewer said her audience were laughing at some scenes and not in a good way. If you’re in the right mood and have your expectations suitably lowered I can imagine it being enjoyable. Shame they didn’t get it right though. The main guy was terrifying in the first film.

Let the Right One In (the Swedish version): a bullied 12-year-old boy becomes friends with a young girl who's not really a girl who moved into the apartment next to his. Scandinavians really nail the atmospherics of horror.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night: the movie was promoted as the first Iranian vampire Western.

Ghoul: I believe this was the first or one of the first Netflix Originals from India. It's a short miniseries (three 45-min eppies). A military intelligence officer of a near future authoritarian version of India gets the opportunity to interrogate the regimes' most wanted terrorist and slowly realizes there's something malevolent and otherworldly about him.

Coherence: I guess this one is more of a psychological thriller than a straight up horror film, but it does explore the darker side of what people are capable of. The premise is that eight friends have a dinner party on the night when a comet passes nearby. The power goes out and two of the party decide to trek to a nearby neighbor's house who still has power to see what's going on. They return blooded and battered and carrying a box full of pictures from dinner party that no one has taken. Pretty much the entire movie takes place in one location--the house--which adds to the tension.

Mantid wrote:

Puppet Master.

Soooo many movies. Soooo many Nazis.

I’d like to add a couple:

In the Mouth of Madness John Carpenter masterpiece that perfectly captures Lovecraft and King.

Midsommar Starts as a slow burn but quickly turns into a tense thriller about cults and ancient rites. The true genius is how all the realistic horror takes place in broad summer daylight.

Sixth Sense Perfect ghost story and still one of my favorite M Night films.

Btw, are the Conjuring films any good? I think the fact that the real life Warrens are frauds has kept me from getting into the franchise but I’ve heard good things.

I enjoyed the first two Conjuring films. They’re well done but, yes, it’s frustrating to think the films might be adding any credence to the couple.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sixth Sense and Midsommar.

The Evolution of Horror podcast is extremely good. It was recommended by Lucy O’Brien on the Beyond! Podcast.

Watched Alien 3 Special Edition, better than the regular version but still didn't like it.

Oh One cut of the Dead is worth seeking out. It’s a different take on a zombie movies.

MaxShrek wrote:

The Hellraiser franchise seems like it turned into a slasher series, with Pinhead being the new smartass killer.

Stick to Hellraiser and Hellraiser II. If you're a stickler for finishing things, Hellraiser III is ok. Everything after that is.....not good.

Yeah, with titles like Hellworld and Deader, you know there's something wrong. I had hopes for Judgment with The Accountant, but again, interesting character design with poor execution.

Grenn wrote:
MaxShrek wrote:

The Hellraiser franchise seems like it turned into a slasher series, with Pinhead being the new smartass killer.

Stick to Hellraiser and Hellraiser II. If you're a stickler for finishing things, Hellraiser III is ok. Everything after that is.....not good.

MaxShrek wrote:

Yeah, with titles like Hellworld and Deader, you know there's something wrong. I had hopes for Judgment with The Accountant, but again, interesting character design with poor execution.

I actually don't like II or III much. In fact, III is probably one of my least favorites in the series. The movies work better when telling smaller stories and II and III tried expanding the universe.

I'm one of the rare folks who likes Bloodline, but only the parts set in the 18th century. Anything set in space was just dumb and the then-modern day stuff was okay, I guess. You can tell there was a much more ambitious film planned and then had its budget continually slashed.

Cliver Barker stopped being involved at this point and Miramax only released films in order to keep up the licensing.

Still, Inferno was next and I enjoyed that it took a noir thriller angle instead of straight horror. (The director has since directed such tiny films as Sinister and Doctor frickin Strange.)

Hellseeker brings back Ashley Laurence from the first two films and I honestly kind of hate this film. It's probably the lack of Cenobites, but I also think Laurence is an awful actor.

This is the point where I'm checked out and mostly only watch the films to see the new Cenobite designs. If I remember correctly (and with a little help from ye ol Google) Deader is okay-ish but is a real letdown at the end because Pinhead sits around talking too much. Hellworld has one Lance Henricksen and an early role for Henry Cavill. It's a young person slasher film with all the nudity and whatnot you'd expect. Both of these films are watchable.

Revelations, however, is awful. Doug Bradley is no longer Pinhead and the production company rushed this one out the door so as not to lose the license. Even for a Hellraiser movie this one had no budget and was a messy rush job. It's 75 minutes long, so if you consider it a fanfic version of a Hellraiser movie you might be in the right headspace to watch it.

Hellraiser: Judgment supposedly breathes a bit more life back into the series, but I have yet to watch it. I'm actively scared to because I want the series to be better. However, if I hate this then all hope is lost.

tldr Watch the first film. It's use of "Jesus wept" is among the greatest moments in cinematic history. No joke.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
Mantid wrote:

Puppet Master.

Soooo many movies. Soooo many Nazis.

I enjoyed a couple of them when I was a teenager. It was all about seeing new puppets and the stupid ways they'd kill people. Kind of like all the Sleepover Camp sequels were simply about boobs and killing people in dumb ways. I find Puppet Master films to be nigh unwatchable now because they're so slow and campy. Yes, this is coming from a guy who just wrote a novel about Hellraiser. I don't recommend anyone ever watch the Sleepover Camp movies as they're all beyond terrible, despite the first one being decent (but hasn't aged well with it's transphobia).

Anyway, Blade from Puppet Master is cool looking.

jdzappa wrote:

In the Mouth of Madness John Carpenter masterpiece that perfectly captures Lovecraft and King.

Btw, are the Conjuring films any good? I think the fact that the real life Warrens are frauds has kept me from getting into the franchise but I’ve heard good things.

In the Mouth of Madness is a winner in my book.

I've only seen the first Conjuring film and felt it was overrated. It's a good thriller, I think, but I went in expecting a horror film. Good amount of tension, but that's about it. (Poltergeist is a better riff on this concept imho. Different types of films, but Poltergeist is so much better to my tastes.) Definitely worth a watch, but not my go to. There's a reason the series took off.

Speaking of more thriller-like, I can't recommend The Orphanage enough. It's a Spanish film, so expect to read subtitles, but the films as a whole works on an emotional level. The trailer doesn't quite paint the proper pic of what the film is like, but it was the only one I could find.

I'm not a jump scare kind of guy, so more psychological films like The Orphanage or the Babadook are home runs. Jacob's Ladder, Flatliners and films of those ilk are thumbs up also. The Saw series is a fun novelty but I can't name a single character from the films.

Oh, The House of the Devil is a perfect riff on the 70's slasher film. More of a haunted house film than slasher, but it's very 70's in look and feel.

jdzappa wrote:

Btw, are the Conjuring films any good? I think the fact that the real life Warrens are frauds has kept me from getting into the franchise but I’ve heard good things.

I quite liked the first two, which were standard, batty haunted-house stuff. But the third - loosely based on a real-life case in which a man was murdered, and the killer (egged on and supported by the Warrens) tried to escape justice by claiming he had been possessed by a demon - was far less palatable. I can't figure out if the Warrens were charlatans or nutcases (why not both?), but this kind of unquestioning cinematic hagiography was difficult to digest.

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