Actually checked out an Australian spook film called The Babadook last night. Goosebump inducing but I didn’t like it enough to add it to the list. However, it’s worth a watch. Now, back to the countdown of my 100 favorite horror films. Six movies tonight since I was watching The Babadook instead of writing last night.
If torture and rape disturb you or you can’t handle these things depicted in a film, then this film is not for you. An early example of this type of cinema, the 2009 remake is a decent film in it’s own right. Written and directed by Wes Craven, the 1972 film is regarded as a classic example of this type of horror film. Human monsters really are the worst.
The movie that launched Kate Beckinsale’s career – an ancient war between vampires and werewolves is played out in some non-descript European city. Scott Speedman and Bill Nighy also star. This is a stylized, entertaining film that sets the stage for the Underworld mythology. Beckinsale stars a Celine, a “Death Dealer,” who uncovers betrayal in the vampire ranks as the werewolves and vampires conspire. I like the other films, just not as much as this one.
Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh and Adrienne Barbeau star in this classic as ghosts in the fog invade a coastal town in an effort to exact bloody revenge. The fog rolls in and the body count rises with the tide. Spooky and eerie and directed by the great John Carpenter, Barbeau’s performance as the panic-stricken disc jockey drives the film. John Houseman (Ghost Story) and Hal Halbrook also star. Avoid the 2005 remake like the plague, it’s terribly acted and predictable. And the attempt at a happy ending is ham-handed.
Many attempts have been made at Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of science gone wrong. Dr. Jekyll, in his attempts to bring out man’s animal side, loses himself in the process in this story of what could be described as extreme schizophrenia. The duality of man manifests itself in the form of the hideous, murderous Edward Hyde. Frederick March turns in the definitive performance in my humble opinion. The great Spencer Tracy took a turn 10 years later, but March is by far my favorite Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
I saw this, on a date, when I was 12, silent, with a full orchestra. Make no mistake – this is a horror film. Featuring the man of 1,000 faces, the incomparable Lon Chaney, this is not some musical, this is not a Gerard Butler vehicle – this is a horror film. The Phantom is not a sympathetic character. He is a disfigured, monstrous kidnapper. And Lon Chaney is phenomenal in the role. Produced by Carl Laemmle, the man who brought Dracula to the big screen six years later, this is the only version of the Phantom of the Opera that matters.
A very underrated werewolf film with an all-star cast, this movie is different, entertaining and unique in the genre. Calvin Lockhart, who would go on to play King Willie in Predator 2, plays a wealthy man who likes to hunt dangerous prey. He believes that a werewolf is the ultimate game and that he may have one in his midst. He invites a group of possible lycanthropes to his estate for a weekend getaway and a werewolf hunt. This is one of those Saturday afternoon favorites. Peter Cushing, Charles Gray and Michael Gambon also star.