🧛🦇 MetaSpookyFilms 👻🎃 October 4, 2019 11:30 AM   Subscribe

End of another week, let's talk about scary films. We're just a few 'spooky' weeks away from All Hallows' Eve. What are your favorite scary films? Do you have certain movies that you watch every year as a tradition? Have you discovered something new recently? Are you more into classic movie monsters like The Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein? Or maybe you're into more modern franchises such as Paranormal, The Purge, Conjuring? Are you on Team Freddy or Team Jason? I'd also love to hear some horror reccomendations from other (non-western) countries around the world, films from Asia and Africa that aren't frequently a part of this conversation. As always, be kind to yourself and to others. Boo!
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 11:30 AM (64 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

For anyone who has access to the Criterion streaming service, this month has some really wonderful spooky films to check out. My wife and I watched Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr (The Dream of Allan Gray) (1932) last night.

It's quite weird and moody. And it's one of the first vampire films, loosely based on the Carmilla mythology, though Dreyer removes all references to lesbian sexuality. So many of the common vampire tropes that still exist today are present in this film. The pacing is a bit stilted but for the most part it holds up. It's just weird as fuck.
posted by Fizz at 11:40 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]




My favorites by far are John Carpenter's The Thing and Sam Rami's Evil Dead 2. Though I also like the 70s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. That dog with a human face still gives me the willies. All those movies had haunting pre-digital special effects.
posted by Stanczyk at 11:52 AM on October 4


Oh, and Evil Dead 2 is also really fucking hilarious. Farewell to Arms was such a perfect touch.
posted by Stanczyk at 11:54 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


This movie doesn't do it for everyone, but I watched Ravenous (the one with Robert Carlyle) with a friend and we had to pause it and turn the lights on halfway through.

It's actually a dark comedy in some ways. The music is fantastic.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:02 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


Tradition dictates the annual watching of The Lost Boys, Shaun of the Dead, Young Frankenstein, and Zombieland.

Favorites for me that I usually have to watch alone include: John Carpenter's The Thing, The Shining, Evil Dead(s), Dead Alive, The Innocents (1961), The Spiral Staircase, Slither, Alien, The Exorcist, Constantine, In the Mouth of Madness, and Prince Of Darkness.

There are a lot of good newer horror films that I've enjoyed, but haven't watched enough times yet to figure out if they've become favorites.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:18 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


I veer more towards what is (slightly annoyingly) referred to as 'folk horror', which is undergoing a current revival. A Field in England is still a joy to watch when the ... ambience ... is right. It's the one with the tent scene.

More recently, the divisive movie Midsommar has stuck in the mind a lot. Not because of the sex scene. But partially as it's not easy to fit into one genre - it's Pagan! It's a relationship disintegration movie! It's a homage to The Wicker Man! It's a cautionary tale about academic collaboration! It's about a journey from trauma, through grief, to acceptance! - but partially because of the artwork lavished through the film and the detail within. And Florence Pugh deserves at least a nomination for Best Actress.
posted by Wordshore at 12:23 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


I basically live and breathe scary/spooky movies (eponysterical, I'm sure). I'm like that early Ministry song, "Every Day is Halloween."

My all-time favorite movie is The Witch (2016). It's a great, artsy, spooky movie, but it's also insanely historically accurate, with very few missteps in that regard. And I'm obsessed with New England witches. It's like this movie was made specifically for me.

Actually, my obsesssion with witches has led me to watch quiiiiite a lot of witch movies. I've toyed around with the idea of making a post about witch movies for years, but there are just so many, and inevitably I come across one I still haven't seen. Then you inevitably start blurring lines between witch movies and movies about Satanic cults (which are also all favorites of mine), and things get crazy!

My other all-time favorite is The Thing (1982). Such a good movie. Along with Alien (1979), which is definitely a horror movie.

I'm a big fan of Larry Cohen movies. A lot of down-and-dirty NYC filmmaking in movies like The Stuff and Q the Winged Serpent. I recently got around to seeing God Told Me To, and that movie is insane!

Shudder has a documentary I'd highly recommend called Horror Noire, about Black people in horror movies, featuring interviews with a bunch of scholars, actors, and filmmakers. Very highly recommended, and a lot of the movies they discuss in that doc are great classics of the genre. Blacula is among them, along with artsy stuff like Ganja and Hess, and more modern stuff like Get Out.

(On the subject of Dracula spinoffs, check out Deafula, the vampire movie made by Deaf filmmakers for a Deaf audience.)

I'm also a huge fan of low-budget, regional horror movies. They're more or less my favorite things on Earth, because they're always such community affairs: the sheriff will be played by someone's dad, the first murder victim is a high school friend. I just picture everyone getting together at the theater for the premiere. They're often terrible movies, but a lot of fun. As a Marylander, I'm a huge fan of Don Dohler movies like Nightbeast (possibly NSFW trailer -- movie highly recommended, sooo effin Maryland). But I also love weird ones like Enter the Devil, from small-town West Texas. When you get in really deep you get movies that were shot on VHS tape, like the absolutely nuts Black Devil Doll From Hell (and its follow-up, Tales From the Quaddead Zone), or the less-nuts-but-still-insane Blood Cult.

On a related note, if you haven't seen it, American Movie is about a small-town guy making a horror movie called Coven (pronounced cOH-ven, because "coven sounds like oven, man"). It's an AMAZING documentary.

Alright, I could go on for a long time about this, but I need to go eat something.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:31 PM on October 4 [13 favorites]


Shudder has a documentary I'd highly recommend called Horror Noire , about Black people in horror movies, featuring interviews with a bunch of scholars, actors, and filmmakers. Very highly recommended, and a lot of the movies they discuss in that doc are great classics of the genre. Blacula is among them,

So, there's this story from when I was 14 years old. Me and my childhood best friend are staying home while our parents go to some party. I was going to my buddy's house and he told me he was going to pick up some movies. I told him, he should get something vampire-related. He told me he'd see what he can find. A few hours later, I show up at his house and he's like: "I found this movie called Blacula, but I don't know what it's about, there was no cover, but it sounds scary."

Let me tell you, our tiny minds were not prepared for the awesome that is Blacula and it's blaxploitation take on this horror genre. I loved every second of it. It still holds up too, definitely worth checking out. And it's such an interesting commentary on race and civil rights.
posted by Fizz at 12:35 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah! And thinking about horror movies from Asia, I'm a huge fan of Chinese supernatural action movies. I especially love the horror comedies that people like Sammo Hung did, so Encounters of the Spooky Kind is way up there. Also a big fan of the first Mr. Vampire movie, which is loads of fun.

A really fantastic Chinese horror-action movie is the Shaw Brothers movie The Boxer's Omen, which is wild. Lots of scenes of Buddhism facing off against black magic, with crazy special effects the whole time.

There's a GREAT Japanese movie called Onibaba, worth checking out.

The most successful Thai movie of all time is a horror comedy called Pee Mak, based on the legend of Mae Nak Phra Khanong.

I'll keep thinking about this, because I know there are movies I'm forgetting about.

I wish I could think of African horror movies (and I feel like I've seen a couple, years ago), but right now all that's coming to mind is either more "serious" stuff, or Nollywood/Ghallywood movies like 666.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:50 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah! And thinking about horror movies from Asia,

With regards to zombie-films, I've heard that Train to Busan really kicks, it's on our playlist for later this month. The Wailing is also about zombies, a Korean film.
posted by Fizz at 12:58 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


A good friend of mine had his award-winning horror-comedy picked up by Amazon Prime: Black Holler.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:59 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


I just watched Viy on Shudder, which they say is the first Soviet horror movie. It was dubbed in English, and not exactly great, but still pretty interesting.

It had an odd mix of excellent and atrocious special effects.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:03 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


John Carpenter's The Fog

Oh man, that movie scared the daylights out of me as a kid. I wanted to board up all of the windows in the house.

A lot of down-and-dirty NYC filmmaking in movies like The Stuff

That movie is a hoot. Also recommend.

As for vampire movies, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is pretty good.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:06 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


My very favorite "I love it ironically and I also ACTUALLY love it seriously" movie is Onmyoji: The Yin Yang Master, which is a Japanese historical fantasy/horror/subtextual gay romance? (there's also a manga series). The special effects are circa-2001 low-budget practical effects PLUS some circa-2001 low-budget CG, and neither have aged particularly well but I still find them completely charming; the lead actors are excellent, particularly Mansai Nomura, a well-known stage actor who owns the entire movie with his eyebrows alone; the episodes are by turns funny, gross, and genuinely affecting.
posted by Jeanne at 1:08 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


With regards to zombie-films, I've heard that Train to Busan really kicks, it's on our playlist for later this month.

Yeah, that was a great film (with also some neat satire about the class/wealth system there).
posted by Wordshore at 1:33 PM on October 4


I stmbled upon Westworld as a younger person; it was playing on TV and I had no clue what it was. Yul Brynner will always be the epitome of scary robot android for me. Thinking about this still gives me creeps.
posted by mightshould at 3:30 PM on October 4


As a kid when we visited the cousins who stole cable, we watched Friday the 13th A LOT, so I have a soft spot.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:32 PM on October 4


That's probably the spot where Jason stabbed you.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:38 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]


I'm just on Amazon Prime lately, but you can dig up some really fun stuff from their back catalog. So I'm posting a link to a horror movie a day over on https://www.reddit.com/r/BestOfAmazonPrime/ for the month of October.
posted by MrVisible at 4:46 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


The Final Destination series is one of those things that Mrs. Ghidorah and I unabashedly love and will watch together whenever it is on.

Strangely enough, the free cable movie channel ran a marathon recently, and I only caught the tail end of it, and watched the last one for about ten minutes until I realized they’d (bizarrely) edited out all the deaths. Like, just at the moment, they’d cut it out so you didn’t see the gore, and fast forward to the look of horror from the witnesses. I was pretty annoyed, but eh. Then the credits came, and the credit sequence is a rapid fire recap of every death in the series, and I guess they thought their work was done, and left that alone. So, a fulll marathon where they edited for gore, then forgot to edit the goriest credit sequence in all of history.

Seriously though, 1 and 2 are solid, 3 is meh, 4 is dumb, and 5 has an amazing, utterly subtle twist that is like a low budget dinner theater horror version of The Prestige, and rewards careful viewing of the entire series.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:09 PM on October 4


As far as actual horror, I love The Ring (yes, the remake, because the original is horribly dated, oh no, Sadako is here, let’s turn the film negative!) and Juon. The original Juon has a scale that the remake doesn’t attempt, which is fantastic, but somehow I found the remake more viscerally frightening. Pulse (which was a remake) was largely terrible, but had some incredibly well done sequences of absolute terror, hidden inside a mediocre film.

The Descent was the closest I’d ever come (at home, during a sunny day, with the windows open) to turning off a movie because it scared me that badly, until I got to It Follows, which I did turn off, because something about being followed by something no one else can see gave me extreme terror, and I’ve still never finished it.

Going back to the Ring, though... I was living alone when I watched it. I put it in the DVD player, and went to go make popcorn, forgetting about dvds where the menu plays parts of the film. The DVD menu for the Ring basically just shows the Ring video, with sound. It popped on when my back was turned as I was walking to the kitchen in my mostly dark apartment. Scared the shit out of me.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:18 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Pontypool.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:23 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


I stand strongly by Horror of Dracula, the first Hammer Horror Dracula film. By modern standards, the gore is practically nonexistent, but the terror of the subversion of proper respectable Western sexuality by Christopher Lee (hardly worth its spirited defense by Peter Cushing, aka Grand Moff Tarkin) is all its own thing. The final fight sequence is memorable indeed.
posted by praemunire at 6:25 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Oh man, Hammer movies are the best. I was totally obsessed with them as a teenager. When I was 15, I finally started talking to -- gasp -- a girl, and we used to go over to each other's houses. What followed was a series of misadventures, in which I completely failed to realize that she was constantly trying to get me to kiss her ("huh, now our faces are right next to each other and she's staring at my eyes, better move away and give her some space"). One such incident occurred during the movie Brides of Dracula, which doesn't actually have anything to do with the Dracula series. I think it's more or less considered one of the weaker Hammer vampire movies, but we both loved it.

I was fortunate to live pretty close to a MASSIVE video store (the Potomac Video on Conn Ave, for those DC-area locals), and I'd been going there since I was 10. They happily pointed me towards other Hammer movies, and that was the start of a long obsession. (Incidentally, I would go on to work at that store a few years later, and that was a pretty fun job.)

Anyway, my first kiss could have been during Brides of Dracula. But it wasn't. It would be years. Brides of Dracula still holds a special place in my heart. I still fondly look back on my introduction to the Hammer catalog.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:47 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


SPEAKING of Hammer -- there are some great early-ish Hammer movies that tend to fly under the radar. Scream of Fear is a great psychological thriller. Quatermass 2 is just an incredibly fun movie, kind of reminiscent of the X-Files in some ways.

Also, the Abominable Snowman -- it's been years since I saw it, so I can't remember if their depiction of Tibet is problematic, but it's from 1957, so I'd assume it is. Still, it's a surprisingly moody, atmospheric movie with Peter Cushing on an expedition high into the Himalayas.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:53 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Since I haven't seen it recommended yet The Host is a great Korean monster movie.
posted by Caduceus at 8:28 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


The very first sequence of Night of the Living Dead, the one in the cemetery, is to this day the scariest scene I’ve ever seen in a movie. I recently saw the restored version, and man, it still kicks my ass.

I really enjoyed the Hell House LLC trilogy on Shudder. The second one is just ok, but the first and third ones are really well done. They're found footage, which I really like, although I know that’s often not people's cup of tea.

And of course, I have to put in my usual plug for the underrated They Look Like People, Which I think I’ve recommended about a thousand times.
posted by holborne at 8:59 PM on October 4


Pulse (which was a remake) was largely terrible, but had some incredibly well done sequences of absolute terror, hidden inside a mediocre film.

Do you mean the American 2006 remake? I didn't see that, but I loved the original 2001 Japanese film Kairo/Pulse. It might be more unsettling than scary exactly I guess, but then scary in itself isn't a high priority for me one way or the other.

For anyone who liked Train to Busan, allow me to suggest The Fake as something worth seeing if you aren't opposed to animation. It maybe isn't a horror film per se, more like a disturbing crime drama that is nonetheless rather horrific in its perspective on the characters and society. (The linked trailer shows what the movie feels like, but isn't actually in the movie as the scene shown is the main character essentially walking home into the events that will make up the film. Kinda genius on its own really.)

Lot's of other good suggestions so far, I wouldn't even know where to begin adding more, save for my undying love of the Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur I Walked with a Zombie from 1943. Another horror movie where there isn't much straight out horror, but that's kinda the point as the truly awful thing that animates the film lies buried underneath the main storyline. It's like a movie palimpsest, where the underlying history of the place keeps showing through the surface concerns of the main characters, ultimately becoming inextricably intertwined, even if the characters themselves don't fully realize it.

Beyond that I dislike gore for its own sake and tend to find movies that mix violence and sex suspect when they play both elements for the sake of titillation, so I guess I'm more old school about it all. I looked to see what Letterboxd pulled up as the horror films I've given the highest ratings to, but many of those seem to be only nominally horror films by most standards which is fitting enough given my ambivalence about genre definitions.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:18 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


I just watched Alexandre Aja's Crawl last weekend and that's my favorite 2019 horror so far. Dead simple old school survival horror concept - father and daughter trying to ride out a hurricane in Florida and alligators start coming into the house. The pacing dragged a bit early on, like they spend a little too long trapped in the basement, but that was good in a quiet creepy sense, and once they move up into the house and out into the streets it's a pure adrenaline action-horror ride. Also it made me realize I hadn't kept up with Aja at all since his Hills Have Eyes remake in the mid-2000s, so I tried a couple others this past week. Mirrors was a completely generic forgettable Kiefer Sutherland vehicle that I abandoned after 20 mins, but his 2010 Piranha remake was a lot of fun. Perfectly walked the line between straight horror and camp parody. Killer cast too - Elizabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Ving Rhames, hilarious cameos by Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Loyd, and an absolute scene stealing turn by Jerry O'Connell as a maniacally gleeful frat bro soft core porn director. ("Jake .... They took my dick Jake!" /smash cut to piranhas fighting over said dick).

Going back further I second the Hell House LLC rec. It's found footage, it's low budget, it's not a Good Movie - who fucking cares. It is terrifying. Nothing in the past decade has got me the way that did for pure pants-shitting, I-can't-watch-this feeling like I'm twelve again. That crying clown mannequin is pure nightmare fuel.

Also about six months ago or so I watched 1979's Tourist Trap and that really stuck with me. On one hand it's pretty cheesy, not particularly scary, and there's a really obvious twist. But then, it does have some quietly creepy set pieces, and the big twist kinda hides a smaller one that was really great, and it has one of the best final shots I've ever seen in any movie. And they manage it all without any gore or violence.

FInally, it's already been mentioned once, but the Korean film The Wailing(Goksung) from 2016. Man. That is damned close to being a perfect film. I watched it three times in a week trying to figure out what the hell happened.
posted by mannequito at 10:42 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


These aren't so much about the movies themselves as about the viewing experience.

I first saw The Others all alone in a deserted cinema during a lunchtime matinee in the middle of a huge rainstorm. I can't be objective about whether or not it's a scary movie, because it was really scary under those circumstances.

Similarly, like a chump, I decided to watch Black Christmas one winter night when I was home all alone. This was when I was living in this tumbledown cabin in the woods, in the family compound on top of a hill in East Nowhere. I think I may have told this story here before.

None of my family-neighbors were home. I got more and more absorbed in the movie, so as it got darker and colder I neglected to get up to turn on the lights or turn up the furnace. I just burrowed down into a blanket on the couch and kept watching...

JUST as the police were telling the Final Girl, "The call is coming from inside the house!" I heard a loud, metallic WHRUUUM!!! from the kitchen. I thought I was going to jump through the roof! I'm pretty sure I shrieked at a pitch so high only dogs could hear it. When I got to the kitchen to confront the chainsaw killer, I saw that I had left the blender plugged in, and Mr. Whiskers the cat had jumped on the counter and pressed the button with his paw. I'm having a coronary, and the cat wants a daiquiri.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:19 AM on October 5 [17 favorites]


Horror movies are tough, like comedy, what's scary to one person isn't to another and it's hard to get recommendations.
posted by bongo_x at 12:25 AM on October 5


Horror movies are tough, like comedy, what's scary to one person isn't to another and it's hard to get recommendations.

Yeah, that's so true. It's why I'm hesitant to recommend anything too since I don't want to waste people's time on stuff that might not interest them as much as me. I will say though that the FPP on Weird Tales had this link to Ghost Story Of Yotsuya that I'm grateful for since I'm digging it. It's a got a bit of a theatrical feel to it in some ways, but the narrative drive and mythic force behind it makes that seem the ideal choice. So I'll second that recommendation, especially for anyone who enjoyed Onibaba or other mid-century Japanese horror films.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:24 AM on October 5


My favorite horror subgenre is horror comedy, such as Housebound, Severance, or Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.

After getting a little burned out on found footage style films in the 2000s, Trollhunter was a nice surprise.
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:18 AM on October 5


Pulse (which was a remake) was largely terrible, but had some incredibly well done sequences of absolute terror

One thing I really liked about _Pulse_ was how it so smoothly transitioned from being a very personal movie about these people being haunted by their ghosts to an end-of-the-world movie.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:28 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


I absolutely adore horror movies (I loathe torture porn however, and these days it can be hard to tell in advance if something is actually a horror movie, or a torture porn movie).

The first Final Destination movie has some of the best sound design ever. I'm not kidding. The subsequent ones (which GCU Sweet and Full of Grace and I call "even more finaler destinations") aren't as well done, but I enjoy them anyway.

I absolutely love "old fashioned" horror movies, with dread instead of jump scares. The Babadook (which is less a horror movie than it is a movie about grief and loss and parenting). The Possession, which is awesome, and has a kick ass Hassidic Jewish hero. The original Pang Brothers The Eye which has a couple of scenes that give me the screaming jibblies. I really enjoyed Hereditary even though it didn't pay off as well as it promised, but is still worth watching.
posted by biscotti at 7:55 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


The original King Kong was probably my most terrifying movie experience. I was 5 years old and watching it with an 8 year old neighbor kid in their basement on his father's fancy new VHS system. I slept sitting up with my eyes wide open for weeks.

But I finally found some inner peace. Then we watched The Exorcist, and I haven't slept since.
posted by Dumsnill at 10:01 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


I’m going to swerve towards suspense. If you’re getting tired of blood and gristle flying around, how about a splash of existential dread?

The Haunting: Shirley Jackson adapted her own novel, The Haunting of Hill House. I’ve never been so terrified of a door.

The Sentinel: this movie is a bit underrated; it has many great moments. What a cast - great acting. And it’s a beautiful snapshot of Brooklyn Heights in the late ‘70s.

Speaking of beautiful NYC snapshots, I love this movie because of The Dakota. Rosemary’s Baby. But threw DVD in the trash because Roman Polanski. Repulsion with the brilliant Catherine Deneuve ended up there, too.

Now for more modern fare:

Let The Right One In: the original. beautiful and terrifying.

El Orfanato: shot in Barcelona, this story is carried by the luminescent Belén Rueda.
posted by lemon_icing at 10:02 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


I forgot and to not abuse the edit window. Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish Civil War Trilogy: Cronos, El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil’s Backbone), and Pan’s Labyrinth.
posted by lemon_icing at 10:13 AM on October 5 [5 favorites]


I was pleased to see Viy mentioned in this thread. I really enjoyed it, although I had the benefit of seeing the subtitled version and of reading the source material first. It's a relatively faithful adaptation that made me think even better of the story, given that it held together well on film. And the film itself has some neat elements that made me think a little of Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, etc.) and/or Sam Raimi--if they had to work with 1967-era special effects on par with, like, Star Trek (TOS).

I'll also second the mention of The Ghost of Yotsuya. Again, I had the benefit of familiarity with the source material, but when the scariest parts of the film ramped up, I was like, "Wow, OK, that was pretty effective, and it must have been terrifying in 1959"--very much a forerunner of Ringu or Ju-On.

I put both of those--one only by coincidence--into an FPP last night where I also mentioned the Russian TV show, Detective Anna. To review it here a little, I thought it was pretty nice--like, low budget and paced very much like an old Masterpiece Theatre series. But there's plenty of supernatural content, and it elicited some nostalgia for simple, low-key, character-focused period dramas.
posted by Wobbuffet at 10:40 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Fizz: I've heard that Train to Busan really kicks

Nthing that Train to Busan is great, both as a zombie film (the zombie waves, for lack of better word, were great), and as social commentary.

There is the potential that a sequel and Hollywood remake (at least there was in 2016).
posted by filthy light thief at 3:21 PM on October 5


For those saying they're looking for horror comedies - Mark Duplass' "Creep" and "Creep 2" are both on Netflix, and both are breathtaking in their genius.
posted by nightrecordings at 5:39 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Speaking again of Train to Busan reminded me that there was an animated prequel to it, Seoul Station, also directed by Yeon Sang-ho. It's on youtube with English subs for anyone interested.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:12 PM on October 5


Watched Casper last night and man that movie still holds up. I know it's a children's film but it's wonderful and a fond trip down memory lane. I'm thinking of all those old VHS clamshell cases.

Oh, should also mention the reason we stayed up till 3 am to watch Casper is because we had just finished watching Midsommar and yeah. We needed a palette cleanser.
posted by Fizz at 6:46 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


I have a real soft spot for found footage horror, and I just watched half of Noroi and I very recommend it even though I have had to take a break on account of hand held footage indiuced wooziness. The movie is built out of nesting boxes of media, you spend most of your time watching people watching videotapes, and it’s the most lyrical version of this genre I’ve seen.
Also: Pulse, (mentioned upthread) in the original version is one of my very favorite films. It’s got an almost lynchian stiltedness and is so scary I had to turn it off once cause my roommate fell asleep.
posted by velebita at 10:06 AM on October 6


not a horror film, per se, but I like to watch Donnie Darko at Halloween.

caught some of Horror of Dracula (with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing) (1958) on TV last night. it was a lot of fun. great old skool spooky soundtrack.
posted by supermedusa at 10:10 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


shapes that haunt the dusk if you ever feel inspired to do a witch/occult/satanic horror post I will favorite the fark out of it!!!!

so many good films, hard to think of them all.

classics of course: Alien, John Carpenter's The Thing, The Shining, James Whale's Frankenstein.

new classics: Let the Right One In, The VVitch (love this one!!!)

but I am also terribly behind on my horror watching because my husband is not so into it as I am and I rarely have a night at home alone. (when I do I always watch horror, and then I am always like "why I am watching this stuff home alone, in the dark??? that noise was one of the cats, right? RIGHT????)
posted by supermedusa at 10:38 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


shapes that haunt the dusk if you ever feel inspired to do a witch/occult/satanic horror post I will favorite the fark out of it!!!!

I mean, if Satanic pagan cult horror folk musicals are your thing, The Wicker Man is your jam.

Before anybody asks, there was no remake. THERE WAS NO REMAKE.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:24 AM on October 6 [7 favorites]


Oh yeah i have seen the one and only version of that. Its great.

Also ooh ooh if you like folk horror and havent seen the Blood on Satans Claw, get thee to a viewry STAT!
posted by supermedusa at 11:32 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


What to add:
...The Black Cat (1934): a bonkers movie. Karloff versus Lugosi, for starters. Both are mentally shattered WWI vets dueling over modern architecture and a Crowley-ish cult. Plus drugs, flaying alive, necrophilia, and more. Nothing to do with the Poe story. Plus Bela speaks Hungarian.
...Se7en: extensively imitated, but the terrible darkness of this film still holds up.
...It Follows: an unusual monster, no visible effects, and an unusual setting (SE Michigan).
...The Evil Dead sequence. Each one offers different pleasures, and all are still so good.
posted by doctornemo at 11:41 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Also, The Exorcist. For the past year I've been teaching in the building next to those stairs.
posted by doctornemo at 11:42 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


My favorite: Let's Scare Jessica to Death from 1971. Another slow-burn creeping dread movie. It's much more subtle than the title would have you think. It's just unsettling, in that way that movies from the early 70s could be – partly because of the low-budget filmmaking, leaving it rough-edged and unpredictable. The acting from Zohra Lampert in the lead is unexpectedly nuanced and layered for the genre -- she was a Tony nominated actress and had been in some bigger, better films before this.

Another vote for The Sentinel -- part of the wave of "Catholic horror" that followed The Exorcist.

Also -- although parts of the movie are over the top and ridiculous -- Burnt Offerings, with Karen Black at her most off-kilter creep-tasticness. And a nightmarish chaffeur who haunted my dreams.

And -- The Dark Secret of Harvest Home -- the book is VERY creepy (just called Harvest Home) -- another 'folk horror' story a la The Wicker Man and some of Shirley Jackson's stories. The TV adaptation is hit or miss but has some creepy atmosphere.
posted by profreader at 2:07 PM on October 6 [5 favorites]


yeah, Let's Scare Jessica to Death does what it does very well.
posted by supermedusa at 2:15 PM on October 6


Oh, should also mention the reason we stayed up till 3 am to watch Casper is because we had just finished watching Midsommar and yeah. We needed a palette cleanser.

Yeah, Midsommar is perhaps not the best date movie. Though on the positive side it can provide some unusual tips for any couples looking for some ... variation ... in their sex lives.
posted by Wordshore at 3:25 PM on October 6


OMG YES THE BLACK CAT KARLOFF IS A SEXY SEXY BAAAD BOY YESSS
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:26 PM on October 6


I'll have to track down the original of Pulse then. And yes, the way the movie suddenly switches from "My friend has gone missing and things are weird" to "This is the end of the world, and everyone is dead" is pretty amazing, and does something that I love, that most movies don't which is to play out the idea to its logical conclusion. There's absolutely no reason that the phenomenon in the film would ever limit itself to one location, or one person, so it doesn't.

In contrast, the local cable movie channel has been playing I Robot and Minority Report a ton recently, and both movies make driverless cars a key point of the film, yet stick with increasingly unlikely idea that they'd be single or double occupancy, or even that people would own them. On top of that, (especially I Robot) there's the ridiculous idea that Will Smith could just tell his car (which is zipping along at incredible speed, optimized for traffic flow) that he wants to take control, and it not only has the capacity for the human to operate the car, it also lets him do it, which well, /frustrated hand gestures.

Pulse manages to let its idea play out, and it just sort of happens to lead to the end of the world. The final jump scare, honestly, was a perfect moment of terror, and that, combined with the image of the 'ghosts' filling the windows of every building as they flee, wow, some good visuals in that movie.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:10 PM on October 6


Two more. Battle Royale (2000/1) is arguably not a horror, but a near-future scenario based on a famous book. It is nothing to do with Fortnite, or the Hunger Games (which came a while afterwards). Features some nice island scenary (cliffs, a pretty lighthouse) and a lovely classical musical soundtrack. A bit violent.

From South Korea, A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) is probably the most unsettling film I've seen. Recollection of not going in the kitchen for a while afterwards.
posted by Wordshore at 7:18 AM on October 7 [2 favorites]


I Saw What You Did

This is a wonderfully scary B+W from 1965, with Joan Crawford, young. Teen prank callers scare up some awful trouble...
posted by Oyéah at 11:31 AM on October 7 [1 favorite]


After my wife picked up a few "classic movie monster" mini-figures, we realized neither of us had seen The Creature from the Black Lagoon, so I checked out a few "spooky" movies from the library.

The original Creature from the Black Lagoon (Wikipedia) is still pretty good. It was retroactively rated G (MPAA film ratings started in 1968, and the movie came out in 1954), but has a few good scares. The underwater scenes are good and not overly focused on the one woman in the film swimming in the water (she does a good bit, but there are also some dude butt shots, and a lot of the gill man swimming around), and she's a decent character all-around -- she's a scientist (!!), not just a love interest (she is, but more, too) and damsel in distress (she is, but not always hiding behind Big Strong Men -- Kay's scientist colleague/ boyfriend even says "I've always found
Kay was able to take care of herself").

Downsides: there's only one woman, and the white men are quick to forget the four local men who have died at the hands of the gill man, while working to help the white dudes do sciencey stuff.

The second sequel (included in the DVD box-set), Revenge of the Creature (Wikipedia), is ... low on revenge. Upside: white dudes die, and even a character who has lines! The damsel is once again a scientist! She tells a male journalist about why the creature is being moved through the water to revive it from being in a coma (forced ram ventilation"). Bonus fun: Clint Eastwood's second film appearance (YouTube), where he's a slightly absent-minded lab assistant. Downside: Helen, the love interest, is not a full scientist but working on her masters thesis in ichthyology, and she gets into a relationship with a pushy professor. There's more romance and less of the creature. It's called Revenge of the Creature, not A Pushy Professor Who Won't Take No for an Answer Gets a Date.

I'll report back on the 3rd movie, The Creature Walks Among Us (Wiki), later this week. Also in queue: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), and some cheesy/ bad-looking Christmas zombie movie.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:31 AM on October 9 [2 favorites]


All that said about CFtBL... I'm among the diehardest feminists I know, and I still love the white-bathing-suit scene with Julie Adams. You know the lyric from Rocky Horror that goes:

Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nightmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever


I'm not unconvinced that this was one of the old B&W horror flicks Richard O'Brien had in mind when writing that particular song/scene.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:14 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Yeah, there's some moments where the gill-man caresses lady legs in the water, and the ladies aren't too perturbed, or think it's the human dude playing with them. They're interesting films, considering its the mid- 1950s -- more progressive than I was expecting, at least in some ways.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:47 AM on October 9


I went over to Julie Adams' house once. She was in her late 80s at the time. If I hadn't known who she was, I would have thought she was just a very nice old lady, except that her house was full of books about B movies and the occasional memento from her acting days.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:53 AM on October 9 [2 favorites]


The original Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Holy crap. It was a TV movie--if you search for it, you'll find a generation of children scarred by those little bastards.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:16 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Also, if you're a fan of disturbing Korean films, The Isle.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:18 PM on October 9


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