We usually watch horror movies in October but the last few years I’ve started tracking them a bit more. Over at AVSForum some of the users do a marathon of sorts, to see if anyone will watch 31 horror movies in October. I did this last year with them and did it again this year. I consider myself a movie fan so deep dives on genres aren’t uncommon. With each marathon I get a few more “most favorite ever” films to add to my list. Some of these are great movies despite being horror related and I hope cinema freaks see that.
I found a great old series to track down the rest of in Tombs of the Blind Dead. I found two great modern films with their roots in the old school, House of the Devil and Dead Silence. I had my mind bent on Triangle. I was brought back to my childhood interest in horror with The Monster Squad. I laughed out loud at schlock and take it for art, Baron Samedi in Sugar Hill is a King.
My rating system, take it as you will:
1. These are work.
2. I liked parts and pieces, such as effects or story. I’d suggest it to a genre fan.
3. Complete packages here, well done all around. Genre fans will probably enjoy also. Strong likes.
4. Moving into loving it. Probably becomes repeat viewer and purchase, gets suggested to others and defended if others hate it.
5. Loved it. Definite buys, definite suggestions if asked. Not only a great horror movie but great movie in general. These stay with you and set the bars.
Here is my list:
1. Sugar Hill, 1974. Blacksploitation, racism, voodoo, zombies, tale of vengeance. 3/5
2. The Video Dead, 1987. Killer zombies come out of a TV and kill everybody with big hair. 3/5
3. Shock Waves, 1977. Nazi mutant underwater zombies trash a hotel. Death by sea urchin and glass bottom boats. 3/5
4. John Carpenter’s Pro Life (Masters of Horror), 2006. Right to life activist raids a clinic to save the spawn of a demon. 2/5
5. Survival of the Dead, 2009. Probably my least favorite “of the Dead” ever. 1/5
6. The New York Ripper, 1982. Solid, gritty, gory, cop flick. 3/5
7. Lake Mungo, 2008. I dug this. It was creepy and convincing. The dark atmosphere and subject matter were portrayed nicely. 5/5
8. Tombs of the Blind Dead, 1971. Didn’t know it was a series, now I want to see the rest. Great classic horror flick and beautiful women as well. 4/5
9. Crawlspace, 1986. Enjoyed Klinski the most in this one, such a quiet, reserved freak. 4/5
10. Daughters of Satan, 1972. Nice mystery feel, good soundtrack and Selleck. 2/5
11. The House of the Devil, 2009. Wow. My faith in modern horror is on the verge of being restored. Very cool flick. If you think they did it better back in the day, see this. Great soundtrack, great period piece. 5/5
12. Borderland, 2007. Slow starter but the last half had its moments. Run from the crazed satanic drug gang! 2/5
13. Thirst, 2009. A great vampire flick, refreshing to say the least with the market jammed with “Team Stupid.” Chan-wook is pretty awesome. 5/5
14. 100 Feet, 2008. In the vein of The Entity. I enjoyed this one. Nice build of tension with only a few plot holes. It has some really great horrific scenes. 5/5
15. The Midnight Meat Train, 2008. As a genre fan it was pretty good, I do not like cgi blood effects. 2/5
16. Session 9, 2001. To me it was more suspense than horror, kept me guessing WTF the whole time. 2/5
17. Three…Extremes, 2004. One of the shorts is pretty damn good, worth it for that one alone. 3/5
18. The Church, 1989. Nice mood but a little too political for me. 2/5
19. The Gravedancers, 2006. This was great. A little bit of Poltergeist, a little bit of Entity, a lot of NEVER dance on a grave. Not a lot of CGI which is nice. I thought the pace was perfect. 4/5
20. From a Whisper to a Scream, 1987. AKA The Offspring for some reason, a very good anthology of stories in the vein of Creepshow, told by Vincent Price, with a very traditional way to them. Not a lot of gore but it doesn’t need it. 3/5
21. Creature, 1985. This one was on the “do not let your kids watch it” list way back in the day at the local mom and pop video rental place. 2/5
22. The Deaths of Ian Stone, 2007. Not great but not terrible, decent story and good effects. 3/5
23. The Monster Squad, 1987. Absolute perfection. Pacing, comedy, and monsters. Equal to the Goonies. You can even see the strings on the bats. 5/5
24. Wicked Little Things, 2006. Kinda dry, it starts strong but then fizzles. Good ideas but you’ve seen it before done better. 1/5
25. The Burning, 1981. Summer camp prank gone wrong. I think this is a template for a lot of 80’s slasher movies. Great genre entry. 2/5
26. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992. Visually excellent and well acted, re-telling of the old story. How did Twilight even come from this source? 4/5
27. Splinter, 2008. Pretty good. If you like Night of the Creeps or The Blob you should dig this. Creepy beasty, made me jump. Extra points for Jill Wagner. 4/5
28. The Thaw, 2009. Solid creature feature, light on gore, high on creepy. Plays on fears of global warming and bugs. I dug the “realism” of some touches like the tire tracks in grass. 3/5
29. Frozen, 2010. Excellent suspense. Kept us asking what we would we do the entire time and how we would do it. 3/5
30. Dead Snow, 2009. Nazi zombies want their gold. A ton fun here for zombie fans. 4/5
31. Imprint (Masters of Horror), 2006. Miike is twisted. 3/5
32. Creepshow, 1982. I remember feeling like I had seen something I shouldn’t have seen with this back when I was a kid. This flick is a classic and a gateway to others. All horror anthologies are measured by this in my book. 4/5
33. Fright Night, 1985. Welcome to Fright Night, for real! 5/5
34. The Last Man on Earth, 1965. So cool, Vincent Price is a king. Let’s go on a stake through the heart montage, come back home and fire up a jazz record on the hifi. Sweet. 4/5
35. Devil’s Den, 2006. B grade but takes some interesting pokes at the genre. Some funny bits throughout. 2/5
36. Night of the Demons, 2009. A remake of the 1988 version, I liked it. Good story, some funny stuff, some pretty good gore. Overall a great Halloween movie. 3/5
37. Dead Silence, 2007. I loved this one. Great use of audio. Creepy dolls and curses. One of the best so far. I only regret watching it on AMC, commercials yank you right out of this excellent flick. 5/5
38. Pet Sematary, 1989. I dig King’s books but most of the movies are pretty bad, this one is pretty good. The torment of that decision carries the flick. I think this is a classic among non horror fans. 2/5
39. Triangle, 2009. Very trippy. More like a Twilight Zone or Hitchcock thing going on here. 4/5
40. Jenifer Master’s of Horror, 2005. Weird, not too great, not too bad. 2/5
41. Fido, 2006. Very funny, very cool. Quite a different take on a boy and his dog so to speak. The integration of zombies into suburbia was well displayed and zombies weren’t even as twisted as some of the normal people. 3/5
42. Fair Haired Child Master’s of Horror, 2006. I liked the twist but not much else. 2/5
43. The Exorcist, 1973. Timeless classic, never once does it feel like it’s from the early 70’s. I still get white knuckled watching it and have to tell myself to breath. 5/5
44. The Devil’s Rejects, 2005. Not so much a horror flick by my rules but a great flick with great characters. I dug the cinematography and soundtrack. 3/5
45. Saw 3D, 2010. Didn’t need the 3D. Plenty of gore and I think it had a plot. Nice technical execution of kills. 2/5
46. Sleepaway Camp 2, 1988. Formulaic slasher with tons of fun. Pokes fun at other teen slasher flicks like Nightmare on Elm Street. Angela’s one liners and dead pan delivery are highlights. 2/5
47. Sleepaway Camp 3, 1990. Formualic slasher with tons of fun. Pokes fun at other teen slasher flicks Friday the 13th. More great one liners and social commentary. 2/5