Before Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr’s Horror Movie Roles

Long before his days playing Iron Man/Tony Stark in the MCU, beloved actor Robert Downey Jr made a few pit stops into the horror genre. First gaining Hollywood prominence in the 1980s, Downey went on to establish himself as one of the most talented actors of his generation. Of course, it’s no secret that issues with substance abuse led to several very rough decades for the actor, as his own demons repeatedly proved detrimental to career advancement.

By 2008 though, Downey had gotten sober and looked to be turning his career and life around. It was still seen as a big risk when the then-fledgling Marvel Studios chose to cast Downey as the face of their planned Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thankfully, as history shows, hiring Downey to play Iron Man in their first film was nothing less than a stroke of genius, and the actor would go on to become a true cornerstone of the MCU, even as more and more heroes joined the cause.

Related: Every Upcoming Robert Downey Jr. Movie

While Downey has never called horror his home for very long, in the years prior to playing Iron Man, he dabbled in the genre a few times. Without further ado, here are the horror roles of Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr’s first brush with the darker side of cinema came in Oliver Stone’s controversial 1994 film Natural Born Killers, written by Quentin Tarantino. While not a straight up horror film, Natural Born Killers centers on a pair of murderous lovers, and features copious killings, many done in very graphic fashion. Downey plays a sleazy tabloid journalist named Wayne Gale. Downey starred in a proper horror with 1999’s In Dreams, directed by Neil Jordan. The actor plays Vivian Thompson, a serial killer who becomes psychically linked to a suburban housewife named Claire Cooper (Annette Bening). It’s up to Claire to stop Vivian before he kills again.

In 2004, Robert Downey Jr. appeared in another unambiguous horror film, Gothika. Halle Berry plays lead character Dr. Miranda Grey, a psychiatrist who finds herself locked inside the asylum where she works, now as a patient and with no memory as to why. Downey plays Dr. Pete Graham, a colleague of Berry’s, and the person who then treats her after her switch to the other side of the medical fence. Downey’s final – to date – brush with horror came in 2007’s Zodiac, directed by David Fincher. Although normally classified as a mystery thriller, the fact that Zodiac centers on the hunt for one of history’s most notorious serial killers makes it of immense interest to many horror fans. Downey plays Paul Avery, a crime reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle.

More: Why Robert Downey Jr.’s First Post MCU Role Is Dr. Dolittle

2020-01-25 01:01:47

Michael Kennedy

10 Italian Horror Movies From The 1970s You’ve Never Heard Of

In the 1970s, no one else was making horror movies like Italians. This was the height of Giallo’s popularity, a particular type of Italian horror that literally translates in English to yellow. Giallo movies are defined by the pulpy style of paperbacks with thrilling horror undertones. These films include elements from slashers, procedurals, supernatural stories, and psychological cliffhangers.

RELATED: 5 Horror Movies From The 70s That Are Way Underrated (& 5 That Are Overrated)

While not all of the films on this list are technically Giallo movies, they are all informed by the Giallo style. They are also films often excluded from “best of” lists, and they deserve their own spots in the canon. Spooky, erotic, and beautifully grotesque, these Italian horror movies from the 1970s are worth checking out.

10 Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)

An early feature from cult director Lucio Fulci, Don’t Torture a Duckling deals with the fallout in a small village after multiple boys are brutally murdered. The movie highlights the Catholic influence in Italy while also emphasizing local traditions and superstitions.

When a police officer named Tomas Milian comes to the town to investigate the murders, he finds the local priest the most peculiar. Milian becomes convinced the priest has serious complexes about his own youth and envies the dead boys for their eternal innocence.

9 The House of the Laughing Windows (1976)

In this film, an art restorer travels to a tiny village in Italy, where he’s been tasked with restoring an old fresco that depicts the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. The artist takes up residence in the house previously owned by the dead fresco painter’s two sisters.

Stefano, the restorer, soon discovers the artist, Legnani, participated in brutal murders with his sisters’ help. These deaths gave him macabre inspiration for his paintings. As Stefano digs deeper into the murders, residents of the village begin to die. Stefano suspects someone is trying to keep him from the truth.

8 A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971)

Another from Lucio Fulci, this subversive psychodrama is full of sex, death, and drug use. A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin has developed a cult following since its release because of its status as an emblematic Giallo film.

RELATED: Le Manoir du Diable: 10 Reasons To Watch The World’s First Horror Movie

At its core, this movie is a whodunit that includes a lot of gore and violence. It also openly focuses on LSD use and horrific nightmare sequences. Finally, the movie incorporates noir detective drama tropes, from the anti-hero police detective to the mysterious and elusive beautiful woman at the center of all the action.

7 Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972)

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Black Cat,” this movie inverts the action in Poe’s work, instead telling a tale about a wife seeking vengeance against her abusive husband. Oliviero is a failed writer and alcoholic who hosts lavish parties and frequently abuses his wife, Irina. He also loves the cat he adopted from his late mother, aptly named Satan.

Things get bloody after Oliviero’s mistress is murdered, and the movie reaches its climax when Oliviero is murdered by Irina and his niece, Floriana. Things get even more absurd from there.

6 Last Stop on the Night Train (1975)

This revenge thriller is in the same vein as Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left. It involves two young women who are brutalized by three criminals on a train. The trio torture and murder both girls, and when the train arrives without the girls departing, the parents of one of them become suspicious.

RELATED: 10 Best Black & White Horror Movies, Ranked

Like the film it’s based on, the parents of the murdered girl, Lisa, invite the killers to their home. While the trio believes they have found more victims to take advantage of, they soon realize the parents are intent on exacting revenge for the barbarous deaths of their daughter and her friend.

5 All the Colors of the Dark (1972)

A Satanic cult feature taking place in England, All the Colors of the Dark finds 1970s Italian star Edwige Fenech as a young woman targeted by the leader of a devil-worshipping group. Fenech’s character is in therapy, trying to overcome the trauma she endured as a child after her mother was murdered.

A neighbor offers to take her to a sabbat, which turns out to be a Black Mass. She is seduced and brainwashed by the leader of the Black Mass, who convinces her to murder on behalf of Satan. The movie is a bit frenetic, but it’s still a fun watch for any fans of the genre.

4 The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971)

This representative Giallo mystery follows an American socialite in Vienna who is being blackmailed by a serial killer. The woman, Joan, suspects her ex-lover Jean, with whom she had a problematic and toxic relationship.

RELATED: 10 Horror Films That Will Make You Rethink Your Next Camping Trip

Unwilling to confide in her husband Neil, Joan takes on a new lover, a man named George. As things become more confusing, and as the killer closes in on her, Joan’s paranoia reaches new heights. The film keeps audiences on edge by keeping the killer’s identity at bay.

3 The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972)

Based on an old German folktale and taking place in a German castle, this movie is a gothic Giallo classic. Its prologue in 1958 sets up the framework for the movie. Two young girls learn about the existence of an evil force in the castle, known as the Red Queen. Every 100 years, she returns to claim seven new victims.

The movie jumps to 1972, the year of the Red Queen’s return. She begins to claim her victims one by one, targeting the young girls first seen in 1958: Kitty and Franziska. The movie has beautiful cinematography and engrossing murder scenes.

2 Beyond the Darkness (1979)

A disturbing, incendiary movie about love and family, Beyond the Darkness focuses on a young man named Francesco, orphaned as a child. He lives in a house in the woods with his caretaker Iris, who is a little too attached to him. She uses a voodoo doll to end the life of Francesco’s girlfriend, Anna.

Heartbroken and unwilling to accept she’s gone, Francesco digs up Anna’s corpse and uses his taxidermy skills to preserve her forever. Things get more and more toxic with Iris, reaching their peak when Anna’s identical twin, Elena, comes to visit.

1 The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971)

A well-received detective thriller, The Bloodstained Butterfly is about a police officer investigating the death of a female French student who was stabbed multiple times in a park in the middle of a massive thunderstorm.

As the investigation continues, a local sportscaster is framed by his wife and her lover. However, while the sportscaster is imprisoned, the murders continue. Soon, the dead girl’s lover becomes the prime suspect, but nothing is ever what it seems.

NEXT: 10 Horror Books Too Twisted To Be Made Into Films

2020-01-22 01:01:12

Megan Summers

Best Horror Movies on Shudder Right Now (January 2020)

Last Updated: January 19, 2020

Specialized streaming service Shudder is full of excellent horror films, but which ones are most worth watching? The Shudder streaming service is owned and operated by AMC Networks and offers a wide variety of options for subscribers, whether they’re looking for 1980s classics, foreign hits, indie gems, new releases, or iconic films that have paved the way.

Like other streaming platforms, Shudder produces original content as well. The service also features over 50 collections for those looking to explore different sub-genres. In addition, Shudder has curated watch lists from industry people like Rich Sommer, Nick Antosca, Barbara Crampton, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Related: The Best Horror Movies Of The Decade

For those not sure what horror film to stream next on Shudder, don’t be afraid. Here are the best scary and creepy films of all description to watch on the best horror streaming service, presented in alphabetical order.

One of the quintessential examples of 1980s Italian horror, Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond rarely makes logical sense, but wow is it good at scaring the hell out of viewers. Rarely does a scene go by without something incredibly creepy, startling, unsettling, or gory happening, and the film’s ending is one of the most haunting in history. For those who fear subtitles, The Beyond, is available on Shudder in an English dub.

One of the grandfathers of slasher cinema, director Bob Clark’s 1974 classic Black Christmas was one of the first horror films to use the trope of a creepy caller, as well as one of the first to present slasher-style kills from the killer’s own point of view. While the recent Blumhouse remake turned out to be extremely flawed, the original Black Christmas’ story of a mysterious madman targeting a sorority house is very much worth a stream on Shudder.

In this 2015 Mickey Keating film, a woman struggles with her sanity upon landing a care-taking job in New York City. As the title character in Darling, Lauren Ashley Carter delivers a highly-expressive performance, with her non-verbal acting driving each scene. There’s a definite Kubrickian feel to Keating’s visual aesthetic, and his tight pacing boosts the inherent tension. In other words, Keating is a technically-proficient filmmaker, one who effectively incorporates his cinematic influences.

Related: The Best Horror Movies To Watch On Hulu

Darling is indeed a stylish production, but not in the typical art house sense. Meaning, Keating and company prioritize the viewer experience rather than lingering on cryptic details. It’s a smart horror film that’s fueled by a strong female lead, and it suggests that Keating is fully capable of helming a major studio production. For those not convinced, check out the original Shudder series The Core, in which Keating (the host) breaks down the fundamentals of effective horror filmmaking.

Director Rob Zombie’s greatest cinematic triumph is still 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects, a loose sequel to his debut film, House of 1000 Corpses. The now on Shudder sequel sees Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding head out on a crime spree for the ages after police assault the Firefly Family ranch, and kill most of the clan. Working against the trio is Sheriff Wydell, a sadistic lawman arguably even worse than his targets.

John Carpenter’s original Halloween is one of those Shudder movies that’s so famous it feels a bit pointless to summarize it, as even most who aren’t horror fans have probably seen it at least once. Carpenter’s tale of a masked slasher named Michael Myers terrorizing Haddonfield, IL babysitter Laurie Strode remains just as effective today as it was in 1978, and it’s no wonder that the franchise it spawned absolutely refuses to die, much like Myers himself.

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser is a classic for a reason. Filled with relentless, gruesome, stomach-churning horror – brought to life by unforgettable practical effects – Hellraiser sees young Kirsty Cotton fighting for her soul after her Uncle Frank returns from the dead, pursued by otherworldly creatures called Cenobites. The key to either her damnation or salvation is a mysterious puzzle box, but can she figure out how to use it before the Cenobites tear her soul apart? Stream Hellraiser on Shudder to find out.

Related: The Halloween/Hellraiser Crossover Movie That Almost Happened

Those who’ve only seen actor Michael Rooker as Merle on The Walking Dead or Yondu in the Guardians of the Galaxy films may be quite shocked if they sit down to watch 1986’s Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer on Shudder. Rooker plays the title role, a man based on real life murderer Henry Lee Lucas, and wow does he make an impression. It’s easy to see why Rooker ended up becoming such an in-demand character actor, as he oozes menace at all times, yet still on occasion seems to show a bit of humanity. Sadly, it never lasts.

Directed by Ti West, 2009’s The House of the Devil pays homage to the visual aesthetics of 1980s horror, and is a terrific Shudder selection. As college student Samantha Hughes, Jocelin Donahue taps into the feeling that something is horribly wrong – that something bad is about to happen. Her character needs some extra money to get by, but she’s concerned by the behavior of a man who’s offering a house-sitting job. Samantha can’t quite gauge his intentions, but she takes the job anyway when the man offers more cash.

Over the past 10 years, West has built an impressive resume as a writer-director who often edits his own films. In The House of the Devil, West shows remarkable restraint with his storytelling, knowing when to push and when to pull back. The same goes for Donahue, and together, she and West imbue The House of the Devil with a sense of dread and retro style, which suits them both perfectly. West is clearly a passionate filmmaker, one who embraces all aspects of the process, and his leading lady is clearly a star.

This 2018 psychedelic horror was a festival circuit hit and is now thrilling Shudder subscribers. Directed by Panos Cosmatos, Mandy features Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough as two outsiders whose quiet life is disrupted by “a pack of gnarly psychos.” The visuals are hauntingly poetic, and the performances are quietly beautiful, at least until Red (Cage) and Mandy (Riseborough) unleash their fury upon a cult named the Children of the New Dawn. For one character, revenge comes through a psychological shaming. For the other, revenge is achieved through violence and rage.

Related: The Best Horror Movies To Watch On Amazon Prime

Mandy establishes a meditative mood through Cosmatos’ brilliant use of color and music. In the first half, Riseborough commands the most attention, primarily in how she moves within the frame and communicates information without speaking a word. This sets up a crucial mid-movie moment, in which Mandy delivers a primal scream and sparks the second-half conflict. From there, Cage takes over the film, as Red attempts to process a variety of emotions. Truly a visceral experience, Mandy balances B-movie aesthetics with A-level performances.

This George A. Romero classic is both timely and highly influential. For one, Night of the Living Dead changed the game in 1968 with its powerful social commentary and black hero, Ben (Duane Jones). In other words, it had something to say about American culture. The premise is seemingly simple: zombies emerge from a graveyard and locals flee to a nearby house for protection. Within this setting, however, the film explores race and gender while subverting expectations about how one should act during such a crisis.

Night of the Living Dead doesn’t offer a tidy resolution. Inside the house, Ben makes some questionable decisions, but he’s merely trying to survive. Meanwhile, an older man locks his family in the basement while other survivors attempt to process media reports about the zombie invasion. From a 2019 perspective, the film holds up by emphasizing how people use information to align with their best interests. Some characters would rather stay in their comfort zone, while others realize they must escape and think about the larger picture. For one particular character, the narrative is especially complicated, evidenced by the film’s jaw-dropping conclusion. Shudder’s documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror expands on Night of the Living Dead’s narrative subtext, along with the film’s legacy.

The original entry into director Don Coscarelli’s legendary cult franchise, Phantasm introduced audiences to The Tall Man, a mysterious non-human entity who robs graves and murders anyone who gets in the way of his dark goals. It also began one of the weirdest stories in history, one which often doesn’t make sense, but still gets a lot of love all the same, operating as it does on a kind of nightmare logic. Three of Phantasm‘s sequels are also on Shudder.

Related: Best Horror Movies Of 2019

Based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, Stuart Gordon’s horror comedy Re-Animator blends smart dialogue with gory visuals. Right from the start, the film establishes a campy tone as Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) revives a dead colleague and delivers the now-iconic line, “I gave him life!” After the graphic pre-credits sequence, West continues his research at Miskatonic University while creeping out new roommate Dan (Bruce Abbott) and his girlfriend Megan (Barbara Crampton). In the film’s first half, Re-Animator hooks the audience through quotable dialogue, a wild re-animated cat scene, and Crampton’s undeniable star power. But it’s Re-Animator’s disturbing final act that may require an immediate re-watch.

To be clear, Re-Animator’s climax is not for everybody, even Shudder subscribers. A severed head essentially terrorizes the protagonists in a basement lab, but the dialogue hilariously complements the WTF visuals. As a director, Gordon clearly intends to shock the audience, but he does so through wink-of-the-eye humor. And that’s what makes Crampton’s lead performance so effective, as she plays it straight while her male co-stars camp it up. As a whole, Re-Animator doesn’t take itself too seriously, and expects that viewers will embrace the comedy rather than frown upon the most problematic moments.

From Argentina, this horror film will find a permanent home in viewers’ subconscious, and it will soon be remade by Guillermo del Toro. At first, Terrified plays out like a procedural, as a cop investigates paranormal activity in three different homes, assisted by three researchers. They ultimately focus on one specific house and make a surprising discovery: there’s a dead boy sitting at a dinner table. At that point, Terrified becomes deeply unsettling, but only because it’s unclear how director Demián Rugna will sustain the horror. In the past, a jump scare would be sufficient. Now, however, audiences – and Shudder subscribers – are looking for something more.

Terrified is fascinating because of the Whys and Hows. At times, the film uses narrative cliches to push along the story, such as the “one last job” angle, but it succeeds by consistently building upon its scares to elevate the tension. Terrified is relentless and genuinely creepy, a foreign film that plays into common fears, such as a baddie hiding under the bed.

Related: The Best Scary (& Almost Horror) Movies On Disney+

One of the most unrelenting horror films in history, director Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an assault on the senses of Shudder subscribers, and was also an assault on the cast, as the production was infamously hellish. Still, the final product, which gave cinema the iconic villain Leatherface is still just as effective today as it’s ever been, and remains far and away the best film in its ever-growing franchise.

While some horror movies are effective when the the central threat is obvious from the get-go (i.e. Pennywise in IT, Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street), The Wailing benefits from a completely mysterious antagonist. Police officer Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won) investigates a series of deaths that just so happened to begin soon after the appearance of a stranger in a small Korean village. As he attempts to discover the truth behind the situation, the local death toll (as well as unbridled mania) continues to rise. This top Shudder pick received a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes with a 99 percent rating, and Ridley Scott has considered producing a remake.

Next: The Best Horror Movies On Netflix

2020-01-19 09:01:01

Q.V. Hough

Best Horror Movies On Amazon Prime (January 2020) | Screen Rant

Last Updated: January 19, 2020

Amazon Prime offers some great horror movie choices to fill a fright flick marathon, and these are the best of the best. While horror has long been regarded as a lesser genre by those inclined to snobbery, audiences at large seem to be finally waking up to horror’s merits, as more and more horror (or horror adjacent) movies and TV shows earn rave reviews and/or huge profits at the box office. Just about every studio and streaming service has gotten into the horror content game, from crossover hits like Stranger Things to cult items like Into the Dark.

Every streaming service offers their own selection, and Amazon Prime is no different. The service features many terrific terror tales, both old and new. From iconic classics to indie gems, the horror offerings on Amazon Prime match up well to the many competing services out there.

Related: The Best Horror Movies On Netflix

Presented below are a selection of such choices, representing a range of decades and sub-genres. The films presented below are listed in alphabetical order, and aren’t ranked. They’re all great films, and one can’t go wrong with any.

One of the most prominent filmmakers in horror today is Mike Flanagan, helmer of Netflix’s popular Haunting of Hill House series. Flanagan made his name in recent years by directing films like Oculus, Gerald’s Game, and Hush, but his first feature was the emotionally harrowing 2011 indie Absentia. To reveal too much about the plot would be a disservice to new viewers, as the film is best experienced knowing as little as possible. Absentia is a film that seeks to unnerve and unsettle viewers more than startle or gross them out, and is a great under the radar pick on Amazon Prime.

One of the most famous authors in the world, horror master Stephen King has seen his work adapted for both the big and small screens countless times. Carrie (1976) – now on Amazon Prime – was the very first though, which makes sense, as 1974’s Carrie was King’s first published novel. Sissy Spacek stars as the titular Carrie White, an outcast teenage girl who finds that the changes to her body brought on by puberty also awaken a powerful telekinetic ability, one capable of striking back at her tormentors, up to and including her religious zealot of a mother.

The werewolf is one of horror’s oldest monsters, dating back to the Universal classic The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney Jr. One of the most creative spins on the werewolf story is 2000’s Ginger Snaps, a Canadian indie from director John Fawcett that’s gone on to cultivate a large cult fanbase. Goth sisters Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are obsessed with death, that is until death comes knocking via an attack by a werewolf on Ginger. Before long, Ginger becomes a murderous beast, and it’s ultimately up to Brigitte to try and stop her reign of terror. This coming-of-age horror tale is well worth howling at on Amazon Prime.

Related: Andy Muschietti’s The Howling Remake Could Revive The Werewolf Movie

Body horror is a sub-genre unto itself in the world of horror, with movies like The Thing, The Fly, and Scanners fitting into that mold, and novelist/filmmaker Clive Barker pushed the limits within this type of film with Hellraiser. After a portal to Hell is opened, courtesy of a puzzle box called The Lament Configuration, creatures known as Cenobites – led by the soul-destroying Pinhead – unleash a course of a horrific events when one of their victims manages to escape their torturous underworld and feed on the blood of the living. Leather-clad torture and sadomasochism ensues, and it’s waiting to be witnessed on Amazon Prime.

There are certain sci-fi stories that never really lose their resonance, and one of the best is Invasion of the Body Snatchers, first told as a classic novel by Jack Finney. Case in point is the 1978 film adaptation of the story by director Philip Kaufman, which is less a remake of the 1956 original movie – which is also available on Amazon Prime – and more an updating of the book for a different generation. Featuring a cast full of heavyweights (Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, and more), 1978’s Invasion also boasts fantastic practical special effects, leading to an arguably even more chilling take on the idea of aliens that prey on and replace human beings in their sleep.

Those looking for a film designed to unsettle and mess with one’s mind need look no further than Jacob’s Ladder, directed by Adrian Lyne. Tim Robbins stars as Jacob, a Vietnam vet whose experiences have left him experiencing bizarre hallucinations, some of which include things so strange and chilling that they’re bound to leave the viewer also questioning what they’re seeing onscreen. Unlike the recent remake, genre fans generally regard this original film with high esteem, making it a great Amazon Prime pick. It’s also notable for having inspired much of the aesthetic of the Silent Hill video game franchise.

Directed by late genre master George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead created and established the zombie sub-genre as fans know it today. Before Romero’s film, zombies weren’t the recently risen dead, they didn’t live to consume human flesh, and they didn’t only die by destroying the brain. To put Night Of The Living Dead‘s influence in perspective, nearly every piece of zombie fiction since has borrowed heavily from it, including AMC juggernaut The Walking Dead. The film is also famous for having a black lead (Duane Jones), in an era where that was almost unheard of. Any zombie fan needs to see this movie, and Amazon Prime is a great way to do so.

Related: George A. Romero’s Zombie Movies Ranked, Worst to Best

For about as long as there have been Stephen King books, there have been Stephen King movies. One of the most generally well-regarded of those adaptations is Pet Sematary, helmed by director Mary Lambert, and now on Amazon Prime. With a script penned by King himself, the film follows the book quite closely, although not entirely. While supernatural forces drive the plot, the tale of Dr. Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) and his unfortunate family finds some of its most terrifying moments via a monster that’s all too real and universal: the grief of losing a loved one.

Any parent will admit that sometimes raising kids can be a hellish experience, but director Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby takes that to the next level, casting Mia Farrow as a woman forced to bear the biblical antichrist. Full of upsetting and unsettling material, Rosemary’s Baby is a true classic, and a film that gets under one’s skin and takes up residence there. For any Amazon Prime subscriber who loves horror, Rosemary’s Baby is required viewing.

While not the first film to adapt author Thomas Harris’ cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter for the big screen – that honor goes to 1986’s Manhunter – 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs is no doubt the most acclaimed, and is now on Amazon Prime. Based on Harris’ book of the same name, The Silence of the Lambs focuses on young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), who’s abruptly enlisted to try and persuade an imprisoned Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to help catch a new killer named “Buffalo Bill” (Ted Levine). Directed by the late Jonathan Demme, the film would go on to clean up at the Oscars, and it took until 2013’s Hannibal TV series for the character to finally get his proper due again.

More: The Best Horror Movies To Watch On Hulu

2020-01-19 02:01:41

Michael Kennedy

Horror Movies Disprove The Video Game Curse | Screen Rant

Horror video games are not only a popular genre in the gaming world, but their film adaptations, such as the popular Resident Evil franchise, showed that horror can transcend media types and disprove the video game curse.

The film debuted in 2002 and starred Milla Jovovich as Alice (who wasn’t even a game character), Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, and James Purefoy. While the first film was more firmly embedded in the games’ horror roots, it continued in a similar trajectory to the games themselves, adapting more high-octane elements to become an action/horror crossover and raked in tons of money at the box office. Spanning six movies in total, Resident Evil was a clear success. They might not have been the best zombie movies ever made, nor the best examples of what the horror genre can do, but they proved that video games can become good movies with the right elements in play.

Related: Resident Evil’s Original Movie Cast Was Very Different

While other horror video games have failed to match the same level of success as both Capcom’s games and the Resident Evil film franchise, they have been more successful on the whole than their other genre counterparts. With an upcoming series on Netflix, Resident Evil is still going strong, but it’s not the only horror game to blaze a trail successfully.

Resident Evil came out of the gate with a strong showing, turning a $33 million budget into $103 million at the box office. This trend continued with future installments. By the third film, Resident Evil: Afterlife, the upward curve was clear; its $60 million budget broke $300 million at the box office. The final film in the series, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), cleared $312.2 million. This makes Resident Evil one of the top-selling horror franchises of all time. Though it’s not considered to be distinctly horror by some fans, primarily because of its hard turn to action, it’s still a massive success for both the video games and the horror fans who spent years playing them.

Other horror games have transitioned to a movie format, such as the popular Silent Hill games moving to the big screen in 2006. While it wasn’t as popular with audiences and critics, it still managed to gross almost $100 million at the box office. Its follow up, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D in 2012 was a flop. The least successful horror video game to movie adaptation was Uwe Boll’s BloodRayne in 2005; it had a little bit of a crossover with Resident Evil by its inclusion of Michelle Rodriguez, but did terribly overall. Even so, it’s a feat of triumph when compared to video game movies from other genres. The Mortal Kombat franchise has seen some success, with its first feature film in 1995 being directed by Resident Evil’s own Paul W.S. Anderson. The various Tomb Raider films have seen success over the years in the summer blockbuster way, but for the most part, video game movies tend to sink rather than swim.

Iconic horror director James Wan is attached to an upcoming Mortal Kombat movie as a producer, which could be the special ingredient to bring critical success to another adaptation. Horror video games continue to see success in the gaming world as well, crossing over to major horror franchises in titles like Friday the 13th: The Game and Dead by Daylight, which features killers from franchises like HalloweenTexas Chainsaw MassacreSaw, and A Nightmare On Elm Street. As Resident Evil proved it can be done, perhaps there’s more to explore in the world of horror based video games and crossovers in the future.

Next: Resident Evil Netflix Series Updates: Release Date, Story, Will It Happen?

2020-01-19 01:01:00

Jack Wilhelmi

Creep Does Found Footage Horror The Right Way | Screen Rant

In 2014, Blumhouse Productions brought Creep into the world and proved just how good the found footage genre can be when each aspect takes a measured approach.

Found footage horror has a tendency to rely on shaky camera work, jump scares, and minimalistic aspects. Movies like Paranormal Activity, which was also produced by Blumhouse, made a killing on its “less is more” approach and showed that a stagnant angle of a bedroom could build tension and keep the audience on edge. Creep, starring Mark Duplass, took a different approach. Director Patrick Brice decided to showcase the human condition in his slow-burn tale of a man named Aaron (Brice) who is hired by a man named Josef (Duplass) to do work for him as a videographer.

Related: Mark Duplass And Patrick Brice Discuss Their Craigslist Nightmare ‘Creep’

Though Josef’s intentions seem harmless at first, Aaron quickly discovers that the ad he answers might not be what it seems, and the man he’s been getting to know is far more dangerous than his placid exterior suggests. The premise might seem more like an episode of Criminal Minds, but as a found footage film, Creep really works.

For Creep, Mark Duplass – who also co-wrote the script – was inspired by character-driven tales like Misery and Fatal Attraction. Both of these films also rely on simplicity and strong acting, which isn’t commonly seen in found footage horror films. Typically, found footage is more about what the audience can see through the camera lens and allows viewers to experience the environment through a secondary angle and focus on the background. In films like Cloverfield, it’s meant to build tension and heighten the chaos of a city being invaded by a monster in a more personal way, as opposed to high-action movies like Godzilla, which showcases the theme differently.

Found footage movies that take a more paranormal theme, such as The Blair Witch Project, employ jump scares and shocking imagery that lingers just slightly out of frame, forcing the audience to look closely before the camera is descended upon by who – or what-  poses the primary threat to the movie’s characters. Creep plays out like a more personal narrative; it’s a video diary, of sorts, as this is Josef’s intention to hire Aaron. In the beginning of the film, Josef explains that he has cancer and wants to record a video for his unborn son so he’ll have something to remember his father by. It’s endearing, and almost adds a sympathetic aspect to a man who becomes increasingly strange and odd, particularly in the way he behaves with Aaron, which makes the plot become all the more unsettling as more is revealed.

Creep takes an untraditional route for found footage that doesn’t rely on anything supernatural, doesn’t lean on jump scares, and instead wraps the audience up in a good story which leaves them helpless when things take a turn for the worse. Like Misery, its focus on characterization and realism makes the brutality and terror even more unsettling because a ‘normal’ person is the film’s real threat. Currently, Creep has an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and sparked a sequel in 2017, Creep 2. The sequel managed what many other horror sequels can’t, and improved on the original, earning a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Patrick Brice announced in 2017 that a third installment was in the works.

Next: Horror Movies Make More Profit – Here’s Why

2020-01-18 01:01:44

Jack Wilhelmi

Le Manoir du Diable: 10 Reasons To Watch The World’s First Horror Movie

During the early days of filmmaking, it was French directors who constantly tested the capabilities of the early cameras as they discovered new ways to tell stories. Le Manoir du Diable is a film from 1896 that often slips through the cracks during general film studies courses, but cinephiles know it as the world’s first horror film.

RELATED: 10 Great Indie Horror Films From 2019 You Missed

While fans might skip this film on account of more modern horror classics like The Shining or Twin PeaksLe Manoir du Diable definitely deserves a viewing from every horror movie junkie.

10 The First Vampire Film?

While it’s widely been attributed as the first horror film, many viewers have disagreed with this claim, given that its intent was to amuse people rather than traumatize them. When the Devil makes his first appearance in this film, he transforms from a bat to a man, a trope that has more to do with vampires than it does devils and demons. This has led other viewers to attribute Le Manoir du Diable as the first vampire film.

9 Features Established Horror Motifs

A good horror film contains many recognizable horror motifs, borrowed from the films that came before it. But considering the fact that Le Manoir du Diable is the world’s first horror film, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it has played a huge role in establishing many of these motifs in the first place.

Fans of horror will immediately recognize many common tropes, such as a damsel in distress, devious illusions, ghosts, impish figures, magic, and a spooky castle, not to mention the devil himself. While giving this film a watch, you won’t believe just how many horror motifs have been crammed into such a tiny package.

8 Hold The Nightmares

While many moviegoers avoid horror films altogether due to the possibility of experiencing nightmares after sitting through an entire viewing, this 1896 film was actually made to engross audiences into a narrative, and the director had no intention of inducing paranoia on the viewer. In fact, Le Manoir du Diable may even appear somewhat comical rather than scary to audiences of today.

RELATED: 10 Most Underrated Horror Films From The Past 5 Years

7 It Isn’t Long At All

The most common excuse for not watching critically acclaimed films is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get the job done. Fortunately, Le Manoir du Diable is no The Irishman. This film is just over three and a half minutes, meaning you could watch literally watch the entire thing twice and still make it to work on time.

6 It Was Different For Its Time

During the early days of cinema, anything beyond a simple video clip that wasn’t just a few seconds long was considered truly innovative due to how difficult it was to shoot and edit film in the first place.

Not only did Le Manoir du Diable attempt to tell an actual narrative rather than just showing real people going about their daily lives while being recorded, but this marked an attempt to truly bewilder the audience, depicting a world that differed from their own. Audiences were given a clear antagonist, protagonists, a beginning, and an end, and although this is pretty much standard for today’s films, back in 1896, this was truly revolutionary.

5 Creative Special Effects

It wasn’t only the length and subject matter of Le Manoir du Diable that were truly inventive, but also the special effects that were used in the film. They’re nowhere close to the CGI that is used today, but for a movie made in 1896, we’re amazed that Georges Méliès was able to cut between clips so close that it looks like characters are not only changing form (most notably a bat changes into the Devil and a young beautiful woman turns into an old hag in an instant), but ghosts and other figures constantly appear and disappear.

RELATED: 10 Of The Scariest Short Horror Films You Can Go Watch On YouTube Right Now

Not only were these effects innovative for their time, but it truly makes one appreciate just how far the art of cinematography has come.

4 A Chance To See Foreign Styles Of Dress From Over A Century Ago

Today, North Americans probably won’t be shocked to find out that French people don’t dress all that different from them. While Le Manoir du Diable isn’t exactly a fashion show, its characters do adorn some truly memorable garb, from the Devil and his tights and dark-colored cape, to the uniforms worn by the two cavaliers who arrive to put a stop to his antics.

While these outfits might look silly, even to people in 1896, it is pretty cool to see just what kinds of costumes were deemed appropriate for this kind of film over a century ago. These early films can even serve as a reference point when filmmakers are choosing how to dress their heroes and villains for their latest historical dramas.

3 Made By Georges Méliès

Georges Méliès was a French film director who’s played a vital role in the development of cinematography as an art form. His 1902 film A Trip to the Moon is one of early cinema’s most venerated titles. It was even named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by the Village Voice. After watching this film, along with Le Manoir du Diable, it’s clear that Méliès has a passion for narrative storytelling that not only draws viewers into a fictional world, but reminds audiences of the best (and worst) parts of the world they live in.

Le Manoir du Diable was filmed when Méliès himself didn’t have access to a studio, so he had to film it in his garden with painted canvas used for the background. Many fans have also made several efforts to make it known that the woman in the film, Jehanne d’Alcy, was a successful theatre actress who later became Méliès’ second wife.

2 It Was Almost Gone For Good

It’s always amazing when films from cinema’s humble beginnings have survived the test of time so that audiences of today can still appreciate them. Given that it’s such an old film, it’s understandable that Le Manoir du Diable could get lost, destroyed, or even forgotten about.

RELATED: 10 Classic Horror Films Every Fan Must Own

It was actually considered lost until 1988, when a single copy was found in a junk shop in Christchurch, New Zealand. While this film will definitely be around for years to come, cinephiles everywhere should watch it in honor of those who couldn’t for the century it was deemed missing.

1 A Happy Ending…

Many people steer clear of horror films for a variety of reasons, with one being that these films never really have happy endings. Even if the monster is defeated, the demon is exorcised, or the scary dancing clown is finally destroyed, the amount of terror and devastation that occurred from beginning to end usually cannot be undone, leaving the surviving characters with a darker reality.

Viewers can rest easy knowing that despite being considered a horror film, Le Manoir du Diable‘s ending, while it might feel incomplete, showcases good triumphing over evil. The cavaliers successfully fend off the Devil, with the added bonus that none of the them die in the process.

NEXT: 10 Best Horror Films That Don’t Have Happy Endings

2020-01-18 01:01:33

Lavell Nero

Why More Horror Movies In 2020 Are PG-13 | Screen Rant

2020 horror movies have been going strong in the early months of the year with some major releases, but a noticeable trend has been carrying through with the majority: most share a PG-13 rating.

Though the first release of the year, The Grudge, was rated R, the ones to follow – and many that are yet to release – have been slapped with the lesser rating. Even toward the end of 2019, this trend continued with Blumhouse’s teen slasher, Black Christmas, being PG-13 despite both other iterations being rated R. The Kristen Stewart led Underwater was reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s claustrophobic 1979 sci-fi/horror classic, Alien, but pulled away from the truly visceral realms of terror instead of going for the gut.

Related: Every Horror Movie Confirmed For 2020 Release Date

While The Grudge was certainly the more harshly criticized of the two 2020 horror movies so far, one of the stronger facets of it was that it brought violence where supernatural horror typically does not. Director Nicolas Pesce might not have been able to fully capitalize on what worked with the franchise’s PG-13 counterparts, but he provided some disturbing imagery and violence that pushed boundaries in a genre that is slowly becoming known for sanitized scares and restraint.

A PG-13 rating does not immediately mean a horror movie will be less effective. The choice to aspire to a lesser rating is, often, for a chance at a wider (and younger) audience. However, not all horror sub-genres work well with a PG-13 rating. Supernatural and paranormal horror films can typically get away with a PG-13 rating without sacrificing anything that makes them effective. As they rely more on jump scares, they can be reasonably bloodless and still manage to terrify. Slasher films usually bank on blood and nudity, which is prominently featured in franchises like Friday the 13th. Though it could be argued that John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween was also bloodless, its restraint was part of the film’s overall tone, but the franchise has evolved with time. The 2018 Halloween showed more gore, brutality, and a completely uncaged Michael Myers, which was a smart decision.

While this isn’t to say that horror movies should all take note from the early and mid-2000s “torture porn” films like Saw and Hostel, the former franchise has been a long-running success for a reason. As a new decade gets underway, it’s interesting to see the tone that will be set, and is already being set by upcoming releases. The Turning, a supernatural horror film based on the Henry James novel, The Turn of the Screw, is from the Victorian era, despite the film being set in the ’90s. Its PG-13 rating is sensible, and the updated setting an intriguing take. Ari Aster’s 2019 folk horror, Midsommar, set a high bar, yet Gretel & Hansel, which appears to take a page from Aster and Robert Eggers (The Witch) adapts what is arguably one of the Brothers Grimm’s darkest fairy tales about a cannibalistic witch who preys on children and makes it PG-13.

Brahms: The Boy 2 got its expected rating, but being rated R has worked for franchises like Annabelle, so even though Brahms isn’t the traditional “haunted doll”, it might be worth considering. Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island got a PG-13 rating, but appears like a slasher film with deep-seated, mysterious danger on a tropical island. Though the original TV series wasn’t horror, it posed a neat opportunity to resurrect the style of ’90s ensemble slashers like I Know What You Did Last Summer. Leigh Whannell’s take on The Invisible Manalso from Blumhouse, received an R rating for “strong bloody violence”, which works well with its story update that recreates the character as a violent sociopath. A Quiet Place 2 will likely get a PG-13 rating, though as of this writing, that has not been announced. 2020 horror movies will likely be a mix, but nowadays, the genre seems to target a wider audience instead of sticking with what might scare them the most.

Next: Most Anticipated Horror Movies Coming In 2020

2020-01-17 01:01:24

Jack Wilhelmi

10 Must-See Giallo-Style Horror Films | ScreenRant

Giallo is a genre that not even a lot of people who would consider themselves horror aficionados are familiar with. It’s a fairly obscure type of Italian movie that starts to drift pretty much into slasher-film territory, even though they aren’t strictly slashers. While Giallo movies and slashers are definitely two distinct movements, they do share their similarities. Giallo usually features a masked killer who’s generally in a black raincoat with his identity concealed until the end of the film, who usually kills predominantly women, although this isn’t always the case.

RELATED: 10 Best Serial Killer Movies From The 70s

The reason the killer’s identity is hidden is that these movies are based on a special type of crime novel that was popular leading up into the 70s, where Giallo films really became popular. In fact, the word Giallo itself is the Italian word for “yellow”, which is the color of the paperbacks that were commonly sold that served as the inspiration for these movies, sometimes specifically being adapted into Giallo films. Let’s take a look at some entries into the genre that you definitely aren’t going to want to pass up.

10 The Girl Who Knew Too Much

The Girl Who Knew Too Much is considered by many to be the very first Giallo film ever to hit theaters, and it was the beginning of a very lucrative career in the genre for filmmaker Mario Bava, who to this day is known as one of the most respected Giallo directors in history. The film was released in 1963, which may come as a shock to anyone familiar with Giallo who somehow hasn’t seen this film. It follows the story of a girl traveling to Rome who witnesses a murder. The police don’t believe her until she begins witnessing a whole string of them, all of the victims being chosen in alphabetical order.

9 The Bird With The Crystal Plumage

A film by one of the masters of Giallo Dario Argento, The Bird With The Crystal Plumage came out in 1970 to make double the cost of its production in the box office at 1,000,000 USD. It takes a lot of cues from a book called The Screaming Mimi, which had also been made into a film by Hollywood. When an American writer named Sam takes a vacation to Rome, he sees the attack and murder of a young woman at an art gallery. The authorities presume that the attacker was a serial killer targeting and murdering young women. Of course, Sam gets caught up in the investigation and begins to receive threatening phone calls.

8 A Bay Of Blood

A Bay Of Blood, a film by Mario Bava (that’s known by entirely too many names such as Twitch Of The Death Nerve, Carnage, or Blood Bath) was released in 1971. Along with Black Christmas, this film is often listed as perhaps having all of the ingredients to make a slasher film, and when we look at the plot, it appears strikingly similar to something like Friday The 13th, at least in setting anyway.

RELATED: 10 Most Underrated Slasher Movies

It deals with murders that happen surrounding the bay the film is named after. There’s a huge emphasis in this film on graphic violence, more so than in many Giallo films, and it’s widely considered to be Bava’s most violent.

7 Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key

Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key is a film directed by Sergio Martino and released in 1972. It also takes a lot of elements from gothic horror author Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Black Cat. The film tells the story of an isolated couple who entertains guests to keep themselves occupied. Oliviero, the husband in the couple, frequently abuses his wife, which causes suspicion when a local woman dies. The next day, Oliviero finds their maid dead and hides her corpse to make sure that no one is too quick to accuse him. As the suspicion mounts, double-crosses are made, new details are revealed, and more and more bodies pile up.

6 Suspiria

The beginning of Dario Argento’s witch-themed trilogy, and arguably the best part of the said trilogy, is Suspiria. Not the one that came out in 2018, which even if it did stray from the basic framework Argento put in place, was an incredible film, but no, Suspiria from 1977. It tells the story of a young dancer who visits a dancing academy after hearing that it’s one of the most prestigious places of learning for dancers in the world. After she gets there one night and has a rather strange encounter, she returns and won’t take no for an answer. Once she starts her studies there, she realizes her friend is acting strange.

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She’s speaking of disappearances and witches and some sort of grand conspiracy so she decides to investigate. While some people will say that this film isn’t exactly Giallo since it’s supernatural, it’s the first thought for a lot of people and should definitely be looked into.

5 What Have You Done To Solange?

This film is really well respected in the Giallo community, and it holds a pretty high score in most of it’s reviews. While there’s a certain amount of sex-appeal that goes into every Giallo film since that’s apparently an important part of what makes a Giallo film a Giallo film, this movie just kind of commits to that and sets it in an all-girl Catholic school. While the unapologetic sexuality of the film might not be in everyone’s wheelhouse, it’s still worth a watch.

4 All The Colors Of The Dark

All The Colors Of The Dark is a film from 1972, directed by Sergio Martino. Now, while Giallo films are all known for having quite a psychedelic, hallucinogenic type of feel to them, this movie takes it to the extreme, eventually completely blurring the line between fantasy and reality. Jane is worried about a nightmare that she’s been having. She’s had a hard life, and saw her mother die. What do her friends recommend to her? Medication? Tried it, didn’t work. Therapy? Tried it… Didn’t work. A black mass to share praise for Satan himself? Perfect. Except that this is when her troubles really begin.

3  Don’t Torture A Duckling

One important thing to get out of the way before talking about this film is that it’s graphic. It’s not for the squeamish or the faint of heart, but that being said that isn’t a challenge. It deals with extremely graphic subject matter, and if you have any psychological triggers due to trauma, this film should probably be avoided.

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That being said, if you’re still interested, it also provides a good commentary on the sexuality of the Catholic church. The film tells us about a detective who’s investigating a rash of child murders in an extremely superstitious town, and is the first of important Italian director Lucio Fulci’s films to start experimenting with gore.

2 Deep Red

Deep Red is yet another entry on this list by Dario Argento. It came out in the year 1975, and as we neglected to mention Suspiria‘s “killer” (hehe) soundtrack, we should probably give the band Goblin their due here. They’re an insanely cool psychedelic progressive rock band who’s collaborated with Argento frequently, specifically on Deep Red and Suspiria. Dark Red stars your normal Giallo killer clad in black gloves, only this time he’s being investigated by a medium and a piano player. This film has inspired both David Cronenberg’s film Scanners and Halloween II.

1 Lizard In A Woman’s Skin

A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin is another film on this list by Lucio Fulci, being released in 1971. While Giallo films usually have pretty interesting plots, this one is absolutely wild. It follows the story of a girl who begins to have psychedelic nightmares of murder, debauchery, and mayhem. When she dreams that she commits a murder, she wakes up to find out that there’s been an investigation opened into the murder of her recently deceased neighbor.

NEXT: 10 Asian Slashers That You Never Heard Of (But Need To Watch Right Now)

2020-01-16 01:01:05

Cody McIntosh

5 Horror Movie Sequels That Bested The Original (& 5 That Flopped)

Horror movies, especially slashers are incredibly well-known for having some of the most god-awful sequels imaginable. Two of the biggest offenders might be A Nightmare On Elm Street Part II, or maybe Halloween II. Then again, you’ll find people who are apologists for both of these films. Either way you slice it (pun intended) pretty much every franchise there is has someone arguing that any individual sequel is better than the original, or at the very least the best of the sequels.

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Why shouldn’t they? With the film studios pumping out movie after movie to cash in on the face of Freddy Kreuger or Jason Voorhees, there’s really no reason one of the 20 sequels might not better. Anyway, let’s take a look at some films that are better than the first entry in their respective horror franchise, and some that most definitely aren’t.

10 Better: Hellraiser II

The cool thing about Hellraiser II in comparison to the original is that it takes a deep dive into the world of the Cenobites themselves, and even though the original based on The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker is wonderful, we really didn’t focus enough on Frank after the Cenobites showed him what suffering really was. “We have such sights to show you” exclaimed Pinhead during the first one when the true horror that was the Lament Configuration finally decided to show its face, but we were too busy focusing on Frank gaslighting his way back into the flesh to figure out exactly what it was that Frank had seen. Luckily with Hellraiser II, not only are we pulled into our worst nightmares, but we see what it’s like when someone else is too.

9 Flop: Halloween II

We’re sorry John Carpenter. We love you, we promise. It’s just that after the formative slasher hit that was the original film Halloween, we expected just a little bit more. Fortunately with Halloween III: Season Of The Witch we saw what your vision would have been if the studio hadn’t essentially forced you to make another Michael Myers film, but 2 just doesn’t do what it needs to do nearly as well as the first one does. While it’s decent and we shouldn’t be complaining, we are. There was so much potential here, and you really just ended up setting the tone for the awful sequels instead of keeping Michael the unfeeling Shape that he deserved to be. Instead, we end up treading familiar ground inside of a hospital that for some reason has a jacuzzi inside of it? Thanks, but no thanks.

8 Better: Dawn Of The Dead

Dawn Of The Dead is just hands-down an incredible film. This isn’t to say that Night Of The Living Dead isn’t a great film and we’re sorry for buying so many knock-off copies of it since it isn’t copywritten, but there’s just something timeless and perfect about Dawn Of The Dead. Honestly, it’s your prototypical zombie film.

RELATED: The 10 Best Kills In Horror Movies From The Past Decade

While Night Of The Living Dead set a more than perfect groundwork for what would happen to zombie films throughout the 90s and what’s still happening today, there’s something about a zombie film that’s set in a mall that just works so well, even influencing things as diverse as video games like Dead Rising, one of the most perfect zombie games ever to hit gaming other than maybe Left 4 Dead and its sequels. Oh wait, this film seems to have influenced them too. Well, carry on, George A. Romero. Job well done.

7 Flop: Texas Chainsaw Massacre II

Texas Chainsaw Massacre II is the beginning of Tobe Hooper’s descent into “Umm… excuse me? What the hell are you doing?”. While tons of people love the sequel to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it’s really unclear what they’re seeking to do. Are you attempting to expand on the tone of the first one? According to interviews, not enough people understood that apparently the first film is supposed to be a comedy. Oh you didn’t laugh when a woman is thrown onto a meat hook in a film that’s supposed to be based on true events? The issue for both the viewer and the filmmakers is that no one did. While they say it’s supposed to be a black comedy, one could argue that it is after investigating the southern gothic themes and the critiques of capitalism which are admittedly quite poignant. The only issue is that they don’t land the way they’re supposed to, and at the end of the day, we’re just watching flesh-hungry hillbillies catch dinner.

6 Better: Devil’s Rejects

The issue here might be with the directing in Rob Zombie’s debut. No one is arguing that House Of 1000 Corpses isn’t fun, the issue is that it may be too fun. It’s essentially a Rob Zombie music video that lasts over an hour, even if you only pull out the narrative bits and leave in the interstitials.

RELATED: 10 Horror Movie Villains You Can’t Help But Root For

What The Devil’s Rejects does so well is make you realize that the Firefly family doesn’t live in a vacuum. Even if you haven’t seen the film before, you understand that the cop is going to die, and Otis and Sherri Moon Zombie (who is very weirdly done in this movie as a kind of cannibalistic Harley Quinn) are going to get off scot-free with absolutely no repercussions for what they’re doing. While The Devil’s Rejects is dark and hard to watch, it’s much more real than anything that came before it.

5 Flop: Nightmare On Elm Street II

The original Nightmare On Elm Street is a classic and for this particular film, Wes Craven is an absolute genius. No one is arguing that that isn’t true. The only issue is that when the studio picked it up for a sequel, they really had no sense of suspense when attempting to make what is to come. While Freddy Kreuger isn’t quite “Welcome to prime-time bitch!” Freddy just yet, it’s obvious that he’s well on his way there. There’s also the intentional gay overtones that no one on the film was aware of other than the writer, set designer, and lead actor, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that if you go into it unaware, you might not get what you’re expecting.

4 Better: Evil Dead II

Sam Raimi really outdoes himself with The Evil Dead II. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the first one, in fact it’s very nearly on-par with the second. The thing is that the story of the first one was so good that it only could have done with a bigger budget, and despite Sam Raimi being a fledgling director, he knew exactly how to put that to use. He made the movie funnier, more gory, more violent, and let Bruce Campbell really show the world what he could do. Also for those of you who don’t know, Bruce Campbell is incredibly charming.

3 Flop: The Howling II

The Howling II is only the start of a series of missteps in a franchise that’s almost completely missteps anyway unfortunately. While it does its best to be fun even though it’s a direct sequel to the original that just doesn’t work, it still falls apart anyway. The author of the books didn’t even like the first one, and after the second maybe he’s not wrong. And that’s not even to mention the Ausploitation travesty that was The Howling IV: The Marsupials. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

2 Better: VHS 2

VHS 2 does everything the initial entry does in the series, but much, much better. While not every small vignette hits precisely the way it needs to, when this film is good, it’s incredibly good.

RELATED: 16 Most Exciting Horror Movies Coming In 2020

We’d hate to say that this entry is on the list for only one piece of the anthology, because it isn’t, but there’s definitely a little snippet in this film about a cult that still stands today as one of the greatest pieces of media about what happens when a cult goes wrong.

1 Flop: Exorcist II: The Heretic

If you were a fan of William Peter Blatty and William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, otherwise known as one of the greatest films of all time, let alone horror, we’re profoundly sorry for The Exorcist II: The Heretic. The film decides that it still wants to follow a 16-year-old Regan who is somehow still suffering from demonic possession after all of the events of the first film. We promise, just don’t watch it.

NEXT: 10 Scariest ’80s Horror Movie Monsters, Ranked

2020-01-16 01:01:05

Cody McIntosh