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Re93animator's Top 100 Horror Films

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I know I haven't posted here in a while, but I really wanted to share this. This isn’t really a list of my favorite horror films (since I didn’t want to have anyone questioning the validity of ‘Hardware’ being in the top ten) or best (since, even while trying my hardest to be objective, I find it impossible to let go of all subjectivity.). It is a representation of variety in the genre, as well as a list of what I think everyone who hasn’t explored much of the genre should see, and something that, hopefully, inspires horror fans to see some films that may have fallen under the radar. This is pretty much my ‘essentials’ list.

Here's the first group:

100. The Spiral Staircase (1945)

99. Eraserhead (1977)

I'm sure most people on a film forum know the reputation of Eraserhead, even without having seen it. I can't say much that already hasn't been said, but it's a necessity for those into 'strange' cinema, and isn't really for the ones just looking for a 'scare' on Halloween.

98. Who Can Kill a Child/Island of the Damned (1976)

Quite an under-acknowledged film that may be a little difficult to obtain, but very worthy of a watch.

97. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

96. Cemetery Man (1994)

Very entertaining black comedy that switches gears about midway and delves into surrealism.

95. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

94. The Unknown (1927)

93. Beetlejuice (1988)

In my opinion, a perfect flick to watch on Halloween. Tim Burton's visual homage to gothic horror and expressionism seems both reminiscent and very original.

92. Freaks (1932)

91. Braindead/Dead Alive (1992)

You'll have to forgive the lack of description/reviews on most. I just don't have time to go through every one.

This is good stuff. I like these genre-specific lists. Keep 'em coming.

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
So far, I really like Beetlejuice and Shaun Of The Dead. Nice picks so far.
"George, this is a little too much for me. Escaped convicts, fugitive sex... I've got a cockfight to focus on."

Cool list. Love the inclusion of a couple Tod Browning films -- Freaks and The Unknown -- which leads me to ask, have you seen West of Zanzibar? I think that's one of his darkest films.

The only one I haven't seen so far is Island of the Damned. I'll look out for it.

Good to see Who Can Kill A Child? listed, I picked up the UK dvd a couple of months back. It's totally underrated and overlooked...a really atmospheric mixture of Children of the Damned, Night of the Living Dead and Lord of the Flies.

Dellamorte Dellamore is another good choice.

It has to be said that The Spiral Staircase is a towering masterpiece. I categorize it as film-noir, but am glad it just sneaked its way into your countdown. The level of tension and fear that Siodmak managed to put into this film is astonishing. The cinematography is some of the best that I've ever seen in a film noir, up there with Night and the City, Touch of Evil, and Out of the Past.

that's what she said...
If I could rep you twice I would for Shawn of the Dead and Beetlejuice but unfortunately I can only rep you once lol

Thanks for the positive feedback everyone!

have you seen West of Zanzibar? I think that's one of his darkest films.
I haven't, but I've added it to my watch list.

#'s 90-81:

90. The Birds (1963)

89. The Man Who Laughs (1928)

I was on the fence about including this one. The reason it's often classified as a horror film is the 'smiling' face of its protagonist and a stellar expressionistic atmosphere, but it is a great example of silent film atmosphere.

88. I Saw the Devil (2010)

87. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

86. Horror of Dracula (1958)

Arguably the best film that Hammer studios produced, and (though the sequels had more of a hand in reinforcing it's status) Christopher Lee's portrayal of Dracula is often cited as the best.

85. The Cremator (1969)

An obscure Czechoslovak dark comedy with an aura that radiates surrealism. A possible influence on David Lynch, and another recommendation for anyone into strange cinema.

84. Dracula (1992)

I may get some flak for putting this ahead of the Hammer version, but I do prefer it by a hair. It's foremost concern is style, but it's style is what makes a fan out of me (well... that and Tom Waits).

83. Night of the Demon (1957)

One minor gripe I have with this is hindering its own ambiguity by showing the monster in the opening scene. Though, on the optimistic side, it does a great job of bringing you into the main character's realm of skeptical thinking, even after you've seen the creature.

82. The Kingdom (1994)

I'm cheating a little here. Lars Von Trier's Kingdom is a mini-series, but it's easily worthy of the list, and its addicting quality makes me rather think of it as an incredibly long feature film.

81. Black Sunday (1960)

One of my personal favorite Italian horror films. After watching this, it's easy to see why Bava was so revered for his gloomy aesthetics.

THE BIRDS! Love that movie. I have Horror of Dracula on DVR.
"Puns are the highest form of literature." -Alfred Hitchcock


80. Mad Love (1935)

One of the better films on this list to watch on Halloween, most likely because Karl Freund, the film's director, specialized in dismal cinematography (though he didn't do the cinematography on this film, his presence is still felt in the visual department) and was a big inspiration for early Gothic horror cinema.

79. Scream (1996)

78. The Sixth Sense (1999)

77. Hour of the Wolf (1968)

This is one of Bergman's more experimental and less accessible films, but it should be great for fans of his.

76. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Tim Burton's signature visuals are on full display and are cited as a homage to Hammer horror films, though they also seem reminiscent of Mario Bava's work (especially Black Sabbath). This is perhaps Burton's magnum opus in regards to the horror genre.

75. The Mist (2007)

74. The Phantom Carriage (1921)

A somewhat obscure film that's just getting its first proper DVD release from Criterion next week. This was also acknowledged by Ingmar Bergman as a huge influence on his work.

73. The Woman in Black (1989)

Hopefully, with the new version coming out soon, this will get a little more recognition and (a long overdue) DVD release. This is one of a handful of films that have actually frightened me.

72. Re-Animator (1985)

71. The Fly (1986)

88. I Saw the Devil (2010)

I hadn't heard of this one. Seems very interesting. I'll check it out some time.

Shanking someone once in the neck ought to do the job. Dude just kept on going like he was enjoying it. Yeah, I'm acquiring this tonight.


70. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

69. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

68. Onibaba (1964)

67. Cat People (1942)

66. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

My personal favorite Lang film behind M. Much like M, it takes its cue partially from
expressionist films and creates a unique spin on the crime genre, while providing early influence for what would eventually become film-noir. This, along with it's predecessor 'Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler,' seems very ahead of its time.

65. Kuroneko (1968)

Another severely overlooked classic that's due for a criterion release in the coming days.

64. Army of Darkness (1992)

63. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)

The best animated horror film I've seen, and one of the better sequels the genre has had (that easily surpasses its predecessor IMO). It's greatness may come primarily from its ability to combine and balance so many different genres successfully.

62. Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Yet another rarity getting a release from Criterion this week. It includes one of Charles Laughton's first semi-leading roles, and a memorably great cameo-ish role from Bela Lugosi.

61. The Day of the Beast (1995)

Simply put: one of the most entertaining films on the list. Another one that comes highly recommended from me for Halloween.