Sir Toose's Unholy House of Horrors

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The House of Horrors

Since my favorite genre, horror, seems widely under appreciated by the population as a whole and is somewhat under represented here at Movie Forums, I've decided to make a thread of my favorite horror films.

These will not be presented in any order, nor will there be a definitive count, as I love all that I will post here and on any given day each could be my 'favorite'.

This thread will be slow burning as the rest of my experience here (less than 5k posts in almost 13 years) but hopefully I can spark interest in some under rated (IMO) B Grade, drive in movie classics as well as in some critically acclaimed yet oft ignored gems.

** Also, these aren't really meant to be in depth reviews, but rather suggestions with a bit of explanation.

Contents:
A:
Amityville II The Possession
B:
Below (2002)
Black Sabbath (1963)
D:
Dark Water
Dementia 13
G:
Ghost Story
H:
Horror Hotel/City of the Dead
L:
Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
O:
Other, The (1972)



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



"Hey Look it's Masterman"
Looking forward to it. Ime not really a horror movie fan but I do love the classics.
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--I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing.




First up, The Other (1972). This is one of the first films I remember seeing with an absolutely chilling OMFG plot twist. Likely it will be somewhat tame compared to some of the more modern films (and a few classics, like Psycho for example), but it absolutely proves that terror can be dealt out with a PG rating.

The story plays out in a bucolic setting and centers around twin brothers Niles and Holland Perry and their 'game'. To say more is to give the plot away but trust me when I tell you, if you give it a shot some dark and quiet night you won't be disappointed.

You can watch the trailer here:








The IMDB Synopsis: "A recently institutionalized woman has bizarre experiences after moving into a supposedly haunted country farmhouse and fears she may be losing her sanity once again".

Let's Scare Jessica to Death is another early '70's film that absolutely haunted my childhood. I remember watching this on late night TV at about 8 years of age and it caused me to have nightmares for several years thereafter.

I've re-watched it several times since and, though it did lose its initial power over me, it still stands up as a great horror film.

LSJTD is a play on paranoia, mental illness and reality. Throughout the film, the watcher is never really sure which of these attributes is in play but it doesn't matter as it makes the film no less effective.

I've developed an uneasiness about water in my life and came to realize that watching this film was the direct cause of this (you'll see why if you watch it).

The Trailer:


The Full Film (again, better in higher resolution):






Below (2002)



"Six hundred feet beneath the surface terror runs deep"

Beware, you claustrophobics, for this film will test your mettle. This one starts out as a military thriller and eventually goes off the deep end (pun intended) into a pretty righteous ghost story.

Below is backed by some serious writing cred (Aronofsky) and has a cast of actors that you will know when you see them (see IMDB link above for details).

This film works for me on many levels. The 'horror' is definitely mostly psychological versus gory (as most on this list will be). I have a natural aversion to water and coupled with the tight spaces and the realization that escape (from a submarine) would be impossible just intensifies the effects.

Below Trailer:






Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I've seen all of them, and although I don't love them, I've seen them (except for Below which I saw for the first time last year) multiple times. In fact, I saw The Other at the drive-in in 1973 and it went over my head but was very creepy. Jessica was shown on late night TV in the '70s and was equally weird and atmospheric. Since I know Toose really likes atmospheric psychological horror thrillers like The Haunting and The Innocents, this thread should be full of goodies.
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Since I know Toose really likes atmospheric psychological horror thrillers like The Haunting and The Innocents, this thread should be full of goodies.
You know both of those are going to show up on this list Mark.
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LSJTD is a wonderfully atmospheric film. It's the only one of those that I've seen, but I'd recommend it, too. The Other is something I may check out some time. Thanks for the rec.

I hope this thread isn't quite as slow burning as your other, Toose. I look forward to this one.
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5-time MoFo Award winner.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I love horror, tis my favourite genre. Yet I haven't seen the ones listed.
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



I hope this thread isn't quite as slow burning as your other, Toose. I look forward to this one.
3 entries plus creation of the thread all in one day! It's some kind of record for me!




"A story that goes beyond the boundaries of the Supernatural to the half-world of the living dead... Where a woman's soul inhabits a fly's body... where vampires suck only the blood of those they love dearest."


Black Sabbath is a classic horror film by the incomparable Mario Bava. The film is comprised of three vignettes which I find to be completely unsettling. I won't bother with plot details as it's best to be surprised by them. This film is illustrative of Bava's multitude of talents, both in storytelling and in cinematography.

Something that especially stands out in Bava's work is his use of lighting. If you watch this one, look for his use of complimentary colors (red & green being the most prominent in this film) in the lighting of his sets. To me, it almost works as an additional character in the film as it completes the mood/atmosphere. Check it out, you'll like it!

The Trailer:




A little trivia: Black Sabbath (the band) liked the title of this film and used it for their band name. Rob Zombie (a Black Sabbath fan) followed suit and used another classic horror film name (White Zombie) for his band name.







"Makes Psycho look like a picnic in the park!"

Dementia 13 is one of Francis Ford Coppola's earliest films, occurring almost simultaneously with his work on Roger Corman's The Terror (Jack Nicholson & Boris Karloff). The film is a low budget, low quality thriller/murder mystery but don't let that stop you from watching it as it really packs a punch.

The film starts out as a mystery and quickly evolves into a damn good horror flick complete with an axe murdering psycho. Despite the low quality, this film has a lot going for it. There is a scheming daughter in law trying to get her hands on the family fortune, plenty of redirects and suspects, an interwoven ghost story and, of course, the axe murdering psycho. As an unexpected bonus, someone dies to an Elvis song. That's great film making!

Seriously, if you haven't seen it give it a try. The first few minutes will seem hokey but stick with it, it gets much, much better.

The Trailer:


The Entire Film:






City of the Dead / Horror Hotel (1960)



"300 years old! Human blood keeps them alive forever!"

From the late 1950's through the early 1970's in America there was a pop culture resurrection and refocused interest in the ancient art of witchcraft. If art imitates life (it often does) then one need only look to film to get a pulse on the ideas of the day.

Horror Hotel was one of the earlier films that attempted to twist the Salem Witch Trials into something altogether different than reported history... ie the witches really were witches and they did, indeed, enjoy feasting on human beings.

This film is a cut above Saturday morning Creature Feature fare as it does manage to build some real tension and features some quality acting. of course the cheese is still there, but what horror movie doesn't benefit from a bit of cheese?

Watch it, you'll like it!

By the by, this one is available on archive.org as no one owns it anymore.. it's public domain.

Also available on youtube right here:




Bonus trivia: Rob Zombie likes to sample audio from this film. If you're familiar with his music you'll recognize some lines.



Oldboy 2: Youngman
I actually have Dementia 13 but haven't watched it yet. I also need to check out City of the Dead.