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Top 25 2011: Horror Films: Nomination (Closed) and Discussion


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FRANKENSTEIN

Dir. James Whale

70 min

English

IMDB

Second.

DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1931)

Dir. Rouben Mamoulian

98 min.

English

IMDB

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925)

Dir. Rupert Julian

92 min.

English

IMDB

YouTube

Second.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I second Pepping Tom (was just about to add it in this post).

Thinking it over a bit, I'm going to follow stef's advice and go the Darrel Manson's route and nominate a documentary.

Title: Crumb (1994)

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Running time: 119 minutes

IMDb

Title: Cronos (1993)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Running time: 94 minutes

IMDb

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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I second the following films:

Onibaba

Kwaidan

[Rec]

Freaks

Eyes Without a Face

Frankenstein

Repulsion

Pulse

Frailty

Begotten

The Innocents

Shaun of the Dead

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Halloween

Scream

The Sixth Sense

The Wicker Man (1973)

And I nominate these films:

Title: Susperia(1977)

Director: DarioArgento

Runningtime: 98 min

Language: Italian

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076786/=

YouTube:

Title: TheChangeling (1980)

Director: Peter Medak

Runningtime: 107 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/...h?v=xTzgXVosQOU

A&F: http://tinyurl.com/2dbpknh

Title: The Old Dark House (1932)

Director: James Whale=

Runningtime: 72 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023293/

YouTube:

Title: The Omen (1976)

Director: Richard Donner

Runningtime: 111 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075005/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=3PuIBNLOeEU

Title: The Fly (1986)

Director: David Cronenberg

Runningtime: 96 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091064/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=IidHjCm3xGI

Title: Tesis(Thesis) (1996)

Director: Alejandro Amenabar

Runningtime: 125 min

Language: Spanish

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117883/

YouTube:

Title: BlackSabbath (1963)

Director: Mario Bava, Salvatore Billitteri

Runningtime: 92 min

Language: Italian

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057603/

YouTube:

Title: Bride of Frankenstein

Director: James Whale

Runningtime: 75 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026138/

YouTube:

Title: Audition

Director: Takashi Miike

Runningtime: 115

Language: Japanese

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0235198/

YouTube:

Title: Don’t Look Now (1974)

Director: Nicholas Roeg

Runningtime: 110 Min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069995/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=TYICwstBwnM

Title:Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Director: John McNaughton

Runningtime: 83 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099763/

YouTube:

Title: Lost Highway (1997)

Director: David Lynch

Runningtime: 134

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116922/

YouTube:

Title: Deep Red (1975)

Director: Dario Argento

Runningtime:126 min=

Language: Italian/English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073582/

YouTube:

Title: Session 9 (2001)

Director: Brad Anderson

Runningtime: 100 minh

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0261983/

YouTube:

Title: Witchfinder General

Director: Michael Reeves

Runningtime: 86 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063285/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=GvJ9xEWkm2Y

Title: Cure

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Runningtime: 111 min

Language: Japanese

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123948/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayyP1ELch0c

Title: A Tale of Two Sisters

Director: Ji-woon Kim

Runningtime: 115

Language: Korean

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365376/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anF5XiN8QY8

Title: Curseof the Demon

Runningtime: 95

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050766/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.c...on+trailer&aq=f

And since we're throwing in some odd ones:

Title: Triumph of the Will

Director: Leni Riefenstahl

Running time: 114

Language: German

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025913/

In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. -- Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

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Second A Tale of Two Sisters.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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So many films to see, so many unfamiliar titles...

No Val Lewton films yet?

Anyway, I'll nominate Unbreakable:

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Runningtime: 106 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0217869/

YouTube:

Edited by Andrew

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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No Val Lewton films yet?

My thoughts exactly, Andrew. I didn't find threads for individual films, so I linked to the general Val Lewton thread. There's also a Jacques Tourneur thread here that has a bit of content on the first two of these.

Cat People (1942)

Director: Jacques Tourneur

Running Time: 73 minutes

Language: English

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034587/

A&F: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=7050&hl=val%20lewton&st=0

I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Director: Jacques Tourneur

Running Time: 69 minutes

Language: English

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036027/

A&F: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=7050&hl=val%20lewton&st=0

The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

Director: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise

Running Time: 70 minutes

Language: English

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036733/

A&F: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=7050&hl=val%20lewton&st=0

All great art is pared down to the essential.
--Henri Langlois

 

Movies are not barium enemas, you're not supposed to get them over with as quickly as possible.

--James Gray

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And fwiw, I have no objection to removing The Exorcism of Emily Rose to protect the integrity of the list.

I'm fairly sure that was going to make it onto the list regardless, so I don't see how keeping it there compromises the integrity of the list and/or discussion.

I can confidantly say that we are happy to have any like-minded artists and film lovers participate in these discussions. You shouldn't be disqualified from participating simply because you happen to have made a successful film (or written a successful book, or painted a successful painting, or etc.) For example, we wouldn't stop recommending the films of, oh say, Isaac Lee Chung, simply because he stopped by to write or talk about filmmaking with us.

Edited by Persiflage
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Title: Vinyan (2008)

Director: Fabrice Du Welz

Running Time: 96 min.

Language: English/Thai

IMDB

A&F Thread

Title: Trouble Every Day (2001)

Director: Claire Denis

Running Time: 101 min

Language: French/English

IMDB

A&F Thread

Title: Cries and Whispers (1972)

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Running Time: 91 min.

Language: Swedish

IMDB

A&F Thread

Title: In My Skin (2002)

Director: Marina de Van

Running Time: 93 min

Language: French

IMDB

No dedicated thread but I discussed it with myself Here.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Cat People (1942)

Director: Jacques Tourneur

Running Time: 73 minutes

Language: English

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034587/

A&F: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=7050

Seconded, with trailer:

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I think it's quite important to respect the horror genre by limiting the list to definite horror films. I think a fairly safe way to define if a given film is horror, is if it's genre is named as such on the IMDB board. For this reason I withdraw my nomination of Triumph of the Will.

Apocalypse Now is one of my top five all time films, but I don't think it can be called a horror film.

Edited by Scott Derrickson

In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. -- Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

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Title: The Omen (1976)

Director: Richard Donner

Runningtime: 111 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075005/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=3PuIBNLOeEU

Title: The Fly (1986)

Director: David Cronenberg

Runningtime: 96 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091064/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=IidHjCm3xGI

Title: BlackSabbath (1963)

Director: Mario Bava, Salvatore Billitteri

Runningtime: 92 min

Language: Italian

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057603/

YouTube:

Title: Bride of Frankenstein

Director: James Whale

Runningtime: 75 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026138/

YouTube:

Title: Don’t Look Now (1974)

Director: Nicholas Roeg

Runningtime: 110 Min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069995/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=TYICwstBwnM

Title:Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Director: John McNaughton

Runningtime: 83 min

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099763/

YouTube:

Title: Lost Highway (1997)

Director: David Lynch

Runningtime: 134

Language: English

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116922/

YouTube:

Seconds all around.

Apocalypse Now is one of my top five all time films, but I don't think it can be called a horror film.

Oh, I've always argued that APOCALYPSE NOW is very much of a horror film; it fits neater in that genre than it does in the "war film" genre. It's entirely invested in creating a feeling of revulsion and terror, and does so through surreal, nightmarish imagery. The only difference between this and, say, a more psychological horror film like THE TENANT and/or PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK is a matter of subject. Otherwise, they take similar approaches.

Edited by Ryan H.
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One of its last lines is, "The horror! The horror!"

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Title: Vampyr

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer

Running Time: 83 min

Language: German

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023649/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=aUZihZPiyGU (Full Movie)

A&F: http://artsandfaith....=1&#entry208214

It may have been seconded already, but I want to make sure this one makes it into the nominees, so I second VAMPYR.

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You would probably feel the same way about Come and See.

I can see each of those being called "horrifying." I'm not certain they fit into the category of horror.

They are still closer to horror than Vertigo or the Al Gore film.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I think it's quite important to respect the horror genre by limiting the list to definite horror films.

I'm curious, Why? I think "respecting the genre" makes for a less interesting list.

For the uninitiated (ie. non-horror-fan) coming to the list, I think they are more likely to linger with it if there are some outsiders they've seen.

For the horror fan, I think it will spark more interesting thoughts and conversations to have a few oddballs there

I think a fairly safe way to define if a given film is horror, is if it's genre is named as such on the IMDB board.

How does imdb determine which labels to affix? Do they base it on the marketing materials of the film? Anyone know?

Here are some examples (using currently ineligible films) of why admiting non-imdb sanctioned horror films is a good idea:

Winter's Bone rightfully would never be labeled horror, yet it has perhaps the most disturbing/moving horror scene I've ever watched (quasi-spoiler alert: the scene involving hands, if you're wondering).

Von Trier's Antichrist on the other hand is more than horror, but it is still, in my non-expert estimation, definitely horror. IMDB labels it Drama. It certainly starts out that way but that's not how it finishes.

Edited by yank_eh
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I think it's quite important to respect the horror genre by limiting the list to definite horror films.

I've been thinking about this some more. Is it that important to "respect" the horror genre?

Maybe it's my love/hate relationship with this genre that makes me think such a list could only benefit from opening up the floodgates a little bit. A list of great horror films could benefit from some unfamiliar or unexpected choices, because it then forces anyone who encounters the list to contemplate what is horror cinema, and what makes it valuable. And if we are to say that the category of the "nightmare story" is valuable, then I think we have to make room for something like APOCALYPSE NOW, which, if nothing else, is a true-blue cinematic nightmare. I don't want to see a list made up entirely of super-unconventional choices, though--classics like FRANKENSTEIN, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, and the two NOSFERATUs deserve to be on this list. But to lock this list so only purely conventional, accepted choices could make it takes some of the interest out of the exercise for me.

And that brings me to this point: I think all of us who participated in this list really need to think over what does make horror valuable, what separates the commendable achievements from the schlock. Scott has nominated some Argento films, and they provide an interesting case as far as I'm concerned. While I'll commend Argento's visual inventiveness, I find films like SUSPIRIA and DEEP RED to be rather lousy, lacking conviction and coherence, indulging in carnage with a distasteful exuberance. Perhaps Scott can provide a spirited defense to make me think otherwise, but as of now, I'm ruling that they fall into the category of beautiful schlock.

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I would categorize Apocalypse Now as drama, action, war, or thriller before I'd categorize it as horror.

"Action"? Nothing in APOCALYPSE NOW really approximates an action film in any capacity. It uses an entirely different mode of storytelling than that of say, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK or DIE HARD. "Drama"? Well, perhaps, but if so, it's a drama that's particularly invested in creating a sense of visceral terror. "War"? Well, it can't escape this one, if only because its subject is war. But the vocabulary it uses to describe war is straight out of the horror handbook. And "thriller"? Well, I've often failed to see a meaningful difference between a so-called "thriller film" and a "horror film." We actually discussed this when this topic was nominated and being voted on; the list was nominated as the "Top Horror/Thriller Films," and I see no reason that just because the title now only incorporates the label "horror" that thrillers are ineligible PSYCHO is called in some quarters a thriller and some a horror film.

How, Scott, would you define the purpose/limits of the horror genre? I would suggest that the "horror" category refers to a mode of storytelling in which the story is designed to invoke a feeling of terror or, well, horror in the viewer. I have a hard time getting more specific than that, especially given the fairly broad boundaries of the genre as it has been understood historically.

Edited by Ryan H.
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I think you're reading way into this, Ryan.

Most horror films work on a visceral/"scare"/BOO[!] factor, but the genre is redeemed by a morality tale that is rather black and white.

Apocalypse Now is a war film with horrifying imagery. For that matter, so is Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg and Coppolla did not have it in their heads to make a scary movie first, even though both films have scary moments.

ETA:I cannot comment on Deep Red, but Suspiria is definitely horror, conjuring up at least three lengthy set pieces whose purpose is to do nothing but frighten the audience. Whether it is successful in doing so is another matter altogether.

Edited by Nick Alexander

Nick Alexander

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I think you're reading way into this, Ryan.

Sure am. The whole reason I nominated this idea to being with was so that we, as a community, could think deeply about horror cinema. (Not that I'm claiming any ownership of the list mind you; the list is what the community makes of it. But I do think we'll be missing out on an opportunity if we don't really take time to think about the boundaries/definition of horror cinema, and reflect on what is genuinely valuable in it from a Christian perspective.)

Most horror films work on a visceral/"scare"/BOO[!] factor, but the genre is redeemed by a morality tale that is rather black and white.

A simplistic definition. Many horror films are morality stories. Many aren't. At least not in any obvious sense.

Apocalypse Now is a war film with horrifying imagery. For that matter, so is Saving Private Ryan.

APOCALYPSE NOW and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN are fundamentally different films with very different intentions. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN may be gruesome, but it's not interested in producing the same existential terror that APOCALYPSE NOW is. Nevermind that APOCALYPSE NOW is, as much as it is a "war film," an adaptation of Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS, which isn't really a war story, and I always have thought that APOCALYPSE NOW is better appreciated as a reinterpretation of HEART OF DARKNESS than as a statement about the Vietnam War. Now, whether Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS can qualify for "horror" status is another matter, too. But APOCALYPSE NOW is quite unlike any other war film I've ever seen, and it uses the same techniques one might find a horror film.

If someone can provided a concrete definition of "horror film" that excludes APOCALYPSE NOW, fine. But so far, I haven't seen anybody putting one forth.

I cannot comment on Deep Red, but Suspiria is definitely horror, conjuring up at least three lengthy set pieces whose purpose is to do nothing but frighten the audience.

I never questioned whether DEEP RED or SUSPIRIA were horror films. There's no question of that. I questioned whether they were any good. To date, I'm not convinced either film has much value.

Edited by Ryan H.
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The helicopters at the beginning, the surfing scene, the tiger, the shooting on the boat, the war-like ending -- you can't say Apocalypse Now doesn't have as many moments that are thriller/adventure as it also has that are horror.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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