Or the French “Les Yeux sans visage” represents the Horror you may have missed that is somewhat more sophisticated and concrete. It is filled with moral dilemma and questions of how far one would go for someone they love.
What is beauty? What does it mean to be disfigured? These thoughts and questions amongst others are likely to generate conversation from this movie’s followers, encouraging a meaningful afterthought not generally common to many entries in the genre.
Be warned though, the tempo is different than that of modern day horror stories and this 1960 flick is in French. That aside it’s a classic that has influenced the horror genre.
A personal favourite and a remake of the 1959 movie of the same name starring Vincent price. If you haven’t seen it already and are one for the concept of a horror story within the confines of an insane asylum then this one may be for you – there are few places scarier.
It’s fairly straight forward in premise, where a birthday practical joke gets hijacked by… well… you’ll see. You’ll be sure to get a good eye full of bizarre imagery that has some likelihood to stay with you – at least a little.
This 1974 masterpiece spawned several follow ups people are usually much better acquainted with. While the original piece is older, it’s every bit as tense –especially a certain chase scene. While what was considered to be boundary pushing content of its time will be lost on the horror hardened viewer of today, it’s still an awesome flick to be watching late at night with the lights turned out.
If you haven’t met the family or seen Leather face yet and are open to the look of an older movie, this one is a solid watch.
This 1963 piece is an Alfred Hitchcock movie and an excellent one at that. The atmosphere and tension is superb. The Concept is simple but interesting and leaves much to the imagination.
As is with some of the other suggestions in this list, some might complain of the dated looks of this movie. While some may opt to wait and see if the rumoured re-make comes to be, I would urge you to at least visit with the original. The only unfortunate thing you will find is that a copy can be hard to obtain.
Watching this piece might well ignite a curiosity about Hitchcock’s work. A curiosity I might suggest to pursue. “Vertigo”, “rear window” and “north by northwest” are great movies. As well, who can forget to name “psycho”. At the very least, this gem is a great piece of work and something that might make you think differently about the title creatures... Those shifty animals.
Not the Angelina Jolie flick. This 1980 ghost story is something I don’t hear too many people talk about. Not because it wasn’t good but because many haven’t heard about it. I myself had reservations about this work but let me tell you, I was pretty impressed.
If you’re in the mood for a story with a little uneasiness up front then full on vengefulness as pay out, then this may be the ticket. Watch for when the movie gets it’s “the ring” on. There is an interesting similarity. Watch this and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Repulsion, Roman Polanski’s first English movie and first entry into his unofficial apartment trilogy (including “Rosemary’s baby” and “the tenant”) marks the turn of this list into the area of horror that is more entangled with processes of the mind.
The Tempo of this movie is slower, easing the viewer into a psychotic break. The lead role of bewildered but blunted Carole is played wonderfully by Catherine Deneuve. Watch for the scene where she hears noises outside the barricaded doors to her room – very tense.
I’ve seen it in its beautiful black and white. While this may be an issue for some, it is definitely worth a watch.
Here comes some confusion... And it only just begins with this entry to the list. While a more complex story may be a put off for some, I might suggest embracing this puzzle as entertaining and rewarding to try and solve. At the very least, it’s a spooky movie and a fine piece reminiscent of J-Horror (Japanese Horror).
Fair warning: If you’re looking to watch it in English, only subtitles are available. That aside, prepare yourself for something you may have to watch over to catch all the important bits – it’s a good thing. Keep an eye out for the scene with the bloody bag. Unsettling to be sure, it does remind one of a similar bag in the Takashi Miike flick “audition” (also another good watch).
Now here is a great piece of psychological horror. Enter the lead, Tim Robbins into a confusing and disturbing nightmare. One that has influenced the subgenre of psychological horror, in particular an exercise in the video gaming world known as silent hill. Though there have been some fascinating entries into the psychological horror type before it (arguably The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (which is probably first and foremost an important piece of German Expressionism)), this piece is outstanding in embracing its uniqueness. This movie heralds a step into the darker and more abstract end of horror you may not have seen.
If you enjoy this area (“a tale of two sisters” to “Jacob’s ladder) out in the periphery of the genre than it’s likely you might also enjoy “The machinist”. In Jacob’s ladder, watch out for the scene where he is being wheeled out on the gurney with the loose wheel... an excellent touch!
David Lynch. While I’ve only just included this piece in my list, I would also recommend many other works of his. This includes the acclaimed “Mulholland drive”, the awesome but frustrating “lost highways”, the fascinating “blue velvet” and the great “twin peaks” series.
To be sure, David lynch has a style all of his own. Eraserhead is more in the extreme in his bizarre works. If you’re not thinking you’ll head much farther down this list then past repulsion then it’s probably a better idea that you start with “twin peaks” as a subtle introduction to lynch’s flavour. If doing it that way would be the equivalent of dipping your feet into the waters of a pool and slowly going in, then starting at Eraserhead would be the clean dive into the deep end.
If you love concrete. This piece will frustrate you. If the thought of bizarre and even disgusting imagery bothers you, then don’t bother watching this movie. That aside, if you’re into something different and want to have your mind rocked, then pop this movie in and take a look. Make sure to also subject your friends to it!
This is the end of the line. Here is a flick that some would find so repulsive that they might wonder why I would even want to put it on a list for others to know about. Well here’s the reason. I watched it, not knowing what I was getting into and feel like I have to share some of the trauma.
I generally would not advise anyone to watch this movie before first having watched Eraser head (if they even dare), just to make sure they could handle the images portrayed in this movie.
That aside, this piece is more than just extremely off-putting; it’s a metaphor and a vehicle that can ignite discussion. It can be seen as artsy, some might even call it important (though you might have to research more on movie insight because I dare say its intricateness is not entirely evident on the first sit through). If anything else, you won’t be able to shake the experience for some time.
If any of the above interest you, you can click on the pictures for a link to amazon for more information.
What are other horror movies that are worth a watch that others may have missed?