My name is Lisa, and I am a horror movie addict. I have watched hundreds of horror films – good, bad and utterly terrible to bring you the creme de la creme. Films so terrifying, they will ensure you can’t even go to the fridge to grab a snack on a dark night without bringing a buddy.
Tonight, I present my personal favourite fright fests for your entertainment. These films are brilliant, not only for their hair-raising, gut-wrenching content, but because their story lines, production and originality mean they are genuinely top quality films too.
Please be advised: the following movie recommendations are extreme, adult only movies and not for the faint hearted. Make sure you’ve got company and a spare pair of underpants before watching. You have been warned!
10: The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
Any film that opens with a filthy hillbilly clown having sex with a prostitute is bound to grab your attention.
This gritty and sexually charged flick (thanks to the creator’s ridiculously hot wife and star performer – Sherri Moon), featuring a deviant, murderous family on the run for crimes we are yet to witness, has it all going on. The styling is reminiscent of classics such as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with a touch of Tarantinoesque Americana. The characters are brilliantly written, so much so that this becomes one of those rare films where you actually find yourself rooting for the bad guys. It’s got a kick ass soundtrack, too. But I wouldn’t expect anything less from horror rock god, Rob Zombie.
9: House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
House of 1000 corpses, which precedes The Devil’s Rejects, is where we learn all about the heinous crimes perpetrated by the insane, don’t give a shit, family of rednecks in D.R.
Personally, I think it works best as a prequel, which is why it’s number nine.
Gaudier and more bizarre than Rejects, this film – though gory and explicit – walks the line between horror and dark comedy with immaculate precision. If you don’t want to rush out and buy a ‘Captain Spalding for President’ tee shirt after watching this, I’ll eat my hat. And yes, that is Dwight from The Office (US).
8: Wolf Creek (2005)
You’ll probably spend the first hour of this movie wondering why the hell it made my list. Nothing much will happen except you’ll get highly irritated by the main characters and probably eat your way through an insane amount of chips n dips. Once act two begins, I promise you, you’ll quickly lose your appetite. Perhaps forever.
This creepy film, set in Australia’s immense outback, sets the scene for one of the most unforgettable portrayals of a psychopath killer ever recorded. A boring slasher movie, this ain’t. The character of Mick (definitely NOT Dundee) Taylor is so brilliantly acted, I was suspicious of strangers for months afterwards (to the extent I considered hurling rocks at a park ranger for ‘following me’). Worth sitting through the first half for.
7: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Remake be damned! This film has earned the title ‘Classic’. Unlike most vintage horror movies, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is still genuinely terrifying. Much more so than any modern attempt to remake it. It has a timeless quality to it, and an undeniable rawness that still shocks – even on its third or fourth viewing. Much copied, but rarely equalled, this is redneck slasher horror at it’s very best.
6: Dead Birds (2004)
A strange hybrid between a western and a shudderingly eery supernatural horror, Dead Birds was the noughties’ most under rated horror movie. Featuring a stellar cast of actors, beautiful cinematography, and an unexpected story line, Dead Birds is a must watch. Look out for Elliott from ET in the lead role.
5: Evil Dead II (1987)
Director Sam Raimi gives it to you with both barrels in this crazy, fast-paced film about the undead. The special effects and acting are almost cartoon-like, and it is very dated, but none of these flaws detract from its status as a true horror classic. Still awesome, still scary, this film will – in places – take you to the edge of madness, and then some. I challenge you NOT to laugh like a lunatic during the film’s insane peak in the middle.
4: Dead End (2003)
A sometimes spooky, sometimes puke-inducing journey, Dead End centers around a family taking a dark, night time road trip that never ends. Featuring the brilliant Ray Wise and Linda Shaye, Dead End is wicked cocktail consisting of campsite fireside style narrative and cackle into your collar comedy, black as tar. But with a Frenchman as director, you wouldn’t expect anything less. Be prepared to vomit and laugh at the same time.
3: The Shining (1980)
Arguably the creepiest film ever made, The Shining is pure tension. Is it a slasher movie or is it supernatural? Both, probably. Sure, the wife character may be the most irritating female to ever grace our screens, but Jack Nicholson more than makes up for it with all of his mental, murderous charm. The carpets in this film alone are enough to give you nightmares. All good horror films make you scared of something mundane, and this film is so good it can give you a phobia of tricycles, pantries, five star hotels and cocktail waiters. Kudos to you, Kubrick.
2: Human Centipede II (2011)
The second sequel in my list, Human Centipede 2 is so much better than the first. Filmed in black and white, with a nightmarish quality akin to early work by David Lynch, Human Centipede 2 follows the story of a sad, deranged and desperate loser, obsessed with the movie Human Centipede. It’s a film within a film, but shits all over others in this genre (literally). Even if you’re the most jaded horror movie buff, Director Tom Six will take you to new and even darker places, making you wish you’d chosen a nice Pixar movie instead. Not easily forgotten.
1: Martyrs (2008)
Do you like a film with a twist? In this French horror by genius director Pascal Laugier, you’ll think you’ve got it all figured out. Until you realise you didn’t have a fucking clue. Both brilliantly filmed and devastatingly scary, this film will intrigue you, pull you in and leave you sat in shocked silence for a good hour after it’s finished. Not just one of the best horrors, but arguably one of the very best films I have ever watched. Expect sexy French girls and explicit scenes of abstract torture.
If you’re still in one piece after that lot, there is one more on my list. This is here because a list of life changing horror films wouldn’t be complete without it, however, it isn’t a recommendation so much as a warning…
0: A Serbian Film (2010)
When this film was released, the human race crossed a line from which we can never go back. 17 minutes of film were cut from the original in order for this movie to be given a rating, a historical record. I would like to see those 17 minutes. No, actually I don’t ever want to see anything that didn’t make it into this film, because I struggled to watch the parts that did. The first twenty minutes or so, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re watching a shady Eastern European porn film, however, once it gets going each scene is more debauched, more obscene than the last. Until you’re left wondering what happened to humanity. If you do choose to watch this film, please be warned that it is probably the most extreme film ever made and the themes are both upsetting and very uncomfortable to watch. There were two scenes that I spent entirely with my eyes closed and my hands over my ears. Coming from me, that’s bad.