Don't go into in the basement. Or the attic. Or the cabin.
November 9, 2009 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Call it the Psycho Effect: Me: Lover of horror movies and analysis thereof. Problem: Having read so much analysis I've been either spoiled by or inured to most Classics Of Horror and have developed odd prejudices against certain devices. Help me scare myself silly with new movies. Prejudices inside.

Some of my prejudices:

AsyYouKnow: I don't need a long "scientific" explanation and they never make sense anyway. Creepy, unexplained, magical, whatever. I don't care, just don't bring dimensions and genetics into it.
Handheld Cameras: Annoys the hell out of me,
Over F/X: Doesn't work on me (Drag Me To Hell was hilarious, not scary)
Over Gorey: Lazy and after while the "it's just corn syrup!" sets in and then I spend half the movie trying to figure out how it was done and that's not scary.
Torture Porn: You're gonna have to be better than people getting cut up. See above
People Generally Acting Like Idiots: But that's just good storywriting. The tighter the script, the better.

Stuff I Like

Low budget
Isolated or confined enviroment
Limited time-frame
Sparse effects
Unhappy endings

I've seen a lot of the recent horror movies (The Ring, Cabin Fever, Scream, 28 Days Later, The whole Evil Dead/Nightmare On Elm St/Jason collections, etc) and too many of the classics have been totally spoiled by reading about them (my fault) or having to write long papers on them.
posted by The Whelk to Media & Arts (69 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm mostly posting this cause I just saw Paranormal Activity and it didn't work at all despite having all the things I like in it, so I'm worried I've become an unscarable grump
posted by The Whelk at 12:21 PM on November 9, 2009


Have you seen Wolf Creek and the (pseudo-sequel) Castle Rock?

Both low-budget australian slasher flicks, both fairly solid by the standards of the genre.
posted by Oktober at 12:22 PM on November 9, 2009


Do you have any examples of horror movies that you do like? I heard the orphanage was scary as hell, but I’m far too manly to waste my time with those things
posted by Think_Long at 12:25 PM on November 9, 2009


I haven't seen it myself but I have heard lots of good things about The Orphanage (El Orfanato) and I don't think it has any of the stuff you mention as turnoffs. On preview I see Think_Long beat me to it.
posted by phoenixy at 12:26 PM on November 9, 2009


The list of recentish horror movies I've seen are all ones I've liked or (in the case of the first Nightmare on elm street and first Jason) liked enough as a kid to appreciate the devices now.
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 PM on November 9, 2009


Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me still gives me the chills. Not from the kookiness of it, but from a scene where Lara Palmer is told she has no chance of redemption. That's a lot scarier to me than any slashing or demons.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:32 PM on November 9, 2009


Have you seen "Let The Right One In"? An amazing rendition of the vampire story. I love it to death, it's such a great movie. Make sure you get the DVD version with "English (Theatrical)" subtitles.

For a great indie werewolf film, I'd recommend "Dog Soldiers".
posted by willmize at 12:34 PM on November 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I second Fire Walk With Me.

Also, Don't Look Now.
posted by The World Famous at 12:34 PM on November 9, 2009


Isolated or confined enviroment

The Descent
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 12:35 PM on November 9, 2009


whelk, paranormal activity just may not have been a very well made film. i don't think you've become inured to the genre, just to transparent gimmickry within the genre. besides 'the orphanage' (which i rewatched last night, actually) you might try some italian horror -- i vampiri, blood and black sunday, don't Torture a duckling -- and also some of the less-seen '70s stuff: the other, the innocents, burnt offerings, the tenant.
posted by mr. remy at 12:37 PM on November 9, 2009


Not really what you asked for, but I think you may be interested since you appear to live in NYC. The NYC Horror Film Festival is the weekend of November 19th, and what I liked about the years I've gone is that there are 2-4 shorts before the feature length movie, and some of those shorts STILL stick in my mind as cool horror film concepts years later. There are previews for some of the features on the site and such if you're interested. I have no affiliation, I have just had a good time there in years past.

However, be careful picking your show... one year we accidentally ended up at the show where the guy who runs the whole thing was showing his own directorial debut movie as the feature length film, and it was more like a circle jerk with his friends and "actors" hootin' and hollerin' at the movie the whole time. And the movie was fucking terrible.
posted by Grither at 12:40 PM on November 9, 2009


Funny Games. Brrr.
posted by Skot at 12:44 PM on November 9, 2009


Along the lines of suggesting The Orphanage and Let the Right One In (loved both!), I wonder how much "foreign" horror you watch. I've loved A LOT of the French, Italian, and Spanish horror I've seen, and I'm not into Japanese horror that much (or the US-American movies that have spawned from it), but I do share a lot of the 'dislikes' that you mentioned, and I have kind of just jumped into Netflix and rented a lot of foreign language horror that just sounded good to me at the moment, with pretty good success.
posted by so_gracefully at 12:45 PM on November 9, 2009


Check out Creep. It's pretty simply but horrifying. Franka Potente + Trapped in the Tube overnight + Monster.

I saw it and was horrified, tried to show it to some friends, and they spent the entire movie (literally all 90 some minutes of it) talking about Jennifer Aniston's hair. If you can avoid that scenario, you won't be disappointed.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:46 PM on November 9, 2009


Nigel Kneale's adaptation of Susan Hill's The Woman in Black. Creepy, old school, terrifying.
posted by permafrost at 12:47 PM on November 9, 2009


How do you feel about Asian horror? Cure kept me awake at night for nearly a week, and except for the confined environment thing hits your list pretty neatly.
posted by magstheaxe at 12:58 PM on November 9, 2009


The BBC used to regularly do films of ghost stories for Christmas.... Their adaptation of MR James' Whistle And I'll Come For You is particularly good. There's also the notorious Ghostwatch. Both of those should be right up your street if you can track them down.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:01 PM on November 9, 2009


for me, Funny Games was unwatchable.

but then again, so were Cannibal Holocaust and 120 Days of Sodomy, so, whatever

maybe for you The Whelk it is different.

as for my offerings:

The Night Of The Hunter - Charles Laughton

La Cabina - Antonio Mercero

Cuadecuc-Vampir - Pere Portabella

Night of The Demon - Jacques Tourneur

Spoorloos - George Sluizer
posted by past at 1:02 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Low budget
Isolated or confined enviroment
Limited time-frame
Sparse effects
Unhappy endings


Session 9 fits all of those conditions and is one of the best horror films I've seen. Another one with those characteristics is R-Point, although a lot of people criticize it for having a lot of Asian horror cliches.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:04 PM on November 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


How do you feel about Asian horror? Cure kept me awake at night for nearly a week, and except for the confined environment thing hits your list pretty neatly.


With the exception of Ju-on I haven't had a lot of luck with Asian horror. I think the language/cultural barrier creates a level of remove which takes me out of the omgdontgothereholyfuckwhatdidshejustdotohim cold sweats, I've had that with *some* Italian horror, but again, I haven't seen too much foreign horror and that's just me and my weird prejudices.
posted by The Whelk at 1:05 PM on November 9, 2009


It might not fall comfortably into the genre of "horror," but the scariest movie I can remember seeing was Eraserhead. It has a disturbing "nightmare" logic to it that, for me anyway, lingered longer than I would have wished. It isn't really frightening in a typical sense, but more unsettling in an emotional way. It makes use of fear more than it creates it.

It won't slap you in the face or distract you with any of the things on your prejudice list, and it executes well the things on your preferences list.
posted by nickjadlowe at 1:07 PM on November 9, 2009


Deadgirl is creepy as hell. It's really, really disgusting, but otherwise it meets all your criteria.
posted by oinopaponton at 1:08 PM on November 9, 2009


Try The Eye. The first half is scary as hell. Hospital scene. Elevator scene. 'You're sitting in my chair' scene. Brrr.
posted by permafrost at 1:11 PM on November 9, 2009


I'll second Wolf Creek. It creeped me out for the following week and I remember being pretty shocked in the middle of the film.
posted by collocation at 1:13 PM on November 9, 2009


Try The Eye. The first half is scary as hell. Hospital scene. Elevator scene. 'You're sitting in my chair' scene. Brrr.

Actually, that was the movie that made me think Asian Horror wasn't for me, I liked the plot and thought the device was genius, but kept feeling I was missing all these references and cultural touchstones and assumed information. Like if you watched a vampire movie and never heard of a vampire before.


Sorry for being super pickey and moderating, but it's why I posted the question in the first place. Al lot of people's go-to suggestions just refuse to get under my skin and I'm starting to think it's my fault.
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM on November 9, 2009


The time has come for you to go Cronenberg. Start with Scanners, The Brood or Videodrome.
posted by Kirklander at 1:16 PM on November 9, 2009


Seconding Kirklander.

For that matter, more David Lynch in your life. Try Muholland Drive. Which I love and which has, IMO, the creepiest _and_ unhappiest ending I've seen on film in years. You might like Inland Empire, too--it creeped me out as well, but I don't claim to understand it.
posted by magstheaxe at 1:22 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought Hellraiser was a well told horror story (which may disqualify any answer I give) and the Cube. Did you like/have you seen Silent hill? You may also try the remake and sequel of House on Haunted hill. Also seconding Descent
posted by Redhush at 1:41 PM on November 9, 2009


Oh, and instead of Funny Games, see Michael Haneke's Cache'. Much more disturbing, IMO. Funny Games is just Haneke getting preachy about violence in film and how-dare-you-people-

Oh, and Irreversible (with Monica Belluci and Vincent Cassel) should be classified as a horror movie, if you ask me.
posted by magstheaxe at 1:43 PM on November 9, 2009


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Oldboy, a Korean horror film that meets all of your criteria, especially the unhappy ending one.

If you are willing to give Japanese horror a try, Pulse is one of the best. Please don't start with the US remake if you can help it. It does have a cultural bias that is a bit discordant, but I think it helps with the creepiness factor. (If you ever decide you are willing to try something heavily laden with cultural "clanginess," Spiral is a great bit of Japanese horror, but very strange.)
posted by rtimmel at 1:44 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


As far as recent: Let the Right One In is fantastic - I'll doubly reccommend it.

As for older:
Rosemary's Baby; Alfred Hitchcock Presents...

I'm meh... on horror movies AHL Presents is the TV show - but is really really good for stories...
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:45 PM on November 9, 2009


Argh. Meant to write "how-dare-you-people-enjoy-a-film-with-violence-in-it-don't-you-see-you're-just-as-bad-as-the-perps?! condescension towards the audience."
posted by magstheaxe at 1:45 PM on November 9, 2009


I loved Let the Right One In but I didn't find it scary in the least. Since I'm acutally not a big horror movie buff, that made it a plus for me. Interesting.
posted by sandraregina at 1:49 PM on November 9, 2009


Let the Right One In is great, but it's great as a love story...I doubt the Whelk would find it scary.

I think Funny Games is a good recommendation based on the positive and negative criteria. Cache is OK but felt like a more ponderous remake of Lost Highway.

Oh yeah, and Wolf Creek is probably too much in the gore camp. It, and the rape scene in Last House on the Left, made me wonder why I even like horror movies.
posted by Beardman at 1:53 PM on November 9, 2009


Oh, and while I had high hopes for Silent Hill based on the "look" in the previews, I and the 20 people who saw it with me had never beheld such rubbish...
posted by Beardman at 1:56 PM on November 9, 2009


The Burrowers.
posted by goshling at 2:12 PM on November 9, 2009


Low budget
Isolated or confined enviroment
Limited time-frame
Sparse effects
Unhappy endings


[REC], one thousand times [REC].
It does have a hand-held camera, but I recall it being well-handled.
You can find a version of with decent subtitles on a torrent network.
posted by lholladay at 2:20 PM on November 9, 2009


have you seen that canadian werewolf horror film, ginger snaps?
posted by yoHighness at 2:23 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


'30s Carl Dreyer's Vampyr, Freaks
'40s Dead of Night: British omnibus, Michael Redgrave's memorable turn as a ventriloquist.
'50s +1 Night of the Demon, Detour (not horror, noir, but poverty-row cheap and effective)
'60s Spider Baby, Herschel Gordon Lewis (2000 Maniacs, among others)
'70s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Martin (George Romero), +1 Eraserhead, Mafu Cage (Lee Grant, Carol Kane)
'80s Near Dark
'90s ??
'00s +1 Session 9
posted by doncoyote at 2:26 PM on November 9, 2009


Actually, that was the movie that made me think Asian Horror wasn't for me, I liked the plot and thought the device was genius, but kept feeling I was missing all these references and cultural touchstones and assumed information.

Curious. I though it had far less of that than Ju-On or Ringu. Then again, I tend to find that sort of thing can enhance the scariness, in the same way that familair tropes like Satanism and voodoo in Western horror movies tend to seem exhausted and played out.
posted by permafrost at 2:46 PM on November 9, 2009


I think Ravenous fits your criteria. It has a bit of gore, but it's not over the top or distracting. Great movie. Great score.
posted by brundlefly at 3:15 PM on November 9, 2009


Session 9
The Tenant
Possession (1981)
Slither
The Crazies
Shivers
Rabid
Videodrome
Don't Look Now
Life Force
Night of the Creeps (just out on DVD)
Cure
Dead of Night
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
A Chronicle of Corpses
Suspiria
Uzumaki (aka Spiral)
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:18 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Try Tale of Two Sisters. Scary and artistic.
posted by whiskeyspider at 3:21 PM on November 9, 2009


Maybe I just have bad taste, but despite the mixed reviews I really liked The Mothman Prophecies. It avoids all the pitfalls on your list, and hits most of the high points.

It depicts a journalist's quest to discover the nature of a frightening being stalking the rural town of Point Pleasant, WV. I love the way the Mothman is portrayed -- it's a sort of modern myth, an ambiguous mix of demon, alien, monster, and god seen only through sidelong flashbacks and disturbing charcoal sketches. It makes predictions of disaster, plays games with time, space, and death, and taunts the main character (and the viewer) with its inscrutability. It's also supposedly based on a true story, which lends some staying power to the Mothman's creepiness.

As for your criteria:

AsyYouKnow: a side character attempts to explain the Mothman at one point, but can get no further than vague abstractions and eventually concludes that it can't be explained rationally.
Handheld Cameras: None here.
Over F/X: Some of the flashbacks are presented in a false color high-contrast style, but it's nothing you couldn't do on your desktop and mainly adds to the tension.
Over Gorey: Nope.
Torture Porn: Nope.
People Generally Acting Like Idiots: I think the characters acted like most of us would in that kind of situation.

Low budget: Well, it was a Hollywood production, but it wasn't flashy or gaudy in any way.
Isolated or confined environment: You don't get much more isolated than West Virginia in the winter. It gives the whole film a desolate, lonely feel.
Limited time-frame: the whole thing takes place in the span of a week or two, IIRC.
Sparse effects: Yes.
Unhappy endings: No spoilers, but it wasn't your typical pat ending.

Watch this scene where Gere's character speaks to the Mothman over the phone in his motel room one night. If you find it creepy, you should like the rest of the movie.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:38 PM on November 9, 2009


It was mentioned up above, but the Descent was terrifying to me. It's set in a cave, so there's your claustrophobia. There is a bit of shaky cam, but that's because the only light source comes from flashlights, glo-sticks, and a cam-corder. There's jumping-out-at-you stuff, but it's done so that the jump happens after you're relaxed, and it's quite effective. Definitely think you should give it a try.

And, having seen the American remake, I'd go along with the Japanese version of Pulse. The American version, it just doesn't live up to the fantastic premise, but if you want claustrophobic, how about a large Japanese city?
posted by Ghidorah at 3:47 PM on November 9, 2009


Re: my last comment about Mothman Prophecies, see also this extended compilation of clips which puts the eerie phone conversation in context along with a few other scenes that better showcase the movie's style and atmosphere.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:49 PM on November 9, 2009


I read the script of Orphan alone in a shack in the woods and was good and creeped. (Although having seen it, the worst of the villain's backstory was apparently too gross even to let a character describe on screen which was a shame since it added to her depravity.)

I thought The Uninvited was pretty scary and subtle.
posted by nicwolff at 4:21 PM on November 9, 2009


Audition by Takashi Miike. The first half plays like it could turn into a romantic comedy, except the love interest is maybe a little too reclusive, a little strange. But about in the middle of the film there is about the most frightening bus in film history—something moves which should not move—and the whole thing goes Tarkovsky having a bad trip. Lucky bonus profound commentary on the horror of everyday sexism in Japan. Great movie!
posted by avianism at 5:05 PM on November 9, 2009



I think Ravenous fits your criteria. It has a bit of gore, but it's not over the top or distracting. Great movie. Great score.



I *really* liked Ravenous, but I thought it more of a thriller with great historical detail than a Horror movie. It's kind of both. And it is great.
posted by The Whelk at 5:25 PM on November 9, 2009


While I'm Here:


I liked Cube, but I thought it was a bit dry. It felt like "I have no mouth but I must scream" toned down. I also liked "The Last Day" or whatever, but had similar problems* with tone. A little too Twilight Zone without enough actual crazy.

And this is why the Internet Is Helpful: I will now check The Mothman Prophecies. Weird and little loved in a place I can be in.

the Descent: I will have to see this now. Despite the AsKnowNow in the start, I liked Mimic and thought it got a bad rap. Its a solid little monster story, usinf big empty spaces where ALIEN used confined ones. I'll have to check out Creep too, cause hey, girl from Lola Renut? A Must.

The Crazies: There is now a remake, but the title ALONE. Okay now I have to see it.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me: Minimally comprehensible to someone who has never seen Twin Peaks? Kind the spoiler drift I was talking about. I've never seen Twin Peaks, but I know Lara Palmer DIED and predatory animals and the Owls Are Not What They Seem and it gets very Psycho Shower Scene.

I read the script of Orphan: I said this in MeMail but I read a very early draft of the script and I loved it. I had kinda forgotten it was actually a movie now, so added.

* It was the guy who knew the world was going to end, so devoted himself to doing every sexual possibility but saved his first homosexual one for last. I didn't buy that. At all. if I knew the world was ending and I devoted myself to sex, I'd be onto animals in costumes long after having crossed the gender barrier.
posted by The Whelk at 5:41 PM on November 9, 2009


The Devil's Backbone is pretty scary. And seconding A Tale of Two Sisters, which freaked me out at times.
posted by OolooKitty at 5:44 PM on November 9, 2009


Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me: Minimally comprehensible to someone who has never seen Twin Peaks?

Short answer: No. You'll be fine. It's an awesome movie and terrifying.

Long answer: Minimally comprehensible to everyone, everywhere, all the time, and that's part of what makes it scary. It stands alone from the TV series just fine and, whereas the show was creepy and amazing, Fire Walk With Me is really terrifying. You'll never see red velvet curtains the same way again.
posted by The World Famous at 5:49 PM on November 9, 2009


I *really* liked Ravenous, but I thought it more of a thriller with great historical detail than a Horror movie. It's kind of both. And it is great.

I hesitated over mentioning it because of its genre straddling, but I decided to err on the side of horror because of its subtle supernatural wendigo element.

Oh, man... now I really want to watch it again!
posted by brundlefly at 5:50 PM on November 9, 2009


Also, now that I think about it:

Stuff I Like

Low budget
Isolated or confined enviroment
Limited time-frame
Sparse effects
Unhappy endings


This may go without saying, but a huge chunk of John Carpenter's filmography would fit the bill. I'm thinking in particular of The Thing (brilliant) and Prince of Darkness (a mixed bag, but some really neat stuff going on).
posted by brundlefly at 5:55 PM on November 9, 2009


This may go without saying, but a huge chunk of John Carpenter's filmography would fit the bill.

I'm of the bunch that really admires John Carpenter's stuff, but doesn't actually like it. Seeing the first Halloween movie I kept thinking, OMGTHISISSOBORING. Having seen his other work, I adore it and I know how big it is in creating Modern Horror, but I don't like it

If you want a more recent and higher name guy I liked, I thought Red Eye was a great locked-room thriller-going-into-horror. Our Heroine is trapped on a plane with something that wants to hurt her. It is kinda AsYOuKnow for the WHY and it drags SO MUCH at the end and doesn't have evil spirits, but those few scenes on the plane are choice, and totally the FEAR SHIVER MACHINE I want to have.
posted by The Whelk at 6:19 PM on November 9, 2009


The Whelk: “With the exception of Ju-on I haven't had a lot of luck with Asian horror. I think the language/cultural barrier creates a level of remove which takes me out of the omgdontgothereholyfuckwhatdidshejustdotohim cold sweats, I've had that with *some* Italian horror, but again, I haven't seen too much foreign horror and that's just me and my weird prejudices.”

Get past it - seriously, it's well worth it. Honestly, there aren't that many cultural touchstones you're missing, and I think you'll find that Asia is where the most innovative horror today is coming from. Most English-language horror bores the crap out of me, honestly; maybe because I'm a film buff myself and almost all of the stuff seems hopelessly formulaic. Once you get used to the fact that it's in another language, however, Asian horror has all of the frightfulness and even more of the uncanniness with none of the formulaic qualities. For example, you mentioned The Ring above; the American version is not bad, but the Japanese version kept me awake the whole night.

Give yourself one last chance, anyway: try one of the great classics of Asian horror, the master Takashi Miike's Audition, if you haven't seen it already. He's made a number of incredibly horrifying movies, but as far as a straight horror film I think Audition is his best. Really traumatized me, that one did. And it has such a human, down-to-earth beginning. It's high art.
posted by koeselitz at 6:59 PM on November 9, 2009


Mute Witness
posted by now i'm piste at 7:49 PM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seconding The Devil's Backbone.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:44 PM on November 9, 2009


Seconding [REC]. I don't often get scared by movies, but this one was one to break the mold.
posted by cobain_angel at 9:11 PM on November 9, 2009


Another vote for The Thing, even though you said you weren't that in to John Carpenter.

Your list of 'stuff I like' made me think Saw.
posted by jacalata at 9:44 PM on November 9, 2009


FWWM is a great example, it is utterly terrifying.

The BBC's Ghostwatch *does* use handheld cameras but it's definitely low-budget and v. scary and something a bit different - so give it a try.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 1:54 AM on November 10, 2009


If I could favorite koeselitz's comment a thousand times, I would.

He's absolutely right: Asian horror, especially Korean, is where all the great horror films are coming from these days. I got turned on to it a few years back when a friend recommended I try Ringu when it came out in the US on DVD. Netflix gave me a bunch of other Asian horror recommendations and I started working my way through them. I'm here to tell you that most American horror seems trite by comparison.

Don't worry about the cultural stuff, you almost never miss it. Tale of Two Sisters, for example, is inspired by a Korean folktale called "Janghwa Hongreyon-jon", but that's not anything you need to know to have the living daylights scared out of you by the film. Japan has a tradition of the vengeful female ghost, but that's something easily deduced simply by watching a handful of their films. On the other hand, The Red Shoes is inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story about the girl who couldn't stop dancing in her red shoes, and it's interesting to see a modern Korean take on it.


Also, do not neglect Spain!
posted by magstheaxe at 6:20 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Low budget
Isolated or confined enviroment
Limited time-frame
Sparse effects
Unhappy endings


Lots of great examples above, but one horror/thriller movie that I think you might like (with some scifi elements, but no real explanation of any mechanics) is the Spanish film 'Los Cronocrimenes'. The hint is in the title, but there are some suprises to be had and the whole film has a great feeling of dread to it, even before anything actually happens.

Also, I cannot help myself: watch Lost Highway. That movie disturbs me, even after the 10th viewing.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:52 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Second Deadgirl. It not only meets just about all of your criteria (and how...talk about an isolated, confined environment...), but, as someone who often finds themselves in the same "I've seen this..." position with modern horror, proved to be one of the first films in a very long time that scared the absolute bejeezus out of me. (Not to mention that the subtext/tacit-commentary wil keep you disturbed much later into the night.)

Stay away from and all spoilers, or plot summaries, and just watch.
posted by Ash3000 at 11:12 AM on November 10, 2009


Nthing most everything here, especially The Orphanage, A Tale of Two Sisters, Session 9 and Deadgirl.

One more throw in: The Children. It is sort of like Village of the Damned, except over a holiday weekend with two families. You'll recognize some familiar plotlines and twists, but it has some awesomely creepy scenes.
posted by lucyleaf at 11:49 AM on November 10, 2009


Though I'm not nearly as much of a horror buff as you seem to be, I find I have the same problems with the genre. I find, though, that some of the best movies go, in some ways, into the dark (bad dark, not good dark) territory you describe and come out the other side. Dead Snow works with the conventions of silly horror to a greater effect. The best way I can describe it without spoilers is that if you like things like Metalocalypse, except not really falling in parody territory, then this is for you.

I'd like to 1.5'nd Oldboy. Great, great movie, but I never would have thought to call it horror. Maybe the octopus scene? Anyway, the entire movie is worth it for the ten minute, single-shot fight scene in the hallway. Man! I'm getting a copy right now! In fact, the whole trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) are all very good.

Also, I can't remember the name of another (Korean, I'm relatively sure) movie that would for sure be a horror film. Something about a former actor for a film director takes the director and his wife hostage, forcing the director to cut off his wife's fingers, among other things. That was a good one, too, if anyone knows what I'm talking about.
posted by cmoj at 11:59 AM on November 10, 2009


Ah cmoj, you're talking about "Cut" the second story in Three ... Extremes. All three stories that comprise the movie are very good.

And hey, Park Chan-wook, who directed the Vengeance trilogy, also directed "Cut."
posted by lucyleaf at 12:12 PM on November 10, 2009


Awesome thanks. I knew my confusion must be founded.
posted by cmoj at 3:03 PM on November 10, 2009


Try Hour of the Wolf.

This old post has a lot of suggestions for the most disturbing movies of all time.
posted by Iridic at 3:16 PM on November 10, 2009


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