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20 Scariest Horror Movies You've Never Seen


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Phantasm
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« on: October 15, 2016, 06:19:11 pm »


20 Scariest Horror Movies You've Never Seen

From French slasher flicks to Spanish ghost stories, here are a handful of horror flicks that make for perfect alt-Halloween viewing.
By Michael Koresky, Brandon Geist, Eric Hynes, James Rocchi, Jason Newman, Sean T. Collins
October 29, 2014

     
   

     
   
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'May' (2002)

"I'm weird," says the title character of this modern cult classic to a prospective suitor. "I like weird," he responds. But weird a relative term, as director Lucky McKee's debut feature demonstrates, following a lonely, awkward veterinary technician as she tries to connect with the outside world. The experiment is less than successful; once she discovers that she simply does not fit in, a search for the personal "perfect" friend begins. With shades of Carrie and Frankenstein, the movie builds to a macabre denouement (hint: it involves body parts) that's equally parts sad and totally sickening. BG
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Phantasm
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2016, 06:20:21 pm »


'Audition' (1999)



For its first 80 minutes or so, this muted J-horror classic plays like a sweet little love story between Shigeharu, a gentle widower, and Asami, a fragile ex-ballerina — two wounded souls who've miraculously found each other and may just live happily ever after. Then a lumpy sack mysteriously moves and that last half hour happens...and holy hell, does it happen. Prodigious genre maestro Takashi Miike effectively locates the pressure points and most sensitive parts of our unconscious and then proceeds to gleefully pierce into them "deeper and deeper," as Asami whispers. Even with the wire-administered amputations and decidedly non-therapeutic acupuncture, the sadism of Audition feels almost self-administered — an extreme manifestation of the power play between men and women. Brace yourself. EH
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2016, 06:21:15 pm »


'Deathdream' (1972)




Meet the Brooks, an all-American family who've just been told that the eldest son, Andy (Richard Backus), has died in Vietnam. The news is shocking — almost as shocking, in fact, as the clearly contradictory sight of Andy showing up at the front door not long after. But there's something seems...different about the young man. Andy snaps, acts strangely and begins to show the rot beneath the happy exterior of his not-quite resurrection. Also, why have a lot of dead bodies started showing up mysteriously around town? A Monkey's Paw for the Nixon era, this haunting horror movie from Canadian director Bob Clark (yes, the same man who gave us Porky's) makes the most of its topical premise and rage over a generation being used as cannon fodder. JR
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2016, 06:22:07 pm »


'The Descent' (2005)




Pretty much the worst marketing campaign for spelunking ever, Neil Marshall's relentless British horror flick turns a harmless caving expedition among girlfriends into a tour of your absolute worst fears. A year after losing her husband and child in a grisly car accident, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) gets lost with five fellow adventurers in the bat-infested depths of Appalachia, where they're forced to reckon with claustrophobia, darkness, entombment, heights, and buckets of blood. Oh, and did we mention the zombie-like wall-crawling hyena humanoids? There are no damsels in distress among the exclusively female cast — just variations on badass heroines, which makes it that much harder to accept their mortality. "The worst thing that'll ever happen to you has already happened," one tells the still-grieving Sarah after an early trial. It's not true by a long shot. EH
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2016, 06:23:03 pm »


'Excision' (2012)




Horror cinema loves its misfit teens, but few are as twisted, funny, and challengingly unsympathetic as Excision’s Pauline. The young sociopath has surgical aspirations and necrophilic fantasies, and when her grotesque dream life bleeds over into reality, her family is torn apart — literally. 90210’s AnnaLynne McCord devours the role, but first-time director Richard Bates is the real star here. He deftly uses black humor to underscore his script’s brutality, and his visual flair — Pauline’s gory yet gorgeous dream sequences are part Matthew Barney, part Dario Argento — turns this dark coming-of-age story into a genuine nightmare. BG
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2016, 06:23:54 pm »


'Funny Games' (1997)




Michael Haneke's 1997 psychological thriller about two men who randomly terrorize a middle-class family has been praised as the pinnacle of Nineties feel-bad cinema, European division — but it gets short shrift as a first-class horror film, which it most certainly is. It doesn't just contain the most polite psychopaths in movie history not named Lecter; the story's Brechtian, fourth wall-breaking approach to typical scary-movie removes the mental disconnect between moviegoer and the murderers. We become complicit in the duo's dog-killing, shotgun-toting torture games, with one home invader "rewinding" a scene that doesn't go his way and justifying not killing the family immediately because "we'd all be deprived of our pleasure." Then he looks right into the camera — and the chills go right up our spines. JN
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2016, 06:24:41 pm »


'God Told Me To' (1976)




Easily the best 1970s New York noir-horror-alien-abduction-Catholic-guilt-love-triangle thriller ever made, this unfairly forgotten gem from Larry Cohen (It's Alive) turns a concise justification tactic — "because God told me to" — into a street-smart prophesy of the perverse moral clarity behind 21st century extremism. Ace character actor Tony Lo Bianco plays a veteran detective whose hunt for a yellow-haired messiah urging people to arbitrarily murder fellow New Yorkers leads him to question his own faith and, surprisingly, a supernatural past. Yes, the narrative starts to get progressively nuttier (virgin births! alien vaginas!), but there's a things-fall-apart vibe in the film's scenes of random violence that's genuinely unsettling — a fear of being snuffed out simply because you're there. EH
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2016, 06:26:02 pm »


'Kill List' (2011)




British director Ben Wheatley's gut-wrenching, genre-defying film starts out as a domestic drama between a man and his wife; winds its way to hit-man crime thriller, as the gentleman and his fellow mercenary friend take on a very, very bad last job; make a left turn into occult creepshow territory; and ends up in the realm of a surreal, soul-rattling nightmare. In the tale of a devoted family man/ex-Iraq War vet who finds himself in over his head, Wheatley taps a vein of contemporary social anguish and then lets the darkest blood spurt out. The impossible-to-shake final scene is as pitch-black as contemporary horror gets. MK
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2016, 06:27:12 pm »


'Martyrs' (2008)



America wasn't the only country that went a little bit batshit with its fright flicks in the Bush era — the onslaught of French horror (see High Tension, Inside) during the mid-Aughts frequently made America's "torture ****" highlights like look like the haunted hayride at your county fair. That wave arguably crested with Martyrs, a film that has at least as much in common with the art-house nihilism of Gaspar Noé's Irreversible as it does with more standard horror fare. Nominally driven by the kind of victim-seeks-revenge plot that has fueled some of the genre's most unpleasant entries ever since The Last House on the Left, it becomes a deeply disquieting meditation on suffering itself, as brutal philosophically as it is physically. If you can finish it, you won't forget it. STC
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2016, 06:28:12 pm »


'The House of the Devil' (2009)




Never mind the cool, era-appropriate opening-credits font of director Ti West’s Eighties horror-movie throwback fool you; this is no breezy pop-culture pastiche. Most of this almost inexplicably tense film — in which a pretty, poor college student (Jocelin Donahue) takes on an unorthodox babysitting job at a remote Victorian house  — is an eerie slow-burn, biding its time until a big, bloody reveal. Few films have made waiting more unbearably, pleasurably frightening, and few horror directors today know more about the importance of the gradual build and the gory release than West. Meet the new boss. MK
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2016, 06:29:24 pm »


'I Saw the Devil' (2010)



Oldboy may be South Korea's most ballyhooed example of stylish ultra-violence, but that thriller's baroque bloodletting seems like child's play compared this Grand Guignol tale of a secret service agent going up against a brutal serial killer. Their cat-and-mouse battle of wills leaves many (and we do mean many) gruesome kills in its wake, while Oldboy star Choi Min-sik's feral intensity as a psychopath makes Devil's two-and-a-half hours of relentless nastiness hard to watch and even harder to turn off. BG
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2016, 06:30:15 pm »


'Inside' (2007)





A bloody shriek of a French splatter flick, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's sickening midnight movie starts with a very pregnant young widow (Alysson Paradis) resting at home on Christmas Eve. Then a woman's voice on the other side of her locked door demands to be let in — so she can kill Sarah and take the baby. (As we soon find out, the title does indeed have a double meaning.) The rivers of gore and wickedly sharp sense of suspense during the ensuing siege make Inside both crimson and clever. And kudos to Béatrice Dalle (Betty Blue), who's riveting as a would-be baby-napper with sharp scissors in her fist and the will to kill in her heart. JR
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2016, 06:31:15 pm »


'Ravenous' (1999)




Don't let the snakebit production (two directors came and went before Antonia Bird was brought aboard) or the jarring score put you off. Ravenous is a roaringly good cannibal-horror movie, and one of the finest film examples of the "Weird West" subgenre, which situates supernatural evil amid 19th-century America's wild frontier. Trainspotting's Robert Carlyle chews more than just the scenery as the lone survivor of a Donner Party-style expedition, while Guy Pearce, Jeffrey Jones, and Jeremy Davies are among the motley crew of a remote Army outpost who try to find his lost companions — and fall into his trap. Spectacular gore, genuinely funny black comedy, and a surprisingly powerful exploration of cowardice in the face of violence make this one worth sinking your teeth into. STC
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2016, 06:32:08 pm »


'Severance' (2006)




For many a poor white-collar grunt, the idea of a company team-building getaway is enough to elicit chills down one's spine. But trust falls are the least of the problems for the employees of Palisade Defense military arms corporation, as they head off on the bonding trip gone to hell in this British splatter-satire. Roundly compared to "The Office meets slasher-movie-of-choice" around its release, the film takes the BBC series' queasy humor to another level by juxtaposing it with uncomfortably straight-faced and grisly death scenes, including one that allegedly inspired a real 2009 murder. BG
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2016, 06:32:58 pm »


'The Signal' (2007)



When every TV, radio and phone in the city starts broadcasting a signal that drive people to madness and murder, star-crossed lovers Justin Welborn and Anessa Ramsey have to try and survive long enough to save each other amidst the mass attacks. Don't think of this unbearably tense techno-zombie movie, made of individual segments from directors Jacob Gentry, Dan Bush and David Bruckner (the latter who'd go on to contribute to 2012's indie-horror all-star collection V/H/S) as an "anthology film." Rather, imagine this trilogy-of-terror as a tasting menu that offers sub-strains of scariness with each bite, whether delivering chaos in the streets, blood-soaked bleak comedy, love in the time of the apocalypse or social-commentary chills. JR
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