The horror genre has exploded in terms of readership and popularity in the last century, and we can doubt link this sudden surge of success to the emergence of horror films – chilling, disturbing, terrifying yet also incredibly interesting. The4 following list compiles some lesser known horror films and a few that you may well have already heard of – and each one is a absolute must see – not to be missed by any means. By the way, if you feel so inclined for more eldritch horror and general skulduggery, please do check me out at www.leitbehid.blogspot.com .
5: Rosemary’s Baby
A fairly obscure one, Rosemary’s Baby rode across the waves of ‘my child is Satan! Aaargh!’ films that dominated the seventies and eighties, such as The Omen and, of course, the Exorcist. It’s a deceptive and understated yet ingenious little film – we are drawn in, slowly yet shortly, by Mia Farrow’s seemingly benign relationship with her next door neighbours, and then the tension cranks and cranks until a deeply disquieting climax. Hardly your average ‘blood and guts’ horror fest, but this is perhaps why it is such a fantastic piece of film.
4: Ju-On (The Grudge)
The original Japanese version of the Grudge far exceeds its rather lacklustre remake for a number of reasons. The first is of course the ubiquitous curse which stalks remakes wherever they go (not unlike the Grudge itself), and the second and most significant is the lack of CGI in this infinitely superior incarnation. Human actors, caked in creepy makeup, are used to act out the haunting scenes, and this is naturally fare more realistic and disturbing than any poor fool wrought from grainy computer pixels – a must see for the horror buff and newbie alike. Just don’t settle for the American remake!
I am somewhat biased here in that I am already an enormous H.P Lovecraft fan and so it’s unsurprising that I’ve included at least one film adaptations of his fantastic fiction (you can check out a selection of it on my profile page) in this list. Dagon was made on a woefully low budget and transplanted from New England into some creepy harbour in the north of Spain, yet it does not fail to disappoint on any count. It’s heavy on atmosphere, but even heavier one intense, often sadistic, gore and at the same time manages to throw in several nods to the original writer, just to satisfy the Lovecraft buffs. It’s difficult to track down, but the film has, thankfully, been uploaded onto www.youtube.com .
2: Paranormal Activity
It would be foolish not to mention this powerhouse of a movie, even if it has already been devoured and picked over the horror community at large. There is an underlying sense of menace to this film, and an inspired use of the mundane as something quite terrifying, which elevates it far above other ‘freaky grainy homemade video Blair Witch’’ films available today. Some would even go as far as to claim that Paranormal Activity is superior to Blair Witch itself, which of course inspired this fantastic movie in the first place.
1: Don’t Look Now
I don’t want to give too much away about this film, other than that it owes heavily to Hitchcock, seethes with danger and lurking horror, and will change the way you view films forever – or at least, will change the way you think of little red riding hood. Again, this is something of an obscure movie, but can be viewed online at various streaming websites, for those who are so inclined. And for those inclined to read on, do please check out my blog at www.letitbehid.blogspot.com .