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Day of the Dead
The third film in George A. Romero’s long-running zombie series, Day of the Dead, maybe not as influential as Night of the living dead or as praised as Dawn of the Dead, but it is still an ambitious and disturbing horror movie. Romero further explores the idea that zombies gain self-awareness, while also showing that the biggest threat in any post-apocalyptic scenario is, of course, humanity itself.
The kind of classic that is recognizable even to people who have never seen it, The Exorcist is full of iconic horror movie images. Linda Blair speaks in a guttural voice, vomits green junk and turns her head 360 degrees as she plays a young girl possessed by a demon. Max von Sydow puts gravity in the role of the priest trying to help her. However familiar certain scenes and bits of dialogue have become, The Exorcist remains one of the most terrifying movies about possession ever made.
Equal parts family-friendly Christmas movie and throwback creature feature, Joe Dante’s Gremlins is a perfect mix of horror and comedy. Working from a script through the future Home alone director Chris Columbus, Dante portrays the quintessential, idyllic small town, then fills it with tiny green monsters that wreak havoc. The gremlins are as cute as they are dangerous, and their reign of terror is almost endearing, even when it throws the city into chaos.
The invisible man
Writer-director Leigh Whannell rediscovers a classic universal monster in The invisible manHere the title character is a largely invisible villain, an abusive tech mogul who stalks his ex-girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss) after faking his own death. Using technology to make himself invisible, he launches a campaign of terror against a woman who is said to be mentally unstable because she insists on being attacked by a person who no one can see.
The first part in director Andy Muschietti’s two-part adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel It, this opening chapter is the most effective half of the duology. A group of seven misfit kids calling themselves “the Losers Club” must overcome an ancient evil that lives beneath their small town in Maine. It takes the form of a clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), which is arguably the scariest King has ever dreamed up.
Just the word Jaws gets the indelible theme music from Steven Spielberg’s water horror film in your head. From John Williams’ brilliant score to Robert Shaw’s haunting monologue about being shipwrecked in shark-infested waters to the way Spielberg builds tension by keeping the shark out of the picture, Jaws sets the standard for all shark movies to be followed. Even when you know exactly what’s to come, it’s just as scary every time.
A nightmare on Elm Street
Horror master Wes Craven launched a mega franchise with the original A nightmare on Elm Street, giving audiences their first glimpse of superstar villain Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). Freddy became a bit cartoonish in later films, but in this first episode, he’s menacing and scary as he chases the dreams of teenage Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and her friends.
Directed by The Texas Chain Saw Massacre‘s Tobe Hooper and produced and co-written by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist is one of the greatest horror hits of the 80s, with multiple sequels and a possible remake. The simple story of a suburban family haunted by a demonic presence has become a horror classic thanks to iconic imagery such as a spectral arm emerging from a static-filled television.
David Cronenberg’s breakthrough horror hit Scanners is still best known for his depiction of a character’s head exploding via telepathic attack. But there’s more to the movie than that, with its story of a war between ‘scanners’ (people with telepathic and telekinetic abilities) and the government agency trying to control them. It combines Cronenberg’s early interest in body horror with a more mainstream sci-fi / conspiracy angle.
Jordan Peele U.S a home invasion thriller gradually turns into something much bigger and more sinister. A family on vacation is attacked by what appear to be their evil doubles, forcing them to face hidden secrets and also flee for their lives. Lupita Nyong’o puts on an intense performance as both the family’s protective matriarch and her devious doppelganger.
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