Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Follow us on   
Search   
Forum Home Register for Free! Log In Moderator Tickets FAQ Users Online

RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results

 
Logged in as: Guest
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Lists and Top 10s >> RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results Page: <<   < prev  1 [2] 3 4 5   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 11/11/2012 2:53:25 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
360. The Twilight Zone: 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet'



1963
T.V. Series Episode

Last Year's Position: New Entry

A plane. A Richard Matheson story. William Shatner. And a gremlin on the wing. All the ingredients for a horror masterpiece, here, in the Twilight Zone.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 31
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 11/11/2012 2:55:26 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
359. Rituals



Director: Peter Carter
1977
Film

Last Year's Position: 171

A group of five doctors, all Korean War vets, take a camping trip deep in Ontario, heading for a location so isolated that getting help in an emergency would prove near impossible. The group consists of Harry (Hal Holbrook), Mitzi (Lawrence Dane), Martin (Robin Gammell) DJ (Gary Reineke) and Abel (Ken James). The men bicker and bullshit like any group of old friends and you could easily expect the film to turn into brotherly bonding in the woods, where they weep over their war stories. But as the men try to enjoy their trip, something is in the woods, watching them. The men's torment starts slow, their boots are stolen. From there a series of increasingly distressing events befall the party, and they realise that someone is setting them up. As the group begins to be picked off, tempers flare and soon the men find themselves contending with each other as well as with the maniac. While there's some particularly nasty scenes, especially the death of one of the characters, Rituals gets its scares from the building of suspense rather than gory murder scenes, it also gives its killer a more compelling motivation than many slashers. The characters also have more depth than your average victim, including making one of the party gay, a real rarity in horror of the period. The film is anchored by Holbrook, always a good actor, he gives an amazing performance here as the group's unofficial leader, and the only one of the men competent enough to figure out the killer's game. Possibly the very best of the backwoods horror genre (and that includes Deliverance).

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 32
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 11/11/2012 3:21:34 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
358. A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

by Charles Birkin
1964
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

I'm really pleased that it only takes two votes to make the list at this stage, otherwise more obscure offerings like A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts would have missed out, and I'm hoping that some of these little gems making the list will encourage people to track them down. Although it should be warned, this is nasty, bleak, depressing stuff. If you've any familiarity at all with Birkin then you'd expect nothing less. It's a Holocaust horror story, something incredibly difficult to pull off without seeming like mere exploitation. In a concentration camp, the commanders gather together a group of prisoners and offer them a deal to take part in a game in order to win easier jobs and food for their female loved ones. The game? Five coconuts have been dressed up to look like high profile enemies of the Nazis. Each prisoner is then given heavy balls to throw at the coconuts. The four with the highest scores win the jobs and the food. Of course it's not difficult to figure out where the story goes, and there has been a lot of criticism over the years from people who think that Birkin was cheapening the Holocaust by writing this story. I don't agree. Birkin's writing always held a deeply pessimistic view of human nature, even by the standards of horror writers, and the events of WWII just fit his sensibility. But he doesn't write in a cheap or titillating way. He writes the story with a deep sense of disgust and horror at the depths people allow themselves to sink to when they have power over others.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 33
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 11/11/2012 4:30:12 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
357. Salem’s Lot

by Stephen King
1975
Novel

Last Year's Position: New Entry

I confess that King is a writer I can often take or leave, and in recent years, I'm usually more than happy to leave. But I do understand why he's such an admired figure, especially for his early work. But even then I usually prefer his short stories to his novels, as good as his novels could be, I think they rarely were as strong as short fiction like The Reach (Still his finest work as far as I'm concerned). All that said, Salem's Lot is one of his strongest novels, improving greatly on his so-so debut, Carrie, to tell the story of a small town that becomes plagued by an ancient vampire. King wasn't the first person to bring the vampire myth into a modern day setting, but his novel is one of the best to use that idea, thanks to his always strong eye for creating a small town environment and the relationships between the people who live there.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 34
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 11/11/2012 9:46:18 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
356. Curse of the Cat People



Director: Robert Wise, Gunther Von Fritsch
1944
Film

Last Year's Position: 261

Wonderful sequel to Cat People. Oliver and Alice from the first film have now married and moved away from the horrors that haunted them in the first film. They also have a young daughter, Amy. Things seem peaceful, but Amy is lonely and withdrawn without any friends. Soon, she meets an old and possibly mad woman, Mrs. Farren, with a bitter, adult daughter, Barbara. Farren gives Amy the gift of a ring, causing Barbara to harbour a growing resentment for the child. Her only other friend is imaginary and a huge worry for her parents, Amy describes her imaginary friend as being named Irena and looking exactly like Oliver's insane first wife. Is Irena's ghost visiting Amy, or is the little girl growing increasingly disturbed?

Packed with lots of wonderful incidental details (my favourite is Amy trying to mail letters inside a tree) this is a perfect fantasy and actually quite a sensitive portrayal of the effects that isolation can have on a young child, all told from a child's viewpoint, in many ways it's a dark and spooky bedtime story rather than a full-blooded horror. Ann Carter is astonishingly good as the young Amy, giving one of the all-time great child performances. One of the most atmospheric films on the list, it's also one of the most visually extraordinary films in the genre.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 35
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 12/11/2012 3:30:31 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
355. Resident Evil



1996
Game

Last Year's Position: New Entry

A special police unit find themselves trapped in an isolated mansion inhabited by strange creatures. One of the truly great games.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 36
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 12/11/2012 3:50:44 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
354. Seaton's Aunt

by Walter de la Mare

1922
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Withers is the closest thing to a friend that Arthur Seaton has ever known, and even Withers doesn't really consider himself his friend. While at boarding school together, Seaton (bullied by pretty much everyone in school) invites Withers to spend the holidays with him and his aunt, a nightmarish old crone who hates Seaton as much as the boys at school do. Withers agrees, and so begins the first of several terrifying encounters with the old witch. Is the aunt a vampire, a kind of ghost, in league with Satan? The interpretation is up to you really. Whatever she is, she's one of the great horror creations and Seaton's Aunt is a masterpiece of subtle horror.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 37
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 12/11/2012 6:30:54 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
353. The Sorcerers



Director: Michael Reeves
1967
Film

Last Year's Position: 298

It's often wrongly assumed that the last years of Karloff's career were filled with schlock. True, he made a lot of crap. But he also made films like Targets, Mad Monster Party, and this bleak masterpiece. Karloff and Catherine Lacey play The Monserrats, an elderly couple living in poverty. He is a disgraced hypnotist who has invented a machine that enable them to practice mind control. They get a volunteer in a young man named Michael (Ian Ogilvy). They are able to experience the same sensations as him and they get vicarious pleasure through his activities, but Lacey develops a taste for crime when Michael breaks the law. And soon they find themselves pushing him to ever more extreme actions. Karloff soon begins to worry about how far they're going, wanting to use his device for good, and he finds himself in a battle of wills with Lacey, who turns out to be more sadistic than he could ever imagine. In many ways it has a lot of similarities with Karloff's early mad scientist roles, but it's a darker film, more sombre, largely thanks to the setting and Reeves' gritty approach. As good as Karloff is, the film is stolen by the wicked Lacey, who gives a sensational, loathsome performance. Nihilistic, nasty and light years ahead of its time. It was one of only three films the young master Michael Reeves would complete and I think it stands alongside his Witchfinder General as one of the best British films of the 60s.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 38
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 12/11/2012 6:31:40 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
352. Straight on Till Morning



Director: Peter Collinson
1972
Film

Last Year's Position: 298

In the 60s, Hammer started to make a move into psycho-thriller territory, often with mixed results. But when they got it right, such as with the greatly underrated Paranoiac, or here, they made something really special. Straight on Till Morning stars new wave icon Rita Tushingham as Brenda Thompson, a plain young woman who moves away from her home in Liverpool to try and find a life in 'Swinging London'. Brenda desperately wants life to be like a fairytale (the film's title is a quote from Peter Pan) but all fairy tales need a Prince Charming, and Brenda cooks up the plan to find one. Attracted to her neighbour, Peter (Shane Briant) she kidnaps his dog and returns him in the hope of striking up a relationship, this being a film it works and the two are soon living together. Trouble is that Peter is a psychopath who had the urge to kill everything he finds beautiful. Luckily Brenda is plain. Tushingham and Briant are both exceptional, making the film believable and compelling. It's a downbeat film and an incredibly effective one. Those expecting a typical psycho-thriller may be disappointed, this is Hammer doing kitchen-sink psycho, it's unpredictable, unsettling and absolutely brilliant.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 39
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 12/11/2012 8:18:19 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
351. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage



Director: Dario Argento
1970
Film

Last Year's Position: 248

The film that launched Argento as a major player in horror was his directorial debut, this clever little horror that helped redefine the giallo subgenre and launch a wave of copycats. Plumage focuses on Sam (Tony Musante) an American writer living in Italy. One night while out walking he witnesses an attempted murder at an art gallery, through the doors he can see a woman and a man struggling. When he rushes to help he gets trapped inside the gallery's security doors and is forced to watch the attack play out. Despite being unable to help, the man flees the scene and the woman is left bloody on the floor, but alive. The police see Sam as a valuable witness to a string of murders that have been plaguing the city and confiscate his passport. Soon Sam finds himself drawn deeper into the case, receiving menacing phone calls, and troubled by his conviction that something at the crime scene wasn't quite right. Argento was already laying down many of his trademarks with this confident debut, there's bravura set-pieces, black-gloved psychos, and a hero who can't quite remember all the pieces for the puzzle. Musante makes an interesting hero and while the central mystery may not be that baffling, Argento's brilliant direction ensures that the film is never less than fascinating. One of the most memorable horrors of its era and one of Argento's finest films.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 40
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 12/11/2012 8:39:03 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
350. Nightbreed



Director: Clive Barker
1990
Film

Last Year's Position: 244

Its a shame that Nightbreed has been forgotten by the majority of horror fans. Maybe it was the critical failure on release that has had this negative vibe overshadow it, more so because its Daddy Hellraiser looms over it like an evil counterpart. Over the years, most notably the die hard fans of the great man's work has seen Night Breed build a strong cult following. The great man I mention is that of Clive Barker, a man whose Hellraiser is loved and cherished, but there is an argument that this little beauty is actually the better film.

There is no question from this horror fan that this 1990 effort is more grand in scale. A film that defies logic because it refuse to play by the rules. In all honest truth, its basically the bastard son of Willow, in that all but name a fantasy movie with the darkest of hearts. There are creatures from another world, effects that back then were simply outstanding, and a surreal plot that only belongs in the pages of all good Fantasy books.

In what is a love letter to all those Monster films of days long gone, its clear that Barker is simply having fun. Having basked in the glory of Pinhead, this was his chance to do something he really wanted to do and even if you do not like the film, you have to admire the man for writing up something so damn original.

The film basically spins the genre in which the monsters are the good guys while us the humans are the evil type. It was a fresh idea that went straight over the heads of fans and the studio who to this day Barker complains that they "simply did not know how to market it!". And how could they. With David (Shivers. The Fly) Cronenberg playing the evil role as Dr Phillip K.Decker, this smacks of oddity but in an age where all we see is remakes and the forever going Saw films, maybe its time for NightBreed to be rediscovered...

It does not have the bite of Hellraiser, but it does have a world rich full of creations that any Barker fan will love with passion. If you like all things Cenobites then Nightbreed will seduce you, so if you have not seen it and the negativity puts you off, give it ago, you might be surprised!!!

- HughesRoss

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 41
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 12/11/2012 9:32:02 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
349. The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special



Director: Steve Bendelack
2000
T.V. Series Episode

Last Year's Position: 235

Taking their inspiration from the Amicus anthologies, the League created this bubble episode of their television series. Characters could be placed in bizarre situations and even die without it having an impact on the regular chronology of the series. The wrap-around story sees the Christmas hating Reverend Bernice of Royston Vasey visited by three townsfolk, all with a dark story to tell. We are treated to tales of European vampires, a strange masked coven and an old fashioned tale that finally explains the misfortunes of the town vet. The series proper was often inspired by classic horror, you can see references to everything from The Shining to The Wicker Man in various episodes, but this is where they tipped over into horror proper. The story that works the best stars Reese Shearsmith as Matthew, a young choir boy who ends up in Duisburg, singing in the choir of Herr Lipp. Lipp is interested in sucking something of Matthew's, but is it his blood? A brilliantly atmospheric short that actually feels more like 70s horror than an episode of LoG at times. This was actually my introduction to the League and I still think it's their best work.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 42
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 13/11/2012 12:59:46 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
348. Mulholland Drive



Director: David Lynch
2001
Film

Last Year's Position: 220

Let's start off by saying Mulholland Dr. is not as complicated as some will have you believe. The problem with playing too much on the narrative trickery is that it gives critics of the film ammunition to say that it's not that complicated. And it isn't. Let's look at the plot. The story is told in non-linear order. A dark-haired woman (Harring) is involved in a car accident following an attempt on her life on Mulholland Drive. In a state of shock, she loses her memory and stumbles into an apartment soon to be taken over by Betty (Naomi Watts), a naive girl just arrived in Hollywood with hopes of becoming a star. She adopts the name of Rita, taken from a poster for Gilda. Betty is surprisingly accommodating to this amnesiac stranger and together Rita and Betty try to discover Rita's true identity, falling in love with each other along the way. Another plot strand follows a Hollywood director, Adam (Justin Theroux). He's being pressured to cast an unknown actress, Camilla Rhodes in his new film. When he refuses he is threatened by producers, mobsters and he is even thrown out of his house (By Billy Ray Cyrus, no less) Meanwhile, in a diner called Winkies, a man describes a nightmare about a horrific, evil figure who lurks behind the diner. Rita remembers a name, Diane Selwyn, and they try to track her down. They discover a dead body in her apartment. They go to a theatre called Club Silencio to try and finally find the answers they need. After an emotional performance they arrive home and Rita opens a mysterious blue box, then things flip on us. Naomi Watts is now playing Diane, a failed and depressed actress in love with Camilla Rhodes (Now played by Harring) who humiliates and rejects her. In revenge, Diane pays a hitman to kill Camilla before committing suicide herself.

Now let's put it in linear order. A young actress, Diane wins a dance competition. She comes to Hollywood, dreaming of stardom, and finds herself used by Camilla, a beautiful actress. She is then dumped by her for a man and in revenge she hires a hitman to kill her. That night she has a dream. In her dream she is a naive young thing named Betty and she meets Camilla's double, a beautiful and friendly woman who's lost her memory in an accident. Betty gets to look after Camilla and she is dependent on her for once. For the first time, Betty has all the power in the relationship. But the real world intrudes on the dream The evil thing behind Winkies is symbolic of the fact that Winkies is the diner where the hit is ordered. The film director in the dream is pressured from all sides to hire Camilla Rhodes rather than Betty, explaining why Diane didn't get the film role. In her dream Diane is not a bitter stalker, she's a sweet young thing whose dream woman loves her in return and the only reason she doesn't get a dream job is mysterious forces that work in opposition against her. In the dream, Betty and Rita visit the eerie Club Silencio. In the Club the real world intrudes more than ever, we are shown that everything is artificial and that there is a deeper truth that needs to be seen. Diane wakes again and sees a sign from the hitman that the murder has happened. In despair over her actions and of the direction of her life, Diane breaks down and is driven to suicide.

Far too much is made of the change between identities, Lynch has been accused of deliberately obscuring a simple plot line, of pretentiousness and of pretty much everything else you can imagine. What those criticisms ignore is that Lynch is presenting us with a film about the nature of dreams. From the beginning of his career Lynch appears to have viewed cinema as representing a dream state, and he's not far wrong. Cinema presents us with dreams and with nightmares. We are sold an illusion presented as reality and we have to believe in that illusion for any film to work. We know that cinema's very nature plays on duality and presenting an alternative representation of an object or a person, we are manipulated by the directors and writers, the dream-makers, and Lynch seems fascinated by that.

It's telling that Mulholland Dr is a story of Hollywood. Hollywood is sold as the dream capital of cinema, people go there to become stars but more of them end up with their dreams crushed than those who become stars. Hollywood tears apart dreams, just like it does to Diane. It's notable that the characters have doubles, representing both the way actors portray characters and the way we often see people in dreams. Identity is often fluid in Lynch's films, they often make me think of a dream where a person is present and you know they're supposed to be a specific person but they look completely different. The creation of another identity is also a trait of Hollywood and the way actors portray characters. Even Rita herself is a Hollywood creation, she lifts her identity straight from a picture of Rita Hayworth in a classic film. This sense of duality is vital, Watts is both helpful and happy and a sick stalker, Harring is helpless and loving and also heartless and destructive, nobody is what they first seem because we're not at first aware of the true story, we only see the illusion.

Lynch is basically just giving us an exploration of the dangers of love, of the difference between our dream and waking states and a negative portrayal of L.A. as the city of manufactured dreams that only just manage to hide the darkest nightmares. So at heart this is basically a simple morality tale, so why does Lynch present it in a non-linear fashion? Because it's one way of evoking a dream state, that place where identity, place and events are all in constant motion. So if this is just a simple tale told in a confusing manner, doesn't that mean it shouldn't hold up to repeat viewings? Of course not. That would only be true if the heart of the film was based in the narrative twists, it isn't. The heart of the film is in the relationships and in the way we care for the dream Betty and pity the real Diane. It's a film with excellent direction, a superb screenplay and some masterful performances, including a career best Naomi Watts and all of those things ensure that Mulholland Dr. is a film that's destined to withstand repeat viewings and become regarded as one of Hollywood's finest examinations of its own nature.

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 13/11/2012 1:00:09 PM >

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 43
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 13/11/2012 1:01:50 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
347. Tales of the Unexpected: 'The Flypaper'



1980
T.V. Series Episode

Last Year's Position: New Entry

With one child already missing in the area, a schoolgirl on a bus ride home finds herself the target of an unpleasant old man who may be a child killer. Capturing the same kind of atmosphere as the best of the gritty, downbeat 70s British horror films, Flypaper is a league above the rest of the Tales of the Unexpected episodes, as entertaining as many of them were. This actually gave me nightmares as a child and haunted me for an incredibly long time. It's still distressing even today.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 44
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 13/11/2012 1:36:52 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
346. The Guide

by Ramsey Campbell
1989
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Campbell paying homage to M.R. James here. An elderly James fan is on holiday with his family in James country, and begins scouring the local book-shops hoping to find something by the master. Rather than one of his horror collections, he finds one of James' guide-books, but one with some interesting notes that leads him to explore a deserted old church out near the sea-front. Building to a terrifying ending, this is both one of Campbell's finest, and one of the best stories to use James as an inspiration.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 45
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 15/11/2012 10:06:36 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
345. The Hound of the Baskervilles



Director: Terence Fisher
1959
Film

Last Year's Position: 133

My introduction to Hammer was my introduction to horror. I already had a vague awareness of who Sherlock Holmes was and I think I may even have seen bits and pieces of some of the Basil Rathbone series, but I'd never seen anything approach the tales with Hound of the Baskervilles mist-shrouded gothic charm. Any common sense approach will tell you that either Jeremy Brett or Vasily Livanov were the greatest Holmes, but on some level Cushing will always be my Sherlock. Hammer understood Watson better as well, realising that while he's not as smart as Holmes, he's not the buffoon that Nigel Bruce played him as. Watching this on a late night BBC showing made me feel somehow grown-up, and on some level, I still want all films to feel like this.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 46
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 15/11/2012 10:16:13 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
344. I Am Legend

by Richard Matheson
1954
Novel

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Richard Matheson's most famous work is also one of the most influential on post-apocalyptic horror fiction. The hero, Robert Neville, is a survivor of a plague that has turned most of humanity into vampires. Neville is trying to search for an explanation and a cure for the illness, while fighting off the vampires who attack by night. Not Matheson's greatest work, but still a classic by any standard.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 47
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 15/11/2012 10:26:31 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
343. Human Lanterns



Director: Chung Sun
1982
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Notorious HK horror/martial arts hybrid. Two rivals clash during a Lantern festival, with each vowing to outdo the other. One of the men seeks help from a master lantern maker, without realising that the beautiful lanterns are made from the skin of murdered women.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 48
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 15/11/2012 11:00:04 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
342. Jacob's Ladder



Director: Adrian Lyne
1990
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Blurb coming soon.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 49
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 15/11/2012 11:02:20 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
341. Dead and Buried



Director: Gary Sherman
1981
Film

Last Year's Position: 298

This under-rated horror gem is set in Potter's Bluff, a small town in New England. In the creepy opening scene, a visitor to the town is taking photos of a young blonde on a beach. After a while a group of locals arrive and attack the photographer. They tie him to a tree and pour gasoline on him, photos are taken by the growing crowd before the man is set alight. By the time town sheriff Dan Gillis (James Farentino) and the mortician William Dobbs (Jack Albertson) arrive, the attack has been made to look like an accident, the man's car has been crashed and set alight and the burned body placed inside, but the victim has survived the assault. The next night brings another attack by the townspeople, again, the events are recorded. As more and more bodies start to show up, Gillis digs ever deeper into the secrets of the town, but things take an even stranger turn when the dead start to be spotted around the town, seeming restored to life. The less you know about Dead and Buried, the better. It's a film of many surprises from the pen of Dan O'Bannon, one of the unsung greats of the genre. The film's greatest asset is Jack Albertson's wonderfully eccentric performance, but there's also some impressive early effects work from Stan Winston and the film is shot through with an eerie and clammy atmosphere. It's one of the most surreal horror films of the 80s, and also one of the very best.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 50
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 15/11/2012 11:11:09 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
340. Tombs of the Blind Dead



Director: Amando de Ossorio
1971
Film

Last Year's Position: 220

In a Lisbon resort, two old friends, Virginia and Betty, meet by chance. The two have had a lesbian relationship in their past, but Virginia is now in a relationship with a man, Roger. The next day the three of them go on a train journey together the next day. A few problems on the train lead to an embarrassed Virginia jumping off in a deserted area named Berzano. She finds the ruins of an old monastery and she decides to spend the night there. Outside the ruins, the dead, in the form of hooded skeletons, rise from the grave and head towards her on horseback, hunting her down in a savage attack. The following day, finding Virginia hasn't returned, Roger and Betty make their way by horseback out to the old ruins to try and find her. They eventually find out the legend associated with the ruins, that of Templar Knights who worshipped the devil after discovering the power of black magic and were excommunicated for their sins. They made the small village of Berzano their homebase and sacrificed humans before being sentenced to death themselves. Their bodies were put on public display and crows pecked out their eyes. They rise from the grave, in search of humans, but they are now blind and can only hunt their victims when they hear them. Soon Betty, Roger, a smuggler named Pedro and Pedro's girlfriend find themselves back at the ruins, with the dead ready to rise again.

This first of the Blind Dead quadrilogy marks down Amando de Ossorio has one of the most interesting Spanish directors of his era. True, the opening 20 minutes is a little preposterous, but things kick into high gear once Virginia is alone on the site and the dead begin to rise. Ossorio managed to create incredible, iconic figures with a great sense of mythology that pushes them into the top levels of horror villains. There's a wonderful sense of foreboding in the film, especially during Virginia's walk to the ruins. I confess it's not my favourite of the series (Night of the Seagulls is the true masterpiece) but it does have the series finest and most memorable moment with its gory finale. It's not just the best ending of the series, it's one of the best in horror cinema.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 51
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 15/11/2012 11:28:51 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
339. Carry on Screaming!



Director: Gerald Thomas
1966
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

The best of the Carry On franchise by far, this film saw the esteemed team of innuendo merchants taking on Hammer horror films. Jim Dale plays Albert Potter (the usual bumbling Dale type) whose girlfriend is abducted by Oddbod, a creature created by sinister mad scientist Dr. Watt (Kenneth Williams) and his sultry sister Valeria (Fenella Fielding) enlisting the help of bumbling policemen Bung (Harry H. Corbett in his only Carry on role) and Slobotham (Peter Butterworth), Potter sets out to rescue his beloved Doris. Carry On Screaming has possibly the finest cast for any of the Carry On films. No Sid James or Barbara Windsor, yet we still get Butterworth, Dale, Hawtrey, Williams, Bresslaw and Sims, and we even have Harry H. Corbett and Fenella Fielding thrown in. It looks the best of any of the Carry On films as well, capturing the feel of gothic Hammer productions, while stealing the plot from House of Wax. While the Carry On films can often feel a little lazy, here the cast show a dedication to the material that they rarely displayed again. Not just a great Carry On film, a great comedy film by any standard. And you can forget about Cleo, 'Frying tonight!' is Williams' best Carry On moment.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 52
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 18/11/2012 2:02:05 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
338. Number 13

by M.R. James
1904
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

A guest in a hotel in Viborg finds strange events going on in his room, the hotel's number 12. By night it seems to shrink, as the hotel makes room for a number 13, a room that the owners swear doesn't exist. One of James' most purely frightening stories.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 53
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 18/11/2012 2:02:35 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
337. The Haunted Doll's House

by M.R. James
1923
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Essentially James rewriting his own story, The Mezzotint, James tells the tale of a Doll's House that comes alive at night to replay a tragedy involving revenge from beyond the grave.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 54
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 18/11/2012 2:03:00 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
336. The Phantom of the Opera



Director: Rupert Julian
1925
Film

Last Year's Position: 214

The story of the Phantom of the Opera is common knowledge thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical and Gerard Butler's 2005 abomination, but it's the 1925 Chaney version that really sticks closest to the source material. A mysterious phantom haunts a Paris opera house, and when new buyers purchase the deeds to the building, they're told about the phantom and react with flippant, unbelieving expressions. Of course, this is to their doom, as the phantom begins to haunt the opera house with the agenda of getting them to give the leading part in their major play to a young starlet, played by Mary Philbin. The story is thin on its feet, and some of the set pieces aren't as strong as they could be, but the film's overwhelming positives stretch the story out to the point that you believe it's better than it is. First and foremost, Lon Chaney is instrumental in the film's success. He's imposing and frightening as the Phantom, commanding the screen with every bit of presence he can muster. Philbin, too, plays her character excellently, mixing pure terror with a feminine curiosity when she gets dragged down to the Phantom's lair. The supporting cast enjoy varying success, with the major down-point being Norman Kelly's interpretation of the Phantom's chief love rival. He's a black hole of charisma at best. Despite some of the scenes being a little weak (the final chase down the streets of Paris being the chief example), the Phantom of the Opera boasts many impressive set pieces. The most obvious example is the revelation of the Phantom's disfigured, skull-like face, which still has to power to shock and repulse even over eighty years on. The chandelier drop, too, is an impressive fete, as you know that in 1925 they'd have to drop that thing for real. The only colour sequence in the film, as well, is memorable. The phantom walks into the masked ball with all of the menace that he possessed as his caped crusader, yet with a certain elegance about him that suggests something about his popularity and stature before his disfigurement. The phantom says, at one point, "if I am the Phantom it's because man has made me so,” suggesting his shunning from society because of his disturbing, yet superficial, disability. Does this, somehow, explain why he is like he is? The score, however, is a major disappointment. For a major motion picture, you'd have thought that the composers and editors would have found appropriate placing for their score, which – as individual pieces – is excellent. You find yourself listening to imposing, menacing tones in simple, mundane scenes, and sometimes even sweet, melodic harp music in the darker scenes. It's not a matter of bad music, just misplaced music.

- Piles

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 55
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 18/11/2012 2:09:31 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
335. Masque of the Red Death



Director: Roger Corman
1964
Film

Last Year's Position: 151

The finest of the Corman/Poe films is this bleak classic. Vincent Price stars as Prince Prospero, a brutal tyrant ruling over a plague-ridden land. Prospero invites a group of nobles to his castle, promising them the party of a lifetime and refuge from the plague. He also brings the young and pure villager, Francesca (Hazel Court) to the castle, intending to corrupt her. He makes his party a debauched masquerade ball, and notices a mysterious guest who believes to be his Satanic lord. Visually sumptuous, beautiful sets and some extraordinary use of colour, Nic Roeg was the cinematographer on the film, and this is as entrancing as any of the films he directed. The script is also thoughtful, especially on the nature of good and evil and the way that evil can corrupt people who come into contact with it. Price is superb as Prospero, Hazel Court is fine as Francesca and Patrick Magee is very good as an especially cruel party guest.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 56
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 18/11/2012 2:17:46 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
334. Rats

by M.R. James
1929
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Tales of haunted inns crop up over and over in horror fiction, James' tale of a room haunted by a scarecrow like figure is one of the best. Memorably read by Michael Hordern, there's also a fine reading out there by Jarvis Cocker.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 57
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 18/11/2012 2:24:00 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
333. The Ring



Director: Gore Verbinski
2002
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Stick to the original.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 58
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 18/11/2012 2:32:31 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
332. Psychoville



2009 - 2011
T.V. Series

Last Year's Position: New Entry

The League of Gentlemen was a brilliant idea for a television series. Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith took their combined loves of classic horror and comedy and created the depraved world of Royston Vasey, and we should be eternally grateful to the foursome for every single episode. When it was announced that Pemberton and Shearsmith were reuniting to write a new show called Psychoville, there was a fear that it would be a pale imitation of the League. Instead, they’ve delivered a show that obviously occupies a similar world to Royston Vasey, with all of its grotesque characters and nods to classic weird fiction, but not one that is in any way inferior to the early show. Psychoville is a companion to the League, not its bastard child. A group of seemingly random individuals, spread throughout Britain, begin to receive a series of blackmail letters. With a mother and son serial killer team, a demented midwife who wants to turn her plastic doll into a real life boy, a hook handed angry clown, a blind old misanthrope with a secret collection, and a midget with Carrie-esque psychic powers, all with ties to a mysterious asylum, Psychoville plays with horror tropes and makes them feel new again.

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 18/11/2012 2:36:32 PM >

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 59
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 18/11/2012 2:36:07 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
331. Scrooge



Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
1951
Film

Last Year's Position: 211

The second adaptation of the Dickens classic to earn a place on my list is also the finest adaptation of A Christmas Carol in any medium. The plot is so familiar that it's pointless to recite it here. Instead, let's focus on what makes this version so good - Alastair Sim.

Sim's Scrooge is not only the definitive portrayal of the character, it's one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema. Too often Scrooge is just looked at as an iconic figure and many of the actors who play the role seem oddly frightened of it. True we're not talking Lear here, but the character of Scrooge requires far more than miserable at the beginning and sad at the end. Sim's Scrooge may be a miser but he's never portrayed as the villain. He's hateful, angry and despairing and he turns those emotions into a shield against the rest of the world. Sim also brings a great sense of dignity to the character, someone sadly missing from many other portrayals. The other aspect that Sim brings out of the character is the humour. It may be a gallows wit, but it was always within the character, but other than Sim, only the overtly comedic adaptations (Bill Murray in Scrooged) have ever tapped into the character's dark wit. Sim is also one of the few actors to make the final redemption feel real.

As much as this is Sim's film, he displays how unselfish a performer he was by allowing the other actors a chance to make their mark. Mervyn Johns, Michael Hordern, George Cole, Ernest Thesiger and Kathleen Harrison all shine in smaller roles, ensuring that Sim is not the only reason to see the film.

While the film may not have the same visual flair of Lean's Dickens adaptations, Brian Desmond Hurst does a fine job. He takes the story away from the more cliched adaptations, undercutting the perfect Christmas feel for something more authentic in order to show how difficult life was for the poor. The fact that he does this without grandstanding or without ever losing the focus of the narrative deserves great acclaim.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 60
Page:   <<   < prev  1 [2] 3 4 5   next >   >>
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Lists and Top 10s >> RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results Page: <<   < prev  1 [2] 3 4 5   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


 
Movie News  |  Empire Blog  |  Movie Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Video Interviews  |  Image Gallery  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Magazine  |  Resources
 
Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.063