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RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results

 
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RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 1:22:06 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
264. The Weir

by Conor McPherson
Play
1997

The Weir is a remarkable, Olivier winning play set entirely in a pub somewhere in rural Ireland, written by playwright and film director Conor McPherson. McPherson's play brought him both awards and acclaim. The play is about telling stories and the power of language, especially its power to let us hide from or face up to unpleasant events.

The play only has five characters. There's the barman, the shy but likeable Brendan, a talkative local mechanic named Jack, his introverted assistant, Jim, and a flashy former local boy turned estate agent and hotel owner, Finbar. Finbar has recently sold a house to a single young Dublin woman named Valerie and is giving her a tour of the scenery, including Brendan's pub. The men all try to charm Valerie and the conversation quickly turns to local legends and ghost stories, including that of a supposed fairy road that passes through Valerie's new home.

The relatively harmless first tale opens the floodgates and the stories gradually grow darker and more distressing and take in various aspects of the supernatural, moving from charming folk story to how the unknown can unsettle the most rational minded, to how even death can't stop some taboos, to a heartbreaking response to grief. The stories aren't just ghost stories for the sake of them, their content and their style are used to take us into the minds of the characters. McPherson also taps into one of horror's greatest strengths the ability to give voice to fears that people can't face in a realistic context. Finbar's story reveals every insecurity he hides behind flash, Valerie reveals the grief that drove her from the city, Jimmy's encounter could be seen as reflecting and distorting the sexuality of a middle-aged man still living with mother. But through all the haze and terror, the strongest emotion evoked by The Weir is loneliness, something perfectly illustrated in Jack's final tale, the one time where all hints of the supernatural are dropped.

One of the most important elements is the relationships between the characters, we believe the tense history between Jack and Finbar, the easy-going nature and joking of Jack, Jimmy and Brendan, and we feel how quickly they develop a protective nature towards Valerie, even though they all clearly fancy her. Valerie powers the play, bringing to the surface old resentments between two of the characters and exposing how people create stories to heal wounds or to hide from the world. Brendan is the only character without a specific story to tell, instead he listens and watches, a nice use of the traditional stereotype of the barman being the person there to unload your troubles, but the character is also given a deep sense of loneliness and melancholy.

The stories are peppered with odd events and McPherson demonstrates a great talent for taking the mundane and using it to unleash some of the most unsettling imagery imaginable. McPherson is a superlative writer of monologues with an amazing eye for detail, the simple idea of a child's fear of a man about to cross the road and what he'll do when he reaches her side is extraordinarily unsettling. If Valerie's story is the most upsetting, Jim's is the one that eats away inside you, like all the best ghost stories. It's a fever-ridden tale of digging a grave and being interrupted by someone who might just be a ghost, but who certainly displays the worst of humanity. It's a hazy tale, one that mixes the cliches of old-fashioned spook stories (digging a grave in a lonely rural churchyard) with one of the true horrors of modern life.

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Post #: 121
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 1:33:29 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
263. The Sandman



Director: Paul Berry
1991
Short Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

You realise fairly quickly this isn't the Roy Orbison song. It isn't the chappie prancing about with fairy dust giving bringing dreams and clearing sleep dust from the eyes immortalised by Hans Christian Anderson. It isn't even Pratchett's Sandman, making sure people sleep by slugging them without bothering to take the sand out the sandbag! In 1816 Hoffman (he of the Offenbach opera and the P&P film) wrote a short story subverting the traditional fairy tale – parts of which were also turned into the ballet Coppelia.
http://www.fln.vcu.edu/hoffmann/sand_e.html
If you're interested in reading the English translation.

Hoffman's Sandman put sand in the eyes of children who couldn't sleep so their eyes would fall out and he could feed them to his children who lived on the moon. Just a bit darker, then!

The perception of a child scared of the dark, going up all of those stairs is simple and effective – the straight to bed and under the covers and the world outside just isn't there! The build-up of the slams and creaks coming closer is straight out of films like The Haunting, and their impact never diminishes, IMO. The birdlike conception of the cheating eyethief, with its balletic movements and hook shape created by nose/beak and chin is brilliantly done. The finale is a shock and quite disturbing – particularly, I'd urge you to remember to watch the endtitles, too.

Berry's stop-motion animation of the story is brilliantly conceived, setting the very expressionist tone perfectly (just look at the Langesque focus on the disturbing family clock as well as the general set-up and lighting) and is one of the creepiest and most shocking shorts I've seen recently, as well as being really quite beautiful. It is clearly an infuence on Burton's Nightmare Before Xmas (this could be the village visited by the dodgy Santa!), and Berry did work on that film before his very early death. And sorry Rawlinson – but at Oscar, the best man really didn't win.

- Elab49

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Post #: 122
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 1:38:11 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
262. Edward Scissorhands



Director: Tim Burton
1990
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

I can't speak for anyone else, but I think it's incredibly disappointing to have a film called Edward Scissorhands on a horror list and not only is Edward not the villain, but he also doesn't go snap happy with the scissors and massacre the neighbourhood. Instead, Johnny Depp does ice sculpting and gets a bit sad.

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Post #: 123
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 1:38:40 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
261. Deranged



Director: Jeff Gillen, Alan Ormsby
1974
Film

Last Year's Position: 285

Roberts Blossom may be best known to a generation as the (not so) creepy guy next door in Home Alone, but back in the day he really was the creepy guy you wouldn't want living next door. For in Deranged he plays Ezra Cobb, and Ezra Cobb is Ed Gein in all but name. There have been numerous films based on the Gein case, from loosely inspired films like Psycho, Silence of the Lambs and Texas Chainsaw to the likes of Ed Gein itself, Deranged deserves to stand alongside them all as a true horror great. For those who've never heard of Gein, he was raised in Wisconsin by his domineering mother. When she died he first turned to grave-robbing and necrophilia, followed by murder and necrophilia. When he was finally caught by police, they found his house full of chairs upholstered with human skin, skull soup bowl, faces mounted on the walls and a vest made of breasts. Gein also liked to dress up in female skin to pretend he was his own mother.

The Ezra Cobb story loosely follows the Ed Gein one, Cobb's father dies when he's young, leaving him alone with his mother. He cared for her after she became bedridden, but when she too died, his lingering psychosis spilled over. On her death-bed, mom shows what an old bitch she is, calling all other women filthy sluts and money-stealing bitches who'll give Ez' syph'. Still, Ez' can't bear to be without her. Eventually Ez' snaps and starts talking in her voice. He tells himself to steal her corpse and bring it home, but he soon has to steal other corpses and indulge in a little taxidermy to keep her in one piece. Before long he progress to murder and cannibalism.

It feels authentic, like you're getting an insight into a true lunatic, in large part thanks to a brilliant performance from Blossom, who is so good he actually makes you feel sympathy for Cobb at times. The film is brilliantly depraved, especially when it comes to the scene where Ez' introduces his 'future wife' to his mother and we get to see the full extent of his insanity. But despite how unflinching and bleak the film is, it also has a wicked sense of humour, especially in Cobb's encounters with Maureen, the only woman momma ever trusted (because she's fat). With make-up from Tom Savini adding to the atmosphere, Deranged is an uncompromising piece of film-making, and one of the best horror movies that far too many people haven't seen

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Post #: 124
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 1:39:38 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
260. Angel Heart



Director: Alan Parker
1987
Film

Last Year's Position: 183

With a wonderful sense of dread that filters through every scene, Alan Parker's Angel Heart is one of 80's great films, not quite horror, not quite thriller, but something else. Yes its mostly remembered for the performance of a certain Robert DeNiro but you can not rule out Mickey Rourke who may have recently had a career revival, its his display as detective Harry Angel that gives this great film its heartbeat.

Harry only takes on the simple of cases, when he is hired to find the whereabouts of Jazz singer Johnny Favourite, he takes it as easy money, but its a decision that leads him on a destructive road. With the mystery figure of Lou Cyphre behind the job, and Voodoo around every corner, its a mystery which conclusion could prove to be unforgettable conclusion.....

Angel Heart is a rich film full of intrigue and menace that uses its 50's setting well. It does not start off like any horror in fact its closer to a whodunit noir, but the film swings so unexpectedly that you as the viewer can not help but get swept away by it all.

Its still an underrated gem. Often overlooked on many lists, its firmly in the "cult" status with its gore and Supernatural element shining through out Every cast is on the money including Lisa Bonet who at that time caused a massive stink as her performance in this shocked everyone as she was only known back then as one of the Crosby Kids.

- HughesRoss

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Post #: 125
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 2:02:17 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
259. Silent Hill 2



2001
Game

Last Year's Position: New Entry

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Post #: 126
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 10:54:46 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
258. The Penalty



Director: Wallace Worsley
1920
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

If I describe a Lon Chaney film as operatic, most people would jump to his later effort The Phantom of the Opera. But I've picked out the film that many would consider to be Chaney's first starring role as Blizzard in The Penalty.

Following a boyhood trauma that results in him losing both legs, Blizzard sets out to wreck his revenge on the city of San Francisco, where he sets up as a ruthless boss of the underworld. The film centers around two central plans Blizzard is hatching. The first is his plot worthy of any Bond villain to take over the city of San Francisco and bring it to its knees (pardon the slightly sadistic pun). The second circles around his admiration for a lady, a pair of legs and his personal revenge.

I truly believe that Chaney is one of the greatest actors of all time. Here he creates a ruthless villain, every scene played out in immense pain that Chaney subjected himself to, by painfully strapping both his legs up. But towering above that is a truly physical acrobatic performance, with both his body and his face. I hope you enjoy the film, forgive it the slightly silly ending within the overarching opera of the movie, and in particular admire Chaney's acting masterclass.

NB: I might have learnt most of my lip-reading from watching football on the TV, but does anyone else agree there's a scene where Dr Ferris tells Blizzard to "F*** off"

- Professor Moriarty

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Post #: 127
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 10:59:51 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
257. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

by Washington Irving
1820
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Written in the folk tale tradition, this gem gave the world Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. Don't blame the story for what Tim Burton did to it.

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Post #: 128
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:03:15 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
256. The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror V

1995
T.V. Series Episode

Last Year's Position: New Entry

No TV and no beer make Homer something something.

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Post #: 129
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:03:52 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
255. The Eye



Director: Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang
2002
Film

Last Year's Position: 271

Interesting ghost story that hit big as part of the J-horror boom. A young woman has been blind since childhood, but she's about to get her vision back thanks to a cornea transplant. Her new eyes let her see far more than the world around her, they also give her an insight into the spirit world, as she finds herself seeing ghosts on every corner. She decides to find out the identity of the donor to try to gain some understanding of events, but discovers her new sight lets her see even greater horrors.

I should be honest and say I usually find the films of the Pangs fairly idiotic, but The Eye is without doubt their strongest work to date. There's little here that hasn't been seen before and it has to be said that the ending is ludicrous, but for most of the running time it's an effective film, with some strong scares (especially the scene in the lift) and good performances. But for me it ultimately works best as a film of moments rather than as a coherent whole, because while the Pangs create some incredibly atmospheric moments, they don't maintain it over the running time. The pacing also feels off and the film would work better at a shorter length and without that ending. It's not a really great ghost story, but it's a very good one, and it contains of the creepiest moments of the last decade of horror.

- Rawlinson

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Post #: 130
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:12:49 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
254. Friday the 13th Part 2



Director: Steve Miner
1981
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

A horror icon is actually born here. But it's not as good as the one where Crispin Glover dances.

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Post #: 131
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:28:14 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
253. Count Magnus

by M.R. James
1904
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

"Are you awake, Count Magnus? Are you asleep, Count Magnus?"

One of the most frightening stories ever written.

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Post #: 132
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:41:49 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
252. Scrooged



Director: Richard Donner
1988
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

When mentioning Christmas and stories, people will inevitably think of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. And rightly so. It's a story intertwined with Christmas, one that sums up the great things about that time of year and warns us against everything that is wrong with it. It's a fantastic story that has become, to use a word that has become overused, iconic. So what better way to update A Christmas Carol during the eighties than to set it in a TV studio and combine it with the comedic genius of Bill Murray? With his sour brand of humour Murray was perfect to play the modern day Scrooge, the cold hearted TV executive Frank Cross. Cross is determined to ruin everyone's Christmas, he works one into the ground, he fires one on Christmas Eve and doesn't speak to his brother. He's even prepared to staple antlers onto a mouse. But it's his sneering, rude manner that really embraces the Scrooge spirit. He despises Christmas and everything about it, he cares only for money and ratings.

Murray is a tour de force in Scrooged but he's ably supported by Robert Mitchum, Carol Kane and that eighties wonder, Bobcat Goldthwait. Even the angelic Karen Allen is good playing the light to Murray's dark. And even if at times Scrooged isn't too subtle in its update, it still captures the ethos of the original story and finishes off with an incredibly Christmassy note. Like all the best Christmas films it makes you want it to be Christmas Day, but with this it combines moments of meaness that actually raise a laugh as well as adding Bill Murray. A man who could deliver lines in his sleep that still the show. Even at his most nasty you still like him. And more importantly, laugh at his jokes. Vote this into the Christmas Hall of Fame, it's probably the only eighties adaptation of a Dickens classic featuring Bill Murray and Bobcat Goldthwait.

- Rinc

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Post #: 133
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:42:28 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
251. Bell from Hell



Director: Claudio Guerin Hill
1973
Film

Last Year's Position: 165

John, an unbalanced young man is released from an asylum. He travels to see the aunt who had him committed and her beautiful daughters. John takes a job at a slaughterhouse in order to learn to kill before taking over their house, seducing his cousins and generally causing mayhem through a series of macabre practical jokes. It's virtually plotless and we can never really be sure if John was insane or if his aunt merely sought to have him committed so she could take control of his estate. An incredibly ambiguous film, in fact it's fairly bewildering in places, it owes plenty to the surrealism of Bunuel and to the writings of horror masters like Poe, but it manages to carve out its own unique place in cinema and stand out as one of the most intriguing films of a strong time for horror. On a sad, sinister endnote, the director died on the last day of shooting. He either fell, or jumped, from the film's bell tower.

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Post #: 134
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:43:06 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
250. Shivers



Director: David Cronenberg
1975
Film

Last Year's Position: 108

A Doctor has developed a parasite for use in transplant operations. But it also has a side-effect, it's part aphrodisiac part disease. It can cause host bodies to become obsessed with sex and then pass that desire on to others. The bug is let free in a high rise apartment building and soon turns the inhabitants into sex-mad zombies, with the fear that it might escape the confines of the building and become let loose on the city itself. Cronenberg was indulging his obsession with body horror from the beginning, here we get the feeling that he's definitely on the side of the parasite here. The community its let loose in is sterile and forbidding, the parasite frees people. The characters are only interesting after they're infected, and I think that's deliberate. Cronenberg has already showed his brilliance in Stereo and Crimes of the Future, here his trademark style is really sliding into place. Cold and clinical, with bursts of extreme violence and sexuality. It's brilliant and challenging work even now, a wonderful satire on the fears of all those conservatives who think sex will corrupt us all. Watch out for Barbara Steele's memorable bathtub/parasite encounter.

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Post #: 135
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:43:45 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
249. Drag Me To Hell



Director: Sam Raimi
2009
Film

Last Year's Position: 220

After taking a bit of a kicking for Spider Man 3 Sam Raimi was back on great form with this mean spirited, nasty and very funny piece of schlock.

The plot follows the misfortunes of young bank officer Christine (Alison Lohman) who in her quest for a promotion and against her better nature denies an old lady an extension on her mortgage. The old lady in question Mrs Ganosh is not one to take bad news well. She places a curse on Christine. In three days a demon, the Lamia, will come for her soul.

The film was described – at least in choice poster quotes as a “masterpiece,” “utterly terrifying” and “the best horror of the last ten tears” Well no, not really But it is bloody good fun. The scares are for the most part scary and the laughs are very funny, often at the same time. Poor Christine is frequently attacked and abused by forces both seen and unseen. She’s thrown around, gummed by a corpse, suffers a jet wash pressure nosebleed and has a zombie arm shoved down her throat amongst many, many other indignities.

She turns to psychic Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) for help. His various suggestions for a solution lead to more horror for Chrstine (possessed goats, kitten murder) but prove unsuccessful. Despite this and his general cynicism her supportive boyfriend Clay is prepared to pay large amounts of cash to help save her

Alison Lohman is an appealing lead and you can't help but root for her whilst at the same time savouring her misfortunes. She has a real fragility which perhaps enhanced by her youthful looks. She was 30 at the time of filming but at times could easily pass for a teenager ( something Ridley Scott exploited in Matchstick Men). As Mrs Ganosh. Lorna Raver is damn scary and is a great hissable villain.

Raimi is really at the top of his game here with all kinds of stuff flying all over and the cameras zooming around screen like nobody’s business. It’s very much a cartoon, with cartoon logic – why would Christine have an anvil hanging from her garage ceiling if not to drop it on a vengeful zombie’s head?

There are some other things that don't make a hell of a lot of sense (why are Mrs Ganosh’s teeth blackened and rotting when they're falsers - did she have them made that way?) and if you think about it at all none of it really holds up.

Whilst it lasts though it's a blast Raimi has managed to pull off the very tricky task of making a comedy horror that manages to be both funny and scary. Well done to him for that, more of the same please.

- ScruffyBobby

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Post #: 136
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:44:35 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
248. Cronos



Director: Guillermo Del Toro
1993
Film

Last Year's Position: 267

In this debut offering from one of the most talented men in cinema today, Federico Luppi stars as elderly antique dealer Jesus Gris. Gris discovers the Cronos Device hidden inside a statue in his shop, when Gris investigates the device, it sprouts spider legs and a scorpion stinger that latch onto him. Inside the device is a vampiric parasite, it can provide immortality, but it drives the host to feed on human blood. Soon Gris is addicted to the device, and determined to keep hold of it at any cost. Meanwhile, dying industrialist Dieter de la Guardia (Claudio Brooks) also desires the device and sends his nephew Angel (Ron Perlman) to obtain it. This is an incredibly confident début film, not just in how well crafted it is, but in how ballsy it is to attempt a rewrite of vampire mythology in your first film. It doesn't feel like a début, it feels as if it's come from a director who has been making classic horrors for decades. It's one of the films that makes you wish del Toro would work in his native language more. Most of his American language films are good to passable, but when he returns to his home country he manages to create a modern classic every time.

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Post #: 137
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 24/11/2012 11:45:30 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
247. The Cat and the Canary



Director: Elliot Nugent
1939
Film

Last Year's Position: 169

Not the first of the old dark house films, or even the first of the Cat and the Canary films, but it's certainly one of the most memorable. As usual, a family is gathered at the house for the reading of a will. Joyce (Paulette Godard) inherits the estate, with the condition that she loses it if she dies or is insane. Of course, the rest of the film is spent with someone trying to kill her or drive her insane. Luckily she has Bob Hope on hand to help protect her and crack a few jokes along the way. How much you like this film will no doubt depend on your tolerance for Bob Hope. Personally, I was always a big fan. A dick of a man, but a great comedy actor. Like the best comedy-horrors, Hope's horror efforts (this and The Ghost Breakers) actually tried to be atmospheric and scary when they needed to be, rather than mocking the horror standards. Not as good as Leni's late 20s version, or the more explicit late 70s film, but it's one of the best horror comedies of its time.

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Post #: 138
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:19:19 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
246. We Have Always Lived In The Castle

by Shirley Jackson
1962
Novel

Last Year's Position: New Entry

18 year old Merricat Blackwood lives, with what remains of her family, in relative isolation. After a tragic incident at their home years earlier, the family are hated and feared by the villagers, but nobody knows the true story. Jackson was always interested in stories that showed how the outsider could be persecuted by the community, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is one of her most atmospheric and strange novels, with one of horror fiction's finest female characters in Merricat.

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Post #: 139
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:27:56 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
245. The Lottery

by Shirley Jackson
1948
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

Jackson again, this time with a story that was so badly received that it even got her death threats after its first publication. Although that wasn't due to the quality of the writing, more to the savage insight it showed into superstition, conformity, and the nature of small communities. Every year in a small American village, a lottery is held to ensure a good harvest. The nature of the lottery is surely known to everyone by now, such is the fame of the story, but just in case you haven't read it yourself, I'll leave it unspoiled for now.

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Post #: 140
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:28:37 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
244. Long Weekend



Director: Colin Eggleston
1978
Film

Last Year's Position: 176

Part of the wave of incredible independent cinema coming from Australia in the 70s, Long Weekend tells the story of a couple whose relationship has broken down. They decide to go for a camping trip to the beach together in an attempt to save their crumbling marriage but they find themselves hating each other even more. They treat nature with contempt, they destroy their environment and the environment is finally fighting back. . The idea of animals striking back against humans was a common theme in the 70s but this isn't a typical cheesy animal attack horror, it has a thoughtful and meditative quality the others often miss. Long Weekend is ballsy, refusing to give us anything approaching a sympathetic character and willing to put horror audiences to the test with it's graphic depiction of love falling apart.

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Post #: 141
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:29:01 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
243. Deliverance



Director: John Boorman
1972
Film

Last Year's Position: 224

Four city-boys (Ed, Lewis, Bobby and Drew) decide to take a canoe trip down a river before it is flooded for good. However, the locals, who can best be described as "8 teeth in 9 people", has little love for them, and when the gang journey down-river, they eventually find that they have more challenges than just the raging current. It starts rather peacefully, though; as one of them has a musical duel with an inbred boy who plays a banjo that has since gone down in cinema history as one of the most iconic pieces of music in any film. But by the time the group settle out for their goal, things quickly change for the worse, and it becomes clear that they really should have gone golfing.

Often read as a metaphor for America's involvement in Vietnam (only this time, the invaders aren't raped just metaphorically), Deliverance is an intelligent thriller that is almost instrumental in creating our stereotypical images of hillbillies (that Lynyrd Skynyrd managed to use their southern image and find a way to success is an accomplishment of its own). But it is also a cracking good film, and in my opinion, it is one of the tensest ever made. It takes something we are all too familiar with, the trip to nature, and turns into a hellish and disturbing tale of murder and sodomy. The result? Almost four decades of people venturing out in the wilderness and asking, "Hey, have you by any chance seen Deliverance?"

- Dantes Inferno

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Post #: 142
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:29:30 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
242. The Stepfather



Director: Joseph Ruben
1987
Film

Last Year's Position: 251

Years before that plane crash which landed on the worlds most mysterious island and a new generation would only know him has John Locke, Terry O'Quinn was The Stepfather, a man that no child would want, or no woman should marry. While 80's horror was a breeding ground of everything psycho, started by Glen Close making some rabbit soup, it was this beauty of an horror that defined the genre, a truly unsettling but entertaining film which is all glued together by the performance of Quinn, who excels in the role of Jerry Blake. We start in a bathroom, a naked Blake transforming himself from long beard to clean shaved and a new hair do, the only hint of dread is the blood that he washes from his hands. He leaves the room like a new man, grabbing his recently packed suitcase, he walks down the staircase and we the viewer are greeted to a blooded child's hand print on the stair wall. Its when Blake reaches the front door and opens it that we see the full madness of this man. The daylight shines into the dark house and we see a grisly sight of a family butchered, young children slaughtered because they did not fit into this man's idea of a perfect family, and so Blake walks away, whistling down the street, to a new family that awaits this Stepfather and the love he can give. A love no doubt in his mind...... you would die for!!!!!!

A favourite amongst horror nuts, this is a slow paced burner that concentrates on Hitchcock style suspense than all out gore. His new found family starts off perfect, but the lies of his past and the doubts from his new Stepdaughter makes the noose around the neck of Blake tighten. Its when he starts to fall apart under the pressure of the pretence that the horror steps in and when he utters the line "Who Am I?" while holding the phone has his new wife looks on, the energy and dread that has built up slowly explodes and makes this first addtion of a franchise that spawned two sequels and a remake, one of the best horror's that the 80's gave us.......

- HughesRoss

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 143
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:29:58 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
241. The Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness



Director: Sam Raimi
1992
Film

Last Year's Position: 292

I know there are those out there that will sigh or gasp at my next statement but these days this has become my favourite Evil Dead film. Yes while the overall tone and nature of the third film is say slapstick and more of a cartoon kind of feel, you can not help but watch it these days and just marvel at the fantastic Bruce Campbell who is just having the time of his life as the icon Ash in what is now probably the last film of the character. The movie is a blast from start to finish. Some cracking one-liners the "Well hello Mr Fancy Pants! let me tell you something pal! The only thing you leading around here is Jack and shit! and Jack just left!"....and "give me some sugar!" are just two that tell you the level this film is at!

Aiming more for the teenage crowd that left horror fanatics up in arms at the time, this is simply an homage to the likes of Jason and the Argonauts and fair play to big Sam. He knew that Evil Dead was an all time classic, the sequel being more of a re-make than anything else, so instead of just doing the same old cabin story, he went for a laugh and a joke, and while there is no raping tree in sight! The results are a joyful romp full of gags that not only makes full use of the much loved Ash character, but its probably the film that Campbell will be most remembered for.

Following on from the end of the second, Ash is now stuck in middle ages where he must fight the deadites once again before he can return to his own time. On his way he must regain the Necronomicon Ex-motis (while uttering the words Klaatu barada nikto) and fight his very double, miniature Ash (an homage to Fantasia) and a horde of army skeletons. The true strength of Army Of Darkness is displayed at the climax, its cliff-hanger that smacks of brilliance that makes you wish they stop mucking about with this remake idea and just get on with what the fans want, Evil Dead 4, Blade Runner style................
now who would not pay to see that?

- HughesRoss

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 144
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:30:23 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
240. Frenzy



Director: Alfred Hitchcock
1972
Film

Last Year's Position: 263

Don't listen to the cynics, this much maligned late Hitchcock film is every bit as good as his earlier work and it fits perfectly into themes he'd established through his career. There's a real sense that this should have been his final work as you can almost feel the great director looking over his work to date with this film. Frenzy was his first film made in Britain in some time and the opening scene lays out Hitchcock's intentions on his return to Blighty, an aerial view of London, finishing with a dead body floating naked in the Thames. The body is the latest victim of the Necktie Murderer, a serial killer that's been terrorizing London. We soon find Hitchcock falling into his often visited plotline of the wrong man being framed for a crime. This time it's the short-tempered Richard (Jon Finch), recently fired from his bartender work for drinking on a job. Soon his ex-wife is murdered by the necktie killer, and Richard is the prime suspect. Richard is forced to go on the run, but dogged Inspector Oxford (a wonderful Alec McCowen) has doubts about his guilt, meanwhile, the real killer is still on the large.

It's a subversive film, especially in the way the innocent man is presented as, well, a bit of a dick, while the killer is a lot more fun (when he isn't raping and killing at least) There's a scene in the film that I won't spoil, but that often gets criticised as excessive, but there's always been the feeling that Hitchcock was a director with an ugly view of the world, and it fits right in to that view. The relaxation of the censorship laws and the new freedoms of the 70s just allowed him to be more graphic than in the past. If the scene disgusts you, good, it's meant to. Frenzy is an underrated and unjustly attacked film, that includes at least one sequence that rates among the best Hitchcock ever directed.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 145
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:30:51 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
239. Dead of Night: Exorcism



1972
T.V. Film

Last Year's Position: 149

Dead of Night is a largely lost BBC anthology show. Only three episodes still remain, one is decent, but predictable, another is good, but not a classic. The third is The Exorcism, and it's a belter. Set at Christmas (Christmas 72 had Exorcism, A Warning to the Curious and The Stone Tape on t.v. Amazing year) a middle-class couple, Edmund and Rachel, have just bought and renovated an old farmhouse. They've invited another couple, Dan and Margaret, to come spend Christmas Day with them. They've laid on a feast, conversation is flowing easily and all seems well. Then strange things begin to happen. While playing the clavichord, Rachel begins playing a haunting and unfamiliar tune, unsure where she learned it. Then the power fails, leaving them with only candlelight. As they settle down to eat, the food tastes like ashes, the wine like blood. Then they notice that outside the house is pure darkness, no light from anywhere, not even the reflection of their own candles. When they try to leave, the doors can't be opened and the windows can't be broken. The quartet soon realise the house is being taken back in time and they're all going to bear witness to a tragedy. Don Taylor tears apart the middle classes in what has been called a socialist ghost story. The characters are largely repulsive, claiming themselves as socialists but really as materialistic as they come. Only Rachel is really sympathetic. Some may find it overly moralistic, but the politics are a vital part of the story rather than a bit of finger wagging plastered on. One of the most frightening films ever.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 146
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:41:59 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
238. Psycho II



Director: Richard Franklin
1983
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 147
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 3:51:40 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
237. Pickman's Model

by H.P. Lovecraft
1926
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

The story of Richard Upton Pickman, a painter who finds unusual inspiration to create brilliant, but quite horrifying, works of art.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 148
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 4:03:23 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
236. The Devil’s Rejects



by Rob Zombie
2005
Film

Last Year's Position: New Entry

With all of the fuss about Tarantino attempting (and failing) to make a Grindhouse film, it's often ignored that Zombie not only got there before him, he did it better with The Devil's Rejects. For all the (deserved) annoyance at Zombie over the Halloween remake, Rejects is one of the few recent films to really capture that 70s vibe.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 149
RE: The Empire Top 400 Horrors: Results - 25/11/2012 4:25:29 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
235. Canon Alberic's Scrapbook

by M.R. James
1895
Short Story

Last Year's Position: New Entry

"He was laughing in the church"

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 150
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