Friday, October 05, 2007


Over at Shoot the Projectionist, Ed is asking for people to submit their lists of "31 Films that Give You the Willies." The idea is to compile a list of 31 great horror films. I'm a compulsive list maker, so I've decided to take up the challenge. Not all of the films on this list are films that I would normally talk about here at Esotika, but in honor of Halloween being this month, I thought I'd participate. The list includes only one film per director, and I tried to stick with films that are (more or less) easily classifiable as horror, since most of my favorite films tend to be weird hybrids that cannot fit securely into a single genre. So, without further ado, here's my list, in alphabetical order:

99.9 (Augusti Villaronga, 1997)
All the Colors of the Dark (Sergio Martino, 1972)
Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
Baba Yaga (Corrado Farina, 1973)
The Beyond (Lucio Fulci, 1981)

Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)
Blood of Dr. Jekyll (Walerian Borowczyk, 1981)
The Brood (David Carpenter, 1979)
The Church (Michele Soavi, 1989)
Cigarette Burns (John Carpenter, 2005)

Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kumel, 1971)
Devil's Nightmare (Jean Brismee, 1971)
Evil Dead Trap (Toshiharu Ikeda, 1988)
Fascination (Jean Rollin, 1979)
Haunting of Julia (Richard Loncraine)

Inferno (Dario Argento, 1980)
Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson, 1945)
Kairo (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)
Last House on Dead End Street (Roger Watkins, 1977)
Legend of Hell House (John Hough, 1973)

Lord of Illusions (Clive Barker, 1995)
Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997)
Marebito (Takashi Shimizu, 2004)
Outer Space (Peter Tscherkassky, 1999)*
Possession (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981)

Puppet Master (David Schmoeller, 1989)
The Reflecting Skin (Philip Ridley, 1990)
The Sentinel (Michael Winner, 1977)
Silent Night Bloody Night (Theodore Gershuny, 1974)
Symptoms (Jose Larraz, 1974)

The Uninvited (Su-yeon Lee, 2003)
Virgin Among the Living Dead (Jess Franco, 1973)

*I should note that one of the stipulations for Ed's polling was that the films had to be feature films. Tscherkassky's Outer Space is a short film, but it's honestly one of the most terrifying things I've ever seen so I had to include it. Hence, I added a 32nd film to make the list 31 feature films.

Leftovers from my initial list include the following:
Abominable Dr. Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971)
The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1980)
Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, 1978)
Lair of the White Worm (Ken Russell, 1988)
Monster Squad (Fred Dekker, 1987)
Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Chuck Russell, 1987)
The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1977)
Session 9 (Brad Anderson, 2001)
Der Todesking (Jorg Buttgereit, 1990)
The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)


Blogger Nostalgia Kinky said...

Excellent list and I am glad to see that ours share some titles and directors. I am especially pleased to see the Borowczyk and two films that I recemtly paid tribute to, Haunting Of Julia and Symptons on here...I will be posting my list a bit later...great job.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Lindbergs said...

Interesting list Mike. You have films I love on it and a few that I don't care for at all, but it seems very personal and I can really appreciate that.

From your list there are 3 films that I haven't seen (besides the shorts). Symptoms, Blood of Dr. Jekyll and Marebito. I've read lots of good stuff about Marebito in other blogs lately and seeing it on your list just further confirmed that I should make an effort to see it soon. Hopefully I can see Symptoms soon as well since I'm really curious about that one.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Akubi said...

What about my all time f-ing favorite: The Shining?
Agreed on these:
Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
The Sentinel (Michael Winner, 1977)
Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997)

10:50 PM  
Blogger celinejulie said...

I'm very glad to see THE UNINVITED in your list. I love this film very much. It's my most favorite Korean film of all time, but many people in Thailand hate this film.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Gerard said...

Nice list, a lot of films i haven't seen yet. I keep picking up The Beyond in the local video shop, but never get it out. I will now. I would have to include "Funny Games" on that list, still one the scariest films i have ever seen.
Oh what film is the last still on this post?

3:50 PM  
Blogger pharmacodisorienting said...

I agree with akubi--The Shining is absolutely disturbing. In addition, I find almost every film by Lynch very terrifying (in that Lynchian sort of way, of course). Eraserhead is especially a film that stays with me. Also, I agree with cletus_buckley about Funny Games. Finally, I'd have to add The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari... the imagery (rather than the narrative) was simply horrific.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

House with the Windows That Laugh pupi
living hell
shugo fujii
dark woods
pal oie
hallucinations sadiques
jean pierre bastid etc etc etc
there are lots more "out there" you have to see

1:42 AM  
Blogger Leonardo Tuzzo said...

Nice list, a lot of films that I know and a lot still to be known. Just a little clarification, you listed The Brood as directed by "David Carpenter", I assume you meant David Cronenberg.

9:09 AM  

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