First off, thanks to John for the heads up.
I, sadly, do not read the Onion’s A.V. Club with any regularity, so I don’t know if Eli Roth is a regular contributor or this is solely a tie-in with the release of Hostel II on DVD, but either way they have a great feature up with Roth programming 24 hours of commercially available horror.
As much as I dislike anything Roth has done post-Cabin Fever, I still hold that he is a great historian for horror. He is the most interesting talking head on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments. His multiple Cabin Fever commentaries are fun to listen to – and, trivia time, also where the title of this site comes from.
His list, totaling 13 movies, is a detailed one complete with start time and order in which they should be played. It is a good read that’ll likely introduce even the most adamant horror lovers to at least one picture they haven’t seen. Though I guess you should ignore the fact that even with all the longest versions, he doesn’t break 21 hours.
It is also a revealing read. For one thing, Roth gives a deliberate order in which the films should be viewed, but some of his picks (The Wicker Man and Audition, to name only two) are so slow that it would be damn near impossible to maintain any kinetic energy. Perhaps this explains why Roth’s own films suffer pacing issues – he just doesn’t know where the slow turns should go and how often.
The other, instinctively contradictory revelation here is that Roth picks only one film made past 1990. I have absolutely nothing against aged horror, I love it in fact, but what eludes me is why Roth holds all of these older films in such high regard, yet you would absolutely never know he had reverence for high class if you watched his own films. Just further evidence that I believe the new wave of horror directors craft their films with a false memory of what the classics really were like.