Help Wanted: I am in a Horror Rut.

Posted by Peter Hall - March 28th 2008 @ 8:30 pm

I can’t remember the last time I fell in love with a new horror movie.  This is a sad ordeal considering I am the sole proprietor of a horror website.  STORM WARNING was the last horror film I really enjoyed, but even that experience was dampened by the rest of the day’s disappointing lineup; INTO THE MIRROR, EXTE, SAW IV, AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION.  Four films of such disinterest to me that I could only muster one review – though I must say, if you want to see some crazy, nonsensical Asian shenanigans, watch the last 20 minutes of EXTE; w.t.f.

It doesn’t help that we spend most Saturday nights drinking and mocking the very genre I cherish, thanks to the Sci-Fi channel and their irresistible, cirrhosis inducing train-wrecks.  I’ll watch ROCK MONSTER one day and THE THING the next, the disparity in quality between the two just making me sadface.  Fuckin’ A, they don’t make ‘em like they used to anymore.

So here is my prompt to you, dear reader.  Pull me out of this rut.  I have moderately high hopes for THE RUINS in a few weeks, but until then, I am at your mercy.  Suggest your favorites, please.  Regardless if you think I’ve seen it already or not; the cavern of horror cannon I have not seen is, much to my detriment, quite extensive.  So, please, leave any suggestions in the comments or email me directly.  Whatever you prefer, dig me from the rut.

I would also like to plant a rescue beacon in the literary department.  I’ve been reading a lot of Sci-Fi of late and am frankly getting burnt out on the genre.  I need some page turning horror, so I’d appreciate novel title drops as well.


rss 22 comments
  1. Brian
    March 28th, 2008 | 9:19 pm | #1

    Just going through my 4 and 5 star “horror” ratings on Netflix the following stick out to me:

    Near Dark
    Brotherhood of the Wolf
    Slither
    The People Under the Stairs
    Fright Night
    The Serpent and the Rainbow

    I’m sure you’ve seen all of those. Some of them aren’t “great” movies, just favorites of mine for one reason or another.

  2. Will Goss
    March 30th, 2008 | 2:25 am | #2

    If you can get your hands on The Last Winter, [REC], or Dance of the Dead, at least one of these might do the trick.

  3. Barry
    March 30th, 2008 | 6:34 am | #3

    Movies,
    The Exorcist 3
    In the Mouth of Madness
    Lord of Illusions
    Lost Boys
    Fright Night
    Nightmare on Elm Street 3
    The Changeling
    The Original version of The Haunting
    The Original Childs Play
    The Entire 1st and 2nd Seasons of Millennium
    The complete series of Twin Peaks

    Books,
    Jay’s Journal
    Dracula
    The Books of Blood
    The Exorcist

    just a few faves, maybe some you’ve missed.

  4. R.J. Sayer
    March 30th, 2008 | 11:36 pm | #4

    i second pretty much everything that’s already been recommended on here (except Brotherhood of the Wolf which i think is a rancid, half-assed piece of shit).

    but here’s a few others that are maybe a bit more obscure:

    The Funhouse – dir. Tobe Hooper(just saw it at the New Bev after not seeing it for sixteen years and… wow).
    Night of the Creeps – dir. Fred Dekker
    Hell Night – starring Linda Blair
    The Beyond – dir. Lucio Fulci
    The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (aka: Let Sleeping Corpses Lie).
    Bad Dreams – starring Jennifer Rubin
    anything directed by Larry Cohen, but most notably, Q: The Winged Serpent.
    Targets – dir. Peter Bogdanovich (not really horror but close enough for comfort and stars Boris Karloff).
    The Prowler – dir. Joseph Zito
    Razorback – dir. Russell Mulcahy (if you can find a copy).
    Ghost Story – starring John Houseman and Fred Astaire.
    Baby Blood (aka: The Evil Within)
    House – dir. Steve Miner
    The Uninvited – starring Ray Milland
    Day of the Beast – dir. Alex de la Iglesia (again, not technically horror, but pretty close and damn entertaining).

    if i think of any more i’ll come back.

    also, i highly recommend tracking down a copy of Sorceror. it’s not horror. but it’s directed by Friedkin, stars Roy Scheider, and features an awesome score by Tangerine Dream. also, it’s tense and suspenseful as all hell.

    as for reading… i’d suggest ANYTHING written by Jack Ketchum, but especially Off Season and its sequel, Offspring. The Long Last Call by John Skipp is also pretty awesome. i just started The Missing by Sarah Langan which is pretty damn good so far.

    but FAR AND AWAY, two of the greatest horror novels i’ve ever had the pleasure to read are the recently released in paperback, Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge, and the not-so-recent Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. track them down and devour them IMMEDIATELY (if you haven’t already).

  5. R.J. Sayer
    March 30th, 2008 | 11:40 pm | #5

    oh, also, i just watched Trigger Man, Ti West’s follow up to The Roost, and i thorougly enjoyed it.

  6. R.J. Sayer
    March 30th, 2008 | 11:56 pm | #6

    oh, and Peter, while conducting an ultimately futile search for an audio file of the Houdini Seance, i stumbled across this AMAZING blog full of audio files of out-of-print vinyl featuring ghost stories, halloween sound effects, and spooky music… check it out, i’ve already spent way too much time on it:

    scarstuff.blogspot.com

  7. Brian
    March 31st, 2008 | 7:10 am | #7

    Good call on Razorback, RJ. I haven’t seen that one since I was a kid, but I remember being terrified.

  8. Brian
    March 31st, 2008 | 8:21 am | #8

    Check out this list:
    http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20187007,00.html?xid=rss-CNNHome-20080331-20+scariest+movies+ever

    It’s pretty awful. I swear, these “scariest” movie lists always look like they were written by someone who hasn’t seen half of the movies. A movie isn’t “scary” based on its fucking reputation. Has anyone in the last 30 years found Night of Living Dead to be scary? Carrie? And I thought American Werewolf in London and Evil Dead were comedies.

  9. R.J. Sayer
    March 31st, 2008 | 11:43 am | #9

    Brian- yeah, Razorback is one of my all-time favorites. but, i actually still find Night of the Living Dead to be scary. same for certain scenes in American Werewolf. Evil Dead and Carrie disturb me on a certain level that i’m not sure i would describe as “scary” but… it’s there. i think it’s a matter of individual experience. i think those lists are stupid and more often than not, seem like they’ve been written by people who need to see more horror movies.

    Peter – i’d recommend the recently released adaptaion of The Lost only if you’ve read the Ketchum book already. and you watch Sci Fi so you must know that almost once-a-week they do a big ol’ Tales From the Darkside marathon. that’s always a treat.

  10. R.J. Sayer
    March 31st, 2008 | 11:58 am | #10

    some more recommendations:

    The Company of Wolves – dir. Neil Jordan
    Next of Kin (1982) – dir. Tony Williams, starring John Jarrat
    Dead of Night (1945) – anthology.
    Peeping Tom – dir. Michael Powell
    The Burning (1981) – dir. Tony Maylam
    Alligator – starring Robert Forster
    any William Castle film you may have missed (my personal favorites being The House on Haunted Hill and Mr. Sardonicus).

  11. March 31st, 2008 | 12:19 pm | #11

    Well Damn, I’ve got quite the list now. Time to start churning out the Netflix and grabbing some books off Amazon.

    Thanks to all, I appreciate the recommendations.

  12. R.J. Sayer
    March 31st, 2008 | 7:20 pm | #12

    oh, and if you’ve never seen the Tales From the Darkside movie (though i don’t see how you could’ve avoided that one to this day), now sounds like the right time to me.

  13. R.J. Sayer
    March 31st, 2008 | 7:21 pm | #13

    and you’re welcome buddy. anytime.

  14. Andrew Kevin Walker
    April 4th, 2008 | 10:29 am | #14

    I recommend Brainscan with Eddie Furlong.

  15. R.J. Sayer
    April 4th, 2008 | 8:37 pm | #15

    uhm… surely, not THE Andrew Kevin Walker?

  16. April 5th, 2008 | 12:22 am | #16

    I doubt it, though he was witty enough to use the email address andy@se7en.com Only Se7en.com has nothing to do with the movie.

  17. Brian
    April 5th, 2008 | 1:05 am | #17

    Sorry, that was me. That movie popped into my head and I thought, “Hell, not even the writer, Andrew Kevin Walker, would recommend that.” And then I thought, “What if AKW did recommend it?.” And then I giggled.

  18. R.J. Sayer
    April 5th, 2008 | 2:26 am | #18

    Nice.

  19. April 9th, 2008 | 1:05 am | #19

    is Lost Boys even a horror movie? the lines between ‘horror’ and ‘popcorn 80’s movie’ are very blurred for me.

    and for the record, Lost Boys is one of my favorites.

  20. Brian
    April 17th, 2008 | 2:22 pm | #20

    I noticed something funny on Netflix…Peter queued Next of Kin with Patrick Swayze instead of the Jarrat one.

  21. April 17th, 2008 | 3:30 pm | #21

    Ya know, when I was adding that, I noticed Swayze and thought…okay…..

    I finally sent back the Netflix movie I’ve had for the last 2 months, if not longer. Netflix actually downgraded the account to the lowest possible rentals because of the inactivity.

    Alligator coming soon, though!

  22. R.J. Sayer
    April 17th, 2008 | 3:37 pm | #22

    haha. i guess i probably should’ve mentioned that THIS Next of Kin isn’t available on Region 1 DVD.

    Alligator is sweet, hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

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