From the supernatural to the serial killer, from the grisly to the ghostly, the way people get their scares during Halloween varies widely. I tried to include a nice variety of films that do not always get the a lot of attention.
10. Fists in His Pocket (1965)
Lou Castel is Alessandro, an epileptic, who comes from a large family of similarily affected siblings. He has one brother who is well. The brother wishes to marry his girlfriend but does not want to force upon her the care of all of his siblings. Alessandro sympathizes and sets out to help his family. He begins with throwing his mother into a ravine and procedes from there.
Directed by Marco Bellocchio, this Italian film is widely revered as a hallmark of their national cinema and is considered a great lost classic.
9. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
The story takes place in 1939 towards the end of the Spanish Civil War. Franco's nationalist forces are about ready to defeat the Republican forces. Carlos, the ten-year old son of Spanish Civil War hero, is left in an orphanage. The ghost of a former orphan begins to make ghastly, deadly predictions that slowly turn out to be true.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro ( Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy), The Devil's Backbone this dramatic piece with strong elements of horror and suspense and is one of the most inventive ghost stories of recent years.
8. M (1931)
Opening on a playground in what appears to be Berlin, children are playing and enjoying their day. A shadow of a man appears, whispering a tune, and then a little girl name Elise disappears. This crime drama follows a dective's search for this child killer.
German-American director Fritz Lang’s first talkie motion picture is based off of the chilling crimes of Peter Kurten, nicknamed the Vampire of Dusseldorf.
7. House on Haunted Hill (1958)
Millionaire Frederick Loren and his wife Annabelle offer five people each $10,000 to stay in their house for a night and offers them a loaded gun for their stay.
Nothing beats Vincent Price in this film and the effects that were so simple yet so effective.
6. The Blair Witch Project
Three college students travel into the woods to research the infamous witch of the Blair Township. All that supposedly survived from this trip was the tapes themselves as the three students were never to be seen again.
Feel free to vocally disagree with me on this one but nothing beat the PR that surrounded this film before it was released. The "is it true? is it not true?" mentality that audience went into the film with cannot be beat and was only enhanced so well by the easy camera shots in this low-budget film.
5. Suspiria (1977)
Suzy Bannion is all set to attend a prestiguous ballet academy in Munich. Upon her arrival at the academy, she witnesses a woman running away from the building in a panic. Through various events, Suzy comes to discover that her school is run by a coven of dark, malevolent witches.
Debated master of horror Dario Argento wrote and directed this piece of Italian cinema. The gruesome murder scenes in films that we see today probably owe their cruelty to Argento.
4. Nosferatu (1929)
A real estate agent begins business with Count Orlok. The Count becomes obsessed with the man’s wife and proceeds to go on a rampage.
The German silent film is dubbed one of the scariest adaptations of the Dracula story to date. The movement, the makeup, and the selective moments are elements that go into making this film a chill-inducing spectacle. You'll either respond to its classicism or not be able to get into its antiquity.
Check out scenes from this film here.
3. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
This psychological suspensful drama follows a Vietnam veteran who begins to question what he sees around him when amongst other things, horned creatures attack him and he's visited by his dead son.
This film is incredible, not just for its chills, but for its political statement. Outside of zombies and its initial critique of consumer culture, rarely is a horror film able to sustain a deeper, outside message.
2. Hostel (2006)
Mixed reactions surround this movie as some are likely to call it excessive to the point of absurd while others call it truly frightening. Eli Roth's Hostel follows two college students as they backpack across Europe. Enticed by the idea of a hostel filled with women who love Americans, they travel to Slovakia, falling victim to horrendous business that allows people to torture others for a price.
Talk to any college student who's been overseas, or from the northern states where they're more common, and they'll tell you that hostels are cheap ways of spending the night in a city. This movie hit me on that level, partly because of the age of the victims and partly because it is inspired by true events.
1. Audition (1999)
Aoyama is a widower with a 17 year old son who’s about to move out and would like to his father settled with someone new. His friend, a movie producer, has an idea to hold fake auditions for the role of Aoyama’s wife. Aoyama falls for Aishma, a quiet, reserved, and wounded ballerina. Despite the rumors that surround her, Aoyama purses Aishma.
The content is grisly, making it hard one of the hardest films to watch. Stories have arisen that it had people fainting in the theater. The film just keeps building and building to the point where it's unbearable to watch.