The Connoisseur's Guide to 100 Alternative Horror Films
Whether you’re Time magazine or MSN online, Halloween always seems to call for a list of all-time great horror films. And the scary thing is not seeing how genre savvy the mainstream press is, but realizing how similar their lists are to those found on the outer reaches of the web, on some horror lover’s all-horror website.
Guaranteed The Exorcist, Psycho and Night of the Living Dead end up duking it out for the top spot, while Carpenter’s Halloween, Spielberg’s Jaws and Kubrick’s The Shining seem to always follow close at their heels. The more savvy among them will always throw in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Evil Dead or maybe The Beyond, but even those films – with all due respect – have been praised to a mantra of mindless affection. Let’s face it, top horror film lists have become a tedious bore because nobody needs to be told that Dawn of the Dead, The Thing or Alien are must-see films – we’ve all seen them. What we need is a list of all the great horror films we haven’t seen, the little known, fell-between-the-cracks or just plain abandoned horror films that reside somewhere between cult, undiscovered or too damn nasty for the video shelf. The horror films that abide in that lonely stretch between notoriety and obscurity, the ones you overlook because they don’t have "classic" stamped anywhere on the box.
Of course, putting together a list of 100 films of any kind is pretty much an open invitation for criticism, because I am sure every one of you out there reading this will at some point have a familiar reaction: "How could they include that film?" Or more importantly: "Why didn’t they include that one?" But admitting defeat at the outset is just not our style, so we welcome your nitpicking, and we reserve the right to point out at the outset that this list was compiled for the horror film fan. In other words, we’re assuming you know your shit and are familiar with flicks like Suspiria, Black Christmas or even Django. In putting together this list, we took several points into consideration, including how well known a movie was, sheer originality, influence, technical polish, and in some cases how a film fit into a particular filmmaker’s body of work.
So here it is, our way of giving you something that you may actually find useful, a menu of 100 cinematic treats for your Halloween viewing, listed alphabetically for easy reference.
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