It's Halloween season! Here are few of my favorite horror films. Some of them you know, some you might not. Enjoy . . .
1) The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo Del Toro, 2001) – Arguably Del Toro’s greatest film, TDB tells the story of a young boy who enters an orphanage in post-war Spain only to discover that it is haunted by the spirit of one of its former inhabitants. Visually rich and emotionally captivating, Del Toro's film is that rare ghost story that empathizes less with the living than the dead.
2) Cat People (Val Lewton, 1942) – Before there was Jaws, there was Cat People. A monster film that drew scares not by revealing the creature but shrouding it in mystery. Employing an economical use of lighting and camera work, Director Val Lewton created an enormously suspenseful film that set the stage for modern horror and left enough room for interpretation as to suggest the existence of something far more terrifying than things that go bump in the night: the mind's susceptibility to madness.
3) Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004) – Following the success of his cult television show "Spaced" (which if you haven't seen, you must!), Edgar Wright made this auspicious film debut which is without question, THE best zombie film of all time. It has all the ingredients of a great zombie film just without the crappy performances and unintentional humor of most entries of the genre.
4) The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935) – Far superior to the original, TBOF is a poignant, irreverently funny and highly inventive mainstream horror classic. How James Whale, one of Hollywood’s first openly gay directors managed to make this film (homosexual undertones and all) in the old studio system is a testament to his bravery and genius. Bride is undoubtedly the greatest of all the classic Universal monster movies.
5) Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1961) – Bergman was a master of psychological horror and this is one of his finest works. Recently adapted to a stage play starring Carey Mulligan, Bergman’s masterpiece portrays a young woman whom after being released from a mental institution gradually begins to return to insanity during a stay at her family's vacation home. Almost sounds like a great set up for a vacation-gone-wrong comedy but funny this film is not. It is an extremely stark, disturbing and hauntingly beautiful art-house gem.