Every Halloween TV stations load up on old horror classics that everyone has seen about 50 times over. This year how about heading out to your local video store and renting films that you will never get to see on any basic cable marathon. I have picked out an assortment of some lesser seen films that I consider to be unique, daring, and most importantly, in one way or another, creepy as hell. That being said, not all of these films are traditional horror movies so you might not necessarily find them scary but I guaranty that they will be like nothing you have ever seen before. Follow the jump for the list.
Antichrist is one of the most visually beautiful and yet challenging horror films I have ever seen. In this Lars von Trier drama we watch a therapist (Willem Dafoe) and his wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) get pushed to the brink of insanity while dealing with the guilt of their son’s death. They retreat to a cabin in the woods to get a change of scenery and, because of their unstable state, get a whole lot more than what they bargained for. Aside from being one of the best acted and visually stunning movies out there, Antichrist contains moments of graphic violence and mutilation that put Hostel and Saw to shame. Fortunately, it also boasts some of the best, if not the best, directing behind a horror film in the last decade and stands, not just a gore flick, but as an extremely emotional work of art.
Hour Of The Wolf (1968)
In Ingmar Bergman’s macabre masterpiece Hour Of The Wolf an artist living on a stark island is haunted by his past as his sense of reality slowly fades away. It is during the hour of the wolf (that time between midnight and dawn) the he tells his wife of all of his most painful experiences. As the tension builds his sanity starts to slip, leaving him in a nightmare world. Although not necessarily horrifying, Hour Of The Wolf stands as one of the most unsettling films I have ever seen. This is in large part due to what I consider one of the most chilling scenes in the history of cinema. Watch this film by yourself or with a significant other that can appreciate a slow building film and I promise you will not be disappointed.
This Japanese horror/comedy is what I was hoping for when I watched The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. It is absolutely bat-shit crazy and never apologizes for it. If anything, House is proof that the hippy epidemic even reached Japan. If you were an expert filmmaker with a bad case of ADD that took entirely too much acid you might be able to on some level relate to this film’s director Nobuhiko Ohbayashi. I won’t even tell you the plot because it would be the equivalent of stating what color nail polish a swimsuit model is wearing. All I can say is that the fun never stops and if you don’t watch this film you are missing out on one of the most unusual movies out there.
The Vanishing (1988)
The Vanishing (AKA Spoorloos) is more of a thriller than a horror movie but that doesn’t stop it from being horrifying. Whenever someone asks me for a dark thriller this is the first one I recommend. After watching it the person usually tells me it was a great film but they were rattled for the rest of the night. Isn’t that what a good dark thriller is supposed to do? George Sluizer‘s film alternates between following a man in search of his missing girlfriend and the kidnapper patiently plotting the act. The way the film plays with time and unravels the plot is the definition of brilliant storytelling. This is a great pick for those of you who don’t like gore and prefer getting your chills from great atmosphere. Just make sure you don’t get the American remake!
Who Can Kill A Child (1976)
One of the best “killer kid” films, Who Can Kill A Child is not the most horrifying movie ever, but it’s fun as hell. A couple vacationing to a small off-the-beaten-path island soon discover there are no adults around. In fact, the town is completely deserted except for a group of mischievous kids. You can imagine where it goes from there. Although the acting can be corny, the great western style cinematography and amazing movie moments more than make up for it. This film falls into the just plain awesome category as long as you can make it past the documentary style intro chronicling real world instances of mass killings of children. Heck, maybe just skip that chapter and get to the good stuff.
I hope that list will give you something fresh to watch this Halloween! Let us know if you like any of the movies!