#1 First Horror Film You’ve Ever Seen
I didn’t think my memory would become so hazy after three years, but I honetly don’t remember watching my previous selection, Stephen King’s It. I do, however, remember my memory of watching it…if that makes any sense? As this recollection goes, I was being babysat by my cousin Rachel who was 14 at the time; I was 4. A similar instance occurred with my other cousin, Ryan, who insisted that “Scream” was a comedy. Therefore, I don’t have much to go on but fragments. What makes these films poor choices from this question boils down to the fact that I have no memory of emotional impact these films had on me. I could honestly care less about Scream, whereas It would have been a momentous viewing as it would have marked the first Stephen King adaptation I ever viewed.
My father seems to have been good at shielding me from the dreaded “horror” film. When I was getting into Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the end of the 1990s, he would often hire out Lost Boys for me. Likewise, I often insisted on taking out Poltergeist and its sequels. The first time I may have seen the paranormal thriller was with my uncle Timmy, which makes it a prime candidate for the first horror film I’ve ever seen. Moreover, I distinctly remember the emotional significance it held at the time, enough for me to constantly ponder its contents or discuss them. As a young child I had limited understanding of the undertrappings of film, but I understood its unknown cast. The characters were interesting, innocent, and simple. The start of the film opens with the family suffering from every day dilemma, making the later events seem real and like they could happen to myself and my family. Moreover, I adored the early 80s feel.
1. Wake in Fright (1971) 08/01/2014 ★★★★
Dir. Ted Kotcheff Sta. Gary Bond. Donald Pleasance, Chips Rafferty—AUS—Drama, Thriller
Highly psychological piece which interestingly matures with every viewing by it’s audience. Through new eyes only can one appreciate its brilliant use of symbolism, subliminal messages, and manipulation of audio visual.
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) 08/02/2014 ★★★
Dir. Matt Reeves Sta. Jason Clarke, Andy Serkis, Keri Russell—USA—Drama, Sci-Fi, Action
A primal and biologically torn environment allows for a more steady and gripping pace than it’s predecessor. However, this film procures its share of psychological manipulation and dialogue. The simple premise is easily applicable to modern conflict, and current international turmoil.
3. Proof (1991) 08/03/2014 ★★★ 1/2
Dir. Jocelyn Moorehouse Sta. Hugo Weaving, Russell Crowe, Genevieve Picot—AUS—Drama
More than just with the importance of trust in a relationship, the title also applies to the reality of friendship and love. The two are powerful forces that can survive spite, mistrust, or outside manipulation. Great to watch with a friend.
4. In the Name of the Father (1993) 08/04/2014 ★★★ 1/2
Dir. Jim Sheridan Sta, Daniel Day-Lewis, Peter Postlethewaite, Emma Thompson—IRE—Drama, Biography
A gripping tale brought to life with highly impressive acting from both the lead and supporting cast, until raw emotion is dripping from the viewing screen. Through this a little discussed point in time is brought to life and made relevant in the present day.
5. Wolf Creek 2 (2013) 08/05/2014 ★★ 1/2
Dir. Greg McLean Sta. John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlynn—AUS—Horror, Thriller
A more exploitative presentation of the uneducated Australian, and the country in general. Unlike the first, this one seeks more shock value with unnecessary, but exciting gore. Kills and trappings are much more impressive this time around.
6. Cannibal Holocaust (1980) 08/06/2014 ★★ ★
Dir. Ruggero Deodato Sta. Roger Kerman, Carl Gabriel-Yorke, Francesca Ciardi—Itl.—Horror, Drama
Behind a facade of fervent, but impressive gore as well as gruesome and inhuman acts is a message to each viewer about modern society and our need to exploit the weak and our senses through invasive news stories,tabloids, and snuff videos.
7. WIZARDS (1977) 08/07/2014 ★★★
Dir. Ralph Bakshi Sta. Bob Holt, Jesse Wlles, Richard Romanus—USA—Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure
Highly psychedelic dysotopian tale which artfully combines both the science fiction, and fantasy genres. With a colorful, but bizarre plot and set of characters this an acquired taste. However, that does not discard its intense social commentary on the dangers of modern technology, the media, and the ever-presence of fascism.
8. Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) 08/08/2014 ★★★
Dir. Wolfgang Becker Sta. Daniel Bruhl, Katrine Sab, Chulpan Khamatova—GER—Comedy, Drama
A bitter-sweet and innocent tale of a politically divided middle-class family works as a microcosm to emphasize the changing social climate of Eastern Germany into western society.The theme of the film,as well as several motifs also showcase the area’s mindset and reunification.
9. The Long Goodbye (1973) 08/10/2014 ★★★★
Dir. Robert Altman Sta. Elliot Gould, Nina Van Pallandnt, Sterling Hayden—USA—Crime, Drama, Thriller
Brilliant stylistic combination of 1940s noir achetypes with modern ills and attitudes. Expressive perspective shots and audio enhance this empathetic tale, already woven by detailed characterization, witty dialogue, and a captivating mystery.
10. Beautiful Kate (2009) 08/10/2014 ★★★
Dir, Rachel Ward Sta. Ben Mendelsohn, Bryan Brown, Rachel Griffiths—AUS—Drama
A wayward outback town serves as backdrop for this melancholic tale, also acting symbolically to convey the isolation and lack of progression one encounters when plagued by constant guilt.Cinematography and acting are highly impressive.
11. Midnight Cowboy (1969) 08/11/2014 ★★★★
Dir. John Schlesigner Sta. John Voight, Dustin Hoffman, Sylvia Myles—USA—Drama
The harsh realities of glamourous ambitions awaken the films protagonists to the turmoil of everyday life. While the characters are brought to life through highly emphatic acting of the leads, the grim atmosphere is pictured through realistic cinemathique.
12. Senso ‘45 (2002) 08/12/2014 ★★
Dir. Tinto Brass Sta. Anna Galiena, Gabriel Garko, Franco Brianciaroli—Itl.—Drama, Romance
Lechery, immorality, and sadism breeds in the dying, and desperate states of the Axis powers which work as an ideal backdrop for this tale of lust and carnal desire. While erotically disappointing at times, once again Brass shoots a beautiful piece.
13. One Hour Photo (2002) 08/12/2014 ★★★ 1/2
Dir. Mark Romanick Sta. Robin Williams, Connie Nielson, Michael Varton—USA-Drama, Thriller
A near dream-like piece filled with several shots of mesmerizing visuals, which reflect the distant and unrealistic mind of its protagonist. The lead shines as he not only brings to life his character, but both disgusts and grabs sympathy from the audience.
14. Don’s Party (1976) 08/13/2014 ★★★
Dir. Bruce Beresford Sta. John Hardgreaves, Pat Bishop, Graham Kennedy—AUS—Comedy, Drama
A house party on election night sets the stage for a lighthearted allegorical tale concerning the empty promises of politicians for change, and painting them as immorally indulging, sex infused buffoons through characters the audience can relate to.
15. Hellboy (2004) 08/14/2014 ★★★
Dir. Guillermo Del Toro Sta. Ron Pearlman, Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor—USA—Action, Fantasy
Highly engaging and faithful adaption of the graphic novel series with many artistic, yet entertaining liberties taken by the director. CGI are used when appropriate, and stand the test of time as practical effects, costume, and design are beautifully exectuted.
16. Insomnia (2002) 08/15/2014 ★★★
Dir. Christopher Nolan Sta. Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hillary Swank—USA—Crime, Mystery, Drama
A picturesque and constantly shining setting creates a near dreamlike state which enlivens the film’s themes of guilt, and the impulse of truth. The eerie predator and prey like chase throughout, is staged to make the viewer repeatedly question what they believe to be true.
17. Dead Poet’s Society (1989) 08/16/2014 ★★★★
Dir. Peter Weir Sta. Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Robin Williams—USA—Drama
The importance of nonconformity, passion, and self-confidence are projected through lessons of art and literature in this timeless and touching story which is brilliantly acted, and juxtaposed against a setting where the antithesis was norm.
18. The Omen (1976) 08/17/2014 ★★★★
Dir. Richard Donner Sta. Gregory Peck, Lee Rimick, Harvey Stephens—USA—Horror, Thriller
The film’s constant ambiguous nature, and chilling atmosphere stay prevalent through repeated viewings. Due it’s symbolic imagery and lack of paranormal conformation, this piece becomes brand new with each watch, fervently asking questions to its audience.
19. The Godess of 1967 (2000) 08/18/2014 ★★★
Dir. Clara Law Sta. Rose Byrne, Rikiya Kurokawa, Nicholas Hope—AUS—Drama, Romance
An overtly artistic piece filled with rich imagery, metaphor, and symbolism, which are all utilized to convey the story within. Relying more on feelings of the character and viewer, plot structure often seems confused lending for several awkward moments.
20. My Brilliant Career (1979) 08/19/2014 ★★★ 1/2
Dir. Gillian Armstrong Sta. Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes—AUS—Drama, Romance
Highly unappreciated piece, despite it’s quiet social impact on women’s independence. Set against a beautiful natural backdrop, a woman’s love for her ambitions and an equally headstrong man grow with the film’s surroundings.
21. Damien: Omen II (1978) 08/20/2014 ★★
Dir. Don Taylor, Mike Hodges Sta. William Holden, Lee Grant, Johnathan Scott-Taylor—USA—Horror, Thriller
Despite a strong prologue, and premise this sequel to the horror classic soon grows stale. Acting from adult cast members is strong, withstanding poor dialogue while kills are unique yet overused. Most of the story shamefully suffers from a rushed production.
22. The Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981) 08/20/2014 ★★★
Dir. Graham Baker Sta. Sam Neill, Rossan Brassi, Lisa Harrow—UK—Horror, Thriller
Not only a justified sequel to the first film, but strong and highly underrated stand alone horror film. The plot is cleverly constructed around biblical lore, and skepticism and carried by strong casting, imagery, and score in style with its predecessors.
23. Mean Streets (1973) 08/23/2014 ★★★ 1/2
Dir. Martin Scorsese Sta. Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, David Proval—USA—Drama, Crime
A young man’s faith to his divinity, loved ones, and ambitions are tested in this highly revealing portrait of low level criminal and ethnic life in 1970s New York City. The spirit of both the cast and crew is in every take, making it a realistic and sensory experience.
24. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) 08/24/2014 ★★★
Dir. Guillermo Del Toro Sta. Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones—USA—Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Strong follow up, and in many ways greatly superior to its predecessor the directors influence is in nearly every shot offering an entertaining but grisly modern fairy tale. Again acts of man and humanity are questioned through stunning visuals and effects.
25. The Great Gatsby (2013) 08/26/2014 ★★★
Dir. Baz Luhrman Sta. Leonardo Di Caprio, Toby Maguire, Carey Mulligan—AUS—Drama, Romance
A piece almost more grandiose than the era or characters within. Strong character acting, an emphatic atmosphere, and solid symbolic references from the novel keep this one alive as several moments throughout the film are periodically confused.
26. The Truman Show (1998) 08/26/2014 ★★★
Dir. Peter Weir Sta. Jim Carey, Laura Liney, Ed Harris—USA—Comedy, Drama, Romance
A unique, and socially relevant execution of one of the most common philosophical concepts from Ancient Greece. While the lead indulges in trademark comedic antics within this lighthearted script, the moral realization is a wake up call in this technological age.
27. Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith (2005) 08/30/2014 ★★ 1/2
Dir. George Lucas Sta. Hayden Christiansen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor—USA—Sci-Fi, Action, Drama
While the strongest of the three prequels, this addition to the blockbuster franchise is a far cry from its predecessors. Impressively choreographed battle scenes and emphatic acting are that that saves this jumble of poor dialogue, flat story, and CGI
28. As Above, So Below (2014) 08/31/2014 ★★
Dir. John Erik Dowdle Sta. Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge—USA—Horror, Thriller
Conceptualized physicality of guilt and one’s past proves to be an engaging, and unique idea infusing forgotten mythology and religion to symbolically prove this point. However a confused plot and several teen-grabbing cliches make this one fall flat.
United Kingdom: 1
United States: 15
One or More Leads Die: 9 Male Dominated Cast: 9 Horror: 6 Crime Thrillers: 3 Re-watches: 14
Home: Cinema - 25: 2
1. Wake in Fright
2. Mean Streets
3. The Omen
4. The Long Goodbye
5. Dead Poet’s Society
6. In the Name of the Father
7. My Brilliant Career
10. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
1. Don’s Party
2. Good Bye, Lenin!
3. One Hour Photo
4. Beautiful Kate
6. The Omen III: The Final Conflict
7. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
8. The Truman Show
9. The Great Gatsby
10. Wolf Creek 2
1. Ravenous (1999) 09/06/2014 ★★ 1/2
Dir. Antonia Bird Sta. Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette—Czh Rep—Horror, Thriller, Drama
A chilling tale of human guilt bleeds into a horrific metaphor for man’s ongoing compulsion for conquest and power. Colorful character types, a post Civil War atmosphere and an enlivening soundtrack will keep all fans entertained.
2. Zodiac (2007) 09/16/2014 ★★★
Dir. David Fincher Sta. Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. Mark Ruffalo—USA—Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A decade old murder mystery comes to life in this engaging portrait of those obsessed and tasked with unfolding the case at hand. Strong atmosphere allow ten years to scrape by in two hours as characters deeply develop, maturing and growing cold along with their leads.
3. Out of the Furnace (2013) 09/18/2014 ★★★
Dir. Scott Cooper Sta. Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson—USA—Drama, Thriller
An ambiguous blue collar town sets the stage for a highly allegorical tale concerning the treatment of hard working lower-middle class Americans, and retired soldiers. The 2008 election ominously looms in the background as blood is spilled and the law taken in the hands of those who need it most.
4. High Anxiety (1977) 09/19/2014 ★★★
Dir. Mel Brooks Sta. Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Clois Leachman—USA—Comedy, Mystery
Highly under-appreciated installment of the director’s trope of genre parodies. Cleverly comedic homage to a myriad of Hitchcockian thrillers with an engaging original plot which will entertain fans of either film-maker.
5. The Maze Runner (2014) 09/21/2014 ★★★
Dir. Wes Ball Sta. Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Charles Brodie-Sangster—USA—Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Highly entertaining, and thought provoking thriller which will engage adult audiences despite being marketed toward teens. While the plot has been rehashed, the story proves clever and original with an ever present mystery and constant action.
6. Muriel’s Wedding (1994) 09/22/2014 ★★★ 1/2
Dir. P.J Hogan Sta. Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Bill Hunter—Aus—Comedy, Drama, Romance
Grave consequences for a self-seeking protagonists bring a rude awakening to both her an viewers when they put a stop to her pursuit for happiness in this campy and satirical portrait, showing that only honesty reveals who someone truly is.
7. A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014) 09/26/2014 ★★ 1/2
Dir. Scott Frank Sta. Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour—US—Mystery, Crime , Drama
An engaging modern detective feature with a vigilante twist that will keep viewers engaged and entertained. Acting is sub-par from supporting characters, but character development from the leads and noir-esque cinematography carry this one.
8. The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) 09/28/2014 ★★ 1/2
Dir. Nicholas Roeg Sta. David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark—UK—Sci-Fi, Drama
With a limited plot, bizarre story, and psychedelic photography this piece an an acquired taste for film fans. However these qualities along with unique character types and several vague, but symbolic shots make it an engaging watch.
9. Mud (2013) 09/30/2014 ★★★ 1/2
Dir. Jeff Nichols Sta. Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland—US—Drama, Adventure
A modern take on the traditional southern gothic tale featuring an ambiguous hero, an unreliable protagonist, and a larger than life dilemma which connects both. Innately a lesson of true love and growth is the end result of this greatly acted film.
Czech Republic: 1
Horror: 1 Crime/Vigilante: 3
Predominately Male Cast: 7 One or More Leads Die: 2
At Home: Cinema - 7:2
2. Out of the Furnace
3. Muriel’s Wedding
6. High Anxiety
7. The Maze Runner
8. The Man Who Fell to Earth
9. A Walk Among the Tombstones
1. Tammy (2014) 07/01/2014 ★ ★
Dir. Ben Falcone
Sta. Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates—USA—Comedy, Romance
It wasn’t Jersey Boys, but this little comedic bit of fluff is undeserving of all the criticism it receives. Aimed at females in their late 30s to 60s, this achieves what it sets out to do: take its intended audience on a fun, sweet, and at times melancholic.
2. Jersey Boys (2014) 07/06/2014 ★ ★ ★ 1/2
Dir. Clint Eastwood
Sta. Jake Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken—USA—Music, Biography, Drama
A strong emotional journey four men took from the ghetto to produce art.The audience will find themselves laughing, crying, and dancing along with the protagonists in this colorful, but historically accurate emphatic portrait.
3. The Big Bird Cage (1972) 07/07/2014 ★ ★
Dir. Jack Hill
Sta. Pam Grier, Anitra Ford, Candice Roman—USA—Action, Crime, Drama
A fun, steamy adventure which knows not to take itself too seriously. Despite the story’s outrageousness and exploitative nature, it stays cohesive as each of the actors look to be having a good time in their unique and sardonic respective roles.
4. Anita: Swedish Nymphet (1972) 07/12/2014 ★ ★ ★
Dir. Torgny Wickman
Sta. Christina Lindberg, Stellan Skarsgard, Daniele Vlamnick—Swd.—Drama
What seems like a nihilistic separation of emotion and sex, acts to prove that the two succeed as a cohesive force when the consequences of neglect and disappreaction of a developing adult is enacted. Also a display of the mechanics of nymphomania.
5. Shame (2011) 07/13/2014 ★ ★ ★ 1/2
Dir. Steve McQueen
Sta. Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge—UK—Drama
A dark melancholic look into the life of two emotionally grieved and guilted individuals stuck in a destructive cycle of indulgence, Told through human expression, and cinematography we feel through emotion and not action.
6. Lovelace (2013) 07/23/2014 ★ ★ ★
Dir. Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Stta. Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone—USA—Drama, Biography
Despite the lifeless dialogue and lackluster acting from the supporting cast, Amanda Seyfried delivers a surprisingly impressive performance as the lead, while Sarsgaard is equally terrifying in his role. More impressive is the realistic 1970s ambiance.
7. Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) 07/24/2014 ★ ★ 1/2
Dir. John Hough
Sta. Ike Eisenman, Kim Richards, Eddie Albert—USA—Family, Sci-Fi, Adventure
An innocently exciting ride, which awakens the child in each viewer regardless of age. Lack of modern technology adds to the features charm, enhancing juvenile mystery and thrills. Acting from the children and supporting characters is strong and humbling.
8. The Grand Budepest Hotel (2014) 07/29/2014 ★ ★ ★ 1/2
Dir. Wes Anderson
Sta. Ralph Finesse, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody—USA—Comedy, Mystery, Adventure
An atmospherically vibrant piece, which indulges in sensory images to enliven the imagination of its audience. A multi-faceted plot is only one of the obscure story techniques within, as several outrageous scenarios become easily believable.
9. Tom White (2004) 07/30/2014 ★ ★ ★
Dir. Alkinos Tsilimidos
Sta. Colin Friels, Rachel Blake, Dan Spielman—AUS—Drama
Flat suburban monotony gives way to the confused and unknown life of the city streets, symbolizing the inner conflict of the films lead. Supporting characters are equally strong, enlightening middle class viewers to the dark corners of the mind and world of these forgotten denizens.
10. Deliver Us From Evil (2014) 07/31/2014 ★ ★ 1/2
Dir. Scott Derrickson
Sta. Eric Bana, Olivia Munn, Joel McHale—USA—Horror, Crime, Thriller
A cliche and drowned out concept receives a psychedelic and Islamic make-over in this possession tale set to the music of a popular 60s rock band as the grimy crime riddled streets are symbolically represented by otherworldly evil.
United Kingdom: 1
United States: 7
One or more Leads Die: 2
Male Dominated Cast: 4
1. Jersey Boys
2. Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Anita: Swedish Nymphet
4. Tom White
Legendary Hollywood actor Henry Fonda with his two children Jane and Peter. This mix of casual and professional photos wonderfully capture the wholesome loving family man imagine that Fonda was greatly know and admired for. Since first seeing him in 12 Angry Men that I had to watch for social studies in high school, he’s has become one of my favourite actors to watch on screen. The embodiment of good and decently, Henry Fonda made it look so easy.
I love how the 5th doctor never gets annoyed at people in his tardis hes just like HOUSE PARTY
Reign of Fire (2002) - A unique premise of medieval folklore woven into a post-apocalyptic setting that’s highly entertaining with many exciting action sequences. Despite some clumsy dialogue it’s a terrific popcorn flick with impressive CGI that holds up well today.