Through 2018 and early 2019, I gave different themes to each month and would sort movies into those. October was Sequels and Remakes, November was Current-Year Catchup, and December was Old Favs; February is Women in Horror Month, so I listed all the movies directed by women and dove into them in February. The XXX9 list has quite a few:
By the end of the month, I realized that the remainder of the list was even more predominantly men, and so I gave up on the monthly themes at that point. It’s more important anyway to just watch what I feel like watching.
Drag Me to Hell (2009, Sam Raimi, USA)
A woman is cursed and endures gross slapstick horror (it’s a Raimi movie after all). Great performance by Alison Lohman. I remember when it came out, people wanted more Evil Dead and Raimi’s return to horror wasn’t appreciated as much as it is nowadays.
Pet Semetary (1989, Mary Lambert, USA)
Eerie Stephen King adaptation that wallows in grief. As effective as ever.
Ravenous (1999, Antonia Bird, Czech Republic)
Chilling, slightly goofy, fully homoerotic battle between white settler cannibals on the frontier.
Horror Noire (2019, Xavier Burgin, USA)
Documentary on the history of Black horror, with Get Out as the final bookend. Essential for any horror fan.
Jennifer’s Body (2009, Karyn Kusama, USA)
A young woman is possessed and kills her male classmates, while her friend struggles with the change in their relationship. Looking back, this movie called bullshit on people’s maligning of Megan Fox. Sure this movie was unfairly dismissed, but I still haven’t seen enough of a reckoning on Fox’s behalf.
Celia (1989, Ann Turner, Australia)
Slow, character-focused movie that takes the time to weave Australian history and the adults’ political crisis into a girl’s story.
I want to tell you what happens as a way of recommending Celia, but that wouldn’t be nice. That aside, this felt like an old live-action Disney movie, up until the movie had me screaming for blood. This is a horror movie right?! Please tell me this is a horror movie!
Don’t Look Back (2009, Marina de Van, France)
A writer struggles with disassociation and memories that betray her.
Don’t Look Back does something I’ve never seen before: it swaps out actors for the same characters to represent the protagonist’s disassociation. I think it’s obvious why this is a risky thing for a movie to do, but Don’t Look Back is dedicated enough—not lifting its head out of the protagonist’s psyche—to pull it off.
- House on Haunted Hill (1959, William Castle, USA)
- The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999, Katt Shea & Robert Mandel, USA)
- Family Demons (2009, Ursula Dabrowsky, Australia)
- The Revenant (2009, D. Kerry Prior, USA)
- Amer (2009, Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, France)
- Blood & Donuts (1989*, Holly Dale, Canada)
- *Blood & Donuts is listed as being released in 1995 almost everywhere I’ve looked, but IMDB lists an original festival release in ’89. So for the purposes of my list, I go with ’89.
- Kill By Inches (1999, Diane Doniol-Valcroze & Arthur K. Flam, USA)
- The Countess (2009, Julie Delpy, France)
- Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009, Jen & Sylvia Soska, Canada)