Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979, Werner Herzog, West Germany)
So beautiful and so creepy. Klaus Kinski is from another world—which makes this a fitting tribute to Max Schreck’s superlative performance. As a remake, this movie achieves the best possible result: making me love both movies more.
Nang Nak (1999, Nonzee Nimibutr, Thailand)
Tragic ghostly romance. Beautifully realized in its 19th-century Thailand setting.
Puppetmaster (1989, David Schmoeller, USA)
Leech lady alone puts this movie in the “highlights” section, but the rest of the movie does my girl justice.
Tell Me Something (1999, Yun-hyeon Jang, South Korea)
A detective follows gory murders through dark and rainy streets while trying to connect with the woman connected to all the victims. It’s an intricate mystery in which the scares and emotional heft carry the story forward, while burying fleeting clues to the grittier details throughout. There’s a lot to be digested in multiple viewings.
The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009, Tom Six, The Netherlands)
I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch this, and I don’t have to watch anything I don’t want to! However, I also felt that it got enough attention to make it an important part of 2009; it’s also one of the flagship “torture porn” movies, which is arguably the biggest trend in 2000s horror. And I’ll admit to a morbid curiosity. But what sealed it was when a reviewer I like sang its praises. At that moment I was like, god dammit…
I’m glad I didn’t kid myself into thinking I was going to enjoy it, because it is not an enjoyable movie (plenty of movies aren’t meant to be). I appreciate its self awareness, being a movie about the kind of sick fuck who would make a movie like this, drawing a straight line between the director and mad scientist. Tom Six definitely knew what he was doing with it.
The Mummy (1999, Stephen Sommers, USA)
I knew I needed a palate cleanser after Human Centipede, so I queued up the Brendan Fraser classic. Not much to say about it… While maybe only adjacent to horror, it’s still part of the legacy of mummy movies and its visuals and scares stand on their own. Still as fun as ever.
- The Return of Swamp Thing (1989, Jim Wynorski, USA)
- Lake Placid (1999, Steve Miner, USA)
- Survival of the Dead (2009, George A. Romero, USA)
- Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959, Bernard L. Kowalski, USA)
- The Queen of Spades (1949, Thorold Dickinson, UK)
- The Church (1989, Michele Soavi, Italy)
- Savage Weekend (1979, David Paulsen, USA)