My Top 30 Fantasy Films

Fantasy is my second-favourite film and book genre, not far behind horror. While anything that’s “not real” can be considered fantasy, I’ve kept this list down to the films that are “classic fantasy”, which is to say films that contain elements that people automatically think of when they think fantasy: magic, fairies, elves, witches and wizards, that sort of thing. So no horror, sci-fi, or anything else “fantastical” that’s not straight fantasy. There are a few that have some horror elements, but are very far from being horror films, so they’re allowed here. I also won’t be including films who’s only fantastical element is talking animals, otherwise we’d be here all day. If there are films on the list with talking animals, it’s because there are other fantasy elements as well. And finally, I haven’t included any animated Disney or Pixar films, they’ll have their own list.

The films will be in approximate order only. As I did with My Top 50 Horror Films, I will separate them into groups, then put those groups in order. They will be numbered from 5 to 1, with each number having 6 films that will be “tied”, if you will, for that place on the list.

So, without any further ado, here are my top 30 fantasy films. Enjoy! 🙂

 

NUMBERS 5

5 The Wizard of Oz

Title: The Wizard of Oz
Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Terry the Dog
Released in: 1939
Directed by: Victor Fleming
Written by: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf
Based On: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Despite the bright technicolour, this is actually a pretty dark story. One of the very few films to actually scare me as a child (Freddy Krueger, no problem! Wicked Witch of the West? Flee crying. *shrug*)
Fantastical Elements: Witches, wizards, fantastical creatures (man-lion, flying monkeys, etc), magic.
5 Second Synopsis: Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.
Why I Love It: One of the very first fantasy films I saw as a kid, I didn’t love it as much as the others (which are mostly in my number 2s and 1s), but it’s nevertheless undeniable that this is a classic. That it’s still enjoyable today is a testament to how good it really was.

 

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Title: The Witches
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Paterson, Brenda Blethyn, Charlie Potter, Jane Horrocks, Anne Lambton
Released in: 1990
Directed by: Nicolas Roeg
Written by: Allan Scott
Based On: The Witches by Roald Dahl
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Surprisingly dark. The book is even darker (and better).
Fantastical Elements: Witches, magic, transmogrification.
5 Second Synopsis: A young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and vows to stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.
Why I Love It: From the moment I could read properly, I loved Roald Dahl. Unfortunately, most of the films based on his work are turds. Not so this one. It’s bat-shit crazy, and I love it. No other reason needed.

 

5 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Title: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Starring: Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Shane West, Jason Flemyng, Richard Roxburgh, Naseeruddin Shah, Max Ryan
Released in: 2003
Directed by: Stephen Norrington
Written by: James Robinson
Based On: The comic books by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Dark
Fantastical Elements: Immortality, vampirism, invisibility, transmogrification.
5 Second Synopsis: Renowned adventurer Allan Quatermain leads a team of extraordinary figures with legendary powers to battle the technological terror of a madman known as The Fantom.
Why I Love It: This film gets a lot of flack from critics and audiences alike, but I quite enjoyed. Yes, it has it’s problems, but really, what film doesn’t. It’s a fun watch, just grab your popcorn, and don’t think too hard!

 

5 Return to Oz

Title: Return to Oz
Starring: Fairuza Balk, Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh, Piper Laurie, Sean Barrett, Denise Bryer, Brian Henson, Lyle Conway, Justin Case, John Alexander, Deep Roy, Emma Ridley, Tansy the Dog
Released in: 1985
Directed by: Walter Murch
Written by: Gill Dennis, Walter Murch
Based On: Ozma of Oz and The Land of Oz by L Frank Baum
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Dark. Kid’s film, my ass!
Fantastical Elements: Witches, wizards, fantastical creatures (wheelers, tin-man, man made of rocks, etc), magic.
5 Second Synopsis: Dorothy Gale (who’s somehow much younger now :-p ), saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.
Why I Love It: It’s not often a sequel is better than the first film, and I’ll probably get yelled at for thinking so, but this one definitely is. It’s crazy on so many levels, and shit-your-pants terrifying in others, they simply don’t make them like this anymore. What a shame.

 

5 FernGully

Title: FernGully: The Last Rainforest
Starring: Samantha Mathis, Jonathan Ward, Robin Williams, Tim Curry, Christian Slater, Grace Zabriskie, Geoffrey Blake, Robert Pastorelli, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Tone Loc
Released in: 1992
Directed by: Bill Kroyer
Written by: Jim Cox
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Light
Fantastical Elements: Fairies, magic, fantastical creature (Hexxus)
5 Second Synopsis: When human Zak stumbles into the fairy world, he realizes that he needs to help them preserve their rainforest home before it’s all destroyed.
Why I Love It: Heavy-handed environmental message aside, this was another of my faves as a kid. It’s got nice animation, good voice acting, catchy songs, not to mention one of the scariest villains in a cartoon made for kids, voiced, of course, by Tim Curry.

 

5 Dungeons & Dragons

Title: Dungeons & Dragons
Starring: Justin Whalin, Jeremy Irons, Zoe McLellan, Marlon Wayans, Bruce Payne, Thora Birch, Kristen Wilson, Robert Miano, Lee Arenberg, Richard O’Brien
Released in: 2000
Directed by: Courtney Solomon
Written by: Topper Lilien, Carroll Cartwright
Based On: The role-playing game created by TSR (Gary Gygax)
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Dark-ish
Fantastical Elements: Way too many to list all of them, but the basics are magic, dragons, elves, witches and wizards, and many other fantastical creatures, such as the Beholder.
5 Second Synopsis: Profion, a tyrant wizard, attempts to overthrow a peaceful kingdom ruled by a tough empress. A group of fighters, led by a cunning thief, try to stop him.
Why I Love It: This movie is awful. The effects are cartoony, the acting atrocious, and the D&D lore seriously messed up. And yet I loved it. I guess it falls into the so bad it’s good category for me.

 

NUMBERS 4

4 What Dreams May Come

Title: What Dreams May Come
Starring: Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra, Max von Sydow, Jessica Brooks Grant, Josh Paddock, Rosalind Chao, Cuba Gooding Jr
Released in: 1998
Directed by: Vincent Ward
Written by: Ronald Bass
Based On: What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Afterlife, heaven, hell, reincarnation
5 Second Synopsis: After dying in a car crash, a man searches the afterlife for his wife, who committed suicide afterwards, her grief being too great.
Why I Love It: Such a beautiful story about love and loss, there’s no way not to love this film. All the acting is amazing, the depiction of heaven stunning. On the flip side, hell is terrifying, but unlike anything I’d ever seen before. The idea of people ending up in a hell of their own making is at once heart-breaking and frightening. If you somehow haven’t seen this film, I highly reccomend you go see it, right now!

 

4 The Secret of NIMH

Title: The Secret of NIMH
Starring: Elizabeth Hartman, Derek Jacobi, Dom DeLuise, Arthur Malet, Peter Strauss, John Carradine, Paul Shenar, Shannen Doherty, Wil Wheaton, Jodi Hicks, Hermione Baddeley
Released in: 1982
Directed by: Don Bluth
Written by: Don Bluth, John Pomeroy, Gary Goldman, Will Finn
Based On: Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C O’Brien
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Surprisingly dark
Fantastical Elements: Super-intelligent rats and mice, magic, telekinesis through a jewel
5 Second Synopsis: A field mouse named Mrs Brisby must move her family to a safe location before the farmer plows the field where they live, but her son Timmy cannot go outside due to his pneumonia. She enlists the aid of some highly intelligent escaped lab rats that have built a subterranean society inside a rose bush near the farmer’s garden.
Why I Love It: Such a great story with beautiful animation. I never realized how creepy some parts of it were until I’d rewatched it as an adult. How on earth did that owl not give me nightmares?? hehe Definitely one of the very best non-Disney animated films.

 

4 The Ghost and Mrs Muir

Title: The Ghost and Mrs Muir
Starring: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Edna Best, Vanessa Brown, Natalie Wood, Anna Lee
Released in: 1947
Directed by: Joseph L Mankiewicz
Written by: Philip Dunne
Based On: The Ghost and Mrs Muir by RA Dick (pseudonym of Josephine Leslie)
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Light
Fantastical Elements: Ghosts, afterlife
5 Second Synopsis: In 1900, a young, head-strong widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted, but rather than being scared off, she forms a unique relationship with the ghost.
Why I Love It: Old timey movies have to be really, really good for me to love them, and this one definitely is. Wonderfully charming and superbly acted, this unconventional love story was one of the first of the genre, and is still endlessly enjoyable, even today.

 

4 Shrek

Title: Shrek
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow, Jim Cummings, Vincent Cassel, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, Frank Welker
Released in: 2001
Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Written by: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, Roger SH Schulman
Based On: Shrek! by William Steig
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Light
Fantastical Elements: Transmogrification, dragons, curses, fantastical storybook characters (ogres, big bad wolf, gingerbread man, etc)
5 Second Synopsis: An evil Lord banishes all fairytale creatures into the swamp, which much angers the resident ogre, Shrek. In order to regain his swamp, he agrees to go rescue the princess that the Lord wants to wed. But something is very different about this princess, and Shrek finds himself falling for her, despite himself.
Why I Love It: Tongue firmly planted in cheek, this film is hilarious and touching at the same time. The characters go through a rather astounding transformation during the film, and I’m not only referring to the obvious. I guess everyone really does have layers. Like onions, of course, not cake 😉

 

4 Edward Scissorhands

Title: Edward Scissorhands
Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Conchata Ferrell, Alan Arkin, Caroline Aaron, Vincent Price
Released in: 1990
Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: Caroline Thompson, Tim Burton
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Frankenstien-ish creature with scissors for hands
5 Second Synopsis: A kind inventor is almost finished piecing together his latest creation when fate prevents him from completing this most important project. Edward may seem dangerous, with scissors instead of hands, but when a compassionate Avon lady comes calling, she sees his pure heart, and decides to bring him home.
Why I Love It: One of Burton’s best, and his first collaboration with Johnny Depp (which should have ended with Sleepy Hollow, but maybe that’s just me). I didn’t like this film all that much the first time I saw it (I was only 9 when it came out), but once I got older, I was able to appreciate it’s quirky story, and now I love it. Classic Burton, right here.

 

4 Dragonheart

Title: DragonHeart
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Sean Connery, Dina Meyer, David Thewlis, Pete Postlethwaite, Jason Isaacs, Brian Thompson, Peter Hric
Released in: 1996
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Written by: Charles Edward Pogue
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Light
Fantastical Elements: Dragons, magic
5 Second Synopsis: A dragon slayer teams up with the last dragon to take down an evil king.
Why I Love It: A perfect blend of funny and tense, this is one of the very best dragon films ever made. And the CGI holds up surprisingly well, despite the film being almost 20 years old. David Thewlis was so perfectly evil in this film, that I found him disgusting until his brilliant turn as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films.

 

NUMBERS 3

3 Wizards

Title: Wizards
Starring: Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Steve Gravers, Richard Romanus, David Proval, Jim Connell, Mark Hamill
Released in: 1977
Directed by: Ralph Bakshi
Written by: Ralph Bakshi
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Dark
Fantastical Elements: Magic, wizards, fairies, elves, mutated talking animals
5 Second Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic future, a wizard and his fairy folk comrades fight his evil brother, who’s using technology in his bid for conquest.
Why I Love It: Definitely not for kids, this is one cartoon with a lot of bite. Tense, bloody, and violent, it’s one of the very best of the genre.

 

3 Pirates of the Caribbean

Title: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Zoe Saldana, Jonathan Pryce, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Crook, Damian O’Hare
Released in: 2003
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
Based On: The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at DisneyLand
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Magic, curses, undead
5 Second Synopsis: When his love is kidnapped by pirates, a young blacksmith teams up with perpetually drunk pirate Jack Sparrow in the attempt to get her back. Little do they realize that the evil pirates are undead, and need Elizabeth to break the curse.
Why I Love It: A fun ride (pun intended) from start to finish, this is undoubtedly the best film in the franchise. Johnny Depp is brilliant as Jack Sparrow, and the rest of the cast also shine, especially Geoffrey Rush as the evil Captain Barbossa. The perfect blend of action and thriller that’s more than a little funny, this is one of Depp’s best. It’s really too bad that he’s fallen into the rut of always playing this same kind of character over and over now.

 

3 Merlin

Title: Merlin
Starring: Sam Neill, Helena Bonham Carter, Miranda Richardson, Martin Short, Isabella Rossellini, Paul Curran, Lena Headey, Jeremy Sheffield, Jason Done, John Gielgud, Rutger Hauer, James Earl Jones
Released in: 1998
Directed by: Steve Barron
Written by: Peter Barnes, Edward Khmara, David Stevens
Based On: The legends of King Arthur and the wizard Merlin
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Magic, wizards, elves, curses, spells, gnomes, fairy folk
5 Second Synopsis: The legendary wizard tells his story of his war against Queen Mab of the Sidhe, and his creation of Camelot.
Why I Love It: This has to be one of the very best made-for-TV movies ever. The actors they got to do it were all top notch, the writing was great, and even the effects, which are usually pretty pathetic for TV films, were quite good. And I never thought I’d say so, but Martin Short looked… hot!! hehe

 

3 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Title: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, Denholm Elliott, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix
Released in: 1989
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Jeffrey Boam
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Magic, the holy grail, magical booby traps, immortality
5 Second Synopsis: Indiana Jones acquires a diary that holds clues and a map to find the mysterious Holy Grail, which was sent from his father. Learning that his father went missing while searching, Indy hops a plane to Italy to save him.
Why I Love It: The best of the three Indiana Jones films, this is the only one that I still rewatch from time to time. Fun and sometimes tense, this is a wonderful conclusion to the story. (Yes, I’m fully aware there’s a fourth, I just don’t acknowledge it.)

 

3 Hook

Title: Hook
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Charlie Korsmo, Dante Basco, Amber Scott, Caroline Goodall, Maggie Smith
Released in: 1991
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: James V Hart, Malia Scotch Marmo
Based On: Peter Pan books and play by JM Barrie
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Light
Fantastical Elements: Fantastical world, fairies, power of imagination, flying, immortality, magic
5 Second Synopsis: When Captain Hook kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy.
Why I Love It: Saw this film when it first came out (I was 10), and I’ve loved it ever since. Robin Williams gives a great performance as the aged Peter Pan, while Dustin Hoffman eats up every inch of the screen when he’s on it as the (slightly insane) Captain Hook. A definite childhood favourite, a total gem of a film.

 

3 HellBoy

Title: HellBoy
Starring: Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Selma Blair, John Hurt, Rupert Evans, Karel Roden, Jeffrey Tambor, Brian Steele, Bridget Hodson, Ladislav Beran
Released in: 2004
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Written by: Guillermo del Toro
Based On: Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Dark
Fantastical Elements: Magic, demons, immortality, humanoid creatures with special abilities, pyrokinesis, wizards, portals to hell
5 Second Synopsis: A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness.
Why I Love It: Such a fun film, it also has surprisingly good acting, and an awesome story. The effects are absolutely stunning as well, and Ron Perlman embodies HellBoy perfectly, head to toe. One of the first in the modern superhero/comic book films, and still one of the best.

 

NUMBERS 2

2 Willow

Title: Willow
Starring: Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Kevin Pollak, Rick Overton, Pat Roach, Gavan O’Herlihy, David Steinberg, Phil Fondacaro
Released in: 1988
Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Bob Dolman
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Magic, fairy folk, witches, spells, curses
5 Second Synopsis: A reluctant dwarf must play a critical role in protecting a special baby from an evil queen.
Why I Love It: Such a wonderful, beautiful story. Good acting and surprisingly good effects for it’s time, it still holds up very well today. Plus Val Kilmer is smokin’ hot as Madmartigan, who was perhaps my very first adult crush. *swoon*

 

2 The Princess Bride

Title: The Princess Bride
Starring: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, André the Giant, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Peter Cook, Mel Smith, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane
Released in: 1987
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Written by: William Goldman
Based On: The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Light
Fantastical Elements: Magic, fantastical creatures (RoUS’s), miracles, fantastical machines
5 Second Synopsis: While home sick in bed, a young boy’s grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride, about a young princess, believing her true love to be dead, who settles with marrying a wicked prince.
Why I Love It: Pretty much every film in the rest of this list is a true classic, so I’ll stop saying it, hehe. This film is both schmoopy and full of adventures, perfect for kids and adults alive. And one more thing: Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

 

2 The Crow

Title: The Crow
Starring: Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson, Bai Ling, Anna Thomson, David Patrick Kelly, Angel David, Laurence Mason, Michael Massee, Tony Todd, Jon Polito, Sofia Shinas
Released in: 1994
Directed by: Alex Proyas
Written by: David J Schow, John Shirley
Based On: The Crow graphic novel by James O’Barr
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Dark
Fantastical Elements: Re-incarnation, invulnerability, superhero-like prowess
5 Second Synopsis: Musician Eric Draven is brought back to life by a crow a year after he and his fiancée are murdered. The crow guides him, and leads him to his killers, whom he kills in revenge.
Why I Love It: This film would likely be found in the action section of your video store rather than fantasy, but this definitely is indeed a fantasy film. Dark and violent, this is my very favourite revenge film, by far. But with this great film came a great loss, for actor Brandon Lee was accidentally killed while filming. What a shame.

 

2 Ladyhawke

Title: Ladyhawke
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leo McKern, John Wood, Ken Hutchison, Giancarlo Prete, Alfred Molina
Released in: 1985
Directed by: Richard Donner
Written by: Edward Khmara, Michael Thomas, Tom Mankiewicz, David Webb Peoples
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Magic, curses, transmogrification
5 Second Synopsis: An evil Bishop curses a woman and her lover when she rejects him. With the help of a sly thief, they will travel back to the Bishop and try break the curse.
Why I Love It: Such a beautiful film. Nauseatingly romantic, this film has a bit for everyone. Schmoop, laughter, action, and drama, this is simply a wonderful, wonderful film.

 

2 Harry Potter

Title: Harry Potter Octology
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith, John Hurt, David Thewlis, Tom Felton, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch, Gary Oldman, Jason Isaacs, Brendan Gleeson, Helena Bonham Carter, Julie Walters, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Matthew Lewis, Timothy Spall, Mark Williams, David Bradley, Imelda Staunton, Richard Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, Harry Melling, Clémence Poésy, Shirley Henderson, Natalia Tena, Emma Thompson, Warwick Davis, Richard Harris
Released in: 2001 – 2011
Directed by: Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, David Yates
Written by: Steve Kloves, Michael Goldenberg
Based On: Harry Potter Septology by JK Rowling
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Magic, magic, and more magic! Plus fantastical creatures, flying broomsticks, curses, prophecies, transmogrification, and much more.
5 Second Synopsis: Young Harry Potter finds out he’s a wizard, and is sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he finds out that there is a very evil wizard who wants him dead.
Why I Love It: I’m cheating a little by putting all 8 films here, but it would have taken a huge chunk out of my Top 30, or I would have had to add 7 more slots, and I really didn’t feel like doing basically the same entry 8 times. So there. These films are fun, whimsical, and at the same time, tense and even frightening (dementors, anyone?). They did such a great job of translating these books into films. If you enjoy fantasy and haven’t seen these, I very highly reccomend you crawl out from under your rock and see them.

 

2 Dogma

Title: Dogma
Starring: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Jason Lee, George Carlin, Bud Cort, Alanis Morissette
Released in: 1999
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Angels, demons, God, heaven, hell
5 Second Synopsis: A woman with special ancestry is enlisted to prevent two angels from reentering Heaven and thus undoing the fabric of the universe.
Why I Love It: I’m not the hugest fan of comedies, not because I don’t like laughing, but because I have a slightly peculiar sense of humour, and a lot comedies are just dumb to me. This one, though, this is my very favourite comedy, the whole thing is perfect (save one scene), beginning to end. It had me literally rolling on the floor, laughing.

 

NUMBERS 1

1 The NeverEnding Story

Title: The NeverEnding Story
Starring: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Alan Oppenheimer, Tami Stronach, Sydney Bromley, Patricia Hayes, Deep Roy, Tilo Prückner, Moses Gunn, Thomas Hill, Gerald McRaney, The Horse (Googled my heart out to find his real name, but could find it, unfortunately 😦 )
Released in: 1984
Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Written by: Wolfgang Petersen, Herman Weigel
Based On: Die Unendliche Geschichte by Michael Ende
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Fantastical creatures, fantastical world, magic, wishes, fantastical machines
5 Second Synopsis: A troubled boy dives into a wonderous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.
Why I Love It: This was one of my favourites as a kid, and it’s still now. Despite some of the acting being rather shaky (especially the Child-like Empress, yikes), this film is simply marvelous. Fantasia is beautiful, most of the practical effects are cool, and while it’s quite different from the book, the story is still amazing, even today. Noah Hathaway as Atreyu was my very first movie crush, and remained so until I passed him in age, about 8 years later.

 

1 The Dark Crystal

Title: The Dark Crystal
Starring: Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Percy Edwards, Billie Whitelaw, Barry Dennen, Jerry Nelson, Joseph O’Conor
Released in: 1982
Directed by: Jim Henson, Frank Oz
Written by: David Odell
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Both
Fantastical Elements: Fantastical creatures, fantastical world, magic, flight, fairy folk
5 Second Synopsis: On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world.
Why I Love It: Another of my childhood favourites, they simply don’t make them like this anymore. So many of the films I loved as a child are like this one, “too weird and scary” for today’s wimpy children. Well, not my child. I’ve introduced him to Labyrinth, and he loved it. Up next, the rest of my number 1’s, starting with this one.

 

1 Rock & Rule

Title: Rock & Rule
Starring: Don Francks, Susan Roman, Gregory Salata, Chris Wiggins, Brent Titcomb, Dan Hennessey, Greg Duffell, Catherine Gallant, Samantha Langevin, Catherine O’Hara
Released in: 1983
Directed by: Clive A Smith
Written by: Peter Sauder, John Halfpenny
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Dark
Fantastical Elements: Fantastical creatures, fantastical technology, demons, mutants
5 Second Synopsis: A malevolent rock star kidnaps a female singer to force her to participate in the summoning of a demon, and her band must help her stop him.
Why I Love It: This little, mostly forgotten Canadian film is, in my opinion, the very best in the genre. Forget the much over-rated Heavy Metal, this adult cartoon is where it’s at. Awesome animation, kick ass soundtrack, and great story, this is a must-see for anyone who likes adult animation.

 

1 Lord of the Rings

Title: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Starring: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, John Rhys-Davies, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Craig Parker, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, Karl Urban, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Ian Holm, John Noble, Sala Baker
Released in: 2001, 2002, 2003
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Written by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Based On: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Dark
Fantastical Elements: Magic, wizards, hobbits, elves, dwarves, visions, immortality, fantastical creatures, and more
5 Second Synopsis: A young hobbit must get to the gates of the enemy to destroy a ring that, if in the hands of the monster, would end the world as they know it.
Why I Love It: I don’t think there’s a geek on the planet that didn’t love this one. It was so beautifully done, acted, written and shot that it’s hard not to fall in love at first sight. It has the perfect blend of practical makeup and effects, and CGI, something that was sorely lacking in the Hobbit films.

 

1 Legend

Title: Legend
Starring: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Annabelle Lanyon, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Robert Picardo
Released in: 1985
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: William Hjortsberg
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Dark
Fantastical Elements: Demons, goblins, fairy folk, unicorns, magic, curses
5 Second Synopsis: A young man must stop the Lord of Darkness from both destroying daylight and marrying the woman he loves.
Why I Love It: Probably one of the very first fantasy films I’ve seen, and still one of the very best. It’s so beautifully done that it would be impressive even coming out today. Even all the acting is good, and that’s saying something for a film of the 80’s. So sad that they don’t make them like this anymore.

 

1 Labyrinth

Title: Labyrinth
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Brian Henson, Ron Mueck, Dave Goelz, David Shaughnessy, Michael Hordern, Denise Bryer, David Healy, Robert Beatty, Toby Froud
Released in: 1986
Directed by: Jim Henson
Written by: Terry Jones
Based On: N/A
Light or Dark Fantasy?: Light
Fantastical Elements: Magic, goblins, fairy folk, fantastical creatures
5 Second Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Sarah accidentally wishes her baby half-brother, Toby, away to the Goblin King Jareth, who will keep him if Sarah does not complete his Labyrinth in thirteen hours.
Why I Love It: If I had to absolutely choose a favourite fantasy film of all time, this would be it. I saw it at 5 years old, when it came out, and I’ve seen it well over 100 times. I learned all the words, songs and talked, in a very short time, and I still know most of them now. I’ll be sounding like a broken record, but they don’t make them like this any more. It’s an absolutely perfect piece of film. And David Bowie is so beautiful in this, I can’t help but swoon every time, hehe.

 

Finally done! It’s only been 2 months in the making… This is what happens when I get lazy. Shit just doesn’t get done, hehe. Here’s hoping at least a few people will enjoy the fruits of my labour! 😀

M.

My Top 15 Teen Films

Most teen films are the sort of thing that you’ll watch over and over when you’re a teenager, but then once an adult you try watch it again and are horrified by how awful it actually was. But every so often a gem will be made that somehow remains fun to watch even in our old age. Here’s my list of the teen films that I loved as a kid, and still love now. Enjoy! 🙂

 

NUMBER 15

15 Just One of the Girls

Title: Just One of the Girls (also known as Anything for Love)
Starring: Corey Haim, Nicole Eggert, Cameron Bancroft, Johannah Newmarch, Gabe Khouth, Rachel Hayward, Lochlyn Munro, Kevin McNulty, and Wendy Van Riesen
Released in: 1993
Directed by: Michael Keusch
Written by: Raul Fernandez
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: To avoid bullies on his way to a new school, Chris dresses up as a girl. It works like a charm, until he’s caught in costume by one of his teachers and is forced to stay in disguise. Things get tricky when he meets the girl of his dreams, and the girl’s brother tries to get with him.
Why I Love It: It’s a by-the-numbers gender-swap film, but it’s still fun to see Corey Haim in drag. He does a good job of pretending to be a girl, and is actually passable, unlike so many others in the genre.

 

NUMBER 14

14 Just One of the Guys

Title: Just One of the Guys
Starring: Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jacoby, Toni Hudson, William Zabka, Leigh McCloskey, and Sherilyn Fenn
Released in: 1985
Directed by: Lisa Gottlieb
Written by: Dennis Feldman, Jeff Franklin
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After having her article passed over for an internship for a boy’s, Terri decides to enroll in a new school as a boy to prove that her article was passed over just because she’s a girl.
Why I Love It: Another gender-swap, but this is one of the best ones I’ve seen, from teen or adult fare. Joyce Hyser is hilariously wonderful, and actually makes for a rather attractive boy. But I’ve always liked the girly-boys, so I might be biased, hehe.

 

NUMBER 13

13 Cry-Baby

Title: Cry-Baby
Starring: Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Susan Tyrrell, Polly Bergen, Iggy Pop, Kim McGuire, Darren E Burrows, Stephen Mailer, and Kim Webb
Released in: 1990
Directed by: John Waters
Written by: John Waters
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A bad-boy (or Drape) with a heart of gold falls for a good girl (or Square), and while the Drapes are very accepting of the girl, the Squares are determined to keep them apart.
Why I Love It: By all accounts, this should be an awful movie. But I don’t know, I absolutely love it. It’s silly with some pretty shifty acting, and is nothing close to real life, but I dunno, it all just works.

 

NUMBER 12

12 Save the Last Dance

Title: Save the Last Dance
Starring: Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick Thomas, Kerry Washington, Fredro Starr, Terry Kinney, Bianca Lawson, Vince Green, Garland Whitt, and Dorothy Martin
Released in: 2001
Directed by: Thomas Carter
Written by: Duane Adler, Cheryl Edwards
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After her mother dies in an accident, a white teen moves to LA with her father. She attends a new school in a poor area of town where most of the students are black. There she meets a boy who rekindles her love of dance.
Why I Love It: I love dance movies, even ones where the lead character isn’t really that good at it (her final dance routine was less than impressive). And then pair the dancing with a schmoopy love story and some good dramatic scenes, and you’ve got yourself a winning formula for a successful teen film.

 

NUMBER 11

11 Juno

Title: Juno
Starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, JK Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, Daniel Clark, and Rainn Wilson
Released in: 2007
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Written by: Diablo Cody
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After getting pregnant by her best friend, a quirky teen decides to go ahead and have the baby, finding a couple to adopt the child in a PennySaver magazine.
Why I Love It: It’s fun, quirky, and witty, and has a good message. Most of the actors are surprisingly good (except Jennifer Garner, who plays a plank of wood, as usual), and the writing is awesome, despite the fact that no one on the planet talks like they do (not before the film came out, anyways).

 

NUMBER 10

10 Get Real

Title: Get Real
Starring: Ben Silverstone, Brad Gorton, Charlotte Brittain, Stacy Hart, Kate McEnery, and Patrick Nielsen
Released in: 1998
Directed by: Simon Shore
Written by: Patrick Wilde
Based On: The play of the same name by Patrick Wilde
5 Second Synopsis: This tenderly romantic film tells the story of Steve, a young man in a British prep school, as he struggles with coming out and falling in love with the class jock, John. Who, amazingly, falls in love with him as well. But their relationship starts to feel the strain as John constantly hides his sexuality, and refuses to acknowledge Steve in public.
Why I Love It: Such a poignant love story, and one that all too many teens go through at least once in their lives, gay or straight. Unfortunately, sometimes love just isn’t enough. This is a wonderful little film, with good acting and writing. Definitely one to see if you enjoy the genre.

 

NUMBER 9

9 Can't Hardly Wait

Title: Can’t Hardly Wait
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, Seth Green, Charlie Korsmo, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli, Jaime Pressly, Jenna Elfman, Melissa Joan Hart, Breckin Meyer, and Jerry O’Connell
Released in: 1998
Directed by: Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan
Written by: Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being in love with the school hottie for years, a shy student decides to finally tell her how he feels about her at their class’ graduation party. Of course, shenanigans ensue.
Why I Love It: It’s fun, silly, sort of pointless, but that’s all part of it’s appeal. The actors do a great job acting like teenagers (no small feat, since most of the actors in the film are in their 20’s or 30’s). Grab your popcorn and prepare to laugh, swoon, and just have a good time.

 

NUMBER 8

8 Cruel Intentions

Title: Cruel Intentions
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Sean Patrick Thomas, Joshua Jackson, Christine Baranski, Eric Mabius, and Swoosie Kurtz
Released in: 1999
Directed by: Roger Kumble
Written by: Roger Kumble
Based On: Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos
5 Second Synopsis: Kathryn makes a bet that her step-brother, Sebastian, won’t be able to bed Annette (a virgin, who wants to wait until love). If he loses, Kathryn gets his Jaguar. If he wins, he gets Kathryn.
Why I Love It: Stronger writing and acting than most teen films of the time, and I guess it’s in part because of the fact that the source material was definitely not intended for kids. This is a definite gem of the 90’s.

 

NUMBER 7

7 Dazed and Confused

Title: Dazed and Confused
Starring: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey, Rory Cochrane, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Shawn Andrews, Marissa Ribisi, Anthony Rapp, Adam Goldberg, Sasha Jenson, Milla Jovovich, and Jeremy Fox
Released in: 1993
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Written by: Richard Linklater
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: It’s the last day of school at a high school in a small town in Texas in 1976. The upperclassmen are hazing the incoming freshmen, and everyone is trying to get stoned, drunk, or laid, even the football players that signed a pledge not to.
Why I Love It: They say if you remember the 70’s you weren’t there. I may not remember them (since I wasn’t born yet), but I got a good idea of things were like with this fun, sometimes crazy, film. It’s also fun to see a bunch of big name actors getting their starts here, including Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, and Milla Jovovich. A total riot to watch, start to finish.

 

NUMBER 6

6 10 Things I Hate About You

Title: 10 Things I Hate About You
Starring: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, Andrew Keegan, Susan May Pratt, Gabrielle Union, Larry Miller, Daryl Mitchell, and Allison Janney
Released in: 1999
Directed by: Gil Junger
Written by: Karen McCullah, Kirsten Smith
Based On: The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare (loosely based :-p )
5 Second Synopsis: A popular teen can’t date until her tempermental older sister starts dating too, so her suitor decides to pay the school bad-boy to ask her out.
Why I Love It: Well written, well acted with lots and lots of eye candy, this is one of the very best teen films to come out of the 90’s. It was also my introduction to the hunky Heath Ledger, who’s career I followed after seeing him here.

 

NUMBER 5

5 The Goonies

Title: The Goonies
Starring: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Ke Huy Quan, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano, and Anne Ramsey
Released in: 1985
Directed by: Richard Donner
Written by: Chris Columbus
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After finding out that his family will loose their home to an unscrupulous developer who’s buying up the neighbourhood to tear everything down and build a golf course, a teen and his friends make a pact to find a hidden treasure of legend in a local cave.
Why I Love It: I might be skating along the lines of what’s a teen film and what’s a kid’s film here, but it’s so good that I decided to go ahead and put it in anyways. So much fun, a definite childhood classic. Everybody do the truffle shuffle!! hehe

 

NUMBER 4

4 Hackers

Title: Hackers
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie, Jesse Bradford, Matthew Lillard, Renoly Santiago, Fisher Stevens, Laurence Mason, Lorraine Bracco, Marc Anthony, Wendell Pierce, and Alberta Watson
Released in: 1995
Directed by: Iain Softley
Written by: Rafael Moreu
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A group of teen hackers find out about a plot to capsize an oil tanker if millions of dollars aren’t sent to a specific bank account, and with the police hot on their trails, they have to find the hacker behind the crime before they’re the ones blamed for it.
Why I Love It: It was one of the first films to really get me interested in computers. And even though I was very disappointed to find out real hacking is nothing like what is shown in this film, I’ve always had my own computer ever since then. Plus, with the caliber of actors that they were able to attract and a good director, that means that this is one of the best made teen films out there. So much fun, so much eye candy, and to top it all off, a totally bitchin soundtrack.

 

NUMBER 3

2 Pretty in Pink

Title: Pretty in Pink
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, Annie Potts, James Spader, Andrew Dice Clay, and Harry Dean Stanton
Released in: 1986
Directed by: Howard Deutch
Written by: John Hughes
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: When a rich boy and poor girl start dating, friends on either side will do anything to make sure they separate.
Why I Love It: One of the all time classics, this little teen film is so romantic sometimes that it’ll make you choke, and so funny in other times that you’ll pee yourself (ie: any scenes with Duckie. Love him!) All the teen romance clichés are here, and that’s because this film (and others around the same time) ‘invented’ all of them. Its look is very very 80’s, a lot of the clothes is hideous (especially that god damned pink dress at the end… what the hell were they thinking??? But I digress…), but it does nothing to take the wonderfulness of the film away. Plus, young James Spader. Meow.

 

NUMBER 2

3 The Breakfast Club

Title: The Breakfast Club
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, John Kapelos, and Paul Gleason
Released in: 1985
Directed by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Five very different teens are in an all detention in the school library. As the day goes by, they open up to each other and realize that they’re not as different as they thought.
Why I Love It: One of the quintessential teen films, this is one of the movies that started it all, with a group of actors affectionately known as The Brat Pack. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain why I love this one. It hits the high-school-life-nail right on its head. Amazing. And Judd Nelson as Bender? Holy hot!

 

And now for my number 1, well…. I’m going to cheat here, big time. There was no way that I was going to be able to choose one or the other as my very favourite, so I decided to make my number 1 a tie. And so, here’s my…

 

NUMBERS 1

1 Empire Records

Title: Empire Records
Starring: Rory Cochrane, Johnny Whitworth, Anthony LaPaglia, Robin Tunney, Renée Zellweger, Liv Tyler, Ethan Embry, Coyote Shivers, Brendan Sexton III, Maxwell Caulfield, and Debi Mazar
Released in: 1995
Directed by: Allan Moyle
Written by: Carol Heikkinen
Based On: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: The employees of an independent music store learn about each other as they try anything to stop the store from being absorbed by a large chain.
Why I Love It: I can’t even explain how much I love this film. I saw it when it first came out (I was 14), and I fell instantly in love with it, and have been ever since. Thankfully, it still holds up well today, and I give it a watch every once in a while, and it never fails to make me smile.

 

1 Clueless

Title: Clueless
Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Elisa Donovan, Breckin Meyer, Jeremy Sisto, Justin Walker, Julie Brown, Twink Caplan, Wallace Shawn, and Dan Hedaya
Released in: 1995
Directed by: Amy Heckerling
Written by: Amy Heckerling
Based On: Emma by Jane Austen (loosely based :-p )
5 Second Synopsis: Popular, rich girls Cher and Dionne decide to take a new, frumpy student under their wing and give her a makeover, while their love lives run amok.
Why I Love It: I don’t think I need to explain how awesome this film is. It’s over the top and ridiculous in so many ways, but the actors are all perfect in their roles, and the film comes off as completely sweet and charming instead of grating and self-indulgent (the way I imagine teens in that world actually are ;-p ). They could not have picked a better actress for the main role of Cher, Alicia Silverstone is absolutely perfect.

 

And that’s my list!! What are your favourite teen films? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for more!! 😀

M.

My Top 15 Serial Killer Films

So my Top 50 Horror Films post was quite a hit with (mostly) everyone. Those that didn’t like it are those I like to call horror’s snobs, you know the type. They only like the “classic horror”, and enjoy looking down their noses at us little people who enjoy a lot of newer stuff (how dare we?? It’s so gauche!)
But even those who enjoyed the post had some little quibbles, the one asked about most often was “where are all the serial killer / slasher films?” And it’s true, my list was almost completely devoid of any serial killers. Out of a list of 50, I think I only had 3 killers in there. The reason is, is I don’t really consider serial killer films, despite the horrific subject matter, to be horror. They’re thrillers, suspense, mysteries, sometimes even comedies. Also, leaving them out means that I can do an article like this, and not have to worry about too much repetition, hehehe.

To keep this list shorter (and unrepetitive), I’m only including films with human killers that have no supernatural abilities. Also, spoiler alert, since I’ll be including methods of killing and a body count. The body count, by the way, will be deaths caused by the killers’ own hands (or by their devices). I won’t include deaths caused by accidents, nor those committed by other people. I also won’t include ‘implied deaths’, those talked about by the characters but not seen on screen, nor those that leave the question of the character’s death up in the air.

And on that note, let’s get this show on the road! Enjoy! 😀

 

NUMBER FIFTEEN

15 I Know What You Did Last Summer

Title: I Know What You Did Last Summer
Released in: 1997
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prinze Jr, Bridgette Wilson, Anne Heche, Johnny Galecki, and Muse Watson
Directed by: Jim Gillespie
Written by: Kevin Williamson
Based On: The novel of the same name by Lois Duncan
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Chases after them in a ridiculously calm fashion, and slices them open with a big fisherman’s hook.
Onscreen Body Count: 5
5 Second Synopsis: One year after graduating from high school, four friends’ gruesome secret comes back to get them, as the man they hit on the road wasn’t as dead as they thought.
Why I Love It: The 90’s were an excellent year for serial killer films, both for the teen and adult audiences. After the success of Scream, many companies started making serial killer pictures, with varying results. This one is obviously aimed at teens, but it was one of the better quality ones, along with a few others that you’ll be seeing later in the list.

 

NUMBER FOURTEEN

14 The Raven

Title: The Raven
Released in: 2012
Starring: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Kevin McNally, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Pam Ferris
Directed by: James McTeigue
Written by: Hannah Shakespeare, Ben Livingston
Based On: (Very) loosely based on the final days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life.
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Victims are killed in the same fashion as characters in Poe’s stories, including the razor pendulum from The Pit and the Pendulum.
Body Count: 4
5 Second Synopsis: A serial killer uses Edgar Allan Poe’s various works to inspire horrific murders.
Why I Love It: John Cusack and Edgar Allan Poe, a match made in heaven. Cusack is a wonderful character actor, and he showcases it well here.

 

NUMBER THIRTEEN

MSDCLPI EC003

Title: Clay Pigeons
Released in: 1998
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, Janeane Garofalo, Georgina Cates, Scott Wilson, Vince Vieluf, Nikki Arlyn, and Phil Morris
Directed by: David Dobkin
Written by: Matthew L Healy
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Gun
Body Count: 2 (suspected of 7 more across the country)
5 Second Synopsis: After his best friend kills himself, a troubled young man meets and befriends a charming serial killer, who’s got a detective hot on his trail, and who starts to suspect that he’s the one doing the killing.
Why I Love It: Funny and smart, this one’s a real hidden gem of the 90’s. If you’re a fan of wry wit and find things that shouldn’t be funny funny, I definitely reccomend this one. Plus, eye candy en masse.

 

NUMBER TWELVE

12 Urban Legend

Title: Urban Legend
Released in: 1998
Starring: Alicia Witt, Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, Michael Rosenbaum, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, Loretta Devine, John Neville, Danielle Harris, and Robert Englund
Directed by: Jamie Blanks
Written by: Silvio Horta
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Axe, killing in the manner of various urban legends.
Body Count: 9 (plus one dog)
5 Second Synopsis: A killer uses urban legends as inspiration as he stalks his victims, who all attend or work at a university.
Why I Love It: Another one aimed at teens, I love this one for the fun deaths, plus Jared Leto. Never mind that the identity of the killer is implausible and downright silly. Just turn off your brain, and enjoy.

 

NUMBER ELEVEN

11 Bon Cop Bad Cop

Title: Bon Cop, Bad Cop
Released in: 2006
Starring: Patrick Huard, Colm Feore, Sarain Boylan, Lucie Laurier, Richard Howland, Louis-José Houde, Pierre Boudreau, and Patrice Bélanger
Directed by: Erik Canuel
Written by: Leila Basen, Alex Epstein
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Victims are tattooed before being shot
Body Count: 4
5 Second Synopsis: A serial killer is targeting victims who are related in some way to professional hockey. Since killings are happening in both Ontario and Quebec, the two forces team up and find they have very different methods.
Why I Love It: If you’re not from Quebec or Ontario, I’m not sure how much you’d enjoy this, since most of the jokes are really about the differences between language and attitudes of the two provinces. But for those who are, this is a definite must-see. It really doesn’t matter what the plot is (I barely remember), but I remember laughing myself silly. Being someone with family in both Ontario and Quebec, I can laugh at both sides, and that’s what really makes this film. It’s completely bilingual (english and french), so if you don’t understand one or the other you’ll need the subtitles to understand half the film, but it’s worth it. So funny.

 

NUMBER TEN

10 Psycho

Title: Psycho
Released in: 1960
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, and Virginia Gregg
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Written by: Joseph Stefano
Based On: The novel of the same name by Robert Bloch
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Stabbing
Body Count: 2 (suspected of more)
5 Second Synopsis: A woman, worrying about her missing sister, ends up at a small motel run by a very strange young man, who’s hiding a murderous secret.
Why I Love It: Do I really need to explain? One of the original greats, there probably would be much less slasher films had this one not been made.

 

NUMBER NINE

9 From Hell

Title: From Hell
Released in: 2001
Starring: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane, Ian Richardson, Jason Flemyng, Katrin Cartlidge, Susan Lynch, Lesley Sharp, and Annabelle Apsion
Directed by: The Hughes Brothers
Written by: Terry Hayes, Rafael Yglesias
Based On: The graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Stabbing (with extreme over-kill)
Body Count: 5
5 Second Synopsis: A detective is called in to investigate brutal slayings in a poor district of London.
Why I Love It: I eat anything having to do with Jack the Ripper right up, so it was a given that I’d enjoy this. The fact that it’s actually good and stars Johnny Depp is just gravy.

 

NUMBER EIGHT

8 Identity

Title: Identity
Released in: 2003
Starring: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, John C McGinley, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey, Rebecca De Mornay, and Pruitt Taylor Vince
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Michael Cooney
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Uses whatever’s on hand
Body Count: 9
5 Second Synopsis: Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they’re being killed off one by one.
Why I Love It: Except the last two minutes, this is an awesome film. I may be stretching the ‘non-supernatural’ line here, but it’s so good I had to add it. Some shaky acting from some of the supporting cast, but they aren’t onscreen enough for it to ruin the film.

 

NUMBER SEVEN

7 Freeway

Title: Freeway
Released in: 1996
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Dan Hedaya, Wolfgang Bodison, Michael T Weiss, Brittany Murphy, Conchata Ferrell, and Brooke Shields
Directed by: Matthew Bright
Written by: Matthew Bright
Based On: Very loosely based on The Little Red Riding Hood
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Strangulation (and necrophilia)
Body Count: 2 (many more offscreen)
5 Second Synopsis: A teen on the run from social services gets picked up by a man on the highway who turns out to be a serial killer. Much to his chagrin, she won’t go down easy.
Why I Love It: This film is absolutely nuts, and I absolutely love it. I can’t even really explain why, I just do. What I do know is that I want some of whatever Matthew Bright is on…

 

NUMBER SIX

6 Saw

Title: Saw
Released in: 2004
Starring: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer, Michael Emerson, Shawnee Smith, and Monica Potter
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Leigh Whannell, James Wan
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Different kinds of elaborate traps
Body Count: 3
5 Second Synopsis: Two men wake up in an almost empty room, each chained by the foot on opposite ends of the room, with a dead man sprawled on the ground between them. A cassette player informs them that to escape one must kill the other, or saw their own foot off with a provided jigsaw.
Why I Love It: When it first came out, Saw was unlike anything the horror genre had seen in a long time, a real breath of fresh air. It was a wonderful idea, and very well executed, with only a little shaky acting sometimes. Unfortunately, with all the sequels that came after, the Saw name became synonymous with ‘crap’, and the brilliance of the first film became lost in the sea of awful sequels.

 

NUMBER FIVE

5 Seven

Title: Seven
Released in: 1995
Starring: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Zacapa, John Cassini, R Lee Ermey, and Kevin Spacey
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Various, based on the seven deadly sins
Body Count: 3
5 Second Synopsis: Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.
Why I Love It: Such a brilliant piece of film. Well written, well acted, with a killer ending that will stick with you long after the movie is done.

 

NUMBER FOUR

4 Scream

Title: Scream
Released in: 1996
Starring: Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, Matthew Lillard, Drew Barrymore, W Earl Brown, Jamie Kennedy, and Roger Jackson
Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Kevin Williamson
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Stabbing, plus one death by garage door
Body Count: 5
5 Second Synopsis: A masked killer begins murdering teenagers in a small town, and as the body count rises, one girl and her friends contemplate the ‘rules’ of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one.
Why I Love It: The best of the 90’s teen horror, this film was just what the genre needed at that time. Well written and acted, it takes the conventional boring slasher film, turns it on its head, and makes it fun.

 

NUMBER THREE

3 Copycat

Title: Copycat
Released in: 1995
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara, Harry Connick Jr, JE Freeman, Will Patton, and John Rothman
Directed by: Jon Amiel
Written by: Ann Biderman, David Madsen
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Copying famous serial killers of the past
Body Count: 5
5 Second Synopsis: Two detectives contact an agoraphobic psychologist when a serial killers emerges, styling himself on serial killers of the past.
Why I Love It: Another great gem of the 90’s, this is definitely one of the better ones. All the acting is strong, the writing is smart, and the ending isn’t completely implausible. A near perfect thriller.

 

NUMBER TWO

2 Mr Brooks

Title: Mr Brooks
Released in: 2007
Starring: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt, Danielle Panabaker, Marg Helgenberger, Aisha Hinds, Lindsay Crouse, and Jason Lewis
Directed by: Bruce A Evans
Written by: Bruce A Evans, Raynold Gideon
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Gun
Body Count: 5 (many more before)
5 Second Synopsis: A businessman who highlights as a serial killer is blackmailed by a photographer who happened to take pictures of his latest murder.
Why I Love It: This film is perfect, until the last three minutes. They don’t exist to me. But everything before that, awesome. Even Demi Moore and Dane Cook crank out good performances, and that’s saying something.

 

NUMBER ONE

1 Silence of the Lambs

Title: The Silence of the Lambs
Released in: 1991
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Frankie Faison, Brooke Smith, Lawrence T Wrentz, and Diane Baker
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Written by: Ted Tally
Based On: The novel of the same name by Thomas Harris
5 Second Synopsis: A young FBI rookie is sent to ask the help of brilliant cannibalistic killer Dr Hannibal Lecter in catching another killer who kidnaps his victims, holds them for many days, then skins them to make a ‘woman suit’.
Why I Love It: I really don’t think I need to explain. Over 20 years, and it’s still number one. They just don’t make them like this anymore. Shame.

 

And, that’s it! What are your favourite serial killer films? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for more!

M.

My Top 50 Horror Films

So, articles like the one you’re about to read are actually one of the biggest reasons that I decided to start blogging in the first place. I love reading Top 10 (or more) lists about all sorts of stuff, but I always get frustrated that a lot of the stuff that I enjoy the most either are low in the lists, or not there at all. And the top spots are often reserved for the same old “classics”, most of which I don’t like. After reading the millionth Top Horror Movies article with movies like The Shining, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Suspiria and others in the top spots, I decided that I’d make my own blog where I can show people that there are other movies than those in the world, and they’re just as good (or better, even) than those so-called classics.

I also won’t be putting them in exact order, because I just don’t have the patience to sit there and sort them all. I also doubt that I could choose a definitive order to put them in. So what I’ll do is kind of make it a Top 5, each number having a 10-way tie. And those 10 won’t be in any order, either. So with that said, allons-y!! 😀

 

NUMBERS 5

 

Cube

Title: Cube
Released in: 1997
Starring: Maurice Dean Wint, Nicole de Boer, David Hewlett, Nicky Guadagni, Andrew Miller, and Julian Richings
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Written by: André Bijelic, Vincenzo Natali, and Graeme Manson
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Seven strangers awaken to find themselves captive in what seems like an endless cubic maze, each door leading either to safety or a gruesome death.
Why I Love It: A brilliant, character driven film that doesn’t shy away from the atrocities that humanity is capable of in a survival of the fittest kind of environment. And while there are a few gruesome scenes when the prisoners accidentally enter a booby trapped room, the film never goes too far with it. Nothing like buckets of pointless gore to ruin a great film.

 

Jeepers Creepers

Title: Jeepers Creepers
Released in: 2001
Starring: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, Brandon Smith, and Eileen Brennan
Directed by: Victor Salva
Written by: Victor Salva
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Siblings Darry and Trish are driving home together from school when they are followed and attacked by a humanoid creature driving a big, rusty truck who wants to eat them to regenerate its own body parts.
Why I Love It: It’s a slightly ridiculous concept with sometimes shaky acting, but the visuals and effects are great, the villain is suitably creepy, and the whole film just gives off a vibe of great fun. It’s not very scary (to me anyways), but it’s always a good time.

 

Re-Animator

Title: Re-Animator
Released in: 1985
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, and Robert Sampson
Directed by: Stuart Gordon
Written by: Dennis Paoli, William Norris, and Stuart Gordon
Based On: Herbert West, Re-Animator by HP Lovecraft
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young medical student finds himself in over his head when new student Herbert West arrives with his experiments. Experiments to bring dead flesh back to life.
Why I Love It: This film is totally nuts, start to finish, but it’s got that 80’s horror charm, and Jeffrey Combs is electrifying, eating up the whole screen every time he’s on it. The film also boasts the most uncomfortable-to-watch “sex” scene in the history of film. You’ll spend most of the film not knowing whether to laugh or cringe, but that’s just part of the appeal of this classic gem.

 

Saw

Title: Saw
Released in: 2004
Starring: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer, Monica Potter, and Shawnee Smith
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Two men wake up in an almost empty room, each chained by the foot on opposite ends of the room, with a dead man sprawled on the ground between them. A cassette player informs them that to escape one must kill the other, or saw their own foot off with a provided jigsaw.
Why I Love It: When it first came out, Saw was unlike anything the horror genre had seen in a long time, a real breath of fresh air. It was a wonderful idea, and very well executed, with only a little shaky acting sometimes. Unfortunately, with all the sequels that came after, the Saw name became synonymous with “crap”, and the brilliance of the first film became lost in the sea of awful sequels.

 

The Crazies

Title: The Crazies
Released in: 2010
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker, Christie Lynn Smith, Brett Rickaby, and John Aylward
Directed by: Breck Eisner
Written by: Scott Kosar & Ray Wright
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1973’s The Crazies, directed by George A Romero and starring Lane Carroll
5 Second Synopsis: After having their water contaminated, inhabitants of a small town become infected by a virus that makes them incredibly, mindlessly homicidal.
Why I Love It: Despite its rather silly name, this is a great film. I’m not much of a zombie movie fan, so I was reluctant to watch this one, but I was really glad I finally did. It may be classed as a zombie film, but besides a few similarities to the genre, it’s thankfully quite different. No dead people shambling around trying to eat flesh, this film is tense and sometimes scary, with great acting and awesome effects. This isn’t your grandfather’s zombie film :-p

 

The Pit & the Pendulum

Title: The Pit & the Pendulum
Released in: 1991
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Rona de Ricci, Jonathan Fuller, Stephen Lee, Mark Margolis, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Jeffrey Combs, and Frances Bay
Directed by: Stuart Gordon
Written by: Dennis Paoli
Based On: The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No. While The Pit and the Pendulum has been made into several films, this one isn’t a remake of any particular film.
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: An innocent young woman is arrested for witchcraft and tortured, while the leader of the inquisition, the evil Torquemada, lusts after her.
Why I Love It: I love Poe’s stories and poems, so it’s no surprise that I’d love the films based on his works. The film screams 90’s camp, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Lance Henriksen is wonderfully evil, he really makes the film the little gem that it is.

 

The Relic

Title: The Relic
Released in: 1997
Starring: Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Linda Hunt, James Whitmore, Clayton Rohner, Chi Muoi Lo, Thomas Ryan, and Lewis van Bergen
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Written by: Amy Jones, John Baffo, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver
Based On: Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A detective teams up with an anthropologist when strange murders are committed in a museum, bodies discovered with the hypothalamus of the brain missing. They discover a strange, monstrous creature living beneath the museum, and it seems to need to eat these missing brain pieces.
Why I Love It: Now, I saw this film before reading the book, which is a very, very good thing. If I’d have read the book first, I’d have been very upset, since the main protagonist of the book series (Special Agent Pendergast) isn’t even in the film! But since I saw the film first, I was able to just take it as it was, and I loved it. It was the best monster movie of its time, and still holds up well today. A real fun ride.

 

Thirteen Ghosts

Title: Thirteen Ghosts
Released in: 2001
Starring: Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davitz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, JR Bourne, Rah Digga, and F Murray Abraham
Directed by: Steve Beck
Written by: Benjamin Carr & Richard D’Ovidio
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1960’s 13 Ghosts, directed by William Castle and starring Donald Woods
5 Second Synopsis: When his uncle dies, a man takes his two children and their nanny to visit the house that they inherited. While looking through the gorgeous glass house, they unwittingly release 12 very powerful, very homicidal ghosts.
Why I Love It: I’m not sure why I love this one so much, but I really do. I know it’s far from being a perfect film, but I don’t know, I just have so much fun watching it, and the ghosts are just so cool and well done that it doesn’t matter that half the film doesn’t really make sense, hehe.

 

Underworld

Title: Underworld
Released in: 2003
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Sophia Myles, Erwin Leder, Robby Gee, and Wentworth Miller
Directed by: Len Wiseman
Written by: Danny McBride
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A beautiful vampire warrior allies herself with a newly bitten werewolf when she begins to suspect that the war that has been raging for centuries between their two races is built on lies.
Why I Love It: A whole lot of style with a little substance, but it hardly matters. This film is so fun to watch, so visually pleasing that you can’t help but love it. And the story, while it’s the same old same old rehashed stuff, is just different enough to keep you entertained. And talk about eye candy, my goodness…

 

Warlock

Title: Warlock
Released in: 1989
Starring: Julian Sands, Richard E Grant, Lori Singer, Mary Woronov, and Kevin O’Brien
Directed by: Steve Miner
Written by: David Twohy
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: An evil warlock opens a portal from his time, the 17th century, to the present day to escape execution. A righteous witch-hunter jumps into the portal after him just before it closes, and vows to stop the warlock’s evil for good.
Why I Love It: Julian Sands. Do I really need another reason? Oh, I do? Well, I guess it’s a good thing that the film is so much fun, then! Wonderfully campy and acted better than most movies in its genre, it’s definitely a gem of the 80’s.

 

NUMBERS 4

 

Event Horizon

Title: Event Horizon
Released in: 1997
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Joely Richardson, Kathleen Quinlan, Jason Isaacs, Jack Noseworthy, Richard T Jones, and Sean Pertwee
Directed by: Paul WS Anderson
Written by: Philip Eisner
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A rescue crew is sent to investigate a ship that has been missing in deep space for years. Once on board, they realize that the abandoned vessel isn’t as empty as they first thought.
Why I Love It: Everything about the film is awesome. Great acting, great effects, great story, and just enough gore to slightly turn your stomach but not enough to just make it a gore-fest (which, you all may know by now, I’m not fond of). Almost 20 years later, it still gives me shivers while watching. A sign of a job well done!

 

Frailty

Title: Frailty
Released in: 2001
Starring: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Matt O’Leary, Jeremy Sumpter, and Powers Boothe
Directed by: Bill Paxton
Written by: Brent Hanley
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A man confesses to an FBI agent his family’s story of how his religious fanatic father’s visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed “demons.” (Taken from IMDB, I was having a hell of a time trying to make a small synopsis, hehe.)
Why I Love It: It’s absolutely brilliant. Well written, incredibly acted, a wonderfully creepy story with a killer twist, before twists were a dime a dozen. Just wonderful.

 

Ginger Snaps

Title: Ginger Snaps
Released in: 2000
Starring: Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Kris Lemche, Jesse Moss, Danielle Hampton, John Bourgeois, and Mimi Rogers
Directed by: John Fawcett
Written by: Karen Walton
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being attacked by a large, furry creature on the night of a full moon, teenager Ginger and her sister Brigitte are on the lookout for clues that she is turning into a werewolf.
Why I Love It: It’s fun, it’s bloody, it’s smartly written, well acted and has cool practical effects. Werewolf films are hard to do without getting schlocky, but Ginger Snaps manages just fine. Also, Katharine Isabelle is a fox. And she loves making horror films, good news for us pervy horror fans! 😉

 

Idle Hands

Title: Idle Hands
Released in: 1999
Starring: Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Jessica Alba, Elden Henson, Vivica A Fox, Jack Noseworthy, Katie Wright, and Christopher Hart’s hand
Directed by: Rodman Flender
Written by: Terri Hughes & Ron Milbauer
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A stoner’s hand becomes possessed by an evil spirit and it kills his two best friends. To try stop the killing, he chops his hand off but, much to his chagrin, it just keeps moving and escapes his house to go wreak havoc at a school Halloween dance.
Why I Love It: Despite its silly subject matter, this film is actually quite good. Laugh out loud funny with awesome special effects (that still hold up today), it’s a great popcorn movie. Plus, Devon Sawa. Total 90’s babe. Meow.

 

Near Dark

Title: Near Dark
Released in: 1987
Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, Joshua John Miller, and Tom Thomerson
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Written by: Kathryn Bigelow & Eric Red
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being bit by a beautiful vampire, a young man is given an ultimatum by her “family”: make a kill within a week, or die. When he realizes he can’t kill, he and the girl run off, with her family in hot pursuit.
Why I Love It: I saw this for the first time as a teenager, and it had everything a teenage girl could possibly want. Romance, eye candy, and lots and lots of blood. Oh yeah 😀

 

Repo! The Genetic Opera

Title: Repo! The Genetic Opera
Released in: 2008
Starring: Alexa Vega, Anthony Stewart Head, Paul Sorvino, Terrance Zdunich, Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, and Nivek Ogre
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Written by: Terrance Zdunich & Darren Smith
Based On: Their play of the same name.
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Set in a future where surgery has become a fashion statement, a chronically ill teen longs for the outside world. When she finally gets her wish, she’s quick to notice that not everything in her life is as it seems.
Why I Love It: A goth musical? With Sarah Brightman, Ogre, and Giles? How the heck could I not love it?? Great songs, great performances (even Paris! *gasp!*), and killer costumes, this was an instant cult classic. So much fun.

 

Signs

Title: Signs
Released in: 2002
Starring: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones, and Patricia Kalember
Directed by: M Night Shyamalan
Written by: M Night Shyamalan
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A preacher and his family find giant crop circles in their corn. Then they, and the rest of the world, come to realize that this time, it’s no hoax.
Why I Love It: A lot of people say that this was the beginning of the end for Shyamalan’s films, but I really liked this one. Yes, there’s a lot of self indulgent bullshit, but there’s a lot of great, tense moments, too, which more than make up for it.

 

Sinister

Title: Sinister
Released in: 2012
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ransone, Michael Hall D’Addario, Clare Foley, and Nick King
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Scott Derrickson & C Robert Cargill
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A true crime writer moves his family into a house where a horrific quadruple murder took place. He finds old reels of home video in the attic that leads him to believe that these murders were just one in a string of horrifying serial murders, taking place as far back as the 60’s.
Why I Love It: This is an excellent piece of film. Well acted, well written, awesomely atmospheric. Us horror fans are blessed that an actor of Ethan Hawke’s caliber loves doing horror films. But before you write this off as “just another ghost story”, think again. It’d probably have been higher on the list, but I’ve only seen it once, and so many others are higher simply for being loved longer, hehe.

 

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Title: The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Released in: 2005
Starring: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Jennifer Carpenter, Campbell Scott, Colm Feore, Joshua Close, Kenneth Welsh, Duncan Fraser, and Mary Beth Hurt
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Paul Harris Boardman & Scott Derrickson
Based On: A true story
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A tough lawyer takes on the case of a priest who is accused of negligent homicide after the death of a young woman on whom he had performed an exorcism.
Why I Love It: Exorcism movies, I find, are either amazing, or they’re crappy. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. This one is amazing. You wouldn’t think a courtroom drama and exorcism horror would mesh well together in the same film, but they really do. I don’t believe for a moment that this is actually a true story (not the possession part anyways, the exorcism and trial were real enough, though), but it’s captivating, and all the acting is wonderful, especially from Dexter actress Jennifer Carpenter.

 

The Exorcist III

Title: The Exorcist III
Released in: 1990
Starring: George C Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller, Nicol Williamson, Scott Wilson, Nancy Fish, and George DiCenzo
Directed by: William Peter Blatty
Written by: William Peter Blatty
Based On: Legion by William Peter Blatty
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Sequel to 1973’s The Exorcist, directed by William Friedkin and starring Linda Blair.
5 Second Synopsis: As a police lieutenant mourns on the anniversary of his friend’s death (Father Karras, from the first film), a serial killer strikes whose MO is eerily similar to a killer’s who’s been dead for 15 years.
Why I Love It: This is the sequel that The Exorcist should of had, instead of the abomination that was made (seriously, what the hell was that??) It’s a great story, and has real scares, with none of the camp that 90’s horror was so famous for. A real, under-rated gem.

 

NUMBERS 3

 

Constantine

Title: Constantine
Released in: 2005
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rachael Weisz, Shia LeBoeuf, Tilda Swinton, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Max Baker, and Peter Stormare
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Written by: Kevin Brodbin & Frank A Cappello
Based On: Hellblazer by Jamie Delano & Garth Ennis
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A supernatural detective stumbles on a world-ending plot while ridding the world of demons.
Why I Love It: I won’t try give credit where none is due, Keanu Reeves is still a pretty bad actor. And yet this movie is awesome. The film doesn’t follow the books very closely (but that’s ok with me since I didn’t enjoy them all that much anyways). But the story is great, the effects are amazing, and the supporting cast is very strong, giving poor Keanu all the help he needs.

 

Dracula 2000

Title: Dracula 2000
Released in: 2000
Starring: Gerard Butler, Justine Waddell, Jonny Lee Miller, Christopher Plummer, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Esposito, Omar Epps, Jeri Ryan, and Nathan Fillion
Directed by: Patrick Lussier
Written by: Joel Soisson
Based On: Characters created by Bram Stoker
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No. The Dracula story has been told in countless films, but this film, while based on the same story as all the others, is its own film, not based on its predecessors.
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: In modern-day London, the long-entrapped Count Dracula is unwittingly released by thieves, and goes to New Orleans to find the one born of his blood, Mary Van Helsing.
Why I Love It: It’s fun, hip, relatively well acted, and has a neat new idea for the identity of everyone’s favourite Count. Gerard Butler turns in a mesmerizing performance, it remains one of my very favourite on-screen vampire portrayals of all time. And he’s so sexy in this. So very, very sexy…. mmmmmmm… *snaps out of it* Ok, I’m done, sorry :-p

 

From Dusk Till Dawn

Title: From Dusk Till Dawn
Released in: 1996
Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, and Ted Williamson
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Two brothers on the run from the law take a father with his two kids hostage to sneak across the border into Mexico in their RV. Once there, they hole up in a brothel for the night to await a contact. Little do they know that this brothel is also a vampire nest, and they’re going to have to fight through the night if they want to survive.
Why I Love It: What not to love about this film? Badass characters, hyper-violence, buckets of blood, and lots of boobage, this movie is a ton and a half of fun, while still boasting a solid cast of good actors, and killer practical effects. Grab the popcorn and have a blast!

 

Identity

Title: Identity
Released in: 2003
Starring: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, John C McGinley, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey, and Pruitt Taylor Vince
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Michael Cooney
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A group of strangers gets trapped in a small motel while a storm floods the roads. Elsewhere, a doctor awaits the arrival of his patient, who is on death row and is to be executed the next day.
Why I Love It: Despite some rather shaky acting from some of the smaller cast members, this film is amazing. Good acting from the core actors, awesome story that’ll keep you guessing till the very end, and a killer twist that actually makes sense. I’d have preferred the last 2 minutes to be cut from the film, though, I find it kinda cheapens the whole thing, which is why I gave it 9 stars instead of 10.

 

Queen of the Damned

Title: Queen of the Damned
Released in: 2002
Starring: Stuart Townsend, Aaliyah, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez, Paul McGann, Lena Olin, and Matthew Newton
Directed by: Michael Rymer
Written by: Scott Abbott & Michael Patroni
Based On: The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Sequel to 1994’s Interview with the Vampire, directed by Neil Jordan and starring Brad Pitt.
5 Second Synopsis: A long-sleeping vampire wakes when a bold and arrogant younger vampire decides to start a rock band, and divulges “vampire secrets” in his lyrics.
Why I Love It: The acting is pretty shaky, the story is so far from Anne Rice’s original idea that it probably shouldn’t be allowed to claim to be based on her books, it’s full of clichés, and yet I love it. And nothing anyone can say will change my mind. Trust me, people have tried :-p

 

Stir of Echoes

Title: Stir of Echoes
Released in: 1999
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Erbe, Illeana Douglas, Zachary David Cope, Kevin Dunn, Conor O’Farrell, and Jennifer Morrison
Directed by: David Koepp
Written by: David Koepp
Based On: A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being hypnotized, a family man starts to unravel after he starts seeing cryptic messages from a ghostly girl.
Why I Love It: Wonderfully acted, creepy and atmospheric, and well written, this is an almost perfect ghost story.

 

The Exorcist

Title: The Exorcist
Released in: 1973
Starring: Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Max Von Sydow, Lee J Cobb, William O’Malley, and Mercedes McCambridge
Directed by: William Friedkin
Written by: William Peter Blatty
Based On: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, a true story
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After playing with a Ouija board, a young girl is possessed by a malevolent demon. Her mother begs a priest to perform an exorcism to save her.
Why I Love It: Just the right amount of body horror with psychological terror, this is one of the original greats. Saw it for the first time when I was 16, and it still scares me today. A true classic.

 

The Last Man on Earth

Title: The Last Man on Earth
Released in: 1964
Starring: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Directed by: Ubaldo Ragona
Written by: William F Leicester & Richard Matheson
Based On: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After an epidemic sweeps the globe and turns everyone into blood-sucking monsters, a lone survivor searches for a cure, while killing as many of the monsters as he can.
Why I Love It: Vincent Price, Richard Matheson, and vampires? Of course I love it! No other reason is necessary! 😀

 

The Mummy

Title: The Mummy
Released in: 1999
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachael Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Kevin J O’Connor, Oded Fehr, Jonathan Hyde, and Patricia Velasquez
Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Written by: Stephen Sommers
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Reimagining of 1932’s The Mummy, directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff
5 Second Synopsis: Adventurers looking for treasure and artifacts on an ancient Egyptian site accidentally awaken an evil mummy that had been buried for thousands of years.
Why I Love It: I love anything to do with ancient Egypt, supernatural or otherwise, so it was a given that I’d love this one. Thankfully, it also happens to be great fun to watch.

 

The Stand

Title: The Stand
Released in: 1994
Starring: Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Adam Storke, Laura San Giacomo, Ruby Dee, Rob Lowe, Corin Nemec, Matt Frewer, Miguel Ferrer, and Ray Walston
Directed by: Mick Garris
Written by: Stephen King
Based On: The Stand by Stephen King
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After a man-made super flu kills 99% of the people on earth, the survivors band together into two groups, one drawn by dreams of a kind old lady, the others by an evil man.
Why I Love It: I saw this at 13 when it first aired on tv, and I hadn’t read the book yet, which was probably a good thing, since it allowed me to love the mini-series, and not continuously compare it to the book. When I read the book a few years later, I was amazed at how much extra stuff was in it, but my love of the show was already cemented, hehe. It’s hopelessly dated, but it’s still a fun watch.

 

NUMBERS 2

 

Aliens

Title: Aliens
Released in: 1986
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, and William Hope
Directed by: James Cameron
Written by: James Cameron
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Sequel to 1979’s Alien, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver.
5 Second Synopsis: The sole survivor from the first film assists a tough group of space marines in containing the Xenomorph threat, while a malevolent company wants the alien offspring captured alive. Naturally, stuff goes very wrong.
Why I Love It: Do I really have to explain myself? A definite success in the merging of sci-fi and horror genres, it was, and remains, one of the best films of its genre. Everything was done so well that it’s easy to forget that the film wasn’t made recently, but rather almost 30 years ago. A sign of a job well done!

 

Beetlejuice

Title: Beetlejuice
Released in: 1988
Starring: Michael Keeton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Glenn Shadix
Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: Michael McDowell & Warren Skaaren
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After a young couple tragically dies in an accident, they’re told that they will have to “haunt” their house for quite a few number of years. When a new family moves in and start making changes to their beloved home, they contact a “bio-exorcist” to make them leave.
Why I Love It: This film almost didn’t make the list at all, since I wasn’t sure if I should include it in a horror list, but it’s so awesome that I decided to go ahead and add it. Wickedly funny with awesome practical effects, this has been one of my favourites since I was a kid.

 

Cabin in the Woods

Title: The Cabin in the Woods
Released in: 2012
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Anna Hutchison, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Amy Acker, Jodelle Ferland, and Sigourney Weaver
Directed by: Drew Goddard
Written by: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods for some R&R. Meanwhile, a government office seems to be preparing for something that involves the group. And that’s pretty much all I can say without giving spoilers, just in case there are still a few horror fans who haven’t seen this.
Why I Love It: “Written by Joss Whedon” was all I needed to see to convince me to go see it. It was so much fun, so tongue-in-cheek, that’s impossible to not love it. There are so many winks to so many horror films and tropes that even after multiple viewings, there’s always something I didn’t notice ‘last time’. Just awesome.

 

Dracula

Title: Dracula
Released in: 1992
Starring: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Sadie Frost, Cary Elwes, Richard E Grant, Tom Waits, and Monica Bellucci
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Written by: James V Hart
Based On: Dracula by Bram Stoker
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No. The Dracula story has been told in countless films, but this film, while based on the same story as all the others, is its own film, not based on its predecessors, and is actually closer to the book than the rest.
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After seeing a photograph of a woman who resembles his long-dead wife, a centuries old vampire travels to England to find her.
Why I Love It: I don’t really think I need to explain why I love this film, hehe. The only thing that’s not perfect is Keanu Reeves’ acting :-p

 

House on Haunted Hill

Title: House on Haunted Hill
Released in: 1999
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Ali Larter, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Chris Kattan, Bridgette Wilson, Max Perlich, and Jeffrey Combs
Directed by: William Malone
Written by: Dick Beebe
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1959’s House on Haunted Hill, directed by William Castle and starring Vincent Price.
5 Second Synopsis: An eccentric millionaire offers a million dollars to one of four guests if they can survive the night in a supposedly haunted mansion, which used to be an asylum with a horrifying past.
Why I Love It: Such a fun film that doesn’t rely on jump scares to creep you out. I absolutely love this one. Strong acting, strong writing, and a superbly creepy setting make this film step ahead of a lot of others in its genre.

 

It

Title: It
Released in: 1990
Starring: Tim Curry, Richard Thomas, Jonathan Brandis, Annette O’Toole, Emily Perkins, Harry Anderson, Seth Green, Dennis Christopher, and John Ritter
Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace
Written by: Tommy Lee Wallace & Stephen King
Based On: It by Stephen King
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: In 1960, seven outcast kids known as ‘The Losers Club’ fight an evil child-eating demon who poses as a clown. 30 years later, they are called back to fight the same clown again. (from IMDB)
Why I Love It: I watched this when it came out,which meant I was 9 years old. Pennywise traumatized the crap out of me, and I’ve hated clowns ever since. But despite all this, I loved it, and still do. I’m not sure I’d have liked it so much had I seen it for the first time now, because it absolutely screams early 90’s, so I guess it’s a good thing I saw it way back then, hehe.

 

Pitch Black

Title: Pitch Black
Released in: 2000
Starring: Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Claudia Black, Rhiana Griffith, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, and Simon Burke
Directed by: David Twohy
Written by: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat, and David Twohy
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A cargo ship carrying a dangerous fugitive crashes on a planet that is always bright. When the sun finally goes down, though, the survivors realize that they are not alone.
Why I Love It: I can’t really explain why I love this one so much. It should have just been a generic crash-land-on-dangerous-planet thing, and yet just because all components were slightly better than usual, it made this film a total gem. At least to me, hehe.

 

Stigmata

Title: Stigmata
Released in: 1999
Starring: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, Nia Long, Thomas Kopache, Rade Serbedzija, Enrico Colantoni, and Dick Latessa
Directed by: Rupert Wainwright
Written by: Tom Lazarus & Rick Ramage
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young woman is plagued with vicious bouts of stigmata, the wounds of Jesus Christ while being crucified, after receiving a rosary from her mother from Brazil. A priest from the Vatican is sent to investigate.
Why I Love It: I’m usually not big on religious stories, but this one spends more time on the characters, and less time being preachy, and so I enjoyed it very much. The story is great, most of the acting is great, and Gabriel Byrne is a stone-cold fox. Three great reasons to love it, hehehe.

 

The Eye

Title: Gin Gwai (The Eye)
Released in: 2002
Starring: Lee Sin-Je, Lawrence Chou, Candy Lo, Yut Lai So, Edmund Chen, Chutcha Rujinanon, Sue Yuen Wang, Pierre Png, and Yin Ping Ko
Directed by: The Pang Brothers
Written by: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang, and Yuet-Jan Hui
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young woman, blind from birth, gets cornea transplants, allowing her to finally see. But she soon realizes that her new eyes see much more than everyone else.
Why I Love It: Asian films are often too weird for me to enjoy, but when they get it right, they get it damn right. The acting, effects, and atmosphere are all stupendous. A definite gem, express from Hong Kong.

 

The Woman in Black

Title: The Woman in Black
Released in: 2012
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White, Shaun Dooley, Mary Stockley, Roger Allam, Jessica Raine, Sophie Stuckey, and Misha Handley
Directed by: James Watkins
Written by: Jane Goldman
Based On: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1989’s The Woman in Black, directed by Herbert Wise and starring Adrian Rawlins.
5 Second Synopsis: A young, widowed lawyer is sent to close the estate of an old woman who just passed away. While getting her affairs in order in her manor, he is plagued by an evil presence that brings a horrible end to some of the towns’ children.
Why I Love It: Superbly acted and creepily atmospheric, this film was a masterpiece. Young Daniel upped his game for this role, and he did a wonderful job. It’s hard to be in a film with so little dialogue and still be entertaining, but he, and the rest of the cast, managed beautifully. In my opinion, it’s one of the finest films to come out of the horror genre in the last 15 years. The only reason it’s not in the number ones is because all the films up there (save one) are long-time favourites.

 

And now, for the best of the best, my very favourites, the top 10 horror films that I strongly suggest everyone see, even those people who don’t really care for horror. As usual, these aren’t in any order, it’s a 10-way tie for the number 1 slot, hehe. There’s only one recent film, one from 2002, two from 1999, and then the rest are 1994 and earlier. But, like I said in my intro, you won’t be seeing hardly any of the ‘usuals’ in this spot. My number one spot(s) is reserved for films that are actually good 😉 So, without any further ado, here are my-

 

NUMBERS 1

 

Fright Night

Title: Fright Night
Released in: 1985
Starring: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall, Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark, Dorothy Fielding, and Art Evans
Directed by: Tom Holland
Written by: Tom Holland
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A teen becomes suspicious of his new neighbour when bodies of young women are found dumped in trash bags. He soon realizes the suave, handsome man is an evil vampire, and he tries to enlist the help of a tv vampire slayer to stop him.
Why I Love It: One of the original great horror-comedies, this film is fun, campy, and scary. The actors are perfect in their roles, especially Chris Sarandon as the evil yet seductive Jerry Dandridge. The remake, while nowhere near as good as this one, is still worth a gander.

 

Interview with the Vampire

Title: Interview with the Vampire
Released in: 1994
Starring: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, Stephen Rea, Domiziana Giordano, Indra Ové, and Thandie Newton
Directed by: Neil Jordan
Written by: Anne Rice
Based On: Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young man who has lost his wife and baby in childbirth is offered immortality by a charming but ruthless vampire. We follow him through his centuries of life as he tells his story to a young writer.
Why I Love It: So beautiful and sumptuous. Incredibly acted and written, it follows the book quite closely (which is to be expected when it’s the author who writes the screenplay). A lot of the actors don’t look like their book counterparts, but the movie is so well done that I was able to forgive this.

 

noes

Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Released in: 1984
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Charles Fleischer, John Saxon, and Ronee Blakley
Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Wes Craven
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: In the dreams of his victims, a spectral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him. (From IMDB)
Why I Love It: This was the very first horror movie I ever saw, even before The Lost Boys, which means I was just a wee thing (only 3 or 4 years old) when I saw it. And it’s stuck with me ever since, still one of my top 10 favourites, even with the sometimes laughable acting and effects. When a movie is this good, lots of stuff can be over-looked! hehe

 

Poltergeist

Title: Poltergeist
Released in: 1982
Starring: Craig T Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Heather O’Rourke, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Martin Casella, and Zelda Rubinstein
Directed by: Tobe Hooper
Written by: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorize the family before they kidnap the youngest daughter. (from IMDB)
Why I Love It: An absolute classic of the genre, it’s still one of the very best haunted house films ever made, even 32 years later.

 

Sleepy Hollow

Title: Sleepy Hollow
Released in: 1999
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Jeffrey Jones, Casper van Dien, Richard Griffiths, Michael Gough, Marc Pickering, Lisa Marie, Ian McDiarmid and Christopher Walken
Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker
Based On: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A slightly eccentric Constable is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate killings that the locals are sure were committed by a ghostly headless horseman.
Why I Love It: This is Burton and Depp at their very best, when the creative mojo was still mojoing, and they were still making terrific pictures together. The scenery is dark and brooding, the characters are all captivating, and Johnny Depp is, of course, absolutely gorgeous. Simply wonderful.

 

The Conjuring

Title: The Conjuring
Released in: 2013
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, Shannon Kook, John Brotherton and Joseph Bishara
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Chad Hayes & Carey Hayes
Based On: The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle, a true story.
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: When the strange occurrences in their new home become more frequent and violent, a family of seven asks a husband and wife team of paranormal investigators to help them.
Why I Love It: The most recent film in my whole list, and yet it blew right to one of the top spots almost immediately. Everything in this film is perfect. All the actors are in excellent form, the writing and directing are phenomenal, and it’s more than just a little scary. Not many recent films have this kind of power and atmosphere. If you haven’t seen this yet, I highly reccomend that you drop everything and go watch it right now!! 😉

 

The Lost Boys

Title: The Lost Boys
Released in: 1987
Starring: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Keifer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Jamison Newlander, Alex Winter, Billy Wirth, Brooke McCarter, Chance Michael Corbitt, Folsom the Dog, and Cody the Dog
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Written by: Jan Fischer, James Jeremias, and Jeffrey Boam
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: When brothers Sam and Michael move to a new town after their parents divorce, they quickly realize that the town is over-run by vampires. Sam gets help from self-appointed vampire slayers, but for Michael it may be too late…
Why I Love It: It was the first vampire movie I ever saw, and was the beginning of a life-long love affair with all things that go bump in the night. The story isn’t really anything new (I’m not even sure there’s any original ideas left anywhere), but the ride is so fun that it doesn’t matter. Their vampires are the ‘real’ deal; they’re strong, fast, sexy and oh so evil, just the way vamps aught to be, hehe.

 

The Ring

Title: The Ring
Released in: 2002
Starring: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Jane Alexander, Lindsay Frost, Amber Tamblyn, Shannon Cochran, and Daveigh Chase
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Based On: Ringu (Ring) by Kôji Suzuki
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1998’s Ringu, directed by Hideo Nakata and starring Nanako Matsushima.
5 Second Synopsis: After her niece dies under mysterious circumstances, a journalist promises her sister she will investigate the death. What she finds is a cassette tape that kills you in seven days if you watch it. With the clock ticking, she must figure out what the spirit in the tape wants, or else die like everyone else who has seen it.
Why I Love It: It doesn’t happen very often that a remake is better than the original, but this happens to be one such instance. Despite the dated nature of some of the plot points (does anyone even own vhs anymore? lol), this film is still immensely watchable and creepy, even 12 years later. Everything is wonderful, acting, effects, writing, everything. Not just one of my favourite horror movies, it’s one of my favourite movies, period.

 

The Silence of the Lambs

Title: The Silence of the Lambs
Released in: 1991
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Frankie Faison, Brooke Smith, Lawrence T Wrentz, and Diane Baker
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Written by: Ted Tally
Based On: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young FBI rookie is sent to ask the help of brilliant cannibalistic killer Dr Hannibal Lecter in catching another killer who kidnaps his victims, holds them for many days, then skins them to make a “woman suit”.
Why I Love It: I love serial killers. I’ve got this weird, morbid fascination with them. I watch a lot of true crime stuff, read true crime books, and of course, I love serial killer fiction as well. And this film, even after so much time, is still the best of the best. Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill are still two of the creepiest serial killers ever to be captured on film, and it’s still, to my knowledge, the only horror film not only to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, but to win it. And it was very much earned.

 

The Sixth Sense

Title: The Sixth Sense
Released in: 1999
Starring: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Trevor Morgan, Mischa Barton, and Donnie Wahlberg
Directed by: M Night Shyamalan
Written by: M Night Shyamalan
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they’re dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (from IMDB)
Why I Love It: I do love me a good old haunting. I remember when I saw this for the first time. I went to see it at the cinema with my cousin. And we were both so blown away by that ending, we went back to see it again right after, just to see if we could spot any mistakes that would have the twist make no sense. We couldn’t. And thankfully, unlike a lot of films with such twists, this film is so good that even knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t take any enjoyment away from the film.

 

PHEW!! That’s it! I’m finally done!! I hope you guys really enjoy this article, it took me more than 3 weeks to complete! (Not working at it full time, obviously, but still!) I had loads of fun making it, and I hope you have as much fun reading it.

Thanks for coming by, and stay tuned for more! (I’ll try my best to return to a more regular posting schedule 🙂 ).

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow
(1999) Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Jeffrey Jones, Casper van Dien, Richard Griffiths, Michael Gough, Marc Pickering, Lisa Marie, Ian McDiarmid and Christopher Walken

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I absolutely adore this film. This is Burton and Depp at their very best, when the creative mojo was still mojoing, and they were still making terrific pictures together. The scenery is dark and brooding, the characters are all captivating, and Johnny Depp is, of course, absolutely gorgeous (as is his co-star Christina Ricci). I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this film, but I wouldn’t even be surprised if it was in the three figures. And my enjoyment of it has never faded. If you haven’t seen this and and are looking for an atmospheric horror flick, but don’t like a lot of splatter, then I reccomend this to you very highly. It walks that tightrope line of bringing some dark humour to the film, without making it silly. Harder to do than you might think, judging the number of really effective horror comedies out there (not that this is a comedy, but anyways..). If I could give it an 11, I would, but as it is, it gets 10/10.

This film is currently on Netflix. Enjoy!

 

M.

The Most Beautiful Men

It’s no secret: I like beautiful men. I have a pretty specific genre that I like, and if there’s anyone who I find beautiful that’s not in my usual criteria, you can imagine that he’s as damn near perfect as a person can get, hehe. There isn’t really much else to say, this post is pure visual candy. I’m oogling them, and unashamed. Care to join me? Here they are, in alphabetical order (since that’s how they’re ordered in my pictures file :-p ), the men in the entertainment industry that I find the best looking. (For those who prefer women, worry not! I shall do another post like this about the ladies!)

 

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I’ve known who Alexander is for a good while now, but I hadn’t seen anything that he’d done until True Blood. And really, they couldn’t have picked a better actor to portray the thousand year old Viking. He definitely looked his best in season 1, when they actually had him looking like a Viking. He hadn’t cut his hair for a thousand years, why on earth would he start now?? That’s just one of the (many) things that annoy me about the show. But I digress…

 

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Andy Biersack is the lead singer for the rock group Black Veil Brides. I don’t like all their music, but it’s mostly pretty good, and the band is talented. Andy’s vocals are quite amazing, surprisingly deep for someone that looks so… girly :-p If I were putting this list in order, Andy would be very near the top, maybe even number one. Let’s just pretend, for skeezyness’ sake, that he’s not only 21 years old, ok…?

 

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Dorian Gray. That’s really all I need to say here. A quite liberal take on the book, I nevertheless enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I’m sure seeing almost all of Ben’s skin had nothing to do with that… He’s got such a baby face that I was surprised (and rather relieved) that he’s the same age as me!

 

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Before Star Trek 2, I’d never heard of Benedict. My friends have been singing the praises of Sherlock since it came out, but I’d never gotten around to watching it until recently. Before I saw him on the big screen, I’d only seen pictures, and was unimpressed. I thought he was just weird looking, like a strange elf. And then I saw him in action on-screen. And oh. My. God. I had to take back every single thing I said about him. I was so smitten that the very next day after seeing ST2, I hooked myself up to Netflix and watched Sherlock. Watching him in action as the famous sleuth literally takes my breath away. And that voice… mm.

 

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Before Hemlock Grove, I didn’t even know Alexander had a brother (let alone the 3 other siblings he’s got besides Bill!), but after watching the show I have to ask myself, what the heck is in the water in Sweden?? I mean really.

 

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Lead singer for the alternative band Placebo, I’ve been in love with Brian Molko (and Placebo) since I graduated high school. He’s got such a unique voice, makes such amazing, powerful, meaningful music that it’s literally impossible to not love him. He’s 40 now, but he still looks freaking fabulous!

 

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Colin looks good in pretty much everything he’s been in. And if he happens to be in a role that allows him use of his real accent (Irish), the hotness doubles. But if I had to choose the one film he looked best in, I’d have to go with Fright Night, even though he doesn’t have the accent. Cause he plays a vampire, and that trumps everything :-p

 

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I’m sure any girl my age would agree with me, David was the ultimate heartthrob of the 90’s. I was in high school when Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired, and, like every other teenaged girl with eyes, I was immediately smitten with the vampiric Angel. He plays in Bones now, which is in it’s 9th season, and he hasn’t lost any of his appeal. His few forays onto the big screen went mostly unnoticed (for good reason), but that’s ok. He doesn’t need to be in films to be awesome. TV is a good place to be.

 

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Ah, Doctor. My beautiful, lonely, messed-up Doctor. I’ve only recently discovered Doctor Who, but I’m so very glad I did. David could look good sitting in a burlap sack while reading a phone book. Thankfully though, his roles make him look much better than that. I’m going to say, in the looks department, it’ll be a tie between Doctor Who and Fright Night. If only for the shirtless, leather-pants-clad scene alone.

 

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Cellist in the alternative band Apocalytica, Eicca is as talented as he is beautiful. I saw them live a few years back, and I have to say it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to a lot. Eicca’s weight fluctuates a lot, so sometimes he looks much rounder than usual. I guess that’s when he’s been off tour for a while. Cause the way they run around the stage with their huge instruments night after night, there’s no way he’d keep on any extra pounds! hehe

 

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I’ve loved Elijah since I was a kid. We’re almost the exact same age (he’s 7 months older) so we kinda grew up together. He was a cute kid, then he went through this horrible gawky stage in his teens, but thankfully he grew out of it, and now he’s gorgeous. He’s got the goofiest smile, I think it’s perfectly charming. And those eyes, my goodness. You could fall right into those pools. He’s a wonderful actor, too, which makes him even better!

 

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While he’s gotten too “manly” for me, the first film I saw him in floored me. His role as Dracula in Dracula 2000 was absolutely perfect. It’s still one of my favourite Dracula performances. Taken as what it’s meant to be, Dracula 2000 is awesome.

 

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I’d never heard of Harry before Game of Thrones, although I did just recently see him in a two-part episode of Doctor Who. And while he was cute in the episode, if I were picking favourites, it would definitely be his role as the snivelling ass-hat Prince Viserys. The character has absolutely no redeeming qualities, but my-oh-my was he beautiful. That scene with the girl in the bathtub…. *phew*

 

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I first saw Jackson in Twilight, and while his hair was weird, his face is absolutely stunning. I haven’t seen all his movies, but I think he probably looked his best in The Last Airbender. Mediocre movie at best, but boy, did he make it worthwhile! He really is a great actor, and you can actually see it when he picks good projects to be in (like that chilling episode of Criminal Minds…)

 

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This man seemingly has it all; looks, acting talent, and a hell of a set of pipes. I don’t know where he thinks he gets off being so  talented, I mean really, save some for the rest of us! I’ve seen his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, live twice. And last time I even waited around after the show so I could get his autograph. I’ve never done that before. He’s the first celebrity that I’ve ever touched (our fingers brushed while I took my CD back, ooh :-p ), and while I’m sure it didn’t do anything life-altering to me, it was cool to meet him nonetheless, hehe.

 

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Dean Winchester. Really, do I have to say anything more than that?? You have no idea how happy it makes me that a man this beautiful loves to do horror. It’s just a shame that, despite his looks and talent, he can’t seem to find a good film role. That’s ok, as long as he keeps doing Supernatural, it’s all good.

 

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Beautiful and talented, Johnny’s been one of my favourite actors since I first saw him, all those years ago, in Cry-Baby, which, by rights, should be a very bad movie, and yet somehow isn’t. Or, maybe it is, and I just don’t see it, hehe. Actually, technically it would be Nightmare on Elm Street that I first saw him in, but I was so young that I hardly remember at all, and I actually didn’t know it was Johnny in the role till I saw it again somewhere in my late teens. But my favourite film of his is probably still Sleepy Hollow. Man, I love that flick… Johnny owns a club called The Viper Room in LA (where River Phoenix tragically died), and I went there on my trip to LA a few years back. Sadly, he was not in attendance :-p

 

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I first saw Jonathan in Velvet Goldmine, and have been in love ever since. It seems unfair that someone so attractive should also be so talented, but there you have it. He’s looked amazing in almost all of his roles, but I’d have to pick Titus as the top. The combo of the long hair and tattoos just rocked me. I’m looking forward to see his portrayal of Dracula. As usual, I’m waiting till the end of the season so I can watch at my leisure. So hurry up, dammit! hehe

 

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Jon Snow. That is all. I haven’t seen Kit in anything but Game of Thrones, but with the talent and looks he’s got, I’m sure we’ll be seeing him pop up more in time.

 

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While Lee Pace looks good no matter what he’s doing, He was jaw-droppingly gorgeous (for all of 2 seconds) in The Hobbit. I was so happy to see that he was in this movie, and after spending the whole movie waiting to see him again, I was quite upset it never happened. Thank goodness there’s two other Hobbit films to come! I certainly hope I’ll get to see the second before it leaves cinemas!

 

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Matthew (of the ever-changing hair) is the lead singer for alternative rock band Muse, one of my very favourite bands. I *finally* got to see them live this year (last time they came round I found out on the day of. I was not amused), and it was fan-bloody-tastic. If I believed in angels, I’d say his voice was a gift straight from the angels. As it is, I’ll just say his voice is amazing. And he sounds just as good live as he does on the CD. You’d be surprised (or not) at how many singers don’t.

 

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I’ve just recently started watching Criminal Minds, and boy am I glad I did (and not only because of Matthew). It’s such a great show, awesome stories, solid acting all the way around, just generally a great show. Not a very realistic view of FBI procedures I’m sure, but really now, what show is? I’m at season 7 now, at the beginning, I’ve only watched the first episode. Matthew’s character, Dr Spencer Reid, is one of the best characters in the show. He’s a gorgeous geek, and a complete genius. I’ve only seen him in one film (How to be a Serial Killer), but it was pretty good, if a little weird. I don’t actually know what else he’s been in. I should probably check it out… And, yes, I just realized I spelled his name wrong in my picture, but I’m too lazy to change it. So there.

 

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Castiel. Nuff said. Oddly enough, when Castiel first showed himself in season 4 of Supernatural, I wasn’t all that impressed. He was good looking, yes, but nothing special. But through his interaction with Dean Winchester, and the force of his personality, he got more beautiful by the second. I’m so upset at the direction that Supernatural writers took the character, especially in season 7. He just doesn’t feel like the same person any more. I know character development is important in a show, but really, did he have to “develop” that far??

 

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My favourite Nicholas Hoult film is definitely Warm Bodies, but I can’t really say that’s the film he looks the best in. The goth/emo look is fine. Dead? Not so much. But he was absolutely breathtaking in A Single Man. And not because he was naked a whole lot near the end. Ok, not just because… :-p But holy crap, what a downer that film was, especially the ending. I was so emotionally wrung out after that, I needed to watch a cartoon afterwards, hehe.

 

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I first saw Orlando in Lord of the Rings and he literally took my breath away. Not the best of actors, but when you look like he does, I suppose it doesn’t matter too much. To choose whether he looked better in Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean, though, that’s impossible. So I call a tie. Looking forward to seeing him in The Desolation of Smaug, even though, from what I saw in the trailers, his face seems to be very CGI’d. Did he age that badly in just over 10 years..?

 

Robert Downey Jr

I’ve loved Robert Downey Jr since I was a kid. He’s so talented, I just can’t believe he still doesn’t have an Oscar. He was nominated twice, but never won. What a shame. But like a fine wine, Robert seems to get better with age. He’s always been good looking, but he was positively gorgeous as Tony Stark. And he still makes my heart flutter in Only You, one of my all-time favourite chick flicks.

 

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Strangely enough, when I first saw Thor, I can’t say that I really noticed Tom. I’m not sure why, maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention. But then The Avengers came out, and my jaw literally hit the floor. That scene where Loki’s at the party, coming down the stairs, in that suit? The man couldn’t have looked more perfect than if he’d walked straight out of my dreams.

 

Honourable mentions for actors who have passed away

I feel a little gross including dead men in my list of beauties, so I’ll list a few off here, to remind you how good looking they were in life:

River Phoenix (The Thing Called Love, Stand By Me)
Heath Ledger (10 Things I Hate About You, The Dark Knight)
Brandon Lee (The Crow)
Brad Renfro (The Client, Apt Pupil)
Corey Haim (The Lost Boys, Just One of the Girls)
Kurt Cobain (singer of alternative band Nirvana)
Glenn Quinn (Angel)

And that’s it. What did you think? Which male celebrities make you weak in the knees? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for more!! 🙂

M.