I’m planning to spend most of this week drinking, and frankly, that gets in the way of long, rambling, and expletive-filled reviews. Fortunately, in the seven years Now Fear This has been alive and well, I’ve written a lot of long, rambling, and expletive-filled reviews. So this Thanksgiving, if you’re looking for something terrifying to watch that maybe you haven’t heard of, browse through this list of (mostly) horror gems.
28 Weeks Later: A lesser film than its predecessor, though it still has plenty to recommend it.
All Cheerleaders Die: A funny and strange take on zombie love.
Angel Heart: A better film than its notorious reputation suggests.
Attack the Block: Aliens attack a London slum, and it’s up to an embryonic street gang to save the day.
The Bay: The ‘80s meets the ‘10s in this disturbing found footage gem.
Bad Milo!: A touching horror comedy featuring a butt monster.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon: A mockumentary on the making of a supernatural serial killer in the tradition of Jason, Freddy, and Michael.
Bone Tomahawk: A great horror-western.
Breakdown: Kurt Russell vs. JT Walsh. Nuff said.
The Brood: Having kids never seemed so fun and easy in this Cronenberg classic!
Brotherhood of the Wolf: Possibly the finest horror romance period piece kung fu action flick ever made.
Bubba Ho-Tep: Elvis and JFK fight a mummy in a Texas rest home.
Cast a Deadly Spell: Los Angeles, 1948. Everyone uses magic.
Cellular: A fun thriller featuring Captain America and the Transporter.
Centurion: Extremely sexy people battle it out in Iron Age Scotland.
Changeling: A baroque docudrama about the nature of corruption.
The Changeling: A truly creepy and atmospheric ghost story.
Chillerama: Highly offensive and extremely funny horror comedy anthology.
The Company of Wolves: Neil Jordan’s fairy tale phantasmagoria that’s probably his way of dealing with sexual abuse.
Cube: Six people trapped in the world’s strangest prison.
Dark City: Director’s Cut: A new edit transforms a good film into a great one.
Dawn of the Dead: Zach Snyder’s best film.
Death Machine: What we thought the future would be in the ‘90s.
Deep Rising: A creature feature in the tradition of the best b-movies.
The Descent: A modern classic of survival horror so scary it barely even needs its monsters.
Dick: A comedy about Dick (Nixon).
Dog Soldiers: Werewolves hunt British soldiers through the Scottish highlands.
Doomsday: Neil Marshall plays Mad Libs with every ‘80s movie ever.
Drop Dead Gorgeous: A pitch black comedy finally getting its cult due.
Feast: A postmodern creature feature.
Fido: The story of a utopia or dystopia. Or zomtopia.
Frailty: A creepy Southern Gothic tale about God.
Freddy vs. Jason: Two horror icons duke it out.
From the Dark: A simple horror story in the dark.
The Ghost and the Darkness: Building a bridge is tough when you’re dealing with two of the worst serial killers in history who also happen to be lions.
The Gift: A creepy Southern Gothic gem from the minds of Sam Raimi and Billy Bob Thornton.
Ginger Snaps: Lycanthrophy serves as a metaphor for puberty for a pair of gothy Irish twins.
Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed: A symbol-happy sequel with a stunning twist.
Gremlins 2: The New Batch: The anarchic sequel/parody of the horror blockbuster.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters: So much better than it looks.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II: An underrated sequel ramps up the worldbuilding.
High Tension: A French extremism homage to classic horror of the ‘70s
The Hitcher: A stark cat-and-mouse story in the unforgiving desert.
The House of the Devil: An ‘80s homage so loving it’s a wonder I didn’t dream it.
The Innkeepers: A slow and moody film that accurately captures the realities of the workplace.
Ironclad: A group of badasses defend a castle.
Insidious: An eerie gore-free ghost story from the guys behind Saw.
Insidious Chapter 2: An effective sequel to a true horror gem.
Joe Versus the Volcano: A sweet romantic fantasy about the importance of dreaming big.
Josie and the Pussycats: A fun musical comedy.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space: A cable mainstay with great creature FX.
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau: A great documentary about a terrible film.
May: An indie dramedy gone horribly awry.
The Midnight Meat Train: A solid Clive Barker adaptation.
The Missing: An Apache sorcerer kidnaps a girl to sell her into slavery, Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones to the rescue.
The Mist: Though adapted from a Stephen King novella, this is one of the best Lovecraft movies ever made.
Mute Witness: Hitchcockian yarn about a mute girl targeted for death by Russian snuff film makers.
My Boyfriend’s Back: It’s a one joke picture, but you gotta admit the joke is pretty funny.
Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut: A curiosity becomes a classic.
Outlander: Alien Jesus + Vikings vs. Dragon.
Pontypool: A truly original take on zombies.
Predators: Basically an episode of Deadliest Warrior with fucking Predators.
Pumpkinhead: A Stan Winston film.
The Purge: Anarchy: A sequel that finally fulfills the squandered promise of the original.
Rare Exports: A truly original Christmas horror film.
Ravenous: You are who you eat.
Raze: A bone-crunching exploitation riff on the male gaze.
The Sacrament: A disturbing fictionalized account of Jonestown.
Series 7: The Contenders: An early satire of reality television.
Session 9: This whole goddamn movie is haunted.
Splice: Why you should never use metaphor with your mutant.
Stake Land: A survival horror movie with indie cred.
Stir of Echoes: An underrated ghost story.
The Strangers: Lock the doors, bar the windows. Doesn’t matter. They’re already in the house.
Streets of Fire: A rock and roll fable.
The Stuff: Are you eating it, or is it eating you?
Teeth: A young woman makes friends with her mutation. Say cheese!
Them!: ‘50s atomic horror classic about giant ants.
The Thin Blue Line: An Errol Morris classic that doubles as a terrifying horror story.
Trollhunter: The best found footage movie ever made.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: Ingenious hicksploitation parody that gives us The Texas Chain Saw Massacre from Leatherface’s point of view.
What We Do in the Shadows: A hilarious mockumentary about vampires.
The Witch: A primary sourced horror tale.
You’re Next: An inversion of the classic home invasion horror thriller.
Enjoy your terror!