Much vaunted and much parodied, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining remains his masterpiece. With Jack Nicholson’s deteriorating hotel caretaker taking centre stage amid a series of iconic hauntings – “redrum”, the twins, the bath – The Shining is a truly terrifying take on isolation horror.
Spain’s answer to the contemporary giallo, Julia’s Eyes, about a woman who investigates her twin sister’s mysterious suicide, veers more towards the thriller territory. But with some truly queasy set-pieces and a killer visual flair, Julia’s Eyes will manage to please both horror and non-horror fans alike.
This psychological horror about an obsessive lover is more disturbing than scary. As a widower schemes to replace his late wife under the guise of a TV audition, he gets more than he bargained for. Director Takashi Miike dials up the perverse in a film that will stay under your skin.
Ahí va el Diablo
A simple story about two missing children who resurface with a secret breathes new life into the tired ‘possessed children’ trope thanks to its wildly frenetic pace. Complete with frenzied camera zooms and a penchant for melodramatic dialogue, as if the Devil himself possessed a telenovela.
Far removed from his exploits in Middle Earth, Peter Jackson’s horror comedy has now achieved cult status. As dedicated son Lionel decides to hide his newly zombified mother, his efforts become increasingly futile. Braindead takes the zombie genre and turns it on its head, with its ridiculous finale a genuine pleasure.
More grotesque fairy tale than straight-up horror movie, Livid’s glacial pace, dream logic and suffocating atmosphere will likely put the majority of audiences off. However, with its slick art house aesthetic and some unmissable cinematic nods to the golden age of Italian horror cinema, Livid is perfect for those looking for something different.
Drag Me to Hell
One of the most enjoyable horror films of recent years. Alison Lohman’s loan of- ficer is desperate to rid herself of a gypsy’s curse after becoming haunted. A confronta- tion with the latter in her car a highlight, Drag Me to Hell toes the line perfectly be- tween the suspenseful and the slapstick.
In My Skin
Following a woman’s descent into self-harm, the film is certainly not for the faint hearted. Raw in its execution, the camera rarely cuts away, forcing the audience to bear witness to some truly horrific acts of self-mutilation. Not a horror film in the traditional sense, but watch with caution.