Time Out 100 Best Horror Films - How Many Have You Seen?
I recently revisited the Time Out 100 Best Horror Films. I have a love hate relationship with movie lists of this kind, because of their binary nature and the sort of debates they generate. However, as this list is revised regularly, I thought why not go and have a look and see what has changed. Furthermore, this list is more credible than others because the one hundred titles listed have been selected by a group of contributors associated with the genre. These include Roger Corman, Guillermo del Toro, Simon Pegg, Clive Barker, Alice Cooper and Kim Newman. There is an interesting mix of titles from the traditional to the obscure as well as some interesting new additions such as A Quiet Place and Lake Mungo. I personally have seen 93 of the movies listed. However, there are a few movies that I more than likely will never see, due to my personal taste. Salò and Audition for example.
Of course, there were a few titles that I'd like to have seen included on the list. Michael Reeve's Witchfinder General for example is conspicuously absent. Not only is it a deeply disturbing film with a palpable air of menace but is possibly one of the finest pieces of British cinema ever. Yet it continuously seems to be overlooked in favour of The Wickerman. I also think that Hammer Studios deserved more representation than just The Horror of Dracula. Their contribution to advancing the horror genre should not be underestimated. But this is the nature and possibly the purpose of such lists to stimulate debate. Half the fun comes from arguing with your friends about why Fulci's The New York Ripper is of greater artistic merit than say The Mark of the Devil or CHUD II: Bud the CHUD. Also, I’m both annoyed and delighted by the inclusion of Jaws. It is a beautifully constructed piece of cinema with a superb cast, but can it really be labelled a horror movie.
I guess, as I’ve raised the subject of lists of this nature, it is only fair that I provide one myself. So here are a few horror films that I consider to be or significance or merit. They are a mixed bunch and should not be directly compared to each other, as they represent different aspects of the genre and are aimed at different markets. Some are pure exploitation. Others are more cerebral and enjoy a more credible reputation and broader appeal. Ask me again in a months’ time and I may suggest a completely different set of titles. Feel free to share your own personal favourites or to "criticise" my choice. Also let me know how many of the Time Out list you have seen. I'd be very interested to know. If you are a genre fan who wishes to understand and appreciate it as best you can, I think it is important to be familiar with as broad a spectrum of material as possible.
The Uninvited (1944)
The Orphanage AKA El Orfanato (2007)
Nightbreed (1990) NB Try to see either the Cabal Cut or the Director’s Cut.
The Keep (1983)
The Devil Rides Out (1968)
The Man Who Laughs (1928)
Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968)