Top Ten Most Anticipated Horror Films I Haven’t Seen

Posted: October 23, 2015 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to expand my horror horizons. I’d like to think I’ve seen quite a bit since I’ve started writing about movies, but I still have a way to go. So I’ve decided to compile a list of the ten horror films I haven’t seen, but which I’m most anticipating. I couldn’t really settle on a ranking, so I decided to just go in chronological order. But before I dive in…

Honourable Mention: Friday the 13th  (1980)

The fact that I’ve never seen the original Friday the 13th is probably one of my greatest horror blind spots given what a major franchise it spawned. And yet, it isn’t exactly a movie I’m chomping at the bit to see. I’ve seen some of the sequels (along with the remake) and none of these movies really made me think this is a series I’d like to dive into. On top of that, the reputation for the original is fairly mixed. The series didn’t seem to come into its own until Part Three. I do want to see it eventually, but it doesn’t excite me the way the other films in my list do. So, I have it here as an honourable mention.

1. The Man Who Laughs (1928)the man who laughs

There were a lot of silent horror movies that I considered for this list, but The Man Who Laughs won out. The fact that the film comes at the tail end of the silent era is enticing. Silent films were at a creative peak at the late 1920s and this German Expressionist work’s reputation reflects that. However what pushed this over the edge was simply the influence The Man Who Laughs had in creating one of my favourite characters of all-time; The Joker. That’s one hell of a legacy.

2. Freaks (1932)Freaks-803004800-large

Freaks is a film I’m primarily interested in for how unique it is. It seems shocking that a film depicting circus folk with real deformities would be made by Hollywood in the 1930s. Sure enough, the film was considered obscene and buried for a number of years. The film was rediscovered by the counter-culture movement and is now considered a horror classic for its ability to frighten audiences, and to touch them emotionally. Sign me up.

3. Vampyr (1932)vampyr

My interest in Vampyr stems entirely from my appreciation of Carl Theodor Dryer. I’ve only seen two of his films, but both were excellent. Day of Wrath is a very powerful work and The Passion of Joan of Arc is arguably the greatest silent film of all-time. This is Dryer’s first sound film, but is said to use a lot of silent film techniques. That’s a pretty interesting approach. Vampyr seems a crucial step in the evolution of a major director.

4. The Thing from Another World (1951)the-thing-from-another-world-movie-poster-1951-1020433189

I’m familiar with John Carpenter’s awesome version of The Thing, but so far the original has eluded me. It’s a film that interests both as a fan of horror and science-fiction. In terms of the latter, The Thing from Another World seems to be playing in the same territory as other 50s sci-fi movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still. By that I mean they are films with B movie trappings, but ones where the elements and execution elevate the works to a higher level. Beyond that, how can you not be interested in a movie about a bunch of dudes trapped in the arctic with a deadly alien?

5. Les Diaboliques (1955)diabolique-movie-poster-1955-1020417623

Released on the heels of his masterful The Wages of Fear, Henri-Georges Clouzot directed this psychological horror film which has received nothing but praise since release. In truth, I actually know very little about this film beyond its stellar reputation, but in this case, that’s enough. It’s also worth noting that Alfred Hitchcock had attempted to secure the rights of the novel for his own adaptation, but was beaten by Clouzot.

6. Onibaba (1964)onibaba-movie-poster-1964-1020527030

The 1950s and 60s are often considered a golden age for Japanese cinema and is a movement I’d like to be exposed to more of. As of now, most of my knowledge of Japanese movies of the era (and really at all) comes from Akira Kurosawa. Another one of the major players is Kaneto Shindo, whose horror film Onibaba is widely praised. It’s interesting that the film also be listed as a historical drama, which is something not usually seen in Horror without supernatural elements. I’m intrigued.

7. Kwaidan (1964)KWAIDAN - Japanese Poster 4

Yet again we have a Japanese horror film from 1964, but this time I’m a little more familiar with the director. Directed by Masaki Kobayashi, Kwaidan (which literally translates to “ghost stories”) is an anthology horror film of Japanese folk lore. Anthology films are often hit or miss, but with one consistent directorial voice behind each segment, I have a lot more faith. Especially since director Kobayashi’s previous film, Harakiri, is a masterpiece of storytelling, particularly in regards to theme and structure.

8. Eraserhead (1977)eraserhead

So far I’ve seen three David Lynch movies and while I haven’t really loved any of them, I’m compelled to keep looking. His debut feature, Eraserhead, is the one I’m most compelled by. I’ve already highlighted the awesome music in a previous list, but the fact that the film was a favourite of Stanley Kubrick and a major influence on The Shining is also a huge factor in my interest. The film as a whole seems trippy, but hugely important and a must-see both as a horror fan and a cinephile.

9. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)nosferatu the vampyre

F.W. Murnau’s original Nosferatu is one of the undisputed masterpieces of the silent era and among the most important films, let alone horror films, of all-time. A remake would seem an insane proposition, but Werner Herzog’s version is also cited as an outstanding work. The film is said to not only embrace the horror and atmosphere of the story, but to also speak to the tragedy and loneliness of a vampire’s existence. That’s an interesting angle to take with this story. I’ve also been wanting to see more Herzog films (so far all I’ve seen is Aguirre, the Wrath of God) and this seems to be a great place to go next.

*Editors note: Since making the list, I have seen Nosferatu the Vampyre. It’s just as great as I hoped.

10. Scanners (1981)Scanners-movie-poster

David Cronenberg is one of my favourite directors and I knew one of his early horror films had to make this list. I did strongly consider The Brood, his 1979 film about murderous children, but ultimately decided to go with Scanners with its head-exploding action. The film’s plot seems somewhat reminiscent of Cronenberg’s Videodrome in that it deals with a world of the supernatural hidden beneath the reality we know. The film is also thought to be an important step in Cronenberg’s mastery of body horror. Given how essential body horror has been in Cronenberg’s work (even his non-horror films) this is a must-see for any fan of his work. Plus, have you guys seen that head explosion? Fucking rad.

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