I don’t want a site that just focuses on what’s new. There are a lot of good horror movies that are old too. So I’m going to include them all…
Bram Stoker’s Dracula(1988)
Dracula has been made and copied so many times, however this is my favorite movie. The cast is awesome: Gary Oldman, Winnona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, and Anthony Hopkins. I don’t think this version can ever be beat. They reworked the story line, combining the fictitious “Count Dracula” with the real life “Prince Dracula.” When the Prince’s beloved wife Elizabeta is conned into committing suicide, Prince Dracula turns on his church and his god. He stabs a big stone cross which begins to bleed. He grabs a cup and fills it with the blood. As he raises it to his lips he says, “The blood is the life.” Thus he becomes a vampire, and feasts on his neighbors for 400 years until he finds his true love reincarnated in England. She becomes his obsession. The only thing I don’t like about this movie is the ending. Prince Vlad is stabbed, though he really could have healed, he asks Mina (the reincarnated Elizabeta) to end it all… :p
There have been a ton of movies based on or influenced by the work of H.P. Lovecraft, some are just fun. This one is actually good. A small boatload of friends off the coast of Spain get shipwrecked from an attack by a strange sea creature. One of the women (of course in nothing but a towel) got caught under some of the wreckage and the water was rushing into the boat. Anther man (who’s mother was from that area of Spain) and his Spanish girlfriend went to a nearby island for help. Before the two get to the island, the woman and her boyfriend get to meet Dagon. The island, of course, turns out to be very much like Innsmouth. The first person they meet is a priest in the “Esoteric Order of Dagon“, a priest with webbed fingers. The priest asked a couple of fisherman to help, which they agreed to. Naturally the priest insisted one of them stay behind to split them up. Like the town of Innsmouth there is a seemingly crazy old drunk with all the answers. They have great props in this movie, and a great story line. This was such an underrated movie. If you have never seen it I highly recommend it, especially if you are a fan of Lovecraft. If you’re not, what is wrong with you? The man was a genius!
*BTW, you can find it on youtube.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
The movie starts with a small band of Scottish soldiers dropped in the middle of a forest on a training mission. They have two days before a helicopter comes to pick them up. The first day goes fine, but on the second day they are attacked by a pack of werewolves. Their leader is nearly killed, his guts were slashed open by one of the werewolves claws. Not wanting to leave him behind, they grab him and hold his innards together as they run. They find a wounded government agent with some ammo on their way through the forest. Conveniently there is a woman in a Jeep waiting on a road that goes through the forest. She takes them to a house that turns out to belong to some of the werewolves, so naturally there is no silver in the house. The government agent turns into a werewolf after revealing a government conspiracy to use the werewolves as super soldiers. Eventually chaos ensues and only one survives. It’s a great werewolf movie!
Obviously this is a really old movie, but it’s awesome! I love Pumpkinhead,” I was about 12 when this movie came out. I still think it’s a great movie. It takes place in rural West Virginia. A very poor man, played by Lance Henriksen, is a single father raising his young son and running a small local store. Some teenagers from the city come to the store and bring some motorcycles. The man leaves to deliver some feed to a farmer and leaves his son and their dog in the store. The teens decide to ride their motorcycles on the side of the hill beside the store. The dog takes offense and runs out after them. The little boy runs out after the dog afraid he will be hit and killed. Instead the boy is hit and killed. The teen boy who hit him takes off and leaves the others to deal. Coming back the man sees his only child laying dead on the ground. He cradles him in his arms, takes him home, and cleans him up. Like any parent would, he wants those kids to pay for what they did. As a child he saw a demon that had been conjured by a witch to get revenge. So he wrapped his son in a blanket and went to find the witch.
She sliced his hand and collected his blood in a bowl. Then she went to a pumpkin patch and started to dig up a body. Then the demon Pumpkinhead came to life. When he got to the cabin the teens were staying in, the father began to see through the eyes of Pumpkinhead. He experienced the death of the first one, the one that actually hit his son. He drove to the witch and asked her to stop it, but it was too late. He went to help the remaining teens, as he was trying to help them he realized that the only way to effect Pumpkinhead was to do something to himself. He starts to change into the demon. In the end he is shot in the head, which kills Pumpkinhead. The witch then buries his body in the pumkin patch to await the next conjuring. You can find it on youtube.
This is the first vampire movie ever made. It’s a silent film in black and white. It was supposed to be destroyed because it violated copyright laws. They didn’t have permission to use Bram Stoker’s Dracula story line, and they thought they could pass it off by changing the names. However, a court ruled that all copies of the film were to be destroyed. One copy survived, lucky us! This is probably one of the creepiest vampire movies ever made. The fact that it’s silent and in black and white just makes it creepier. It is basically, “Dracula” called Count Orlock. Of course this movie inspired another awesome horror movie, which is also quite funny: Shadow of the Vampire which I will put below this review. If you’ve never seen this, I highly recommend it. I don’t think any movie will be able to compare to the creepiness of this film.
Shadow of the Vampire (2001)
This movie is hilarious. It’s a horror comedy. It’s about the making of “Nosferatu.” It was said that Max Schreck, who played Count Orlock in the 1922 movie, insisted on being addressed as “Count Orlock” and only ever appeared in costume during the filming of the movie. So this movie speculates that there was no Max Schreck, there was only “Count Orlock” who was a real vampire. As you can see from the above image, Wilem Defoe played Max Schreck/Count Orlock. It also stars John Malkovich (one of the greatest actors of our time IMO) as the director of the film, and the hilarious comedian Eddie Izzard as Gustav von Wangenhein who played Johnathan in the original “Nosferatu” movie. Cary Elwes from the “Princess Bride” is also in the movie. With an amazing cast and a crazy stroy line, I think this is a good movie. It’s really funny. One of my favorite quotes from the movie: “Albon, a NATIVE has wondered into my frame!” The director played by John Malkovich is a drama queen who is perfectly fine with sacrificing his cast and crew to make the movie. This is a fun film, not a serious horror movie. If you’re in the mood for something horror-ish but lighter, this movie is perfect.
Mary Reilly (1996)
Unlike most people, I loved this movie. I suppose if you have never experienced the deep depression, rage, and feelings of powerlessness you wouldn’t understand this movie or be drawn to it. Having known those all too well, I loved this movie. I also love John Malkovich, I think he’s awesome. He stars as the very depressed Dr. Jeckyll as well as his counterpart, the very angry and carnal Mr. Hyde. Julia Roberts is his maid, Mary Reilly. She came from an abusive home and a sadistic father. So naturally she was drawn to Jeckyll/Hyde. Sadly that’s how it works. Dr. Jeckyll is trying to find a cure for his melancholy. He created a drug that turned him from a sad pathetic thing into an strong angry thing that had no fear. When you are depressed anger and hatred look like power. Jeckyll told his staff that Hyde was his apprentice. Hyde looked much younger, because he wasn’t depressed. The staff speculates on whether Hyde is Jeckyll’s son. Mary seems to be the only one that can sedate Hyde’s rage. He tries to kill her but can’t. He doesn’t understand why he can’t kill her, she steals his rage somehow. “Where does it come from?” she asks him. “It comes in like the tide” he said. It’s exactly what Jeckyll told her about his melancholy. Then she finally understands they are the same person. Jeckyll has run out of syrum to switch him back to himself. Hyde starts to remain more permanent, however he’s also killed quite a few people and is wanted by the police. In the end there is only one shot of syrum left. Hyde adds poison to it and turns back to Jeckyll, dying in the arms of Mary Reilly.
The Gate (1987)
Perhaps I’m alone in this, but I always loved this movie. Granted Stephen Dorff and I are about the same age, and he was a little kid in this movie. He is the star of the movie, along with his sister and his best friend Terry. One weekend their parents leave them alone for the weekend, and they unleash hell quite literally. It’s been a long time since I have seen the movie, I so need the dvd! It wasn’t a popular movie, but the little minion things alone are enough of a reason to watch it! So let’s see if I can remember the sequence of things. First there was a giant tree removed from their backyard, before the parents leave. Then all kinds of fun things happen, they find a giant crystal. Terry plays a metal record backwards and discovers there is a ritual on it that opens the gate to hell. Of course it opens in the hole where the giant tree was. The tiny minions come out of there and wreak havoc. At one point there is a zombie, and a giant worm thing with arms. It’s hilarious. It’s not a gory movie, it’s just fun!