Tag Archives: suspense

Sisters (1973)

9 Nov

Common sense should dictate that an open flame shouldn't be that close to super styled hair, but Phillip is a boundary pusher like that.

So “Sisters” is a bit of a cheat. Though Criterion lumps it under its “Scary Films” header, it’s more straight-out thriller than horror. The difference is subtle; for me, a horror movie makes me feel immediate “danger.” The film seems to threaten me, personally, and so evokes that fear response. In a thriller, all the danger is for someone else. A thriller may intrigue and shock, but it never steps beyond whatever the boundary is that makes a horror movie frightening. Which is not to say “Sisters” isn’t a great film; it’s just not a horror movie. Continue reading

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The Innocents (1961)

20 Oct

 

One of the creepiest scenes in this film has relatively little to do with the plot. It's just another in a long string of relentlessly odd shots that serve to completely unnerve the viewer.

Both visually stunning and relentlessly creepy, “The Innocents” proves a film needn’t be gory to be scary. This is a movie of which one can honestly say, “They don’t make ’em like that anymore,” and know it’s too bad they don’t. Modern horror movies could not help but benefit from the type of intensely focused plot and filmmaking artistry that set this movie apart as a true classic. Continue reading

Peeping Tom (1960)

9 Oct

 

This character's relationship with his camera is not a healthy one.

 

There was a moment while watching “Peeping Tom” where I physically shuddered. And I have the benefit of being a modern viewer and knowing there are certain places a film from 1960 just will not go. I can’t imagine what audiences of the time must have thought of this shockingly effective psychological thriller. Continue reading

The House of the Devil (2009)

1 Oct

Shouldn't she be ... oh, I don't know ... less pretty at this point, or something?

The House of the Devil” was an inspired choice for starting off my 31 Nights of Horror experiment. There aren’t too many flicks like this one out there these days — not new flicks anyway — and this movie, while imperfect, hits just the right nostalgic notes for longtime horror fans. Continue reading