July 21, 2011

Movies which should be horror

Ever watch something and think, "This should really be classed as a horror movie"? What about the films which are borderline anyway or contain so many horror elements that you wonder why they still aren't considered part of the genre? This is my top ten list of those which rightfully should be horror.

Robocop1. RoboCop (1987)

"In a dystopic & crime ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg with submerged memories haunting him."

The IMDb classifies Paul Verhoeven's masterpiece as "Action | Crime | Sci-Fi" but it's a Frankenstein subgenre film all the way and brutal too. Having various body parts shotgunned off, followed by having the rest surgically removed and replaced by machinery, is something that really belongs to the horror genre, isn't it?

Tres Pajaros2. Tres Pájaros (2002)

"Gustavo, well dressed in a Buenos Aires office and gunning for a promotion, gets a briefcase full of cash from his boss to use in shutting down a mine in remote San Juan province. Everything seems to go wrong: no one meets him at the provincial airport; he gets bad directions, leaves cell-phone range, and runs out of gas at a roadhouse near the border where a few drug runners may be waiting for product."

The IMDb classifies this Argentinian movie as "Adventure | Romance | Thriller" even though it's clearly a horror movie with the criminals added later. If being completely isolated from civilisation with every possibility that you could die there and nobody would ever know or care isn't your idea of horror then forget I said anything.

Vanilla Sky3. Vanilla Sky (2001)

"A successful publisher finds his life taking a turn for the surreal after a car accident with a jaded lover."

The IMDb classifies this remake as "Mystery | Romance | Sci-Fi" and although it's very much the last of these, there's a healthy amount of horror here too. Just look at Tom Cruise's face after the accident! It's also one of the rare occasions when the remake is better than the original. I know that's a far more horrifying concept for some people.

The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover [Region 2]4. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

"The wife of an oafish restaurant owner becomes bored with her husband and considers an affair with a regular patron."

The IMDb classifies Peter Greenaway's infamous film as "Crime | Drama | Romance" but with subject matter including bellybutton mutilation, murder and cannibalism, I think they missed a category.

Salo: The Criterion Collection5. Salò (1975)

"Four fascist libertines round up 9 teenages boys and girls and subject them to 120 days of physical, mental and sexual torture."

The IMDb classifies this as "Drama | Thriller | War" even though their own description gives a much greater insight into what the film is really about. It's truly horrible stuff. Don't eat while watching.

Last Exit to Brooklyn (Import, All Regions)6. Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)

"Taken from Hubert Selby, Jr.'s controversial novel. A gallery of characters in Brooklyn in the 1950s are crushed by their surroundings and selves: a union strike leader discovers he is gay; a prostitute falls in love with one of her clients; a family cannot cope with the fact that their daughter is illegitimately pregnant."

The IMDb classifies one of the most shocking movies you will ever see as "Drama". Not only is it Jennifer Jason Leigh's greatest performance but it's all gritty, hard-hitting stuff which will make you glad that you don't live in the 1950s.

Secret Things7. Secret Things (2002)

"Two young women find themselves struggling to survive in Paris, street-wise Nathalie, a stripper, and naïve Sandrine, a barmaid. Together, they discover that sex can be used to their advantage, and pleasure."

The IMDb classifies this French filthiness as "Comedy | Drama | Fantasy". Comedy??? I think they must have seen a completely different film to me as this makes the similarly themed "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999) look like a Disney. If rape, incest, suicide and murder doesn't disturb you then you need to watch the next two films as well.

Irreversible8. Irreversible (2002)

"Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass."

The IMDb classifies this brutality as "Crime | Drama | Mystery". While it's certainly all of those things and a bit too cleverly arty for its own good, this is nauseating stuff. Even a sick puppy like me had to walk away at one point though only to get more Cheetos.

The Girl Next Door9. The Girl Next Door (2007)

"Based on the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name, The Girl Next Door follows the unspeakable torture and abuses committed on a teenage girl in the care of her aunt...and the boys who witness and fail to report the crime."

The IMDb classifies this as "Crime | Drama | Thriller" but it is so horrific that it makes you wonder how they missed that aspect. Although most of the real nastiness occurs off screen, you know exactly what is going on and it's vile.

The Elephant Man10. The Elephant Man (1980)

"A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity."

The IMDb classifies this moving and tragic story as "Biography | Drama | History" which of course it is but it's still very horrific for a PG-13.

Obviously these aren't all the non-horror movies which should be horror but it's a start. How many more can you think of?

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