3 Horror Films Creeping Towards Cult Status

1. Under the Skin (2013)      Director: Jonathan Glazer

(All Images we found on film-grab.com)

Under the Skin is undoubtedly the least accessible film on this list. While it certainly qualifies as Sci-Fi Horror, it’s anything but ordinary.

On the surface, the film is about a painfully attractive alien that preys on Scotland’s horniest douchebags. At its core however, the film is a deeply disturbing account of alienation itself.

                                  

As an eternal fan of the wildly talented and ever-stunning Scarlett Johansson, I must confess, the seduction scenes alone make the film worth viewing. But putting sex appeal and superficiality aside—as the film invites you to do—Johansson’s performance is truly mesmerizing. I doubt I’ve ever felt so much for a character in any horror film. At the same time, she’s completely terrifying.

The biggest complaint against the film is the scarce dialogue. Even when we do get some, it’s often hard to make out through the thick Scottish accents. But that’s kind of the point. It makes the audience just as alienated as the alien. In turn, it makes you focus more on the awe-inspiring cinematography. The long silences and striking imagery are exactly what make the film so unsettling.

Two years after its release, many of the scenes are still burned into my memory.

 

2. The Lords of Salem (2012)     Director: Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie has already established a diehard fan base with gritty films like House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. But The Lords of Salem is a different story altogether. In fact, the film is so different from its predecessors some loyal fans even hated it.

Where his former work often nods to great 70s slasher films, Lords draws its inspiration from supernatural horrors like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist.

In particular, a lot of the cinematography and set designs are reminiscent of The Shining. On that point, The Lords of Salem looks incredible. If your movie ever looks like Kubrick worked on it, you’re doing something right.

But that’s where the parallels to the past end. The plot to The Lords of Salem couldn’t get more uniquely bizarre. In short, it’s about a subversive coven of witches that intends to take over modern-day Salem by facilitating the birth of the antichrist.

If that sounds unimaginative, I assure you, there’s enough brain melting surreal imagery in this film to write about for years to come. Between that and it’s incredibly original soundtrack, it’s bound to become a cult classic. It’s simply too weird for the casual horror fan to enjoy.

3. Antichrist (2009)      Director: Lars von Trier

 

While Lars von Trier’s Antichrist maybe the most critically acclaimed of the films on this list, it’s anything but mainstream. We’re dealing with a full-blown artistic experiment here.

In that respect, it’s somewhat difficult to lump the film in with other horror films. Unlike many horror films, there’s something very real about Antichrist. It’s about interpersonal relationships, grief, sex, and mental illness. But its realness makes it all the more terrifying.

Until you see a film like this, you don’t really stop to think just how scary real life and real emotions can be. In part, Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg’s monumental performances capture this. But the immersive cinematography and the surreal hallucination sequences really bring you inside those chaotic headspaces.

Although it’s more dramatic and serious than the others on the list, it’s no less horrifying or impactful. Moreover, it’s not for the faint of heart. Be warned, there are extremely graphic images of genital mutilation.

Antichrist is a different kind of horror film. It’s brooding, cerebral, and cruel. It will make you profoundly uncomfortable. It won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

 

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5 comments

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TheycallmeTED

Ok, where to begin on your “thesis” of AntiChrist…. First off, I should have never started to watch this piece of cinematic vomit at 1:00 am, for the mere fact that it’s now 2:45 and I want the last 1:45 of MY FUCKING LIFE BACK !!! Horror film, what are you prescribed ??? A thinkers movie, maybe, but in no way, shape OR form horror film !! Do not waste your time with this… To sum it up : Couple has sex, whilst their toddler climbs out of his crib, opens his toddler gate, magically climbs up to an OPEN FUCKING WINDOW DURING A SNOWFALL… Splat !!! Momma goes nuts, blah, blah, blah, cuts her clit off at apps. 1:33 in movie time, goes more psycho, tries to kill hubby/therapist, he finally kills the psychotic bitch and hobbles away on a leg she drilled out earlier and attached a FUCKING GRINDERS WHEEL “Through”… I hate your face for wasting my night, Don’t quit your day job !!!!

Anne

The Lords of Salem got me hooked. It’s twisted old-school horror. When I met Patricia Quinn last year, I told her that her performance in the film REALLY scared the hell out of me, which really made her laugh.

lzii01

I’m glad someone else shows some love for The Lords of Salem, which I really liked. I would swap out Under the Skin with In My Skin, which I thought was a much better movie. I still think about In My Skin, which was really disturbing.

Edward

I’ve not seen Lords of Salem, but your appreciation for the other two films makes it clear to me that you have excellent taste and that I should put it on my list for this Halloween season.

Antichrist and, even more so, Under the Skin are profoundly unsettling in a way that is extremely difficult to find in horror films. I’m sick of movies making no effort to do anything other than startle me with something jumping out of the shadows. I want horror to scare me with existential terrors that creep into the back of my mind and linger there, leaving me afraid of things that are lurking in the real world.

COSMO KRAMER

Your analysis of Under the Skin is better than I’ve ever seen it written before.

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