Jun 7, 2013

13 WTH Horror Movies You Must See

Article By: Chiller

It would be appropriate to do some sort of "13 Greatest Horror Movies Ever" or "13 Horror Movies To See Before You Die" but that's not how we roll. Instead, we want to kick things off with the 13 films that don't usually make best of lists, but are great, bizarre or just plain weird enough that you should see them. Welcome to our "13 WTH Horror Movies You Must See."

1. Basket Case (1980)

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What would you do if your son was born with a deformed, conjoined twin – consisting only of a face and arms – growing out of his side? If you answered "have doctors perform surgery on the teenager and throw the twin away" then a) you're twisted and b) you'd be the catalyst for thistale. Duane and his now-separated twin Belial (who is both insane AND living in a basket, hence the title) go around New York killing the doctors that separated them. It's a gritty, enjoyable, slightly disturbing and just plain weird movie that's built up quite the following. It's also notable for addressing the question of how exactly someone who essentially looks like Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has sex (if you don't wonder while watching the movie, you're lying to yourself).


2. Sleepaway Camp (1983)

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Teenage cousins, boy and girl, head of to summer camp. The boy's butch, foul mouthed and aggro, the girl shy and withdrawn to the point of being mute. Throw in swearing, topless girls and lots of blood. Sounds like a pretty typical early 80s slasher, right? It would be, if not for the twist ending that preceded The Sixth Sense by sixteen years and made the Crying Game seem passé. We won't full-on spoil it, but let's just say, the final frame of the film still haunts us. Also, this film gets bonus points for spawning a sequel starring Bruce Springsteen's sister, in which each character is named after someone in either West Side Story or The Brady Bunch.


3. Audition (1999)

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This Japanese thriller became a cult hit once it opened stateside. Shigeharu is a widower whose best friend, a film producer, rigs a mock casting session to audition a girlfriend for him. When sweet, innocent Asami arrives, Shigeharu's smitten. But it's too good to be true, because she's totally bonkers (actresses!), which we learn from the fact that she keeps adeformed creature in a potato sack AND because she's not pissed off she didn't get a movie part. Still, the innocent, ethereal essence of Asami, mixed with the reign of terror and torture she giggles through, sticks with you.


4. Black Christmas (1974)

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Margot Kidder stars in this story of a obscene caller who stalks a sorority house over Christmas break. An entire movie based on creepy phone calls sounds flimsy, but Black Christmas pulls it off. The man/woman responsible for the calls and later the murders in the movie mimics a baby crying, someone speaking in tongues, a perverted truck driver, and even a pig (seriously, call this person for voice over work. They're versatile), building the tension and danger of the film with each ring. Film is such a visual medium, so to rely on the ears to deliver the scares is a novel approach. AND THOSE CALLS ARE SO CREEPY. See what we mean:


5. Orphan (2009)

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Definitely a sleeper hit, but those that have seen it usually COMMAND those that haven't to watch it. With good reason. It's a tale as old as time – at least as old as foreign adoptions have been around: Couple that looks like Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard adopt a sweet Eastern European girl named Esther, things seem normal, girl's actually totally evil. Isabelle Fuhrman, who plays Esther, does her job well, since you want to slap her through most of the movie (she brought this quality to The Hunger Games too). But it's the ending we didn't see coming. This movie should also be noted for being the only known film in which ribbons are a major plot device.


6. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

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This movie - about a group of documentarians who encounter an isolated, cannibalistic South American tribe - is notable for numerous reasons. First, the subject matter and violence got it banned in numerous countries (The Italian government even conducted an investigation to see if people were actually murdered filming it). Second, it's incredibly divisive, with some feeling it's powerful social commentary on what it means to be civilized, and others feeling it's exploitative. Third, it built a tale around the idea offound footage decades before the Blair Witch Project. Fourth, it's just insanely shocking. Today, that's a rare thing.


7. New Nightmare (1994)

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This Nightmare on Elm Street quasi-sequel stars Heather Langenkamp as Heather Langenkamp playing Nancy in a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel in which she faces Freddy Krueger in the movie AND in the movie within the movie. It also stars Robert Englund as himself-- as Robert Englund playing Freddy Krueger--and just as Freddy Krueger. If it sounds more confusing than the back half of Lost, it is, but it's also insanely postmodern and, oddly, a love letter to the franchise.


8. The House of the Devil (2009)

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This classic from Larry Fessenden has a straight enough plot on paper - young girl is lured by Satanists to babysit one night, only to find a house full of terror. And while a cameo appearance by Dee Wallace Stone (the mom from E.T.) earns it a place on this list alone, it's the way the movie is shot that makes it a must-see. Set in 1981, it's FILMED like an early 80s horror movie, from the slightly grainy quality to the set decoration (you'll get nostalgic over a coca-cola cup) to the production company information and year of release in tiny font during the opening credits.


9. Dead Alive (1992)

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Horror movies can be humorous, but rarely intentionally. This epic, from writer/director Peter Jackson (yes, that one), manages to perfectly walk the line between gore and hilarity. The young love between Lionel and Paquita is threatened by his uptight mom Vera, especially after she gets bitten by a "Sumatran Monkey Rat," turns into a zombie and starts infecting everyone. Throw in a lawn mower, murderous intestines, veterinary anesthetic and a baby ripping someone's face off (which, oddly, manages to be funny) and you've got a must-see. 


10. The ABC's of Death (2013)

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A recent outing that some may not even have an opinion on, we're including it because of its originality in the horror anthology genre. The movie contains in total 26 short films by 26 different directors (among them Ti West), each centered around a different letter of the alphabet. Entries run the gamut from gore to arty to the terror of what's unseen. There's also one about Japanese teenagers questioning the existence of God while battling murderous farts, so there's that.


11. Criminally Insane (1974)

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"Nothing comes between Ethel and a well-stocked refrigerator!" is the tagline for this bizarre outing, and it pretty much sums it up. Ethel's family wants her to lose weight, so they lock the fridge and she goes mental. The movie Weight Watchers doesn't want you to see! Funfact: The sequel, Crazy Fat Ethel II, was shot thirteen years later on home video in someone's backyard and half the movie is flashbacks to the first.


12. Suspiria (1976)

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This appears on some people's must-see lists, but enough haven't seen it in our travels that we needed to include it. From horror master Dario Argento, Suspiria follows the tale of Suzy, an American dancer who begins astudy abroad program at a prestigious German dance academy. Once there, sherealizes the teachers are a bunch of witches (literally). It's an excellentfilm, but what particularly stands out is how vibrant it is. The reds are a red unlike you've ever seen, the lighting is haunting and atmospheric. In fact,this was the last film shot in Technicolor. It gives the whole movie an otherworldly quality ("WTH" of a sort). Worth seeing for the barbed wire room scene alone.


13. April Fool's Day (1986)

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This mid '80s gem is takes the premise of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and spins it on its head. A group of college students travel to their friend Muffy's (!) remote island home for a weekend and start to die one by one. It takes '80s slasher fare, mixes it with with some good old fashioned whodunnit, throws in a splice of The Preppy Handbook and blends it together in a pile of crazy. It's just fun. Also bonus points areawarded when a character delivers the line, straight-faced, "Muffy hasn't been in an institution for three years, she's been at Vassar!"

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