October 27th isn’t just the date of the new season of “Stranger Things” or the release of Jigsaw, it’s also when Urn, the new album from Australian progressive metal band Ne Obliviscaris, comes out. Featuring six tracks that total to over 45 minutes of music, Ne Obliviscaris is a prime example of epic music. Even when their tracks don’t run over 10 minutes, there is an atmosphere their music evokes that makes the listener feel like they’re on an amazing, unpredictable journey.
To celebrate their upcoming album and how epic it is, we got vocalist Xenoyr to share his Top 10 Epic Horror Films, a list that includes a wide variety of classic horror titles that each, in their own way, take viewers on horrifying journeys. Some of the films may be contained to a single locations while others venture into the stars but all of them feel like they’re part of a greater mythology, which makes them all the more daunting yet alluring.
You can pre-order Urn through Season of Mist.
The Shining (1980)
Stephen King + Stanley Kubrick = psychologically messed up, intelligent, cold, and ominous. I don’t think any other movie has been quite able to portray that complete sense of isolation and suspense like this movie…but whenever I hear the line, “Here’s Johnny” though, I remember that fucking dance song by Hocus Pocus – one way to ruin a great movie moment.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 remake)
The first psychological horror movie I watched as a child which really affected me, I sat there thinking about it for hours afterwards. The concept is more terrifying than a world of zombies, because at least you know where your enemies are…and for me, it holds one of the most disturbing noises in the horror history, those that have seen it will know what I’m talking about.
The first installment of the Alien franchise will always have a place in my heart, it was dark, gritty, brilliantly acted, suffocating, intense and stylish all at the same time. I have to give a massive nod to the mind of HR Giger (bless his beautifully, twisted mind) who’s visual stamp made it what it was, and which each following Alien movie has to thank him for. It’s perfectly paced, and doesn’t fall into the trap of revealing everything too early.
Event Horizon (1997)
Anything that involves a black hole and the idea of being transported to Hell, has me interested. It has an almost Alien feel and a gritty Hellraiser edge, centered around an eerie, tense atmosphere, reminiscent of The Shining. I’ve always thought it was a highly under-rated film, granted some of the science may be questionable but that’s what science fiction is. I’m not sure if it’s intentional but there’s a particular scene which reminded me of a Bosch Renaissance painting, twisted limbs in some bizarre, bloody orgy… it’s intense.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
I grew up reading old literature classics, and fell in love with the story, so to see it come to life in film, was something special. With book-to-movie adaptions they tend to be disappointing but because of how this was written originally, and adapted, the movie could explore things a little more aesthetically. It had cleverly and purposefully created sets like in old movies and used thoughtful filming techniques rather computer generated effects. It takes the time visually also to tip the hat to 1922’s Nosferatu. It’s horrific in subject, but has a romantic depth which pulls people in…and as a movie, it stands the test of time, both visually and as a great story. As side note though; my only real gripe was the wooden acting of Keanu Reeves and to an extent Winona Ryder, but Gary Oldman makes up for it, as Dracula he shows how brilliant an actor he truly is.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Most would class it as a psychological thriller, however arguably I think it crosses too many borders with horror to be classed just a thriller. Its horrific in content (more so psychologically), and visually creepy…some of the film is actually quite fucked up, in a cannibalistic genius sort of way. Without question, the star of the film is Anthony Hopkins, he’s elegant yet brutal and cold…and delivers one of the best movie lines, “Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?”
Evil Dead II (1987)
As a child, I remember watching this with my brother after our parents had gone to bed. Being very young, curious and probably stupid, at the time we thought, “it’s just a movie…”, and from memory, regretted it afterwards. I think the most disturbing thing about the film was not knowing whether to laugh or freak out, as it was not only scary (at the time), but also very humorous. Bruce Campbell was instantly likable and had some of the cheesiest moments in horror history, but that’s part of the movie’s charm.
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Most vampire enthusiasts will have this in their top lists, I think the romanticism and poetic nature of it gives it a depth that not many darker movies have. It was grand aesthetically, brilliantly imaginative (I wish Anne Rice didn’t wander so much afterwards), well acted, violent, sad, and ultimately, quite philosophical. An epic movie in most ways, and enough to forgive the differences from the book.
The Orphanage (2007)
This would be what I’d call a beautiful horror movie. People may raise an eyebrow at this choice, but for me what was epic about it was the depth and emotion it portrayed. Granted it’s probably going to be for people with decent attention spans but it’s well developed, the score is haunting, it’s chilling in ‘The Shining’ way, it’s creepy as it elegant, and it’s crushingly sad. I left the cinema feeling both inspired and devastated.
The Blob (1988 remake)
What can I say, I watched it as a child, and I’ve never looked at sinks and jelly the same way since…It easily contains one of the most brutal ways to die. It was a very solid remake, it wasn’t stylised, but it was well acted, raw, unnerving, and it wasn’t afraid to kill off children…
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