Dread X: DEATHCEMBER Director Alyosha Saari’s Top 10 Horror Movies About Family

French director Alyosha Saari created the “Ring My Bell” segment of the holiday horror anthology Deathcember; it’s a very sexy and very bloody tale about a peaceful Christmas dinner turned upside down by a surprise visitor. It has a crazy twist that we won’t talk about here!

“It’s all in the family!” Saari explains. “So, for my Dread X list, I’m looking back at how my parents shaped my cinematic tastes and how families are now depicted in contemporary horror. My father was responsible for my ‘higher’ film education such as Kubrick and Hitchcock and Polanski. Whereas my tendency towards pure horror will always be thanks to my mom’s exposure to vampires and demons. I therefore dedicate this list to them.”

Check out the trailer for Deathcember embedded at the top of the article and read the synopsis below.

A collection of 24 films that take a look at the dark side of the festive season. 24 international directors with the most diverse ideas and styles; linked by short animated segments that deal with the Advent calendar itself.

1. Psycho (1960)- A story of possession schizophrenia with the infamous shower scene that redefined the standard of sexy horror for generations to come.

2. Angustia (1987) – A film within a film, this trippy Bigas Luna flick is as surprising as it is fucked up, depicting an overbearing mother stiffing their kid into madness.

3. The Tenant (1976) – Polanski’s infamous portrayal of Parisian is all the more accurate as time goes by.

4. The Shining – (1980) Kubrick’s ultimate portrayal of a parent losing his mind through the eyes of a kid that can see ghosts way before the Sixth Sense.

5. Hellraiser (1987) – The crazy uncle! My mother made me watch it when I was a child, just as I was getting out of my year of nightmares the sequel was playing and my feverish nightmares would return and my childhood was ruined forever. 

6. Santa Sangre (1989) – Jodorowsky’s only genre film is about a jealous mother’s spirit influencing her son to commit gruesome murders against all types of women. As colorful as it is bloody and spiritual.

7. Dogtooth (2009) – Lanthimos’s most incisive portrayal of parenting gone wrong and brother and sister getting it on. 

8. Mother! (2017) – Aronowsky’s over the top metaphorical tale of creation and destruction in a family house is borderline ridiculous at times but still well worth it for its bravado.

9. Post Tenebras Lux (2012) – An unsettling portrait of a family in the countryside by Reygadas. You might not want to classify it as a pure horror flick but having a criminal ripping his own head off out of guilt puts it in my list.

10. The Visit (2015) – Shyamalan’s tale of replaced grandparents is as disturbing as it is fun: this would probably be my mom’s worst nightmare when we were growing up.

Honorable Mention:

1. The Untamed (2016) (La region Salvaje) – What happens when the source of endless pleasure is in the shape of an alien.



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