Last week, noise rock band Health released their latest album, Vol.
To celebrate the recent release, we teamed up with Health‘s Jacob Duzsik and John Famiglietti to get them to share their favorite horror films. Below is a list of their choices, which include some tried and true favorites but also some titles that many might be surprised to see!
I’m not going to be shocking anyone with my originality here, but the fact is no other film in the genre has achieved the same magical balance of cinematic elegance, claustrophobic dread and tour de force performances. Also, “Let Jesus fuck you!” will always be edgy.
Kubrick is my favorite filmmaker so this is shooting fish in a barrel. No one else ever used a wide angle lens to communicate such isolation and fear. I’ve battled insomnia most of my life and for a short time falling asleep to The Shining every night seem to work for me. Unfortunately, after a few weeks, this routine caused my dreams to become increasingly disturbing and devastated my sex life. My girlfriend didn’t feel particularly amorous when she knew I was just going to watch The Shining immediately after we banged.
The Thing (1982)
Carpenter’s masterpiece remake. The practical monster effects are unrivaled in visceral creativity and play beautifully upon the notion that at its core evolutionary biology is fucking brutal and horrifying. The theme that you can’t trust anyone including yourself, hangs like a pall over every dreamlike scene. All of this is driven home by a Morricone score characterized by silence as much as
If E.T. hadn’t come out the same year we might have been treated to a few more large scale Carpenter productions. It turns out audiences preferred an adorable alien with a catchphrase to each cast member turning into a bubbling, screaming raw slab of unformed meat.
When I was very young I was obsessed with the classic Universal horror films. I watched every title that my local, non-franchise video store had in stock. Dracula was always my favorite. The mixing of illustrated backdrops into the scratchy black frame is more like an impressionist painting than a film set, leaving a young mind with more freedom to fill in the blanks. I seemed to be as transfixed by Legosi’s performance as audiences in the 1930s and today I find it impossible to watch this film without being crushed by an almost unbearable sense of nostalgia and lost innocence.
Dead Alive (aka Braindead)
Peter Jackson’s love of the cinematic “double fudge sundae” can grind you into dust but in his younger pre-CG years his undying thirst for MORE could take you to the fucking mountain. This movie is flawlessly paced and just keeps ratcheting it up and up until completely exploding by the end. It’s a perfect film and the Jackson 3rd act explosion has always been a total inspiration to me artistically, also it’s fucking hilarious.
Evil Dead 2
There is nothing like Evil Dead 2. Horror-Comedy, “high-five me god
Night of the Living Dead (1990 and 1968)
The ultimate classic. Both are brilliant but I think I gotta give the 1968 George A. Romero-directed film the edge. It’s legendary for a reason, created the movie zombie and still holds up. The NOTLD “survival” style movie setup is still one of my favorite
DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978)
The Aliens to Night of The Living Dead’s Alien, the great Romero zombie concept expanded to a bigger and better movie world. A total epic made on a shoe string budget. I used to watch this movie endlessly in my youth, including the first time I did acid so it really worked its way in there. Eventually making my own (shitty) zombie movies with buddies and cheap gore FX.
I don’t have anything original to say about this but man arguably the greatest horror film ever made, and the birth of one of the greatest sci-fi movie mythos. I always imagined the Xenomorph to be a creature whose evolution was too successful and it destroyed all the life on its home planet, the eggs encountered the last of its race. An organism too good at its job.
Cemetery Man (aka Dellamorte Dellamore)
Man, I love this Italian explosion of wackiness. Starts with a very fun zombie concept and then just keeps going into stranger and stranger art film ass territory as the film goes on. It’s a trip. Shit was hella deep to me as a young man. Also, I couldn’t help not jerking to it.