Sauna, 2008, Antti-Jussi Annila
I am not sure if this qualifies as a horror and I don’t really care. It is a breathtaking film nevertheless, it scared me, but it also made me come up with several different interpretations for what was going on, and watch it again and again. The story is about two brothers who are sent in a committee to outline the new Swedish-Russian border after a long war, in the 16th century. After a violent encounter with a farmer and her young daughter, they come across a village in the middle of a swamp. Nobody knew it existed, but now it makes them face thier past crimes in the most traditional way possible: by offering them a purifying sauna. Tarkovskij meets Bulgakov here, only much, much scarier.
[Rec], 2007, Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
The Spanish gem of horrors, simple, documentary style, with a shaky camera and some ending scenes that are probably the scariest I’ve ever seen on film. A reporter follows a firefighting team into a mission and into a house which seems to have some kind of rabies infecting its inhabitants. Don’t bother with the sequel or the American remake, this is as unique and perfect as it gets.
The Blair Witch Project, 1999, Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez
It is the one which inspied many in style. Three film students dissapear in the woods while making a documentary. Only their footages are found.Again, don’t bother with the sequel, and this time I really mean it, it just might be the worst sequel ever made.
The Ring, 2002, Gore Verbinski
You watch the tape, the phone rings and a child’s voice tells you that you will die exactly seven days later. And you will. Amazing cinematography, beautiful colors, great performances, and probably the best story in a scary film. You will never forget the name, Samara. I must confess that this is also one of those rare occasions where I found this to be better than the original Ringu. But, again, the sequel…I don’t know…
Martyrs, 2008, Pascal Laugier
A girl who was kidnapped and tortured seeks revenge, a friend goes after her to stop her. But what they find is more terrifying than anything they could imagine.
Cube, 1997, Vincenzo Natali
This isn’t a classic horror either, just an excellent allegory pure Kafka style. It does have its scary moments, though. 7 people who have never met wake up in a cube that opens to all sides into other cubes, full of the most elaborate traps and mathematical riddles. Both sequels are contenders for the title of worst sequel ever.
FeardotCom, 2002, William Malone
A website that treats you to your worst fear, whatever that might be. And I was horrified to see that one of the characters has fear of insects, just as myself.