Back in 2007 (when this blog first came to life), I compiled a humble list of 15 overlooked horror films to watch in Halloween, listing 15 scary movies that could make for a nice creepy night instead of the better known film series of "Halloween", "Friday the 13th" or more recently, "Scream" or "Saw". Not that there is anything wrong with watching those movies, but certainly there is more in horror than the classic mainstream films, so those 15 films could be taken as an "alternative option" to discover (or rediscover) some gems.
Now, almost four years later, here are another 15 overlooked horror films that, in the opinion of this humble writer, deserve to be better known, not only by hardcore horror fans, but the general public as well, as there are great material to enjoy during a dark scary night of Halloween.
15. Las raisins de la mort (1978, Jean Rollin)
Buy "Las raisins de la mort" (1978)
14. La torre de los siete jorobados (1944, Edgar Neville)
13. Der Student von Prag (1926, Henrik Galeen)
1913 film, this version of "Der Student von Prag" reunites Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt, as Scapinelli and Balduin respectively. With beautifully designed set pieces and a more decidedly expressionist style, this remake is truly a joy to watch.
Buy "Der Student Von Prag" (1926)
12. Sauna (2008, Antti-Jussi Annila)
Låt den rätte komma in" caught the spotlight everywhere, however, it wasn't the only remarkable horror film of that year. Finnish horror film "Sauna" was a low key entry that plays heavily in atmosphere and tone to tell a story of impending doom. Set in 1595 after the brutal wars between Finland and Russia, two brothers lead an expedition to chart the new borders of the country. One of them is a ruthless army man, and the other the scholarly chartographer in charge of making the new map. Their visit to a mysterious town lost in the woods will make their dark past resurface again, and the horrors of the war will prove to be no match for the horrors of the human soul. Moody, slow, yet implacably unnerving, "Sauna" is a great watch for a cold Autumn night.
Buy "Sauna" (2008)
11. Murders in the Zoo (1933, A. Edward Sutherland)
Buy "Murders in the Zoo" (1933)
10. Veneno para las Hadas (1984, Carlos Enrique Taboada)
Hasta el viento tiene miedo", "El Libro de Piedra" and "Más negro que la noche" cemented this reputation, but the fourth and last one, "Veneno para las hadas" is definitely a lesser known gem. Unlike his better known films, "Veneno para las hadas" is not a supernatural horror, but the chilling tale of a twisted friendship between two girls, a friendship grounded in fear. And yet, it carries the same Gothic style than his previous three. Certainly, this Mexican horror tale is one that can't be missed.
Buy "Veneno para las Hadas" (1984)
9. The Walking Dead (1936, Michael Curtiz)
The Walking Dead" an interesting flick. However, "The Walking Dead" is much more, as this classy monster movie is not only a top notch tale of revenge from beyond the grave, but also a surprisingly powerful meditation on melancholy, philosophy and justice. Directed by Michael Curtiz (of "Casablanca" fame), this forgotten gem features one of the best performances by Karloff, who truly proves that he was the king when it came to make horrible monsters with a human heart.
Buy "The Walking Dead" (1936)
8. Singapore sling: O anthropos pou agapise ena ptoma (1990, Nikos Nikolaidis)
Buy "Singapore sling: O anthropos pou agapise ena ptoma" (1990)
7. Felidae (1994, Michael Schaack)
6. Angustia (1987, Bigas Luna)
Buy "Angustia" (1987)
5. Misterios de Ultratumba (1959, Fernando Méndez)
Buy "Misterios de Ultratumba (1959)
4. The Queen of Spades (1949, Thorold Dickinson)
Buy "The Queen of Spades" (1949)
3. Captain Clegg (1962, Peter Graham Scott)
Dracula" and "Frankenstein", British company Hammer Films also ventured in different kinds of costume drama films, like pirate films. "Captain Clegg" (or "Night Creatures" as it was known in America) was an attempt to mix both genres in a pirate tale with horror elements based on the famous "Dr. Syn" novels by Russell Thorndike. Legendary Peter Cushing stars as the Rev. Dr. Blyss, the vicar of a small English coastal town where there have been reports of "Marsh Phantoms". Captain Collier is sent to investigate the mystery, but he'll discover more about the humble Reverend than what he expected.
Buy "Captain Clegg" (1962)
2. ¿Quién puede matar a un niño? (1976, Narciso Ibañez Serrador)
Buy "Quién puede matar a un niño?" (1976)
1. Hangover Square (1945, John Brahm)
Buy "Hangover Square" (1944)