The Butcher (2007)
Relentlessly gruesome, South Korean filmmaker Kim Jin-Won’s torture flick chronicles the making of a snuff film from two perspectives: that of the sadistic producers and that of the unfortunate “stars.” Their terror captured through vérité-style camera work, the victims are made to endure the agonizing screams of their fellow captives before meeting their own grim fate at the hands the titular butcher in his bloody abattoir.
Picking up the pieces after their baby’s tragic death, the Colemans — Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard) — adopt 9-year-old Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) from an orphanage, but it doesn’t take long for Kate to see through Esther’s angelic façade. When John brushes aside Kate’s paranoid suspicions, Esther wreaks havoc on the world around her in this chilling tale from director Jaume Collet-Serra.
Late Fee (2009)
After begging a DVD rental store owner (Rick Poli) to let them rent scary movies as he’s closing for a private Halloween party, a young couple (J.D. Brown and Stephanie Danielson) misses the midnight return time — and they soon learn they’ll have to pay the late fee with their own blood. When the owner arrives at their home with his ghastly guests, the frightening movie night turns into a real-life nightmare in this horror-filled spine chiller.
Until Death (1987)
After killing her husband, lakeside resort owner Linda (Gioia Scola) and her lover, Carlo (David Brandon), believe they’ve gotten away with murder — until the night they meet a mysterious stranger (Urbano Barberini) who seems to know all about their grisly crime. Beset by nightmares and paranoia, the lovers turn on each other to escape the justice that seems to be coming from beyond the grave. Lamberto Bava directs this chilling Italian thriller.
While mapping the new border with Russia in 1595, Finnish soldier brothers Erik (Ville Virtanen) and Knut (Tommi Eronen) stumble upon a spooky, almost-childless undocumented town. There, they find a mysterious sauna that forces all who enter it to face their past sins. Finnish director Antti-Jussi Annila’s masterfully atmospheric horror film screened at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.
Night of Death! (1980)
When she takes up her new post at an eerie convalescent home deep in the French countryside, nurse Martine (Isabelle Goguey) soon discovers that several missing co-workers may have fallen prey to an unspeakable evil rumored to roam the hallways at night. But as Martine looks deeper into the mystery, she suspects the home’s aged residents know more about the menace than they let on. Raphaël Delpard directs this spooky cinematic treat.
Lucifera: Demon Lover (1972)
A visit to a 16th-century castle — said to belong to the devil and containing a portrait of a woman who looks just like young Helga (Rosalba Neri) — turns into a nightmare in this mesmerizing Italian horror classic directed by Paolo Lombardo. When Helga ends up spending the night in the ominous mansion, she dreams of a medieval past that includes rapists, brutal vampires and a mysterious hooded executioner.
Tales from the Darkside: Season 2 (1985)
Ranging from comedic to gory, the horror and sci-fi stories compiled in the second season of this popular 1980s anthology series include tales about a cursed family, vampires, monsters under the bed, a little girl possessed by demons and much more. Adapted from stories by Stephen King, Clive Barker, Harlan Ellison and other well-known writers, the episodes star Dominic Chianese, Marcia Cross, Seth Green, Jerry Stiller, Abe Vigoda and many others.
Night of the Creeps (1986)
When two fraternity brothers thaw out a corpse from their school clinic, evil slugs from outer space that had been frozen inside the body race across campus, infecting lusty coeds and turning them into flesh-hungry zombies. Now it’s up to a chain-smoking former cop (Tom Atkins) to save the whole town from the alien menace. Fred Dekker directs this gleefully campy cult classic that co-stars Jason Lively and Jill Whitlow.
I Can See You (2008)
With one bored girlfriend in tow, three Brooklyn ad men take a weekend camping trip to brainstorm pitches for a cleaning product called Claractix. But when the girlfriend goes missing, a strange series of events is set into motion. This twisty, psychedelic thriller co-stars Heather Robb as the vixen Summer Day, and producer and art-horror impresario Larry Fessenden plays long-lost pitchman Mickey Hauser.
Born of Fire (1983)
Troubled by disturbing hallucinations during a recital, flutist Paul Bergson (Peter Firth) later learns from an astronomer (Suzan Crowley) that the violent visions are connected to strange solar and volcanic activity, and the pair travels to Turkey to investigate. There, Paul encounters a Sufi mystic who prepares him to do battle with an evil entity. Jamil Dehlavi directs this supernatural horror film steeped in Islamic mythology.
Black Devil Doll (2007)
The blaxploitation genre gets a satiric reboot in this tale of the supernatural. Buxom Heather (Heather Murphy) experiments with a Ouija board, infusing a ventriloquist’s dummy with the soul of a militant black murderer just as he’s frying in the electric chair. Now, the doll is free to continue his rampage, raping and killing white women with abandon, as Heather and her airheaded girlfriends run for their lives.
Stan Helsing (2009)
When he makes a late-night movie delivery to a strange town on Halloween, video store counter jockey Stan Helsing (Steve Howey) finds himself hunted by a who’s who of slasher-film killers, including Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Leatherface. Now, Stan and his pals must use their knowledge of horror flicks to defeat the villains and hack their way to freedom. Bo Zenga directs this gleeful parody of classic horror movies.
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