For the month of October I will put out a list of Top 10’s on a number of subjects each day, this should be fun as I would enjoy feedback and discussion on my list and will welcome feedback on how to improve the list as I plan on featuring them on my website.
10 Horror/Thrillers set in the 17th, 18th and 19th Century Thrillers/Horror Films
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) Peter Weir
A Valentines Day picnic for an Australian girl’s school turns into tragedy after a teacher and three students disappear while exploring a rock formation. The disappearance will cause tension in the school and raise more questions when one girl is found and can’t explain her experience. More a mystery than horror, Picnic at Hanging Rock makes effective use of the mysterious rock formation and flute music to set an atmosphere of beauty and dread.
Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) Christophe Gans
Brotherhood of the Wolf was directed by Christophe Gans and stars Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Monica Belucci and Vincent Cassel. The film mixes some curious genres as it appears to be a werewolf movie but includes French Aristocracy, occult practices, martial arts and elements of political collusion. The film earned praise for its unique performances, high production value and excellent period setting.
Crimson Peak (2015) Guillermo del Toro
A gothic romance that has an American heiress marrying a mysterious aristocrat who takes her to his ancestral home where she finds it in ruin along with other potential problems. Inspired by great films like The Haunting and The Innocents, Crimson Peak has a great look and a mesmerizing plot to keep its audience intrigued.
The Burrowers (2008) JT Petty
In this horror/thriller set in the American West, we find a group of pioneers being kidnaped by a mysterious group assumed to be natives. When a party is sent out to seek answers and revenge, they see that even the local native tribes fear what is out there. What starts out as a slow burn gets exciting once the action picks up as the elements of horror are mixed quite expertly with that of a Western.
Bone Tomahawk (2015) S Craig Zahler
A small town has a number of its folks kidnapped by natives, yet when the local tribal official sees the evidence, he reveals that the group is nothing they consider civilized. This pure western has an outstanding cast that provides for an exciting movie with a dark premise. Like The Burrowers, Bone Tomahawk takes the Western and puts elements of horror into the story to get a terrifying tale of survival and revenge.
From Hell (2001) The Hughes Brothers
Johnny Depp is a London Police Inspector who is trying to find the identity of the most infamous serial killer. Despite his vices and mysterious visions, he is able to find clues to the identity only to learn that some greater force may be at work.
The Innocents (1961) Jack Clayton
The first-rate thriller based on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, with Kerr as governess haunted by specters that may or may not be real. The apparitions are invading the house result in her terrorizing the children in what she believes are made up stories.
The VVitch (2015) Robert Eggers
A Puritan family that has been shunned encounters forces of evil coming from the woods and paying special attention to one of the daughters. A perfect example of a slow building terror film, The Witch is atmospheric with a special interest in attention to detail creating a world that shows what an isolated family would have faced in the 17 century. A truly scary movies that relies on old school terrors to create the right amount of tension.
Gothic (1986) Ken Russell
This is a fictionalized account of the meeting between Lord Byron and his close friends Percy and Mary Shelley. On a stormy night, this circle of friends along with Dr. John Polidori would tell ghost stories and reveal dark secrets. This evening would inspire the writing of Frankenstein as well as The Vampyre.
Ravenous (1999) Antonia Bird
In this black comedy horror film, we find a reluctant hero is assigned to a remote outpost where meets a mysterious fellow who spins a tale of disaster for his party. While searching for survivors, the truth of the event comes out, and the stranger reveals the hunger he has developed.