10-20-2013, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Jesse Thomas Cook's Halloween Top Ten 2013
Every year we partner with the fine folks at Anchor Bay Entertainment to give you a special Top Ten list from a current horror director. From GRACE's Paul Solet to BOXING HELENA's Jennifer Lynch, we've had a number of memorable lists from memorable people. This year we offer up a list from Jesse Thomas Cook, the director of Toronto After Dark 2013 Official Selection SEPTIC MAN
|Every year we partner with the fine folks at Anchor Bay Entertainment to give you a special Top Ten list from a current horror director. From GRACE's Paul Solet to BOXING HELENA's Jennifer Lynch, we've had a number of memorable lists from memorable people (to see all our past directors highlighted, check the bottom of this thread). This year we offer up a list from Jesse Thomas Cook, the director of Toronto After Dark 2013 Official Selection SEPTIC MAN, as well as SCARCE and MONSTER BRAWL. He's also the producer of EXIT HUMANITY and the upcoming films EJECTA and HELLMOUTH. He's prepared a personal and passionately written list, so without ado... |
October is my favourite month of the year. I love the weather, the seasonal change, and Halloween. The first horror film I ever watched was Night of the Living Dead, on Halloween night in 1987, at six years of age. I have had nightmares about zombies every night since. Back then when you could record up to three films on a single VHS tape, we had a trove of trashy triple feature tapes. One such tape I can vividly remember was a mixed bag that opened with Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI, followed by the uncalled-for Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2, and capped with House II: The Second Story, starring HBO's Bill Maher.
Since then I've had a profound attachment to horror films, and with every passing October I like to kick back with some pumpkin beer and harvest my own personal and eclectic Halloween gore-fest:
|10. The Video Dead (1987)|
This send-up of zombie and television culture is probably one of the oddest undead films of all time. Basically there are five zombies, one of them is a bride, another has an iron embedded in his head, one looks like David Bowie. They emerge from a haunted TV and live in a shack in the woods at the edge of town. Only by being nice and inviting the zombies over for dinner is the protagonist able to defeat the ghouls and banish them back inside the television. Growing up, I had this film on VHS and watched it religiously.
|9. Pet Sematary (1989)|
I used to rent this film from the local library and make my four year old brother watch it. I love Fred Gwynne railing about "that god-damned ro-oad." To this day if I meet someone named Rachel, I shriek their name like bed-ridden Zelda. This one still gives me night terrors. Try watching it by yourself and then going upstairs in the dark to bed.
|8. The Monster Squad (1987)|
Mandatory annual October viewing.
|7. The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (Let Sleeping Corpses Lie) (1974)|
Jorge Grau's bizarre flesh-eating romp across the English countryside is a fun and fantastic zombie film. The graveyard scene in particular and the showdown in the underground crypt make this 70's title a classic worthy of multiple viewings.
|6. Insidious (2010)|
I watched this film again last night and was just as scared as the first time. A recent entry into my October horror movie lineup, the simplicity, camerawork, lighting and sound in this movie is amazing, and all lend to its success as an American indie horror breakthrough, reigniting the haunted house genre.
|5. Trollhunter (2010)|
This Norwegian found-footage mockumentary that follows a group of filmmakers and a grizzled tracker of mythological gigantic trolls is funny, bizarre and entertaining, and a fine example of how found footage films can be effective.
|4. Absentia (2011)|
I recently caught up with this disturbing no-budget supernatural slow-burn about a woman searching for her missing husband. I'm sad that I missed this one on the festival circuit because Mike Flanagan's debut film is a smart and refreshingly terrifying character-driven chiller.
|3. The Changeling (1980)|
Watching George C. Scott slowly lose his shit and finally snap inside a haunted house is worth the admission alone. Atmosphere, music, the dimly-lit house and Scott's bombastic performance elevate this Canadian-filmed haunter into the realm of masterpiece.
|2. Silent Hill (2006)|
This film gets under my skin. The rising sense of dread and anxiety, the steady descent into a nightmarish fever dream. I never played the video games, but this film about a mother searching through a forlorn ghost town rattled me to my core. It's the feel-good film of the decade.
|1. Carnival of Souls (1962)|
Herk Harvey's monumental 1962 cult epic Carnival of Souls is a must-watch October mainstay. Psychological minimalist horror at its finest. My pal/screenwriter Tony Burgess recommended this to me a couple of years ago and my mind was instantly blown. The film has had a lasting impression on myself as a filmmaker and a horror fan.
Previous Anchor Bay Top Tens:
2008: Maurice Devereaux
(End of the Line)
2009: Paul Solet
2010: Glenn McQuaid
(I Sell the Dead)
2011: Stephen Mena
2012: Jennifer Lynch
(Chained) & Richard Bates Jr.