Friday, April 27, 2012

This is Helping

Time Out London recently published their list of 100 Best Horror Films, and it's worth a look. They talked to a metric shitload of people from all across the horror spectrum from established directors to up-and-comers to scream queens to writers to actors to all the rest, came up with a qualitatively sound way of aggregating the results of 100+ top 10 lists, and came up with a representative 100.

Oh, sure, there are some obvious ones you can't have a list without (Psycho, The Shining, Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist), and some that will please aficionados (Don't Look Now, Martin, Carnival of Souls, Phantasm), but they also namecheck some newer films (28 Days Later, Wolf Creek, Martyrs, [REC], Let The Right One In). And that's as a good list should be. Hit the classics, hit the ones you should know about if you don't already, and hit some of the most promising of the new generation. So yay, another list.

Where this list got golf claps from me was for some of their outside-the-box picks - Threads, Dead Ringers, Saló, Eraserhead, The Night of the Hunter, and The Devils, among others. These are either dramas or art films for the most part, and there they are right next to monsters and serial killers and whatnot. Imagine the fuck out of that.

I keep hammering this point, but I'm going to hammer it again - these distinctions are, for the most part, artificial. Art films and drama can be horror, and horror can be art and horror can be drama. Art routinely traffics in the horrific, and what is horror but the furthest corners of drama and tragedy?

So yeah, for as much as I look at shit like James Wan's next project - oh, I'm sorry, his next "branding project" - being a serial killer/demonic possession/haunted house thing told using conventional film techniques and (you guessed it) found footage and it makes me sad, I see things like this and they make me happy. So go check out the list, see what's up, check out the lists of the individual contributors, make some new discoveries. I certainly have.

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