More Scary Movies to Watch in the Dark | A&E

Last year, we recommended some underrated scary movies worth checking out to ring in the so-called spooky season. Here’s another batch of gems to help celebrate the month of October.

Murders in the Zoo (1933), dir. A. Edward Sutherland

Sutherland’s horror comedy about an unhinged zoologist (Lionel Atwill) who uses his captive animals to help him off his enemies is charmingly batty. (Internet Archive)

La Main du Diable (1943), dir. Maurice Tourneur

In this eerie, stylish morality tale from France, a penniless artist (Pierre Fresnay) buys a talisman that will supposedly bring him the fame and fortune for which he’s always hungered. He’ll get what he wanted, but at a horrifying long-term cost. (The Criterion Channel)

dementia (1955), dir. John Parker

Shot completely without dialogue, Parker’s daring horror exercise evocatively explores the psyche of a murderess. The film’s vivid expressionist style was ahead of its time then and still may be unlike anything you’ve ever seen now. (tube)

The Gorgon (1964), dir. Terence Fisher

Hammer Film Productions is responsible for some of the best horror movies of the 1960s and ’70s. The Gorgon which revolves around a professor investigating a mysterious series of deaths (the victims, all men, have turned to stone) — is among the studio’s finest. (tube)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), dir. Philip Kaufmann

The 1956 take on Jack Finney’s 1955 novel The Body Snatchers remains the more-appreciated adaptation, but I love Kaufman’s more boldly scary version, too. (hbo max)

The Beyond (1981), dir. Lucius Fulci

Italian horror legend Fulci’s gory, atmospheric masterpiece about a young woman (Katherine MacColl) who inherits a hotel she has no idea sits atop one of Hell’s seven gates tends to be incomprehensible, but in a genuinely frightening way: it feels like a no-rhyme -or-reason nightmare the way few horror films do. (tube)

thesis (1996), dir. Alejandro Amenabar

Amenábar was only 24 when he made this terrifyingly thrilling movie about a grad student (Ana Torrent) doing a thesis on violence. In her investigation of her, she discovers a snuff video whose victim happens to have once been a former student at her school. (For rent on various services)

The Cell (2000), dir. Tarsem Singh

One of Jennifer Lopez’s best, but most underappreciated, star vehicles is The Cell, a stunningly visualized psychological (literally) horror movie where she plays a psychotherapist zapped into the brain (don’t ask) of a comatose serial killer whose latest victim is still alive but in an undisclosed location. (hoopla, Voodoo)

WNUF Halloween Special (2013), dir. Chris LaMartina

LaMartina’s nifty, best-known movie has a fun gimmick: it’s presented, and with delightful, painstaking visual accuracy, as a “found” 1987 live news broadcast where a TV reporter ventures into a supposedly haunted home, with deadly results. (shudder)

Possessor (2020), dir. Brandon Cronenberg

The sophomore feature from David Cronenberg’s son Brandon — which follows an assassin-for-hire (Andrea Riseborough) able to take control of other people’s bodies to do her dirty business for her — proves that great horror filmmaking just may be an inheritable trait. (Hulu)


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