8. Demons (1985)
Although the obvious Giallo entry on this list would be Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Lamberto Bava’s Demons is much more accessible to mainstream horror fans as well as being genuinely brilliant in its own right.
The movie takes place in a horror movie setting that many dream of but that has rarely taken shape: a horror movie set in a movie theatre. In Bava’s vision, a movie theatre that is overtaken by zombie-like demons.
The movie theatre in question is the Metropol, one of the most stunning movie theatres you’ll ever see. While the dark lighting of the theatre itself subdues some Giallo trademarks, Bava still does a great job of representing everything one comes to expect from a Giallo flick: great uses of colour, practical effects, music, set pieces, and of course terrible dubbing.
It takes a little time to set itself up, but once the movie kicks off it is a blood-fest soundtracked by some of the 80s’ finest heavy metal bands; a fun, exhilarating ride from start to finish.
7. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
Punching in at only one hour and seven minutes, Tetsuo: The Iron Man is the shortest film on this list. Yet it is also arguably the most challenging…
An array of experimentalism and body horror the likes of which had not been seen outside of the works of David Lynch and David Cronenberg at the time of the movie’s release, Tetsuo: The Iron Man is an unforgettable Japanese horror film, packing so much into its runtime and presenting horrors that are simply incomparable. It’s an absolute classic of the horror genre, one that has left an indelible mark on all who’ve watched it.
6. Let The Right One In (2008)
Although it may not be the first vampire movie of 2008 that many people will think of – that honour going to Twilight – Let the Right One In is without a doubt the better of the two, arguably revitalising vampire cinema at a time when it had not been considered a sellable genre for years.
Although the story itself is of a smaller scale – two young children befriend each other in 80s Sweden whilst a string of murders plague their small town – it is this small scale that allows the film to delve deep into its characters and its world building.
More than how scary it is (which is very scary), Let the Right One In will stick with you for the power of its layered narrative, convincing characterisations and excellent presentation; this Tomas Alfredson movie being wholly engaging.
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