PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX VOL. 24
HEY BASTARDS. Welcome to another edition of PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX! In honor of the Halloween season, we’ve got a ten-pack of supernatural horror flicks about hauntings and ghosts to get you in a properly festive mood!
10. Burnt Offerings (1976)
When one of the oddest couples in horror film history (Oliver Reed and Karen Black!) and their son take a job as summer caretakers at an old house, the mansion begins to come alive with each death that takes place in its’ midst. One of Dan Curtis’s few theatrical films, this chiller also features Burgess Meredith, Bette Davis, Eileen Heckart and BEN’s Lee Montgomery.
9. Hour of the Wolf (1968)
Ingmar Bergman’s film about an artist (Max Von Sydow) who lives with his wife (Liv Ullman) on an island and begins to have nightmares is paced like you’d expect a Bergman film to be, but it’s surprisingly effective as an eerie tale of psychological haunting.
8. A Tale of Two Sisters (2004)
A pair of sisters return from a mental institution to deal with their abusive stepmother and father, but a ghost has other plans for the reunion in this Korean horror flick from Jee-woon Kim (I SAW THE DEVIL, THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD).
7. The Innkeepers (2011)
Ti West’s story about a pair of hotel employees on the last weekend before the place shuts down investigating the potential haunting of the locale take a while to get going, but those who like their ghost stories with a slow burn (like West’s HOUSE OF THE DEVIL) will be satisfyingly rewarded. Sarah Paxton stars, with Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis.
6. Tales from the Crypt Presents
Demon Knight (1994)
The Tales from the Crypt franchise’s theatrical legacy never really took off, but I’m a big fan of the Ernest Dickerson-directed first (modern) outing, as a battle between good (William Sadler) and evil (Billy Zane) takes place in a church-turned-motel. A great roster of character vets are caught in the middle, including Jada Pinkett, Brenda Bakke, CCH Pounder, Thomas Haden Church, John Schuck, Gary Farmer, Charles Fleischer and “That Guy” himself Dick Miller.
5. Session 9 (2001)
Brad Anderson (THE MACHINIST, HAPPY ACCIDENTS) directed this great little horror flick about a crew of asbestos cleaners working in an abandoned mental hospital who discover that the residents may be dead, but they may not have left. With David Caruso (in his best theatrical leading role), Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas, Peter Mullan and Brendan Sexton III, with a cameo by Larry Fessenden.
4. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
John Hough’s great ghost story about a team of four that investigate an allegedly haunted house is one of the best supernatural pics of the ’70s, with some surprisingly shocking moments that make you realize how restrained of a culture we’ve turned into when you see the PG rating. With Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill and Gayle Hunnicutt.
3. The Haunting of Julia (1977)
Richard Loncraine, later the director of Ian McKellen’s excellent RICHARD III, helmed this solid British/Canadian ghost story starring Mia Farrow as a woman who separates from her husband (Keir Dullea) after the death of their daughter. Her new place of residence, however, has ghosts of its’ own. Based on Peter Straub’s novel, with a story treatment by Harry Bromley Davenport (XTRO).
2. The Resurrected (1992)
H.P. Lovecraft is notoriously difficult to adapt, but Dan O’Bannon’s cinematic take on “The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward” is one of the few minor successes. Ward’s wife (Jane Sibbett) hires a detective (John Terry) to find out what he’s doing in a remote cabin, but they may not like the answers after they find a diary of his ancestor and dead bodies start popping up. With Chris Sarandon.
1. The Fog (1980)
There were years were John Carpenter’s THE FOG was thought of as a lesser effort, but its reputation has come back in the last decade, even spawning a useless remake. The original tale of a California fishing town cursed with an evil fog that descends upon it every century is still a moody gem, with a great cast, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, John Houseman, Hal Holbrook, Charles Cyphers and George “Buck” Flower.