For Halloween, 2010, I offer clips (and, thus, suggestions) of the most mortifying cinematic offerings out there. Gird your loins, and here we go (and spoilers abound so BE WARNED):
JIGOKU (Nobuo Nakagawa, 60).
It's scarier without the subtitles, this unbelievable preview for a bloody tour through Hell. Watch it only if you're brave.
QUATERMASS AND THE PIT/FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH (Roy Ward Baker, 67).
This trailer chronicles the path to an ultimate destination for the Brits' famed Professor Quatermass, finally faced with more than he can handle in this masterpiece of sci-fi/horror from the recently deceased Hammer veteran Roy Ward Baker. This is a must for any horror fan.
THEATER OF BLOOD (Douglas Hickox, 73).
A truly magnificent fan-made trailer for Vincent Price's greatest performance on screen. Michael J. Lewis' brilliant theme music takes center stage here. See this one for smarts, laffs, and scares.
HOUR OF THE WOLF (Ingmar Bergman, 68).
A brilliantly constructed trailer for Bergman's one true horror film. As you might expect, there's nothing like it out there.
RINGU (Hideo Nakata, 98).
The incredible cursed videotape, in its entirety.
THE OLD DARK HOUSE (James Whale, 32).
Houseguest Gloria Stuart is put through the ringer by nasty Eva Moore in this radical scare scene from horror master James Whale.
TARGETS (Peter Bogdanovich, 68).
Boris Karloff, as near-retirement horror star Byron Orlock, tells a frightening tale. In its last moments, director/writer Bogdanovich told Karloff to concentrate on the idea of his own death. Karloff did the scene in one take, to crew applause. His final seconds here, pondering his own upcoming time in the grave, cemented Karloff's standing as the continuing King of Horror.
AT MIDNIGHT, I'LL TAKE YOUR SOUL (Jose Mojica Marins, 64).
An opening credits sequence that'll curdle the blood before the story even begins. That Coffin Joe! What a character!
PHANTASM (Don Coscarelli, 79).
While prowling the Morningside Funeral Home, Michael Baldwin tries to escape from the mysterious, evil Silver Sphere. It may look funny here, but it's horrifying in the context of this relentlessly unsettling film.
IMAGES (Robert Altman, 72).
Susannah York won Best Actress at Cannes in '72 for playing this extremely unbalanced author on holiday with her husband...or...whoever it is. You'll know immediately this is a horror film: simply listen to John Williams' singular, Oscar-nominated score. This movie, and York's screams, will prevent you from sleep.