Blah blah blah.
@ HOUSE OF LEAVES
I agree with you on that. It’s not meant to be a definitive list in that sense, in my case it is what really struck me. I did not get Haneke until I saw Funny Games ‘97 and I had been watching his features in chronological order during one week (it was about Wednesday when I saw it, having started on a Monday), and Eyes Wide Shut I started watching expecting some overdone sex and romance only to proverbially shit myself as I sat paralyzed at what I still like to refer to it as a “mute-horror” film (the kind that you don’t expect to be horrifying, nor does it start out presenting itself to be, but in the end it just is that frightening). And Cat People by way of Paul Schrader is not solely out of favortism for him but in his way of approaching that film with the influence of Cocteau in mind, and what horror could be found in such a beautiful thing. The Fly showed me that you could have a human being trapped within an ever-growing monster and that horror could be just as dramatic and tragic within science fiction details. The Sacrifice doesn’t totally strike me as horrific but coming from Tarkovsky I find it his most startling in its mystery and spiritual despair.
Funny—I also watched most of Haneke’s films within a week—leading up to seeing White Ribbon with Kai White in the theater.
Eyes Wide Shut is a fascinating film. It just might be Kubrick’s masterpiece, despite the huge number of people who seem to have it pegged as a lesser film. Layers and layers.
I suppose it’s time I saw Cat People, too.
I love me some good horror films. Attempting to rank mine:
The ShiningAlienThe ThingEraserheadCarrieAntichristHour of the WolfThe FlyThe Texas Chainsaw MassacreRosemary’s Baby
The Shining is the perfect horror film.
1) The Thing (Carpenter)
2) The Shining
4) Deep Red
5) Don’t Look Now
6) Day of the Dead
8) Halloween (Carpenter)
9) The Host
10) An American Werewolf in London
My top choice for ‘perfect’ would be Alien, though your pick (among others) is a close second.
Loving the respect for Day of the Dead. Keep it coming.
Yes, even though I credit Spartacus as my personal favorite, to dismiss Eyes Wide Shut as a lesser picture is evidence of not being able to see past its very surface. I was surprised when I expressed my horror at the film’s contents to others and they looked at me blankly, as if I were talking about some other film they never seen before! And just on a sidenote, I credit The White Ribbon as my personal favorite of Haneke’s work. Can’t wait to see Amour.
Yes, Cat People is not too typical of horror film, and that being said one should not expect too much influence from Polanski or whathaveyou, for it lies mainly in the drama of the characters involved (I don’t care what anyone says about her being casted solely for her body, Nastassja Kinski really makes that role of Irina in her own right). Schrader is not a horror director, obviously, but he has a more thought provoking take on the subject, and it can also be seen in his Exorcist prequel Dominion which follows more spiritual overtones and Merrin’s crisis of faith than it does too much of what a demon can do to the body of whoever they’re possessing.
Actually I would say Alien is a perfect horror film as well, and that tagline: “In space no one can hear you scream…”, so damn good.
What’s with all of you and your ultimately creepy obsession for Haneke?
What I want from a horror film (aside from it being scary, of course, which is rare these days—hence, most of my picks are from the good ol days) is subtext. All of those films have something else to say.
Prokow—Maybe YOU’RE the weird one…
Funny that all the good horror films aren’t really horror films in the sort of stock, campy traditional sense… They certainly have some of those elements but they all seem to transcend the genre in one way or another.
For example The Fly, yeah it’s kind of a classic horror tale, but that’s not really the point… the point for me was the character, and Goldblum’s performance is just so human, so oddly charming… you really come to care and relate to him, even though the scenario is “sci-fi” and “horrific” the character really sells it, which puts it over the top imo.
Funny Games is such a hypocritical film. Haneke pretty much admits this too. As Ebert said “if you really wanted to ace the challenge, you would just not see the movie.”
That’s the point, and it doesn’t bother me one bit. I’ve never sided with the group that dislikes Haneke because he’s too didactic. I think his project is worthwhile and necessary, and while I’m glad most films aren’t like his, I’m happy that his exist. Funny Games is an important film.
Hey, hey. I never said I dislike Haneke. I just don’t see the fuss, nor do I have a slight urge of ass-raping him pleasurably.
Well, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this piece I wrote for the short-lived Cinema 21 project:
CINEMA 21 PRESENTS MICHAEL HANEKE: MODERN MORALIST
Not saying it’s badass or definitive or anything but it surely will show you where the ‘fuss’ is for me, at least.
I saw Cronenberg’s The Fly when I was about 12, and I could even see it then that much of the problem lay within Goldblum’s character, making him a tragic hero in my eyes. I came to learn that horror could also be very tragic and not merely scary.
Haneke also said something along the lines that if you’d seen it you’d know it was necessary if you went through the set up and fell for the trap within. And it was that when I caught myself going through the formula by the point of rewind, I felt astounded. I realized myself in relation to the film, rather than getting lost in it.
Top 10 favorite horror:
1. The Shining
3. The Blair Witch Project
4. Rosemary’s Baby
5. The Wicker Man (Hardy)
6. The Thing (Carpenter)
7. Dead Ringers
8. Pulse (K. Kurosawa)
9. Perfect Blue
10. The Descent
And some random underseen/underrated horror movies I also like:
Black Death (Smith)Apartment ZeroAbsentiaBody Snatchers (Ferrara)Buddy BoySpliceThree ExtremesSaunaParasomniaNew Guy (Ebiri)Island of Lost SoulsThe Hitcher (Harmon)Heartless (Ridley)Habit (Fessender)MayThe WomanLunacy (Svankmajer)
I second you totally on Ferrara’s Body Snatchers and Perfect Blue…love those films!
Damn House, how come your Cinema 21 essay got “published” and not mine? ;P
I slept with the publishers, obviously. You didn’t?
No, I slept with the moderators though. You don’t remember?
Yes, but did you give the reach-around? There’s the rub.
Special shout out to Buried and The Descent
Ah, yes, I gave the pata-pon but not the reach-around. Lesson learned.
@House of Leaves
I do see what Haneke was trying to do, and I don’t hate the film, I just find it strange that people love a film which was pretty much made so if you love it you are missing the point.
There are two levels of loving that film, according to Haneke’s project: One—you are excited by the thrill and then are confronted with the ethical problems this presents. Two: you are excited by the thrill and then reflex on what that emotion means in relation to you as a person and you as a consumer of media.
How can someone who loves the film in the latter sense be missing the point?
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Carnival of Souls
Prince of Darkness
The Legend of Hell House
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Friday the 13th (original)
Nightmare of Elm Street (original)