Comedians and musicians tend to be pop-culture obsessives. So, in the lead up to Halloween, Vita.mn is enlisting a group of guest critics to share their top 5 horror films of all-time. This edition features local musician Ali Jaafar, seen above wearing a coat in a parking lot.
My name is Ali and I'm a musician (in the band Hollow Boys) and an audio engineer (at Ecstattic Studio). Basically the only movies I watch are horror movies, making this a serious "Which child do you like better?" situation. Thanks, guys.
5. "Marebito" (Takashi Shimizu, 2004)
Funny how the greatest Lovecraft adaption isn't an adaptation at all, but rather a riff on his favored theme of madness caused by an otherworldly descent. I would've included something more explicitly Lovecraftian, like "Re-Animator" or "In the Mouth of Madness," but you can't go wrong with a movie that starts with a hobo stabbing his eyes out.
4. "Evil Dead" (Sam Raimi, 1981)
Before the scourge known as Kickstarter, there were people as punk-as-hell as the crew of "Evil Dead." No money? Just make everything out of clay. No actors? Just get the weirdest bastards you can. No stupid plot twists or pretentious garbage? Thank god.
3. "A Tale of Two Sisters" (Kim Jee Woon, 2003)
The best reality-bending horror movies - like this classic or the like-minded K-Horror tearjerker "Hansel & Gretel" - are the ones that don't mention it, instead focusing on beautiful gore shots and dark, fairy tale-like drama. By the time you realize that everyone is someone else and time is out of joint, the movie's over and you're hitting rewind.
2. "Kairo (Pulse)" (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)
This is kind of a hard film to recommend, but I'm going to do it anyway. Yes, it's extremely slow, part of a trilogy and uncomfortably disapproving of voyeurism, (like similar recent classics "The Ring" and "Sinister"). But it's also a terrifying ghost story that proves the scariest thing of all is being alone.
1. "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom" (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975)
If horror was a literal genre and the best film was the one that inspired the most revulsion, well, here it is. The most disturbing film ever made, mostly because it's also beautiful, riveting and possessed of a watchability that separates it from other shock classics like "Nekromantik" and "Flower of Flesh and Blood." Also, a friend of a friend watched it on acid and tried to cut her face off, so that's the best recommendation I can think of.