The 10 Best Surreal Horror Movies of All Time

Posted 2016/10/28 8103 0

All of the films listed here challenge the definition of what a horror movie can be.

 

10. Tetsuo the Iron Man (Tsukamoto Shunya, 1989)

A "metal fetishist" (Shin'ya Tsukamoto), driven mad by the maggots wriggling in the wound he's made to embed metal into his flesh, runs out into the night and is accidentally run down by a Japanese businessman (Tomorowo Taguchi) and his girlfriend (Kei Fujiwara). The pair dispose of the corpse in hopes of quietly moving on with their lives. However, the businessman soon finds that he is now plagued by a vicious curse that transforms his flesh into iron.

 

9. House (Obayashi Nobuhiko, 1977)

In an effort to avoid spending time with her father and his creepy new lover, young Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami) resolves to visit her aunt's remote mansion. With six of her closest friends in tow, including the musically inclined Melody (Eriko Tanaka) and the geeky Prof (Ai Matsubara), Gorgeous arrives at the estate, where supernatural events occur almost immediately. A severed head takes flight, household appliances come to life and a portrait of a cat seems to contain an evil spirit.

 

8. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981)

After Anna (Isabelle Adjani) reveals to her husband, Mark (Sam Neill), that she is having an affair, she leaves him and their son. Mark is devastated, and seeks out Heinrich (Heinz Bennent), the man who cuckolded him, only to receive a beating. After a series of violent confrontations between Mark and Anna, Mark hires a private investigator to follow her. Anna descends into madness, and it's soon clear that she is hiding a much bigger secret, one that is both inexplicable and shocking.

 

7. The Serpent and the Rainbow (Wes Craven, 1988)

In a time of social and political unrest in Haiti, anthropologist Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman) travels to the torn country to study a Voodoo drug used in religious practices to turn victims into living zombies. With the help of a witch doctor (Brent Jennings) and a fellow researcher (Cathy Tyson), Dennis pieces together the deadly mystery. But as Dennis uncovers the secrets behind the mysterious powder, he must evade the Haitian authorities who view his research as a potential threat.

 

6. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Weine, 1920)

At a carnival in Germany, Francis (Friedrich Feher) and his friend Alan (Rudolf Lettinger) encounter the crazed Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss). The men see Caligari showing off his somnambulist, Cesare (Conrad Veidt), a hypnotized man who the doctor claims can see into the future. Shockingly, Cesare then predicts Alan's death, and by morning his chilling prophecy has come true, making Cesare the prime suspect. However, is Cesare guilty, or is the doctor controlling him?

 

5. Santa Sangre (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1989)

The film starts with a naked figure sitting in a tree in what looks like a mental asylum. Nurses come out to him, bringing a plate of conventional food and also one of a raw fish. As they try to coax him off of his perch, it is the fish that persuades him to come down. As the nurses get him to put on some overalls, the viewer sees that he has a tattoo of phoenix on his chest.

 

4. In the Mouth of Madness (John Carpenter, 1994)

When horror novelist Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow) goes missing, insurance investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) scrutinizes the claim made by his publisher, Jackson Harglow (Charlton Heston), and endeavors to retrieve a yet-to-be-released manuscript and ascertain the writer's whereabouts. Accompanied by the novelist's editor, Linda Styles (Julie Carmen), and disturbed by nightmares from reading Cane's other novels, Trent makes an eerie nighttime trek to a supernatural town in New Hampshire.

 

3. Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)

In Roman Polanski's first English-language film, beautiful young manicurist Carole (Catherine Deneuve) suffers from androphobia (the pathological fear of interaction with men). When her sister and roommate, Helen (Yvonne Furneaux), leaves their London flat to go on an Italian holiday with her married boyfriend (Ian Hendry), Carole withdraws into her apartment. She begins to experience frightful hallucinations, her fear gradually mutating into madness.

 

2. Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)

Henry (John Nance) resides alone in a bleak apartment surrounded by industrial gloom. When he discovers that an earlier fling with Mary X (Charlotte Stewart) left her pregnant, he marries the expectant mother and has her move in with him. Things take a decidedly strange turn when the couple's baby turns out to be a bizarre lizard-like creature that won't stop wailing. Other characters, including a disfigured lady who lives inside a radiator, inhabit the building and add to Henry's troubles.

 

1. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)

Suzy (Jessica Harper) travels to Germany to attend ballet school. When she arrives, late on a stormy night, no one lets her in, and she sees Pat (Eva Axén), another student, fleeing from the school. When Pat reaches her apartment, she is murdered. The next day, Suzy is admitted to her new school, but has a difficult time settling in. She hears noises, and often feels ill. As more people die, Suzy uncovers the terrifying secret history of the place.

 

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