Horror Movie List: Witches will get you and eat you, that’s just how it is

Witches are an amazing thing. They exist pretty much all over the world in myths and fairy tales in one form or the other. They are usually closely bound to nature and represent its healing and destroying powers. They are desired when people can’t seem to help themselves with what current science has to offer and they are feared (and blamed) whenever things go wrong. And boy oh boy, can they wreak havoc. I love witches. From the Russian Babajaga in her lovely house on a rooster’s foot to that gnarly old broad in her cookie house luring kids in for a nice BBQ.

They also make for some amazing movie villains because they are so carnal and dark, earthy and cruel if they need be. They can be everything and nothing. Yes, there’s loads of awful trash movies with witches but those movies that get them wrong are pretty fantastic.

So, let’s go!

The Witch (2015)

Look, I hardly understand what the protagonist’s are talking about half of the time due to the historical accuracy of their dialects but this movie is one hellride of creating an atmosphere that sits heavy in your stomach the entire time, like waking up in the middle of the night, not knowing why but feeling that there is something off. It’s absolutely gorgeous, disgusting and really disturbing. It’s also one of those movies that I wouldn’t recommend to casual horror fans because there are some “can’t be unseen”-scenes. But boy oh boy, if there ever was someone doubting that witches are scary – what a fool.

Blair Witch Project (1999)

Hey, you didn’t think I would leave our beloved Blair Witch out, now did you? I also wonder whether by now, this movie might be something to discover anew for younger generations since it’s been ages since it came out. And I wonder whether it packs a punch for these generations because it is quite low on the cool effects-scale and instead works a lot with rattling your imagination.  

Gretel & Hänsel (2020)

This artsy horror movie is absolutely gorgeous and does a great job in mixing modern imagery with the folksy earthen terror of being poor and lost in the woods. Galo Olivares did the cinematography and Oz Perkins directed, who is kinda known for gorgeous, brooding horror movies with a kick (also, he’s working on “Head full of Ghosts”, a favorite novel of mine so I can’t wait to see what he turns it into).

Alice Krige is an absolute delight and the story itself has this beautiful surreal air to it, like a modern sequel to “The Company of Wolves” but without the anthology-aspect.

In this version of the Grimm folk tale, it’s not Hänsel but Gretel who gets tied up deeper and deeper in the witches’ spell (which – I guess – is the reason why the title switches their names). It might be a smidge “style over substance” and that voice-over tends to break the mood a little bit but since the movie nevertheless offers some tantalising images and has a great, tense atmosphere, I’ll allow it.

The Wretched (2020)

Whatever you think this movie will be when you see the first 10 minutes, I can assure you, it will be wrong. This movie is absolutely genius, hiding a truly disturbing, terrifying concept (with some big scares) under the guise of your suburbian “weird neighbour” horror plot. It’s probably one of the very few big horror surprises for me this year and has all the witch horror you need.  

Also, if you want witchy songs, here’s a fun playlist for them.

And you’ll find more horror movie lists here.  

Horror movie list: Science and the other side = intense terror

I LOVE possession stories in books as well as in horror movies, especially those that dabble with science because obviously in real life, most if not all cases of possession can be explained by modern science, especially psychology but in fiction, it can always be mixed up with a “but is it really just in your mind?” (cue Twilight Zone-music).

So, for the following list, I tried to put together a list of movies about possessions that are tackled as scientific phenomenons, manipulations that only need to be uncovered or other quite natural explanations. Of course, they all go awry because a fake exorcism is just super sad and depressing and reminds you of the atrocities of the catholic church but a real exorcism at least has some spoopy demon faces.

It’s one of my favourite sub-genres of horror, so if you have recommendations, I will be very happy to receive them in the comments.

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Horror movie list: Don’t play with occult things, honey!

Oh hey, look at that Ouija board/creepy doll/weirdly intricate old toy/old book with human leather binding, let’s totally fiddle with it, until really horrible not-good things are happening! < basically every character in the following movies.

Now, I will not add movies where people are deliberately using occult objects to seriously do occult stuff (like “Hellraiser”, for example) but only movies where people think it’s fun to play around with occult things.

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Horror Movie List: Bad Things Happen at the Beach

Frying in the sun with a thousand people, getting hit with a volley ball by nearby attractive young people and spending the following week finding sand everywhere – beaches are the worst. Now imagine how bad they are whenever monsters, supernatural events or whatnot are involved – yikes.

However, watching the horror unfold in movies is a lot more fun than immediately getting sunburnt, so enjoy this playlist.

Jaws (1975)

This little-known indie gem is about a lovely beach town plagued by a killer shark. However, since tourist season is coming up, it’s up to a rag tag crew (played by a bunch of actors who hated each other’s guts) to fight not only the shark but also capitalism.

Family lore tells the story of my grandpa watching this one with the family and casually excusing himself because he thought the movie was ‘dumb’ just before it got really ugly. Rumor has it, that he didn’t actually think that the movie was dumb but was indeed trying to hide the fact that he was scared of that fin-tastic big boi.

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Horror Movie List: Everyone and everything can kill you in space

Space Horror – what a concept!

Look, you’re up in a vessel with a bunch of people under physical and mental strain, everything outside kills you, everything inside is so delicate that it doesn’t take much to malfunction and then there’s of course the whole thing about eldritch beings in space, aliens, black holes and whatnot. All in all: space is scary.

(if you like this, you also might enjoy people stuck in a submarine or underwater station)

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Horror movie list: Haunted Attractions

I love horror movies and novels and even the occasional horror game (although more as a “let’s play-viewer”, I get too immersed!). But I would never in a million years go to a modern haunted attraction to get screamed at, touched and be filmed for a Buzzfeed list. I mean, best case, the picture/video of my horrified, crying, snot-covered face ends up in a viral listicle and worst-case scenario, I get actually killed by actual ghosts.

However, I am not everyone, and everyone is crazy about haunted attractions right now. Not just in real life but in movies as well.

So, here’s a pick of a few haunted attraction-horror movies as well as a few movies about those weird scare events that are not restricted to a house and are therefore even worse but still seem to find willing and paying participants.

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Horror movie lists: Fairies and trolls

Horror movies are obsessed with folklore. However, most of the time, it’s some ancient evil from faraway lands which sometimes can verge on xenophobia but most of the time is just a nice comment on how white tourists/people just can’t be bothered to respect other cultures and therefore should die (one of my favorite horror sub-genres is dumb tourists getting cursed on their holidays).

BUT Europe has some pretty cool terrors hiding in their fairy tale-vaults as well. For this list, I picked fairies and trolls because Europe is big and it would be an endless list but also I know a lot of creepy fairy-movies and this one troll movie that I really want to include.
Now, as all the other lists, this will be an ongoing collection of movies that I liked that cover this. There are the occasional spoilers, especially when it comes to the theme of the movie, I mean, that’s a given but you know the internet.

So let’s get started.

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Horror movie list: Dumb tourists are going to die

One of my favorite horror movie genres is ignorant tourists doing stupid shit and then getting absolutely annihilated. I know, loving this genre is not my finest hour but it can be so gratifying. It used to be seen as “Dear Americans, don’t travel, because outside of the most awesome U.S. of A. everything is mayhem” which was a.) kinda racist and b.) really not true. But in the last couple of years, it has turned more and more into: “If tourists can’t respect different cultures or LISTEN to people then I guess they had it coming.” Which is a pretty good end-of-the-He-Man-episode-moral, don’t you think? So, here’s a list of some hopefully entertaining movies about dumb tourists getting into trouble.

PS: To not overdo this list, I will not include: reporters, documentary-teams, investigators, tourists that are not dumb and still get in trouble (as seen in “Rogue”, “Wrong Turn”, “Texas Chain Saw Massacre”) and tourists that traveled for other than “fun” reasons (finding a missing relative, overcoming trauma, etc.). Look, I enjoy watching dumb tourists get cursed but not people looking for their missing spouses or siblings.

PPS: Minor spoilers ahead (I try to avoid them but when talking about the main plot or even with the subject of this list, spoilers will happen)

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Horror movie night: Late Night Shifts will kill you!

Because I once got robbed at the shitty video rental I worked at temporarily, I got to spend a lovely night at a police station. Because it was a late night shift and – I think – they had moved most of the personnell to a newer building, I got the whole creepy, empty and dark hallways, grainly video feeds of the doorways and some horrible second hand stories from the policemen who was supposed to take my statement but was busy with a burn victim (an apparent suicide). so, let’s just say: Night Shifts are absolutely terrifying.

It’s no wonder then, that the night shift, graveyard shift, whatever is a lovely topic for horror movies, some of which are pretty good (some of which are not). Continue reading

Best of 2018: 30 things that made this year better than it should have been

It’s that time again, my best things of the year which not necessarily were produced or released this year but which I read, watched, listened to or otherwise enjoyed this year. So it will be full of stuff that makes you go: Geez, Juliane, that’s like, totally old news, in what kind of cave are you living?” And I’ll be like “I live in one of those parts of town in Berlin that no artist would ever move to because they all think it’s sad and dangerous and poor, so it’s actually kind of like a cave but a metaphorical one!”.

Anyways, let’s enjoy this list (or not, what do I care). Continue reading