10 “Horror” Movies That Will Leave You Truly Shaken (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of the post I started yesterday.  Here are five more movies that will leave you not just scared, but scarred.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre StillThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Admittedly this is a gimme, but it still stands alone in its class. We see the absolute nadir of what could be called ‘human,’ and it all starts with a simple little sledgehammer to the face.

Funny Games: I have seen neither the American nor the German versions of Michael Heneke’s ultra-controversial film, because its synopsis makes it sound like a complete nightmare, and the execution is said to be merciless in both cases.  I have, however, accidentally seen one scene, involving blood splattered on a TV screen, and I am working hard to forget what exactly was going on.

Audition: What makes this movie so audacious is its use of tone and genre in a completely unexpected way.  In most horror movies, you can tell exactly what’s going to happen from the opening scene, and the ominous music and fake-scares along the way (think the cat in Alien) keep reminding you that SOMETHING SCARY IS GOING TO HAPPEN.  Some say this builds tension, but for me it always made things predictable. So what if a movie started off, in every possible way, telling you that it was a slightly melancholy romantic comedy? What would it feel like for it to suddenly turn into something unspeakably horrific?  I can tell you – it would feel way, way more deranged than an average horror film.

Mulholland Drive StillMulholland Drive: Another horror movie that’s not really a horror movie.  But the emotional desperation of the the main characters, David Lynch’s mind-bending story structure, and the frequent eruptions of strange violence, mean that this will leave you equal parts distraught, confused, and paranoid.

Happiness: Also not really a horror movie, but worse than anything that ever featured Jason Voorhees. There are a few horrible people in this film, but the one who will always be remembered is the pedophile who rapes his young son’s friend during a sleepover.  He’s depicted as entirely human – and even empathetic. Ultimately, the most horrifying part of this movie is how you’re likely to react. I first saw it when it was released in theatres, and I was roaring with laughter at it deeply uncomfortable comedy.  I was on a date at the time.  No, things did not go so well.


It turns out I have too many movies to make this just a top ten.  I’ll be posting on similar topics soon, about movies like El Topo and Ichi the Killer.  Stay Tuned!

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