Movies

10 Great Horror Movies That Deserve to Enter the Criteria Collection

10 Great Horror Movies That Deserve to Enter the Criteria Collection

Out of the 1000+ films released within the Criterion Collection, only a select few are horrors. While the studio focuses on dramas, foreign cinema, and certified classics, there is always more room for some great scary flicks.

The collection already has a ton of notable horror films that certainly deserve the Criterion prestige, but since we’re deep into the spooky season, why not suggest some films that would be great additions to the collection, whether that be the classic silent scares of Nosferatu or the haunting slow burn of Audition.

‘Santa Sangre’ (1989)
It’s quite surprising that none of the spiritual marvels from Alejandro Jodorowsky have made their way into the collection. Santa Sangre is a very experimental surrealist horror film from the 80s that definitely fits Criterion’s vibe. It films explores the life of a mental patient who suffers from an extremely traumatic childhood.

Despite the film’s simple synopsis, it is a truly bizarre and spiritual experience with some very striking visuals and horrific moments. It is a very unconventional horror film that strays very far away from what you may expect from the genre. However, it’s still a chilling journey following the life of a peculiar protagonist.

‘The Host’ (2006)
Bong Joon Ho’s The Host may be his only horror film, but is still one that certainly deserves to join the Criterion Collection. The film tells the story of a giant nautical monster that begins to wreak havoc on a Korean town after being spawned by the release of toxic waste into the town’s river network.

The film is a lot more artful than many other monster films, as it touches on similar themes that Bong explores in a variety of his films. This includes class differences and the impact of humanity on the environment. It’s one of Bong’s best works and deserves to stand in the collection alongside his other fantastic pieces such as Memories of Murder and Parasite.

‘Audition’ (1999)
Audition is a grueling horror film and is one that is best experienced by knowing as little as possible before going in. All you should know is that the film follows a man who tries to find a partner seven years after the death of his wife. The film starts off quite slowly and may not even seem like a horror flick, but it has a fantastic payoff that justifies the pacing.

Director Takashi Miike has directed over a hundred films, which is just absolutely mind-blowing. While he has a very expansive catalog, with a lot of range in style and tone, Audition still manages to be one of his best.

‘The Lighthouse’ (2019)
If there’s a horror film from recent years that deserves to join the collection, it’s most certainly The Lighthouse. The film tells the distressing story of two lighthouse keepers that struggle to maintain their dwindling sanity with only the company of one another as they live alone on a remote island.

The film’s foreboding atmosphere and spiraling tones make it a perfect fit for the Criterion Collection. Director Robert Eggers has yet to have one of his films released to the collection, but The Lighthouse would be a great first addition, being one of the best horror films from the past decade.

‘Suspiria’ (1977)
Suspiria is one of those classic horror films everybody needs to experience at least once. It tells the story of an American ballet student who travels to Germany to begin her studies at a prestigious dance academy and swiftly begins to realize that evil dwells within the establishment.

The film focuses on being a haunting audiovisual experience, with some fantastic cinematography showcasing some of the most memorable uses of color out of any horror film ever made. The film’s soundtrack is also expertly incorporated within the film, having a very atmospheric and whimsical presence. All in all, Suspiria is a true classic that very much deserves the Criterion treatment.

‘Suspiria’ (2018)
As well as the original Suspiria, the 2018 remake also deserves its own spot in the collection. The film follows a similar story but is entirely different in terms of how the film presents itself and handles the characters and horror aspects.

Like the original, there is a high focus on the aesthetic the film provides. However, director Luca Guadagnino managed to create an entirely different experience. Instead of being vibrant and playful, his rendition is raw and brutal but still manages to maintain a horrific audiovisual experience and one that fantastically deviates from the original.

‘The Fly’ (1986)
The Criterion Collection is a massive fan of David Cronenberg, including a number of his works such as Naked Lunch, Crash, and Videodrome. However, Criterion has yet to release his most iconic film, The Fly. The film tells the story of a scientist who discovers the fantastic ability of teleportation and decides to test it on himself. However, things go horribly wrong when a housefly enters the device.

There are many reasons why this is deemed Cronenberg’s most iconic film, from its fantastic production design and creature effects to a memorable performance from Jeff Goldblum. It’s one of the classic monster films that will forever feel timeless due to the great practical elements of filmmaking that Cronenberg is known for.

‘Funny Games’ (2007)
Funny Games U.S has an interesting story behind it as it is a shot-for-shot English remake of Michael Haneke’s original Austrian film. He decided to make an English version of his own film as he thought that the story was better tailored toward an American audience. The film tells the story of a family on vacation at their holiday home that gets visited by a pair of suspicious young men.

The original Funny Games film actually already has a Criterion release, however, the remake also deserves this prestige. It rivals the original in terms of quality and has a number of aspects that work a lot better, such as improved camera quality and greater impacting themes. Criterion has a golden opportunity for this film to be released as a paired box set with the original.

‘Nosferatu’ (1922)
Nosferatu tells the classic tale of a Vampire named Orlock who finds himself becoming awfully fond of his estate agent’s wife, and causes havoc on the small town where they live.

Nosferatu is one of the oldest horror movies ever made in a landscape where filming techniques were vastly different, as well as what audiences perceived to be scary. If you had to watch this film today, you might find it more enjoyable than horrifying. However, despite how horror has aged throughout the years, Nosferatu still is a landmark piece of filmmaking that helped formulate the genre and is a classic that deserves a spot in the collection in order to celebrate its legacy.

‘Nosferatu the Vampyre’ (1979)
Similarly to the Suspiria remake, Nosferatu the Vampyre is another remake of the classic film and one that is genuinely great. Werner Herzog clearly deeply cared about the source material when making this film, by staying true to the ideas and themes it explored as well as providing his own stylistic flair.

The film sticks to the gothic nature of the original as well as consisting of Herzog’s ethereal style seen in many of his documentaries. The film has a great sense of atmosphere explored through the visuals, tone, and performances and is a passionate ode and retelling of the story of Nosferatu.

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