Resolutions: 12 Horror Movies I WILL Watch This Year

No more excuses

I’ve never been one to bother with New Year’s resolutions. Vague platitudes and hollow promises hold little magic for me. But this year, I did think of a way to participate in this lifeless cultural ritual with promises I can actually fulfill – and if I do so, that means I WILL WIN AT 2015ING! I am going to 2015 circles around the rest of the world!

My resolution? I am choosing 12 horror movies that I have not seen but really ought to, and I am going to watch them. At the end of the year, I’ll write a little look back on the twelve and post a new list for 2016.


orlac-docThe Hands of Orlac (1924)

Directed by: Robert Wiene

Written by: Louis Nerz, Maurice Renard (novel)

Starring: Conrad Veidt, Alexandra Sorina

This one is a no-brainer. I am frankly angry at myself for not having seen this movie, the story of a pianist who loses his hands in an accident, only to have them replaced with those of a murder. It was remade by Karl Freund as the superlative Mad Love (1935) starring horror icons Peter Lorre and Colin Clive, but the original can boast of a pretty strong horror pedigree, as well: director Wiene had already made The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), in which Veidt had played the somnambulist Cesare; Veidt would go on to star in The Man Who Laughs (1928), as the character whose look inspired The Joker.

Possession by a transplanted body part has become one of horror’s great tropes, and so far I’ve never seen it done better than in Mad Love, but I’m not going to declare it the winner until I’ve seen the prior adaptation of Rendard’s 1920 novel.


poster-cat-and-the-canary-the-1927_02The Cat and the Canary (1927)

Directed by: Paul Leni

Written by: John Willard (stage play), Robert F. Hill, Alfred A. Cohn, Walter Anthony

Starring: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley, Tully Marshall

Pretty much the definitive classic “old dark house” thriller, including the requisite comedic elements, this early Universal horror film helped to set that studio’s approach to a genre which they would soon lead into its golden age.

Director Leni, like Wiene part of the German expressionist school, would go on to direct the aforementioned The Man Who Laughs.


hohh3House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Directed by: William Castle

Written by: Robb White

Starring: Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook Jr.

I’m afraid William Castle’s movies represent a significant hole in my education; I’ve only seen one film he directed. This year, I hope to add several more to that list, but at the very least, I will certainly watch his most well-known film.


asphyx4bigThe Asphyx (1973)

Directed by: Peter Newbrook

Written by: Christina Beers, Laurence Beers, Brian Comport

Starring: Robert Stephens, Robert Powell, Jane Lapotaire

I’ve long been curious about this British production, but it was not readily available on home video until a few years ago. It tells the story of a Victorian era experimenter who discovers that everyone has a kind of personal grim reaper, called an “asphyx,” and finds that by trapping his asphyx he can gain immortality.


ThetownThe Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976)

Directed by: Charles B. Pierce

Written by: Earl E. Smith

Starring: Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine, Dawn Wells

I’m not the biggest slasher movie fanatic. There are a few that I love, a handful more that I like, but I’ve never been compelled to seek out all that were available. However, I’ve long had an academic interest in the movies that spawned the genre, the Hitchcock and Bava and Argento works which blurred the lines between thrillers and horror films, and the early American and Canadian psycho killer flicks like Black Christmas and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (both 1974), but somehow this one just never made its way into my player.


walken004The Prophecy (1995)

Written and Directed by: Gregory Widen

Starring: Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, Viggo Mortenson, Amanda Plummer

Honestly, just look at that cast. I mean, how have I not watched that?


fido-billyFido (2006)

Directed by: Andrew Currie

Written by: Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie, Dennis Heaton

Starring: Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, Dylan Baker, K’Sun Ray, Henry Czerny, Tim Blake Nelson

I do enjoy a good zombie comedy, and my wife recommends this one. There’s some funny stuff in the trailer, and who doesn’t love Billy Connolly?


The Orphanage Screenshot 2The Orphanage (2007)

Directed by: J.A. Bayona

Written by: Sergio G Sánchez

Starring: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Prícep

Great reviews, creepy imagery, and Guillermo del Toro as an executive producer. Wanted to see this when it came out, didn’t get around to it, have wanted to watch it since. No more excuses.


triangle-2Triangle (2009)

Written and Directed by: Christopher Smith

Starring: Melissa George, Joshua McIvor, Jack Taylor

The wife showed me a trailer for this, and it looks mind-bending and creepy.


3_beyond_the_black_rainbow_1_2011Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)

Written and Directed by: Panos Cosmatos

Starring: Michael Rogers, Eva Bourne, Scott Hylands

This one has been recommended to me by quite a few people who have pretty good, interesting tastes. I’m a sucker for a psychedelic approach and 70s-influenced visual style, so this one looks like a lot of fun.


John DiesJohn Dies at the End (2012)

Directed by: Don Coscarelli

Written by: Don Coscarelli, David Wong (novel)

Starring: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown

The director of Phantasm (1979) and Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) adapting a sci-fi thriller by one of the writers for about aliens, drugs and traveling across time and dimensions? The fact that I’ve let so much time elapse without seeing this is ludicrous.


coherenceCoherence (2013)

Directed by: James Ward Byrkit

Written by: James Ward Byrkit, Alex Manugian

Starring: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon

Another one that my wife pulled up a trailer for and suggested we should watch. It seems like a tense brain twister. And I’m always in the mood for Nicholas Brendon.


What are you putting on your watch list for the year?  Let us know in the comments, and check out our Facebook page!

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Josh Millican
    29 December 2014 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    I just watched The Town that Dreaded Sundown. It’s okay, nowhere near as scary as TCM and definitely dated, but a good crime thriller. The Orphanage is amazing and the longer you wait to see it, the more of a disservice you’re doing to yourself; it’s a near perfect film. Triangle is great; look for all The Shining easter-eggs throughout. John Dies at the End is really good, very visual, fun drug-horror.

  • dbo
    3 January 2015 at 1:28 am - Reply

    Triangle was really good Evan it’s essentially a slasher film but really innovative imo.