Films to Shudder By… My Top 20 Mix Tape (Part 1)

My Mix Tape Part 1 (1-10)

By Jay Kay /

Over the years as streaming platforms have become more available, horror of all sub-genres has become more available also. Films from today and decades past are open to revisit, examine, enjoy and infect a new generation., curated by a variety of infamous minds including well respected former Managing Editor of “Shock Till You Drop” Sam Zimmerman and TIFF “Midnight Madness” and “Vanguard” Programmer Colin Geddes have taken online horror film content to a smart and diverse level as they continue to grow and expose fans of all generations, ages and choices if they dare!

With a trial subscription and a low monthly price that is a gateway to these dark halls of quality horror film madness, is gaining momentum and is becoming the premium spot for many online platforms. Give a try and experience the intelligence of the categories and the choices of the guest curators. As well as the diversity in decades of horror films, the spotlight on prominent horror film festivals and events along with so much more. In the words of the famed Pinhead, “We have such sights to show you!”

Step into the darkness and become one of us with the incredible horror of today and yesterday that has shaped generations of fans, peers and fiends on Enjoy my Mix Tape… and make one of your own!


  1. Absentia / Mike Flanagan (2011): For me, this is Mike Flanagan’s best work to date. A gripping, dark drama that shows such respect to the viewer using tools of paranoia, sound, a crafted mystery and powerful performances. Never quite knowing what is real and what is not, Flanagan utilizes the tension between sisters Katie Parker (Callie) and Courtney Bell (Tricia) as pressure mounts to declare Tricia husband in absentia after seven years. As Callie comes to live with her pregnant sister and help her through this transition, Callie discovers that there may be something in the long tunnel. With each moment, the mystery and questions grow on where Tricia’s husband may be and what horror is worse than death.                                                                                                          audition                                  
  2. Audition / Takashi Miike (1999): Is there more of a tense and dark drama that will make you rethink dating? Miike’s masterpiece of abuse, infamous intentions, torture and disturbing beauty tightens like a rope. “Audition’s” narrative, sound, visual style and powerful climax is the stuff of urban legend and disgust for those who dare to watch the delicate Asami (Eihi Shiina), desperate widower Shigeharu (Ryo Ishibashi) and the sack! Truly a love letter to horror, Miike’s eye for style, color and lightening is genius especially during the ocean scenes and the coloring during the abuse sequences. BTM
  3. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon /Scott Glosserman (2006): Celebrating ten years since its release, this smart and dark mockumentary about “the legend” to be serial killer Leslie Vernon. This film impacts the viewer and just like “Scream” did a decade before, respectfully pokes the slasher genre that is both entertaining and somewhat frightful. This film finds greatness on many levels including the classic characters/performances (Scott Wilson as Eugene, Robert Englund as Doc Halloran and Nathan Baesel as Leslie Vernon), witty dialogue, a smart setup and a slowly building tension that hooks you! “Behind the Mask” is brilliant cult classic horror that may never be equaled and brings life to a tired sub-genre.           Citadel 
  4. Citadel / Ciaran Foy (2012): Isolation of any kind makes for compelling and horrific cinema. “Citadel” is a purgatory of dread, isolation and guilt put against a canvas of creatures and human tragedy. Not since “The Brood” has kid type monsters been so scary and vicious. Powerful, psychological and tense is Ciaran Foy’s indie shocker that takes you in the world of darkness.                        Dead-Hooker-03                     
  5. Dead Hooker in a Trunk /Jen & Sylvia Soska (2009): Balls out trouble and chaos where anything goes! Music, religion, sex appeal, weapons and gore! My favorite of the infamous Soska Sisters films spreads like wild fire over the run time and rocks so hard with no rhyme or reason! Kick ass soundtrack, bad ass performances and just plain uninhibited fun! Miss those days from the Soska’s…                                                                           Demons 
  6. Demons / Lamberto Bava (1985): Is there a cinematic experience that captures a crowd more than “Demons”?! I say not! Bava’s classic cult cinema is a horror film within a horror film that for many, has never been topped! Incredible practical FX that has created legendary moments (ripping apart the throat) and a sense of break down that only grows as the the theater turns into hell on earth. Vicious, colorful, gorgeously gory and featuring an incredible soundtrack that makes this not a film but an experience for horror fans! der_samurai
  7. Der Samurai / Till Kleinert (2014): So weird… dramatic… and captivating is Kleinert horror fantasy that entangles a police officer on patrol one night and a shape shifting, cross dressing, sword wielding psycho that match wits in a deadly game that may go deeper. “Der Samurai” has an unexpected greatness that grows with each viewing. You know this film will be weird and will not make any sense yet you are lost in each moment, kill and word exchanged by the two leads. Lots of dead bodies, awesome sword play, sweet revenge, cat and mouse thrills and showcasing performances by Michael Diercks (Jakob) and Pit Bukowski (as Der Samurai) help to create great cult midnight cinema. faces-of-death
  8. Faces of Death / John Alan Schwartz (1978): My first horror film when I was kid has jaded and scarred my life forever. This mockumentary about the many ways that death takes us, influences us and destroys us changed how I saw death and horror. The variety of footage, the visceral ways to die and the intellectual style of commentary captivates you, making this film legend and as infamous as any. Anyone for monkeys brains? FrankensteinsArmy20135_zps16179ba3
  9. Frankenstein’s Army /Richard Raaphorst (2013): This is the material of nightmares… “Frankenstein’s Army” is a horror period piece that features incredible monsters, historical evil and a real classic horror movie feel. Always keeping you off balanced, the film offers a lot of chaos laced with tension and really great camera work. Hats off to the visual and practical FX departments that conceived these creatures and evil from the bellows of hell in “Frankenstein’s Army”.                                                 I-saw-the-devil
  10. I Saw the Devil / Jee-woon Kim (2010): Brutal as it is stunning, Jee-Woon finds a way to cultivate an intense and emotional revenge story that is triggered by one of the most heinous acts imaginable. Revolving around a cat and mouse game of bloody revenge, the wave builds into powerful symphony that takes the viewer through so much pain, fury and loss that you cannot catch your breath, hard to find with many mainstream horror. One of the biggest reasons why not, the emotional, line bending and at times sinister performances that are embodied by two sides of the same coin which includes Byung-hun Lee as the cop Kim Soo-hyeon who is out for bloody revenge after his wife and unborn child are murdered and butchered by psychopath Kyung-chul played by legendary Asian cinema actor Min-sik Choi. “I Saw the Devil” is shot beautifully and reminds you of how truly stylish and creative Korean cinema is with their lighting and structure. (Part 2 Coming Soon…)

(Images from Google)

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