Top 100 Horror Movies: How Truly Horrific Are They?

Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman,
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DVD Releases: October 5th, 2010, or The Most Expensive Day in Horror History!

Another week in October, another bounty crop of horror DVDs and Blu-rays. This week we have home entertainment from recent theatrical releases of nightmares of the mind as well as re-releases of classic and campy horror, all with boatloads of extras.

Then there are other horror titles that are being re-released on Blu-ray or in packs for double dipping. On top of that, horror offerings from Asia, past seasons of TV shows, manga, novels, and even video games are all vying for our pocketbooks. And we still have four more weeks of October to go.

Next year October needs to begin in August.

Human Centipede: First Sequence

Directed by Tom Six

Human Centipede: First Sequence (review) was a sensation ever since its first mention. Stephen Colbert even talked about it at the 2010 Emmys Awards broadcast! The premise cannot be simpler. Two pretty American girls are on a road trip through Europe.
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The Holy Land


Friday, July 12

New York

NEW YORK -- Eitan Gorlin's debut feature, which won the Grand Jury Prize for best feature film at Slamdance, presents a view of Israel that defies conventional expectations. Depicting the complicated relationship that develops between a deeply religious but questioning young rabbinical student and a 19-year-old Russian prostitute, "The Holy Land" delivers an interesting portrayal of the conflict between religion and secularism.

The film's central character is Mendy (Oren Rehany), who is given a startling recommendation to cure his restlessness by his teaching rabbi. The rabbi, alarmed over Mendy's choice of reading material -- he's currently devouring "Siddhartha" -- advises him to visit a prostitute, preferably a gentile one, to get it out of his system.

Taking his advice, Mendy visits a strip bar in Tel Aviv, where he becomes immediately smitten with the beautiful Sasha (Tchelet Semel) after she provides a full-body (but never completed) massage. Abandoning his Torah studies, Mendy gets a job working as a bartender at Mike's Place, run by an emotionally volatile former war photographer (Saul Stein). There, he comes into contact with a variety of colorful characters, including a genial Arab smuggler (Albert Illuz) and an American-born settler, dubbed the Exterminator, who never lets go of his M-16 rifle. All the while, Mendy is obsessively pursuing the object of his romantic fervor, who's rather discomfited by this strange young man's attentions.

The relationship slowly blossoms, signified by such incidents as the one in which Sasha impulsively shears off Mendy's laboriously grown earlocks. But when Mendy's new friends get him involved in a smuggling scheme, and Sasha impulsively agrees to marry him and move to America, he begins to question their motives.

While director-screenwriter Gorlin occasionally allows the story to meander with little dramatic effect, he also provides a richly detailed sense of both place and character that infuses the film with a subtle truthfulness. The central relationship is depicted with an ambiguity and complexity that defies easy categorization, with the characters revealing unexpected and surprising depths. Equally effective is the depiction of a violence-torn Israel, populated by wildly divergent types operating under their own desperate agendas. While the film's ending seems a bit tacked on and out of place with what comes before it, it also could be argued that it's all too reflective of current realities.

The Holy Land

Cavu Pictures


Director-screenwriter: Eitan Gorlin

Producers: Udi Yerushalmi, Ran Bogin

Executive producers: Isil Bagdadi, Michael Sergio

Co-executive producer: Saul Stein

Director of photography: Nils Kenaston

Editors: Yair Elazar, Josh Apter

Music: Chris Cunningham

Production designer: Carl Stensel


Mendy: Oren Rehany

Sasha: Tchelet Semel

Mike: Saul Stein

The Exterminator: Arie Moskuna

Razi: Albert Illuz

Running time -- 96 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites