FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 13, 2020

FAVE 20: Alexandra West

I'm sure I don't need to introduce you to Alex West, but I will anyway! She's a smart and prolific writer, with two books under her belt (so far, I should say): Films of the New French Extremity and The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle. Additionally she's got words all over the place, from essays in books like Scared Sacred: Idolatry, Religion, and Worship in the Horror Film to the pages of Rue Morgue magazine and everywhere in between. If you prefer using your earholes to your eyeballs, well, you can catch Alex on The Faculty of Horror, the podcast she co-hosts alongside Andrea Subisatti. Undoubtedly her greatest achievement, however, is providing a list of her favorite 20 horror movies for this here blog, right? RIGHT?!

BOXING HELENA (1993, Jennifer Lynch)
One of the most gloriously silly movies ever committed to film. Don't believe me? Kim Basinger went bankrupt just to get out of being in it. 

I'll take the theatrical OR the Producer's Cut...I love this stupid movie that fills Michael with goo. 

PET SEMATARY II (1992, Mary Lambert)
I was indoctrinated on this one when it played repeatedly on AMC's Fear Fest. I think Anthony Edwards is super sexy (give me a bulky knit and an air of responsibility and I. Am. There.). 

THE INVITATION (2015, Karyn Kusama)
Karyn Kusama's moody adult dinner party horror doesn't get as much credit as it deserves, it's layered, creepy as fuck, beautifully made and accurately depicts my fear of small talk. I've seen it multiple times and look forward to watching it many more.

DARKNESS FALLS (2003, Jonathan Liebesman)
"I see you, bitch!" says it all... but the first ten or so minutes of this film are super affecting and then rest is delightfully stupid. 

HOUSE (aka Hausu; 1977, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi)
I have Andrea Subissati to thank for getting me on board the House train. Witch cats and witch ladies for the win. For as wild as it gets, it has a beating heart which hits a bit different each time I see it.

CRIMSON PEAK (2015, Guillermo del Toro)
This delightfully bonkers Del Toro film captures the twisty, nonsensical novels that he was inspired by so perfectly without being too precious with them.

CHERRY FALLS (2000, Geoffrey Wright)

I HAVE to watch this every few years to remind myself it's real.

PULSE (aka Kairo; 2001, Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
Another film that continues to grow in relevancy making it even scarier.

AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000, Mary Harron)
This film continues to reveal itself to me and since its release 20 years ago has only become more prescient since Patrick Bateman cypher Donald Trump has become President.

GHOSTWATCH (1992, Lesley Manning)
TV SPECIAL OR REAL?? I adore this British Gen X take on War of the Worlds.

INSIDE (aka À l'intérieur; 2007, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury)
A good reminder to always invite Beatrice Dalle in when asked nicely.

PYEWACKET (2017, Adam MacDonald)
This is one of those films that makes me proud to be Canadian and another one that Andrea put me on to. Adam MacDonald created a fully realized world that has stayed with me and haunted me since I first saw it.

THE FLY (1986, David Cronenberg)
Sometimes we all need a good cry and this film breaks me.

THE DEAD ZONE (1983, David Cronenberg)
Speaking of Cronenberg, I love this adaptation of Stephen King's work as it shares a coldness with Kubrick's version of The Shining that reaches me. Also Christopher Walken

SCREAM (1996, Wes Craven)
This was my gateway to horror. It holds a very special place in my heart and continues to be as watchable as it was formative.

THE SHINING (1980, Stanley Kubrick)
I love The Shining. I love it more the older I get. I love the mean-ness of it. I wish it didn't continue to resonate with me the way it does but here we are.

SUSPIRIA (2018, Luca Guadagnino)
I would call this one an imperfect-perfect film. For the bits I find a bit less than (the opening scene--I'm just not a Chloe Grace Mortez fan--and some of the weird camera effects at the end) it FLIES higher than the majority of other films horror could ever dare to. It is a treatise on many things and I love that everyone who "gets" this film, gets something different from it.

THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975, Bryan Forbes)
I love this fucking movie so hard. Yes, it may be peak white feminism but the allegory is so wonderfully insidious there's a reason Jordan Peele was influenced by it.

GET OUT (2017, Jordan Peele)
Speaking of Jordan Peele, I think this is a perfect film, beat-by-beat, shot-by-shot it was (and is) a searing wake-up call.


Brian said...

A great list. Thank you for reminding me that I need you see Cherry Falls.

Susandoku said...

Reveling in the memory of Darkness Falls with gift from heaven Emma Caulfield. A horror movie about the tooth fairy. Fantastic. And oh god Boxing Helena. I saw both of them in the theater, not to brag.

Astroboymn said...

Huge love to Ghostwatch! Skeert me to pieces the first time I watched it and it still creeps me out.

MorganAC said...

I went through a major Julian Sands phase, and Boxing Helena was right in the middle.

Also something about that coat. Walken works it The Dead Zone. aka Sexy.

mulholland said...

Basinger and Madonna both (smartly) ran in the opposite direction from Boxing Helena. I kind of want to see it though.

Melissa said...

I am so happy to see Pet Semetary 2 on your list!
I can't remember if I put it on my list finally or not.
It was on there at some point, but I might've gotten embarrassed and removed it.