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JU-ON: THE GRUDGE (2004) Karen: "The whole time I was in that house I felt something was wrong. What happened there?" Director Takashi Shimizu's decision to remake his own spine-chiller with an American cast paid doomladen dividends. Karen, the American nurse living in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse which locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.
THE SHINING (1980) Danny Torrance: "Do you really want to go and live in that hotel for the winter?" Wendy Torrance: "Sure I do. It'll be lots of fun." A creepy adaptation of the Stephen King novel finds novelist Jack Nicholson gradually losing the plot while spending a winter as the caretaker of a remote mountain hotel. The blood starts to run when his paranormally gifted son picks up on the opulent hideaway's evil past, while his distraught wife discovers there's nowhere to hide.
THE OTHERS (2001) Grace: "Where's my daughter? What have you done with my daughter?" Anne: "Are you mad? I am your daughter." With a knowing nod to the horror classic The Innocents, this classic chiller gave Nicole Kidman one of her most underrated roles. She plays Grace, a mother whose husband is away at war and whose children are photo-sensitive and cannot be exposed to light. leaving their remote house in near total darkness.
DAY OF THE DEAD (1985) Dr Logan: "It wants me! It wants food! But it has no stomach, can take no nourishment from what it ingests. It's acting on INSTINCT!" A small handful of surviving humans is holed up in a claustrophobic missile silo, where the military members of the group are at odds with the scientists. Among them is the crazed Dr Logan who is experimenting at trying to 'tame' the zombies and Sarah, a doctor who is attempting to reverse the process of the dead returning to life.
DARK WATER (2005) Dahlia: "There's water everywhere! She can't be here!" The 2002 Japanese chiller is expertly reworked into an American setting by Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles. Jennifer Connelly is the single mum fighting for her sanity against dark forces after moving into a creepy apartment building with her young daughter. Dark, sombre and totally terrifying, this could be the best American Jap horror remake yet. The next time you see a damp patch...
SE7EN (1995) William Somerset: "This isn't going to have a happy ending." Director David Fincher gave the ailing American horror industry a welcome shot in the arm with this rain-drenched chiller which defied convention to sign off on a very un-Hollywood note (Brad Pitt refused to make it if the ending were changed). Veteran homicide detective William Somerset and his young partner David Mills pursue a serial killer who is selecting his victims according to the Seven Deadly Sins.
THE ORPHANAGE (2007) Laura: "Simone. Simone, SIMONE!" A troubled mother (Belen Rueda) returns to the orphanage she escaped as a child to run a home for damaged kids. However, malevolent spirits - not to mention an eerie old biddy - are not happy about her plans...and conspire to stop her. Guillermo "Pan's Labyrinth" del Toro produces a cleverly constructed frightener which owes much to the Deborah Kerr classic The Innocents.
DON'T LOOK NOW (1973) Laura: "This one who's blind. She's the one that can see." One of the all-time cult horror classics, this Nicolas Roeg-directed chiller whips up an atmosphere of almost unbearable tension concluding with a murder of surreal violence. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie play Laura and John Baxter, a bereaved couple who believe they are being haunted by their dead daughter - clad all in red - as she suddenly appears alongside canals and down alleyways in a wintry Venice.
NEAR DARK (1987) Jesse: "Let's put it this way: I fought for the South. We lost." This refreshingly original take on the vampire legend has been remorselessly cannibalised in a whole welter of bloodsuckers from 30 Days of Night to Underworld. Combining the traditional vampire bloodlust with the romance of the classic Western, debut director Kathryn Bigelow followed a ever-dwindling band of nomadic bloodsuckers wandering the twilight hours in search of prey.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008) Oskar: "Are you a vampire?" Eli: "I live off blood..." This Swedish chiller delivers a much needed transfusion of ideas and excitement. In early 80s Stockholm 12 year old Oskar suffers daily at the hands of school bullies, and is smitten with Eli, the strange girl who has moved into the flat next door. Standing between a happy union is the fact that she’s a vampire, but even that has its uses in this sparkling coming-of-age horror story.