DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004) Sheriff: "Danny, put another round in that woman over there! Look! She's a twitcher!" An injection of mordant wit and a transfusion of black humour ensured that Zack Snyder's remake of the George A Romero horror classic isn't braindead. A cross-section of American society hides inside a Milwaukee shopping mall while zombies threateningly maraud outside.
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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.
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.
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 OMEN (1976) Father Brennan: "He must DIE, Mr. Thorn!" There are hellish goings-on when the American ambassador to Italy (Gregory Peck) swaps his stillborn child - at the suggestion of the hospital priest - for the baby of a woman who died in childbirth. Years go by uneventfully...until the grisly deaths begin. The child's nanny hangs herself and a priest is speared to death in a freak accident. Why - because Gregory has inadvertently adopted the antichrist.
EDEN LAKE (2008) Brett: "Follow the blood." This grim demonisation of the chav sub-class could have been the work of the Daily Mail Film Unit. A romantic weekend by the lake turns into a terrifying ordeal for Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and Steve (Michael Fassbender) when they confront a mob of vicious local tearaways. Frequently crossing the pain threshold, James Watkins’ blood-drenched survival thriller is a grim reflection of a society where teenage kicks can become a matter of life or death.
SAW (2004) Dr Lawrence Gordon: "He doesn't want us to cut through our chains. He wants us to cut through our feet!" James Wan put such nourishing TV offerings behind him to write and direct this fiendishly contrived horror yarn. Two men wake up chained to the wall of a subterranean bathroom to be told that one must kill the other in order to survive. Their judge and jury is the mysterious Jigsaw - a calculating sadist dreaming up ever more elaborate methods for his victims to die.