Welcome back to my series of effectively a massive list of horror films to watch. Last time out I did my A B C’s and now we move on to D! Fun times. Without further ado, here are 13 horror films to watch beginning with the letter D.
Dark Water (2002)
Hideo Nakata will have another mention in this series down the line, but for now, we will focus on his haunting film Dark Water. Tragedy runs through Dark Water, from loneliness to the breakdown of a family. An effective and intimate horror film that shows that you do not need a lot of jump scares to be a horror film. The film starts bleak and keeps staying bleak throughout, you will hate the sound of dripping water by the end.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
As much as a steroid growth explosion as a sequel can get. George A Romero defined a sub-genre and while Night of the Living Dead is the one we should remember, I would suspect that more horror fans would remember this sequel a little bit more. While it lacks the poignancy of Night… It makes up for it in action and gore. Instead of race we are seeing an intelligent comment on consumerism. It is why the remake makes sense almost 30 years after the fact…
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Yes, we went there. There are plot holes and the story may not be as strong as it’s predecessor. This Dawn of the Dead was very much for the post-millennium crowd. It is fast, violent and just pure chaos. What stood the film out for me was that opening in suburbia, it was an excellent open and yes the issues are there, we are still given a film that deserves to be mentioned alongside its original.
Dead Alive (1993)
Peter Jackson really was a great horror filmmaker huh? A New Zealand love letter to Evil Dead 2 Jackson made a film as slapstick funny as it was disgusting. One to watch if you just want a good bit of gross fun.
Dead of Night (1945)
A multi-story film that rather than grosses you out with blood, chills you. While a horror film can be enhanced with gore, as mentioned through this piece, it is really highlighted that when a director or five, in this case, work with using as little blood as possible, they can make exceptional pieces of work. 75 years after its release, it is still one of the better anthology horror films to be released. Perhaps the best ever.
Deep Red (1975)
One of Dario Argento’s best films and one that fully used the roaming camera. A lot of times in horror films and even after the fact for many years, the camera would remain quite static. Setting up for a false jump or the true jump. Of course this was probably due to limited budgets and first-time directors. Argento is helped with a particularly strong cast and a better-written film. When Argento has a great story to jump from you can be assured that the film will be a good one. Deep Red is not a comfortable watch, and that is not just due to the continuously moving camera, the story and atmosphere of the film makes you squirm. For the Giallo fan, it is a must-watch.
The Descent (2005)
One of those British films that you wonder how they did what they did on the budget they had. Reusing cave sets multiple times and perfectly using light to their advantage The Descent is known for people one of the best modern British horror films. Rightly so thanks to Neil Marshall’s direction and an astounding cast who for once in a horror film are able to play believable friends. It is the strength of the writing and the cast that drive the film to such greatness. A must watch, but probably not one for those who get a little claustrophobic…
The Devils (1971)
A masterpiece in every aspect of cinema. From the direction to the acting, the cinematography, set design, editing, sound. Everything being said here in The Devils is important. Warner Bros had stopped the Directors Cut of The Devils from being shown in a wide release for almost 40 years (with only the odd print being shown in one-off showings) until a few years ago when it was released uncut on Shudder. One if not the best performance by Oliver Reed, honestly his performance and also the performances of Vanessa Redgraves and the rest of the cast is nothing short of spectacular. A true tour de force in acting. We could go on for an entire article about The Devils, but we implore you to just watch it. You won’t regret it.
The Devils Backbone (2001)
Guillermo Del Toro returns to this feature with another gothic horror. The atmosphere in Devils Backbone is palpable throughout, the writing has touches of brilliance and in truth, the film is a love letter to horror films of the past. Incredible from top to bottom. Perhaps Del Toro should return to his past, as these are unmistakable classics.
Dog Soldiers (2002
We return to Neil Marshall with his werewolf feature that surprised everyone with not only the amount of well-directed horror but also comedy. It is a film that knows when to add in a bit of light when the dark is a bit too overwhelming. Made before The Descent it was clear from Dog Soldiers that Marshall was a director to watch.
Don’t Look Now (1973)
Don’t Look Now is a film in many genres, it is a drama, a thriller and almost certainly a horror. The failed ability of the couple to deal with the loss of their daughter is as poignant as it gets. What is more horrific to a parent than losing a child? Always ranked as one of the best horror movies ever made, it earns it from the powerhouse performances from Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland to the stunning visuals. Again, like Dark Water, a film does need to have grotesque horror elements in it to thrive in the horror genre.
One of the most timeless horror films ever made. Tod Brownings’ Dracula is one of the first non-silent film adaptions of the character and boy does Bela Lugosi knock it clean out of the park with his iconic performance. While the film may not have as much as a jump effect for some modern audiences tastes, it is still very much worth watching to see how it (almost seeing Nosferatu was based on Bram Stoker’s novel) all began for Dracula.
Drag Me To Hell (2009)
I remember when I first watched Drag Me To Hell, I really thought I was going to watch a standard horror film, that was going to give one or two jumps and not much else. It’s just a 15 rated (PG-13) film. A well-worn premise of a gypsy cursing someone sure, but boy does Raimi make this work. Utilising all the best tropes of horror throughout with its dark humour and scares stay with you. It is just a lot of good old school horror fun and it was a very welcome surprise.
That is all from us today. Have we missed any films you would have thought were sure fires? D was actually a pretty packed letter, so we had to be a little picky! Until next time.
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