How can one create a “best of” list for 2016 when the subject of the blog is classic horrors “from silent screen to Halloween (1978)”? That’s easy! I’ve compiled a list of my 13 (you know, because) favorite movies that I watched in 2016.
Most of them were first-time surprises; however, the movies at the top of the list were ones I had seen before, but appreciated much more upon subsequent viewings.
The list contains movies from 1931 to 1976, a time period that covers just about the entire time span of Classic Horrors.club. The subjects range from A to Z: “Alice” to “Zombie.” Here they are, in order of favorite to “most favorite,” the Classic Horrors “Top 13 for 2016…”
I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
“Very moody, as I would expect from producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur (Cat People, The Leopard Man). However, there’s surprising depth of character in the screenplay by Curt Siodmak and Ardel Wray. Much better than I anticipated.”
“Whether or not it’s the “best” movie in Hammer’s “Cave Girl” series remains open to debate. However, I can tell you without a doubt that it’s my favorite.”
“I wasn’t necessarily expecting that (a treat) in a supposed crime mystery starring Lucille Ball that I was watching only because of its co-star, Boris Karloff. However, I was thoroughly entertained for the entirety of the movie’s 102-minute running time.”
“The duo (Jimmy Sangster, Seth Holt) works magic here, with a suspense thriller that’s one of the best. Granted, the story isn’t necessarily original for its kind, but I doubt you can see the twist coming. If you do, I can’t imagine it’s delivered in the way you’d expect.”
“Although the movie deals with heavy material and evokes a range of emotions, the story is deftly told as sci-fi entertainment within a production that is light years ahead of other 50s cautionary tales.”
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931)
I watched several versions of the story, about which I’ve yet to write. This one was my favorite, based largely on the performance of Frederic March when he’s in Mr. Hyde mode. It’s a unique representation of the character with mannerisms that enhance the makeup.
“I started watching it late in the evening and anticipated having to stop midway. Instead, I was completely enthralled and entertained, playing it to the end. I’m sorry I waited so long to watch it, but am grateful that I finally did.”
“Primarily, it’s the atmosphere, mood and tone that’s consistent throughout the movie, from beginning to end, that captures my adoration. Shot in glorious black and white on what I presume was a shoestring budget, Carnival of Souls evokes an uneasy feeling. ”
“Sometimes big things come in small packages. The Incredible Shrinking Man is a larger than life adventure for tiny Scott Carey as well as for those who watch the movie. It stands tall among most other 1950s B-movie and sci-fi fare.”
“Surely I had seen this before, but I had forgotten how much I liked it. I mean, I really enjoyed it. It’s less contrived than most giant insect movies and has interesting characters and motivations. Maybe it’s because spiders make me cringe, but I think the effects are pretty good and the images actually scary.”
“It! The Terror from Beyond Space is a real treat. I can’t believe I have never watched it before now. I’d sandwich my opinion of it between 1951’s The Thing from Another World (being higher) and 1955’s This Island Earth (being lower).”
Alice Sweet Alice (1976)
I revisited this late one night on TCM and it was far better than I remembered. It’s a twisted American giallo that rises above it’s sleazy reputation. I have yet to write about it, but I can’t wait to watch it again so I can do so!
“If there’s ever a case for giving a movie a second chance, let me make it here. I don’t remember how long ago I first saw Horror Express, but I remember not liking it at all. Watching it again recently on Blu-ray, I am ashamed of my former self. It’s a great movie and has catapulted upwards to become one of my favorites! I can’t wait to watch it again and think it would be the perfect movie to watch with someone who is not a horror fan as a fun example to demonstrate why we love the genre.”