Do you remember that back in 2000 a remastered and expanded version of The Exorcist was released in cinemas? I was like 9, but I was really determined to watch it even when children weren't allowed. I remember the whole planning with my parents, who had told me it was really scary, but I didn't care. My cousin took me to the movies. He literally sneaked me in to watch it, and I can say that, indeed, it was one of the times in my life I've been scared the most. My cousin, who had previously made a sacrifice by taking me to watch the Spice Girls movie wanted his revenge and decided it was a great idea going back home walking through the darkest and most empty street ever. I was terrified, and for weeks I had to watch cartoons to rock myself to sleep (not to mention that I slept with my mom for those weeks). Still, the adrenaline rush I felt was amazing, and I became a sort of a horror films addict, until a couple of years ago, when I just stopped watching them. I became a fearful person out of nowhere, which sometimes makes me wonder if I’m missing that emotion I once loved.
That until earlier this year I was forced by my sister to watch Raw, directed by Julia Ducournau. I really liked the movie and it reminded me of the rush and the emotion I hadn’t experienced in a while. I’m not sure I’ll become a horror junkie again, but it was certainly a great experience, terrifying, but great. Now, something I kept thinking after watching the film was, why did the movie have such reaction? I mean it's scary and all, but I don’t think it’s actually the scariest one ever. Then I realized that all the fuss wasn’t really about the fear it provoked, but the nauseating effect that comes from the idea of cannibalism, and even of just watching the human body being portrayed in that way. That was the reason that inspired me to make this selection because, at the end of the day, we know that spirits, demons, and other creatures only belong to the realm of fiction (or maybe not), but these stories that deal with the body in a grotesque and macabre way can actually happen.
The Thing (1982) - Dir. John Carpenter
Not entirely horror but a mixture with science fiction, Carpenter’s iconic movie has become a cult film. Far away in the Antarctica, a group of American scientists is dropped at a small investigation center after the previous Norwegian team vanishes. Here they’ll realize that there’s a parasite that takes over living beings and turns them into strange carnivorous creatures. Considering that the film was released in the early eighties, the special effects and makeup are quite convincing and, to be honest, hard to digest.
The Fly (1986) - Dir. David Cronenberg
Considered, perhaps, one of the most disturbing films ever made, Cronenberg presents the story of a scientist who thinks he has finally invented a successful way of teleportation. However, in the process, his DNA is mixed with that of a fly (yes, this is the movie that inspired that common trope). Throughout the film, you’ll witness the perturbing and quite graphic transformation of this ambitious scientist.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) - Dir. Philip Kaufman
Again, a film that lies between horror and science fiction, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a remake of Don Siegel's 1956 film. However, perhaps because the movie is in color, or because they really wanted to prioritize the image of the bodies, this version is way more grotesque and alluring. Here, a group of people who live in San Francisco discover that the population has been slowly replaced by alien look-a-likes to invade the Earth and destroy the human race. But that’s not the scary part. The most disturbing part is the moment they discover how these creatures are being formed.
Dead Ringers (1988) - Dir. David Cronenberg
Cronenberg is perhaps the master of making his audience feel nauseated, or in other words, the master of body horror films. This is the story of a set of identical twins who work as gynecologists researching fertility issues. However, behind closed doors, they create and design very disturbing pieces they want use on women. The movie shows extremely terrifying surgical procedures that are nothing but the result of a disturbed mind, or in this case, two.
Cabin Fever (2002) - Dir. Eli Roth
Directed by Eli Roth, Cabin Fever takes the common plot of the classic cabin horror movie and transforms it into something extremely lurid and sickening. Here we don’t have the demon creature or the serial killer lurking around to kill teenagers. Instead, we see a strange virus or microscopic creature that makes the cabin's lodgers sick, and their bodies consume themselves in a very gory and graphic way.
My recommendation if you want to organize a marathon of these movies is to skip on the snacks.
For more horror films, take a look at these: