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10-30-2012, 08:23 PM
Not a bad list from MSN, although too many old films for my taste and my favorite horror film Ghost Stories is missing from the list.

Ranked from bottom to top:

50) 'Werewolf of London' (1933)

Some would argue that it's a better picture than "The Wolf Man," and they wouldn't necessarily be wrong. Iconography aside, "Werewolf of London" has a strong story line, good atmosphere, energetic performances and man-into-beast transformation effects that were state-of-the-art for their time. Of course, their time was 1933, so it's still on the creaky side. But, still, this is a picture to warm the feral cockles of a classic horror lover's heart.

49) 'Pan's Labyrinth' (2006)

Guillermo del Toro's film is an imaginative and nerve-wracking epic of human warfare and human imagination and the terrifying and transportive qualities of the latter, as a lively young girl uses her own fancies (or are they only that?) to escape the horror of life with her stepdad, a Fascist captain in the waning but still harrowing days of the Spanish Civil War.

48) '28 Days Later' (2002)

They stalk, attack, and rip your guts and brains out with greater alacrity than non-zombiefied humankind had ever experienced. What's the explanation? You probably won't remember it, and it likely makes no sense, in any event. What does register in this Danny Boyle-directed breakneck chronicle of zombie apocalypse is the sheer ruthlessness of its horror and the ballsy desperation with which its cast of multicultural fleeing humans cling on to dear life.

47) 'The Fly' (1986)

Master of "body horror" David Cronenberg updated the weird, cheesy '50s sci-fi angst-fest into not only a corporeal gross-out, in which a scientist inadvertently mutates himself into a version of the title insect and then finds that he kind of likes it, but into an operatic love story in which the heroine tries, and fails, to save the man from the creature taking him over.

46) 'The Grudge (Ju-on)' (2002)

The Japanese original of the horror vision that made the world unsafe for black-haired Asian moppets, or is it vice versa? The argumentation of this film's hook, which is something to do with, you know, a grudge, that's pursued from beyond the grave, is a trifle obscure here relative to its possible overexplanation in the American remake.

45) 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (1984)

Writer-director Wes Craven was pretty clever, not to say opportunistic, to bring the world of John Hughes into the horror genre. Of course teens and horror had made an excellent match since the '50s, but the difference here was that the film's hook, if you'll excuse the term, played directly on contemporary teen anxieties: The film's monster was a demented, disfigured lunatic who appeared to the angsty kids in their dreams, wherein he REALLY killed them in all manner of gruesome ways.

44) 'The Wicker Man' (1973)

Uptight Scottish cop Edward Woodward travels to an enchanted isle to investigate a crime and comes head to head with a charismatic kinda-cult leader played by a longhaired Christopher Lee. Things go south faster than you can get to the first chorus of "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game," but the Christian-versus-pagan drama roils convincingly, and the climax is a model for any filmmaker aiming for "oh, you poor schmuck" viewer empathy.

43) 'Friday the 13th' (1980)

Sean Cunningham's upstate slaughter-fest is an indirect adaptation of "Bay of Blood," a '70s serial-killer sendup directed by Italian scare maestro Mario Bava. But what are you going to do? The slasher film made it safe for major studios to peddle quasi-grindhouse fare, introduced a hockey-masked machete-wielder named Jason into pop-culture mythology, and so on.

42) 'At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul' (1964)

"Midnight" was the first in an, um, rash of "Coffin Joe" films, and subsequent entries were more elaborate and eccentric than this, but the poverty of the filmmaking (a lot of the special effects aren't special effects; let's put it that way) and the conviction Marins brings to the role make this a must-see of more than mere cult interest.

41) 'Blood Feast' (1963)

Nearly a half-century before celebrity chefs such as Mario Batali created a vogue for organ meats, Gordon kept his local butcher happy by buying up offal to shoot in excruciating close-ups for such films as this one, the otherwise less-than-engaging (and largely, um, tongue-in-cheek) tale of a caterer's sacrificial efforts to resurrect an Egyptian goddess.

40) 'Cat People' (1982)

Schrader is not an unintelligent filmmaker. The sight of a frequently naked Nastassja Kinski, while not particularly frightening, is not displeasing. And for all its overheated incestuous melodramatics and oversaturated colors (and a pretty unengaging, bland performance by John Heard, completely wrong as a guy in the grip of an erotic obsession that destroys his every other ethic), it still packs a scary punch a lot of the time.

39) 'The Invisible Man' (1933)

Its story, of a scientist (Claude Rains) who stumbles upon a potion that creates the title state and is of course driven mad by it, is swift, laced generously with Whale's signature humor (which has the distinction of being simultaneously dry and broad), and has invisibility special effects that are still pretty damn impressive to this day.

38) 'The Brood' (1979)

Seminal early works of now-distinguished Canadian director David Cronenberg, who in a book of interviews recalls how Eggar was not keen to do the scene. Bet she'd jump through hoops for him now! Anyway, this tale of quasi-children as a horrific manifestation of adult rage is one of the maestro's most scarifying and emotionally challenging films, as well as one of the most personal: Cronenberg conceived and shot the picture while in the midst of a harrowing child-custody conflict with his first wife.

37) 'Hostel: Part Two' (2006)

Horror movies shouldn't be nice, or proper. Of course the films directed by Eli Roth in which varied not-so-bright American teens wind up being debauched, then dismembered, by Old Europe aren't authentically disreputable; they're pastiche pieces, full of winks for those with enough background in the Real Thing to catch them. And "Hostel: Part Two" is a particularly well-built piece of unpleasantness, a real state-of-the-art piece of opportunistic grotesquerie that's no less gripping for its faked nastiness.

36) 'Audition' (1999)

Things go into WTF territory when the laundry sack in that girl's apartment ... moves. From then on, "Audition" is a relentless horrorthon in which the salaryman pays for his, um, presumption in some of the most awful ways ever concocted for the screen. So amazing you wonder why Hollywood hasn't ruined it with a watered-down remake. Maybe the concept genuinely resists such compromise. In any event, a genuine contemporary classic.

35) 'Night of the Demon' (1957)

This picture anticipates "The Wicker Man" by pitting a straight arrow (a scientist played by Dana Andrews) against a charismatic man who may be a Satanist (Niall MacGinnis, relishing the opportunity to lay on the self-satisfied charm). Once the straight arrow gets a piece of cursed parchment laid on him, it's curtains unless he can plant said parchment back on the devil worshipper who planted it, and the film becomes something more like a standard race-against-time suspense piece. Imaginative, lively, literate.

34) 'Peeping Tom' (1960)

Protagonist Mark is a lonely young man who photographs scantily clad lasses for a fly-by-night soft-core peddler; these finance his experiments in terror, wherein he hopes to capture the facial expressions of young women and their awareness of the horror befalling them at the point of their murders. Which means, as you might infer, that he has to photograph them while he's murdering them. Ultra-creepy and oddly poignant, this Michael Powell-directed picture was so scandalously controversial on its British release that it all but put an end to the great filmmaker's career for a time. Now it's hailed as a groundbreaking classic, of course.

33) 'The Birds' (1963)

Perhaps the closest thing to a traditional horror film Alfred Hitchcock ever made. The threat here is not supernatural, but natural: that is, the title birds are amassing and attacking the residents of an isle off California's Northern coast. The thing is, nobody knows why, and as the characters, led by solid but troubled well-off bachelor Rod Taylor and willful society girl Tippi Hedren, try to make sense of it all, the body count piles up and the mayhem grows more hectic.

32) 'Let the Right One In' (2008) / 'Let Me In' (2010)

Both the Norwegian original and the very well-received (critically, at least) American remake strike this writer as a little too pleased with themselves with respect to their, um, realistic depictions of an immortal undead creature in the body of a 13-year-old girl, but what are you going to do? Both films are remarkably well-done with respect to creepy atmospherics and scares, and both do a good job of conveying why a misunderstood mortal teen boy might WANT a vampire girlfriend.

31) 'A Tale of Two Sisters' (2003)

This South Korean gem is a cult landmark mixing fairy-tale/folklore elements with those of conventional family melodrama and stirring those various elements into a complex, twisty, bloody journey to a horror nirvana. The title sisters return home from a stay at a mental health institution to confront not just a disagreeable stepmother, but also a domestic ghost. The various plot complications are both heightened and made kind of moot by the various shocks delivered with unnerving precision.

30) 'Dracula' (1931)

We might as well admit it: To modern horror audiences, this great-grandfather of all sound horror movies plays like, well, a great-grandfather. It's creaky, its ideas of the scary are mostly anachronistic at best, and its cinematic style comes off as largely rudimentary. And let's face it: Although he certainly pulled it off at the time (he got tens of thousands of near-drooling fan letters to prove it), title actor Bela Lugosi doesn't really make it as a contemporary sex symbol.

29) 'Blood and Black Lace' (1964)

For this neon-bright color picture, about a serial color terrorizing a fashion house, he got more mileage out of color filters and gels than even as hue-conscious a director as Vincente Minnelli would in three separate films. Various beautiful women are murdered in unabashedly picturesque style, for no other reason except to satisfy a particularly refined aesthetic of sadism.

28) 'Evil Dead II' (1987)

The micro-budgeted debut feature from director Sam Raimi and lantern-jawed actor Bruce Campbell was a remarkable meld of genuinely nasty horror stuff with over-the-top Three Stooges-inspired violent slapstick. With a little more money and even more technique (and, happily, less half-heartedly dumb wimmen-hating), their sequel ups the mayhem ante, as unseen spirits and visible tree roots and more torment poor beleaguered hero Ash until he can take no more, and is compelled to attach a chainsaw to the stump of his newly severed arm.

27) 'Scream' (1996)

The picture, which announced the revival of '70s horror honcho Wes Craven's career, and the ascension of young screenwriter Kevin Williamson, still plays well if you can force yourself to forget all the lame self-conscious horror half-pastiches that came in its wake, including the direct sequels.

26) 'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)

Pretending to be a tape in a single camera carried by some young "investigative" filmmakers into a desolate area where the title monster was reputed to have dwelt, it's a study of some reasonably annoying characters that sucks you in to their mounting dread. I saw the film at its first public screening at the Sundance Film Festival with a packed house, and it was an uncanny experience. Of course the film spawned a host of bad, bad imitators (many of which technically cheat in a way that this film had the integrity not to), a very regrettable sequel, and its makers have yet to be heard from in any kind of significant way.

25) 'Vampyr' (1932)

Only a year younger than the very dated "Dracula," this peculiar picture by the Danish genius Carl Theodor Dreyer seems old, yes, but not nearly as antiquated as the other film. It stands apart largely on account of its sheer oddity. No other film looked like this before, and none has looked precisely like it since. The black-and-white image in this unusual narrative of a young man haunted by vampires and dreams of vampires and death has a diffused, gauzy feel that complements its eerie, understated imagery.

24) 'Ringu (The Ring)' (1998)

There's this videotape, and if you watch it, you die horribly within seven days. That's it. Not unlike the parchment in "Night of the Demon," only here it's a more contemporary artifact. The race against time in which characters try to reverse the curse reveals only more horror and suffering, not to mention television malfunctions of the sort you never hope to see in your own home.

23) 'The Mummy' (1932)

This story of a reanimated ancient Egyptian's love for the beautiful modern woman he believes to be the reincarnation of the princess he was put to death for moves at a fair clip, although its tone is, admittedly, always aspiring to evoke the eerily contemplative side of amour fou. Boris Karloff is at his creepily sympathetic best as both the bandaged undead staggerer and his somewhat more cleaned-up and erudite self-makeover Imhotep, while Zita Johann is still pretty foxy as the object of his affection.

22) 'The Thing' (1982)

An endlessly adaptable and malevolent alien life-form is mutating in the desolate cold of an arctic science base, throwing interpersonal relationships into ... well, disarray is too nice a way of putting it. Distrustful sled dogs, horrific man-spiders, whiskey-sodden standoff, and more -- they all make this nasty puppy an unimpeachable Carpenter classic, and a Kurt Russell vehicle par excellence.

21) 'The Seventh Victim' (1943)

One of the spookiest and the saddest of the '40s horror films produced by pioneer Val Lewton for RKO Studios, this B-budget thriller finds perky young Kim Hunter as a naïve student searching the garrets and grottoes of bohemian Greenwich Village in search of her disappeared older sister. She soon learns that her fate lies in the hands of a group of very cultured, sophisticated, civilized and deadly Satan-worshipers.

20) 'The Haunting' (1963)

Director Robert Wise pulls out all the cinematic stops in this claustrophobic account of a group of oh-so-clever paranormal researchers who meet their cynicism's match when they shack up in a mansion still being shaken up by some very anguished spirits of the dead. The film was thought rather daring at the time for some intimations of lesbianism between the characters played by Claire Bloom and Julie Harris.

19) 'Curse of the Werewolf' (1961)

This production of Britain's then-somewhat-notorious Hammer studios was bloodier and more lurid than most horror pictures of the time, and so helped raise or lower a certain bar, depending on how you look at it. What makes it still play today is Reed's compulsively watchable portrayal, and I still find Roy Ashton's makeup conception for Reed in wolf mode incredibly striking.

18) 'Horror of Dracula' (1958)

It is of course this film that first gifted us with the great (and still working in film at age 89, God bless him) Christopher Lee as the malevolent bloodsucker. Interestingly enough, the mellifluously voiced actor doesn't speak in this film; his Drac is silent. The rest of the picture is loud, action-packed, and replete with images of voluptuous, cleavage-laden vampire nymphs getting stakes through their hearts.

17) 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968)

Directed by Roman Polanski from a best-selling novel that had spellbound and scandalized a large portion of America's Catholic housewife population, this is a story of the supernatural that works at scaring you with both overt shocks and subtle cinematic trickery. Studio types balked at dailies in which Polanski had seemingly misframed a shot of the villainess talking on the phone, then backed down when they saw preview audiences craning their necks to look around the wall that Polanski had placed in front of the "action."

16) 'Black Sunday' (1960)

High-cheekboned and wasp-waisted British beauty Barbara Steele attained screen-queen immortality the minute the spiked iron mask was clasped upon her unrepentant face in the prologue of this beautifully eerie and bold tale of witches and warlocks come back to malevolent life in the ruins of their former playgrounds, now inhabited by enlightened 19th-century types.

15) 'Suspiria' (1977)

Never-ending shock visuals (the film practically kicks off with the sight of a knife piercing what looks to be some kind of beating heart) and the relentless audio effects and super-loud sinister-prog-rock soundtrack take Dario Argento's break from serial-killer thrillers and into full-blown horror to such a pitch of delirium that sense hardly matters anymore. Grande old dames of international cinema Alida Valli and Joan Bennett face down angsty young Jessica Harper, and don't the horror fanatic droolers (this writer included) just love it, to this very day.

14) 'Eyes Without a Face' (1960)

Director Georges Franju took a Grand Guignol conceit -- a once-famed doctor goes off the rails experimenting on young women, so as to restore the beauty of his now-disfigured innocent daughter -- and imbued it not just with surrealist poetry, but with a real-world immediacy and a genuine empathy for the madman's victims, coexisting with a certain sympathy for his lunatic mission. The depth of the contradictory emotions the film evokes is complemented by its strange nightmare imagery, and all the actors are absolutely unimpeachable in their portrayals.

13) 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' (1956)

What this unusual film depicts is alien takeover via biological means: human-sized pods that suck the life out of their victims and replace them with perfect replicas. Only the replicas are without human emotion and live only to serve the soon-to-come alien masters. Big man Kevin McCarthy essays an unforgettable portrayal of the only man who knows the truth, and his increasing desperation as he warns the populace even as more and more pod people sprout up is, well, infectious, you could say.

12) 'Cat People' (1942)

producer Val Lewton, writer DeWitt Bodeen and director Jacques Tourneur had to do an awful lot of insinuating to even make that premise felt back in 1942. But felt it is, and even more so when the film's cat woman, a decidedly confounded Simone Simon, begins to resent the frustrations that hubby Kent Smith has been confiding of to good girl Jane Randolph.

11) 'Dawn of the Dead' (1978)

Depicts urban Philadelphia in a martial-law panic over the ever-growing zombie population. Then its heroes chopper off to hole up in an abandoned shopping mall, because why the heck not? The social commentary aspects of this picture are too obvious to even warrant pointing out anymore, but the real beauty is how seamlessly they're integrated into the suspense and abundant gore elements. Among other things, this is also a flesh-ripping special effects landmark, one that put gore-simulator Tom Savini on the cinematic map.

10) 'Carrie' (1976)
The first Stephen King novel to be adapted into a film, Brian De Palma's adaptation made a lot of snide winks at the material even as Sissy Spacek oozed sincerity portraying the film's achy title heroine. All the cheekily concocted elements come together in the magnificent, often split-screened prom-and-massacre sequence, which in turn sets the stage for a coda that's one of the most memorable jump-out-of-your-seat bits in all of cinema. Clever, lurid, endlessly cheeky.

9) 'The Exorcist' (1973)
The scenes where poor afflicted young Regan (Linda Blair) gets her spinal tap in the sterile medical facility are among the most upsetting in the film, and they're also among the most meticulously "realistic." And once this film starts "hitting you over the head," with the head-spinnings, speaking in tongue, green vomit and all that, you're so thoroughly invested you can't resist. You don't walk out believing in demonic possession, but you leave knowing that it can take you for a hell of a ride, even if it's only for a couple of hours in a movie theater.

8) 'The Shining' (1980)
Stephen King was so unhappy with Kubrick's acidic vision of disintegrating family values pushed to the edge by cabin fever and supernatural forces (or are they?) that he was moved to eventually make his own TV movie of his best-selling novel. Which everyone's forgotten already. Jack Nicholson's maniac here is a lot more multileveled than he gets credit for, and the beautiful long-take Steadicam shots throughout this film brought a literally new perspective to horror.

7) 'Nosferatu' (1922)
The estate of "Dracula" author Bram Stoker sued Murnau and his studio over this film, saying it was an unauthorized adaptation of the book. They won, and the film was to have been destroyed. Fortunately for us, it had already been too widely distributed to be entirely successfully suppressed. Regardless of what it looks like to us now -- and to these particular eyes, it's still incredibly striking and weird and beguiling, if not actively scary -- had it become a truly lost film, today's horror fare would look very different, and likely a lot poorer.

6) 'Repulsion' (1965)
Young and porcelain-beautiful Catherine Deneuve plays a French beauty living in London with her sister. The men around her think she's icy, but in fact she's just, well, deeply disturbed. The viewer learns this from the incredibly frightening hallucinations we're made to share with her, courtesy of the imaginative work of director and co-writer Roman Polanski. An incredibly terrifying look at mental disintegration almost from the inside, it's a horror film that's also, in a sense, about the oppression of women.

5) 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968)
George A. Romero's direction matched the film's uncompromising concept, and the superficial gross-outs of the zombie flesh-eating are outstripped on every viewing by the almost suffocating tension of the disintegrating human relationships that awareness of the apocalypse waiting outside can do nothing to mend. A true horror movie in every sense of the term, and a still very potent one.

4) 'The Bride of Frankenstein' (1935)
This film obviously could not have existed without its prior original, "Frankenstein," in 1931, and we imagine there will be several protests that that film is not on this list of 50. Well, take the inclusion of "Bride" as a recommendation if you like, but for all that we tend to think of the first film as a prequel to "Bride," this one is superior in humor, innovation, atmosphere and thought-provocation, among other qualities.

3) 'Halloween' (1978)
In breaking a taboo, Carpenter also created a convention, but this picture still has so much elegance, economy, and sheer will to scare that it plays almost as fresh as it did back in the day, imitations aside. I have to admit I haven't had a look at it myself since star Jamie Lee Curtis started doing those commercials for what some call "poop yogurt." I do wonder if that will diminish "Halloween"'s credibility. Only one way to find out!

2) 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (1974)
Director Tobe Hooper and cinematographer Daniel Pearl knew just where to place the camera to make you anticipate that you were about to see the worst thing ever. Add to that Leatherface, an addled villain that's one part Grand Guignol, one part Theater of the Absurd, and one part Punk Before Its Time, and you've got an uncannily gnarly slab of good horror barbecue.

1)'Psycho' (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock, sensing the glory days of studio moviemaking were on the wane, set out to make a "small" picture, using a TV crew, and featuring unheroic characters in banal settings ... who then experienced the most intense and disturbing horror possible. And in so doing he created one of the greatest and most real-life "impacting" murder sequences ever and gave cinema and the world a serial killer that provided at least part of the template for every other onscreen "psycho" since then. For all those reasons, this is our pick for the greatest horror movie ever.

10-31-2012, 01:11 PM
Thanks, Smokey. I have a lot of horror movies that aren't on the list and some that are. This certainly helps me narrow the choices for tonight. Just have to get the wife to cooperate. Happy Halloween!

10-31-2012, 04:46 PM
Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978 version I preferred. Dawn of the Dead 78 I'd put over Night of the Living Dead

"An American Werewolf in London" should be there.

Ginger Snaps in 2000 is an under the radar flick which I enjoyed.

11-01-2012, 07:37 PM
Dawn of the Dead 78 I'd put over Night of the Living Dead.

Definitely agree there as IMO also Dawn of Dead is a better film than NLD.

There is a scene in Dawn of Dead in the mall where one of the [human] guy has died and they have a sheet over his face and body. But he come back to life as a zombie and as he rise, the sheet slowly fall off revealing his zombie face. That is one of scariest scene in film history.

11-02-2012, 03:44 PM
If this is truly a list of "Scariest Movies of All Time" and not exclusively a list of horror flicks, then "Alien" would have to be on it.

11-03-2012, 09:40 PM
If this is truly a list of "Scariest Movies of All Time" and not exclusively a list of horror flicks, then "Alien" would have to be on it.

That space is occupied by movie The Thing directed by John Carpenter at number 22. Although the The Thing borrow heavily from "Alien" movie, IMO it is much scarier than original Alien.

11-03-2012, 10:31 PM
The 1982 The Thing follows the book more closely apparently (I have not read the book) - which came out way before Alien.

Alien to me is a slasher film in space - it's basically a killer picking off the crew one by one. I much preferred Aliens though I liked Alien.

Also - a film that never gets put on these lists but IMO could and should is the first Terminator film. I suppose they classify it as sci-fi,

Also a little known horror movie with so-so acting but scared a group of us watching when I was young was called Sacarcrows

It was more atmosphere and style than substance but it was fun

It's actually available on youtube for free

Scarecrows (1988) Part 0 1.flv - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxyNXgU7Jbc)

11-04-2012, 04:55 AM
I'm not much of a horror file fan; I won't even consider watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre for example. (Perhaps there's enough horror in real life for me.)

At the time I saw it An American Werewolf in London (1981) was the scariest flick that I'd see. But I seem to recall that I saw in before Alien (1979) even though the latter was released earlier. Viewing American Werewolf again 4-5 years ago, it had much less impact whereas Alien has held up better for me and is the better movie, IMO.

11-04-2012, 07:49 PM
That's a tough comparison though as American Werewolf in London is romantic/comedy/horror while Alien is more of a claustrophobic atmosphere slasher film.

Return of the Living Dead was also missed from the list but that's a Comedy/Horror film that should probably make these lists. It's very difficult to make horror comedy because it's a fine line. Scream did a very good job poking fun at the genre but it actually managed to have some scenes that make you jump too.

Horror movies are supposed to be like roller coasters - scare you in a safe way. I am less of a fan of horror films that are get people off on the suffering of others which is most horror films unfortunately.

American Werewolf I liked because it was a guy who had an affliction and his buddy telling him to kill himself to save others.

I liked the original Dawn of the Dead because it was about consumer culture and turning a nation into mindless shopping bots. Sure it has the gross out disembodiment scenes but I loved the scene where the four survivors are in the shopping mall. Zombies wandering the shops trying to plod up the down escalator, slipping on the ice rink, knocking over perfumes and stepping on jewelry.

The human survivors comment

Francine Parker: They're still here.
Stephen: They're after us. They know we're still in here.
Peter: They're after the place. They don't know why; they just remember. Remember that they want to be in here.
Francine Parker: What the hell are they?
Peter: They're us, that's all, when there's no more room in hell.
Stephen: What?
Peter: Something my granddad used to tell us. You know Macumba? Voodoo. My granddad was a priest in Trinidad. He used to tell us, "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth."


I found this article on Dawn of the Dead (can you tell it's my favorite horror movie?)

"Up until the first clip (either in this film, or in its predecessor Night of the Living Dead [1968]) zombies have only been seen as relentless hunters, bent on eating living people. Now we see that they congregate in places they knew in their former lives, places and things they still desire, even after they have lost the ability to reason and choose (cf. the damned in Dante’s Inferno). Steve’s evaluation is absolutely correct – “This was an important place in their lives” – and that place is not home or work or church or theater, but a mall. The connection with hell is made explicit in the middle clip, with the movie’s tagline, “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.” More important, however, is Peter’s shorter explanation, “They’re us!” Zombies are the most human and mundane of monsters, with no real powers. Their monstrosity is simply that of a stripped-down human nature – appetite without reason, restraint, or purpose. The final part of the clip shows Romero’s only hint at hope or redemption (besides Night and Diary of the Dead [2007], all his zombie films end similarly), with the two escaping from the consumerist prison of never-ending, unquenchable appetites. Whether this will end in death (and the original script called for the two to commit suicide), or in some new, better life, is left entirely open. But note the relinquishing of the rifle by Peter to a zombie (with an identical gesture at the end of Day of the Dead [1985]), perhaps signifying an abandonment of violence on his part. And the choice of the two survivors – a white woman and a black man, both of whom have shown themselves to be less foolishly possessive than the other two protagonists – may leave some cause to hope their life together will be better than the racist, sexist, materialist world they have left behind." Dawn of the Dead (1978): Zombies and Human Nature | In Media Res (http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/imr/2009/09/30/dawn-dead-1978-zombies-and-human-nature)

11-04-2012, 10:56 PM
I liked the original Dawn of the Dead because it was about consumer culture and turning a nation into mindless shopping bots.

I have also read alot of other reviews for this film saying the same thing. But somehow I am not buying it :)

I think the movie was shot in the mall because it does provide ideal background for different sketches, including slap stick comedy. In the article on Wikipedia, it does say that Romero chose the mall because someone would be able to survive in the mall should an emergency ever occur. Malls got everthing incluing food.