Horror Stories
They live inside us, and sometimes, they win


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The Fly (1958)
D: Kurt Neumann (1958) 94m


A brilliant scientist invents a molecular disintegration machine and a fly gets stuck in the gizmo with him. Later, he is found dead with his head and arm crushed in a hydraulic press. His wife confesses to the crime, but she refuses to provide a motive, and begins acting strangely. The scientist's brother (Vincent Price playing a good guy for once) tries to sort things out.





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Night of the Living Dead
D: George A. Romero (1968) 96m


A low-budget cult classic of dubious genre credentials that critic John Clute explains is sci-fi "...in the guise of horror". Zombies reanimated by radiation from Venus go on a rampage while setting up a few moral dilemmas in the process. Criticised on release for its excessive gore, the film was eventually deemed important enough to make it into the U.S. National Film Registry.





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Alien
D: Ridley Scott (1979) 117m


The ultimate sci-fi horror film, with the possible exception of its equally fine sequel, Aliens (1986). Sigourney Weaver shines in a top-notch cast playing crew-members of a space-freighter which picks up a tear-your-heart-out alien passenger. Stunningly original set designs and outstanding SFX, leading to a media franchise of films, novels, comic books, video games, and toys.





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The Thing
D: John Carpenter (1982) 108m


Truer to the original John W. Campbell short story than the 1951 film and about as graphically violent as movies get. Carpenter favourite Kurt Russell stars in this story of Antarctic researchers who dig up a spaceship. When a frozen alien thaws it starts gestating in just about anything that moves. Trashed by critics when first released, the film eventually found an audience on video and TV.





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Aliens
D: James Cameron (1986) 137m


A rare sequel that manages to outdo the original, which is a fine film also. Sigourney Weaver is again terrific as Ripley, the only one left alive after the original 1979 Alien movie. A squadron of Marines heads off to the home planet of the nasty aliens, intent on wiping them out. Winner of Academy Awards for both Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects, out of seven nominations overall.





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The Fly
D: David Cronenberg (1986) 100m


Gross-out master David Cronenberg delivers a remarkably effective remake of the original 1958 classic. An affable but slightly off-beam scientist (Jeff Goldblum) tests a genetic matter transporter and ends up morphing into a human fly. Geena Davis plays his romantic interest and it becomes obvious that love doesn't conquer all. The largest commercial success of Cronenberg's career.





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Upgrade
D: Leigh Whannell (2018) 100m


Grey Trace, a mechanic, lives with his wife Asha who works for Cobolt, one of the companies contributing to human-computer augmentations. Grey asks Asha to help him return a refurbished car to his client Eron Keen, a renowned tech innovator. When Grey, a self-labelled technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant.





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A Quiet Place
D: John Krasinski (2018) 90m


Over three months in 2020, most human and animal populations have been wiped out by sightless extraterrestrial creatures that originated from a meteor shower impacting Earth. The creatures, attacking anything that makes noise, have hypersensitive hearing and indestructible, armored skin. An unusually engaging horror film loaded with love and featuring a delectably ironic climax.


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