Film and TV

Horror films from A to Z: part one

At The ABCs of Death, opening today at the Sie FilmCenter, you're going to get the equivalent of horror tapas -- one short, punchy tale for each letter of the alphabet, each delivered by a current or rising star in the genre. It's a tasty appetizer that can serve as a meal in and of itself, but what if you want more? What if this just whets your appetite for horrific death and graphic dismemberment?

We're here to help. In the spirit of The ABCs of Death, we're offering 26 full-length horror-movie suggestions, one for each letter of the alphabet, at a pace of five a day for each day the film is showing (day five we'll actually offer six, because of the alphabet and math). Some are favorites old and new, some are overlooked gems and some are just there because, look, there aren't very many horror movies that start with Q, okay?

Scared yet? You will be after watching these 26 films.

See also: - Eight things every horror movie needs, according to Bruce Kawin - Horror auteur Don Coscarelli on meat monsters, Paul Giamatti and getting typecast - The Revenant's writer-director D. Kerry Prior on how going back to undead basics made his movie work

A is for Alien No one can hear you scream in space, which is a shame since you'll be screaming plenty as the xenomorph bursts out of your chest cavity in a spray of viscera. Or maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones who gets to be its prey once it's matured! Either way, classic scares in space.

B is for Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon One documentary crew, one up-and-coming slasher killer who wants his story told, and a few great twists along the way make this underappreciated film a must-see. You'll never look at Freddy, Jason or Michael the same way once you know their secrets...

C is for The Cabin in the Woods Joss Whedon does horror? Sold! If you somehow haven't seen it, or had the twists spoiled by an overenthusiastic fan, just go in blind -- it's much better that way. If you have seen it, you already know it is awesome, so see it again. It would would make a great double feature with Behind the Mask if you have the time.

D is for Dawn of the Dead You want to know where your zombie apocalypse tropes all came from? Look no further. The brilliant sequel to George Romero's groundbreaking 1968 Night of the Living Dead set the tone and pace for every zombie end-times scenario that followed it. The remake isn't half bad, but go for the original for maximum impact.

E is for Evil Dead 2 The original Evil Dead film is a fine, if uneven film, but its 1987 sequel is still Sam Raimi's finest work to date (sorry, Spider-Man fans!). Demonic possession, the Necronomicon and one very rapey tree make for an all-time horror classic. Plus, Bruce Campbell at his Bruce Campbell-iest!

Check back Monday for the letters F through J.

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato