Feb 7, 2018

TERRIERS (2010)


Curiosity killed the cat.
"Yeah, I heard that cat had that shit comin' to him."

Following the story of two not-so lucky in life private investigators in San Diego, FX's Terriers sounds like the type of program I would never usually check back with on a weekly basis. Only this time around it was the names attached to the crew that caught my attention.

Created by Ravenous scriptwriter Ted Griffin and backed up by former Whedonverse writer/directors Tim Minear and Shawn Ryan, Terriers was put on my must watch list for 2010. Much to my dismay and legions of other followers, the show was canceled after it ran it's 13 episode first season.

In what should have been a career-defining performance, Canadian actor Donal Logue steals half of your heart as the recovering alcoholic ex-cop P.I., Hank Dolworth. His younger partner, Brit Pollock, an ex-crook who is also trying to get his life back together is played by Michael Raymond-James who steals the other half of your heart. Together these guys have the best-buddy chemistry down so well I could swear they've known each other for years. There was no need for Logue or Raymond-James to really have to show off with emotional schmaltz, they just had the chemistry from the very get-go, which is a rarity in television.

Terriers' perfect blend of VERY dry humor, emotional turmoil and plot twists galore gave it an unique feel completely different from most crime dramas. I will admit the only episode that turned me off was the generic pilot episode, so I beg you to not give it up on it so quickly.

Fortunately with it's short run, Griffin was able to wrap the show up with a perfect ending that could act as both an acceptable open-ender or a gateway to a complete make-over had the series continued. So don't be worried that you'll be left with a jawdropping cliff-hanger.

With it's near perfect writing, direction, acting, cinematography and scene set-ups it's a colossal shame this show never got the chance to continue. Or perhaps we're lucky Terriers never got the chance to lose any of it's superbly executed quality.

We'll never know.

MUST SEE EPISODES:
1x03:  CHANGE PARTNERS: a perfect blend of what this show is all about.
1x05:  RING-A-DING-DING: emotionally engaging and huge character arcs
1x11: SINS OF THE PAST: ex Angel writer/directors Shawn Ryan & Tim Minear do what they do best...a flashback episode

EPISODES TO AVOID:
1x01:  Really, it's the only weak episode in the bunch...but it's also the one that gets the multiple stories running.......so.....yeah.  Watch it anyways.

BUYER'S GUIDE:
Sadly, Terriers is not available for home viewing and there's still no sign of a release.  However, even though they've canceled it, FX is still playing reruns every week.

Feb 5, 2018

DANNY ELFMAN: The 15 Best Non-Tim Burton Film Scores #10-6


See #15-11 HERE

#10- TULIP FEVER (2017)

Director: Justin Chadwick
After sitting on a shelf for two years, director Justin Chadwick's period drama Tulip Fever finally saw the light of day in 2017.  Sadly it was a complete misfire and in turn buried the recognition Danny Elfman deserved for the gorgeous score he supplied.  
Led by a smalls string ensemble, a collection of electric chimes and a longing but colorfully rolling piano theme, the score is Elfman at perhaps the most romantically lyrical he's ever been.  It has neither a particularly memorable theme or overly showy vigor about it, so it'll most likely get lost in most collector's minds in due time which is a real shame.  With it's forlonging urgency and feverish qualities it's a score that's easy to get lost in a clouded daydream of your own. 

TULIP FEVER Suite

#09- FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (2015)
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
For director Sam Taylor-Johnson's adaptation of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey, Danny Elfman uses far more intellect in his composing than the film actually deserves.  
It could have easily been a phoned-in softcore porn score but Elfman instead assigns a variety of textures, techniques and themes to the characters and their apparent "growth" throughout the film.
Elfman employs a soft-rock ensemble, aided by a stripped-down skittish string section and a soothing choir to balance out it's fluttering of subtle electronic textures.  It's uncomfortably intimate yet cold, constantly threatening to burst with emotion but instead remains unsure of itself, mirroring that of the lead character's feelings to a tee.  It's a lot more musically thoughtful and fascinating than the film itself, and that alone is a great accomplishment that deserves more attention than it's received.  

#08- SCROOGED (1988)
Director: Richard Donner
Elfman's score for Richard Donner's Scrooged is about as Tim Burton-ish as you can get without it actually being Tim Burton.
With it's plethora of jingle bells and creepy "la-la" children's choir used to create a humorously morbid tone to the normally happy sounds of Christmas, Elfman was testing out the waters with similar techniques he would perfect in the years to come.   In the film, the score knocks the balance of comedy and darkness off quite a bit, causing Elfman to confess he didn't quite hit the mark with this one.  That may be the case but it's a still a fan favorite, most likely due to it feeling like a blueprint of what would come to be some of Elfman's best work. 

#07- A SIMPLE PLAN (1998)
Director: Sam Raimi
A Simple Plan is probably one director Sam Rami's least known films to the average movie-goer but I find it might also be his best.  It's like Elfman knew that and instead of opting for an easily accessible score, he went with something so sparsely cold and challenging it'll only reward with multiple visits.  By taking away the large brass sections he's so comfortable with, Elfman leaves himself only with a large chilly woodwind ensemble and icy piano keys & chimes to create something rather unique to his catalogue at the time.   Like the film itself, it's deceivingly simple at first but with multiple listens you'll pick up on all sorts of tricky little techniques and ideas hidden beneath layers of icy soundscape it creates.  

A SIMPLE PLAN Suite

#06- AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (co-composer Brian Tyler)(2015)
Director: Joss Whedon
For the most the Marvel Cinematic Universe's musical voice has been a real dissociated mess, not really making much of impact apart from Alan Silvestri's bold Avengers' theme.  Halfway through post-production of director Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron Danny Elfman was brought in to pick up composer Brian Tyler's octane-fueld score and it seemed that the results could have been catastrophic.  However Elfman did a fantastic job at mimicking Tyler's sound, giving it a deeper layer of emotion and, most of all, finding brilliant ways to bring Silvestri's Avengers theme into the mix, thus finally bringing musical continuity to the MCU.  It's a real mish-mash of composers' works but through some miracle it actually works quite well and makes for some of the most entertaining near-disaster albums around. 

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Suite*
*Note: the suite only contains music composed by Danny Elfman and not Brian Tyler



#5-1 Coming Next Monday...

Feb 2, 2018

FAT MIKE & FRIENDS / Home Street Home: Original songs from the Shit musical (2015)

Pierced noses.  Purple mohawks.  Smoking pot.  Shooting heroin.  Self-inflicted cuts.  Pedophilia.  Sucking cock for money.  Anal fisting.  And of course shit-covered titty-fucking. 
It's all part of NOFX front-man "Fat" Mike Burkett's punk-rock musical Home Street Home
Co-written by Fatty's now ex-wife Soma Snakeoil and Avenue Q's Jeff Marx, the musical tells the story of a sexually abused teenage girl that runs away to the streets where she is brought in by a group of friendly gutter punks that introduce her to a life of drugs, prostitution and various other forms of debauchery. 
Burkett doesn't do a whole lot of his own on the album, with the exception of a few guitar tracks here and there, and instead leaves it to the likes of members of Alkaline Trio, The Living End, The Descendants, Dropkick Murphys and even nice guy pip-pip folk-punker Frank Turner, whom all lend their vocal & musical talents to the 18 featured tracks. 
Bad Cop/Bad Cop vocalist Stacey Dee stars as the leading character, Sue, who opens the album with "Monsters", an emotional roller-coaster of a song.  It wastes no time making the listener uncomfortable as we learn Sue is being sexually abused by her father (creepily played by blink-182's Matt Skiba), causing her to make a run for it with nothing but her art supplies, a razor-blade and her dad's stolen gun. 
Things lighten up (just a little) with the more upbeat tracks that follow, as we're introduced to the five gutter punks that bring Sue into their oddball street-clique.  "Fecal Alcohol Syndrome" is a personal favorite of mine, with it's washboard hillbilly rocker tempo and sneering lyrics sung by Samiam's Billy Bouchard. 
After a few jaunty numbers "Three Against Me" breaks your heart as a Fat Mike piano (!) ballad, about a boy who was forced out of his abusive household because of his homosexuality. 
"High Achievers", a honky tonk number, features the five gutter punks trying to convince Sue that drugs are the only way to live, using a gaggle of well-respected minds throughout history as examples.  Out of context the song sounds really bad but knowing where it comes from makes for a delightfully catchy little number. 
Frank Turner lends his friendly vocals as the narrative voice of reason to Sue in two separate little ukulele driven ditties called "Bad Decision" and "Another Bad Decision".  If someone is going tell me I'm making foolish choices then I have no problem with it coming from the mouth of Frank Turner. 
"I'm Suicide" is probably the album highlight for me.  An uplifting rocker, sneered with convincing anger and power by Stacey Dee, as her character is nicknamed Suicide by her new peers.  Another highlight is the oddly sweet "Bearly Legal" number about a male prostitute and his john confessing the caring feelings they actually have for each other. 
The bulk of the album is excellent and will most likely surprise anyone already familiar with Fat Mike's work with NOFX or Me First and The Gimme Gimmes.  For some odd reason the songs are out of the order from the actual stage musical they're from but it does make for a better listening experience considering there's a handful of songs that don't actually make the final track-listing. 
As dark as the subject matter is, it's done with a slight smirk and never forgets it's really all about strength and survival. 

Jan 31, 2018

TWIN PEAKS: Season One (1990)

"I'll see you in my dreams."
"Not if I see you first."

“Who killed Laura Palmer?” became one the most asked questions in the land of water cooler conversations for a very brief time in the early 1990's.  Created by Hill Street Blues' head-writer Mark Frost and Blue Velvet director David Lynch, Twin Peaks' legacy grew into a pop culture phenomenon that would go on to influence many other hit cult-TV shows for several decades to follow.

In simple, it's about a seemingly sleepy Pacific Northwest town that is turned upside down when the homecoming queen, Laura Palmer, is found dead, wrapped in plastic.  Enter FBI Agent Dale Cooper (decorously played by Kyle MacLachlan) who whisks in and innocently begins unraveling not only the mysterious murder but several of the community's seedy little secrets.  It's a real amusing collection of bizarre characters too, including barking teenagers, ladies with logs and backwards talking dancing dwarfs.

Half quirky satirical soap-opera and half dark twisted mystery, Twin Peaks came at just the right time when television was becoming overly boring and predictable amongst it's hordes of stand-alone episodes.
Right off the bat, the series proves itself to be a very unique addition to the primetime line-up with it's gloomy cinematic feature-length pilot episode.  Filmed near Seattle, Washington, Lynch made the best of the grey skylines, the wind dancing through the dense haunted forests and the ever-present foghorn in the distance.  The moody atmosphere is instantly hypnotizing but lures the audience even further down the rabbit hole with it's humorously bizarre dialogue, oddball character quirks and now-iconic music that switches between cool-cat jazz to melodramatic soap opera themes with great ease, courtesy of Lynch-mob regular Angelo Badalamenti.

Character highlights include the bromantic relationship between Agent Cooper and the local Sheriff Truman, played a refreshingly under-stated performance by Michael Ontkean.  There's the always quirky and humorous banter between Deputy Andy Brennan and the bubbly  secretary Luck Moran.  And let us not forgot the seedy but charismatic Brothers Horne. 

Sadly, after the pilot episode, the series opted to film in California and, like The X-files after it, the series loses quite a bit of it's mood amid the bright and sunny woodlands, which look nothing like the Pacific Northwest.  Thankfully the quality of the writing upholds, with the exception of some red-herring storylines that seem like a lot of the characters were created to add to the strangeness of the town but could never find anything worthwhile beyond that.  Hints of the supernatural begin emerging, especially with the introduction of the unforgettable Red Room and that dancing dwarf I mentioned before, which completely separated Twin Peaks from anything that had ever been seen on American network television ever before. 

In addition to all the bizarre scenarios the series conjured up it also offered some rewarding philosophies and very touching character moments that painted a certain beauty into the world that at times seemed nothing but doom 'n gloom.  A healthy balance of the dark, the humorous, the weird and the compelling helped attract a wide audience that had no idea what was to come, and that was the allure (until a certain point) that had every body talking week after week.

In just 2 months of airing the entirety of it's first season, Twin Peaks was that show everyone was talking about and most couldn't wait to what was next after it's cliff-hanging season finale.  The question was, could it keeps it's perfect balance of unpredictable weirdness and high quality writing?

Jan 29, 2018

DANNY ELFMAN: The 15 Best Non-Tim Burton Film Scores #15-11


Ever since 1985's Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, composer Danny Elfman has been the leading musical voice for director Tim Burton's vast filmography of Gothic goofiness and somber beauty.
From the spooky roller-coaster zaniness of 1988's Beetlejuice to the fairytale elegance of 1990's Edward Scissorhands to frightening old-fashioned grandeur of 1999's Sleepy Hollow and right up to the minimalistic pluckiness of 2014's Big Eyes, Elfman has scored all but a small handful of Burton's films.  Much akin to director/composers Steven Spielberg & John Williams, Alfred Hitchcock & Bernard Herrmann or Christopher Nolan & Hans Zimmer, the duo's working relationship is a match made in heaven.

However Elfman hasn't remained exclusive to just Burton and has worked with a vast array of other directors, including Sam Raimi, Gus Van Sant, Joss Whedon, Clive Barker, Guillermo del Toro and many more.

I've selected fifteen of my favorite non-Tim Burton film scores, and included YouTube links to suites I edited together, so you might get a different taste of what the composer is capable of. 

Let's start with #15-11:

#15- CHARLOTTE'S WEB (2006)
Director: Gary Winick
Known for light-fare comedic films like Letters to Juliet and 13 Going on 30, director Gary Winick chose Elfman to compose his 2006 adaptation of E.B. White's classic children's novel Charlotte's Web.
A delightful mixture of childlike innocence and playful Americana, Charlotte's Web relies mostly on light strings and plucky pianos, with a soft layer of choir and highlights of a guitar & fiddle.  Fans of Elfman's lush early 90's work, such as Sommersby and Black Beauty will find this a wonderful companion, only here we get a style that's less dramatic and brimming more with joyful friskiness  It's not the sort of score to stir one's emotions with memorable themes but more so with constant inoffensive charm and confidence to never overwhelm with unnecessary flair.

CHARLOTTE'S WEB Suite

#14- THE WOLFMAN  (2010)
Director: Joe Johnston
The story behind Danny Elfman's score for director Joe Johnston's 2010 adaptation the 1941 horror classic The Wolfman is just as messy as the actual film itself.
Fortunately the composer's morbidly melodramatic oeuvre as a standalone listen is a delightfully vicious experience.  Elfman made it no secret that his primary influence on this assignment was Wojciech Kilar's deeply heavy operatic score for Bram Stoker's Dracula.  This is lush Gothic romanticism as some of it's best with it's bold bass-heavy strings almost overpowering the pounding brass and percussion.  While most film scores would assign individual themes for each character, setting and emotion, Elfman opts to cleverly reconstruct the leading theme into whatever sentiment it's coinciding moment in the film calls for.  Search no more for good ol' fashioned cinematic horror music at the top of it's game.

THE WOLFMAN Suite

#13- WANTED (2008)
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Being a big fan of Russian-Kazakh director Timur Bekmambetov's dark fantasy Night Watch duology, Danny Elfman jumped at the chance to work on the stylish comic book action-thriller Wanted.  
The composer brought a unique voice to the action scoring genre with a dense, bass-heavy, Eastern European flavored thrill-ride.  It's grungy electronic accents mesh so well with the adrenaline-fueled orchestra it never distracts from the actual compositions, unlike a few other modern composers who can't seem to get the balance right. Even though it's not your stereotypical action music, this cleverly textured score still manages to get the heart racing in all the right places.

WANTED Suite

#12- THE UNKNOWN KNOWN (2013)
Director: Errol Morris
Being the openly liberal minded composer that he is, Danny Elfman couldn't pass up scoring Errol Morris' scathing documentary on former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, The Unknown Known.  
Utilizing the a string section, a piano and the occasional choir & marimba, Elfman juggles a dramatically solemn and playfully ominous score that reflects the shady yet chipper former Cabinet member to a tee.  A great deal of the score echoes that of Philp Glass' minimalistic rhythmic approach to scoring and that comes as no surprise, considering director Morris' number of collaborations with Glass in the past.  At first listen the music is sparse and overly serious but upon closer inspection you'll find a fascinating array of textures and techniques all done with a subtle scathing smirk.

THE UNKNOWN KNOWN Suite

#11- JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017)
Director: Zack Snyder & Joss Whedon
After taking over for director Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon promptly let composer Junkie XL go from composing duties on Justice League.  In turn, he recruited his Avengers: Age of Ultron collaborator, Danny Elfman, who was no stranger to olde tyme orchestrated super-hero music.  Sadly none of this helped the quality of the film and still ended up being a complete stinker but fortunately we got a pretty damned fun score out of the bum deal.
It's your pretty standard superhero composing with bold brass, string ostinatos and muscular fanfares a plenty, however it's solid writing with good old orchestral power merging with a clever use of modern textures and rhythmic techniques.  What got me squealing like a child in a candy store was Elfman making use of John Williams' Superman theme, Hans Zimmer's Wonder Woman theme and of course his own 1989 Batman theme.  Whether or not it truly works for this incarnation of the characters is debatable but it sure makes for a highly entertaining stand alone listen.

JUSTICE LEAGUE Suite

See #10-6 HERE

Jan 23, 2018

* * * * * WELCOME BACK * * * * *

10 YEARS LATER...

...and it's time to give The Cuckoo Clock a bit of a wind-up! 
Hurrah!  Rejoice!  Give your snuggle-bunny a sexy lick! 

Now with that out of the way; come join me, gentle reader, as we travel back into the deepest, darkest and possibly smelliest regions of the cuckoo clock I call my mind & heart. 
You may have noticed there have been a few changes around here (or you might not have because you were too busy checking out my erotic new font).  Nothing too new or fancy, just some subtle touch-ups and opening the subject matter to more than just movies and music. 
It started as my little corner, hidden in the shadows, where I incessantly babbled about whatever I love and that's where it's going to stay, only with a bit more experience in silliness. 
I started The Cuckoo Clock with a look into Danny Elfman's score for Beetlejuice so to ease back into the thick of things I think it's only suiting to make the first real post related to the same composer.  So until then...

See you in a few days,
*creepy winky face* 
cuckoo

Oct 22, 2013

25 HORROR MOVIES YOU'VE NEVER SEEN

As dedicated horror movie fans, we all love the Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Omen or Scream series but you can only watch those films every October the 31st so many times until you're looking for something new.

After being asked on several occasions for a recommendation (because I watch too many movies), I thought I might share a list of horror films that don't always get mentioned come this time of year but I feel still deserve recognition.  With any luck you might find a few of them here you've never seen and will soon fall in love with.

Click on the movie title for a mini-review courtesy of Doc Faustus, Budarc, Marceline and myself over at In A Nutshell.

First up, let's take a look at the ones that are just plain sick & twisted fun perfect for a group screening.

1)  TRICK 'R TREAT [2007]
An anthology of pure wicked entertainment that screams pre-drinks before heading out to the Halloween party.  It's been an annual tradition for me since it first came out.
2)  BITTER FEAST [2010]
A grisly low budget film about a chef extracting revenge on a snotty food critic.  It's gruesome but deliciously entertaining in stomach churning ways.
3)  GRAVE ENCOUNTERS [2011]
Another silly found footage film that actually supplies some decent thrills & chills that will have you laughing in terror.  Filmed in an abandoned Vancouver mental institute the film is heavy on atmosphere and light on most of everything else but doesn't matter when it gets the job done.
4)  THE DEVIL'S CARNIVAL [2012]
An hour long circus rock opera from Hell by the guys who brought you Saw and Repo! The Genetic Opera.  It's certainly not for everybody but if you love yourself some Rocky Horror Picture Show or Forbidden Zone then this colorful and scary musical ride should be right down your twisted little alley.  
5)  THE CHILDREN [2008]
This dark, dark tale about homicidal tots might be a bit much for some of the weaker at heart.  However if you're in for some "OMG! Should I laugh or be offended?" scenes with some very effective scares then this one is for you.

****

Secondly, how about a gander at the loony ladies of the horror genre?  I assure you, there's something seriously wrong with all 5 of these girls, making Dexter Morgan look like a teddy bear.

1)  MAY [2002]
Angela Bettis' fantastic performance makes this creepy little tale about a girl who has a bit more than just a rough case of Asperger's.  Lucky McKee's gone on to make many more films after this but none have stood up to this fine little tale of weirdness.
2)  AMERICAN MARY [2012]
The Soska Sisters direct this twisted Cronenberg-esque film about a deranged & disturbing style of body modifications.  Kat Isabelle carries the film mostly on her own, with the help from a scene-stealing performance from a immensely unsettling Tristan Risk.
3)  EXCISION [2012]
Filled with some WTF moments then just a few more for good measure, this film is one of those ones that sneaks up on you and lingers for many a day afterwards.  I loved it.  I'd be surprised if it wasn't a cult classic 10 years down the road.
4)  STOKER [2013]
Get that fancy schmancy sound system out for this one because the sound design is to die for as it crawls inside your ears and threatens to lays eggs inside.  Park Chan-wook directs Nicole Kidman & Mia Wasikowska in some painfully underrated creepsome performances.
5)  THE LOVED ONES [2009]
As Marceline says in her Nutshell review it's "fun to watch people get maimed when they're wearing formalwear."
A colorful Australian horror film that goes all Texas Chainsaw Massacre on the viewer by the end.

****

How about some artsy-fartsy slow-burning creepy movies that are perfect to watch alone to allow them to haunt you for days afterwards with their stark weirdness and chilling atmospheres?  


1)  KILL LIST [2011]
Ben Wheatley's pagan ritual/crime thriller is an odd bird indeed.  It's as frightening as it is intense with some shocking shots of violence scattered here and there.  One of them "pick my jaw up off the floor" films after it's final act.  
2)  FEAR X [2003]
Nicolas Winding Refn's bizarre thriller is an ode to David Lynch as it makes me afraid of the things around the corner or on the other side of the door that I can't see onscreen.  Written by Requiem For A Dream author Hubert Selby Jr. means you're guaranteed for some lingering creepies.  
3)  CALVAIRE [2004]
This Belgian film is all about it's chilling atmosphere that leaves you grasping for a breath of fresh air and a warm jacket.  If you're tired of the "weary traveller finds a scary backwoods village" story, then this unpredictable dose of extreme weirdness is just for you and your dancing friends. 
4)  EL HABITANTE INCIERTO [2004]
A immensely unsettling supernatural home invasion film from Spain that relies mostly on it's chilling mood and eerie setting to give you the uber-wiggins.  I ain't ever living in a big house.  
...ever.  I like to keep my wiggins in check.
5)  BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO [2012]
A movie about a sound engineer that begins letting his cheese slide of his crackers while working on a disturbing Italian horror film.  Weird.  Weird.  Weird.  Check out the dizzying soundtrack for maximum creep factor.

****

There's also instensely grotesque and disturbing that's borderline JUST TOO DAMNED MUCH.  Bring a barf bag, kiddies.  ...and maybe a few years of therapy afterwards.

1)  MARTYRS [2008]
Feckin' feck.  I nearly turned this one off due to it's horrifying intensity but was glad I subjected myself to the whole thing in a single setting, because this French-Canadian HORROR film is incredibly well written and performed.  Let this be a warning to all who dare to venture down into this traumatizing cinematic experience.
2)  THE GIRL NEXT DOOR [2007]
At first this one looks deceivingly innocent and kind of cheesy but as it developed I found myself immersed into something I'd rather not think about.  It's inspired by a true murder & torture case which makes it all the more scarier and unsettling to think about.  People are feckin' sick sometimes.
3)  KOTOKO [2012]
Shinya Tsukamoto studies mental illness in the most disturbing and haunting of ways.  A schizophrenic style of photography and emotions the film will make you queasy and afraid to think about the subject too much.  
4)  BEDEVILLED [2010]
Some seriously sadistic stuff are on full display here that makes it hard to call it entertainment but more like a frightening study of characteristics.  It's mercilessly vicious and guaranteed to make you reach for the happy pills afterwards.  
5)  TAXIDERMIA [2006]
The four films above are all grotesque, depressing, shocking & savage, and so is this one but it's actually quite fun in a "I think there's something seriously wrong me" kind of way.  A bizarre film broken up into three connected stories that are all so feckin' weird you won't soon forget it.  

****

Some miscellaneous debris of creepy goodness....


1)  THE EYE [2002]
The Pang Brothers' Asian horror film that doesn't receive as much recognition as Ringu or Ju-On but certainly deserves the same amount of respect.  There's some serious wiggins to be had here.
...and avoid the Jessica Alba remake at all costs.  
2)  PONTYPOOL [2008]
A Canadian zombie movie with some serious brains about it.  If you're in love with the concept of language than this one is definitely for you.  If you're sick of zombie films then check this one out before you completely write them off.  Really good stuff here.
3)  STREET OF CROCODILES [1987]
An animated short from The Brothers Quay that I can guarantee you, will remain embedded in your mind for the rest of your life due to it's terrifying visuals.  If I wasn't so damned frightened of it I could live in this world.
4)  ALICE [1988]
Jan ┼ávankmajer's adaptation of Lewis Carrol's Alice In Wonderland isn't something one will easily forget.  It's blend of live action and stop-action bug-eyed puppets are creatively memorable and so weird you almost want to look away.  
..."said the rabbit".
5)  DETENTION [2011]
This horror/comedy really isn't a good film at all.  
...but it's enthusiasm, visual flair and non-stop pop culture jokes make for one of the most enjoyable crappy films I've seen in a long time.  All 5 times.
If you grew up in the '90's as a teenager than you'll know just what I mean.  Stupid, stupid fun.

****

There you have it, folks.  25 scary films you probably haven't seen.

I'm fully aware many readers will have seen at least half of them but I need to meet the pervert who's seen all 25 and then we'll talk.