Topic: Atmospheric Films

I love horror movies with good atmosphere and I'm always looking for new ones (or old ones) to watch. I think I have Ti West to blame for my current interest in these types of films, namely because of The House of the Devil. What are some of your favorites and why?

Recent atmospheric films I've watched -

The House of the Devil
Burnt Offerings
Livide

Re: Atmospheric Films

The Devils Backbone has a amazing atmosphere to it. A masterclass in atmosphere without cheap scares or constant appearance of the ghost. Thats my number 1 atmosphere movie.

Re: Atmospheric Films

If you mean supernatural type atmospheric films (I dont know which ones you have seen, but) maybe:

Silent Hill
The Entity (1981)
The Changeling (1979)
Insidious
The Innkeepers
Wind Chill
Suspiria

Others:
The Divide
The Descent
The Wicker Man (73 I believe, not the remake
Repulsion
The Thing

That I am sure is just the tip of the iceberg. There a plenty more that I am sue others will list, these are off the top of my head (for some reason) but I bet if I looked through my collection I could give you more.

Last edited by Vamp_Slayer (2012-07-08 08:36:31)

Re: Atmospheric Films

Anything by John Carpenter, Alfred Hitchcock or Mario Bava.

The Fog
Psycho
Bay of Blood

Re: Atmospheric Films

For me, movies don't have to be supernatural to have good atmosphere. The Thing and The Divide are good examples of that.

I completely forgot about Suspiria.

I watched The Innkeepers last week. Good, but I didn't like it as much as The House of the Devil. I have The Entity and The Changeling on my list. I'm adding Bay of Blood, The Devil's Backbone and Wind Chill.

Thanks! Keep 'em coming.

Re: Atmospheric Films

I think that The Divide had a 'generic' atmosphere to it.

Re: Atmospheric Films

Not even sure where to begin with this.  I agree atmosphere is important,...for me it is one of the most important aspects.  I love isolation.  Halloween atmosphere is awesome too.  I agree Ti West does a great job with atmosphere.

One movie that sticks out with a dark and brilliant atmosphere is 30 Days of Night.

I love many of the first Friday the 13th's too.

Blair Witch.

Night of the Demons remake.

House of 1000 Corpses.

Trick R Treat.

Halloween 4.

Scream.

The Lost Boys.

I could go on and on.

Re: Atmospheric Films

Don't look now
The Changeling
The Sentinel
Burnt Offerings
Dead and Buried
Watcher in the woods
woman in black (89 version has more atmosphere)
alice sweet alice
the omen
Suspiria
The shining
Alone in the dark (1982)

most of the early Hammer films are atmospheric and Italian Giallos like blood and black lace, deep red, Psychic, don't torture a duckling

also there a lot 70s and early 80s tv movies like the true story of frankenstein, salem's lot, dark night of the scarecrow.

Re: Atmospheric Films

Vasquez wrote:

I think that The Divide had a 'generic' atmosphere to it.

I agree. For me it was almost claustrophobic and didn't have as much to do with the physical setting as it did the deterioration of the characters and that 'locked in' feeling.

Re: Atmospheric Films

^^ I just watched Dark Night of the Scarecrow yesterday. Great film even after all this time.

Re: Atmospheric Films

Insidious
The Legend of Hell House
The Sentinel
Pulse (Japanese version- Kairo?)
Fear of the Dark (2003)

Last edited by azathoth (2012-07-08 11:00:01)

Re: Atmospheric Films

legend of Hell House is good one smile

Re: Atmospheric Films

Here's a few
Black Sunday (1960)
The Whip And The Body ( 1963)
Plague Of The Zombies (1965)
Dracula (1979)
The Woman In Black ( both versions)
The Black Torment  ( 1964)
The Fog ( 1980)
The Thing (1982)
From Hell
Village Of the Damned ( 1960)

Re: Atmospheric Films

wolfman1959 wrote:

Here's a few
Black Sunday (1960)
The Whip And The Body ( 1963)
Plague Of The Zombies (1965)
Dracula (1979)
The Woman In Black ( both versions)
The Black Torment  ( 1964)
The Fog ( 1980)
The Thing (1982)
From Hell
Village Of the Damned ( 1960)



great choices Wolfie...did I mention this is my favourite genre of horror movies!  haven't seen black torment yet

Re: Atmospheric Films

Ooh, more goodies! I need to check Netflix. Hopefully that will save me from having to shell out a ton of money. I imagine I'll have quite a few I'll want to add to the ever-growing collection though.

In addition to all of these great suggestions, I decided to rewatch my Val Lewton films as well.

Re: Atmospheric Films

DirtyGirl wrote:
wolfman1959 wrote:

Here's a few
Black Sunday (1960)
The Whip And The Body ( 1963)
Plague Of The Zombies (1965)
Dracula (1979)
The Woman In Black ( both versions)
The Black Torment  ( 1964)
The Fog ( 1980)
The Thing (1982)
From Hell
Village Of the Damned ( 1960)



great choices Wolfie...did I mention this is my favourite genre of horror movies!  haven't seen black torment yet

a lot of people don't seem to like it, and it's certainly not anything new or particularly great  but it is not bad and has some good moments and is watchable. i think you'd quite like it Mary as it's kind of a cross between Hammer ( more so because it  is British made and they are copying the hammer way) and the Italian costumed gothic horror. if you get the chance give it a look Mary. xx

Re: Atmospheric Films

Here the question u gotta ask. How to you define atmosphere in a Horror movie?. What creates it? Aswell as location/setting or cinematography what are its elements. Can it be created as a result of a films characters

Romero is a master of creating tension between characters in his zombie movies as they react to their situation. This however i think applies more to his original trilogy and is one of the key elements that contribute to the atmosphere and experience of these classics.
If you want to experience a pure nightmarish atmosphere then the claustrophobic cave setting of The Descent is a perfect example.

Re: Atmospheric Films

^ Good points Vasquez, and it would be hard to argue against Descent, which is one of my favorites.

Atmosphere could literally be the physical environment that the film takes place in, or the atmospheric type tension of the characters.

I more think of the environment, and I like to identify with that, and the circumstances where the characters find themselves.  Probably why I like the secluded woods type area in Friday the 13th, as I like the woods and have been in that type of environment vs something like Descent.  Though...Aliens would be another one and obviously never been to space.

For me, The Innkeepers, while I loved that movie, didn't do it for me as much atmosphere wise.  Guess the thought of a hotel in a downtown area isn't as scary.  While something like Shining, Vacancy, and Psycho does have the element I'm looking for.

I mentioned Halloween 4 and Scream as great atmospheres.  I think that achieved that in a great way as it took a city (albeit small) and gave it a deserted feeling as everyone was hiding from the threat.  28 Days Later as well...creepy. 

Have you ever been driving around and it felt odd cuz no one was out...and you had that WTF type moment?

Re: Atmospheric Films

When I think of a movie with atmosphere...  I think of a slow burn type of movie with great actors, a good storyline with a twist at the end or a good reveal that makes it worth the wait, the type of movie that takes it's time telling a story.  no cheap jump scares along the way, but a slow build up of tension.  House of the Devil and Burnt Offerings are perfect examples of this type of movie. 


Oh and I forgot these ones...

ghost Story
The Haunting (orig)
The Awakening
The Orphanage
Devil's backbone

Re: Atmospheric Films

I see 2 types of atmosphere- one is rising tension, the other is a spooky void.

@Ms. Gore- Don't forget to check YouTube, lots of stuff on there, too.

Re: Atmospheric Films

DirtyGirl wrote:

When I think of a movie with atmosphere...  I think of a slow burn type of movie with great actors, a good storyline with a twist at the end or a good reveal that makes it worth the wait, the type of movie that takes it's time telling a story.  no cheap jump scares along the way, but a slow build up of tension.  House of the Devil and Burnt Offerings are perfect examples of this type of movie.

I love almost all the sub-genres of horror (particularly gory slasher flicks and zombie films), but for some reason this is my favorite, exactly as you described.

Re: Atmospheric Films

Vasquez wrote:

Here the question u gotta ask. How to you define atmosphere in a Horror movie?. What creates it? Aswell as location/setting or cinematography what are its elements. Can it be created as a result of a films characters

Romero is a master of creating tension between characters in his zombie movies as they react to their situation. This however i think applies more to his original trilogy and is one of the key elements that contribute to the atmosphere and experience of these classics.
If you want to experience a pure nightmarish atmosphere then the claustrophobic cave setting of The Descent is a perfect example.

I agree. The Descent is one of the most uncomfortable films as far as atmosphere is concerned. I didn't want to limit anyone's suggestions, which is why I kind of left it open. I never know what gems someone might recommend that I wouldn't have otherwise thought of. With that said, I personally think atmosphere, when done well, is almost a character in itself. Like those DG discribed; slow burn and where the setting creates a specific feel to the film -- House of the Devil, Burnt Offerings, The Legend of Hell House etc.

Re: Atmospheric Films

Fright Night OG, The Howling, Piranha, Exorcist, Suspiria, anything Carpenter, Nightmare On Elm St, Phantasm, Child's Play, Anything Joe Dante, Poltergeist, Scream, a bunch of Tales From the Crypt episodes....

Re: Atmospheric Films

Vasquez wrote:

Here the question u gotta ask. How to you define atmosphere in a Horror movie?. What creates it? Aswell as location/setting or cinematography what are its elements. Can it be created as a result of a films characters

Romero is a master of creating tension between characters in his zombie movies as they react to their situation. This however i think applies more to his original trilogy and is one of the key elements that contribute to the atmosphere and experience of these classics.
If you want to experience a pure nightmarish atmosphere then the claustrophobic cave setting of The Descent is a perfect example.

Good question V, to me its always been about the setting and how its presented to suit the mood of the film. Like GS said isolation is one favorite types of settings...some of my favorite films have an isolated setting and amazing atmosphere imo. The Thing, The Shining, Day of the Dead and Alien to name a few.

Re: Atmospheric Films

Yup^

Also for some reason it seems that the best atmospheric scenes are ones at night with fog in them. ET for example, or Poltergeist and The Holwing. Those night time scenes with the Blue lights and the fog define atmospheric for me.  Then you've got Carpenter's type of Atmpospheric, which basically isolates you and places you inside the film.  Atmospheric almost always seems to be night time too.  The most atmospheric movies are the ones that concentrate on a mood that is unique to the film.

Music is a huge part of the atmosphere as well.  A big reason as to why all of Carpenter's movies have a similar mood.  They Live and Prince of Darkness scores are eerily similar.  The music in Escape From New York is atmospheric from the jump.

Last edited by PrinceofDarkness (2012-07-08 20:07:46)