10 Great Horror Movies Recommended By Ari Aster

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Very few new horror movie writers have made a splash like Ari Aster. The famous Hereditary and Midsommar director made his feature film breakthrough with A24. Aster’s unsettling, slow-burning movies are a breath of fresh air for horror fans. His films tend to set aside pure spectacle to remind audiences of the power of dread.


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Aster is not just a top name in horror, but a stalwart pupil of the genre itself. As Halloween approaches, fans may want to check out some of Aster’s favorite horror movies.

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‘Carrie’ (1976)

Carrie is the film that “traumatized [Aster] most when he was a child,” and yet what has stuck with him ever since is the film’s sense of tragedy and empathy. Adapted from Stephen KingThe 1974 novel of the same name, Carrie was released in 1976 to significant critical and commercial success.

The film, like its source material, follows shy high school student Carrie White (Sissy Spacek). Relentlessly bullied at home and school, Carrie’s abuse takes a dramatic turn when she begins to develop telekinetic powers.

“Don’t Look Now” (1973)

On the release of the psychological horror classic, don’t look now has been widely acclaimed for its highly innovative exploration of trauma and bereavement. Its impressionistic editing and non-linear narration make it a captivating watch; Aster describes the film as “a film that gives and gives on repeated viewings – and sinks your guts every time”.

don’t look now is led by Nicolas Roeg. It follows John and Laura Baxter – played by Donald Sutherland (The hunger Games) and Julie Christy (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) respectively – a married couple who travel to Venice after the tragic loss of their only child.

“The Shining” (1980)

Based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name, Stanley Kubrickit is the brilliant is undoubtedly known to those unfamiliar with Aster or his work. The chilling depiction of the film’s setting, the Overlook Hotel, is something audiences won’t forget. In reality, the brilliant“the aesthetic of the dollhouse” was a huge source of inspiration for Hereditarywhich also sought to subvert the comforts of the main characters’ family home.

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the brilliant begins when Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring writer and alcoholic, works in a historic hotel. Accompanied by his wife, Wendy (Shelly Duval), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), supernatural forces begin to influence Jack and his family, sending the Torrances down a dark path full of madness and rage.

‘Kwaidan’ (1964)

Well over 50 and still spooky, Kwaidan is a Japanese horror anthology film released in 1964. The film made waves upon its release, winning the Special Jury Prize at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival and receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

The film is made up of four unrelated stories, adapted from the writer Lafcadio Hearn‘s collections of Japanese folk tales. According to Aster himself, Kwaidan (Japanese for “ghost stories”) “could be the most breathtaking horror movie ever made.”

“Alien” (1979)

This terrifying but awesome space horror movie was made Ridley Scott a familiar name. With his 1979 film ExtraterrestrialThe Gladiator and The last duel The director introduced audiences to one of the most recognizable movie monsters of all time. It also clearly had an influence on the atmospheric dread of Aster’s films.

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Extraterrestrial follows the crew of the star freighter Nostromo, as they investigate a mysterious distress call from an uninhabited moon, only to find themselves hunted by a deadly alien creature.

“Possession” (1981)

According to Far Out Magazine, Possession was originally banned (in the US and UK) for its obscenity in the 1980s. Fortunately, Aster hasn’t overlooked this strange and sinister cult horror film.

RELATED: Why Was ‘Possession’ Banned? The story behind the cult horror classic

The gripping psychological horror drama was directed by Andrzej Żuławski. It depicts the difficult relationship between a spy (Sam Neil) and his wife (Isabelle Adjani) as they navigate a divorce.

“The Innocents” (1961)

Another of Aster’s recommendations is the hauntingly ambiguous psychological horror known as Innocents. Released in 1961, it is based on The turn of the screwa short story written in 1898 by Henry James.

A little like Mike Flanaganit is The Haunting of Bly Manor (another adaptation of James’ short story), Innocents tells the story of a governess (Deborah Kerr) who comes to believe that the children she cares for are threatened by the supernatural forces that haunt their domain.

“Psycho” (1960)

Realized by Alfred Hitchcockthe “master of suspense” himself, psychology is as influential as the creative genius of its director. Because the movie completely eclipsed its original source material, it’s a little-known fact that psychology is based on Robert BlochThe 1959 novel of the same name.

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Hitchcock’s 1960 adaptation is still considered one of the greatest and most suspenseful horror films. psychology revolves around the disappearance of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), who mysteriously disappeared from a motel run by the shy Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins).

“Night of the Hunter” (1955)

Ari Aster demonstrates the breadth of his cinematic knowledge with his adoration for the hunter’s nighta 1955 horror classic directed by Charles Laughton. Aster reassures fans that the film noir thriller is essential viewing, stating that “Laughton’s Expressionist masterpiece is so big it makes [him]want to shoot [his]arms raised.

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the hunter’s night is partly based on the true crimes of Harry Powers, a man hanged for the murder of childhood widows in the early 1930s.

“Last Year in Marienbad” (1961)

An intentionally deceitful and unreliable film, it’s easy to see why Last year in Marienbad is on Aster’s must-see horror movie list. The film is famous – or, in some circles, infamous – for its unsettling and enigmatic presentation.

Through exotic flashbacks and its dreamlike decor, Last year in Marienbad explores the relationships between three unnamed central characters. The indescribable tension and intimacy of the avant-garde film is obviously what makes it one of Ari Aster’s favorite films.

NEXT: Nuclear Take: Ari Aster Just Made Bad Horror Movies Again

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