Love him or hate him, you can’t deny Quentin Tarantino’s passion for film is contagious. Whether he’s joking around on a DVD commentary or answering interview questions, movies are always on his mind. Arthouse or grindhouse, he loves it all, and is constantly gushing about cult classics he believes to be underappreciated. So why not spice up quarantine with a few scares by watching some horror movies recommended by the film nerd himself? Not all of these may be “great” movies, but they’re great to QT, at least somewhere in his heart. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Below are suspenseful arthouse thrillers, cheesy b-movies, and exploitation blood-baths. Bon Appetit!
10. Crawl (2019)
Tarantino named “Crawl” one of his favorite movies of 2019, and when watching you can definitely tell why. Alexandra Aja’s latest entry tells the story of Florida girl Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario), a student athlete who doesn’t go through with the state’s evacuation order to find her missing father when a category 5 hurricane hits. When she does find her dad (who’s perfectly named Dave, played by Barry Pepper) he’s injured in their family home. The rising floodwaters trap them to drown indoors, but an even greater threat emerges from the depths: enormous alligators.
The dialogue in this one’s a bit hokey, but Kaya Scodelario’s amazing acting pulls it off. Barry Pepper delivers too, and their father-daughter relationship definitely adds an emotional core through all the suspense. Toss in the fantastically life-like cgi alligators, and you got yourself a delightfully bloody, self-aware throwback to disaster exploitation flicks of yore.
9. Slaughter Hotel (1971)
“Slaughter Hotel” is an Italian giallo flick starring the one and only Klaus Kinski! Creepy Klaus Kinski is a doctor at an asylum full of women. Everything about this madhouse is off-putting, from the medical professionals to the hot gardener. But things get more disturbing as a traditional black clad serial killer is introduced, and over the top grindhouse gore that Quentin Tarantino oh so loves follows!
Not everyone will love “Slaughter Hotel,” but the film’s brazen rawness in camera work and violence is definitely a spectacle to behold. Man, don’t you wish you could live in a mental asylum with Klaus Kinski. Or even in an asylum full of women? Luckily, it is possible through giallo cinema!
8. My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Regarded as one of the best slasher flicks of all time, as well as Quentin Tarantino’s all time slasher favorite, “My Bloody Valentine” is a Canadian horror movie that is both a love-letter and middle finger to the iconic holiday known as Valentine’s Day. This movie sets up classic archetypes many future slashers would follow. A small mining village defies a 20 year tradition of not celebrating Valentine’s Day. When a Valentine party begins, so does murder!
7. Audition (1999)
Miike Takashi’s masterpiece! What begins as a drama shifts into something darker. “Audition” follows the widower Aoyama, who uses auditions for a fake movie as a way to get him to get dating again. As he gets interested in the beautiful Asami, things start to get weird, to say the least. Enough on the internet has been said about Audition’s greatness already. To say anymore would do the film injustice.
6. Black Sabbath (1963)
Quentin Tarantino’s favorite directors list includes Mario Bava, and Bava’s “Black Sabbath” is a fabulous way to dive into this Italian filmmaker’s filmography. This is also one of Bava’s favorites out of his works.
“Black Sabbath” (also known as “The Three Faces of Fear” in some countries) is a horror anthology hosted by Boris Karloff, giving us three stories, one revolving around an older vampire, another a corpse thief, and a haunting tale of a woman who receives telephone calls from a lover on the other side. Each story is unique, memorable, and bloodcurdling in atmosphere. Each builds on the other as the scare factor progresses.