In these flicks, scientists crossed the line, resulting in horrifying what-ifs. Scientists are always pushing the limits of what they can achieve.
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Science is capable of curing sickness, bolstering crops against climate change, and connecting people on opposite corners of the earth. It can do all these things. However, as horror films have shown, science may also be used to manipulate and annihilate. Even when the researchers had the best of intentions, experiments might spiral out of control. Sometimes the animosity was present from the start.
For millennia, tales of science gone awry have appeared in literature and film. Humans are inquisitive, but they are also cautious about following their curiosity wherever it may lead. As a reward for the viewer, witnessing scientists push the boundaries of science and see it all fall apart is a delightful one. Even the most ingenious experiments can go horribly wrong in the world of horror.
James Whale’s 1931 film adaptation of Mary Shelley, titled Frankenstein, shares more than its title with Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel. Though Frankenstein and his monster have become memes, the 1931 film still has a disturbing quality to it, even for those who have seen a hundred trick-or-treaters in green face paint and with stick-on bolts on their faces.
Overconfidence breeds calamity and a monster emerges from the storm in Frankenstein, possibly the classic illustration of scientific overreach. It may not be able to compete with the best horror films of the decade for some audiences, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be given a chance.
2. American Mary
Jen and Sylvia Soska’s American Mary, a 2012 horror film, is an equal parts scathing social commentary and a joyous bloodfest. The finest modern slashers are gory and disturbing, but this picture manages to be reflective, unpleasant, and entertaining at the same time. When a desperate Mary, a surgical student, accepts $5,000 to operate on a felon in need of immediate care, she enters the weird and mysterious world of experimental medicine.
There is no need to create the more unbelievable imagery because the actors portraying Mary’s clients were sourced from the real-world body alteration scene. The experimental horror film American Mary is a hilarious and twisted take on the genre, and it goes further than most of its competitors.
Re-Animator is a modern interpretation of Frankenstein, based on the short story “Herbert West-Reanimator” by H.P. Lovecraft. A modern twist on the notion of reanimated corpses causing havoc.
A serum that can bring back the dead is initially tested on Herbert’s dead professor. Unfortunately, the serum only restores people to a zombie-like state, which is bad news for Herbert and everyone else in the area. I enjoy seeing the protagonist’s efforts to regulate his experiment as it gets out of hand. Be prepared for a grim conclusion to this horror film.
4. From Beyond
Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond features a pair of scientists who are attempting to stimulate the pineal gland, a reference to Lovecraft’s work. Using their invention, the two learn that it has an unexpected side effect: the capacity to view monsters from another dimension.
To make matters worse, the aliens kidnap and turn into a monster one of the scientists who was captured by them, and then they release him to eat his former colleagues. From Beyond, unlike many of the best haunted home films, wants viewers to witness all of the ghosts and spirits. While gooey and campy, From Beyond has just the right amount of sarcasm and conceptual depth to make it worth seeing more than once.
After Tusk, Kevin Smith’s name should be synonymous with the horror genre. “Becoming a walrus” surely isn’t on many people’s “worst nightmares,” but Tusk corrects that omission.
Howard Howe, a podcast host, is kidnapped by a retired seaman who intends to transform him into a walrus. Savagely funny and just brutal are two words that spring to mind when discussing Tusk. It’s a powerful film that establishes beyond a shadow of a doubt that the director is capable of much more than silly buddy comedies.
6. The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)
Less is more when it comes to this film’s revoltingly explicit violence. Everyone interested in its subject matter has probably already seen this film, and then shown it off to any friend who has the stamina to sit through it. It’s safe to say that Tom Six, the director, is an expert in the genres of body horror and gory experiments.
Human Centipede 2: The Complete Sequence is a work of art, but it’s also downright revolting in its execution. One of the scariest black and white horror films, with a wicked “researcher” that any character with a shred of self-preservation would avoid at all costs Not for the faint of heart or stomach, this flick is.
Antiviral, the next film from David Cronenberg’s son Brandon Cronenberg, explores the intersection of celebrity culture and science in a unique way. For the Lucas Clinic, Syd March collects viruses from sick celebrities so that fans can inject them and feel closer to their favorite artists.
While this notion may be one of the genre’s most audacious and creepy, it sets a high bar for all else that follows it. Body horror fans should be prepared for some disturbing images in Antiviral.
8. Cabin Fever
Most of the time, illness is nothing to be alarmed about. Cabin Fever, the celebrated horror film directed by Eli Roth, is an exception. When a college student accidently kills a hiker in the woods while on a weekend trip to the mountains, it turns their trip into a tragedy. Worse? Body falls into reservoir and spreads skin illness to other dead people.
In addition to being explicit, Cabin Fever is very frightening. As the situation develops, the protagonists’ physical and emotional well-being deteriorates. This picture is on par with the greatest of the year’s horror offerings.
Godzilla, the 1954 film, is the best in the terror franchise, despite its lack of computer-generated grandeur compared to more recent installments. Atomic horror films of the 1950s tapped into audiences’ real-world fears of nuclear annihilation, portraying the new global menace as an enormous city-leveling snake in this classic.
Godzilla makes the most of its goofy practical effects to frighten the living daylights out of its audience. Godzilla may not seem that terrifying to those who have grown accustomed to modern horror’s emphasis on jump scares and gore. However, this picture is one of the greatest because of its cultural significance and masterful utilization of the anxieties of the moment.
10. The Fly
When it comes to filmmaking, some directors aren’t satisfied until the audience wants to crawl out of their skin. I’d say Cronenberg’s reworking of the Vincent Price original is one of the best instances of the genre. A fly accidentally flies into Seth Brundle’s teleportation chamber just as the device is about to go off, and Seth’s DNA is spliced together with the fly’s.
Seth’s transformation into a grotesque monster is the best devolution sequence in movie, thanks to excellent prosthetics and real effects. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of The Fly’s portrayal of the horrifying repercussions of scientific arrogance.