40. The Haunting (1963)
> Directed by: Robert Wise
> Starring: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson
> Runtime: 112 min.
This early 1960s psychological and supernatural thriller is about a scientist doing research on the paranormal. He brings two women — one a clairvoyant and the other possessed with psychic abilities — and a young man, who is skeptical about the supernatural, to Hill House, a mansion with a violent history. Directed by the distinguished Robert Wise, critics lauded the Oscar-winning director for making the eerie house the focus of the movie.
39. Cat People (1942)
> Directed by: Jacques Tourneur
> Starring: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith
> Runtime: 73 min.
Director Jacques Tourneur’s commentary on the taboos about desire stars Simone Simon as a fashion artist who is obsessed with the notion that she is descended from an ancient Serbian tribe that transforms into panthers when they become jealous. Tourneur’s film is less about gore and violence and more about the unseen psychological terror. Paul Schrader made a remake of the early noir thriller in 1982.
38. The Old Dark House (1932)
> Directed by: James Whale
> Starring: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton
> Runtime: 72 min.
In between directing “Frankenstein” (1931) and “The Invisible Man” (1933), filmmaker James Whale made this atmospheric film about a somewhat deranged family living together in a spooky house. Boasting acting talent such as Boris Karloff and Charles Laughton, the 1932 flick currently holds a 100% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
37. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
> Directed by: Jack Arnold
> Starring: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent
> Runtime: 81 min.
“The Incredible Shrinking Man” is among the most existential of science fiction films, praised for its meditation on notions about acceptance and the gradual loss of power and prestige, and for its special effects. In the film, a young man vacationing on a boat is enveloped by a mysterious dark cloud causing him to gradually shrink, ultimately to the size of an atom.
36. The Evil Dead (1981)
> Directed by: Sam Raimi
> Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor
> Runtime: 85 min.
This early film from Sam Raimi put the director — who would go on to shoot three big budget Spider-man movies — on the map. Its use of inventive filmmaking techniques and dark humor was a huge hit with audiences, leading to the creation of two more films in the franchise and a 2013 remake.
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