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The 20 Best British Horror Films of All Time

Brexit is scary, but these movies are scarier.

Under the Skin

Courtesy of A24

10. “The Hunger” (1983)

“Forever…forever and ever…” Tony Scott’s swooning vampire drama is worth watching just for David Bowie’s declaration of eternal love, but that’s hardly the only thing worth sinking your fangs into her. There’s also the great Catherine Deneuve, who has more chemistry with her co-star than Dracula does with his dentist. Scott was always a master stylist, but he rarely matched it with as much substance as he does here.


9. “28 Days Later” (2002)

Arguably Danny Boyle’s best film (sorry, “Millions” partisans), this lo-fi thriller helped popularize the fast-zombie phenomenon. It also gave Cillian Murphy one of his meatiest roles, even if he’s all skin and bones he makes his way through post-apocalyptic England. As the writing on the wall in an especially unnerving scene reminds us, the end is extremely fucking nigh.


8. “Kill List” (2011)

Ben Wheatley may never surpass his singularly disturbing sophomore feature, which seamlessly blends elements of kitchen-sink realism, the hitman drama and something far more sinister that shan’t be spoiled here. Rare is the film that so hauntingly delivers on its eerie, foreboding tension; even if you know something is up in the early going, you won’t know what until it’s too late. Go along for the ride and try not to avert your eyes as it hurtles toward its indescribably upsetting conclusion.


7. “The Devils” (1971)

Frequently banned and even more frequently censored, Ken Russell’s heretical horror flick has still never been released on home video in all its glory. (You can watch it on Shudder, however.) Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave star in the film, which is based on an actual tale of (supposed) possession in 17th-century France and the ensuing witchcraft trial; like most endeavors, this one doesn’t go well for the accused.


6. “The Haunting” (1963)

The sturdiest haunted-house movie ever made, 1963’s “The Haunting” mixes spooky apparitions into a film thick with psychological dread. Julie Harris is perfect as the damaged lead, and unmatched location filming achieves some of the spookiest atmosphere put on film. The frights still hold up, and the dizzying camerawork and sound design are completely disorienting for much of the film. This gothic tale unexpectedly ended up a highlight in Robert Wise’s illustrious career, premiering just two years before his next film, “The Sound of Music.”

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