Horror knows no language but that of the scream, and this is clear in the 10 best Italian horror films. From witches to serial killers, evil isn't boxed away in nice packages here but rather allowed to splatter everywhere. Sometimes, being frightened is the perfect way to end an evening and here's a helpful push off that cliff::
"Django": Not typical horror fare at first glance, this western delivers the blood and the fear. A stunning body count that makes it seem there was no way it was released before the 1990s, this film piles the corpses high and then starts a new pile next to it. Forced ear cannibalism portrayed at its finest.
"Opera": Those unfamiliar with the curse of "Macbeth" should look it up. Interesting camera work and enough gore at times to turn stomachs, this is a definite Italian horror film. The raven just adds that extra bizarre factor that's needed in a film like this.
"Shock": Some of the creepiest face touching this side of an election is in this movie. A psychological breakdown coupled with a classic "solve the problem with medication" adds to making this a top horror film. If a kid uses his crayons for evil, lock him in the cellar immediately.
"Suspiria": Boarding school and witchcraft, a tale as old as time but ballet and witchcraft? "Suspiria" is determined that ballet and demonic spells are the way to go. This film takes mood and lighting seriously and delivers a good foundation for Italian horror to build upon.
"Planet of the Vampires": Science fiction and vampires can't be beat. A great look at some future predictions from the past while carving its own path into Italian horror cinema. An amusing ending seals this as an enjoyable classic.
"The Card Player": An interesting take on utilizing chance with the occupation of serial killing. Not over the top gory, the film keeps the suspense maintained. The cast makes this a top Italian horror film as they do convey urgency and personality very well.
"Black Sabbath": It's got Boris Karloff and that's all a horror film needs. The music alone contributes greatly to the horror element as it ebbs and swells, driving the pulse. The acting and scenery make this a must see.
"The Church": Point of view shooting takes a hilarious turn as seen through a Templar Knight's helm as destruction rains down on less than fearsome peasants. A sympathetic priest does a great job of portraying the turmoil and fear surroundhing him as well as his fight against it. The future sound of bells will bring this Italian horror movie to the forefront of memory.
"The Black Cat": Becoming the role takes new meaning for an actress in this dark tale. Not only is the horror film naturally dark, the lighting seems to be done by the same two 40 watt bulbs. Take one lesson from this: Never trust a husband who wrote the part of queen of the witches with the wife in mind.
"City of the Living Dead": Where would horror be without some zombies wandering around? A painful moment with a drill and by far the happiest music ever played with a scene full of coffins gives this the Italian horror film credibility it needed to make the list. In the end the music will haunt the audience more than the scenes.