There is arguably no other genre in film that resonates as well with metal fans as the horror category. The exploration into the ominous, the occult, and the macabre is way more than spectacle, it's substantiated by compelling storytelling, inventive visual effects, and the thinking outside of the box that draws parallels to heavy music.
To continue in bridging that cherished film culture with the fans in metal that appreciate it, veteran frontman Dez Fafara of Devildriver has curated a list of the films that he considers essential in the genre. Very specific about his criteria and adamant details, Fafara's collection is a high brow aggregate of some of the genre's most artistic showcases.
Let's let Dez take it from here.
Fafara - First off, I do not consider slasher movies where men wear masks and kill women with butcher knives, horror. Those are snuff films. Okay, here we go. I love all things spooky, meaning. 'what’s behind that door', 'what was that shadow,' ghosts, witches, Dracula, etcetera.
From start to finish here we go. Light the candles, draw the shades and let’s get spooky.
Fafara - This is a near perfect haunting adaptation of the book. Bela is first and foremost the best Dracula; then there’s Gary Oldman who is a close second, but we’ll get to that down the line. This is my first go to for sure. From the beginning it’s dark and takes you away to Transylvania to meet the Count and enter his castle; a love story for all time seen through the eyes of early horror.
Fafara - The graveyard scenes on the old Universal lot are the best in the business. Plus, we see Bela as the gypsy and Lon Chaney Jr. absolutely kills his role as The Wolfman. No pun intended (laughs). You feel sympathy for him, yet are terrified at the same time.
Fafara - This is a love story with all the horror of early Egypt, and Boris Karloff is the essential mummy as Imhotep. He is not only frightening, but again you feel his vulnerability even through the bandages.
Bram Stoker's DRACULA
Fafara - This version is truly brought to great heights by the acting talent of Gary Oldman. His portrayal of Dracula is, as I’ve said, a close second to Bela’s 'Dracula,' and we learn so much more about the Count in this version. It’s incredible to watch over and over as you constantly see new things. As you watch, catch all the shadows. They did well with this film.
Dracula (The Spanish Version)
Fafara - This is a must watch, as they were filming this at the same time they were filming the English version but they would film at night and add more cobwebs, fog and more atmosphere so visually this one is absolutely outstanding and Carlos Villarias is a great Count.
Fafara - This is a Russian fairy tale, very much on the horror side. A young priest kills an old woman that turns out to be a young witch and her father makes him pray over her body for three days locked in the church. All hell breaks loose! I highly recommend this stylized film. The “creatures” and the witch are outstanding.
FUN FACT: DevilDriver's video “Dead to Rights” rips off this film and it’s damn good!
Fafara - First off, for the time period this must of been the scariest thing anyone witnessed on film. Complete with the Devil, witches etcetera, you're not sure what you're seeing, but it’s intense and haunting! Check it.
Fafara - You need to see this film. A young woman heads to a town to document witches, meets the Devil on the way... and I won’t give anything else away because this is one of my all time favorite movies!
13 Ghosts (2001)
Fafara - Wanna be scared? Put this film on with no one home and turn up the surround sound. I’m not sure what it is, but this fucker is disturbing. The plot is simple - a family inherits an old house filled with vengeful entities - I’ll say no more ????
Fafara - More occult than horror, it’s visually stunning with complex imagery that takes the viewer on an esoteric journey that will leave you literally asking yourself what the fuck was that, LET’S WATCH IT AGAIN!
FUN FACT: DevilDriver uses much of this imagery during our live show on our light walls, and our art is also heavily influenced by this movie.
DevilDriver’s new album, Dealing With Demons I, is out now via Napalm Records. Get the album - HERE