In no particular order:
Not just one of my favorite horror movies, but also one of the saddest and most heartbreaking movies I’ve seen. A missing child, a disfigured child tormented by other children, the two mothers and the actions they took, cruel and guilty children encountering an even crueler fate. The trailer is rubbish though, from the trailer, you’d think the movie is about a scary figure in a weird mask terrorizing people, when it’s really not.
It’s a neat inversion of the usual formula – we assume people would be afraid of ghosts, but we never consider that maybe, just maybe, ghosts would be afraid of humans as well, and think that we’re the intruder. One of the few good Nicole Kidman’s performance, IMO.
I’ve had debates with friends whether it’s accurate to call Psycho a horror movie, suspense or mystery or thriller seem more accurate. But come on, if we can call movies with serial killers terrorizing clueless teenagers “horror movies”, surely a movie about a guy who dressed up as mommy dearest while killing people has a right to the “horror” classification as well? The remake doesn’t work because Vince Vaughn made Norman Bates into just a pathetic creep, but Anthony Perkins made him into a human being, as weird and yes, pathetic, as he is. A shot-for-shot remake won’t guarantee success like the original if you cast the wrong people.
I really think the main reason The Omen is so scary is the boy they cast to play Damien. That little boy just looks terrifying, even sitting still doing nothing. The trailer makes me laugh, it’s so clunky. Is this how movie trailers were in the 70’s? The sequels are kinda boring, somehow Antichrist doesn’t seem so scary anymore once he’s grown up.
Dark Water (original Japanese version)
What’s interesting about the movie is not just the ghost story, but seeing how Yoshimi as a single mother is undermined, patronized, and not taken seriously by the people around her. She’s told that her daughter is acting strange because that’s what happens to children of divorced parents, for example. The horror doesn’t just come from the ghost of the dead girl desperate for a mother, but from the human beings around Yoshimi as well. I’ve never seen the American remake, so can’t compare the two versions.