Top 25 Film Thrills & Chills: #15 - #10

#15: The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

If you are familiar with the lore behind the Mothman mythos, that of a real-life terror suffered by members of a West Virginia town, it elevates the chill quotient, considerably. Time for a little historical backstory. In the 1960’s, the town of Point Pleasant was paralyzed by a “haunting” of sorts, as denizens widely reported sightings of a paranormal figure that would become known as the Mothman.

While the actual events chronicled in the book the movie was based on would have made for a good enough story all of its own; director Mark Pellington, gives the audience some honest scares, in a more modern take that circles around a reporter (Richard Gere) inadvertently investigating the Mothman after his wife’s death. One name will haunt you afterward: Indrid Cold.

#14: Identity (2003)

The reluctant guests of a spooky hotel, slowly learn the mysterious link that connects them, in this frightening spin on the psychological thriller. The scariest things can most times not even exist in the tangible sense. It’s the shady crevices of a person’s mind, that can be the most terrifying to explore and this film takes you inside that dark mission. The twisty nature of "Identity" will keep you wondering, as it puts together a fascinating puzzle.

It is a truly original concept that is executed with riveting brilliance. Disorienting enough to keep you spinning and steady enough to keep you focused. Not to mention, the movie is stacked with a phenomenal cast of talent that includes John Cusack, Ray Liotta, and John Hawkes, to name a few. Their fantastic performances work to create an electric atmosphere plagued with intrigue.

#13: The Vanishing (1988)

Rex (Gene Hofman) and Saskia (Johanna ter Steege) are a young couple in love; traveling on holiday. When Saskia vanishes without a trace, Rex mounts a desperate search for answers. Getting to those answers is where this film covers, exceedingly disturbing ground. A cautionary tale of how far a person’s desire for answers can take them.

"The Vanishing" features a mystery fraught with spine-tingling tension and frightening consequences. This film would later get an American remake starring Kiefer Sutherland and Jeff Bridges. It is hard to imagine it could top the French original with all of its unnerving complexities. "The Vanishing" will not disappear from your mind, anytime soon.

#12: Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Director Sam Raimi went back to his horror roots for this morality tale that is disquietingly dark, not only with its graphic imagery but the overall grim fortune that shadows its lead character. "Drag Me to Hell" cleverly toys with clichรฉ and evokes a brainy take on the typical protagonist.

When a loan officer, Christine (Allison Lohman), refuses to extend the mortgage of an elderly woman, she induces a curse meant to literally drag Christine to hell. There is a slight commentary on the ambition of the youth culture and the desire to succeed at all costs. As a whole it is campy fun, rife with immense tension; and it will have you guessing until the last second.

#11: Orphan (2009)

The outstanding Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”) stars in this unpredictable thriller about a family who adopts a peculiar orphan girl, following a devastating loss. Farmiga anchors the movie as a woman we can pull for, captivatingly playing the flawed mom with relentless fortitude. Isabella Furman is also excellent as the tiny villainess we hope she defeats.

There are send-ups to some movie clichรฉs, though it manages to circumvent most of them, in its brilliant third act. “Orphan” is downright creepy and the resolution of the mystery surrounding it; is well worth watching for.

Have you seen any of these movies? Did they scare you? Eclectic Pop wants to hear from you! You can share your thoughts by tweeting @EclecticPop or leaving a comment below.

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