Eternity of Terror 2018

This book includes 200 dark movies you’ll want to revisit time and again. These are the most rewatchable dark films reviewed by film critic Steve Hutchison.

Sorted in order of preference and reviewed, each film description contains a synopsis, a list of genres it belongs to, a list of ambiances involved, seven ratings and a three-paragraph review.

These films are not for the squeamish. You have been warned!

Cujo

A dog contracts rabies and terrorizes a small town.
Creature Feature

 

United States
1983
Feature Film
Realism: 
Plausible
Character Focus: 
Animal Film
Animals: 
Bat
Dog
Infected: 
Contagious
Diseased
6
A severe bite!
5.04
5.04
7.04
7.04
2
4
3
Photography
Pace
Performances
This is horror 101. In Cujo, a small-town family is terrorized by a rabid dog. Aside awkward human conflicts, this is as simple as scary films get. But it works. It works so well that it teaches horror writers a clear lesson. It’s never about complexity. Complexity makes films convoluted and unrelatable. It’s all about character exposition, storytelling and accessibility.
This story is plausible and it could happen to anyone, in any decade. Stephen King hits an emotional bull’s eye. The director and screenwriters do the novel justice. There are a bunch of cinematographic challenges, here; first the dog, the special make-up applied to its body, the illusion of rage, having it do what the screenplay says, and then it needs to interact with the actors including kids.
This film is paced the way The Birds and Jaws were, so impatient viewers will need to trust the creators. It pays off. You just wouldn’t care for the victims if you couldn’t imagine they were your next-door neighbors. Cujo plays on the fear of dogs. They are, most of the time and for the most part, man’s best friend, but they can be mortal enemies when somehow triggered to kill.
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