Top 5 Scariest Experimental Horror Movies – Part 2

Top 5 Scariest Experimental Horror Movies – Part 2

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Wow–guys. After the first part of this series, I was
absolutely blown away by the genuinely insightful reception from the vast majority of you. I kind of held off a little when thinking
about picking this list–particularly down to its subject matter. Experimental cinema. You see, the thing is–the genre itself is
incredibly difficult to access, and as is the case with the reception of many of these
films–it’s hard to gage exactly where the most populous opinion lies. It’s hard to put such an open-ended artform
into a box and say, yeah–this is the 4th best experimental film I’ve seen–because
all of them are so individually specific. It’s like trying to judge smoke. But hey–nobody said it was easy, right? And Coldplay aside–let’s see what we can
do. Hello horror fans, what’s going on–and
once again welcome back to the scariest channel on YouTube–Top 5 Scary Videos. As per usual, I’ll be your horror host Jack
Finch–as today, we curiously take a look at the Top 5 Scariest Experimental Horror
Movies–Part 2. Roll the clip. For the curious amongst you–that clip was
from 2018’s Possum, an absolutely fantastic British horror film that errs on the edge
of experimental cinema in places, but for this list–it’s a little bit tame compared
to some of the others. That’s not to say that this film isn’t
utterly bleak and depressing though–because it really is, and if you’re on the lookout
for a horror movie that will make you feel bleak and hollow–watch Possum because…
yeah. It’s not nice. We better get on with the show. Kicking off at Number 5–The Neon Demon, 2016 Okay, I said that it wouldn’t be easy–and
it’s not going to be, so let’s kick off with this little divisive enigma of cinema. Which isn’t really a horror movie, but kind
of is–and isn’t really an experimental movie–but also kind of is. Yeah, if we’re talking about the vacuous
space that lies between the cinematic World of Forms–this movie would be silently gliding
around like some Kubrick Monolith of the Instagram generation, absent-mindedly indifferent about
any manner of Platonic love. 2016’s The Neon Demon is a bleak movie. It’s almost Lynchian in its presentation–it’s
cold, calculated, absent of any kind of outward emotion–but in direct contrast to that, this
film has a strange *love* throughout it. Although I’m not entirely sure if love is
the word. It grapples with a difficult conversation–the
world of modelling, and the victims and successors that emerge from it–and because of that,
this film has a lot to say. And the truth is–not a lot of people like
to face up to it. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the brilliant
mind that delivered us 2011’s Drive and 2013’s Only God Forgives–as well as the
man responsible for the awesome Pusher trilogy starring Mads Mikkelsen–The Neon Demon tells
the tale of a sixteen year old girl, Jesse, played by the remarkable Elle Fanning–an
aspiring model who moves to Los Angeles following the death of her parents. There–she meets an alluring photographer
named Dean, as well as a host of other models, Ruby, Gigi and Sarah–who are seasoned in
the ways of narcissism and getting exactly what they want. Listen–if you’re watching this film for
an A to B narrative–don’t. It will frustrate you, because midway through
the movie it’s seemingly captivating story detaches itself from the tracks and ascends
to a completely different level. But in its bizarre, surreal series of ever
increasing grotesque violence–this film has something to say. Again, you might not like what it has to say–but
it says it with a grin and a mouth full of blood. If you enjoyed Under the Skin, which featured
in part one of this series–I think you may also enjoy this one. Swinging in at Number 4–Beyond The Black
Rainbow, 2010 Okayyyy. Now we’re turning up the heat a little. And we really, really are–because this film? Uhhh. Yeah–pass me the blowtorch–where do we even
begin. I had the pleasure–or, experience, I guess–of
watching a midnight viewing of this movie, and I think that’s the best way to experience
it, and try and understand exactly what Panos Cosmatos was trying to convey in his 110 minutes
of mind-bending psycho-tropic spelunking. This film is cavernous in it’s presentation,
and it’s very, very easy to get lost–but watching it late in the evening, after an
entire day of your mind being active–and then getting lambasted with this stuff? Yeah. I think that was the point. And surprisingly enough, there’s actually
an enjoyable coherent narrative in Beyond The Black Rainbow, that harbors a pretty compelling
message–if you can follow along with it, that is–and many of the narrative points
are only presented as visual allusions, so don’t expect to be lead by the hand. Written and directed by Panos Cosmatos in
his debut feature film, an incredibly exciting director who would later go on to direct 2018’s
Mandy starring Nick Cage–which is probably a more palatable version of this film, and
you should give it a watch–Beyond The Black Rainbow tells the tale of a man named Dr.
Barry Nyle played by Michael Rogers. Nyle, an incredibly charming scientist–is
actually a psychopath, and is leading a fringe Scientific Institution with the sole intention
of bridging the gap between science and spirituality–whatever the cost may be. That cost, as it turns out–is at the expense
of a young woman named Elena, a young girl that Nyle keeps captured in the bowels beneath
the institution–that also happens to be an incredibly potent psychic. Yeah, this film is essentially Stranger Things,
without the same small town charm and fellowship–and instead, a boatload of psychotropic drugs–contact
lenses, wigs– and strange black pools of goo. This film is heavy on everything. It’s paranoid, and it lays itself into you
like some spiritual tendrils from another plane of existence. In other words, it’s pretty damn good. Next up at Number 3–Annihilation, 2018 Exactly. What *is* it? Now, some of you may be shocked to see 2018’s
Annihilation appear on this list–and perhaps even question whether it meets the parameters
that we’ve set out so far–but in contrast to that–I think it’s important that we
shouldn’t disregard a piece of cinema just because it already has the fully fleshed out
bones of a narrative. And, truth be told, I’ve been looking for
quite a while for a list to fit this film into. So, yeah, there you go. You see, a film doesn’t have to be senseless
or *too* sensory to be experimental–sometimes the very content itself can serve that purpose. However, that’s not to say that 2018’s
Annihilation doesn’t feature some absolutely batshit visual set pieces–because it does–and
albino alligators and skull-ridden talking bears aside–yeah, this film is experimental. I mean that in both theme and in Alex Garland’s
creative vision, because you just need to take one look at the second half of this film
to understand the mind melding insanity of the whole thing. Written and directed by Alex Garland, based
upon the 2014 novel of the same name that formed part of the Southern Reach Trilogy,
Annihilation paints the picture of a zone known as Area X–a southern portion of the
United States, that after a mysterious meteor landed in a national wildlife refuge in Florida,
has developed into a strange anomalous zone where nature appears to be taking back control
of any form of civilization. It tells the tale of a U.S Army Soldier, Lena–played
by the awesome Natalie Portman–who goes on an expedition into the zone, following the
successful journey of her husband a year prior. You see, I’ll say no more–because if you
haven’t seen Annihilation, you certainly should–but when we talk about experimental
forms, it’s in the presentation of this film’s narrative where it truly shines. This film doesn’t lead you by the hand. It’s a puzzle that needs to be solved by
the audience themselves. It relies on it’s own ambiguity to deliver
its message–and that’s rare. You can work out our own answers to this dream-like
miasma of a movie–instead of having it shoved down our throats, and that’s important. Coming in at Number 2–Possession, 1981 Okay, here we go–because the next two entries
on this list are some of the most challenging horror movies ever made. The first–1981’s Possession–is no exception
to greatness. Just take that clip for example–where Isabelle
Adjani delivers such an exhausting performance, both physically and mentally–that the very
essence of the acting method behind it *is* experimental. Given the fact that very few actors and filmmakers
would subject themselves to such an ordeal. And experimental cinema aside–this is certainly
the most genuinely terrifying horror movie on this list–and if you’re looking for
a pure presentation of fear, then look no further. Written and directed by the legendary Andrzej
Zulawski–Possession is a psychological horror movie that stars the remarkable Isabelle Adjani–alongside
Sam Neill, as Anna and Mark. The couple live in West Berlin during the
Cold War era–where Mark serves as a spy for the Allies. However, after returning home from a mysterious
mission that is never fully tied up–Mark is shocked to find out this his wife wants
a divorce. Although she won’t tell him exactly why,
she insists that she’s found someone else and is ready to move on–and she quickly descends
into a series of bizarre excuses and lies–as her mind appears to splinter and fragment–and
gradually, the reason behind her change of character becomes frighteningly clear. I’ll say no more about the plot, because
again–for an experimental film, there is a lot of narrative to be consumed here–and
the actual bones of this story are equal parts simplistic and equal parts horrifying. Genuinely, this film is a nightmare unlike
many others. It’s incoherent in many places–but all
of the moments that stick out like a sore thumb only serve to propel us further into
the same fever of madness. Really, Zulawski’s expertise is in maintaining
this film–holding it together like a car hurtling off a cliff into the abyss, just
long enough for us to realise exactly what is happening. Isabelle Adjani’s performance in this film
is the stuff of cinematic legend. If anything, which it just for that. And finally, coming in at our Number 1 spot–Stalker,
1979 Talking of nightmares–here’s one for you. And this entry has to take our number one
spot, although it *is* in close contest with 1981’s Possession–so consider them both
worthy of the utmost experimental merits. Now, I’m not entirely sure if you could
ever call this film a horror film–because in many ways it certainly is not, but the
content–the themes–and the very essence of what this film embodies–is the literal
definition of horror. And also many other things–the majority of
which I’m not entirely sure if I’ll ever be qualified to comment on. Stalker is an experience–and whether you’re
a fan of experimental cinema or not, if you’re a fan of horror and the philosophy behind
it–it’s a must see. I like to think of Stalker as a prologue to
Harlan Ellison’s 1967 sci-fi classic, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. If you’ve read that particular story–which
if you haven’t, you should–then you may have an idea as to the themes crammed into
this piece of cinema. Written and directed by the legend of cinema
that is Andrei Tarkovsky, the enigmatic and celebrated Russian director responsible for
the likes of 1972’s Solaris and 1975’s Mirror–amongst many others, Stalker is a
film like no other. And I really mean that. Some have come close–notably David Lynch
in some respects, particularly in some of the imagery conjured throughout this film–but
Stalker stands alone as a complete and utter enigma of filmmaking. It tells the tale of an expedition of three
men, led by a figure known as the Stalker–who takes his two clients–one of them a writer
seeking inspiration, and another a professor seeking scientific discovery–to a mysterious
and restricted area–known as The Zone. In the Zone–supposedly, there exists a Room–which
is alleged to grant a person their innermost desires. Whatever the price of that may be. And then they set off–just like that, roaming
through the wasteland of some form or other of a forgotten civilization. Honestly, there’s not a lot that I can say
about Stalker–or even try and condense it into some form of a point. Give it a watch and see for yourself. Well, there we have it horror fans, our list
for the Top 5 Scariest Experimental Horror Movies–Part 2. What did you guys think? DO you agree? Disagree? Have any more to add to this list? Then let us know your thoughts down in the
comment section below, as well as any choice picks of your own. Before we depart from today’s video though,
let’s first take a quick look at some of your more creative comments from over the
past few days. First up, Cameron Shepherd says– Jack are you a Leeds Utd fan, if so you’ve
gone up in my estimations a billion fold. #ALAW #MOT. — Yes. Cameron Shepherd. I am indeed–from birth. Leeds United–a club like no other. In Marcelo Bielsa we trust, Marching on Together. See you in the Premier League Cameron. And then, believe it or not, Alun Farr says– Super Leeds! MOT — What?! I didn’t know there were so many Leeds fans
on Top 5 Scary Videos. And then! Anthony Lee says– Leeds Leeds Leeds. Wow. Well. Still top of the league. But unfortunately, on that note–that’s
all we’ve got time for in today’s video. Cheers for sticking around all the way until
the end. If you were a fan of this video, or just Top
5 Scary Videos in general, then please–be a dear and hit that thumbs up button, as well
as that subscribe bell, and I’ll be seeing you in the next one. As per usual, I’ve been your horror host
Jack Finch–you’ve been watching Top 5 Scary Videos–and until next time, you take it easy.


  1. I would say any of von Trier's horror films could be on here, but in particular I would say Anti-Christ, and The House that Jack Built are all kinds of experimental and incredibly creepy.

  2. Some of these I wouldn't classify as horror, though I am perhaps so jaded that barely anything registers as horror to me anymore. 😅

  3. Stalker is based on the book Roadside Picnic, which is better and faster paced. Both are the insparation for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R game series, which is one of the best and most underrated game series ever made.

  4. Jack have you read the original story by Strugacki brothers which was basis for "Stalker", well English translation isn't terrible though

  5. Not sure if it would fit in on this list or maybe a Top 5 Scary Documentary list…but one of the scariest films I have ever seen is called The Nightmare, a documentary about sleep paralysis. It can be found on Netflix and wether you experience sleep paralysis (like me) or not (like my wife), it is worth its weight in chills. I'd love to see it make a list. Cheers!

  6. I absolutely loved Annihilation. Yes the ending could have been better, but it was enjoyable and utterly skincrawling at moments….and the music is eerie and sublime.

  7. "Beyond the Black Rainbow" was 110 minutes of a cure for my chronic insomnia. "Possession" was damn near perfection. I'll have to check out "Stalker." — Thanks for the video. I love this series!

  8. Hey Jack, long time listener first time caller, here. Have you seen Robert Altman's 1972 thriller 'Images'? Susannah York as a possibly schizophrenic housewife, killing off the spirits that haunt her. But are they spirits? It's a forgotten gem in Altman's filmography, I think…and the closest he ever got to horror. If you haven't seen it, check it out.

  9. I watched Mother! (Aronofsky). I hate you guys a little, but I'll get over it. Good Cinema works it's way into you through the cracks and crevices in your brain, until a week or two later you find you're ready to watch it again with questions and premises you're ready to prove. I'm still in the TRAUMATIZED phase of seeing this movie. It is not a movie to watch while doing other things, you will need to pay attention.

  10. Glad that Possession was included. Couldn't help but utter an audible "yes" when I heard it mentioned. It's not the most well known, so any form of precognition means something, or so I think.

  11. This list wins for Beyond the Black Rainbow alone! Interesting that you called his Mandy a more approachable version. I found it to be deeper and more nuanced than BtBR

  12. Ok, I replied to someone else's comment on this video and mentioned a film called Alyce Kills, it's definitely worth a watch, not sure about experimental but it will definitely leave you feeling uneasy and a bit less cheery, kind of like you feel after an Edgar Allen Poe reading binge.

  13. Sorry but I just can’t agree with Annihilation as a movie on this list. It would be more experimental if it followed the book a bit closer – because the book and the whole trilogy is extremely experimental and unique – but the movie was dumbed down and it discarded a lot of what made the story so beautiful, mysterious, and horrifying. Everything they changed made it worse and more mundane. Most of the time I don’t have an issue with movies based on books changing the plot around, but this was just sad. Please read the book, it is freaking fantastic!

  14. Great list. The only one I haven’t seen yet is Stalker, but I have read the novel it was based on which is one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read. But I am really eager to see Tarkovsky’s interpretation of it.
    Also, Possession is well deserving to be on this list, especially because of the performance of Adjani. As a whole, it’s bizarre and really fucked up.
    As a side note I’d say the top three on the list could also be considered somewhat cosmetic horror.

  15. Think Annihilation, though awful, falls into sci-fi. Though Jack, your take on it, was a much better presentation than the actual film. Thanks for that.

  16. I'm glad you mentioned Mandy. I went into that film blind & was blown away. Added it to my collection. Great list by the way. Would love to see a part 3.

  17. Where's Under the Skin?
    Btw, Annihilation is The Colour Out of Space of this times so it should be in a Lovecraft list as well.
    Isabelle Adjani won the best actress award at the Cannes festival. Well deserved.

  18. Alright, mate, thanks to you, there's two more I've got to look for. How am I supposed to dig through all the recent "Possession" weeds and find the brass ring? Not to mention Stalker! Good thing I love this stuff! Cheers! P.S. : Possum ROCKS!

  19. I no longer feel fear while watching horror. I watch horror to fall asleep. But I've never noped so hard like when I watched Begotten.

  20. Would the film "Berberian Sound Studio" classify as experimental? It certainly is psychological in nature and I never felt that I understood the entire story.

  21. Annihilation was amazing. I took a quiet afternoon with no one in my house to make me appreciate it because it needs concentration. The bear creature was immensely frightening.

  22. I was going to recommend Liquid Sky (1982) but it's more sci-fi than horror. It's about a model named Margaret on the fringes of the NY punk art/club scene who is being used by an alien being who needs the endorphins released by humans during sex. Anyone havihg sex with Margaret feeds the alien when they climax and then dies. It's pretty weird but somehow compelling. And the whole movie is available on YouTube right now and maybe Amazon Prime.

  23. What is this word "bleek(?)" Jack is ALWAYS using 🤷‍♀️? I tried Google translate but nothing.. is it like "pale"..🤔? Someone please tell me!

  24. In the intro you uttered the name of the most terrifying, sanity-devouring, mind splintering horror ever to manifest and it gave me nightmares.

    Please Jack, don't mention Coldplay again.

  25. Jack, you gathers so much information real things don't you dare to be cursed or possessed by those things I like your videos but they scares sometimes. Most often.

  26. Oh Possum was so good. It is a slow boiler, more of a character study, but I loved it. Sean Harris is an incredible actor.

  27. Recently finished the Southern Reach Trilogy, and Annihilation makes an amazing book and movie. Definitely recommend checking out both!

  28. I have been watching for Annihilation to pop up in a literature list, then surprised me to see it in this one. Regardless, excellent movie and book.

  29. Oh man, this list is amazing! Nothing new for me, but you listed some of my favorites movies ever. In fact, I'd say Stalker is my absolutely favorite movie ever. I've seen it dozen of times and every time I watch it again I discover something new. That movie is an absolute masterpiece of cinema, and though not as horror-y as the rest of the list, the absolute bleakness of the movie juxtaposed with its gorgeous cinematography is definitely an experience like no other. Plus, as an exploration of belief and desire, it is one of the deepest philosophical movies out there.

    Glad to see you bring it up and have others know about it. That movie is a treat!

  30. I think annihilation would fit perfectly in a top five Lovecraftian inspired movies list. It has more un common with Color Out of Space. I've read half of Roadside Picnic but I have heard of Stalker Shadows of Chernobyl, just never played it

  31. And in stalker the city is not some forgotten civilization, it’s an actual real life tragic event that happened in Ukraine, Chernobyl. A reactor blew up and covered whole city with radiation. It’s still until this day extremely dangerous to go near the epicenter of the explosion. There are soooo many stories of after the incident babies being borne with 2 heads and six arms, apples grow to a size of a watermelon.

  32. I have a love hate relationship with the neon demon, I loved the concept but I didn't like the movie at all… or maybe just the main character, I don't know there's something that doesn't quite fit with the movie for me.

  33. I absolutely love this YouTube channel…I love hearing about movies that flew under the radar. Recently I seen “Kill List”…which I heard of thanks to this channel:)) GoodJob you 2;))

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