Five great horror gems

You’ve already been spooked by “Hal­loween” and “The Ex­or­cist,” so put these un­der­rated scary flicks in your queue in­stead.

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You’ve already been spooked by “Hal­loween” and “The Ex­or­cist,” so put these un­der­rated scary flicks in your queue in­stead.

The Cell” (2000): A visu­al feast even when its im­agery is hor­rid (get ready for a horse sliced and sep­ar­ated in­to a dozen pieces), this lush brainchild of un­der-praised mas­ter­mind Tarsem Singh puts one’s senses on high alert. Fea­tur­ing un­for­get­table cos­tumes by the late, great Eiko Ish­ioka, “The Cell” sees Jen­nifer Lopez play a ther­ap­ist who goes in­side the mind of a seri­al killer (Vin­cent D’Ono­frio). What she finds is Singh’s stun­ning blend of the beau­ti­ful and the macabre.

Bug” (2006): The creepy-crawlies don’t even be­gin to de­scribe what’s plaguing an im­pres­sion­able wait­ress (Ash­ley Judd) in this min­im­al­ist­ic mind-num­ber from Wil­li­am Friedkin (“The Ex­or­cist”). A charm­ing stranger (Mi­chael Shan­non) may seem harm­less enough, but soon the two are locked away in a motel room, des­cend­ing in­to the psychot­ic ter­ror of in­sects in their skin.

Queen of the Damned” (2002): This is ma­jor guilty-pleas­ure ter­rit­ory, but “Queen” is worth catch­ing if only for the elec­tric per­form­ance from Aaliyah, who passed shortly after play­ing the tit­u­lar moth­er of all vam­pires. Her deadly-diva en­trances and slinky at­tacks are worth en­dur­ing the film’s limp plot and act­ing.

Han­ni­bal” (2001): “The Si­lence of the Lambs” walked off with arm­fuls of Oscars; however, few view­ers seemed to ap­pre­ci­ate the artistry of its se­quel, which dir­ect­or Rid­ley Scott sets in an at­mo­spher­ic Italy, and in which Ju­li­anne Moore in­her­its Jod­ie Foster’s role as Clarice Starling. The story and its pivotal events are fright­en­ingly unique, and the end­ing will leave you any­thing but crav­ing a post-film meal.

Scream 3” (2000): Of all the “Scream” films, the third in­stall­ment is by far the most ri­dicu­lous—and, in ef­fect, the most fun. The meta nature of the fran­chise’s se­quels hits a fever pitch in round three, wherein a hil­ari­ous Park­er Po­sey joins the cast as the act­ress play­ing Court­ney Cox’s Gale Weath­ers. It’s clear the late Wes Craven was just hav­ing a blast this time around, cast­ing the likes of Jenny Mc­Carthy and rev­el­ing in the nar­rat­ive’s wealth of Hol­ly­wood sleaze. But the twisty glee comes through in the fi­nal cut, mak­ing the movie a breezy, quot­able de­light.


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