6. I Sell the Dead (2008)
This marvelously macabre horror film tags along with a pair of 18th century grave robbers (Lost’s Dominic Monaghan and Larry Fessenden, who also produced). Dublin-born director Glenn McQuaid discusses his film’s origins: “In the late ’70s and early ’80s, BBC2 ran a series of horror double bills every Saturday night. They covered the classics from Universal, RKO and Hammer, but also peppered the programming with some fairly (at the time) obscure and more contemporary films like The Craziesand Race with the Devil. This collection was really my first experience of horror, and it left a very strong impression on me.
“When I wrote I Sell the Dead, I wanted to reach back to those movies and make something that would sit well alongside them,” adds McQuaid, currently pitching a new horror yarn called The Restoration at Grayson Manor. “Folks like Freddie Francis, Terence Fisher and Val Lewton are very much an influence on the world I created. I also love cemeteries, and, in a way, I Sell the Dead is a love letter to them.”
7. The Last Winter (2006)
Speaking of producer Larry Fessenden, the man who serves as the indie world’s best friend also directs movies of his own. Starring Ron Perlman and James Le Gross, this prescient horror picture deals with an environmental nightmare in the Arctic. “I wanted to show two men out in the unforgiving wilderness where one has knowledge of the land and the other has all the bravado but is suddenly vulnerable,” explains Fessenden. “There is a Kurosawa movie called Dersu Uzala that captures that vibe, which had some influence. And more than with my previous film Wendigo, The Last Winter was inspired by the writings of Algernon Blackwood, who so uniquely evokes the uncanny. I was worried about climate change when I made the film; I wanted to show how scary it would be if everyone just kept ignoring the warnings and acting as if nothing was wrong—to me that seemed like a world gone mad…and that was in 2005!”