The Beyond (1981)

Outside the arthouse, horror is the only cinematic genre where pure surrealism is not only acceptable but expected – and there are few more graphic examples than Fulci’s bonkers bayou bloodbath The Beyond. There’s a plot of sorts, but it’s fairly standard: a young woman inherits a hotel which happens to have been built over a gateway to hell. But this is merely a loose framework within which Fulci goes all out to upset and horrify his audience: faces melt inexplicably, tarantulas rip out human tongues, zombies rise from the grave, eyes are repeatedly torn out. The result is more accurately nightmarish than almost any other film on this list, a true descent into the depths of meaningless, unpredictable, terrifyingly beautiful horror, with a scorpion-sharp sting in the tail. TH
Dir Lucio Fulci (Katherine MacColl, David Warbeck)

Click here to view The 100 best horror films

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