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My Favorite Horror Films From Every Year (2019-1895)
The story in this film is shrouded in mystery but the clues and tools needed to decipher it do exist and with a rewatch, finding them felt so rewarding. It's the kind of movie that I want to make my friends watch, simply so I have someone to discuss it with. It's one of the best horror films I've ever seen.
Runners-up: Little Monsters, Furie, I Am Mother, Glass, Crawl, Ma, Godzilla: King of Monsters, Us, Color Out of Space, Ready or Not, Midsommar, Zombieland: Double Tap, The Head Hunter
(2018) The House That Jack Built
In my mind, this is Lars Von Trier's masterpiece and Matt Dillon's best performance to date. It's hands down the most fun, engaging, darkly humorous, disturbing, bleak and creative film I've seen this year.
Runners-up: Annihilation, Apostle, The Bad Seed, Summer of 84, Mandy, Upgrade, Calibre, Hereditary, A Quiet Place, Bird Box, Lords of Chaos, Head Count, The Witch in the Window, Dragged Across Concrete, Braid, Climax, Incident in a Ghostland, Hold the Dark, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, The Strangers: Pray at Night, Suspiria, Halloween, Monster Party
Mother! is an incredibly conscientious statement on the nature of humanity, steeped in religious allegory. The last 30 min or so makes up for any weariness over the pacing. It’s one of the most intense, impressive sequences I’ve seen in a horror film in the last decade. The absolute perfect icing on the cake for what is such a masterful dip into surrealism.
Runners-up: Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil, The Endless, You Were Never Really Here, The Ritual, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Creep 2, Brawl in Cell Block 99, It, It Comes at Night, Get Out, Tigers are Not Afraid, Jungle, Cold Skin, The Crecent, Pyewacket, A Ghost Story, The Bar, Ghost Stories
(2016) The Wailing
The photography direction and cinematography are astounding. I could pause the movie at any given moment and marvel at an iconic photograph. This film had me guessing up until the very last moments. It’s exactly what I crave, an unapologetically evil entry into horror cinema.
Runners-up: Better Watch Out, Boys in the Trees, We are the Flesh, ‘Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl’, Here Alone, The Girl with all the Gifts, Raw, Nocturnal Animals, A Dark Song, The Void, Split, Train to Busan, Arrival, The Eyes of My Mother, Blair Witch, The Good Neighbor, Don’t Breathe, Phantasm: Ravager, Swiss Army Man, Before I Wake, The Shallows, In the Deep, Are We Not Cats, Sam was Here
(2015) The Witch
I really think it focused on expressing the idea of evil being a completely separate entity from god and that the characters in the film can do fuck-all about it. The incredible struggle that every single character is going through in this film is palpable in literally every shot. It’s astounding how well Robert Eggers was able to get this exposition across with such little dialogue.
Runners-up: Tale of Tales, The Gift, The Devil’s Candy, I Am a Hero, The Lure, Evolution, Hell House LLC, Landmine Goes Click, Green Room, The Visit, The Final Girls, Southbound, Baskin, Remember
It’s a gritty tale of heartbreak, loneliness, jealousy, greed and obsession. It’s just fucking real; the kills feel impulsive and impactful. It’s also shot in this dirty format where both killer’s (the woman’s more so) physical appearances degrade as the film progresses.
Runners-up: It Follows, Zombeavers, Interior, Backcountry, Dig Two Graves, The Taking of Deborah Logan, A Girl Who Walks Home Alone at Night, What We Do in the Shadows, The Voices, The Town that Dreaded Sundown, Wolfcop, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, Creep, The Babadook, Tusk, Honeymoon, As Above So Below, Life After Beth, The One I Love
(2013) The Conjuring
One of the most established and refined supernatural horror films ever made. James Wan’s style is immortalized here and would go on to be imitated by dozens of other horror filmmakers.
Runners-up: Insidious: Chapter 2, Pee Mak, The Sacrament, Escape from Tomorrow, Oculus, We Are What We Are, Coherence, Evil Dead, Afflicted, Horns, I Spit on Your Grave 2, V/H/S 2, Bad Milo, Jug Face
It’s really a tale of romance, even just the way it feels. There’s moving Beethoven piano music flooding a sort of neo-gothic atmosphere which, by the way, intertwined perfectly with the flashbacks throughout the film. It’s inevitable that a vampire movie would be grounded in classic elements of the sub-genre but Byzantium manages to push in its own direction, inspiring a surprising amount of mystery.
Runners-up: The Battery, Antiviral, Cosmopolis, The Collection, Resolution, The Conspiracy, Chained, The Bay, Vamps, V/H/S, Sinister
(2011) Sleep Tight
Luis Tosar puts on a sickeningly realistic performance that boasts up an already incredible script. His character is this unstable complex mess of depression, sadism and sociopathy. He’s the world’s worst nightmare, hiding in plain sight.
Runners-up: Scream 4, Take Shelter, Guilty of Romance, The Innkeepers, The Woman, Detention, The Rite, You’re Next, Kill List, Apollo 18, The Cabin in the Woods, Source Code
(2010) I Saw the Devil
Jee-Woon Kim makes actions feel loud and crisp. Both the villain and our protagonist are powerful in their own right. It’s both intensified but also remarkably realistic. I get that that’s a paradox of sorts but I just mean, it’s just not what audiences are used to seeing. There’s not too much left to the imagination with this one in terms of the violent sequences.
Runners-up: Insidious, Trust, Trollhunter, Dream Home, Helldriver, The Crazies, Tucker and Dale vs Evil, I Spit on Your Grave
Yorgos Lanthimos’s filmmaking style is darkly calculated with deadpan cinematography and tip-toeing dialogue thats minimalism only adds to its strangeness. I haven’t been made this uncomfortable by a film since Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Dogtooth offers a difficult, albeit alluring glimpse into a world of isolationism, abuse, violence and psychopathy.
Runner ups: The Forbidden Door, [REC] 2, The Collector, The Fourth Kind, Orphan, Drag Me to Hell, the House of the Devil, Antichrist, Zombieland, Jennifer's Body
(2008) Let the Right One In
I absolutely love this film. I think it’s the pinnacle of modern horror and modern vampire film. The way this film deals with both sexuality and immortality is genius. It’s a rotten dichotomy between pedophilia and loneliness that ends up being darker than the actual violence.
Runners-up: Cloverfield, The Strangers, Quarantine, Four Nights with Anna, Pontypool, Vinyan, Surveillance, Eden Lake, Martyrs, Lake Mungo, The Ruins
1408 captures the magic of The Twilight Zone and blends it expertly into the most horrific supernatural waterboarding experience.
Runners-up: 28 Weeks Later, The Orphanage, Hansel and Gretel, Funny Games, Resident Evil: Extinction, The Girl Next Door, Trick r’ Treat, Paranormal Activity, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Stuck, The Poughkeepsie Tapes
(2006) Inland Empire
Inland Empire is the most ambitious conceptual interpretation of Hollywood and film making that I have ever or could ever conceive. It challenged my mind for three consecutive hours and reinvented the way I interpret his films.
Runners-up: Fido, Sheitan, Severance, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Hatchet, Slither, Final Destination 3, Bug
(2005) Strange Circus
Strange Circus fills all my horror holes of morbid depravity and in a miraculously graceful fashion. Much like Suicide Club, it presents itself in a gorgeously grainy, bleak fashion that draws special attention to the moments of bold color. It’s also super fucked up, in a great way.
Runners-up: John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns, Noriko’s Dinner Table, The Call of Cthulhu, A History of Violence, Lady Vengeance, Funky Forest: The First Contact, Haze, The Skeleton Key, The Decent, Doom, Hostel
(2004) Shaun of the Dead
This movie is just wonderful. I find it hilarious on a personal level but also so intelligently funny that it could go down as one of the greatest horror-comedies of all time. Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have an undeniable chemistry and just simply make an entire new breed of film-style. It's dry, whimsical, crass, darkly funny and wholesomely endearing.
Runners-up: The Phantom of the Opera, Shutter, Dumplings, Three Extremes, Calvaire, Saw, Dead Man's Shoes, The Village, The Butterfly Effect
Everything about this film is exceptional. It looks fantastic, the acting is fantastic and Chan-wook Park wrote an incredible story. I think when you try and sell a revenge movie to someone, it can imply some degree of formulaic filmmaking but Park’s films are anything but. This one had me guessing up until the very last minute.
Runners-up: Dead End, Open Water, Willard, Identity, High Tension, Dark Water, A Tale of Two Sisters, Gozu, House of 1000 Corpses, Jeepers Creepers 2, Scary Movie 3, Final Destination 2, Alexandra's Project
(2002) The Ring
The Ring is a terrifying film that relies on an unstoppable force. It utilizes one of the few shining examples of a successful grey-scale and manages to convey a horrifying sense of bleakness and helplessness. It’s better than the original.
Runners-up: 28 Days Later, Blade 2, May, Dog Soldiers, Resident Evil, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, In My Skin, The Eye, Irreversible
How a horror movie can make ghosts infiltrating our world through the internet not stupid is beyond me but everything here just worked. For 2001, the visual effects for the ghosts are perfect and don’t steal the spotlight away from the emotionally driven horror that makes this project successful. I’ve yet to be more moved by a horror film, this one absolutely broke me.
Runners-up: The Devil’s Backbone, Frailty, Suicide Club, Visitor Q, Ichi the Killer, Trouble Every Day, Dagon, Jeepers Creepers, The Others
(2000) American Psycho
You won’t see a much better performance by Christian Bale; he’s top notch, however, the success is owed to everyone involved. It’s an excellent script, written from excellent source material and expertly directed by Mary Harron. This film is pure genius and it’s well worth noting that even if you’re not viewing the film under a super-critical lens, it’s highly entertaining.
Runners-up: Fail Safe, Ginger Snaps, Final Destination
(1999) The Sixth Sense
I can’t praise this movie enough. It’s dark, depressing and only offers the humblest of reprieve in the end; much like what many of the films characters go through. This is M. Night’s masterpiece.
Runners-up: Arlington Road, The Blair Witch Project, Nang Nak, Idle Hands, Audition, eXistenZ, Sleepy Hallow
This is a benchmark in atmospheric horror and a film that spawned an entire generation of psionic horror films. It’s dark and heartbreaking.
Runners-up: Blade, Bride of Chucky, Phantasm IV: Oblivion, The Faculty, Disturbing Behavior
(1997) Lost Highway
This film is about how powerful the human mind is and how we cope with intense guilt, fear and regret. Specifically, in this instance, the compartmentalization of murder. Although that all seems inherently negative, especially in the context of the movie, it’s really just about confronting your issues; even if that means accepting your punishment.
Runners-up: The Devil’s Advocate, Funny Games, Alien: Resurrection, Cure, Cube, Event Horizon
Scream just may be the best meta-horror film ever made. It’s so special to me and was probably the film that sparked my fascination with horror. I watched it the year after it came out, at 8-years old, alone in my dark basement. I shut it off after the opening scene with Drew Barrymore and never saw the rest until years later. However, if I had just stuck with it, it actually evolves into this darkly funny, poignant statement on slasher films.
Runners-up: Ebola Syndrome, Naked Blood: Magyaku, From Dusk Till Dawn, Crash
(1995) The Addiction
This was Abel Ferrara’s extremely personal vampire film that tackled addiction and through the gritty melodramatic landscape of New York, he really sheds his skin. It’s raw and rightfully claims the best film of the year.
Runners-up: The Eternal Evil of Asia, Habit, The Day of the Beast
(1994) In the Mouth of Madness
Simply one of the best Lovecraftian films ever made. The special effects in this movie range from miniature set pieces shot up close to a full size 30-man operated partially animatronic wall of creatures. Some people will say that these 80’s style techniques hurt the production value but those people don’t know shit about shit.
Runners-up: Interview with The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Cemetery Man, Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
(1993) Return of the Living Dead 3
The entire special effects team undoubtedly got the thumbs up from Brian Yuzna on this one. It’s such a fantastic sequel to a series that seemed dedicated to devolve into ridiculousness.
Runners-up: The Eight Immortals Restaurant: The Untold Story, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, Fire in the Sky
(1992) Man Bites Dog
One of the strangest aspects to some horror movies is their ability to make light of ultra-violent crimes like rape and murder. Man Bites Dog will actually have you laughing out loud until you realize you’re in a kitchen watching three men rape a woman while she pleads for mercy. Whatever way you choose to digest this movie, I can guarantee you’ve never seen anything quite like it before.
Runners-up: Ghostwatch, Army of Darkness
(1991) The Silence of the Lambs
While the film does stand out in blatant, suspenseful, scary moments; it’s the conversations between Clarice and Dr. Lecter that make it so memorable. It just adds this timeless psychological horror element that helps establish it as a classic in my eyes.
Runners-up: Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, The Addams Family, Sometimes They Come Back, Naked Lunch
(1990) Der Todeskin: The Death King
While often wavering between the blunt, literal message and depressive expressionism, Der Todesking manages to feel all too real. It’s one of the best arthouse-style horror films I’ve seen to date.
Runners up: It, Misery, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Jacob’s Ladder, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Tales From the Darkside: The Movie
(1989) Santa Sangre
Easily the most impressive aspect of this film is the ventriloquism inspired acting. It starts out as a goofy aspect of the plot, something that doesn’t really necessarily grab you. However, by the end of the film, it’s molded into this beautiful, creepy display of possession.
Runners-up: The ‘Burbs, Ghostbusters 2, The Woman in Black, Bride of the Re-Animator, Society, Intruder, The Cook, The Thief, his Wife & Her Lover
(1988) The Vanishing
The Vanishing is an absolutely raw tale of abduction, almost like a Norman Rockwell imagining of an American’s European vacation turned horror story. It takes this incredibly simplistic but underlying dynamic approach to horror that’s as refreshing as it is captivating.
Runners-up: Child’s Play, Dead Ringers, Men Behind the Sun, Pumpkinhead, Pin, Phantasm II, Brain Damage, The Following, Halloween 4: The Return, Beetlejuice
(1987) Evil Dead 2
Just from a technical perspective, everything is so fucking impressive. It’s all basically hand-done, practical effects and the camera work is just remarkable. The film leans more towards the humor side of the series but it does so both intentionally and gracefully. I adore this movie, it’s on par with the original
Runners-up: Hellraiser, Creepshow 2, Near Dark, A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors, The Witches of Eastwick, Anguish, Prince of Darkness, Angel Heart
(1986) In a Glass Cage
It’s an incredible movie about consequence and revenge that’s told in a manor that I think bewildered reviewers for years. It blurs the lines between right and wrong, willing to sacrifice lives in the process of condemning an extraordinary evil. The specific breed of revenge, as portrayed in this film, isn’t noble but rather an inevitable product of abuse. If you think you can stomach it, I can’t recommend this enough.
Runners-up: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, The Fly, The Hitcher, Blue Velvet, Night of the Creeps, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, From Beyond
(1985) Come and See
Come and See is a raw and sobering look at WW2 from the Soviet perspective. It’s one of the least “Hollywood” war movies I’ve ever seen. Some of the scenes towards the end were truly gut wrenching and will most likely stick with me for quite some time.
Runners-up: Lifeforce, Silver Bullet, Fright Night, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, The Return of the Living Dead, Re-Animator, Day of the Dead
(1984) A Nightmare on Elm Street
This felt like a first glimpse into Wes Craven’s mind and the last glimpse into my well-rested sleep. It’s creative, vile and fucking scary.
Runners-up: Poison for the Fairies, Countdown to Looking Glass, Threads, Gremlins
Videodrome is a fucking trip and it’s an incredible feat of psychological horror while also being a visually horrific movie.
Runners-up: Something Wicked This Way Comes, Angst, The Day After, Special Bulletin, The Boxer’s Omen, Eyes of Fire, Christine, The Dead Zone, Cujo
(1982) The Thing
It’s one of the best sci-fi body-horror films ever made and the fact that no one is steeping up to say otherwise should be a clue.
Runner-up: Creepshow, Poltergeist, Cat People
(1981) The Evil Dead
I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of a good description. This is one of the most incredible horror films ever made. It manipulated both the body and time itself to establish such a pure horror environment.
Runners-up: The Howling, Halloween II, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, Ms. 45, An American Werewolf in London, The House by the Cemetery
(1980) The Shining
Absolute perfection. This is such an enthralling psychological horror film.
Runners-up: Inferno, Hex, Altered States, Cannibal Holocaust
A classic and possibly the best creature film ever produced. There hasn’t ever been a better blend of sci-fi and horror.
Runners-up: Salem’s Lot, The Driller Killer, The Brood, Zombie, Apocalypse Now
(1978) Invasion of the Body Snatchers
I love this fucking movie with all my heart, it’s seriously one of the best alien invasion movies I’ve ever seen.
Runners-up: Beauty and the Beast, The Shout, Magic, Halloween
Its psychedelic, pastel, fun-house atmosphere, coupled with a fantastic score lend a benchmark aesthetic for Italian horror and well, horror in general. Many have tried to emulate it and most have failed.
Runners-up: The Hills Have Eyes
(1976) God Told Me To
Cohen takes all this religious subtlety and blows it all up for the finale into a very Cronenberg-style conclusion. Despite all the veils seemingly being lifted at once, I still found myself unsure of what to think during some of those pivotal scenes. After the credits rolled, I was damn sure I was into it.
Runners-up: The Tenant, Carrie
This movie actually made people scared to go in the water. It’s almost difficult to think of a more impactful film off the top of my head.
Runners-up: Deep Red, Shivers
(1974) The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue
This is a sleeper zombie hit and one of the best looking films from the 70’s.
Runner-up: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(1973) The Exorcist
William Friedkin takes the time to let the characters accept their reality in a realistic manner. It’s a technique that creates a very human aspect to them and watching the mother and the priest break down actually becomes as horrific as anything else here.
Runners-up: The Legend of Hell House, The Wicker Man, Don't Look Now
Robert Altman’s Images is an exhibition into how to fully encapsulate an idea within the confines of a visually and sonically refined film. You could throw away the plot entirely and I’d still tell you this is one of the best looking films, period.
Runners-up: Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Morgiana, What Have You Done to Solange?, Don’t Torture a Duckling, Raw Meat, Tales from the Crypt, The Last House on the Left
(1971) The Devils
It’s tough to tell how accurate of a representation The Devils is of what actually occurred in Loudun, France back then but either way, it seems eye-opening. It’s a very powerful film, I really enjoyed this one.
Runners-up: THX 1138, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Short Night of Glass Dolls, The Cat o’ Nine Tails, Blade the Ripper, Malpertuis, A Bay of Blood
(1970) Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
I would absolutely consider this a coming-of-age film and they balanced the horror and whimsical elements perfectly. For that reason alone, I don’t believe I’ve seen any other film quite like this. With a tantalizing soundtrack and colorful visuals, I really felt transported into this strange new world.
Runner-up: The House That Screamed
(1969) Horrors of Malformed Men
I’ve never been so confused only to have everything wrap up so emotionally that the vision and artistic direction became so clear. I don’t want to ruin anything so I’ll just leave the teaser as, this film might be among the strangest Japanese horror films I’ve seen to date.
Runners-up: Cremator, One on Top of the Other
(1968) Hour of the Wolf
Hour of the Wolf is a top to bottom, beautifully produced psychological, surrealist nightmare.
Runners-up: Kuroneko, Rosemary’s Baby, Night of the Living Dead
This is the first and possibly only soviet horror film. For the resources they had, everything looks amazing. It’s an incredibly fluid experience that takes zero time before jumping straight into the scares.
Runners-up: Wait Until Dark, ’Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told’
All of the flashing images, cuts and effects are almost unbelievably purposeful. Just 5-minutes of this films would spell pretentiousness but as a whole, it’s a masterpiece.
Runners-up: Seconds, ‘Kill Baby, Kill’, Cul-De-Sac
Sonically the movie thrives in the negative. When our lead actress is being raped Polanski purposely takes her voice away, really emulating the fear and helplessness in a genuinely scary way. Couple this with a claustrophobic atmosphere and we’re given a seriously trimmed up psychological horror thriller that was way ahead of its time.
Runners-up: Fists in the Pocket, Planet of the Vampires
This is an anthology but rather than dissect each segment I’d rather just speak on the film as a whole. All four stories really encapsulate a sort of morbid beauty and tend to compliment one another over the course of the three-hour long movie.
Runners-up: Castle of Blood, Blood and Black Lace, The Tomb of Ligeia, The Masque of the Red Death, The Last Man on Earth
(1963) The Haunting
The Haunting, despite being such an influence in the horror genre in general, seems to be an incredible lesson in use of space. Architecture, ceilings and walls are constantly the focus. Wise creates a ton of claustrophobic tension and before the story even begins to evolve, you get the sense that these individuals are indeed, trapped inside this house.
Runners-up: Black Sabbath, The Birds, The Haunted Palace, Twice-Told Tales
(1962) What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
This film was fantastic. Beyond the poignant statement it makes, it’s just such a solid, performance driven thriller. I’m very surprised I’ve never heard of it before today.
Runner-up: Carnival of Souls
(1961) The Innocents
This is simply one of the most beautifully shot horror films from the early 60’s. Every frame is truly a picture and for that alone, I’d call this a must watch for horror fans.
Runners-up: Mother Joan of the Angels, Pit and the Pendulum
There’s a scene where Norman Bates first shows real nervousness. The actor playing him, Anthony Perkins, puts on probably the most believable performance here that I’ve ever seen. It really gave me chills. If you haven’t seen this before, it just might be the first and greatest execution of a theatrical misdirection.
Runners-up: Peeping Tom, The Brides of Dracula, Village of the Damned, Jigoku, Black Sunday, Eyes Without a Face
(1959) A Bucket of Blood
This is such an awesome Corman film. It’s pure entertainment and just an excellent horror-comedy. Dick Miller is a great lead.
(1958) Horror of Dracula
Both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are fantastic in their roles and it’s strange to even be saying this is one of the best Dracula films at this point, after having seen so many.
(1957) Curse of the Demon
Certain aspects of the ending sequences don’t exactly age gracefully but for the most part, Curse of the Demon remains compelling and creepy.
(1956) The Bad Seed
Outstanding performances from both mothers and really just an excellent film all around. It’s probably the earliest film to tackle childhood evil in a realistic sense, without all the usual campiness.
Runner-up: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
(1955) The Night of the Hunter
The film just looks fantastic, I mean seriously, it doesn’t get much better for the era. The depth for a black and white film is incredible, especially in the backdrops. It makes for some really iconic looking scenes and those moments are probably what I’ll hold onto as time passes. The underwater shot of the car was fucking stunning.
(1954) Rear Window
This film just feels like Hitchcock flexing. He knows how to make the perfect theatrical experience in technicolor with all the hottest stars.
(1953) House of Wax
House of Wax, much like other Price films, is meant to be fun. It's definitely dark and horror focused but it's also colorful and accessible. Phyllis Kirk is also a very capable female lead.
(1952) The White Reindeer
I don't think I've ever seen a Finnish horror film before but this was great. It's super mellow but builds into this atmospheric horror-fantasy.
(1951) Strangers on a Train
This is such a fantastic crime thriller and I absolutely loved the character Bruno Antony. It added such a creepy element seeing this seemingly desperate man reveal himself to be something entirely different.
(1950) Sunset Boulevard
It totally brings a smile to my face to say this this is, yet again, another film that had to inspire David Lynch. It's certainly film-noir but the melodrama itself is so creepily in-tune with the struggles of Hollywood actors and actresses.
(1949) The Queen of Spades
Dickinson managed to capture the both literally figuratively cold vibe of imperialistic Russia and I think that's one of the main components that makes it stand out to me. It certainly is an exercise in greed but within the setting you almost adopt an understanding for our main character, however devious he may be.
Despite a very straightforward plot, I can’t help but thinking there’s a ton going on in this movie, a lot of which was way ahead of its time. It’s not just about two men attempting to get away with murder but it also introduced this widely controversial notion of lesser lives being expendable to the more powerful sector of society.
(1947) Black Narcissus
This film is absolutely breathtaking. For anyone who's ever considered technicolor to look fake, blown-out and oversaturated, this is a shining example of it done right. It's an entirely created set with gorgeous artwork. This film so elegantly says what I believe religious detractors have a hard time putting into words. There's a huge portion of the movie that's confronting sexual temptation and it's an aspect that's woven into every single frame of this film. I mean that literally.
This film is hugely influential and may just be the first film to explore the horrors of being accused of insanity. It also happens to be pretty diverse between horror, cruelty, meta-humor and wholesomeness.
(1945) Dead of Night
This is a clear inspiration for The Twilight Zone and just the structure alone felt way ahead of its time. It’s a nightmarish journey adapting many horror traits but really building a foundation around surrealism.
(1944) The Uninvited
The character relationships are comically whimsical and coupled with the upbeat score, I didn’t get really any “scary” vibe from it. It’s an aspect I didn’t hate though, it’s really what this film is about, the characters.
(1943) Shadow of a Doubt
Joseph Cotten’s character really stands out as the focal point of the film. Hitchcock manages to build suspense throughout the film my highlighting his presence in subtle powerful ways. Whether it be through camera framing or the subversive violent tone of his dialogue, you really feel tension whenever the man is on screen.
Runner-up: The Seventh Victim
(1942) Cat People
Simone Simon is a fantastic lead and even with the short runtime, I came to understand her character rather quickly. Tons of anxiety as well as repressed sexuality sort of hone her into this timid and frighted woman who brings her own fears to life.
(1941) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
As with any Jekyll and Hyde film, it all really hinges on the performance of the two and Spencer Tracy fucking killed this role. The first scene with him as Hyde in the bar was super creepy and also pleasantly rape-y. Is that weird to say?
Runner-up: The Wolf Man
(1940) The Invisible Man Returns
A young Vincent Price plays our perp this time and he’s excellent as always. It’s not paced exactly as intensely as the original but I enjoyed the steady decent into madness.
(1939) Son of Frankenstein
Of course there’s that 1930’s cheesy sci-fi but the film as a whole is very entertaining and the set pieces are incredible.
(1938) They Drive by Night
This is a great fucking movie that totally embodies crime-noir. It reminds me a ton of early Hitchcock and for the 30's, the narrative is spectacularly clean.
(1937) Song at Midnight
It is tedious but really, not overly so. A huge aspect of this film is character and tension building and in that regard, it really works.
(1936) The Invisible Ray
Man I love this movie. You obviously have Boris and Bela back together but it’s just such a legitimately fun sci-fi horror film. The plot is straight out of a 1950’s nuclear propaganda film which was probably the coolest aspect. With that, the effects are also fucking top-notch.
(1935) The Bride of Frankenstein
Boris Karloff is the only Monster in my mind. I would even consider this film to be family friendly as he’s the sweetest version of himself. There’s no really complex character development but The Monster is undoubtedly more self-aware which makes the entire film more engaging.
(1934) The Black Cat
When I thought of things that struck me that were worth mentioning, I actually thought of vacation-horror. Beyond all the elements of lust and innocence, I actually was struck by how much this film probably influenced destination horror films. These films excelled at taking our protagonists out of their comfort zones, before even introducing fucked up shit to the plot. It’s smart, concise and something I feel is even worth revisiting.
(1933) The Invisible Man
I’m absolutely floored by the production of this film. I went in with this preconceived expectation of the invisible man solely being portrayed wearing all the rags and shit. The effects for 1933 are very impressive.
Runner-up: King Kong
This film was oddly charming. It was obviously filmed with the intent to make people uncomfortable. In that sense, I mean…it succeeded. It’s definitely a little fucked up, especially the 3 second shot in the final scene. For the 1930’s, that 3-second shot was definitely an “oh my holy fuck” moment.
Runners-up: The Mummy, Vampyr
I feel like I, myself, never realized how far back people have been recognizing mental illness. I don’t mean in the specific and complex clinical sense, but more so, just in the obvious sense, certain displays that appeal to our natural, compassionate nature. Of course, in this film you do see the antithesis of that at times but really only to highlight the importance of law, reason and justice. Absolutely fantastic film and a staple in the horror genre with really the first truly dynamic killer that comes to mind.
Runners-up: Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein
(1930) L’Age d’Or
It’s very much one of the earliest, full-length, surrealist films and with that comes the usual loose narrative that can be hard to follow. When I say hard to follow, it’s probably because it wasn’t meant to be “followed”. I digested this film as sort of an anthology of poignant criticisms by the filmmakers and Dali.
(1929) Seven Footprints of Satan
This film is fucking insane. It’s a super surrealist spiral through satanic-based situations. It’s really indescribable. The effects and cuts are excellent. I loved the restored version I watched. I don’t even know what to say. I definitely think this inspired or at least should be mentioned as a precursor to films such as Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf.
(1928) The Man Who Laughs
Some people might not know but this film was the direct inspiration for the ultra-famous DC comics villain, The Joker. It’s pretty fucking incredible how much people took to this idea of someone being disfigured in such creatively sadistic manner. I would absolutely, especially with the role of Cesare in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, consider Conrad Veidt to be a horror icon.
(1927) The Unknown
You know, we’re still in the silent era and it does suffer from some of the text-based storytelling that silent films hinder on. However, it’s still a really fun movie. You’ve got Lon Chaney and he’s not just a modern day novelty in this. His expressionistic performance is actually the main highlight, even more-so than Joan Crawford.
(1926) The Bat
This may be the earliest campy, funhouse-vibe horror film ever made. It offers another level to the usual protagonist/villain structure and what comes with that is a fresh sense of unpredictability.
(1925) The Phantom of the Opera
Not only does Chaney look great but the labyrinth of the Opera house is also visually stunning. I’m hesitant to call this a haunted house movie but the set itself does play a pretty large role in the horror aspects of this film. That’s all that I need to say, this one definitely deserves a watch, even just to appreciate what they were able to accomplish given the technical limitations of that time period.
(1924) Hands of Orlac
Robert Wiene is back after one of his most influential films, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The story itself is obviously very classic. It also happens to look fantastic. The actual film quality, as it often does in this decade, lends a great aesthetic. Where it falls short is really just in the length. The plot isn’t complex enough to warrant the runtime. The score definitely helps with that, even if it was added semi-recently. Still though, the second half the film can seem to drag. It may have no lived up to my own expectations but nevertheless, I believe it’s important in horror-film history.
(1923) The Hunchback of Notre Dame
I don’t know man, I’m not really digging it. It’s just too fucking long. I mean it’s good and everything, I can give credit for what was achieved given the time it was made but straight honesty, it’s not an easy watch. Why is it on this list? Well, I still believe it to be the best horror-film that came out this year.
I’ll plainly say that I was blown away by this film. For 1922 there’s a direction of horror so understood that it’s a mockery of modern day vampire movies.
This is a pretty early film in Fritz Lang’s career and it’s also one that I’ve never heard mentioned, ever. That’s strange to me because it’s a beautiful film with breathtaking visuals. I mean breathtaking not just in the photography but the editing is simply timeless. We always talk about films being ahead of their time but I didn’t even believe some of the cropping and fading effects even existed in the silent film era. Definitely just go watch this one. I’m always upfront with how digestible silent films are and this was actually an easy watch, relatively.
(1920) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
I’m not exactly sure of the filmmakers direct intentions but even if they made this film as a natural reflection of the current state, it really paints a frightening picture of obedience in Germany. Just as is, it’s a really creepy film both looks wise and just the way it’s paced. For a silent movie, the storyline was actually quite dynamic and it even has a very unexpected twist at the end.
(1919) Eerie Tales
This entire film is incredibly tedious and really only certain parts entertained me. With that being said though, the suicide club segment alone was really unnerving.
(1913) The Student of Prague
This is textbook original execution over original idea, which to me, probably describes 99% of modern film. It has a really warm look to the surviving film and is actually filled with some genuinely creepy moments, despite possibly being unintentional. This is probably the first German indie art film, which makes it an essential watch, even disregarding the leaps made in psychological horror here. I really like this film the more I talk about it. Also, the more I talk about it, the more I feel like it doesn’t deserve to be rated, as it has no real counterpart.
(1912) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
This one is definitely good for the time period, especially in terms of storytelling. It feels much more like a full, fleshed-out idea when compared to some of its counterparts. I appreciate it for what it is.
A ton of people don’t know that this is actually the first interpretation of Mary Shelley’s novel in film. The surviving film is very warm and gritty. I love the effects here and it’s such a big name in horror that I’m not going to try and sell it. I will say though, the effects from the creation scene remind me a ton of Hellraiser.
(1909) The Sealed Room
This is really just such a classic tale of jealousy and infidelity. It’s a dark fantasy that plays out the most extreme aspects of human emotion. More importantly, it’s the earliest silent film I’ve seen that uses text screens for dialogue and exposition. It’s important.
(1907) Satan at Play
(1906) The 400 Tricks of the Devil
(1905) The Black Imp
(1903) The Monster
(1902) Mephistopheles’ School of Magic
(1900) Faust and Marguerite
(1899) The Sign of the Cross
(1898) A Trip to the Moon
(1897) The X-Ray Fiend
(1896) The House of the Devil
(1895) The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots
Zahi Hawass and the Secrets of Ancient Egypt [MEGA THREAD + PICTURES]
by Philip Coppens August 2009submitted by CuteBananaMuffin to conspiracy
from PhilipCoppens Website
The clampdown on excavations at many archaeological sites in Egypt and the inconsistent attitudes of antiquities 'supremo' Dr Zahi Hawass on the existence of tunnels and cavities within the Giza Plateau suggest a hidden agenda is being played out.
Ten years ago, three books,
Giza - The Truth (by Chris Ogilvie-Herald and Ian Lawton) The Stargate Conspiracy (by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince) Secret Chamber (by Robert Bauval), <--- Zahi hated Bauval for an unknown reason...provided an overview of the controversy that was believed to surround the Giza Plateau and the pyramids.
The key question was whether it held any undiscovered, or purposefully kept hidden, chambers, whether inside the pyramids or under or near the Sphinx.
The previous decade had seen a renewed interest in the plateau, partly due to the theories of Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock and the discovery of a door in an inaccessible part of the Great Pyramid.
It was found on 22 March 1993 by German robotics engineer Rudolf Gantenbrink during the installation of an air conditioning system.
The discovery resulted in several claims, allegations and diatribes which, with the dawn of the new millennium, slowly disappeared.
Today, interest in the mysteries of ancient Egypt seems to have waned and peace seems to have been restored. But speak to people in the field and on the ground, and a different picture emerges.
It is one of widespread condemnation of the 'Supreme' Council of Antiquities (SCA) and specifically of Dr Zahi Hawass, who has been its Secretary General since 2002.
Zahi Hawass former minister of the department of antiquities of Egypt
Remarkably, many Egyptian archaeologists argue that the organization rules with dictatorial control, and that this is but the tip of an iceberg of cover-ups, slander, embezzlement and perhaps more.
Ten years on, no one seems to be writing about it but the situation is at least as bad as back in 1999.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities is part of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and is responsible for the conservation, protection and regulation of all antiquities and archaeological excavations in Egypt. Over the past decade, a television viewer might be forgiven for believing that there is only one Egyptologist, and that man is Hawass.
In truth, Hawass is more of an administrator than an archaeologist; one might even argue that if the man had enough time to lead excavations, he would not be fulfilling his task as administrator. But a television camera has the same attraction as light to a moth. Hawass is a controversial figure. He was at the centre of contention in the 1990s, and remains so today - now, more so in Egypt than abroad.
In the 1990s, Hugh Lynn Cayce reportedly said, according to Edgar Cayce biographer A. Robert Smith:
"I got him [Zahi Hawass] a scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania in Egyptology, to get his PhD. I got the scholarship through an ARE person who happened to be on the Fulbright scholarship board."1
Hawass strongly denies this, though it is a fact that he was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania through this scholarship.
(Note: ARE is the Association for Research and Enlightenment, an organization set up to promote the work of the American "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce.)
The ARE is interested in the Giza Plateau because, in the 1920s, Edgar Cayce proclaimed that a "Hall of Records", containing information about the lost civilization of Atlantis, was hidden underneath the Giza Plateau near the Sphinx.
Foreign Affairs Yet while most have been looking at the ARE, it is another organization, the ARCE (American Research Center in Egypt), that has been missed and which seems to be the veritable puppet master.
One source contacted for this article said:
"I am a frequent visitor to Egypt and when I speak to government officials, most don't like Hawass. There are many archaeologists in Egypt that do excellent work. Anyone who visits Egypt and follows Egyptology sees this first-hand. The only problem is Hawass and the SCA.Why? Because Hawass has been imposed upon Egypt by certain foreigners, and this for a very long time. They have chosen an ignoramus, have flattered him, given him a PhD through the ARCE. He's a puppet."
Pressed as to why that is, the source added:
"So that the secrets will not get out and that they have the best archaeological concessions. If Hawass is still there, it's only because he knows how to play with nationalism. I hear him say every day how foreigners want to steal from the Egyptians and that the antiquities are Egyptian. It's clever, because it makes it appear as if he is fighting the Egyptian cause and he won't be pushed aside."
The source also noted:
"The SCA follows the orders of foreigners from whom it has received help in guarding their interests."
Indeed, though one might think that the Egyptians are in 'control' of their own country, archaeologically speaking, that appearance can be deceptive.
The "puppet master" organization is the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE).
The ARCE's website states:
"Among ARCE's many great achievements is our relationship with the 'Supreme' Council of Antiquities (SCA) within the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, without whom our work would not be possible. ARCE is viewed as making important contributions that serve to help Egypt directly in its pursuit of cultural heritage preservation." 2
ARCE was founded in 1948 by,
"a consortium of educational and cultural institutions", and the organization underlines that it is also there to "strengthen American-Egyptian cultural ties" and especially to "establish an official 'presence' for North American scholars in Egypt".
Interestingly, ARCE's website adds:
"Encouraged and aided by the US Department of State, in 1962 ARCE entered into an expanded and more structured consortium, and was charged with managing and distributing over $500,000 yearly in Public Law 480 (Food for Peace) funds." 3
This means that ARCE fulfils both scientific and social functions.
However, seeing it works with the US Department of State, one could ask whether at one point ARCE was used or abused for other political purposes, seeing Egypt has had an intriguing political past in the battle between East and West. Interestingly, during the writing of this article, one source contacted me, claiming that frequently the SCA receives from the US National Security Agency (NSA) satellite imagery containing information as to whether or not there may be subterranean structures at certain sites.
A few days later, on 11 May, the Egyptian government announced via Culture Minister Farouk Hosni (Hawass's boss) that,
"the researches conducted via satellites have confirmed the existence of 132 archaeological sites in Egypt that witnessed no excavations until now".
132 Archaeological Sites in Egypt Not Excavated
May 11, 2009 from ESIS Website ,recovered through WayBackMachine Website
Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said that the researches conducted via satellites have confirmed the existence of 132 archaeological sites in Egypt that witnessed no excavations until now. Farouk Hosni said Egypt's shows full cooperation with the research teams to explore the archaeological sites, and has recently issued a number of laws seeking to stop the illegal digging in areas likely to contain the buried monuments. He is pointing out that project of monuments photography via satellite is being implemented in collaboration with the National Authority for Remote Sensing, Space Sciences and Mubarak City for Scientific Research for the aerial photography and ground laser.Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Zahi Hawas pointed out that satellites took photos for many archeological sites including Habu city.
Keeping the Sphinx's Paws Dry
But back to Hawass and the Sphinx.
The above operational framework was in evidence in April 2009, when Hawass reported
"Under 'my direction,' the Supreme Council of Antiquities is working to reduce the groundwater level around antiquities sites throughout Egypt. We have completed a USAID-funded effort to de-water Karnak and Luxor temples, and work is underway in many other places. One of our greatest recent successes has been the development of a system to prevent the Great Sphinx at Giza from getting its paws wet!" 5
Rather intriguingly, he added in his report titled "The Story of the Sphinx":
"Perhaps the most important result of the groundwater project was that it enabled us to put to rest speculation about mysterious underground tunnels and chambers carved below the Sphinx by 'ancient civilizations'.
For years, I have debated people like John Anthony West, Robert Bauval, and Graham Hancock, who say that survivors of a lost civilization 10,000 years ago left secrets buried beneath the Sphinx.
These people also claim that the erosion of the Sphinx was caused by water, and that this necessarily means that it dates back to long before the Old Kingdom. None of their theories has any basis in fact, but their supporters have insisted that we should drill holes to try and find these hidden chambers.
I have always refused to permit such a project in the past, because there was no scientific basis for it.
Because such drilling was a necessary part of our work to protect the Sphinx from groundwater, however, we did finally drill in the vicinity of the statue, and we found that there were no hidden passages or chambers there." 6
Despite all the usual hype that Hawass uses to underline his most mundane accomplishments, this is an unfortunate - and totally unscientific - conclusion.
There are several studies, such as seismic work from 1992 and the Schor radar survey from 1996, which clearly show geological anomalies (read cavities), most of which are natural, but that is somewhat beside the point.
In fact, one might argue - and some have - that Hawass specifically tested for groundwater in those particular locations where he was sure that no such cavities, natural or "hidden passages or chambers", would be found. It would make sense to test for groundwater, but Hawass's glib statement, "that there were no hidden passages or chambers", cannot be reached from the limited research this test carried out.
Without doubt, there are cavities. Full stop.
In fact, Hawass himself announced to the Egyptian press on 14 April 1996 that there are secret tunnels under the Sphinx and around the pyramids.
He stated his belief that these tunnels would prove to,
"carry many secrets of the building of the Pyramids".7Although people are allowed to change their minds, they should perhaps, 13 years to the month, highlight their new position. Not Hawass.
However, Hawass's "Story of the Sphinx" report is also contrary to findings from scans carried out by Dr Abbas and team, published by NRIAG (National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics) in 2007.
But rather than comment on a fellow academic who has had his results published in a scientific publication, Hawass - for reasons that have nothing to do with science, but are likely to do with grandstanding if not more sinister motives - has a go at the likes of West, Bauval and Hancock. And why the age of the Sphinx determined through water erosion has anything to do with the presence of chambers beneath the monument it is not altogether clear, either.
But considering the other unscientific jumps Hawass makes, nothing should come as a surprise.
When one looks at Hawass's reports rather than at his statements to the press, an even more interesting picture emerges. We learn that in early 2008, the Supreme Council of Antiquities co-operated with Cairo University's Engineering Center for Archaeology and Environment to drill four boreholes, each four inches in diameter and about 20 meters deep, into the bedrock at the base of the Sphinx.
A camera was lowered into each borehole to allow examination of the plateau's geology.8
The "Story of the Sphinx" report contains several gems, some of which Hawass should address, but instead he creates a smoke-and-mirrors show. One might almost wonder whether he does not want this material to be noted; and judging from what happened upon publication, the few who reported on the announcement indeed focused on the "West-Bauval-Hancock sidebar" and not on the main show.
A separate scientific update states that 260 cubic meters of water are being pumped out every hour through drainage tubes.
That's 6,240 cubic meters or 6,240,000 liters of water per day. An Olympic swimming pool has 2,500,000 liters. In short, water of a quantity equal to almost three Olympic swimming pools is pumped away on a daily basis from underneath the Sphinx!
Indeed, the Sphinx itself could roughly fit inside an Olympic swimming pool. The report continues that, as such, the water in front of the Sphinx has been reduced to 70 per cent of its original volume.
But wait: no fewer than 33 monitoring points were established to inspect the movement of the body of the Sphinx and the surrounding bedrock, this over a period of a month, and this monitoring proved that they are steady.9
Now, unless I am seriously mistaken, for such serious amounts of water to be moved hourly there would need to be at least one cavity, roughly the size of a small swimming pool, which could fill up continuously with water. In short, an underground lake.
So the report strongly suggests the fallacy of Hawass's own conclusions!
Which brings us to the next question:
Why are they emptying an underground lake? For stability, or for something else?One might argue that removing the water will reduce the stability of the Sphinx, which was an obvious concern since this is why the stability of the Sphinx area was being monitored.
But apparently, based on a month-long observation, emptying this underground cavity does not endanger the stability of the surface structures.
But why empty it in the first place? To keep the Sphinx's paws dry?
One source, when confronted with Hawass's reports and my observation, has gone so far as to argue that Hawass - accompanied by Egyptologist Mark Lehner - had actually found this lake several years ago. The lake is under the entire plateau, the area contained within the concrete wall (construction of which began in 2002).
He added that, in his opinion, these projects were preparation for an exploration of the Giza underworld.
Scandal at the Supreme Council So, how should we interpret Hawass's actions? It is clear that he likes the limelight and that he often makes contradictory statements.
But is there more going on? Some observers have commented that Hawass's tight grip on all archaeological works in Egypt is the logical result of a developing nation that has sought desperately to put a stop to the shameful looting of its historical heritage.
The fact of the matter, however, is that recent developments within the SCA have brought to light wide-scale corruption, with leading government officials imprisoned for embezzlement. On 8 October 2008, the former Head of Restoration in Islamic Cairo and two other Egyptian Culture Ministry officials were jailed for 10 years for receiving bribes from contractors.
The Cairo court ordered Ayman Abdel Monem, Hussein Ahmed Hussein and Abdel Hamid Qutb to pay fines of between LE 200,000 and LE 550,000.10
Abdel Hamid Qutb was actually the head of the technical department at the SCA and reported to Hawass. The contracts under suspicion were worth millions of dollars and involved the restoration of some of Egypt's most famous monuments.
Hawass was quick to defend Qutb at the time of his arrest in September 2007, claiming that the accused was not in a position to give out contracts. Hawass told the BBC's Arabic Service that contracts are only handed out after a "rigorous procedure", and Qutb had no decision-making power.11,12
The court obviously ruled differently; and if Hawass made a comment at this point, I at least could not find a reference to it.
In the interview at the time of Qutb's arrest, Hawass also told the BBC that he takes,
"immediate action against any employee with the slightest shadow of suspicion hanging over them, even if the person turns out to be innocent".13Guilty until proven innocent, it seems, is the modus operandi within the SCA.
No wonder there are reports that Hawass is unpopular within Egypt.
Robots and Slaves This is not the first time that Hawass has found himself in murky waters.
In fact, at the same time that Gantenbrink's robot uncovered the hidden door inside the Great Pyramid on 22 March 1993, Hawass was suspended from his then position as Chief Inspector of the Giza Pyramid Plateau.
Synchronicity, or did Gantenbrink make use of the power vacuum to announce his finding in April 1993, knowing that otherwise it might be suppressed?
Video of Hawass during the investigation and his weird conclusions
What happened next is also interesting, and revealing.
Upon the announcement, Gantenbrink was banned from resuming his work. The Egyptian Antiquities Organization (EAO), the predecessor of the SCA, claimed that Gantenbrink had broken a "rule" of archaeology by speaking for himself rather than through the "proper channels" - which are obviously there, by its own admission, to control what gets out and what doesn't.
What happened next is also interesting, and revealing.
Graham Hancock writes:
"The [then] Director of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, Dr Rainer Stadelmann, sided with the Egyptians and condemned Gantenbrink for his press action. Dr Stadelmann was adamant about the non-importance of the find. 'This is not a door; there is nothing behind it.'" 14The President of the EAO, Dr Muhamad Bakr, went so far as to claim the announcement a "hoax".
"The orifice of the shaft is too small for the robot to go through."15History has shown Bakr to be wrong on both counts.
It was Bakr who removed Hawass from his position, claiming that a valuable ancient statue had been stolen from Giza under Hawass's watch.
To quote again from Hancock:
"Three months later, in June 1993, Dr Bakr himself was fired and replaced by Dr Nur El Din. Amid accusations of malpractice and fraud, Dr Bakr spoke of a 'mafia' which had been involved with the Pyramids for 'the last twenty years'.Refusing to give names, Dr Bakr said, 'I wanted the whole matter investigated by the prosecution authorities, but my request was refused.'"16
In early 1994, Hawass was reinstated to his position.
Though Bakr is clearly not the most credible source, there are nevertheless clear echoes of the ARCE. Hawass's reinstatement was "said to have been brought about by American intervention", according to Chris Ogilvie-Herald, writing in the British magazine Quest for Knowledge.17
At the very least, Hawass seems to be quite fortunate in that no matter what, whether it involve stolen statues or his technical department head being fined and imprisoned, he remains immune to it all.
Gantenbrink never returned to work inside the Great Pyramid. He even offered the Egyptian authorities the use of his robot - because only a robot can penetrate the air shaft - and volunteered to train an Egyptian technician to operate it, but his suggestions were not taken up.
However, Hawass eventually argued that the discovery of the door was extremely interesting and would be further explored.
In March 1996, he stated that the door would be opened in September that year. The month was right, but it was on 17 September 2002 that the door was finally opened. The event was broadcast "live" on Fox TV in America and transmitted to 140 countries via the National Geographic Channel. The end result was the discovery of... another door, which Hawass claimed would be opened soon.
Seven years later, the world still waits...
During the 2002 live broadcast, Hawass made some intriguing throw-away remarks.
For instance, he argued that,
"'it was not 'slaves' who built the pyramids, but 'great Egyptians'".Afterwards, he told the Arabic newspaper Al Gomhoreya that,
"[t]he results of the robot's exploration refute the allegations reiterated by Jews and some western countries that the Jews built the pyramids".18Of course, the exploration of an air shaft does no such thing.
But an equally serious scientific faux pas is that no one actually claims that the Jews, as slaves, ever built the pyramids. Roughly speaking, if this were an historical event, it would have occurred c. 1,000 years after the building of the pyramids. Practically anyone of some education in the western world is aware of this. But one of the leading archaeologists and the protector of Egypt's heritage is not, it seems.
The claim of one journalist contacted for this article, that Hawass frequently abuses nationalism, is therefore quite pointedly illustrated by the above example. Other journalists and observers have gone further, though, positing that in their opinion Hawass is anti-Semitic.
In my opinion, Hawass suffers from a severe case of verbal diarrhea whenever a camera or a microphone is placed in front of him, leading him to make various "interesting" statements.
Suppression and Disinformation
On a more serious note, the SCA - read Hawass - has a stranglehold on most of the research occurring in Egypt and whether and how it gets reported.
This is in evidence in the case of Gantenbrink, who broke the "rule", and also in the case of Dr Abbas, whose official Giza report has been stopped from publication for a very long time.
Sources contacted for this article say that they, too, have several reports waiting to be published, but there is always one delay or another.
This kind of treatment, of course, is not science but control, if not a gag order. Some might argue that there is a serious backlog, while others might shout cover-up.
Indeed, why does the SCA place such stringent penalties on the publication of scientific reports without its consent, the penalty often being the denial of access to Egyptian archaeological sites? These are the measures of a dictatorship at best, and are far removed from any scientific approach.
No one will argue that Egypt alone is in charge of deciding who digs when, where and to what extent, even though it is clear, in light of the SCA's connection with ARCE, that this is not truly the case. But once permission has been given, the participating scientists and organizers surely should have the power to decide when and where to publish the results, rather than being literally gagged by the SCA until it - if ever - deems it appropriate to release the results, and even then sometimes demanding editorial changes.
And all of this occurring without any external overview.
One source went so far as to argue that Hawass's approach is one of disinformation:
that Hawass carefully twists scientific results that do not conform to the standard history of ancient Egypt; and that as he exercises sole control and makes himself the medium, he can almost singlehandedly maintain the status quo of Egyptian history.This "Hawass touch" is clearly in evidence in the spin in his 2009 Sphinx groundwater report. But then the important question is: why?
The answer has already been given:
Hawass tries to maintain the consensus view of ancient Egyptian history.This is why he often singles out Hancock, Bauval and West.
Hawass realizes that these are the most vociferous and dangerous parties that can go against him, but they are not alone in feeling his wrath. Hawass denies findings when they don't fit with his agenda, and defames any individual for daring to have a different idea and not releasing it through his office.
In 2008, Professor Barry Kemp reported on his research at the city of Amarna, created by the rebel pharaoh Akhenaten. The pharaoh was obviously despised and, in the decades following his death, the ancient Egyptians tried to remove any mention of his existence.
It was reported that Kemp and his team found skeletal remains at Amarna that show,
"signs of malnutrition, extreme labour, and the lowest age of mortality witnessed at excavations of Pharaonic sites".19This evidence goes a long way to confirm that Akhenaten created a brutal regime, one of which few were proud.
However, the findings were immediately subjected to criticism from Hawass, who used the Egyptian state news service to accuse the excavators of "distorting history".
He claimed that their findings were,
"not based on any admissible scientific proofs" and added that "[b]uilding Akhenaten city was an obsession for ancient Egyptians like the Giza Pyramids and workers wanted to realize a national achievement to be proud of".Hawass, by his comments, was later described as "indulging in empty chauvinism".20
Hawass is also proud that he,
"worked to strengthen Egypt's antiquities law" and that in 2002 he "worked to have a new law enacted forbidding excavation in Upper Egypt... to encourage documentation and preservation rather than excavation".21Indeed, Hawass is proud of the fact that he has stopped all excavations in Upper Egypt! One can only wonder why.
No one will argue that documentation and preservation are important, but to the exclusion of everything else - and to make it a law, rather than just an internal guideline?
Finally, when interviewed about geologist Robert Schoch's theory that the Sphinx is much older than the the pyramids, Hawass stated:
"If geologists prove what Schoch is saying, still in my opinion, as an Egyptologist, the date of the Sphinx is clear to us."22In short, no matter what the evidence, Hawass claims it is all "clear" to him.
It is clear that for Hawass, Egyptology is a religion, not a science. Many would agree that this is indeed the case for "Egyptology under Hawass", and they desperately want change.
Egyptology under Challenge
Though Hawass can and should be blamed for many things, it is equally a matter of record that Egyptology as a science is seriously in need of spring-cleaning. It might perhaps come as a surprise to learn that since c. 1840 the paradigm of Egyptian history has remained firmly in place.
Serious scientific evidence has often been put aside to maintain a dogma, and Hawass and many other "scientists" are religiously sticking to it.
In 1984, 85 samples were taken from the Giza Plateau, including five from the Sphinx, which were submitted for carbon-dating. The results showed dates from 3809 to 2869 BC.
It meant that the accepted Egyptian chronology for the building of the Giza pyramids was out by 200 to 1,200 years.
Bauval quotes Mark Lehner:
"The Giza pyramid is 400 years earlier than Egyptologists believe."23Equally, in the 1950s, Zakaria Goneim, then Chief Inspector of Egyptian Antiquities, found the inviolate sarcophagus of Third Dynasty pharaoh Sekhemkhet inside his pyramid.
When the sarcophagus was opened, there was no mummy inside. It was an empty sarcophagus.
In this case, "grave robbers" could definitely not be blamed. In fact, in many instances, including with the Great Pyramid, Egyptologists have identified grave robbery as the reason for an empty sarcophagus. If it were a crime scene investigation, few detectives would reach a similar conclusion based upon the available evidence.
Egyptology, in fact, looks with disdain upon ancient records such as those of the first century BC historian Diodorus Siculus, who wrote that not a single pharaoh was buried in a pyramid which he had constructed for himself, but that the pharaohs were buried instead in a secret place.
Egyptologists prefer to argue - despite evidence that proves otherwise - that the pyramids are but tombs.
Dutch author Willem Zitman ponders why today's scientists do not want to admit that the ancient Greeks were all schooled in ancient Egypt, as they themselves claimed. Instead, he says, they prefer to pretend as if the Greeks discovered everything by themselves and thus they can make claims that the Egyptians did nothing whatsoever to further science or knew nothing of astronomy.
Zitman adds that although archeoastronomy has been taught as a scientific discipline since 1983, Egypt has hardly been discussed - a notable exception. And it is precisely when such a vacuum is created that it will be filled by theories of the likes of Robert Bauval.
If Egyptologists do not like that fact, they should not blame Bauval...
Zitman, a qualified building engineer, also notes that the pyramids themselves are the greatest victim of the current state of Egyptology. He argues that when Egyptologists are confronted with problems to do with building techniques, their shortcomings are easily exposed. This is evident in the treatment of French materials scientist Professor Joseph Davidovits, one of the most respected scientists in his field in the world but who has been labeled an idiot and the like by Egyptologists - and by Hawass in particular.
Hawass and others among his colleagues clearly fail to understand anything of what Davidovits is trying to explain to them. As a consequence of this absence of knowledge and unwillingness on the part of Hawass and colleagues to invite experts to help them in this regard, there is little work done on the pyramid era, which has become known as a "lost era".
I.E.S. Edwards, a former Keeper of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, once noted that Egyptologists do not like pyramids.
In the end, Hawass does stand for, and sums up, the current state of Egyptology.
He blames the likes of West, Bauval and Hancock for making ridiculous statements, but in August 1996 - unsurprisingly, while in front of a camera - Hawass was scrambling through a tunnel leading under the Sphinx, stating:
"No one really knows what's inside this tunnel. But we are going to open it for the first time."24This is further evidence that his 2009 statement is a complete and utter distortion - if not of the truth, then at least of what he said before.
So, in 1996, there were tunnels. But in April 1999, Hawass appeared on Fox TV - which, as we know from its coverage of President Bush's antics, is not renowned for its neutral or scientific approach - and denied the existence of tunnels going out from the Tomb of Osiris, an underground structure near the Sphinx.
In April 2009, he repeated this story, as if he needed to do so once per decade. But, as mentioned, in August 1996 he was actually filmed walking inside a tunnel under the Sphinx!
As Bauval points out in Secret Chamber, the controversy involving Hawass and the Giza Plateau dates back many decades:
"Meanwhile something unusual happened involving Zahi Hawass. For reasons that are not clear he started a dig in front of the Sphinx temple, apparently in connection with the Institute of Underground Water of the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation. A drilling through some fifty feet [15 meters] of debris struck red granite instead of the natural limestone of the area."25Red granite is not native to the Giza Plateau; the only source is Aswan, hundreds of miles to the south.
The very presence of red granite, discovered in 1980 in the vicinity of the Sphinx, proves that there is something underneath the Giza Plateau. And if Hawass says anything different, it should first be seen as a case of "methinketh he protesteth too much".
Disclaimer : I don't claim to know anything , it's just a post for discussion , ideas ,theories and opinions . The following paragraphs are copy-paste with the intent to discuss the subject and nothing else.