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08.07.2015by: Jake Dee

Top 10 Horror Movie Gifts!

It seems Christmas comes early in August for us heated horror heads, as Joel Edgerton's critically beloved new thriller THE GIFT is set to open today. You planning on unwrapping that sucker this weekend or what? Well, whether you are or are not, we're feeling pretty damn charitable right about now. As such, we thought it'd be all kinds of fun to deliver 10 terrifying movie gifts from the past as a way to see just how the new Jason Bateman/Rebecca Hall picture measures up. Now, these could be Christmas presents, birthday presents, mysteriously received packages, trinkets, services, whatever. If scarily given to one character from another, it counts.

So what the hell are you waiting for? Dig in to our Top 10 Favorite Horror Movie Gifts above!

#10. WISH GRANTING BOX (THE BOX)

Where in the Horror is Richard Kelly? Jesus. You mean, after turning the classic "Button, Button" episode of The Twilight Zone into a laughably absurd movie called THE BOX, not so much as a peep? Oh, okay. Regardless, it doesn't alter the fact that THE BOX - in which a couple suddenly find a wish-granting box on their front stoop - features one of the most unsettling movie gifts of all. Of course, we know that, for every wish granted (in the form of a cool million dollars), a person totally unrelated in the couple's lives will end up dead as a result. F*ck the box, this should have been called INDECENT PROPOSAL 2!

#9. SCISSOR HANDS (EDWARD SCISSORHANDS)

Talk about bad timing! Just when ol' Vinny Price was set to bestow Eddie Scissorhands with a pair of lifelike prosthetic hands, the poor bastard's heart croaked, and the porcelain appendages went shattering to the floor. So very sad. Of course, without that occurring, we'd never have an aging Winona Rider to narrate the darkly humorous horror fairytale that is EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. Come to think of it, since Price created Ed in the first place, the super-sized Freddy Krueger claws constitute gifts in their own right, don't they? Yup, leave it to Vinny Price to deliver the goods!

#8. PEACE SYMBOL NECKLACE (LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT)

Stay with me here. Remember in THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, when young Phyllis' folks give her a peace-symbol necklace for her 17th birthday before sending her out on her way to a concert with her friend? Yeah well, it's that very piece of jewelry that tips the parents off at the end of the film when Phyllis' evil assailants happen to stumble into their abode. Of course, to get to that point, the gift had to be viciously stripped from the teenager's flailing neck in the first place. Like a snuff film, that scene...so very Craven!

#7. MYSTERIOUS VIDEOTAPES (LOST HIGHWAY)

As if the powder-faced Liliputian Robert Blake wasn't off-putting enough, the great David Lynch upped the creepy quotient in LOST HIGHWAY by employing a series of ghastly gifts to the mix. You know, the stretch of enigmatic videotapes sent to Bill Pullman of both the interior and exterior of his lovely Los Angeles home. Oh yeah, these sent after the intercom riddle "Dick Laurent is dead!" message left for him to open the picture. It's one mind-f*ck after another, in typical Lynchian fashion.

#6. BIRTHDAY RUSE (THE GAME)

Often touted as the first true post-modern movie, David Fincher's THE GAME is one hell of a demented gift to all us cinephiles. I'll always fondly recall seeing this sucker in the theater with my pops, and how pumped we were at the end to learn that, yes, the entire plot of the film was one giant, elaborate ruse meant to teach one brother how to loosen up and become less of a dickhead. Dark humor at its best, punctuated by the striking trademark imagery of the master, David Fincher.

#5. SURVEILLANCE TAPES (CACHE)

Michael Haneke's 2005 flick CACHE is one of the most heart-thudding yet thought-provoking thrillers I've ever seen. Most of that has to do with the general conceit of the film, which finds a couple being terrorized by a skein of videotapes that mysteriously show up on their doorstep. On the vids, simple surveillance footage of their home, taken from the street. Then a series of gruesome drawings. As the the videos grow more personal and threatening, the couple race to figure out what the hell is going on, all the way until one of the most confounding final shots of all time.

#4. HEART IN A BOX OF CHOCOLATES (MY BLOODY VALENTINE)

Allow me to open my heart and tell you that MY BLOODY VALENTINE is among my top 5 favorite slasher joints of all time. Love, love, love it! Part of the reason is this single shot here, a gorily carved out heart served in a heart-shaped box of chocolates and delivered to one of the characters as a Valentine's gift. Talk about romantic! Hell, I even fell head over heels for the 2009 remake with Jaime King and that dude from Supernatural. Still, my heart belongs to the OG.

#3. GIZMO THE MOGWAI (GREMLINS)

Ah, Gizmo. So cute, so cuddly, so goddamn cruel for propagating a nasty race of evil little doppelgangers in the Christmastime classic GREMLINS. Okay, so not exactly his fault entirely, but without his presence, there would be no Stripe and the rest of the repulsive diminutive ghouls running roughshod. The gift started off innocent enough, and Billy seemed equipped to keep things under control. But oh no. Once a bit of H20 is introduced, the real party favors kick in. 30 years later and the Joe Dante Amblin classic is an ever-appreciating gift!

#2. GOOD GUY DOLL (CHILD'S PLAY)

All little Andy wanted was a goddamn Good Guy Doll, and after much yuletide strife as a single mother, that's exactly what mama gave him for Christmas. Too bad the plastic homunculus turned out to be a psychotic little foul-mouthed murder-monster! In specific, a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray whose evil spirit gets trapped inside the otherwise cherubic Chucky doll. Sounds silly, but I maintain that the scene where the mom discovers the doll is operating on zero battery power holds serve as one of the scariest of all. It gets me every time.

#1. WIFE'S HEAD IN A BOX (SE7EN)

"No...what's in the bahhhhhhh-xxxx?" Who the hell can forget the absolute showstopper of an ending in David Fincher's SE7EN, in which poor Detective Mills learns John Doe decollated his wife's "pretty head" and wrapped it up in a box for personal delivery. Sick shite! Even worse is how we learn about the cruel collateral damage of Mills' unborn child as well. Major props to Brad Pitt, who used his star power to ensure this ending stayed intact after much studio balking. In fact, he, Fincher and Freeman all refused to make the movie if the original ending was tampered with. Integrity in Hollywood? What a sin!

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