Out on Blu-ray and DVD this week, Big Bad Wolves is a very unusual horror movie. The subject matter sounds like a revenge flick, as the paths of a police detective and an angry father cross in a remote location where a suspected serial killer is bound and tortured. But the material is presented in a sometimes grisly, sometimes blackly comic, and always thoughtful fashion, making for a very unsettling and probably uncomfortable viewing experience. (More squeamish horror fans should beware the explicit violence.)
Big Bad Wolves is a memorable example of a twisted fairy tale. Here are five more that are sure to disturb your dreams.
5. Red Riding Hood (2011)
Amanda Seyfried is caught between two lovers in an updated fairy tale that is far more potentially frightening for children than adults. Still, there are plenty of werewolves and witches for horror buffs to sink their fangs into.
4. The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Terry Gilliam featured nightmare imagery -- the gingerbread man, for example, gets a bite taken out of him in one squirm-inducing scene -- in telling a fantastic story about con artists (Matt Damon and Heath Ledger) who come face to face with a real magical curse. It may sound like a fairy tale, but it's just the truth.
3. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
Cheeky and fast moving, this updated fairy tale mashes together action, humor and a deep appreciation for just how terrifying wicked old witches can be. Burn, baby, burn!
2. The Company of Wolves (1984)
Director Neil Jordan has often explored historical and legendary fantasies, but seldom as effectively as he did in this early effot that cast a curious eye on the sexuality in the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale.
1. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
A young girl who loves fairy tales begins spinning her own in order to deal with the day-to-day horrors of living under a fascist regime. Guillermo del Toro's mesmerizing fantasy has the hard bite of reality, softened by dreamy landscapes and monstrous creatures who offer the promise of freedom.