Horror movie recommendations


#243

The new Halloween movie is extremely good. Like damn.

I got to say, it has a ton of little shot homages and references to the previous movies and, somehow, they did the impossible and every single one of them works seamlessly as both a fun thing and also as a part of the story’s themes and character development. Even down to a point where the movie briefly imitates the 16mm film Halloween II was shot on as a character suddenly realizes that Michael is real and in front of her.

It also has the (huge mega spoilers do not click) the ultimate inversion of the slasher’s weapon as a phallic image as Michael is incinerated in a massive spiky womb as three generations of women who were in each uniquely traumatized by his actions emerge from it.


#244

Just watched Jacob’s Ladder and not gonna lie, I’m kinda shook. I’d say it’s more psychological thriller than horror, but it’s still pretty disturbing.

It follows the story of a Jacob Singer, a Vietnam veteran who after a few years of being home, starts experiencing PTSD-like symptoms. I think the film does a unnervingly good job of showing the slow deterioration of Jacob’s psyche, through narrative elements, visual effects, pretty creative editing techniques and camera work, and unsettling sound and music. This all works so well, that eventually it gets to to the point where (unfortunately, like Jacob) the viewer isn’t really sure what events are actually happening anymore, each new scene bringing with it a sense of dread and slight paranoia.

If you think you might give this a watch, I’d definitely recommend going into it knowing as little about the plot as possible.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go lie down and try to sleep, but actually just continue thinking about this ending…

god, war fucking sucks.


#245

Saw British indie horror ‘Possum’ yesterday.

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It’s written and directed by Matthew Holness, who is most famous for creating Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place - probably one of my favourite shows of all time. It’s about a hack horror writer who wrote and starred in a TV show back in the 80s called Dark Place which was basically about a bunch of doctors working in a haunted hospital battling supernatural forces. It’s more of a comedy obviously, with Garth Marenghi believing he created something on great artisitic merit but in actuality was basically sub par 80s Doctor Who. It was brilliant. If you haven’t seen it, I’d thoroughly recommend. I’d imagine a lot of Waypointers are pretty clued up about it though.

So… Possum by contrast is much darker, much bleaker and definitely a horror with some really nightmarish visuals. It’s about a pedophile (played by Sean Harris) who carries around this bag containing this spidery puppet which I guess is supposed to represent his darker self or his darker urges that he tries vainly to suppress.

It won’t be for everyone, there’s a lot of German expressionist styled horror. It obviously deals with some very dark and difficult subjects. But rather than just villify this character who has definitely done some bad stuff, it does show his inner conflict, a history of abuse, not to mention his own dismal solitary reality and his battle with his demons.

It’s kind of bizarre when you think how some of the people involved with Dark Place went into horror. Holness obviously has a fondness and deep understanding of the genre. Alice Lowe (who played Liz) wrote and directed Prevenge last year - a movie about a pregnant mother who is compelled to kill by the foetus developing within her. Matt Berry has also done some surreal comedy most notably through Snuff box that definitely had a horror dimension to it.


#247

I did a 31 Nights of Horror marathon. Here are the results, in order of release date. For nearly all of these films, this was my first viewing.

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - 1920 - Robert Wiene
    Very interesting, surreal set design. But it moves so slowly I had trouble understanding the plot. Only worth watching for students of horror’s history.
  • Gojira - 1954 - Ishiro Honda
    I only recently learned that the version of this film I had seen previously was an American edit that strips this film of most of its power. I’m really glad I watched it again because the original version is so much better.
  • Carnival of Souls - 1962 - Herk Harvey
    One of my least favorite films I watched this month. I just don’t have the patience for the way old movies are paced. Still, I can see why this movie was recommended to me.
  • Night of the Living Dead - 1968 - George Romero
    In contrast, I think the slow pacing really helps this film. My impatience felt appropriate for a film about being trapped in a house with little hope to escape except to wait for rescue. I haven’t seen the sequels and I’m interested in how they work because the zombies in this film don’t actually feel like a huge threat.
  • Suspiria - 1977 - Dario Argento
    Just a gorgeous movie. Stunning visuals. Again, I had trouble following the plot at times but I was always able to figure it out down the road. While the previous films were tense or interesting, this was the first to have some proper scares. I’m really curious about the remake, despite hearing mostly negative things.
  • Halloween - 1978 - John Carpenter
    A classic. But there’s a lot of classics I’ve never seen. This movie created some problematic tropes, but when viewed in its own context, I think it gets away with them. I love a slasher with quick, clean kills. And I really like the slow first half of this film.
  • The Beyond - 1981 - Lucio Fulci
    One of the films on this list that I’d already seen. Even on re-watch the plot is a confusing mess. But those effects! It’s not a “good” film, but it’s fun enough that I want to see the other 2 films in Fulci’s Gates of Hell trilogy.
  • Halloween II - 1981 - Rick Rosenthal
    No slow first half for this sequel! This movie bears much more in common with The Beyond than the original Halloween. It’s not nearly as confusing, but it is a fun, creative movie with few real scares that I would struggle to call it “good”.
  • Videodrome - 1983 - David Cronenberg
    I loved this movie. It was one of the highlights of my month. From the beginning, the plot is bizarre and it only gets stranger. And yet I always felt I understood what was happening as much as I was supposed to. Cronenberg’s body horror really gets to me.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street - 1984 - Wes Craven
    Like Halloween 2, Nightmare is fun and creative but I have to say I was a bit disappointed by this classic. It was perfectly fine and fun, but nowhere near as scary as I was expecting.
  • The Fly - 1986 - David Cronenberg
    Not nearly as good or interesting as Videodrome, but a solid body horror film. Watching Goldblum deteriorate is incredible
  • Raising Cane - 1992 - Brian De Palma (2016 Director’s Cut)
    It’s very possible that this is a good movie. But the Director’s Cut I watched sure isn’t! It moves scenes around to give the movie a more slow start and then flashback to the killings later. But there’s very little indication those flashbacks are happening which made the timeline very difficult to follow. Even beyond that, I didn’t find the film to be very interesting.
  • Cube - 1997 - Vincenzo Natali
    Definitely not a good movie, but a concept I found really interesting! The idea that each character had a role to play was predictable and the autistic savant reveal was just awful. But I’m a sucker for a good concept and this movie really commits to a concept.
  • Event Horizon - 1997 - Paul W. S. Anderson
    Another movie centered around a concept, but a much better one. The fact that Event Horizon went to Literal Christian Hell was groan inducing, but everything else was fantastic.
  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later - 1998 - Steve Miner
    Worth a watch if you like Halloween. It’s fun, but I certainly preferred the original and even the first sequel to this.
  • The Devil’s Backbone - 2001 - Guillermo Del Torro
    The first of a few films I included that stretch the lines of “horror”. Sure, there’s a ghost. But the film’s not really about the ghost. I liked this movie and would recommend it, but I couldn’t help but compare it to 2007’s The Orphanage which share’s a lot of similarities and is much better.
  • Session 9 - 2001 - Brad Anderson
    Somehow, I was convinced that this was a zombie movie. I have no idea how that happened and it certainly colored the way I watched it. Suffice to say there are no zombies. The film revolves around a multiple personality plot which has a twist that doesn’t save it. It’s a well done film centered around a bod concept.
  • Thirteen Ghosts - 2001 - Steve Beck
    This movie is campy trash that looks beautiful. I liked it. That’s really all I can say about it.
  • Shutter - 2004 - Masayuki Ochiai
    This movie was great! It’s a horror mystery with several small reveals that kept me guessing. I didn’t 100% love the ending, but it was worth it for that last reveal.
  • La Horde - 2010 - Yannick Dahan, Benjamin Rocher
    It’s “The Raid with zombies” except it was made before The Raid! Cops storm a large apartment building run by a gang. But then zombies happen! It’s a silly concept, taken a little too seriously. The hand to hand fight scenes are shot horrendously. But I still had fun.
  • The Conjuring - 2013 - James Wan
    I like haunted house films and this is a pretty good one! I haven’t seen any of the sequels, but I think this movie does a great job of suggesting a wider universe without bashing you over the head with it.
  • The Purge - 2013 - James DeMonaco
    I only watched this movie because of the Waypoint podcast and was really surprised by how much I liked it! A great concept with surprisingly good politics!
  • The Purge: Anarchy - 2014 - James DeMonaco
    I strongly disagree with the Waypoint crew on this movie because I liked it a lot more than the first. While I can agree that some of the racial stuff was not handled great, I really enjoyed the way the film shows various groups getting real weird for Purge Night. I also really enjoyed the way the film went from set piece to set piece so quickly. This movie is more interested in exploring its concept broadly than digging into any singular piece and I am also interested in that.
  • Bone Tomahawk - 2015 - S. Craig Zahler
    Another movie that is maybe not really horror. Does the fact that the film uses a “civilized” indigenous person to explain that the “savages” are monsters and not people make this movie less racist? I don’t think so. It’s an excuse to pull the same bullshit that older, more racist films did, and call it High Concept. Was it otherwise good enough to help me look passed the racism? No.
  • Hush - 2016 - Mike Flanagan
    This is a weird one. The film goes out of its way in the opening minutes to establish how vulnerable this woman is and then spends an entire film allowing her to evade her tormentor. I found myself yelling advice at the screen, but to the killer! In the end, I would say that being mad at the killer for not being a good enough killer was a unique enough experience that I can recommend this movie.
  • The Purge: Election Year - 2016 - Jame DeMonaco
    What if the United States government tried to murder a dissident and encouraged citizens to help murder the dissident and the dissident STILL told everyone to trust the system that was trying to murder her? I loved 90% of this movie but the last 10% made me so mad.
  • Raw - 2016 - Julia Ducournau
    Boy, I only saw the first commercial for this and I definitely misunderstood where it was going. The actual concept is so much more interesting that the “College turns into concentration camp with forced cannibalism” that I thought was going to happen. Great concept, great visuals, INCREDIBLE soundtrack.
  • Train to Busan - 2016 - Yeon Sang-ho
    So many tropes here. But I love confined spaces in action movies. It’s why I was able to enjoy La Horde and a big part of my love for Snowpiercer. This movie certainly doesn’t lift the zombie genre to new heights or anything like that, but it’s a lot of fun.
  • Gerald’s Game - 2017 - Mike Flanagan
    I was amazed at how this movie kept me invested the entire way through, despite the simple conceit. Like Purge: Election Year, the end is bad, but in this case, not nearly bad enough to ruin the movie.
  • Apostle - 2018 - Gareth Evans
    Fun, tense, definitely owes A LOT to The Wicker Man. I have a weird thing where I always kind of sympathize with cults, but the way this cults falls apart was really fun to watch. Not nearly as good as Raw, Gerald’s Game, or Mandy, but certainly worth watching.
  • Mandy - 2018 - Panos Cosmatos
    I think this is the most beautiful film I’ve ever seen. The use of color is just incredible and combined with creatures from hell, a weird battle axe, and psychedelic drugs, it’s just wonderful. The plot is really just an excuse to give us the next beautiful thing, but that’s fine. Just go ahead and give in to astonishment.

#248

TUBI.TV made a deal with Full Moon Features and they are streaming a selection of they’re films for free! just search one of the following titles at TUBI.TV -

Beach Babes From Beyond

Cannibal Women In the Avocado Jungle Of Death

The Disembodied

Meridian

Specters

Unlucky Charms

Virgin Hunters

Goobers!

Head Of The Family

Pet Shop

The Pit & the Pendulum

William Shatner’s Halloween Frightnight: The Creeps

William Shatner’s Halloween Frightnight: Shrunken Heads

Castle Freak

Dark Angel, The

Devious

Do or Die

Guns

Haunted Hollywood

Intruder

Jack the Ripper

Kiljoy The Demon Clown

Lurking Fear

Malibu Express

Ooga Booga

Parastie Dolls

PM Blitz Massacre

Prehysteria

Puppet Master Axis of Evil

Puppet Master Axis Rising

Puppet Master Axis Termination

Ragdoll

Savage Beach

Subspecies

Subspecies 2

Talisman

Tourist Trap

Vampire Journals

Vault, The

Witchouse

Zombie Decadence


#249

Can a martial arts movie with a T O N of body horror be recommended?

Because Jesus… I squirmed A LOT watching The Night Comes for Us.

It was similar to the feeling of watching the gory scenes of Eastern Promises, a gangster film, but made horrific because of Cronenberg’s ability to make effective gore scenes.

It’s also so filthy and grimy. I was so nervous throughout.


#250

I’ve stumbled across a lot of good movies via the Zombie Grrlz podcast, especially their end-of-the-year episodes.

2016 In Review
2017 In Review