This film written and directed by Paul Andrew Adams (best known for his work on ‘Broadchurch’) stars Andy Serkis and Reece Shearsmith as two brothers who rent a cottage in the remote countryside to keep their kidnapping victim hostage. This starts out as a crime film but gradually becomes horror – choosing somewhere quiet doesn’t turn out to be an advantage for these characters when they come across a monstrous, psychotic farmer. This might be slow-paced at first for some, but the dynamic between Serkis and Shearsmith can be amusing and provides some black humour. Die-hard horror fans can also enjoy a cameo from ‘Hellraiser’ actor Doug Bradley. Side note: if you love dark comedy and twisted horror, also watch the ‘Inside No. 9’ anthology TV series created by Shearsmith and his writing partner Steve Pemberton.
I haven’t watched this one in a while, but I remember liking it nonetheless. Erin, an Australian college student, accompanies her boyfriend at a family reunion. They come under attack by a group of masked killers, and Erin steps up to be the badass of the movie. There’s a few creepy moments, plenty of brutal violence (especially in the third act), and although some people might not like the twist, the ending is the most enjoyable thing it has to offer because it’s cruelly ironic in a way. This is one for slasher horror fans in particular.
‘Tucker and Dale vs Evil’ is a hilarious horror-comedy about two hillbillies who go on holiday to a creepy old cabin in the woods, and are mistaken to be murderers by group of college students due to a few misunderstandings. What really makes this film worth watching is the two charismatic lead actors – Tyler Labine, and everyone’s favourite Alan Tudyk. In addition, not only are the jokes original even though comedy based on misunderstanding could easily be cliché, but it also offers an important message about judging others based on stereotypes. And yes, there’s gore.
This is a very recent film having only come out this month, but deserves to be talked about a lot more than it has been. Rafe Spall stars as guilt-ridden Luke, who witnessed his friend Robert being killed during a robbery and failed to step in and help him. To honour Robert’s memory, he goes on a hiking trip to Sweden along with a group of friends, but after they come across an abandoned house the become influenced by a dark force. Although this is clearly influenced by ‘The Blair Witch Project’, it doesn’t make it feel less original. It has moments of comedy with a laddish charm, as well as genuinely creepy scenes which are made more effective by seeing the characters trying so hard to understand what is happening to them. The ending will probably divide audiences as it is bold, but at least it doesn’t go with the most obvious explanations behind what happens. I also love the sets in Luke’s nightmare scenes, where parts of the shop where Robert died are integrated into the forest.
Here’s another horror-comedy for you, in which Max (Taissa Farmiga) is grieving the loss of her mother who was a famous slasher film actress in the 80s, and during a screening of her film she becomes trapped in it along with her friends. They must make their way through the film and play by the slasher movie rules to survive. It’s an entertaining concept that makes fun of the clichés, and Thomas Middleditch who is best known for his role as Richard in ‘Silicon Valley’ is very entertaining. The film also has heart as it shows the process of Max trying get through the grieving process and move on from her mother’s death. This is a great one to watch with friends as it’s short and sweet.
Writer/director Mike Flanagan – who has recently received critical acclaim after adapting Steven King’s novel ‘Gerald’s Game’ for Netflix – previously made ‘Hush’ which is a horror/thriller about a deaf writer called Maddie who retreats to a quiet setting, but becomes the target of a masked killer. She can’t scream for help as she’s also unable to speak, so she has to survive alone in silence. It’s interesting and unique to see a character with these conditions and how she overcomes even the less obvious difficulties in her life as well as this terrifying threat. I’ve watched this a few times now and it’s still just as intense. Furthermore, even in such a short amount of time (the film is only 1 hour 20 mins long), it’s hard not to root for Maddie.
Produced by Guillermo del Toro, this film is about a woman called Laura who moves in with her family to the orphanage she grew up in so she can take in children with special needs. However, her son Simon starts to talk of invisible new friends, and eventually goes missing. We follow Laura through the months after this happening, as she desperately tries to find him. ‘The Orphanage’ is slow paced so it requires some patience, but it’s worth it since it has one of the best twist endings I’ve ever seen. It’s not what you’d expect, and it doesn’t hold back. It gets pretty dark, and took me by surprise so I finished the film totally mind-blown.
This French horror film gained some attention when it was initially released, as there were reports of audience members fainting because of the gore. While this may have blown it a little out of proportion (or maybe I’m just desensitised at this point), it isn’t afraid to show some nasty cannibalism, that’s for sure. Young vet student Justine is forced into a rather disgusting hazing ritual that involves breaking her lifelong vegetarianism, and once she gets the taste for meat, she can’t seem to get enough. Her transformation from an innocent teenage girl to someone animalistic who can’t control her impulses is horrifying, and is done in a brilliant way without any cheap scares. It’s the physical and psychological impact of the transition on herself that is what makes it scary, not just the violence (although this does help drive the point home).
This movie is probably more of an obvious choice, but I don’t care because it deserves to be high up on any list. It deserves all the hype that surrounded its release. This is comedy writer/actor Jordan Peele’s directorial debut that deals with the new type of racism that can be found in Western society as it follows African-American photographer Chris’s experience of meeting his white girlfriend’s family for the first time. Their overly polite attitude towards him is uncomfortable, and hides something more sinister going on within the family. ‘Get Out’ succeeds in creating an eerie, uncomfortable atmosphere from Chris’s point of view, as well as a great sense of humour.
Go watch this movie right now. You won’t regret it. This is officially one of my favourite horror films of all time. It has zombies, good characters and it will probably make you cry. There’s a reason everyone was freaking out about this at Frightfest last year – it’s a new take on such a popular genre. The story follows the passengers on a train from Seoul to Busan, starting with a single father taking his daughter to see her mother on her birthday. However, a zombie virus breaks out and they have to survive the journey as more people become infected. Not only does the film successfully make you care about most of the characters in some way despite there are quite a lot of them, it has a wonderful, bittersweet ending to top it all off. The zombies are also pretty cool too, so there’s that.