Here are 5 horror films that I recommend that you check out. Some of these you may have heard of, some you might not.
You may have read my post yesterday about how I love horror.
I love horror films. As genres go, it is one of the most diverse. It most closely resembles your dreams and therefore speaks to us on a subconscious level.
These films fall more on the creepy side of the horror spectrum rather than the jump scare side.
Here’s the thing, I’m not a fan of jump scares. Mainly because I am a cowardy custard but also because it’s more of a physiological reaction that I can’ help rather than a genuine emotion of dread.
This is in no way a definitive list, and I may come back to this subject again and recommend you some other horror films at some point.
Anyway, hope you take these films into consideration next time you’re looking spooked.
5 – It Follows
This is the most recent of this list. The central idea is so simple yet effective. It’s a film about a sexually transmitted demon (STD?). You have sex with someone who is a carrier. Next thing you know a demon follows you until it gets up close and personal then it goes back down the line. The demon looks like anyone, but you can spot it by it walking towards you.
I love a film with a basic premise. This film makes someone walking forward creepy as hell. It has a great soundtrack too.
To be honest with you the film loses steam around the halfway mark. Everything up until then makes it something work checking out.
I love it when a film creeps me out, and this one fits the bill perfectly. Check it out and let me know what you think.
4 – The Innocents
A loose adaptation of Henry James Turn of the Screw this is a good old-fashioned ghost story. This film drips with atmosphere, luscious black and white photography. Out of all the movies on the list I’ve seen this one the least amount of times. It’s stuck with me the most.
Again if you can make something normal feel unsettling, then you have my respect. In this films case, it’s something as simple as a man standing at the other side of a lake, in broad daylight.
The film has child actors which I’m usually not a fan of. Here it’s okay, they’re creepy but again for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. It could be that spooky child singing about the “Weeping Willow.”
There are more subtle chills provided in this film. If you’re looking for a more jumpy film, then stick with Paranormal Activity.
Good news, you can watch it on YouTube, it’s cropped but hey, what can you do?
3 – Day of the Dead
This is my favourite of George Romero’s Dead trilogy, and for my money, it’s the most underrated of the three films.
There is a Red Letter Media Re: View of Dawn of the Dead. During the discussion, they compare Dawn with Day. “Dawn of the Dead makes me feel like I have the flu watching Day of the Dead makes me feel like I’m covered in bugs”. That’s the best way to describe it.
The film is grim. Whereas the other Dead films you get a feeling that the world outside is operating in some capacity. In Day that feeling is gone. You get the sense that this is humanities last stand and worst of all the humanity that is left are a bunch of assholes.
The special effects make up in this film still hold up today. When I first watched this as a teenager some of the effects had me thinking, how the hell did they do that? Which is the ultimate compliment you can pay to a film.
2 – The Shining
In my humble opinion when it comes to horror films you either love The Exorcist or you like The Shining. If you like one, then you don’t necessarily see the appeal of the other. I’m throwing my lot in with The Shining.
This film is the epitome of creepy horror, my preferred type and as movies go, it gets under the skin.
Is the horror at the Overlook hotel happening or is it cabin fever the Torrance family are suffering? What I like is that the film remains ambiguous and open to interpretation.
Full disclosure I’m not a Stephen King fan, I tried to read the book but to be honest, gave up. Family Guy sums up my attitude to King well.
Don’t get me wrong his books have provided great inspiration for filmmakers. I just don’t think it’s a coincidence that the better adaptations are when the filmmakers deviate from the source material. Kubrick is no exception.
Part of what I like about the film is that it is very much a Kubrick film. Kubrick’s films are about a heroes journey to the centre of the maze and how that changes them. In 2001: A Space Odyssey the astronaut David goes through the Monolith into the central room. David emerges enlightened as the Star Child, the next step in human evolution. In The Shining Jack Torrance enters room 237. Instead of transcending he devolves into something primal, Oedipal.
Next time you’re watching it keep an eye out for doubles. Whether that’s the two Jacks the two Dannys, the twins, the use of mirrors, the list goes on. You’re watching one of the great cinematic representations of the uncanny.
Oh, and one more thing, the Overlook Hotel isn’t haunted.
This is one of the horror greats. This might be Romero’s best work. As much as I love the Living Dead trilogy, this is his most concentrated concise work.
It’s a horror film, but like many of the best film’s, it’s main focus in on the character. In this case, there is the titular Martin who believes himself a vampire. Is he correct in his belief? He needs to inject his victims and has no fangs. He can also walk about freely in daylight and has no problem with garlic or crosses.
The film has some great set pieces for its limited budget. In particular a home invasion scene around the mid-point. The film has an atmosphere of melancholy that pervades throughout. The story plays out against a Pittsburgh that is down on its luck.
Due to legal issues, the film is hard to get a hold of. I managed to get it on DVD years ago, but you’re in luck because someone has uploaded it to YouTube.
Check it out.