Everyone knows in October you have to watch horror movies. Of course movie lovers want to suggest their own favorite films, but sometimes it seems that the suggestions are the same films everyone already knows about like Halloween, the Shining, the Thing, the Evil Dead Trilogy, etc. I thought maybe it would be fun to recognize a few that might slide under the radar but still be popular enough to pick up on Blu-ray this holiday season. Also what would a list be without some terrible trash that can barely even be considered real. So without further ado I present some favorite underrated horror gems and some horror you should completely stay away from.
First – the good!
Vincent D’Onofrio stars in this psychological character study of a serial killer and a boy raised in captivity. Will the boy grow up to escape this life or will he too fall down the same dark path? Directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch (David Lynch’s daughter) it’s an atmospheric film with a slow burn. Not too much is shown on screen but there is a fantastically dark and gritty feel across the whole thing. It’s a fairly intuitive film and much like her father’s works it seems people either love or hate it. I thought it was fantastically done, has the restraint of a veteran director and has a great cast with solid performances. It takes place mostly inside a couple rooms and is pretty nihilistic. People looking strictly to be entertained or to have fun won’t enjoy this. I rate the film 5/5.
This Japanese film is also known as House in the U.S. though not to be confused with the 1986 comedy horror film of the same name. Hausu is about a schoolgirl and six of her classmates that travel to her aunt’s country home, which then tries to devour the girls in bizarre ways. It’s a comedy horror from director Nobuhiko Ôbayashi that is so original and so weird I try to suggest everyone see it at least once. The film is so dreamlike and surreal not only in it’s visuals but also in it’s structure and acting performances. The movie itself is difficult to describe without having experienced it yourself. Criterion released a masterful version on Blu-ray that I highly recommend be your way of viewing it. I rate the film 5/5.
This Austrian film directed by Gerald Kargl (sadly his only feature) is probably in my top couple serial killer films. In case you haven’t noticed already my favorites are mostly psychological in nature and are more expressed through visuals and details you have to pay attention to catch. The film is about a troubled man who wanders around and has to take out his fantasies on whomever he comes across. The camera work in this film is very experimental and amazing. It allows the viewer to literally be a voyeur in this twisted world of the main character. Everything in the film coexists in a fluid motion of showing rather than telling. It’s this purity of storytelling that really sets it apart from other films of the subject matter. It’s disturbing, it’s haunting and I can’t recommend it enough. Cult Epics has released the best version on Blu so far. I rate the film 5/5.
Now maybe you are like me and like really terrible movies and instead of watching something that I highly recommend you’d rather watch something horrible that maybe you haven’t heard of before. So here are my 3 terrible, please for the love of god no one watch these “horror” movies.
I Know Who Killed Me (2007)
Starring Lindsay Lohan, this film is mostly recognized as “that film where Lindsay Lohan played a stripper and smoked a cigarette from her vagina”. Yes, if you ever wanted a movie about a small town were a young woman is abducted, and tortured by a killer but really hate Twin Peaks but at the same time want to be confused, then my friend this is the movie for you. Lohan tries to convince people that she isn’t who the town thinks she is and that the girl they mistake her for is still in danger. Doesn’t that sound like fun? If you had ever wished for the torture porn version of the Parent Trap then again, this is for you. It should be a “so bad it’s good” film but I was so mad at how stupid it was done that I couldn’t enjoy it. I rated it as the worst horror film of 2007.
I’m going to copy the plot description word for word and you tell me what you think: “K was the most infamous serial killer of his day, torturing and murdering dozens of innocent victims. Until Detective Steve Gornick, tracked the maniac down and destroyed him. Years later, a brilliant young scientist injects K’s corpse with an experimental serum, bringing the killer back to life and giving him superhuman strength and speed. As K cuts a bloody path through Los Angeles, he begins to mutate into an unstoppable force of evil. Even the detective who once put him down may not be able to destroy the monstrous MUTATION.” Including myself only 7 people have seen this movie on Letterboxd. No one deemed it worth writing a review about it. I suggest you not watch it even if it sounds like a terrible rip off of Frankenstein and Re-Animator. Just don’t do it! I rated this the worst horror film of 2006.
Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood (2003)
I know you are thinking “Well of course I wouldn’t watch that” but obviously someone other than Rich keeps watching them or they couldn’t keep making them. Stop it, stop it right now! Anyway you won’t believe this but Warwick Davis returns for his 6th (I think) turn at the little green leprechaun. If you guessed this has something to do with a chest full of gold coins, old guys warning people about a curse and a film full of terribly bad hood references then you just won a gold star. I don’t know exactly what kind of drugs you would have to be on to really enjoy this but I don’t want to find out. I rated this the worst horror film of 2003 (and probably the decade to be honest).
Well there you have it. My 3 to watch and 3 to stay away from horror films for October. Do whatever you wish with these suggestions. If you do happen to check any of these out feel free to leave a comment on what you thought about them.