The sky goes from dark to sunny in between shots in the same scene. The sequels, feel free to ignore. Good on you, Zombeavers. Damici, as in the previous film, is the real highlight, having become even more of a grizzled font of wisdom over the years. We glide through the house with minimal, whispered dialog and occasional narration, and although it does build a palpable sense of unease, the payoffs are few and far between.
I Am the Pretty Thing has grand artistic aspirations of some kind behind it, but has trouble giving them vibrancy. This is a horror film for audiences with solid attention spans. What We Become is well shot and handles its minimal story effectively, but it struggles somewhat to justify its own existence. The third act, thankfully, does ratchet up both the tension and action, paying off in some effective bloodletting that takes a bit too long to arrive.
This film, originally titled Somnia, was passed to several potential distributors and even had in-theater advertising at one point, but its plans for a theatrical release were ultimately scrapped. The story of a young boy Jacob Tremblay of Room and Wonder with the unconscious power to manifest his dreams in reality, it draws obvious parallels to Nightmare on Elm Street but especially to the astral plane-tripping excursions of the Insidious series, without quite having the verve of either.
Still, it could be an interesting genre footnote in the career of Tremblay if this kid grows up to be an Oscar-winner someday. The Star Trek star had already put together one hell of an incredible portfolio, and he radiated an innate likability that could well have made him an A-list leading man in Hollywood.
It still retains a little bit of that residual Hammer Horror feeling, though—billowing curtains and candles and ornate British mansions always go a long way toward setting the scene.
A good watch for those seeking classic ghost story beats rather than gore or more overt violence. Essentially a one-woman, one-location show, it follows a rookie police officer on her first day on the job, working the overnight shift in an old police station that is about to be shuttered. Still, for the horror completionist, its ending provides a worthwhile sense of closure for Sidney.
The fourth film, unsurprisingly, remains unnecessary as a result. Various Every viewer will have his or her favorite story in anthology horror comedy Tales of Halloween.
Half the fun of films like this lies in arguing with friends over which narrative is best, after all, and while there are clear standouts among the pack, the real pleasure of Tales of Halloween is the ride rather than the destination: Don Mancini Curse of Chucky is one of those rare cases where a direct-to-video horror film exceeds its limited aspirations and makes a case for getting a theatrical release.
Some scenes use a CGI Chucky presumably to save costs , and the results are absolutely abominable. Jonas Alexander Arnby Puberty can be horrifying. Yet it wants to be both. David Guy Levy Would You Rather is the kind of somewhat reductive horror film that follows in the wake of the Saw and Hostel generation of the s, where characterization is just an excuse to reduce each character to one driving motivation.
Films like this are careful to not present any of the other characters as equally or more sincere in their desire than that protagonist, because that would introduce real moral ambiguity rather than the illusive choices here.
If this movie had been made in , perhaps it would have been a minor classic. The film focuses on a cult in a fictional Gatlin, Neb.
We see Burt and Vicky played by Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton struggle to escape the small town after driving through and hitting a young, dying boy with their car. And like Lord of the Flies before it, this Stephen King-based story looks toward our kids to point out the oddities of our culture, including an obsession with religion.
With that said, the performances are cheesy as hell—from both the adults and children. Extraordinary Tales is remarkable for the level of talent the filmmakers were able to bring on as narrators or voice actors: Each story is likewise presented in a different style of animation, which sadly is of varying quality. It would be an excellent film to have playing in the background of a Halloween party. Evil, one of the best horror comedies in recent memory, director Eli Craig has finally returned with another horror comedy exclusive for Netflix , Little Evil.
Does she know that her child is the spawn of Satan, or as his mother is she just willfully blind to the obvious evil growing under her nose? This Chucky is certainly a return to the original film in many respects; especially in its depraved attitude and copious amounts of gore.
And unlike Curse of Chucky, most of the FX are rendered practically, to boot. Ultimately, Cult is a far better entry than you could ever hope for in the seventh film of a horror franchise, and it should be commended for that. Naturally, they adapt it into a garage rock song, and soon enough, the neighborhood is abuzz with gore-heavy scenes of demonic possession.
The humor is crude, and not quite as funny as it thinks it is, but the horror scenes are fun, and Deathgasm never drags. Charismatic performances from multiple child actors serve to bolster a story that unfortunately feels frustratingly familiar, recycling elements of Ouija, The Last Exorcism and practically every possession film ever written.
Sebastian Cordero This is definitely a stretch, but I wanted to give some recognition to an interesting indie sci-fi film with some definite horror elements. You could try playing that kind of story completely seriously, and it would probably be truly horrifying, but Teeth instead is presented almost like a teenage sex comedy gone horribly wrong.
It is, in other words, the kind of horror film that transcends genre and reaches that rare but exalted sweet spot of touching on genuine human fears. David Bruckner Where The Ritual excels is technically, in both its imagery and sound design.
Tony Randel Hellbound is a somewhat divisive sequel among horror fans, but we can all at least agree on one thing: The lovely Ashley Laurence returns as the protagonist, along with a young, emotionally disturbed girl who is adept at solving puzzles, which almost gives it the feel of a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel such as Dream Warriors. The Cenobites themselves get a little bit watered down from their nigh omnipotence in the original film, but the settings and effects are great for the meager budget and do as good a job as anyone could reasonably do of translating the twisted vision of Clive Barker to the screen.
Babak Anvari For most of the film, Babak Anvari is crafting a stifling period drama, a horror movie of a different sort that tangibly conveys the claustrophobia of Iran during its tumultuous post-revolution period. Shideh Narges Rashidi is cast as the tough heroine fighting back against greater hostile forces—a horror movie archetype that takes on even more potency in this setting. Seeing Shideh defy the Khomeini regime by watching a Jane Fonda workout video, banned by the state, is almost as stirring as seeing her overcome her personal demons by protecting her child from a more literal one.
The first half of the film demonstrates much more restraint, building tension as triangle-branded cultists isolate a mismatched group of mostly innocent people—led by Aaron Poole as an out-of-his-depth small-town cop—in a mostly vacant hospital.
Kotanski and Gillespie build in too many potentially conflicting twists—who, exactly, is impregnated with what? It Follows, The Babadook have wisely employed relatively narrow scopes. Instead, The Void attempts to push audiences into another dimension, but manages at least a few successful frights along the way. Rarely does a horror setting seem quite so hopeless as it does here. This is true of slow-burn cinema of any stripe, but Kusama slow-burns to perfection.
The key, it seems, to successful slow-burning in narrative fiction is the narrative rather than the actual slow-burn. In the case of The Invitation, that involves a tale of deep and intimate heartache, the kind that none of us hopes to ever have to endure in our own lives. The film taps into a nightmare vein of real-life dread, of loss so profound and pervasive that it fundamentally changes who you are as a human being.
Where we end is obviously best left unsaid, but The Invitation is remarkable neither for its ending nor for the direction we take to arrive at its ending. Instead, it is remarkable for its foundation, for all of the substantive storytelling infrastructure that Kusama builds the film upon in the first place. Of special note, I would be remiss to not praise the FX work on this film, which is better than you can possibly expect from your average indie British-Irish horror movie.
The whole film feels like something with a substantial, well-spent budget behind it, especially in the FX work, which is really top notch. Here, the gimmick is that the sole woman being menaced by a masked intruder outside her woodland home is in fact deaf and mute—i. It all boils down into more or less exactly the type of cat-and-mouse game you would expect, but the film manages to elevate itself in a couple of ways.
First is the performance of actress Kate Siegel as protagonist Maddie, who displays just the right level of both vulnerability and resolve, without making too many of the boneheaded slasher film character choices that encourage you to stand up and yell at the screen.
Second is the tangible sense of physicality the film manages in its scenes of violence, which are satisfyingly visceral. Mike Flanagan As he did previously in Oculus, Absentia and the preceding film Hush, director Mike Flanagan seems drawn toward the concept of telling horror stories about strong female characters who fight to achieve their sense of independence by shedding old scars or ghosts, be they literal or figurative.
Fast-moving only 85 minutes! The first 20 minutes show us a young camera crew investigating some unexplained bear deaths and a suspicious man who may be poaching them. The titular Troll Hunter extraordinaire is played by the affable comedian Otto Jespersen, who brings the entire monster premise to an entirely different level through his nonchalant attitude.
In every sense, Troll Hunter lives up to its ridiculous name and premise. Young people trek out into the wilderness for fun and recreation, young people incur the wrath of hostile forces, young people get dead, easy as you please.
XX stands apart from other horror films because it invites its audience to feel a range of emotions aside from just fright. Vincent, in her filmmaking debut. XX is a horror movie spoken with the voices of women, a necessary notice that women are revolutionizing the genre as much as men.
Patrick Brice Creep was not a movie begging for a sequel. Two performers bare it all, both literally and figuratively: Creep 2 is one of the most surprising, emotionally resonant horror films in recent memory. Unlike Let the Right One In, The Transfiguration may not be a vampire movie at all, but a movie about a lonesome kid with an unhealthy fixation on gothic legends. The simple structure of The Nightmare involves in-depth interviews with eight people who all suffer from some form of sleep paralysis, allowing them to describe the horrifying visions they encounter on a nightly basis.
On the other hand, the documentary can frustrating for not asking or answering what seem like fairly obvious questions: Does medication aid with these sleep paralysis episodes? Have any of the subjects of the documentary ever been studied in an overnight sleep study?
Mike Flanagan When one hears that the central focus point of Oculus is a haunted mirror, you expect a fairly self-contained ghost story, but this recent release proved to be a surprisingly ambitious concept from a promising horror director, Mike Flanagan.
Look no further than the soul-sucking ending, which leaves the door wide open to all sorts of future possibilities if Flanagan ever wants to revisit the concept. Can Evrenol It is telling that the single scariest image in Baskin emphasizes creeps over carnage. Grand guignol-level spectacle where every character in the frame is streaked with viscera?
Domestic peculiarities that invoke nocturnal aberrations, though, are another thing entirely. The film evokes the artistic sensibilities of both Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento with its lurid color palette, but it carves a gore-streaked path all its own.
Adrian Garcia Bogliano Late Phases is a limited but kind of brilliant take on the werewolf movie, featuring a truly outstanding performance by screenwriter-turned-actor Nick Damici from Stake Land as an elderly, blind Vietnam veteran who moves to a retiree community currently being menaced by a lycanthrope.
The actual werewolf costumes, it must be noted, look just a little bit ridiculous—like a man in a wolf-bat hybrid suit, and nowhere near as good as say, Dog Soldiers—but the blood effects are top notch. If werewolves are your movie monster of choice, it has to vault up your must-see list. It leans entirely on its performances, which are excellent. The early moments of back-and-forth between the pair crackle with a sort of awkward intensity. And indeed, They Look Like People is far more genuinely creepy than many other, more traditional horror films on this list that aim to entertain more than legitimately scare.
What we have here is a very unusual, unflinching portrait of mental and emotional illnesses that spin wildly out of control.