Halloween Horror Films For Those Who Love Horror: Part Two

Well, I was more enthusiastic than I had initially intended in Part One but there are just so many great horror films out there that I need to share.  However there are also a whole lot of bad horror films, probably more bad if I am being honest, so that is what makes these posts even more important.  People seem to be into the habit of watching horror films that are prescribed to them, such as Paranormal Activity (which is actually a guilty pleasure of mine) but there are so many better and scarier films out there, but of course everyone is scared by different things, so I have tried to keep my list as varied as possible.  I have grouped some films together in this post either due to being based on the same story or the being by the same director, and again the films are not in a particular order.

7.  The Collector (20009) (American Torture Horror).
This is one of the best films I have seen in recent years and I cannot recommend it enough, it is similar in plot to the Saw films and was considered to be a prequel to Saw but that idea was quickly dismissed.  I am glad, as although the films have similarities they’re very different in regards to the perpetrators motives and that is what makes The Collector a scarier villain than Jigsaw in my opinion. I would have said ‘killer’ but that opens the whole is Jigsaw a killer argument. 
“Desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con plots a heist at his new employer’s country home, unaware that a second criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps”. – IMDb

8.  The Orphanage (2007) (Spanish Supernatural Horror).
I could have swore that this film was by Guillermo del Toro but it actually by another Spanish director called Juan Antonio Bayona. It is clear that del Toro has influenced his work though and in researching Bayona I had found out that del Tero is a mentor to Bayona, that explains it.  Either way it is a fantastic supernatural film, don’t let the fact that is in Spanish put you off watching it – it will captivate you until the end. The fact that this is Bayona’s first feature film is terribly impressive and I really hope he makes more films in this creepy style.   It has some great twists and Tomas will chill you to the bone (oh how cliché).

“A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, where she opens an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend”. – IMDb
9. Julia’s Eyes (2012) (Spanish Thriller Horror).
Another great Spanish supernatural horror, but I cannot take credit for finding this one, my ex-flatmate (victoriaspongepeasepudding) introduced me to this one and it terrified us both, even whilst drinking large glasses of wine.  This story of this film still chills me as it resonates with a recurring nightmare that I have, but in general if this does not scare you a little then you must be a pretty tough person.  Just thinking about one of the key scenes in the film freaks me out, a true thriller that does not need jumpy scenes to have you on edge.
“The story of a woman who is slowly losing her sight whilst trying to investigate the mysterious death of her twin sister”. IMDb


10. House of 1000 Corpses (2003) (American Exploitation Horror), The Devils Rejects (2005) (Slasher Horror), Halloween (2007) (Slasher Horror). 

You will either love these films or you will hate them.  I am a little bias since I love Rob Zombie (the musician and director of these films) and his wife Sheri Moon Zombie who is one of my favourite horror actresses. I love the humour and horror geekery that comes with Rob Zombie films – you see his passion for horror in the films.  As both a musician and a film director he has a large cult following from the alternative scene but that might simply be because we are also very passionate about horror as a film genre and sub-culture.  

House of 1000 Corpses

“Two teenage couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers”. IMDb

My favourite Rob Zombie film because it almost has everything that I want in a horror film – gore, reference to serial killers, a clown, torture, humour, a wonder of ‘what the fuck’, a banging soundtrack and a little bit of slashing.


The Devils Rejects

The follow up to house of 1000 Corpses but it is quite different in plot and is more of a straight thriller/slasher film but it has some great punch lines and the same great characters. 

“The murderous, backwoods Firefly family takes to the road to escape a vengeful police force which isn’t afraid of being as ruthless as their target”. – IMDb


Halloween

A remake of course and I suppose I am a little hypocritical after expressing my distaste for remakes in the first post but I genuinely prefer the Rob Zombie presentation of the origins of Michael Myers to the original version. I do recommend the other original films though, I just prefer this as an introduction to what Halloween is about. 

“After being committed for 17 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution (where he was committed as a 10 year old) and he immediately returns to Haddonfield, where he wants to find his baby sister, Laurie. Anyone who crosses his path is in mortal danger”. – IMDb



11. The Exorcist (1973) (American Supernatural Horror)

I couldn’t write a post about horror films and not include the classic horror that is The Exorcist.  The original demon possession film and one that shook audiences to the core when it was first released – ambulances on cue from people passing out.  Nowadays it is more funny than anything else, but I was scared the first time I seen the film when I was 9 or 10. 

“When a girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter”. – IMDb


12. Funny Games (1997) (Austrian Psychological Thriller), Funny Games (2007) (American Re-make) & The Strangers (2008) (American Psychological Thriller).

All three films concern being held hostage and tortured.The Leopold and Loeb murder case is said to have influenced the film as it revolves around committing the ‘perfect crime’.   The remake of Funny Games is based on the Austrian original and The Strangers is based loosely on those two films. 

Funny Games

“The plot of the film involves two young men who hold a family hostage and torture them with sadistic games”. – Wiki



The Strangers

Not one to watch when you are in the house alone or live on your own, it will have you questioning every little noise you hear and making sure that your door is locked, but it is one of those films where you think ‘hmm I would do that different and survive’. 

“A young couple staying in an isolated vacation home are terrorized by three unknown assailants”. – IMDb


13.  Hostel (2005) (American Torture Horror).

Written by one of my favourite horror geeks Eli Roth, Hostel is essentially a world-wind of gore and raises some horrifying questions about the world we live in.  The gore does not phase me much but the story behind Hostel is safely in the back of mind whenever I go somewhere new – see horror keeps you safe. 

“Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them”. – IMdb


I could have continued going all night but I didn’t want to burden you with a massive list but I might write more horror film lists, about more specific genres if this post is popular. 
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Halloween Horror Films for Those That Love Horror – Part One

I love horror and I love Halloween, and although I watch horror films all year round I know that not everyone does. Halloween is a time for the non super-horror-enthusiast to lust after horror films and I want to make sure that you find some decent ones, for I know more than most that the horror market is chock full of bad horror. 

The below list is not in a particular order but I do highly recommend the first two on the list to horror geeks. 


1. Shutter (2004) (Thai Supernatural Horror).  There is also an American remake but I would advise watching the Thai version first. 

“A young photographer Thun and his girlfriend Jane discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after fleeing the scene of an accident. As they investigate the phenomenon, they find other photographs contain similar supernatural images, that Thun’s best friends are being haunted as well, and Jane discovers that her boyfriend has not told her everything. It soon becomes clear that you can not escape your past”. – IMDb

This is without a doubt one of the scariest films I have seen, and I have watched a lot of horror films.  Not only is it scary, jumpy, but it has mystery to it too, and a great ending. A top notch horror film.


2. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) (Korean Supernatural Horror).  This what the American horror The Uninvited is based upon, I haven’t seen the later but I am going to assume that the original is better – they usually are. Another Asian horror film gem. 

“Two sisters who, after spending time in a mental institution, return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother. Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother’s obsessive and unbalanced ways, an interfering ghost also affects their recovery”. – IMDb

This one takes quite a lot of thinking and you need to pay attention to it to understand what is happening, but it an excellent film once you have your head around it. I advise you watch it with someone so you can discuss what is happening – I advise this for most Asian horror films. 



3. The Amityville Horror (1979) (American Supernatural Horror). Before I discovered Shutter this was my ‘most scary’ horror film.  Like the last two films mentioned the original is far better than the remake, if you want a swatch at Ryan Reynolds abs then watch the 2005 remake – but I find the original so much more eerie.  This film will set you on edge and having you flinching at every little noise you hear. 

“Based on a true story that was claimed by writer Jay Anson, The Amityville Horror is about a large house on the coast of Long Island where newly weds George and Kathy Lutz and their three children move into the house that they hope will be their dream house but it ends up in terror”. IMDb

This film scared me for a long time and the background story behind the Amityville case is also really quite interesting.



4. Ringu (1998) (Japanese Supernatural Horror).  Only watch the Japanese series of Ring films, if you watched the American versions and found them really good then this is probably the wrong post for you. 

“Reiko Asakawa is researching into a ‘Cursed Video’ interviewing teenagers about it. When her niece Tomoko dies of ‘sudden heart failure’ with an unnaturally horrified expression on her face, Reiko investigates. Shes finds out that some of Tomoko’s friends, who had been on a holiday with Tomoko the week before, had died on exactly the same night at the exact same time in the exact same way”. IMDb



5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) (American Slasher Film).  This is very possibly the first horror film I ever bought. It was that or Friday the 13th (another one to take note of).  I just absolutely love the story of Texas Chainsaw Massacre – the crazy dysfunctional family and the psychology behind leather-face (based on serial killer Ed Gein).  Taking into account the small budget this film had, it is a great horror.  I sometimes feel that modern special effects make films less scary. There is a great coldness to this film and the silence in parts really does create a horrible atmosphere both in the film and around you – grab a blanket. 

“Five friends visiting their grandpa’s old house are hunted down and terrorized by a chainsaw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals”.

I also enjoy the follow up to this film also by Tobe Hooper (not to be mistaken for the remakes, gosh I seem to really hate remakes). IMDb



6.  The Shining (1980) (American Supernatural Horror).  Without a doubt this is a classic.  Based on the Stephen King novel, it is simply a great tale of mystery, psychology and supernatural activity.  It is a film I have yet to proper work out, but one day I will sit and tear it apart, perhaps with a glass of red-rum.

“A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future”. IMDb

It is a Stanley Kubrick film and it stars Jack Nicholson – need I encourage you further?

At the moment I have no opinion on the prequel to The Shining that is currently in the works.  I don’t know whether it is a good idea or a disastrous one – I suppose time will tell.  I do have a lot of opinions of the remaking of American Psycho though – again blooming remakes!



Stay tuned for part two and my post for halloween films for those that do not like horror.  



The Cabin in the Woods – Review

I was meant to write this at the start of the week but my dissertation is due in just over a week so I am pretty busy at the moment and not really in a writing mood if I am being honest but I thought I would give a quick review of this little gem.

The unoriginal title made me pay absolutely no attention to this film at first and I am a big horror fan.  I figured it was just another crap horror film but then I kept seeing people saying how good it was – which intrigued me.

Since viewing the film I have seen more reviews saying that people weren’t impressed with the film and that there are holes in the plot – there totally is but if you take the film at face value you might enjoy it.

I found the film enjoyable and unlike my original thought it does sway from the traditional horror story line albeit the end is strange and hard to get to grips with. It does involve a cabin and a group of college students who partake in drinking and getting high but the non-originality ends there.

I didn’t find the film scary or jumpy – it is more interesting and there is a lot of visual imagery that makes you go ‘Oh what’s that?’

If enjoy horror, thriller or the occasional sci-fi then give this film a chance and let me know what you think of it.

4/4