May’s Horror Channel Highlights

I love the Horror Channel. I remember being so excited when it first launched; I finally had a place where I could overdose on horror and not be judged. A channel that had been created solely for people like me with the same interests – to watch films that would scare the bejesus out of them.

Horror Channel

It has had its hits and misses and, personally, I don’t usually bother to visit the channel until 9pm as that is when the real horror kicks off.

But they deliver what we want, and each month premiere horrors films not previously shown on other channels or outside of Sky. And for this I am thankful! I discover new gems and fall back in love with horrors from my past.

This month has seen a number of network and UK TV premieres as well as a few friendly faces. Here I share my 5 Horror Channel highlights from May 2017:

Urban Legend

(Network Premiere)

An American University is plagued by killings that resemble old urban legends. Natalie (Alicia Witt) finds herself at the centre of these murders and must fight against time to find the killer before she becomes an urban legend.

I love urban legends so I love the premise of this film. Urban legends and scary stories are whispered around camp fires and at sleepovers whilst someone holds a torch under their chin. They’re scary but we feel safe as they’re just myths or make believe.

The fact that a killer decides to turn this completely on its head is brilliant. And the final result is a fun, thrilling and twisted film that delivers on every level. Plus you have both Joshua Jackson and Jared Leto sporting Eminem-style blonde hairstyles so you also get a few laughs.

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary

(UK TV Premiere)

Prom night is legendary for all graduating American students but after a group of teenagers release a vengeful spirit who sets about exacting her revenge, this particular prom is going to be legendary for all the wrong reasons.

This is not to be taken as a sequel to Urban Legend but as a film in its own right. I know some of you may roll your eyes at this inclusion but I find this film to be genuinely unsettling. From what happens to Mary on her prom night to the vengeful spirit peering at you from under the bed, I guarantee you won’t be saying “Bloody Mary” three times into a mirror anytime soon.

The Divide

(Network Premiere)

A devastating nuclear attack traps nine strangers in the bunker-like basement of their New York apartment building. As supplies dwindle and tempers flare, they become increasingly unhinged and begin turning on each other. Is there any hope for survival?

I found this film by accident on Film4 years ago so was pleased to see it had made its way to the Horror Channel. This is a dark film which concentrates on what happens to humanity when we are forced into the bleakest situations.

It isn’t easy viewing, I warn you, and some scenes genuinely make you want to turn away but it is a fascinating insight into the human condition and will get under your skin. Brilliant acting, directing, cinematography… I could go on.

2001 Maniacs

Set in the Deep South, this film sees a group of college kids accidentally spending their spring break in a lost town called Pleasant Valley. Persuaded to join the town for their annual BBQ, it isn’t long before the teenagers begin disappearing…

Time for something more light-hearted. I discovered this film in a shop years ago, bought it based upon Robert Englund being in the starring role and watched it with my mother who was horrified by the horses scene.

This is full of bad acting and ridiculous scenarios as well as the usual nudity, sexual references, etc. but it is jolly good fun. There are wonderfully wacky killings, a delicious BBQ and it also features the wonderful Lin Shaye. Just stay way from 2001 Maniacs: Field of Dreams. Stay well away! You have been warned…

Idle Hands

When a slacker teen has his hand possessed and slays those closest to him, he ends up on a race against time to end this evil before it takes his true love on a one-way journey to hell.

This is my favourite horror comedy. I discovering at my best friend’s sleepover and I was hooked from the beginning. There is a real moral element to this story as well as being very funny and rather gruesome.

The cast is also very impressive, including Devon Sawa, Jessica Alba, Seth Green, Elden Henson, Vivica A. Fox, Fred Willard, Sean Whalen… you get the idea. This film has given me enough one liners to last a lifetime and scares me enough to ensure I don’t spend too much time lying on the couch. If you see one film from this list, this is it.

Two other horror films were also Horror Channel Horrnetwork premieres (Boogeyman and Seed of Chucky) but I couldn’t bring myself to write about them…

By Catherine Dunn (@toodamncat)

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