I really wanted to do all Halloween themed picks this week, but I found the selections disappointingly lacking.
Maybe I missed some – if so, please tell me.
Granted, there was that new Adam Sandler film, but I don’t think that will go down well…
Instead, here’s my non-themed-but-still-all-great picks for the weekend.
New Release: The Mortuary Tales (2019)
I love me a good horror anthology. This one is a great one.
The visuals are stellar (and many times disgusting) and the acting is on point.
Sometimes anthologies with multiple directors can be fun, each segment varying in the style as much as the story. Ryan Spindell directs the entirety of this one, and that consistency allows for the focus to be on the ‘dark, twisted, and awesome’ tales of death told by our eccentric mortician narrator.
So Bad, It’s Good: Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)
The second instalment of this trilogy picks up a few years after Courtney survived the first drill-wielding maniac attacks, which left her older sister in a mental institution.
She has recurring hallucinations of blood gushing faucets, crazy chicken carcasses, and the killer – who is now a rock-a-billy that’s upgraded his weapon of choice to a pretty sweet (and deadly) power drill-tipped guitar.
The weekend away with her girl-band gal pals and their boy toys turns, what should have been a fun escape from the parental units, into a living nightmare.
The film is chock full of shitty songs, cheesy teenage romances, and awkward conversations delivered directly to the camera. But, it’s also got just the kind of gore you’d expect from a Corman production.
Underrated Gem: Before I Wake (2016)
I was a HUGE fan of The Haunting of Bly Manor – I know it left a lot of horror fans disappointed and eager for more scares.
If, like me and my fellow LHSer Hugh (via his review), you loved the story despite the ‘lack of horror’, I urge you to check out this other Mike Flanagan gem.
It’s a mixed genre film – some say mostly drama, some say mostly fantasy – but the horror elements are definitely there.
As always with Flanagan’s work, this is gorgeously shot. Combining that with the beautiful effects and fairy tale-like story, it’s one of my favourites in the past 5 years. The acting is also strong, especially from the young Jacob Tremblay (Room).
Classic Horror: The Children of the Corn (1984)
This is one I hadn’t seen from start to finish in years, and a revisit was way overdue.
Sure, it’s a bit dated, but weird killer kids will always be creepy. And, in this classic Stephen King adaptation, it’s intensified by the religious cult themes and eerie soundtrack.
Cornfields always add that nice little element of extra terror, too. Especially, for me, around this time of year. Maybe it’s just the memories of getting lost in the maze at the pumpkin patch…
Modern Classic: Let the Right One In (2008)
The 2010 US remake of this was, surprisingly, pretty good. But, as is usually the case, the original is even better and a lot of that comes down to it’s subtlety, when compared to its younger American counterpart.
If you can stand reading some subtitles for a couple hours, I highly recommend watching this beautifully creepy, touching, and tragic film.
It might be a lot less thrilling than your average vampire film, but the slow-burn and haunting visuals more than make up for any action that may be lacking.
Bonus Short: The Rocking Chair (2019)
I stumbled upon this British short at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival (which is happening again soon -digitally).
Created by Dominic Grose, this 3 minute film has a simple enough idea, but it’s pretty unnerving. I think it’s those quickening footsteps that get me…
This, and his other films, are great examples of how you can create something creepy with low to no budget.
Want to join one of the fastest-growing horror communities in the UK for FREE? Now you can. Click here to become a member of The London Horror Society.