Horror is a funny old genre. For every great horror movie, there’s at least 20 absolutely terrible sequels, prequels, remakes or rip-offs. This is especially true in recent years, where many films stretch for the so-bad-it’s-good tone of ‘Sharknado’ but just end up being terrible.
Luckily, it’s not all bad news. There have been more than a few brilliant horror films made in the States over the past 10 years or so, all of which we’d highly recommend you enjoy this Halloween – along with some American Halloween sweets and soda, of course!
Drag Me To Hell
Directed by Sam Raimi, the genius behind the ‘Evil Dead’ series, ‘Drag Me To Hell’ is the terrifying but oddly-hilarious tale of a bank teller who gets cursed by a gypsy for refusing to give her a bank loan. This ‘curse’ mainly consists of increasingly scary encounters with our gypsy friend, some of which include – and you might want to stop reading if you’re eating – copious amounts of vomit.
It’s not the scariest of horror films, but it’s definitely one of the most original. If you love ‘The Evil Dead’s’ heady mix of comedy and horror, you’ll love this too. Just make sure you don’t eat too much candy before watching…
Released last year, It Follows is a supernatural horror in which a teenager is cursed after sleeping with her new boyfriend. Yep, it turns out that getting jiggy with it can awaken ancient curses too now. Yikes!
Unlike most modern horror films, the curse pursues poor old Jay at walking pace (literally) and the film is shot as such. Instead of fast cuts and dramatic jump moments, It Follows relies on tense moments of dread and fear to ramp up the horror factor. It’s probably not the best choice if you want a fast-paced slasher, but most horror fans will lap it up like Big Red Soda.
The Cabin in the Woods
Joss Whedon produced this 2012 horror and it’s every bit as clever as you’d expect from the man behind ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’, ‘Firefly’ and ‘Avengers Assemble’.
The film starts off with a fairly standard horror premise: a group of good-looking teens head off to a cabin in the woods (obviously) and have a good time before bad and scary stuff starts happening. However, things aren’t as they seem and, without wanting to spoil anything, an extremely clever twists leads to horror and gore galore.
Dawn of the Dead
Oh crikey, this is bound to cause a bit of controversy. Dawn of the Dead took perhaps the most controversial decision in the history of zombies and decided to let them run (they aren’t proper zombies in 28 Days Later!).
The result, if you can bring yourself to watch such blasphemy, is…actually very, very scary! Sure, fast zombies don’t have the lumbering dread of a shambling horde, but they can eat you faster than you can say ‘hey, is that a zomb-’. It’s a different kind of scary.
As far as zombie movies go, this is probably one of the best out of America since the turn of the century (obviously it’s a different story elsewhere), providing an interesting and thrilling new take on Romero’s original undead classic. It’s at least partially responsible for the zombie revival that encouraged TV execs to greenlight a certain big budget drama about walkers too…
If you’re looking for a tongue-in-cheek silly horror movie this Halloween, ‘The Mist’ isn’t it. If you’re looking for a terrifying film that will stay with you for weeks after you’ve watched it (that also happens to be based on a short story by one of horror’s greatest authors), however, we can’t recommend it enough.
Based on a tale by Stephen King, ‘The Mist’ sees a poor small town in America swamped in a thick mist. Unfortunately, this mist doesn’t just bring bad driving conditions and a brisk cold front; it also brings an army of nasty monsters who fancy humans for dinner. And you thought you were having a bad day…
The townsfolk who haven’t been eaten by nasties are forced to hole up in their local supermarket, but – as anyone who watches ‘The Walking Dead’ will tell you – sometimes other people can be worse than the monsters that lurk outside.
It’s a brilliant horror film that delivers perhaps the biggest gut punch in cinematic history. Maybe get a Disney film handy to watch afterwards…