October Recommendations!

Hey there everybody. How’s it going? Don’t have a story for you today. Most of the stuff I’ve been writing this past week has just been random stuff for fun/practice. Nothing I feel like posting per say. But. BUT! Oh there’s a but. I’m sure you all noticed that today is the first day of October. Which means it’s almost Halloween, which means you all need some good Horror movies to watch.

This here is my list of Horror movies I recommend for the 2013 Halloween season. I’m not saying that they are all great cinema, but they’re at least entertaining enough to merit a watch. All of these are available to watch on Netflix unless I say otherwise.

The Cabin in the Woods – Okay, I figured I’d get this one out of the way pretty fast. I’m sure most of you have seen it, but if you haven’t it is totally worth a watch. Even if you have, give it another watch. It’s a Horror/Comedy that has a pretty good twist. It was written by Joss Whedon, so it has that going for it.

Tucker and Dale vs Evil – Another Horror/Comedy about people at a cabin in the woods. This one came out before Cabin and doesn’t share too much with that movie other than the things I already mentioned. There are a few things that don’t seem to make sense until a little ways in (some characters are total jerks for no apparent reason). Still, it’s funny, well directed, and has some good scares.

The Thing – This is the 1982 version. I know it’s an oldy, but it’s a goody. Probably my favorite horror movie of all time. A group of scientists deep in the Antarctic interior find an abandoned (and destroyed) Norwegian outpost and discover that whatever the thing is that the Norwegians found, it should have been left under the ice. NOT CURRENTLY ON NETFLIX (those bastards took it down).

Trick ‘R Treat – Another movie currently no longer available on Netflix. This is still a good Halloween movie. It is an anthology of 4 stories that interweave in little ways. It’s a pretty fun scare fest throughout and I’m a little peeved that they took it off netflix recently. Oh well. If you can find it I recommend watching it.

Slither – And we have another Horror/Comedy movie with this one. This movie stars Nathan Fillion and is set in a small town that has come under the sway of an evil presence. If I had to classify it, I would call it a zombie movie, but it’s so much more than that. There are some zombies, yes, but they aren’t virus or parasite or magic zombies. Aint gonna it for you, because I think that the end, while not necessarily a twist, is still pretty good.

Identity – Another older movie (2003), this is a psychological thriller about a group of people trapped in a remote motel while the storm of the century rages around them, closing roads and flooding escape routes. Or is it? Watch til the end to see. It’s a good suspenseful killer flick.

Wilderness – Another serial killer thriller set in a remote location. This time it’s a group of teenage delinquents sent out to live on an island for a few days to learn responsibility. They meet up with another group coincidentally there for the same reason (all female), and then suddenly they start getting picked off one by one by a hunter with a pair of large, aggressive dogs. The identity of the killer isn’t explicitly stated until the end of the movie, but it’s a bit obvious who it is. None the less it’s a good movie and worth a watch.

Exam – This isn’t really a horror movie, just a thriller, but it’s got a great premise and is well executed. A group of potential employees are applying for an extremely prestigious position and are put in a room together with a single sheet of blank paper. They are given a few rules, and then left alone while a time ticks down the time they have to complete the exam. Breaking any rule, stated or otherwise, is grounds for automatic removal from the exam. For a movie that takes place in a single room it paces itself nicely and has some great tension. Give it a watch.

American Mary – Okay, full disclosure time: this movie is fucked up. Seriously fucked up. It’s not for everyone. But it’s got a spark of brilliance that makes it worth it. A young medical student training to become a surgeon takes on a sketchy job in order to get money for school. Through a series of increasingly strange events she becomes unhinged, dangerous, and incredibly skilled in her craft. She opens a private practice performing extreme body modifications on people who aren’t happy with their current appearance. I don’t want to give more away, but let’s just say that this movie makes you root for a killer, and then makes you feel like a horrible person for doing so. Watch it if you dare.

Event Horizon – Not sure why I didn’t put this higher on the list, but I’m too lazy to fix it now. A great example of Sci-Fi horror that almost makes you glad the space program got canceled (almost). It’s got everything you need for good sci-fi horror; a broken down ship, alien (ish) presence, secrets amongst the crew, madness, death, and more. A great movie on top of being a great example for the genre.

White – The first foreign movie I’ve put on this list. Don’t let the subtitles sway you, this is a pretty creepy movie that’s worth a dark night and some popcorn. A relatively obscure all girl pop band (which are incredibly popular in Korea, and often have revolving members when the old ones get a year or two older than is “best”) stumbles across a recording of a previously unheard song. They record it for themselves and, lo and behold, they become famous overnight. Too bad for them the song is haunted by the ghost of one of the girls who died during the original recording. The group turns on one another, becoming jealous and frightened and greedy and dead. One caveat I must mention (and I may do a longer post about this later), this movie has the stereotypical “creepy girl with long black hair ghost” in it. Before you write it off as a rip off of The Ring, remember that this movie comes from a different culture. That type of ghost (vengeful scary girl ghost) is called an Onryo, and is as much a part of Asian (mostly Japanese, but Korean and Chinese as well) culture as a poltergeist is part of ours. It’s just a type of ghost is all. This is important because

Juon White Ghost/Black Ghost – Another Asian film, this time from Japan. They have separate IMDB pages, but they come as one film on Netflix, so I count them as one here. This is another movie with a creepy girl ghost with long black hair. If you’ve seen The Grudge, then you know a lot about this movie already. The Grudge was a remake of the Japanese film Juon (which is a curse based on a person dying while experiencing an extreme emotion like fear or anger, and hence it bears a “grudge”). Juon is incorrectly thought of by many as being the origin of the creepy girl ghost with long black hair, but that image has been a staple in Japanese drama since the ancient days of No theatre (see, look at that theatre history I took paying off). I will admit, however, that the Juon franchise really popularized the idea, so credit where it’s due. This movie takes place in the same world as that movie, and deals with the same curse, just giving it more victims to take. If you’re interested, Netflix also has Juon and it’s sequels (though not The Grudge I think), but I think these two are slightly better than the first one (I still haven’t watched the sequels).

And that’s pretty much my list for now. I might add on to it later if I remember anything important. Of course there are the usual staples such as the Hellraiser series, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, and so on. I just wanted to give you a few ideas for stuff you might not have seen before. Also, I’ve never been a huge fan of silly teen slasher movies and don’t think they are very scary, so I tried to offer a variety of options to choose from.

If you have any suggestions for me to either add to my list or just think I need to watch, let me know. I’m always keen to see a good horror flick.

Until next time, when (hopefully) I will have more fiction for you, stay scared folks.

-EW

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