Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Horror Movie Picks

Somebody asked me to do a blog post about my Top Ten Favorite horror movies in the last 10 years and what they meant to me.  I thought that was an interesting idea because what scares us says a lot about us.  More to the point, who we cheer for says a lot about us as well.

These are in no particular order but if you get a chance, you should check them out.

1)  Outpost.

I thought this movie was amazingly well done.  I personally don't like a lot of the Nazi horror movies that have come out in recent years.  They're derivative and based on inaccurate history.  What makes this movie interesting is how these mercenaries are supposed to go to this old Nazi outpost and retrieve something for a wealthy client.

The Nazi soldiers who are there have another idea.

It's not like these soldiers are out trying to conquer the world or spread the gospel of National Socialism anywhere.  They're just occupying the outpost and these idiot mercenaries screw that up.

I'll admit that I cheered for the Nazis in this one.  They showed a delightful sense of humor and gave those mercenaries what they had coming.  The lesson here is simple:  you find some Nazi soldiers, leave them the fuck alone.

2)  The Purge

This has become a franchise and it asks the question we're always being asked--do you help people who cannot help themselves or do you purge them out of your society?  What about the people you want to kill who pissed you off?  Or the people you want to rape and mutilate?  If all is legal and all is allowed, what would you do?  Would you hide in a huddled group and defend yourself or would you hunt down your prey?

I'll admit that I'm on the fence with this one.  I'd hunt.  Some motherfuckers need killin' and there's no way around it.  But I'd also protect the people I care about.

I can tell you one thing, if we did have a purge, I'd be in much better shape.

3)  Silent Hill

I know this was based on a video game, but I enjoyed it just for the visuals alone.  It was breathtaking at how wonderfully dark the visuals of this movie unfolded.  When I'm driving in fog, I keep my eye out for a man with a pyramid for a head all the time now.

4)  Paranormal Activity

I know this is a franchise, but I loved it.  It was based so much on expectations and it masterfully drew your attention to what might happen.  Even when you knew what was going it happen, you were still waiting with your breath held, knowing it was going to be bad.

That, in a nutshell, is horror.  You know something bad is going to happen and there's nothing you can do to stop it.  You just have to survive it and if you're lucky, keep your loved ones alive in the process.

5)  30 Days of Night

I'm a Steven Niles fanboy.  I love just about everything of his I've found.  This is no different.

What a lot of folks don't know is that a few mini prequels were made and were available on Comcast's On-Demand section exclusively.  They were just as intense.

What is really happening in the world around us?  What is just beyond the shadows?

Have you ever wondered, while out for a walk at night, just what kind of monster you've walked past and didn't even realize it?

It's no secret to anybody that I wish all of these monsters were real.  I've always wished for that.  This movie made me imagine it was a reality.  Even the sequel kicked ass.

6)  Bitten

Jason Mewes.  Yup.  Jay from all of Kevin Smith's movies.  But this is a serious role and he does it very well.

Yes, this is a vampire movie.  But this is different.  He's in love with the vampire and for a while, you really feel sorry for him.  Plus, this movie showed a gritty Chicago through the lense of an EMT riding a meat wagon.

Between Mewes's acting and a pretty decent script, this movie isn't so much about horror as a character in a bad situation that cycles out of control.  This didn't get a lot of attention and it should.

7)  The Collector

I'll just cut to the chase and admit I cheered for the bad guy in this one.  He was so evil, so nasty, and was having such a good time I couldn't help it.  The scene where the daughter comes home with her boyfriend and he's watching them in the kitchen is incredible.  The way his eyes light up and his tongue darts in a out is just delicious.

8)  Let Me In

Our childhoods are often full of the need to escape.  Often, they're lonely and just not that good.  This movie plays with that and gives somebody a genuine monster to connect with.  What's even more delicious about this is how well this monster manipulates the child into joining her.

She might look like a kid, but she ain't no kid.

Evil is cunning and often much smarter than we are.  To me, this movie is about how we make choices for our comfort regardless of the consequences, or how dark the path.

9)  The Rite

I loved this movie.  Sir Anthony Hopkins is amazing in this.  He could read the alphabet and scare the crap out of you.

I love exorcism movies and I love how nobody can fuck with you like The Devil.

10)  Ava's Possessions

This movie is hip without being hipster.  And it does something I dearly love doing myself--focusing on a character after something shitty happens.  In this case, it's about a woman after she was possessed by a demon, and how she pieces of her life back together.

It's funny, it's creepy, it's weird.  And it raises some fun questions.

Definitely check this one out!

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