Willow Creek. This had some fun sound design. Super intense at the climax. Good chemistry from our lead pair, too. No masterpiece, but it takes the mold from The Blair Witch Project, trims some fat, and gives us what we want. Like in The Orphanage, I like the stress more than the scares.
The Uninvited (2009). A remake of a Korean film. Elizabeth Banks and David Strathairn are just about always worth a watch, but this one can be skipped. Less than 90 minutes though! Maybe I just prefer more loose ends?
The Fly (1986). Excellent. I hadn’t seen this in ages. I remember watching it as a kid and being kinda bored and impatient. Totally different experience as an adult. You kinda know what’s coming and it’s supported and pushed the whole way with the character development. Fun performance.
Nosferatu. The cut back and forth during the sleepwalk is so good. I like those creepy Venus fly traps and spiders. The score in my version had some Sibelius quotes – nice. Didn’t expect the tie-in with the plague, but I really like it.
El Orfanato (The Orphanage). I really like stressful movies like this. Dread and anxiety make the best kind of horror.
Hereditary. I liked it… and it’s completely draining. Just seeps in and grinds you down like the characters. Toni Collette is a master.
It Follows. Loved this movie. Good theme, good creeps, good jumps, great soundtrack.
The Descent. Gets to the point! Set the scene, give me foreboding hints about who’s up to what, then creep me out. Very efficient opening. I’m surprised we haven’t seen more movies set in caves.
The Blair Witch Project. I missed it back in the day. Pretty fun! Refreshing to see how such good work can be made at such small scale, and still kick off a little revolution in the genre.
Get Out. The more I think about it, the better and better it becomes.
Paranormal Activity. This was really fun. Ending seemed inevitable, but I suppose there’s not much else you could do. Weird that being creeped out can be so fun. Filed under: horror.
Angel Heart. Love the mood and atmosphere. A nice blend of noir and horror, sort of ambling along as our PI reluctantly goes where the clues take him. Mickey Rourke was super charismatic. Haven’t seen much with him aside from the recent stuff (Iron Man 2, The Wrestler, and the small bit in Man on Fire).
Carrie. Last time I saw this was middle school I think. Long time ago. So sad, wrenching. We remember the mad scene for good reason, but build-up to it at the prom is exquisite.
It Comes at Night. It’s great! Movies like this remind you of what a simple, almost primal pleasure it is just to watch how light fills and moves through a dark place. I also like that it doesn’t bother with answers about the general state of the world, and doesn’t waste time with half-hearted attempts. People seek and accept what’s practical, and move on. Backstory is irrelevant to a degree. The red door in the house – like a church, perhaps? I’ve really come to love this survival-cabin subgenre. Other recent ones that are worth a look: 10 Cloverfield Lane, Into the Forest, Z for Zachariah. What else?
The Neon Demon. This is Nicolas Winding Refn‘s best movie, haters. I think it was More Than One Lesson, their episode on this movie, where Tyler Smith talked about this being a perfect pairing: Refn loves image and surface and sheen, and here he finds characters to match. Mirrors everywhere, all-consumptive. Don’t forget it’s a horror movie.
My Refn power rankings:
- The Neon Demon
- Only God Forgives
- Valhalla Rising