Anyone looking for some last minute horror viewings recs for this Halloween night just might find something to their liking here. Enjoy!
This one follows a newlywed couple who decide to spend their honeymoon in an isolated cabin in the wood, a special place where nothing could possibly go wrong. And while that setup probably sounds conventional as hell (and it sounds that way because it is), this film is much more reliant on the chemistry between its two lead actors (Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway), who thankfully have an enormously believable rapport with one another. The final 5-10 minutes of this in particular are absolutely prefect nightmare fuel, and the makeup effects are surprisingly strong for such a low budget film.
Martyrs (2008) (pictured above)
Holyyyyyy shit, this film is seriously messed up; but also kind of awesome. The basic premise involves the friendship between two young women who meet at an orphanage, one of whom has just escaped captivity under mysterious circumstances. And from there, things only get nuttier and nuttier. This film has a lot of similar elements to films which I despise (the entire filmography of Eli Roth comes to mind), but what elevates this above your average torture schlock made by talentless frauds is the artful and creative handling of its premise, as well as the strong central relationship between the women at the center. Absolutely not for the faint of heart, but for those who can stomach through the more gruesome sections, it just might be worth all the night terrors.
The found footage subgenre of horror might seem like it’s been overplayed at this point, but I can assure you this film takes it to the extreme in terms of mile-a-minute, adrenaline fueled scares. Not much else to say, other than this one is an insanely thrilling horror ride, not to be confused with the godawful American remake Quarantine.
VHS & VHS 2 (2012-2013)
One of the most overused modern horror gimmicks (found footage) is mixed with a now practically extinct style of genre storytelling (the anthology), to create some incredibly creative low budget scares. And while the individual sketches of each film vary in terms of quality, the really good ones make it worth watching both films from start to finish. Specifically, the ‘Safe Haven’ storyline from VHS 2 is among the greatest 30 minutes of horror I’ve seen from the 21st century thus far.
We Are What We Are (2013) (pictured above)
This one is less of a straightforward horror film than an understated backwoods drama/thriller with elements of horror peppered throughout. Nonetheless, it still really works however you choose to approach it, mostly due to the heavy sense of atmosphere, established through a mix of grimy cinematography and an understated, melancholic musical score. Also noteworthy are the performances from leads Julia Garner and Ambyr Childers, as well as a rare sympathetic turn by Michael Parks.