Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Shocktober Days 18, 19, 20, 21 & 22

#18- Demon seed (1977)

Back In the olden days of the 20th century, the fear of technology was a significant one if one which is now in hindsight laughable. The fears of what the 21st century might bring, and whether the computers would even take the new four digit number at all. Anyhow, these fears of the technological future ran through the media, case in point Demon Seed, a film which concerns a computer system impregnating a young woman...yum.

 Despite technophobia being more a past fear, that said, in very recent years where technology has taken giant leaps forward this film is actually highly relevant to today's society, suggesting a certain cinematic longevity. It's good then that Demon Seed is actually a great film aswell then, I mean it takes its time here and there, but eventually it comes round and slaps you round the head.

Reminiscent of 2001 a space odysseys infamous HAL computer system, Demon Seed's computer system, Proteus , soon goes out of the creators control, taking charge of the whole house and perhaps a little stupidly an electrical wheelchair with added metal arms and hands. Whilst it may not reach the insidiousness of HAL, Proteus certainly gives it a good shot, projecting a similarly formal tone and dark intentions.

As the film draws to a close it brings up some very telling points about the relationship between man and machine and perhaps how we could easily go too far. Demon seeds good fun and is a refreshing example of an old horror still being relevant and scary in today's society.

8/10- Sci-fi tech meets disturbing body horror.


#19- In Fear (2013)

In Fear is a small British horror released last year which sadly few people saw, cus yu know it ain't too bad, especially in comparison to the blockbuster horror which emerges from Hollywood.

Going for the more minimalist approach to horror, In Fear tries to tap in to the universal fear of being lost, in the dark, in a place which is almost supernaturally deceiving your own mind. The story is very simple revolving around a young couple on their way to a hotel in the country which they ultimately find very hard to find. They get lost, day turns to night and horror ensues when it appears someone is following them.

The issue with minimalistic horror is simply that something has to be happening constantly to keep the audience on the edge of their seats whilst they await the next tease of information, you want to show them little, but you've got to show them something, it's all about the careful building of tension. In Fear for the most part does this quite well as the viewer feels like the 3rd passenger, trying to decipher the route themselves as we watch a situation plenty of people can relate to and would dread to be in.

As said the tension builds nicely and the acting is just good enough to hold you in your seat, withholding your disbelief. The only real issues come from the films conclusion in which it felt like the film-maker really didn't know what to do, so instead put some vague, mediocre ending in which doesn't really quench the thirst of viewers, nor  horror fans.

An ending can be deciphered from the rubble, it's just a shame that the story didn't culminate into something far more eerie.

6.5/10- Don't drive


#20- VHS 2 (2013)

I din't think much of the first VHS film but for some reason the rest of the horror world did, and as small groups of superfans began emerging, a sequel became inevitable. Weirdly enough though the positives and negatives i found with the first film almost identically match the positives and negatives of the sequel.

The concept is original, perhaps explaining its minor popularity, with both films concerning the uncovering of an abandoned house with a room filled with cassette tapes, in which if 4 (or so) are played in order, some kookie shit will happen. Thus we get an anthology of short horror films, which is quite a nice idea. That said however there is one really obvious issue with this in relation to the quality of the final film, with 1 or 2 of the short films being really good and the other 2, rubbish, leaving you clueless. This was exactly the issue with the first film, and as I previously mentioned those issues are present in the 2nd film too, that said the quality of the films has definitely increased.

The best film concerns a group of film-makers who go and investigate a cult, only to find out their fucking nutters, with peculiar supernatural beliefs. Directed by Gareth Edwards, the mind behind the Raid films, this film is superior in every way to its competitors, boasting realistic yet gruesome practical effects within a short story so mysteriously disturbing it creeps under your skin.

The bad films aren't even worth talking about, so I won't really talk about them. Ones about a guy who gets a new eye, its pretty boring, cliché and tame. Ugh there just so similar to stuff we've seen before.

VHS 2, grated it better than the original but that's no mean feat, the challenge the series needs to face is to find a quality group of short films and clump em together, not just to accept rubbish and put it next to tasty goods.

6.5/10- Better than the first but that ain't hard.


#21- Wolf Creek (2005) 

So if you google this film, it'll come up with a handful of stinking reviews, but there's someone out there, or more accurately a group of people who seem to think this films gold-dust. It isn't. It's shit.

The film follows a group of teens (which is refreshing and original) backpacking in the Australian outback, but as they become stranded a shifty looking man offers them a ride back to his (you'd be rude not to accept) and they have a trip down shitcreek. Wolf Creek is like a huge culmination of loads of clichés, from gory torture porn to stupid teenagers doing stupid things, to weird fat men doing weird fat man things. It's just far too bland really, there's no meat to chew on, nothing to get you hooked to your seat, just a stereotypical story of horror.

That said, the film is fine, it's not awful, it's just in few ways original. One or two scenes are relatively effective but ultimately you can only see so many stupid characters doing stupid things until you just give up.

The worst thing about the film is that damn subtitle 'based on a true story' a phrase so vague, I'm sure you could slap it on any film. Oh and the second one's just come out on DVD...

5/10- Lacks seasoning.


#22- Braindead (1992)

So this is Peter Jackson before he went mainstream, so arguably Peter Jackson in his purest form, tied down to no one but his own creative limitations. And Peter Jackson without any creative limitations is clearly one messed up son of a gun.

Braindead's weird. It's a really weird film. The definition of black comedy, Braindead follows the story of lets say a 'mummy's boy'living with his mother in a large mansion, but when her fate crosses with a monkey with a deadly virus the house gets messy. She quickly descends into sickness, and visually disgusting sickness as her skin peels, her ears fall off, etc. etc. you can see where I'm going with this.

Braindead is truly disgusting, with pussy blood flying in all directions once shit gets out of hand, nothing is too much for Peter Jackson. A kickarse priest is brought onto the scene as well as a zombie baby whom the protagonist takes on a walk in the park to hilarious is bizarre results. With this disgusting action Braindead is subsequently a whole load of fun mixing deadpan humour with vile practical effects and constant violence.

Why Peter Jackson is most well known for his contributions to mainstream cinema, I will never know, with only his Lord Of The Rings series being any good. The lovely bones for example, is not lovely. Braindead (and his previous film Bad Taste) feel special, they feel cared about and that's what Jackson is missing today, he lacks the heart and passion which he clearly possessed in this film. Braindead is limitless fun filled with limitless guts, gore and laughs.

8/10- Jackson at his best.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Shocktober Days 13,14,15, 16 &17

#13- Hellraiser (1987)

There's two types of horror films (well I mean there are loads but for the sake of this sentence there are two) the relatively quiet and soft ghost story and the bleak and violent dirty horror. The sort of horror which genuinely makes you want to have a shower once you've watched it. Hellraiser is a dirty horror.

That's not to say that the film's bad however, perhaps it's a little overhyped with a strong cult status, yet Hellraiser does have a weird, peculiar charming factor. Despite being utterly filthy with dark and dingy 80's basements, with gruesome practical effects which look so unrealistic it weirdly makes the visuals more disgusting, Hellraiser actually has a quiet and childlike charm to it. The monsters of hell, one of which being the now renowned horror villain 'Pinhead', are fantastically crafted from wild imagination, similar almost to that of the monsters in Beetlejuice, which were as scary as they were odd fun to be around.

I dunno, perhaps thats an oppositional reading, but I found the film to be more just gory fun than specifically scary, that said there are certainly some frightening scenes which usually come from the films excellent practical effects. Such a film is a perfect example of why practical effects should be used more widely in horrors today which sadly usually opt for CGI which looks considerably worse.

Hellraiser is a whole load of 80's fun, daft and kitsch throughout but with a constant dark and dingy streak which will keep horror fans satisfied.

7/10- Thrilling dirty horror fun.


#14- Lake Mungo (2008)

I don't mind the old mockumentary, there ok, some work some are just plain wrong, the key is to make it all seem authentic from the story to the actors who are playing 'real people'. Whilst Lake Mungo for the most part is pretty terrifying, the film goes ahead and ruins itself through one plot point, but then fixes itself again! Agh, basically Lake Mungo is really annoying, at one point it creeps under your skin the next it undoes all it's progress with a wimpy 'boo'.

The film follows the mysterious dissapearing of a teenage girl and her brothers persistent search to find out what happened to her, far more substantial than the pretentious IMDB plot suggests- 'a supernatural drama about grief. As the story commences creepy photographs and video footage emerge, which unlike much of the 'paranormal activity' footage is actually very effective in crawling under your skin. As a result you become entwined within the story as you hold your disbelief, this is all before the actors start 'acting'.

As previously mentioned, in such a genre, the performances must be pretty impressive for the spectator to believe the story and whilst a few of the performances are acceptable, some are just plain shit, So this leaves Lake Mungo in a really weird space, very effective in it's scares, one especially at the end allows the film to live up to its horror name, but pretty bad in its story and performances. Ugh.

6.5/10- Really annoying, showing signs of greatness as well as puddles of rubbish.



#15- Troll 2- (1990)

So we're around the middle of October, and I thought I'd treat myself to a light hearted horror...or so I thought. I'd heard of Troll 2 as a pathetic attempt at horror and boy are the critics wrong. This is one of the scariest films i've seen since birth...golly.

Naahh, but really, Troll 2 claims to be a horror film, and frankly i was getting pretty tired of blood, guts and gore so thought I'd try something new. This film is a classic case of 'so bad it's good', a title only few films can hold (the room being a notable other) from the awful practical effects the the stinted dialogue, Troll 2 is a beautiful disaster.

Despite all this however, the sheer effort and clear large budget seen in the film gives it a real sense of joy, with a kitsch theatrical aesthetic Troll 2 is loads of fun. I think however that whilst the film is hugely entertaining alone, with the 2009 documentary about the films legacy , Best Worst Movie, does give it a whole new peculiar depth, showing us just how much effort went into the film and how it has positively affected the lives of the actors, who are now almost unknown. After watching Troll 2 again after the documentary I found it even more entertaining as inside jokes behind some lines of the film were revealed and the eccentric nature of the director becomes more visible.

As good as Troll 2 is alone, with Best Worst Movie the film becomes something more than a terrible film, it becomes something which connects to the audience as a film which tries its best to but fails to a catastrophic degree. By seeing the human side to everyone involved in the film it becomes easily charming.

5/10- So bad, it's good (but see it with the documentary too)


#16- Fright Night (1985)

Not to be confused with the classic boxing game 'Fight Night' of a very similar premise, Fright Night is a 'next-door neighbour' horror in which 'Charley' a teenage boy is living next to a vampire however no one will believe him. The whole film is about him tryna convince everyone they're real as well as stopping them in their dastardly tracks.

Fright Night is probably the best conventional vampire film I've ever seen, or at least the most entertaining, nailing the infamous abilities of the mythical monsters. A large part of the film really isn't that horrible and is more about the boys paranoia which is built up very well, fortifying the vampires bad ways as they deceive everyone around them, as well as showing the developing arc of Charleys character as he dips into insanity, He seeks help in T.V vampire hunter Peter Vincent, played excellently by Roddy McDowall, as a brilliantly fleshed out and often comical character, whom eventually is convinced to help him, whereby bloody and entertaining horror ensues.

Alike Hellraiser which I watched a few days ago, this film thankfully opts for fantastic looking practical effects which truly made me feel quite icky, as appose to the pants CGI which is used  in abundance today. Thus this makes the climactic battle and general shenanigans throughout feel all the more authentic and fun.

In terms of the classic monster, this is by far one of its best outings behind such classics as Dracula and Let the right one in, there's no emphasis on dark reality nor a significant young love story, Fright Night is just a classic vampire movie with awesome special effects. A real fun time.

8/10- Graphics were really bad, sucks you can't play as Mike Tyson.


#17- Planet Terror (2007)

Part of that Grindhouse double feature , which I don't really understand to be brutally honest, which saw the film being released with Tarantinos Deathproof , as part of a tribute to classic b-movie cinema.

The aesthetic of this film is bang on the money, with it's fake trailers before the film and the unexplained burning of film halfway through the movie. Also however, the director Robert Rodriguez decided to fill the film with a constant grainy quality which should work but instead, when mixed with the conventional contemporary cameras used to shoot the film it just looks out of place and is a little irritating to be honest. If you want to make a film look like its from a certain period of time, simply look at Ti Wests House of the Devil which emulates 1980's horror movies so well I genuinely had to ask Jeeves when the film was made .That said however overall the Aesthetic is very impressive and aids the film considerably when it comes to its completely over the top violence and dialogue, making it seem 'all part of the act'.

Violent the film certainly is spurting blood from all angles from all forms of weaponry, and it's great fun to say the least. There's a thin line between being too gratuitously violent and being simply good fun, the key is for the film to know exactly what it is, thankfully Planet Terror knows exactly what it is and frankly doesn't give a shit about a good story, it just wants to have fun, with a lot of plot points being totally unexplained, both to the films weakness and credit.

8/10- Super gr8 fun wif ur fwends

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Shocktober Days 9, 10, 11 & 12

#9- Last House on the Left (1972)

Like a lot of films which were once controversial, Last House on the Left is a bit of a damp squib in today's film context, which very little detail which would be considered 'shocking'. That said Last House on the Left is certainly a unique film which sets itself apart from the broad Horror crowd.

You see you think you've seen it all before once the film gets into the half-way point, the plot points seem fairly predictable, the helpless girls the overpowering, insane criminals, it all points to a grim conclusion. However, as previously mentioned the film does a great job in setting itself apart, going off in all and every direction till a satisfying twist and a surprising final message.

If gores what you're looking for you've kinda come to the right place, kinda, I mean there ain't much but when it comes it chooses the more artistic route than the straight up in your face shit. One truly memorable scene, for all the wrong reasons, involving a woman biting off a man's genitalia will be forever imprinted in my brain.This choice of a more artistic method of scares however, now and then, does create for some actual scary moments.

Despite the performances being suitably hammy of the 70's era, Last House on the Left still holds up today as a solid and thoroughly entertaining horror. It may not be as shocking as it was, but this doesn't mean its not still a little disturbing.

7/10- Surprisingly good fun, with a solid final act which weirdly makes you think.


#10- Society (1989)

The body horror strand of the genre used to be a side which I really disliked. The oozing pus, the weird bleeding close-ups and general bizarre nature which usually followed the sub-genre. Society, on the surface, did not look like one of these films and it wasn't until the last half hour of the film until I realised it was actually a horror. Oooo but when it does become a horror ooooo, it became a quick favourite.

From the films surface to its sturdy backbone, this film is fucked from head to toe, it's just so unnerving, it'll trap you from head to toe in the weirdest trance going. As I said however it does take its good time in getting going, cus it isn't until the films final act until the shit really starts hitting the fan. I mean weird stuff happens before that, but its all tease, and nothing in comparison to this films truly fucked up final sequence which I couldn't peel my eyes away from. Nothing can prepare you for what you will see and you will not be able too remove the image from your head the hardest you try, as the hellish soundtrack embedded into the picture pierces into your mind. At the same time however Society is a pretty effective comedy, perhaps overbalanced a little with too much comedy and not enough horror yet the comedy works well enough with the early horror teases to keep you stimulated till the films end.

Give me that on a dish and I'll be thrilled, but nah, the film ain't done there, on top of this the film carries a poignant, fitting and completely unexpected message about 'society' which gives the film a little credibility contextual background. In general making it more fun.

9/10- Society is one of the funnest horror films i've ever seen, with solid lead performances and a truly unforgeable final sequence

#11- Peeping Tom (1960)

Whilst Peeping Tom may not be the scariest film of all time, in terms of cinematic form it is almost a faultless example of what Horror can and should be.

The film is used today as a primary example of lovely cinematography, forcing the viewer to be the voyeuristic spectator of a scene as a serial killer films the last fearful moments of his victims life before he kills them. As the killer is the films protagonist we follow his every move and end up analysing his persona eventually sympathising with someone we previously thought to be a sadistic killer. Such a feat in any film is admirable however Peeping Tom manages to achieve this almost instantly as the protagonist is the voyeuristic spectator and as voyeuristic spectators ourselves we relate to his personality and thus understand his actions.

One of the films main successes is that of Karlheinz Bohm's fantastic central performance as a broken serial killer, unable to access the normalities of human life. His performance as the 'voyeuristic spectator' gives meaning to scenes which would otherwise be a little pretentious, such as one where he watches a woman dance around the TV studio as he watches from a distance, a scene which ultimately becomes the films centrepiece


Peeping Tom is hardly a horror film in the typical sense however, when analysed a little, the way it represents the cinematic spectator is certainly unnerving, giving a message which will stick with you long term.

8/10- Thrilling and consistently unnerving.


#12- The Man who Laughs- (1928)

You just have to be in the mood to watch some films, so just like you might watch an old silent movie when you're in the mood for analysis, you wouldn't when you'd just woken up on a Sunday morning. Thus I didn't enjoy The Man who Laughs that much.

The film had its moments, I'll give it that, some moments made me chill with fear, yet for a film which claims to be horror it just ain't that scary. I know it's old and there resources were limited and scares were more simple, I get it, but that doesn't excuse the fact that the film simply doesn't hold up in today's culture. It's quite massively dated, from the narrative which plods along from one meaningless scene to the next to often contrived plot points.

That said however one thing which does hold up is the make-up on the films protagonist, who is unable to remove a sinister smile from his face. This face and this face alone provided for the majority of the horror in the film, his mere facial expressions sparking uncertainty. However as the films protagonist we soon connect to him and therefore fail to find him that scary towards the end.

As much as I can see how the film would've worked in a 1920's context, it just doesn't work today.

5/10- Just a little bland and boring.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Shocktober Days 7 & 8

#7- The Brood (1979)

King of the bizarre, David Cronenberg is an absolute legend of the horror game, with such works as the eccentric videodrome and the visually disturbing, the fly.

The broods pretty much unknown in comparison to those films and almost for good reason, holding no real unique features ignoring the sheer disturbing images seen throughout the film.

So, in this small town, kids start going batshit mental, killing people left and right, so basically it's a weird murder mystery, with the town trying to solve

the case.

For the majority the brood is a pretty enjoyable if relatively straight forward horror film with little to offer in terms of both true horror scares or unique features. The mystery does however hold you in place just long enough till the final act whereby shit kicks off and Cronenberg is unleashed. 

The final 10 minutes is what the viewer really comes for, as for the majority of the film it struggles to maintain the tension. That said the brood is good fun. Weird and peculiar tasting good fun

7/10- Wacky Cronenberg madness will have you squirming


#8 Straw dogs (1971)

I need to like look at the Imdb genres for each of these films from now on, not that straw dogs was some sappy rom-com, just more of a thriller than a horror, yet a good thriller at that.

Dustin Hoffman, every man's best friend, plays a tentative American, newly introduced to a British village, full of natives who are rather hostile to outsiders. 

This is just straight up a solid film, which refreshingly maintains significant tension throughout as the film holds the audience in its grasp through the compelling evolution of dustins character.

 The audience grows to realise the hostility in the village as dustin does and this aids considerably in the films consistent disturbing nature.

As most horrors do, straw dogs also ends in a 10 minute or so scene of havoc and bloodshed however with the character development of dustins character providing a driving force for this violence this gives meaning to the final scene, something which a large majority of horrors omit .

Although straw dogs starts a little slow, the tension grows from within, exploding in the final sequence to powerful effect.

8/10- a very solid thriller, touching on the universal fear of public discrimination



...man I'm 3 days behind

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Shocktober Days 5 & 6

#5- The Vanishing (1988)

I need to start checking the genre of these films before I pick em, cus although the Vanishing is a blooming amazing crime drama it ain't really that scary, excusing the heavily disturbing final sequence.

The story itself is really quite simple, a man's wife is kidnapped, and we follow him up 10 or so years later where he refuses to forget the mystery of her disappearance. Thing's get more interesting once the husband is given just as much screen time and character development as the murderer himself. When all that shit happens the film really picks up, touching on some deeper themes such as the desperation of the human condition but who gives a toss about that when there's a proper solid murder mystery going on.


Apart from a laggy middle section where little happens and scenes get noticeably slower, The Vanishing is a sound film which especially towards the conclusion holds bags of tension. A wild crime time, fun for all the family...apart from young children and toddlers, they can watch Dolphin tale 2 instead (but strictly not the first film).

8/10- A pretty gripping crime drama, which I mistook for a Horror, saying that- it is a wild time.

#6- Audition (1999)

Yooooo, I know these Japanese horror films are all proper dark but geeezus, audition is some next level shit right here.

For the most part Audition isn't really that horrible, quite a nice little jaunt through the park actually, with the story concerning a man looking for a new wife after the past death of his old one. Once he settles with a lovely woman with super interests, the shit hits the fan and audition gets messy. The conclusion to this film is without doubt one of the most disturbing ever put to film, and anyone whose seen the film will know exactly what I mean. Just thinking about me makes me want to retrieve my tuna pasta bake from my stomach...with the wire...and the ugghh. Saying that whilst the images of the finale are certainly imprinted in my brain, never to leave, it is none the less a little meaningless in my opinion.

I mean the film has got rave reviews across the board from critics and fans alike, but whilst i enjoyed the film and some of its mysterious elements towards the end especially, in retrospect the whole film just felt a bit lifeless. Set-up is of, course without saying, vital to inducing meaning into any film, but here the set-up is long and ultimately uneventful , leading for the final act of the film feeling quite contrived and certainly out of place.

Saying that, any horror film which sufficiently disturbs you with a scene or image which you will literally never forget is worth at least a little credit. So whilst audition may not fulfil your narrative desires, it will certainly not leave your brain for a long while after viewing.

7/10- The sort of film which, after the final act and horrifying soundtrack of the credits, you'll want to immediately remove the disk and have a shower.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Shocktober Day 3 & 4

#3- Oculus (2014)

I must have been in a bad mood when I saw this on Friday, I'm writing this late, but from what I can remember from the truly forgettable Oculus, was that it was absolute rubbish.

Mirrors are great tools to use cinematically in any genre, perhaps they're overused a little in Horrors, but golly when they're used right they can really scare the beejezzus out of you. Basing a film about a mirror however is just straight up stupid, why didn't they learn from that Kiefer Suterland film, Mirrors, which no one likes or ever talks about. It's hard to talk about a film like Oculus because when it comes down to it, what do i talk about?! The film is so lifeless and devoid of any meaning, or actual horror for that matter.

Oculus isn't a terrible idea for a film and I guess the story is pretty unique, so kudos for that, but in terms of being a horror film it sucked, quite simply because it wasn't scary. It's more of a really bad psychological thriller in the sense that often the film doesn't even try and scare you it just throws a guy on the screen wearing a cheap halloween mask and expects you to shit yourself. Towards the end the film starts getting more and more ridiculous and actually it turns into a really effective comedy! This may be due in part to Karen Gillan's questionable acting or maybe it was just the way her character was written, either way her character came across as a whiny, arrogant bastard who wouldn't shut the fuck up.

The more I talk about Oculus the more bored I become, so to do it justice I should really finish with as few words as possible.

4/10- It's shit


#4- 28 Days Later (2002)

This is a weird one because I only just realised that I'd put this film on the best Horrors list on day #1, thinking I'd seen it before (which I kinda have) but turns out I haven't really so yeah...thought I'd give it a view.

Turns out I'd got my days and weeks mixed up, cus I'd seen the start of days and mixed it with the end of months...nightmare. Anyway, after finally seeing the whole of 28 days later I shan't be taking it off the best horrors list, this film is bloody amazing. From the very opening scene which is now famous in the genre, showing a man walking alone through the deserted London streets, to the more bloodthirsty finale, 28 days later carries jugs full of tension, literally never letting the audience go, despite the fact that a lot of the film is isolated conversations or quiet walks.

It's not until the end that you realise that really the film didn't have that many zombies in it, yet you are still drenched in sweat, fists clenched, hiding behind your cardigan. The film is so intelligent it knows it doesn't have to show blood and guts to get a reaction, the sheer isolation of this film taps into everyone's universal fear of solidarity especially in a time of fear. It's this mixed with the terrifyingly realistic narrative which cooks up the films terrific story and horror elements. Everything from the subtleties of a paper bag blowing through the streets to the literal collapse of the government is clenched with such realism, the whole transformed universe is just accepted by the characters, because what else can they do. There's no grandiose acting performances, no cliched hero, this is a story about people just as much as it is a horror film about zombies.

28 days later is one of the best zombie films of all time, sitting up with the classics of George Romero, not just this but it is also one of the scariest films of all time, at least for me it is.

9.5/10- Relentlessly terrifying in the quietest manner.



Friday, 3 October 2014

Shocktober- Day 1 & 2

Finally it's the holiday which no one waits for, Halloween is on the 31st of this terrible month and I'm 3 days late to it. You know what this means- Horror films. Films which thrill, spill, dill (the herb) and jill you to the core (jill is a word), we all love them but no one really knows why. We all know the majority of them are bad, they're dirt cheap to make and as a result there's a whole back catalogue of thousands of whiffy releases, most of which are waiting for your viewing right at the bottom of Netflix's horror section where no one dares to visit. Case in point, take the 'Deadly Bees' (1967) which is situated right at the bottom of the stink pile (I literally just looked), which to be fair could be quite good- I've never seen it. Saying that I'm reading the synopsis as we speak and its pushing all my buttons- terrific.

There are however those hidden gems, ones which keep you squirming for a good 7 hours (no more and strictly no less), a small list which (personally) include:

- Rosemary's baby (1968)     - The Borderlands (2013)              - Let the right one in (2008)
- The Shining (1980)            - Carrie (1976)                               - Psycho (1960)
- The Thing (1982)               - Eden lake (2008)                         - 28 days later (2002)
- The Descent (2005)            - Alien (1979)                                - Slither (2006)
- Kill List (2011)                  - Night of the living dead (1968)   - The Wicker man (1973  2006)

So as Halloween approaches, I'm gunna do this thing some people (I don't know who) call Shocktober which involves watching a horror film every day of October. I'm gunna be watching films which I've never seen before, otherwise... yuknow. Some films will be super old, some super new, like for example the newly released Dolphin Tale 2 which frankly looks fucked up. So hopefully I can add some new horror films to my favourites.


#1- Silence of the Lambs- (1991)

I've been told to watch this for a fair while and so took this month as an opportunity to watch it and yeah it's about as good as everyone says it is!

This film is just as much about the thrilling story as it is about the construction of the two protagonists. I mean Hannibal Lecter is an infamous horror villain, so I knew he would be pretty gruesome in the film but man... Anthony Hopkins' performance as the fictional murderer is just dirty and genuinely gets under your skin- as he pierces into the mind of Jodie Fosters character you feel as though he's doing the exact same thing to you. One could question just why Mrs Starling, Jodie Fosters character, is quite as dumb as she is despite her being a 'top student', however the film does do a pretty good job in explaining this... I say pretty good because she is just straight up stupid at some points.

The mystery surrounding Lecter is great and contributes to the job of getting under your skin, depending on how you view him as a character however some of his actions are quite astounding, performing feats in the space of 5 minutes which would take bloody Kevin Mcloud a couple of weeks. Saying that however if you analyse this considered 'classic', such actions would fit in perfectly to the mysterious and devilish character of Lecter.

The Silence of the lambs is truly gripping, reeling the audience into its world of horrific crime and mystery. Putting the narrative puzzle together is both as tantalizing as it is unnerving, truly scared as to what Lecter could be holding up his sleeve.

8.5/10- Perhaps not a terrifying horror but certainly a gripping crime drama.


#2- The Purge: Anarchy- (2014)

Judging by this films predecessor, the purge 2 (Or anarchy if you're a dick) in theory should be a steaming pile of shit, but heads up sister- shit, it aint.

You see the Purge 2 does something really weird and frankly bizarre which Hollywood very rarely does, this film actually listened to the fans of the first film and gave us exactly what we wanted. The idea of the purge is a great one, for those who don't know- yahoo it or ask jeeves (if you rekon he'll know), although you could certainly argue that the concept is a little silly and unrealistic, it is none the less undoubtedly original and interesting, providing an interesting concept which attempts to act as a social commentary. The problem with the first film was that, with a concept which includes the whole of the USA, they trap themselves within the confines of one home and the story becomes redundant as it simply turns into a slasher flick. As I said, the purge 2 does exactly what the fans asked for, it branches out and shows us how the people of the US react to this controversial day. Quite understandably there is backlash from underground organisations who are trying to make this day obsolete, however at the same time, there are of course some crack heads who go out trying to do some illegal shite.

This alone makes the Purge 2 a whole lot better than its predecessor, branching out to show us a more complex and intellectual storyline. The story follows 3 sets of people who find themselves on the streets on purge night for different reasons, some purposefully, some accidentally and whilst not all these characters are hugely compelling, the protagonist played by the most recognisable actor in the film, Frank Grillo, is surprisingly very well fleshed out, so much so that this characters arc alone is enough to call the whole film a success.

As they travel through the streets to find safety we see these characters evade some truly well organised criminals with interesting philosophical views, my favourite of which came from a man who waved to 2 of the protagonists whilst wearing a mask reading 'God', a simple and pointless attempt at philosophical meaning which ultimately means nothing. As all these people are humans it would have been nice to see a more human side to each of the criminals we see on the streets.

The Purge 2 is a great surprise, boasting a very well constructed protagonist within a far more expanded world of quiet intelligence and fairly subtle social messages. If this, now franchise, treads lightly it could make to be a very interesting horror franchise.

6.5/10-  An ambitious and vast improvement on the pants preprocessor
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