IT’S HALLOWEEN NIGHT, and rather depressingly there’s a notable absence of new horror in cinemas this week. With that in mind, we’ve asked a group of film lovers to pick their own favourites to recommend for your viewing instead. But be warned, these are not films for the faint-hearted…
Jack Brindelli – Seditious Malcontent
PONTYPOOL. I think any good horror needs to do two things; it needs to leave with something to remember it by, and like a good sci-fi it should make a comment on the state of human society in reality. Pontypool does both brilliantly. Whilst other horror films might have you checking over your shoulder in a dark room, the gloom is easily banished. Try and function without language though, and you’ll see how hard it is to get away from this film’s monster. The clever scares coupled with a brilliant used of the undead to make a comment on the force of reactionary politics, make this unheard of independent Canadian horror something every true fan should seek out this October 31st.
If you’d like to know more about Pontypool and a horde of other z-flicks, this video should be your other port of call.
El Mandy – Theatre Student, Actress, Greece
THE WALKING DEAD. I realized how much I love this show when I started to dream of killing zombies with a pencil to the brain (I’d be frighteningly good at it I have to admit). From sleep to sleep, my skills were boosted, I eventually evolved into an axe-wielding woman wearing a red leather bikini (as Rose McGowan planet terror – don’t even ask me why). If I had to answer why I am so addicted to this show , I can’t say anything other than “zombies, zombies and again zombies.” Also zombies. Spectacular old-school make-up effects, beautiful music scores perfectly tuned in the action, Daryl Dixon, and zombies. Oh, did I forget to mention zombies?
Adam Hofmeister – Writer, Hollywood Hegemony Contributor, Essex
THE EXORCIST… is the only film that has left me physically shaking with fear afterwards. It strikes a deep chord of dread throughout, be it during Father Merrin’s desert encounter with Pazuzu, or at the films brutal conclusion. Of course, being helpless to stop the metamorphosis of a loved one intosomething monstrous is a horror far more real than bleeding statues and cold pea soup. Pepper this with subliminal flashes of an evil face throughout, and the malevolent cloud of unease moves The Exorcist from 70s schlock shock, to an utterly terrifying piece of cinema.
Claudia Taylor, Independent Film-maker, Australia
THE SHINING… Not many films these days are given the title; ‘Masterpiece’, and to find one in the Horror genre is a rare thing but, in my opinion and without a doubt, no film quite messes with the mind like Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 take on ‘The Shining’. Adapted from Stephen King’s novel of the same name; ‘The Shining’ tells the story of a caretaker’s family who are sent to mind an isolated Hotel for the winter where spirits and solitude force the father into violent fits of insanity against his wife and psychic son. With supposed underlying messages of Apollo 11 conspiracies, the genocide of the American Indians and the Holocaust, Kubrick strays far from King’s original path, creating a film that is entirely his own. Though criticized for the lack of ‘genuine’ horror by many, the film stands as one of the greatest ever made, taking into account the delicate details and physical impossibilities within each decadent scene.
Martin Eke – Independent Director, (Re)Animator, Norfolk
FEAST. “I’m the guy who’s gonna save your ass” the shotgun wielding hero says moments before having his head gruesomely decapitated. Straight away, ‘Feast’ takes the horror genre and mixes the stereotypical conventions into a beautiful mess. This is a monster flick with ‘Cult Classic’ stamped all over. Undoubtedly cheesy at times, it can also be unpredictable in the best way possible. You’re never entirely sure who’ll kick the bucket next and, more importantly, how. ‘Feast’ doesn’t take itself too seriously, being both funny and terrifying at the same time. Want a monster-filled gore-fest with a little something different? Look no further.”
Mr Eke’s own contribution to the zombie-debate.
Bradley Neale – Film Student/Maker, Basingstoke
KILL LIST. One film I would recommend regardless of any specifically spookily themed
holiday is Kill List, Ben Wheatley’s 2011 genre bender. Beginning with a unknown
symbol being literally scratched into the frame, then quickly transitioning to a
domestic argument the likes of which we’ve all been unfortunate enough to be a
part of, Kill List aims to be familiar, whilst it also drips with the threat of an
unseen force. Telling the story of two British hit-men, whom begin a shady
mission to find and kill three seemingly unrelated targets on the titular Kill List,
things go from uncomfortable to horrifying culminating in a third act reveal,
which changes the film’s genre from eerie thriller, to terrifying horror. An utterly
riveting horror film that’s as darkly humorous as it is uncomfortable and eerie,
give it a watch.
Have any suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments below, or if you’d like to write a review, see the contact and contribute tab!