Scary children, a scary lady in the woods, a scary…goat – The Witch is one of the best contemporary horror films for some time and will definitely give you the creeps. A Puritan family are banished from a plantation in 17th century New England. They set up a farm, complete with the goat from hell, and one day their newborn baby/sibling disappears. A bad thing in the woods likes to do bad things to babies. Unfortunately peril also comes to the other children, including Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) who falls prey to some ‘orrid witchcraft. It’s an outstanding performance from this young actor and absolutely terrifying.
We’re big fans of Rob Zombie’s horror and exploitation films, and House of 1000 Corpses is OTT and ultra disturbing – bringing us the cult characters of Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) and Otis (Bill Moseley).
Four young people stumble across Captain Spaulding’s bizarre ‘Museum of Monsters & Mayhem’ when researching a book about strange roadside attractions. They learn about the legend of Dr Satan, a master surgeon with questionable ethics, and then get captured by the Firefly family from hell who start to torture and kill the group. Potential final girl Denise (Erin Daniels) is left alone in an underground lair…and guess who it belongs to…
By the time we reach the infamous dinner party sequence in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we’re terrorised already. And then this happens. It’s savage, it’s horrible, it’s OTT and it’s bloody, bloody brilliant. Final girl Sally (the best Scream Queen ever, Marilyn Burns – rest in peace) is subjected to the Come Dine With Me from hell as she gets to know Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) and his family a little better. This includes a comatose and pretty dead looking Grandpa (John Dugan) sucking her cut finger, then in a horrific moment of black humour failing to bludgeon her. You want to stop watching…but you can’t. It’s beyond scary.
Sam Raimi’s cult horror classic is a laugh riot – a high octane, relentless blaze of black comedy, in your face gross-out and a formidable performance by lead actor Bruce Campbell. Boy, does he get put through it.
It’s really bloody funny. BLOODY funny. Whether it’s Ash’s (Campbell) severed hand attacking him, laughing lamps or all of the memorable quotes – ‘Workshed’, ‘We just cut up our girlfriend with a chainsaw – does that sound fine?’, ‘Gimme back MY HAND’ – Evil Dead II has its tongue firmly in its cheek but there’s still some moments that absolutely terrify us. The possession of Ed (Richard Domeier) and Annie’s mother, now a deadite, popping up from the cellar is one of them.
‘We are the things that were and shall be again! Spirits of the book! We want what is yours! LIFE! Dead by dawn! Dead by dawn!’
Gulp. Non groovy.
Thanks to @rosstmiller for this truly horrifying scene suggestion. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is our most scary film EVER and there are many standout true moments of horror that could have been picked. ‘Here’s Johnny!’ – of course – the appearance of the twins, the rivers of blood, Danny’s (Danny Lloyd) REDRUMREDRUMREDRUMREDRUMREDUM etc… etc… But when Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) enters the mysterious room 237 and is drawn towards the bathroom and something behind that shower curtain across the bath, you’ll really get a chill.
Room 237 has been the subject of his son’s Danny’s fear throughout the movie and we also know something really bad is in there – what it actually is, we encounter for the first time – at the same time as Jack. The wide angle lense makes the experience even more unsettling.
Lars Von Trier’s intriguing, beautiful and repulsive horror film about He (Willem Dafoe), She (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and the grief of losing a child has its truly disturbing moments – genital mutilation being amongst some of its most graphic imagery. The film’s not really that scary to be honest, just high on shock value, and we pretty much know what to expect from Von Trier – he is a master of shock and playing around with the emotions of his audience. However, when you come across a self-disembowelling fox that rasps ‘Chaos Reigns’ at you, yep that jam is pretty eerie. Please get out of our dreams, Mr Fox.
Tucker & Dale…is a refreshing comedy horror which reverses the ‘rednecks chase down and murder hopeless teens in the woods’ scenario. Turns out Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are actually quite sweet and the teens they meet end up accidentally killing themselves as the run away from them in fear, thinking our heroes are the enemy. Yep, running into wood chippers, impaling themselves on trees and accidental gunfire. These kids are stooopid.
It’s an enormous amount of fun and Labine’s Dale is especially endearing. There’s a guilty pleasure from watching the hapless teens scare themselves to death (literally) and a cute parallel love interest plot between Dale and ‘final girl’ Allison (Katrina Bowden).
With talks of a sequel in the pipeline, we’d love to see more of these two. It’s an enormous laugh and there’s plenty more escapades that Tucker and Dale could get into. And with so many grisly potential scenarios, there’s legs on this one (just like in the wood chipper – gross!)
GORE RATING: 3/5
Watch it for: A fresh take on the usual horror theme of ‘rednecks vs teens’
Watch out for: We told you – the wood chipper!
It is happening again.
And it happened before – in 1992 – when David Lynch directed the feature length movie of the final days of Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee’s) life. It’s as disturbing, quirky and ‘Lynch’ as they come, with central Twin Peaks characters making welcome appearances and some pretty strange cameos from Chris Isaak, Kiefer Sutherland and David Bowie to name but a few.
We find out more about Laura’s sad, troubled life and Fire Walk with Me is explicit about who ‘Bob’ is, what he does and what happens behind closed doors in seemingly perfect middle class America. Lynch puts the fear into nice houses and lawns, comfortable lounges and we’re once again looking out for Bob springing up from behind the sofa or the corner of Laura’s room. The significance of the ceiling fan also comes into play.
As described in ‘The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer’ book, we get to see exactly what Laura is into and how best friend Donna (played in the movie by Moira Kelly, not Lara Flynn Boyle – who declined to return) tries to find out and nearly gets sucked into herself. There’s a chilling moment reminding us where Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is, when Laura sees a bloodied Annie (Heather Graham) in bed with her and she delivers a message. *shudder*. And of course we visit the Black Lodge to meet The Man From Another Place (Michael J. Anderson).
Fire Walk with Me stands up solidly by itself in the Twin Peaks family and is a great watch. The final 20 minutes alone are horrific and deeply upsetting but leave you feeling that Laura is okay now. How and when we meet her again in May 2017 is yet to be revealed but we can’t wait.
GORE RATING: 2/5
Watch it for: Sheryl Lee gets the attention she deserves
Watch out for: Bloody BOB – of course!
The Twin Peaks teaser dropped last night and WE ARE BEYOND EXCITED. Twin Peaks was seminal to us growing up, and we’re so pleased Laura Palmer kept her promise of seeing us all again 25 years on. Twin Peaks is horror – we still have a fear of ceiling fans, tops of stairs, the backs of sofas and the woods, thanks to Mr David Lynch – and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.
21 May can’t come soon enough.
And remember – the owls are NOT what they seem.