Very creepy. Very fresh. Very welcome.
A good horror flick doesn’t just momentarily raise the hair at the back of your neck. It’s the one that grabs you by your psyche and doesn’t let go, for weeks.
My story: Out of the 10 horror movies I watch, I’m sure to be left disappointed by at least 9 of them. And that’s despite the fact that I, like any other movie buff, choose to watch a movie after quite a bit of research.
So I thought I’d make a list of the elusive horror movies that I have liked immensely over the past decade. They go far beyond the gore, spooks, and cheap thrills that most horror movies leak out towards you.
It Follows (2014)
Straying far away from the confines of horror genre as we know it, “It Follows” creeps the daylights out of you with virtually no gore and CGI crap. What do you do when you can’t tell a 15-year-old average-looking teen from a ghost? How do you react when a face from the crowd, in broad daylight on a beach, is walking towards you with a dead stare? Simple, you run for your life! As one critic rightly pointed out, it’s a nameless dread.
When was the last time you thought that the Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment could be made into something this edgy? The nerve-wracking film starts off nabs you right at the beginning and never lets go.
Don’t Breathe (2016)
Not a lot to predict when you’re told it’s a story of three sly criminals breaking into a blind’s man home in the dead of night, just that, the tables turn in this one. Though sans any ghost or supernatural elements, there is enough dread in “Don’t Breathe” to keep you on the edge.
Lights Out (2016)
With a formulaic treatment meted out to a not-so-formulaic concept, Lights Out is bit of a letdown, especially if David F. Sandberg scared you shitless on the YouTube video. But to give credit where it’s due, “Lights Out” picks the age-old concept of “don’t turn the lights off” and does not turn it on its head, rather does something very interesting and unique. To the uninitiated, you won’t want to go any place dark, with at least some form of photons in your hands.
The Ring 1 & 2
An all-time classic for me, Ring 1 is what truly turned the genre on its head with its refreshing concept (I haven’t seen the original Japanese version, so The Ring does it for me).
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
I don’t remember another horror film which had the most interesting courtroom scenes as “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.” Not a critic favorite, this gem has went on to build its own massive fan base over the years, thanks to an execution that does not rely on cheap thrills and gimmicks.
Just when you thought you’ve seen everything a haunted house has to offer, The Conjuring takes you to the darkest and murkiest corners in its own old-school way. It could have so easily fallen into the traps of women being haunted by a resident ghost; instead, the women in the film are smart and strong-willed, gliding over the damsels-in-distress impulses to fight their own fight.
And that’s about it. Everything from the list is in class of its own, but if you were to find that one virtue that’s common to all, it’s each movie’s slow burn tension.