@calcium_waste gives you five (plus a few more) films you can watch online (or in some cases on disc – if you are old school) just in time for Halloween…
5. House of the Devil (2009): Despite having been released only a few years ago, Ti West’s House of the Devil looks like it’s straight out of the 70s. With its grainy camera cinematography and vintage bellbottoms, the film feels like a perfect throwback to the early days of experimental horror, and it does not disappoint. We follow a young college student, Samantha, as she takes a babysitting job late at night. As the film progresses, Samantha learns the job is not at all what she expected, but hesitantly agrees due to her financial needs. House of the Devil is a slow-burn film, so rather than hitting the ground running, it builds in suspense until its climatically horrific finale—and it is truly horrific.
4. Maniac (2012): Although some may prefer the original Maniac from 1980, this is a remake that excels in both its storytelling and gory special effects. The film is so gruesome at times that even the most seasoned horror fanatics will cringe in dismay during their first watch. Maniac stars Elijah Wood as a methodical, serial killing sociopath who owns a mannequin shop. Upon meeting a young artist and agreeing to help her with an art exhibition, our protagonist must learn to suppress his violent and psychopathic desires, which is much easier said than done. Elijah Wood embraces the role with perfection as an emotionally tormented and uncompromisingly violent… you guessed it, maniac.
3. V/H/S (Pt. 1 & 2, 2012 & 2013): Thanks to the Paranormal Activity films, it simply no longer feels like Halloween in our generation anymore without good found-footage horror. V/H/S 1 and 2 are the perfect fix for this. It is important to note that this duo may be watched separately and still make complete sense. The V/H/S films function as an anthology series, each with numerous and outlandishly frightening plots, along with the ever-expected gore one can anticipate from indie horror releases. Both V/H/S and V/H/S: 2 deliver the darkly sinister and haunting stories horror fans yearn for. The first film presented the terrorisms of a succubus, serial killers, supernatural forces, and satanic rituals. V/H/S: 2 also recounted similarly grisly events, such as violent ghost hauntings, zombies, the practices of a satanic cult in Indonesia, and alien abductions. While both V/H/S instalments have all borrowed concepts common in the horror genre, they have successfully added their own abhorrence and originality to the stories being portrayed. (Side note: The third installation in the series, VHS: Viral, is now available on Video on Demand, iTunes, VUDU, and other online streaming services. Spoiler alert: It’s totally awesome.)
2. You’re Next (2011): You’re Next is one of my favourite horror films of all time, particularly for the manner in which it dabbles into dark comedy. At numerous points in the film, you find yourself simultaneously shocked and humorously entertained, much unlike the overall feeling of dread horror flicks attempt to bombard the audiences with. The film begins like any other home invasion thriller, complete with a masked machete-wielder brutally massacring unsuspecting home-dwellers in the middle of the night. The brilliance of this intro, however, is that it makes the audience believe this is another typical slasher flick. You’re Next manages to break past this stereotype with its brutal suspense, comical dark humour, and a terrifying pursuit for survival. It is, without a doubt, one of the most intelligently layered and disturbingly blood-soaked films in the genre.
1. The Cabin in the Woods (2012): It is safe to assume that I’ve watched Cabin in the Woods well over ten times, so it comes as no surprise that I’ve ranked it first. I adore this film, because much like You’re Next, it follows a formulaic plot before throwing a huge curveball at you. We follow several college kids vacationing to a remote cabin in search for relaxation and a good time. Of course, this doesn’t last long. However, Cabin in the Woods surpasses almost every single horror stereotype you can think of as it throws you into a frenzy of highly unexpected plot-twists that do not cease until the film’s brilliant final act. Nothing is ever as it seems, predictability is thrown out the window, and the plot progression is equally spine-chilling and comically hilarious. Cabin in the Woods is the perfect blend of horror, satire, and science fiction, and remains to be one of the most creatively original horror films I’ve seen to date.
…and for those of you that are keen in the art of binge-watching, much like myself, here are a few honourable mentions to keep you entertained this Halloween weekend if you complete the films on my list: American Mary. Grave Encounters (1 & 2). Silent House. Let the Right One In. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. Funny Games. The Sacrament.
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Images: IMDb and Wikipedia