Hidden Horror Gems for a Spooky Halloween Season
Disclaimer: I have written several reviews on certain horror movies which yielded less than impressive verdicts. I realize that the following movies may not be particularly “good” and that one currently has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 40%. However, it is my credo that there are quality horror movies, and then there are entertaining horror movies.
It is considerably challenging for horror movies to be of high quality in addition to being entertaining, as there are so many ways to blunder into mediocrity. It’s a square and rectangle situation. A rectangle is always a square, but a square is not always a rectangle. As such, a good horror movie is entertaining, but an entertaining horror movie is not necessarily good.
Admittedly, not all these movies I recommend are renowned masterpieces. However, they’ll succeed in preparing you for the spooky Halloween season, and that’s all that really matters.
This is a nerve-racking movie. In fact, it’s somewhat traumatizing. Haunt follows a group of college students who enter a ominously secluded, and sinister, haunted house on Halloween night. Their worst fears manifest and they find themselves in a situation which challenges their resourcefulness, their strength, and their will to live.
As someone who could see herself being pressured into entering a haunted house despite all the warning signs, I emphasize with these poor, abused college students and feel their pain secondhand. But I suppose this is a good thing, considering the purpose of horror films is to induce terror and panic in its audience. Haunt does this in a sadistic way that was somewhat painful, yet enjoyable, to experience.
- The Descent
If you’re fiending for a film with a unique storyline then try The Descent. If anything can emphasize the macabre nature of this movie it’s the fact that the US version of the film necessitated an alternate ending, as the European ending was too dark for the American audience.
The plot follows a group of women traveling into an underground cave system during a group climbing vacation. However, they soon discover that they’re not alone in the depths of the cavern, and in their attempts to escape they must face deadly inhuman creatures, life or death decisions, and fatal betrayal.
Personally, if I’m taking a girls trip, I’m going to Hawaii, not down into some horrible cave where evil awaits.
Holidays is a horror anthology composed of short horror films, which give some of our favorite holidays an ugly, disturbing twist. It’s artistic and obscure, and much is left up to interpretation. The unexpected twists and turns make the film perfect for an unorthodox, but sufficiently unsettling, hidden Halloween gem.
When mother Dana is paralyzed in a car accident she is confined to bed in a care facility. Before long, a malevolent being begins to invade her dreams then, shortly after, her reality. Despite the odds, the main character resists the spectre and continues to fight until she meets a devastating but victorious fate. Despite the majority of the film taking place in the room she’s confined to, it does not disappoint or bore as the actors successfully immerse you into the film. Additionally, the killing sprees which the monstrous being inflicts are wonderfully gruesome, and occasionally satisfying when the unimportant and annoying side characters are killed off.
A remake of the cult classic Candyman is planned to be released in 2021, however, it’s very possible that the remake will not live up to the expectations set by its predecessor.
Candyman is a movie that reveals the true power of believing. When graduate student Helen Lyle begins an endeavor to uncover the truth about the local urban legend of Candyman she realizes she is on the verge of a significant academic find. However, as she digs deeper into the truth, she realizes the consequences of her curiosity and ambition as she attracts the attention of an unearthly and unheavenly entity. Not only does this movie have elements of a slasher film, but also a psychological thriller, as it leaves questions unanswered and the authenticity of certain events unconfirmed. Through the unreliability of the main character’s narrative as she begins to unravel mentally and emotionally, the movie takes many twists and turns which will force you to closely dissect the developments in the plot in order to discern the meaning of the end, and honestly the beginning and middle as well.
Period films are an important subgenre of horror, and Apostle is the perfect fit. Set in the 1900s, Thomas Richardson travels to a remote island on which his sister is being held captive for ransom. Under the guise of a new recruit to the mysterious cult inhabiting the island, Richardson must infiltrate the following’s close ranks in order to rescue his sister, himself, and the other innocents he meets along the way. This movie not only has horrific supernatural elements sure to unnerve you, but it also serves as a reminder of the violence and cruelty which humans are capable of.