If you’ve been following Remy and I on our ongoing horror quest, you’ll know that we love paying respect to those lesser known films that deserve your attention. The “Video On Demand” platform opens doors for limited release movies that theaters just can’t, making independent films accessible to households worldwide instead of just gracing the thirty lucky theaters scattered across the country. No longer do we have to wait for these hidden gems to surface years after their initial release, as we can instead watch these movies from the comfort of our own homes, right away. Technology is amazing, ain’t it?
While Remy and I have already told you which under-the-rader horror films you absolutely shouldn’t have missed this year so far, now it’s time to uncover which films pleasantly surprised us (or met our high expectations), providing a watching experience that, again, shouldn’t be ignored. Don’t say we never gave you everything!
Read on to take a look at our newest recommendations for you…Next
Remy – The Conspiracy
I knew next to nothing about this film when I sat down to watch it a few weeks ago, and honestly, I was really impressed by it. While it may have an ending you can see coming a mile away, they do an amazing job of getting to that ending, and all you need to know is just a little bit about how our own government works behind the scenes to know just how spot-on this movie is.
The Conspiracy is a “found footage” documentary (though not fully mockumentary) about two young men who stumble upon a global conspiracy about a group of elitists called The Tarsus Group, who pretty much run the Country from behind closed doors, and they get together once a year to hold a sort of Pagan “ritual” called “The Hunting of the Bull,” which is supposed to set in stone the events for the year to follow. These two filmmakers end up getting an opportunity to attend the ceremony disguised as one of the members of the group. As you can imagine from a film of this nature and the brevity of the subject matter, things don’t really go as intended for our young whistle blowers.
What makes this film work so well is just how close it is to our real world. I know many of you may want to shake your head, but all you need to do is research Bohemian Grove to realize this shit really happens in our own world, and we just willingly turn a blind eye to it. They may have changed some names and locations for the film, but it mirrors our own world far more realistically than most sheeps would know.
Nato – Bad Milo!
Bad Milo! was produced by the Duplass brothers, stars Ken Marino, utilizes hilarious puppet workmanship, produced some of the greatest theatrical posters ever, and thankfully, was the downright riotous horror comedy I so desperately hoped it would be. Far too often I get excited about a movie, only to have it let me down on tremendous levels, it’s a problem I have, but writer/director Jacob Vaughn delivered the exact experience I was hoping for – that deserves a definite thank you.
Ken Marino plays an over-stressed man, Duncan, taking shots on a daily basis, and starts to experience stomach problems as a result. What he assumes to be some kind of cyst or growth actually turns out to be a physical manifestation of his conscious, harboring the dark emotions that he keeps bottled inside. Living in his intestines, this little creature escapes from his stinky prison whenever Duncan’s stress levels get too high, killing off the source of said anxiety. In short, if you piss Duncan off, his friend (who he names Milo) appears and eats your face – or whatever part of your body is easiest.
The film is a brilliant play on the notion of keeping your negative thoughts bottled inside, only to have them escape and cause havoc anyway. It’s not healthy suppressing your emotions, because according to Bad Milo!, a monster will be created and you’re going to have a very sore butthole. But hey, Milo is a funny little guy, so maybe you want to have such a rambunctious little friend on your side. If that’s the case, by all means, try and make your own butt demon. Just make sure he only eats the people you don’t like!Previous Next
Remy – Scenic Route
While I will go on the record to say, right off the jump, this is not horror in the purest sense (monsters, killers, demons), you need to sit through the entirety of Scenic Route to understand just why it is on the list. As much as some scenes may be funny and the tone may be light at times, this is a bleak journey taken with two friends who learn more about themselves and each other then they ever could have planned.
In Scenic Route, old friends Mitchell (played by Josh Duhamel) and Carter (played by Dan Fogler) are on a road trip, looking to recapture some of the magic and mirth they felt when they were younger. The truck they are in ends up dying on an isolated stretch of desert road, and this is when things begin to unravel for the duo.
Animosities get exposed, issues arise, and that, mixed with the constantly changing temps, lack of food and drink, and tension between the two, makes for a very volatile cocktail. It may look like an underwhelming film on the surface, but this movie blew my mind for just how well written and acted it was. This is two men, alone with themselves, at the mercy of nature, and trust me, if that ending doesn’t stick with you or give you goosebumps, you may need to get yourself checked for a pulse.
Nato – Jug Face
While this isn’t a straight horror film, as I consider Jug Face to be more of a suspenseful thriller, Chad Crawford Kinkle’s backwoods community movie is horrifying because it deals with the acceptance of death and the sacrifice of one’s self for the betterment of others – a fate no one wants.
The whole premise follows a cult-like group of people who have cut themselves off from society, living deep in the woods and abiding by their own laws. Shaping a civilization of their own, the families worship a muddy pit like a God, convinced it has the power to keep their lives safe, happy, and healthy – as long as they sacrifice innocent lives when it asks for blood. When a young girl named Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter) becomes the next victim though, she tries to escape her doomed fate, angering the pit and opening the entire community up to chaos.
Jug Face slowly simmers like a crock-pot full of roadkill stew, but when it finally heats up, the atmosphere and tension built plays out in grand fashion. The pit is much more ferocious than expect, and while Kinkle doesn’t really embrace a full creature feature vibe, it’s still brutal and thought provoking, especially through the thematic dealings of life and death. I mean, would you be OK with slashing your throat open over a muddy pit so everyone else around you can live on? It’s an absolutely terrifying thought – one that’s not easily shaken.Previous Next
Remy – Hell Baby
Okay, I will admit, I went into this one a little hesitant, but I should’ve known the guys responsible for Reno 911! would give me a po’ boy I could sink my teeth into.
Hell Baby is a movie about a couple, played by the brilliant Rob Corddry and lovely Leslie Bibb, who move into an incredibly haunted house and blah blah she gets knocked up with the devil’s baby and they need to get special exorcists in to help save them from the “Hell Baby.” Yes, it is Scary Movie stupid. But not Scary Movie 4 stupid. This is, to say, Scary Movie 1 stupid. In other words, when Scary Movie was tasteless, but still funny.
What I dug about Hell Baby was that it was one of those horror comedy movies that paid homage to horror. There are hilarious characters in this film (obviously, the priests, played by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, pretty much own the film in every way) and even though it’s stupid, sometimes, amid all the blood and guts we make ourselves watch, it is nice to have a laugh.
Plus, Rob Corddry has been in just about everything in the last two years, and has been pretty great in everything in the last two years as well, so it is nice to see him getting the lead and having some fun with it. Again, not one of the best horror movies of the year, by any means, but I was definitely surprised by just how much I enjoyed it when I actually expected to hate it.
Also, the pot smoking scene is hilarious. Toke that from me.
I mean, take that from me.
Nato – Grabbers
Being a horror fan, I can definitely say nothing accompanies a good watch like some cold, frothy, alcoholic refreshment, so is there anything better than a movie that actually marries those two things? I know, I’m as shocked as you that it took Ireland this long to soak a horror film in gallons upon gallons of beer, but writer Kevin Lehane and director Jon Wright have finally ended the wait with their alien invasion flick, Grabbers.
Taking place on a remote little island, a band of Irish townsfolk are forced to defend themselves from slimy, tentacled creatures who need water to survive, and who also are poisoned by alcohol. Basically, if you’re sober you’re screwed, but if you’re hammered, these beasts can’t eat you. Sure, they can bat you around and still end your life other ways, but the drunker you are, the less of a chance these aliens will bother you – unless you kill yourself through stupidity instead.
Grabbers is a fun-filled flick that mixes light-hearted monster comedy, alcohol-driven straight humor, and a little bit of creature horror, but the real emphasis here is on the comedy. Luckily, it all works very well, hitting on a solid Gremlins type of vibe, and we’re rewarded with a hilarious watch full of word slurring, decapitations, Celtic charm, and good-time horror. It’s silly, booze-soaked fun anyone can enjoy, not just horror fans – spread the hoppy goodness! Just keep your beers covered, don’t want any blood tainting your beverage of choice.
So is there a horror movie that pleasantly surprised you this year that we missed?
*A special thanks to Remy for stepping in to guest write! Feel free to follow either of us on Twitter for even more insanity and updates:
Matt Donato Follow @DoNatoBomb
Remy Carreiro Follow @RemyCarreiro
Like what you read? Check out last week’s article where Remy and I pay tribute to those horror victims badass enough to fight back against evil!Previous