With so many movies out there, it can really be a chore to watch every single worthwhile piece of cinema. Think about all the genres that exist. Seriously, think about them. Then you have to look at sub-genres, which provide enough material on their own for months on end – and how the hell are we supposed to pick out every little gem that doesn’t get a wide release?!
Well, if you’re a horror fan, you’re in luck, because Remy and I are crazy enough to hunt down literally every horror movie we can find. Sorry comedy, romance, drama, and other genre lovers, but horror is our game, and we’re here to dominate.
As for this year so far, there have been the typical highs and lows, but surprisingly we’re seeing more highs right about now. Even with shitstorms like Texas Chainsaw 3D and The Last Exorcism Part II gracing 2013 with their presence, films like Evil Dead and Maniac have made all the garbage easier to deal with. But those are the big titles everyone knows – what about the little guys? What about the independent horror films that don’t get to see the bright lights of wide distribution like their mainstream brothers do? Don’t worry, Remy and I found some keepers you can find through Video On Demand or you can buy on DVD/Blu-Ray by now, making for a horrifyingly comfortable movie night you don’t need to spend $12.50 on – unless you go big and buy the Blu-Ray that is.
Without wasting more of your time, let’s jump right in and start talking about these six lesser known horror films you probably missed this year (so far). Now you don’t have an excuse though. Get out there and get watching!Next
Remy – Come Out And Play
I know a lot of people were on the fence about Come Out And Play, which was a remake of the 70′s classic Who Could Kill A Child?, but I loved the original, and when a remake keeps the feel and story of the original, but is brave enough to bring it to a new generation, I can really admire what it’s trying to accomplish – and that is how I feel about Come Out And Play.
Come Out And Play is about a couple who are vacationing alone one last time before welcoming their baby into the world, but the island they land on just happens to be filled with kids who are maniacs. Think Children Of The Corn meets Village of the Damned and you have an idea. Thing is, there is no explanation or justification at all, just kids trying to kill adults.
What I like about this movie is EXACTLY what I liked about the original. It literally asks us the question: if your life or the life of someone you loved came down to it, could you kill a child to protect them? For me, I can say pretty quickly, yes. I could murderlate the fuck out of a kid. I mean, I know it would weigh on me, and I know I would never sleep soundly again, but I am an insomniac, so really, fuck it, I never sleep anyway. I could murder a group of adorable cartoon characters if they were trying to hurt me. Frankly, at this point, I am pretty sure I could murder anything. Wanna test the theory?
Nato – Under The Bed
I’ve featured director Steven C. Miller’s work so many times over the months Remy and I have been writing together, he probably thinks I’m some crazy stalker trying to grab his attention. Steven, if you’re reading this, I swear I’m normal. Just stop making movies I like so damn much and I’ll stop mentioning you!
But if we’re talking about under-the-radar horror movies in the first half of 2013, my first pick goes to Miller’s take on the boogeyman - Under The Bed. Starting out like a fun little family horror story in the vein of Joe Dante, we’re strung along while our main characters explain the weird occurrences happening every night (smoke filling the room, monster hands grabbing things, loud roars being heard), but once we finally hit Miller’s finale, the tone abruptly shifts for the better. Basically, all that family drama and creepiness Under The Bed sets up quickly turns into a balls to the wall creature feature, plunging us instantaneously into horror chaos.
While it might take what seems to be a long time for writer Eric Stolze’s story to reach its unrivaled peak, the wait is absolutely worth it. Under The Bed will certainly give you a reason to fear the dark yet again…Previous Next
Remy – The ABCs of Death
I know Matt and I rambled on and on about how much we loved this movie, but it was overshadowed by V/H/S (and now V/H/S/2) and honestly, I would EASILY recommend it over V/H/S/2. The ABCs of Death is a horror anthology that features 26 short films, all from different young writers and directors, all based on the alphabet, and all of them featuring different ways to die. It’s about as creative as horror films can get, and there is truly something in it for everyone. Segments are done in so many different styles. First person, animation, surreal. And while some bits may not work, every single director was given total freedom, and that shines through with a varied, fun, and at times, fucked up film. It really is a gem of a film, with a sequel on the way, and mark my words, Matt and I WILL be featured in an installment down the road.
Nato – Would You Rather
While Would You Rather may sound like the harmless game small children/drunken bar patrons might play, David Guy Levy’s film takes the innocence of the game and turns it into a Saw-like tournament of torture. Hosted by a wealthy “entrepreneur” named Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs), the sick bastard offers “contestants” a chance at unlimited wealth and a better life if they can win his game. The other “contestants?” Well once they are deemed “out” of the game, they are never heard from again, as Lambrick believes in rewarding the person who wants it most.
Getting past all that humanitarian bullshit Lambrick preaches about setting people free, we see a man who essentially gets off on power and control, toying with people’s lives for his own amusement. Each “contestant” thinks they’re attending a dinner party and just have to participate in silly little time wasters, but Shepard then decides each one’s fate to a degree, willingly choosing to let all but one person die.
Like I said, it’s basically a Saw knock-off, but it’s one of the best I’ve seen. The tortures aren’t outlandish and intricate, but more effective and efficient. It’s not about how they die, but about the tortures they endure. Simplicity is a thing of beauty in Would You Rather, and we really get to dive into thematic elements because of it.Previous Next
Remy – Room 237
Okay, okay, I know the horror sticklers may be pissed here, but really, Room 237 is a movie that deserves some real accolades, and though it is more documentary than horror, it’s a documentary ABOUT horror, plunging into the subject deeper than anyone has gone before.
Room 237 is a documentary about the Kubrick/King classic, The Shining, and what it does is shine a light on some of the INSANE fan theories regarding the symbolism of the film. But come on, how many of us horror fans do this with our favorite horror films? Dissect them after years, seeking out and finding hidden meaning in every single frame. Plus, we can all admit that Kubrick was one of the best and most articulate directors who ever lived, so seeing just HOW MANY continuity errors are in that film, you do begin to wonder why – but some of these theories are just batshit insane.
A coupe of them, like the moon faking, will really intrigue you though, and for that reason alone, this film deserves top shelf honors for 2013.
Nato – Berberian Sound Studio
I was going to recommend a silly zombie comedy called Detention Of The Dead for my last pick, being nothing but a funny laugh-fest I had an absolute blast with, but I have to give Berberian Sound Studio props because writer/director Peter Strickland created an homage to an era that actually became its own incarnation of horror. If you want the simple watch, take Detention Of The Dead for a spin. But for those willing to have their intellect challenged and prodded by Strickland’s challenging material, I highly encourage you give this a try.
Strickland tells the story of a sound engineer (Toby Jones) who gets stuck working on a 1970′s Italian “Giallo” horror film in a poorly run studio, and the deterioration of his sanity as he gets farther and farther into the job. To do this, Strickland starts blending elements of the movie Jones is working on into his daily life, until scenes representing both are almost indistinguishable. Is Jones’ character stuck in the movie? Is he in some kind of dream state? It’s a serious mindf#ck of a film, but one that’s done with a distinctively magnificent style and with genre bending poise. The deeper you get into Strickland’s film, the more it will confuse (in a good way), hypnotize, and overtake you.
Don’t you love a filmmaker who doesn’t resort to babying his audience?
Have you seen any of this year’s lesser known horror films? Did we miss any gems you think belong on this list? Let us know in the comments!
*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 create our own highlight reel of Friday the 13th franchise kill scenes!Previous