When it comes to the great month of October and its over-the-top dark holiday, aka All Hallow’s Eve, there is so much to look forward to: the temperature dropping, pumpkin patches, being able to decorate your home like the set of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and dressing like your favorite character from Stranger Things (I’m going as Hopper).
With such an ominous holiday looming, I have compiled a list of 5 modern horror flicks — as in films that hit the silver screen after the year 2000 — that you may have missed. And with Halloween just a few days away, these are guaranteed to make you wish this holiday would never end now that you can watch them all at home. If you’re into nightmares, that is.
So, for those who fancy getting into the mood by way of screaming into a bowl of popcorn, these should absolutely do the trick (and treat). Just make sure to turn your lights off, sound up… and probably invite a friend or two.
Let us begin (in alphabetical order)…
The Cabin In the Woods
This 2012 horror film (written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, who also directed) is the perfect mix of traditional horror and comedy. When a group of students (including a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth) go to the old cabin in the woods, it seems like every horror movie ever made, but when you find that the hillbilly zombies that are out to kill them are just puppets whose strings are being pulled by a higher power, that is when this run-of-the-mill story takes a turn.
With plenty of jump scares and vicious deaths, this flick turns the bravest into hand-holders and leg-grabbers, but don’t fret, there is a cool brain behind this crazy killer of a film. The Cabin in the Woods is a great Halloween movie that is good for scare-seekers that need a couple of laughs too.
Ah, The Descent. I knew I was going to a “scary movie,” but I didn’t think this film had legs. This 2006 film (directed by Neil Marshall, who is set to reboot Hellboy next year) has a group of women who travel deep into some caves in the Carolinas and what happens to these chicks next… SHEESH.
It’s dark, dirty, visceral, and let’s be honest, I would never want to be in any “horror movie” situation anyway, but they are underground in a cave above all. No Way! There was some spiritual and emotional trauma that the main character went through to warrant this excursion, bringing the girls together, and all that goes out the window once the flesh-eating creatures make their debut.
With its solid direction, great sound and the feeling of being stalked, hunted and brutally killed… The Descent is a must watch.
Drag Me To Hell
Thank GOD for Sam Raimi and his superior eye for making shit scary. I feel in love with this flick. I felt like Michael Jackson in the theater with the popcorn at the beginning of “Thriller” video. This 2009 film was way ahead of its time while keeping to the crazy aesthetics from his old movies that make Sam Raimi flicks, Sam Raimi flicks.
The film’s about a woman named Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), with a great life, job and boyfriend who becomes hexed by a woman she refuses to assist at her job to impress her boss. After she realizes that the old woman condemned her soul to hell for all of eternity, she visits a psychic to see what can be done, and the answer is not what she wants to hear.
This movie is all about the senses, sound and sight. I saw the movie twice in the theater, and the second time, the sound was too low. And unfortunately, it didn’t hold up as well as it did the first time. So, turn the surround sound up and get ready for a wild horror ride.
Evil Dead (2013)
Reboots and remakes. I can’t seem to get away from them, and if you are a movie freak like me, you can’t either. But sometimes, there is a remake that is sent from the horror gods below and is a remake sculpted to perfection.
The O.G. Evil Dead was made by Sam Raimi and is one of the first cabin in the wood films I ever saw. Even with its extremely low budget it managed to spawn two sequels, a TV series, and said 2013 remake.
So, Mia (Jane Levy) heads to her family’s cabin in the woods, bringing her brother and friends for the weekend to help her finally kick a returning drug habit. The group happens upon a strange book made of flesh. While trying to decipher the words in the book, an extreme evil is unlocked and that’s when it hits the damn fan.
Why I picked this movie is because it is INTENSE and unforgiving. Not many films make me wince, but there is an eyeball scene that is AGGRESSIVE. GET READY.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
This is a movie that is equally as interesting as it is terrifying. This 2005 film was based on true events: a real trial that took place prosecuting the Reverend Moore for wrongful death due to Emily’s failed exorcism. The film takes place through situational flashbacks when certain points in the case between the movie’s lead, Erin, who is the defense lawyer, and the prosecuting attorney. But where this movie differs from most is you get both sides of the argument, where we see her being attacked by demons, and the other side, where it shows that she was very ill and was imagining these things. But let’s not get it twisted, when we get to see the scary part, it is legit creepy. This is no documentary.
With Jennifer Carpenter’s EXTREMELY stellar performance, this is one bone-chilling flick that will scare the Halloween up in you.
So, I hope this top five list was a good jump start for anyone looking for non-B-movie horror flicks to watch this Halloween season. It’s a short list, but solid nonetheless, I think. These films are guaranteed to give you and whomever the hell you are with a solid scare.
Trick or treat, guys!