Horror movies are very taste-specific because it’s difficult to scare a big group of people in the same way. Some get freaked out by gore, others by the possibility of it. Other times, all it takes is a m enacing villain calmly inching across the screen. Here is a diverse list of movies that you may have overlooked in the sequel-driven, often scareless age of modern horror.
Let the Right One In– The Twilight vampire bump actually worked against this movie, causing many fans of horror to stay away from anything with two fangs. Add to that the fact that it’s also foreign, and it is further doomed in American markets. Let the RIght One In is a profoundly disturbing adolescent horror film from Sweden, one where a seemingly young girl (brilliantly played by Lina Leandersson) becomes much more. It’s artfully done, to be sure, but the blood-letting helps it fit in with grimier-looking horror movies.
Scream 4 Directed by: Wes Craven Written by: Kevin Williamsen (screenplay) Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Emma Roberts, and David Arquette
Scream 4 makes you wonder what other veteran directors would do if they were offered the chance to comment on the modern state of their respective genres. How would Alfred Hitchcock approach Hanna? How would Billy Wilder tackle Your Highness?
Sadly, instead of real filmmakers taking a stab at the confines of their own genres, we get films like the Scary Movie franchise, which set out to mock, scored a few laughs in the first few films, and then became a mockery. The state of modern movies is just that: movies unintentionally mocking their genres, so much so that it may be hard for many in a modern audience to realize Scream 4 is doing it intentionally.
As the summer months begin for college students across the country, one of the movies’ prime profit seasons is upon us. People go out in droves to see the latest Hollywood blockbusters with their friends. Those art-house films of the fall stay on the shelves, as people enjoy big-budget entertainments with their friends and family. Here then are my five picks for 5 movies that are enhanced with entertainment when you watch them with other people. Whether they make you laugh, cry or drop your jaw in amazement, you will either enjoy these movies better with a group or be able to endure them better because you are with other people.
1. Superbad- Perhaps the most defining comedy of this generation, the outrageously explicit comedy from director Greg Montolla stars a teen comedy ensemble on rank with that of The Breakfast Club. The laughs are constant as three friends try to score booze for a party in order to get laid. That may turn off many sophisticated, stuffy types, but more honesty is fleshed out over the course of these two hours about the modern teen condition than almost any other movie made for that audience. Add in the iconic McLovin’, and you have a non-stop laugh riot that will endure for years to come.
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1- Though it’s hard to put this movie on a list without its equally excellent Vol. 2, you cannot deny the crowd-pleasing intensity of Quentin Tarantino’s genre-blended bloodbath. From the beginning, you get one of the most well constructed action films of the past 20 years as well as a story simple enough to keep track of while still chatting with those around you. If the gory showdown at the House of Blue Leaves doesn’t have everyone’s jaw dropped by the end of it, you’re probably hanging with the wrong crowd.
Drag Me to Hell Directed by: Sam Raimi Written by: Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi (screenplay) Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, and Adriana Barraza
Horror comedy may be the most difficult genres to mix together successfully. You wouldn’t think that, as these days horror movies like the Saw series are laughable and the endlessly cliched comedies become more horrendous. Sam Raimi, however, has proven himself a master of the genre.
Before he “sold out” (brought life) to the first two Spider Man movies, he was nothing more than a low-budget director of horror comedies that collected a cult following that included some unashamed critics. With Drag Me to Hell marking his return to that genre, consider me one of the recently unashamed.
Not only is this one of the funniest films of 2009, it’s also one of the grossest and even scariest. With most directors, you either lean on the horror or the comedy, but Mr. Raimi walks the tight rope of both and succeeds admirably. His film is relentlessly entertaining.