Random Horror Recommendations - March 2020
It's Spooky Time
In case you didn't know, I am a firm believer that "spooky season" lasts all year round. Halloween is my favorite holiday. October is probably my favorite month. Horror is my favorite genre... which is why I watch it all year round. I love horror so much, in fact, that I am constantly watching random horror movies just to see if I can find any hidden gems. And maybe the films on this list aren't "hidden," so to speak, but I do believe that any horror fan should definitely check them out. A few things to note before starting: 1). These are my opinions. Maybe you are a horror fan who hates a certain film on this list. If so... awesome. Don't yell at me in the comments, but do spark conversation. I love to talk about these things. 2). This list contains NO SPOILERS. I'm recommending these movies so YOU can go check them out. Why would I want to ruin your experience? I may like horror, but I'm no jerk. Now, let's get to it. Here are my random horror recommendations of the month.
#1: We Are Still Here
I’m starting this list with a movie that focuses on two horror movie aspects that don’t usually appear in the same movie: vengeful spirits and a psychotic town. I’m not going to get into spoilers here because I really think that this movie is worth checking out if you are a true horror fan. I say this because it’s a slow burn… but if you really appreciate and respect art house horror films that focus more on pretty camera angles, looming shots, and practical gore effects — and holy crap there is gore in this movie — rather than jump scares and the traditional, casual moviegoer experience where something must be happening all the time or the audience gets bored, then I believe that you will like this movie. The ending is a little over-the-top, but I give the creators of the film credit for not being afraid to go out there in a movie that started out as just a regular haunted house film. No, this is not a regular haunted house film… but that is all I am going to give you.
Check it out on Shudder or Prime Video.
My IMDb rating: 8/10.
Okay, hear me out. If you’ve heard of this movie, then you probably know it stars Nicholas Cage — if you haven’t seen it, the reason may be because it stars Nicholas Cage. Well, I will let you know here: check it out. I recognize that most films Nicholas Cage is in are not good. Before watching Mandy, I heard that it was decent… but I was still skeptical. Cage is very over-the-top in a lot of his movies, which isn’t always necessary. Cage is over-the-top in this movie, too… but it is necessary. This is an over-the-top movie in the best of ways. This movie is whack. Completely and utterly whack. But I love it. Just like the first movie on this list, it is an art-house film. It’s colorful. It’s vibrant. It’s gory. If you are a horror fan — especially a “gorror” fan — I highly suggest you check this one out. Prepare yourself for a mind trip.
It’s available on Shudder.
My IMDb rating: 8/10.
I knew nothing about this movie going into it. I saw it on a shelf one day in Walmart and thought that it looked interesting. And then I saw it was on Shudder. So, I read the synopsis that Shudder had to offer and said to myself, “Oh great, another crappy found footage film about people going into a haunted house” (I’ve seen plenty of those). Oh, how wrong I was. 1). This is not a found footage film. 2). It is not crappy. 3)… I guess I wasn’t wrong about it being set in a haunted house — it wasn’t a legit haunted house holding lost souls, it was a fake haunted house that would usually be set around Halloween, which is when this movie takes place. I should have said that from the start. Oh well. This movie isn’t scary in any sense… but it surprised the hell out of me.
Check it out on Shudder.
My IMDb rating: 9/10
I was in Arizona with a bunch of friends over Spring break. We sat down one night to watch a movie. (Don't judge, I like movies. And it was raining, so it's not like we could have been outside anyway). Now, when I sit down to watch a movie with friends, I don’t always intend on paying attention. I expect a lot of talking and a lot of laughing — it’s how my friends and I watch movies. This movie, however, we took seriously. It tells a story that I thought was very original. It takes time to build characterization so that you care about many of the important characters. This movie is also not very scary… but it builds suspense and leaves the watcher questioning what is actually going in. Did I mention there was gore?
I hope you can see a pattern here: if a horror movie does not have practical gore effects, my chances of giving the film an 8 or higher goes bye-bye. And I mean practical. None of that obvious CGI crap. Trust me, filmmakers. You can tell when it’s CGI. Sorry for that random digression, I just really wanted to say it.
Check it out on Netflix.
My IMDb rating: 9/10.
#5: Hell House LLC
Alright, this is a movie I should have recommended a long time ago. It came out back in 2015 and I loved it. This one is found footage and takes place in an ACTUAL haunted house, unlike the one in Haunt. Found footage movies are usually a hit or miss for me. Some can tell awesome stories and utilize the found footage aspect in a clever way, while others use it to hide obviously bad special effects and get a film made in a small amount of time with a small budget. This movie is the former. It has a good reason to be a found footage film — this movie takes place in a very small space. It’s claustrophobic at times. It has a sense of mystery around it. The filmmakers utilize the found footage aspect in a way that actually makes the film semi-scary. (Nothing is scary to me anymore. I’m immune to this stuff.) The subsequent sequels that follow this movie are… lacking, to say the least. But if you’re in the mood for a solid found footage horror movie, wait for it to get dark, turn off the lights, pull it up on Amazon Prime or Shudder, and have a grand old time.
My IMDb rating: 9/10
Would you ever stay the night in a supposedly haunted house?
© 2020 Benjamin Wollmuth