Of all the things that may go bump in the night, the supernatural genre is a pretty expansive subgenre of horror. It can be defined by anything beyond scientific understanding that’s within the realms of nature; such as psychic encounters or ghosts.
As recent filmmakers have blurred the gap between Supernatural horrors & thrillers I’ve decided to focus on movies that rely a little more on momentary shock rather than a held suspense of events. Mind you, that doesn’t mean that my selections for this week will by lacking any suspense, but I’m going to be releasing a thriller based video after this, which hopefully will exhibit a diverse assortment of films.
The Orphanage 2007
Director J.A. Bayona Mystery dama,Follows Laura, a former orphan, who brings her family back to live in an old house, that used to be the orphanage where she was raised. When her son tells her that he has 5 new invisible friends, Laura - thinking her son has a rather powerful imagination, feels inspired to reopen the orphanage to the general public.
A film that takes full advantage of the errieness of small children. The Orphanage, in my opinion is one of the best horror films released in recent years. It’s jarring and creepy; delivering a continuous suspense filled atmosphere that doesn’t rely on continuous jump scares.
The first act of The Orphanage however does feel a little bit cliche in places, but its second act onwards is brilliant, not to mention it’s well made sentimental ending.
Director Dario Argento Horror drama - From the moment she arrives at her new ballet academy in Germany, an American student realises that there is something horribly wrong with this old institution. Following a series of bloody murders, she slowly begins to unravel the dark history of this mysterious and deadly academy.
With a combination of eerie colourful lights and bizarre imagery, the best way to describe Suspiria would be a candy coloured night terror that's somehow merged with an upbeat yet disturbing soundtrack. Regrettably I’ve only just recently seen this masterpiece, but I can safely say it’s quickly become one of my all time favorite horrors, with its ridiculously red blood and quirky plot.
But a warning to some of you, this film is very slow paced and definitely not your conventional horror, so if you don’t like arthouse-ish movies, I would probably avoid this like the plague.
It Follows 2015
Director David Robert Mitchell Mystery horror - After a one night stand with a guy she hardly knows. A te enager called Jay has been left with some nasty life changing news. Her sexual encounter has come at a high price where she now finds herself been stalked by someone or something that none of her friends can see.
Definitely one of those love hate movies - It Follows is an incredibly tense film which at first sounds like your usual teen horror flick, but in fact it takes a fairly fresh and unique spin on the horror genre.It’s first act could be considered too slow, but I honestly think the slow build up only adds to the overall tension in the later acts.
However this film does suffer from one major problem, it makes use of my least favorite movie trope “the protagonist throw”.
The Omen 1976
Director Richard Donner Suspense Mystery When an American ambassadors wife, gives birth to a stillborn baby, he’s approached by a priest who suggests that he should swap their son for a newborn whose mother had just died. After moving to London, a warning from a craized priest - and mysterious events - leads him to believe that his son could be more than just a child.
Disturbingly bleak and unsettling in places The Omen doesn’t rely on cheap shocks or gore, instead it gets into your head with perturbing music & sounds, that’s merged with first rate child acting and a really eerie atmosphere.It’s tense throughout with a well executed and creative story that has first rate acting and cinematography. But I wouldn’t exactly describe the Omen as a scary film as some
of its scenes are fairly cheesy by today's standards.
The Witch 2016
Director Robert Eggers Mystery horror Set in 17th Century New England; a poor couple lives on the outskirts of a dark forest where they are trying to start a farm with their 5 children. When strange occurrences such as their crops abruptly dying and their newborn son mysteriously disappearing. The family begins to be torn apart by superstition & paranoia.
Easily one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in awhile, The Witch is light on jump scares and very heavy on tension n mood. Its acting is fantastic, where you really do feel as though you’re actually watching something from the past. With little to no exposition, some people might find the story to be lacking, but the Witch feels as though it was made to be more like a psychological drama that a horror.
I wouldn’t call it scary, but it’s incredibly disturbing- where you will definitely be thinking about it, for a long time after seeing it.
The Frighteners 1996
Director Peter Jackson fantasy comedy - After a near fatal car accident, a man discovers he is blessed, or cursed, with the ability to communicate with the dead. With his unique skill he decides to take a change in vocation and becomes a psychic investigator. But what his clients don’t realise, is that he’s in control of the spirits, that harass their homes.
One of Peter Jackson's forgotten gems, The Frighteners is a funny yet spooky comedy that effectively uses both slapstick and cartoon effects. However it does have a rather dark and abrupt shift in tone during the second act that might be of putting to some, who just want to watch a comedy.
With an eccentric and original story The Frighteners has aged fairly well and it’s definitely worth seeing for it’s great cast and creative use of CGI.
Director Tobe Hooper's Horror thriller Follows a successful real estate agent, who lives with his family in one of his firms development homes. After living there for some time, strange events – and the presences of what first appears as friendly ghosts- leads to the family being terrorised by these aggressive spirits.
With great special effects and creepy imagery, Poltergeist is easily one of the most iconic and memorable modern horrors. I think what makes this film so special is its ability to make you afraid of your own home, that or been alone with your Tv set. Sure it’s cheesy in places but that doesn't stop it from been frightening, with it’s tight script, smart filming and intense ending. Poltergeist is definitely a must see movie for fans of the horror genre.
Director John Carpenter's mystery horror, When an unpopular teenage nerd spots a run down car for sale. He immediately falls in love with it wants to buy it. The cars owner informs him that its name is christine and that it belonged to his dead brother. But what the owner doesn’t tell him is that Christine is no ordinary automobile.
OK I love John Carpenter and I love Stephen King, so of course, to me, this video wouldn’t be complete without having Christine in it. OK the general premise of the film is kinda ludicrous, but it somehow pulls it off, without been too cheesy or unrealistic. Christine is still a classic in its own right, where I honestly think it’s slightly underrated. Furthermore it’s practical effects hold up really well leaving you with this highly watchable and entertaining horror.