Family Ties Edition

Blood of my blood. Flesh of my flesh. You’re born into a family, and try as you might, you’re stuck with them for life. While there are times where you might want to run away or escape them, I can guarantee they could be much, much worse. Below, I’ve collected a trio of terrifying families that will make even the worst look positively angelic. Psychotic gun totting madmen? Cannibalistic, inbred rednecks? Masochistic, bible thumping ma and pa? I’ve got them all here for you.

THE DEVILS REJECTS (2005)

Written and directed by Rob Zombie, this is a sequel to his 2003 debut, House of 1000 Corpses and follows the Firefly family as they run from the law. With over 75 homicides linked to them, the trio (Baby, Captain Spaudling and Otis) are forced to leave Mother Firefly behind as they make their escape. Stopping at the Kahiki Palm Motel to take a break and hideout from the media coverage and police that are hot in pursuit, the three take a travelling band hostage. Torture, rape and death quickly follow as each of the Banjo and Sullivan singing group become their victims. This all leads up to a climatic guns blazing shoot-out in the middle of the highway when the family runs into a police barricade. Intense, brutal and easily Zombie’s best work to date.

THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991)

About to be evicted from their apartment, the young and aptly named Poindexter ‘Fool’ Williams, intends to break into his landlords’ house and steal gold coins that are rumored to reside within the walls. The Robesons’ home is heavily fortified with steel locks, soundproof windows and a vicious rottweiler named Prince. What else Fool finds is a labyrinth that creeps through every foot of the residence, a daughter (Alice) who is scalded in a bath of hot water when misbehaved and rejected sons who live in the basement, most who have had their tongues, ears or eyes removed. Hear No Evil. See No Evil. Speak No Evil. Fool is trapped, with little chance of survival – unless he can convince the Robesons’ children to stop their parents, the bondage suit wearing, shotgun totting ‘Father’ and the deranged school marm, ‘Mother’. Getting your mouth washed out with soap doesn’t seem so bad now, right?

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003)

The 1974 classic is my favorite horror movie and so it takes a lot for a modern day retelling to impress me and this one totally does. On a hot day in August in 1973, five ‘adults’ are headed to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert and as they drive through Texas they pick up a distraught hitchhiker who tells them of a ‘bad man’ who was chasing her and promptly shoots herself in their van. What follows is the band of friends being hunted down by Leatherface, the deformed and insane son of the Hewitt Clan, tasked with finding his poor family dinner. What’s discovered is that the family blood runs throughout the entire town and there is no one willing to help. Only one manages to escape, and only long enough to tell the tale. Based loosely on the crimes of serial killer, Ed Geins, this movie offers a disturbing glimpse of the American Dream gone totally wrong.

Maybe you should give your mom a call and tell her how much you love her.

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