The ‘Make You Scream’ Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve excited (or bored you all to death) with my horror movie reviews and in feeling extremely guilty in letting all one of my fans down, this week to kick off the new year, I’m going to offer you FIVE movies for the price of one – the price being free, because none of you pay for any of this. The Canadian version of Netflix has a great assortment of frightening flicks for us all to experience, but being that I am a self-proclaimed ‘expert’ on the genre, there are many you can stream from their website that I have already subjected my peepers to.

Here are five films that you can watch on your Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, computer and every other piece of technology that will grant you access. These all come highly recommended by me, so if you ever want to dazzle me with your horror movie knowledge, this is a good place to start.

The Descent (2005)

From Neil Marshal, the writer-director of Dog Soldiers (2002) comes this claustrophobic nightmare. Six adrenaline seeking female adventurers embark on a spelunking expedition in a set of caves uncharted in the Appalachian Mountains. When a cavernous corridor collapses and traps them in the dark and narrow passageways, the women are left to find another way out. What they don’t know, is that the deep labyrinth of rock is home to ravenous blind creatures who soon mark them all as prey.

The all-female cast is remarkable. The direction and writing is spot on, weaving an intense story that not only plays on the tension of being stalked by a predator, but also focuses on the stress and fatigue of being trapped. Very suspenseful and not recommended for anyone who is scared of closed in spaces.

High Tension (2003)

A beautifully filmed French horror movie. Marie and Alex are two college students off to visit Alex’s family. Unfortunately, they’re about to be terrorized by a maniac in a dilapidated truck who comes calling to the family homestead. What ensues is a tense fight for survival. It sounds like the standard slasher film, right? Even while watching it, it’s really easy to see that the director was inspired by a great deal of the 1980s crazed-killer flicks, but there is something more to it. In the final act of the movie, there is an unexpected twist – one that I won’t share with you because it spoils the whole film. What I will say is that the story plays out like a masterfully created gore-filled deranged psycho film, but turns into a psychological mind-fuck at the end.

Teeth (2007)

High school student Dawn (Jess Weixler) works hard at suppressing her budding sexuality by being the local chastity group’s most active participant. Her task is made even more difficult by her bad boy stepbrother Brad’s increasingly provocative behavior at home. A stranger to her own body, innocent Dawn discovers she has a toothed vagina when she becomes the object of violence. As she struggles to comprehend her anatomical uniqueness, she experiences both the pitfalls and the power of being a living example of the vagina dentata myth.

What’s best about this movie? First off, the ‘monster’ is portrayed by a woman (which is a rarity nowadays), but what makes it even better is that she doesn’t really even know it. With the situations that present itself to make Dawn a ‘villain’ the audience can’t help but feel somewhat sympathetic. Not a typical horror film, but incredibly enjoyable… and trust me, this will make your boyfriend squirm for once.

Black Death (2010)

At the height of the relentless Black Plague, one village seems completely immune. Rumour has it a Godless ‘necromancer’ – someone able to bring the dead back to life – is responsible for the safety of its inhabitants. Sean Bean heads the cast as Ulric, leading a band of Christian soldiers on a mission to explore the mysterious village. On arrival, some shocking discoveres are made and different breeds of fundamentalism collide with horrific results.

How many horror/suspense/thriller movies take place in the medieval era nowadays? Not many! That’s one of the reasons I enjoyed this film so much. While it is a bit slower paced than your average genre title, the costumes, setting and acting make it more than worth the watch. Sadly, for Bean fans – do expect his curse to live on in this one.

Buba Ho-Tep (2002)

The comedy-horror addition to this list! Based on the novella of the same name, Bruce Campbell plays the aging King of Rock’n’Roll who is withering away in a retirement home who is about to be terrorized by an ancient mummy dressed up as a cowboy. Paired with a fellow inhabitant of the dry and dusty facility, Jack – a man who claims to be JFK (patched up and dyed black and abandoned), they must fight to protect the rest of the old timers of who the mummy wishes to feast upon their souls.

Funny as this film certainly is, it also touches on the tender topics of growing older in a world where only the young are valued. This is one of Campbell’s best roles to date. We’re all familiar with how much he can make us chuckle, but this also shows us glimpses of his actual talent as an actor.

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