With October only two months away and summer nearly over, why not check out these recent releases? Finish summer off right and get an early start on your Halloween festivities.
What We Do in the Shadows
If you love films like Spinal Tap and Borat, then do I have a movie for you! From the guys who brought us the most excellent Flight of the Conchords TV show comes this mockumentary about the everyday lives of a group of 800-year-old vampires trying to fit in with modern times. The jokes are spot on, situations like getting into nightclubs are original, and the cast sells every bit perfectly. It’s by far the funniest thing I’ve watched all year, a true treat for fans of both the comedy and vampire genres.
From the Dark
This is definitely the most low budget pick on the list, but please don’t let that dissuade you. It’s Pitch Black meets the Irish countryside, minus a Vin Diesel, replaced with his female equivalent Niamh Algar. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a couple’s car gets stuck in the middle of nowhere, but luckily, they are able to locate a farmhouse that offers them refuge while putting them in the path of an ancient creature that will stop at nothing to get to them. It’s horror 101, but with a strong female lead. With a need to stay in the light, this film offers real tension, and it’s refreshing to see practical effects in a horror film again.
The Town that Dreaded Sundown
I admit I have not seen the 1976 original, but as a huge fan of the TV show American Horror Story, I saw this film as soon as I could due it being directed by one of the guys involved in the show. Set 30 years after the original “moonlight killings” that rocked the small Texan town of Texarkana, someone has put the potato sack back on and is recreating the town’s deadly past. The camera angles and shot selections are more akin to an indie film than horror, and really add to this film’s style — its strongest feature. The colors in this movie are over saturated, giving every scene an unnatural sense of dread. Every kill feels personal, and there is a great chase scene toward the end for all you horror purists.
It’s not a Moan4Stallone recommendation list without at least one found footage film. Full disclosure: I am partially biased towards this pick because I grew up near the shooting location (Crestline, CA), and it stars Mark Duplass of the awesome film Safety Not Guaranteed. Duplass’ character Josef puts an ad on Craigslist, asking for someone to film his last wishes, since he’s dying from cancer. Aron, played by Patrick Brice, answers the ad, setting up a chain of events that will change his life forever. Duplass really transforms into one of the weirdest, creepiest characters in the horror genre since Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. Note to readers: if you are ever in a creepy guy’s cabin and he puts on a creepy werewolf mask, that’s your cue to bounce.
Yes, this film was released a while ago, but I decided to add it to this list because I was unable to give it some love last year, and it’s the most fun horror film since You’re Next. Going in, I had no idea what this film was about. I assumed it was a haunted house film, and it kind of is, but to say any more would spoil this movie’s Shyamalan-worthy plot twists. Just know that it was my favorite horror film of last year, and the best horror/comedy from New Zealand since Dead Alive.
So, my fellow “Horror Timers,” let me know what you think in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter if you agree/disagree my picks. Until next time, hang out with nice vampires, keep the lights on, check your attic, avoid Texarkana, and don’t answer Craigslist ads!