Last year, Mark Searby brought you his brilliant list of Ten Geeky Horror Movies To Watch Over Halloween. But twelve months is a long time in the life of a cinephile and… HE’S BACK!! BWAH-HA-HA-HA!! Look out!!! He’s behind you!!!
MARK: This year, for Halloween 2016, we are delving deeper into the red gooey stuff to find another ten horror movies for the Geek universe. Prepare yourselves – pitchforks and flaming torches at the ready, gang…
Whether we knew it or not at the time, summer camps were really a pre-cursor to the modern pop culture convention! Think about it: individuals thrown together for a summer who come out the other side, bonding over lasting relationships which they have formed over fun activities… You get my drift!
SLEEPAWAY CAMP tackles the loneliness of having no friends through the entire summer while having to endure being bullied by the cool kids at the camp – this is your typical horror film so you can pretty much imagine the way the story will progress. But wait! This film has one of the most shocking endings of any horror movie. So shocking that I’ll never forget that final shot… ever! No, I’m not going to spoil it for you – you’ll have to see it for yourself!
THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE
It’s me so only fair I include a Del Toro movie in this list – c’mon, you all should know this about me by now! Guillermo is a full-on, unapologetic geek, not just for the horror genre but for all things nerdy, and this is his most personal film and a sister movie to the exceptional PAN’S LABYRINTH.
THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE isn’t so much about the dead coming back to haunt the living, rather about those that are still living and cause horrific atrocities.
KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE
Having played the midnight circuit for many years and slowly gaining more and more fans, the Klowns are now an integral part of mainstream horror. Second only to STEPHEN KING’S IT as the definitive scary clown movie and recommended for anyone with coulrophobia, underneath the lolloping rubber clumsy klowns, there is an enjoyable ’80s cheesy home invitation/abduction horror movie.
Let’s come a little more up-to-date with this Emma Roberts / Dave Franco-starrer which seriously mislead its audience with a series of trailers that gave the impression of being a straight-forward ‘pretty people’ thriller romp – leave it to the directors of CATFISH (the original film, not the lightweight TV version) to make the most realistic take about the horrors of being online every waking second outside of BLACK MIRROR.
This modern day take on truth-or-dare gets scarier the further it progresses as it asks, not of the players on screen but also the audience – yes, us! – how far would we go for free money. It culminates in a chilling final third act that has hallmarks of THE HUNGER GAMES and BATTLE ROYALE. Watching this movie will make you want to seriously go ‘off the grid’.
THE PUPPET MASTER
We nerds all like to buy our figures and collectibles – just imagine if those that are sat on your bedroom shelf stirred and came to life. Would they be friendly and cuddly, or incredibly deadly?
THE PUPPET MASTER, and its subsequent sequels, are very well made movies, considering their such small budgets. The kills are laughable and yet truly gruesome at the same time, with each puppet getting its own unique kill modus operandus. My own particular favourites include the Tunneler and Leech Woman in this oddball killer doll franchise.
(Leonard adds: May I also recommend, if THE PUPPET MASTER floats your particular boat, that you check out the rather excellent Action Lab Entertainment comics run – following on directly from the events of the Charles Band film, Shawn Gabborin, Michaela Da and Yann Perrelet do a cracking job of keeping the sensibilities of the movie while adding some really genuine scares and pretty clever concepts. Highly recommended.)
There is this stereotype of Irish people that they like to get drunk at every available opportunity – far for me to imply that it is true for our Irish readers! However, the stereotype does form the basis of a great comedy-horror in the form of GRABBERS.
Large tentacle monsters look to take over a small Irish village. The only way the locals can stop them is by getting blind drunk and then fighting back – let’s face it, it is that rare horror movie situation that you wished you were actually involved in!
Four years prior to jumping the pond and making the terrifying CANDYMAN, British director Bernard Rose adapted Catherine Storr’s novel MARIANNE DREAMS about a young girl who enters a surreal dream world to spend time with a boy who is ill.
This rarely seen kid’s fantasy movie explores themes on loneliness, isolation and fears, and features a visually stunning dream world that Christopher Nolan could only be proud of. At the heart of the film is a touching relationship between a girl and a boy, and I can’t recommend this gem of a film enough.
To all intents and purpose, it’s the film that started it all – the reason this film is on my list is because, as well as being a solid horror flick, BLADE made back three times its budget and was the film that convinced Marvel Studios that there is a film audience for their comics.
But let’s not take away from the scares here. Wesley Snipes is on career-best form here as he slices and dices his way through hordes of raving vampires (no pun intended), and he’s backed up by a truly top-notch cast, including Stephen Dorff, Donal Logue, N’Bushe Wright and Kris Kristofferson, perfectly inhabiting the role of Whister. British director STEPHEN NORRINGTON created a bloody, gruesome and unashamedly R-Rated film that really picked up on the dark themes that lingered in a lot of movies during the 1990s.
Probably not something that can be classed as a horror movie, more a ‘WTF!!’ flick! This completely bonkers oddity from Japan uses mainly amateur actors in the real life human roles. It is the special effects that make this film so, err, unique, shall we say! Purposely made very shabbily, this style has now come back in vogue recently and actually look really funky in a classic Ray Harryhausen-type of way.
There is no conceivable manner of describing the plot in a simple fashion. Just know that HOUSE it is about a house – well, duh! – and it is… ready? …trying to devour schoolgirls. Yep, I told you it was bonkers and that’s just the bare synopsis. Watch this film and count the times you are confused as to what is going on – a genuinely unforgettable movie.
MAD MONSTER PARTY
With Laika Studios and Aardman Animation still flying the flag for stop motion animation in 2016, it’s good to look back and check out this little oddity from 1967. A truly fun watch, it features all the classic Universal Studios horror monsters – Dracula, The Werewolf, The Mummy, The Invisible Man and many more – and puts them together into a comedy about trying to find a successor to Dr Frankenstein’s monster-making business.
Considering this was made in the late 1960’s, the claymation work is very impressive. The story is outright bonkers and even slightly forgotten at times; however, it is still a delight to watch. Madcap, zany, amusing and very, very strange!
SEE YOU IN THE WITCHING HOUR, KIDS!! Mark Scare-by