This column is specifically geared for people searching for great films outside the mainstream. If you enjoy discovering films of these nature, then join me every week as I try to increase word of mouth on these hidden treasures. That being said, let’s begin.
This week, Evil Dead will hit movie theaters everywhere and will sicken the masses in grotesque bloody horror. So, our discussion this week will involve a string of obscure horror movies you may want to check out. These are films I have found to be unique entries in the horror genre. None of these films have ever entered the mainstream, but as always, I will try to provide a way for you to locate them. Also, at the bottom of the article I list a few upcoming new obscure horror movies to keep on your radar.
WORD OF MOUTH
Take all the best found-footage horror films, inject them with steroids, then unleash a cinematic hell. That is the resulting formula behind 2012’s V/H/S. The story involves a group of criminals who are sent to a house to recover one V/H/S tape. While searching the house, the men come across a dead corpse resting in front of a string of televisions. Numerous strange tapes exist in the room, however, each contains footage of extreme nature. Spooky right? The cool aspect about V/H/S is the fact a number of indie film-makers participated a segment to the story. This includes Ti West, who is responsible for directing the intense indie endeavor House of the Devil. Just like most anthology films, V/H/S is a mixed bag of great segments and poor segments. The overall experience though makes V/H/S a found-footage horror masterpiece. Available for Netflix Streaming.
Take all the great elements which made Zombieland great, take away the humor, then throw in some nasty vampires. I stumbled across Stake Land through individual word-of-mouth last year and have been talking about it ever since. Of course it’s not the best vampire film ever made, but for the budget behind it, Stake Land is impressive. The film revolves around Martin, a teenager who lost his family during the vampire crisis. After being saved by a vampire hunter named Mister, both men fight their way through vampire country in hopes of reaching Canada, which is said to be a safe haven. If you want to watch a movie that makes you forget about sparkly vampires, then check this one out. Available for Netflix Streaming.
Lake Mungo is a unique breed of film in this genre. In fact, one could argue this isn’t technically a horror film but I still say this is disturbing enough to warrant a horror label. Lake Mungo is a ghost story told in a documentary style narrative. The film focuses around the strange death of a sixteen year old girl named Alice Palmer. After her death, the family begins having strange occurrences happen in their home. Mysteries begin to unravel themselves, as well as the spirit of Alice Palmer. Lake Mungo is not a film that relies on scares, but a strong eerie tone which sticks with you psychologically. This is a terrific ghost story brought from the great folks of Australia. Available for Netflix Streaming.
Netflix Pick of the Week
Every week I’ll recommend a film on Netflix Instant Streaming you may want to consider. This week’s selection is an action film in the same vein of Taken and Die Hard. Sleepless Night revolves around a corrupt cop who steals from a major local drug player and night club owner. While getting away, Vincent is identified by the people he was attempting to steal from. In hopes of recovering the drugs, the mob boss kidnaps Vincent’s son as leverage for an exchange. Vincent finds his reputation and family at risk if he doesn’t save his son. The result is one of the most brutal nights of his entire life. Sleepless Night succeeds with having a protagonist who is also not exactly a good guy. In fact, pretty much everyone in this film is bad in some form. What makes you root for Vincent though, is you want to see him find redemption by saving his son. This is an incredible suspenseful actioner that will have you invested from start to finish. Check it out.
UPCOMING HORROR RELEASES TO WATCH FOR
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane