The spooky season is once again upon us—my favorite time of year—so I thought I’d share a few horror-movie recommendations. Despite my curmudgeonly assertion this past spring that I don’t enjoy movies anymore, each suggestion below gives lie to that.
In compiling this selection, I tried to choose A) relatively recent movies, from the last few years, that B) you’ve likely never heard of, hence the reason worthy entries like Get Out, Split, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Conjuring, and The Witch didn’t make the cut.
What all of the following lacked in budget they more than compensate for in creativity; they remind me of what I found so exciting about filmmaking in my youth, before corporations controlled all of our popular entertainments, and Hollywood was ushered into our ignominious Era of the Endless Reboot.
As always, I’ve included each movie’s Save the Cat! genre classification.
It Follows (2014)
Genre: Monster in the House (“Supra-natural Monster”)
This one you may have already heard of (it isn’t quite as obscure as some of the titles to come), but I had to include it for the simple reason that it’s the most terrifying horror film I’ve seen since I was a kid.
After a one-night stand, a college student finds herself afflicted with the mother of all STDs: an invincible supernatural entity (which can shapeshift to appear as anyone: an old woman, a middle-aged man, etc.) that follows her ploddingly but relentlessly—night and day, wherever she goes, however far she runs—and will kill her upon catching her. The only way to rid herself of the demonic fiend? Pass on the “curse” by sleeping with another person! Of course, if the wraith kills that unlucky fool, it reverses course to work its way back up the vectorial chain—meaning there’s no way to permanently outrun the malignant spirit pursuing you!
Just like an STD, It Follows leaves a stinging sensation you just can’t seem to shake once exposed. (I’m actually looking over my shoulder as I type this at 12:45 in the afternoon.)