Stream Police: Horror Special
As Horrotober is upon us, I will be having my Stream Police have a horror bent for the week. Now follow me into the rabbit hole.
A breakout hit by new director Jennifer Kent, The Babadook follows a widow and her son as they are relentlessly attacked by the Babadook, a being from a children's book. This film received much acclaim upon release, and while I found the praise to be overstated, it does deal with some interesting ideas, such as how grief can completely alter our perception and that sometimes the most horrifying things are internal. While not much for jump scares, the film has interesting performances and a menacing villain, although I'm not a huge fan of the ending. If you're looking for your horror with a little bit of a different twist, The Babadook is for you.
For Fans Of: Psychological horror
Arguably Wes Craven's most famous film, Scream takes all the tropes of your typical horror film and completely subverts it. The film (and its sequels) follow Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) as she is harassed by the ubiquitous Ghostface killer. The killer reveal is absurd and gets more and more extreme in each of the following Scream films as well. The supporting cast includes Jamie Kennedy, David Arquette, and Matthew Lillard as they all provide an air of levity to the satirical love letter of the slashers of yore. If you haven't seen this already and call yourself a fan of horror, watch it now!
For Fans Of: Wes Craven, Slasher Flicks
Let The Right One In
Perhaps calling this a horror film is unfair, as it's more akin to a romance than your typical vampire films, but it's a wonderful change of pace from stereotypical vampire films. A Swedish product that actually was remade into the equally great Let Me In, the film follows a little boy (Kåre Hedebrant) who befriends his mysterious neighbor (Lina Leandersson), who is hiding a dark secret. Let The Right One In is provoking with its examination of young love and the naivete that youth provides. The vampirism aspect is secondary to the relationship of the main characters, and that's what makes it worth viewing.
For Fans Of: Dramas, Vampire Films, Byzantium
Starring two of the more underrated actresses today (Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan), Byzantium follows a mother and her daughter that are vampires as they struggle to survive in a society that doesn't acknowledge their existence. It introduces some interesting mythology twists like the brotherhood of vampires and a swashbuckling type of origin story for the vampires. The performances are subdued and quiet, and the nomadic nature of the leads evokes a sense of sympathy with the two outsiders. Beautifully shot and unlike anything in the genre before, Byzantium is a truly great film.
For Fans Of: Dramas, Vampire Films, Only Lovers Left Alive
Another directorial debut, this time from New Zealand director Gerard Johnstone, Housebound is more in the vein of horror comedies and does interesting things with some of the typical tropes. The film follows a woman living back at home after things don't go so well in her real life. A bit of a misanthrope, she soon begins to believe the house is haunted, and shenanigans follow. The supporting cast (Glen-Paul Waru in particular) is hilarious, and the film keeps you on edge while providing a steady source of laughs at the same time. It's actually about to be remade in the US.
For Fans Of: Horror Comedy