I love horror. But it wasn’t always that way.
I was that person who would hide behind a pillow or just point blank refuse to see a scary movie. I was terrified of the X-Files theme tune and that scene where the field turns to blood in Watership Down still haunts me to this day.
I think, strangely enough, my love for horror started when I caught the tail end of Shaun of the Dead on TV once late at night and while really grossed out by the scene where David has his intestines pulled out I was like hmm zombies.
Then I moved onto Resident Evil. Then I worked my way up to the harder stuff – The Ring, The Exorcism of Emily Rose etc. (I know ‘hardcore’ horror fans will be like “those are tame movies dude” but for me they’re kind of top tier. You can keep your original Japanese versions, thank you very much.)
These days, I can’t get enough. And me and Jamie have kind of made it our mission to work our way through every horror movie on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Some of them have been…pretty bad.
Which is why, now that it’s September and basically Halloween, I thought I’d put together a post featuring some horrors that are worth checking out and some that you can put on when you’re not really focusing all of your attention at the TV. I dunno, maybe date night or if you’re doing the ironing or something.
There may be mild spoilers in this round up, so just a warning.
Before I Wake review – Netflix
This is a Netflix original movie that was released earlier this year. It’s about a little boy whose dreams become real, which is beautiful at times but when he has nightmares it’s a very different story. When he is adopted by a couple who lost their son, his dreams start to infect their lives and they think something evil is behind it all.
CGI plays a big part when it comes to the big bad reveal, which I feel is taking away some of the scare factor in horror movies now. If it looks too fake, I won’t be scared. Which is why films like The Grudge, Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Ring still remain to this day some of the scariest to me. For the most part, it’s well done though.
It’s got some relatively big names in it – Kate Bosworth plays the Mum – so there’s no need to worry about any cheesy horror acting. The ending leaves lots of questions though and feels rushed wrapping things up. Bosworth’s characters conclusion about the events and how to fix things doesn’t seem like a natural process but I guess we can forgive that when we’re watching a film about a little boy who’s dreams come to life.
Scare rating 6/10 – it has some fairly creepy moments.
Jump rating 7/10 – I jumped a few times.
Scariest moment – Prepare for a creepy looking kid under the bed.
Would I watch it again? Yeah, maybe if the other person hadn’t seen it.
Mama film review – Netflix
I had really high hopes for Mama. Mainly because I’d been to the cinema when it was showing and heard lots of screaming while walking past the screen. I’d also been told it was one of the scariest films out there and when you hear Guillermo Del Toro was part of the team behind it you expect a lot.
However, even though Mama started off well it fell a little flat for me overall. That’s not to say it isn’t worth a watch though, as a horror it’s a fairly decent all rounder. For me, it was the CGI again. .
‘Mama’ should be terrifying but she was just too computerised. She has these creepy long limbs and she bends in all sorts of wrong ways and a face for radio but you just know she isn’t real. And I mean, we all know she’s not ‘real’ but too much CGI displaces her in those up close moments. There’s been too much editing on the actor who, fun fact, was actually a man.
The child actors are brilliant though, the two little girls are very convincing and while I wasn’t too sure about Jessica Chastain and Jaime from Game of Thrones in their roles they grew on me as the film went on.
The film is suspenseful though and there are some creepy moments when the children are talking or playing with Mama and the other adults don’t realise which is why it’s worth giving a go if you have a spare evening.
Scare rating 4/10 – Some eerie moments but nothing that will make you want to turn the light on when you need a wee in the middle of the night.
Jump rating 3/10 – Very few jump scares.
Scariest moment – When Mama decides to hide under the bed to attack the girl’s new adoptive Mum.
Would I watch it again? Not any time soon.
The Boy film review – Amazon Prime
So, this movie did not turn out how I expected. It started out like a very typical horror. Big old mansion house, creepy doll, good looking female protagonist, mysterious noises and scary dreams but actually when you find out what is actually going on it’s like, huh? I mean, it’s a great story but definitely not what you would expect.
It’s not a film that’s going to keep you up at night but it’s a fun horror to watch. Lauren Cohan is great and I had a real soft spot for her love interest Malcolm throughout the movie. He was kind of like the dog of the horror movie, you really don’t want him to die.
Scare rating 3/10 – It’s not scary, just a little creepy in places. Especially when you hear the boy talk.
Jump rating 7/10 – I actually did a little scream at one jump scare. Dammit.
Scariest moment – Probably that one main jump scare.
Would I watch it again? Yeah, definitely.
The Rezort film review – Netflix
I always love finding a new zombie movie and this one currently on Netflix didn’t disappoint. Set 10 years after a zombie virus outbreak that’s now under control, the rich can pay to spend a few days shooting the undead for fun. But things obviously go horribly wrong. It’s basically Jurassic Park but with zombies.
The film is worth a watch but expect your usual horror action movie tropes. There’s the pretty lead with a dark past, a couple of douchebags that you don’t care about, the rich shithead who ends up getting his comeuppance and the thickheaded leader who can’t see when things have gone very wrong.
It’s a great horror/action movie with fast moving zombies, lots of explosions and gore.
Scare rating 1/10 – I don’t find zombies scary but that’s just me.
Jump rating 3/10 – A couple of minor jump scares.
Scariest moment – The last scene where the lead is running from a whole hoard of the undead.
Would I watch it again? Yeah, definitely.
Don’t Knock Twice film review – Netflix
Set in Britain, this horror is about a young girl who ends up conjuring a witch after knocking twice on her front door. She seeks refuge with her estranged mother who is fighting for custody of her and things get a little freaky.
The witch is definitely worth talking about. With unnaturally long limbs, creepy movements and the ability to get at you through any doorway, she’s everything Mama wished she could be. When she gets screen time you’re definitely cringing.
The twist at the end was unexpected and while the story seemed a little off for a while in the middle, it all made sense when all is revealed later.
Scare rating 7/10 – The witch is definitely a creeper.
Jump rating 6/10 – Some mildly jumpy moments.
Scariest moment – When the witch first reveals herself and crawls out from behind the bed.
Would I watch it again? Probably.
The Hallow film review – Netflix
This is one of those movies that once you see the monster you’re not really that scared anymore but it’s worth putting on the list because it’s an unusual premise. Set in Ireland, a couple from London move there for the husband’s job which is to do with marking trees for logging or deforestation or something. But by entering the forest he upsets ‘the Hallow’ who are living there – who are basically faeries or wood people.
I used to be obsessed with all things fairy when I was younger and to have a horror movie featuring them – but in their true colours – made it an interesting watch. That’s the main reason it’s on the list, it’s a more intriguing horror than anything because it’s a ‘monster’ rarely used.
Mild spoiler: The husband becomes infected by the Hallow and starts to turn into one which means he turns nasty. That was probably scarier than the monsters themselves, the thought that a loved one could want to hurt you and not be in control of their actions is a horrible thought.
Scare rating 3/10 – The monsters are a little creepy but nothing to write home about.
Jump rating 2/10 – No big ones.
Scariest moment – Probably the ‘car won’t start’ scene and the monsters draw closer. Shit gets tense.
Would I watch it again? Maybe, in the very distant future.
So now it’s time to go forth and give these movies a watch, if you haven’t already seen them! Let me know if I’ve been too harsh or not harsh enough with my scoring.