Back in the day of Kubrick and Hitchcock, the horror genre was Hollywood’s ultimate gem. It garnered acclaim not only from fanatics but also Film Festivals. With movies like The Shining, The Exorcist, and alike, it was a cathartic convention which must be protected at all costs. It proved that mainstream films can establish a kind of quality that’s timeless. It debunked elitism, as horror was for everyone–something that unified all kinds of movie lovers.
In the modern day, it’s been full of jump scares which ride on the audience’s shock factor instead of their overall engagement. Some call it lazy and a mere movie trope, which is ironic in itself because the viewers come in already expecting. We don’t hate it, but we personally would rather digest than ingest. After Get Out‘s ample nominations last year, the horror-thriller genre is getting back its rightful glory. We’re hoping this marks continuous great filmmaking in terms of horror. This year, we have a handful. Here are some of those.
Suspiria triggers the audience’s curiosity for the commotion it’s causing in Hollywood. Before the trailer was even released, it was reported that the filming made lead actress Dakota Johnson seek therapy. A few days back, reports say neo-noir director Quentin Tarantino cried after watching the film, and commended Italian director Luca Guadagnino for his latest work. After taking the storm with the André Aciman adaptation, Guadagnino takes a quintessential approach on horror with his remake of the 1977 classic. None of that jump scares, or unnecessary panning on “ghosts.” When you think it can’t get any better, the score is by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Watch the trailer below, but don’t piss your pants just yet.
The House That Jack Built
With Lars Von Trier’s fascination with the grotesque, we can expect nothing less than the believable execution of blood, murder, and existentialism. The House That Jack Built depicts the unforgivable crime in a smug manner. It shows the pleasure the murderer gets, which makes it authentic and unsettling. In real life, suspects often create a deceivable illusion while hunting their prey. The charisma they carry tricks the victims and paves way for the act. The film gives you all of that, and the cold-bloodedness of the crocodile which shows no remorse upon taking away somebody’s life. Some say he’s crossing the line with this one, but we’re watching before we talk. The initial release is on November 29.
The Little Stranger
After getting much-deserved acclaim for Room (2015) and Frank (2013), Lenny Abrahamson’s latest work is a horror film. The Little Stranger is an adaptation on the award-winning book by Sarah Waters and we are more than excited. The film stays faithful to the book’s setting and theme: a 1940’s dilapidated mansion in Warwickshire, England. Starring Domhnall Gleeson as the country doctor, the movie ventures into an eerie, fantastic world full of mysteries. Uncover the disturbing secrets, one goosebump at a time. Check out the trailer below.
Out of the movies in the list, I only got to fully experience this one. Hereditary premiered in the Philippines last June 20. Summarizing the whole commentary into a paragraph is quite a challenge itself. Let’s start with, it’s a freak show. The film doesn’t try too hard to overwhelm you with jump scares and scary figures. Instead, it establishes this creeping anxiety one by one, until you’re shaking through every mundane scene. .Redefining modern horror in the big screen, it plays on mainstream tropes then debunks them. In addition to that, the film quickly established its following, and movie merch is even available. Get a glimpse of it here.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Unsane is pure psychological horror. Shot through an iPhone 7 Plus, the movie already triggers the audience’s curiosity. This element, however, showcases the talent of the director to pull such thing off. Reminiscent of films like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, and Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake Is Missing, the movie plays on the premise of trust. If you’ve got trust issues already, better avoid it or worsen your case–if you hate yourself. Check out the trailer below.
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