With Hollywood’s latest seasonal films being dry of ideas yet again, Halloween has little to offer aside from what has already been expected: sequels.
So unless new titles such as Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (a story about a Bigfoot hunter who claims to possess the body of a dead Sasquatch) has you unsettled, here are five horror films that have held up their shelf life.
Considered to be a part of the New French Extremity movement, Martyrs has been regarded as overtly violent, seemingly sexist, yet also thoughtful in religious and philosophical dissection.
An orphan named Anna, through her abused childhood friend Lucie, discovers a secret society dedicated to torturing young women as a means to discover the essence of human euphoria.
The film burns deep with its reliance of meditating on subtle details and creating an ambiance that is realistic.
The violence is both psychological and direct, yet never unnecessary.
The journey and conclusion of Martyrs is one that garners sympathy from the viewer; questioning us beyond the confinements of our mentality and pleasure in this world.
With America setting its eyes on a remake, Martyrs is something that must be seen before being wrapped up in a neat little Hollywood package.
The beginning of Suicide Circle holds one of the most iconic horror film scenes in history: 54 schoolgirls committing a mass suicide by jumping in front of an incoming Tokyo train.
The plot seems simple at first. Detective Kuroda asks, “Why?” However, an epidemic of suicides begins to take place beyond just impressionable high school students.
The plot is further complicated when factoring in a man named Genesis. He claims to be the Charlie Manson of the Information Age and an underage pop group (named Dessert) who forces subliminal messages through their music.
Suicide Circle, despite holding such poetic skepticism toward westernized Japan, is perhaps his most accessible film that deals with stylized Japanese pop culture involving schoolgirls, J-Pop and sensationalized violence.
Audition has been mostly labeled as surreal and highly sadistic, and is a staple for many fans of Japanese horror.
It is based on a novel by Ryu Murakami, a Japanese author who is highly regarded for his sexually stylistic tales. It was only right for the equally prolific director Takashi Miike to take on the story.
The character depth is utterly human and completely tragic. Audition reinforces that, despite our insecurities and jealousy, all we want in life is acceptance.
The plot revolves around a widower named Shigeharu, who enlists in a friend of his in the film industry to hold a fake audition to find a partner for himself.
It works, but the girl has a deeply hidden past and her lust for acceptance is obsessive.
Audition has a considerable amount of depth to it despite the last 10 minutes being surprisingly gruesome in a way that is best kept secret.
The ending is simultaneously saddening and depicts a certain realism that goes beyond most unsympathetic horror films.
A TALE OF
Staying true to its name, The Uninvited was an American remake of the film in 2009 that was truly that.
Another attempt at banking off of foreign cinema which completely disregarded any sense of the cultural implications of the original.
A Tale of Two Sisters was based off of a Joseon-era (1392-1897) Korean folk tale named “The Story of Janghwa and Hongryeon.” It’s a piece that has been adapted to film several times in Korean cinema.
This surreal film revolves around a blurred sense of present time depicting a psychologically disturbed young girl named Bae Su-mi and her sister, Bae Su-yeon, who is the subject of abuse toward their new stepmother.
The siblings are plagued by a ghost while Bae Su-mi attempts to convince her father to help them.
This adaptation is truly definitive of ambiance and psychological horror.
From the isolation of the backyard lake struggling to look onward, to even the common horror tropes such as the transparent human figure hiding amongst the cracks of the house, A Tale of Two Sisters is jarringly slow, emotionally devastating, and frighteningly claustrophobic.
A SERBIAN FILM
A Serbian Film is not entertainment. It is not to be enjoyed. Watch it once because you are curious, watch it twice and there is something wrong with you.
The film is about a semi-retired porn star named Milos whose life is not going well.
Milos comes into contact with a former co-star who offers him a role in an “art film,” which turns out to be a snuff film.
Themes such as necrophilia and other forms of sexualized violence are graphically depicted throughout.
Widely banned for reasons such as violating criminal law or threatening sexual freedom, the film has seen little justification.
Director Sr?an Spasojevi? has defended its politically charged message. According to the Wall Street Journal, Spasojevi? said it is about “the monolithic power of leaders who hypnotize you to do things you don’t want to do.”
During the interview Spasojevi? claimed that the violence through film is needed to understand the relevancy of violence in real life.
A Serbian Film stands as a sort of testament to the disturbed and primitive nature of the human psyche. The impact this film will have you on will permanently scar you.