Fresh Frights Introduction
Arts & Features Editor
Here we are – 2017 has flown by and Halloween is right around the corner. You all know what that means, The Gatepost staff is back with another six horrific films for you to watch this season! This time, we’ve selected some of our favorites from the last few years. With films ranging from terrifying documentaries to gross-out gore-fests, we’ve got all you need to host your own Halloween movie night. So grab some more friends and some corn, be it popped or candy, and get ready for a scare. Happy Halloween!
“Gerald’s Game,” directed by Mike Flanagan is the latest Netflix original horror must-see based on a 1992 Stephen King novel of the same name.
The film follows a simple plot, as a husband and wife take a trip to their remote lake house in attempt to repair their marriage by spicing up their sex life.
However, things go wrong when Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) suffers a heart attack, leaving Jessie (Carla Gugino) handcuffed to the bedposts, struggling to break her constraints and save hers and her husband’s bodies from the jaws of a hungry, stray dog and other creatures lurking in the moonlight.
Flanagan takes this simple plot to the next step by inducing psychological thrills and chills through the use of Jessie’s eerie hallucinations and nightmares, as she suffers from dehydration.
Gugino and Greenwood deliver disturbingly amazing performances, as the two act as hallucinations of their respective characters when Jessie becomes delusional, seeing versions of herself and Gerald.
This spine-chilling thriller offers a satisfying plot twist inducing a horror buff’s long-lost fear of the dark.
Although this King adaptation didn’t hit the big screens with jump scares – it shackles viewers to their seats as they question nightmare from reality.
Who could have guessed that Jordan Peele’s directorial debut would be such a home run?
While viewers may be surprised to find out that “Get Out” is Peele’s first thriller film – as it is a master class in suspense and pacing – what’s more noteworthy is the film’s nuanced plot and apt social commentary on our nation’s racial climate.
Sure, Peele has written scripts in the past – films such as “Keanu” and his hit T.V. show “Key and Peele” come to mind – but never before has he taken such a serious approach in his storytelling.
Pinned as “social thriller” by Peele, “Get Out” tells the story of Chris Washington and Rose Armitage, two lovers who have to face the potential social stigma associated with being in an interracial relationship – Washington is black and Armitage white. That being said, “Get Out’s” commentary on racial identity delves deeper than its premise lets on – naysayers who think they know what this film is all about should think twice before they pass on it.
At their best, action thriller flicks dole out surprise after surprise and always, as much as it is a cliché to say, keep viewers at the edge of their seat. Throughout its hour and 45-minute runtime, “Get Out” never seems predictable and offers a consistent high level of tension that only dies down once the ending credits hit.
It Comes at Night
Not a movie for everyone admittedly, but if you’re a fan of more artsy cinema – this movie is hard to keep away from.
“It Comes at Night” stars Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo and Kelvin Harrison Jr., as a family living in a mysterious apocalypse. Another family arrives at their doorstep, seeking refuge. The two families reluctantly live together, simply to survive.
The viewer knows what they need to know to progress through the story and nothing more. The audience can relate to the characters, as they all don’t fully know what’s going on. Fear of the unknown is definitely how one would describe this movie.
Where “It Comes at Night” shines is in its lighting, setting and cinematography. Many scenes in the film are in the dark, and there’s always a lantern or light present, and when a light shines, it’s truly a sight to behold. The imagery in every shot is stunning, despite being cryptic and creepy. Every scene takes place either in an open forest or a small room, and the viewer can really feel the spacing in every shot.
This film will leave audiences wondering, and if you’re into movies that leave a lot to be interpreted, this is the horror movie for you.
Train to Busan
“Train to Busan” is a South Korean film directed by Yeon Sang-ho about the beginning of a zombie outbreak.
The story focuses on a divorced businessman who can never seem to find time with his child. The child’s birthday comes up and she wants to see her mother up in Busan. They take a train and some of the passengers suddenly learn there’s something deadly going on.
While it seems like everything has been done within the zombie subgenre, you will find that this film is not like any other. The zombies themselves are absolutely horrifying. They seem to find a way to gather up in dozens within a blink of an eye. This combined with the fact that they are in a small space can make the viewer feel trapped as if there is no escape.
I can say with ease that my favorite actor in this movie was the daughter of the protagonist, portrayed by Kim Soo-Ahn. She was extremely good at recreating the fear of a child and this element makes the audience feel the same as the characters. They just want to see it end and make it to safety.
This foreign film is not for people who don’t enjoy subtitles or people who are not fans of gore.
Rodney Ascher’s 2015 film “The Nightmare” amalgamates documentary and horror to capture the real terror faced by victims of sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis is a condition that causes people to suddenly awake in the middle of the night, completely unable to move. Sleep paralysis can give sufferers severe anxiety, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing and even hallucinations.
“The Nightmare” does not delve deeply into scientific explanations of the condition. Rather, the documentary features intimate interviews of people personally describing the nightmare they experienced and how it impacts their lives.
Through surprisingly convincing special effects, the film then recreates some of their hallucinations. From bizarre, shimmering, alien-like creatures, to menacing “shadow men,” the creatures envisioned are even more frightening than many established, big-budget horror villains.
The film also analyzes the pervasiveness of sleep paralysis in cultures around the world, from mythological references, to influences on iconic horror movies like “The Nightmare on Elm Street.”
Beyond capturing the terrors of sleep paralysis, “The Nightmare” tests the limitations of horror, exploring what is possible through a genre many view as tired and trope-riddled. It is a visceral, jarring experience, giving viewers a glimpse at a horror stranger than fiction.
Arts & Features Editor
Kuso is the most disgusting film I have ever seen.
It’s full of every bodily function and fluid there is, horrifying imagery and a few lighthearted moments to break up the nastiness. It’s perfect for the Halloween season.
The film was co-written and directed by Steven Ellison, better known by his stage name “Flying Lotus.” David Firth, the creator of “Salad Fingers” also had a hand in writing the script.
The film is broken up into four vignettes – “Royal,” “Mr. Quiggle,” “Smear” and “Sock” – each more disgusting than the last.
Intercut between these sections are a series of short animations done by Firth, and they’re all somehow gorgeous and revolting at the same time.
The film sometimes takes breaks from the grossness with some Tim and Eric/Eric Andre-style humor, no surprise since both Tim Heidecker and Hannibal Buress both play supporting roles in “Mr. Quiggle.”
One of the best aspects of Kuso is Ellison’s use of practical effects and makeup. All of the human characters are horrifically mutated and covered in scars and sores. The practical effects truly shine in scenes with Mr. Quiggle, a giant grasshopper-esque creature that claims he can cure fear.
Kuso is a must-watch for anyone willing to be grossed out this Halloween season.