I work at a video store, and my personal areas of expertise are action-comedies, dramas and family films. My knowledge of horror films is extremely limited; the only ones I’ve ever gotten into are the Nightmare on Elm Street films.
They’re just not my cup of tea. But I have a lot of customers asking about them, and I’d like to be able to tell them something other than “umm, I’m not really a horror fan.” So I turn to my fellow Dopers.
What are some good, relatively recent horror films already out on home video, and why do you like them? (Feel free to update the thread over the coming weeks/months as new titles become available).
My favorite recent horror film is Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me To Hell.” It’s two or three years old, but very good, funny, yet scary horror.
Also, there is a movie called “John Dies At The End,” by Don Coscarelli. I haven’t seen it yet, but judging by his past work, it’s got to be good. I don’t know if it is on home video yet, but it’s been playing the film festival circuits for about a year, so it might be.
I don’t like Horror either, but I do occasionally watch one if it seems like it might tickle my fancy.
Both Tucker and Dale vs Evil and Cabin in the Woods take standard slasher films and twist the formula in interesting and amusing ways. Shaun of the Dead is great for that, too, though it’s a Romantic Zombie Comedy.
I loved “The Orphange” (2007). And no thread about recent horror movies is complete without a mention of “Let the Right One In” (2008). Not only one of the best vampire films but, in my opinion, one of the best films ever made.
Daybreakers came out in 2009 and it’s a really good movie. It’s a vampire movie that inverts the standards of the genre - the movie starts with pretty much everyone in the world already having become a vampire. And now society is trying to deal with effects of this change - including the growing scarcity of the human beings they need as a source for blood.
I agree with most of the above, and I’ll add the following:
The Descent - about a group of friends who go caving and find horrors underground.
REC - this is a Spanish “found-footage” film. It has two sequels–I’ve seen REC2 and it was okay, but not as good as the first. There is a US remake of REC called Quarantine, which is okay but not as good as the original. It has a sequel, too, which I haven’t seen.
The Final Destination series is hit-and-miss, but I think the first and the fifth are the best.
Triangle is pretty cool, very similar in some ways to the Spanish movie Timecrimes.
The Crazies - virus causes the infected to become homicidal. Stars the always-good Timothy Olyphant.
Rubber - very unusual, “meta” horror movie
Primal - low-budget Australian horror flick
Jeepers Creepers and its sequel are fun monster movies.
Chronicle - another found-footage movie, about some teenage boys who become super-powered.
Stag Night and Chernobyl Diaries - Nothing at all original here; the plots are paper thin and ludicrous, but hey, they’re horror movies, and as far as running-chasing-hiding-killing-in the dark-slasher flicks go, they tag all the bases.
Piranha 3D and its sequel, 3DD are even more ridiculous, but they are aware of what they are and are actually quite entertaining in a Troma-esque, intentionally-way-over-the-top kind of way.
I recently caught and enjoyed Splinter from 2008, a very competent movie that almost seemed like a adaptation of a short horror story. Special effects are good and its almost a new take on the zombie genre.
A couple going camping runs into another couple on the run from the law and a strange “splinter” parasite, they get trapped inside a gas station and it proceeds from there.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a fantastic film for anyone who has watched and loved slasher movies. It is a slasher movie comedy/mockumentary. There honestly isn’t a description I can give it that will really do it justice, but in brief it takes a look at the other side of slasher killers. You get to see them from their own point of view as a documentary camera crew follows and aspiring slasher around preparing to make his debut.
It’s very smart, well constructed, and lots of fun. It has a good blend of genuine slasher horror, silly comedy, and insightful commentary on the horror genre and why people love the genre. Also, it hold us to repeat viewings really well, in fact I would suggest that it gets better with a second viewing.
On the other end of the spectrum. Funny Games (either version) is also an examination of the genre, and well made, but it takes the point of view that…well it’s a bit more hardcore and less loving than behind the mask. One of the few movies that I have ever seen that has legitimately changed me. I don’t know that it’s a good thing, but it did genuinely fuck my shit right up.
Neither are super new, but both are on the less well known side of the spectrum.
I also strongly recommend Guillermo Del Torro’s two Spanish language horror flicks *The Devil’s Backbone *and Cronos. A ghost story and a vampire movie (sort of) respectively.
Lastly Old Boy for Japanese horror. Just a good movie, though hard to watch at times. Probably technically counts as torture porn, but a way better movie than something like Hostel.
That should cover you for a few different genre’s of horror movie that haven’t already been mentioned.
I’ll also throw in a second for Cabin in the Woods Drag Me to Hell The Crazies
and The Orphanage.
All very different, but all really well made and fun (if you like that sort of thing).
If you’re okay with the found-footage genre, I really enjoyed V/H/S. I do caution that if you have any desire to watch it, avoid the trailer at all costs: it has spoilers.
I agree wholeheartedly with NAF1138’s list. I found Funny Games to be a bit disturbing, which is no small feat. As NAF pointed out, the version is irrelevant, the director took pains to make the US version identical to the original.
I also liked House of the Devil. It revives the old-school slasher flick where suspense is the prime element instead of gore.
Oh. And Trick 'r Treat is just good, wholesome, Halloween fun. It’s reminiscent of Tales From The Crypt, except all the stories are tied together.
I really liked A Perfect Getaway…maybe it’s more thriller than horror, but it’s a good tense movie with nice-looking guys (and girls, too) in Hawaii. Can’t go wrong there.
Also recently watched Joshua…decent creepy-kid movie.
And…was it Home Movie? With TWO creepy kids?