(First in a series!)
Despite being an absolute dumpster fire, I found that the first ABCs of Death film was an apt metaphor for the horror film industry as it currently stands. Twenty-seven films and you had to slog through about 24 piles of absolute garbage to find anything remotely worth while. And even then, the films that were actually good were outshone by the popular directors (your Jason Eisner's and your Ti West's).
So what may you have missed in ABCs of Death? Well, if you got frustrated and turned it off early... this:
Director Ben Wheatley crafted one of the most interesting entries in the mostly awful anthology film: a POV vampire story that was equal amounts funny and frightening. This description could apply to most of Wheatley's films, who for my money is one of the most underrated horror directors working today. So join me, lads and lasses, as we take a stroll down the road that may lead you to your new favorite horror director!
- Kill List (2011)
The first time I saw Kill List, I was completely and utterly confused the entire time... which is exactly the experience that Wheatley wanted you to have. The story of two hitmen who take a job that leads them down a totally unexpected path is meant to put you in the same flummoxed mental state as the lead. The script is tense and terrifying, making Kill List the best cross-genre horror movie I have ever seen. This image may not make sense now, but it will totally haunt your nightmares for months after you watch the film.
While not many things in this world actually frighten me, one of the few concepts that does is the totally average psychopath. With Sightseers, Ben Wheatley brilliantly captured how the most murderous person in the world could be the person standing right next to you, wearing a really tacky sweater/jacket combo. The story of a seemingly-average couple on a caravan trip from hell is awkward and brutal and laugh-out-loud hilarious. If you like your comedy black as hell, you can not go wrong with Sightseers!
A Field in England (2013)
While possibly his least seen film (as of right now), I thoroughly believe A Field in England is Ben Wheatley's most amazing movie to date. Set in the English 17th Century Civil War, this black and white masterpiece, filled with alchemy, treasure hunting, brutality, and subtext, is easily one of the most magnificent pieces of metaphorical film I have ever seen. A Field in England will mess with your head in a way that I thought only David Lynch capable. And I loved every second of it.
So seek out one Ben Wheatley film... and then another. And maybe you'll discover your new favorite horror director!
For horror reviews, lists, podcasts, and more, be sure to check out thehorrorhoneys.com!