As Spring warms slowly warms us, we find ourselves looking for that little extra chill. Every few months I alert my horror hound buddies of any little macabre morsels they might have missed. Hopefully there's a little something for everyone this time out. Without further fiendish fuddle, here are 5 relatively new thrillers to help cool off those balmy Spring nights.
1. Creep (2014)
This is as original as we can expect found footage to be these days. It's slow and weird and is never seemingly intent to show it's true self until the end. It's ending actually shocked me though (maybe it shouldn't have and I'll discuss why much later) but for now it's safe enough to say this film is worth a look. It truly lives up to it's name as it intelligently jumps between sinister tension and mysterious direction leaving watchers wondering "just what is really going on here" and are these characters crazy, mischievous, or dangerous The acting is superb, Mark Duplass (The Lazarus Effect, The League) gives a tremendously "creepy" performance that will leave you saying "Wow!"
2. Charlie's Farm (2014)
Charlie's Farm is by no means a masterpiece on any level. The film is fun though and gives slasher fans the shot in the arm they receive far too rarely. The film plays out a lot like "Hatchet" with a few minor changes here and there. There are decent kill scenes, buckets of blood, and a passable cast aided by a couple genre veterans. Bill Moseley isn't on screen much but his ability to be both vulgar and completely aware of himself at the same time always engrosses horror fans. His character here rings in echo's of Rob Zombie's "Otis" with maybe a little more levity. Not for everyone, but most slasher fans will enjoy their trip to "Charlie's Farm."
3. We Are Still Here (2015)
This film has uneven parts and though they’re annoying, they ultimately stop short of killing the films creepy and artful indie atmosphere. There are some dialogue issues that probably would have benefited from a veteran rewrite. Conversations feel odd and often out of place, some scenes feel unnecessary and repetitive. Now to the good stuff. "We Are Still Here" manages to find an interesting balance between hammer horror & films like "Straw Dogs", not entirely original, but very entertaining. The film is slow moving but it does succeed in drawing you in. A creative haunted home invasion film for forgiving genre fans. "We Are Still Here" is familiar in many ways, but a solid love for the genre and a bloody third act make it worth a look.
4. The Stranger (2014)
SIMPLY AWESOME! Produced by gore maestro Eli Roth, "The Stranger" is a horror/thriller film shot in Chile with Chilean actors who are speaking English, while the film is set in Canada. Ok, ..now that's out of the way. This was the best film I've seen since "Starry Eyes" Almost perfectly written, this movie is truly a breath of fresh air. "The Stranger" is a character driven revenge thriller that is both simplistic and complex in it's delivery. Great performances and exceptional direction culminate in a darkly romantic story with amazing atmosphere. Classic horror elements are abound, but never overpower the rich noir nature at the heart of this must see genre bending film experience.
5. White Settlers (2015)
"White Settlers" is a home invasion thriller from the UK that shares DNA with films like "You're Next" & "The Strangers" but will also draw comparisons to "Eden Lake". The difference here is obviously in production value and the overall subtlety of the story. Following a badly timed and slightly stressful move North to the Scottish Borders, Ed (Lee Daniels) and Sarah (Pollyanna McIntosh) are looking forward to a new life in the isolated Castle Farm, a rundown farmhouse in need of some attention. As they settle into their very first night though, they are tormented by masked intruders who bring a violent and intrusive welcome to these uninvited invaders. A solid outing all around.
Well that's all for now my horror fan friends, I'll be back again soon with a few more promising fright flicks.. Till then, don't forget to leave me with some of your own recommendations.