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One thing we really love about our favorite genre is the seemingly endless supply of films we get to find and try out. Whatever your particular sub-genres of choice are, you’d have to go some way to be able to confidently say that you’ve seen all of them.
Sure, there’s a fair amount of absolute trash out there (that might not even be a bad thing for some – including me!), but there’s no better feeling than finding a “hidden gem” amongst the chaff. Especially when you get to pass that on to others as well.
So here for your Monday morning pick-me-up are 7 films that some of you might not have already seen, and if you haven’t then you definitely should if you get the chance. What’s more, all of these should be relatively easy to find or pick up. Enjoy.
1. Frozen (2010)
No, not that Frozen, silly. This version is a suspense-driven chiller that focuses on three skiers who somehow manage to get themselves trapped on a ski lift, just before the resort closes for a week.
Frozen is written and directed by Adam Green, who you might know best from his Hatchet franchise. Members of Green’s usual entourage pop up in this, but stylistically and thematically the films couldn’t be any more different.
2. Bug (2006)
Ok, so based on the fact that this is directed by William Friedkin, this might not be considered completely under-the-radar, but a good enough chunk of people I know haven’t seen it, so I’m throwing it in.
Bug centers around a war veteran played by Michael Shannon. He rocks up at a sleazy motel, and forges a “romance” with Agnes (Ashley Judd), a woman who has just escaped her abusive partner. Paranoia and claustrophobia are the main protagonists here, and Shannon’s performance in particular is utterly incredible.
3. Tetsuo, The Iron Man (1989)
Absolutely. Batshit. Mental. David Cronenberg could spend an entire evening chowing down on cheddar and still never dream up something like this. Tetsuo is set in the darkest depiction of Tokyo I have ever seen, and things only proceed to get darker still.
Our “hero” is a metal fetishist (yup) who gets his jollies from sticking bits of scrap into himself. He’s unfortunately run over by a chap who, as a result, starts slowly turning into a metal/man hybrid. If ultra-violence, hardcore soundtracks and erm… drill-cocks are your thing, you need to see this. In fact see this anyway. The last scene is beyond brilliant.
4. Dogtooth (2009)
A deeply unsettling film here from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. Dogtooth tells the story of three teenage children, who live an isolated existence with their parents. And it really is isolated. The children have no idea as to what happens beyond the four walls of their immaculate house, and spend most of their time learning about the world from homemade audio tapes.
Problems arise when their father, the only one allowed to leave, brings home a colleague who is paid to relieve the “urges” of their teenage son. Seeing what is happening, she decides to knock over the apple cart somewhat…
5. Visiting Hours (1982)
A slasher set in a hospital with Michael Ironside in a lead role. What more could you want? Now, admittedly, this does lend itself to Halloween 2 (released a year earlier), in location and also in theme music, but this isn’t your archetypal slasher. There’s not a huge amount of gore for a start.
Our villain this time is a cleaner who is incensed when a presenter at the TV studio he works at has the audacity to stand up for the rights of a woman who murdered her thoroughly abusive husband. You see, he has a deep-seated hatred for all things woman since he saw his dear old mommy throw boiling oil in the face of his abusive father. This really is one for those that like their slashers a little different.
6. Triangle (2009)
The problem with time travel-based films is that they either don’t care about the scientific aspect (Bill & Ted), or they delve so far into it that the audience comes out confused and cross-eyed (Primer). Triangle actually finds a pretty happy medium.
This is one of the most inventive slashers I’ve seen in a while, and features a great performance from soap-turned-horror-regular Melissa George.
7. Men Behind The Sun (1988)
This is grim. Seriously grim. Tun Fei Mou’s seminal war time shocker contains some of the most deplorable scenes I’ve witnessed on film.
One for fans of boundary-pushing, this film focuses on a Japanese POW camp where soldiers routinely use Chinese captives as subjects in a range of terrible experiments. This film features some highly controversial techniques, including the use of a real human corpse.
Men Behind The Sun will live long in your memory, which perhaps isn’t actually a good thing. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
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