Housebound is an excellent horror-comedy (I’m sensing a theme here) out of New Zealand that gives a fresh spin on the ol’ haunted house story. A young woman is sentenced to house arrest and must endure her insufferable, paranoid mother’s ramblings about a paranormal presence in their home. Housebound succeeds because it perfectly blends humor and legitimately terrifying moments; I definitely recommend this one.
31 Nights of Horror IV, Night 7: Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Three sentences review:
In 2009 I obsessed over Dead Snow – a campy Norwegian splatter-comedy about a group of friends on a ski trip who are terrorized when they accidentally summon an army of Nazi zombies. And fortunately for me, the sequel is fantastic and somehow even nuttier than the first one. This time, Colonel Herzog and his battallion of German undead face-off against sole survivor Martin, a trio of geeky, wannabe zombie hunters, and, naturally, the platoon of Russian P.O.W. zombies they control.
Hype has ruined many movies for me: Shutter Island, The Strangers, Atonement (oddly), and last winter’s horror darling, The Babadook. I thought the acting was amazing (especially the little boy!) and I appreciate the underlying story, but I anticipated the film for way too long before it was released and read one too may “this is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen” reviews to truly enjoy the movie for what it actually means. I really do understand why people like this movie, and intend to give it another watch, but to me, The Babadook will forever be the way I change the lyrics to Major Lazer’s “Bubble Butt”.
31 Nights of Horror, Night 10: La Maschera del Demonio aka Black Sunday (1960)
Three sentences review:
Italian horror master Mario Bava’s Black Sunday is rightfully considered the preeminent entry in Italian Gothic horror. In 17th century Russia, a princess is sentenced to a grisly death (that scene must have horrified 1960s audiences) by her own brother for being a witch; she vows revenge and comes back to life 200 years later (thanks to a few clumsy drops of blood, of course) to carry out her evil plan. Though the plot is thin, what makes this classic scary movie totally worth watching are Bava’s legendary black-and-white visuals, including an impressive “rising from the grave” scene, hollow corpse eyes, shadowy trees, crypts, and cemeteries, and stellar gore and make-up effects that render a dreadfully frightening atmosphere throughout the entire film.