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It’s that time of year again, when people can dress up as sluts, dunk their heads in water for fruit and consciously choose to scare themselves in any way possible. The most hallowed of all Halloween traditions though is of course the horror movie binge. The problem, though, is that while the genre has some incredible films in its repertoire, horror also has more trash than most. For every Exorcist or Carrie, there are a thousand Leprechauns and a million more Dreamcatchers.

Naturally, many horror fans will turn to Netflix for their Halloween fix, but a quick scroll down the page reveals exactly how much crap the genre contains, including a bunch of average sequels and video nasties made for the price of gum.

Fortunately, we’re here to lend you a helping hand. Everyone knows the classics, so instead, join us as we wade through the cesspool of mediocre crap on Netflix to bring you 7 underrated horrors you must watch this Halloween.

7) Rec 3: Genesis (2012)

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Zombies are everywhere. Seriously, it’s like they’ve taken over the world already, so it takes a special kind of zombie movie to make us stand up and take notice these days. Back in 2007, the Spanish horror Rec made a huge impact in world cinema, exploiting the found footage style in a way not seen since the likes of The Blair Witch Project.Obviously, sequels followed quicker than zombies chasing after a bus load of schoolchildren…

While Rec 2 was set on the same night as the original movie, exploring the same events from a different angle, Rec 3: Genesis encompassed attacks that occurred before, during and after the first two films. Kicking off at a wedding, Rec 3: Genesis initially plays out in much the same way, using found footage of the ceremony, but once the zombies gatecrash the party, the camera switches to traditional cinematography – a fresh departure for the series.

Rec 3: Genesis received mixed reviews upon release, largely because of the franchise’s abrupt shift in tone, but those prepared for a move away from the serious nature of the first two films are in for a zombified treat. This underrated gem is also worth a watch for those interested in seeing the most kickass bride since Uma Thurman donned a yellow tracksuit in Kill Bill Vol 1.

Even if Rec 3 had been particularly awful, it would have still made this list purely because the filmmakers actually managed to spell the title correctly. *Side eyesTerminator Genysis.

6) Stakeland (2010)

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Nosferatu is one of the most celebrated horror films of all-time, but more recent vampire movies have lost some of that initial bite… urgh, I know. I’m sorry. Anyway, thanks to the likes of Twilight, the creatures of the night have become a bit of a running joke in horror circles, but director Jim Mickle has helped reverse the tide with his indie film Stake Land.

In a unique spin on traditional mythology, Mickle approaches vampires in a similar vein to zombies, crafting a post-apocalyptic tale of a vampire hunter’s journey across America in search of a safe haven. Unusually, the star of the film also co-wrote the script, so naturally, characterization sits at the forefront of Stake Land. Despite a small budget, the filmmakers successfully create moments of tension precisely because you’re actually encouraged to care about these characters, a shocking rarity for low-budget horror.

It’s going to take more than a well-made vampire film like Stake Land to reverse the damage that Twilight has done, but it’s a start.

Good work team.

5) House Of The Devil (2009)

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They don’t make horror films like they used to… well, that’s not entirely true. Amidst all of the gorenography and sub-par found footage movies, a few directors are tirelessly working to recreate the slow burn chills of classics like The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby. Out of all these filmmakers, Ti West shows the most promise, writing, editing and even starring in some of his best cult hits.

One of West’s earliest films, titled House Of The Devil is a disturbing introduction to his work. The plot revolves around a college student named Samantha Hughes who agrees to a babysitting job located in a remote countryside mansion. Clearly, Samantha doesn’t realize she’s in a horror movie, or she would have instantly declined the job in favour of a gig at McDonalds. But, as expected, Samantha soon discovers that the job is not exactly what she signed up for. Cue strange behaviour, creepy visitors and satanist rituals that would freak out Charles Manson.

The plot pays homage to the very best of slasher and haunted house movies from the 1970’s, but what makes House Of The Devil feel truly authentic is the fact that West uses similar filming techniques from the era to recreate the unique atmosphere of these golden oldies. If you become a West fan after watching this movie, make sure you also check out Sacrament and The Innkeepers for more Halloween goodness.

You’re welcome.

 

4) Pontypool (2008)

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The fact that 28 Days Later was lauded critically for featuring zombies that can run – wowsers – just goes to show how difficult it can be to reinterpret classic horror staples like the undead. Pontypool stands out from the rest of the undead shuffle though by changing the way that the infection spreads. Instead of transmitting the virus through physical contact and bites, the infection here is spread through the English language itself.

Yes. You read that correctly. In the world of Pontypool, hearing anything from Shakespeare to the latest Taylor Swift song can turn people into zombies… so just like real life then.

Director Bruce McDonald exploits this unique premise to the fullest by setting the entire movie in a radio station. As news of the infection reaches disc jockey Grant Mazzy, he desperately tries to find a way to warn his listeners about the epidemic and its source, all without exacerbating the situation further.

Technically, McDonald prefers to describe his antagonists as “conversationalists” rather than “zombies,” but that’s like trying to differentiate between Adam Sandler movies and bad Adam Sandler movies. It’s basically the same thing, except the ‘zombies’ in Pontypool are uniquely menacing with their strange vocal tics and the ease at which the infection is spread.

3) Tucker & Dale VS Evil (2010)

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Ever wondered if the hillbillies in Deliverance weren’t as bad as everyone made out? Maybe they just had a pig fetish and didn’t know how to fully express themselves, right?… Maybe not, but regardless, Tucker & Dale VS Evil takes the premise of misunderstood hillbillies and runs with it, creating a hilarious comedy horror film that deserves to be viewed by a far larger audience.

Horror is somewhat predictable at times due to its recognizable tropes and stereotypical characters, which is exactly what makes the genre so rife for parody.Tucker & Dale succeeds as both a horror and a comedy by mining this central joke for both genuine scares and slapstick moments which are far more clever than one would expect from a movie like this.

However, even with the best script in the world, the success of a film like Tucker & Dalehinges almost entirely on its cast. Fortunately, Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk are pitch perfect as the lovable oafs who everyone mistakes for psychotic serial killers. Now that a sequel has been confirmed, make sure you check out the original movie first on Netflix so you’re in the know.

2) John Dies At The End (2012)

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Marmite. Camping. Justin Bieber. Only a few things on this earth can incite such extreme love or hatred, but now we can add John Dies At The End to the list. David Wong’s original novel is one of the most insane pieces of literature written this millennium, and although the film adaptation was streamlined due to the length of the text, director Don Coscarelli has somehow managed to bottle most of the madness in celluloid form, making a film that’s both offbeat and yet still extremely entertaining.

The plot of John Dies At The End is all over the place, but that’s part of its mad charm. Essentially though, the story follows two slacker friends who do a half-assed job investigating paranormal occurrences. In between fighting zombies and monsters made of frozen meat, David and John stumble upon an inter-dimensional invasion and reluctantly become embroiled in a fight to save the entire human race.

This description does little to convey the sheer insanity of the film. Sure, it’s uneven in places and fans of the book may be unhappy that large chunks of the original text have been removed, but John Dies At The End is the definition of a cult film, one that is impossible to fully judge until you have watched it for yourself.

Whether you end up feeling thrilled, amused or disappointed by John Dies At The End, the one thing you won’t experience is boredom. To say any more would spoil the ending…

1) Housebound (2014)

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Peter Jackson may be spending more time with hobbits and gorillas these days, but the Kiwi auteur originally made a name for himself in horror with low-budget classics such as Braindead and Bad Taste. It’s taken a while, but New Zealand may have finally produced a new filmmaker worthy of Jackson’s crown, and his name is Gerard Johnstone.

Horror and comedy are notoriously hard to combine without creating something that’s too cheesy, but Johnstone’s feature film debut, Housebound, juggles the two disparate genres with ease, defying simple classification as either.

The film stars Morgana O’Reilly as a young woman sentenced to house arrest with her mother. Upon returning to her childhood home, it soon becomes clear that Kylie and her hilariously irritating family aren’t alone in the house…

Shifting effortlessly between the haunted house genre to murder mystery, comedy and more, Housebound is one of those rare horror movies that engrosses you from start to finish. Johnstone makes effective use of his small budget, putting 99% of studio horrors to shame and reminding us all that we don’t have to sit through yet anotherSaw when gems like this are still being made.

 

SOURCE

 

7 Underrated Netflix Horror Movies You Must Watch This Halloween

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