6. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Like many works of the American pop culture, Drew Godard’s Cabin in the Woods is marked with post-modern stylishness. The film has a generic group of annoying youngsters, on their trip to backwoods retreat. Then there are the neatly dressed, systematic technicians working in a giant lab with weird consoles. When the conventional meets up with the bizarre, a lot of blood starts to spill. It may not be that scary, but never falls short of providing riotous thrills.
7. Dead Silence (2007)
James Wan’s straightforward ghost story Dead Silence is a light-weight work in his quality horror filmography. The story revolves around a detective hoping to solve a string of brutal murders. It all starts with a couple receiving a strange package of a ventriloquist’s dummy. The narrative and its twists are fairly predictable. Yet the film is watchable for its scary, Gothic atmospherics. From Dead of Night (1945) to Magic (1978) and Dead Silence, ventriloquist’s dummies remain classic spooky materials for horror films.
8. It Follows (2014)
David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows elegantly blends art-house sensibilities and classic horror-genre staples. Unlike most of the horror films, it doesn’t provide any explanation or backstory for the terrifying entity at the center. But the film scores full marks for weaving a terrifying atmosphere. The slow tracking shots and nightmarish long shots keep us in a state of fear. The story is pretty simple. A deadly, unknown supernatural force follows a young girl after a sexual encounter. It may be too ambiguous for seekers of conventional horror flicks. It is a must watch for those who love uncanny horror premises, dripping with rich subtext.
9. The Conjuring (2013)
Doors creaking open, slamming shut, earth opening up, ominous rumbles, moving chairs, crashed family photo frame, stopped clocks, sinister closets, and the possessed shrieking in Latin – James Wan’s Conjuring has all the familiar horror tropes. Despite being predictable, it’s a thrill to watch how Wan effectively mounts each scary sequence. The Conjuring is allegedly based on the real-life experiences of Rhode Island Family in 1971. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga’s paranormal-crusader couple (Ed and Lorraine) characters have initiated a potent horror franchise and spin-offs.
10. Honeymoon (2014)
Leigh Janiak’s debut feature derives psychological horror ideas from films like Invasion of Body Snatchers, Rosemary’s Baby, etc. The story revolves around a newly married couple, who spend their honeymoon in an eerie, isolate cabin by the lake. The husband, Paul wonders about his wife, Bea’s increasingly strange behavior. Although the narrative arc is familiar, the characters remain unique. Harry Treadway and Game of Thrones-fame Rose Leslie are believable as the tipsy lovers starting a new chapter in life. Janiak’s directorial strength lies in the way she cranks up paranoia and tension without resorting to jump scares.
By Arun Kumar
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