Four modern horror flix and I’ll make it quick

A little bit of everything here: zombies, slashers, found footage, aliens….

GALLOWWALKERS (2012)

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This movie is unbearable. A stint in prison took Wesley Snipes from the Blade series to this pile of garbage. He plays a cursed man whose job it is to battle the undead, but this shit is no Blade 4. I don’t know a good Western from a bad one, but this is a painfully boring Western shoot ‘em up marketed as horror because the gang chasing Wesley across the desert is comprised of gun-toting zombies. Wesley, a cowboy with dreadlocks, does a lot of moping and beheading, and has a cute young sidekick.

UNIDENTIFIED (2013)

unidentified cover

I can’t believe indie horror cutie Parry Shen has stooped to the level of unoriginal found footage. Four friends film their exploits in Vegas, which include a geek tour loaded with pop culture references, a trip to a strip joint, and a clash with some loan sharks. Finally they become stranded in the desert and run around in the dark screaming, crying, and eventually stumbling on a spaceship, which leads up to the usual moment when someone gets tossed at the camera. This movie was pretty much all time filler just to get to the money shot; an alien picks up the camera and looks at the lens. But it doesn’t end with that shocker! The camera gets sucked up with the spaceship on lift-off…and then comes falling…and falling…and falling…and falling…and falling….back to the earth. It had to, otherwise the footage wouldn’t be found…it would be on Mars.

THE EVE (2015)

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Holiday horror! Four friends head to a house on Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate New Year’s Eve. There’s a bunch of tension between them as they do a bunch of talking and a bunch of fighting to give us a bunch of backstory about their relationships. When one of them is found dead, the other three lock themselves in the house to stay safe from the killer but soon begin to suspect each other. And anyone watching knows the effectively creepy red herring is totally not the killer and knows exactly who is. Despite its predictability and some really bad plot holes, The Eve pulls off some pretty good atmosphere and suspense thanks to a good setting.

OPEN GRAVE (2013)

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Open Grave has a pretty cool “what the fuck is going on” plot that feels cliché at first but eventually reveals itself to be a completely different horror subgenre than one might expect. Hottie Sharlto Copley of District 9 wakes up in a mass grave. He manages to climb out and make his way to a nearby house. The people inside all have one thing in common with him; they don’t know who they are or how they got there. As they step outside the house to search for the truth, they get into some tense situations that make it clear what’s going on. Obvious twist or not, this is still a well-crafted, suspenseful film that approaches a tired subgenre from a fairly fresh perspective. Plus, the cast is pretty good, including Thomas Kretschmann (Resident Evil Apocalypse, Dracula 3D, the Dracula TV series, Hostel 3, Blade 2), Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries), and Erin Richards (Gotham). If I were to re-watch one film from this list, this would be the one.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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