Four to watch if you like your fear to feel very familiar….

Are familiar faces and familiar plots reason enough to watch any of these modern horror flicks? Here’s what you can expect.

THE WOMAN (2011)

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A nice family finds a feral animal woman in the woods and chains her up in the basement to have some fun. Actually, dad chains her up and then the rest of the family—mom (played by wacky horror queen Angela Bettis) and kids—have different reactions to and ways of interacting with her.

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The movie is really boring for a while (the bitch is tied up the whole time!) and then finally they all start acting out against “the woman.” The movie essentially becomes an exploration of how women treat each other in the hierarchy of social structure. In other words, it’s a movie version of the time I spent working at the Bed, Bath & Beyond office. Women get jealous of each other, stand silently by and watch while men take advantage of and abuse them, turn on each other in an effort to get man’s acceptance, and eventually tear each other apart. Awesome.

THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE (2007)

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Hottie Mike Vogel (Under the Dome, Bates Motel, Open Graves, Cloverfield, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake) spends a lot of time shirtless and in his undies in The Deaths of Ian Stone, so that’s a huge plus.

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He keeps having these never-ending “dreams” that he’s being killed by something with a huge black claw. Every time he wakes up, his life is completely different. Sometimes he’s with this dark haired chick (horror babe Jamie Murray of Botched, Demons, Dexter, Devil’s Playground, Fright Night 2, and Warehouse 13), at other times, there’s a blonde in his life.

The movie starts out quite intense and the monster attacks are pretty dang cool and scary, but as with most of these “Groundhog’s Day” horror films, the endless resets become exhausting after a while. And unfortunately, things go a SyFy network sci-fi cheesfest direction, complete with a smoky apparition monster and an evil bitch in leather.

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It was like Darkness Falls meets The Matrix. It’s not that it’s bad, but it’s just such a far cry from the freaky first half of the movie.

THE NEW DAUGHTER (2009)

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Kevin Costner does horror! Watching The New Daughter, it’s so obvious it came out during the era of movies like The Orphan and The Uninvited. Kevin moves to a house in the country with his young son and bitchy teenage daughter and weird shit starts to happen. There’s an Indian burial ground. A straw doll. Fleeting glimpses of shadowy figures. And the daughter just keeps getting creepier and creepier.

Eventually there’s some payoff. There are some kills and Kevin heads to the Indian burial ground, where he uncovers what appear to be little Pumpkinheads. Who knew this ghost/possession film was actually going to be a creature feature? And is it really worth it to watch all that family drama just to finally see a mini-Pumpkinhead at the end?

TERROR TRAP (2010)

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Why make another Vacancy sequel when you can just totally rip it off and get horror names like Jeff Fahey and Michael Madsen to terrorize JAG and his wife at a hotel?

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What more to say about Terror Trap? Couple has car accident and is taken by the sheriff to a hotel where the real business is filming people being tortured in hotel rooms. There’s a room full of girls just waiting for their “Hostel” moment, some baddies wearing creepy jester masks, and JAG naturally getting all bad ass to save the day. And every time there’s gore or violence, the film gets “artsy” slo-mo black and white.

 

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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