I couldn’t find a third zombie flick to watch to make this a triple feature, so I just tossed in a random movie to cross off my way-too-long Prime list, and it sure was a different subgenre than zombie horror. Let’s get right to them.
This is a short, low budget indie about a motley crew that gets trapped on an elevator during an unexplained zombie outbreak.
On board we have an arrogant actor, an introverted girl with asthma, a cute cop, a muscle hunk, and a smart, brave young woman. The elevator comes to a halt, and over time they slowly figure out the predicament they’re in.
The film really doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere for quite a while, and when they finally open the doors a crack between floors, we’re subjected to several predictable and repetitive jump scares of zombie faces poking in.
It’s when the brave young woman decides to climb out and get back to her apartment that things finally pick up. She has a camera attached to her so those in the elevator can view her progress, and the POV and action temporarily give off a Quarantine feel. Definitely the highlight of the film.
Eventually the whole group escapes and has to contend with a small onslaught of zombies, and it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Also, there’s not much in the way of zombie makeup, but their movement and some of the setup shots are quite effective.
THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE (2020)
This is a fresh approach to the zombie genre that leads right to the classic zombie dilemma—how to escape a house that has been surrounded.
A young woman comes to the mansion of her deceased aunt for the reading of the will. Also present is her half-sister and the half-sister’s boyfriend, a woman overseeing the proceedings, and the aunt’s faithful servant.
It takes some time for this one to get going as the relationships are established, but when the first zombie appears, it’s a zinger that gave me a good jump scare and reminded me of a Deadite.
Also important to note is that these cool zombies are fast runners and make squealing noises, and they also have glowing eyes, which I saw people online criticize in Night of the Living Dead: Rebirth, but which I find to be pretty cool.
The action is fairly typical, but it’s the satisfying type of typical, so if you need a zombie fix, don’t hesitate to check this one out.
THE POND (2021)
The Pond is definitely not for me, but if you love elevated horror, this is probably one you shouldn’t miss. This shit goes deep. Translation: it felt like I was digging a six-foot deep grave I then couldn’t climb out of.
A super slow burn steeped in folk horror, religion, and philosophical perspectives on existence, it’s about an anthropology professor who gets canned from his job because his research seems too far-fetched.
He believes perhaps we aren’t even tapping into all the senses at our disposal and are therefore missing out on aspects of life that are there but we’re just not seeing. Meanwhile, his daughter is insisting that she literally keeps seeing a monster…yet he tells her it’s not real and just in her dreams. WTF? Hypocrite.
There are also several odd characters surrounding him in this rural area in which they’re living, and their presence adds to the mystery and confusion as to what exactly is really going on. Creepiest are a dude who seems like a lost soul with a screw loose and two young girls who subtly torment his daughter and seem like they would summon Slenderman, Candyman, and Bloody Mary at midnight on Halloween while standing on a serial killer’s grave just for the fun of it.
The film is visually arresting throughout, and there’s a spooky figure I like to call twig head.
However, this is in no way a boo! scare horror movie. A lot of patience and quite a bit of mind flexing are necessary to appreciate what this flick is going for.