A prison, a hospital, a derelict high rise building, a house in the woods. Zombies, a crazed killer, a masked killer, a demon. So which of these four films Left me terrified with claustrophobia? Let’s take a look.
I really needed a movie like this to reinvigorate my love for the zombie subgenre. It combines gore, great atmosphere, and campy, sometimes naughty comedy with over the top situations to create a zombie film that’s familiar yet fresh…and a nonstop thrill ride.
A boyfriend brings his girlfriend to a hospital for a breast reduction, which gets some good comic mileage as we meet the cast of characters: the main girl’s overbearing mother, the ditzy older doctor, a fat dude getting liposuction, a junkie player hospital worker, etc.
Look who popped in for a bite…
It doesn’t take long for the gnarly zombie action to start, and once it does it never stops.
It’s gory, wacky, icky, funny, and suspenseful as the group goes through a myriad of zombie movie tropes as well as some unexpected situations.
Not even if I were a zombie…
This is definitely one of my favorite new zomcoms and I hope it gets a physical release so I can add it to my collection.
This is one of those slashers that make it hard to feel anything for the group of kids because they’re all a bunch of hooligans.
They sneak into an abandoned high-rise building to hang out, play music, and do drugs. But someone else is in the building with them, making it reminiscent of See No Evil.
Kid drama and cheap scares abound, so it takes a while to get the killing going. Once it does, there are some brutal death scenes, plus one mini chase scene highlighting a girl who fights back big time.
Not much is explained in terms of the killer. We don’t learn why he keeps one victim alive and trapped in a cage…or is that simply an overturned shopping cart?
We don’t know why he’s killing, or if there’s any reason at all. We don’t learn why part of his face is fucked up.
But after a good battle with the final boy—yay, it’s a final boy!—the ending is very timely at a moment when Black Lives Matters is bringing to light the injustices against people of color.
AGAINST THE NIGHT (2017)
A combo of third person and found footage POV, this film sees a bunch of kids getting bored while at a party and then deciding to enter an old abandoned prison to hunt for signs of ghosts.
In typical found footage form, they split up and explore the prison, but damn the setting is creepy. The green night vision light adds to the tense atmosphere, but I found the third person perspective even more frightening, because the film goes for realism in terms of just how damn dark a place like that would be with absolutely no lights at night.
After the routine found footage nonsense is out of the way, this turns into a claustrophobic slasher! The kids are chased and hacked up by someone in a hazmat mask, and the kill and chase sequences get better as the film progresses.
However, I have to say, the final frame is a total surprise, and I have no idea what it meant. It felt oddly like a nod to Lovecraft.
HOUSE OF DEMONS (2018)
It’s movies like this that remind me I’m too ADHD for “smart horror.” This is simply a mess of trippy, convoluted, disjointed scenes and flashbacks as a group of friends hangs out in a cabin once inhabited by a crazy cult.
I guess the characters are facing their inner demons after a car accident that left one of their friends brain dead. It also seems like the do the time warp to witness the exploits of the cult from 1969.
One girl is visited by the cute neighbor, who turns out to be the leader of the cult from the sixties and the physical manifestation of a creepy demon that is coming for them (I think).
The demon is really the best part, and Amber Benson of Buffy fame has a non-speaking part as a member of the death cult.
I personally found it confusing and boring, which made it even more confusing because I couldn’t focus on it.