With Halloween coming up next week, what is a night of trick-or-treating without a few good scares?
Here are a few recommendations of the various horror subgenres to scare the living daylights out of you.
Horror-Comedy: “Tucker and Dale Versus Evil” (2011)
Two well-meaning hillbillies, played by “Flyboys’” Tyler Labine and “Firefly’s” Alan Tudyk, move up to the mountains to spend a weekend renovating a cabin they bought. Along the way, they meet a group of stereotypical college students who plan to party the weekend away. Misunderstandings ensue when the college group misinterprets Tucker and Dale’s actions, providing plenty of darkly humorous moments. Director Eli Craig develops Tucker and Dale to the point of sympathy, but also balances this with the increasing stupidity of the college kids. Audiences laugh at these types of characters in horror films, but “Tucker and Dale” goes beyond the call of duty with its sense of self-awareness. Craig knows the inherent ridiculousness of these types of films and plays with it, subverting audiences’ expectations.
Home Invasion: “You’re Next” (2013)
College student Erin, played by “Step Up 3’s” Sharni Vinson, and her assistant professor boyfriend are meeting her wealthy family for their annual family get-together out in the country. The family drama is interrupted by heavily-armed intruders. Bloodshed occurs, and Erin must rally the family together to survive the onslaught. What makes this film a delight is how the family combats the killers, particularly Erin, whose reasoning for doing what she does makes her a compelling character. Among the cast are actors and directors well known within the horror-film industry, including director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett. While a twist regarding the killers’ motivations may not sit well with some depending on how it is interpreted, “You’re Next” provides more than sufficient chills for those seeking good scares.
Found Footage: “Troll Hunter” (2010)
A group of college students is filming a documentary about a series of grisly attacks in Norway. At first, they assume they are the work of bears and track down a well-known hunter for answers. However, it turns out that monstrous trolls are the culprit, and the hunter is actually a government-sponsored troll killer. What follows is a documentation of the hunter’s quest to eradicate the troll population and keep their existence a secret. Norway’s snowy and mountains landscape serve as a backdrop for tension-rife run-ins between the humans and various trolls. The film is kept interesting by the mythology of the trolls and the methodology of troll hunting, as dryly told and performed by the hunter. While the ending may not be everyone’s cup of tea, “Troll Hunter” overall is a fascinating lesson in doing a found-footage film right. It is a fully recommended must-see.
Follow Collin Chersi on Twitter: @PepperChersi