Horror

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The ‘Burbs (1989)

Director Joe Dante is one of my favorites. He’s delivered some bona-fide classics like “The Howling”, “Gremlins” and “Innerspace”.
He’s simply an imaginative filmmaker who can play in more ways than one with the material at hand and, therefore, make them fairly unique and original.
Like many of Dante’s other films, “The ‘Burbs” pays a great deal of homage to a particular genre while also carving out a satirical standpoint that gives it it’s own identity.

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Night of the Demons 1 & 2

A nasty demon is awakened at Hull House, an abandoned mortuary, where a group of teenagers are partying on Halloween night. The demon possesses two of them and soon bloody carnage ensues as the pair kills, and then possesses, the rest of the group.

A few years later students are preparing for a celebration where a few of them decide to visit Hull House. This new group of teens catch Angela’s attention and some more demon mayhem is unleashed.

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Deranged (1974)

The infamous Ed Gein (1906-1984), aka the Butcher of Plainfield, certainly had an impact on horror cinema. He was the inspiration for Norman Bates in “Psycho” (1960) and influenced Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974).
His own story is most accurately depicted in 1974’s “Deranged”. Not only is “Deranged” the most accurate adaptation of Gein’s doings but also a film that presents a sick and dangerous individual who went unnoticed for some time in a manner that feels very authentic and unglamourised. And while doing so it also infuses the morbid story with some very dark and wildly funny humour and that’s no small feat.

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Final Terror (1983)

There’s a certain X-Factor with “The Final Terror” that makes it an enjoyable watch. I call this a slasher film in denial. “The Final Terror” falls into a between space in that it isn’t gory or trashy enough for the slasher crowd and nowhere near sophisticated enough for the elite thriller seeking crowd. It’s not surprising then to learn that the movie was completed in 1981 and shelved temporarily as it didn’t fit neatly into any category and had completely unknown actors.

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Without Warning (1980)

“Without Warning” is a fun cross between gruesome sci-fi and slasher flicks that were doing good business in the late seventies and early eighties. A real coup was getting two terrific old timers Palance and Landau to headline the proceedings and inject real intensity into their wacky characters. They certainly help distinguish “Without Warning” and raise it from being of interest to only genre fans into being also a real curio.

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Harper’s Island (2009)

Serial killer John Wakefield went on a killing spree on Harper’s Island, a small isle off the coast of Washington State, and murdered a number of people before being killed by the island sheriff Charlie Mills. The sheriff’s wife was among the casualties and he consequently sent his daughter, Abby, to live with family in L.A.

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Three Thing(s): 1951 – 2011

For the longest time while I was growing up “John Carpenter’s The Thing” was the scariest thing I’d ever seen. Even watching it on grainy VHS the ground breaking practical effects and suspenseful set-pieces, the extremely effective moody atmosphere and isolated icy setting made a massive impression. For many the film is on the short list of the top horror movies of all time.

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Session 9 (2001)

An asbestos abatement crew, headed by Gordon, wins the bid at the abandoned Danvers State Mental Hospital. Promising to deliver in one week Gordon puts a lot of strain on his crew that has some issues to begin with.
As the week progresses at Danvers the crew will experience real terror as dark secrets come to light.

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Jamie Blanks double feature: “Urban Legend” (1998) and “Valentine” (2001)

Ever since “Scream” (1996) re-charged the horror industry that was, at the time, slowly migrating towards Direct to Video the genre has stayed relevant among A-listers and, obviously, below that as well. A number of exciting talent were able to take advantage of this boost early on; among them Australian born director Jamie Blanks, an obvious horror enthusiast who made two noteworthy entries in the “New-age” slasher category.

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