Movies with themes that shock often don't work because there is no relief for the viewer. Some film-makers, know exactly how far to go.
If you haven't seen my first rated list of movies set in a small town, check it out here. With so many excellent movies to choose from and much more worth mentioning, I decided to make two parts.
Inspired by the movie Eden Lake, here are some more to seek out and add to your watchlist if horror movies in this setting are the type you like.
One of my all-time favorites is Killing Ground and has a full review.
#5 Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Written and directed by thou that shall not be named, this film has boycotts and groups of people who refuse to watch anything with his involvement. Fair enough too.
I believe that once outed, he should have passed the Creeper torch to someone else and let the franchise live on with respect.
Separating the movie from the man behind it, Jeepers Creepers is a good film. The two later sequels were garbage.The original had funding ($10 million), premise and producers (who didn't go on to work on any of the sequels) Tom Luse (The Walking Dead) and Barry Opper (Critters) and Francis Ford Coppola (executive) on its side and it shows.
Set in Florida countryside, Trish and Darry get run off the road by a truck. When they discover an old church nearby has wrapped stacked inside and additional bodies adorning the walls they seek assistance from the police.
It's revealed the driver of the truck is no ordinary killer and instead is way more than anyone bargained for.
Sometimes the original is the best and whatever your feelings on the person behind it, you can't ignore the final scenes being dark and glorious. The cinematography is on point too and the story itself is original and scary. Continue to boycott this if you wish, but the stars in it did a good job and shouldn't be punished for something they didn't know about.
#4 House of Wax (2005)
In the original two versions, the story is completely different to this one. I do actually prefer the 1953 version because of the more mature story-line. Less freak in the woods and more artist with a penchant for creating wax pieces based on historical people. They both have a place though.
In saying that there is still plenty of life in the 2005 remake. Starring Paris Hilton, House of Wax has some great assets with Cary W. Hayes (The Conjuring) and Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows). It failed to garner the respect of audiences who had seen the 1953 classic.
Although panned often for Hilton's meager role, she really isn't on-screen enough to have that responsibility. The other cast choices with Chad Michael Murray and Elisha Cuthbert do a stellar effort in bringing the piece together. So no matter which film you choose to see, I think the value is there.
#3 Red State (2011)
This released at Sundance Film Festival in 2011 before going to VOD.
Starring John Goodman, Michael Parks, and Melissa Leo it starts in a small town where Travis' seen watching a protest for his gay friend Jared who was recently murdered. He's been checking out group sex-sites online. When he tells his two mates he got invited by a woman he met called Sarah to meet her they take his parents car to take her up on the offer. When they wake up in a cage the following morning, they discover the local Five Points Church is all sort of loony-bin material.
This is a SModcast Pictures independent feature film and had a $4 million budget. The writer and director Kevin Smith caused an uproar over the controversy surrounding distribution auctions and self-funding the film. It's likely this is why it only took $1.8 million at the box office. He has gone on to make Tusk (2014), Yoga Hosers (2016) and Holidays (2016) but he may have done a lot of damage with his social networks during the release of Red State.
#2 Pontypool (2008)
Its title surmises the small town in Ontario where the film takes place. Grant, a radio announcer arrives to work in the middle of a Blizzard. Along with his co-workers Laurel-Ann and Sydney, he continues to present the show in the early hours of the morning. One of the stations reporters, Ken, calls in with news that a riot has broken out and soon after strange things begin to happen.
This is a take on the virus/infection theme but in a very strange and unique way. The story adopts some excellent afflictions to those affected causing some really creepy scenes.
The screenplay and original novel Pontypool Changes Everything, written by Bruce McDonald is part of a trilogy.
It's a love-it or hate-it movie, but in my case, it was excellent and different.
Also there is now news of a series spin-off in the works.
#1 The Green Room (2015)
Jeremy Saulnier (writer and director) wanted to make a film set in a green room which is why I watched it. This film circulated at various film festivals, starting at Cannes in 2015 before an eventual DVD release in 2016.
The Greenroom has it all. Nazi-skinheads, small remote town, punk bands and some vicious Rottweilers to tie it all together. The band Ain't Rights get a gig in the remote woods of Oregon and start their set with an anti-nazi song before quashing the crowd's anger with some originals. After the gig, a band-member stumbles across a murdered woman in another room and tries to report it to the police only to find that the employees of the bar aren't really the police-calling kind.
Saulnier had very specific ideas for his horror movie and pointed out in an interview that 'every act of violence is done with reason' and there were no 'gratuitous close-ups of deceased characters.'
His new movie‘s called Hold the Dark which premiered in 2018 on Netflix... It stars my favorite star Alex Skarsgard. It's quite different to this piece but a great movie non-the-less.
Don't be fooled into thinking The Green Room isn't gore-filled because it is. I thought it was a pretty cool film.
Trailer, The Green Room
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