I want to talk about movies that never get enough love! Some of my favorite horror flicks are ones that no one ever wants to talk about or just scoff at me for liking. BUT – as Horror Bound is all about positivity – I’m going to share ten films I love and watch a lot that everyone should check out. Or, if they’ve heard bad things about it, CHECK THEM OUT ANYWAY!
NUMBER 10: The Green Inferno (2013)
“New York college student Justine (Lorenza Izzo), a lawyer's daughter, meets a student activist named Alejandro (Ariel Levy) when he goes on a hunger strike on behalf of underpaid janitors. Smitten, Justine agrees to help Alejandro undertake his next project: to save the Amazon. She soon learns to regret her decision when their plane crashes in the Peruvian jungle and she and the rest of their group are taken captive by a tribe of hungry cannibals.”
Eli Roth is like a trigger term for the horror community. Immediately the group will split 50/50 and scream at each other about Eli Roth. Personally, I love him. I think we owe a lot to him in the genre, and I love how passionate he is. Listen to any interview with him talking about horror and he will school you under the table.
The Green Inferno took a long time to finally get released, and early viewers were freaking out about how gory and scary it was. When I finally got a chance to watch it, I was super worried it wouldn’t meet my expectations. But I actually had a really good time. And I’ve watched it quite a few times since and love it more and more every time.
Does it have plot holes? Sure. Is it a little over the top? Probably. But it’s fucking gory as hell, entertaining and has some really fucked up moments that have you wanting to talk about it the next day. And it’s Roth’s love letter to movies like Cannibal Holocaust. So, let the guy have his fun!
NUMBER 9: The Belko Experiment (2016)
“An ordinary day at the office becomes a horrific quest for survival when 80 employees (John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona) at the Belko Corp. in Bogotá, Colombia, learn that they are pawns in a deadly game. Trapped inside their building, a voice over an intercom tells the frightened staffers that two workers must be killed within 30 minutes. When another ultimatum follows, friends become enemies and new alliances take shape, as only the strongest will remain alive at the end.”
There was a lot of hype when this movie first got announced and then it kind of sizzled off. I got to watch it for the first time this year and I was in awe of how fun it was. It’s like a total blood fest filled with great characters, good and evil. The cast is excellent and everyone is used perfectly. There’s a few twists and turns that keep the story going. And an ending that opens it up for a franchise which I’m not sure will come or not. Though, I hope it does.
You can check out my full review of this flick HERE
NUMBER 8: Grave Encounters (2011)
“The crew of ghost hunting TV show hole up in an abandoned psychiatric hospital hoping to catch some spooks on camera - a scenario that can only ever end badly, and it does.”
This movie was fucking scary when it first came out, and so many people deny it, but it really was. I remember ya’ll on the internet freaking out about it. So don’t lie now!
Found footage was still taking off and we were right at the cusp of the burn out, but Grave Encounters snuck in and blew everyone away. It has a terrifying story line that leaves you breathless when you finally find out what’s going on. And it has some incredibly effective jump scares.
Also, it was filmed in the asylum here in Vancouver! There was also a sequel that took the story line in some interesting ways.
It still holds up. And I know we’re all sick of found footage, but I think in a few years people will rediscover this one and remember just how fun it really is.
NUMBER 7: Would You Rather (2012)
“Iris (Brittany Snow) and seven other desperate people become trapped in Shepard's (Jeffrey Combs) mansion. Shepard forces them to play a sadistic game for a large sum of money -- but the dilemmas become increasingly deadly.”
I never hear anyone talk about this! It’s so fun! It’s like Saw meets Would You Rather. It’s fascinating as it unravels and you learn why everyone’s there. The character development is phenomenal and it really shows that terrifying selfish side of humanity.
Each situation they’re thrown in gets worse and worse. Starting with convincing the vegetarian to eat a steak for $10K and ending up with the stakes getting higher and higher. The worst one for me is where a character is forced to choose to slit his own eye open. GUAHHAKLDGJALKDGJKALKSDG. It’s horrifying. I was screaming into my hands,
This is a great flick to watch with friends and to not take too seriously. Great for fans of Saw, Truth or Dare, and Hostel.
NUMBER 6: Crimson Peak (2015)
“After marrying the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharpe, young Edith (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself swept away to his remote gothic mansion in the English hills. Also living there is Lady Lucille, Thomas' alluring sister and protector of her family's dark secrets. Able to communicate with the dead, Edith tries to decipher the mystery behind the ghostly visions that haunt her new home. As she comes closer to the truth, Edith may learn that true monsters are made of flesh and blood.”
This movie is so beautiful it makes me cry. Every frame, every piece of clothing, every character, every set is just absolute perfection. I want to wrap myself up in this movie and live in it forever. Guillermo del Toro is one of my favorite directors and he inspires me so much. Every single movie he’s made he’s had to fight tooth and nail for and he still doesn’t get enough respect.
It’s also actually quite spooky – there’s some really scary imagery with ghosts and a crazy villain. There’ tones of twists and turns that keep you guessing every moment. There’s also one incredibly gory moment set in a bathroom.
Crimson Peak is just absolutely everything and I really believe this is one of the best modern day made Gothic horror stories. GO WATCH IT IMMEDIATELY.
You can check out my full review over at my original blog HERE
NUMBER 5: The Ruins (2008)
“Amy (Jena Malone), Stacy (Laura Ramsey), Jeff (Jonathan Tucker) and Eric (Shawn Ashmore) look for fun during a sunny holiday in Mexico, but they get much more than that after visiting an archaeological dig in the jungle. Carnivorous vines try to ensnare the friends in their tendrils, forcing the group to fight for survival.”
Based on the novel of the same name by Scott Smith, The Ruins is the perfect summer flick. I read the book first and was terrified because the house I was living in at the time had these fast-growing vines in the yard. Needless to say, I was convinced I was going to die.
What’s amazing about The Ruins is really how simple the plot is. And how silly it sounds when you say it out loud. Man eating vines that can mimic sounds. But when played out it is terrifying. It’s got a great cast and a great script and it knows how to play the horror. While this isn’t a jump scare movie per say, it’s more of a “building the dread inside of you” movie. And the ending will make your stomach drop.
NUMBER 4: Housebound (2014)
“A would-be thief (Morgana O'Reilly) is remanded to the custody of her estranged mother (Rima Te Wiata), who turns out to be correct in her assertion that evil spirits are afoot in their family domicile.”
My namesake! I saw this movie back in 2015 and I fell head over heels in love with it. It’s a New Zealand horror comedy. It’s incredibly clever, has some wonderful twists, and is actually quite scary in moments. I think the problem with this one is that it came out when everyone was freaking out about What We Do In The Shadows and so Housebound sadly got overlooked.
But I implore you to go watch this incredible flick. It actually has so much heart and the dynamic between the mother and the daughter is something a lot of folks can relate to.
It’s just a great movie. Go watch it, add it to your favorites, and join my Housebound cult.
NUMBER 3: Scream 4 (2011)
“It has been many years since the Ghostface Killer cut a deadly path through the town of Woodsboro. In order to get over the trauma of those horrific events, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has written a self-help book. She returns to Woodsboro for her book tour, and reconnects with old friends Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette). However, Sidney's arrival also sparks the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney and everyone she loves in danger.”
WHAT? WHY IS SCREAM 4 ON HERE? Because ya’ll mother fuckers shat all over it when it came out. And while Scream fans will always talk about it and love it, the general horror fandom largely overlooks it.
But Scream 4 is perfect, just like every Scream movie. It’s got all the original cast along with some super fun newbies. It makes fun of itself, it’s tongue in cheek, it’s bloody, it’s stabby. It’s a freakin’ Scream movie you guys! We thought we’d never get anymore but we did, and we should be grateful.
NUMBER 2: Signs (2002)
“Everything that farmer Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) assumed about the world is changed when he discovers a message - an intricate pattern of circles and lines - carved into his crops. As he investigates the unfolding mystery, what he finds will forever alter the lives of his brother (Joaquin Phoenix) and children (Rory Culkin), (Abigail Breslin). A unique story that explores the mysterious real-life phenomena of crop signs and the effects they have on one man and his family.”
I will go to my grave defending this movie. Signs just means a lot to me personally and I have a lot of great memories tangled up with this film. You can really feel Shyamalan’s heart and soul in this script. It’s deep and it speaks volumes.
The casting is perfect and every line of the script hits. There’s so much humor mixed in with really terrifying moments. Ask anyone about Signs and they’ll bring up the birthday party scene because that is one of the best jump scares in the history of horror. Not THE best obviously because that’s The Exorcist 3. But it’s up there!
You can catch my full review HERE
NUMBER 1: Backcountry (2014)
“Alex and Jenn have left the city to go camping in the country. After setting off in the woods, they realise they've forgotten their phone and they become lost. The trip turns into a fight for survival when they are stalked by a man-eating bear.”
I love wilderness horror. There’s something so real about it because honestly the wilderness is a big fear of mine. You could not pay me enough money to go camping. Backcountry just cemented those fears for me. It’s so terrifyingly real. There is nothing supernatural in this movie at all. Just one couple that get lost on a hike and one hungry bear.
Jenn is one of my favorite final girls too because she genuinely fights for her life every step of the way and doesn’t cower once. From spending all night injured and in a tree, to climbing down a waterfall, to running through the never ending forest, Jenn never stops.
One of the most frightening scenes ever is in this flick when Alex and Jenn are in the tent and they hear the bear sniffing around outside and then suddenly its snout pushes against the outside of the tent. UGH. No thank you.
I aggressively recommend Backcountry to everyone – even non horror fans – because it’s just honestly a really well made film.