In a special issue of the column on online premieres, Gazeta.Ru film critic Pavel Voronkov talks about seven excellent horror films that have come out over the past year – and which are perfect for home viewing on Halloween.
“The Boy Behind the Door” by Justin Powell and David Char bonnier
Schoolchildren Bobby and Kevin are kidnapped in broad daylight and taken somewhere to hell. Bobby is left locked in the trunk, Kevin is led inside the house. Bobby manages to escape, but he cannot just leave his best friend – and returns. Moving on tiptoe between rooms, trying not to make unnecessary sounds, the boy tries to find a way to free Kevin, and at the same time reveals the secret of the place of their imprisonment.
“Hide” – the movie is not ideal, especially when it comes to the deliberation of certain actions, but in a strange way this is good for the film: from one and a half hours of timekeeping, you will have to spend a good hour in colossal tension, at some moments it will be difficult not to yell at the screen that -not in an imperative mood. The tape of Justin Powell and David Char bonnier will definitely not leave without emotions, and this is perhaps the main success of the debut filmmakers. Even if the direction causes a slight smile a couple of times (you can’t just take and not quote “The Shining”), every rustle here makes your heart beat, and every squeak makes you breathless.
“Nightmares” (“Come True”) by Anthony Scott Burns
Sarah, 18, does not sleep well. Firstly, the playground, where she began to spend the night after escaping from home, is not the most suitable place for rest. Secondly, she has the same nightmare all the time – about a gloomy labyrinth, at the end of which a creepy figure with burning eyes awaits each time. But soon Sarah has the opportunity to get rid of at least one of the problems: the girl enrolls in a program for the study of dreams. After a while, she learns that the frightening images from her nightmares are not just a nasty feature of her brain, but the staff of the institute are not just reading indicators from sensors.
Anthony Scott Burns’ Nightmares is like the Endless Night of 2021, a slobber mystic safety with a VHS tube crackle through which Lovecraftian cosmic horror cuts through. The tape takes first of all not with a plot (there are questions to it), but with a dashing concept at the heart (thank God, it was not Christopher Nolan at the helm), as well as a shaky atmosphere and mesmerizing visuals. Pretentious (the film is divided into chapters with Jungian titles), but effective. “Nightmares” is a case where each shot demonstrates how small the budget was – and how immeasurable amount of effort was put in to get the most out of it. The effect of Burns’ painting is so infectious that going to bed after the end credits (before which the fourth wall will be cleverly broken) will be quite curious; if, of course, you are going to sleep someday.
“Fear Street: 1994/1978/1666”, Lee Zhan yak
In 1994, the town of Shadyside faces a terrible tragedy: a local teenager kills several residents, after which he is killed by a police bullet. This happens regularly here: while neighboring Sunnyvale is thriving, Shadyside goes into mourning every few years. Many believe that the curse of the witch Sarah Fir, who was executed by the first settlers in these places in the 17th century, is to blame. Schoolgirl Dina Johnson (Kiana Madeira from the TV series Thieves), however, does not succumb to superstitions – but only as long as the dark forces do not choose the girl and her friends as their target.
The screen version of the book cycle by RL Stein, “children’s Stephen King”, is unlikely to scare anyone, but it will make it comfortable to watch: in the first episode you will have to nostalgic for slashers in the spirit of “Scream”, in the second – remember camp meat grinders like ” Friday the 13th ”, and in the third – to be imbued with witchcraft folk-horror in the manner of“ The Witch ”by Robert Eggers. All this – with a post-post-meta-meta-grin, the charm of “Netflix” diversity-soap and an almost mocking soundtrack from Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Portishead, Pixies, Cypress Hill, The Prodigy, Sound garden and other inhabitants of overwritten audio tapes.
“Malignant” by James Wang
Madison dreams of becoming a mother and, even after becoming pregnant, is ready to endure the abuse of her husband Derek. Once, after another episode of assault, a certain infernal entity sneaks into their house, kills Derek and severely wounds Madison, as a result of which the woman loses the baby. Soon, Madison realizes that she is somehow connected with the creature that attacked her: she begins to be haunted by terrible visions of terrible murders, which, apparently, are taking place in reality.
The long-awaited return of director James Wang (Saw, Astral and The Conjuring, Aquamanile) to horror happened with “Evil”. Opinions were divided over how triumphant it was, with a Looper article summarizing Western critics’ diagnoses that the film was described as either “painfully average” or “damn gorgeous.” We are leaning towards the second option: yes, sometimes this is an impossibly stupid movie, but it is difficult to imagine that its stupidity is accidental; I want to believe all this is an ingenious mockery. In any case, the resulting mixture of Italian gallon with Fincher’s noir is a great option for viewing in a company, and the degree of irony of perception can be adjusted according to the situation.
Midnight Mass by Mike Flanagan
The fishing town on a tiny island 50 kilometers off the coast of the United States is full of excitement. The prodigal son of Riley Flynn, who drunkenly knocked the girl down a few years ago, returns home after his release. And in the local church, a new young priest, Paul Hill, is announced, who tells the parishioners that the elderly Monsignor Pruitt, his predecessor.