Despite my relative distaste for most of the films released under the banner of After Dark's "8 Films to Die For," I'm pleasantly surprised and utterly elated to find a film that not only exceeded my expectations but renewed my hope in the popular horror film fest. Despite being biased with my love for cinema verite horror, Lake Mungo was wholly original and utterly terrifying, relying solely on brief images and grainy video footage to frighten the crap out of the viewer. It's a damn shame it took me this long to get around to watching it. Sadly, the film is set to be remade for American audiences, because apparently Australian accents and a modest distribution through a popular film festival just doesn't cut it.
Hausu, directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977
While the Watching Hour, Denver Film's loose parallel to the Austin, TX Alamo Drafthouse Terror Tuesday program is far less popular, it nevertheless brings around some solid horror fare, courtesy of head programmer Keith Garcia. This past weekend I finally got to see Hausu on the big screen, and save for the two rows behind me who thought EVERY. SINGLE. SCENE was hilarious, the film certainly didn't skimp on the surrealistic absurdity. If you find yourself in a position where you can watch this on the big screen I highly suggest you do so.
Ravenous, directed by Antonia Bird, 1999
I was recently in the mood to break out an old favorite, and since someone has my copy of Oldboy, I busted out Ravenous, a highly underrated thriller cum black comedy that I am proud to call one of my favorite movies. I first saw the film in high school, recommended to me by a friend who would come to be obsessed with The Blair Witch Project he owned a stick-figure necklace. But I digress. Ravenous blends together the right amount of humor to venture into black comedy territory, while still maintaining the requisite amount of violence and tension to earn it the moniker of horror. Plus, I can never get enough of the fight scene toward the end of the film.
Fun fact: I actually bought the soundtrack to the film, which was co-written by composer Michael Nyman and Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn.