Netflix’s recent foray into the horror genre has been met with somewhat lukewarm reception over the past month or so. One thing that everyone agrees on though is that the build up to seeing the films monsters was a fantastic way to build a subtle, underlying dread. It’s a shame though that we never saw anything that had a real payoff in Birdbox, however these films follow a similar theme but have a satisfying payoff!
It’s time for us to relive our favourite horrifying experiences in TV & Film:
I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily subtle because it is actually quite prominent throughout the entire film but the absolute fuckery that goes on in the Shining still scares me to this day. It’s a movie so filled with details about real life events and hidden messages that people pick it apart to this day. Even the ending which I won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t watched it yet still makes no sense to me and there hasn’t been anyone that has been able to explain it in a sense where it makes sense. It’s a movie where the horror isn’t all necessarily in what’s going on but the meaning behind the things and it makes you wonder what was really going on Kubricks mind when he made this masterpiece.
That would be Oogie Boogie in The Nightmare Before Christmas – Despite being filled with colourful gummy-like worms and bugs, the fact still remains that this ‘thing’ is a walking, talking, sentient mass conciousness of insects squirming inside of a sack person – What does it feel like when he grabs you out of the darkness? Does his fabric squirm as it slowly chokes you? Does he feel scarily warm, like flesh? Or does he feel ice cold? What discerns his fiendish personality? How was this creature created?
In a world of playful horror and themed around twisting the stereotypical view of Halloween, Oogie Boogie stands out as a true nightmare, this time not preceding Christmas, but rather preceding every single one of my nightmares as a child. The sheer thought of this thing possibly becoming real, as silly as that sounds, scares the shit out of me, and haunts me with it’s subtley presented horror.
The one for me that has stuck in my brain for a long ass time are the monsters from the Descent. This for me is still one of the most suffocating and terrifying horrors out there. Not only are these lads horrible to look at but they’re vicious and the apex predators within their environment. Perhaps it’s the claustrophobic feel of the entire movie that’s stuck with me, or maybe the fact that there is no happy ending to be had, you’re in fact tricked into thinking that the main character escapes but is actually left alone in the caves in an absolutely mental state. Along with the creatures there are issues between the victims and this all stirs in to one big pot of chaos and misery. Honestly check this film out if you haven’t already, but don’t expect to sleep well after!
Subtle horror moments huh? there is one film that stands head and shoulders above all else when it comes to subtle horror and general building of dread and I apologise to my wife for bringing this film up again but:
The Babadook features some of my favourite horror moments of all time as well as being a true masterclass in subtley building up a reveal of the films titular monster that’s exactly as terrifying as you would expect.