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Halloween Essentials, Vol. 4: The weird

| Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Emma Kirner

Halloween Essentials is a weekly column in the month of October by Scene Writer (and Resident Spooky Boi) Justin George. Celebrate the season with his horror movie recs.

As if my movie recommendations weren’t strange enough, here are a handful of the strangest horror movies that I’ve seen. They’re completely insane, so take this as your warning.

“Begotten”- 1989

This is by far the most difficult film I’ve covered in this column. It’s aggressively inaccessible, thematically dense and unabashedly arthouse. Utterly horrifying from start to finish, “Begotten” feels like a feverish nightmare that was somehow printed onto a VHS tape. A creation myth for a world best left to the realm of phantasms, this film is not for those unacquainted with the world of the avant-garde.

“House”- 1977

“House” is one of the strangest films I have had the pleasure of seeing. I’m not quite sure how to describe the plot, but here we go: a group of girls decide to visit a haunted house and encounter the ghosts within the house, which pick them off one by one. An absolute gem, this surreal Japanese horror-comedy is not one to miss. Do yourself a favor, get some friends together and watch House; it’ll be an experience you’ll not soon forget.

“The Beyond”- 1981

This splatter classic directed by Lucio Fulci has no plot to speak of. “The Beyond” is an absolutely wild ride from start to finish, filled with gore, zombies, a five-minute tarantula sequence and tons of bad dialogue. I’ve tried many times to piece together some kind of cohesive story, but there simply isn’t one. However, that doesn’t mean that this movie isn’t a ton of fun. Get a taste for Italian trash horror with this classic from a horror titan.

“Videodrome”- 1983

This is probably my favorite Cronenberg film. It took me several viewings to even begin to piece together what was actually happening in this film. “Videodrome” follows the head of a sleazy TV station who is trying to track down the origin of a bizarre, violent broadcast. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what is actually going on in “Videodrome,” but it’s the best I can do without typing a thousand words and spoiling the entire thing. Check it out, if only for the gnarly special effects courtesy of Academy Award winner Rick Baker.

“The Void”- 2016

What do you get when you combine an understaffed hospital, a small group of patients, one police officer, a mysterious cult and a gateway to another world? The answer: an absolutely killer horror film. An absolute must-watch for any fan of Lovecraftian horror, “The Void” is an unforgettable watch featuring some of the best practical effects put to film in recent years.

“A Cure for Wellness”- 2016

“A Cure for Wellness” is an underrated hidden gem of the horror genre. The film’s plot follows a young businessman who is sent to a wellness center in the Swiss Alps to track down the CEO of the company he works for. He slowly begins to discover that the director of the wellness center is hiding a dark secret and makes it his mission to discover what the director is hiding. Director Gore Verbinski and cinematographer Bojan Bazelli put on an absolute masterclass in visual style that results in one of the most beautiful looking films I’ve ever seen.

“Don’t Look Now”- 1973

Nothing is what it seems in this classic from director Nicolas Roeg. The film follows a grieving couple who move to Venice to work on the restoration of a church after the loss of their daughter. The couple encounters two sisters, one of whom claims to be in touch with the couple’s daughter, which the husband scoffs at until he catches a glimpse of a familiar-looking figure along the canal’s edge.

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About Justin George

Scene's Resident Spooky Boi.

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