Every year, I set a goal for myself to watch at least 100 new horror films, and every year I come up short of my goal. This year, I decided to make a new proposition for myself, the 365 Horror Movie Challenge! Basically, I have to watch a horror film I’ve never seen before every night until 2019. Now, I wanted to share my thoughts on the films I’ve seen with the horror community, so here are the ones I’ve watched for Week 1 of my horror movie challenge and my thoughts on them.
January 1 – The Orphanage
A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.
I’ve been looking for The Orphanage to add to my collection for a long time. I finally bought it and this film was definitely worth the wait! To start off, The Orphanage is a tragically beautiful story. Although the end was spoiled for me way before I saw the film, it still hit me hard and left me almost on the verge of tears. The Orphanage brings a very disturbing and heartbreaking version of Peter Pan. The Orphanage was a fantastic start to this challenge.
Verdict: I would recommend The Orphanage!
January 2 – Mum & Dad
Mum and Dad, and their ‘adopted’ children, Birdie & Elbie, work at the airport. The family live off whatever they scavenge from cargo holds, offices and hotels – including a steady stream of transient workers who populate the airport’s soulless hub. When Lena, a young Polish office cleaner, is befriended by Birdie, she gets drawn into a nightmarish world of torture, murder and perversity. Imprisoned in a suburban House of Horrors and designated a ‘Mummy’s Girl’, Lena’s only options appear to be to become part of the family – and join them in their insanity – or die.
I first heard about this film in a YouTube video that discussed some of the most disturbing films in cinema. Mum & Dad is one of the best kidnapping films I’ve seen in a long time. It’s disturbing, simple, and it leaves you wondering what the hell you just watched! I don’t recommend this film to those who aren’t fans of disturbing cinema. Everyone has their limits and Mum & Dad pushes a few.
Verdict: I recommend Mum & Dad for disturbing cinema lovers.
January 3 – What Lies Beneath
The wife of a university research scientist believes that her lakeside Vermont home is haunted by a ghost – or that she is losing her mind.
What Lies Beneath is a beautiful ghost story. I love the mystery aspect of the film. It really makes you question the truth. Most ghost stories today don’t have that mystery aspect. Plus, What Lies Beneath has a hell of a cast! Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford kick ass, like always!
Verdict: I would definitely recommend What Lies Beneath!
January 4 – The Dead Inside
While a young couple, a photographer and a horror writer, have run out of creative inspiration, suddenly their live change when the girl becomes plagued by mysterious forces.
Travis Betz is an indie filmmaker whose work I was introduced to by a good friend of mine, so I decided to watch one of his films for the first week of my horror movie challenge. The Dead Inside is a morbid musical and a beautiful, tragic story. The music is so gorgeous, and the characters are extremely likable. Travis knows how to tell a fantastic love story, and he’s able to wrap the horror element around that romantic tale.
Verdict: I recommend The Dead Inside to everyone!
January 5 – May
A lonely young woman traumatized by a difficult childhood and her increasingly desperate attempts to connect with the people around her is sent into a murderous tailspin.
The only issue I have with May is its pace. We know where the story is going, but it takes a long time to get there. While we’re waiting, we’re left with some of the most cringeworthy scenes. I almost had to look away a couple of times. However, when the film finally got to its goal, it was worth it! I would describe May as a modern Frankenstein film with heart.
Verdict: I would recommend May.
January 6 – Frontier(s)
A gang of young thieves flee Paris during the violent aftermath of a political election, only to hole up at an Inn run by neo-Nazis.
Frontier(s) is such an odd film, yet it was so intriguing. It was a mix of Sendero (Path) and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Although, it is so much better than Sendero, I did find myself a little disappointed in it. I just wasn’t really rooting for the main characters… except for Yasmine, of course. It’s definitely one of those films that left me in anticipation. I guess that means the film did its job.
Verdict: I would recommend Frontier(s)!
January 7 – Prom Night (1980)
At a high school senior prom, a masked killer stalks four teenagers who were responsible for the accidental death of a classmate six years previously.
One of the reasons I love this film is that it’s a proper revenge flick. It’s not like a typical slasher where the killer is vengeful, but they kill pretty much anyone that they run into. This killer had an agenda, and it focused on the mystery of the killer more than the kill count. Prom Night is a classic slasher that horror fans have to watch at least once!
Verdict: I would definitely recommend Prom Night for slasher fans!
So far, it’s been nothing but winners in my book. It’s very hard to choose, but I have to say my favorite horror film this week for my horror movie challenge was Mum & Dad. This one pushed the boundaries and left me thinking about it for days after viewing it.
What are your thoughts on these films from the first week of my horror movie challenge? I’m always looking for horror movie recommendations. If you have any you think I should watch, let me know in the comments!