2015 at the Movies: low-budget, high quality horror

UNFRIENDED

UNFRIENDED

The Movie Gourmet doesn’t watch many horror movies, but 2015 featured some that were unusually inventive, scary and non-gory.  It’s great to see young filmmakers bringing some intelligence and surprise (not just shockers) to this genre.

  • It Follows: Writer-director David Robert Mitchell has created a very scary horror film with an excellent soundtrack and a minimum of makeup, special effects and hardly any blood.  19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe) has sex with a guy who then tells her that he has passed on to her a kind of supernatural infection – a monster will follow her and kill her if she doesn’t pass it on to someone else. The monster shambles along at zombie speed and takes the form of a different human being each time.  It Follows is available on DVD from both Netflix and Redbox and streaming from Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play and Xbox Video.
  • Unfriended:  It’s the one-year anniversary of a teenage girl’s suicide, and her bullying peers convene via webcams on social media – but their computers are hijacked by an Unknown Force who starts wreaking revenge.  Here’s a new one:  the entire movie is compiled of the characters’ screenshots.  Unfriended is available to rent on DVD from Netflix and Redbox and to stream from Amazon Video, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play and Flixster.
  • The House on Pine Street:  So here’s the thing with every movie ghost story – either the ghost is real or the protagonist is crazy enough to hallucinate one. The beauty of The House on Pine Street is that the story is right down the middle – ya just don’t know until the end when the story takes us definitively in one direction – and then suddenly lurches right back to the other extreme.  I saw The House on Pine Street at Cinequest, and it’s now available to stream on Amazon Instant, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube and Google Play.
Emily Goss in THE HOUSE ON PINE STREET

Emily Goss in THE HOUSE ON PINE STREET

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