It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’s a crisp chill in the air and the leaves are beginning to turn. You know what that means — its time to head to Westlake Porter Public Library and check out some new spooky movies to get into the holiday mood! This horror flick list has everything from entertaining popcorn slashers to thoughtful character studies and ghoulish atmospheres. Keep reading for some horror titles that will make you want to sleep with the lights on tonight!
Willy’s Wonderland 2021
Members of a remote town sabotage the vehicles of people passing through so they can be fed to a group of animatronics from a closed down family entertainment center that happen to be possessed by a gang of murderous cannibals. Nicholas Cage plays the newest potential victim. Meanwhile a group of local teens are determined to bring down Willy’s Wonderland once and for all. Will those teens become an appetizer for Willy and his buddies? Will Nicholas Cage’s character find a way out of Willy’s Wonderland? Fans of the series Five Nights at Freddy’s will want to check out this action-packed thrill ride.
Prolific genre actor and voice of familiar antagonist of Bikini Bottom, Mr. Krabs, Clancy Brown, absolutely dazzles as the eccentric mortician Montgomery Dark in this chilling and fun horror anthology. Set in the 1980s in the small town of Raven’s End, Montgomery recounts deliciously terrifying tales to a young woman who enters the mortuary after seeing a “Help Wanted” sign in the front lawn. The Mortuary Collection succeeds as a love letter to the heyday of E.C. Publishing, delivering violent yet moral tales. No wicked person will make it out alive without paying a price. Horror fans will appreciate this throwback to the era of wicked fun anthologies such as Tales from the Crypt, an adaption of an E.C. series, and Creepshow.
The Siren 2019
The Siren is about a lovelorn water nymph named Nina that drowns people she comes across in the lake. By chance she meets a human man, Tom, staying in a nearby cabin who she becomes enamored with. Likewise, he likes her too, but he believes she is just a girl, who likes swimming. While this star-crossed romance blossoms, another man lurks in the background, and he seeks revenge on whatever mysterious creature killed his husband. Highly recommended for horror romance lovers that adored The Shape of Water or A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. If you want a horror water nymph story in musical form check out The Lure.
A high-end trendy clothing store becomes a bloodbath in this Canadian horror comedy where a possessed pair of jeans starts killing store clerks and vapid customers. Libby, a new hire on her first shift at the store, informs her boss what is happening but there is a new product launch so she will have to stop the pending massacre herself. While this flick is a fun throwback to the era of slashers and carnage, it manages to take aim against the fast-fashion industry, showing how hollow phrases like ‘fair-trade’ can potentially be. If you’re in the market for more horror comedy, see if Deerskin and The Final Girls are a good fit.
After the death of her husband, Harper decides to take a break from the world and flees to the English countryside for respite. Though the scenery is idyllic and beautiful, Harper begins to suspect she is not alone. Someone appears to be stalking her. Men all bearing the same countenance, played fantastically by Penny Dreadful alum Rory Kinnear, begin to linger at her every move. Is she experiencing hallucinations born from her recent traumas, or is he really there? Is he everywhere? The tension of Men pulls at viewers like a tight rope in this nuanced folk horror. For similar movies about trauma and paranoia, peep your eyes on The Invisible Man and The Last Night in Soho.
After being told the story of Candyman and its supposed connection to various murders in the neighborhood, artist Anthony McCoy is inspired to create new work for a nearby gallery. Though he initially thinks of Candyman as nothing more than a urban legend, he begins receiving disturbing visions of violence and bloodshed. Is he just working too hard, or is he the new target of Candyman? Nia DaCosta‘s thought-provoking direct sequel to Bernard Rose’s 1992 Candyman, excels at tying itself to the original while simultaneously charting a new path forward for the franchise. Want another serving of horror mixed with social commentary? Check out Night of the Living Dead, The Host, or Don’t Breathe.
The Beach House 2019
Director Jeff Brown describes this environmental horror film as “a blend of the mumblecore, handheld, character-driven indie film, with cosmic horror, science fiction“. College sweethearts Emily and Randall, hoping to rekindle their crumpling relationship decide to stay at his father’s beach house, where another couple is also staying. After a wild and fun night between the two couples, they awake to find things are changing around them. They are changing too, but what into? The Beach House gives fans of body horror and cosmic horror something to make their skin crawl. Recommendations include Starfish and Annihilation.
Jakob’s Wife 2021
Veteran Scream Queen Barbara Crampton stars as disillusioned wife of Jakob, a by-the-book minister in this delightful horror comedy. After being bitten by a vampire Anne begins to change. She realizes how much she has sacrificed in her life for her husband. How taken for granted her entire existence is as a wife to a minister. With a stunning scarf to cover her bite marks and a newly awakened sense-of-self, Anne is empowered to take back her life. Things are gonna change around here. For more empowering horror movies recommendations, check out Jennifer’s Body and Raw.
Ti West’s throwback slasher is as stylish as much as it is a lover letter for all the horror flicks released during the heyday of the ‘grindhouse era’ such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, and Last House on the Left. Set in 1970s Texas, a small amateur film crew are staying at a farm to make an “adult” (read pornographic) film, unbeknownst to the elderly couple who own the farm. A fun script and stellar ensemble cast with excellent comedic timing prevent X from veering into spoof territory. After West lays the groundwork, the viewer is taken on a wild ride that will at times have them laughing with delight or squirming in disgust at spectacularly violent death scenes. Other horror flicks with perfect balance of self-awareness, humor, blood, and terror include Scream, Happy Death Day, and You’re Next.
Killing Eve star Sandra Oh plays the character of Amanda, a Korean American single parent raising her daughter on a secluded farm in America. After receiving her estranged mother’s ashes from her uncle, Amanda begins to feel like her mother is haunting the farm. Sandra Oh gives a brilliant performance in this modern-day gothic horror depicting the wounds and scars motherhood can leave. Umma marks the directorial debut of Iris K. Shim, as well as being the first horror movie to be directed by an Asian American woman. For more horror movies surrounding familial relations or generational trauma try Relic and We Need to Talk About Kevin.
Co-produced by horror streaming service Shudder and Bloody Disgusting, V/H/S/94 marks a return to form with its newest entry in this found footage series. Set in 1994, a rowdy SWAT team executes a raid on a warehouse as part of an investigation into what they believe is high volume drug production. As they make their way into the warehouse, they discover the facility is not a drug lab, but a compound for a mysterious cult filled with dismembered mannequins and glowing television sets playing pre-recorded VHS cassettes depicting graphic and disturbing images. Chock-full of tension, gore, conspiracy and nightmare, fans of The Bay and Cloverfield will enjoy this sequel.
Produced by dark fantasy master Guillermo del Toro, Antlers takes place in an economically depressed small town in Oregon. The beautiful landscapes pair well with this tragic and bleak story about a little boy with a terrible secret. After bonding with her student Lucas over what she assumes is abuse or neglect at home, a teacher is resolved to help him in any way she can. Little does she know; Lucas faces even bigger problems than a tough home-life. Part creature feature and part folk horror, fans of The Witch and The Wicker Man should check out this flick.
Crimes of the Future 2022
After a two decade hiatus from horror, body-horror master David Cronenberg leaps head first back into the genre with Crimes of the Future. For those familiar with his 1996 psycho-sexual automobile noir Crash, Crimes of the Future continues exploring a future where disenfranchised humans aim to modify their bodies or merge it with technology. In Crimes of the Future, humans have adapted, they no longer feel physical pain, and have resorted to operating on themselves to feel anything at all. Two performance artists, played by Viggo Mortensen and Lea Seydoux, perform surgeries for an intrigued and lustful audience. As the pair become more daring in their art, a government agency called the New Vice Unit assigns an investigator to track their movements and their alleged “unauthorized organ disposal”. Will the agent bring them to justice, or will she become entranced by this underground subculture in which she admits, “surgery is the new sex”? For more grotesque violations of the body check out Eraserhead, John Carpenter’s The Thing, and of course David Croenberg’s 1986 remake of The Fly. Want to explore the riveting genre of techno-horror? Start with Possessor, The Signal, and Upgrade.