Over the past several years we have been very lucky with horror gracing our television screens. We've had some stellar horror shows, inventive, original, and compelling. So, here's my list of 10 horror TV shows you need to watch!
1) American Horror Story.
Come on, can it get any better? This show broke new ground by being an anthology series. Each season is a different plot, with new characters, but often played by a recurring cast. They explore a haunted house, asylum, witches, circus, hotel, and there is more to come. This is a still-going show, so catch up with previous seasons on Netflix, so you can be up-to-date for the new season to air this fall. However, that's one of the perks of an anthology series. With each season bringing new storylines and a new set, with new messed-up characters, you could watch multiple seasons simultaneously. Kathy Bates stars!
2) Harper's Island.
I don't know about you, but I love Island Horror. This show aired in 2009. A bunch of young people go back to an island that holds many traumatic memories, all for a wedding. One by one, they are hacked away by a merciless killer. This was reminiscent of 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' and other teen-slasher flicks. However, the depth of this show is deep. We explore characters in great detail, and the complexities of their personal lives, as well as the backstory of the horrific event that caused some to consider not attending this celebration. While only one season, available on Amazon Prime / Amazon video, it is worth a watch!
3) True Blood.
Vampire are real. Did you hear? They have officially come out of their coffins, no longer in the gloom. But this brings a new, fascinating world with new rules. Vampires just want to be treated like everyone else, they want equal rights. But as is common in society, especially where this show is set, there are bountiful bigots that object to any change. We follow Sookie, the lead character, as she falls for a vamp, in a world with much hatred for their kind. Throughout the show we don't just explore the toothy creatures, but fairies, werewolves, witches, and other sorts of supernaturalness. But this series brings a different flavour to each type of creature.
Gory. Well, what did you expect? We follow someone with a keen ability to put himself into the mind of killers, as he helps out the law by finding many killers. But whilst doing this, there is a serial killer at large. This one is elegant and unsettling, with some fabulous performances from the cast. Gillian Anderson guest stars.
5) The Walking Dead.
Now, chances are you already watch this, unless you've been living under a rock. But it bears mentioning. A zombie show that has broke records for being the highest viewed show on cable television. It goes way beyond a zombie apocalypse. We delve into characters, and other threats out there, spurred by the decline in society and a lack of order. It's a free-for-all.
6) Stranger Things.
Wow, Winona Ryder, what an actress. After battling stigma, this actress is back on our screens in a sensational show, proving her relevance. A young boy goes missing, forcing his friends to go on a dangerous journey to get him back. This show is so successful because it's set in the 80's, and brings with it a heavy serving of nostalgia. This takes us to a time when kids used to ride bikes, not play video games obsessively. It's very reminiscent of many Stephen King novels where a band of kids are the lead characters. We've only been blessed with one season, but a second is on the way. Due to the feedback and success, I imagine much more seasons to come. You can watch this on Netflix right now.
7) Bates Motel.
We've all heard of Norman Bates, right? A psycho who cares deeply for his mother. Every wondered what he was like as a child? Well, here is your answer. This show is terrific, Vera Farmiga is superb, as usual, playing the mother of a disturbed child. This series respects the movie 'Psycho' but adds so much more to the story. Check it out on Netflix.
8) Scream TV series.
'What's your favourite scary movie?' Come on, we've all heard that line from the Scream movie. But now, MTV have taken a series into their hands, with two seasons, and a third on the way. It explores in much greater detail, a serial killer loose amongst a bunch of high schoolers. It's interesting, and I personally enjoyed it, despite not receiving the best comments from critics. Mystery is a heavy element. It isn't just about the killings, but who is the killer, and why are they doing this? That, for me, is why I thoroughly enjoy the show. Season three is rumoured to have a new cast in a new set; I guess we'll see! Either way, give this a shot, I think it will surprise you. Got a Netflix account already? You may as well add it to your list!
9) The Strain.
Personally, one of my favourite horror shows on TV at the moment. An apocalypse storyline that takes us so much deeper and further than any apocalypse show ever has, including TWD. The acting is stellar, and pacing is perfect, the twists and turns are unseen and absolutely riveting. This is a must-see show!
Last but not least, we have a long-running show of over ten years! Two hunks chasing down demons. One is a perve, the other is a softer gentlemen, but are both brothers, carrying on the family business. I am amazed that this show is still going, it gives me hope that horror will always have a place in society. Yes, two hot guys leading the series doesn't hurt , but it is the new breeds of demon and great script that make this show so popular. It's one of the longest running shows ever, and for it to be a horror one, we as horror fiends, must be grateful and watch this out of respect! And, all 12 seasons are on Netflix right now.
See? We've got plenty of horror shows to be proud of in the twenty-first century! Go ahead, enjoy!
So, 2017 has been a good year for horror movies at this point, but it is far from over! Here is still what's to come.
- Annabelle: Creation (August)
- Amityville: The Awakening (June)
- It (October)
- Cult of Chucky (October)
- Demon Hole (October)
- Cloverfield 2017 (October)
- Saw: Legacy (October)
See, we've got plenty to come! And, they look awesome.
Bradley Cooper did a horror movie? And I didn't know? And he was impressive in the movie? A hat trick of yes.
Cooper plays a budding photographer gagging for his 'big break' into professional photography. After his friend hooks him up with a major contact, and asks him to go deeper into the dark, sinister side of photography, this leads him down a path so unnerving and dangerous, he'll soon end up regretting it.
Suspense was practically stitched into the plot. As Bradley's character Leon becomes obsessed with capturing moments of sheer terror and unsettling confrontation, he ends up catching the attention of a dangerous looking man, played by none other than Vinnie Jones.
Mr Jones, based on his exterior, looks the part, and played it remarkably well. I've found with some of his roles, when he talks and intends to threaten and intimidate, it breaks the realism. However, he didn't utter a word throughout the whole movie. Which is explained in the epic climax.
As Leon becomes convinced this man is responsible for a series of subway killings, despite being armed with little evidence, he throws himself in harm's way many times. This has the viewer gasping repeatedly, questioning his intellect and common sense. If you suspect a man is a killer, why follow him?
As I say, Cooper plays crazy well. Too well. You can almost feel the desperation. He is obsessed. Reckless. He has no regard for his own safety. I loved him in this role, and would love to see him branch out and star in more horror movies. He was superb.
On a content level, the gore is tremendous. Horror gore fiends will have a field day with this film. Blood and guts are just for starters. I found myself cringing many times, and I thought I was basically immune to cringing at anything in a horror movie, having seen thousands of them.
An odd observation, but I myself can get slightly OCD when it comes to angles and symmetry. So I had an usual respect that few will have for the shots in the movie. There were some excellent angle shots and symmetrical masterpieces.
And for the most part, the movie's filter is dark and grungy, only adding to the disturbing, on-edge vibe that 'The Midnight Meat Train' exudes.
The subtle soundtrack only emphasizes this feel, working hand-in-hand with the colours, and strengthening the suspense. Horror movies can make the fatal mistake when incorporating a soundtrack. The loud boom suggests a surprise. Or a faster rhythm suggests something is coming. Here however, there were no clues or telltale signs that something was approaching. All shocks are unexpected. When Vinnie's character locks eyes with Leon, we shudder. That dude is scary.
And then there is the ending. Wow. I literally felt my mouth drop and my eyes widen. I had made brief guesses as to how the movie would end. I in no way saw this coming. Serial killer, maybe. Sick fetish, maybe. The actual way it ended, never saw it coming. It smacks you between the peepers.
A group of teens head off to Henry Island for a weekend of drinks, fornication, and general debauchery. But the fun comes to a screeching halt with the discovery of a body. From then on, things go from bad to disastrous.
If you are a sub-genre snob and have the false impression this novel is a generic island horror with the usual teen cast from a cheesy slasher flick, you'd be gravely mistaken. This plot is thoroughly thought-out. The characters are so well characterized, they could be real people. The shocks are delivered with expert precision. The mystery thickens with every page, becoming more unnerving, yet alluring. We are spellbound to the pages, needing to know who is responsible and why. But in-between this investigation completed by our protagonist Meg, more bodies turn up under strange circumstances. Were they actually accidents? Or is something more at work here?
Gretchen takes what could be stock characters, and molds them into believable people with justifiable behavior and motivations. Meg, our central character, smart, beautiful, and an all-around do-gooder. She, unlike most teens there, plans to lock herself away in the bedroom and get some journal writing done or work on her laptop, being a writer and all. You can't help but love Meg, a great role model and a character with extra bite.
Next, we have her best friend Minnie, who for me personally, was irritating as hell, until the conclusion to the story reveals everything....
We have a few guys, ranging from nice and chivalrous, to the typical aggravating jerks. The same rules go for the other girls. Pleasant, or intolerable.
A house full of teens is bound to result in drama of some sort, and most are already headed to the island with baggage, both literally and figuratively. So you know it's gonna get good, even without the darker side of the weekend inevitably veering the partying off course.
The author catches us off-guard with the bodies, and other morsels of information, enticing the reader continually until she smacks us in the face with a stellar ending.
When said and done, the ending reminded me of the new hit show on Netflix, '13 Reasons Why', but with a vengeance. You'll understand what I mean when you enjoy this novel.
Also, there were elements of the TV show Harper's Island, which I loved. An island horror with subterranean depths.
All in all, Gretchen McNeil takes a sub-genre of horror and adds her own secret ingredients: a sprinkle of mystery, a dollop of death, and a dash of drama, all iced in a tightly and neatly structured prose that flows effortlessly.
I highly urge all readers to grab a copy of this one. For those who don’t enjoy unnecessary gore or overly graphic scenes, don’t worry, this isn't overly gory. There is just enough, all of which is appropriate for the shock-factor.
It's all about the characters and the plot, but bodies are weaved into the plot, along with buckets of suspense.
My first McNeil mystery, but I promise, it won't be my last.
Love a horror movie set in the woods? Trees, dirt, sun, lakes, fresh air, tents, cabins, hiking, sex, alcohol, killers, monsters, psychos, toboggans and terror? This list is for you!
1) Cabin in the Woods
A huge conspiracy!
2) Wrong Turn
Cannibal hillbillies let loose in the woods!
3) Cabin fever
Eurgh. Graphic. Infection spreads.
4) Evil Dead
We all should know this classic. But then there is the remake too.
5) Wolf Creek
Those Australian's really know how to do horror.
6) Eden Lake
The Brits know how to get our blood pumping when a couple find themselves running from a gang of hooligans.
A woody horror with an edge.
Believe the unbelievable.
9) Friday the 13th
Another classic. He is coming for you.
10) Evil Things
Low budget horror movie in the woods? Yes. Awesome and horrifying? Yes.
From Supernatural creatures, deformed hillbillies, murderers, and more, this list should wet your appetite for some woody horror!
How can I explain Harper's Island? Okay, think 'I know what you did last summer' on steroids!
Let's start with the backstory. Seven years ago a man named John Wakefield headed out on a murder spree on this little island, butchering, hanging, and killing several people. The tragedy still haunts the place, lingering in the air. To say that name is highly frowned upon, would be an understatement. Everyone wants to forget and move on. Some managed to do
so until an island native returns with his bride-to-be.
They are planning an epic and romantic week of fun, climaxing in their wedding. Henry, the groom, invites longtime friend, Abby Mills, for the week.
Abby, whose mother was murdered by John Wakefield, hasn't been on the island since that dreadful night. She left her father, boyfriend, and life and headed far away. Now, after all these years have passed, she has to once again tread those shores if she hopes on being there for her close friend as he heads into matrimony.
As the week moves along, people disappear. Some are quick to jump to conclusions, others are hoping there is a reasonable explanation. Is John Wakefield back, despite Abby's father (the Sherrif) having shot him years ago? Is it a copycat? Or something far more insidious? While denial is a tactic commonly used to deal with mysterious and unsettling situations, you can't deny that something is horribly wrong when bodies start turning up.
Do you enjoy a good 'whodunnit' story? Then you'll love this series! Every episode keeps you guessing as more people are killed and the mystery thickens as revelations are revealed. Who is doing this?
As a horror fan, I was impressed at the diversity of deaths. Gruesome. Gory. Messed-up. Excellent!
But don't get the wrong idea. It isn't gore for gore's sake. What makes this series addictive and unique is the backstory and the ongoing enigma of these deaths and the perpetrator.
And of course, it wouldn't be interesting at all if we weren't invested in the characters in some way or another. We instantly develop a kinship with Abby Mills (Elaine Cassidy). She's suffered a great deal, losing her mother, and finding the body herself at such a young, impressionable and innocent age. The relationship with her father (Jim Beaver) oozes tension and unresolved drama. Their complex family dynamic is intriguing, to say the least.
Then, adding more weight to Abby, is Jimmy (C. J. Thomason) her love interest before she upped and left after Wakefield's killing spree. He was left broken-hearted, wounded, and alone. Luckily, he's gotten over it and is thrilled to see his old flame.
We have the wedding party, offering the viewers the typical douche bag groomsmen and vapid bridesmaids, providing comical relief through debauchery and mischief. Though, sister to the bride, Shea Allen (Gina Holden) who I personally adore as an actress, offers us a character with depth: a protective mother, loving wife, and well-rounded individual.
Obviously there is a romance element, with the entire week dedicated to a wedding. But we find ourselves tangled up in the love of another couple.
As a fan of the outdoors and great scenery, I loved the setting. Filmed on Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada, set the mood perfectly. You could almost feel the branches rustling against your skin. Feel the wet waves rolling in. Smell the oaky scent. Feel the rustic, earthy, yet alluring vibe to the island. A wonderful soundtrack meshes well with the natural backdrop.
Bucket loads of shocks. Powerful twists. Most episodes end in cliffhangers. Casual drama unfolds within the terror.
If you enjoy horror, mystery, thrillers, dramas, then I suggest you watch this immediately. Download it, or if you have Amazon Prime, it's available on there. Either way, you'd be missing out if you didn't add this to your list!
Ever since the original vampire 'Nosferatu' graced our screens many years ago, actors, producers and studios have teamed up annually, to give us plenty of vampy action! From horrifying, action-filled, original, and more classics. So if you're into this particular kind of fiends, check out the list below.
1) '30 Days Of Night'. One of my personal favourites, starring Melissa George and Josh Hartnett, both of which are sensationally talented actors. In a small Alaskan town, a natural phenomenon occurs where there is actually 30 days of night. Most head to visit family friends during this time, or stay inside. Because roaming around in the dark can be dangerous. Especially when it's dark all day for thirty days. Oh and then there is the faction of blood-thirsty vampires! These vampires, in my opinion, are the scariest I have come across. The prosthetics, foreign language, and super strength. A great vamp flick, undeniably.
2) 'Dracula 2000'. Moving on, we go back a few years to one of my first vampire movies. I can still watch this today and get the chills from the vampires. They are slimy, creepy and very strange. Gerard Butler plays the role of Dracula in this, and does a mighty job. In this movie, Abraham Van Helsing, who has a history with Count Dracula, discovers a group of antique thieves have broken into his storage and stolen a coffin in hopes that it holds great wealth. It is his responsibility to go and seek out his daughter as she is the first person Dracula will seek out if he becomes whole again. But will he make it in time?
3) 'Underworld'. An action-packed vampire movie revolving around a feud with werewolves. Kate Beckinsale stars, hacking, slashing and defending her kind. Less scary and more adrenaline-packed with epic fight scenes, and family-based storyline as two different breeds of monsters go head-to-head!
4) 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'. Some may argue that this is a cheesy, horrid movie. But it is one of my guilty pleasures. I love this movie. Kristy Swanson plays a young teenage girl who deals with boys and school during the day, and vampires by night. She comes from a long line of women who are endowed with supernatural strength to battle all forms of evil. It is a little campy and more funny than creepy, but that doesn't distract from it being a good watch. Then we can't forget, if it wasn't for this movie we wouldn't have been blessed with the incredible TV show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. So we owe a lot to this movie!
5) 'Interview with a vampire'. Most will know this one, starring Brad Pitt & Tom Cruise. A vampire tells his epic life story. His loves, losses, betrayals, solidary existance that comes with being a creature of the night, and the relentless hunger that he cannot control. A great vampire flick and an instant classic in my eyes.
6)'The Lost Boys'. Come on, who hasn't seen this? Horror/vampire fan or not, it's an all-around great movie. Two young boys are relocated with their mother to a strange town. But it's about to get a hell of a lot stranger when the older boy becomes enthralled with a girl who happens to be in involved with a group of even stranger people. They can morph into bats, fly, and seem to be oddly strong. Oh, and they have fangs and drink blood. Another classic with a great soundtrack!
7) 'Blade'. Another action/horror movie starring Wesley Snipes. He obliterates hoards of bloodsuckers, while being one himself. Whopping stunts, comedy, and interesting storyline. This did well and went on for two more movies, even luring in Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel into the third one.
8) 'Fright Night'. Classic or remake, you can't go wrong. A guy tries to expose the existence of a vampire who has moved in next door. I love the original for the melodramatic effects and truly eerie vampires, along with that awesome soundtrack. Yet the remake, with Colin Farrell, has a different vibe. Farrell does an enviable job of playing the vampire next door. I'd personally watch both if you somehow haven't seen either.
9) 'Van Helsing'. Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale team up in this terrific vampire film. With the addition of werewolves and other creations. This is more action orientated, yet the vampires are still creepy. Dracula has a plan to take over the world in a rather impressive way. It is Van Helsing's responsibility to stop this plan, with his team of course.
10) 'Daybreakers'. It's 2019, a deadly plague has transformed almost everyone into vampires. With blood supplies low, and desperation increasing, the vampires need to find a way to yield more of that juicy plasma. Meanwhile, a researcher is in league with a group of 'good' vamps, in an attempt to save humankind. An intriguing concept for the future, pushing out the zombie infection as the plague that is apparently going to happen according to hundreds of movies. This explores what would happen if we fell victim to a disease that mutates us into bloodsuckers. Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining.
I know, I know, I am late to the party. 'True Blood' is an epic supernatural series that ran from 2008 - 2014, produced by HBO, that I recently binge-watched. And boy am I glad I did! This show is brilliant for so many reasons.
This show is set in a time where vampires don't just live in our nightmares but in our world. They are a part of society. They have officially come out....of the coffin.
Some are humane and just want to be treated with dignity and respect, which is known as 'mainstreaming', complete with drinking a blood-substitute drunk called Tru-Blood. While others are vicious creatures that want to take control and destroy humans.
We explore new rules, both in society and vampire abilities as well as weaknesses. Both are intriguing and unsettling. Vampires are fighting for equal rights, facing oppositions from a cult of vampire-haters known as the Church of the Sun. They are you typical bigoted, small-minded, hateful, dumb cult determined to exterminate all vampires.
And vampires themselves, have their own laws and regulations, doled out by sheriffs of counties and states. Killing humans and other legions of the undead have consequences.
But vampires aren't the only creatures that make appearances. We see werewolves, shifters, gods, and more! Each season brings a terrifying and superb new threat to a small town in Louisana. In the end, despite their initial resistance, they realize vampires are the least of their concerns, especially when all hell breaks loose.
In this brave new world, we follow Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress with a rather peculiar ability. We grow attached to this blonde lady as she falls in love with a vampire and repeatedly throws herself in harm's way to protect him and the townspeople. She is loving, kind, open-minded, spiritual, and unbelievably brave.
Let's not forget passion! If nudity and sex scenes offend you, I'd give this a miss. Jason Stackhouse, Sookie's brother, is a player, flashing flesh while sexing women more often than showering. But he's not the only man who regularly exposes himself, or woman for that matter, love, romance, and naughtiness are this town's bread and butter. Sweating, panting, and bed-banging are the background music to the show. But it's not just sex for the sake of it, these scenes of lust are suited to each character and their relationship/s.
While I have never personally visited Louisana, I feel this show perfectly depicts the type of people that would inhabit a small southern town in the United States. You'd have the bigots, religious folk, genuinely kind people, crazy people, gossipers, normal citizens, hard workers, and on and on. This cast of quirky characters are extremely entertaining to watch and partly drive the show, they bring a sense of normality to break from the supernatural craziness.
But wait, this is a horror show, right? There'd better be gore! Well, you're in luck, there is. From pints of blood, cannibalism, graphic scenes of violence, and moments so gross you can't practically smell the stench of rot and decay, aided by remarkable acting.
There isn't a weak link in the entire cast. From do-gooder Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), man-whore Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), passionate vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), hilarious chef Lafayette (Nelson Ellis), anger-fuelled Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), honourable bar owner Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), complex good / bad vamp Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) and others, they bring commitment to each role, spellbinding us in their performances as their characters develop and darken.
Breath-taking. Shocking. Scary. Tense. Addictive. Rule-breaking. Unique. Genre-barrier-exploding.
For those who love gore, death, monsters, unconventional romances, hilarious yet annoying townsfolk, unbelievable twists, and turns, I'd heed you to get started on this amazing show. A Little tip, it's on Amazon Prime! Or you can purchase the DVDs or Blu-rays.
Whatever the case, get on it!
Have the past few horror movies you've seen not been that great? Are you in a bad horror movie slump? Wanna snap out of it? Then this list is the perfect way to do so. I guarantee that these movies will chill, frighten, and horrify you! From breathless tension, jump-out-of-your-seat moments, and scarring scenes of terror, this list has it all.
1) The Conjuring.
With Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, this movie revolves around strange goings on in an old house. While many horror movies have that same premise, this one stands out from the rest. Genuinely scary!
A young boy has a rather strange ability of dream-travelling. Sounds cool, it isn't. Not when he leaves his body vulnerable to possessions from various demons. Also, starring Patrick Wilson, alongside Rose Byrne, this is sheer terror in a film. Jumpy. Tense. Frightening.
An author prepares for his next novel, predicting another bestseller. His research takes him into darker places than he ever imagined, including tapes of family deaths in the attic of his new house. A house where many a murder took place. Truly unnerving and constantly unsettling.
4) Evil Things.
A group of young people head out to a cabin to celebrate a birthday. They expected laughs, alcohol, frolicking and good times. They didn't foresee being stalked by something beyond their comprehension. Low budget but terrific! This film challenges horror movies with Hollywood budgets as it achieves genuine thrills and chills.
5) Insidious 2.
I know, I know. Sequels don't seem to be popular with horror fans, personally I love them, if they are done for the right reasons and add to the story. This one does. The family are now suffering the consequences of the dream-travelling child and what they went through to get him back. Now the horror is a little closer to home. Again, sensationally sinister, but the part that will haunt your dreams about this movie, is the villain: mind-numbingly horrifying.
6) Lights Out.
Stemming from a short film, comes a feature length movie of perfect horror. Sticks to all the rules, yet doesn't get boring or predictable for one second. A young girl helps her brother battle a supernatural being that's been plaguing him. Many jumps. Many scares. All woven through an intriguing story.
7) 30 Days of Night.
Vampires have never scared me, until this movie. Darkness consumes an Alaskan town for a month, leaving it vulnerable to attacks from unnatural beings. The fear factor of this movie is the vampires. Disturbing fiends. Foreign language. Blood-thirsty. Smart. Strong. They are the beasts that monsters have nightmares about. Melissa George and Josh Hartnett star.
8) Paranormal Activity.
A home invasion by a ghost. Sounds overdone, right? Wrong! This movie actually offers goosebump-moments in abundance. Tip, if you are one of those annoying movie watchers that can't pry their phone or tablets from their hands, even during a movie, maybe forgo this one, or leave technology at the door. This is only terrifying if you pay attention. The horror is in the subtly and realism.
9) Don't Breathe.
While scariness is slight, there is a wealth of tension practically throughout the whole movie. Never have I watched such an excellently tense movie. A threesome of youngsters break into a house, hearing the owner is blind and therefore weak and disadvantaged to a burglary, should he wake up. They didn't take into account that this man isn't your typical blind person. Tense. Tense. Tense. You have to watch this!
10) The Visit.
Do some old people creep you out? They will after this movie. Two kids reconnect with their grandparents only to discover these aren't your ordinary Gramps and Grams. Something is seriously wrong with these senior citizens. Steady pace stitched with bizarreness and creepiness, that leads to a superb yet horrifying ending.
What originally started as a short film - a rather chilling, impressive one - has now become a full-length movie. I had high hopes for this feature as I really enjoyed the short. And the movie didn't disappoint.
In short, Rebecca must uncover the horror behind her younger brother's terrifying encounters with an unnerving and creepy being. This forces Rebecca to relive some disturbing and upsetting childhood memories of her own.
With a complex family situation, we delve into the mystery of a creature that can only attack in the dark. Shine a flashlight on them, or turn on a light, and they disappear. But the second that source of light goes out, it will get you!
Teresa Palmer (Rebecca) takes the lead with some terrific acting, portraying a truly sympathetic and empathetic older sister torn between protecting her younger brother and saving her mother. Despite her obvious beauty, this girl can act. Too often, movies only care about the appearance of their performers. If they look the part, that's all that matters, disregarding the importance convincing performances have on the story. Palmer shattered this genre convention by giving us a sensational portrayal of Rebecca that didn't relent for a second. Her commitment to the role was obvious. She guided us through the story with frightening grace.
Gabriel Bateman (Martin) didn't do bad either, hacking through the plot with a vulnerability that made us nervous and emotionally attached to the young boy. Putting a child against such scariness, I feel, makes the horror all the more unsettling. He's a boy, what can he do? How can he defend himself? Then you can't help but be compassionate towards him, given his difficult home life.
And of course, we can't leave out the mother, Sophie (Maria Bello) who a few will recognize from 'Demonic' and 'Coyote Ugly'. Her acting chops are superb, exposing us to a shaken, anxious woman struggling to cope with her life. Yet despite her inner and outer demons, her maternal instincts are admirable and give the story teeth. There was nothing but realism in her interpretation of a suffering mother, subtle yet explosive.
As for the director and writer, David F. Sandberg, known for some brilliantly spooky short films, this movie was his feature debut. I strongly believe - and hope - we'll be seeing a lot more from him soon.
David respected the genre, and the audience, by avoiding monotonous and irritating genres cliches. He made this monster, along with the rules of horror, and exploited that in unique and compelling ways.
Everything, from the cinematography, soundtrack, effects, costume, script, and pace, all hit the mark. Overall, 'Lights Out' is a cleverly crafted, passionately produced, perfectly rendered horror movie that ticks all the boxes. I highly recommend you watch it. It's currently available to rent from Redbox from $1.50!
Bestselling horror author, marketer, blogger, reviewer, business owner, freelance writer.