By MICHAEL EMERSON
The Cabin in the Woods
At first glance, this film may look like your average run of the mill gore fest filled with clichés and in the beginning, it is. A group of college kids visit a remote cabin out of range of any form of communication. The kids proceed to have a short-lived vacation in said cabin. That fun is quickly snuffed out when zombies attack them. But the film picks up in the second half as the audience realizes the film actually is a meta-parody of the horror genre. The third act hides what would be surprising to the most hardened horror fans. While not traditionally scary, the film is incredible and should be watched by anyone looking for some Halloween fun.
If you ever imagined Nightmare Before Christmas as an anime this would be the closest thing to it. Main character Staz is the vampire area boss of a parallel world filled with monsters and spirits. It has a modern shine but the main characters are all based off the iconic movie monsters including Dracula, Wolf Man and Jason Voorhees. Blood Lad is a funny show filled with plenty of laughs and interesting fights between the different characters.
Shaun of the Dead
One of the mighty Cornetto trilogy, this parody of Dawn of the Dead produces more laughs than scares but never lets up the tension that comes with a zombie film. Great effects, good acting and an astute sense of self-awareness has this film stand as the bar for good tributes that all the “Movie” movies hope to muster. The comedy team of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost lead their way through a hilarious apocalypse that has as much heart as it does hell.
American Horror Story
This phenomenal television show puts the TV horror scene back on track as each season ups the stakes for the story being told. AHS keeps itself fresh by introducing an entirely different story each time but features the same actors, so watching the show will make you feel like you’re visiting a troupe of actors in their next project. The show is much more representative of a good mystery and the twists and turns that are featured will keep your jaw secured to the floor but the show is not for the faint of heart. It holds no punches in the different departments found in a horror anthology and should be respected for it.
Chucky eat your heart out, or let the monsters featured in the film do it for you. The vengeful spirit of a ventriloquist has returned to bring life to her companions once again except there will be more crying than laughing. It’s old news that dolls, especially ventriloquist dummies, are some of the scariest things on the planet but this movie puts subtlety in front of jump scares. A suspenseful watch to be sure and what can be described as an R-rated version of that old Goosebumps book Dead Silence will keep you awake if only to keep an eye on your doll collection.