Katie Recommends, Reviews

Katie Recommends: Films for the Long Cold Nights

The Babadook

Synopsis: young widowed mum and her son are haunted by The Babadook.

Why this film is worth watching: It’s a character-driven story that keeps you constantly guessing and questioning the version of reality you are witnessing. This story doesn’t shy away from the real-life tragedy elements and really hits hard where it counts. It plays on our instinctive fears of monsters as well as social tensions around single mothers and mental health and behavioural issues in both adults and children. 

It follows

Synopsis: Teenage girl is stalked by a supernatural STD.

Why this film is worth watching: My little dig in the synopsis aside, this film is wonderfully shot, and it’s creepy as hell with just enough mystery to keep you interested but not completely lost. It once again plays on the instinctual fear of an unknown monster while examining the social stigma around casual hookups, particularly on women. Unsettling to the last minute this is definitely worth your time.

Invasion of the body snatchers

Synopsis: Everyone you know and love is gone. In their place are physically identical replicas.

Why this film is worth watching: This film was years ahead of its time. It’s well-acted, well written and blends sci-fi and horror together seamlessly. It’s got just the right amount of creepy to keep you tense and just the right amount of political commentary to leave you thinking long after the film is over. It plays on our fears f the unknown and isolation perfectly, highlighting just how easy it is to be alone in a room full of people. 

Rec

Synopsis: a Spanish language film where reporters following firefighters end up trapped in a building alongside something else.

Why this film is worth watching: I’m not normally a huge fan of found footage type films, but this one is wonderfully done. It’s well-acted, with great character’s, and the camera doesn’t make you feel sick. This film builds and sustains tension wonderfully, the filmography is great considering the genre and the story contains both thrills and mystery and comes at you in well-crafted snippets. A great watch.

The Others

Synopsis: Mum and her kids are living in a haunted house. 

Why this film is worth a watch: This is a ghost story crossed with a psychological horror that will keep you creeped out, tense and wondering what’s happening right up until the end. It gives a marvellous new spin to the previously tired ghost story genre. I’ve heard this film described as a mature take on the ghost story and that’s a perfect description in my opinion. A quiet film that builds tension slowly, it’s a perfect way to spend a creepy evening.

Devils Backbone

Synopsis: An orphanage is haunted.

Why this film is worth a watch: I shouldn’t really have to say anything beyond this is directed by Guillermo Del Toro. This man is a master at everything he touches, from comic book films to horrific fantasy epics to chilling social horrors. This chilling ghost story is wonderfully written, perfectly shot, wonderfully acted (and for children actors I’m not kidding, it’s great) and with a story that is character-driven and tugs at the heartstrings just as much as it sends chills down your spine. It is one of the few perfect films out there. 

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