All posts tagged: best thrillers

New Thriller/Horror Movie Suggestions for Halloween

It’s October, and that means it’s a great time to watch a thriller or scary movie. Every year, I try to compile a list of the best films I’ve seen from this genre. This year, I grouped the most recent films I’ve viewed into 10 categories. Check out my recommendations, and if you watch one or have seen one of the films I’ve listed, let me know what you thought about it. You can Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

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Scary movie suggestions for Halloween and beyond for thriller, horror fans

By LaReeca Rucker Halloween is over, but if you’re a fan of the thriller genre like I am, any day of the year is a good day for a cinematic thrill or scare. Each year, I usually compile a list of the best thrillers I’ve seen over the previous year. Here’s a list of some of the movies I’ve watched over the last couple of years that you might enjoy. The Hidden Face (2011) – One of the best thrillers I’ve seen in years, this Spanish film employs Edgar Allan Poe’s frightening device of live confinement. It’s also a cautionary tale about jealousy. In this film, an orchestra conductor deals with the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend, but has she really disappeared? I’m Not Scared (2003) – This film is my top pick. Forget the fact that it fits into the thriller/horror genre. This is one of the best movies of the decade. I’d even define it as a masterpiece that explores morality and human nature. In this Spanish film, a young boy accidentally discovers …

‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ and the Creepy Kid genre

If I was going to write an analytical word association question LSAT-style, it might go something like this: LADY GAGA is to MARILYN MANSON as TILDA SWINTON is to _______________. And the choices would be George Clooney, Brad Pitt or Willem Dafoe. Go ahead. I’ll let you try it. If you selected WILLEM DAFOE as the answer, then – ding, ding, ding – you are right. Perhaps there are better choices than the three listed, but both Dafoe and Swinton are brilliantly strange actors who have taken on some unique, provocative and brave roles throughout their careers, and one of the most interesting I have seen lately is Swinton’s part as a mom in the film “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Thanks to “The Bad Seed” and later, “The Exorcist,” there’s a group of films now that fall under “The Creepy Kid” genre, and “Kevin” is one of them. Swinton plays the mother of a boy who seems to have a terrible disposition from birth. From an early age, he behaves badly just to …

Thriller Night?

As a lifelong fan of the thriller/horror genre, I am always on the lookout for new films that offer surprises. If you are too, here are a few I’ve seen over the past year or so that you might find interesting. Otis (2008) – Let me preface this description by saying this is a dark comedy. After a teenage cheerleader is captured and tortured by a psychopath named Otis, she escapes and tells her parents about the ordeal, and they vengefully decide to take matters into their own hands. Illeana Douglas was a perfect choice for the mom, and many will remember star Ashley Johnson, now grown, as the kid (Chrissy) inserted into Growing Pains to boost ratings during the show’s final years. I wonder if she’s still friends with Leonardo DiCaprio, also formerly of Growing Pains. Right at Your Door (2007) – This apocalyptic, indie tale is about chaos that ensues after a dirty bomb goes off in Los Angeles spreading toxins. Closure (2007) – X-Files fans may see Gillian Anderson in a new …

Funny games, creepy kids, lost rooms and Chinatown

It’s been a while since I reviewed some of the Netflix movies I’ve watched, so I thought I’d talk about a few memorable films I’ve seen in the past couple of years. (This is just a rental rundown and not the ones I’ve instantly viewed. I plan to revisit those later.) Funny Games – After reading a review about this 2007 German remake a few years ago, I decided to check it out. “Funny Games” is a must-see psychological thriller, thoroughly tense and unsettling. While vacationing, Anna (Naomi Watts) and George (Tim Roth) are visited by two young men whose genteel, “Eddie Haskell” demeanor soon fades, revealing the depth of their insanity. Actors Michael Pitt, of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” who is frequently cast as “the intellectual psycho,” (i.e. 2002’s “Murder By Numbers”) and Brady Corbet hold the family hostage, playing tormenting mind games. Joshua – This 2007 “creepy kid” thriller is about an 8-year-old genius named Joshua (Jacob Kogan) who begins misbehaving after the birth of his baby sister. When his parents (Sam Rockwell and …

Movie review: Eden Lake

If you’re a horror/thriller movie fan like myself who is always looking for a good heart-pumping, jaw-dropping scare, you may want to check out Eden Lake. This week, I Yahooed “best horror films of 2008 and 2009” and saw it repeatedly mentioned by reviewers. Some gushed, calling it “one of the best of the decade.” Luckily, someone had put it on YouTube, so I viewed it there. Written and directed by James Watkins, this 2008 British film is about Jenny (Kelly Reilly), a soft spoken nursery school teacher who goes on a weekend getaway to Eden Lake with her boyfriend, Steve, (Michael Fassbender), a cute guy who seems a tad impulsive. While there, they encounter a group of young trouble-making morons who interrupt the couple’s peaceful outing by playing loud music on a boombox. (I guess a boombox was necessary because the scene wouldn’t have worked if everyone had been quietly plugged into their individual iPods, but boomboxes are ancient artifacts from the 1900s that can only be found in museums these days!) Refusing to …

The Masters of Horror

I’ve been watching Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes, series that originally aired on TNT last summer featuring one-hour adaptations of King’s short stories. Like many of the movies based on King’s writing, the series seems to lack the extra edge needed to be truly frightening and impactful. So far, “The End of the Whole Mess,” a vignette about a man whose genius brother devises a scientific plan to cure the world of war and watches it backfire – ironically catalyzing the apocalypse, was one of the better episodes. “Autopsy Room Four,” which is similar to an “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” episode I saw in the 1980s, was also worth watching, particularly if you’re interested in seeing Richard Thomas, a.k.a. John Boy of “The “Waltons,” in a completely different light. I’m not really frightened by horror movies that revolve around the concept of animism, so I didn’t really think “The Road Virus Heads North” was very interesting. It’s about a writer named Richard Kinnell (Tom Berenger), who purchases a painting that once belonged to a young man …

Film Review: ‘Rest Stop’ – Are road trip films more popular in wartime?

Anyone who has ever been on a road trip and had to pull into a gas station or rest stop knows how disgustingly horrifying they can sometimes be. And if experiencing the neglected filth and stench of a dirty sink or toilet isn’t terrifying enough, now there’s a horror movie based entirely on the idea. When two rebellious young people run away from home and head to Los Angeles, they make the mistake of pulling into a rest stop that has been a serial killer’s trap for decades. For a B-grade horror film with only one well-known actor playing a minor part, the movie, reminiscent of “Hostel,” is pretty effective. Jaimie Alexander, the lead actress, convincingly plays Nicole, a runaway exerting her independence until she becomes trapped by a maniacal murderer and must fight to stay alive. And Joey Lawrence, of “Blossom,” “Gimme a Break” and “Dancing with the Stars” fame, has a small role as a dumb police officer who ultimately meets his doom. The scenes in which the people are actually using the …

‘Classic’ horror list gets longer

A car is generally deemed a “classic” when at least 25 years or one human generation has passed since its production. The same rule likely applies to “classic” films. As a lifelong horror movie fan, there aren’t many films of the genre I haven’t seen. Some from the 1960s and ’70s have achieved classic status, like “Psycho” (1960), “The Birds” (1963), “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968), “The Exorcist” (1973), “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974), “The Omen” (1976), “Halloween” (1978), “Dawn of the Dead” (1978) and “The Amityville Horror” (1979). Following the same guidelines established for cars, “The Shining” (1980) can now technically be considered a classic. It’s been 26 years since its release. And perhaps it won’t be long until we honor the following horror films with that adjective. The word classic may soon apply to “The Poltergeist” (1982), “Friday the 13th” (1982), “Cujo” (1983), “Children of the Corn” (1984) and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984). “Silence of the Lambs” (1991) and “Scream” (1996) must wait a little longer. Here are a few horror/thriller movies that …