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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Frightful flicks that you might not have heard of

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Dong Woo Im
A student watches a horror movie in the Campus Center. Photo by Dong Woo Im / Mass Media Staff.

While there’s nothing wrong with the classics, true horror fans have likely had enough of the same old recommendations. Halloween should be about the strange and unusual, not the familiar—here’s a list of films that really creep their way into the uncanny valley.

For fans of action, “Train to Busan” is a 2016 Korean thriller that brings despair to the heart just as much as fear. It is an emotional ride, following multiple plot threads that all end up coming together in the end. In the movie, a strange, zombie-like disease suddenly breaks out in Seoul, and an infected person makes their way onto a high-speed train moving to Busan. The disease spreads quickly throughout the enclosed space, and those affected don’t seem to be acting like themselves anymore.

A man on the train is trying to fulfill his young daughter’s birthday wish. A high school baseball player and his girlfriend are on the way home from a game. A couple is expecting a new baby very soon. A businessman seems to care about his health a lot more than the health of others on the train. Two elderly sisters will do anything to stay together. Throughout the film, these very real characters are thrown into situations that are both tragic and terrifying. No matter what you expect, “Train to Busan” will flip those expectations upside down and leave you with your mouth wide open. It’s a rare horror film that will bring you to tears by the end.

If the party is looking for something quieter, turn to “Hush.” This film follows a deaf-mute writer named Maddie who has gathered wide success for her last novel. Overwhelmed by the attention, she moves out to an isolated cabin in the woods with her catdon’t worry, the cat survives to the end. Of course, being a woman living alone in the middle of nowhere, the worst possible scenario happens: She is stalked by a killer who knows her weaknesses and has a major advantage over her.

Maddie is a likable character with a good amount of spunk, and her disabilities don’t leave her powerless. It’s a very interesting and suspenseful film that leaves watchers on the edge of their seats, and it’s best watched in the dark—but perhaps not alone. If you are alone, watch your back between bites of popcorn.

If you want a more campy film that will bring you laughs, “Re-Animator” is the perfect film for that. Although loosely based on an H.P. Lovecraft novella of the same name, this 1985 movie takes a much more humorous approach. Herbert West is a mad scientist whose life goal is to achieve the ultimate scientific victory: bringing dead bodies back to life. Unfortunately for him, his experiments aren’t going very well. His creations are all mangled and violent, and they attack him on sight. Upon being discovered by fellow medical student Dan Cain, the two of them work together to try and find the cure for death.

“Re-Animator” is not a film to be taken seriously. It’s full of campy gore from start to finish, bad acting and some questionable acts from a perverted main villain. There’s telepathy, a man getting his head chopped off, yet somehow finding a way to speak, and zombies. When Herbert raises that syringe of neon green reagent, you know things are about to turn chaotic. The film is a cult movie, and it’s not for everyone; some uncomfortable scenes near the end may not make it worth a watch for those sensitive to sexual assault. These scenes are not plot-important, however, and can be skipped.

No matter what’s on the TV screen, make this Halloween a good one!

About the Contributor
Dong Woo Im, Photographer