28 Days Later
A true classic of modern horror, 28 Days Later can be blamed for the “Fast Zombie” craze that followed it, despite the infected in this film being very much alive. Taking a page from the “Science gone amok” theme of the 1950’s, 28 Days Later paints a horrifying picture of what might happen to England if a super virus that turns its victims into rage filled maniacs sweeps the nation. And like most good “Zombie” films (even though as I’ve said already, this isn’t a zombie movie) the monsters aren’t necessarily the rage infected citizens of England but the survivors themselves.
More of an “Art House” style horror film than most of the films that are on this list, Lucky Mckee’s May is a slow burning exploration of alienation, depression and ultimately madness. The best way to see this film is to just watch it without bothering to read up on it or watch the trailer because it will ruin the magic of watching the film unfold.
An independent film that may have slipped under the radars of most fans (no thanks to the horrible DVD box art and silly title) Vampire Clan is based on a true story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Ferrell) the film is a low-budget drama with a horror slant, and because it’s not just another generic vampire film that I’ve included it on this list. Sure, the acting isn’t the greatest, and yes it’s not really a “Horror” film, but it’s based on a real crime, and what is the horror genre about more than crimes? Don’t go into this expecting “Real” vampires and you won’t be disappointed.
First off, the 1976 Carrie is an undisputed classic of the genre, and for that reason alone I can understand that some may have skipped out on this TV movie remake, although it plays out more like a pilot for a series that was never picked up. Angela Bettis (from May) plays Carrie White and is closer in tone to the Carrie of the novel than Sissy Spacek. This is far from a perfect adaptation, as I’ve already said it ends with a cliff-hanger intended to lead into a television series that never happened, but as a small screen re-make of a classic it plays out fairly well, and its miles ahead of The Rage: Carrie 2 in terms of story and acting.
Brain Damage films produces some terrible direct to DVD films, but Hollywood Vampyr is one of the few films from this company that I’ve seen that can be classified as pretty good movie. Yes, the acting is hit or miss, the cinematography is a joke, and the thing looks like a low-budget mess, but the writing shines through and after watching this film the first time I was left with a feeling that if this film had been handled by company with a bit more money, it could have been a better film. It’s still worth checking out, and unlike some of the other Brain Damage films out there, this one won’t make you want to gouge your eyes out halfway through.
I’ll avoid the obvious complaint that most fans of the Resident Evil games series had with this film (that it was almost nothing like the game’s story) and focus on the what Resident Evil was, a fun sci-fi/horror hybrid. The story is a tad shaky at times, and some of the special effects don’t quite hold up, but Marilyn Manson’s orchestral-industrial score is one of the best ever recorded for a film, and adds a heavy dose of dread to the film.