Top ten horror films that you really haven’t seen (Part 2)

Last week, Jake ran through five of the best undiscovered gems the horror genre has to offer, this week he’s finishing that effort with five more underrated works of the genre that most audiences won’t have run up against before.

Life After Beth (2014)

For such a big cast, Life After Beth kind of slipped through the cracks of the box office and it’s nice to think that the indie gem had achieved this intentionally. John C. Reilly, Matthew Gray Gubler and Anna Kendrick are a little surprised when Aubrey Plaza returns from the afterlife to resume her relationship with former boyfriend Dane DeHaan. Think Pet Sematary meets Shaun of the Dead. It’s definitely one of the better attempts at blending horror and comedy.

Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

In his review on Jacob’s Ladder for The Seattle times, John Hartl wrote that “At a time when Hollywood movies are recycling themselves almost cannibalistically, when there appear to be no new plots or genres or styles to explore, who could have foreseen that Bruce Joel Rubin … would write the unpredictable script that so inspired (Adrian) Lyne … the director of such mechanical atrocities as “Flashdance” and “9 1/2 Weeks” (to) create one of the year’s most courageous and moving films.”

Jacob’s Ladder is another film that picks at your psyche. The impact of PTSD takes its toll on Vietnam vet (played by) Tim Robbins as he attempts to figure out what really happened during his last skirmish on the battlefield, and has a hard time determining reality from delirium.

Van Diemens Land (2009)

Van Diemens Land is simply a film that hasn’t been seen enough. The film follows eight convicts as they jaunt through the Van Deimen plains, the true story and deprivation of Alexander Pearce. The cinematography is at times disruptive, the melancholy Tasmanian hills and orchestral screeches often feel like needle beneath fingernail. But in a film on practiced cannibalism, there’s little room for gratitude, and the fight between man and nature is just as significant as man against himself.

Lake Mungo (2009)

Lake Mungo is the most convincing horror film on this list, or any list for that matter. It’s a film that operates on chills rather than jumps, and the progressive unraveling of the fate of sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer all summits to one of the most unsettling finishes in cinematic history. After Alice drowns at the eponymous lake on a school camping trip, her family focuses all their energy into attempting to fathom the life she’d lived, the one they’d never known existed, and Joel Anderson creates a sophisticated pastiche, placing audiences in the role of parents, searching for the answers to their tragedy.

The Boy (2015)

This isn’t the gimmicky film about the small doll that’s become possessed by a demon (or whatever really happens in the film of the same title), this is Craig William Macneill’s The Boy, and it’s different in all the right ways. The Boy starts at the turn of the 80’s, and proprietor of Mt. Vista Hostel hasn’t been fairing too well since his wife left him, but it’s his son Ted that he’s worried about. Played by a young Jared Breeze, The Boy is a sensitive introspection of a juvenile’s darker impulses and the bildungsroman for a growing sociopath. While the film isn’t what one would conventionally label a horror, it is a visual feast, and the plot is as dark as any genre film ever made.


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