I’m running through my favorite horror films of the past decade or so, in honor of October and Halloween. These next two movies both deal with childhood, albeit in very different ways.
In 2009 writer/director Ti West came out with “The House of the Devil.” Samantha, a college student, takes an unusual babysitting gig because she needs rental money. It just so happens that this job coincides with a lunar eclipse. As the evening goes on, Samantha realizes that perhaps she’s made a mistake. Set in the ’80’s, this film starts out slow and creepy, then explodes in a bizarre finish involving a satanic ritual.
A horror movie that managed to do very well at the box office in 2002, “The Ring” was directed by Gore Verbinski. This is a rare instance where I prefer the remake over the Japanese original. The story of a cursed VHS tape involves the journalist Rachel, who races to discover the truth about the tape before her own son potentially falls victim to the curse. One of the strengths of this movie is how effectively the filmmakers created subtly disturbing imagery on the tape itself. Then, of course, there’s the matter of the girl climbing out of the TV screen. Can evil always be defeated, or do we need to compromise sometimes in order to survive?
Next up – some levity is injected…