A long time ago, on one of my older posts, I ranted about how I would never watch the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween, as I knew I would hate it. Which is in hindsight, a stupid thing to say. I don’t even have the excuse of it being the arrogance of youth as I was in my 30’s at the time. I was just being a twat really. I just assumed since Halloween could never be bettered, his version would be sacrilege so why bother? At that point I had never seen any Rob Zombie films. Fast forward to now and I have seen them all. More than once. My boyfriend is a massive fan and he introduced me to them. I now consider myself very much on side with regards to Rob Zombie. House of 1000 Corpses and Devils Rejects are lovingly crafted 1970’s exploitation film homages (It also turns out myself and Mr Zombie share a massive love of the Marx Brothers).
In 2012 Zombie released Lords of Salem, to, it has to be said, muted indifference. Many of his hardcore fans dismissed it as being too boring, weird and a massive side step from his previous efforts while casual and/or non fans thought it also too weird and and that Zombie wore his influences on his sleeve too much at the expense of the film. And then of course, seeing as this is the internet, there were the subsection of devotees who set up camp on various forums just to sneer “you just didn’t get it” at anyone with a passing remark that bordered on criticism or confusion. Lords of Salem is very different from House of 1000Corpses and Devils Rejects, and unlike those two films I feel it may require more than once watch to fully grasp the story, especially if folk were expecting another sleazy, gory jaunt in the style of the Firefly family. The problem is intriguing people enough on the first watch to make them want to revisit it.
‘If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of… The Babadook’.
Grief is one of the most powerful experiences a human can go through. It can manifest itself in a myriad of different ways. It could for example lead to you to resent and dislike your own child, to see the ghost of your dead husband and relive his death over and over again, to subconsciously invent a demonic figure that represents all your pent up feelings, to unknowingly draw a picture book in which you are depicted as murdering your dog and child, to possibly actually murder your dog and child. These are all possible interpretations of what happens in The Babadook, an Australian horror film released last year that was written and directed by Jennifer Kent. Or maybe The Bababook is a real supernatural entity and the whole thing is a more cerebral version of a million ‘family in peril’ haunted house films (a sub-genre that truly recently bottomed out with A Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia). Or maybe it’s both.
The number of explanations and analyses one can have over the events in The Babadook isn’t a criticism. Being spoon-fed every tiny detail and clue to mystery is boring, unentertaining and a little bit insulting. The Babadook is not boring, it entertained the hell of out me and it assumes its audience has an IQ higher than that of a turnip (Three counts which Ghosts of Georgia definitely failed at).
While slasher films may have their roots in the 1970s with such fare as Bay of Blood, Black Christmas, The Town That Dreaded Sundown and Halloween, the sub-genre was at its prolific height in the 1980s. If you ask most folk about slasher films from that era most of the responses will focus on the two titans of terror that are Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees and Nightmare On Elm Street’s Freddy Kruger. And possibly the terror of mediocrity that was some of the sequels to these original gems ( Personal Rant Sidebar Alert: while Halloween 3 – Season of the Witch as managed to become somewhat of a cult classic, despite the lack of Michael Myers, the same will never be said of Friday the 13th Part 5 – A New Beginning.). But what about other teenagers in peril films that the decade came up with? Don’t they deserve their time in the sun as well? Here are, in no particular order, 5 Semi Obscure Slasher films that I think are worth anyone’s time checking out… (Spoilers ahead, even though these films are all 30 plus years old internet etiquette doth demand it!)