Tag Archives: Mike Flanagan

BEST HORROR FILMS OF RECENT TIMES (20+1LIST)

Best Horror Films of recent times

written by Souranath Banerjee

The list of the Best Horror films of recent times is a collection of some of the most creepiest and horrific films that are released in the past few years.

horror-filmsThere is a theory that a bit of evil exits in every one of us, even in our shadows and specially in the absence of it. And thus, be afraid of the dark, be afraid of the dazzling light; be afraid of the spirits and demons, and the devil who takes the human plight!

And may be, these Horror films will make you believe in the ‘evil’ and finally accept its existence; and even surrender to it.

At least for now, surrender to these brilliant Horror films – embrace the terror and enjoy the list!

20. It Follows (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymoh5SIqgtw

horror-filmsThe after effects of a sexual encounter can sometimes go very wrong, but this particular film takes the after-sex complications to a different level altogether!

A young girl tries to escape from the clutches of some supernatural power since she is being constantly followed by it. Directed by David Robert Mitchell, the film has numerous panic moments and a perfect sense of overall suspense and tension.

19. Grave Encounters (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8FBRATbJoA

horror-filmsA ghost-hunting reality television show goes to shoot an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital and voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night. And it was a mistake!

Directed by Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz as the The Vicious Brothers, the film has a pretty decent plot and it does manage to scare at regular intervals.

18. Before I Wake (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho2Z0LtXsbY

horror-filmsIf dreams could become reality the world would have been such a beautiful place. But then, what happens when you have the nightmares?

(Click for review)

Directed by Mike Flanagan, it is based on a young orphan boy whose nightmares often tend to come alive. And his new foster parents need to stop these deadly dreams from being real!

Another recent film by the same director is Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) that is also worth your consideration.

17. The Enfield Haunting (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jKtZD34Fo4

horror-filmsIt’s a brilliant Mini-Series starring Timothy Spall and directed by Kristoffer Nyholm, based on the true events that happened in 1970s Britain – the The Enfield Poltergeist incident. 

A noisy mischievous ghost takes hold of the body of a young girl, the youngest daughter of the family being haunted and starts communicating through her. Terrifying and very much believable – a must watch! 

16. The Babadook (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5WQZzDRVtw

horror-filmsA child obsessed with some monster and is prepared to tackle it. His mother of course doesn’t believe him but soon the kid is proved to be right!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Jennifer Kent, a rare horror flick that doesn’t have to depend on cheap jump-scares or gore. It has a great story to tell and it tells it in real style.

15. The Woman in Black (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4D-87X3vVc

horror-filmsA young solicitor travels to a remote village for work and finds himself in the midst of a situation where a revengeful female-ghost dressed in black is terrifying the locals and killing their children. Now his life is also in danger but can he do anything about it?

Daniel Radcliffe stars in this moody atmospheric horror flick directed by James Watkins, a creepy film that maintains the tension throughout.

14. Sinister (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kbQAJR9YWQ

horror-filmsA crime-writer for his research moves himself and his family into a house where a horrific crime took place many years ago. He soon finds some snuff films on the heinous crimes but then things go wrong in ways he had never expected! 

The Ethan Hawke starrer horror flick, directed by Scott Derrickson is a cool horror thriller with great sound designing well complemented with some very unexpected suspense moments.

Another installment of the same franchise is Sinister 2 (2015).

13. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsIilFNNmkY

horror-filmsFive teenagers on a weekend holiday trip goes into the forest to stay in an isolated cabin and then something terrible happens! The film initially gives an impression  of a stereotypical horror/slasher formula flick but then again the movie has its own twists and turns that makes it special.

Directed by Drew Goddard, an intelligent film that keeps you hooked very much till the end.

12. A Cure for Wellness (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF1rLFCdewU

horror-filmsAt a remote location in the Swiss Alps there is a mysterious “wellness centre” which seems to hide many terrifying secrets. And one man is desperate to know all about this mystical spa.

Directed by Gore Verbinski, this is a cool horror thriller shot beautifully, the story though a bit stretched and predictable but then also it has its own visual charm. Trippy and hypnotic and definitely worth a watch.

11. It (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7no56Zw1e20

horror-filmsIn the neighbourhood too many kids are getting disappeared leaving only some bloody trails behind!

It’s time for the young guys to gang up and fight the scary evil clown who seems to be hunting down the children!

Directed by Andy Muschietti, this movie is based on the classic novel by none other than the master writer Stephen King!

Another recent film by the same director is  Mama (2013) that is again very much worth your time.

10. Lights Out (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LiKKFZyhRU

horror-filmsSomething supernatural that exists in the darkness, haunts and hunts only when the light is out!

Directed by David F. Sandberg, this is the story of a kid terrified by some presence that soon needs to be investigated.

A creepy movie with lots of jump scare moments and cool editing along with the flickering of light and darkness. A decent one time watch.

Another recent film by the same director is Annabelle: Creation (2017) that is very much worth your time.

9. The Conjuring (2013)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k10ETZ41q5o

horror-filmsA family shifts to a farm house at Rhode Island and they soon gets haunted by terrifying evil forces. And they have to seek help from the professionals!

Based on the true story from the accounts of Paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren.  Directed by acclaimed horror-director James Wan, tensed and creepy, some real scary moments, brilliant editing and a great haunting musical score.

The Conjuring 2 (2016) also by the same director is a decent watch too.

8. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYKANIDQlwU

horror-filmsA father-son coroner duo, trying their best to diagnose the unidentified body of a young woman and while doing so they accidentally unveil the mystery surrounding her death. But at what cost?

Directed by André Øvredal, this film has the rare ability to scare you not only by it’s intense visuals but also through the intelligently used sound play. A superb first half but the ending demands a little more. 

7. A Dark Song (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OccAJCbZ-7I

horror-filmsAn occultist visits a woman as they team up to perform a highly dangerous and strictly guided ritual that will eventually grant their inner wishes. But then somebody is not telling the truth and finally both their lives are in danger.

Directed by Liam Gavin, with just two characters confined in a single space, this film works pretty good and manages to fuel the drama and engage us till the end.

6. Annabelle (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paFgQNPGlsg

horror-filmsAnnabelle being the ugliest collector’s item is gifted by a caring husband to his loving pregnant wife but soon enough Annabelle gets cursed by some blood thirsty Satan lovers and all hell breaks loose!

(Click for Review)

Directed by John R. Leonetti, this film is again a prequel of the popular Conjuring series –The Conjuring and the latest The Conjuring 2.

5. Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HxEXnVSr1w

horror-filmsThis it where it all begins, the very root of the Lambert family’s trouble, the reason why they were repeatedly being haunted and tormented by all these evil spirits through Insidious film-parts!

(Check for Review)

Directed by Leigh Whannell, the film focuses on the gifted Elise Rainier who tries her best to relieve a young girl from the clutches of the demons. 

A prequel to the first two installments of the Insidious franchise are Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) and Insidious (2010) and they are both worth your time and scare!

4. Crimson Peak (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLWsNDZqXpo

horror-filmsDirected by Guillermo del Toro, a film that is a perfect blend of fear and deception, hatred and revenge, and of course horror.

(Check for Review)

An ancient house that has memories to share. And when the newly married bride comes onboard, she becomes the chosen one who opens the gates of the dark past – those gloomy tales that reveal many unpleasant secrets!

Two other horror films by the same director are The Devil’s Backbone (2001) and Cronos (1993) that are very much worth your time! 

3. Under the Shadow (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHVFP80Upxw

horror-filmsSet in the backdrop of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, a mother and her young daughter living in Tehran struggles their best to cope with the catastrophes of war; but then, some mysterious evil presence seems to be haunted them by in their apartment!

Directed by Babak Anvari, this Persian film is a potent mix of metaphors and real spooky moments, undoubtedly the most intense horror film of recent time!

2. The Witch (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjBN0ByAqDk

horror-filmsperiod horror drama from 1630s, a family in New England becomes the victim of witchcraft, dark forces, black magic and evil possessions.

(Click for review)

A chilling string of events including a missing newborn and the crops- failure eventually leads to fear, paranoia and brutal injustice. Director Robert Eggers‘s version on infamous “Salem Witch Trials” of Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1. The Wailing (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43uAputjI4k

horror-filmsIn a remote village a series of horrific unnatural deaths perplex both the villagers and the police. And then it soon becomes evident that this mystery demands a paranormal investigation!

(Click for review)

Directed by Hong-jin Na, this South Korean horror movie is a gritty and dark tale, violent and savage, and very entertaining!  

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. Personal Shopper (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSqMpkGOW9g

horror-filmsA girl, personal shopper by profession, seems to have been able to make contact with her twin brother who died years back.

Kristen Stewart gives a memorable performance in this moody, eerie horror thriller; though not a very satisfying ending for me but still surely worth checking out.

Directed by Olivier Assayas, who won the Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for this film!

Similar Interest: Horror Anthology films

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Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comen.wikipedia.orgwww.imdb.com.

BEST THRILLERS OF 2016 (10+1 LIST)

Best Thrillers of 2016

written by Sriram Sundar

The greatest fascination and thrill for any person is the study of human psychology and behaviour. Such mind-games for survival creates an extraordinary atmosphere of mystery and intrigue! There is no greater thrill than pitting one’s mind with a worthy opponent and staying a step ahead in the psychological war-fare.

Very often, thrillers have complex story lines and can be challenging to follow, so as a viewer you are always guessing what is going to happen next.

So let us begin the list of the Best Thrillers of 2016 where you can experience danger without actually being in danger.

10. The Eyes of My Mother

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp2adx_ScA8

This one is not for the easily queasy audience. It is a stark, dreadful vision – but one that is fascinatingly executed, with a compelling central performance from Kika Magalhaes as a matter-of-fact monster!

Directed by debutant Nicolas Pesce, this is about a young girl exposed to unimaginable tragedy. And then being shot in black and white makes it more intense to watch!

9. Hush

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_P8WCbhC6s

A deaf woman takes on a psychopathic killer in a hugely effective film that recalls the opening of ‘Scream’.

Directed by Mike Flanagan, this film is about a mystery writer Maddie (Kate Siegel) who is unaware of her friend Sarah is being massacred feet away from her — pounding on her back door for help, too desperate to realize her Maddie can’t hear her! And then it’s her turn, to run, to defend herself or to fight it out till the very end.

8. The Boy

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpIbO6HEwr8

Greta (Lauren Cohan) arrives for a nanny job to a storybook mansion deep in the English countryside, to find dark corridors, creaking floors, mysterious owners, and a porcelain doll who is being treated as a person alive!

Director William Brent Bell masters the slow build, making us wonder throughout the film who’s crazy and who’s not!

7. The Girl on the Train

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkoEE1i0CX8

Rachel (Emily Blunt), devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

A thriller about an alcoholic’s struggle to make sense of a close-to-home murder as well as her own mind. Directed by Tate Taylor, this film is based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel.

6. Nocturnal Animals

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H1Ii1LjyFU

When Susan (Amy Adams) receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) and as she continues to read she has flashbacks to how her own relationship!

(Click for review)

A violent thriller directed by Tom Ford, Michael Shannon being Oscar nominated for his performance in the Best Actor Supporting Role category. 

5. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saHzng8fxLs

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

(Click for review)

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, this film does a spectacular job of capturing nightmare logic. You sense danger even if you can’t explain it.

4. Don’t Breathe

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76yBTNDB6vU

What can $300,000 make you do? Three teenage thieves – Rocky (Jane Levy), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Alex (Dylan Minnette) – desperate to make enough money and leave for a better life in California, break into the house of a blind Army veteran Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang).

(Click for review)

Directed by Fede Alvarez, this isn’t just any old home invasion thriller but it understands the limitations of the genre and works wonders within them!

3. Hounds of Love

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tddlYXhgFoo

Ben Young‘s first feature is an unflinching immersion into the nightmare of a teenage girl Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings), abducted and tortured by a serial-killer couple. But it doesn’t end there!

The strange dynamics between the couple Evelyn (Emma Booth) and John (Stephen Curry) as seen from the eyes of their captive is the essence of the film. A raw tensed thriller indeed!

2. Hell or High Water

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQoqsKoJVDw

Toby (Chris Pine) and ex-con loose cannon Tanner (Ben Foster) stage a series of heists against various branches of the bank, all the while pursued by Jeff Bridges, on deliciously crusty form as a Texas ranger nearing the end of his career.

Directed by David Mackenzie, this film is highly recommended not only for those who like bank robberies and persecutions, but also those who enjoy a good, well narrated film with a clever script and good direction.

1. Elle

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-iBBgcp7PY

Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) when attacked in her home by an unknown assailant vows to track the man down, but soon they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game – a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control and destroy them.

(Click for review)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, this film is one hell of a erotic thriller!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. The Neon Demon

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cipOTUO0CmU

 Sixteen-year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning) arrives in Los Angeles with dreams of being a model. She struggles to assert herself, making it a necessity for Dean, and concerned make-up artist Ruby (Jena Malone) to become more than just foils.

(Click for review)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the women in this movie are all impossibly beautiful and incredibly shallow at the same time. Stellar performances, amazing visuals and a unique storyline will cement this as a cult classic.

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers

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Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Before I Wake (2016)

Before I Wake review

written by Souranath Banerjee

With better performances and a proper ending the film could have achieved real greatness in this particular genre.   

My ratings: 3.7/5

A regular horror flick surrounding a scary child and some clueless adults terrified by the unknown – well, close enough but not that stereotyped after all.

before-i-wake-poster2Before I Wake is a supernatural thriller where the basic concept revolves around a child’s dreams that become real, but unfortunately so does his nightmares!

Yes, an orphaned 8-year-old boy, Cody (Jacob Tremblay) who is recently taken in by a young couple Mark and Jessie (Thomas Jane and Kate Bosworth), but soon enough the loving foster-parents discover Cody’s special talent (unintentional though) to turn his dreams into actual physically-tangible reality.

As long as they are bright colored butterflies or cute dead kids back to life, nobody seemed to complain but when the dreams started to conjure up hollow-eyed demons who likes to swallow up people, its time to panic and look for a remedy to stop Cody’s nightmares.

before-i-wake-poster3The horror coefficient is high but the real USP of the film Before I Wake is the child actor Jacob Tremblay’s superb performance and of course the brilliant use of visual effects.

But then the acting abilities of the grown ups, specially Kate Bosworth playing the desperate, grief stricken, emotionally drenched mother towards the end of the film needed to look a bit more convincing.

And then, the ending itself for me really doesn’t live up to it’s expectations, open ended to the extent of undecided!

Nevertheless, director Mike Flanagan is surely honing his skills in the horror genre, Before I Wake being his third horror flick after Absentia in 2011 and Oculus in 2013 and is definitely his best work till date.  

If you like being scared you will be rewarded generously.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com