A recent study by the University of New Westminster in the UK found that watching 90 minutes of a horror movie can burn off up to 113 calories. So what better way to shave off calories caused by candy than watching a scary movie this Halloween night? Here are five modern horror flicks for your viewing pleasure.
The Tall Man (2012)
This recent horror film cost a reported $18 million but was released directly to on-demand (where I caught it over the weekend). It’s not as terrible as its lack of box-office returns would suggest. Jessica Biel stars and produces this creepy tale of child abduction that has more twists than a towel in a high-school locker room. Nothing is what it appears to be, including the motivation of the film’s characters.
Another entry with an unpredictable resolution, Shuttle is about more than a simple robbery. Two college girls returning from vacay take the wrong bus home from the airport and discover being beautiful can be horrific.
Arguably the smartest and most original zombie film in years, Pontypool takes place entirely within a radio station in small-town Ontario. The virus that turns people into babbling, bloodthirsty fools in this Bruce McDonald film isn’t a conventional virus at all but an earworm — or certain words. “There are three stages to this virus,” McDonald explains. “The first stage is you might begin to repeat a word . . . The second stage is your language becomes scrambled . . . The third stage is that you become so distraught at your condition that the only way out of the situation you feel, as an infected person, is to try to chew your way through the mouth of another person.” Fans are biting their tongues waiting for the two planned sequels.
This sharp horror indie finds a small group of people trapped in a deserted gas station fending off an alien porcupine. Sound ridic? Yes, it partially is, but I was pleasantly surprised by the originality of Splinter and horrified by the monster who takes over its victims’ bodies.
The Descent (2005)
The Descent is the best horror movie of the last decade, period. The film has received loads of praise from critics, so I’m surprised more people haven’t seen this gem from Brit director Neil Marshall. Marshall came up with the idea of having an all-female cast after completing his testosterone-soaked 2002 werewolf flick Dog Soldiers. I recall essentially forcing a few of my friends to watch The Descent a few years back. “When are the monsters showing up?” was a frequent remark. The Descent is a monster movie that’s not about monsters. It’s about friendship and betrayal. Marshall has crafted a horror movie where you actually care about the characters, which is a unique feat in the genre. I know which movie I’ll be revisiting tonight to burn off my sugar-induced calories.