It’s Horror Week on (The) Absolute! We’re reposting some of our spookiest, creepiest recommendations every day leading up to Halloween. Enjoy!
When I was younger and more of a coward, perhaps due to my naiveté or my credulity, I would sometimes mute the television when watching a horror film, right before the imminent jump-scare. Even at a young age, I was able to determine that music was a large, contributing factor in creating the tense atmosphere that brought terror. Nowadays, I would consider doing that a shame and a disservice to the awesome musicians who compose such spine-chilling themes, and thus, I now enjoy horror films on full volume.
There is, however, one film where I can’t do that–Hellraiser. Continue Reading →
|Recommended by Stefano Llinas||Monday, October 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
The Yellow Wallpaper has already taught us what severe isolation can do to our mental state. The Fifth Apartment simply takes a creepier, more visual approach to the topic of deteriorating madness. And weirdly enough, in its short 10 minute play time, it accomplishes that and more.
In The Fifth Apartment, a Ludum Dare challenge game, you play an agoraphobic old woman who lives in a depressing single room apartment. There’s very little the game allows you to do. You wake up, eat bread, watch TV for hours, and listen to the voices in your head as they get louder and louder. The old woman sees visions, flashes of ominous people or shadows, and is concerned about a moist spot on her floor that gets mustier and mustier.
As each day goes by, the woman’s mental state gets worse. The game does an excellent job of portraying this by making the apartment even darker and creepier looking as the days go by. I played this game at night and was genuinely spooked by its ominous atmosphere. This isn’t a game that cares about cheap scares or intense horror. Instead, The Fifth Apartment knows that sometimes the most frightening thing in life takes place inside our minds.
The game is free to play in your browser. Give it a try when you have some free time today — preferably at night.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, October 21st, 2015||No Comments »|
It’s hard to condense everything that makes up Liz Suburbia’s Sacred Heart into a short review. On the surface it’s a love letter to grungy garage punk-rock and the frenetic energy of small town youth. It’s also about faith, alienation, longing, fear, family, fanaticism, sex, murder, self-doubt, and monsters of both the fantastical and all-too real variety.
Surly and pragmatic Ben Schiller is growing up in the literal teenage wasteland of Alexandria.What at first glance appears to be an unremarkable if ramshackle American town is in fact home to a host of dark secrets, perhaps the most troubling being the mystery of why no one seems to be older than 18.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, October 19th, 2015||No Comments »|
It’s officially October, which means the majority of my recs will be shamelessly biased toward horror. So you can imagine how happy I was when a web series geared as an “interactive murder mystery” waltzed across my Tumblr dashboard one day. Interactive web series are hit or miss, and I honestly can’t think of one that I thought was worth my time. But the best thing about Virtual Morality is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, nor does it try to pat itself on the back for being oh-so clever or innovative. Instead, it takes its formula from slasher flicks: cheesy, bloody, fun.
Virtual Morality puts you in the POV of Abbie, a shy Catholic girl who’s attending her first house party. Throughout the show you’re given options on how you want Abbie to act. She can either hang out with the vapid, popular girls or snort coke with the attractive guy who looks like The Weeknd. The choice is yours…kind of.
Each episode has the same beginning, so whatever choices you make in the previous episode don’t carry into the next episode. But the series is designed with the intention that you, the player, will replay the episode several times to see as many endings/possibilities as possible, which is exactly what I did. So I guess your choices not affecting later episodes don’t matter.
What matters is the story, which focuses on a murder at a house party that gets published to Instagram. And if you’re thinking this series is a satirical jab at social media culture, you’d be correct. Hell, there’s even a guy getting stabbed with a selfie stick. Its message isn’t subtle.
If you’re looking for something fun and different to get you in the Halloween mood, check out episode one. There are three episodes in all and it should only take you about an hour to play. But most importantly: Don’t like, don’t share, don’t subscribe (or else).
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Friday, October 2nd, 2015||1 Comment »|
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you combined the rollicking, fantastical aesthetic of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, the subtle homespun creepiness of Roald Dahl, and all the zany characters and bad decisions of a college road trip movie, then you need look no further than Prague Race.
From the delightfully twisted mind of Finnish cartoonist Petra Erika Nordlund, Prague Race is the story of three friends (eccentric slacker Leona, neurotic rich kid Colin, and affable powerhouse Miko) who are unexpectedly thrown into a world of magic, danger, and intrigue when they cross paths with a group of interdimensional smugglers and their ambulatory pet shark (whose name is, I kid you not, Fishsticks).
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, August 3rd, 2015||No Comments »|
I didn’t enjoy the first 30 minutes of Housebound, a New Zealand horror-comedy that I thought was sorely lacking in both horror and comedy. But the film’s strength is in its unpredictability. What starts off as an average ghost flick morphs into something else entirely. It’s gross, it’s frightening, and yes, it’s freaking hilarious.
With the exception of Starry Eyes and It Follows, lately most of my favorite horror films have been of the foreign variety. While The Babadook has been the foreign horror darling as of late, Housebound might soon be taking that spot. There’s even a remake already in the works. But unlike The Babadook, Housebound isn’t about psychological demons or anything serious. Instead, the film follows a young woman who is under house arrest at her mother’s house after attempting to steal money from an ATM. Not only is she bored being stuck at her parents’ house all day, there’s a pesky ghost in the basement who is slowly driving her crazy.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, April 21st, 2015||No Comments »|
The master of mystery, magic, and horror is back with a new collection of short stories that ponders the masks we wear and our individual stories. Gaiman mixes the modern world with that of the fantastical in Trigger Warning. From re-visiting the world of his beloved novel American Gods in the short story “Black Dog,” in which the main character wanders alongside murder victims, to “Down a Sunless Sea,” where an old woman hides a dreadful secret, each story will have your hair standing on edge.
However, not all of his stories are out-and out creepy. In one tale, he has a wife spilling the secrets of her late husband to anyone who will listen in a spine-tingling metaphor for the onset of Alzheimer’s. While Gaiman’s monsters are scary, it’s the unveiling of the masks that we wear in our daily life that are the real horrors.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, March 4th, 2015||No Comments »|