April 06, 2016

Seven Great 'On-the-Cusp' Horror Movies

This is a post about seven (great) movies that have some elements of horror but might not necessarily be considered horror as a whole. I've seen them argued both ways, so it seems there may be no right answer (some call them horror, some don't). I personally have my own opinions about the movies themselves and their genres but that's not the point. The point is these movies are commonly brought up in the great debate, what classifies a movie as horror? 

If you are not a fan of horror, these movies might be something of a doorway to the genre (if you are looking to get into that sort of thing). Some may be considered suspense or thriller and some you might find are nothing more than a mystery or a bleak adventure. Either way, they're all fantastic and worthy of your time!

Watership Down (1978)
Who knew rabbits had such rough lives? If you watched this at a young age (as I did) and didn't find it utterly terrifying then you are one incredibly tough SOB. Watership Down follows a group of rabbits seeking a new home as they encounter multiple dangerous foes (cats, rabid dogs, hawks, and one insane rabbit psychopath). Don't be fooled by the PG rating, this isn't the child's tale you might be expecting. It's sad, incredibly grim, and surprisingly poetic definitely a must see.

The Edge (1997)
If 2014's Backcountry is considered a horror movie, then The Edge should have no problem being labeled as such. This one follows a billionaire and two friends who are lost in the woods while a grizzly bear stalks them from afar. As you can imagine, this isn't a walk in the park and things go from bad to worse very quickly. Not to mention the trust between the men is razor thin to begin with and soon they begin to question each others loyalty. Both nature and human nature can be a scary thing and that's where The Edge draws its darker moments from.

Rear Window (1954)
This one needs no introduction, I'm sure everyone here who is reading this has seen this movie or at least heard of it (and if not, shame on you). Most people probably agree that it's a suspenseful mystery (and a damn good one at that). But I have seen people say it's a horror movie which scared them as a child, which is a fair statement. You could almost say it's an unconventional home invasion horror movie, which certainly has some intense moments! Put this one at the top of the list if you haven't seen it already!


Joy Ride (2001)
This one is a guilty pleasure, I find this movie incredibly exciting. Not only are there some terrifying moments, but Steve Zahn brings some great comedy to their dire situation. This is a clever take on 'road horror' (if there is such a thing) and a classic take on a 'prank gone wrong'. Though the premise sounds silly, "Three young people on a road trip from Colorado to New Jersey talk to a trucker on their CB radio, then must escape when he turns out to be a psychotic killer." Rest assured, the director is able to create an unbearable amount of tension from the script, creating one hell of a ride.

Hard Candy (2005)
A girl captures a man she is convinced is a sex offender and sets out to prove he is such by searching his apartment for evidence. Little by little the girl attempts to decipher the man's life in hopes of uncovering a past crime which may or may not exist. It's dark and cynical (which might be too much for some), but damn it if it isn't exhilarating! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time this movie played, I don't know how someone couldn't be.


Borgman (2013)
If you are a fan of slow burn horror movies or slow burns in general, Borgman is something you might want to look into. A vagrant maneuvers his way into a family's home and strange, odd things begin to happen. And when I say strange I mean downright bizarre and creepy. The movie might be too slow at times, but it's mysterious enough to keep you from turning it off before it ends. Borgman is incredibly unpredictable as we see him 'impose his will' on each family member as the movie progresses. Note, this isn't The Strangers or anything remotely similar to most home invasion movies we've grown accustomed to, this one is 'different'.

Resolution (2012)
Think of The Cabin in the Woods, take a fraction of the budget, and up the 'mystery' factor and you might get a vague idea of Resolution. This might not have a 'high entertainment value' (multiple kill scenes, chase scenes, gruesome gore, cool CGI, etc) of some other movies, instead, this is a movie where ideas and clever writing shine, and they shine incredibly bright! It's cerebral enough to pull you in and get you thinking, it's complex but not convoluted. I'm personally a huge fan of this one, this one comes highly recommended for people who enjoy smart writing and are okay with the idea of 'less is more'.

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