Originally what I had planned was to recommend a different horror film every day in October. Unfortunately, I had a ton of work dropped in my lap so that has changed to “as often as I can”.
If you’ve been watching the show for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of horror. I’ll go so far as to call myself an expert in the genre. Very often these days I hear people complaining about how there hasn’t been any good quality horror in about the past decade or so. What I want to do is each day (when I can) recommend a different horror film that was made after 2000. Now, these aren’t just good horror films, these are the cream of the crop. These are movies that all horror fans and even non horror fans should check out. Every film I will be recommending is going to be, in my humble opinion, top shelf.
As for my regular episodes, I’m doing a theme month for October. That theme originally being “Damn nature, you scary!” which has evolved more into “What happens when humans mess with nature” or “Science gone wrong”. Take your pick.
So anyway, the first movie for this month is The Descent.
I managed to catch The Descent at an early screening months before it was to hit US theaters and it blew me away. Not much had been written about it so I didn’t know what to expect. The only thing I did know was that it was directed by Neil Marshall who a few years before directed the awesome Dog Soldiers, so that was enough for me.
The movie is about a group of women who head to the Appalachians to go cave diving. While there a rock slide blocks their exit and they have to find another way out. That is the basics but really, it is so much more than that.
The movie floored me with how visceral and unique it was. Marshall showed he had some incredible chops behind the camera and the film was easily one of the best of 2005. Almost a year later the film was released quietly into theaters in the US. Even though I had already seen it, I headed to see it again to support real horror and not the watered down garbage we had been hit with at the time. Much to my dismay, the US theatrical cut changed the ending. I was furious. Here was a movie that was an absolutely perfect horror film and some idiot decided to alter the ending. (I later found out they changed the end so the studio could churn out DTV sequels…the first sequel stunk and they stopped the franchise there)
This was a movie that was never intended to be a franchise. This was one complete, spellbinding story. If you saw the theatrical ending and were disappointed,watch the full uncut version on DVD and see it as it was intended.
I just don’t understand studio decisions sometimes. Here was a movie that created a very positive buzz when it was first making the rounds but by the time the movie hit US theaters, it was almost an afterthought. So many great horror films either get dumped DTV or unceremoniously released into a few theaters. Meanwhile, terrible movies like The Fog remake have no problem releasing into thousands of theaters. Its frustrating.
This is horror that isn’t spoonfed to you. It is intelligent, well crafted, and will make you think. This is one of those films that you will want to see multiple times. Excellent in every way.