Autumn is upon us, which means Halloween is near. Here are three horror movies that you may – or may not – want to include in your scary movie fest.
The Forest (2016)
Sara Price (Natalie Dormer) travels to Japan after learning that her twin sister Jess was seen entering the Aokigahara Forest, also known as the Suicide Forest. While staying at the hotel her sister was last seen at, she meets a reporter named Aiden (Taylor Kinney). After expressing interest in her story, Aiden joins Sara as they venture into the woods with Michi, a park guide, in the hopes of finding Jess before anything bad happens.
It’s no secret that American filmmakers enjoy taking Japanese paranormal films and remaking them. Often times met with major criticism. But what happens when they make an original film based on an urban legend and real-life horror? Well, you get something like this movie. It’s not scary, slightly cheesy, and a little confusing (but not in a good way). While there’s an interesting twist at the end, you can’t help but feel completely robbed of time when this movie is over.
Last Shift (2014)
A rookie cop named Jessica (Juliana Harkavy) finds herself alone for her first assignment, the last shift at the old station. Being alone proves unbearably boring at first, until seemingly paranormal events begin to occur. She hears strange sounds, receives mysterious phone calls, and begins to see things. The station itself has a dark history that she slowly uncovers, which doesn’t help her feel any less frightened. All she can do is hold out until morning.
Last Shift is a great disturbing film that builds tension and rewards you with some solid jump scares and haunting imagery. This film isn’t perfect and leaves some unanswered questions, but that doesn’t prevent it from having an effect. It’s really creepy and will leave you sleeping with the lights on afterwards.
After her friend Debbie commits suicide, Laine (Olivia Cooke) believes the cause to have been an Ouija board. With the help of others, she attempts to contact Debbie through the same board. After seemingly reaching their deceased friend and saying their final goodbyes, they all leave with closure for the night. However, they’ve opened a door they cannot close and each one becomes haunted by something that is clearly not their friend.
While this film teases its viewer with some slightly eerie moments and sudden scares, the majority fall flat and cheap. It could be blamed on its PG-13 rating, since those often play better with pre-teens than adults. The film also fails to set up its mythology, which somehow warrants an upcoming prequel film. For me, this film had a lot of missed opportunities and won’t provide enough for hardcore horror fans.