There are many elements that need to work in tandem for a horror movie to be memorable. You need a great story at the heart of it, pushing it along. If your story doesn’t work, nothing can save it. Next up, you need a good antagonist. Someone (or something) that will slowly crawl into people’s nightmares and burrow there for a long time after the credits roll. Lastly, you need good performances. Don’t get me wrong, there are many other factors involved (good direction, movie getting proper hype in the press, and so on), but at the heart of that, you need good performances. The kind of performances where the audience forgets they are watching people play pretend. The kind of performances you walk away from wondering if that actor or actress may be a little off. You can have the best story, the best creature design, and the best direction, but if your actors or actresses suck, it will all be for naught.
It was with that idea in mind I decided to compile a list of hugely underrated performances in the genre of horror. Thing is, once I started doing the list, it became very clear to me that I would need to split it into two lists. There were just too many great horror performances to mention just a handful. I also thought it might be cool to separate the list by sex. One list for each gender. I started with females because it is “Women in Horror” month here at BloodyDisgusting. We all know women are a huge part of horror, and more people than just horror fans like is to recognize that. From finals girl to feral killers, here are five hugely underrated performances from women in horror! READ MORE
I didn’t have enough room in the headline for this article’s subtitle, which is And Remember When “They Were All The Same Person” Was A Twist? This whole thing has been buzzing around in my head since a recent argument regarding the ending to Haute Tension, which I found sort of ridiculous. It’s the standard “The Protagonist Is Insane And Actually The Killer” (aka “The Split Personality” twist). But I have to say it got me thinking that this trope actually doesn’t bug me as much as the other two, since it usually says more about the characters at hand.
Still, I’m not sure what happened to our brains over the past 14 years, but you can’t call something a twist if everyone knows it’s coming. I feel like horror needs to widen its bag of tricks beyond the “they were dead”, the “split personality” and “the protag is crazy” tropes which seem to be the only three ploys in regular use for filmmakers seeking to pull the rug out from under their audience.
The “dead” thing worked for The Sixth Sense, and it sort of worked two years later with The Others. It also worked in 1962′s Carnival Of Souls. But we’ve seen it employed at least twice more recently in Passengers and The Devil’s Ground. I’m not denigrating those films necessarily, but it should probably end there. Similarly the “split ” angle didn’t even quite work in Identity and it certainly didn’t work in The Ward. It was sort of used in Shutter Island as well, but it worked there because it was actually source of catharsis for its character.
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As often as the importance of endings is stated, it can never be stated loud enough. Can you have a reasonably enjoyable film with a bad ending? Sure, there are plenty. Just as there are more bad films than good films, there are more bad endings than good endings (even amongst good films).
A few months ago I wrote a piece called 5 Horror Films With Horrible Endings and you guys had a lot to say on the matter. So I decided to incorporate some of your suggestions into the sequel, 5 More Horror Movies With Horrible Endings (there’s also 5 Horror Movies With Amazing Endings if you’re feeling more positive)!
Head inside to check it out! And submit your comments for which bad endings should make the next round! READ MORE