We finally come to the end of our trilogy through horror films that you should watch that begin with H, what a ride… With that said we have some classic horror films in the list today. Let’s get into it!
One of the standout reasons to love Hush is that it is a horror that uses suspense very well, others within the genre really have to force suspense on the audience and it doesn’t feel authentic, here the suspense is natural and more importantly effective. At a time when we have horror films that either try to appeal to everyone or are gorefests, it is good to have a film with a strong lead who is based on a sense of reality. In Hush, we have a protagonist that feels real and tries to get out of her predicament in a sensible way. I mean how many times in horror films have we seen a character under threat just give up or make a silly mistake and then become an easy target? Mike Flanagan’s direction is sharp throughout the film and shows further progress after Oculus. With Hush, we have a thoroughly enjoyable, albeit sinister cat and mouse horror.
The House of the Devil (2009)
A perfect homage to those satanic films of the 70s. While it takes a little too long to get going, once it does, it doesn’t let up. At a time when torture porn was at its height, The House of the Devil showed what can be achieved with the simple addition of tension and excellent pacing to enhance the film. It almost feels as if there are two different films merged into one. This is almost always a bad thing, but for a very welcome change, we are presented a film by an accomplished genre director who knows how to perfectly blend the two together. While at the end all you can see is blood, it was very much earned. A well-crafted film that allows the audience to get more uncomfortable as we delve further into Samantha’s dreaded night.
House of Wax (1953)
Not the truly horrible modern-day remake, but the wonderful 1953 version. A slow build of a film that leaves the audience enthralled throughout the third act. This is Vincent Price at his very best. Interestingly it was made for 3D and even for being 67 years old, it is one of the best horror 3D films ever created. However, that is not to say that House of Wax needs the 3D to make it work. It works very well without it. Like many films of its era, it is perhaps not the scariest of pictures, but it is able to creep out an audience. Arguably it utilised its scares and suspense far better than its 2005 predecessor.
The Hunt (2012)
A very left-field choice I know. The Hunt isn’t truly a horror film in everyone’s eyes but probably me. Instead of a slasher, supernatural being killing and tormenting people, we have a man wrongly tormented by his own community. To me having one’s own friends and community ostracise and be so vindictive over rumours and lies is horrifying. Mads Mikkelsen’s sensational portrayal of a man trying to cope with mass hysteria surrounding him rightly won him the Best Actor award at Cannes. The Hunt showed to me anyway that horror is more than it’s bloody or jumps scare stereotype.
House of Frankenstein (1944)
Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolf Man! What more could you ask for? This is as B movie as it gets for the Universal monsters, but damn if it is not a blast of a film. The script is nonsensical and at no point does it try to explain itself. The character of Frankenstein was on his slow last legs at this point. The fact that Boris Karloff is in this film and DOES NOT play Frankenstein is really all you need to know of the madness that is going on. A failure of a film, but damn it if it isn’t a fun one! Perfect for those who want to log off and have a giggle.
House on Haunted Hill (1958)
Forget the 1999 version ever existed, please, it is the best thing you could do for your soul. Let’s go back and remember William Castles 1958 classic. Vincent Price raises the level of the film somewhat in what is a rather campy edition to our list. Price looks like he is having a ball, especially with the dialogue. While there are few scares throughout the film, they are memorable. A fun time remembering a classic actor in the genre.
Unpleasant, dumb, creative, daring, unapologetically grim Hostel has been called everything from audiences. The film (along with Saw) that brought the sub-genre of torture porn back to the horror fold. Without a doubt, Hostel is a hard watch, but one that for horror fans is entertaining. Eli Roth knows the genre like the back of his hand and here he pushes what we can stomach to the limit. What is forgotten is how well-crafted the film is when it doesn’t focus on the gore factor. Eli Roth has always been a good director and as bad as the film is for audiences who have just eaten, you just know that he toned it down from what he originally wanted. While not the best film on today’s list, it is one of the most daring.
Hounds of Love (2017)
Writer-director Ben Youngs debut is as bold as it is grim. A film much like Berlin Syndrome is an excellent captive film done very well and wisely focuses on the psychological aspect of not only the captive but the kidnapper. The only negative to the film is that it is really not for the faint-hearted and is the type of film that word of mouth would be strong, but multiple viewings perhaps not so. While there are bloody and gory aspects throughout the film, it works best when it focuses on the psychological aspect of the captivity. All three leads bring a true sense of reality to the film and overall it is an impressive film.
Definitely, a film to watch if you want a daft time. Every once in awhile a low budget horror comedy comes along and it just brings a smile to your face throughout. Gerard Johnstone’s script is original and very funny. Perfectly encapsulating the genre without venturing into parody territory. What is important that although the film knows when to be funny, it also knows when to be a horror film. It should not be forgotten how many films have tried and failed to try to juggle both genres. This is an underrated and little known gem that should not be missed and Johnstone is one to look out for in the future.
House with the Laughing Windows (1976)
A fantastic Giallo film and a perfect one for those wanting to know what the sub-genre is about. Pupi Avati shot it beautifully and it is probably one of the best looking Giallo films of the time. Like a lot of the films in today’s list suspense is rife in The House of the Laughing Windows with barely a minute in the second act onwards in which we feel our protagonists are safe. It almost feels as if Avati was influenced by 1973s Don’t Look Now with the atmosphere and sense of dread never-ending. The lack of gratuitous sex and violence throughout the film is what helps House with the Laughing Windows stand out further. The slow build and patience the audience maybe has to give to the film is in the end highly rewarding. An unmissable inclusion to the list.
That is all from us and the letter H, it has been a fun ride! For a look back at the previous letters have a gander down below.