Welcome back to another edition of Horror films to watch. This time we truck along to the letter K and we have a right little mix of horror films ready for you. Shall we?
One of the best, if not the best anthology horror films ever made. Rarely can a horror film be labelled beautiful and thoughtful, yet Kwaidan is able to do this in spades. It is a special film and one that if possible should be watched on the big screen. For fans of the supernatural will have a field day here. There are no connections or wrap-ups like in the still great Creepshow, but it doesn’t need it. This is horror at it’s best and these are barely even short stories as they all run for over 30 minutes. A horror experience like no other.
Kairo (Pulse) (2001)
We stay with Japan with the depressingly grim Kairo, which decided that it did not need to use jump scares like other J-horror films of the time and allows the use of suspense and forboding to do the hard yards instead. An intelligent film that really doesn’t try to trick or make a fool of its audience. This slower-paced still seemed to be quite the oddity in Japan and perhaps that is why it hasn’t gotten as much love in the West as it’s notoriety hasn’t been boosted as heavy. A great watch for those who like effective horror with a strong feeling of dread thrown in for good measure.
Knock Knock (2015)
Is Knock Knock the greatest of horrors? Of course, it isn’t, but it is still an oddly good time. The biggest failure of Knock Knock was in fact that people expected something else than what they got and they made their feelings known on review boards. This isn’t meant to be a serious viewing experience. Everyone involved looks like they are having a whale of a time and I think sometimes people forget that a slightly trashy fun movie is exactly the type of film that we should get every once and a while. A great B-Movie.
Kill List (2011)
Now for something a little more violent to dust off those cobwebs. For the entire runtime, you are immersed with these characters, the world-building, everything. It is a sharply written, brilliantly acted film. The ending then lets it down a tad, but the intensity of the first ¾ of the film cause you to forgive that transgression and does not fully take you out of the film.
Crazed murderous lovers, the late 80s and early 90s picked a trend and stuck with it, and it brings us right to Kalifornia, a gorgeous black and white film (bold choice for the time). Brad Pitts Early and Juliette Lewis Adele are so white trash that you will have thought that Rob Zombie wrote their characters. But they are brilliant and seeing Pitt play a darker character is something we have been missing on these 27 years since. A long-forgotten film that rightfully deserves some limelight.
Kill Baby, Kill (1966)
A Mario Bava film will always bring you an appropriate amount of haunting suspense and Kill, Baby… Kill is no different. You will think you will have seen a lot of what we have here before and you would be right. A lot of horror films built their successes on the skills of this film. This is one of Bava’s best and the less you know about the film the better it will be for you. Go in and enjoy this one.
The Kiss of the Vampire (1962)
A Hammer horror that has a couple break down in a creepy town… Yes, it is not an original concept, but it works. What helps make this film stand out is that these vampires can hang out during the day and are really, as close to normal humans as possible. They just have a penchant for a little bit of blood… Also, Dracula who? Hammer finally learned that they didn’t need him to be in every vampire film and his exclusion really allows the script and film to breathe.
King of Thorn (2009)
For the first time in a while, we head to the world of animation come to this post-apocalyptic film that really had some terrific world-building in the first 30 minutes. It is a very busy viewing experience, but if you are able to focus and keep attention it is very worthwhile as the film allows you to feed you information as and when you need it and not bombard you with one big verb age of everything you need to know. I don’t know about you, but I always appreciate that a little bit more than being thrown upon with exposition. An interesting and fulfilling experience.
A few years before Toni Collette would remind audiences of how great an actress she is in Hereditary she was in Krampus. An utterly silly Anti-Christmas story that was a whole lot of fun. Horror films at Christmas are my jam, maybe my dad got stuck in a chimney one year, I dunno, but seeing the dark side to the happiest holiday always makes my scrooge’s heart lighten up. What surprises most is how effective the horror/death scenes are. They honestly get you and it is a pretty decent throwback to 80s horror gone by. Save this one for the festival season.
Killer Nun (1979)
When you want a daft title and an insane premise, 1970s Italian films are here to shake your hand and introduce you to something wonderful. This time out we have a morphine-addicted nun who can’t stop murdering people. You love to see it. Obviously influenced by Ken Russell’s The Devils, Killer Nun tries its best to find its own feet and for the most part, it does pretty well. It is sparing on the gore, so for those who enjoy a non-bloody experience they are in for a treat.
The Killer Must Kill Again (1975)
Italian horrors had the strangest of titles huh? As close to Giallo without ever fully being a Giallo The Killer Must Kill Again isn’t in the top echelon of horror films, but it still works and thanks to its continuous twists and turns you will be doubting yourself until the end. Add this to the under-appreciated pile.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
We reviewed this oddball B-Movie a while ago for our Saturday night B-movie experience and boy was it a lot of fun. Designs that should not have worked on the small budget they had, everything here is a delight. The only downside is that there has never been a franchise of these guys. It would have been money!
Not included. So much indecision in including King Kong, but in the end, I didn’t deem it horror and more of a fantasy drama. I would have loved to have included it and honestly, there was a big discussion in my head regarding it, maybe I will change my opinion down the line!
That is us for now. Come back next time when we get into the L’s and boy is there some crackers in there. Have a read below at our previous letters. We will of course update as we see more films, so you never know if you are seeing the most up to date version! Until next time.