4. Black Death (2010)
Best for: Game of Throne fans.
If you like a little grounded and thought provoking intelligence in your horror films then Black Death is just the film for you.
The film is perfectly set in the middle of the bubonic plague outbreak and focuses on a group of unruly knights sent to investigate a remote village seemingly unaffected by the black death. Fears that the village has fallen under the spell of witchcraft or necromancy is apparently more of a threat than the plague. After a dangerous journey the knights find the village only to discover it’s apparent immunity may be more simpler than they suspected.
What makes Black Death so entertaining is the film smartly wraps itself in the very real horrors of the time period. The bubonic plague was without a doubt one of the scariest mass killers the planet has ever seen. There’s not much the filmmakers had to do to make the infection any more disgusting or scarier than it already was. Secondly, the film takes place in the middle ages where there were all sorts of horribly gory ways one could find themselves stabbed, chopped, trampled and dismembered.
And finally, for a horror film, Black Death is surprisingly light on anything supernatural. Instead the film focuses on God and religion which is where much of the film’s true horror comes from. In perilous and bleak times how far will righteous men go to right apparent wrongs? And how many innocent people will pay the price in the name of dogma and religion?
3. V/H/S 2 (2013)
Best for: Moviegoers with short attention spans.
The V/H/S films are a mixed bag. (there are currently three of them, V/H/S, V/H/S 2 and V/H/S: Viral. V/H/S 2 is the strongest I think of the three though all are available on Netflix.) The films themselves are a series of short found footage films connected only by their storage on VHS tape. Each short varies wildly from the other and have different directors.
V/H/S 2 is sort of like a horror movie buffet. There’s a lot of content of varying degrees of quality which is bound to satisfy viewers of every taste.
The first short entitled “Tape49/Frame Negative can best be described as a horror mystery which vaguely sets up the premise of the other tapes. The second short is called “Phase I Clinical Trials and is about a cybernetic implant gone wrong. “A Ride in the Park” is standard found footage zombie fare while the short that follows after, “Safe Haven” is bat shit crazy. The last short entitled, “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” is exactly as it sounds and is probably the weakest of the six.
Taken together, all the shorts are fairly entertaining and make up for one wild ride. The gore is a bit thick at times and some of the situations are a bit extreme, but there is no doubt there are some talented filmmakers in the bunch.