Best (and Worst) Horror DVD Releases of January

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It seems there’s been a surge of respectable horror movies released this month, so I’ve decided to rank and talk about them, hoping anyone that likes a good fright (or laugh, in the case of Tokyo Gore Police) will find this interesting. Chime in if I got it all wrong or missed something. And I’ll be a little late catching The Poughkeepsie Tapes.

Room of Death (La Chambre des Morts) –  There’s a point in the film where someone pulls out a copy of The Silence of the Lambs and you realize the French have been inspired. Like that movie, this is a superb serial killer/crime thriller that could easily be put into the Horror section. It has a unique ‘villain’ and enough twists and turns to keep things interesting and different from Silence and other similar films in the genre. At times the movie feels like it is getting more convoluted and going nowhere in all of its subtitled Francais glory, but stick with it as the ending ties everything together beautifully. Rating: 8/10

Eden Lake – This is a brutal and realistic look at what happens when middle school kids have nothing to do and have fallen spell under a Hitler-esque leader. The acting is spot-on, and it’s about as compelling as the real thing.  Rating: 7/10 

Vacancy 2: The First Cut – I expected more of the same with this sequel and was shocked how effective and unpredictable this was. First off, the score is awesome, and is really unsettling. Second, the story does everything it can to keep things unpredictable, realistic, and unlike part one. Third, Scott G. Anderson is one scary dude. Fourth, the acting and production values are great. But maybe I won’t watch this again-. Rating: 7/10

Mirrors – This isn’t as good as Alexandre Aja’s other horror films, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride it takes. It’s nice to see a horror film use a big-budget effectively. And while the story seems like a hodge-podge of various horror movies, the ideas still come across as fresh, clever, and chilling. Rating: 6/10

Tokyo Gore Police – If you’ve seen The Machine Girl, this Japanese movie raises the ante with its own outrageous circus of latex and gore. The monstrosities in this are so absurd that it’s hard not to see this as a comedy of horrors. Rating: 6/10

Gutterballs – I totally can’t recommend this 80’s like slasher as it is way too inappropriate and wrong. I swear the filmmakers watched Irreversible and decided they wanted more. Does that help you?

Repo! The Genetic Opera – I hated this gothic-industrial musical set in the future, not because of the story (which was actually pretty creative), but for the music. It was like two hours of nails on a chalkboard. Paris Hilton was actually very disturbing in this one, and not because of her singing. Let’s just say she saved face… Rating: 2/10

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2 Responses to “Best (and Worst) Horror DVD Releases of January”

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