Delivering in a way unparalleled by any other streaming service, Shudder continued its Halloween Hotline this week, with another hour window where fans could call and get personalized recommendations.
We called last week and got some awesome movie picks, so we thought it would be fun to do it again and here we are. This week we asked Shudder curator Sam Zimmerman for something: disturbing, funny, gory, and thought-provoking!
Something Disturbing – Audition (1999)
Directed by Takashi Miike, Written by Daisuke Tengan, based on a novel by Ryȗ Murakami
Long before Saw or Hostel made “torture porn” a thing, this incredibly tense and subtle thriller disturbed 90’s audiences. It deals with a film/TV executive holding auditions for an actress, but what he’s really doing is trying to find a new wife.
We begin by seeing him as the creepy predator, preying on naïve young women, but boy does it have a drastic shift in power balances. We don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but let’s just says it involves brutal torture, and grotesque acts that will leave even the strong of stomach feeling queasy!
Something Funny – Scare Me (2020)
Directed by, Written by, and starring Josh Ruben
One of the best pastimes around Halloween is telling scary stories (especially around a campfire). Scare Me takes this concept and runs with in a unique and interesting manner. Some would consider this an anthology film, as its two characters going back and forth telling stories, but we never cut away to see them portrayed by actors.
Rather, we see the two main characters act everything out, and it’s honestly a lot of fun. Really capturing the spirit of storytelling itself, it almost feels more like a stage play than a film, but the two leads are excellent and it makes for a really fun Halloween experience! Check out our full review here.
Something Gory – The Mutilator (1984)
Directed by Buddy Cooper and John S. Douglass, Written by Buddy Cooper
Some slashers take the murder mystery approach, others try to make profound social/political statements, and then there’s The Mutilator. This 1984 slasher classic doesn’t even try to conceal who the killer is, and just revels in its own gory kills.
It’s the epitome of mindless, unapologetic slasher, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re just looking for some slasher fun with some great kills, this is the movie for you.
Something Thought-Provoking – Masque of the Red Death (1964)
Directed by Roger Corman, Written by Charles Beaumont and R. Wright Campbell, Based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe
For those who don’t know, Shudder recently added several Vincent Price classics, this being one of them, and they’re definitely worth checking out. Based on an Edgar Allen Poe short story, the Roger Corman-directed Masque of the Red Death deals with a tyrannical ruler who throws lavish parties, only cares about himself, and stands idly by as a plague ravages his people.
He continually denies them entry to the castle, until the plague itself gets into his castle, infecting everyone (sound at all familiar to recent events?). Vincent Price is at his prime, giving a legendary performance, and the art direction is hauntingly beautiful. However, for those who aren’t into slower paced films, it may not be for you, as that was largely the norm in the 1960’s.
Audition, Scare Me, The Mutilator, and Masque of the Red Death are all streaming on Shudder!
We’ll be back next with another set of awesome recommendations from Shudder curator himself, Sam Zimmerman. Until then, stay scared and enjoy your October!
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