We are writing a series of articles highlighting the collections currently available on Shudder, and next up is Sundance Film Festival: Horror Favorites. From the Shudder app: “The iconic festival has premiered some of the most exciting and unsettling works of contemporary horror.”
Birth/rebirth – Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this dark film stars Marin Ireland (The Dark and the Wicked, The Boogeyman) as a hospital pathologist named Rose. Rose is the total opposite of a social butterfly, and is morbidly obsessed with finding a way to bring the dead back to life. When maternity nurse Celie’s five-year-old-daughter dies, the two work together to bring her back.
The Hallow – Adam, Claire, and their infant son Finn are sent to a village in the forests of Ireland. While walking through the forest, Adam finds the body of an animal that appears to have been infected by a fungus-like substance. The family soon begins to experience frightening events; could the locals be right when they say the forest is inhabited by child-stealing evil fairies?
Relic – When elderly Edna disappears, her daughter and granddaughter travel to her home to search for her. When they arrive at the house, they discover that a black mold is starting to spread through the house. Not only that, the two begin to hear strange noises in the house and the mold is spreading. It only gets worse when Edna reappears.
Mandy – This is one of Nic Cage’s trademark trippy horror films. Cage plays Red, a recovering alcoholic who seeks revenge against a cult when they abduct his girlfriend Mandy. Hell hath no fury like a grief-stricken Nicolas Cage!
The Babadook – Amelia is a grieving single mother with a very challenging six-year-old son, and is struggling to deal with her life. Little Sam begins to talk about a monster, even taking weapons to school to fight it off, and brings his mother a creepy pop-up book called Mister Babadook. Soon, Amelia begins to believe that the Babadook might be real.
Resurrection – Rebecca Hall (so good in The Night House) stars as Margaret, a woman whose “carefully constructed life gets up-ended when an unwelcome shadow from her past returns, forcing her to confront the monster she’s evaded for two decades.”
Speak No Evil – This Danish film festival favorite has acquired a following due to its pitch-black and very disturbing storyline. While on vacation, Danish couple Bjorn and Louse meet Patrick and Karin, who are Dutch. After returning home, Bjorn and Louise are invited to visit the other couple. Over the next few days, they regret that decision.
Watcher – Horror fave Maika Monroe (It Follows) is Julie, who moves to Bucharest with her husband Francis, who works very long hours, leaving Julia alone at home. When she begins to notice a man across the street who appears to be watching her, she is worried that he is a local serial killer called “the spider.”
Summer of 84 – Boy, is this a great film! It goes straight for nostalgia with its setting (1984 of course) and its coming of age themes. From 1974 to 1984, 13 teenage boys have disappeared in Cape May. This summer, 15-year-old Davey begins to suspect that his neighbor Mr. Mackey (who happens to be a cop) might be responsible for the missing boys. As he tries to convince his friends to help him prove it, the film gears up for an unexpectedly dark finale.
Violation – Speaking of dark…this film should come with a trigger warning for scenes of sexual violence and uncomfortably realistic murder and the aftermath. Madeleine Sims-Fewer gives a brave no holds barred performance as Miriam, whose history with her sister Greta and Greta’s husband Dylan is slowly presented. To tell more would be to give the premise away entirely. Just be warned, it’s a hard watch.
Scare Me – Josh Ruben and Aya Cash star in this horror-comedy as struggling writer Fred and popular horror writer Fanny. The two meet while on separate retreats in the mountains, and end up challenging one another to tell the scariest story. This is a fun movie with a great, dark ending.
La Llorona – Not to be confused with Curse of La Llorona (which was released the same year), this film tells the story of Alma, who returns from the dead to avenge the deaths of herself and her children.
Impetigore – One of my favorite Shudder Originals, this Indonesian horror film is great for those of you who are trying to find a truly scary movie. After Maya is attacked and nearly killed by a strange man, she and her friend Dini travel to the remote village to check out a house that Maya inherited. She hopes to sell it, but the villagers are NOT friendly. Maybe that’s because all of their newborn infants are dying.
Revenge – Revenge is one of the first films I watched on Shudder, and it’s one I highly recommend to those who like their films fast-paced and bloody. Jen is taking a weekend away with her married boyfriend Richard, and the two fly to his secluded mansion in the desert. Trouble starts when Richard’s two buddies show up early for a planned hunting trip, and the fun officially ends when one of them sexually assaults Jen. Instead of avenging her, Richard throws her over a cliff. The tables turn when Jenn is injured but not dead, and she goes after bloody revenge.
Kuso – “the bizarre, mutated survivors of Los Angeles’s nightmarish earthquake broadcast their stories on a makeshift network of discarded televisions.”
Have fun checking out Shudder’s Sundance Film Festival: Horror Favorites Collection, and stay tuned for our next article on the Scariest Horror Movie Moments Collection.