Each week Simon Alderwick watches and shares his thoughts on some of the best horror films ever made. This week he looks at Hellraiser, The Visit and Audition.
Hellraiser (1987). Jesus wept. How have I never seen Hallraiser before? This film has everything – plenty of gore, mesmerising special effects, well crafted characters and gripping drama. Hellraiser exists in the sweet spot between magical realism and horror and is a perfect trip for anyone in love with the 80s. Now excuse me while I order up some Clive Barker books.
The Visit (2015) is a M. Night Shyamalan film. Who’s he? Only the genius behind The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Tough gig being that guy — if your next films aren’t as good as those two modern classics people resent you for it forever. Is The Visit as good as The Sixth Sense? Hell, no. Is it better than The Village? You’re damn right it is. Worth watching? It’s no classic but it’s alright if you don’t mind horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Audition (1999) is a Japanese movie with a reputation as one of the grizzliest horrors of its era. A slow burner, the film runs to almost 2 hours, with the gruesome part taking up a short time frame towards the end of the film. What to say? It’s uncomfortable, it’s dark, but it’s very well made. It starts off as a seedy neighbor to Lost in Translation before ending up like a Tarantino directed Romeo and Juliet. If you’re not horrified by the senseless violence and pure evil, and can appreciate good storytelling, you might just appreciate this as the masterpiece it is. If not, steer clever as this movie takes no prisoners – or should I say it takes prisoners, but you wouldn’t want to be one!
Simon Alderwick is a poet and songwriter from the UK. His work is featured or forthcoming in Whatever Keeps The Light On, Re-side and the Squiffy Gnu anthology, among others. Follow him on Twitter @SimonAlderwick.