10 Recent Overlooked Horror Gems

With so many hit and miss films out there (especially horror) it becomes taxing to sit through so much potential mediocrity after awhile. I’ve decided to assemble a top 10 list of recent gems worth checking out –

1) Session 9 (2001)

http://youtu.be/LsxkRNvEbhM

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“Session 9” is a criminally underrated psychological horror about a clean up crew removing asbestos from an abandoned mental hospital on a tight schedule. It does a great job of getting under your skin and builds to a satisfying conclusion. Solid flick

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0261983/

2) May (2002)

http://youtu.be/3qv38cYbcq0

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“May” is an excellent character study of a girls decent into madness. It was a stellar debut by director Lucky McKee, with a powerhouse performance by Angela Bettis.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0303361/

3) Inside (2007)

http://youtu.be/YVGswuX42x0

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“Inside” was one of the titles from the French “Nu Wave” horror films that briefly overtook the genre. Of those (Frontiers, Martyrs, Sheitan, etc) this one is easily the best. It’s a claustrophobic thriller with a shocker of an ending. Brutal, intense, brilliant.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0856288/

4) The Mist (2007)

http://youtu.be/E-NF55EZ5tw

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“The Mist” is an excellent adaptation of the Stephen King short story of the same name. I loved the story and trusted Frank Darabonts’ vision, but it’s the gutsy ending that really surprised me and divided the audience. Very well done film, also available in a black and white version.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0884328/

5) The Signal (2007)

http://youtu.be/tLnUcuy6078

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“The Signal” is a product of three different Writer/Directors each filming part of the film before combining them into one cohesive story. It concerns a sort of madness outbreak, brought on by cell/cable signals. It’s a hauntingly well done film, especial considering its budget.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0780607/

6) The Crazies (2010)

http://youtu.be/5WRH2bzArGk

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“The Crazies” is one of the rare times of a remake being better than the original. I’m actually a fan of George A Romeros’ original, but this one is much better paced and uses its budget and technology to good effect. It’s a very creepy character driven film, and I was pleasantly surprised with it.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0455407/

7) The Dead (2010)

http://youtu.be/ANpgVWVvpjs

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“The Dead” is the first zombie film to use similar zombie make up to Lucio Fulci’s classic “Zombi 2” (aka – “Zombie”). It’s a great stylistic choice, and this African-shot film boasts gorgeous scenery and a powerful storyline. Quite an achievement for a modern zombie film.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1386925/

8) Frozen (2010)

http://youtu.be/3dwLYCnrHGk

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When “Frozen” came out we all wondered how a full length film set (almost) entirely on a chairlift with 3 actors could be good. Much like the Ryan Reynolds starring “Buried”, this film uses a potentially gimmicky premise to its advantage and successfully milks the scenario. It really gets under your skin, very unsettling.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1323045/

9) The Reef (2010)

http://youtu.be/0UD2gbjB3vw

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“The Reef” is everything I’d wanted “Open Water” to be. It’s well filmed, uses real shark footage and is a genuinely terrifying film. Easily the best shark film since “Jaws” (and trust me, I’ve seen my share). Very impressively edited film.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1320291/

10) Stake Land (2010)

http://youtu.be/zNC2HwAaWWE

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“Stake Land” is a well done indie flick that is essentially “The Road” but with Vampires. The film does a great job ratcheting up the tension while maintaining a glimmer of hope amidst the hopeless surroundings. Nice to see a newer vampire movie adding a fresh fake to the mythos.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1464580/

Hope that helps ! Happy viewing folks !

P.S – Looks like 2007 and 2010 were big years for horror. Who knew ?

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My Favourite Movie Posters

Almost more than movies themselves, I’ve always been a huge fan of poster art. As a child I was fascinated with the lurid and enticing art on video covers, generally horror and sci-fi. The art often outdid the film itself, but it always stuck with me and enticed me enough to become a poster fanatic.

I decided to compile a list of some of my favourite posters I’ve found over the years. Many of the movies I’ve never seen, and I only actually own a couple of these posters, but I thought I’d share their grindhousey goodness with you all, in honour of Halloween !

Creepshow

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My favourite horror film, I eventually got a hoodie with this poster on the back. I’ll never got the VHS “big box” of this one.

Jaws

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Easily one of the most iconic posters of all time, it conveys so much with a simple image. Equally thrilling and terrifying.

The Evictors

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I first saw this poster as a shirt on a the Fright-Rags website. There’s an eeriness to it that really intrigued me. Sort of a gothic tone to it that I like.

The Mutilator

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I actually really like this movie, but the poster is awesome. Great tagline, and pretty much sums up the whole movie nicely.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

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Another classic poster, this one is amazing because of two things. First, she’s CLEARLY more like 50 stories tall rather than feet. Secondly, whenever someone sees this poster at my house they inevitably make a crack about looking up between her legs. People are strange.

Piranha

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Pretty much a Jaws knock off in poster and movie form, it’s easily the best one. Much like the Jaws poster I certainly remember this one from my childhood. Great flick.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

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Another classic poster / movie, I love how the tagline really leaves you frothing at the mouth to see how the movie unfolds. Another “big box” classic at its finest.

Transmutations (aka – The Freakmaker)

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This movie was originally on my “Horrorthon” list for last year, then got bumped to this year, then dropped off the list. I found this sweet poster by accident while looking for another poster for one that DID make the list. Oddly serendipitous.

The Burning

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This is an alternate poster that Mondo made for this excellent Friday the 13th knock off (featuring Jason Alexander ! With hair !). I absolutely love this poster, the colour, balance, everything about it. A classic.

The Mummy

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This is another (recently released) Mondo poster. They did one for each of the Universal Monsters, and despite being more of a Creature from the Black Lagoon fan, I really like the sand-effect in this poster. Very well done.

The Prowler

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Another overlooked slasher gem, this is an excellent use of black and white. Despite the abundance of black, it conveys a lot about the movie itself.

American Gothic

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One of my favourite b-movies, the poster is pretty obvious. Still, I like the tongue in cheek nature of it, and the trapped kids in the background is a nice touch.

Horror Express

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I really dig the almost 3D effect of the movie title as well as the train going through the middle of the poster. Very well put together.

The Thing

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I’d never seen this alternate poster until a week or two ago. Obviously the movie is a classic, but this poster is simplistic and amazing, especially if you’ve seen the film.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2

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No, it’s not the “Breakfast Club” poster this movie is known for, but I always preferred this one. It would look great on a door.

Reptilicus

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I’ve always liked this one, despite clearly being a Godzilla knock off. I’ve never seen the movie, but you know it can’t be as good as this poster.

Violation of the Bitch

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I found this one in an awesome poster art book I got called “Shock! Horror!”. It’s so over the top, but the tagline and the fact that the gun seems to have been fired already really makes your mind wander. Probably a terrible movie though.

The Stepfather

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This is actually from the (presumably terrible) remake, but I always thought it was an awesome poster. So simplistic, but quite menacing as well.

Jurassic Park

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Another Mondo alternate poster, being a huge fan of this movie really did my heart good to see this fun take on the poster.

Slugs

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Admittedly pretty gross, it probably sums up the movie well. I haven’t seen it, but this is a well done poster, for what it is.

The House by the Cemetary

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Another Mondo gem, this one is actually better than the movie itself. I mean, I like Fulci, but this movie sort of blows. Amazing birds-eye poster though.

The Dark

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This is a really cool sci-fi poster, but I highly doubt there are ray-shooting giant aliens in this movie. I could be wrong, but nothing can be as fun as this poster is.

The Corpse Grinders

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This poster is sweet not simply because both cats look like my two cats (although it helps). It has such a great title, and the idea of being overpowered by two cats is kind of great. Or is it terrifying ?

Die Sister Die

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Don’t run towards the severed arms !! What are you thinking ?! Although they almost look more inviting than that asylum-esque building behind you. Carry on.

The Street Fighter

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Not horror or sci-fi, but there’s something about this one that I’ve always liked. Mostly that you KNOW he’s gonna beat them all up after this is over.

Invasion of the Blood Farmers

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Classic poster for a (supposedly) awful movie. This is the epitome of why I love horror posters. Colourful, macabre and intriguing (in a sick way I suppose).

Schoolgirls in Chains

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There’s a lot going on here. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll escape eventually !

Inseminoid

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Speaking of a lot going on, I found this one by accident, but it’s out there enough to make you wonder what’s going on here.

The Astro Zombies

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That’s a pretty big knife !! I was hoping to find the version of this poster in blue, but it’s basically the same. I bet the zombies look terrible in the actual movie.

Dracula has Risen from the Grave

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So simple, so effective. Amazing poster.

The Mummy

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This one sort of reminds me of “The Dark”. It’s definitely more special effects heavy than the movie itself, but still, cool poster.

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

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This is another one that looks a lot cooler than it probably is. Still, you’ve got dinosaurs, scantily clad cave girls, a straightforward title. What more could you want ?

Well, that’s all for now. Look forward to more of my favourites in the future ! Or don’t, but either way there’ll be more.

Another Day in Pictures

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As some of you know, I enjoy taking pictures. While running an errand for work a few weeks ago I stumbled upon some gorgeous scenery and documented it through photos and a blog post (https://lazron.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/a-day-in-pictures/). Yesterday I was lucky enough to be sent to the same place, so I thought I’d update you with the gems that followed. Please enjoy, another day in pictures –

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For more of the same (and different), feel free to follow me on Instagram (@Lazron) !

The Best of Lazron’s Picture Book – Part 5 – “Water”

Last but not least in our 5 part collection of my favourite shots I’ve taken of the Instagram era, we find ourselves with the largest amount of shots. My family owned a small town resort growing up, so I suppose I’ve always been somewhat close to water (apart from being made up largely of it). Specifically I guess I love the reflections of water, the almost looking glass-like quality of it. I hope you enjoy the largest offering yet – “Water”,

This was taken from my friends’ cottage near North Bay. It was gorgeous pretty much all the time and lead to several excellent shots. Also there was a basketball court there, so that’s pretty sweet in its own right.

Another shot taken from across from where I play softball. There were so many amazing sunsets and scenes, I’ve always dug this picture, especially the little trail of wake following the bird itself. Very cool

Another of the shots I captured earlier this week, it’s pretty great for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the sweet waterfall. There was a tour boat below me taking pictures of this, but I think I outfoxed them with this angle.

I took this the first day I got Instagram. I was biking along the bike path and saw the trees, flowers and pond. It’s just so calm and picturesque, definitely one of my favourite shots.

I took this on an impromptu visit to Perth with my girlfriend. She was trying on dresses, so I wandered off and got fries / looked for cool pictures. It was so beautiful along the riverbank here, it wasn’t until after I left that I realized it was private property. Oops.

This is one of my favourite views in Ottawa. It’s next to the parliament buildings on the locks. Being able to see Quebec in the distance adds a neat quality to it. This was one of the first shots I vowed to take once I had the ability to take it the way I’d wanted to.

Another from my shots this week, this is located next to old city hall. I love the architecture, and having two different bridges in the distance is quite the visual treat. I literally said “Wow” out loud (to myself) when I saw this and knew I had to snap it.

Another shot from our trip to Perth, this was actually the last picture I took, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend. We were walking back to the car, but I thought this view looked cool and told her to keep walking while I ran over to get this shot. Certainly glad I took the risk.

Not only was this one taken at my best friends’ families’ cottage, but it even includes a silhouette of said friend at no extra charge. I loved the colours in the distance, it was just a happy accident that he ended up in it. With a beer of course.

Another shot from near the ballpark, I’m pretty sure this is the picture I took right before slipping on the muddy riverbank and getting my leg, shorts and new hoodie dirty. In the end it was worth it, but at the time it really pissed me off.

This is the other shot I vowed to get once I was capable of doing so. This is further down the locks near parliament and has always captured my eye. The tree, the bench, the bridge, the water. It all combines to make a breathtaking shot, one that I always think fondly of.

Hope you enjoyed this 5 part look into my favourite photos I’ve been lucky enough to catch.

Look forward to more in the future, I know I am !

The Best of Lazron’s Picture Book – Part 4 – “Roads”

Part 4 of my 5 part “Best of Lazron’s Instagram” series features roads, but also railroad tracks, the roads of the train ! Just go with it, and enjoy – “Roads”,

I took this one on one of the bike paths near parliament. There’s just something about a continuous road that I’ve always liked. Maybe it’s the idea of limitless possibilities, I’m not sure exactly, but there is something intriguing about it.

Not a road per se. but certainly an extension of my previous point. Railroad tracks in particular have a nostalgic feel to them. It often reminds me of a great Harry Nilsson song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHbj42DE51A).

This was taken at a parking garage near my work. My girlfriend had noticed it earlier and took me to see it, thinking that I’d like it and want a picture. How right she was.

The other direction of the railroad tracks near my parents’ place. As I said, there’s something almost mystical about them that makes me yearn for yesteryear. Not that much though, the iphone wouldn’t have been invented yet and I couldn’t have taken these shots in the first place. Still.

The Best of Lazron’s Picture Book – Part 3 – “Skylines”

Welcome to part 3 of my 5 part series documenting my favourite Instagram shots I’ve taken over the past year. Please enjoy – “Skylines”,

I took this early on in my Instagramming madness, right by the baseball field that I’d been playing softball at every week. There was just something about the tree and the colour of the sun in the distance that did it for me. Capturing the couple under the tree just added to the experience.

I took this on the roof of my apartment building. I always felt it looked a bit like an album cover, maybe a Strokes knock-off or something. It’s a bit over saturated, but I still really like the concept.

This is another one I took in Montreal from the roof of the hotel my brother and I were staying in. Something about the colours and buildings has a really ethereal / otherworldly quality to it. I was glad we decided to check out the roof before checking out of the room.

This is one of many shots I’ve taken of the skyline from my balcony. There have been many excellent colours in the two years I’ve lived here, but something about this one really grabs me. It almost seems like a scene out of an “Independence Day”-type movie  or something. Pretty wild stuff.

The Best of Lazron’s Picture Book – Part 2 – “Trees”

Please enjoy part 2 of my 5 part, Instagram-fuelled collection of favourite shots I’ve captured throughout the past year. Enjoy – “Trees”,

This is a picture I took on the first day I’d downloaded the Instagram app. I was biking along the bike path near the rideau centre and happened to notice this tree across the river. I really liked how it seemed to have almost a 3D effect, popping through the trees closest to me. I’d posted it as is at the time, but later added the effect you see here (which I’d always wished I had initially) which I think adds to the eye popping feeling behind it.

You may recognize this one (and the next 2) from my other post of pictures taken this past week. I really liked the amount of colours on display, as well as the juxtaposition of the trees and the water below / sky above. Something about the fall colours just does it for me, what can I say ?

This is another photo from the other day. I really liked how this enormous tree acted as an overhang for the bridge walkway beneath it. The colourful trees in the distance were just the icing on the cake.

Another from my shots this past week, I was drawn to this tree from the distance as I was getting ready to leave. I couldn’t believe how vibrant it was, and I suppose being a redhead myself gave some added appeal to the tree. Or maybe not, but hey, bright tree.