Looking for "Americana" horror

Discussion in 'Movies, Books, TV & Media' started by Explorer, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I've been watching through some movies I have on DVD, and really enjoyed a few which might be considered to have a certain cultural background.

    The Other (1972)
    Last Kind Words (2012)
    Jug Face (2013)
    Ravenous (1999)

    If you've enjoyed any of them, I highly recommend checking out the others.

    If you've enjoyed one of them, and can think of other films which have a similar feel, I want to hear about it!
     
  2. TRENCHLORD

    TRENCHLORD Banned

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    I liked Ravenous. Haven't seen the others, or The Other :lol:.
     
  3. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I think Ravenous is the bloodiest movie on the list, but they're all good IMO.
     
  4. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    I've only seen Ravenous off that list - are the others also set in 18th/19th century america?

    There's a small subgenre of British "Folk-Horror" which has a few real classics which could conceivably appeal? It's obviously a different country and even earlier time period, but maybe it would be up your alley? Blood on Satan's Claw and Witchfinder General are the key movies in that subgenre. Both are very nasty little movies and minor classics.
     
  5. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    Was kinda hoping this would be about slashers, for some reason.
     
  6. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    No. They do have a core of rural America, though.

    Let me answer your question about how the others "feel," for lack of a better definition...

    I think "folk horror" is a good genre classification. I would include 1973's "The Wicker Man" in that same group of films you mentioned.

    If I extended the borders a little bit, including another film with that same feel, I'd include "The Asphyx," also from 1973. It's a little more technological (the term "steampunk noir" wasn't around at that time, though fitting), but it inspires that same kind of dread.

    OMG, so many overlapping categories. Now I'm making the leap from The Asphyx to Cronos. My bad.

    Back to topic!
     
  7. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    The Wicker Man is always included in that grouping when I see the lists of "Folk-Horror", I just didn't cause it's not a period movie unlike the other two cause I thought that was part of the criteria based on Ravenous. I'll have to watch more of them and get back to you on this one. :p I really liked the first half of Ravenous and thought it really built a ton of dread in the part where they go back to his cave, but thought it also devolved into essentially a superhero movie by the climax.
     
  8. Rosal76

    Rosal76 SS.org Regular

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    Not sure if you've seen these movies and or even if they fit the category but...

    The last house of the left (1972).

    Any and/or all of the "Phantasm" movies.

    The People under the stairs (1991).

    The Village (2004).

    The Reaping (2007).

    The Last Exorcism (2010).
     
  9. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    Based on what he had in his original post, it's probably a safe bet he's seen movies as popular as these! Well, maybe not the reaping.

    The village is one of the most hated movies out there, for some reason, I usually see it lumped in with The Happening as being just as bad. I sorta liked it even though I saw the BIG TWIST coming from the first goddam scene and was infuriated by the "little" twist. It certainly beats the pants off Lady in the Water if nothing else.

    Last Exorcism was much better than I was expecting, particularly the first half. It becomes less clever as the plot progresses but it had a fun set-up.

    I realized I started watching Jug Face a year or two ago and only made it about one minute in before getting bored, I guess I was having an ADD day. I'll have to try again. Reviews suggest that Last Kind Words sucks, but that the Other is pretty good. I've been watching a ton of 70s horror movies the last few months so I'll have to add it to the list. That was easily the best decade for horror movies in terms of artistic quality and experimentation. Then you got the 80s which was mostly just an endless parade of paint-by-numbers slasher movies, thanks to Friday the 13th, and the decades since which are even worse. :wallbash: "Deathdream" and "Who Could Kill a Child?" are next on my list.
     
  10. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    I watched Jug Face and didn't like it at all, but I think I have a vague idea of what you're looking for now at least. I'd recommend:

    Let's Scare Jessica to Death
    Dark Night of the Scarecrow
    White of the Eye

    All take place in rural america (well, White of the Eye is in the southwest desert, but it's tiny dusty towns and is often in the countryside). Other than that they're not very similar, the first is kind of an odd creeping dread story with a main character who's cracking up mentally, the second is sort of a supernatural revenge movie, the third is some kind of weird slasher with an emphasis on how being a crazy killer affects his home life (and it has a mystical bent to it!).

    I can think of some rural European horror flicks that are really good, which isn't what you asked for, but hey. I already mentioned two of them, a third is "Don't Torture a Duckling," "Eden Lake" almost qualifies even though it doesn't really feature a town and is mostly just in the woods, etc. "Dust Devil" is another cool one I saw recently, that one's set out in the boonies in South Africa and is tied to African myth though.

    I was reminded of The Woman (2011) by Jug Face, but that was mostly because it shared a star. I think The Woman is a masterpiece of sorts. It's set in suburbia and has an odd surreal black comedy feeling to many of the domestic scenes, but it definitely has some of the scuzzy outdoors feeling of something like Jug Face much of the time. You've probably seen it already, though.

    Stake Land has a lot of downtrodden rural america feeling to it, but it is a post apocalypse movie so IDK if it's what you're looking for (you probably know this one too).

    Some dark thrillers like Martha Marcy Mae Marlene and Winter's Bone and The Beguiled come close to qualifying too I'd say.
     
  11. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    Was just going to recommend that. Glad I read through all the posts first :lol:.
     
  12. 777timesgod

    777timesgod SS.org Regular

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    American Gothic (1988)
     
  13. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    This is something I've been wanting to watch for a while, and fits what I'm looking for to a T.

    No offense to those who are recommending various slasher- and Wes Craven-type movies. but those kinds of stories seem like they could be easily transplanted to other environments.

    If I had to m=come up with things common to my made-up genre of "Amercana Folk Horror," I guess the main characteristics would be a supernatural element tied to a uniquiely American culture or symbol, often set in a rural and/or farming community. Scarecrows, native American legend (Wendigo/Manitou, for example), the lingering family traditions from the old world, added to the setting, make for a particular kind of feel.

    The Shining and Poltergeist fail to fit this category, even though they both have strong native American and supernatural elements, because they aren't really set in those kinds of communities. The Woman doesn't really have a supernatural element.

    I'm not putting down the movies which don't fit. I do own and enjoy movies like Phantasm and The People Under the Stairs.

    If the Blair Witch Project had been stronger, I probably would add it to my viewing list when I reach for this kind of thing. As it iw, it's a Maryland project, so I'm fond of it for that reason alone. If they made a movie about the Goatman or the Bunny Man, I'd probably buy those too for the same reason, but neither of those have a supernatural element (since the Goatman incidents resulted from the work of the local biotech corridor companies).

    @Wankeness - I recommend the movie Bellflower to you, based on you talking about Stakeland. It's an odd one, and I don't really know how to classify it.
     
  14. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    Might seem too obvious, but what about Children of the Corn?

    Not its sequels, though. Fuck those with a rusty hammer.
     
  15. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Ooow! Good call with Children of the Corn! It's not perfect, but fits in very well!
     
  16. ah_graylensman

    ah_graylensman SS.org Regular

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    How about Lovecraft in a rural setting? The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer in Darkness (at least two versions including one from HPLHS), Die Monster Die or The Curse (both based on "The Colour Out of Space")...
     
  17. Rosal76

    Rosal76 SS.org Regular

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    Ohhh, man. You might like, if you didn't see it already, "Scarecrows (1988)". This movie definately has a lot of the traits you listed above.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    Isn't that mostly military vs scarecrows in a bunch of flourescent-lit hallways and generic barns? I haven't seen it in years.
     
  19. Rosal76

    Rosal76 SS.org Regular

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    Ohhh, man, it's been years since I've seen the movie, also. I first saw it on Beta in the late 80's, obviously after 1988 when it was released. I don't remember if there were any flourescent-lit hallways but there are mercenaries in it fighting the Scarecrows. I'm pretty sure we're talking about the same movie. :agreed:
     
  20. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    I think it was just kinda a military survival movie with some nasty gore ala Dog Soldiers or something and thus probably doesn't fit the "american setting is important" thing, but I don't really remember it. It's coming out on bluray soon, I might watch it again then.
     

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