Halloween is almost here. What a better time to curl up on the couch and watch a scary movie. Each day this week we’re recommending some lesser-known horror films to keep you creeped out until the big night next Tuesday.
Attack the Block
A group of London teens find themselves in the middle of an alien invasion and fight to defend their tower block from some evil extraterrestrials in this stylish sci-fi romp from the producers of Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Beset by a gang of young thugs as she passes through a South London housing estate, Sam is in the midst of being robbed when a ball of light falls out of the sky, and destroys a nearby car. Frightened, she flees from the scene just before an unearthly beast emerges from the wreckage and attacks Moses, the leader of the youthful gang. In retaliation, Moses and his crew slay the creature, and take it to a local drug den owned by ruthless gangster Hi-Hatz for safe keeping. Later, as the police assist Sam in pursuing her assailants, strange lights start to rain down on the streets, heralding the arrival of a second, more ferocious, wave of creatures. With the city under siege, there’s no place left to run. Quickly realizing she’s going to have to fight if she wants to survive, Sam once again crosses paths with the street-tough teens, but instead of running away vows to battle alongside them to the bitter end. Meanwhile, Moses becomes the primary target of the aliens, and the group arms themselves with everything from baseball bats to high-powered fireworks in the fight to save the human race.
Actor Bill Paxton made his directorial debut with Frailty. The bulk of the story is told through flashbacks, as a mysterious man tells a terrible tale to an FBI agent investigating the “God’s Hand” serial killer case. The man grew up in a small town in Texas, where he and his brother lived a bucolic life with their kindhearted widower father. One night, the father awakens the two boys, Fenton and Adam, and tells them he’s had a vision, and God has chosen him and his sons to help Him slay demons who walk the earth in human form. He tells the boys they can never tell anyone about this task. Before long, he comes home from work with a list of names that he claims an angel has given to him. He then begins abducting people, bringing them home, one by one, and having the boys watch while he lays his hands on them. After having proven, to his mind, that they are demons and not human, he chops them up with an axe while the boys look on. Young Adam is eager to participate, seeing his family as “kind of like superheroes,” while the older Fenton is distraught, believing that his father has lost his mind. He contemplates running away, but is reluctant to leave his little brother behind.
Bruce McDonald, critically acclaimed director, teams with author Tony Burgess to adapt Burgess’ own novel about a small town in the grip of a mysterious frenzy. It may be Valentine’s Day, but for caustic radio personality Grant Mazzy that’s just another reason to be miserable. Mazzy used to be a certified radio superstar, but working in Pontypool is a far shot from working in the big city. Today, however, as Mazzy prepares for his regular routine of reading the weather, updating school closings, and pleading his case for a little on-air controversy to producer Sydney Bryer, the appearance of an unexpected figure signals the beginning of a disturbing phenomenon in the small town of Pontypool. Heading to work, Mazzy is nearly run over by a distraught woman who seems to have lost her grip on reality. Later, reports of a shoot-out between provincial police and a group of local ice fishers are made even more bizarre by the revelation that they were all screaming gibberish, running around nude, and missing body parts. By the time a riot breaks out in Dr. Mendez’s office, it’s obvious to Mazzy that the residents of Pontypool are suffering from a strange form of contagious dementia, but what has caused this bizarre outbreak and, more importantly, how can it be stopped?