Friday, 3 October 2014

Movies that aren't horror films but should be

Some films may be billed as action, or even a comedy, but deep down we know that they are designed to give us nightmares. Here I list some of the films, documentaries and TV shows that tricked us into watching horror.

The Act of Killing

What you think is a documentary about the atrocious murders in Indonesia from 1965-66, quickly turns into a surreal nightmare. Joshua Oppenheimer, in a genius storytelling method, allows the gangsters who committed these murders (as part of an anti-communist purge) to tell their own story in any cinematic medium they choose. They even come up with a musical justification for their crimes. Even though it is obvious that Oppenheimer is on the side of the victims, the perpetrators of the crimes seem to trust him enough to boast about their crimes, justifying the unjustifiable. Shocking and horrifying, you are guaranteed to be left stunned for a long while after watching.

American History X

In testament to Edward Norton's acting skills, I disliked him for a long time as a teenager, him playing a neo-Nazi a bit too well for my liking, even though I knew he wasn't one. I imaging for many people, this is their first exposure of neo-Nazi's, and for me it is truly frightening to think that people are still able to think like this, and are willing to take actions into their own hands. If it wasn't for the redemption part of the storyline, this would just be two hours of brutal nastiness.


Ben Wheatley is quickly showing himself to be one of the most creative directors in the horror cannon. Kill List watches like a vicious nightmare, and A Field in England is a psychedelic film designed to drive you crazy, but Sightseers sees him delve into the world of pitch black humour. A new couple go on a caravan holiday, and indulge themselves in disposing of all the Daily Mail readers they hate. If it wasn't for the comedy, this film will be a prime example of everyones dark desires, their murder fantasies they don't dare act upon.

Taxi Driver

It just goes to show how great a director Scorsese is, as he is able to turn what would be a loner-goes-on-a-rampage horror flick into a brooding examination of post-Vietnam America. I was always intrigued, and disturbed, by just how relateable Travis Bickle's thoughts where. If you just took all those selfish thoughts just a bit more seriously, then you too can be the rain to wash "the scum off the streets". Seriously, though, do not act on those thoughts.

Hunter x Hunter

Get this. Twelve year old Gon leaves home to train as a hunter (a kind of licenced adventurer).  He's joined by Kurapika, who's eyes turn red when he is emotional aggravated, and Killua, another twelve year old who has been brain washed into becoming an assassin by his brother and father, and who can rip a man's heart out without him even noticing. They go on tortuous tests in order to get this hunter license, and many try-outs die. One hunter try-out, Hisoka, is a magician serial killer who gets off sexually when he gets into fights. And this is meant to be a kids programme? It may look like Pokemon, but Hunter x Hunter is based in a world where murder is common place, and people are willing to risk their lives for what is a glorifies bus pass. Horrifying.

I'm sure there's plenty more films of TV programmes I've missed. Let me know which ones who think should be reclassified as horror in the comments below, or on our twitter (@richeeandlayla) or facebook (His and Hers Views and Reviews).


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