Friday, October 2, 2015


Stevie Kopas' 
"Can't Miss Top Ten Picks"

Autumn is here and the magic of Halloween is just around the corner.  I love this time of year for several reasons, but the most important one is something many of you may be familiar with.
            No.  I'm not talking about Pumpkin Spice Latte.
            I'm talking about scary movies!  Get hype!
            We're all familiar with Michael Meyers, Freddie Krueger, and Jason Vorhees... the same horror icons get rubbed in our face year after year, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm here today to share with you my list of underrated horror films that you should check out this year.
            Being a horror film reviewer, I have to watch a lot of horror movies.  Some of them are good, some of them are pretty terrible, and then there are the gems that stick with me forever.  I decided to compile this list of more recent films (released over the past ten years or so) to prove that the horror genre is still very much alive and kicking.  Many would argue that horror films reached their peak in the 80s and 90s, and that new horror is recycling garbage.  But I beg to differ.  There is still originality and pure terror to be found out there, despite the amount of Cult Classics that get replayed every year during October for your viewing pleasure.
            Keep reading to check out my "Can't Miss Top Ten Picks" for Halloween this year!

Of course a zombie film would be at the top of my list, but Wyrmwood takes the cake as far as stand-out undead film of 2015.  Not only is it fast-paced, but it's hilarious, campy, and gory as hell.  Not your typical zombie flick, that's for sure.

Barry is a talented mechanic and family man whose life is torn apart on the eve of a zombie apocalypse.  His sister, Brooke, is kidnapped by a sinister team of gas-mask wearing soldiers and experimented on by a psychotic doctor.  While Brooke plans her escape, Barry goes out on the road to find her and teams up with Benny, a fellow survivor - together they must arm themselves and prepare to battle their way through hordes of flesh-eating monsters in a harsh Australian bushland.

A French-language film from one of my favorite directors, Xavier Gens.  If you're a Texas Chainsaw Massacre fan, you'll love this torturous, terrifying trip to the countryside and you'll remember it for many Halloweens to come.

A gang of young thieves flee Paris during the violent aftermath of a political election, only to hole up at an Inn run by neo-Nazis.

Speaking of Xavier Gens...  The Divide is one of my all-time favorite films.  It's controverial, to say the least, and not as gory as the rest of the films on this list, but I'll tell you what: the true horror of this film lies in the possibility of it actually happening, and the monsters we become when our humanity is lost.

Survivors of a nuclear attack are grouped together for days in the basement of their apartment building, where fear and dwindling supplies wear away at their dynamic.

Trust me, this flick is definitely not another teen movie.  It's sick and twisted, perfectly capturing and displaying obsession and madness in one horror-inducing night.  It's also worth noting that The Loved Ones has some memorable and humorous moments throughout.

When Brent turns down his classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.

5. El Orfanato (The Orphanage)

Everyone loves a good ghost story, and who better to give us one than Guillermo del Toro?  A Spanish-language film that is both truly scary and beautifully atmospheric.  This movie may be one of the more well-known horror films on the list, but still worth including.

A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children.  Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.

This Canadian horror film is pretty popular with horror geeks, but for others, you may not have had the pleasure of being introduced to it!  It's definitely a body-horror film laced with revenge, and features one of my favorite female protagonists.

The allure of easy money sends Mary Mason, a medical student, inot the world of underground surgeries, which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called "freakish" clients.

This film was remade in America, but the South Korean original is where it's at.  You'll not only be subjected to supernatural horror here, but you'll also begin questioning everything once the psychological horror aspect of the film begins to unravel.

Two sisters who, after spending time in a mental institution, return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother.  Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother's obsessive and unbalanced ways, an interfering ghost also affects their recovery.

8. The Den

The Den is considered a "found footage" film, but I like to think of it more as an "unfortunate series of documented events."  The internet is a creepy place, and The Den will make it even creepier.  While not as gory, fans of Hostel will surely enjoy this one.

While studying the habits of web cam chat users from the apparent safety of her own home, a young woman's life begins to spiral out of control after witnessing a grisly murder online.

You might think that this film is a crime drama, but there's a reason it's been given the horror label, trust me.  If you can hang on through the slow build, then you'll be in for a pulse-pounding ride with a major twist that will leave you with your mouth hanging open.

Nearly a  year after a botched job, a hitman takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings.  What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.

You might be thinking that you've seen the "wake up in the woods with no memory and meet a house full of strangers" done before... but you'd be completely wrong.  Open Grave took me by surprise and is worth the watch time and time again.

A man wakes up in the wilderness, in a pit full of dead bodies, with no memory, and must determine if a murderer is one of the strangers who rescued him, or if he himself is the killer.

And there you have it, horror lovers!  I put my personal stamp of approval on all the above mentioned films.  So whether you're a binge-watcher, or you like to stretch things out day by day during the Halloween season, I hope that these films find their way to your television sets.  Or, hey, you know, you could always go watch a movie from 1987 that you've seen sixty-three times before.  That's up to you.

Happy Halloween!

About the author:
Stevie is the author of The Breadwinner Trilogy, the Amazon bestselling dystopian adventure from Permuted Press.  Born and raised in New Jersey, Stevie knows a thing or two about horror and apocalyptic wastelands.  She is an avid reader, coffee lover, and all-around badass.  She hopes that in her next life she is a Claptrap, but in the mean time, she's currently working on her next novel, the sci-fi comedy adventure, Earth to Millie, and trying not to write anything more about zombies.
            You can stalk Stevie!  Here's how!!  Twitter ** Facebook ** Website **

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