• ERIC BUTLER

2015 - Horror goes funny

There are a lot of movies I haven't seen from 2015 so my 10 may be missing some of your favorites. Something I noticed about this year is the resurgence of the comedy horror. I guess people got tired of the torture porn and they needed a laugh. Of course, my #1 is not remotely funny ...

Robert Eggers's first full-length film, The Witch, is a cinematic masterpiece. He filmed it in a way that makes you believe you are back in the 17th century. It also shows just how talented Anya Taylor-Joy is as this is her debut. You wouldn't know it, and would think she had been in the business for decades if it wasn't obvious she is so young in the picture. It's a film I often say must be seen, even by those who don't enjoy horror. You can check it out on Showtime, but if you wait I'm sure it will pop back on Prime.


Blurb - A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession


So Green Room is also not funny, and would have been #1 if not for The Witch. It's more entertaining, and seeing Patrick Stewart as the leader of a group of Nazi skinheads is a complete WTF. Anton Yelchin holds his own as the leader of the band trapped in the Nazi's compound. It hits all the right notes on tension, violence, and terror. Check it out on Showtime.


Blurb - A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.


I'm a big fan of writer/director S. Craig Zahler, and his first movie Bone Tomahawk. It was a long road to getting the movie made. The script was ready in 2007, cast in 2012 (with Timothy Olphyant in the Fox role, and then recast and made for release in 2015. The cast is outstanding, and I think movies like this has helped with the popularity of the rise in splatter-westerns in the indie horror book market. You're going to have to rent/buy to stream this one.


Blurb - In the dying days of the old west, an elderly sheriff and his posse set out to rescue their town's doctor from cannibalistic cave dwellers.


One of my favorite horror-comedies is The Final Girls. This movie takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the slasher genre, while giving us a touching mother-daughter reuniting sub-plot. I've seen it on HULU now and then, but you will have to rent/buy to stream it right now.


Blurb - A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom's most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film's maniacal killer.



Before Christopher Landon gave us the Happy Death Day Franchise & Freaky, he wrote & directed one of my favorite zombie movies Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. I'm huge fan of Tye Sheridan, and I love when a "serious" actor gets it and does a fun/funny horror film. If you have time I'd suggest you check out Joe, Mud, and The Night Clerk to see his fine work. You can stream this with PlutoTV.


Blurb - Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.


Another horror-comedy smashes a bunch of sub-genres to give us Freaks of Nature. Here we find a place were vampires, zombies, and humans live together in a community. Sprinkle in an alien invasion and you have a recipe for some extremely gory laughs. It will pop up on tubi from time to time, but for now it is a rent/buy to stream.


Blurb - In the town of Dillford, humans, vampires and zombies were all living in peace - until the alien apocalypse arrived. Now three teenagers - one human, one vampire, and one zombie - have to team up to figure out how to get rid of the visitors.


FYI - could only find red band trailer so watch out.


Before directing Thor 3 & 4, Taika Waititi teamed up with Flight of the Concords' Jermaine Clement to give us the office style documentary focused on the modern-living vampire, What We Do in the Shadows. Although the two men wrote 150 pages for the screenplay, they never let anyone see it and often only gave a broad idea of what they were looking for. They would sometimes give distinct beginnings and ends of certain scenes just to keep the movie on track, but most of the film is ad-libbed. It's rent/buy to stream right now but I'd think they'd have it on HULU at some point. The movie is now a show on F, and you can watch that on HULU.


Blurb - Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are struggling with the mundane aspects of modern life, like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.


From the man who brought us Trick 'r Treat, comes another holiday horror film, Krampus. It's a fun and playful take on the Krampus myth, and one of many films that came out that year looking at the horror of Christmas. It's a rent/buy to stream movie but I'd be shocked if it didn't pop up on a service closer to the holidays.


Blurb - A boy who has a bad Christmas accidentally summons a festive demon to his family home.



James Wan's partner in Saw and the first 2 Insidious films, Leigh Whannell, takes the director's chair for Insidious 3. This is a prequel, and takes us back a few years to give us a look at Elise Rainier's dealings with the spirit world. Check it out on tubi.


Blurb - A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.


While it isn't one of my favorite Guillermo del Toro films, Crimson Peak is a beautifully shot movie and a call back to the old gothic horror films that came out of Europe in the 60s & 70s. I may need to revisit it with fresh eyes, and give it another chance. You can stream it on Netflix and see for yourself.


Blurb - In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds - and remembers.



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