Sometimes a quiet Christmas is the best way to go in Better Watch Out!.
MONSTERZERO NJ’S 20 HO HO HORROR FLICKS TO ADD A CHILL TO YOUR HOLIDAYS!
That “other” holiday season is here, the one that doesn’t involve jack-o-lanterns, witches and goblins! That doesn’t mean you can’t have some chills and thrills. I tried to add some variety here, so, not all of them are classics…and not all strictly horrors…though A Christmas Carol IS a ghost story after all. Here are twenty flicks to add some chills and thrills to your ho ho holidays!
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A ride share home during the Christmas holidays turns cold and deadly in Wind Chill!
I TRAPPED THE DEVIL (2019)
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Spooky flick finds Matt (A.J. Bowen) and his wife Karen (Susan Burke) going to the family house on Christmas night to visit Matt’s emotionally troubled brother Steve (Scott Poythress). They arrive to find the house in disarray and Steve insisting they leave. Matt refuses to go and soon they find out Steve has someone locked behind a door in the cellar…someone he claims is The Devil.
Flick is atmospherically directed by Josh Lobo from his own script. There are some very spooky moments here, especially when we are in the cellar and near that door. He uses Bryce Holden’s lighting and Ben Lovett’s really unsettling score to maximum effect in building a mood of dread and foreboding. The voice on the other side of the door sounds human, but there is something about it that makes Matt and Karen…and us…unsure. Does Steve really have Old Scratch trapped behind the cellar door? If anything holds this flick back a bit is that the dialogue sequences can get a bit tedious even for a film well under 90 minutes. The premise provides very little opportunity for action, so there is a lot of talk between the chilling moments, and it needed to be more involving. Steve’s babbling does indeed lay down doubt of his sanity, but also can get a bit annoying at times. It’s when things get creepy, like with Steve’s oddly behaving TV, that this film really works. The cast are fine, though Scott Poythress’ Steve could have been more intense, and there is a really unsettling and blood-spattered finale.
Overall, this was a really unnerving flick at times, though not consistently. Writer/director Josh Lobo knows how to build atmosphere and tension, but could make his dialogue sequences more gripping. An original idea that is certainly worth a look. May not be perfect, but is really effective when it is working.
3 (out of 4) Christmas trees…it is a Christmas film after all.