Don’t get me wrong I love all kinds of horror movies, though some torture-y movies can be a bit much for me sometimes, but I think one of my favorites are the slow burns. The movies where you know something is going on, things aren’t right and some of the characters know it. But nothing has really happened yet, there’s tension but no release. A noise here, something is misplaced or missing altogether, or people just freaking themselves out but again nothing has really happened. And that tensions is still there, pushed down but not gone then comes the unraveling.
Slow burn not only denies you that jump-scare we’ve become accustomed to from many of the mainstream horror movies but, at least in my opinion, stays with you. Because when you get home from the movies or turn on the lights at home things are back to normal…or are they? Everything seemed okay in what you just watched, who’s to say it’s not happening to you?
So my favorite slow burn horror movies:
The Innkeepers: I had heard about this movie, someone I know said it was a ghost/haunted house type movie and that they were disappointed because there wasn’t much ‘pay-off’. I would like to point out that this person, while a fan of horror, is more of a fast paced someone-is-gonna-get-you-run fan, so I took their review of it with a whole salt shaker. So finding a non-spoiler review I set up my living room and watched with no distractions. Holy crap even now my spine is tingly.
It’s got 2 main characters and only a few side characters, an ghost story they heard about the place, and them trying to find out if it’s true or not. Things seem weird, a couple freak out moments, more creepy-creepy is something going on, then things go down really fast. This type of hotel horror makes me think about where I’m staying when I go out of town.
Absentia: If you’ve ever heard of H.P. Lovecraft this movie would make him proud. It’s already sad when people go missing and there’s no trace or no indication of what could have happened, they’re just gone. This movie just makes it scarier.
So this one centers are two sisters, one has apparently been traveling the other is heavily pregnant and about to declare her husband dead in absentia (missing for so long he must be dead). Things take a turn, couple turns really, and shit gets creepy and weird. More questions, things moving in the dark or are you seeing things?
Session 9: I didn’t know this one was a slow burn when I started it and as it went on I had to pause it and reset myself so I could pay attention. Wow did this one take me by surprise. I had to watch it again to really put the pieces together of what the hell happened.
A work crew is set to begin refurbishment on an old hospital and while one guy is going through a lot of crap at work another one finds some sessions tapes of a little girl and her therapist and the way the audio and scenes are cut together just gives the whole movie a sinister tone. Going into the final act I felt like I was blindsided thus the re-watch. But hot damn was it good.
I do have a few more but rather than give my two cents, I’ll let you pick and choose which to watch:
The Orphanage (El Orfanato)
House of the Devil
We Are Still Here
If you have any suggestions as far as other slow burn horror movies list them in the comments below and maybe I’ll be able to watch them in the future.