Horror and thrillers
A QUIET PLACE
Directed, co-written, and co-starring John Krasinski, A Quiet Place follows a family trying to survive after a race of alien creatures with hypersensitive hearing have eliminated much of humanity. Their efforts to live a normal life amid the ever-present threat of terrifying predators who can hear the slightest sound ratchets up the tension to nail-biting levels, and you’re likely to find yourself stifling your own screams in keeping with the film’s theme. Krasinski’s wife, Emily Blunt, co-stars in the film and received significant acclaim for her performance, including a Screen Actors Guild Award.
IT COMES AT NIGHT
It Comes at Night begins with a familiar horror premise: An outbreak has ravaged humanity, and the survivors must scavenge for supplies among the ruins of society. Paul (Joel Edgerton), Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and their son, Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), live in a house in the woods, cut off from the world at large. The world intrudes on their lives in the form of Will (Christopher Abbott), who stumbles upon their house and offers food in exchange for shelter for himself and his family. Will, his wife, Kim (Riley Keough), and their young son, Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner), move in, and the two families maintain a cautious peace. As the nights pass and strange occurrences plague the house, problems arise. It Comes at Night is a tense film in which the ordinary humans are as scary as whatever lurks outside their door.
THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER
Oz Perkins’ take on demonic possession films is a lot mellower than most entries in the genre. Gone are the jump scares and jets of vomit; Perkins prefers long, slow shots that suggest that behind every corner or door, something lurks. Set at a Catholic school in upstate New York, the film centers on two students, Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton). Neither girl’s parents arrived on time to pick them up for winter break, and so they will have to stay at the school, with only a pair of nuns for company until their parents arrive. Rose has no desire to babysit the younger Kat, who wanders the empty halls, seeking some unseen presence. Thrill seekers may not find The Blackcoat’s Daughter exciting, but those who prefer horror that creeps up and places a hand gently on their shoulder should love it.
Tim Burton directed this 1988 supernatural comedy about a young couple whose love for their home persists even after their death, ass they find themselves haunting their old house in order to convince its new occupants to move out. Their unsuccessful attempts at scaring the new residents away lead them to recruit the assistance of Beetlejuice, a raunchy, obnoxious demon memorably portrayed by Michael Keaton. The film’s impressive cast also includes Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as the deceased young couple who hire Beetlejuice, as well as Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Winona Ryder as the family who moves into the house.