Ash Recommends: 12 Scary Movies to Make You Go Pee-Pee In Your Panties

Just in time for Halloween, you thought I forgot about you, and I did, but then I remembered again, and then I forgot, because I was distracted by a global pandemic and like 1200 other things I have to do, but then I remembered again and wrote you this definitive list of my top 12 favorite CREEPY FILMS & SHOWS to freak your shit OUT, son!

I want to first address the GENRE because I have gripes with how scary movies have been defined and I tend to define them in my own unique way. Horror often gets lumped in with low budget slashers instead of what I think of as more psychological thrillers that have a lot more thought put into them to really scare the audience. There’s campy horror at one end, and then there’s drama thriller at the other, and those are two completely different kinds of movies, both that I very much love, but I’m going to be recommending more drama thrillers on this list because these are the films I get really excited about because they’re just being started to be taken seriously (thank you Ari Aster) and there are a lot of them coming out. So hold on to your hot pants you’re in for a bumpy night (because you’re going to poop your pants.)

12 – November – 2017, Theresa Frostad Eggesbø, Mathias Bøgelund, Marie Christensen

I stumbled across this film completely by accident and thought for sure David Lynch’s 8mm cabin footage must have been leaked, but lo and behold these are just Estonian folk tales about thieving townspeople and werewolves and creatures made of sticks, nothing to see here! It’s just one of the craziest films you may ever see. Not sure if it’s scary but it is definitely off-putting, very dark, the cinematography is breathtaking, and it’s definitely worth and watch. I felt very fortunate to come upon it by happenstance and found it very charming in how unique and well shot it is. Curious to see what you make of it!

11 – Goodnight Mommy – 2014, Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz, Susanne Wuest

I got seriously creeped out by this movie. It’s just so dark and cold. Maybe German just sounds kinda creepy as a language? Especially when moms are speaking it? But wow, I was legit scared while I was watching this. Just think of the twins from The Shining and how creepy they are, and then make them GERMAN. Also, I did not see any of the twists coming and I’m usually pretty good at figuring those out so, eeek! Watch with a friend and/or and EXTRA TRUSTWORTHY PARENT! Just in case.

10 – The Monster – Zoe Kazan, Ella Ballentine, Aaron Douglas

Some people have pointed out to me after the fact that this movie might be a bit silly, and that’s fine, but I’m still impressed with what they were able to pull off with such little resources and budget. The Monster does a fantastic job of building suspense with just two characters in a car together, and as a writer, I love to study how they do that and do it effectively. They do a great job of developing the characters and the relationship between them; their imperfect relationship and it really helps to build tension for the scenes that ensue at the end. I love stories that are as imperfect as the characters. I don’t like stories that tie up nicely, and so this movie landed well for me. I think you might like it, and I tend to like most things that Zoe Kazan is in, so why don’t you give it a try, plus it’s A24!

9 – In Fabric – Sidse Babett Knudsen, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Julian Barratt

Another A24 feature with the lovely Marianne Jean Baptiste and the adorable Julian Barratt from one of my all time favorite British comedies, The Mighty Boosh. Together, they weave a truly original tale of an EVIL DRESS THAT SHAN’T BE TRUSTED! I think it’s about time we see horror film depicting the of the evils of fast fashion! In all seriousness though, I loved this stylized 60’s/70’s inspired alternative indie thriller. This movie has an, AHEM, mannequin menstrual self pleasuring scene, and I’m not sure how many other films can say that. Also, it was just so visually fun to watch. I loved how artistically the shots were set up; they reminded me of Suspiria or Burnt Offerings. A24 always nails it, just give them all the funding, plz k thx.

8 – Beast – 2017, Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James

This was the first time I ever saw Jessie Buckley act, and she has since made quite a name for herself in films such as I’m Thinking Of Ending Things and the latest season of Fargo with Chris Rock. She gives a fantastic performance in this dark thriller, set in the beautiful, deep green scenery of Ireland. Things are not what they seem, as with most of Jessie’s characters, motivations unravel slowly and we see more as the story unwinds. By the end you may feel totally gutted but it’s a wild ride you’ll be glad you went on and you’ll realize why she won most promising new actor!

7 – When Animals Dream – 2014, Sonia Suhl, Lars Mikkelsen, Sonja Richter

I love this movie for so many reasons, many of which would be spoilers if I listed them here. Just trust me when I say that it’s an endearing and unique watch, and it sticks with you. I love the actress and how she underplays her character. She leaves a lot of mystery to her motivations, to her family’s story, and you read a lot into the scenery of the town, into her mother’s illness, her father’s behavior, and her burgeoning libido and romances. The final scene at the end was a very rewarding watch, and I absolutely love how they chose to do the makeup in this, not overdone, or underdone, just perfect and very natural looking. Really wish they did more creature features like this. It got me into this whole Scandinavian creature film binge watch for awhile, which I think I am still on! Great, very unique film I often recommend. I hope you love it!

6 – Prisoners – 2013, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Paul Dano

If you thought you had seen Wolverine at his toughest, think again! This is Hugh Jackman’s best performance, if you ask me, and Paul Dano too gets really down in it. THIS MOVIE WILL FUCK YOU UP, so get ready. It is HEAVY! It will make you question the very nature of humanity. This movie stays with me. The screenwriter is the same one that wrote Ridley Scott’s newest series Raised by Wolves which I was equally as blown away by, and I was not surprised. They are both evidence of an immense talent and hyper active mind. This is a tale of a missing child and how that story unravels and brings out the very worst and very best in people, but never in the ways we would hope. Desperation cuts us to our very core and makes us ask ourselves what we are truly living for, who we really are, and what we are willing to do if we have nothing else to lose. It’s a DARRRKKK ass film, but soooo well done. You get 5 star performances out of the whole cast. Once you watch it you can never un-see it! Watch at your own risk!

5 – Hounds of Love – 2016, Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! I just hope it doesn’t ruin the Kate Bush song for you.

5 – Room – 2015, Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers

I liked this movie because it doesn’t focus on the typical part of the story you would expect it to focus on. Trauma has many parts, and I always reflect, when I watch a movie, that the ending is not actually when a movie ends, that person is DEFINITELY traumatized well past the end of that story. Well this movie keeps going, well past the end of where a normal movie would end, and tells some of the story of what might happen later. I won’t spoil it, but I was taken with the inventiveness of this approach – following the character through scenarios we wouldn’t normally tackle in typical scary movies, into much more human struggles to cope with trauma. I thought this movie was very well executed and the character development was well very done. I always love A24 so when I see a movie by them I tend to watch it. I hope you love it.

4 – Mandy – 2018, Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache

If you’re looking for Nicolas Cage to go FULL CAGE well you’re going to have to wait awhile, because this Cage is a reserved Cage for at least a half to 2/3 of the movie and then WATCH THE EFF OUT!!! This movie is best watched at nighttime, while under the influence of some type of substance, with your pants off, cuddling with someone, and with a very open mind, because it is is BALLS-TO-THE-WALLS-NUTSO! The contrasty colors, the demons from hell on motorcycles, the gratuitously long chainsaws, the piles of cocaine, the CULTS DOING BUG DRUGS!!! I CAN’T EVEN KEEP TRACK OF HOW OFF THE CHARTS CAGE NICOLAS CAGE HAS GONE THESE DAYS! But this is by far one of my favorite Nicolas Cage films. You can’t miss it, I won’t allow it!

3 – Villains – 2019, Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Blake Baumgartner, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Donovan

This is a hidden gem! No one I’ve talked to has watched this, but when I found it I was like “Ooohhh this is sooooo gooood!!” It IS! So dark, and suspenseful! Kind of darkly funny, uncomfortable, edge of your seat thriller! Everything you want in a film and so well cast too! Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Blake Baumgartner, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Donovan. It’s an amazing crime joyride you will NOT forget! Watch it now and thank me later!

2 – Border – 2018, Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff, Jörgen Thorsson

OK, I told you I was on a Scandinavian creature feature film kick, and it’s not over yet! This is by far one of the best films that has been made in the last decade if you ask me. It is so unique, so bold and so striking – it will take your breath away – especially one scene in particular. It is very dark, but not a scary movie in the traditional sense. More of a drama or thriller. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the make up is fantastic and the main character draws a lot of empathy in her journey of self discovery. I think you will really find this film fascinating, and it truly could not have been made anywhere else (filmed in Sweden.)

1 – The News

Ash Strayer

Funny, in spite of ovaries.

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