This amazing horror movie will blow your mind

This amazing horror movie will blow your mind

At the end of September, we made an appeal to readers looking for specific horror movie recommendations. It’s an offshoot of our Dear Polygon series, where we answer questions and provide a review for readers like you. To our delight, hundreds of you have responded. This is the third entry that answers those requests, picking out a horror movie to watch just for you. You can catch up on the first entry here, and our second here.

If you want to join, you can still use our request form for recommendations.

Let’s dig.

[Ed. note: Some questions have been slightly edited for clarity.]


Dear Polygon,

I like psychological horror or thrillers. So I’m looking for a total mind f*ck. Stupid horror humor is always good too.

Christine

Christine: Congratulations; these are excellent ways to start as you begin your journey into the horror field. I’ll kick you off with a thriller classic, one that fits very well Black Swan (more on that later), and uses the medium to really fuck your mind in the best way. —Zosha Millman

Perfect Blue

Image: GKIDS

How is it going? Mima is bursting at the seams. She left her successful girl group to become an actress and star in a risqué detective TV drama. Plus, she has a stalker who seems to know her innermost thoughts and doubts and put them online – as Mima — on a special forum dedicated to her life. It’s enough to make everyone’s reality fall apart, and Perfect Blue is the perfect mind-blowing vehicle to soak it all up.

What flavor of horror is it? Perfect Blue is mostly light on physical blood (although there is some), turning instead to more internal, psychological violence. As real life and fiction begin to fade for Mima, the world becomes staggeringly warped, using the freedom of anime to further disorient and distort what either Mima or the public knows to be true. There are certainly slasher and thriller elements, but they are secondary to the film’s ability to distort reality through its own freaky hall of mirrors. Whether you are new to horror, anime or both, Perfect Blue is an ideal film to show you the beauty of both art forms and is becoming a true classic for a reason.

Who made it? Satoshi Kon, God rest his soul. Known for anime classics like Paprika, millennium actress, and Tokyo GodfathersKon’s brief but gargantuan legacy lives on after his death in 2010. If you’re a Darren Aronofsky fan, you’ll find that he’s repeatedly mentioned Kon’s influence, even basing certain recordings on Requiem for a dream On Perfect Blue‘s. (That said, he draws the line to say it’s inspired) Black Swan.)

Who’s in it? If you watch the Japanese dub, you might recognize Junko Iwao, who plays Mima, and has many notable anime credits to her name. Rika Matsumoto, who plays Mima’s manager, Rumi, has also voiced Satoshi (aka Ash Ketchum in English) in several Pokémon projects!

How long is it? An hour and 21 wonderful minutes of mindfuck.

Where can I watch? Perfect Blue is available to stream on Shudder and AMC Plus via Prime Video. It is also available for digital rental and purchase via Amazon, AppleGoogle Play and Vudu.


Dear Polygon,

Comedy Horror can be really great, but it can also be overly genre-conscious. What’s a comedic horror that doesn’t lean too heavily on “boy, it sure would be silly if we break up, but let’s break up”?

Kylea

As we’ve documented on Polygon, horror is the most tropical genre and it’s so easy for even great horror movies with a sense of humor to fall back on spoof. (And “genre aware” isn’t always a pejorative! See: Shaun of the Dead.) But here’s an underrated choice that I think skew comedy more than horror (versus, say, your… freakys or your screams), while still holding onto the creature function bit. —Matt plasters

Bad Milo!

Duncan (Ken Marino) is on the couch in his white t-shirt with Milo, an ass demon vaguely like the baby from Dinosaurs but with giant Baby Yoda eyes

Photo: Let go of the magnet

How is it going? Think Gremlins, but about an ass monster. The film follows Duncan (Ken Marino), a stressed-out guy who knows the clock is ticking on his chance to have children with his wife Sarah (Gillian Jacobs). His fear has grown so much that he has turned into a chubby goblin living in his gut. Like Audrey II from small shop, “Milo” is hungry for blood – and routinely escapes Duncan’s ass to feast. No one is well.

What flavor of horror is it? With a giddiness to splash and without hesitation to put the laughter out of his bathroom humour, Bad Milo! falls dead in the middle of the horror-comedy matrix. A cast of comedic actors bring a highly odd and hilarious tone to a film that plays it otherwise honestly. And the horror of it all works, thanks to elaborate puppetry and R-rated bloodshed. It’s sick shit!

Who made it? The film comes from editor-turned-director Jacob Vaughan, who was lucky enough to have experienced puppeteers Bob Mano, Frank Langley and Mark Bryan Wilson, the man behind Slimer in Ghostbustersto tackle all of Milo’s creepier antics.

Who’s in it? In addition to Marino and Jacobs, there is a line of killers with funny people, including Stephen Root, Patrick Warburton, Mary Kay Place, Kumail Nanjiani, and Peter Stormare (who is very good at Gruff Serious Guy Comedy).

How long is it? 84 minutes

Where can I watch? Bad Milo! is available to stream on Hulu. It is also available for digital rental or purchase through Amazon and Apple.


Dear Polygon,

My horror movie taste is really all over the map. I’ve been obsessed with scary movies since I was a kid, good or bad, and to be honest, most of them are bad. I would be shocked at this point if I saw a movie that really scares me, but that would be great. I will normally love a horror movie if it has one or more of these elements… the movie itself is actually good, it’s fun, it fills you with fear, it’s disturbing and I like blood. I watch all year round but in October I watch 31 horror movies, so recommendations are definitely needed!

britney

Hi Britney, I like this question because it’s pretty close to my feeling about horror movies too. So for the sake of disturbing movies with some gore – which I can’t necessarily recommend to everyone – I think I have a great, very recent pick that went under the radar last year. —Austen Goslin

Wrong turn (2021)

A blond woman with blood on her face claps her hands over her mouth in Wrong Turn.

Image: Constantin Movie

How is it going? A group of teenagers get lost on an Appalachian trail and come across a society that has been hiding in the woods for years. Things go predictably wrong, and then they go very unpredictably wrong, and that’s where the movie really gets going. Wrong turn (2021) is a reinvention of the 2000s horror series Wrong Turn, but don’t worry, you don’t need to have seen any of the previous films to understand this.

What flavor of horror is it? This film is a take on the traditional backcountry horror genre, trading the drab cannibal villains of the original franchise for something much more creepy and interesting. As for the movie itself, Wrong turn (2021) is full of deeply disturbing gore and creepy moments, but the film’s surprisingly realistic wounds aren’t nearly as shocking as its tense and terrifying final 30 minutes or so.

Who made it? Wrong turn (2021) is directed by Mike P. Nelson, a fairly new filmmaker whose most prominent film before that was a very small indie sci-fi project called the housemates. The movie is written by original Wrong turn writer Alan B. McElroy, who has written on all kinds of movies and television series, including: Star Trek: Discovery.

Who’s in it? The cast isn’t necessarily full of stars, but it does include a particularly recognizable face in Matthew Modine, which most viewers at this point are probably familiar with from Weird stuff.

How long is it? Wrong turn is 109 minutes.

Where can I watch? It will be streamed on Showtime via Paramount Plus or Amazon. It is also available for digital rental or purchase through Amazon and Apple.

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