10 Creepy Films About Toxic Relationships – Part 1

I have a deep appreciation for human psychology, especially abnormal psych. A big part of psychology is how we relate to each other as human beings. Human relationships can be beautiful, and complex, and they can also be horrific. Today I’m listing some great films that examine the disturbing results that occur when fate brings the wrong people together. I’m breaking this article into two parts, because I don’t want it to get too long. (Keep in mind these are in no particular order.)

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301/302

301/302 is a Korean film that examines what happens when two people’s obsessions clash. The two female characters live next door to each other in an apartment complex, one is a chef and the other is a writer with anorexia. The chef ends up taking desperate measures to force the writer to sample her culinary talents. This film is weird, and funny, and gross. I like how it shows the histories of both women, allowing the viewer to understand how they came to be the way they are. There is an American remake of this film. It’s called Compulsion, and it stars Carrie-Anne Moss and Heather Graham. The original is by far the superior film, though.

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Silver Tongues

Silver Tongues is one of my favorite films about sociopaths. I’m shocked this movie isn’t more popular. It revolves around a couple that moves from place to place, finding people to psychologically toy with. Unlike 301/302, there is no deep reason for why the main characters do what they do, which makes it all the more troubling. They seem to just enjoy destroying the lives of others for kicks.

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Grimm Love

Grimm Love is one of the horror films released by Fangoria as part of their FrightFest. It stars Keri Russell as a psychology student studying a case that is based on Armin Meiwes, aka “The Rohtenburg Cannibal”. As many of you may know, Meiwes is known for convincing a man to let him eat him. Of course for the purposes of the movie, the names of the characters are changed and the details are scrambled about, but it preserves the shocking nature of the real crime. Russell puts in an excellent performance, and the film raises some interesting questions, like “What is love?”. I’m still saying it’s not cutting off a guy’s penis and eating it front of him, but hey, that’s just me.

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Bug

Bug is the story of the insanity that blossoms between a mysterious drifter and a battered woman. Bug can be considered a textbook example of Folie a deux. Folie a deux is a French term that basically means ” a madness of two”. It occurs when two people share a delusion. In order for Folie a deux to occur, there has to be isolation and one of the parties is dominant, while the other just sort falls in line with the delusion. In this William Friedkin film, Michael Shannon’s character convinces a damaged Ashley Judd, that the government has planted insects in their hotel room. It’s all downhill from there.

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Proxy

I don’t feel like I can say much about this film without giving plot points away. I guess I’ll just have to tell you something vague, like “No one is what they appear to be.” While, that’s true, it hardly does this movie justice. Proxy is bursting at the seams with well crafted shots, fascinating characters, and gut-wrenching violence.

What are some of your favorite horror/thrillers about toxic relationships. Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @HallowsHaunts.

The Horror of Resurrection

Well it’s Easter, creeps. That means candy, rabbits, and dyed eggs… oh yeah and Jesus rising from the grave. Now I’m not particularly religious, but Easter seems like the perfect time to examine some excellent depictions of reanimation in horror films. For the purposes of this list, I’m going to try and leave off the super obvious choices, so no Frankenstein. That doesn’t mean I’m only listing indie films, it just means I won’t be recommending Evil Dead. I mean, come on, that’d just be lazy.

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Cemetery Man

There are so many weird things about this movie, apparently it’s based off a novel that is just as abstract and comedic. Although this movie is hilarious, there’s also a layer of sadness winding through it and the ending is gut-wrenching. You won’t find many clear cut answers in Cemetery Man, but one thing is clear. Keeping the dead in their graves is a lonely and unrewarding task.

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Pet Sematary

Let’s be honest, Pet Sematary is not a great film. Like a lot of Stephen King adaptations, it feels a tad lackluster. Still, I love it. This cautionary tale is well suited to this list, because it demonstrates the tragic results that can occur when the natural process of death is disturbed. Louis Creed should’ve listened to Herman Munster. I mean, hell he’d already been reanimated once. Also, can we all agree that Rachel’s sister Zelda is one of the creepiest things ever?

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Wake Wood

Wake Wood is a delightful little Irish flick that marked the return of Hammer Films. The premise is the same as Pet Sematary. A child dies, the parents are devastated, so they turn to extreme methods to bring their kid back to life. While Pet Sematary revolves around Native American mythology, Wake Wood utilizes Wicker Man style Paganism. The loopy locals combined with the gloomy Irish setting make Wake Wood a unique gem of a movie.

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Burying the Ex

Maybe you’d prefer a film that’s a bit more cute. Well if you consider flesh rotting and romance cute, then you should check out Burying the Ex. Burying the Ex features iconic Los Angeles scenery, an adorable Halloween loving protagonist, and Ashley Greene as the most annoying undead girlfriend anyone could imagine. Joe Dante’s films have always held a certain unparalleled offbeat charm, and Burying the Ex is no exception.

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Dead Alive

Before Peter Jackson made long films about fantasy creatures taking epic walks, he made some insane movies. Among those, is Dead Alive. Dead Alive begins with Lionel’s obnoxious mother dying after being bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. Unfortunately for Lionel, she rises from the dead and proceeds to devour the living. Not only does this screw up Lionel’s love life, it leaves him with a whole mess of zombies to slaughter. Like Cemetery Man this film is laugh your ass off funny. It features some of the most gore-tastic zombie killing methods I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for a zombie film that’s bursting with creativity, this is the one to watch.

I hope these 5 “Back from the Dead” films bring you a bit of macabre joy this Easter. However, if you’re having a big celebration dinner, I might wait until after you eat to check these flicks out. You might find them a bit nauseating if you’ve got a weak stomach. Check me out on Twitter @LolaTarantula and on our blog feed @HallowsHaunts. Happy Easter friends, enjoy.

 

Bardo Thodol- A Journey Through Death

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Of all the experiences I had at Midsummer Scream, Bardo Thodol was the most unexpected. The most shocking of course was Urban Death, but now that I’ve performed in UD four times, nothing shocks me. With Bardo Thodol I had no preconceived notions. It was pitched as a personal tour of your own death, and I knew that it was based on the “Tibetan Book of the Dead”. Other than that I was clueless.

When I made my way to the front of the line, I was asked to remove my shoes and socks and put on a blindfold. I could tell right away I was in for something amazing. Blindfolded, I was led inside a dark space. A man began to whisper in my ear. He told me I was dying and that I needed to reconsider my life. I didn’t particularly care for this part, just because I don’t like the sensation of people whispering to me. I’m no fan of ASMR. Once he was done whispering, I was led to another part of the room and told to lay down. I quickly realized that I was laying on a tarp of some sort.

Soon my blindfold was removed and I was lifted, tarp and all, by a group of people in medical uniforms. I was placed on a gurney and rushed into a sort of ER. There, doctors checked me for signs of life, while a man gripped my hand and cried. This part was so much fun it was hard not to laugh. I was impressed by the amount of emotion the crying man exhibited. As he cried, he told me that he wasn’t ready for me to go into the light.

Once the doctors declared me dead, I was covered with a semi-transparent plastic sheet and whisked away into the darkness. From there, I was placed back on the ground. Then it was time for me to be returned to the Earth. Dirt was shoveled bit by bit on top of me. I was surprised to see how much they actually buried me under. As anyone who’s carried a bag of soil knows, that stuff is heavy. I could feel the weight over my whole body and face. It wasn’t unpleasant, though. I actually found the sensation kind of nice.

Abruptly, the experience came to an end. I was pulled out from my grave and led to the exit. This ending was so puzzling, that I wasn’t sure if it was over or where I should go. On the way out, I was given a chip with a web link to details for the whole Bardo Thodol attraction. I came to realize that what I had experienced was only part one. I had a blast, so I’ll definitely be looking into what else they have to offer. I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get to see any demons or angels. I was hoping for some sort of final judgement. Perhaps that will be in the next installment. This event is good for people who want something more immersive than Halloween Horror Nights, but less insane than Heretic. I would not recommend Bardo Thodol to those who are claustrophobic or uncomfortable with the reality of death.