Weekend watch: Slasher films
You're better off without popcorn at this gore fest
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) and her paraplegic brother Franklin (Paul A Partain), along with three friends, visit their grandfather’s grave to investigate reports of vandalism and grave robbings. At the family homestead, they are hunted and terrorised by Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) a chain-saw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.
The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
In this adaptation of Clive Barker's 1984 short story of the same name, Leon (Bradley Cooper), a photographer with an irrepressible curiosity, becomes obsessed with a serial killer who preys on the subway, upsetting his waitress girlfriend Maya (Leslie Bibb), who he soon becomes violent towards. After an encounter with the subway butcher (who's murder weapons include a meat hammer and a hook), Leon finds himself trapped in a slaughter house with strange markings carved on his chest.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
After witnessing his parents' brutal murder on Christmas Eve, eight-year-old Billy Chapman (Danny Wagner) leads an oppressed life in a Catholic orphanage, under the care of abusive nuns who believe in the benefits of harsh punishment. Billy (Robert Brian Wilson) grows up to be a crazed murderer who roams the town in a happy red suit, slaying the naughty with his axe along the way. The controversial slasher film was promptly removed from theatres for its un-festive spirit.
Italian director Dario Argento's bloodfest is also an artistic feat, best remembered for its ominous scarlet-hued sequences. Suspiria follows the gory consequences of Suzy Bannion’s (Jessica Harper) ill-fated acceptance into a prestigious ballet academy run by a troupe of witches. Here, Argento films one of the most disturbing on-screen deaths – starts with close-ups of a throbbing heart being stabbed, ends with a hanging corpse, its skin sufficiently covered with trickling blood.
À l'intérieur (Inside, 2007)
In this French horror film that’s earned modern-cult status, a widowed pregnant woman, Sarah Scarangelo, finds a stranger on her doorstep asking to make a phone call. Soon, Sarah soon learns of the vistor’s deathly motives (finding her belly being probed by a pair of scissors was a giveaway); she wants Sarah's her unborn child. A violent struggle ensues (involving brutal stabbings and scarring burns) forcing Sarah to perform a tracheotomy on herself. And that’s hardly the only scene to make you squirm.