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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

5 Deep Cut Horror Movies to Seek Out in August 2023

This month’s installment of Deep Cuts Rising features a variety of horror movies. Some selections reflect a specific day or event in August, and others were chosen at random.

Regardless of how they came to be here, or what they’re about, these past movies can generally be considered overlooked, forgotten or unknown.

This month’s offerings feature folk horror, killer animals, and more.

Dark August (1976)


Directed by Martin Goldman.

With August 22 being World Folklore Day, horror fans don’t ever have to look too far to find mysticism and superstitions. Right in their backyards are plenty of homegrown horrors that showcase the extraordinary. Martin Goldman’s Vermont-shot regional horror Dark August centers on the man who accidentally runs over and kills a little girl. While J.J. Barry‘s difficult character is found innocent in court, he still suspects the victim’s grandfather has cursed him. Now the protagonist seeks help from an unusual source.

Dark August is a supernatural story of revenge and guilt that requires patience. Its slow-burning but potent first two acts depict a paranoiac man losing his mind in every way. It’s effectively done, although perhaps not enough to overlook the baffling conclusion. Nevertheless, folk-horror fans are urged to give it a try.

Dark August is part of Arrow Video’s American Horror Project: Vol. 2 Blu-ray, and is also currently streaming on Tubi.

No Place to Hide (1981)


Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey.

With movies like Are You in the House Alone?No Place to Hide, and Deadly Messages on her résumé, Kathleen Beller was a certified scream queen on the small screen. In this atmospheric stalker story, Beller’s character believes she is being followed by someone wherever she goes. Her stepmother (Mariette Hartley) and therapist (Keir Dullea) have their doubts, considering the main character’s fragile state of mind, but there’s no denying something wicked is underway.

Screenwriter and Hammer Studios regular Jimmy Sangster knew how to tell tales of imperiled women, and No Place to Hide is both creepy and weirdly comforting.

This 1981 TV-movie still has yet to resurface on home media beyond videocassette, but digitizations can be found on YouTube.

Aberration (1997)

Directed by Tim Boxell.

For World Lizard Day (August 14), some people might remember the now-hard-to-find and New Zealand-shot movie Aberration. This Kiwi horror stars Pamela Gidley (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me), whose character is feeding her childhood nostalgia at a cabin in the woods. Her trip down memory lane is then interrupted by a pack of voracious, mutant lizards.

Aberration is as cheesy as it sounds, and is replete with obviously fake lizards. However, those practical effects as well as the rockin’ ’90s soundtrack boost the charm of this obscure creature-feature. And if the internet is to be believed, Scooby-Doo! legend Frank Welker voiced the lizards.

While Aberration was released only on VHS in the U.S., it was available on DVD in other regions. Fret not, YouTube once again comes to the rescue.

See the Sea (1997)

Directed by François Ozon.

An early entry in the New French Extremity is the disturbing short film See the Sea (originally Regarde la mer). A young mother and wife (Sasha Hails) living on Île d’Yeu welcomes a drifter (Marina de Van) into her home while her husband is away. As weird as the stranger behaves, though, the host still allows her to camp in the yard. Soon enough, the mother and her baby are put in danger.

The story’s tranquil and picturesque setting is destroyed piece by piece. See the Sea may feel slow even though it clocks in under an hour, but the shocking outcome is worth the wait. Anyone familiar with François Ozon’s oeuvre knows very well what to expect. Others new to the filmmaker’s work are in for a rude surprise.

See the Sea is currently available for rent and purchase on Prime Video.

Prey (2019)

horror August prey

Directed by José Luis Montesinos.

Like most animals in the horror genre, man’s best friend eventually became an enemy. However, the road from companion to killer is an especially taxing one in the Spanish movie Prey (originally Cordes). A teenager (Paula del Río) has quadriplegia after experiencing a traumatic event earlier in her life, and helping her get around now is a support dog. The Belgian Shepherd eventually becomes rabid, and the protagonist is left to fend for herself.

This movie, which can be described as a blend of Cujo and Monkey Shines, is thoroughly bleak. It doesn’t quite pull off the character work, but the set-pieces are both convincing and tense. It’s something to consider watching on National Dog Day (August 26).

Prey is currently streaming on Tubi.

No genre is as prolific as horror, so it’s understandable that movies fall through the cracks all the time. That is where this recurring column, Deep Cuts Rising, comes in. Each installment of this series will spotlight several unsung or obscure movies from the past — some from way back when, and others from not so long ago — that could use more attention.

The post 5 Deep Cut Horror Movies to Seek Out in August 2023 appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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