M.L. Miller here! Welcome horror fans to my Annual countdown of the Best of the Best in Horror! Running every day through October, this list will culminate with the best horror film of the year announced on October 31st. Some of these films can be found in theaters—others have unfortunately only seen the light of day On Demand, DVD, BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews how you can watch and enjoy these films yourselves. I’ll also provide a “Worth Noting” secondary film suggestion in a separate post. These are films that stood out or just missed being on the list by a skosh—a little extra for those who can’t get enough horror.
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2018 and September 30, 2019 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number, 31. This countdown is not for the elitists or festival goers, so if the film hasn’t been released to the masses, it won’t be on the list. Also anything released this October will most likely be on next year’s list—so sorry, no films like DOCTOR SLEEP or ZOMBIELAND 2 just yet.
I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
#21 TERROR 5
TERROR 5 is a fantastic anthology-style film. While it isn’t your typical anthology, it does tell a variety of tales featuring a variety of chilling and disturbing horrors. Released on February 5, 2019, here’s my review of TERROR 5! Available on BluRay/DVD, On Demand, and digital download from Artsploitation Films!
TERROR 5 (2016)
Directed by Sebastian Rotstein, Federico Rotstein
Written by Sebastian Rotstein, Nicolas Gueilburt
Starring Airas Alban, Augusto Alvarez, Nai Awada, Juan Barberini, Magdalena Capobianco, Cecilia Cartasegna, Edgardo Castro, Gastón Cocchiarale, Walter Cornás, Walter Escobar, Rafael Ferro, Lu Grasso, Clarisa Hernández, Flavia Marco, Giselle Motta, Berta Muñiz, Javier Pedersoli, Tomás Pernich, Jorge Prado, Agustín Rittano, Maricel Santin, Paulo Soria, Hernán Sáez, Julián Larquier Tellarini, Marcos Woinsky, Magela Zanotta
After being released a few years ago in Argentina and touring the festival circuit, TERROR 5 is finally available for everyone to see thanks to the cool folks at Artsploitation Films. TERROR 5 is one of those surprise films that you don’t hear much of, but stumble upon by accident and pinch yourself for not hearing about it sooner. Where here’s the alert: TERROR 5 is a twisted, nightmarish, sadistic, sultry, and wholly entertaining film! There. Is that enough warning?
The labyrinthine plot involves five interconnected stories that don’t feel so much connected as much as that they are simply happening in the same universe. A pair of lovers meet for a rendezvous at a seedy hotel. A group of kids watch what looks to be a snuff film. A pair of investigators on a stakeout chat with one another across a parking lot with walkies. Two teens meet for a first date. And a bus-full of mourners make their way to a cemetery to pay tribute to the victims of a recent building collapse. All of these stories seem to be simple stories of love, hate, jealousy, sadness, & trepidation and play out rather calmly at first, but when the dead start walking and murders begin to happen, it is clear that this is a night where something truly horrifying is happening.
What endears this film to me the most is the variety of types of horror on display here. There are zombies, snuff films, sadomasochism, vampires, political satire, bullies, victims, and hammers. The film briskly leaps around from one story to the next, smashing them all together and fitting them together in an expert way that one wouldn’t expect. Some of the stories end, then pick up fifteen minutes later to lead into another tale. It’s anthology-esque, but in a style more akin to PULP FICTION than TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Credit goes to the filmmakers behind TERROR 5, directors Sebastian Rotstein, Federico Rotstein and writers Sebastian Rotstein again and Nicolas Gueilburt. They have interwoven a little masterpiece and kept all of the wheels running until the very end.
The way this film looks is another standout as we have seen these threats before, but never in quite this way. The zombies are your typical shambling walkers, but in TERROR 5 their eyes glow blue as if they have leapt from a Bonnie Tyler video, making every scene feel electric, tension filled, and creepy as all get out. The snuff killers are truly grotesque with their tight-fitting masks and sleaziness you can almost smell off the screen. The depictions of the bullies in one segment is excruciatingly real and makes you hate them with a deep passion. There are other monsters and surprises that I won’t spoil, but believe me, these are deeply demented twists on tried and true cinema nasties.
TERROR 5 also seems to be a political statement of sorts. It feels as if there is a message about rising up for one’s rights and standing up to a corrupt authority. If I knew more about the Argentinian culture, I think I might have been able to appreciate this film on a deeper level. But despite my ignorance to the current state of affairs in Argentina, I still loved the dickens out of this flick.
There is a level or grime and sexuality that may make some people wince in TERROR 5. The sex scenes are much more realistic than some might be comfortable with and a lot of the gore is extremely gratuitous. This is an intense flick that will definitely leave a stain on the bedsheet and a mark on the psyche. But if you’re the type of person who loves horror that ventures out of the box and into your worst nightmares, TERROR 5 is one to look out for!
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#21 – TERROR 5
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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