My number three this year is a tie between two films that come from video distribution platforms (Netflix, Shudder) that have been working hard to redefine the way we discover new horror films. Interestingly enough, both films also star a young talent that has cemented their place in horror fandom with brilliant portrayals in equally brilliant horror film concepts.
Samara Weaving is an Australian actress and model. She got her start in acting in the Australian-produced BBC television series Out of the Blue and in the Australian soap-opera Home and Away (2009-2013). Her father, Simon Weaving, is a filmmaker and the artistic director of the Canberra International Film Festival. Her younger sister Morgan is also an actress, and their uncle is film and theatre actor Hugo Weaving. She stormed into the horror genre as Heather in the first season of Ash vs Evil Dead. With this years number threes she's made the genre her own...
Derek Cho is having a really bad day. After being unjustly fired from his job, he discovers that the law firm's building is under quarantine for a mysterious and dangerous virus. Chaos erupts throughout the office as the victims of the disease begin acting out their wildest impulses. Joining forces with a former client who has a grudge of her own, Derek savagely fights to get to the executives on the top floor and settle the score once and for all.
It's fantastic that Michigan native Steven Yeun is still active following Glen’s demise on the Walking Dead. In Mayhem, he is the everyday man who once was innocent and fun loving and thanks to corporate warfare became a complete and total douche. Then along comes Weaver’s Melanie, and a virus that makes it possible to commit extreme violence on those that have wronged you, to help lead him to redemption. Dare I say there are many cubicle dwellers that only dream of moments like this. The violence and humor is cranked up to eleven and Weaver is hilarious as she lets herself get swept up into the insanity. Last known to be showing on Shudder and worth every bleeding minute. This is Office Space on coke.
When Cole stays up past his bedtime, he discovers that his hot babysitter is not who he imagines.
I purposely edited the above logline because it gives away an important turn in the film. Because it is an important turn that the film works hard to not draw attention too until it is the perfect reveal moment, and perfect it was. Samara Weaver is the perfect babysitter for an impressionable adolescent male. Even when the blood starts to fly and everything learned comes back to haunt her. This movie is a brilliant mix of Home Alone, The Craft, Adventures in Babysitting, and drenched with blood and dark humor. Directed by McG, no stranger to the genre, McG is quickly becoming a brand unto himself that we are keeping an eye on. It is our hope that there will be more McG/Weaving projects in the future. Brought to us by Netflix, along with lots of other original content that is helping to recreate the horror genre in brilliant ways.