The Best Horror Movies of the Last Five Years – #1 & 2

Number #1 – The Golden Glove

Written and Directed by Fatih Akin

America seems to mythologize serial killers, when often the facts are quite the opposite. “The Golden Glove” clings to reality, rather painstakingly at times. Jonas Dassler rises to Daniel Day-Lewis levels of performance as real life murderer Fritz Honka, an utterly repugnant, abusive bully and drunk who terrorizes denizens of a dive bar even more desperate and beatdown than he is.

Honka is not clever, or strong or brave and the film is unsparing at showing the depth of his cowardice, and his debasement by alcoholism. But what many miss among the gloom and grime that populate this film is the thesis – “those who learn, live.” In this world, people can be redeemed, they can be saved, if they could only change.

“The Golden Glove” will never be popular. It’s our generation’s “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” simply too real to be enjoyed. We will watch our movies and TV shows with mustache-twirling villains and we will listen to our murder podcasts and be titillated by them.

But “The Golden Glove” is telling the honest truth. And that’s usually too much for even horror audiences to bear.

#2 – His House

Directed by Remi Weekes, Written by Remi Weekes, Felicity Evans and Toby Venables

I am starting to believe that the biggest difference between an amateur and a professional is that when they encounter a film the amateur thinks “I could do that,” and the professional thinks, “HOW did they do that?”

I look at “His House” and I just wonder how anyone could be this good.

The film follows Sudanese refugees relocating to England and it’s a terrible transition. After losing their daughter in a tumultuous sea travel they find that the authorities are harsh, the environment is less than desirable and the neighbors are, at best, unsavory.

Trapped with no resources and no options they try to make do. Bol, the husband tries to fit in, while his wife Rial seems to obstinately try to stick out, and as the tension between them builds and boils over, it becomes apparent that she remembers what they had to do to get out… and so does something else.

‘His House’ does everything it intends to do. When it wants to be intense, it is chair-gripping, when it wants to be coy, it is intriguing, when it wants to frighten it is terrifying.

There are no bad performances or flaws, and it comes off as utterly authentic. It does not make the mistake of being dour for the sake of shock and it creates two extremely distinct characters that have a full journey.

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