5. La Llorona
La Llorona tells the story of an elderly, ousted Guatemalan dictator who believes he is being haunted by La Llorona – the weeping woman of Latin American folklore whose children were drowned – and should not be confused with the Conjuring Universe’s attempt at the story. The film’s fusion of horror with the real genocide committed against the indigenous people of Guatemala allowed the director to tell a meaningful story in a consumable way – he went so far as to do market research to see what genres sell best to make sure people were able to see this story. It’s a bleak film, certain to haunt any viewer through its powerful message and striking visuals.
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A woman and her mother travel to her grandmother’s rural Australian home after they learn she’s missing in this slow burn gothic horror film. The isolated house and expansive woods haunt the character’s dreams, and the classic question of whether the grandmother’s mind or soul is afflicted illuminates the strain that helping an aging parent can put on a family. It’s a hauntingly beautiful film which also features an abundance of tension and graphic visuals any atmospheric horror film requires.
Possessor is a fantastic thriller which reshapes the concept of “possession” in horror films. An assassin carries out her missions by transferring her consciousness into another body, marked by an incredible formal portrayal of her mental struggle, and visceral, horrifying action sequences straight out of a slasher movie. The film satisfactorily explores the moral and technological questions of naturalistic possession – the only disappointing thing about it was how long it took to reach VOD.