It's Time to Widen Your Horizons and I'm Here to Tell You How

Thursday, June 11

By Sophie Byrne

Movies are a great escape from the crumbling reality that is current society. Switching on the trusty TV when times are troubling switches off the outside world. A temporary escape. 

While I do encourage engagement in current world events from my readers, I can empathise with those who just need a break from the news, 2020, or the world in general. That's why I'm offering to broaden your horizons and enlighten you with a few, in my opinion, truly underrated movies. 

Ever since we first got it, I have been worshipping Netflix for giving me such a wide range of films and shows to watch (if you're leeching off your parents) for free. I've finished Brooklyn 99 countless times and don't intend on stopping just yet. Yet, there comes a time when you feel you've watched all the movies that pique your interest. You slowly start to put down the remote and get sucked back into reality. However, Netflix's unspoken gems (at least in predominantly English countries) lay in wait. They may be in another language but if you're not prepared to watch a foreign movie, you can denounce your title as a film-fanatic. Each country has their strengths and weaknesses, as they do with everything. While America reigns the action genre, East Asian countries truly horrify with their horror and Europe makes us fall in love with their romances. 

Train to Busan is a South Korean zombie horror - taking place, coincidentally, on a train bound to Busan. It's very rare that a zombie movie really engages me but peeling my eyes away from the screen was harder than probably what the protagonists had to go through in the movie. Parasyte showed us South Korea doesn't mess around when chilling blood, so enlighten yourself with another such experience and hop onboard Train to Busan if you think you can handle it. 

If that train ride doesn't convince you, a change of mind could be encouraged by the old worn walls of Gonjiam Asylum. Riddled with ghosts, mind-bending predicaments and some real questionable leadership skills, this is one internet tour you're going to want to take. 

Eerie is a supernatural horror which will remain infamous in my household. Produced in the Phillipines, Eerie truly does live up to it's name. Checking all the boxes of creepy boarding school, creepy school children, and creepy teachers, Eerie could chill the blood of the devil. The first time I watched it, I was 15 years old, staying home for halloween, on a mission to truly chill my blood. Oh, if only I knew just how well I would succeed. The moment the credits rolled at around 11pm, my bulb busted and I was plunged into darkness. So I feel I should warn you, watching Eerie may come with an unwanted haunting, unless you want to explain to your parents that a small Filipino girl is haunting your room. 

Moving now from the Phillipines to Thailand, Phobia 2 on Netflix uses a mise-en-byme style of film to engage - a blessing and a curse. From zombies, to ghosts and ancient legends: Phobia will introduce whole new phobias to you and you won't forget. I do not take responsibility for that. 

Japan is rich in iconic, memorable movies such as 'Spirited Away''My Neighbour Totoro', and 'Ring' but the truly sickening, perfect movie for those of you who thirst for gore is 'Corpse Party'. It's pretty self explanatory from it's name. A lot of corpses; maybe not so much a party. I must emphasise to you now, this film takes serious guts to watch. Pun intended; it's gory. 

While you wonder "Sophie, why are all your 'unspoken gems' foreign?" Let me tell enlighten you. Subtitles: the tiny monsters that lock your eyes onto the screen, in fear of missing an important piece of dialogue. You're not given a choice but to watch. Each movie is vastly unique too. I've lost count of how many Insidious films there are because they're all so similar they just morph together and yet here I am, writing about these underrated films from memory. 

If, like me, you're too broke to travel but still want to experience the world, I promise you now these movies will lift youlo off and take you somewhere entirely new. I mean sure, there probably are no zombies in South Korea and probably no creepy undead schoolgirls in the Phillipines but how would I know?

So, if you do find yourself in front of a screen, watching one of these truly terrying flicks, here's one last message from me to you: good luck sleeping tonight. 

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