Hi, my name is Alma and I’m a tv hog. I am not a nice person who shares and I have an unquenchable thirst for horror. I will not watch dramas in a boat, I will not watch rom coms with a coat. I will not watch them with a black cat in a witch hat under a full moon with a broom. So how does my family watch anything together whilst I complain with my arms crossed? Well, they present their suggestions as having “horror elements” or my favorite, “bloody gore and violence.” I’m an asshole, I KNOW! But surprisingly, thanks to my open mindedness (insert eyeroll here), I find myself enjoying a lot of these action thrillers that I would have otherwise not come across.
Last night, my husband chose Sisu for us and I shut my mouth, and enjoyed the hell out of it. Exploding people, stabbings, shootings, pickaxe murdering… these are a few of my favorite things. Sing it! It’s available for rent and I am not going to ask anyone to drop a dime but you may have some streaming services playing bloody, violent action movies that will quench your horror appetite.
I Saw the Devil (2010) on tubi. Trigger warning for sexual assault. Directed by Jee-woon Kim (A Tale of Two Sisters) is billed as an action crime drama. It had to be recut for theatrical and home release due to its over-the-top violence and I am wondering what I missed because it’s brutal. Fall in love with Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun) as he avenges the murder of his fiancée by a serial killer. I love the cat and mouse chase and unnecessary violence. I found it hauntingly beautiful.
The Night Comes for Us (2018) on Netflix. This Indonesian action crime thriller is exploding with bloody gore and violence. It is masterful. Timo Tjajjanto, director of two of my favorite segments The Subject and Safe Haven from the V/H/S franchise, brings it and is unrelenting with the bloody eye candy. Ito (Joe Taslim) returns from a little murder cleanup of sorts, a jaunt abroad per say, after a change of heart. He must fight his way through hordes of his and opposing crime syndicates to save the life he spared, a little girl. It’s like a Disney movie, but soaked in bullets and bloody guts.
Battle Royale (2000) on pluto tv, plex, Roku. Japanese director Kinji Fukuasaku brings the dystopian novel by Koushun Takami to the screen in all its bloody glory. 42 high school students, 3 days, one island, and a battle to the death. “There can be only one.” Kidnapped and forced to pick each other off using random weapons, some try to escape without violence but others succumb to the macabre game in order to win and be the last one standing. Action, adventure drama, lots of kids killing each other, and it might as well be horror. Trigger warning for sexual assault (director’s cut).
Mandy (2018) on tubi. Somehow, this is the only English language film on this list. Panos Cosmatos (“The Viewing” Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities) directed this trippy, action, fantasy horror that made me regret having no edibles for the experience. Red (Nicolas Cage) spirals into a vengeful rampage after his girlfriend is kidnapped by a deranged cult and demons? I admit, I’m not getting everything that’s going on, but it’s brutal and violent and Nick Cage is Nick Caging. He makes his own gnarly axe, c’mon! It’s gorgeous somehow and absolute mind fuckery.
Furies (2022) on Netflix. I caught this at SXSW and I was living! I wrote about it here and couldn’t wait for it to drop on Netflix. Trigger warning for sexual assault. It is heavy on the trauma that fuels the dynamic trio in their quest to rid their neighborhood of sex and drug traffickers. Vietnamese director Veronica Ngo enlisted fight choreographer Samuel Kefi Abrikh for some of the best fight sequences you’ll see on screen this year. It’s bloody and brutal and I could not peel my eyes away.
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