Some movies go too far. Others start there. Thats the tagline for Uwe Bolls Postal (2009), but its also a good definition of extreme horror, where everything is cranked up to 11 and the walls are usually painted crimson. You dont find these films playing alongside summer blockbusters; they play festivals and arthouses, quietly acquiring a reputation while their pricier competitors fade from the audiences memory. The excessive levels of physical and sexual violence means that extreme horror is defiantly anti-Hollywood, but even so, a mainstream horror film will every so often still attempt to go there. The results always prove that Tinseltown should stick to superhero flicks. Take Wes Cravens The Last House On The Left (1972), for example. Whatever your opinion of the film, it has a raw energy all of its own and is one of the few exploitation films that can be legitimately read as a comment (albeit rather ineptly expressed) upon violence itself. It's success spawned a 2009 Hollywood remake which, with its studio budget and name cast, was only ever one step away from being a generic teens in peril movie. So if youre looking for an alternative to the current crop of been there, done that multiplex horror pictures, heres where you start, but be warned: viewing may cause severe damage to your brain cells.
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