It can sometimes feel that every possible venue for horror has been explored as we’re time and again faced with films that unironically follow every trope to a tee.
With a complete lack of awareness, some films serve us predictable endings, archetypal characters and underwhelming, overdone plotlines. Even films we were once excited for end up letting us down by succumbing to ‘sticking to what they know’ and not taking the right creative risks.
In spite of this, there are still filmmakers out there determined to do something new with the horror genre, and who want to do this by taking everything old and tired and flipping it on its head. The first film that comes to any horror fan’s mind when thinking about meta-horror will surely be Scream, but beyond that there’s a whole range of great movies that fit the criteria for a self-aware horror romp.
With nudge-wink references to genre tropes and classics, self-referencing characters and stories and usually a hefty dose of satire, these self-aware horrors are sure to offer you something new made of all the old faithfuls.
10. The Wolf Of Snow Hollow
Set in a quiet, snowy town where nothing much happens, this film shows the local police force trying to deal with a string of gruesome murders unlike anything they’ve seen before. The murders appear to be the works of some huge animal or even a werewolf. There’s just one problem, in the words of our central Sheriff’s Deputy: “there is no such thing as werewolves!”
The film is acutely aware of how silly it is: with exaggerated, endearing townie-type characters and schlocky blood-stained paw-prints in the snow. Its editing follows along with exactly how you’d think a tacky horror would play out, introducing victims then killing them with mysterious off-screen violence and silhouette shadows.
Quaint cabins full of animal pelts and warm fires, and an outdated small-town station create the perfect backdrop to this fun flick. A love letter of sorts to all snowy slashers of old, this film is certainly worth a watch when taken with a pinch of salt and a warming cup of cocoa.