March 2014 horror movie DVD/Blu-ray round-up

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Some Wiccan followers believe in what is known as the Rule of Three, in which whatever action a person puts out into the world is then returned back to them threefold. If we take this to be true, with the release of a third Hatchet film on DVD, it seems more and more likely that one convert did something very nasty to bring such a thing into existence.

By now, if you’ve somehow stumbled onto either of Adam Green’s first two films, you’ll know the score. In case you forgot: in the Deep South bayou, the undying, accursed murderer Victor Crowley continues his relentless rampage as his old nemesis, Marybeth, tries to end the violence once and for all.

With Kane Hodder and Danielle Harris back once again, alongside the familiar clumsy gore, charmless lack of any suspense and added Zach Galligan (Billy from Gremlins!) offering nothing of any real note, at a mere 81 minutes, this dullard slasher feels interminable.

More promising this month is another threequel, the belated Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero, set before the events of Eli Roth and Ti West’s previous films and telling the tale of how that ‘orrible flesh-eating virus made its way onto American shores via an ill-fated stag party on a Caribbean island.

Despite its untimely arrival years after the last installment killed any momentum and too late to cash in on the great Swine Flu paranoia (deadly virus passing from Central to North America, anyone?), award-winning Marvel comics creator turned horror director Kaare Andrews’ movie is a taut, brutal thrill-ride that on more than one occasion prompts that rare (for this writer, anyway) squirm in entertained disgust.

Prompting a different variety of disgust, up next is (you guessed it) this month’s usual installment of ‘found-footage’. Regular reader (is there more than one?) will have noticed a trend for increasingly unoriginal, pseudo-camcorder movies featuring lots of things going bump in the night.

Skinwalkers, Devin McGinn’s version of an alleged real-life paranormal encounter in rural America, satisfies most of those criteria. Other than well-executed barnyard creep-outs, there is little here to elevate this above other similar releases.

Now that’s out of the way, we finish both this month’s edition and the entire blog on a high (this is the last of Cultbox’s regular horror updates, for shame) with the latest low-budget rom-zom-com, Stalled.

Written by and starring Dan Palmer as a male office caretaker stuck in a women’s toilet cubicle during the staff Christmas party/zombie apocalypse (!), this wonderful little film blends all the gore of a Romero favourite with that quintessentially British gallows humour.

Unsurprisingly, the main reference point here is Shaun of the Dead, though that’s no bad thing when Palmer’s sometimes hilarious, even touchingly bleak script shines in its idiosyncratic way. With “Jeff from IT” making an appearance alongside the likes of “Human Resources Zombie”, “Bi-Curious Zombie” and “Jesus Zombie”, and the tagline “He’s in the perfect place to be scared shitless” saying all you need to know, this ultra-low-budget production deserves to be the breakout horror-comedy of the year.

Right. That’s your lot. It’s been emotional, but no tears, please. It’s a waste of good suffering.

What’s the best horror movie you’ve seen recently? Let us know below…