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6 Time-Bending Horror Movies

Written By Vanessa Maki

Vanessa Maki is a queer Blerd and artist. She has written for a variety of publications including The Pink Advocate, The Gay Gaze, Dread Central, Horror Movie Blog and many more. She is weirder than you realize.

Time might not be on your side in the world of horror. It’s enticing to picture traveling to a certain point in time, the future, or exploring a what if situation. But if you’re dealing with a serial killer chasing you around in said situations, then that’s no good. Obviously. Horror is the perfect playground to experiment with concepts that might not be entirely scary. Time loops? Throw a killer in the mix. Time distortion? Throw a killer in the mix.

It doesn’t matter if the film has comedic undertones because it’s still unsettling to be unable to control time. Not to mention, there’s no handbook (unless the film provides one) on how to get back to the present day or make the day stop looping. If that’s stressing you out to think about, then the following list might not be for you. However, if you love horror and time-bending concepts, then you’re in the right place.

Army of Darkness

Time travel isn’t all that groovy if you’re being thrown back to the medieval days. Add a Deadite army into the mix, and then you’re supremely fucked. Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) is an iconic final boy, and some people really love AOD. It’s a fun time traveling horror flick if nothing else. After surviving the events of Evil Dead 2, Ash is transported to the medieval days and tasked with recovering the Necronomicon to save the people of that era, basically. Go into the film with no expectations if you’re a big Evil Dead fan that hasn’t seen it.

Triangle

The experience of watching this for the first time and not understanding what’s going on is a thrill. Think about enjoying your day, and suddenly you’re thrust into a perilous situation. Spoiling any twists is a disservice to anyone, therefore the most I’ll say is that Triangle focuses on a woman and her friends who get in a boating accident and are forced to board an abandoned passenger ship. But nothing goes their way, and they are stalked by a masked figure. Believe me when I say, it’s very psychological and unnerving. The perfect little gem regarding a form of time-bending.

The Final Girls

Sometimes a horror comedy with heart isn’t cheesy or uninspired. The magic of The Final Girls is in the silliness, but also the ooey gooey center. A grieving girl named Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends are transported into the world of a cheesy ‘80s slasher called Camp Bloodbath, which Max’s late mother starred in. Of course, the premise sounds like a classic spoof on ‘80s slashers. And it is, but the time loop concept is the perfect way for Max to see her mother again as well as deal with her death. Throw it on and laugh and probably cry a little near the end.

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    Happy Death Day

    Imagine you keep reliving the night of your birthday and are brutally murdered every time. After a while, it grows more tiresome than scary. Happy Death Day follows a college student named “Tree” (Jessica Rothe) who finds herself in a time loop where a masked person is killing her over and over. She has to figure out who her killer is and why the person is killing her. It’s got hints of Scream, and the appreciation for slashers shines through perfectly. And more importantly, the time loop is scary as well as hilarious because of Rothe’s performance. The twists are pretty damn good when you watch it for the first time. Something that’s occasionally crucial regarding time loops.

    Last Night in Soho

    People don’t always have a good time when they travel back to a different era. Last Night in Soho is an electric psychological horror with great performances. The film follows fashion designer student Ellie  (Thomasin McKenzie) who finds herself traveling back to the ‘60s at night and observing the life of a troubled woman. Traveling back to the 1960s isn’t my idea of a good time (for many reasons), but the film unfolds in a way that’s unexpected. Time traveling and witnessing a woman’s life continually fall apart is rough. At first the time travel seems fun until it’s not and then Ellie descends into peril. If you love impeccable set designs and Anna Taylor-Joy in particular, then you’ll enjoy many parts of the film.

    The Outwaters

    It takes a lot to make horror fans uncomfortable and incredibly frustrated. The film follows a group of friends that go to film a music video in the middle of nowhere and find themselves in a hellish situation. The Outwaters isn’t a perfect watch (at least not to me), but it accomplishes quite a bit as far as time-bending concepts go. The film becomes a matter of interpretation in some spots, and it feels like traveling in a hell dimension. I don’t recommend it for just anybody, if you like weird shit and strange time-bending then you might very well like this.