Every day for the month of October, Coming Soon is making a new horror movie recommendation for those eager to find a new frightening flick for Halloween. From the creepy goodness of a classy ghost story to a blood-spattered gorefest and everything in between, we’ll have something for every taste of horror. And today’s pick is…
What’s The Ranger about: After an incident at a NYC nightclub, a group of five young punks go on the lam to a cabin in the woods upstate that one of them, a girl named Chelsea, inherited years earlier when her uncle died. A chance encounter with a psychotic park ranger (Jeremy Holm) with a link to Chelsea’s past leads to him sadistically picking the youngsters off one by one.
Why The Ranger rules: The impressive directorial debut of indie producer Jenn Wexler (ABCs of Death 2, Depraved), this film executes the idea of putting hardcore punks in a slasher movie context so perfectly it’ll make you wonder why no one ever thought to do it before. While a bit inspired by the punks of Return of the Living Dead, Wexler managed to get very naturalistically anarchic performances out of her young cast, particularly the Angelina Jolie-esque Chloe Levine (The OA). She also creates an iconic screen killer via the imposing Holm (House of Cards, Mr. Robot), who is something of a Derange-r Smith, spouting off wholesome folksy-ness while committing bloody atrocities. It’s a subversive contrast of anti-authoritarians vs the ultimate authority figure!
How scary is The Ranger: While the movie undoubtedly has some gore, the scares tend to be more in the anticipation of things starting off bad for the characters and only getting worse. There’s an OD scene that is particularly disturbing, but for slasher fans this movie delivers on its genre trappings and then some, right through to its cathartic, empowering finale.
Be on the lookout for: While the opening flashback to Chelsea’s childhood is tragic, what we learn about the Ranger character throughout the film may make you ultimately question her perceptions of what exactly happened to her uncle. Also be sure to read our exclusive interview with Wexler about The Ranger from last year!
Where to watch The Ranger: The movie is available for subscribers as A Shudder Original and to rent for $4.99 at Amazon Prime Video. You can pick up your copy of the Blu-ray by clicking here, and if you like what you hear in the film don’t forget to snag a copy of the soundtrack on vinyl!
CS October Horror Movie Recommendations:
October 1 – Session 9
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