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With Independence Day coming up, horror films are not without their fair of patriotic scares. From a shark terrorizing a small town to the entire country throwing law out the window, patriotism has its place in horror in America. Here are 5 horror films to watch on the 4th of July.
Horror in America: 5 Horror Films to Watch on July 4
5) Uncle Sam
In 1996, Larry Cohen teamed with William Lustig to deliver one of the more popular patriotic horror films. With a script by Cohen and Lustig behind the camera, ‘Uncle Sam’ was released in 1996. The film tells the story of Sgt. Sam Harper who was killed by a friendly fire in Kuwait. Three years later his body is found and temporarily reanimated before killing the sergeant and major who found him. Harper’s body is sent back to his hometown, however, he quickly comes to life to kill unpatriotic residents. ‘Uncle Sam’ won’t end up on many ‘Best Of’ lists, but it’s a fun slasher flick that you can watch during a Fourth of July BBQ.
4) The Purge: Anarchy
‘The Purge’ was written and directed by James DeMonaco and released as a home invasion film in 2013. A year later, ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ was released which took the chaos out of the home and into the city. The franchise is based around the national holiday of “The Purge” which legalizes nearly all crimes during a 12-hour period. The sequels have a similar tone, but it’s Anarchy that fans often settle on as the best. While not taking place on July 4, it’s heavily based on the United States, the government, and patriotism. The film is a great example of action horror with clear social commentary that is ripe for a watch any time of the year, especially on Independence Day.
3) I Know What You Did Last Summer
After the success of ‘Scream’ in 1996, the slasher film was given a breath of fresh air. The first to piggyback off of ‘Scream’ was ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer,’ released a year later in 1997. The story follows four friends on 4th of July weekend who accidentally hit and kill a man in the road. They toss the body over a cliff and into the water with the hope they can put it behind them. A year later, the friends’ relationships are strained and the man has come back to seek revenge.
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2)Return of the Living Dead
Freddy takes a job at the Uneeda Medical Supply Warehouse on July 4. After meeting with their boss Burt, Freddy is taken under the wing of Frank who accidentally releases a toxic from an army barrel in the basement. The toxin reanimates bodies from the nearby cemetery, causing Freddy’s friends to unite with him at his job. Chaos ensues in dramatic fashion as one of the most popular horror films of the 1980s delivers the bloody goods.
Heading into the 4th of July weekend on Amity Island, a young girl is killed by a shark during a late-night swim. Cheif Martin Brody wants to close the beaches, however, Mayor Vaughan pushes back. The mayor cites the negative impact on the town’s finances to keep the beaches open, but when the shark kills a young boy he has no choice. With the help of local fisherman Quint and marine biologist Matt Hooper, Cheif Brody heads to sea to take down the shark. Not much else has to be said about ‘Jaws’ as it’s one of the greatest films ever made whose impact is not debatable.