Morbidly Beautiful

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Looking for B-movie horror thrills, incorporating one of the coolest, wildly fun settings? Pony up to this casino horror triple feature!

Modern horror has proven that, in the right hands, any setting can be made to be quite scary. You don’t always need a creepy old house, spooky woods, or a haunted hotel to conjure up a chilling experience.

Recently, Lee Cronin subverted expectations by moving the iconic Evil Dead franchise from the genre staple, a secluded cabin in the woods, to a high-rise apartment (for Evil Dead Rise). You might not think such a bold move would work, but the results were thrilling and unexpectedly terrifying.

Ari Aster provided horror movies don’t have to be set at night in dark, disturbing places to be effective. Midsommar strayed from the usual path, setting nearly the entire film during the day. But the excellent writing and fantastic acting made it a harrowing and unforgettable experience.

We love films that occur in unexpected locations, especially ones you wouldn’t normally associate with horror. One of our favorite settings is a casino in a location like Vegas or Atlantic City. The dichotomy of fun and frights is exciting, and there’s something so apropos about bringing high-stakes, life-and-death danger to a place known for such big risks.

The Haunted Casino (2007)

Haunted Casino

Sure, the title is a bit on the nose. It was originally supposed to be called Dead Man’s Hand but was changed last minute for unknown reasons. But that doesn’t stop The Haunted Casino from being an entertaining horror film set in a gambling house.

The plot involves a man who inherits a rundown old casino from his deceased uncle. He brings his girlfriend and a few friends to check the place out. As luck would have it, the casino turns out to be haunted by the lethal and angry ghosts of a ruthless crime boss and his flunky. Can the friends survive the night in this twisted house of horrors? You might not want to bet on it.

The film didn’t do great when it was initially released, flying under the radar for most horror fans. It was directed by legendary B-movie guru Charles Band. And if you’re a fan of Band’s work and the films of Full Moon Pictures, you likely have a very good idea of what to expect with this one. It’s not high art by any means. But it’s silly, cheesy fun. And it does feature small but delightful performances from veteran horror icons Sid Haig and Michael Berryman.

Make it a themed movie night and add some casino games, including some cool, online horror-based games at Spin Casino. You might even want to set up your own Haunted Casino for next Halloween, which would lend itself to some killer costumes, party decorations, and themed refreshments. Get friends together, play some blackjack, and roll the dice on a night of wicked fun!

Leprechaun 3 (1995)

Leprechaun is a pretty iconic horror franchise, combining humor and murderous mayhem to great effect. It stars acclaimed actor, Warwick Davis, who has also been involved in beloved properties like Star Wars and Doctor Who. He plays the titular role of a killer Leprechaun with a quick wit and a taste for vengeance and blood.

The third film in the franchise — and the first to be released direct to video — finds the psychotic leprechaun on a killing spree in Vegas.

It all starts when a pawn shop owner purchases a statue of a leprechaun from a mysterious stranger. He ignores the stranger’s warning to never remove the statue’s golden medallion. Instantly, the statue comes to life, with the greedy little creature vowing to kill anyone bold enough to steal his treasure.

It may not have been particularly well-received, but it’s pretty great for some B-movie fun — made even better if you watch with friends and maybe a few brews or bud. There’s plenty of dark humor, an intriguing plot, and a great setting that keeps things interesting.

Remains (2011)

Based on the graphic novel written by Steve Niles, Remains is a post-apocalyptic horror film about a nuclear disaster that turns the entire world’s population into zombies.

A group of survivors try and survive in this nightmare-ish new world, banding together within the ruins of a casino. It’s a great setting that is the perfect backdrop for a hair-raising horror.

It’s pretty low-budget. And like all the films on this list (and something that seems to be consistent among casino-based horror films), it lands squarely in the world of B-movie cinema. Don’t expect award-winning performances or some ingenious, thought-provoking script. The only goal here is to entertain with some gnarly-looking zombies and lots of fast-paced action, and it mostly succeeds on that front. The zombies look great, and the gruesome practical effects are plentiful and well-executed.

It’s not groundbreaking or particularly memorable. But keep the libations flowing, and you should have a good time with this film and the others on this list.

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