It’s October again, and you know what that means! Time to bust out the horror movies and see how many I can get through in 31 days. Spoiler, I can already tell you I’m not going to come anywhere near 31 (or even 25 like last year). With a toddler running around, and barely any time to hang out with the wife, combined with always being super tired at night, I already know there’s no way in hell I’m going to come close to completing this goal, but we’re still going to try.
I did manage to get a couple in this weekend, so we’re already off to a good start, but now that the week has actually started, let’s see if I can keep up. I ended up watching 25 horror movies last year, and I’m trying not to repeat any this year, which is going to be annoying cause I would like to re-watch some of the ones I did last year, but we’ll see how it goes.
1. The Conjuring 2
I really liked The Conjuring when it came out, and I’m a big fan of James Wan’s horror movies, but I was slightly disappointed with the 2nd half of this movie. The first half of the movie was awesome. It was scary, suspenseful, creepy, everything I was hoping it would be after seeing the first one, but then something happened. There was one scene in particular that kind of took me out of the realism (to a degree) of the flick… and that’s when the family pet morphs into something (I don’t want to give it away). It was extremely hokey and weird that it just took me out of the rest of the movie. But like I said, the first half of the movie was awesome and I really enjoyed it, the second half just took a weird turn for me and become significantly less “creepy”.
2. The Purge Election Year
The Purge movies are sort of a guilty pleasure for me. I really enjoyed the first one and how it showed Purge Night from the perspective of a pretty well-off/rich family, and how they could still become victims no matter how protected they are. Then I liked the second one where it showed what it’s like on the streets during Purge Night, and then this latest one, Election Year, showed what its like for people that are against the purge, specifically politicians against it. And while The Purge movies are technically dubbed as horror movies, this was honestly more action/horror than anything else. Lots of guns and shootouts, moreso than brutal horror… don’t get me wrong, there was still a good amount of that, it just seemed like there was a lot of gun play in this one. Solid flick though.
3. Thir13en Ghosts
This movie is just not good, period. I remember I saw this movie in the theater when I was in college and the theater was completely packed on opening night, probably just because it opened a few days before Halloween. I’m not sure if there was just no other horror movies out that weekend, or if this was the state of horror at that time, but watching this movie now, it definitely does not hold up. Shannon Elizabeth and Matthew Lillard star alongside Tony Shaloub in this flick where a dude goes around, with the help of a psychic, collecting ghosts that he traps in his house, which turns out to be a giant machine… powered by ghosts, that can open the eye of hell… The story itself is pretty terrible and while I always appreciate practical special effects over CGI, the prosthetics on the ghosts in this one are awful. Every single ghost just looks like a person in a shitty rubber suit. So while I know I enjoyed this one enough to purchase it back in 2001, it definitely does not hold up today.
This one needs no explanation. The late-great Wes Craven revitalized the mainstream horror movie with this flick back in 1996, and it’s still one of my favorite horror movies to this day. I re-watched the whole series earlier this year, but now that it’s October, we’re gonna do it all over again. Oh, and what do you know… “it” actor of the time Matthew Lillard also makes an appearance in this one… what ever happened to that guy? I actually thought he was fairly entertaining.
5. Scream 2
Obviously the less enjoyable sequel to Scream, but not as terrible as Scream 3, which I’m going to avoid this year. After surviving the brutal murders at Woodsboro, Sidney and Randy head off to college to get away from it all. Of course, once the Stab movie comes out, a copycat killer strikes on campus leaving Sidney, Randy, Gale, and Dewey to try to figure out who is behind it. I don’t mind Scream 2, but it doesn’t hold a candle the to the first one. It tries to hard to be aware of itself and it tries to hard to throw a big twist at you in the end. It’s almost as if every scene throughout the movie is setup to make you think a certain person is the killer, only to be kind of disappointed when you find out who it really was in the end.
6. Lights Out
This movie is based around a short film that came out a year or so ago where a woman turns out the lights in her apartment, and when she does, a figure appears in the dark at the end of the hallway. Each time she turns the lights back on the figure disappears. It was definitely a creepy short film, but I don’t think it translated very well to a full length feature. It had it’s creepy moments, and the noises the “ghost” makes throughout the flick are spine chilling, but the overall backstory to the whole thing was a bit weak for me. Thankfully it’s a short movie, clocking in at around an hour and twenty minutes, and it did pretty well at the theaters ($65 million on a $4.5 million budget), but these teen horror movies don’t really do it for me these days.
Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson navigate the world after it is over run with zombies. This is one of my all-time favorite modern zombie movies. I would obviously choose the classics over this, but in terms of more recent zombie flicks, this is way up on the list. It’s got enough gore and humor to keep my attention no matter how many times I watch it. Hopefully they get things on track to start development on part 2 soon.
8. Yoga Hosers
This one probably doesn’t fall into traditional horror category, but I felt it had enough horror elements to include it here. This is writer/director Kevin Smith’s most recent flick, and the second entry in is “True North Trilogy”, that started with Tusk a few years ago. This movie stars his daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, and Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, as two convenience store clerks in Canada (reprising their role from Tusk). One night at the store they come face to face with one-foot tall evil bratwurst nazis called Bratzi’s and do whatever they can to destroy the little monsters. It’s pretty much as corny as it sounds, and I had absolutely zero expectations of this one going in, after what I’d read on the internet and seen in the trailers, but it wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen. The two girls were solid in their roles, but I couldn’t get past the terrible, over-the-top, Canadian accents being portrayed by all of the other characters, not to mention Ralph Garman’s impressions. I love them impressions on Hollywood Babble-on, but they were ridiculously forced in this flick, and just kind of annoyed me. They were definitely spot on like they usually are, but just weird to hear them coming through in the movie. Going in to this one with zero expectations and thinking it would be awful, I was mildly surprised. It doesn’t have as many one liners as some of his old flicks, and it’s not nearly as funny, but it was watchable if you’re a fan of his work… I’m still very much a fan and still very much looking forward to checking out Moose-Jaws as well as Clerks 3 and Mallrats 2, but I’m sure there are going to be a lot of people out there that don’t like this one.
9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
This remake of one of the most iconic horror movies of all times actually isn’t that bad. It’s definitely not good and it definitely caters towards the teen horror fan, but I still enjoy watching it today. It was directed by Marcus Nispel who made the jump from music videos to feature films with this one and you can definitely tell. He also went on to direct the remake of Friday the 13th. So while the characters in this one make terrible choices and the camera likes to linger on Jessica Biel’s ass a lot, I still enjoy watching it every once in a while. It doesn’t hold up to the original, at all, but it’s not terrible.
10. Stay Alive
So while The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake wasn’t terrible, Stay Alive is god awful. The premise of this one is that if you die in the video game you die in real life. So when a bunch of friends get a hold of this video game and start to play it…. they all start to die. It’s pretty stupid, but I haven’t watched it in a long time so I figured I’d give it a go. I actually reviewed this movie when it was released on DVD for blurayauthority.com and apparently I enjoyed it a little more back then.
11. Don’t Breathe
Using spare keys from his dad’s security company, Alex and two of his friends begin trying to make some extra cash by breaking into homes around Detroit. Thinking they can do one last job and come out on top, they break into an army veteran’s home who received a large cash settlement a few years back, when a rich families daughter killed his daughter in a car accident. To make things even easier, it turns out that the man in the home is blind… but that also leads to some interesting complications. I thought this flick was pretty good. It had some good suspense, it was a unique storyline, it had a few unexpected twists (and some expected ones), and was written and directed by Fede Alvarez, who did the recent Evil Dead remake, which I enjoyed. Definitely a horror movie, but I would say it leans more to the thriller side of things. Check it out if you get the chance.
12. The Invitation
This is one of those movies that came up on a “Top 40 Horror Movies Currently on Netflix” list that I had read last week. I knew nothing about it other than the fact that a bunch of old friends get invited to one of their other friend’s houses (whom they haven’t seen in a while) for a dinner party, but things aren’t as they seem. So it’s pretty generic and not too difficult to figure out as the movie goes on. There were a number of times where the filmmakers were intentionally trying to throw you off so that you thought one thing was going to happen, when something else did, and it did build up some suspense. But ultimately it took way too long for things to get going, and then the payoff was too quick. I did think that the very last shot of the film was a cool way to end it though.
13. The Thing (2011)
John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of my favorite movies of all time, but since I watched it last year, I didn’t want to watch it again…. which is I guess why I thought this might be a nice compromise, ugh. This movie is semi-decent until you see the creature effects. It’s a prequel to John Carpenter’s version and follows the Norwegian research base that is mentioned at the beginning of Carpenter’s version. Even though it’s a prequel, events play out extremely similarly to the events in the Kurt Russell version, which made it a weird mix of prequel and remake, which I was ok with… until you see the creature. Carpenter’s version came out in 1982 so it had to rely on practical effects, awesome practical effects, where as this one relied solely on CGI, terrible CGI. It’s just too much when it didn’t need to be. If you really think you want to watch this version, just go back and watch the 1982 one again and save yourself the time.
Horror TV Shows
As you can tell from my movie list above, I fell pretty behind on horror flicks this year, but that was because I was trying to catch up on TV shows that I was falling behind on. And since some of those TV shows fall into the horror genre, I figured they might count. Below is a list of the shows and episodes that I’ve watched in October.
Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2 – Episodes 8 through 15
I stopped watching Fear the Walking Dead after it went on its break from May to August (and based on ratings, I’m not the only one). I wasn’t really feeling the show before the break, but wanted to finish out season 2 so it wasn’t always looming in the back of my mind. I will say that Nick has grown on me a lot more since the first season, he seems like the smartest out of everyone at this point, I was happy about what happened to Chris, I hate the two main characters Madison and Travis, and the daughter Alicia is just kinda there at this point. I’m glad I was able to finish off the 2nd season, but I’m not sure if I’ll jump into season 3 or not. The only thing that keeps me watching is the hope that maybe they characters will cross paths with the characters from The Walking Dead, but at this point, I hope the “Fear” characters just show up in Alexandria as zombies on TWD.
American Horror Story – Roanoke
I was a little behind on this season so I decided to start it at the beginning of October and I’m digging it so far. The “dramatic reenactment” aspect of this season actually makes it super interesting and fresh. So far this season I’m actually enjoying it more than I have the last few seasons. I just hope there are no aliens…
Ash vs. Evil Dead – Season 2
This show is just insanely awesome. It manages to capture everything that mad the original Evil Dead movies great and jams that into 30 minute episodes. This is one of my favorite tv shows airing right now.
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