Thursday, October 31, 2019

D-Rock's Spooktober Film Festival GRAND FINALE!


Well, the day has finally arrived! And to celebrate, I'm going to go through every scary movie I've watched this month. You see, two years ago, I decided I wanted to watch as many scary movies as possible in the month of October. It was--I can't stress this enough--awesome. And ever since then I've made this quest a yearly tradition. This year, I decided to make it a little more fun by live-tweeting a few of these--at least when I had the energy for it. However, there are a whole bunch of movies (and some TV shows!) I never got to talk about for my adoring public here at Vundablog. So I decided I would make a list of every movie I watched this month and say a little something about each one. Because I know how important it is to you all to know what I think about all the movies I watch. So let's do this...


OLD FAVORITES

10. Young Frankenstein
-I've seen this movie more times than I can count. It's a family classic. I heard the phrase "put...the candle...back" dozens of times before I ever saw the movie itself. It's not a scary movie but it's close enough.

9. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
-Oh, man, this thing. This is definitely one of my all time favorite bad movies. It's also quite possibly the most late 90s movie ever made. There's literally a System of a Down song in it. I love it so much.

8. The Blair Witch Project
-Oh, also, the original Blair Witch Project is a freaking masterpiece. Found footage movies are one of my favorite things and this is the quintessential found footage movie. Fun fact: the film crew spent the filming of this movie screwing around with the actors to make them legitimately angry and irritated. They had huge magnets to mess with their compass and they stole their map and their stuff. 

7. Snakes On a Plane
-Quite possibly the greatest bad movie of all time, in my opinion. I mean they just went for it. They briefly had the ridiculous idea to make this a "serious" movie and were going to change the name to Flight 121 but thanks to public outcry (and a little pressure from lead actor Samuel L. Jackson) they changed it back to Snakes On a Plane and just went all the way with it. The result is a B-movie that immediately reached legendary status.

6. Cloverfield
-Another modern found footage classic and probably my favorite of all the found footage movies. It's faithful to the format and beautifully preserves the mystery of the monster with perfectly placed teases--not to mention the equally menacing smaller parasitic monsters. So good.

5. The VVitch
-I love this damn movie. It's such a perfect combination of minimalism and completely over-the-top moments and I love the fact that, as it says in the disclaimer at the end of the movie, it was based on actual accounts of people who lived in colonial America. Add in creepy, morbid religious themes and an ending that goes all out and this is 100% my jam.

4. The Exorcist
-This is legitimately one of the scariest and best movies ever made and it absolutely 100% still holds up over 40 years later. However...do NOT get the Director's Cut. The changes are just...so bad. Not enough to ruin a truly brilliant and terrifying film but it comes closer than it should.

3. Hellraiser (live-tweet thread)
-Would you believe that Roger Ebert criticized this movie for a "bankruptcy of imagination"? I mean that's the last thing I could ever imagine someone saying about this movie. One of the most creative, gorey, delightfully disgusting films ever created. And the stories and performances are great as well. Classic.

2. Halloween
-What can I even say about this movie at this point? If there is one horror movie that is required viewing for any fan of the cinema, it's this one. Its influence simply cannot be overstated. I watched it four times this month and I would have watched it more if I didn't have a ton of other scary movies to watch.

1. Rob Zombie's Halloween
-My all time favorite horror movie (well, second favorite--Cabin In the Woods is my favorite but there's some dispute over whether or not that counts). I've already written more than enough about this movie so I'll just link you to my piece entitled "In Defense of Rob Zombie's Halloween."

Honorable Mentions:
-The Ring (live-tweet thread)
-Scream (live-tweet thread)
-Shaun of the Dead

NEW FAVORITES

10. Rosemary's Baby (live-tweet thread)
-This is a classic that definitely lived up to the hype. I wish it wasn't written and directed by a child rapist but it was still excellent and the ending was MY JAM.

9. Halloween IV
-I have to say I was VERY surprised by how much I liked this movie. A big part of the reason why is that ending. It's too bad that ending turned into...Halloween V, but for one brief, shining moment, it was perfect. 

8. Paranormal Activity
-Another modern classic of found footage. This is definitely one of the most tense movies I've ever watched but I was actually pleased that the jump-scares weren't too cheap. The slow build was great and the ending was cool, if a tiny bit understated.

7. Paranormal Activity 2 (live-tweet thread)
-I actually liked every Paranormal Activity movie more than that last (until I saw part 4...but more on that later) because each one builds on the mythology and the world in fascinating ways. This one takes place about a month or so before the original and focuses on the main character's sister and her family, which, of course, I loved.

6. The Last Exorcism (live-tweet thread)
-One more really awesome found footage movie and although it doesn't do a particularly great job of staying true to the format (there's way too much sound design and music and it totally takes you out of the moment), it's VERY easy to forgive because of the themes it explores and ONE OF THE BEST ENDINGS OF ANY MOVIE EVER.

5. Paranormal Activity 3 (live-tweet thread)
-Definitely my favorite of the Paranormal Activity movies because it dives DEEP into the mythology and the world-building, focusing on Katie and her sister when they were kids and the events that were only hinted at in the first two movies. LOVE this one.

4. A Quiet Place
-I've been wanting to see this since it came out and it DEFINITELY did not disappoint. Beyond the sheer beauty of almost the entire movie being in ASL, the performances are amazing, the story is great, the sound and visual effects are brilliant. This is just...such a great movie.

3. Poltergeist
-I had actually seen this movie once before but I was very young. I remembered liking it but I definitely didn't remember liking it this much. I love how it's kind of equal parts ghost story and 1980s Steven Spielberg movie. It's just so whimsical!

1. Psycho (live-tweet thread)
-This is another one that I saw once a very long time ago and barely remembered and holy mother of GOD what a brilliant film. Seems like every time I see an Alfred Hitchcock movie I tell myself I really need to see more of his movies. In fact, I pretty much immediately went out to the library and checked out "The Birds" and "Vertigo." So that should give you an idea of how good this movie is. They don't call him the master of suspense for nothing.

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (live-tweet thread)
-I honestly couldn't choose between this and Psycho. I mean Psycho is definitely technically the better film but this movie is just so unique and raw and ferocious. There's never been anything like it and there probably never will be.

NOT-QUITE-FAVORITES

5. Halloween II
-Honestly, this movie isn't bad. I actually like the story. I like pretty much everything about except the UNFORGIVABLY bad score. I don't know what they thought they were doing with one of the greatest movie theme songs of all time but they absolutely butchered it along with every other piece of music in this movie. WOOF.

4. Halloween V
-This thing is just a mess. It's an entertaining mess, though. Honestly, this might have been higher on the list if I had any expectations of it or if I wasn't watching it on The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs and live-tweeting with the #MutantFam.

3. Paranormal Activity 4
-This movie was not only boring but a complete departure from all of the fascinating mythology of the first two sequels. I really wish they had just dove deeper into the history of Katie's grandmother and great-grandmother and the coven and whatever deal was made for the generational wealth the family accrued.

2. Unsane
-I might be overrating how bad this movie was. The story was actually pretty good--albeit a bit cliche--but I really just couldn't get past the Steven Soderbergh of it all. The wonky camera angles and the wonky music--the whole thing was just so ridiculously stylized it took me completely out of the story.

1. The Amityville Horror
-Wow. This thing. Maybe it's because I had such high expectations but maaan this movie was boring and cliched and every person in it was either over-acting or not acting at all or both interchangeably. I couldn't even finish this one--mostly because it was already the 30th and I had a bunch of movies I still wanted to watch.

Honorable Mention: Candyman (I really wanted to like this one but I just never really connected with the characters or understood the Candyman's motivations. It's a great "woman experiencing supernatural terror but nobody believes her" story, though. I should probably watch it again.)

TELEVISION

In no particular order:

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Season 1)
-OMG BEST SHOW EVER. THAT IS ALL.

Ghoul (Episode 1)
-There are only actually 3 episodes of this excellent Indian horror miniseries, which makes me wonder why it wasn't just a movie, but I loved the first episode. The social commentary is very interesting and the story is great. Can't wait to watch the rest.

The Haunting of Hill House (Season 1)
-Wow. Just wow. This show is absolutely brilliant--the cast, the beautiful story, the AMAZING twist half-way through. Just...everything. Still not over how good this show was.

Treehouse of Horror I-VIII
-No Halloween is complete without TREEHOUSE OF HORROR. That's it. That's the tweet.

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