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Fall Horrorfest 2018

Movie list created by Mackenzi Avatar

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My plans for watching as many horror movies as I can for the fall season, starting now and going until November 17th (my birthday, the day I shall open the gates of hell and take back my rightful throne- or, you know, switch to family mode for Thanksgiving, visiting relatives and all that).
(Movies I'm Planning on Watching Here)
Recommendations welcome!

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October: Main Feast


Watched October 16th
Rating:


2nd time watching all the way through, though I've seen bits and pieces several times over. Still so entertaining. Probably the only Clive Barker movie I really love- it's got so much character, theatricality, beautiful sets, interesting characters. Candyman is a bit goofy at times, but it does its best to take you on a journey, to tell you a story and do it with style. It doesn't feel disjointed the way some horror flicks do, jumping from scary scene to scary scene like the gore or jump scares are on a shopping list. It has intention, it's memorable. And it's a lot of fun at the same time.

Tony Todd as the Candyman is still one of the most attractive horror villains ever. A horror icon!

Watched October 15th
Rating:


I rented this one last year and tried to watch it at the end of a long night of other movies, but I got too scared to finish (bahahaha). It's hilarious because I remember being extremely unimpressed with the trailer- nuns and creepy kids? Too much cliche for me, doesn't sound scary at all! So this year I'm determined to see where I land- is it actually scary as heck or is it too cliche? I'm starting it right now. :P

Watched October 15th
Rating:


Hilariously, I tried to watch this movie over lunch, as if it where not clearly stated right there in the title that it is a movie about an autopsy.

I finished right before he said the part about gastrointestinal examination, perfect timing.

What a cool idea for a film- a truly scary concept, something that is so easy to imagine- the mind would of course play tricks in a morgue, surrounded by silence and bodies, and this movie gives us the opportunity to see it happen up close. The drama aspect isn't terrible, maybe a little too much talking, maybe the father and son aspect was a little too good ol' boy to be really interesting, but nothing especially egregious. Maybe the story felt a little too vague- it at first portrays Jane Doe as a sympathetic victim of cruelty, and in the end she kind of is that still? But I don't feel like she obtained true force-of-evil status by the end, and if she was a force of vengeance instead of evil, the random picking of her targets seemed a little emotionally lacking. The Dad & Son didn't seem like they deserved it, so it was a bit confusing. However I do like that she never talked or moved for the entire film- a literal corpse. Brilliant. How long has she been doing this? How long will she continue? The small, creepy details of the movie where pretty fun to watch unfold, and it was the perfect amount of uncomfortable to sit and watch them cut open her body and thumb through her innards. I squirmed in my seat! This would have been a good one to save for Halloween, and I might try to watch it again. At the very least, next year if I want to put together a few films for a Halloween Movie Marathon this one will be on it.

It made me think about the actress playing Jane Doe. What a strange job to spend so much of a movie absolutely still and naked with the other actors examining your body- a bizarre role! I hope Olwen Catherine Kelly had fun doing it.

Watched October 14th
Rating:


I was close to watching a more classic horror today, something from the 70's maybe, but I saw the trailer for Apostle and it wooed me, it looked fun, so I gave it a shot. I feel like I'm probably being a little harsh on what seems like a perfectly good movie that's definitely putting some effort in, but it simply wasn't my cup of tea. The buildup was strong and intense, beautiful strange imagery, a movie that wasn't afraid to have some color or have scenes set in the daytime- honestly the whole island village felt alive and real, isolated and quite hostile. But I was not into the graphic torture scenes. In fact, that one with the chains pulling the person into what I guess is a... grinder? Absolutely would not work, completely broke my suspension of disbelief and I just had to laugh at it. I know it's my own personal interests that put me off to that second half of graphic torture, I can see this movie being appreciated by a lot of people and I would still recommend it, it was worth watching at least once.

It had a couple details that reminded me of video game horror- nothing major, maybe I just play too many, but I could see the whole story play out in the style of The Evil Within or Resident Evil 7. The movie Crimson Peak also reminded me of a game, though that made more sense in context because Guillermo del Toro was going to work on Silent Hills (RIP) and is now involved in Death Stranding.

Watched October 13th
Rating:

I don't know if this is necessarily a good movie overall, as one cohesive film. I felt like it was just a little too cheesy and there where some parts that seemed like good, complex worldbuilding, but diverted the story in too many directions without enough subtlety or grace. The ending was a lot of fun though, I enjoyed it quite a bit. And I had a nice time joking with my girlfriend through the whole thing about how we imagined the actual story of the world, being the vampires are too dumb and beautiful to think ahead to the total extinction of their one food source, and still struggle with concepts of science and agriculture and anything that isn't hanging out in a painfully modern cement office.

One major plus is that Sam Neil looks amazing as a colorless vampire CEO, excellent casting there.

Watched October 11th
Rating:


I don't think I could give this a good rating simply for the very 80's point of view of transgender people and the unfortunate "man in a dress" villain concept. Even putting that aside, though, it was not especially gripping. The homage to Psycho was well and good, but the movie seemed to slump more and more as it went on. Angie Dickinson's character was the most interesting of the lot, several of the rest felt like spoof characters- maybe it simply doesn't age well and I'm not fond of this look into what served as top tier erotic thriller in the 80's. Who knows! On to the next movie!

Watched October 9th
Rating:

Watched October 8th
Rating:


This movie gave me more stress being underground than The Decent. The found footage made it seem so much worse. There is no supernatural terror worse than crawling through tiny tiny underground caves and crevices, I promise you right now, I will never spelunk anywhere ever! Absolutely the worst!

Anyway, the rest of the film was a little mediocre in comparison, a little too contrived in some parts, and sometimes just boring. It didn't give us much reason to care about these random youths, nor did a secret, ancient alchemist treasure seem at all plausible. The last 30 minutes I was just waiting for it to be over. The end credits where pretty stylish though.

Watched October 6th
Rating:

Ravenous / Les affamés is a thoughtful zombie movie, I kinda liked that atmosphere for a genre that can easily be so tired. It was mystifying and strange, if a little slow. The perplexing actions of the zombies where fascinating and the "rules" of the universe are not explicitly stated and seem to change often, which kept me "on my toes" mentally.
The cast was enjoyable and interesting too, I think they achieved something there that many ensemble films try to do but fall flat: the characters pasts and personalities are hinted at, and we see through their words and actions how they've changed through their hardships, without any of them feeling cliche.
In the end if it's lacking it's simply because zombies can be a little flat. This film did a good job with them, but we still have to listen to characters discuss possible safe bunkers and who did or didn't get bitten, stuff we have seen before, so your mileage may vary on the overall plot. But if anything this movie is about details and not the big picture plot, so I'd still recommend it!

Watched October 4th
Rating:


So far one of my favorites that I've watched this year! I am craving more like it!

Cool cinematography, a handful of great eerie moments, morbid humor sprinkled throughout. It had that spunk, that tiny hint of knowing that it's a horror film and wanting to be laughed at as well as screamed at, wanting to be a fun experience and not just overwhelmingly tense or awful. The main character's fixation on the head in the bag concept is disturbing and surreal, but also quite funny.

I might be a little hard on the plot itself, it still felt like there was a moment I knew exactly what it would do from that point until the end, and I was exactly right. But part of that flaw is me and how many movies I watch and it can be hard to let go and not try to guess what is going to happen next. :P But the ride from beginning to end was so much fun, they did a great job of taking us on this demented journey with the main character, and I loved that. Bluebeard gave me a renewed energy for horror movies and I'm excited to watch more asap.
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September Preamble


Watched September 30th
Rating:

A pretty and somewhat quaint classic that still delivers on distressing, strange atmosphere. Your mileage may vary when it comes to creepy children, but this one is a bit more "down to earth" in that the children may(?) be possessed by the ghosts (spirits? demons?) of adults and are therefore not inherently evil. It is put together masterfully, and I can say I was uncomfortable and tense through most of it.

It was a little hard to stay immersed at times because I'm not especially used to that early 1960's Hollywood way of talking, since I haven't been watching many classic films lately. But in a way it added to the strange, otherworldly feeling of the estate.

I still need to read the source material- I've had the novella on my shelf for about two years and keep putting it off. I have seen many comments saying it is quite chilling, so it's definitely a priority to get through this October.

Watched September 29th
Rating:


Kinda awkwardly paced, some jokes a little shoehorned in, and overall a tad incohesive... and yet, still funny, and even kinda memorable. Especially thanks to the Stepdad Therapy Group and Bridget Everett as Al, because the film would have been nothing without them. Evangeline Lilly was also very believable as the cute, determined, somewhat oblivious mother-of-the-antichrist.

I wasn't expecting some wholesome heartfelt moments but it did kinda pull at my heartstrings in a few places. I'm weak when it comes parents going out on a limb for their kiddos, even when their kiddos are the antichrist.

I may have enjoyed it more having watched Noroi and Hold the Dark previously the same day- it was a welcome change of pace after those two.

Watched September 29th
Rating:

Ehhhhh... I don't hate the found footage concept, it can be a lot of fun, but I'm often left wishing there was more actually scary parts of the movie. If it doesn't have enough interesting, mysterious, or scary content it becomes easier to see how the "documentary" style feels fake. I've yet to see a found footage/documentary movie that completely avoids the feeling of actors awkwardly reading a script that is written to sound like real, normal people talking. Noroi left me feeling the same way- not the worst offender, but still not anything impressive. And I was really unimpressed with the fetus thing thrown in at the end.

Watched September 29th
Rating:

An interesting, atmospheric, and somber film, though I am not sure I took a lot away from it in the end. It is hard to follow the motivations of the characters, and even after reading an article explaining the characters and why they did what they did, I'm still not sure a lot of it came through in the actual film. It was very bleak, and it can definitely be hard for me to get into bleak stories if there isn't something else to hold on to. I thought the characters where interesting and the acting a pretty good fit, but I didn't feel any strong connections to anyone.

Watched September 27th
Rating:

Fine, I suppose. Another kinda average one. I'm not sure I care for the story very much, though I suppose it could have turned out worse. The end had a similar magical feel to the end of The Witch, and I like comparing them if only for the sake of The Lodgers being the trial by water to counter The Witch's trial by fire. In this one there are some beautiful scenes of gloomy nature, the wonderfully derelict house, and water falling upwards and otherwise defying the laws of gravity. Besides that though- not horrible, but not really special.

Watched September 26th
Rating:

Decent. There where strange, tense scenes and few good scares, though you almost always knew they where coming. It did a few things to subvert expectations but overall the plot is predictable... but it's still a decent amount of fun to watch, and I didn't get bored. It doesn't rely too heavily on the mental illness tropes that get so overdone (and so poorly done these days, even after decades of material to learn from). No, while the story doesn't break any new ground, it is enough to hold up the film. It loses steam by the end, becoming a little more action focused than scary, but I imagine they did it on purpose after introducing certain characters who change the atmosphere from spooky-tense to violence-tense. In the end, still a fun spooky house flick to relax to at the end of the day.

Watched September 24th
Rating:

Hm... not sure if this was me being a little uninterested, or if this movie hasn't aged especially well, or maybe my expectations where off again (I gotta stop watching trailers!) but overall I was not impressed.

Ravenous seemed somewhat goofy to me, it had some parts that seemed intentionally funny and others I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be comedic or tense. The characters where interesting in theory but I felt like I didn't get to know them very well, and I couldn't name a single one of them now. The idea was interesting, but for a movie based around cannibalism, maybe kind of tame. I wish it had been weirder, more dramatic, or funnier, but it didn't cross any of those lines.

Watched September 21st
Rating:

My expectations entering this film definitely effected my experience with it- I thought, after watching the trailer, that it would be a lot more violent than it turned out to be. I was expecting more to happen, maybe, and it turned out to be a quiet kind of film- I was left feeling like it barely had a climax.

However, thinking back on it now, it's definitely one I would watch again. The characters weren't just puritanical charicatures, though that would have been an easy way to make the movie. They felt real, and their descent into a gray, barren hell felt real. The film was kind of hypnotizing in that reguard, at all times I was wondering "What is really happening here??" and it maintained that sense of dreadful, confusing mystery for almost the whole film. The actual climax of the film was decent, but the last scenes, so incredibly quiet, they where magical.

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Comments

Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago at Oct 8 22:42
Completely agreed on Hold the Dark. And I was underwhelmed with Ravenous (1999) as well when I watched it. And Little Evil was fun enough.

Lots of great films on your horizon. :) Looking forward to your thoughts on them!

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