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October 2015 Horrorfest

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The breakdown: 42 movies watched and 1 TV special thrown in here with them, of those 15 were via Netflix, 15 on DVD, 6 via digital download, and 7 in the theatre. Of those 32 were first views, 11 were re-watches, and they came from the following decades: 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s & 2010s.

And let's also note that overall I watched 39 horror movies throughout this month, 1 documentary, 1 TV special, and 2 non-horror movies.

So overall I had a damn good month. I watched a lot of fun films, found some new favorites, and only a couple weren't worth my time. Thanks to Drafthouse for providing so many opportunities to catch horror on the big screen, Vulcan Video for having most of what I wanted to rent this month, and my co-worker friend for hooking me up with some mostly good stuff. I've written enough about these films, so I'm not going to waste a lot of space here this month. I kinda wish I hadn't already run through so many Netflix Instant recommendations before now, but the one horror film left I wanted to check out wound up being very worthwhile so I can't complain. I hope everyone else had a great month & a Happy Halloween!

Best new-to-me film for October: Juan of the Dead or High Tension
Best hidden gem: Mockingbird
Worst film: Curse of Chucky
People who added this item 105 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.3
Grabbers (2012)
First viewing - Oct. 1st

This was a good film to kick off the month with. It's basically an Irish version of Tremors, and it's fun from start to finish. The cast is solid & there's much joy delivered watching the monsters pick people off. It'd be even better though if they'd figured out a way to make the creatures only partially CGI instead of fully CGI because it's often obvious they're not real. But I was pleasantly entertained enough that I thought it was worth watching.

Bonus points for working in part of Night of the Living Dead by the way.

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People who added this item 102 Average listal rating (63 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.7
Cooties (2014)
First viewing - Oct. 2nd

Hilarious, intense, and fun all around, this was perfect for this month. The cast is excellent, but Rainn Wilson stands out from the pack by disappearing into his character. I had a blast watching Cooties and will definitely be watching it again and again. It's not perfect, but I don't even care.
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People who added this item 100 Average listal rating (69 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.9
First viewing - Oct. 2nd

Still riding the highs of Cooties, I decided to chase it with this film which I've heard some good things about. By comparison though it wound up being pretty weak, as the zombies aren't given much to do aside from get killed & the cast isn't nearly as solid as I'd hoped for. The film moves along quickly enough that I was never bored, and it does benefit from having Alan Ford running around being basically the same character he was in Snatch. Plus there's a wonderful joke here about how slow zombies move. But in the end it wound up being pretty average, leaving me with no need to sit through it again.

Just a thought: Bonus points for a reference to the first Romero zombie Bud Hinzman.

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People who added this item 147 Average listal rating (86 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.9
First viewing - Oct. 3rd


Here's another film I've seen scattered praise for and have been curious about for a little while now. After watching it I was better able to understand why it gets talked about, with an excellent cast that fully embodies their characters and a slow-burn story that comes to a glorious ending. I mean, I didn't even recognize Kelly McGillis in this (and I wonder what her 80s self would've said if she'd been told about her role here). The only trouble is that they try to make a mystery out of something that becomes obvious pretty early on, and the pace does get a little too slow in a couple places. So it's not what I'd consider great, but it's definitely worth a look once so long as you're able to hang with it.

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People who added this item 287 Average listal rating (181 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
First viewing - Oct. 7th

Review by PvtCaboose91

Finally caught this one and man was it ever worth the wait. It's dark with the right amount of humor, and I love that we've got a female in the villain role against a guy who tries to survive what she puts him through. So refreshing. And I dug the way our protagonist's story plays out, as well as the way it's contrasted by the night his best friend has. The effects are really well done, the soundtrack is damn good, and this is definitely a film I'd watch again down the road.

As fellow Listalite jaytoast once wrote, "Sometimes crazy feels like wearing pink and using excessive amounts of glitter. If you weren't aware of that... then you should be."
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People who added this item 689 Average listal rating (412 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
Ginger Snaps (2000)
First viewing - Oct. 8th

October is always a good time for me to track down films that people keep telling me I should check out, and this has been on that list for a while now. I thought the characters were believable enough, and I liked the dynamic between the two sisters. It's especially cool to see a well-done horror film penned by a woman, which we could always use more of. The effects are solid throughout, the soundtrack is decent, and all around it's definitely entertaining. I didn't think it was great though, and when it ended I felt like it barely missed the 8/10 mark for me. I'd be willing to watch this again, but I don't think I'd need to so it's really borderline between 7 & 8.

Interesting how things are connected: The first time we see a calendar in this film, it starts the week of October 5th. And then it's pretty sweet that it ends on Halloween.
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People who added this item 1503 Average listal rating (1001 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
Tremors (1990)
Re-watch - Oct. 9th

It's been a long long time since I last watched Tremors in its entirety, but I remembered it being super fun & I'm happy to report it still is. I chose to watch it first on this night because I thought it was better to let its energy carry me into the next movie rather than be all amped up at bedtime. That was a wise choice on my part.

The cast is just a joy here, and I'm not sure I realized before that the actress playing the pogoing girl went on to be the big sister in Jurassic Park. Kevin Bacon & Fred Ward carry the film wonderfully, and as B movies go this is one of the better ones. The pacing is perfect, there are some truly funny moments as well as excellent moments of violence on display, and the creatures are so cool. I highly enjoyed it, and may even add it to my collection in the near future so I don't have to go as long between viewings again. What I'd most like though is to see it with a proper audience at some point. I've only ever watched it at home.
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People who added this item 912 Average listal rating (610 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.6
Christine (1983)
Re-watch - Oct. 9th

Much like Tremors it had been too long since I last watched Christine. Much of it had stuck with me over the years, and if I recall correctly the film does a really good job of adapting the novel and retaining the most important parts. What I hadn't appreciated before is the obvious craft that went into creating this film. Carpenter is really on his game here with the direction and lining up wonderful shots that often evoke dread. One of my favorites is the opening shot where we see Christine moving down the assembly line, focusing on a side mirror picking up a worker walking along just behind her. So cool. The use of music is key, as the classic rock songs provide the main way we know what Christine is thinking and I thought it was very effective. Then there's Carpenter's score for the rest of the film which is on par with his best musical works. Especially impressive is Keith Gordon's performance as he transforms from nerdy pushover to a confident, evil badass. He's electrifying, and it's disappointing that he never went on to bigger & better things as an actor. The rest of the cast is solid (though it's hard to believe any of them are in high school), and in the end I felt that this is easily among Carpenter's best work. I'm so glad I finally watched it again.

Interesting how things are connected: The first date shown in the film is October 9. Good timing on my part there.
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People who added this item 46 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.8
Extinction (2015)
First viewing - Oct. 10th

One of my co-worker friends kept telling me I had to watch this, so I figured I'd finally listen to him. As it began I worried he'd lost his mind in recommending it to me, as the opening sequence appears to be shot by monkeys. The camera work is so unsteady it's unclear what's really going on, no doubt in hopes of portraying the anarchy of the moment but it fails to induce anything more than irritation or maybe a mild headache. Fortunately that's the only scene in the film with obnoxious shaky-cam work, so once it ended the film got much better.

Now I'll admit that I'm kind of a sucker for the story since it centers on a father and daughter which I related to very easily. I got caught up by that aspect, and thus enjoyed it probably more than I would have otherwise. Admittedly there are some parts which are quite predictable, and some of the effects could be better. But taken for what it is I thought it was worth watching once, and I'm glad it was recommended to me as otherwise I probably would never have checked it out.
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People who added this item 192 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.6
First viewing - Oct. 10th

I've been happily ignoring all the Chucky sequels since the third film in the series which I saw so long ago I barely remember it. But since this one was directed by Don Mancini, who made the first film, I thought maybe it'd be worth checking out. Well, that's what I get for thinking.

The best thing I can say here is the film looks good and moves quickly enough that it's not too much torture to sit through. Beyond that, the cast is average and the story is so slasher-by-the-numbers I knew where it was going and what would happen. There's nothing new or inventive here, which left me wondering why they even bothered making it.

So take it from me, you can skip this one.

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People who added this item 197 Average listal rating (139 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
Nightbreed (1990)
First viewing - Oct. 12th

So I thought I'd watched this before several years back, but watching it last night only the characters seemed familiar & now I'm thinking maybe I stumbled across part of it somewhere & assumed I'd seen enough to rate it poorly. This time, however, I watched the director's cut of the film & had no problems getting into it.

Now I read Cabal back in high school, and I remember loving it but beyond that I can't remember much else about the story so I won't attempt to compare this adaptation to its source material. What I will say though is that the characters are wonderfully designed & brought to life, inspiring the imagination and leaving a lasting impression (which would explain why several remained familiar to me). The director's cut is pretty solidly entertaining, with enough balance between the action-driven & dialogue-driven parts to keep it going. The acting could be better at times though, and the film definitely never manages to cross the line into greatness. It IS pretty cool though to see David Cronenberg act for a change, and that also helped keep me amused. Ah, and while the creature effects & gore effects are pretty solid all around, there are a few effects that just look cheesy now (and probably did then too).

All of which is to say that this was well worth checking out once, but I doubt I'd go out of my way to watch it again. That's not to say I wouldn't pass it up down the road if someone wanted to watch it with me, but it's nothing I'd add to my collection to revisit.

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People who added this item 3131 Average listal rating (2104 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7
Zombieland (2009)
Re-watch - Oct. 14th

Still a hell of a fun film I love. I hadn't watched this since its opening weekend, and the only thing missing this time around was the joy of being in an audience. Sitting home alone with it doesn't give quite the same effect. But regardless it's a good time to be had, with a cast that's far better than we usually get with horror movies, a killer soundtrack, and an equal amount of humor and gore/violence. I'm thinking I may have overrated it slightly, but I'm so satisfied by the film that I'm reluctant to demote it a star.
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People who added this item 83 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 6
First viewing - Oct. 15th

This one caught my eye on Netflix a while back, and I thought it was very effective. The way the film plays out is pretty intense, so much so that by the end I wasn't sure if I could go right to sleep. The cast is solid and the effects are especially good. The only trouble here is that the idea has been done plenty of times, but it's hard to hold that against it too much since it does the idea right. It'd be even better though if they'd drop the faux-real angle and let it just be the fiction it obviously is. I know that's how the found-footage genre tends to work, but it's quickly apparent it's no documentary.

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People who added this item 183 Average listal rating (112 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 4.7
First viewing - Oct. 16th

As should be expected with this kind of undertaking, the short films on display here wind up being a bit of a mixed bag. With 26 shorts that's just going to happen, it's inevitable. On the upside, the entire thing looks good despite the often obvious low budget everyone was given to work with. All 26 have memorable moments or visuals, which is respectable. Something I found interesting here is how many of these revolve around bathrooms...it made for a common thread between most of the films. The image above and the one below I chose to use here because they represent what were the best of the bunch in my opinion (T is above, Q is below).

The worst ones are for the letters G, M, W, and Z, though Z does get some points for attempting to riff on Dr. Strangelove and having a narrative of sorts. K comes close to being in their company just based on the idea, though I like that it's one of the few animated entries. Honestly though I was pretty entertained through V which starts a downturn through the rest of the shorts as they get progressively worse. X & Y get saved from being complete zeroes by seeming to have something to say on body issues and the perils of passing on violence to children respectively. A through E kick it off with solid entries that were creative and interesting. F was dumb but silly enough I wasn't too annoyed by it. H gets points for paying homage to Chuck Avery & the character design. Along with G it barely passes as horror though. I, O, P, & R are each interesting but otherwise just OK. L is a neat concept but tough to truly like. J ensures it's memorable thanks to the effects & humor. N is hilarious and easily in my top 5 of these. And S gets points for some Mad Max love. U is a neat take on the exorcism story, though I think it'd be improved in a longer run-time. And V gets points for the Robocop inspiration.

So yeah, overall I thought it was worth watching and I'm encouraged to check out its sequel soon. As long as you don't take any of it too seriously there's more here that's fun than I'd expected.

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People who added this item 2496 Average listal rating (1563 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
Coraline (2009)
Re-watch - Oct. 17th

Watched this one with the kiddo...it's not exactly horror obviously, but it's creepy enough to fit in with everything else this month. The kiddo thought parts of it were scary, so that counts for something too. She liked it overall, especially the wonders created for Coraline. I still love the hell out of the entire film. There's so much imagination poured into the story & visuals, and it's always a joy to watch.
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People who added this item 322 Average listal rating (177 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.5
Byzantium (2012)
First viewing - Oct. 17th

From the Netflix Instant Project for 2015

Recommended by VierasTalo


A strong cast, excellent technical aspects, and a compelling story all make this one well worth watching. Bring your patience though, as it unfolds slowly...this isn't so much a problem, just the way the film is paced & it does work just fine. But those looking for a fast-paced tale won't be satisfied by it. It's very much in the older style of vampire flicks, and almost as good as Neil Jordan's previous vampire outing Interview with the Vampire (from what I remember anyway...it's been a while now since I last watched that one). It didn't quite cross my personal line of greatness, but I'd gladly watch it again down the road.

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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 4.4 IMDB Rating 4.1
Mockingbird (2014)
First viewing - Oct. 18th

OK, so I went into this one with super low expectations. If you look at the ratings above it's not well-liked, and Netflix guessed I'd give it a low rating as well. Add to that the fact that this is Bryan Bertino's second film, yet despite The Strangers being a minor hit I didn't even know this film came out until it showed up on Netflix several months back.

And despite all these warning signs it appears I'm in the minority of loving it. Bertino has a great sense of how to use visual space and sound techniques to rattle the nerves, and this is used to full effect here. Much like The Strangers this film plays best watched alone in the dark with the volume turned up as that'll deliver the full effect. Also working in the film's favor is the choice to set it back in 1995 so you don't have the story spoiled by things like caller ID, cellphones, or easy-access internet. And while it doesn't take long to figure out where the film is going, the finale plays out in a way that I didn't anticipate at all. Matter of fact it damn near bordered on perfection for me.

Hell yeah I'll watch this again.

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People who added this item 45 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.3
First viewing - Oct. 19th

If you've ever thought that zombie films were missing a dose of Mad Max inspiration, here's the film for you. Matter of fact, when it ended I had to double-check the release date to make sure it didn't come out after Fury Road as some of the visual elements are similar. The cast is solid, the story plays out well enough, the soundtrack is really good, and overall I thought it was definitely worth watching. I'd probably even watch it again, and the way it ends I'm anticipating a sequel at some point which I'd also be down for. I just wish there'd been less CGI.

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People who added this item 303 Average listal rating (176 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1
House of Wax (1953)
First viewing - Oct. 20th

If you've followed my Horrorfests over the years, you know I don't consider them complete without a dose of Vincent Price. I thought maybe I'd seen this before, but I must have been thinking of another film because it was all new to me.

I dig the story and Price is wonderful as ever in his role here. The rest of the cast is solid too. The 3D stuff is gimmicky but doesn't derail the proceedings & overall it's an entertaining & fun film. Not really scary and not quite great, but I'd definitely watch it again down the road.
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People who added this item 1948 Average listal rating (1282 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
The Mist (2007)
First viewing - Oct. 21st

Well this is a bummer of a film. Which isn't always a problem for me, but in this case it ended & I was just bummed out. Way to kill my buzz, Darabont.

Aside from that, well, this is kind of a mixed bag. The acting is excellent throughout, especially Marcia Gay Harden who truly sells her character to the point I couldn't wait to see her get what was coming to her. The story is well-paced that it's never dull, and I like that they tried to minimize the use of creatures in favor of building up the suspense...well for the first half of the film at least. The biggest trouble is that the CGI creatures look so obviously fake I didn't find them the least bit scary. I could tell I was seeing CG creations every time, which left me wishing this film had been made before that technology became the industry standard. Only trouble there is we wouldn't have had the same cast though.

So yeah, it was worth watching once, but could be so much better.
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Re-watch - Oct. 22nd

Yep, this film is still underrated. The story is original & engaging, Carpenter's score is excellent, and the effects still hold up well. I'll forever be bummed that Carpenter's original idea of this franchise being a series of different Halloween-based stories rather than Michael Myers vehicles never caught on.

I'm changing my rating from a 9 to an 8 though as I hadn't realized how bad the acting is in a few places & there's some awkward dialogue. None of it ruins the experience, but it does prevent this from being a great B movie.

Just a thought: Had I known this film begins on Oct. 23rd, I might have waited a day to watch it.
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People who added this item 764 Average listal rating (509 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
Sinister (2012)
First viewing - Oct. 23rd

Sinister is super creepy & wound my nerves up so tight I thought they might snap. Each time it made me jump I cursed the damn thing for doing so, and when it ended I knew I needed to do something to unwind & relax enough to be able to sleep (hence the next entry in this list). The cast does a great job here all around, which is always welcome in a horror movie. My only problem is that it wound up going more or less exactly as I'd anticipated, which kept it from being truly great in my book. But it's effective horror nonetheless, and if I think my nerves can handle it I'll watch it again down the road.
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People who added this item 1582 Average listal rating (1068 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
Re-watch - Oct. 23rd

Thank you, Mel & company, for rescuing me on this night. The comedy here is so consistent, the cast so excellent, and the parody so perfect thanks to the fact there's obviously love & respect for the source material behind it. I've seen this more times than I can count & yet I'm still impressed by everything about it.
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People who added this item 650 Average listal rating (421 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
High Tension (2003)
First viewing - Oct. 24th

Ho
ly
fuck.
Now that's a mean bastard of a film.

It's only shortcoming is that when the twist comes along it's really hard to swallow. But once you've recovered and got your head around it, it totally works. I feel like a fool for having waited so long to see this, but I'm glad I finally did.

Oh yeah, and today I'm having a mini-horrorthon at home because it's raining here non-stop. This kicked it all off on a hell of a high note.
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People who added this item 71 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
First viewing - Oct. 24th

I remember reading something about this film back when it came out, and when I finally spotted it at the local movie rental store I got really excited & had to get it. And now I'm going to have to buy a copy so I can watch it several more times.

It's smart, it's funny, the cast is stellar, the effects are excellent...honestly I can't think of a single thing I disliked about it. Bonus points awarded for a Dead Alive reference too. The only thing missing is that magical feeling I get from a perfect 10 film, but it comes damn close.

Ah, and after this & High Tension I'm reluctant to press on with my mini-horrorthon...it's doubtful I'll sustain this high level of quality.

Just a thought: Picking a favorite new-to-me film this month will be really difficult.
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People who added this item 26 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 6.8
First viewing - Oct. 24th

This was a neat little puzzle box of a film. It's a different idea & I thought it played out very well. The acting is solid throughout & it keeps you guessing until the end. My only issue was that I never strongly connected with any of the characters, so my investment in it wasn't as deep as it could have been. Regardless it's definitely worth seeing once.

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People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.7
Hatchet III (2013)
First viewing - Oct. 24th/25th

I'd hoped to do four foreign horror films in a row, but by the time I was ready to start the fourth all the foreign film options were too long for me. So instead I picked this since it was shorter.

And overall it's pretty average. We pick up where the 2nd film ends, and then it's basically more of the same things we've seen before. No Reverend Zombie this time around, and instead of witless teens or hired hunters it's just cops taking on Victor Crowley. Other than that it's much the same. Crowley tears through almost everyone so there's no reason to care about any of them, the kills are entertaining (which becomes the trilogy's main highlight, honestly), and it moves swiftly enough that at the very least it's not dull. My favorite moments involved an alligator in one part and Sid Haig in a separate part. And best of all I've now seen them all & can leave the series behind me.

Just a thought: Man, Billy Peltzer got old.

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People who added this item 949 Average listal rating (623 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.2
The Strangers (2008)
Re-watch - Oct. 25th

Still one of the creepiest films in the world to me. Much like Mockingbird the way Bertino uses sound along with wonderfully framed shots is effective in ratcheting up the tension. This time around I watched the "unrated" "extended" cut, and maybe it's just been a while since I last watched this film but I didn't notice anything new or different from the theatrical release. Either way it's still a horror masterpiece in my book, and I'm glad to know it's retained its power over me.

It still saddens me that that tub of Blue Bell ice cream sits there melting the entire film...such a waste.
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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 4.9 IMDB Rating 4.5
First viewing - Oct. 26th

This was a different slasher movie so most of the points I'm giving it are for the fresh approach. It helps too that the cast is mostly solid & the effects are decent. Only trouble is it's stuck in the slasher routines and thus wound up being average in the end. I'm sure I'll remember it thanks to the premise, but it wasn't so impressive I'd ever need to watch it again.
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People who added this item 213 Average listal rating (157 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.1
V/H/S/2 (2013)
First viewing - Oct. 27th

Overall I enjoyed this one more than the first actually. The idea of people sitting in someone else's house watching movies on VHS is still silly, and the way the connecting story played out was thus predictable. It also had at least one moment of utter stupidity (when the guy sits there to watch another tape instead of seeking help for his girlfriend and/or himself after she's been attacked...hey, my girlfriend seems to be dead, guess I'll watch one of these tapes).

The first tale is ridiculous thanks to the eyeball camera idea, but otherwise it's solidly put together. The scary elements are actually pretty well handled.

The second tale was an entertaining zombie story, as well as a lesson that ditching your girlfriend isn't always the best idea.

The third tale is by far the best of the bunch and makes the whole thing worth sitting through. It's intense, wonderfully acted, and thought-provoking. This was the segment I've heard a lot of praise for, and after seeing it I get why.

I just wish I'd stopped after the third, because the fourth and final tale is just stupid. It doesn't help that the aliens involved are clearly humans in bad suits & masks, which made the whole thing laughable. It's also brought down by the dumb idea of attaching a camera to a dog, which makes parts of it unwatchable and only adds it the ridiculousness.

So yeah, if you watch this one you can bail out after the third story and you'll be just fine.

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People who added this item 73 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.7
First viewing - Oct. 28th

I wasn't too sure about this one when it started as it takes a while to really get going. If I hadn't hung in there I might have given up too soon, and I'm glad I didn't because once it takes off it just keeps getting better & better. Larry Fessenden's performance is a particular highlight, the tension keeps building and building, and the effects are really well done all around. There are a few moments where you know what's coming, but the ways those moments play out weren't exactly what I was expecting. I'll gladly hang on to this one so I can watch it again.

Highly recommended.
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People who added this item 269 Average listal rating (164 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.1
Splinter (2008)
First viewing - Oct. 28th

This one was just fun all around. The effects are especially impressive if you can't tell from the image above, the characters are mostly likable (I especially liked that the guy on the run wound up being more complex than he initially seems). Aside from the effects it doesn't quite cross over into greatness, but it's so entertaining that I'd watch it again.
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People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (40 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 5.5
First viewing - Oct. 30th

What's up with these anthology series improving in their second installments? This time around out of 26 shorts only one was completely worthless, and maybe two others I could have done without. The rest were entertaining at least and a few really impressed me.

It kicks off with the brilliant "A is for Amateur" which was a fun take on assassin life. "D is for Deloused" reminded me of Tool's early music videos. The short pictured above was wonderfully shot and played out really fun. Seeing Bill Plympton show up with an entry for the letter H was a very pleasant surprise. "O is for Ochlocracy" and "S is for Split" were easily my favorites of the whole thing. "N is for Nexus" would also be in my top five of these. The worst one is "P is for P-P-P-P Scary!" which was stupid, annoying, and pointless (maybe P is for Pointless would have been a better title). A couple are too short to be truly effective (which is to be expected when everyone is limited to about 5 minutes), and the rest are a mix of fun, weird, and thought-provoking. So in the end this winds up being one I'd actually watch again...I'd just skip past P.

Just a thought: Why don't we get more animated horror? I'd love to see some long-form animated horror movies by some of the animators in this and its predecessor.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Re-watch - Oct. 31st

Ok, so not really horror or a movie, but it's definitely in the spirit so I'm including it here. I picked this up on the cheap and watched it with the kiddo to wind her down a little after a Halloween party we attended. It's still entertaining.
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People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.4
First viewing - Oct. 31st

A Halloween-centric anthology seemed like the best way to end the month. Only downside is that overall it was average, so it wasn't the best ending to my month. It's got moments as some stories play out better than others (naturally), and I guess most were at least entertaining. None of them were great though. It's especially disappointing to me that Lucky McKee's entry was more annoying than entertaining. I dug the idea but the visuals didn't really work for me. And the last entry dragged for me (or maybe I was just too tired to fully enjoy it).

So yeah, kind of a weak ending to the month, but given how much fun I had all month long I'm not too upset about it. At least it was worth watching once.

Interesting how things are connected: I've come full circle with this one, as it contains scenes from Night of the Living Dead just like Grabbers. That tied things together nicely.
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Big scream attractions

Films caught dead in a theatre
People who added this item 137 Average listal rating (91 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
Re-watch - Oct. 6th

The moment I saw Drafthouse was screening this, I bought my ticket. And how cool is it that at 10pm on a Tuesday night in 2015 I watched this in a crowd of 170 people? And in 35mm? If you said super cool (or something similar), you got it.

It hasn't been too long since I last watched this, but seeing it on the big screen gave me a far better appreciation of the set design all around. There are echoes of Fritz Lang and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on display, which really transports you into the world of the film. Plus we get the wonderful joy of having Karloff & Lugosi share the screen in a tale focused on their characters' friendship, along with Basil Rathbone playing the titular character with style. Of the three, Lugosi knocks it out of the park with the best performance of the entire film...his physicality is just perfect for Ygor and he brings so much expression and feeling to the role.

The only kinda downside is that if you've seen Young Frankenstein it's hard not to recall that film while watching this one, as Mel's spoof largely plays off this one. In fact, I'll most likely revisit it before the month ends thanks to this film.
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People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.5
First viewing - Oct. 10th

Takashi Miike. Vampires. Yakuza. And an ass-kicking frog. If that's not a winning combination then I don't know what is. And for the most part, it IS a winning combination. I'd watch this again just for the insanity on display randomly throughout, as it's so much fun. The downside is that the dialogue is often awkward, and that's with subtitles (dubbing the whole thing might improve it actually). This makes character interactions awkward at times as a result, and thus the film is rendered uneven. I appreciate Miike's attempts to spend time with as many of the characters as possible to help us get to know them better, but at the same time there are too many characters present so it gets to be overwhelming & pulls the film down a bit. A tighter focus all around would greatly benefit Yakuza Apocalypse, as there's clearly potential for it to be far better than it is. The action sequences are excellent, the effects are mostly well-done, and the cast performs wonderfully in their respective roles.

So regardless of the problems present, it's totally worth checking out at least once.
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People who added this item 79 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.5
Deadly Friend (1986)
First viewing - Oct. 13th

Drafthouse was screening this for $3 as part of their Terror Tuesday series, so being that it's a Wes Craven movie I hadn't seen I figured I'd give it a shot. As it turned out, they screened the only existing 35mm print of the film and probably to the biggest audience to ever watch it given this was a box office flop (the theatre was mostly full on this night). So that alone made it worth the trip.

And then there's the movie, which is just too ridiculous and fun to not check out. The acting is awful at times, but the story is so entertaining watching this genius teen with his silly robot running around with Kristy Swanson and tormenting Anne Ramsey (Mama Fratelli from Goonies). Wes Craven evidently disowned this film, which is surprising because he definitely made worse films. But it's pretty goofy & stuck in B-movie land which keeps it from ever being anything great while keeping everything amusing.

I can't imagine why I'd want to watch it again, but it's totally worth checking out once.
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People who added this item 1507 Average listal rating (997 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
Evil Dead II (1987)
Re-watch - Oct. 25th

Quote-Along screening


I think it was about a month ago I noticed Drafthouse was doing a Quote-Along screening of Evil Dead II, and I immediately bought my ticket. No way was I missing this opportunity (though I did have a moment of doubt when I saw this morning that they were also screening Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust tonight at the same damn time). And I managed to find a co-worker friend who wanted to go, which helped ensure I had a better time than if I'd gone alone.

Surely by now you know how much I love this silly movie. But what you don't know is how all out Drafthouse went for the screening. They had a fog machine in the theatre to help amplify the mood (and fog level of the film too I suppose). They gave us a candy eyeball to put in our mouths when Henrietta's flies, a monster finger puppet to go crazy with whenever someone is possessed, paper plates to smash over our heads, cap guns to shoot along with Ash, and best of all a foam chainsaw (which has a handle to hold it by...I kinda would've preferred if they'd done it so I could put my hand in it though).

So yeah, I had a blast the whole time.
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Re-watch - Oct. 31st

Kicked off Halloween morning by taking the kiddo to see this at Drafthouse, and I had a blast. It was so cool to finally see this on the big screen, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The kiddo seemed more scared by it than she was last year, which was disappointing. She spent the first half of the film asking to leave, but we'd ordered food so she was stuck until it was eaten & paid for. Once the check was taken care of I asked her if she still wanted to leave & she said yes. So we exited the theatre and made it down the hall before she changed her mind & decided she wanted to finish it. Once we got back to the theatre she had more fun with it, so maybe she just needed a break. We only wound up missing a few minutes of it, which wasn't so bad...especially since her attitude toward it improved in that short amount of time.
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Netflix exorcisms

Films I caught before Netflix disposed of their bodies
People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9
First viewing - Oct. 25th

This was definitely a good time to check out this documentary. I thought it was pretty interesting to watch the trio of families go all out to decorate their homes for Halloween and get to know more about them. It felt like they struggled a little to make sure all three got fair coverage though, and perhaps either a tight focus on one of them or a longer run-time to allow for better coverage of all three would benefit the whole thing. Still, it's entertaining for what it is and worth watching once.
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Non-horror fare

People who added this item 235 Average listal rating (148 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
The Walk (2015)
First viewing - Oct. 11th

3D double feature


My friend in Houston came into town for a day during her vacation so we could catch a pair of new films together. She's not a horror fan in general, so this gave me a worthy excuse to take a break from my horror run.

We started with an IMAX showing of The Walk, the more dramatic adaptation of the tale which also spawned the excellent documentary Man On Wire. And back when I watched Man On Wire my sole disappointment was that there was no video footage of his complete walk. Fortunately Zemeckis took this opportunity to provide us all with the closest depiction of it modern film can provide, and the IMAX experience in 3D is certainly the way to go. In the back of my mind I knew what I was watching wasn't remotely real (after all the twin towers are now long gone), but the entire time he's up there that all washed away & like Philippe I was completely lost in the moment. For that part alone, this is totally worth the admission price.

The cast does an excellent job throughout as well, and Joseph Gordon Levitt remains an actor I'm happy to watch on screen. The story took some dramatic liberties I thought, or at least I don't recall the tale playing out the same in the documentary as it does here. Still, the film is solidly entertaining throughout, and the CGI looks good if not entirely believable at times. And if it returns to IMAX some day in the future, I'd gladly watch it again.
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People who added this item 927 Average listal rating (665 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8
The Martian (2015)
First viewing - Oct. 11th

3D double feature


It's funny, of the two films we watched today I had less urge to see this than The Walk. The trailer didn't do much for me, so I was pretty indifferent to the film's existence before it started. And while I normally avoid 3D movies, the fact that this was shot in 3D originally made me more willing to shell out extra for a change.

So imagine my surprise when this turned out to be a damn good movie all around. The humor works well throughout and helped to keep me engaged, the cast is perfect, and the visuals that really required 3D were often wonderful. As far as the soundtrack goes, I'm with Matt Damon's character in that there's more disco than I ever want to hear in a day (so I can well imagine the horrors of it being the only option for all those days). It didn't quite cross my personal line of greatness, but it came pretty close and I'm sure I'll be revisiting it down the road.

So all in all, this was a day well-spent. Now, back to the horror run.
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It's that most wonderful time of the year again! Time for me to gorge myself stupid on horror movies in honor of my favorite holiday Halloween. I'm throwing a lot of films in my to watch section here, because there's some horror clogging up my Netflix queue's arteries (sadly their purge last month halved what I'd originally had planned). So basically whatever is down there is what's readily available & interesting enough that I'm itching to watch it. Of course I won't be relying solely on Netflix as there are plenty of films I intend to rent from my local store, and I'll likely pluck a few off my shelves along the way.

Happy Halloween!

As is also part of my tradition, I'm linking to other similarly-themed lists for October here. If you spot one I've overlooked, please let me know & I'll add it.

Moviewatcher122's 2015 Horrorfest
rewster's 2015 Horror Movie Marathon
Hootsaidtheowl's Watched in Oct 2015
Deanmon's 31 Days of Halloween
kat.jamez's 2015 FrightFest
Tumppi's Children of the Corn Halloween Marathon
Drugs' Movie Diary 2015 has also gone all-horror for Oct.

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Comments

Posted: 1 year, 8 months ago at Oct 12 4:02
Awesome list I might have to add some of your titles to my Horror movie pool

And thanks I enjoyed "We Are What We Are" and "Witching & Bitching", both are some of my highest ranked films so far on my list

Im about to update what I watched yesterday which was The Last Exorcism part 2 and I am watching the new Knock Knock tonight
Posted: 1 year, 8 months ago at Oct 12 8:09
Man, we could not be at more polar opposites on the subjects of Cooties and Grabbers. Though I conceptually appreciate both (and with Cooties the writing is pretty top-notch as well as the acting), both of those movies are basically shot like a really bad episode of NYPD Blue and edited by someone with scissors for fingers. You mention unsteady camerawork with Extinction but man, if it's worse then Grabbers then it's basically just a constant motion blur.

And, look, man. You missed the only good movies in the Chucky-series. Bride of Chucky is easily one of the darkest horror comedies to come out of the 90s with humor that isn't entirely based around the Scream-esque meta commentary or genre self-flatulation. Seed of Chucky takes it a step further, making the whole thing a ridiculous comedy with nothing remotely scary in it. I tried watching Curse and it's just a hyper-digitally shot ugly-ass slasher movie. It has none of the charm this series finally developed with the fourth and fifth films.
Posted: 1 year, 8 months ago at Oct 14 0:17
@VierasTalo - I can guarantee you that the opening of Extinction is mostly motion blur. I've seen fast-paced scenes laid out in ways that the eyes can follow & make sense out of, but Extinction fails to deliver that in its opening. Then it benefits by not attempting that approach again the rest of the film. Heh.

And well, OK, maybe I'll give those other Chucky films a shot. Honestly the whole series from what I've seen ranges from average to awful, which is why I never bothered with the sequels you mentioned. I wouldn't even have watched the 3rd had it not come on on cable right behind the 2nd one way back whenever that was I sat through them (one summer when I was in high school probably).
Posted: 1 year, 7 months ago at Nov 1 16:57
List finally all wrapped up. Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

I'll drop by other lists soon to catch up on them...

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