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Horrorfest 2019

Movie list created by Mackenzi Avatar

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As a stand-alone this film is alright, halfway decent except a few clunky moments. It spends a good amount of time not being very scary, and toward the end, I think they are taking a few too many logical leaps to get to the end sequence, leaps that the book had time and pacing to elaborate on but the movie had to cut for the sake of time and pacing. However it is still quite the classic, there where some eerie moments and I loved the smudged face effect in photos, for 1998 when you had to get all that developed, it was a very cool detail.

I loved watching this movie despite its mediocre moments, though, because as a collection of horror art, the novel Ring by Koji Suzuki, this film, and the American remake, are a really really great demonstration of life imitating art. This movie uses the phone call after viewing the video tape as the titular ring, and the American film (as far as I recall, it’s been so long) does similar, in addition to the Ring of light the girl saw from the bottom of the well as it was being closed. But in the novel, Ring is a reference to what we would call a ripple in the water, cascading outward bigger and bigger from a single point. That was the video, a ring, much like a disease, forcing people to spread it to others in order to survive. And you couldn’t ask for better horror film material. The film of course drew many people into its ring, then got a big budget remake across the globe to infect a new culture, is so beautiful. You couldn’t ask for a better result after writing such a book. Especially when the book makes a point of talking about American horror flicks and their popularity.

It’s kind of a horror nerd thing to get excited about, but the meta perspective of Ring has been a real joy to experience and while each individual work might be a little clunky in ways, all together they are a really fun work of art. Like performance art that the horror fans of the world are all a part of. :D

Great start to October this year and I’m hoping to keep it going strong.

This prompt was “mindless” so I tried with a zombie flick, but I failed the prompt since not only do the zombs talk but can think and explain themselves.

Prompt for today was "bait" and I had to get a little creative to think of a movie. I almost watched something more obvious like Piranha but I got home early from work and felt like something a little spookier.
A decent flick though not one that lived up to my personal hopes for something really scary- the poster of this looked much grittier than the actual movie, and while it wasn't bad, creature features just don't frighten me as much. Cool and bizarre monsters are a lot of fun, and I would have liked to see more of them in this! But the film we got was a decent drama/horror about a family surviving, and not doing too badly for the circumstances. And to give them credit it was a very, very quiet movie. A neat experiment and worth watching at least once.

Ironically, this one missed the theme because the major conflict of the film comes from the Arctic thawing, so I this is the second prompt that I failed!

I liked watching The Last Winter but it might be my enjoyment of a good “snowed in” scenario more than the actual quality of the film. Not that it’s a terrible movie: the cinematography was actually kinda nice, acting wasn’t bad as long as you like Ron Perlman, and it build up a more than decent creepy atmosphere. It just felt like it didn’t hit a climax for me, left me wanting more. And a couple parts near the end, the slightly dated special effects brought me out of it a little bit.

But I did like it, in fact I can see myself watching it again someday, probably some mid-July when my love of “snowed in” stories reaches its peak every year and I want to binge icey movies.

This was a bonus movie I slipped in after The Last Winter.

I loved this movie. I was hesitant going in, missing the vibrant, audacious colors of the original. But I’d read they are very different films and I respect that decision a lot, I wish more remakes where more like reimaginings, and in the case of Suspiria it really paid off. This is an excellent film. I love a cast of women,we so rarely get to see many women interacting with and against each other on the big screen. It worked really well in Suspiria and we where treated to an excellent buffet of twisted creepiness. The film is dark and disturbing in many great, quiet ways (are we finally learning to say goodbye to the jump scare with very loud sharp noises? I hope so) but also an amount of tenederness that is surprising. I love this combination, that bluring of fear and compassion. I was enchanted by the main character and her dark trajectory into this coven. I was mystified by all of the happenings and I couldn’t see where the movie was going to end up until it got there. And while it’s a long one at 2.5 hours, it didn’t feel excessive. I started it late on a work day with my girl and we were just gonna watch the first few minutes, but we just couldn’t stop watching.

Had a good discussion with my girlfriend trying to decide a movie that would fit this prompt- any dog horror films? Burly men seem plentiful but hardly a set piece. Some bug films might have worked but I didn’t want a mid-2000s B movie and I didn’t think The Fly actually had any molting, just oozing. But then “corn husk” popped into my head and I knew the perfect film.

Children of the Corn is kind of goofy and I had low expectations going in, so I put it on while doing chores. But I ended up really digging it. Yeah the young actors where not as great at acting, but it was in a way that kids are, which felt real enough to me. They’re actors but also in-universe they are acting these roles out without knowing why, just being dumb idiot kids like we all where once. It worked for me. And while I expected the cult stuff to be cheesy, and in ways it was because this is 1984 and everything feels a little cheesy from this time period. But their weird corn crosses and rituals and the corpse of the cop on the cross, it was all pretty disturbing, laid out plain as day like that. It was kinda creepy! So by the end I was into it and I had a fun time. Definitely not the worst “creepy children” movie I’ve seen.

Bonus film watched after Children of the Corn. Another late evening flick with my girlfriend, trying to show her some of the classics in the genre. She liked The Thing and In The Mouth of Madness so more Carpenter seemed like a good idea. It’s clear this isn’t as strong of a film as the other two, but it was still a good time. The concepts here are all solid, even if it’s hard to back that up with believable scientific dialog. I can imagine this story as a compelling miniseries where we get to know this diverse cast of scientists as things slowly deteriorate at the church, each episode getting more and more sinister. Especially if it was still set in the 80s, because that final threat being pushed back to 1999 is such a good and funny way to end things that it needs to be preserved.

Not the scariest Carpenter flick, but the dream message with the creepy voice was so effective at getting under my skin, my brain kept playing it over and over as I was trying to get to sleep. It was actually a pretty fearful thing to see, I can’t imagine dreaming it, I definitely get why an entire religious sect popped up around it.

Lots of horror doesn't scare me the way it used to. Even thought I'm still a baby when it comes to seeing horror films in the theater I've been kinda desensitized to a lot. Fortunately I absolutely love the genre and little moments even in otherwise-mediocre movies can bring me joy. A lot of films are middle-tier movies with a few good moments, or well-crafted if light on the scares.

Hereditary is in a whole different tier of film. It scared the shit out of me. I'm almost sad I didn't see it in theaters because it probably would have shaken me even more to see it on a huge screen in a pitch black room, but it has shaken me so much just watching at home, it's stayed with me for days! Holy shit. This is the fear level I am always wanting in a scary movie, maybe it's by design not every film can be this scary, my poor heart might not be able to take it.

Talking about quality, Hereditary has it all. It is the scariest movie I've seen in a long-ass while. The acting is sincere and deliberate. The cinematography and effects where chilling and unflinching (though I sure wasn't). It stares you in the eyes and shows you some terrifying things. I can't say everyone will love this movie, but it is undeniably an A+ effort. I am actually getting a little scared sitting here and typing this out, the sun's setting and it's getting dark in here and I still have the urge to flip all the lights on in the house and turn on some music. It was a seriously unsettling experience and there's no way I can forget this horrific film.

Fortunate enough to see this in theaters for the 40th anniversary! It was a really good experience, even though I was feeling stressed going in it was a blast to see on the big screen. It's been so long since I've seen this one so a lot of it felt really fresh. I was impressed with the story, worldbuilding, acting, it was all solid. It is a very quiet film, it sits a lot and let's you think about the total disaster unfolding bit by bit. It's good! Even if you're not going to enjoy it for nostalgia or the slower pacing of an older movie, Alien is worth seeing because you can tell how much of a labor of love this movie was. Each scene and set piece is painstakingly crafted, the world they're in feels very real, it is amazing to see. I recommend it to every horror film lover.

I'm not actually sure what I am thinking about this one. I have never seen a Gaspar Noe film before this one, actually I actively avoid them for the content and what comes across to me as a nihilist philosophy. If I’d realized this was one of his I might not have watched it. Fortunately for me the Noe film I stumble into is supposedly his most mainstream and easily watchable to date so I feel relatively unscathed. It was interesting, I admit to enjoying the "sensory experience" type films that just carry you away, plot be damned if it can make me feel like I'm dreaming I am into it, visual poetry, visual music, experimental stuff, I can enjoy a lot of it. So from the start the colors and sound and sinister vibes where able to transport me. It has a lot of anxiety and the unease builds in a realistic way, people who seem outwardly normal or almost normal, until they start saying and doing things that make you pause, make you wonder if something really starts to pop off, will you be safe around these people? I have felt that feeling before on a much much smaller scale and the first 45 minutes of Climax pulls that off [i]really[/i] well, and follows through horrifically. The answer is, of course, no, you’re not safe with them and they aren’t safe with each other, and then it gives you a worst-case scenario showing you exactly why.

The whole film has a rhythm to it that could have taken me all the way to the end, but the events that unfold kind of jogged me out of it. I’m pretty sensitive to explicit sexual violence and after a certain point I was just full of anxiety that I’d have to see something terrible and switch it off. Another scene I didn't vibe with was the altercation with Lou. It felt kinda out of place, not even totally unrealistic, but maybe more symbolic than a lot of the other things that happened. It was a tipping point from a feeling of realism to something else that broke immersion a bit, maybe for the better so I could get through the rest. Some other things seemed a little predictable and you could guess what would happen, but still left me with a sick, unpleasant feeling in me and I think was the intention of the movie, I can't say that's a fault.

It was an interesting and stylish chaotic disaster, I liked the dancing and the actors, I liked the beginning and end, the music and the choreography and cinematography. I liked the weird sensory overload trippyness. I didn’t care for... I don’t know, maybe the Lord of the Flies aspect of “humans will deteriorate to their grossest base behaviors” philosophy.

Sorry if this is a little too much rambling, definitely a strange film to wrap your head around. But that being said I didn’t hate it, like I’m sure I would hate other Noe films. This one was okay. Dark and not my cup of tea but I think I get the appeal. I can't say I want to look into this guy's other works but I didn't regret seeing this one. Unsure what to rate it though.

I love the idea of this movie and I really wanted it to be great. Lost in a field of creepy tall grass in the middle of the the day, things getting more and more sinister, that sounds like it could be a great psychological horror-thriller. But this movie is pretty dang average in every way. The characters, the plot beats, the cinematography. Nothing stands out in a great way except the shots of grass from above, flowing like water. The horrible green monotony of those fields was just waiting for someone with a vision to make this movie, but we didn't get that. There aren't any cool surprises here, just an average flick. It's not a horrible movie but you can pass on it.

Inktober prompt: Enchanted

Lots of funny and sometimes spooky imagery in this one! I was really impressed at their special effects, the details they put into every scene was fantastic. There is a point where a large-breasted demon is illustrated using some kind of stop-motion animation, and the breast physics are given such detail that it's right on the line of funny and impressive. Every part of this movie is made with care and sincerity and a sense of fun.

I actually expected to turn it off and finish it another time, but I couldn't stop watching it. It was a really interesting little look at witchcraft and mysticism through the lens of 1922 Sweden, I loved the documentary style of it a lot. I was endeared at the end when they made a case for how modern health science has parted the veil on natural things we used to call witchcraft, and made a statement about the poor and elderly still having to deal with the repercussions of that. It was a really cool lil movie.

Don't fuck with your brain, pal! It ain't worth it!

This is tagged as a horror film but I'm not sure it actually is. There's some gore and fantastic practical effects but it doesn't use fear (or even paranoia, despite what the plot says) to move the story forward. Definitely worth watching thought, is there anything more charming and fascinating than the distant future as portrayed by movies from 1980-1999? The intersection between our fashion and style of the times, our technology fads, and what we could pull off with practical and limited digital effects, has led to a vision of the future that is at this point not so much "dated" as a beautiful, chunky alternate universe that I am absolutely positive will stand the test of time for viewers far into the future. The stuff is so stylish! That by itself led me to absolutely love watching this movie.

Also, as someone born after Arnold Schwarzenegger's peak acting years, it's somewhat baffling how this guy rose to stardom. Maybe I am too used to a culture that would rather cast the guy with the accent as a villain. I think this film did benefit from him being the star, at the very least for its surreal tone. I'm not complaining, I think this movie worked really well with him in it. It's just hard to imagine him reaching the same levels of fame today.

And I'll give it props, this plot wasn't as random and goofy as I expected. Some big criticism of capitalist ideas, the movie is never boring for even a moment, and practically all of the major events are somehow foreshadowed by random throwaway bits of dialogue from earlier on- there is some quality writing behind this. I was surprised to learn it's based on a Phillip K. Dick story, but it makes sense- the paranoia and questioning of reality, even if it's hard to believe Arnold gives a damn one way or another, is some classic PKD stuff.

I can't wait to see the remake now. As much as I hope for something as stylish and memorable as this near-perfect film I expect something a little different and not as flashy from the year the world ended, 2012. But hey, I'll be content to look at Colin Farrel in a mediocre film as long as I have low expectations going in.

An Iranian Vampire Western, shot in black & white and with a killer soundtrack... it's a love story about two tortured souls in a desolate Iranian Ghosttown called 'Bad City,' where a lonely vampire is stalking the town's most depraved denizens.

Ah what style. I liked this film: the culture it takes place in, the somber black and white, the music.

My sister recommended this one to me, and she usually hates horror flicks, so I was eager to try it out. I can definitely see why she likes it, I am sure there any a lot of things she feels she has in common with the main vampire woman, and the film taps in to a lot of common feelings many people have: detest for people who hurt others, especially men in positions of power over others, especially for sexual gain. The feeling of loneliness and isolation when you either know nobody, or nobody you know is good for you. Wanting to get out of a bad situation but not knowing how. And that desperation to make a connection with someone, someone who has some good in them.

A lot of these concepts are surface level in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, but they aren't held over our heads for melodrama. There are sad truths and sad situations given to us as cold quick facts, but instead of making us dwell on them for very long at all, we get many shots of our vampire woman, quietly observing and judging. We have to wonder as we watch her in turn: What she will do? Something drastic? Stand by and let things unfold? We wonder what we'd do in her place, or in the leading man Arash's place, or in the prostitute Atti's place.

A fun little gem, in the end. I am glad to see films like this exist, a little fresh culture, a little fresh take, a blending of concepts and even genres that feels really nice. It is nothing wholly unique or mind-blowing, it's pretty quiet, but I would recommend it to horror lovers (it's a must-watch for those who like vampire films) and I'd watch it again any time.

Still having a good time introducing my GF to some classic horror flicks. I saw a GIF of Scream online somewhere, went searching and was surprised to find all 4 on Netflix right now. Fingers crossed we get around to them all before they're gone.

The first Scream is a really fun masterpiece! I was surprised at how funny it is. They got a really good cast. Sure they're obviously not teens, but they're so goofy in such a great way (much like Clueless) that I fully buy into this caricature of highschool life. There are a lot of good one-liners and jokes, and the meta-horror genre needs more films that are made with such sweet innocent sincerity.

Also, this movie scared me! I was surprised, but there is a primal intensity in the way the stalker chases people down hallways and can seemingly appear from nowhere. The scenes of Sidney being terrorized still get my heart racing. Those scenes are fast, brutal and never outstay their welcome. Scream has GREAT pacing and once you turn it on you're hooked until the end.

I remember the next movies being a little less impressive, so I'm gonna savor this for a while before jumping into them.

Inktober prompt "Legend"

There are a couple goofy, cliche moments that they could easily have been better, but most of the film is far-and-away fresh and adequately executed. What little cracks in its resolve are more than made up for with its beautiful art and fresh story. There are beautiful and eerie scenes, it even scared me in a few moments, and while some of the acting is a little on the silly side, the story was actually very compelling. It loses a bit of standing with me for the whole "locking the child born with abnormalities in the woodshed" thing, which was played entirely too straight. Otherwise a great flick and one that has broad appeal, I definitely recommend it.

Inktober prompt "Ancient"

The first 2/3 of The Void are kinda cool. Nothing shocking, but they built up a good atmosphere. It was creepy and disturbing, lots of hinting at things lurking beneath the surface, keeping us attentive by switching back and forth between bloody lovecraftian horror, insanity-induced self mutilation, and the almost-mundanity of the small town late-night hospital.

Once the ball really got rolling there where still plenty good ideas here, but the cheesy low-budget feeling was more pronounced. I wasn't a fan of the zombie-style... creatures? Demons? Where they just zombies? That appeared, and they barely had any screentime, I wouldn't have minded totally passing on them and keeping all the effects closer to horrible writhing tentacles and The Thing-style body horror. The end monster was a little uninspiring too, though I appreciate what they where going for. And honestly I liked the story of the main cop dude and his ex(?) the doctor's assistant, I kind of wish the film was just about them so we could have had more time to delve into their past and pain.

Overall, a decent movie with a really cool movie poster (I'd hang this on my wall!) that doesn't quite deliver on greatness. But if you're looking for something fun and new it's still worth checking out, especially if you just need to pass some time during the week and want something scary on.

Don't dare see it alone!'

This movie was very funny, a wonderful little slice of horror history. It's goofy for sure, not a real scare to be had, campy in the way only a sincere retro flick can be. Still had a great time with it, it was the perfect movie to put on while my girlfriend and I where cooking dinner, the perfect lighthearted Halloween movie to keep in the festive mood.

I want to see more of Cushing and Lee, my list of Hammer Horror is more to-do than done. I also saw there was a Hammer/Shaw Brothers collaboration which is just great, I can't wait to check it out.

Worse than the previous Hammer horror with these two great actors, but watching it back to back with the one from 1958 was the best way to watch it. The feeling that these two are destined to be born and die at each other's hands over and over just sinks into you, and I loved the juxtoposition of that thought, Van Helsing and Dracula living eternally just to suffer, portrayed in the absolutely goofiest, dopeyest early 70's style and music. It's awkward and funny and the two of them stand out like a sore thumb and it's kind of great. If you're looking for a lighthearted double-feature, these two flicks are good to put on during a Halloween dinner party.

At any rate, whether you can get genuine enjoyment out of this classic little slice of 70's campy horror, or if you enjoy the cheesiness of it in a so-bad-its-good way, this one is surely worth a watch.

Inktober prompt "Misfit"

I admit home invasion isn't my favorite genre. It can easily devolve into "I would have made a totally different decision" or "I can't beleive she didn't do this obvious thing" and I think Hush fell into that hole a little too much for me. Also, I don't think they went hard enough on the deaf aspect! We got too much sound in this film. We should have seen more, if not all, from her perspective, with a few scenes from the other characters who can hear breaking up the silence.

Not the worst, just a little generic.

Inktober prompt: Wild

Descriptions of this movie saying "arthouse" and "slow burn" are absolutely spot-on and this will turn a lot of people off. If you can't handle a movie of silence, that focuses mostly on imagery, it will not be for you. I was hoping for something a little creepier, in fact this film might have been one of my favorites ever if it had had slightly more sinister, spooky or supernatural imagery in an equally cinematic and thoughtful pace. This movie has some spooky stuff but the supernatural is as light as a serpent's kiss and I'd have liked a little more sprinkled throughout. Of course that's just me and my preferences, and this film might not be massively popular but I know it will have its fans and it deserves them.

It is a very beautifully shot film and I was kind of enchanted by some of the scenes, some horrible and some empty, a very interesting movie. It was also very very sad, in a very real way. Knowing life has been and probably still is as desolate of good human interaction for some people is depressing, and this movie is no cure for depression. It is memorable though, and well done, and if your ears perk up at the description of a quiet German film with almost no dialogue, contemplative and patient cinematography, and dark themes, about a woman living in a remote European village in a time and place where witchcraft is feared and hated, this film is for you and please go watch it!

Inktober prompt: Ornament
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Films I really have to see or re-visit. Most of these get pushed back until a night I can watch with my girlfriend so we can both see them.

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