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Added by the giraffe on 2 Sep 2013 12:31
1825 Views 14 Comments

October 2013 Horrorfest

Sort by: Showing 24 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
The breakdown: 24 movies watched - 18 via Netflix instant, 4 on DVD, and 2 in the theatre; of those 17 were first views, 7 were re-watches, and they came from the following decades: 40s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and 2010s.

Overall I'd say this was a successful month for me. I went above my usual number of movies I've averaged per month this year, and made it to the theatre twice. I wasn't sure at first how much my vacation would interfere with my viewing plans, so I was pleased when I wound up watching just over half the films listed here while I was away. Also, thanks to the Netflix Instant project I had plenty of horror movies to pick from & all the ones I chose wound up being worth watching. And finally, opening & closing the month with films that were already favorites of mine ensured the month started & ended on great notes.

I'd like to say thanks to my fellow Listalites that also had horror-centric viewings this month. It's always fun to see what others are watching & often I get encouraged to watch something I haven't seen yet by your lists. Looking forward to doing it again next year!

Best new-to-me film(s) for October: Ju-On: the Grudge, Ringu & Gravity (yep, 3-way tie)
Best hidden gem: Kidnapped (AKA Rabid Dogs)
Worst film: Kill Baby Kill
People who added this item 304 Average listal rating (184 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Re-watch - Oct. 1st

Kicked off my month-long focus on horror movies with one of my favorite films from 2013. Why? Because it's so much fun from start to finish & there are enough horror elements for it to qualify for this month (more of a horror-comedy really). I still love it, but I think now I'll wait a little longer before watching it again just so I can forget some of what happens.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 910 Average listal rating (598 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.1
First viewing - Oct. 6th

I remember this coming out in theatres & for some reason I decided to ignore it. Then as time went on I kept bumping into people who insisted it was worth watching, so finally I decided I should give it a chance. And I'm glad I did. The Frighteners is a lot of fun from start to finish, full of memorable characters & hilarious moments. My only complaint is that it's somewhat predictable and a little overlong, but that doesn't hurt the film too much. It just keeps it from crossing that line into Greatness. That said, I'd watch it again.

Just a thought: If anyone should ever decide to remake this film in the near future, I want them to cast Jim Carrey as Dammers (no disrespect to Jeffrey Combs).

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 810 Average listal rating (566 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
Re-watch - Oct. 13th

After watching Kidnapped, my other half wanted to watch a movie with me. I remembered we'd watched this one together last year but she went to bed before it ended, and it was the first horror movie we were able to agree on. I'm glad we re-watched it because it's so much fun & perfect for Horrorfest. And the fact that I remembered it so well only enhanced my enjoyment as I was often laughing in anticipation of what was about to happen & howling when it did.

Just a thought: I love that Tucker's vacation home looks like the house from the Evil Dead movies, and thus like the one from The Cabin in the Woods too.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1636 Average listal rating (1106 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7
First viewing - Oct. 13th/14th

Meanwhile, outside the Apple Store...

OK, so I've read the book & it's among my favorites...thus when I heard the adaptation would be a PG-13 movie, I decided I wanted nothing to do with it. Not only did that guarantee it wouldn't be done right, it also made the endeavor seem pointless because you can't have a zombie movie without the blood & gore. It just doesn't make sense. Fortunately, the DVD release I watched was the unrated cut, otherwise I wouldn't have allowed myself to be talked into it. Then I just needed to accept the fact that it wouldn't be like the book & so obviously I gave it a chance.

So the good news here is that there's enough going on in the film to keep one more or less distracted from its shortcomings, at least for the first third to half of the film. And really overall it's solidly entertaining. The trouble is it's also somewhat predictable. And some parts are kinda stupid, which led to me cracking jokes on it throughout the film (fortunately one of the three people I watched it with joined me, otherwise I would've had to keep my quips locked up in my head). So yeah...not great, not bad, just good enough I don't regret the time spent watching it yet I wouldn't watch it a second time.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1187 Average listal rating (788 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
The Host (2006)
Re-watch - Oct. 14th/15th

Review by PvtCaboose91

So much fun & smart too. I could go on about it, but the above review pretty well covers it. If you haven't watched this yet you should, and it's well-suited for Halloween viewing.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 69 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
First viewing - Oct. 16th

Well, this one only somewhat fit in with the horror theme for the month, but that's not a complaint. It touched on the genre several times, but really focused more on the history of exploitation films from the dawn of cinema to the year the documentary was made. As such it was very informative & well worth the time I spent watching it. It never crossed the line into greatness for me, but I'm finding that's more & more rare among docs as I watch more of them.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 227 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.2
Re-watch - Oct. 19th

I needed something to wash away the bad taste in my mouth left by Kill Baby Kill, and this was the shortest thing I could find to watch before bed. I also picked it because my wife's brother hadn't seen it yet but has read the book, and he loved the movie. I'm still in awe of the craftsmanship poured into The Call of Cthulhu that results in a film that looks & feels like a 1920s silent movie. So good.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 664 Average listal rating (398 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.7
First viewing - Oct. 19th/20th

It took me far too long to watch this movie (I remember a friend telling me about it shortly after it came out), but I don't think I'll wait as long to watch it again. I spent much of this film being creeped out, and can't think of a single thing about it I didn't like. The only thing missing was that magical 10/10 feeling. Highly recommended.

Just a thought: This serves as yet another reminder that Asian horror is better executed than American horror in the new millenium.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 489 Average listal rating (315 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.4
First viewing - Oct. 24th/25th

Evidently with this film I've watched half of the movies Wes Craven has directed. I can't remember now why, but I had no interest in this one back in the '90s and only in the past few years decided I wanted to watch it. And turns out it's pretty fun and entertaining. Nothing about it is at all exceptional, though I'll give it credit for trying a different idea for a horror movie. But some of the dialogue is hilarious & the same could be said of several moments throughout the movie. I dig the set design on the house, that's pretty cool. The acting is decent enough, and with a few exceptions the effects are good too (well, for the time anyway). I didn't love it as much as I do several of Craven's other films, but it was worth watching.

Just a thought: Mildly bummed the role of "Daddy" or "Man" or whatever wasn't played by Bruce Campbell. Had it been, he might have elevated the film closer to great territory. But instead...hey, look, it's the priest from Silver Bullet!

Currently streaming on Netflix
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First viewing - Oct. 25th

Another nice history lesson, and unlike American Grindhouse this one is squarely focused on horror movies. The only thing I felt was missing was some details on the make-up/effects side of things, which sadly & oddly only got a passing mention. To my mind the effects are as essential to the discussion of horror evolution as the times and key writers/directors. That aside it was pretty comprehensive given how big the genre is, and it gave me a few more horror movies I'm interested in watching (as if I need more, heh). Oh yeah, and I didn't appreciate the occasional spoiler along the way...eventually I started averting my eyes rather than watch scenes from films I haven't seen yet. There should be a rule against giving away endings to movies. :P
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1106 Average listal rating (645 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
First viewing - Oct. 26th

Wish I could say I'd already seen this one, but I'd be lying. I've been meaning to watch it for about 10 years now (much like Ju-On), but either didn't have access to it or would forget about it. Not this year, as I made a trip to my local video store to pick it up along with [REC] (which I'm similarly overdue to see & will watch tomorrow). I've seen the American remake, but found it overrated and underwhelming & thus held out hope the original would be more worth watching. Fortunately my suspicions wound up being correct & this is far better than the remake (which I now find even more overrated). The acting, the atmosphere, the way the story is told with a methodical pace, and the score all adds up to one hell of a horror movie. Admittedly I occasionally thought of some of the parodies of the film that exist, but fortunately the film quickly knocked them back out of my head. I'm both glad I finally watched it & disappointed in myself for not doing so sooner. Better late than never though.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1531 Average listal rating (1020 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
First viewing - Oct. 28th

There's a lot of love here on Listal for this film, which is what encouraged me to check it out in the first place. I haven't seen the remake & honestly now I can't imagine it's much worth watching. That said, however, I didn't wind up loving this film as much as so many others seem to. There are some intense moments here, but the big problem is that there's so much shaky cam it's often unclear what the hell is going on to the point that it annoyed me. I get that it's shot with a hand-held camera & all, and that does give the film a bit of immediacy I suppose, but in the end the main thing I'll remember about this movie is that the visuals were mostly awful. Which is a shame, because aside from the shoddy camerawork there's not much else to complain about aside from a couple predictable moments. Oh well.
the giraffe's rating:
Re-watch - Oct. 28th/29th

I hadn't watched this since the '90s, and back then I think I watched it 2 or 3 times, so I figured why not throw it in here? It's fun & entertaining, which well suits my October viewing. But aside from that it's nothing great. You can tell they had a slightly higher budget than the TV show was given, and the movie does retain the things that made the series what it was so really it feels like that's what you're watching. All of which is fine, but I can't help but wonder if the movie could have been better had they brought in better writers or at least a better director. The cast is OK and the effects are somewhat dated, but overall it's entertaining enough that such things can be forgiven somewhat.

Definitely nothing essential, but if you're looking for a fun horror movie then Demon Knight should do the trick.

Just a thought: I'd mostly forgotten Jada Pinkett & how annoying she was. Sigh.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
Re-watch - Oct. 31st

Decided to end my Horrorfest with an old favorite. The first time I watched this I was 10 or so & it gave me nightmares for days to the point I resolved to find a way to not let horror movies scare me anymore. So now it doesn't scare me so much, but I do love the way it perfectly mixes horror & comedy together without ever letting one outshine the other. I still love the story, the characters, the music, and the transformation scene which remains my favorite of any werewolf movie. Ah, and this IS still my favorite werewolf movie. I'd forgotten how much this one references The Wolf Man though, so that was a nice surprise. And as I get older I notice more of the symbolism and subtler things than I did before, which was also a nice surprise. So all in all it made for a perfect end for the month.

Just a thought: The scene where everyone is discussing the ways David could kill himself is so gleefully warped & I love it.
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Short focus: Mario Bava

Prior to this month I'd seen exactly 3 of Mario Bava's films and mostly enjoyed them. So I set out with the intention of checking out the rest of his films that were on Netflix Instant. Then on October 1st I noticed all of them were slated to leave Instant on Oct. 15th. So how many of them I get watched will depend entirely on the little time I have to watch them.

Update: As of Oct. 13th, none of Bava's films show up as leaving Netflix so I should be able to get more of them watched. Yay!
People who added this item 354 Average listal rating (207 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.2
Black Sunday (1960)
First viewing - Oct. 4th/5th

I've always heard good things about this movie & have been anxious to check it out for some time. In fact, when a collection of Mario Bava's films first popped up on Netflix Instant I added most of them to my queue. Black Sunday wound up being nothing like I'd expected based on the trio of his films I've seen before, but I think for the most part the praise for it is well deserved.

Basically what he's done is take influence from the 1930s Universal horror movies & update them for the '60s with more blood & violence. If he intended it as an homage to those films, then it's a success. It's got the same mood & atmosphere as the best of the Universal pictures, and even looks like it the way it was shot & colored. The performances are solid all around, though beyond Barbara Steele I'm not sure any of them were especially memorable or noteworthy.

Overall I think Black Sunday is worth watching. Personally I didn't get as into it as I'd hoped (probably a mood thing as I initially went into it expecting something more campy), but I'd like to check it out again sometime now that I know what to expect.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 77 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.4
First viewing - Oct. 6th/7th

The thing that first struck me about this movie was the ways it made me think of American Psycho. Obviously this film predates both the novel and its film adaptation, which led me to wonder if it directly influenced either. The main character also made me think of Frank Zito in Maniac and Norman Bates, though the actor's performance comes nowhere near the level of either of those in greatness. As for the movie itself, it's OK. The problem lies in the storytelling, especially the fact that the truth the main character seeks to learn about himself is obvious to us long before it's fully revealed to him. This lack of mystery leads to a film that's mainly enjoyed by some creepy & memorable imagery, some dark humor, and a nice twist on the usual ghost conventions. Or you can just watch it to see where Patrick Bateman may have come from. Just don't expect it to be anything great.

Just a thought: Seriously, check out this picture...

Can't you hear the lines? "My name is Patrick Bateman..."

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 145 Average listal rating (85 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.5
First viewing - Oct. 12th

Checked this one out by recommendation from VierasTalo (see comments below) & wound up digging it overall. It's more of a thriller than a horror movie, but it's dark & twisted enough that it kinda counts I guess. The story is good, the acting is solid, & the ending was so well-executed & unexpected that it made up for some points it had lost from me along the way. I get that two of these guys are total psychos & felt like that was established well enough without them going so far over the misogyny line, which made at least one scene feel unnecessarily exploitative. Still, I'd definitely count this among Bava's better films from what I've seen & it's definitely worth a look.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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First viewing - Oct. 18th/19th

After watching this one I feel like I should give Hatchet for the Honeymoon another star. It was watchable enough, especially once I slipped into MST3K mode with it, but honestly I'm struggling to come up with much to say that I liked about it. There's some wacky camera work on display which doesn't help things, and the rest of the film is mediocre. I'll be surprised if I remember anything about it a month from now, and definitely could have skipped it.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Netflix Instant Project 2013

Netflix Instant Project for 2013

My secondary project for 2013 involves recommendations of lesser-known/lesser-seen films that are currently streaming on Netflix, also from my fellow Listalites. If you use Netflix Instant Watch & want to participate, please check out the list above & the thread in the Movies Forum.
People who added this item 163 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.7
Antiviral (2012)
First viewing - Oct. 7th

Armed with an original idea and an intimate study of his father's work with body horror, Brandon Cronenberg unleashes a promising debut. I wasn't sure going in whether this would count for my horror focus since it's labeled sci-fi by Netflix, but it wasn't long before I decided it did (in part due to my squeamishness when it comes to hypodermic needles, which abound here). The social commentary is excellent & doesn't seem too far-fetched...I could easily see the ideas in this film becoming a part of our existence given the world's obsession with celebrity status. The problem then stems from the fact that it's a bit overlong, due to some repetition of scenes and ideas that eventually begins to feel like an excuse to extend the run-time. This dragging out of the narrative was made all the more evident as 2 of the 3 people I watched it with were falling asleep during the last half hour. Still, young Cronenberg seems to be a director to keep an eye on.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 251 Average listal rating (170 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 5.9
First viewing - Oct. 8th

Well this was a fun horror movie that was well worth staying up late for, which surprised me since I've mostly hated Larry Cohen's directed films that I've seen. Like the film directly above it I watched right before it, there's some excellent social commentary here and the idea of it is so ridiculous I couldn't help but be entertained. The film moves along fast enough I never got too hung up on the fact that some of the acting is weak, but then this is obviously a B movie & one that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's good cheesy fun, and I'd even watch it again some time, preferably with friends since I watched it after everyone else went to bed.

Some thoughts while watching this movie: 1. Whoa, I used to have those Return of the Jedi bedsheets. 2. This Mo Anderson guy isn't played by David Caruso or Bill Clinton, yet seems like a hybrid of the two. 3. Danny Aiello is in this? Ha! 4. Abe Vigoda! 5. I like how the subtitles say "Woman screaming" and "Kid screaming" for prominent characters in the movie. 6. How dumb do you have to be to crawl inside the tank of a tanker truck? 7. When a man starts convulsing & his jaw elongates, do you really need to keep asking him if he's okay? Shouldn't you just get away as fast as possible? 8. The final scene missed a golden opportunity by not having the characters say, "Hey man, you got the Stuff?" and/or "You got the money? I got the Stuff."

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 175 Average listal rating (117 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.7
First viewing - Oct. 27th

I'm generally not a fan of found-footage films, but this one actually worked for me for the most part. The idea behind it is plausible enough, the tension gets ratcheted up frequently, and I kept hanging on to see what would happen next. The acting is decent, but nothing exceptional (which seems standard for these films), and the gore/effects were well done. And I liked the social commentary too. What I didn't like (aside from the shaky-cam & other trappings that are required by this film style) was the way the narrator/reporter would tell us some things just before they happened, and there was never a deep investment in the characters. Thus there's nobody to root for as the film rolls along, because some people show up briefly while others get lost in the shuffle despite getting more screen time. And sure, we've got the reporter that we could care about but we know up front she survived so there's no tension where she's concerned. Still, the film did succeed at winding me up & creeping me out & thus wound up being a solid horror movie that was worth watching in the end.

Just a thought: I should have watched this while I was still in Maryland as it probably would have been even creepier.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 289 Average listal rating (195 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.1
Creepshow 2 (1987)
First viewing - Oct. 30th/31st

OK, so the moment I saw Romero wrote but didn't direct this one I immediately lowered my expectations for it. And that worked in the film's favor I guess because for the most part I enjoyed it. And I'm glad I used it for my anthology for the month, as anthologies usually play well during marathons.

Anyway, here we have 3 segments with a weak animated frame tale about a boy who's bullied. I never felt like it was necessary to the movie beyond the fact it looked like it came out of a comic book. The first tale was OK, kinda predictable honestly but I enjoyed it for what it was & I like George Kennedy so it was cool he was in it. The second tale I thought was a little better; I liked the effects for whatever it was in the water but it too was predictable. The final tale was easily the best of the bunch though, as the tension was handled well throughout & the effects were damn creepy. Overall the movie was solidly entertaining & I don't regret that I watched it at all. That said, however, I doubt I'll ever watch it again.

Just a thought: Lessons learned from this film: never mess with "Indians", whether it's tribes or wooden statues; careful where you go swimming, watch out for warning signs, & you should probably let someone know where you're going too beforehand just in case; and if you're in an accident it's always a good idea to stick around & face the consequences, because running away never ends well.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Big screen attractions

Films caught on the big screen
People who added this item 1919 Average listal rating (1324 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Gravity (2013)
First viewing - Oct. 11th

Took a break from the Horrorfest here. The "wife" & I had a date night, and with all the hype about Gravity we decided we should check it out. At first I was disappointed that the only available option was 3D, but once the film started I quickly got over that & by the end I couldn't imagine not seeing it this way.

Gravity is one of those films that's an experience, a spectacle, and thus it demands that it be seen on a big screen. Your TV at home won't be able to reproduce the experience, so if for any reason you're thinking about waiting don't. It's probably even better in IMAX, and if time & opportunity presents itself I'll try to catch it that way too before it leaves theatres. If I can't do that I may even go see it again in 3D. It's that good. It's not quite my favorite film of 2013, but it's easily among the best films the year has offered.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 486 Average listal rating (327 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
The Wolf Man (1941)
Re-watch - Oct. 26th

I needed some me time today, so I decided to buy a ticket to see The Wolf Man on the big screen (thanks, Alamo Drafthouse). And it was cool, despite the fact I was one in an audience of five. I still like the characters & the story, and the film is plenty entertaining. The only downside is that the short run time prevents the whole thing from having much depth to it and keeps it from being truly scary as well. My guess is this is all the fault of the times, since it was released during WWII when most people wanted to be entertained & escape from their daily reality instead of being confronted by their fears. Kind of a shame really. But hey, for what it is The Wolf Man remains a solidly entertaining picture, and one I'm always happy to revisit.

Also currently streaming on Netflix
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AKA: Movies the giraffe watched: October 2013
Yep, it's time once again for me to spend an entire month watching horror movies to celebrate Halloween. This year, however, I'll be out of town on vacation for the most part which is why the only planned films are ones streaming on Netflix. Hopefully I can be as productive as I hope to be, but with so much to see & do while I'm away it's possible this will fall far short of my expectations. I may have to figure out a way to get my family to leave me home alone after we return so I can have a proper marathon after we get back. Heh. We'll see.

See also the following similar lists:
Portlander's 31 Days Of Halloween - 2013
Mack's Movies 2013: Halloween Horrorfest
October of Horror
2013 FrightFest
Watched in October 2013 (mostly horror)
Bml93's Film Diary for 2013: October (mostly horror)

Yearly lists going horror for October
Watched in 2013 (moviewatcher122)
Movies I've Streamed On Netflix Instant Watch (OK, not a "yearly" list per se, but still)

**If you have a list that fits in with the above, please let me know & I'll check it out & add it here.**

My past lists
October 2012 Horrorfest
October 2011 Horrorfest
October 2010 Horrorfest

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