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Added by the giraffe on 13 Sep 2020 09:28
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October 2020 Horrorfest

Sort by: Showing 50 items
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Noteworthy: The best films I watched this month

The breakdown: 50 films watched (or 51 if you count the one film watched twice this month)
25 first views, 26 re-watches
31 via streaming, and 19 via DVD/BR
Decades touched: 1930s-2020s

Thanks to educating my daughter on some of horror's history, I wound up hitting every decade from the 1930s on. This makes me very very happy. Best of all, she enjoyed pretty much everything we watched (or at least claimed she did) which means I'll be able to help her continue to grow her love of horror going forward. I'm a little bummed that I didn't make it out to the drive-in all month, but in fairness they didn't have any film pairings that encouraged me to make it out. With the weather turning colder, we'll see whether I bother going out there at all over the next several months. Seems unlikely.

Overall this was a highly productive month, and most of what I watched I enjoyed. I hope all of you had a great month and a Happy Halloween!

Note: Other horror things enjoyed this month but not included because they're not movies: Several of The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, all 3 of Shudder's "Ghoul Log" entries, the Creepshow Animated Special, and Clay McLeod Chapman's short story "Room with a Boo" and novel The Remaking.
People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 5.4
12 Hour Shift (2020)
First viewing - Oct. 29th

It rained all day today, so I decided to rent 12 Hour Shift to watch between breakfast and lunch. Going into it all I knew was that Brea Grant directed and Angela Bettis is the lead actress. That was enough to know. It's different, a darkly comedic horror film dealing with urban legends that went to some pretty surprising places. Overall I absolutely loved it and it's safe to say it'll rank high for me among this year's films.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 5.4
Blood Quantum (2019)
First viewing - Oct. 12th

I decided that since it was Indigenous Peoples' Day Blood Quantum would be a good pick, and it turns out I was correct. The opening stretch of the film fires on all cylinders and had me giddy with excitement. Then there's a time jump and it shifts gears a bit and delivers a rather thought-provoking story overall. I love that the film is not just centered on Native Americans but follows through by casting those roles with Native American actors. Those who would lament there's nothing new for zombie films would do well to give this one a look. It's one of the best films I've seen all year, and I'm glad I finally watched it.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - Oct. 28th

I've seen a lot of great things about Satan's Slaves as well, and this one lived up to the hype for me. It's dark, creepy, and just all around very well-made. I don't want to say too much because I went in blind and it worked so well for me, so suffice it to say that if you're into horror you don't want to miss this one.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 50 Average listal rating (40 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.6
Host (2020)
First viewing - Oct. 11th

After running errands and doing my weekly chores I had about an hour until I needed to put the finishing touches on my dinner, so I pulled up Host on Shudder since I've seen a lot of praise for it since its release. I freaking loved it. I dig that it's set in our present-day reality and everything is coordinated via Zoom, which I'm on a few hours every month. The fact that they were able to pull this off while staying at home is impressive, and even though it doesn't really reinvent the wheel it's a fresh approach and I had a blast with it. I'd gladly watch it again, and I'm even debating whether to make the kiddo watch it this year or wait until a future October.

Re-watch - Oct. 27th
I decided to watch Host with my daughter after all. She really enjoyed it too.
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Haunted home viewings

People who added this item 1976 Average listal rating (1267 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Poltergeist (1982)
Re-watch - Oct. 1st

Earlier this year the kiddo kept asking me to watch Stranger Things, and last month we caught up through the third season. Since she made it through that with no complaints, I figure she's leveled up enough to be exposed to more horror movies. Therefore this month when she's with me we'll be watching things together that I think she'll appreciate. I pulled a stack from my collection, and she decided to kick off the month with Poltergeist.

It's been 8 years now since I last watched it, which allowed it to hit me in all the right ways. Best of all my daughter really connected with it, and even managed to get through the scene where the guy pulls his face apart with "that's a cool effect" instead of freaking out about it. She dug the creature effects most of all, and in the end said she liked it, it was creepy, but not scary. And she seemed a little bummed it didn't scare her, so we may have to find something scarier before the end of the month.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 138 Average listal rating (85 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 6.9
Re-watch - Oct. 2nd

I wanted to try out Vincent Price with her, and wound up picking this one to start her with. Again she found it creepy at times but not scary, and noted that all of Price's characters have the same ultimate fate in each tale. My ranking for the three tales remains the same ("The Black Cat", "Valdemar", and "Morella") and it's always good to spend some time with Vincent during October.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 932 Average listal rating (587 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
Dracula (1931)
Re-watch - Oct. 3rd

I've set a goal to introduce her to as many of the Universal monsters as possible this month, though naturally she's somewhat familiar with most of them. Once we've run through some of the best of the series we'll watch Monster Squad and Young Frankenstein. We watched Dracula before dinner and she said she liked it, but it didn't seem to hold her attention. Granted it's a slow-paced film, and I tried to set that expectation ahead of time as well as giving her some of the history behind the film. Probably I should've begun with a different film, but maybe she'll be more engaged with others as we move forward.
the giraffe's rating:
Re-watch - Oct. 3rd

On Friday night my daughter had asked to watch this film, but at the time the only options I could find required a digital purchase of the film to the tune of about $15. When I ran errands on Saturday morning I picked up a copy on Blu for $7.50 (brand new) and we sat down with it after dinner. She and I read the book last year, so she knew what to expect from some of the tales as they played out. Thankfully there's the framing device which ties it all together nicely and gives the audience something new to engage with. Best of all ร˜vredal knows how to craft a scene to deliver the frightful goods, and she had times where it did scare her...at one point she was shaking and told me she loves it. Maybe I've got a horror fan for a daughter after all. Now if I can just get her over her distaste for blood...

I liked the film just as well the second time around, and I'll gladly sit through it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 7180 Average listal rating (5114 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.1
Re-watch - Oct. 4th

We wrapped up our first weekend with The Sixth Sense, and as I'd anticipated she enjoyed it. She claimed to know what the twist was, commenting at one point in the last half of the film on what she suspected was going on. I felt much the same as I did 3 years ago, and I'm glad she dug it because that means I can watch Unbreakable with her at some point.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 5.7
Scare Me (2017)
First viewing - Oct. 5th

I absolutely love the concept and approach Scare Me uses, and for the first hour I was loving the hell out of it. Then the final stretch came along and while the ending was ultimately rewarding I found it somewhat underwhelming. It's not out of step with the rest of the film, but I could pretty well see where it was headed and maybe the obviousness of the ending is what didn't fully work for me (though I did appreciate the savaging of white male privilege). There's plenty here to love (the cast, the nods to Stephen King), however, and I'd gladly watch it again and encourage others to give it a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 5.7
Spiral (2020)
First viewing - Oct. 7th

Spiral was pretty good. I liked the central family (nice to see two dads with a child for a change), as well as the idea of this ritual which is pretty sinister. There are a couple of moments where I didn't fully believe the characters' actions in a scenario (would you trust someone you just met over someone you've been in a long-term relationship with?), but for the most part it works. It's an interesting film anyway, and while I thought it was worth watching I'm not sure I'd need to watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - Oct. 9th

I've seen a lot of love for Hell House LLC from the horror community in the past few years, so I decided to finally check it out for myself. It took me a little bit to get on board with it since I'm not the biggest found footage fan, but as it rolls along it started working its magic and I even found myself on edge at times. Maybe even a little scared. So yeah, this was totally worth the look. It's not perfect, but any horror film that successfully gets under my skin is worthy of accolades.

Those of you who have watched its sequels, head to the comments and let me know whether they're worth a look.

Just a thought: Kudos to the filmmakers for avoiding the excessive use of shaky-cam.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 4.9
Hell Baby (2013)
First viewing - Oct. 9th

Wound up having a Hell night on this Friday, opting to end my night with Hell Baby. It's as funny as Hell House LLC was scary, and I mostly had a blast with it. If you're a fan of the comedy stylings of The State and their various other projects then this will be right up your alley. It's not great, but it's fun enough I barely minded its flaws.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 67 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 5.9
Fade to Black (1980)
First viewing - Oct. 10th

Since I spent the week watching recent horror films, I figured Saturday was a good night to have an '80s double feature. I'd never heard of Fade to Black before it hit Shudder and suddenly horror fans were singing its praises and recommending it. So naturally I had to give it a look. Turns out they're right. Dennis Christopher (the future Eddie Kaspbrack) delivers an outstanding performance as his character slips in and out of reality. The rest of the cast is solid, and the story of this guy's descent into madness is quite fascinating. There's a secondary plot that winds up being forgotten for a good chunk of the film and I felt like that side of things didn't pay off as well as it could have. But overall this is well worth watching, and I'm glad it got put on my radar.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 159 Average listal rating (107 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 5.7
First viewing - Oct. 10th

As slashers go, The Slumber Party Massacre delivers a familiar experience...but with a feminist spin that I appreciated. There's plenty of nudity but none of it is sexual, the dialogue is believable enough (it helps to have a female writing for females), and the ending is pretty rewarding. Sure we've got a bunch of 20-somethings playing high schoolers, but that's Hollywood for ya. And there's no mystery here as to who is killing people, so it's just a matter of seeing whether anyone will get out of this alive. Fairly simple stuff, but I enjoyed it enough that I'd even watch it again (though I don't need to). I see Shudder has its sequel, but it appears that film is not very well-liked so I'll probably skip it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.5
La llorona (2020)
First viewing - Oct. 11th

After dinner I dove back in to La Llorona, which I've also seen praise for. And while I guess I can see why, the film failed to click with me. It's well-made, there's just not enough going on horror-wise to scratch my itch, plus I didn't like any of the characters. Everything here is so oppressively depressing that by the midpoint I was more waiting for it to end than interested in what was going on. Some people seem to like it, however, so perhaps it's just not to my taste.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 23 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.1
First viewing - Oct. 14th

I can't recall what put this on my radar in the first place, but I'm thankful regardless. It's refreshing to see a horror film dealing respectfully with mental illnesses, and it delivered some surprises along the way too. Granted it helps that I went into it blindly, but still. The effects work is impressive too. Overall it was a satisfying watch, and I'd gladly watch it again even though I'm not sure I'll need to.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 26 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7
Mr. Boogedy (1986)
Re-watch - Oct. 15th

I have vague memories of watching Mr. Boogedy on TV as a child, but only saw it once. Back then my family made a habit of watching all the Walt Disney Presents series that ran on TV, and this was among those offerings I believe. Oddly enough other than the characters and his "boogedy boogedy boo!" shtick, none of the details had stuck with me. It's on Disney+, so I decided to give it another look with my daughter.

Another thing I definitely didn't recall is that it's only 45 mins. long (thus probably an hour when it was on TV). This time around I was pretty amused by the cast given that I now know them from their other works. It's safe to say that when this came out the only actor I would have recognized was Sean Astin, and he's only got a supporting role. There's also Kristy Swanson and David Faustino (Bud Bundy!). Surprisingly the effects have held up fairly well for their time, and it's more fun than scary. It's cheesy, but not in a way that's too harmful to it, and it's clearly aimed more at children than adults. The kiddo enjoyed it too, but neither of us really loved it. That said I'm tempted to check out its sequel just out of curiosity. It may have to wait though.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 583 Average listal rating (431 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
A Quiet Place (2018)
Re-watch - Oct. 16th

Since my daughter has handled other horror movies well this month, I figured I'd try something she had zero knowledge of and dropped her without warning into A Quiet Place. She enjoyed it, especially the Death Angels, but it also scared her. I'm proud to say she never insisted I turn it off though, and hung in through the ending.

I'm still very impressed with the film, especially the attention to detail and the sound design. I'm anticipating the sequel, which I had tickets to see as a double feature with this one earlier this year before the pandemic hit and everything got wiped off the release slate. Had she not inspired me to watch it with her I would've waited and hoped for that event to be rescheduled. No complaints here though.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1057 Average listal rating (632 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
Frankenstein (1931)
Re-watch - Oct. 17th

I think I've watched Frankenstein enough times since joining Listal that I'm out of things to say about it. As mentioned above I wanted the kiddo to see it, and unlike the first time I tried to watch it with her she wasn't scared at all. She said she liked it though, but I could tell she was bored with it in places. Perhaps as she gets older she'll find a deeper appreciation for these films.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 3869 Average listal rating (2582 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
The Others (2001)
Re-watch - Oct. 17th

It's been 9 years since I last watched The Others, and I figured it'd be my daughter's speed. It was amusing hearing her trying to figure out what was going on as we watched it, and ultimately she loved it and couldn't stop talking about it even into the next day. She was also very impressed with Nicole Kidman's acting ability, which made me super happy. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around, and am glad I own a copy to revisit as needed.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 763 Average listal rating (449 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
Re-watch - Oct. 18th

My daughter enjoyed this one too, but like the rest of the Universal films we've watched it didn't fully hold her attention. She did, however, turn to me and ask if Una O'Connor is in any other films I have. Which is how we wound up watching The Invisible Man next.

Just a thought: And now she should be well-prepared to watch Young Frankenstein.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 474 Average listal rating (297 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7
Re-watch - Oct. 18th

I think it's safe to say the kiddo liked this one the best out of the collection so far. She was very impressed with the effects, questioning how they could pull them off back then. I kept my mouth shut, letting her enjoy the mystery and wonder of it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 5.9
Bliss (2019)
First viewing - Oct. 19th

Bliss landed on my radar thanks to AVPGuyver21, and it's safe to say this film is not for everyone. I'm not even sure it's for me, for that matter. It seemed for a while that it was totally my kinda flick though...the soundtrack is full of heavy underground music, the visuals often impress, Jeremy Gardner has a role in it, and the effects work is deliciously gross at times. It's rare these days to find impressive kills in horror movies, but this one earns some worthy entries into that category. Then it ends and I was left baffled by what I was supposed to take away from it. Couldn't tell you what the point was, and if it was working to be understated it failed to shed any light toward its main idea. Which leaves you with a successful yet struggling artist going to great lengths to create her masterpiece & a lot of questions about how much of what happens actually occurs versus being in her drug-fueled imagination. You'd think as loud as the film is it might have also loudly proclaimed what it was getting at, or at least amplified the volume on it so it could be heard above the din. Ah well.

Oh yeah, and if you watch this I can't recommend enough that you utilize subtitles so you can catch the dialogue.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.4
First viewing - Oct. 21st

This was a new entry this month on Shudder, and initial feedback looked good so I took a dive into it. As I've stated in the past it's difficult to maintain the same level of quality throughout anthology films, so I respect when that's achieved. The Mortuary Collection feels like a cohesive work, and for that alone it's worth a look. Plus Clancy Brown gets to play a creepy old man, and he's clearly having a ball doing so. Overall it's not great but it's a good time and I'd sit through it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 70 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.3
Madman (1983)
First viewing - Oct. 23rd

I decided to have another slasher double feature on this Friday night, once again turning to the subgenre's heyday in the '80s. I deeply appreciated the opening moments of Madman as the group sits around a campfire trying to scare each other, but as it moved along it all felt pretty standard and average. I felt like the backstory for Madman Marz was far more interesting a tale than watching him attack people in the "present day", probably because the whole thing just comes off like a Jason Voorhees film that never happened. It kept my attention well enough, and I guess it's worth a look if you're a die-hard slasher fan, but it's far from necessary and I wouldn't sit through it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 74 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.7
First viewing - Oct. 23rd

Of the two films this night I preferred Bloody Birthday, even though it's got its fair share of issues. The set-up is silly, and it's not always clear why the killer children pick their targets, but if you can let those things slide it's fairly entertaining. As child actors go I thought these did a satisfactory job for the most part, and the rest of the cast is all right. So yeah, it was worth a look but another film I probably wouldn't sit through twice.

Just a thought: There's a Sheriff Brody in this, which had me thinking of Chief Brody from Jaws, so bonus points for that bringing a smile to my face.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 166 Average listal rating (97 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.2
Re-watch - Oct. 24th

I haven't re-watched many films just for me this month due to spending so much time revisiting films with my daughter, so I figured I'd have a re-watch marathon after lunch. I started with a pair of killers, one who kills with planning and logic, the other based on his emotions. Both films feature all-time best performances from their lead actors, and the effects work in each film is especially outstanding. Theater of Blood also gave me a chance to watch a film with Diana Rigg in it after she passed away recently, and she's impressive throughout. This was my second time watching the film, and I loved it just as much. It's not easy to find, so I'm glad Shudder added it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 278 Average listal rating (155 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.5
Maniac (1981)
Re-watch - Oct. 24th

Just a thought: Joe Spinell was never going to be your typical Hollywood leading man, so I'm glad he hooked up with Bill Lustig to make this film (which Spinell also wrote) and got a chance to be the lead in a film tailored to his strengths.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 414 Average listal rating (246 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Cemetery Man (1994)
Re-watch - Oct. 24th

After dinner I had my own little night of the living dead. I kicked it off with Cemetery Man AKA Dellamorte Dellamore, which still whips unholy amounts of ass. It's a mind-bending film that fires on all cylinders and benefits from a wonderfully weird performance from Rupert Everett. It's been a favorite of mine since I first saw it back in the '90s, and I still love it just as much. Now if only Criterion would restore it and give it their full treatment so we could all enjoy it on Blu...
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 710 Average listal rating (477 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Re-watch - Oct. 24th

This film tied in nicely with the one above thanks to both films featuring not just a cemetery but one that has resurrection in its name. I still love that this film is born from the idea that Night of the Living Dead was a fictional account of true events, allowing it to put its own spin on the genre. Plus it's fun from start to finish. I still wouldn't go so far as to call it great, but I'll gladly revisit it a few more times in the years ahead.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 316 Average listal rating (222 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.8
Re-watch - Oct. 24th

Fred Dekker's love letter to the sci-fi and horror movies he grew up on is pure fun. This time around I noticed some details I'd missed last time (or if not missed, at least forgotten about), my favorite of which being that all of the KNB guys play zombies. If you insist on being thrilled, this is the film for you.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.1
First viewing - Oct. 25th

Jay Baruchel is not someone I'd typically expect to tackle horror, but I thought since his last comedic at bat as director (the sequel to Goon) wasn't so good maybe a change of pace would be cool. I definitely dig the story idea and the social commentary throughout the film. There's good dialogue involving whether true tales of horror should be from a perspective that turns the killer into a legend versus honoring the dead, and these were my favorite moments. The effects side of things was also really strong, and I like how it mixed in the comic book elements along the way. My main problem with the film, however, is that while it's all seemingly based in reality the killer pops up at the right place at the right time far too often to be believable. There's no evidence that he's tracking the main characters via technology either, so it really tests the suspension of disbelief. I thought it was worth watching once.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - Oct. 25th

I've been meaning to watch this documentary since the first time I got Shudder, but in the past the pull of fictional films was too strong. I'm glad I finally found time for it this month. The documentary does a wonderful job of tracing Black horror from its beginnings through Jordan Peele's Get Out, and I could have listened to the people interviewed speak for longer than the run-time allows. Thankfully I've seen a good chunk of the films covered, but there were several that when it ended I had hoped to find on Shudder...maybe I'd just overlooked them...but no. And that's really disappointing to me. You'd think having this documentary shedding light on an underappreciated canon would be supported by having at least a handful of the films discussed, but as far as I could find there were only two. I get that with all the studios building out their own streaming services that probably affects this, and in a better, less greedy world they'd be willing to share those films instead of hoarding them. Ah well.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.4
First viewing - Oct. 26th

I am on vacation this week, a choice I made so I could have more time to enjoy myself going into Halloween. Monday night I had my daughter, so we rented Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! and we both really enjoyed it. Granted the fact it's got Elvira, Bill Nye, and the Scarecrow from Batman in it was a good sign it'd be up both of our alleys, but the film delivered in spades. There's even a nod to Fury Road which I deeply appreciated. Overall it's pretty typical for the franchise, but it's so much fun I barely minded. Kinda wishing I'd shelled out a little more and purchased it so we could make it an annual thing, but at least now I know whenever I get around to buying it for us it'll be worth the money.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 95 Average listal rating (71 ratings) 3.9 IMDB Rating 3.7
First viewing - Oct. 27th

I wanted to have a Christmas horror double feature and foolishly chose to watch this abominable sequel. I wish I could say it's so bad it's good, but no. Just to give you some idea of what's in store here, the film runs about an hour and 1/2, and spends the first 39 1/2 minutes replaying the events of the first film. Granted there's new dialogue sandwiched between each scene from its predecessor, but that hardly justifies the amount of time wasted on it. Plus we get the whole thing from the original killer's brother who somehow manages to know every last detail that we saw in the first film. Oh, and the actor playing the lead is among the worst I've ever seen. I'm not sure why I sat through the entire thing, but I definitely didn't need to and regret the time wasted.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 474 Average listal rating (308 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Re-watch - Oct. 27th

By comparison to the film above, Black Christmas is a masterpiece. The first time I watched this movie I was underwhelmed, but this time around I more deeply appreciated everything going on. The ending alone almost elevates it to greatness, and it's clear that it influenced a wide swath of films that followed in its wake. Overall though it falls just shy of greatness for me, but I'm glad I gave it another look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 5.9
First viewing - Oct. 28th

Since I'll have my daughter with me this weekend, I wanted to make sure to spend at least one full day watching horror movies that were just for me. So as soon as I was done with breakfast I got started.

It's no surprise that a Vincent Price anthology is going to grab my attention, so when I spotted this one on Shudder I quickly added it to my queue. It's a mixed bag. I thought the stories told were about on equal footing, though the theme shared by the first two tales gets dropped for the third and that bothered me. It bugged me even more when it turned out the frame story also had the same theme as the first two tales. The cast is fine, but there doesn't seem to be much budget for the film. Most of the monsters at the titular club are clearly just people wearing cheap masks, and the monsters in each tale require the bare minimum of make-up to be realized. And then there's the decision to have bands perform songs between each tale, in full, which means the amount of pleasure you get from watching them will depend entirely on your tastes. Music-wise I thought they were all just OK, nothing worth wasting the amount of film for an entire song from each though. It's a different approach, I'll grant them that, but it kills the momentum especially if you dislike the songs. So like I said, overall you get mixed results, but I enjoyed enough aspects of it that I don't regret sitting through it.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - Oct. 28th

I've heard and seen so much praise over the years for Ganja & Hess that I was really looking forward to checking it out. Thankfully the Horror Noire documentary gave me fair warning that it was more artistic and experimental, so that I knew not to expect a straight-forward horror flick. Sadly it still really tested my patience and I struggled to hang with it. I can't say for sure whether I wasn't in the mood for it or it's just not my taste, but either way in the end I didn't care much about it. It didn't help matters that I disliked some of the characters either. It's definitely a different kind of horror film, and one that I'm sure was refreshing during the Blaxploitation age, so while I respect the effort poured into it I don't think it was for me.

Just a thought: It always weirds me out seeing characters smoking in hospitals and nobody commenting on it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 5.9
Yummy (2019)
First viewing - Oct. 28th

After dinner I dove into this zombie movie from Belgium, which I spotted recently on a list of the best films on Shudder right now. And it's super fun. The gore and effects are fantastic, it's got a nice mix of comedy and horror, plus a small bit of social commentary (because of course). It's a briskly-paced ride that I'd gladly take again and I'm glad it found its way onto my radar.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6
First viewing - Oct. 28th

I've seen some favorable things about The Cleansing Hour as well, and it's also worth a look. I didn't love it, but I appreciated the attention to building characters as well as the ways it looks at online fame. The cast is decent, the effects are fine, and the ending was pretty cool. I don't know that I'd need to sit through it again, but I'm glad I checked it out.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.3
Haunt (2019)
First viewing - Oct. 28th

I ended my last big blow-out of the month with Haunt, a nasty piece of work set in an extreme horror house. The film does an excellent job of setting up the characters before dropping them into the house, at which point it keeps turning screws and ratcheting up the tension. It got under my skin a bit, which I deeply respect. It's nothing game-changing for the genre, but if you're looking for that haunted attraction feeling in a year where going to them isn't advisable, this just might do the trick.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 196 Average listal rating (139 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.9
Ready or Not (2019)
Re-watch - Oct. 29th

I've been itching to revisit Ready or Not for a while now, so I bought a digital copy and watched it after lunch. It's still excellent all around, I'm in awe of Samara Weaving's performance, and the look at class is deeply appreciated. This time around it bumped itself up from an 8 to a 9 for me. I'll be revisiting it often in the years ahead.
the giraffe's rating:
Re-watch - Oct. 29th

My daughter picked Creature for us to watch together after dinner tonight, and while she poked fun at it at times she liked the Gill-man and enjoyed it overall. Aside from his theme music which is overused, it's a solid film...far from a personal favorite but definitely not bad.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - Oct. 30th

Since I was off work I figured I'd get one more movie in for myself while the kiddo was attending her school classes virtually. On Shudder this film is listed as Impetigore, whereas the original title translates to Woman of the Cursed Land. Since the official American title basically means nothing I'm not sure why they didn't stick with the proper translation (which is more relevant to the film), but whatever. It comes from Joko Anwar, who also wrote and directed Satan's Slaves, and both films have ensured that I will continue to keep an eye out for new films from him as well as dig backwards through his filmography (I counted 6 more movies he's written & directed to date). Without giving too much away it shares a similar theme and the lead actress with Satan's Slaves, and it's just so compelling and entertaining throughout. I liked its predecessor a little better, but I'd gladly watch this one again too.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 462 Average listal rating (314 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
The Wolf Man (1941)
Re-watch - Oct. 30th

The Wolf Man was the last of the Universal monsters films I felt we needed to watch this month, so I made sure we got it in on Friday night. (The Mummy is so slowly paced I can barely hang with it, so I figured the kiddo wouldn't be able to sit through it.) Of all the Universal films we watched this month I think she enjoyed this one the most as she was more invested in it. She even recognized Lon Chaney Jr. when he first showed up, and I had to remind her he was in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (a film we'll have to revisit soon as I'm sure she's mostly forgotten it by now).
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1668 Average listal rating (1153 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
Re-watch - Oct. 31st

Halloween Marathon

All of the groundwork I'd laid by watching the Universal monsters movies this month was to better prepare my daughter to enjoy two of the movies we would watch on Halloween: Young Frankenstein and The Monster Squad. She loved every minute of this film, a fact she kept repeating to me every time something made her really laugh hard. Watching this with her totally made my day and was a great way to kick off our final run of horror films for the month.

Just a thought: Probably it's just because I haven't watched the film in a while, but it really hit me this time around how silly it is that the inspector is wearing a monocle over his eyepatch. It's a little detail that I'd hope I've noticed & forgotten, but it really got me this time.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1633 Average listal rating (1107 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.5
Re-watch - Oct. 31st

Halloween Marathon

We watched the theatrical version of Drag Me to Hell because I knew she would NOT be OK with the sacrifice scene. She was unhappy enough about it happening without having to sit through the accompanying visuals. Aside from that, however, she mostly enjoyed it though I don't know that she liked it as well as I do. If nothing else it should give her some context going forward for bodily fluids being used for gross-out gags in comedic horror.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1337 Average listal rating (912 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8
Insidious (2011)
Re-watch - Oct. 31st

Halloween Marathon

OK, so I knew going into this one it might really scare her. Hell, the first time I watched it it got under my skin, and repeat viewings have been successful at doing it again. But her occasional complaints throughout the month that most of what we watched wasn't really scary to her had me itching to raise the bar a little bit for her. So...as the film rolled along she said a few different times it was really scary. I would usually ask if she wanted me to turn it off, and she would say she thought she could handle it. Thus, we made it through to the ending. However, it was still in her head even after The Monster Squad, so we wound up watching some "Treehouse of Horror" to help her feel better before she went to bed.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 316 Average listal rating (221 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.1
Re-watch - Oct. 31st

Halloween Marathon

Aside from the use of homophobic insults, the kiddo pretty much loved The Monster Squad (and that's totally fair, they don't sit well with me anymore either...nor does the fact that the only POC character dies or the German neighbor never gets a name). She picked up on the similarities between the monsters as depicted here and their predecessors, and liked seeing a group of kids take them on.

Overall we had a great time together, and I'm glad we'll be able to carry on sharing my personal tradition going forward.
the giraffe's rating:

Since trick-or-treating isn't safe this year, that's all the more reason to celebrate Halloween in safe ways...and what better way than watching non-stop horror films? This year I've got plenty of selections from my collection and I've subscribed to Shudder for the month. I've listed what I hope to watch below (including revisits), so if there's anything I missed or should avoid, let me know in the comments. I intend to do my best to return every Sunday to update the list with what I've watched throughout the week, so feel free to check back!

As per usual I'll also link to similar lists as I come across them. If you spot one or have one that's not listed below, give me a shout. Oh, and if you'd like some mood music for the month, I've got a Spotify playlist for that.

Happy hauntings!

See also:
AVPGuyver21's 31 Days of Horror (Halloween) 2020
JAIN.ARDEN's Fright-demic Diary for October 2020
CD Smiles' October Horror Marathon 2020 Ranked
mkel0365's Halloween 2020

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