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

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Haunted home viewings

People who added this item 1959 Average listal rating (1254 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 134 Average listal rating (82 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 926 Average listal rating (577 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 7163 Average listal rating (5100 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 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 5
Scare Me (2020)
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 5 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 5.9
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 (31 ratings) 5.2 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 60 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 6.6 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 148 Average listal rating (101 ratings) 6.2 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 23 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 6 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.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 6 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 6 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.6 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:
People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6
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 22 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
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 542 Average listal rating (402 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 1049 Average listal rating (623 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 3870 Average listal rating (2586 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 755 Average listal rating (443 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 471 Average listal rating (293 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 20 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 5.8
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 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
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 64 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 6.1 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 73 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 165 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 279 Average listal rating (155 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.5
Maniac (1980)
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 404 Average listal rating (241 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2
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 700 Average listal rating (468 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 302 Average listal rating (211 ratings) 6.7 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:
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Future victims

Who will survive, and what will be left of them?

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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