It's so close. My favorite month.
I typically spend almost every free moment in the month of October having scary movie marathons.
I like almost every type of horror flick, except for the super-gory torture films. No Saw for me, thanks. I like to be scared. For me, torture films are just vomit-inducing. I spend the whole movie hiding behind my hands...not because I am frightened, but because watching someone in excruciating pain makes me feel literally nauseous.
Anyway, each to their own, right?
I like those movies that have an eerie setting...that start out unsettling and build to a terrifying apex. I love classic horror, up to and including black and white and silent films. I love ghost stories and haunted houses...monsters and aliens...mind-benders that make you wonder if the character was really seeing horrible things or were they just crazy the whole time?
So, I thought I'd post some horror movie reviews.
Let's start with what is streaming on Netflix, because I'll watch most of my movies there. As of today there are some great titles in their horror section. Each of the movie descriptions will be from imdb.com. And of course, I'll only be reviewing what I have actually watched, but there are other things on there that you might be interested in as well.
1. The Cabin in the Woods
"Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they
get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth
behind the cabin in the woods."
Well, that doesn't tell you much. Joss Whedon co-wrote this. 'Nuff said. There's a great juxtaposition of humor and horror in this film. Fantastic performances, and great character dialogue- the kind you expect from a Whedon film. I loved this. It takes the typical slasher movie, and explains why it all has to happen the way it does. The end result is something that is a lot more fun to watch than any slasher ever hoped to be.
2. House at the End of the Street
"When a teenager and her mother move to a little town, the girl finds
that an accident happened in the house at the end of the street. But
things get complicated when she befriends a boy who is the only survivor
in the accident."
This was pretty messed up. I thought I knew what was happening for most of this movie, and then boom. Nope. Whoa. I love surprise endings. This probably won't go down as one of my favorites ever, but it was definitely worth watching.
3. Paranormal Activity 3
"In 1988, young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity who resides in their home."
Of all of the Paranormal Activity movies, the first and this one are my personal favorites. This one had me on the edge of my seat a lot. I think it's always more scary for me when it's the children who are being haunted. Maybe because you identify with whatever character you're being shown, and being a kid for the story adds a level of vulnerability on top of everything. In any event, this is good for a scare, and worth watching. But seriously- enough of these found footage movies already. Only a handful are any good. This just happens to be one.
4. Event Horizon
"A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black
hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board."
This terrified me. Holy cow. This is legitimately really scary. It gave me nightmares when I first saw it, and I re-watched it last year. Yep...still horrifying. Maybe it's Sam Neill. That man has been in some crazy films.
5. The Possession
"A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the
collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams
with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child."
Wow. I've seen a lot of "possession-exorcism" movies before, but there were a few things that made this stand out for me. First, the young girl who becomes possessed- she is fantastic. What a great little actress. Second, I've never seen a Jewish exorcism movie before. It was kind of intense. Third, there's a scene where they do an MRI on the kid., and well...just watch the movie. Yikes.
6. The Awakening
"In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I.
Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain
sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the
'missing' begin to show themselves."
I liked this. I don't know that it scared me a lot, but it was eerie, with a few good scares mixed in. What I liked about it was that it was another one with a twist ending that I didn't see coming.
7. A Haunting at Silver Falls
"A small town is haunted by the twin daughters of a wrongfully convicted
man. Young Jordan is sent down the path to who the real killer is only
to find the killer is very close to her."
This was just ok. I feel like the creepy twins should have scared me more, but really they are just trying to get help catching their killer, and that's not really a spoiler- it's pretty obvious early on. The ending was supposed to be a surprise, but I had already figured out who the killers were about half way through. It's still not bad...just not awesome.
8. The Evil Dead (1981)
There are remakes of this, so it's important to note that this is the original, in all of its cult-classic horrible goodness. This is one of my favorites. Yeah, it is really gory, and I said I don't care much for that, but c'mon...the blood was chocolate. The special effects were stop-motion, and none of it looks terribly real by modern standards. It is really scary, though. "I'll swallow your soul!!!" Gah! Besides...Bruce Campbell. That's all I need to hear.
"When a group of misfits is hired by an unknown third party to burglarize
a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found
footage than they bargained for."
This was disturbing. I wouldn't say it was scary, as much as it was just really brutal and sexually explicit. It was a weird, compilation of found footage segments that all are sort of focused on sex and violence and paranormal things. One of the creepiest segments showed a couple of guys trying to pick up a girl to take back to their hotel and get freaky. They find one who says nothing but, "I like you." Well, things got freaky, just not the way they intended. Surprise, surprise. Some of the segments are better than others, obviously, but the whole thing is disturbing.
I watched this a while ago. I remember it being pretty scary, and I loved John Cusack in it, and I remember it was kind of a mind-bender. It's not one of my favorites, but it was a pretty good movie.
11. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
The beginning of this movie- AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
I had to watch it between my fingers. Holy cow. And then there are these horrifying little monsters that are trying to take this child and eat her! Eat her! This scared the crap out of me. Guillermo Del Toro does that to me though. His creatures are always so horrible! But in a good way.
"A young, abused and timid 17-year-old girl discovers she has
telekinesis, and gets pushed to the limit on the night of her school's
prom by a humiliating prank."
The original movie with Sissy Spacek...yes please. There's a remake of this coming out soon, but I have a hard time imagining anybody could play Carrie better than Spacek. It's a classic. Watch it.
13. Children of the Corn
This is another one that honestly needs no introduction. This is scary. If you have never seen this, you should. Creepy kids, crazy cult...what else can I say?
14. The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh
" An antiques collector inherits a house from his estranged mother only to
discover that she had been living in a shrine devoted to a mysterious
cult. Soon, he comes to suspect that his mother's oppressive spirit
still lingers within her home and is using items in the house to contact
him with an urgent message."
This is a movie that is really unique. You only ever see one actor, but you often hear the voice of his mother telling her story. (She is voiced by Vanessa Redgrave.) It's a slow-burner. The movie builds for a while, but when it got good and scary, I really felt unsettled. But then...are things what they seem? This is another movie that makes you question what you think you have figured out. I really liked this, I think, primarily because it isn't like a lot of other movies in the genre.
15. The Call of Cthulhu
This was fantastic, in my opinion. I said before, I like black and white, silent movies. This took a very popular Lovecraft story and turned it into what looked like a silent straight out of Lovecraft's own time, when in fact, this was released in 2005. It's not scream-worthy or anything like that, but it is a story that I love, and the filmmakers did a great job with this. My 13 year old watched this too, and she thought it was cool. High praise, that. But if you don't like silents, you won't like this. There's no awesome special effects...they tried on purpose to make this look like it came out of the 1920s. That's why I loved it.
I know I will be watching some more soon, so I will be posting additional reviews before long. Happy horror watching until then!