It's time for the final batch of October watches! Let's just get right into it.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)
Anyone who knows me knows I’m up for a dark re-imagining, and the Sabrina series is no exception. I’m a big fan of the original comedy series, but this new Sabrina is outright dark. It stands on its own, and I love that for it. Sure, it has some of the original show’s quirkiness, with almost tongue-in-cheek themes of hell and Satan. But it takes itself a lot more seriously, and Kiernan Shipka is marvelous as the titular witch. Her Sabrina is outspoken, powerful, and looks out for her loved ones. She’s a strong female, and I’m sure she’s making Melissa Joan Hart proud! I loved the first 10 episodes, and I can’t wait for more.
This one was a first-time watch for me. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the remake, and while the original isn’t necessarily a standard horror film, it still contains horror elements. I mean, who wouldn’t squirm at least a little upon the sight of a horde of rats? The film itself is a bit slow, and arguably dull, except for when Willard is with the rats, but the story is interesting enough to keep the plot moving along. I would recommend maybe a one-time viewing, but I will say: I did wish for a bit more payoff in terms of the rats being totally at Willard’s beck-and-call.
Return of the Living Dead, Part II
Another first-time watch for me, the sequel to the zany Return of the Living Dead is a bit less zany, but is still out there in its wackiness. It’s a crazy zombie movie, but these zombies weren’t nearly as fun and weird as they were in the first film. It definitely did seem to have a larger production budget than its predecessor, but in ways, that took away from its value. If you’re going to watch either of these, definitely watch the original first.
Like Willard, I wouldn’t categorize Apostle as a full-on horror film, but again, it does contain horror elements. It’s gory, it’s mysterious, and it’s got a religious cult. Good enough for me! It went to places I didn’t expect, and the visuals were outstanding. From the start, we can tell that something is awry in this village on a secluded island. As the events of the film unfold, things really get wicked. I’d definitely recommend this one!
An American Werewolf in London
One of my favorite werewolf movies, American Werewolf stands out for its dark humor, its soundtrack, and most certainly its unforgettable transformation scene. I could have watched that one scene for hours. And as dark and gory as it is, it’s a funny movie; I always find myself cackling throughout. It’s so strange, but a really fun watch. It’s a Halloween-time must.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
It isn’t easy having a good time. But it is easy having a ball with one of my favorite Halloween season treats; Tim Curry shines, and not only when he’s covered in blood. Everything about this film is so tongue-in-cheek, and practically self-aware, that it’s impossible to not enjoy yourself at least a little with this mad musical. Oh, Rocky!
Based on the Lovecraft story, Re-Animator spins the Frankenstein story on its head. From the undead cat to a man’s body carrying its own severed head, everything about this film is pure insanity. It’s dark, it’s funny (I guess I had a theme going on, this week!), and it doesn’t hold back. Sure, it may suffer from some poor writing, and some questionable acting, but I still enjoy re-visiting Re-Animator, an underdog of horror classics.
Halloween isn’t perfect, but I love it and it’s special to me as my go-to film to answer the question, “what’s your favorite movie?” I always get weird looks, considering it’s a low-budget slasher film, but I stand by my choice. The concept is basic, allowing creativity to flow and imaginations to run wild, the music is damn near perfection, and it’s got a brave teenage Laurie Strode facing off against the unmistakable Shape. How much better can it get? Plus, I won’t watch anything else on Halloween night. My October 31sts are dedicated to the first appearance of Michael Myers.
There we have it! 31 Halloween haunts for October! What are your favorites from my lists? Did you watch anything that I should have, this season? And, am I done with horror for the rest of the holidays, do you ask? Of course not. I hope everyone had a great Halloween! I’ll see you all back in the bi-weekly blog cycle. And be sure to follow my social media to get regular updates!
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