It’s Friday! Time for another piece of my October movie marathon. I’m a bit ahead this week, since I’ve watched a lot over the weekends this month. So let’s get to it:
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Hey, you can’t go wrong with this one. I still argue that this is a Halloween movie, as opposed to more of a Christmas holiday film. But it’s ok—others are allowed to have their wrong opinions! And to say I relate so much to the vampire trio in this movie is an understatement. This is always a fun treat to return to, no matter what time of year.
2. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
A slow-burn to say the least, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is subtle, but effective. It took me a bit of thinking to fully understand it, and upon a second watch-through, it all fell into place. Kiernan Shipka’s performance is haunting, and although I’m often on-the-fence about Emma Roberts’ performances, I’d say her character added a layer of mystery that really kept me wondering throughout. It’s spooky, it’s quiet, it’s ominous, it’s oddly sad—I really recommend this one, if you love films that are simple yet require attention to detail.
3. Return of the Living Dead
I happened to watch this just days before learning of James Karen’s passing. He was so wonky in Return of the Living Dead; his casting was perfect for the film. It’s a crazy zombie movie that doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest, and that only benefits it in the long run. I love it for its zaniness. James Karen will be missed!
Sure, Hellraiser isn’t my favorite horror film, but I do love watching it from time to time. Pinhead is such an interesting player in the horror icon game; the film doesn’t shy away from gore in the slightest, and the demon designs are great. It’s unfair to judge a film like this for the acting, but it is one of those that certainly suffers from the acting throughout. It’s saved by its interesting concept, said demons, and the totally bonkers skeletal dragon at the end. Like—what? I question it, yet I applaud it.
5. The Haunting (1963)
Arguably one of the best classic horror films, The Haunting honors Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House marvelously. It plays with tension and fear with precision, and, while it may not have aged perfectly, it still holds up as a hair-raising effort in a long line of haunted house movies. The Haunting does so much with so little, entering the protagonist’s mind almost as maliciously as the ghosts themselves. Plus, that mansion is seriously creepy, especially in the way it’s framed in the film.
6. The Strangers
One of my favorite modern horror films for its simplicity, this movie still gives me chills every time I watch it. Anyone who’s seen it knows which scene I’m referring to, when I say I always think of that scene. It certainly had me sleeping with the lights on when I first watched it in theaters years ago. The idea that the events in this home-invasion horror can (and do) happen, and to anyone, at that, makes it even that more frightening.
7. Evil Dead (2013)
Not all remakes hit the bull’s-eye the way this one does. While paying homage to Raimi’s 80’s classic, this rendition of Evil Dead cranks the gore up to 11. What director Fede Alvarez does with sound is out-of-this-world, and the film’s score is fantastic. It doesn’t hold back, and doing so would have been heresy to the original. Just when you think the craziness has hit its peak, Evil Dead grabs you by the severed hand and pulls you into a world where people for some reason have to read ancient texts aloud to themselves. But hey, would we have it any other way?
Tune in next week! I hope everyone's got fun plans for the rest of October!
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