31 Days of Halloween – Day 9
I am sure that almost everyone out there has seen this film and probably remembers it pretty fondly. It is the perfect blend of sci-fi and comedy with some of the most memorable one liners in a given film. You’re right.
“No human being would stack books like this.” – Dr. Peter Venkman
It is easy to see why this movie garners a lot of nostalgia love from many generations. I think a lot of it has to do with the great cast chemistry with not only the main cast members but the lesser roles as well. Even Annie Potts and Rick Moranis bring something fun and interesting to the table. I remember seeing this film as a kid and just having a great time. Again, this film doesn’t necessarily speak to the Halloween season but it does set the mood just right for this time of year.
31 Days of Halloween – Day 8
From the late Wes Craven, this 1996 movie turned the horror genre on its head. With his own track record of films that fed the classic slasher tropes, he decided it was time to re-invigorate the horror genre with this all new self-aware approach to the “teenagers in peril” movie. At the time, horror had fallen into a bit of a repetitive slump. Friday the 13th was on its 9th sequel and even Wes’ own Elm Street series was on number 6. So the slasher genre was languishing and horror in general was just sitting there like a limp noodle. Then Scream came a long and just changed the game entirely. Though I don’t revere this series as much as some younger kids might, I appreciate what Wes did for the genre in general and is a great time with friends when the fog is rolling in and there is a bit of a chill outside. That and seeing the biggest star in this film (Drew Barrymore) get killed off in the first act is a great nod to the horror master himself, Alfred Hitchcock.
31 Days of Halloween – Day 6
The Phantasm Series
The Phantasm series is a bit of a head scratcher. The first film blurs the lines between horror, science fiction and folklore all in one. When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure what they heck was going on. After several viewings thought, it has grown on me. It has its own unique charm with some very creative visuals and stories. With four very unique films, it can be hard to follow the anthology from beginning to end. However, the common theme between them all is the figure only known as the “Tall Man” played by Angus Scrimm. He plays a creepy mortician in charge of an even creepier morgue. He enlists the help of a lethal flying ball do his wet work for him. Like I said, weird yet at the same time charming. It is hard to put into words why this series has such a dedicated following. But it does and sets the fall mood nicely.
31 Days of Halloween – Day 6
I have reviewed this film in the past explaining how much I enjoyed this film. One of those little surprises that just caught me off guard. Great practical effects, nice mood, well acted and on the verge of being believable. I just appreciate that little independent film could have such a big budget feel to it. Though this film doesn’t really remind me of the fall or Halloween, it is one of those films that I like to pull out and watch this time of year because it is just a fun time.
31 Days of Halloween – Day 5
House of 1000 Corpses
Horror aficionado Rob Zombie directs his first film in the semi-low budget affair centering around the traditional kids getting lost in, instead of the woods, rural Texas. I think this is a nod to the many horror films that Rob Zombie is a fan of like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. These kids get a bit more than they bargained for when the run into Captain Spaulding and his Museum of Monsters and Madmen and the family they are introduced to. A creepy and quirky film that introduces you to a cast of interesting an weird characters that get under your skin a bit and makes you squirm just a little. It is exactly the kind of film that I expect someone like Rob Zombie to make. It has his style and mannerisms all over it. The characters in this film are just simply his kind of people. Loads of fun if you suspend disbelief for 90 minutes.
31 Days of Halloween – Day 4
House of the Devil
The title of this film is a little shocking. I think it was intentionally done that way for a couple of reasons. Even though this is a film that is only a few years old, it is set sometime in 80’s. I grew up in the 80’s and can remember Geraldo stories about “satanists” or some kidnapping. Of course a lot of those stories were heavily embellished and by the time these stories reached my little kid ears, it seemed like it was just a matter of time before one of these freaks snatched you up and you were gone forever. This is the sort of vibe this film is going for when we see a young college student takes a random baby sitting job at a strange house for some extra money. The creepy factor in this film is a nice slow burn and puts you in the shoes of our babysitter. It is the kind of film that as you watch it may change your behavior around your own house. Need to go the bathroom? I think I’ll turn on the lights in the hallway this time, though I normally wouldn’t. Why do I keep looking outside to check if someone is out there? I don’t do that normally. AGHH! The phone just rang! I can’t get up to get it. They’ll know I am home alone! Those kinds of things. To me that is a sign of a pretty creative film if it can affect the viewer in a subtle way. Great mood film to watch in the dark.
31 Days of Halloween – Day 3
Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In is a little gem out of Sweden that garnered enough attention that it got its own US remake in 2010. I have reviewed both on my blog and found both to be exceptional. However, the original still has the upper hand when it comes to a complete film. From the unknown actors to the great location settings in what look like the coldest parts of Sweden, this film just oozes subtle creepiness. One thing that most watchers of this film often get incorrect is that they often see this as a love story between two children. On the surface, I suppose it is but if you dig a little deeper you can start to see what sort of predator Eli is. And she is a predator to everyone she meets. Great for setting the mood as the air gets cooler this time of year.
31 Days of Halloween – Day 2
Poltergeist was probably the first horror movie my parents ever let me watch. I’m not sure if it was because they saw Steven Spielberg’s name on the movie or because of its PG rating but I did not get much sleep that night. At all. I wonder if they realized that this film was directed by Tobe Hooper. You know, they guy who directed a little film called The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This movie has some really iconic and memorable moments that still hold up today and was one of the films that was used to bring about the PG-13 MPAA rating. Guess it only makes sense that Hollywood redid this film last year. I have seen this film and look for that review later. The original, however, still stands on its own as one of the better ghost movies out there.
31 Days of Halloween – Day 1
The Omen – 1976
Being made before my time, it was many years after its release that I saw the Omen. Directed by Richard Donner(Goonies, Lethal Weapon) and Starring Gregory Peck, The Omen is about a couple who desperately wants a child of their own and when they are finally blessed with one, strange deaths around the family start to occur. It isn’t until the father begins to dig a little deeper that he begins to realize the dark truth about his son and what he must to. I really like this films for the Gothic mood it sets. Plenty of foggy cemeteries and things that go bump in the night. And don’t forget about the creepy kid who is responsible for practically ruining the name Damien from now on.
As most of you know, I am a pretty big fan of horror movies and with Halloween just around the corner, I thought I would do something a little different and create a list of films that I enjoy watching this time of year. One review a day until Halloween starting tomorrow. Not all of these movies are considered Halloween films and some may not even be horror movies but I thought it would be fun to just create a list of films that help me set the mood for the season. So I hope you find it fun and check in everyday. Would love to know your thoughts on my picks or even tell me about films that you like to watch this time of year.