Wednesday, October 26, 2016

31 Horror Films 31 Days, Part 2

Here's the next set of movies I watched this October...

#6 The Ring
This is probably the horror movie I’ve heard the most about before seeing it. I remember seeing the trailers when it came out. I also remember kids in my CCD class discussing, and spoiling, the ending. I did like the moral dilemma proposed at the end. Usually, you learn the rules early or about halfway through a story. In The Ring, they are not explained until the end. I plan to watch the sequels, despite mixed reviews, because i want to explore the consequences of these rules further.

#7 The Haunting in Connecticut
This looked terrible, but I watched it because the events that inspired the movie were discussed on the Monster Talk podcast. Oddly enough, the movie strays far from the paranormal events described by the original family. I guess Hollywood decided corpses in the walls and possessed children would make for a better movie than ghost sodomy.

#8 Nightbreed
This movie is basically the Morlocks from the X-Men. Apparently, the version I saw and Netflix has the alternate ending. If you’ve seen Hellraiser, you’ll pick up on similarities in tone and the style of the effects.

#9 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
My brain was not designed to watch a silent film. That is no reflection on the movie, just on my attention span. I did find the movie interesting as a glimpse into the psychology of pre-WWII Germany.

#10 The Purge
Like any Millennial, I love a dystopian story. The set up poses and interesting “What if?”. Then follows it up by forcing us to ask ourselves “What would we do?”.

#11 The Blob (1988)
When I think of The Blob, I think of cheesy 50s horror. I think of the movie playing in the background while Danny laments losing Sandy at the drive-in. This, however, is the late-80s remake. Its surprisingly gory and not afraid to kill off characters that I thought would be safe. They even throw in a Cold War-era moral to boot.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

31 Horror Films 31 Days, Part 1

In my last post, I explained my poor familiarity with culturally significant movies. Last October, in order to address this, I started participating the the 31 Horror Films 31 Days Challenge. I don’t use any formal rules, but I stick to films I have not previously seen. The movie choices are somewhat eclectic: prequels, sequels, and reboots in no particular order. Last year I watched the first three Scream movies in order, but only the first Friday the 13th. In the next few posts I’ll list the movies I watch this month and give just a few sentences on my opinion.

#1 The Re-Animator
Bloody and campy- a great place to start.  Definitely a “so bad it's good” kind of movie, from the decapitated body holding its own head that looked like a costume that would show up on your porch asking for candy to the villain's mind control powers that appear out of nowhere.

#2 The Amityville Horror (2005)
So much beige. We get it. It was the 70s. This was Chosen for three reasons: it was on Netflix, I’d heard of it before, shirtless Ryan Reynolds.

#3 Cell
This movie represents a rare occurrence. I actually read the book before watching the movie. I finished the book off last year so that I’d be ready to watch the movie when it came out... and that was the last word I heard on the subject until I started scouting Redbox for horror films to watch this month. Apparently the movie was released straight to DVD- surprising since it has several big names and was a King novel. I get it though, he final product was not great.

#4 The Legend of Boggy Creek
I picked this one because it was recommended by the hosts of the Monster Talk podcast. I was fascinated by the idea of a horror docudrama. The film was obviously made on a small budget, but doesn’t suffer for it. It's a seemingly honest depiction of a small town gripped with fear of something lurking in the shadows.

#5 The Mist
Stephen King often alludes to another realm full of monsters. Last October I read his short story N, the only short story that has legitimately scared me. In it, a man loses his sanity as he tries desperately to keep the barrier between our world and the monster realm in place. The Mist shows us what the characters in King’s other works were trying to avoid. The monster realm leaks into our own universe in the form of a thick mist. The ending left me a bit shaken, and I’m still unsure how I feel about it.

That's 5 of 31. Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Writing Group and Movie Ignorance

Friends in my writing group have recently taken me to task for my poor familiarity with popular movies. This is not a new revelation. I’ve always unconsciously thought of movies as a social thing and usually only watch them with another person. If I’m alone, I’ll opt for a TV series. I’m frequently met with shock when I confess to having not seen someone’s favorite movie.

The subject of this particular meeting was the “plot twist”. I outed myself because I had to keep asking people not to spoil the twists for me. My friend, Becky of, took it upon herself to compile a list of movies with plot twists that I needed to see forthwith:

The Shining
Six Sense
Fight Club
Primal Fear
The Village
The Exorcist
Rear Window
Fright Night
Silence of the Lambs
The Leprechaun
Pan’s Labyrinth

She then set about publicly shaming me in a scathing blog post about my movie ignorance. That post can be found here: Anthony Does Not Watch Movies

She was quite right to do so. I fully acknowledge this is no small sin for someone who wishes to make a living by writing fiction. Some of these movies are integral to modern popular culture.

And yet, there is hope. I not have a job with a lot of downtime so I am able to remedy this situation. I’ll discuss one step I’ve taken in my next post. If you have any movie suggestions that I can’t get away with not seeing, please comment below.