Halloween is in seven days, ladies and gentlemen. In the spirit of All Hollow’s Eve, Paige and I have crawled, screamed, and suffered our way through the best and worst we could unearth from Netflix, Hulu, and anywhere else. Time to rev your chainsaws and prepare for an onslaught of horror movie goodness.
Not the classics, but not to be overlooked. If you haven’t seen any of the scary flicks on this list, do yourself a favor and check these out. You won’t be disappointed.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
I remember hating Francis Ford Coppola’s take on Dracula growing up but revisiting it for the first time in years allowed me to come in fresh and appreciate Coppola’s super-stylish visuals, relish Gary Oldman’s scenery-chewing performance as the Count, and giggle my way through Keanu Reeve’s impression of a plank of wood.
The Cabin In The Woods
Holds up much better than I anticipated. I was more than a little worried to watch it again but this is going to be a go-to flick every October.
The House Of The Devil
A lot of films try to emulate the 80s. This one is 80s. A stylish, slow burn, nail-biter for a majority of the length—it’s just a shame it doesn’t go out on that final bang but instead with an indifferent denouement.
From Dusk Till Dawn
I’ve always suspected Tarantino directed the first portion of this film and let Rodriguez take the credit for the second portion. This vampire-stripper joint is as entertaining and crude as ever.
An original premise with a unique resolution but a bit nonsensical it parts and a terrible, “we ran out of money and ideas” ending that cries out for a sequel it mostly earns. A mostly pleasant surprise you should check out if you, like me, missed it in theaters.
A fun blast of retro Hollywood pulp. The CGI is really showing its age though.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Absolutely stunning in high definition. Henry Selick’s animation really shines. And it’s a twofer!
Chan-wook Park has the most bizarre narrative flow in cinema today. You can never predict where his films will end to the point where on my second viewing of Thirst, I had totally forgotten how it began and wasn’t sure if I was watching the movie I’d been thinking of. In any case, if you love vampires, be sure to catch this one. Some subtle, imaginative implementations of vampire lore keep this film fresh.
The Simpsons’s Treehouse Of Horror
“Quoth the Raven, ‘Eat my shorts’.”
They sure don’t make ‘em like they used to. Oh, 80’s Michael Jackson & John Landis, how I miss you. (For more John Landis, see An American Werewolf In London)
David Fincher’s least stylistically and narratively sophisticated work (apart from the disowned Alien 3) but it has its own thrilling charms as The Game attempts to shake the ennui of the super rich. Most similar to his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adaptation. Not quite horror but an intense little intermission between gorefests.
Another gorgeous charmer by Henry Selick, this one adapted from Neil Gaiman. One the whole family can enjoy with enough creepiness from Teri Hatcher’s Other Mother to comfortably sit on the list.
I’ll be writing more on Sinister later this week but rest assured, you can taste the fright from all the awesome jump scares in this delirious, new horror flick.
We tried, but these weren’t up to snuff. Watch at your own peril.
The Woman In Black
Finally saw The Woman In Black after missing it in theaters earlier this year. There’s some good, old fashioned frights but Daniel Radcliffe’s mourning lawyer is a non-person. I had absolutely no empathy for him so when The Woman rears her vengeful head, I barely cared.
It’s obvious when doing a Ti West double feature with The House Of The Devil (see above) that the man loves to draw out his horror as long as possible but ultimately it renders the rest of the film empty. We really are watching two hotel clerks perform menial tasks and dick around for over an hour with no greater significance to the plot.
A fun horror concept, and the best use of draw-and-quartering I can recall, but poor pacing is the death of this film.
Season Of The Witch
A perfect bad-horror-movie double feature with Black Death, Nic Cage and Ron Perlman are crusaders on a quest to kill the witch to bring about the plague. This thing wants to be 300 and Kingdom Of Heaven on a tenth of the budget and it just doesn’t work. Only a movie this bad could waste a perfectly good Robert Sheehan. Total shit.
Wes Craven trading in scares for cleverness. Pretty decent but not up to par with the first. A guilty pleasure at best.
Not what I expected, at all. Usually that’s a good thing but the characters’ motivations were non-existent. Some of the creature effects are pretty rad, especially the assembling body in the attic, but the obvious latex of hooks through skin are so dated as to be laughable. Not terrible but not anywhere near the greats.
Children Of The Corn
Amateur at best. How did this have any sequels?
It’s also been ages since I’ve seen this Dracula. The best thing about it, hands down, is Bela Lugosi. The rest is pretty lackluster and certainly dated.
Friday The 13th
Definitely a lesser slasher film. I’ll never get how Jason ended up being a baddie after such a weak ending. Also, how is Kevin Bacon in this?
Far and away the worst film of our October marathon, Dream Home is absolute, exploitative shit. In no way believable, only infuriatingly vague and overly grotesque.
Haven’t watched these yet this season. This is what’s up on the slate—some I know like the back of my hand, others I haven’t seen in years but these are the essentials. These are the ones that will give you nightmares for years to come. These are the ones to save for last.
Poltergeist, 28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later, Shaun Of The Dead/Hot Fuzz (I can’t think of a better zombie/slasher double feature), Rosemary’s Baby, An American Werewolf In London, Alien, Se7en, The Exorcist, The Shining, and, of course, Halloween.
25 Oct 2012 / 0 notes