Saturday, September 15, 2018

spooky flick faves

Every year I plan to spend the entirety of my October watching horror movies and I never quite get in as many as I want.  This year, our Beautiful Monstrosities programming is nothing BUT horror movies so that should help, but last weekend I got a head start, mostly since my borrowed laptop has a dvd player, which my Chromebook does not.

In rifling through my small collection, it's mostly a lot of tv show box sets (Buffy, Lost, The Office, Veronica Mars) and all the rest horror (well except maybe a couple rom coms and that awful Gwyneth Paltrow Sylvia Plath movie). It's by no means exhaustive, most of it picked up on sale in the days before Netflix and streaming. I do have a good selection of asian horror re-makes from the early aughts, including The Ring and Ring 2, which I watched Saturday night.

The former is still listed in my horror top-10.  While it seems less scary than it did in 2002, I still love it for its atmosphere and cinematography (and why I like it better than the Japanese original).   There is so much artfullness to the visual aspects--how the original is  gloomy and unsettling in a way it's sequel is not. I think it also, way back in 2002, it not only struck the match on Americanized remakes (Dark Water will probably always be another favorite of these), but set a visual look that so many films were sporting in terms of colors and palletes and camera shots (I know nothing of how cinematography works, but I do recognize its effects on the viewer. )

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I also watched the more  recent Trick R' Treat, which I think may have surpassed the actual Halloween in terms of movies themed on that particular holiday. This is a more Creepshow style anthology film, but there is an attention to detail that so thoroughly evokes that feeling of childhood Halloween escapades that is delightfully eerie

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While I would probably refuse to rate top horrors since my favorites each have their own reason for falling in my top 10, I'd count the above 2 in that category along with the others below:

The Shining

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Kubrick's hand added so much to this story that wasn't in King's novel and the film is so much the better for it. I saw this at the drive-in when it first came out when I was like 6 and I'm pretty sure I fell asleep before the very end.  But the twins and that elevator full of blood imprinted on my brain and probably formed the fibers of my aesthetics.

It Follows

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Maybe it's partly the  slow, creeping sense of dread, or maybe it's the gorgeous Crewdson-esque cinematography, but I am in love.


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This one snuck up on me and scared the bejeesus out of me when I decided to randomly start watching it on Netflix.  Excellent jump scares and a creepy atmosphere and it fast became a favorite, even though I'd never heard of it's release.

Skeleton Key

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A lot of people would make fun of me for loving this, but I saw it the weekend Hurricane Katrina hit (twice), right around the time I was thinking that lush, creepiness of New Orleans would be amazing to live amongst.  Obviously a bad idea at the time, but I like the look and feel (and it has an amazing soundtrack to boot.)

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

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I am a great fan of the funny/scary combo, and this one pulls out just a little bit ahead of Cabin in the Woods (and even more ahead since Joss Whedon turned out be a creep.)  I also recently watched The Final Girls which a slightly more feminist film with a little more heart, that excels in this particular genre.

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Watcher in the Woods

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We had HBO at the house I lived in until i was 9 and this film was in heavy rotation.  We would watch it over and over again, but I've only come to re-enjoy it as I've gotten older (and it's pretty freakin dark for Disney movie.)

Jennifer's Body
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Probably also in the horror/humor category, this one just keeps on giving, whether it's the cheesy indie band scarificing "virgins" or Megan Fox unapologetically devouring high school boys...

Stir of  Echoes

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This came out right around the same time The Sixth Sense came out and it's so, so much better with a similar premise, a less hoky ending, and some better scares.. And also Kevin Bacon instead of Bruce Willis, which I'll take any day.

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