30 Day Horror Challenge (in 6 Days): Days 26 to 30

All right, this is it, the last day! Sorry for the delay, my few but loyal readers, I’ve had quite the busy past few days, and have been paying for it today (so worth it though), so I haven’t had time (or energy) to take out the ol’ laptop. But, as I’m feeling better now, we can finish up this list. So let’s get to it!!

 

Day 26 – Best Horror Movie for a Chicken: Hocus Pocus

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Ok, so technically, this isn’t really horror. But for a film that was clearly aimed at teens, it does have a surprising amount of horror-esque scenes, not to mention some of the subject matter. So for someone who is a real chicken, something like this would be perfect for them, not too scary, while still entertaining. Three witch sisters want to stay young and, err, “beautiful” forever. To do this they capture children, and suck the life-force right out of them (which we witness. See? Pretty dark already, for a kid’s movie). Standing in their way are three teens and a talking cat, who’s not really a cat, but a boy whom the witches cursed after killing his sister. One of my favorite Halloween films when I was a kid, and I still enjoy it today. If you find yourself almost peeing your pants in fright every time a horror movie is on, Hocus Pocus is the film for you. Wimp.

 

Day 27 – Horror Guilty Pleasure: The Covenant

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I don’t really have a guilty pleasure, because that would suggest that I feel guilty about liking anything. Which I don’t. I like what I like, and I really don’t care what other people say about it. But, that said, I do know what it means. I chose The Covenant as my “guilty pleasure” because, in general, horror fans like to crap on this movie. It’s not really a very good movie. The acting is mostly sloppy, the story is a little dumb, the effects and dialogue are both cheezy, and yet I have a great time whenever I decide to watch it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and yes, the actors are all pretty boys with rippling abs. The movie is basically just an excuse to ogle some man-beauty, and, really, there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Day 28 – Horror Film I’d Like to See Remade: Night Watch

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Night Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko, is the first in a trilogy of Russian horror novels (Day Watch and Twilight Watch are the others). It was such an amazing book, with cool and interesting ideas, that I was intensely excited when I heard they were making a movie of it. It was to be a Russian production, but I didn’t care since I’ve evolved a very special feature called “reading subtitles”. You’d be surprised to know how few humans possess such a gift. But I digress. Finally, after months of waiting, it was available for purchase here, and I scooped that shit right up and prepared to have the time of my life. About halfway through the film, I couldn’t do it any more, and turned it off. Night Watch has to be one of the worst films I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing, and I’ve seen a lot. The story was basically the same, but the acting… oh my god, the acting. It was horrible. It made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I was so disappointed, because the book is incredible. So if I were to choose any film to be remade, this would be it. I’m not loosing hope that they’ll do it eventually, and do it right this time *fingers crossed*

 

Day 29 – Worst Horror Film Ever: The ABC’s of Death

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This film is so awful, I don’t even want to talk about it. But since it’s the top film in this category, I have to. So I will. Briefly. The ABC’s of Death has a cool concept: 26 directors each get a letter of the alphabet and make their own short film about a word starting with that letter. It sounded interesting, and I was looking forward to watching it. But it wasn’t interesting, it was just bad. The kind of bad that makes your eyes hurt and your nose bleed. I sat through the whole thing (although I’ll admit that I skipped forward a few times), and no matter how many times I said to myself “well, this couldn’t possibly get any worse”, wouldn’t you know it, it got worse. Not a single of the segments is worth watching, and I feel violated and slightly nauseous for having to sit through that. And yet, apparently, it was popular enough to warrant a sequel. What the hell is wrong with you people??? Ugh…

 

Day 30 – All Time Favorite Horror Film: The Lost Boys

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So this is it, the film that could have gone into a few different categories, but I was saving the best for last. The Lost Boys has been my favourite film since I first saw it at the ripe old age of 7. My mother bought it on VHS and hid it, because it was “too scary”. I must have watched it at least a dozen times before she caught me. This film is everything a good vampire story needs to be. It’s got tense moments, funny moments, likeable characters (heroes and villains), not to mention a bitchin soundtrack. I was so in love with this movie that I could, starting from the beginning, recite the whole film. And it didn’t even have to be on. Once a friend of mine and I played out the whole film, start to finish, every single line, just for fun. I also had a major crush on Sam (played perfectly by a pre-drug-crazed Corey Haim). The film may have it’s faults, but I don’t see them. To me, it’s absolutely perfect.

 

And there you have it. The 30 Day Horror Challenge, accepted and completed! Thanks for reading, and stick around for even more entertaining shenanigans soon! 🙂

M.

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30 Day Horror Challenge (in 6 Days): Days 11 to 15

Alright, let’s get right into this.

Day 11 – Favorite Horror Comedy: Cabin in the Woods

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Before Cabin in the Woods came out, this spot was long occupied by Army of Darkness. As I’ve said before, I really didn’t like The Evil Dead, or it’s sequel. But Army of Darkness made me laugh so hard the first time I saw it, I almost peed myself. It was definitely the horror comedy to beat, and Cabin did it, and them some. When I originally saw the trailers, how they set it up didn’t really make me want to see it much, it looked like just another slasher flick. I figured I’d see it at some point once it was out on dvd or Netflix. But then after it came out, I noticed, on Facebook, as one by one my friends saw it and raved about it. I was told, often, that I absolutely NEEDED to go see this on the big screen. Not understanding why such a generic slasher could cause such a fuss, I went to IMDb to read up a bit on it, and that’s when I saw it: Written by Joss Whedon. So I grabbed my mom, and went to see it in the cinema as soon as I possibly could. And it was the greatest thing since, well, everything. It was absolutely hilarious, and yet still managed to be scary at the same time, something Army of Darkness wasn’t able to do. And of course, that ending… I don’t use the word “epic” much, but that’s exactly what it was. Epic. It had epicdom in spades. If you happen to be one of the three horror fans on the planet who hasn’t seen this film yet, I won’t spoil it for you. But I will say WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? Go see it, now! No really, stop reading my silly little blog, and go see it. Schnell!!

 

Day 12 – Most Disturbing Horror Film: Stephen King’s It

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This film is occupying this slot for one reason, and one reason only. Pennywise the fucking Dancing Clown. I saw this film when it first aired as a two part mini-series in ’90 (based on the Stephen King novel of the same name), and it scared the ever-living snot out me. No, it’s not the best film, some of the acting is a little shakey, some of the dialogue is a little hokey (you have to remember that it was made for early ’90s televison), but that clown. That goddamned clown. I watch it every couple of years, and it still gets to me, 23 years later. I’ve heard whispers that they’re looking to remake it for the big screen. If they get anyone but Tim Curry to play the role, I think I may just boycott it, because he was it. No one else could fill those ridiculously big shoes. Oh yes, they float. They all float down here. Ugh, I got goosebumps just writing that…

 

Day 13 – Favorite Zombie Film: Warm Bodies

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I’m not the biggest fan of the zombie movie. I’ve seen the original Night of the Living Dead, and while I enjoyed it, it’s definitely not my favorite anything. I just find the whole genre a little dumb. It has to be really good, and contain a lot more than just shambling dead folks to keep my attention. When I saw the trailers for Warm Bodies, I almost peed myself. A zombie comedy that also has a love story? I definitely had to see this. It was way funnier than I had even expected, while still managing to have some good, tense moments, and the romance, while really being the whole point of the “humanizing” that’s happening to the shufflers, is not shoved in your face. Anyone saying that this is just Twilight with zombies needs to shut up and actually go see the movie.

 

Day 14 – Favorite Indie Horror: The Woman in Black

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From Hammer Films, the gods of indie horror, The Woman in Black is an almost perfect piece of film-making. Daniel Radcliffe ups his game, putting Harry Potter far from our minds as Arthur Kipps, a young widowed father who goes to a small town to settle the estate of an old woman who has just passed away. But things in the sprawling mansion are not as quiet as they first seems. This film is tense, atmospheric, an amazing study in gothic horror. The boo!scares are kept to a minimum, which is always a pleasant surprise. Too many films are relying on those these days. Yes, it gives you a fright, but it’s not a “real” fright. Very, very well done. I may even use the word masterpiece. Yes, I think I will. This film is a masterpiece.

 

Day 15 – Favorite Monster Movie: Watchers

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For this category, almost anything could be called a monster, so I decided to cut out everything that often has it’s own sub-genres (vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens, etc), and went straight to “undefined” monsters. Watchers gets a lot of flack from people who loved the novel (by Dean Koontz) for being almost nothing like it. And yes, it’s true. Book and movie don’t have a whole lot in common. But if you’re able to put the novel out of your head while watching, it’s a pretty entertaining piece of film. The acting and effects are mostly pretty crappy, but it’s still a fun, campy popcorn flick. Plus, I totally had a major crush on Corey Haim.

 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned tomorrow for Days 16 to 20! 🙂

M.

30 Day Horror Challenge (in 6 Days): Days 6 to 10

No fanfare needed, let’s continue this list.

Day 6 – Favorite Vampire movie: Interview with the Vampire

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Anyone who knows me even just a little will be able to tell you that I love vampires. Throw a rock in my house and chances are good that it’ll hit something vampire-related. I’ve seen so many vampire films, and I’ve enjoyed almost all of them to one extent or another. For me not to like it, a vampire film has to really be a truly colossal piece of shit. So trying to pick one single favorite vampire movie is like trying to pick the prettiest star in the sky. There’s one that I would have put here without question, but I’m saving it for later. So for this category, I’ll go with Interview with the Vampire, based on the novel of the same name by Anne Rice. When I first heard of this film, I was super excited… until I heard who was playing in it. To say I’m not particularly a fan of Tom Cruise is an understatement, and Brad Pitt was definitely not the first face to come to mind when I thought of the character of Louis. And I wasn’t the only one less than thrilled by the casting. Anne Rice herself was apparently livid when she found out Tom Cruise was playing Lestat. All that changed, however (for her and for me), after the movie came out. I saw it and fell in love with it immediately. It’s so well done, beautifully acted, shot and filmed. Some movies I watch once or twice, and even if I love them don’t feel the need to watch them again. Others, like Interview, I can watch time and time again and never get bored of it.

Day 7 – Horror Film I Think No One Has Seen: The Club

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This film is so little known that doing a Google image search yielded exactly 5 pictures, all of them crappy. Even the film’s IMDb page has no pictures. During the graduating class’s high school prom, a strange man named John is amongst the students. He wants them to join his very exclusive club, you see. Initiation is simple, all you have to do is commit suicide… or murder. It’s a campy piece of film, but quite enjoyable for those who enjoy the genre. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it.

Day 8 – Favorite Foreign Horror Film: The Eye

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Since I’m from Canada, I could have gone with any film from the States and it would technically be a foreign film. But that would be cheating. So for this category, we go to China for the Pang Brothers’ extremely creepy ghost story, The Eye. Mun is a young lady who’s been blind all her life. After a cornea transplant, she starts seeing things that she’s unsure if they’re real or not. She slowly realizes that she’s able to see things that other people can’t, and goes on a trip to Singapore to find who her new eyes used to belong to, and what this person is trying to tell her. Such an amazing film, scary, tense and very well acted. The elevator scene (that almost killed me the first time round) gets my heart pumping every time.

Day 9 – Favorite Supernatural Horror: The Sixth Sense

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Since I’m not a huge fan of the slasher flick, pretty much all the horror films I watch, and the ones I love the most, are technically in the supernatural category. But I decided to go with what the creator of this list probably meant, and that’s ghost stories. I do love me a good old haunting. I remember when I saw The Sixth Sense for the first time. I went to see it at the cinema with my cousin. And we were both so blown away by that ending, we went back to see it again right after, just to see if we could spot any mistakes that would have the twist make no sense. We didn’t see any. Too bad so many of the director’s subsequent films sucked…

Day 10 – Horror Film Everyone Loved, But I Didn’t: Suspiria

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As with the film I thought I like, but didn’t, so many films could have gone here. The Shining, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Alien, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, all boring-ass films that everyone seems to love. But the worst has to be Suspiria. Much like Kubrick, I will never understand Dario Argento‘s appeal. I’ve seen a few of his films, and they’re all horrible. Like a whole new level of horrible. Sure, they’re pretty and bright, but a good film that does not make. The acting was painful, effects laughable and the story… so… bloody… slow. I do like me a good slow burn, but at some point, something has to happen. A bright red murder after every 25 minutes of watching someone walk around doesn’t count as something happening. Really. The only thing this film has going for it is that awesome theme song by Goblin.

That’s it for tonight! 11 to 15 coming up tomorrow! 🙂

M.

Top 15 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Ok, so this was supposed to be another top 10. But after paring down my list as far as it would go, I was still left with 18 titles, and was unwilling to take any more off. But, since top 18 sounds ridiculous, I (reluctantly) put 3 in “honourable mentions” and then had the joy of putting the remaining 15 in order. After literally pulling my hair out for about half an hour, I’ve done it, although I’m still not 100% sure they’re in the exact right order. But it will have to do, because I’m not starting that process over.

So, before we start, here are the 3 honourable mentions:

The Replacement – Xander gets zapped with a magical device aimed at Buffy, and wakes up alone in the dump the next morning. He goes to his apartment, and sees that a clone has taken over his life. One Xander on screen is great. Two is just gravy. Anya’s plea that she be able to take the two of them home for a while had me in stitches.

Once More, With Feeling – I keep thinking that this fun musical extravaganza needs to be on the list, and then I look at it and realize that, as awesome as this episode is, everything else on my list is just slightly better.

Something Blue – Trying to magic away her pain, Willow only ends up accidentally casting spells on all her friends instead. One of the funniest episodes, despite it’s sad reason of being.

So, without any further ado, here’s my Top 15 Episodes of Buffy!

15 – Wild at Heart

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Oz finds himself inexplicably attracted to a beautiful new student, who’s also a musician. After busting out of his cage one night, he meets another wolf, and is surprised to find himself wake with her, entwined and very much naked, the next morning. The other wolf, Veruca, wants Oz for herself, and tries to get him to see that they belong free, not locked in a cage. With more dialogue from Oz than in a lot of episodes combined, this was a poignant episode. Lots of kleenex needed here.

14 – Nightmares

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Something strange is happening in Sunnydale: everyone’s worst nightmares are happening for real. Buffy meets a quiet boy who seems to be at the center of the mystery, and they band together to try stop the phenomena, before reality collapses completely. The one and only episode where we see what Buffy would be like as a vampire.

13 – Earshot

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While fighting a mouthless demon, Buffy wounds it, and some of it’s blood is absorbed into her skin. The next day she realizes that she can hear everyone’s thoughts. What at first is a cool novelty, quickly becomes unbearable as it, at first, starts to alienate her friends, then becomes an awful racket in her head she can’t turn off. But just before she slips into total chaos, she’s able to give the others a warning: someone is planning a massacre at the school. This episode was originally supposed to air around the time of a real school shooting, purely by coincidence, but they decided to postpone it a few months. Good thing there wasn’t too much of a continuity screwup.

12 – Buffy vs Dracula

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What else to say that the title doesn’t cover? Buffy meets the infamous Count, and is, understandably, attracted to him. But that still doesn’t stop her from kicking his butt when the time comes. Xander as a Renfield type character is hilarious. Poor Xander, always getting the short end of the straw.

11 – Band Candy

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Buffy’s school is selling chocolate bars to raise money for the marching band. The chocolate seems to have an addictive quality, and soon all the adults in the town are sucking it back like crazy. And, strangely, the more they eat, the more immature they get. When Buffy goes to the factory to get to the bottom of things, it’s a teenaged Giles, with a teenaged Joyce in tow, that accompanies her. Any fan that ever shipped Giles / Joyce was very happy to see this episode. Featuring Ethan Rayne, one of my favorite recurring villains.

10 – Passion

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This was an unbelievably awful episode, and I mean that in the best way possible. Jenny buys an Orb of Thesula, hoping to be able to translate the original text to recurse Angel. Angelus finds out about it, thanks to a vision that Drusilla had, and chases Jenny through the school, after destroying both her computer and the Orb. Such a sad episode, really pushes Angelus’ evil to the very limit. What he does to Giles is so much worse than anything else he could have done.

9 – Normal Again

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After being attacked by a demon sent by Warren and the gang, Buffy has vivid hallucinations of being locked in a mental institution. So vivid, in fact, that she’s no longer sure which world is real. She decides, for a moment, that her life is Sunnydale is the dream, and goes about trying to eliminate everything, and everyone, in it. Awesome episode.

8 – The Zeppo

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This Xander-centric episode has him worrying that he’s got nothing to offer the gang, so he gets himself a beautiful new car. Which, as luck would have it, brings him nothing but trouble, as he gets in the way of campus bad boy Jack O’Toole. Sparing Xander after Xander told cops there was nothing going on, he hops in Xander’s car, and drags him around town, to get his friends. Much to Xander’s horror, Jack’s friends are all dead, and he’s raising them from their graves. And this is the beginning of Xander’s very long, very strange night. Equally funny and tense, this is a perfect showcase for the awesomeness that is Xander Harris.

7 – The Pack

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This is the very first episode of Buffy I ever saw. I didn’t even know it existed before then, since I didn’t have cable tv at home. But I was at my grandparents place, just channel surfing, when I came across this, and I was hooked right from the get go. In this episode, Xander and a group of bullies from school get possessed by hyena spirits. The mean kids act basically the same, but Xander, who’s usually so nice, starts to act just like them. Buffy knows something’s wrong, though, especially after the school mascot, a cute little piglet, is found dead, seemingly eaten alive.

6 – Halloween

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Another chaos filled evening courtesy of Ethan Rayne. It’s Halloween night and, after chanting a spell, every child and teen who bought a costume at Ethan’s shop turns into their costume. Buffy becomes a fainting 17th century lady (much to Angel and Cordelia’s chagrin), Willow becomes a (very sexy) ghost, and Xander is turned into a super soldier. Hearing Buffy’s been weakened, Spike comes looking for her.

5 – Killed By Death

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A terrible flu is going around town, and Buffy, after being knocked out during patrol, is rushed to the hospital, burning with fever. While there she encounters one of the freakiest demons in the show’s history, Der Kinderstod. Invisible to anyone who’s not feverish, Buffy purposefully makes herself sicker so she can fight him.

4 – Doppelgangland

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After doing a spell to help Anya find her pendant, an evil Willow is summoned from another dimension. Sickened that everything around her is normal and “safe”, she traps everyone in the Bronze with a group of vampires to have some fun. When she comes across the Willow from this reality, things really get fun.

3 – The Body

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Call me masochistic to have an episode like this so high on my list, but it really is one of the best episodes of the whole show. Everyone’s acting is top notch, and, needless to say, tears fall like rain. I started crying at the beginning of the show, and kept crying all the way through, even after the credits were done rolling.

2 – The Wish

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After making a seemingly innocent wish that Buffy would have never come to Sunnydale, Cordelia is stunned to find herself in world that is just that. She’s happy to find out that in this world she’s still Queen B, but her happiness is put on hold when she realizes just how many deaths there have been, including Xander and Willow’s. Deaths that had been prevented by Buffy. Going to Giles to get him to call Buffy, she encounters a vampire Xander and Willow. After a much changed Buffy arrives in Sunnydale to help with the dire situation, Giles summons the demon who granted the wish, to try get her to change the world back to the way it was.

1 – Hush

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And finally, the very best of the best, the season 4 episode Hush. After a group of fairy tale-like creatures arrives in Sunnydale, every single person in town looses their voice. The creatures stalk the night, choosing victims who have the perfect hearts they need, and cut them out of their chests. Like the last line of the poem says: “You’re gonna die screaming, but you won’t be heard”. This mostly silent episode is really a perfect piece of television. It still gives me the creeps today.

And, that wraps up my top 15 Buffy episodes. Enjoyed it? Agree? Disagree? Let me know! And stay tuned for more! 🙂

M.