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 1 to 5

So, I’ve already done a movie challenge like this before on my Facebook, which was pretty fun. But when I came across this one, I found it even funner, but didn’t want to stretch it out over 30 days again. So I’ll do 5 a day, for 6 days instead. So without any muss or fuss, let’s get into it.

Day 1 – First Horror Film: A Nightmare on Elm Street

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I was three years old when this film came out, so I obviously didn’t see it in theaters. But I remember seeing it, hidden in the hallway, peering from behind something, when I was 4 years old. It’s a vague memory, but it’s there. My teenaged cousins were babysitting me and, thinking I was safely tucked away in my bed, started the film. I’m not sure how much of it I got watch before they caught me, but it was a significant amount. And from that moment on, I became a fan of horror films. I watched as many as I could sneak, until my mother finally got tired of catching me at it and, seeing that they didn’t give me nightmares (or turn me into a psychopath), just let me watch (and read) what I wanted.

Day 2 – Last Horror Film Seen in the Cinema: Evil Dead

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I love going to the cinema, and I don’t get to go nearly as often as I’d like. Most of that is due to the fact that where I live they don’t always have the films in their original versions, and I refuse to see dubbed films. So I’ve only probably seen about 5 films in the last year, and only two of them were horror, I think. So the last horror film I saw in the cinema’s was this summer’s Evil Dead remake (or reboot, whatever you want to call it). Now, I wasn’t a fan of the original film. I saw it late, in either the very late 90’s or early 00’s, and I guess the magic of it was lost on me. I found it stupid and dull and not remotely scary and more than a little silly. Which was a shame because the story (while very simple) was still interesting. So when I heard that they were remaking the film, and promising that it be “the most terrifying film you ever experience”, I was looking forward to it. So while in Montreal one weekend this summer, I grabbed a friend and prepared to be terrified. Well, terrified I wasn’t, but it was still quite a good film, the acting and effects all much much better than the original. I’m not a huge fan of excessive gore, though, so I spent a good amount of time staring at my friend’s shoulder. It doesn’t scare me, it just makes me slightly sick, so I’d rather not.

Day 3 – Favorite Classic Horror: The Last Man on Earth

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I love old movies. I always have. But they have to be good old movies. I’m not a fan of the extra cheesy (unless it’s superbly done), and I need a good story to keep me interested. I can even overlook some not-so-great acting if the story is really good (which is a good thing, because unfortunately a lot of old films have pretty shabby acting). Vincent Price is, by far, my favorite old timey actor, and of all his films, my very favorite is The Last Man on Earth. (A tie might be considered for his voice acting in The Great Mouse Detective, still one of Disney’s best, in my opinion, but we’re here to talk horror, not Disney, so carrying on…) A film version of Richard Matheson‘s I Am Legend (later to remade in the dull Charleton Heston vehicle The Omega Man, and again in the Will Smith dud), The Last Man on Earth tells the story of one man’s struggle to find a cure for a malady that has wiped out the entire population and turned them into blood drinking monsters. But who’s the real monster?

Day 4 – Movie I Thought I’d Like, But Didn’t: Hellraiser

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So many films could have gone into this slot. I saw a lot of the “classics” late, most of the horror I saw were the ones my mother bought on vhs (and tried to hide) or that my cousins or other family members rented. And except for a select few, they didn’t rent or buy any of the so-called classics, so I saw them all finally after I moved out at 17, and could rent what I wanted. And, for the most part, I hated a good amount of them. Hellraiser was the most disappointing though. A movie about beings from a hell dimension of torture? Yeah! Bring it on! I made a big bowl of popcorn, put the tape into my dusty machine and prepared for a frightfest. Boy, was I woefully disappointed. I was so bored, I think I may have nodded off at one point, and that never happens. I even sat through the next 3 films, just in case it got any better, but, with the exception of the 4th which I rather enjoyed (finally), they just got worse. I haven’t bothered to watch any of the 800 subsequent sequels. I heard Clive Barker is penning a remake. It can’t be worse than the original, so I’ll likely see it. Maybe it’ll have the Evil Dead effect…

Day 5 – Favorite Horror Remake: The Ring

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People love to hate on remakes. Usually even way before the film is even in the cinema, or sometimes even before it’s made. I’m of the opinion “how about seeing a film before saying it sucks?” But more on this later. I’ve a whole post in mind about remakes, so I’ll save it for later. As we all know, Hollywood loves a good remake. Whether it’s a remake of an older film, a foreign film, a tv show, or even remakes of remakes. Sometimes they get it wrong, sometimes they get it very wrong. But sometimes, just sometimes, they get it just right. So right that it far surpasses the original material. One such film is The Ring, the 2002 remake of Japan’s Ringu, based on the novel of the same name by Kôji Suzuki (which I also read and loved, despite being as different as it could possibly get from the film). I loved it so much, in fact, that even now, 11 years later, it’s still in my top 10 favorite films of all time. And that’s all films, not just horror.

And that’s all for today! Stay tuned for days 6 to 10 tomorrow! 🙂

M.