- It Follows (trailer)
- JU-ON: The Grudge (trailer)
- Real Monsters Meet Samara (Robot Chicken)
- Terrified - As a fan of horror movies, it's easy to become jaded and even desensitized to the violence and gore the genre so often revels in. Some wear such attitudes like a badge of honor, but I try not to fall into that trap, so when a movie like this Argentinian ghost flick comes along, I'm happy to report that it snuck past my defenses and actually scared me. I went into it knowing almost nothing and, truth be told, there's not a whole lot to the plot. There's a neighborhood that is experiencing some sort of haunting phenomena, and naturally some deaths attract investigators (both paranormal and police). Fortunately, writer/director Demián Rugna has crafted some supremely well executed sequences that managed to get under my skin and stay there. It's a rare movie that keeps me up at night, but this one managed (at least for a little bit).
- The Last House On The Left (trailer)
- I Spit On Your Grave (trailer)
- Jennifer's Body (trailer)
- Revenge - The rape-revenge sub-genre is interesting in that, while there's only so much you can do within the confines of what must be a pretty straightforward story, the responses and reactions and controversial takes can be wildly divergent. The same movie could be denounced as misogynist trash on the one hand, or empowering feminist anthem on the other. As a guy, I tend to find such stories unpleasant, but also important to confront and interrogate. Unfortunately, I almost always come up short on answers, which is perhaps why these movies keep getting made. For its part, this French take on the sub-genre is written and directed by a woman, Coralie Fargeat, which is certainly a differing perspective than you usually see in the sub-genre (the most famous examples of which, like Last House of the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, and Mrs. 45, are directed by men; rarely do you see one directed by a woman, though I do think Jennifer's Body is underrated).
- How the Blair Witch Project Should Have Ended (short)
- The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror VIII: Easy-Bake Coven
- Suspiria (trailer)
- The Witch in the Window - When I first saw this title, I thought of a sorta YA take on a haunted house story. I distinctly remember reading a book when I was a kid (and still a scaredy cat who couldn't watch horror movies) and it was one of those things where a bunch of spooky stuff happens but it turns out that it's a friendly ghost and everyone lives happily ever after. This movie is not that. Now, it's not entirely not not that, as it's a movie that has a surprising amount of heart. Just not any friendly ghosts. (I should note that this title thing is entirely my hangup and not the fault of the filmmakers at all and indeed, I loved the movie, so there's that too.)
6WH: Week 5 - Shudder
Coming down the homestretch of the Six Weeks of Halloween horror movie marathon, this week, we're going to shift focus away from physical media (a theme that's dominated the first half of the marathon) and embrace the future with a streaming service, Shudder. It's a niche site focusing on horror and thriller titles and as such, it's pretty much a necessity for any modern horror movie fan. They have their own website and apps, but since their reach is somewhat limited, I actually just subscribe via Amazon Prime (update: As of a couple of days ago, Amazon is apparently, um, shuttering Shudder from their subscriptions, so I would no longer recommend this option. For their part, Shudder is doing their best to make good for folks already subscribed, which is mighty nice of them.) It's not super expensive, and it provides lots of exclusive and interesting stuff. This Halloween season, they've got some mainstream classics, like several movies from the Halloween franchise, plus a whole slew of Hitchcock favorites. Also of note is The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs, a revival of Briggs' long-defunct TNT Monstervision series in which he shows movies, interrupting briefly for various bits of commentary, etc... (on TNT, it was during TV breaks, but on Shudder, it's commercial free). There was a 24 hour marathon earlier this summer, but it was so popular that they're bringing it back this fall (alas, not before Halloween). The list of movies during that July marathon is great and well curated, and Briggs is his usual knowledgeable self, and it's all still available on the Shudder app. A funny, recent addition to the service is the Ghoul Log, which is just a video of a Jack O'Lantern with spooky sounds in the background (a la the Yule Log). Finally, there's also the offbeat, the obscure, the foreign releases, and the indie flicks that don't get much exposure... such as the three movies I watched this week! All three are listed as "Shudder Originals" as well, so you might not see them elsewhere either...