Friday, October 30, 2015

Scary Movie Month 2015

I'm amazed at all we managed to view during Scary Movie Month this year, despite my marathon plans and The Dude's work commitments. Oh yes, and the Cubs were in the playoffs! That probably put the biggest crimp in our movie watching, at least for that week. But truly I'm amazed at how many movies we managed to see (and there are still a couple of nights available to us...)

I think we made such an effort in part because it was a hard month, and it was something we could look forward to together. Plus I didn't have to get up so early in the mornings any more... I'm kind of looking forward to being done with all these late nights, though.

There are so many I'm not feeling compelled to write in detail about all of these. Plus I never like to write too much in case someone wants to watch these --- I would hate to give away any plot-related spoilers. So not reviews so much as random thoughts.

Carrie (Brian de Palma - 1976)
Previously viewed in 2008.
Blood, blood, and more blood. And this time The Dude got surprised and jumped at the end (I was anticipating it). I've been reading a bunch of Stephen King lately, so it was kind of neat to see this movie again. It's short and tight and good.

Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii - 1995)
Partial viewing.
We liked this... but were tired... and the music was kind of mesmerizing... so we called it off rather than fall asleep on the couch. I'm glad to hear that Scarlett Johansson will be playing the lead in a live-action version of this, perhaps I'll manage to see it all the way through then. Also we couldn't quite follow what was going on... all that mesmerizing music, perhaps.

Sin City (Robert Rodriguez - 2005)
Previously viewed in the theater. Partial viewing.
I like this movie. Really, I do. It just got late and it's got quite a distinctive visual style which can be a little wearying so we only watched two of the three stories (it's composed of overlapping characters). I meant to pick it up again as the last story is my favorite of the three, but in the end other movies competed for our viewing time and won.

Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright - 2004)
Previously viewed in 2005.
What can I say, I love this movie. I wouldn't go so far as to say I would watch it once a month (as The Dude claimed), but certainly once a year. See it!

Monster House (Gil Kenan - 2006)
Previously viewed in 2007. Partial viewing (I was making dinner too).
I wish I could have seen the whole thing! We own it, though, so I suspect I will get other chances. The kids were a little unhappy to realize that it wasn't about a house full of monsters but rather a house that was a monster, they found that way creepier (I concur). They talked about that for a number of days afterwards. This is the first year that we made a point of watching a scary kids movie every week and I think they liked being part of our tradition.

Shadow of a Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock - 1943)
We're working our way through Hitchcock. Again, what can I say... he's a master. I can't think of anything I can complain about (well, the main female character, but she's of a certain type that just sets my teeth on edge so that's not a complaint about the movie). And some seriously scary moments, some subtle... lots of them subtle... and some just grip-the-pillow scary.

Firestarter (Mark Lester - 1984)
Very partial viewing.
The Dude reread this book recently and after watching Carrie I thought it was time to see this. I also recall wanting to see how Drew Barrymore was in it. But it just fell flat, I can't remember why now. After fifteen minutes I decided I would just rather reread the book myself again.

Simpson's Treehouse of Horror I (1990)
In the final days before the marathon and I wanted to get to bed early. This was a treat from years past.

It Came from Outer Space (Jack Arnold - 1953, from a story by Ray Bradbury)
A Svengoolie feature. Partial viewing.
We were enjoying this and I hated to cut it short, but the marathon called... Maybe another time.

Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Steve Box & Nick Park - 2005, voiced by Helena Bonham Carter & Ralph Fiennes)
Previously viewed in 2006.
Post-marathon viewing! It was the day afterwards and I was home with the kids since it was a school holiday. I almost never get to watch the whole movie with them (since I'm always making dinner at that time) but I made a point of it with this one. Good thing, too, since G got a little freaked out. He made it further than D did on his first time watching it, though. This is so fun.

Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson - 2008)
Previously viewed in 2009.
This is beautiful and haunting and your heart breaks multiple times watching it. When you're not being horrified by what you're seeing, of course. One of my favorites and an owner.

The Innkeepers (Ti West - 2011)
Nice haunted house/hotel story! Lots of creeps without being too graphic. We ended up breaking this into two nights which is always dangerous, especially with a quiet movie like this one, but the characters felt so real we wanted to see how they would handle things. We'll make a point of looking up his other work now.

The Cat and the Canary (directed by Elliot Nugent, starring Bob Hope - 1939)
A Svengoolie feature.
I love watching Svengoolie movies (Saturday night special at our house) but often don't make it past the first hour... and it's not the movie or the commentary that kills it for me but the commercials. So I fought to make it all the way through but I wanted to see this one, goshdarnit. Bob Hope was a blast and I wanted to be sure our leading lady didn't die (or get declared insane). And who was behind it all? Made it through, well satisfied, and then crawled up to bed.

All Cheerleaders Die (Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson - 2013)
Awesome campy teenage witch revenge movie. At the end they hint at a second one to come but that hasn't happened yet. Interesting to see how the world has evolved too... a more contemporary look at rape and violence against women then we usually see in horror movies.

Terror Train (Roger Spottiswood - 1980, with Jamie Lee Curtis & David Copperfield)
Bwahahaha... Classic slasher film, before they got completely formulaic. The Dude picked this one up at our local thrift store so I suspect this will move into regular rotation. But nothing compares to the one that birthed them all... John Carpenter's Halloween.

Dial M for Murder (Alfred Hitchcock - 1954, with Grace Kelly)
Another Hitchcock. We picked this one out thinking my parents (who are with us for part of the month) might like to watch it, but they found other things to do. We enjoyed it nonetheless.

Hotel Transylvania (Genndy Tartakovsky - 2012, voiced by Adam Sandler among others)
Previously viewed in 2013.
Oh, this one is just fun. Fun, fun, fun. A little too hip with their musical sequences (those often don't age well, especially when heavy on the Auto-Tune), but I'll see it again. (And most likely, again, and again, and again.)

The Haunting (Robert Wise - 1963)
The Dude found this truly scary. I didn't, but it was certainly interesting enough. By now I've read enough references to the book this was based on, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, that I kind of feel I need to read that... except I don't. My love of Stephen King aside I don't ever set out to read scary books, it's just that some of them end up being that way...

Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon - 1985)
Oh, so gross. I covered my face a lot with this one. Apparently a cult classic. But I'd rather just watch Peter Jackson's Dead Alive again.

Vampires (John Carpenter - 1998)
We're also working our way through John Carpenter's movies. I've been reading Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot so I watched this with that in mind (also Buffy: Vampire Slayer, it had a very Buffy feel to it). I wouldn't say this was a must-see, and certainly not in my top-five John Carpenter list, but enjoyable.

We've got two more nights to go and lots and lots of choices...

Spookily yours,

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