Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Scary Movie Month 2016 - #1

Regardless of whatever else I might want to post about, I would be remiss if I didn't report on this year's Scary Movie Month.

It's been a bit of a slow month this year. Playoff games have gotten in the way (Go Cubs!) and other days we've just been tired. The kids have gotten into it this year, though, so all of their movies have been "scary".

Movies seen:

"Buffy The Vampire Slayer" (original movie 1992 - Joss Whedon)
     A great way to start off the month. There's so much to love about this as long as you keep in mind that it should not be compared with the TV series - they are completely different beasts. One of my favorite details - she knows the vampires are around because she gets wicked cramps.

"Cooties" (2015 - Jonathan Millot)
     Gross. Blood-thirsty zombie children terrorize their teachers. Hard to get excited about children (even zombie children) being killed in gross ways. Peter Jackson got away with this in "Dead Alive" because the zombie babies were so clearly just puppets (I'm not even sure that they died, either.)

"A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" (1987 - Chuck Russell)
     Okay, I actually liked this. The children of the people who killed Freddy Krueger are being haunted (and killed) by him through their dreams. Creepy and disturbing, but as much for how the children are treated/believed by the adults around them as for the actual haunting. A good horror movie should always make you think about more than just the story being presented, and this one did.

Dawn of the Dead (2004 - Zack Snyder)
     Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, so scary. And so good. I've seen the original and liked it but I thought this one was much more serious and immediate.

"House" (1977 - Nobuhiko Obayashi)
     This was apparently a cult hit in Japan at the time. Schoolgirls go to visit an long-estranged relative and get eaten by the house. Visually there was a lot of interesting stuff going on, so I enjoyed that. Overall it didn't seem to cohere as a story, though I'm sure I lost a lot in translation.

Movies partially seen:

"Scanners" (1981 - David Cronenberg)
     Significant to The Dude because there's a scene where someone's head explodes (from psychic waves) that has been referenced in numerous ways. Once we saw this part, though, it failed to keep our interest, mostly because none of the characters were particularly sympathetic or interesting.

"Monolith Monsters" (1957 - John Sherwood)
     This was a Svengoolie movie. To be honest, I don't know the last time I saw a Svengoolie movie all the way through. The commercials and endless schtick wear me out, and then most of the time The Dude wants to see the opening monologue for Saturday Night Live so we end up switching over then if not just turning it off before. I think I'd be a lot more likely to see these if I could just watch them straight through.

Movies seen with the kids:

"Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993 - David Selick, Tim Burton)
     A perennial favorite. And now the music is stuck in all of our heads.

"ParaNorman" (2012 - Chris Butler)
    A Laika production (they also produced this summer's "Kubo and the Two Strings" which was magnificant). Some great little tributes to classic horror movies which are nice to catch. But mostly, this is a really moving movie. I can't not cry.

"Pirates of the Caribbean" (2003 - Gore Verbinski)
     Surprisingly good, given that the core concept is an amusement park ride. Long, though, and after a while I stopped trying to keep track of what was going on. The kids loved it (except for the one kiss - ewwww!)

"Corpse Bride" (2005 - Tim Burton)
     I liked this (especially the musical/dance numbers), but it's a bit slow to start, and I had to keep pausing to explain certain things to the kids.

"E.T. The Extra-Terrestial" (1982 - Steven Spielberg)
     The kids claimed this was not scary but their behavior belied this. Just as good as the last time I saw it... and the time before...

So how have we been making up for our lack of movies? Buffy! The TV series, that is. We meant to watch our "missing season" (Season 3 - missing because I mostly watched this on  my own during late night colic sessions when D was an infant). But it's been so long since we've seen this that we decided to go ahead and start again from the beginning. It's perfect for those nights when we want to watch something "scary" but don't want to stay up as late or split a movie in half. And well, it's just Buffy. What can I say?

I've also been reading some stuff fitting to the season but I'll write about those another time.

Happy Halloween!

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