Saturday, November 5, 2016

Scary Movie Month 2016 - #2

Well, Scary Movie Month is officially over for this year (although we have a couple of movies from Netflix still to watch and return).

No more Buffy - the few nights that were not about the Cubs were all about movies, since I very much wanted to fit a few more in.

Movies watched:

"Christine" (1983 - John Carpenter)
     This was surprisingly good. I mean, it's about a possessed car, I wasn't expecting much. But it turned out to be much more about the car's effect on its owner and how he is changed. Hint: it's totally a metaphor for addiction.

"The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956 - Alfred Hitchcock)
     This is his remake of his own movie, with James Stewart (being very Jimmy Stewart) and Doris Day. Ooo, so suspenseful. Almost too much so - we had to break it up into two nights for length, and I very nearly didn't want to see the second half since it had had me so much on pins and needles. But I made it through. It is a movie very much of its time in regards to women and Muslims, so that was a little hard at first, but then the action moved back to London and Doris was on more equal footing so I could shut up the internal critic and just allow myself to get sucked in.
     This wasn't my favorite of his movies but they're always worth watching.

"American Werewolf in London" (1981 - John Landis)
     This was my third time watching it and it just keeps getting better and better. I still get scared at the same points but I see more and more with each viewing (how it's put together, what it's drawing from, that sort of thing). And heart-breaking, just like the original wolf man movie (it follows the same structure).

With the kids:

"Young Frankenstein" (1974 - Mel Brooks)
     I love this movie - I just so enjoy the humor and the interplay between the actors - but the kids were not much impressed by it. It's also a bit baudy for their age, I was glad they couldn't follow along entirely.

"The Wolfman" (1941 - George Waggner)
     I don't find this an easy movie to watch (I prefer "American Werewolf in London") - I don't like the Lon Chaney character at the beginning, and there just isn't any way out for the characters. We're meant to identify with the monster - the other characters are all rooting for the person who is the monster as well - and in the end the only possible way is to kill the monster. So then what? Just an ache.

I've had a couple of conversations this month with people who told me they can't watch anything scary. I have conversations like this every year. And what I tell people is that I can barely stand to watch scary things either. I spend a fair bit of this month every year with my hands in front of my eyes, listening for the musical cues to tell me when it's safe to look. But there's so much to these films that it's worth it. Many of the movies we see are excellent compared against anything else you might watch, and as a genre I find it fascinating to think about what each movie is telling us about society's fears at that time. And now that I've seen enough of them I can see the conversations happening in-between various movies, how one will quote another, or amplify it, or argue with it. I find this month more and more rewarding every year. Even when I can't actually look at the screen.

May your dreams be peaceful (not all of mine were this month!) and your nights undisturbed -

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