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2021 Halloween Challenge

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My favourite example is Shocking Dark, which was released as Terminator 2 but is really a ripoff of Aliens.


Movie is not "good", but does answer the question: what if Cameron's movie was cheaper, ****tier and Vasquez was bigoted against Italians?
That one is truly a trash tier movie,
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Ya know, I didn't know that but wasn't bothered by the ending, I thought there was a sort of haunting quality to the openness of it.

First time I watched it, same as you. All subsequent times I watched it, I went in with that knowledge (gained from watching the director interview extra on the DVD at the time), and it's like, "okay. Yeah, it's really clear they just kind of cobbled stuff together on you there."



No ****?! How is that possible?! I thought everybody in the old 'cram had been required to see it and I was like the last.

Just curious, which era did that happen in? I was enough of an OT transient on RT, I can't tell if I just missed it back in the RT days or if this was a cori-era thing.



No ****?! How is that possible?! I thought everybody in the old 'cram had been required to see it and I was like the last.
Can't believe we told her the secret handshake SMH



Just curious, which era did that happen in? I was enough of an OT transient on RT, I can't tell if I just missed it back in the RT days or if this was a cori-era thing.
It was specifically in the Horrorcram and that would have been like 2017-2018.



Can't believe we told her the secret handshake SMH
No ****.



*waits to be taught the secret handshake before revealing he hasn’t seen it yet either*



Can't believe we told her the secret handshake SMH
The problem is, when your secret handshake is just the word "Handshake!" it's hard to keep it a secret.

Sorry, I mean
WARNING: spoilers below
when your secret handshake is just the word "Handshake!" it's hard to keep it a secret.



The problem is, when your secret handshake is just the word "Handshake!" it's hard to keep it a secret.

Sorry, I mean
WARNING: spoilers below
when your secret handshake is just the word "Handshake!" it's hard to keep it a secret.

Ah. So it's a shibboleth to see if people pronounce it correctly.





Messiah of Evil, 1973

Arletty (Marianna Hill) hasn't heard from her father Joseph (Royal Dano), and so decides to track him down in the small seaside town where he's been residing. Aided only by the content of his letters and diaries, Arletty ends up teaming up with Thom (Michael Greer) and his two groupie/companions, Laura (Anitra Ford) and Toni (Joy Bang). It soon becomes clear that things are not right in this town, where the residents go down to the beach each night and stare into the dark ocean, waiting . . .

Yeah, another great recommendation, ya'll!

Honestly, this film made me think of the kind of stuff that I love about films like Phantasm, where just an eerie shot of an empty street, some spooky color design, and a sound effect of a whistling wind builds a shocking amount of atmosphere. I also loved the touches of the uncanny murals in Arletty's father's home.

In fact, the whole film has a low-key vibe that I really enjoyed. The local eccentric, Charlie (Elisha Cook Jr), tells a story of the "Dark Stranger" and his effect on the town years earlier. The movie trades mostly in a mounting, slow-burn sense of doom and anticipation. Just as the town's residents practice a ritual called "The Waiting", we the audience wait for the entire truth to be revealed.

The characters themselves also seem beset by this feeling of creeping doom and a negative feeling about the ultimate outcome. "We're never leaving this place, are we?" Toni asks at one point, sitting on a bed and playing a game of cards. She says it not as a complaint, but rather as a statement of fact. Arletty narrates her father's journals as the days go by, aware that she is following in his experiences, and yet unable to break herself free from the pattern.

I can see what some folks here said about the ending feeling a bit cobbled together. When you're looking for it, you can feel the way that there's a bit of choppiness to it all. I actually thought it was ending at a certain point, only for there to be about 5 more minutes of epilogue. Yet despite knowing that it was a bit slipshod, I found it haunting and effective. Oddly enough, it gave me similar vibes to the ending of The Beyond.

I didn't really have many complaints here. The film has a slow pace, which I enjoyed but could see others disliking or not having patience for. The horror mainly comes from atmosphere and anticipation, and not so much from grit and gore. There are a few effective sequences of horror, though, even if they are a bit spread out.

Great recommendation!




October 7th - Halloween Kills (2021)
A late sequel (past part four)




Halloween Kills is the 12th or 13th installment of the Halloween series and it's a mixed bag. Taking place right after the end of Halloween (2018) this is the story of basically the town trying to track down Michael Meyers. The film plays heavy with continuity bringing in a bunch of survivors from the first film, and added in some extras through flashbacks.

What makes me love this film is how it reminded me how good Doctor Loomis was at playing the hunter of Michael Meyers. Anthony Michael Hall plays Tommy Doyle and he sucks. Much of the writing in the film sucks and it's a real flat tire for the story.

Still I would recommend the film because I enjoyed it. Each killing set piece of Meyers is brutal and tense. The park scene is incredibly horrifying and tense while the house parts are great. I somewhat wish the first massacre was better shot but each massacre is handled with a level of gore and suspense that you don't typically get in slasher films.

I am 100% stoked for Halloween Ends where the survivors are clearly set up and the final showdown between Laurie and Micheal makes a lot more sense now.




October 8th Night of the Living Dead (1969)
26. A horror film released in October of any year



Some say this is the best Zombie film ever...yeah it's not might not even be in the top five. Parts of Night of the Living Dead are fantastic but you have parts in the film where you realize the film is being padded out and some of the acting is horrible. Also I found the intelligence of the Zombies to be very inconsistent which I didn't like. With that said this is a low budget masterpiece. The film basically takes his house setting and through photography makes the fairly banal plot look great.

Judith O'Dea and Duane Jones are both fantastic in a a right brain left brain reaction to the story. O'Dea's panic part one of the story is much stronger than the practicality of Jones character. The whole we have to stay upstairs we have to go downstairs plot point runs way to long and is frankly stupid. To me the best part of the film is the makeup and FX which makes the film feel low budget but also very real. You don't have these huge set pieces so you make due with what you've got.

I also like how so much of the story takes place on TV it's the best way of padding out the story because it's a reminded that the Dead really can't stand up to guns.





October 9th - Rose Red (2002)

25. A horror epic that is over 2 and half hours



Stephen King tried to make another Shining with Rose Red (2002), which borrows heavily from The Haunting, The Wincester House, and The Haunting of Hill House. Sadly the mini has some serious issues...pacing and budget. Not to say it's a bad film the idea of a group of psychics going to a house for a weekend is a cool idea. The characters are actually distinguishable and well used.



Matt Ross plays Emery who we are supposed to think of as a villain though years later he just comes off as a guy that was bullied. Nancy Travis's character arc as the leader is just fantastic and the supporting psychics are all well used. The big issue with the film is the CGI is just horrible, common from this era but you can just tell it was made with what would today be photoshop. What sucks is you have some solid practical effects in the film and had the story just used those I think it would be elevated from mediocre to good.





October 10th The Sentinel (1977)
24. A major Hollywood horror release under 2 hours



At first I was going to put this a ripoff of Rosemary's Baby but then I watched it and realized this really was a legit Hollywood film. The movie has 10 Former and Future Oscar winners/nominees in it, I don't know how this cast came about. Basically this is the story of a model who ends up living in a strange apartment building filled with colorful characters.

The plot doesn't really come together so I can understand why this isn't a classic but it's serviceable. Some of the horror scenes are really well done you have some good sex horror and practical effects in this. I enjoyed Chris Sarandon's performance as the boyfriend in the film...it's almost his film which is more than John Cassavettes did in Rosemary's Baby.

The weakness in the film is the lead, and the film just goes cameo after cameo after cameo where I wish we would get some quality deaths. Christopher Walken is I believe just silent in this film which is weird.




Catchup portion



Part 1 (What's in a Name)
1. A horror film with 1 word
2. A horror film with 2 words
3. A horror film with 3 words
4. A horror film with 4 words
5. A horror film that is a complete sentence

Part 2 (All about the franchises)
6. An original franchise
7. A sequel to a franchise (can be a different franchise)
8. A reboot, remake, or prequel to a horror film
9. A late sequel (past part four)
Halloween Kills (2021)
10. An obvious cheap ripoff of a major horror franchise

Part 3 (Trip to Europe)
11. A film from UK
12. A film from France
The Devils Hand (1943)
13. A film from Germany
The Testament of Doctor Mabuse(1933)
14. A film from Italy
15. A film with someone traveling to a European country
The Old Dark House (1932)

Part 4 (where to find it)
16. A film on Netflix
17. A film on Amazon
The Manor (2021)
18. A film on Hulu
19 A film on Shudder
20. A film on a different streaming site(Youtube, HBO MAX, Tubi, etc)

Part 5 (It's not the size of the horror)
21. A horror short film under 30 minutes
Frankenstein (1910)
22. A classic B film that is just over an hour
23. A VHS era film that is around 90 minutes
24. A major Hollywood horror release under 2 hours
The Sentinel (1977)
25. A horror epic that is over 2 and half hours
Rose Red (2002)

Part 6

26. A horror film released in October of any year
Night of the Living Dead (1969)
27. A horror film that was economically the biggest one of the year
28. A horror film released in 2021
29. A horror film released in October 2021
30. A horror film that is on the Movieforum list.
31. A horror film on the Time Out top 100 horror film list
Freaks (1932)



Registered User
October 9th - Rose Red (2002)

25. A horror epic that is over 2 and half hours



Stephen King tried to make another Shining with Rose Red (2002), which borrows heavily from The Haunting, The Wincester House, and The Haunting of Hill House. Sadly the mini has some serious issues...pacing and budget. Not to say it's a bad film the idea of a group of psychics going to a house for a weekend is a cool idea. The characters are actually distinguishable and well used.



Matt Ross plays Emery who we are supposed to think of as a villain though years later he just comes off as a guy that was bullied. Nancy Travis's character arc as the leader is just fantastic and the supporting psychics are all well used. The big issue with the film is the CGI is just horrible, common from this era but you can just tell it was made with what would today be photoshop. What sucks is you have some solid practical effects in the film and had the story just used those I think it would be elevated from mediocre to good.



Rose Red? Red Rum?



Secret message? "Murder Deresor"? Who will warn Deresor?



This one has the psychic girl who can make it rain boulders, right?



The house keep reconfiguring itself, right? Was this written before House of Leaves?



Matt Ross's best horror role was opposite Lance Henrikson in Tales from the Crypt' "Cutting Cards."





Messiah of Evil, 1973

Arletty (Marianna Hill) hasn't heard from her father Joseph (Royal Dano), and so decides to track him down in the small seaside town where he's been residing. Aided only by the content of his letters and diaries, Arletty ends up teaming up with Thom (Michael Greer) and his two groupie/companions, Laura (Anitra Ford) and Toni (Joy Bang). It soon becomes clear that things are not right in this town, where the residents go down to the beach each night and stare into the dark ocean, waiting . . .

Yeah, another great recommendation, ya'll!

Honestly, this film made me think of the kind of stuff that I love about films like Phantasm, where just an eerie shot of an empty street, some spooky color design, and a sound effect of a whistling wind builds a shocking amount of atmosphere. I also loved the touches of the uncanny murals in Arletty's father's home.

In fact, the whole film has a low-key vibe that I really enjoyed. The local eccentric, Charlie (Elisha Cook Jr), tells a story of the "Dark Stranger" and his effect on the town years earlier. The movie trades mostly in a mounting, slow-burn sense of doom and anticipation. Just as the town's residents practice a ritual called "The Waiting", we the audience wait for the entire truth to be revealed.

The characters themselves also seem beset by this feeling of creeping doom and a negative feeling about the ultimate outcome. "We're never leaving this place, are we?" Toni asks at one point, sitting on a bed and playing a game of cards. She says it not as a complaint, but rather as a statement of fact. Arletty narrates her father's journals as the days go by, aware that she is following in his experiences, and yet unable to break herself free from the pattern.

I can see what some folks here said about the ending feeling a bit cobbled together. When you're looking for it, you can feel the way that there's a bit of choppiness to it all. I actually thought it was ending at a certain point, only for there to be about 5 more minutes of epilogue. Yet despite knowing that it was a bit slipshod, I found it haunting and effective. Oddly enough, it gave me similar vibes to the ending of The Beyond.

I didn't really have many complaints here. The film has a slow pace, which I enjoyed but could see others disliking or not having patience for. The horror mainly comes from atmosphere and anticipation, and not so much from grit and gore. There are a few effective sequences of horror, though, even if they are a bit spread out.

Great recommendation!

Yay!
Your reaction is absolutely on point. Particularly the part about the Phantasm/vibe situation.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
October 5th

Spiral: From the Book of Saw




After some success with comedians dipping their toes into the horror genre with Jordan Peele giving us Get Out and Danny McBride helping bring Halloween back to the big screen, I was more than curious as to why Chris Rock was wanting to jump-start the Saw series. Apparently, he went to the studio and told them that he was such a big fan that he had a great idea for them and they jumped at the chance to have a big name attached to a recognized series. Adding more "WTF" to this mix, Samuel L. Jackson stars in the film as well. While this film most certainly has the biggest names of the series, the film as a whole is one of the lamer entries.

We have a Jigsaw copycat that seems to be taking out dirty cops. Now the pig mask makes sense...I get it. Chris Rock is a detective that ratted out a dirty cop years ago and now no one on the force trusts him. He is thrown into this case as the lead and is partnered up with a rookie, Max Minghella to bring down this cold-blooded killer. Samuel L. Jackson plays his father, a retired officer and every other character in this film is a cop. So I guess the killer has to be a cop, right?

When I saw the original Saw, my jaw hit the floor with the twist reveal at the end. It was one of the first times I remember being genuinely shocked and while the subsequent films never reached those heights, I applauded them for giving their best efforts to still surprise the viewers. Each film managed to pull off a surprise here or there. I knew the twist to this movie within the first fifteen minutes. I felt like I was smacked in the face with how obvious it was that when the film finally got to the reveal, I felt a little insulted that it was true. Ontop of that, the REASON for why the killer does what he does is also OBVIOUS. Once you know who the killer is, the reason behind it is clear as day.

Chris Rock does his best but falls short of being a believable straight man. We are introduced to him doing a comedy bit, then he becomes all serious for the rest of the film. The problem is I can't take him seriously. His yelling just reminds me of his stand-up bits. I think he should have gone the Danny McBride route and stayed behind the camera and have someone else fill that role. I was laughing uncontrollably during the climactic finale.

Spiral: Book of Saw adds nothing new to the genre, it thinks it does, but it really doesn't. It wants to be "of the times" so it can throw shade at dirty cops, but then our lead protagonist beats a confession out of someone. Isn't he supposed to be the straight and narrow guy that calls out these antics?
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
October 6th

V/H/S 94




This was a really bad attempt at baking the found footage genre feel "nostalgic". Since it's 94, we have the really bad video quality here accompanied by those static fuzzy lines going up and down the screen. Yawn.

A SWAT team goes to investigate a cult and find strange tapes everywhere. Each one is more bizarre than the last. More like, more boring than the last. Am I right fellas? This series is all the same. 4 stories that are shot in POV camera found footage style. So we get an anthology of sorts where some up-and-coming or well-known horror directors can shoot something quick and cheap and hopefully effective. The first V/H/S was a surprise, I found it to be pretty decent for what it was trying to do. The second upped it rather well, having a decent ghost story, a comedic zombie tale and then an incredibly well-done cult suicide bit, that stands above all other entries in this series. Everything since then seems to have gone downhill.

The scares are cheap, comedic and telegraphed. One of the segments is about a woman sitting around in a funeral home waiting for the zombie to pop out of the casket. The first is about a giant rat creature in the sewers...

I was really bored by this film, that I put the second V/H/S on before I finished this one.