October Horror Movie Challenge: 31 in 31.

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

As is tradition, this gets some traction from some and little from others but I try to do it every year and this one shall be no different.

I'll be posting in here, feel free to join if ya want. Now that I have Prime maybe I'll find a few hidden gems somewhere.

Suspect's Movie List

Day 1: The Void
Day 2: Climax
Day 3: Hell Baby
Day 4: In The Tall Grass
Day 5: Overlord
Day 6: Await Further Instructions
Day 7: Black Christmas (1974)
Day 8: Black Christmas (2006)
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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



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Welcome to the human race...
Just 31?
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Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, I’m thinking about you.



Professional horse shoe straightener
Looks like a good challenge. I'm up for some horror this month and will try to watch the films below, but it won't be 31 I don't think.

Martyrs
Kidnapped
The autopsy of Jane Doe
Alleluia
Starry Eyes
Carrie
Ravenous
November
Threads



A system of cells interlinked
In, as usual!

LIST TO FOLLOW BELOW.

1. Annabelle Comes Home
2. The Conjuring
3. Midsommar
4 Prince of Darkness
5. In the Mouth of Madness
6. The Last Exorcism
7. It (2017)
8. The Hole in the Ground
9. Encounter with the Unknown
10. April Fool's Day
11. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
12. Hell House LLC
13. The Borderlands
14. Haunt
15. Hocus Pocus
16. Hell Fest
17. Child's Play (2019)
18. Harpoon
19. Children of the Corn
20. Wolfen
21. Brightburn
22. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
23. Sinister
24. Salem's Lot
25. The Thing (1982)
26. The Cabin in the Woods
27. The Blair Witch (2016)
28. Friday the 13th Part III
29. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part IV: The Dream Master
30. The Fog (1980)
31. Halloween III: The Season of the Witch
32. Trick r Treat
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Welcome to the human race...
Using this post to track my progress.

DAY 1:
Ginger Snaps

DAY 2:
Bug

DAY 3:
Mother of Tears

DAY 4:
Howling III: The Marsupials



In the honor of the Slasher Hall of Fame...which is still open for nominations BTW I will be doing 31 Slasher films.


And I will keep my progress with this post.


October 1st - Final Exam (1981)
October 2nd - Hellraiser (1987)
October 3rd - Terror Train(1980)
October 4th - Offerings (1989)
October 5th - Black Christmas (1974)
October 6th - Funhouse(1981)
October 7th - You Better Watch Out (1980)
October 8th - Hellraiser II(1988)
October 9th - Night School (1981)
October 10th - Pieces(1982)
October 11th - Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer(1986)
October 12th - Slaughter High(1986)
October 13th - Friday the 13th Part IV(1984)
October 14th - A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child(1989)
October 15th - Halloween III:Season of the Witch(1982)
October 16th - Sleepaway Camp II (1988)
October 17th - Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
October 18th - Blood Moon (1989)
October 19th - Welcome to Spring Break (1988)
October 20th - Prowler (1981)
October 21st - My Bloody Valentine (1981)
October 22nd -Friday the 13th V A New Beginning(1985)
October 23rd - Friday the 13th VI Jason Lives(1986)
October 24rd - The First Deadly Sin (1980)
October 25th - Believers (1987)
October 26th - Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986)
October 27th - Night Visitor (1989)
October 28th - Psycho II (1983)



Let's see how I do. If I get halfway, I'll consider it a success.


1. Inside (2007; Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury)
2. Terrifier (2016; Damien Leone)



Welcome to the human race...
DAY 1

Ginger Snaps
John Fawcett, 2000


Two teenage sisters find their relationship tested when one of them is cursed to turn into a werewolf.

Every time I watch a werewolf film, I wonder to myself why exactly the sub-genre doesn't seem to boast much in the way of classics. You've got An American Werewolf in London, sure, but after that it seems like quite the drop-off. Ginger Snaps is arguably one of the classics (it cracked the MoFo top horrors list, after all) and it takes clear inspiration from Landis's film in that it's effectively a buddy comedy that just so happens to involve one of the buddies becoming a werewolf, but its attempts to mix up the proceedings don't quite work for me. Balancing comedy and horror is always a tough act but I question how much comedy there really is in the first place - the ostensible set-up of the protagonists as disaffected weirdos who snark at popular kids and teachers isn't backed up by the writing nor does it mesh particularly well with the horror (and it's effectively forgotten by the time the second half rolls around, though comically outsized gestures such as frantic Raimi-style camerawork remain). At least it's better when trying to build a straight horror - though it's not particularly subtle about its subtext and it runs a little long to be truly effective, you can definitely appreciate the various werewolf effects. What really carries Ginger Snaps is its relatively decent sense of character - while they're not given that much to do, the lead duo manage to carry the film just fine and there's enough complication to these two initially indistinguishable girls that the story never totally lost me. Though I'm not necessarily inclined to consider it a classic myself, I don't think I can deny that it deserves its cult reputation.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 1

The Void




The Void is a film that has a lot of potential and some talented people bringing a visually interesting film to life. The issues persistent throughout the film involve story and performances, both lacking to engage the viewer beyond the bare minimum and severely hurting the overall experience the film wants you to have.

Imagine if John Carpenter's The Thing went full on Lovecraft, then you might get something like The Void. A group of people shelter themselves inside a hospital after a cult like group surround the building. Things go from bad to worse when someone soon becomes "infected" with God knows what and transforms into some other worldly creature that does indeed look straight out of Carpenter's The Thing.

With all that going on, the film feels like it is being pulled in one too many directions. Everything accumulating to a somewhat pretentious ending that made me feel like the filmmakers were patting themselves on the back for a job well done. The Void wants to be artistic, while continuing to give horror audiences the blood and gore elements they sometimes crave. The end result is a mixed bag with nice visuals, but a weak narrative.

The two directors come from an art department and make-up background. Their first feature was a low budget exploitation flick Father's Day. With The Void, they elevate the visuals, but forgot to elevate the story. I'd be interested in seeing where their careers go because The Void does show a lot of promise and craft.



Welcome to the human race...
DAY 2

Bug
William Friedkin, 2006


While hiding out from her ex, a woman meets a man who seems to be harbouring one very strange secret.

Here's a question for you - where exactly is the line between a psychological thriller and a psychological horror? This case of sub-genre semantics was on my mind all throughout Bug, a stage-play adaptation that takes place almost entirely within the confines of a single motel room with a handful of characters bouncing off one another. It starts off as a bizarre love triangle where Ashley Judd's jaded burnout is caught between her abusive ex (Harry Connick Jr.) and the off-kilter new guy (Michael Shannon) - and then the bugs start showing up. Or do they? It doesn't matter since the question of whether or not the bugs are real or just part of the leads' fevered imagination isn't particularly ambiguous - where else would the "psychological" part kick in? - and the real horror comes from watching Judd and Shannon spiral downwards in increasingly insane and self-destructive ways. I tend to have a problem with horror movies that build so much of their stakes on inevitable (if not predictable) outcomes as it runs the risk of deflating any sense of investment in the proceedings but Bug is at least somewhat by saved Judd and Shannon committing to the material (the former might as well be anticipating Toni Collette in Hereditary during the third act while the latter is always good at playing crazy bastards), to say nothing of how Friedkin is able to shoot around the cramped location for maximum discomfort (and, much like the scariest parts of The Exorcist, forgoes the use of music entirely). These elements are what make me think that Bug deserves to be categorised more as a horror than a thriller - a thriller involves tension and excitement, but Bug swaps that out for creeping dread to admittedly middling but nevertheless intriguing effect.




October 1st




Final Exam(1981)


Halloween on a college campus is the best way to describe this film. A group of tangentially aligned college students are sliced and diced by an unmasked killer.

Lisa the amoral slut is easily the best character of the students, the character is treated with a sense of charm and idealism you almost wish that the film would have been through her perspective rather than the somewhat bland final girl.

The film also has some early strong points, the opening kill is well done and the prank gone wrong is a wonderful fake terrorist attack. While the setting is the star of the film it's biggest drawback is the FX we don't get the gore or makeup work that is called for in the story, often times the camera merely pans away.

Still decent enough watch.




October 2nd




Hellraiser (1987)


I'm not sure what subgenre you would classify Hellraiser as, it picks and chooses from a litany of different subgenres. It's not really a Satanic film, Satan is a part of it I suppose but it's really more about the cenobites who are more of a feature than the lead antagonists. Perhaps you could call it a haunted house film as the location of the story is 90% in the family home. But at the end of the day I'll call it a slasher just more of a post-modern slasher. After-all A Nightmare on Elm Street is considered a slasher and this was clearly inspired.

Frank is a pervert who opens a gate to hell, Julia is an unfaithful wife of Frank's brother Larry and Larry has a grown daughter Kristy. Julia decided to lure men to Frank where she kills them so he can receive their blood and reform his body. The film has great special effects everything is practical puppets are used to great effect you see the entire body come together over each step. You've also got maggot's rats dirty sex and lots of murder. I understand that the film has an X-rated version and I would like to have seen that because I felt like the film has more plot than we ended up getting in the final result.




Starting tonight with the original Nosferatu 🙂
It’s been several years since I first saw it



mattiasflgrtll6's Avatar
The truth is in here
I already know I will lose, since that simply sounds too exhausting. But I'll definitely watch quite a few of them. I'll write a full review whenever I feel I can put the effort into it, other times just write a short comment, just so you know what I'm watching.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 2

Climax





Gaspar Noé....why do I keep going into your films expecting some form of normalcy? Both Enter The Void and Love are interesting art pieces that challenge the viewer and Climax is no different. The film is a constant movement piece that never seems to let up, only dive into deeper chaos. While I applaud the efforts put forth to engulf your senses, I couldn't help but wonder what is the point by the end of it.

A lot of the film is done in one shot, with obvious hidden cuts scattered throughout, this leads to the conflicted feeling of the film dragging because there are very little cuts. Yet the sound and visuals combat that because it seems to be hyperactive with movement and colour. We have sequences bathed in reds and the camera literally turned upside down, making it hard to decipher what is being depicted on the screen. You'll have one person bleeding out in one corner, two people having sex in another and a lone person dancing in the middle, all in one shot.

Climax is a lot to take in and if you were unfamiliar with Gaspar Noé and his work, I'd tell you to start elsewhere. You have to be ready to watch his movies, you have to be ready to watch this one. I'd be willing to give this another shot when I'm not dead tired.

I imagine fans of his will get a good experience from Climax.



Day 3




Terror Train(1980)


It could be argued that Terror Train is the weakest of Jamie Lee Curtis' scream queen era horror films. Though ironically it did have the biggest budget Curtis is merely the "girl" in the story. Terror Train is a slasher that's more focused on the kill, the scenes are more focused on the how because we already know the who and most of the kills are fairly ho hum.



The joy of Terror Train is all the different costumes and set pieces during this evening of murder. These are a bit more human of the characters typically ripped to shreds and that's cool. You've also got a nice little kill during a David Copperfield set that begs you for a rewatch.



Still it's a good watch and worthy for this countdown.





A system of cells interlinked
@TheUsualSuspect - Agree on The Void. This one was hyped up to me by a friend of mine, and while it started out strong, I found myself checking my watch by the end. I liked some aspects of it, but overall, found it fairly lacking.



Welcome to the human race...
DAY 3

Mother of Tears
Dario Argento, 2007


When an unearthed chest of relics results in an ancient witch coming back to power, an art student must figure out how to defeat her once and for all.

Making a direct sequel to Suspiria - arguably the best Italian horror movie and by extension one of the best ever made - was always going to be a tough ask, and while Inferno did a generally solid job, belated threequel Mother of Tears is most definitely the weakest of the "Three Mothers" trilogy. It has a novel enough hook - the protagonist has to harness her own latent magic powers to survive as the Mother of Tears' power starts to infect Rome and elsewhere with violent derangement - but this is stuck within a decidedly standard giallo framework and the horror is almost entirely evoked by Argento going for broke in terms of violence (enough so that the "unrated" on my DVD copy seems thoroughly merited). Despite being all-in on blood-drenched nastiness, the film suffers by not being able to maintain a particularly tight pace or engrossing atmosphere - so much of it is shot so flatly and scored so forgettably that it does become a tiresome watch when you're not being actively repulsed by some especially cursed acts of brutality.