2021 Halloween Challenge

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The trick is not minding
Admittedly with a few years distance here, so it's not clear in my memory, but I don't remember the first one not being any less dumb and repetitive than the second one.


I'm not sure where this point of difference goes from here though, since you see a level of quality in F13th part 1 that I just do not.
By virtue of being first in the series, it can’t be repetitive compared to the sequels which just aimed to ape the originals death scenes.

We are, indeed, at an impasse here, though. So no need to continue since I don’t see how the sequels improved with quality over the original.



October 2nd 6-31 Freaks (1932)
31. A horror film on the Time Out top 100 horror film list


Freaks(1932) is the rare case of a bad movie that works, because the thing has a number of things wrong with it. Freaks tells the story of a homewrecker who destroys a relationship between a pair of little people in the circus. The movie goes for just a little bit over an hour so it's basically look at the Freaks get to know the characters and here's the horror. The film has a genuine nightmare quality to it and you don't really have any empathy for anyone which to me is nice.

Ofcourse you have to watch it several times because Browning used real freaks with thick accents so subtitles are important or just re-watch it and pay close attention. It has some pretty solid set design and a decent pair of performances from the little people in the film. I keep getting Venus and Cleopatra confused (until they speak)


  • October 1st - 3-15 The Old Dark House (1932)
  • October 2nd - 6-31 Freaks (1932)



I hear great things about this one.



Freaks is a great film and one of my favorites, hands down. It's funny, genuinely empathetic to the "freaks" of the title, and it's chock full of memorable imagery and moments.





Aftermath, 2021

Kevin (Shawn Ashmore) works as part of a crew that cleans up crime scenes. By chance, he works a murder-suicide and ends up purchasing the home where the crime was committed for himself and his wife, Natalie (Ashley Greene). The couple is on rocky ground and trying to mend their relationship. But not soon after they move into the new house, strange events begin to occur. Who, or what, is responsible?

This isn't necessarily a bad horror film. But it is a horror film that feels cobbled together from other, better movies. A splash of
WARNING: spoilers below
Gerald's Game here, a dash of Housebound there
, and you've got a film with effective but familiar thrills.

Ashmore and Greene are fine as the central couple. The pre-existing issues with trust and betrayal mean that the film starts from a level of tension and stress in the air. When bad things start happening, the inclination of the couple is to turn on each other instead of figuring out what's going on.

Sharif Atkins as a detective working on the couple's case is given little to do aside from incredulously repeat the couple's stories back to them and then explain why they aren't probable. Diana Hopper also makes a good impression as a classmate of Kevin's, but she is also given precious little to do besides make Natalie jealous and offer Kevin a few words of wisdom.

As I said, there are some decently scary and disturbing moments. What does harm the film, however, is that the final explanation for what happened just makes very little sense. There are stakes in the final act, but it's all against a backdrop of a confusing backstory.




Titane (2021, Ducournau) - I'm still wrestling with my thoughts on this, and I don't want to risk saying things because I don't want to spoil. But I'm just jotting it down just for the record.



The trick is not minding
Titane (2021, Ducournau) - I'm still wrestling with my thoughts on this, and I don't want to risk saying things because I don't want to spoil. But I'm just jotting it down just for the record.
I’ve been waiting to see this since Cannes.



I’ve been waiting to see this since Cannes.
It opened in limited release around me (but did a terrible job of advertising that fact) and I wanted to see it before I heard reviews clarifying what the **** the plot actually is (it's rare experience for me to go in before I hear any reviews of a movie, etc).


After seeing it... I'm still not sure what my thoughts are on it, and can't yet think of a reference point to point to say, "if you liked x, then you'll like this."

(All the obvious reference points have enough space between them and this, that I can't even say if those are reliable).


And as I think about it, I realize I haven't really even begun to engage with the emotional themes it seemed concerned with. This is one those movies I'm probably going to have to mull over for a few weeks before I settle on how I feel about it (which, honestly, isn't an uncommon experience for me).



A system of cells interlinked
I am getting started late this season, with just one film to log so far...Will updated as I go along!

Part 1 (What's in a Name)
1. Malignant
2. The Orphan
3. A horror film with 3 words
4.Beyond the Black Rainbow
5. Lair of the White Worm

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. Paranormal Activity 4
10. An obvious cheap ripoff of a major horror franchise

Part 3 (Trip to Europe)
11. The Innocents
12. A film from France
13. A film from Germany
14. The Beyond
15. A film with someone traveling to a European country

Part 4 (where to find it)
16. A film on Netflix
17. Phantasm
18. A film on Hulu
19 Ginger Snaps
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
22. A classic B film that is just over an hour
23. A VHS era film that is around 90 minutes
24. Angel Heart
25. A horror epic that is over 2 and half hours

Part 6

26. A horror film released in October of any year
27. Paranormal Activity 3
28. A horror film released in 2021
29. A horror film released in October 2021
30. The Descent
31. A horror film on the Time Out top 100 horror film list
__________________
"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP



So, for "A Horror Film With 1 Word", I'm taking the obvious road here and reporting on Malignant.


We all just thought this was a ton of fun.
James Wan unbuckles his belt and he delivers in much the same way that an Italian filmmaker who doesn't care whether or not there are a few fridge-moments in Middle America delivers on some nutty premise by just giving you a feast.
I'm sure some people won't like this film and I am interested to hear what their reasons are.



Possible controversial opinion but:

Kill, Baby…..Kill! > Black Sunday.
I could go either way, honestly.



Possible controversial opinion but:

Kill, Baby…..Kill! > Black Sunday.
Oh, I don't know. They are both pretty strong and have great, dynamic visuals. It probably just comes down to whether you're more moved by black and white gothic or nightmare colors.



The trick is not minding
Oh, I don't know. They are both pretty strong and have great, dynamic visuals. It probably just comes down to whether you're more moved by black and white gothic or nightmare colors.
KBK had a better overall atmosphere, to me. BS was decent, don’t get me wrong, but KBK was just much more enjoyable.
Except that ending felt rushed. But that’s a minor quibble.



I give Black Sunday the edge because it has the better lead performance with Barbara Steele, but I think Kill Baby Kill is more adventurous visually. Maybe Bava's best looking film? (Not that Black Sunday is a slouch in that department.)



I give Black Sunday the edge because it has the better lead performance with Barbara Steele, but I think Kill Baby Kill is more adventurous visually. Maybe Bava's best looking film? (Not that Black Sunday is a slouch in that department.)
Exactly---two very strong films and I wouldn't look sideways at someone for preferring either.