31 Days of Horror (2013)

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For the first time ever our October Horrorfest has actually resulted in 31 movies being watched. Holy crap. Of course, it helps that we expanded our selection to include “thrillers,” which allows for a bit more variety and less gore fatigue. The result was a fun month with a few new favorites to be added to the rotation going forward.

Zodiac (2007) (x2) – A+
I watched this twice. Every frame is fascinating. It’s hard to say if this is Fincher’s best, but it’s certainly damn fine filmmaking.

Jeepers Creepers (2001) – B
Just as much creepy fun as I remember. Part of me is still disappointed that the killer turns out to be some mystical monster instead of some fucked up guy in the middle of nowhere, but I’ll take my creepy fun horror where I can get it.

The Gift (2000) – B+
Remember when Sam Raimi made good movies? The chilling story is second only to the wonderfully realized characters within it. If Giovanni Ribisi’s tortured story doesn’t terrify you, you’re missing the point.

Dust Devil (1992) – B
Bizarre, beautiful, brutal, poetic, even more bizarre. Yeah.

Dracula (1992) – A
I feel like Coppola gets a bad rap for this movie. It’s brilliantly made, a visual joy, and has one of the best horror scores ever. Plus Anthony Hopkins as a crazed vampire killer? I’m sold.

Ghostbusters (1984) – A
Who doesn’t love the Ghostbusters? One of those movies that’s still a blast after the umpteenth viewing.

Gravity (2013) – A+
Probably the most terrifying, amazing theater experience I’ve ever had. Space debris can just go to hell.

Hellraiser (1988) – D
What the shit is this boring mess?

ParaNorman (2012) – B
Beautifully animated, nauseatingly sappy kids movie that falls victim to the dreaded heavy-handed message.

Se7en (1995) – A
As a thriller this is just about perfect. As a disturbing glimpse at the mind of a serial killer, this is unforgettable.

Open Water (2003) – C+
A haunting scenario with a payoff that isn’t quite worth the setup. Also you couldn’t pay me enough money to ever go scuba diving.

Carrie (1975) – C+
An interesting character study? Yes. A great climax? You betcha. But it sure is an annoying, melodramatic journey to get you there.

House at the End of the Street (2011) – D
The definition of a flavorless Hollywood thriller. Psycho re-imagined from the least interesting angle possible.

The Skeleton Key (2005) – B
Spooky atmosphere, creepy characters, and a story that draws you into the world of voodoo and spells. Much to my surprise, this film entertained me quite a bit and had a nice little twist at the end to top it all off.

Suspiria (1977) – A
Argento’s best and my favorite. Shot for shot, this is a beautiful, vibrantly colored nightmare with really fantastic music to boot.

Scream (1996) – B
This movie is so ’90s cool it’s just oozing hair grease and flannel.

The Frighteners (1996) – C
I’ve never much cared for this one and this time I fell asleep. Again.

Scream 2 (1997) – B
Not too bad of a continuation of the first film. It’s a funny who’s who of ’90s television actors and a series of thrills as they each meet their grisly doom.

Dead Again (1991) – B+
A smart neo-noir with a psychic twist. The mystery is compelling, the romance lacking, but in the end it makes for an edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Scream 3 (2001) – C+
I seem to remember liking this more in college, but when watched back to back with the rest of the series, its flaws are glaring. The only saving grace is Parker Posey and the occasional familiar face, but silly expressions and unexpected cameos to not a good movie make.

House 2: The Second Story (1988) – B
Whoa, where did this movie come from? A fantasy-horror-adventure-sequel that his nothing to do with the original has no business being this fun. Keeping this one tucked away in my cult classic utility belt for special occasions.

Scream 4 (2011) – C-
Well this was just no good at all. The internet is magic, kids are whiney assholes, and it just takes nothing at all to become a villain these days.

Demon Knight (1993) – D
I’m not sure what happened here, but it vaguely resembled pieces of a movie.

Resident Evil (2002) – D
This was just like a video game (and that’s not a good thing).

Beetlejuice (1988) – A
I adore every second of this movie. Elfman at his best and Burton at his most fun.

Interview with the Vampire (1994) – B+
This is one of those films that’s easy to make fun of for being overly melodramatic, but boy is it hauntingly beautiful melodrama.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) – B
Creepy clowns, giant cotton candy scrotums, silly characters meeting gruesome deaths — there’s a reason this is a cult classic.

Puppet Master (1988) – C

The Shining (1980) – A+
The ultimate crescendo of tension and Kubrick’s mad masterpiece. If a perfectly flawed classic is a thing, this film is definitely that.

Poltergeist (1982) – A
A delightfully enjoyable and surprisingly dark family horror that would never get made today.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012) – A
The perfect cross-section of horror, fantasy, comedy, and science fiction, and the perfect end to Horror Month.

Until next year!

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