As a result of Hurricane Sandy, I missed Halloween. As a result of my busyness, I was already terribly behind on my 50 Films. As a result of me not caring or having this schedule imposed on me by anyone other than myself, I’m just gonna KEEP GOING, RIGHT INTO HALLOVEMBER, which is a new month I made up for this year.
Happy Hallovember! Here are some more horrovember movie revemberiews!
This is probably the most Halloweenie movie I’ve watched so far. I even appropriately reserved #13 for it, knowing I wanted to revisit it this month. Despite its abundance of flaws, I love this movie. I just love haunted house movies (Night of the Demons), and movies with an awesome variety of monster design (Neon Maniacs), and movies with countdowns to some horrible world shattering event (any end of the world movie, really–but let’s say, The Gate). Thirteen Ghosts accomplishes all three of those things, while also featuring a tremendously entertaining Matthew Lillard, and a ton of stupid gimmicks. The ghosts in this movie are rad, designed by KNB, and each has a name and a creepy little back-story. If you can get over the ridiculousness of this one, and its terrible script and totally lack of resolution, it’s really fun.
Is Ichi The Killer a horror movie or just a really gory Yakuza film? It’s hard to specify any genre for this comic book based Takashi Miike flick. But what audience does this film have? I didn’t want to count Dredd, which I saw earlier this month, because it’s quite clearly an action film, despite some pretty intense violence and science fiction sub-themes. Yet, Ichi The Killer is faaar too fucked up for a normal action fan. In my opinion, if you have a fantastical action film with a series of monsters (human or other) and they slaughter a plethora of people, you’ve got yourself a horror movie. Ichi is an unknowing serial murderer, entrails splatter on walls in his wake, men are split in half, faces fly off. Ichi’s crying and blathering are a symptom of his being a total psychopath. Kakihara is even scarier, as he understands his motivations and his sexual obsession with pain. All this makes what could be a generic Yakuza story into a really fucked up affair. And the complex storytelling makes this one easy to watch over and over again.
15) THE HILLS RUN RED (2009, Dir. Dave Parker)
Viewed on DVD, Personal Collection
I showed up at Greg’s house toting my never-watched copy of The Hills Run Red on DVD, and after a bit of coaxing, he and our friend Rich agreed to watch it with me. I knew this was a horror film about films, which is something I really enjoy, and that some movie friends of mine had been pleasantly surprised by it. When we hit play, it took about thirty seconds to notice that: one, this was not nearly as low budget as I had anticipated. Two, this was a lot more of a conventional plot than I had believed. Three, this was going to be hilariously bad. We each wrote a one line review:
Rich: “This movie is basically Antichrist. I’m gonna amend my review. No I’m not.”
Madeleine: “According to the posters in the movie theater scene, FeardotCom was in theaters while they were making this.”
Greg: “I think the boobs of the lead actress are a character. And her eyes are too far apart.”
In conclusion, this movie wasn’t too great. It’s gotta a couple fun kills, but the story is overall pretty lame. The movie’s monster, Babyface or whatever, is even lamer. Yet, I loved the ending. The ending gets a little philosophical and a little satirical, on the topic of filmmaking, filmmakers, and the audience of the horror genre. If only the rest of the movie had been that smart.
And now: a couple guest reviews by YWC co-founder, Greg! We watched these movies together. He reviewed them.
16) [REC] (2009, Dir. Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza)
I came into this movie not really expecting much. Everything I had seen about it either involved Dexter’s sister from the American version of the film, Quarantine, whose face is fairly horrifying on its own, and little children standing around and being creepy. I didn’t even know there was an allegedly “better” Spanish version of the film, [REC], until someone pointed it out to me. I heard it was scary, and I was in the mood for being spooked (especially with Halloween right around the corner,) so I decided to sit down with a bunch of people and give it a try.
And. Shit. Aside from the first 15-20 min, which allows us to build a little relationship with some of the characters, REC is non-stop horror. All the little tropes that horror movies seem to get caught up in, creepy little children, spooky off-screen noises, and even some cheap “shocks” are so horrifyingly well executed in this film that I found myself sitting, in a room full of people, covered in a cold sweat. My heart was literally pounding throughout most of the film, and some of the shots, which I don’t think could have been pulled off if the movie had been filmed a different way, were so life like and realistic, I almost felt like I was watching a real recording that had been found and leaked online somewhere. I highly, HIGHLY recommend watching this.
I first saw 28 Days Later when it was released in theaters, way back when in 2002, and it scared the shit out of me. I would assume that most of this was because, A) I was 14 at the time and B) I was somehow sitting completely alone, with no one in my row, the row in front of me, or behind me, in an otherwise packed theater. Maybe it’s because I smelled, but I would rather think that it was my malformed prepubescent alien body holding a dirty Teddy Bear that turned people off. (Yes, I was that cool. I brought my stinky stuffed panda into the theater with me to save me from the HORROR.) In retrospect, I have no idea how I was allowed in the theater. Probably someone wanted to see me kill myself or whatever. And recently I had been itching to watch 28 Days Later again. I had viewed it here and there throughout the years, but it had been too long.
Anyhoodles, I really can’t think of another movie which plagued me with such fear for so long. To this day, when I think about certain scenes, I still am disturbed. Like when several infected stand up and stare directly at the camera after Cillian Murphy screams inside that church, or when the infected army guy pops his head up outside the window and growls then jumps in and unleashes some carnage. I couldn’t walk around my house alone for days. In fact, I forced my sister to walk in front of me when I was going up or down stairs, so that in the event a movie monster had somehow jumped into my house, she would get eaten first and I would run away to safety. Lovely.