Welcome to another Halloween Month (or ‘October’ to those who don’t celebrate). Here are all the horrifying things I watched and read this week.
1) The Chair [short film]
A man finds an antique chair on the street and takes it home, but when his girlfriend sees it she begs him to get rid of it because it frightens her. After some weird goings-on, the man doesn’t know whether he’s going mad, the chair is cursed, or both. There were some creepy elements to this short film and the premise is interesting, but the plot was all over the place. The acting wasn’t great either, and since it’s mostly a character study it just didn’t work.
A group of ‘nerdy’ friends from college (and an influencer) go to a smart house for a weekend to party, but rather than help them have a good time, the house’s AI wants to kill them. The opening scene was so good I thought I was about to watch a fun, campy slasher, but it fell really flat after that. The script was terrible and the deaths were dull and strangely downplayed. All of the characters were annoying, but in a boring way, not a fun I-wish-they-would-die-next kinda way. Also, I can say with complete certainty that no one involved in this movie knows what coding is.
3) The Passenger
A passive, shy guy working in a fast food restaurant is forced to join his co-worker as he goes on a violent rampage through their small town. I would say this movie is more horrifying than a horror, but it was really, really good. It was packed with moral quandaries as it delved painfully into the despairing mindset that young people can fall into when living in the arse end of nowhere with no prospects. Touches on toxic masculinity and themes of guilt too. A must-watch.
4) There’s Nothing Out There
A bunch of highschool friends (most of whom look at least 30) head to a house in the woods to enjoy summer break, but there’s a very hungry monster lurking outside. The precursor to Scream, this movie was made in 1991 but felt more like 1971 due to its teeny budget. It’s very tongue-in-cheek and did have some funny and charming moments, but overall was repetitive and poorly paced. The dialogue was atrocious. The guy you’re supposed to root for was oddly spiteful, despite trying to help save his friends’ lives throughout the movie. The girls also got naked all the time yet there’s wasn’t a single peen on screen. This misogyny cannot be tolerated.
Chucky season 3, episode 1
My favourite horror franchise is back with a third season, and this time Chucky has managed to infiltrate the Whitehouse. This first episode was gory, funny and camp, and I’m desperate to binge watch the rest.
1) There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
A teenager from Hawaii moves to a small town to live with her grandmother after doing something unspeakably bad back home, but now she has a bigger problem to contend with: there’s a serial killer offing her classmates one by one. I knew nothing about this book when I picked it up, and if I’d known it was a YA romance as well as a slasher I might have been put off, but I actually had a lot of fun with it. It was a simple, quick read with genuinely horrible deaths, quippy dialogue and a few little twists and turns that I liked. The main character’s back story in Hawaii is eyeroll worthy and had no point to it whatsoever, and some of the romance bits were ick, but overall a good time was had.
2) The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom
A horrible man and his horrible wife move to an old birthing house to start a new life in the middle of nowhere, but there are ghosts or something that want them to have lots of babies. At one point the man wanks into a bath and perves over his pregnant, teenage next-door neighbour. I hated this and couldn’t finish it.