The second week of Halloween Month was quite a busy one as I somehow got through six movies. My priorities in life are clear. Here are all the spooky things I watched and read this week.
1) Totally Killer
The infamous ‘Sweet Sixteen’ killer returns 35 years later to finish off the victims that got away. This was fun with witty, laugh out loud dialogue, cool outfits, time travel and teenage bitchiness. That being said, it dragged on at times and the ending was portrayed as cutesy when it should have been deeply harrowing for everyone involved. A good time, but not one I’ll revisit.
2) The Lodge
A woman meets her new stepchildren and shortly afterwards is snowed in with them alone in a cabin in the middle of the woods. The way this movie depicted grief was devastating and I thought it was going to be on par with Hereditary, but it just needed more. I didn’t feel much tension after the first third of it. There was so much potential that I can’t help but feel disappointed, but then again I am comparing it to one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Good performances. Bleak ending. Well worth a watch.
3) The Blob
A gelatinous blob terrorizes a small town as it consumes everything in its path. This was a rewatch and was just as yucky and ick and awful as I remember it being. I adored the characters, the mindless evil that is the blob itself, and the special effects was absolute gross-out perfection. If you love/hate body horror, this is definitely the movie for you.
4) The Black Phone
A masked figure nicknamed ‘the Grabber’ abducts young boys from the streets of a small town and murders them. This was another rewatch. Ethan Hawke was creepy in a camp, pathetic way and all the kids are incredible actors, particularly Madeleine McGraw who plays the young sister, Gwen. A good all-round horror movie that deserves the praise it has been given (and I rarely say that).
5) The Boogeyman
I like to start off these mini reviews with a line about the plot, but to be honest I’m not entirely sure what this movie was about. Two kids grieve their mother, the dad is a therapist who sees patients in the home, and there’s a monster in the house…? I don’t know how any of these elements connect. A bland, jumbled mess that was a fusion of other bland horror movies.
6) The Conference
A team-building conference for municipal employees goes slightly awry when a masked murderer starts killing them off one by one. This movie was like if the Office had a baby with Halloween. It was hilarious, awkward and weird, but also surprisingly gory and unsettling. Sometimes this fusion felt odd, especially when whimsical characters were slaughtered in the most sickening of ways, but I guess it made the horror elements more effective. The final death scene makes me shudder when I think about it.
1) Chucky season 3, episode 2
He’s done it again. Another great episode with horrible murders of nice characters and positive conversations about gay sex and questionable security at the Whitehouse. I love this so much.
2) The Fall of the House of Usher
A CEO faces a criminal investigation as all his children have been murdered in mysterious circumstances. This is another Mike Flanagan Netflix series, which to me means it’s worth watching but I should brace myself for disappointment. The first episode didn’t reveal much but did set the series up for an onslaught of death…
Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak
An ex-drug addict gets a great job as a live-in babysitter for a young boy, but the pictures he draws suggest there are some ghostly goings-on in the house. I loved the concept of this book and the fact that the kid’s creepy pictures were shown – it made a big impact on the story. I loved turning the page to find a sinister stick man doing something a stick man shouldn’t be doing. The protagonist was conflicted and had an interesting perspective, but in the last quarter she suddenly knew all the twists and turns that had been carefully set up throughout the rest of the story. As a result the ending felt rushed and a bit of a leap of logic. Still, the build-up in these sorts of stories tends to be more compelling than the conclusion, so I don’t feel cheated.