Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's The Most Spookiest Time Of The Year...

It's the most magical time of the year. Everything's turning orange. The air outside is crisper than a cracker. My wife's donning turtlenecks. Leaves are starting to fall, crackling with a pleasant crunch underfoot (until I have to rake). Deranged serial killers are lurking behind trees wearing plastic masks...wait, what?

Okay! Being the Halloween season, I'm doing my due diligence and delving into horror films. And man, have I delved. I won't hit you up with every loser I struggled through. But I'll mention the noteworthy (for various reasons) films. Get used to it. I'm going to do this each year.

*Possibly the biggest surprise to me was the remake of Fright Night (2011). I hadn't expected to like this in the least, after having suffered through so many poor remakes of horror "classics (debatable term)." But this film is surprising, funny, well-acted and sharply-written. I actually like the original, but I think the filmmakers, for once, improved on the original recipe. Recommended.

*Well, anything Guillermo DelToro touches is (usually) golden. He produced Mama, and it's a pseudo-classic. I sorta' freaked out on the feral kids, but that only hints at the spooky moments here. Very scary film. Too bad the last five minutes nearly derail the whole damn thing.

*Dead Silence. Sigh. What can I say? It's not very good. Pretty much sucks in fact. But. Anytime you
toss in a ventriloquist dummy, with those dead, yet alive (SQUIRREL!) eyes, I'm terrified. And there's some pretty freaky imagery throughout the whole film. For the ladies, Ryan Kwanten (Jason from True Blood) stars and thankfully keeps his clothes on. Still can't act very well.

*Hey, punch in that Duran-Duran eight-track tape and welcome to the eighties! The Newlydeads is truly awful. It has some sorta', maybe, kinda' plot about a transvestite ghost, a hero the film  apparently doesn't mind is a murderer, some psychic woman, fun decapitations, and lots of trees. If you're a fan of blowsy, big-haired, blond women in "mom jeans (the kind they wear up over their navel and wide at the hip like my dad used to wear)"--and admittedly, I'm a closeted fan--this is your film. I loved it for all the wrong reasons. Most I laughed all year.

*I bought into the hype and checked out three Boris Karloff "horror" films. Man, am I stupid. Night Key, The Black Castle, and The Climax (um, not a porno film). Obviously trying to leach onto Karloff's success in Frankenstein, all of these films' trailers claim to be the "most terrifying thing since Frankenstein." Yeah, right. The first two are mediocre melodramas. The Climax is horrifying alright. It's a friggin' musical that features one of those god-awful, bird-chirping, warbling singers from the forties. She'll make your tooth-fillings ache. And the lead guy's one of those rosy-cheeked, earnestly high-pitched voiced dudes who'll make you want to pull your hair out. I call unfair. And definitely not recommended. Any of 'em.

That about does it. I'd love to hear about everyone else's Halloween viewing.

Stay spooky.


  1. The original Halloween from the seventies kept me awake all night the first time I saw it in the theater. I saw it alone once and twice more with family. My closets are thoroughly checked every night for the last forty years. I also love the original black-and-white Mighty Joe Young (the pre-Disney version). I love the original King Kong and the most recent version by Peter Jackson of Hobbit fame... not the King Turkey Kong at the WTC from the eighties. Good horror movies scare you with very little gore, and often with large doses of romance.

    1. Have to agree with you, Michael. The gory films aren't scary, yet the atmospheric ones are. The Haunting (original '60's version, thank you very much), Rosemary's Baby, the Val Lewton series (and if you haven't watched these yet folks, do yourself a favor and check 'em out this Halloween), Ernest Does Halloween....wait...

  2. Oh my gosh, that was too hilarious. I have to get the box of kleenex.