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halloween movie fest, 2013: nights 6-10.

Night Six: Dead Alive

“Your mother ate my dog!”

“Not all of it.”

braindeadOh, what a ridiculous movie. So over the top gory, but in the most cartoonish way imaginable… like a Loony Tunes short from hell. This isn’t just the bloodiest movie I’ve ever seen, based on the amount of movie blood used, it is actually the bloodiest movie of all time. Although, since blood is all CGI now, that stat means less and less.

There is no doubt whatsoever that this film is played for laughs. Jackson & Co. are trying to get you to either bust a gut or empty your guts… or both. This movie is insane. I actually kind of liked a lot of it.

Highly influential on zombie films since. The lawnmower scene is essential viewing for the cinematic history of zombie carnage.

Will I Ever Watch It Again? This falls into the “high, and with a group of people” category.


Night Seven: Citadel

“If you don’t wanna get dead, hold my hand.”


At times it transcends its small budget, decent tension occasionally, strong performance by the leading man. Otherwise, underwhelming. There are a few legitimately creepy moments I enjoyed, but they never coalesce into anything satisfying. I think this needed a few more treatments before it was ready.

Will I Ever Watch It Again? Probably not.


Night Eight: The Awakening

“It’s never darker than when we close our eyes, and yet we keep them shut.”


Mediocre, with a cheap twist, but the film was worth my time because there are some winning moments, some genuinely eerie tension at times, and a few wonderfully creepy scenes (like the second dollhouse scene).

Will I Ever Watch It Again? Nope, but I don’t regret watching it once.


Night Nine: Mama

“Daddy, look! There’s a woman outside the window. And she’s not touching the floor.”


Even after watching a few more HMF13 films in November, this will stand as the biggest disappointment for me from this year’s list. I looked forward to it for so many reasons: I love good ghost stories, Guillermo del Toro produced it, Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are in it. Alas, my hopes were dashed.

For one, the film isn’t scary or creepy like a good ghost film should be. The titular entity was CGI and looked downright silly instead of scary, absurd more than anything else. She was kind of like the silly (awesome) ghosts from The Frighteners, but played straight, that doesn’t work.

Much of the film was insensible, with that common problem horror films run into where people do stupid shit for no reason other than that it creates scarier atmosphere. Why is some guy investigating a house out in the woods in the middle of the night when he could easily have gone in the afternoon? Even if he didn’t believe a ghost haunted it, it’s stupid from a sheer practicality standpoint, but they wanted to create an underwhelming photo flash set piece for a ghost encounter, and alas, inexplicable decisions are made.

The end was also infuriating, but that could just be me.

Will I Ever Watch It Again? Absolutely not.


Night Ten: Pontypool

“For your safety, please avoid contact with close family members, and refrain from the following: all terms of endearment, such as ‘honey’ or ‘sweetheart’; baby talk with young children; and rhetorical discourse. For greater safety, please avoid the English language.

Do not translate this message.”

pontypoolAnd on Halloween night, I finally reached #10. The Halloween tradition for the last five years is to watch a movie that we already know and love, instead of trying a new one.

What else can I say about Pontypool that I haven’t already said here, and here? I’ve been telling you to watch this movie, and you probably still haven’t. Your loss… loser.

Will I Ever Watch It Again? I’ve seen it four times now, I will watch it at least four more.


The end