halloween movie fest 2017, movies 22-26.

Well, well, well. What do we have here? It’s a post about Halloween Movies nearly two weeks into November. Maybe I should just keep HMF going until the world itself isn’t quite so horrible anymore. At least the horrors in a movie end after the credits roll, instead of the waking nightmare in which we find ourselves IRL at the moment.

Enough with the depressing shit, on with the movies about death and stuff! Cheers to another fun year of HMF.

Movie Twenty-Two – The Haunting

“Haven’t you noticed how nothing in this house seems to move until you look away and then you just… catch something out of the corner of your eye?”

The Haunting is one of those films I might never have watched if not for HMF. It’s another debt I owe to my past self for dreaming up this pointless cinematic odyssey.

I said pretty much everything I’d want to say when I wrote about this one previously. This is another film that will make another appearance if I can dream up a fresh way to approach HMF in the future.

I’m currently listening to the book, and it’s even better than this beautifully crafted film. Shirley Jackson is such an underappreciated writer as far as the wider public is concerned.

Will I Ever Watch It Again? Definitely. I actually bought it this time around.

Where Can You Watch It? No one is streaming it right now.

Movie Twenty-Three – Pet Sematary

“Dead is better.”

The majority of this movie is… bad. The acting is horrible — with the notable exceptions of a solid performance by Brad Greenquist as the recently deceased Victor Pascow, Miko Hughes as the adorable and terrifying Gage Creed, and some cat as Church the cat. Otherwise, this was 80s TV movie acting of the worst kind, but without the excuse of it being a TV movie.

The story was also mostly nonsense. I’ve never read the book, so I’m assuming it’s better, however the fact that King himself wrote the screenplay makes me wonder. I get that there should be suspension of disbelief, especially in horror, but this is beyond the pale storywise. Can’t there at least be some throwaway line that tells us why the town does nothing about the trucks barreling through at dangerous speeds, or why the parents let their kids play so close to such a dangerous road, or why an otherwise benign old man suggests the magical burial ground knowing full well that anything brought back to life will be an vicious murder monster? Also, was it called Pet Sematary only because “Not So Much the Pet Sematary, but an Ancient Burial Ground Located a Seven Mile Hike and Mountain Climb Away From the Pet Sematary” was too long as a title?

Not to say it was all bad though. Spoilers follow, although, can you really still spoil Pet Sematary at this point in history?

Once Gage comes back as an evil death toddler, the movie is much stronger. The final scenes in Crandall’s house are really creepy and fun. How a film can be this bad throughout the majority of its runtime and still deliver such an amazing movie monster in just a few minutes at the end is hard to understand, but there you go. Gage Creed was one adorably creepy little fucker.

Will I Ever Watch It Again? No, but maybe I’ll watch the ending again.

Where Can You Watch It? Amazon Prime

Movie Twenty-Four – A Girl Walks Home Alone

“If there was a storm coming right now, a big storm, from behind those mountains, would it matter? Would it change anything?”

My love for this film is unambiguous. Exhibit A: At the time of this writing it’s the image on the header of this blog.

It’s interesting, original, visually captivating, and sparse in all the right ways. The first time I saw it I said I could watch it on repeat and it’s still true. I just want to keep looking at it.

Again, I need to come up with a new way to do HMF, and I’ve already written about this one in ways I still wholeheartedly agree with, so if you want to see my take check it out here and here. Seriously though, check those out, and watch this movie!

Will I Ever Watch It Again? Definitely. I am now the proud owner of the Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray.

Where Can You Watch It? Kanopy, if your library partners with them.

Movie Twenty-Five – Shaun of the Dead

“You know what we should do tomorrow? Keep drinking. We’ll have a Bloody Mary first thing, have a bite at the King’s Head, a couple at the Little Princess, stagger back here then BANG, we’re back at the bar for shots. How’s that for a slice of fried gold?”  

To be honest, this is probably the movie that started it all for me HMF-wise. I don’t remember why I was so interested in it when it came out, as I hadn’t seen Spaced yet. But I somehow convinced Emily to go see it with me, and my love for this cinematic experience in some Hudson Valley movie theater played a big part in making me wonder why I’d seen so few horror and horror-related films.

It took five years to fully materialize, but the wonderful boys Pegg and Wright’s love of horror turned out to be contagious for my 22-year-old self.

This year we got to see a screening at Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn with a bunch of super-fans, and it breathed even more life into one of my very favorite films of all time. I’ve written about this movie a bunch of times, including a post about revisiting the whole trilogy again and again.

This movie will always have my heart.

Will I Ever Watch It Again? I’ve seen it upwards of 15 times and I’m not planning to stop anytime soon.

Where Can You Watch It? Showtime

Movie Twenty-Six – The Devil’s Backbone

“What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain, perhaps. Something dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect trapped in amber.”

Back in the days when I didn’t really watch horror, I still loved movies about ghosts. Ghost stories captivated me as a child, just as they have captivated civilizations throughout history. When someone would tell me a good ghost story, my spine would tingle, my skin would prickle, my eyes would water in some kind of weird fear response.

Side note: the watery eyes thing is something I’ve never understood — Google led me to discussion boards where lots of people are equally confused because they also experience it, but I haven’t found any real answers.

Anyway, my love for ghost stories makes Guillermo del Toro’s ghost masterpiece the perfect way to end HMF this year. Tragic, romantic, full to the brim with everything that makes GDT great. As with so many of these other films, I’d just be repeating myself to write much about this within the current format, so here is what I wrote for HMF 2010 and here is 2015.

Will I Ever Watch It Again? Absolutely. GDT, baby. GDfuckingT.

Where Can You Watch It? No one is streaming it right now.