October 31, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #13 Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
It's time! To make Christmas! No wait... Hallowe'en! Why not have both just like tonight's movie? Its spooky, it's kooky, and it's such a great time. The King of Hallowe'en decides to give Santa Christmas off. You don't need to imagine how that can go wrong, just watch, and enjoy!
Happy Hallowe'en! Stay safe and see you again soon.
October 30, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #12 Silver Bullet (1985)
This one slides back the other way but still brings the fun. A wheelchair bound boy, his beleaguered sister, and his skeptical, drunkard, uncle face off with a werewolf with a problematic alter ego. Silver Bullet has the boy you know, and was based on the fiction of the man you know.
The nightmares in this movie are particularly exciting. Everything works well. It's dark and grim, and not without gore and horrific effects.
Tomorrow is the big night. I hope all your plans are set. Check back tomorrow for the big special night movie.
October 29, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #11 House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
We're getting close now. Tonight I have maybe the most hard core of this year's movies. Beyond that House of 1000 Corpses is very much a rock video horror movie. It's okay to admit that. There's nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with the results of that aesthetic. It is the movie it wants to be. I also have to admit that its one of those two movies mashed together films where it suddenly changes at one point. That's okay too if it works. I think this time it works.
House of 1000 Corpses is also very much a throwback to an earlier time in film history. This was intentional and was done exceptionally well. Among all the things to note about this movie I shouldn't mention that the sequel is even better yet. Save it for another night, watch House of 1000 Corpses tonight and revel in the noveau past.
October 28, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #10 Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave (2005)
If you are lactose intolerant you may want to tread carefully around this one. In this series of dark horror comedies and fluffy but gory romps this fifth installment is pretty funny--actually number three is the serious one marred only by being intensely 80s. Rave to the Grave doesn't let up on the effects though, and it has its own tar man.
The titular rave is on Hallowe'en and you can imagine the trouble that causes with zombies and costumed teens. Add in some governmental types and a sense of deja vu with some recurring cast members from the previous film in the franchise and you have your excitement cut out for you tonight.
October 27, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #9 Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
This Halloween is the one without Michael Myers except for his appearance on a television running an ad for one of the first two movies. With Mike out of the way anything could happen, and things go way differently. Instead we have children's masks shenanigans, bare faced killers, conspiracy, and people who live despite having sex.
I'm rather fond of this movie. I would have liked to have seen what the next Halloween would have been like sans Michael, but alas the box office didn't agree with me. It's just an interesting historical side note. Certainly the Halloween franchise steam rolled along with Michael in all the rest of the sequels, and I look forward to his next murderous outing.
October 26, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #8 Night of the Demons (2009)
Sometimes a movie can be summed up in one word. The one word that sums up this Night of the Demons is... fun. I always start by mention that. It's not that its unintelligent or poorly acted or anything else that makes me lead with the fun bit, it's just that it's a good romp. You watch the end credits and think to yourself, that was fun.
It has some great gore. The demons are cool and different. Not only the do the party goers lives hang in the balance but the greater world too. No sweat, eh? It's okay though, there are rules. Most of them are written down for your convenience, and some I'm sure you'll sort out for yourself. So get ready and put on your whiskers.
October 24, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #6 Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Okay, you got me. Edward Scissorhands isn't a horror movie. It is a Christmas movie though. You might have forgotten that; it spans quite a number of weeks. It's hard to say how long the film stretches on with its own internal clock, but it ends with a Christmas party. It's a fairy tale and has that quality across more aspects than just the plot. It also has that dark vein running through it. It wouldn't have taken much to make it a horror movie.
A man with scythe-like scissors for hands. Stop and think about that for a moment. He gives Freddy blade envy. Go.Watch. Enjoy.
October 23, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #5 P2 (2007)
It just wouldn't be Hallowe'en without a psychotic predator. I don't know if a lot of people are familiar with this movie. I'll give you just a little description. P2 is about a woman trapped in her office building's parking structure on Christmas eve with a security guard who has been stalking her entirely unnoticed because he sees her for hours a day.
This is a great way to do a movie. Limited cast required, locked down locations, no consideration for time of day or night. It also requires that cast to be better than usual since they have so much screen time. I think they pulled it off. The movie plays more toward the thriller side than to horror, which I guess is why it doesn't get more play. It certainly has a nice gory kill among its thrills. I'll let you go get yourself locked in now.
October 22, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #4 Child's Play (1988)
It's all fun and games until someone's soul is transferred into a doll. It's even worse when that soul is from a killer with voodoo powers bent on murdering his way back out of the doll. There had been creepy dolls in horror before. There had been murderous dolls before too. They all had to bow down to the master, Chucky. Another classic, another Christmas time movie hidden by a birthday angle.
Child's Play came at an opportune time for the special effects. Not only that but a host of potential issues that could detract from the appearance of such a small unnatural figure like a walking doll were solved by it being a doll. They could be written off as the limitation of the doll as a vessel for the evil spirit. The marked difference between the normal working of the doll and that of the killer within only added to the help provide by the premise alone. Off you go...
October 21, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #3 Gremlins (1984)
Is tonight's movie a horror movie? I like to think so. Granted Gremlins may be a children's horror movie and it leans toward action adventure, but I think it counts. It's certainly a load of fun. It's another one you might not recall as being at Christmas unless you remember the dark story told by a certain someone, or the Christmas tree scene. Perhaps what throws people off is the birthday gift angle. In any event monsters, mayhem, and more that a little madness await you tonight.
I have to say its easier to talk about the bad movies and the ones where its all downhill for the characters. Gremlins on the other hand is a classic. It's a rollicking roller coaster. You've likely seen it how many times. The one difference this time could be to look at the horror aspects. One of the best scenes is downright creepy and follows on the tail of a funny scene. That's always a fine way to structure a scare. This one also happens to be a stunning visual to boot. You may have an idea of which one I'm talking about. Remember that dread and awe mix. Look for where it's duplicated before and after.The best downs follow an excellent up.
October 20, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #2 Willard (2003)
On our second night I have a film that if you blink you will miss the Christmas connection, but it is in there staring you in the face. Also this film happens to be a remake, and I have no experience or information about the original. I'm not sure off of the top of my head if the original is named Willard or something else. I know the original had a sequel, but as of yet this one does not. Normally I am indifferent to the ratings of films, but one scene in particular would have been even better had the film been R rated instead of PG-13. C'est la vie.
I have to talk a little about the music in Willard. You might think you know who wrote the score by the style, but a lot of people will be wrong, it is someone else entirely. I'll let watching it and seeing the credit be a surprise. Aside from interesting music this film is kind of an opposite to last night. Parts of it are a hot mess, but for our lead, Willard. The film is well done showing his mess of a life. No spoiler, but as you might imagine things for him get better before they spiral completely out of control and horror rules the day.
October 19, 2014 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2014: Night #1 Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)
Hello and welcome to the first of this year's 13 Nights of Hallowe'en. This year I decided to do holiday horror movies. The first batch will be Christmas horror movies. I also decided to go back to the way I used to do the thirteen nights, which was a bit more intimate I think. I won't get into who is acting in these films and where the connections are between them. That said, let's begin.
Our first movie is a sequel. It is also an infamously bad movie. It's cheesy, and stars a human muppet. His eyebrows carry the film as they rise and fall incessantly in a most astounding and entertaining manner. To hear him speak about the role it's all the director's fault. Nevermind that. This is one of those great bad movies. You don't even need to see the first one because there are enough flashbacks showing scenes from the first film. Then when they get tired of flashbacks they show part of the first film as a movie our leading man watches part of. Not really a spoiler, but it is pretty funny.
On the good side is the madness and mayhem. This guy can rampage. You're on the edge of the seating waiting for him to just go off on someone. Some of it is very satisfying. I like it when you wonder if a film will take the leap and do something you want them to do in a scene but you don't know if they had the ingenuity or the budget to do it, and then they do it. Some kills you just want to see. Then there are other times when it's just garbage day.