October 31, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #13 The Woman in Black (2012)
Here it is--the big night. I have a classic movie, but wait, look at that date on it. It's only a few years old. Time hasn't yet said if it is a classic. It's certainly in the classical style. Also, how much more classic horror does it get than a Hammer Horror. Yes, Hammer Films came back and with everything that you would expect and more.
The Woman in Black stars Daniel Radcliffe, hot off of the last Harry Potter film. Daniel's Arthur Kipps is a lawyer sent to straighten up an important woman's final affairs after her death. Strange things are going on in the village. From the first scene you know you're in for the kind of ride where almost anything could happen. Sit back and watch as the mystery and horror unfold!
October 30, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #12 The Possession (2012)
Some of the sub-genres of horror have a lot of possibilities at their finger tips. They have a lot of variety. Others are kind of hobbled by a limited set of events and scares that can occur that make sense for the subject matter. Possession films are one those limited types. They tend to also be focused on the Catholic Church. Not all of the stories do though. Night #9 was such an example of a non-Catholic exorcist.
The Possession is the story of a young girl who buys a fancy box from a garage sale. The girl opens the locked box and unleashes a malicious spirit that the Jewish people know as a Dybbuk. A spirit with more than a few tricks up its sleeves. The race is on for her parents to try and free her from the Dybbuk's possession before it is too late. These Dybbuk Boxes are a real thing outside of the movie and one in particular is subject to a couple documentaries and TV recreation series.
October 29, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #11 Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
When I talk about movies I talk about the kind of film a movie is in terms of not only genre, and sub-genre, but also of format types. There are cinematic movies with musical scores and lyrical soundtracks. There are found footage films. There are also the psuedo documentaries or mockumentaries. This last one describes tonight's movie even though it may seem like lost footage. Both have no music that isn't part of the physical world of the movie, but one is filmed by one or more of the characters and the other is filmed by no one in the scene.
Chernobyl Diaries follows a group of tourist who go out to see Pripyat, the city where the workers from Chernobyl lived. For reference, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor plant had its disaster on April 26, 1986. Their tour guide has a way in past the guards keeping watch over the entire disaster area. Things go horribly wrong as you can imagine. Something or someone is there with them. Watch as their terror and yours mounts!
October 28, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #10 Poltergeist (1982)
You may have seen the new movie. Now I'm suggesting watching the original. It isn't quite a perennial to this list but it has cropped up a few times. I can't help but plug my favourite horror movie every now and then.
Poltergeist is the tale of the Freeling family and their harrowing encounter when the supernatural. It all begins innocuously enough but soon explodes into a waking nightmare that just tears into the family in the worst way. I always have to mention that this is the most beautiful horror movie I've seen with even still jaw dropping visuals, and the make the horror all the strong. If you haven't, you need to see this!
October 27, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #9 The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)
I'm not one to watch a sequel before seeing the original any more. I couldn't tell you if its okay to watch tonight's movie without seeing the first film. If your not deeply invested in knowing what came before you could be fine to jump right into this movie. I know that I can easily imagine a film just like this one that is the "first" film. Jump right in, feet first with someone living the aftermath of a supernatural event.
The Last Exorcism II can't help but be a spoiler to the original simply by existing. It tells you someone made it through. The casting is the final nail in the spoiler coffin. Nell Sweetzer is even more the worse for wear after her exorcism. She needs to get on with her life though. Just when it seems possible Nell is being stalked by the same cult that used her before. Stalkers are one thing, but the devil Abalam is another.
October 26, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #8 Phantasm (1979)
It's time for another classic. This one has a set of sequels following it, including one yet to be seen. I'm going to send you to the beginning to see where it all began. Also, just to note, before the film's release someone went to the director and reported that another movie was using his minions already. They let it slide, Jawas be damned.
Phantasm is about a pair of brothers and their friend, the ice cream man, dealing with strange goings on at a local mausoleum. What unfolds defies believing without seeing it. You're in for a very different kind of horror movie here, and I can't see how you'd regret it... unless you don't like nightmares...
October 25, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #7 Mirrors (2008)
In worlds that aren't quite real you can find other worlds beyond that aren't quite real to the people that live in the first layer of unreal. People have long imagined that a mirror is just such a layer. No one knows if things not seen by a mirror are the same if you could step away from the mirror, on the other side of the glass.
In the movie Mirrors, Kiefer Sutherland's Ben Carson gets to learn just how dangerous things in a mirror are to people out in the real world. He's working a security job at the renovation of a department store damaged by a tragic fire that cost people's lives. The mirrors saw great tragedy that day and now they want more!
October 24, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #6 The Conjuring (2013)
Truth meets cinema in tonight's movie. Based on real events involving actual people you could meet. Fancy that. Of course being a period piece--a recent one compared to most period pieces--you can only possibly meet some of the people, since others are no longer with us.
The Conjuring (2013) is the story of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren dealing with a haunted farmhouse. The film is directed by James Wan of Saw fame and starring Patrick Wilson from Jame's Insidious films as Ed Warren. While you may see some familiar horror set-ups the overall film stands well as it own movie.
October 23, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #5 Sinister (2012)
People often look for the new masters of horror. I'm going to give you one, though new is a relative term. I give you writer and director Scott Derrickson. Scott's full film credits begin in 2000 with two movies, one of which is my favourite Hellraiser sequel, number 5, Hellraiser: Inferno! In 2005 he came back with The Exorcism of Emily Rose! Of course that brings us to 2012 and Sinister.
In Sinister, Ethan Hawke plays a true-crime author researching a new case that becomes much bigger and plunges him into a horrifying world beyond his worst imaginings. Not only has he discovered a serial killer, but an ancient supernatural evil. Can he unravel the mystery before it's too late?
October 22, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #4 Pumpkinhead (1988)
Let's swing around and take a completely different tack to last night's movie. Today I present the classic Pumpkinhead. Pumpkinhead stars Lance Henriksen and the spectacular work of effects guru Stan Winston. Stan Winston also directed the movie, which is a rare treat.
This movie takes slasher films to a whole new level with a full on monster unleashing death and destruction on less than unsuspecting teens, and with a concrete reason for doing so and someone directly responsible on both sides of the conflict. You just have to see it!
October 21, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #3 House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Day by day the light is slower to arrive and quicker to leave. Hallowe'en looms large on the horizon. Soon it will be here. Can you wait?
Well, to keep you busy for a while at least I offer up House of 1000 Corpses as tonight's movie. As much as I said the violence was more extreme in last night's movie that is only compared to the network TV standards. When you get into movies there is a higher level yet. This movie steps well into that zone. You can find greater violence and gore elsewhere of course, but this is a fine stepping stone into that world.
House of 1000 Corpses is about some young people on a tour of offbeat roadside attractions. They run across one with an intriguing local legend attached and go looking for the site of the legend. Things spiral wildly out of control when they are invited to a family's Halloween festivities. You have to see it to believe it. It's musician Rob Zombie's directorial debut and it's somewhere between his music videos, a movie, and your worst nightmares!
October 20, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #2 Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)
There is no rhyme or reason to my movie selection process this year. I am going to pick them right when I'm ready to do the next one. I may have done some of them before. Some of them will be new. I won't give you any of the ones I find hard to recommend, and certainly none of the ones I refuse to recommend despite owning them myself.
Tonight I chose Demon Knight for you. It is everything Tales from the Crypt should be including some things it couldn't be on television. It couldn't have nudity on TV at the time. They'd show somewhere they could now. Back then it also couldn't have the level of violence this movie has. Rounding out the things Tales needs is the camp, which TV could and did have.
An apt description of the plot would really kind of spoil the fun so let me just tell you the mysterious version. A man is on the run from something that isn't a man. Who is he? Why is he the target of the inhuman? What can he or anyone do to stop the horror that has been unleashed on him? Who can stop the Demon Knight?
October 19, 2015 13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2015: Night #1 My Bloody Valentine (2009)
Hello and welcome to the first of this year's 13 Nights of Hallowe'en. These are the first posts of the year and likely the only ones. It's been a disappointment to leave things idle like this. However, it's Hallowe'en season and here we go!
My Bloody Valentine (2009) is a remake--in 3D no less--starring Jensen Ackles from TV's Supernatural. It's a spectacular pedigree. It's also a nice turn with Jensen playing an every-man and not a powerhouse hero type.
Jensen plays Tom, a young man responsible for causing a near disaster only to have a killer snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and turn it into a real tragedy. Then 10 years later when Tom returns to finally confront his past the killer returns too for some anniversary slaughtering.