2015 Horror Movie Challenge: Part 1

morespookerFI-01I love scary things. Scary movies. Scary stories. Scary games. Scary shows. LOVE ’em! So once a year when October rolls around I attempt the Horror Movie challenge. The challenge very simple; watch one scary movie a day during the month of October. Sometimes you can slip up or can’t squeeze in a movie during a busy day so it’s ok to sneak in some extras on the weekend when you’re more free. Main goal is to watch 31 movies total! I’ve done the challenge for twice in the past and it always gives me a good excuse to watch good films, bad ones, some old favorites and even classic films that I’ve never seen before.

Movies marked with an asterisk (*) are ones I’ve never seen before/brand new to me. Unmarked titles are ones I’m rewatching. Let’s get started!

OCT 1st: Knights of Badassdom (2013)* – [3/5 Stars]

I remember seeing the trailer for this in 2012 but completely forgot about it. It was definitely more comedy than horror which is fine, but Netflix probably shouldn’t have put this in the Horror genre next to Scream. The trailer shows about 90% of the horror aspects so there’s that. It was enjoyable for what it was; a LARPing themed comedy with a splash of horror. The use of practical effects was actually a nice surprise towards the end, and although they were cheesy, it fit the overall feeling of the movie. (Side note: it was nice to see Ryan Kwanten as the last thing I watched with him in it was True Blood.)

OCT 2nd: Teeth (2007)* – [1/5 Stars]

Went in to this movie fairly blind i.e. didn’t watch the trailer and all I knew was that a girl’s vagina had teeth. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I’m super confused at the tone of this movie as it kept jumping around a bit. It starts off in a rather serious tone what with the girl’s close guy friend trying to rape her then it just spiraled in to what-the-fuckery as each vaginal encounter became more and more outrageous. I rolled my eyes while shouting “REALLY?” more times than I could count. They marketed this as a nightmare for men however this feels more like everyday concerns for women, minus the actual vagina teeth. Only interesting bit was about the TINY intro to the mythology of Vagina Dentata, but save yourself some time and just Google it… OR find the clip where the gynecologist loses his fingers and just yells “VAGINA DENTATA” over and over and over..

OCT 3rd: Tales From The Darkside: The Movie (1990)* – [4/5 Stars]

I’d heard of Tales of The Darkside TV show but never saw any episodes. I knew it would be cheesy short scary stories similar to Tales From The Crypt or the Goosebumps/Are You Afraid of the Dark of the 80’s and this movie had the same feeling. I found myself laughing at how campy the stories were but in the best possible way. Modern day Hansel and Gretel? Christian Slater and Julianne Moore battle a mummy raised from the dead by Steve Buscemi? How about a household that fears a killer cat? Or a dude makes a deal with a gargoyle? Sound fun? It should since the screenplay was done by Michael McDowell and George A Romero! The movie was a great sampling for a creature feature and the effects were hilariously charming. I wish I’d watched this with friends so we could’ve all gotten a kick out of it. If anything watch it for the murderous cat that kills a hired assassin by jumping down his throat.

OCT 4th: Housebound (2014)* – [3/5 Stars]

I think I would’ve enjoyed this movie more had I know a little more about it going in to it such is the risk of picking a movie at random on Netflix. I was watching it as if it were a serious horror film but it’s definitely a more tongue in cheek scary movie. Unfortunately I didn’t catch on until the last 40-30 mins of the film so it was rather hard to watch. The main character was not likable so I didn’t care if she died or not (but you’re supposed to care, right? Well I didn’t). However as the movie become more ridiculous/corny with it’s acting, gore shots, main plot points (think Shaun of the Dead), it become really enjoyable and I caught myself laughing. I may rewatch it later now that I know it’s not supposed to be taken too seriously.

OCT 5th: Dream House (2011)* – [4/5 Stars]
(WARNING: Trailer spoils mid-movie plot twist)

Netflix has failed me once again. This is another film I blindly clicked on because it had a creepy looking image/summary and was nestled in the Scary Movies genre of Netflix. This was most definitely not a scary movie but rather a creepy psychological triller. On the plus side, I did enjoy it for what it was! I’m glad I didn’t watch the trailer first otherwise the main mid-movie twist wouldn’t have had such an impact. While the trailer doesn’t ruin the main twist but it definitely takes some of the fun out first time viewers.

OCT 6th: Chakushin Ari/着信アリ/One Missed Call (2003) – [5/5 Stars]

This is by far one of my favorite horror movie franchises! I’m talking I somehow managed to find a midi sound file of that haunting ringtone in 2004, and set it as my ringtone on my crappy flip phone obsessed. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it and I enjoy it more with every viewing. This movie capitalizes on the fear of technology even before smart phones had become a thing. You get a call from your own cell number accompanied by a super eery ringtone, and find a voicemail of you essentially revealing how you will die in the future? What would you do?? Terrifying concept! They use a lot of familiar imagery found in Asian horror films but they’re done in rather creative ways. This film also set the bar pretty high for best pop ballad (Ikutsuka no Sora sung by the lead actress Kou Shibasaki no less!) to play during the ending credits which is a surprisingly common in Japanese horror flicks. Not to mention these girls deliver some of the most bone chilling screams I’ve heard in a horror movie.  It took me a while to figure out exactly what the mystery was to this story, but it’s one of those series that once you think you’ve have it figure out the sequels throw more questions at ya. Lastly yes, there was a (horrible) American remake of this movie. Do yourself a favor and just watch the original.

Have you seen any of these movies? What movies should I watch next for the Horror Movie Challenge? Comment below or tweet me @teriarchibbles!

MoreSpooker is my new column on anything and everything involving creepy, scary horror themed media! Future posts will be coming on Wednesdays!

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