October is finally coming to a close as is this year’s Horror Movie Challenge. For previous Horror Movie Challenge posts check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Initially I wanted to focus more on classic slasher films since I usually tend to avoid them in favor of more psychological horror movies but the internet was down the day I started this week’s set of movies and fell back on my personal collection which is mostly Asian Horror so enjoy this mishmash of some new films and some of my all time favs!
Friendly reminder: movies marked with an asterisk (*) are ones I’ve never seen before or are brand new to me. Unmarked titles are ones I’m rewatching.
OCT 21st: Cho Kowai Hanashi A: Yami No Karasu/「超」怖い話Ａ闇の鴉/Cursed (2004) [3/5 Stars]
Technically the full title of this film translates as Extremely Scary Story A: Dark Crow so I get why it was released as Cursed for it’s English title. There are stories on haunted houses, haunted people, haunted video tapes, haunted cell phones, but someone in Japan thought hmm we need a movie about a haunted convenience store and I thank them for that thought. This movie tries to shove so many horror cliches in at once and I totally eat it up. Crows flying in to windows. Long haired ghost girls popping up in refrigerators. Mysterious sledgehammer killer chase scene. Weird demented shop owners. Shadows appearing in reflections. Get this you die if your purchase total is something like 666, 999, 333 and so on. It’s stupid and silly and it’s probably my favorite bad Japanese horror film. As an actual film this is probably a 1 or 2 star one but my heart wants to give it 4 stars… so 3 stars!
OCT 22nd: The Stuff (1985)* [2/5 Stars]
Yet another “The *insert noun*” creature-esque horror flicks from the 80’s. I have some friends who said they remember being super scared of this when they were kids and that it’s a great horror/comedy classic. I can appreciate it for what it was at the time when it came out but it didn’t really do it for me this time around. The acting was a little too bad. I know the dialogue was supposed to be cheesy and over the top but I just kept shaking my head at how stupid the characters were. Had I seen this movie when I was younger it’d probably hold a place in my heart but I didn’t and it doesn’t. However this one liner that a sheriff says after seeing The Stuff emerge from a human corpse is golden, “I kinda like the sight of blood but this is disgusting.”
OCT 23rd: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015)* [2/5 Stars]
I believe this is the 6th installment to the Paranormal Activity series. I enjoyed the first film of the Paranormal franchise but stopped anticipating them after the second one. Ghost Dimension was mediocre at best. The scares didn’t really have a punch and relied heavily on jump scares prompted by loud noises/sudden movements. The effects they did for the older camera were pretty cool and the final battle before going into the other dimension was really fun to watch unfold, but not enough to warrant a second viewing. Lets just say that my date was more spooked by some of the trailers before the movie than the actual feature we paid to see.
OCT 24th: Lazarus Effect (2015)* [2/5 Stars]
I may have gone in to this one with higher expectations than I should have.. mostly because I love a lot of the actors/actresses in the cast. The cast did a great job with what they had but the overall plot was a little weak. I was able to suspend my disbelief for quite a bit but the underlying secret/evil/whatever you want to call it didn’t have as much of a punch as I was hoping and it started to lose my attention about halfway through. I did appreciate effects and sense of dread after Olivia Wilde’s character was resurrected but it fell flat shortly after. Not bad but didn’t have a lasting impact for me.
OCT 25th: Mimic (1999)* [3/5 Stars]
Guillermo Del Toro keeps sneaking his way in to this challenge and I’m super okay with it. I love creature flicks and this is one I remember seeing trailers for when I was younger but was too scared to see when it first came out. So I’m super happy it popped up while clicking around on Netflix. It threw me off that “Romy” was dealing with bugs for the first 10 mins of the movie or so (damn you, nostalgia!) Besides that this film was really fun to watch and I love when the creatures end up being evolved mistakes that he characters essentially brought upon themselves when they try to play God (similar to Lazarus Effect). The bug design was super creepy with it’s human skull like disguise. Love~
OCT 26th: It Follows (2015) [5/5 Stars]
By far one of my new favorite horror films and films in general! The cinematography, as my friend put it, is very “gif-able” and screaming to be made in to angsty tumblr gif sets. She’s right. I’m also in love with the soundtrack which is done by Disasterpeace (who also did the music for indie game FEZ). I want to buy it, but I also don’t want a looming sense of dread while I go about my day. A lot of people compare the demon or “it” to a take on HIV/AIDs or an STD, but that’s if you take it at face value. What if it were more of a sense of being scared of change, the unknown or inevitability of death? I haven’t been so throughly shaken up by a scary movie since seeing Juon back in 2003. While the movie itself isn’t super scary, the concept and my over active imagination gifted me with 3-4 days of sleepless nights after seeing this in theaters back in April. I don’t want to spoil anything so do yourself a favor, and check this movie out asap.
OCT 27th: Ju-On/呪怨/Grudge (2002) [5/5 Stars]
Ok y’all. This is the movie that started it all. I wasn’t really in to horror until I rented an unsubbed VHS tape of this at the local Japanese marketplace back in 2003. I had no idea what was going on and I was scarred for life. My curiosity and love for psychologically driven horror films blossomed. I was lucky enough to see a screening of Juon in San Francisco and it sounded WAY better on theater speakers than on any TV I’ve watched it on. The thing that intrigued me the most was how this film took away all the common places or scenarios where I thought I’d be safe. NOPE. This ghost, this curse, will follow you and find you. No place is scared. This film also had a Hollywood remake starring Sarah Michelle Gellar which was actually pretty good! Possibly cause the same director was involved in the production. The particular screening I saw on Tuesday had a Q&A with Takashi Shimizu afterwards, and I finally had some questions answered that had been plaguing me for the past 12 years. Maybe a special MoreSpooker post is in order, hmm?
Do you have a movie that got you hooked on Horror or a favorite scary movie in general? Comment below or tweet me @teriarchibbles!
MoreSpooker is my new column on anything and everything involving creepy, scary horror themed media! More posts will be coming on Wednesdays!
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