I capped off my monthlong horror fest with a triple bill on Halloween night that included The Mortuary Collection, Books of Blood, and then lastly Relic. This was quite good. Incredibly slow and creepy during its buildup, it then climaxes in a harrowing and stressful bout of unexpected horror that’s not specifically scary, but eery, and although I didn’t quite understand what the ending meant, a bit of reading after the fact (interviews with the director) made me appreciate what it all meant and represented. It’s definitely worth taking in.
I followed my viewing of The Mortuary Collection with another horror anthology film, Books of Blood, which itself is an adaptation of a Clive Barker book. Feels like I haven’t seen anything new film-wise from Barker in ages (I of course have revisited some of his classic films), and so I was quite looking forward to this. This was really great, and not only because each of the stories were interesting (and creepy as fuck) by themselves. I especially liked how they all intertwine with each other — I think the best way to describe it would be à la Pulp Fiction. Well worth watching.
This is a Shudder original that was released earlier in the month, and I really enjoyed it. It’s an anthology horror collection à la Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt, but with a connective tissue à la Tales from the Darkside, but one that manages to blend into some of the tales (especially the last one). I’m a big fan of anthology horror films like this, and so it’s good to see a new one like this come out, and I wouldn’t mind at all if they managed to turn this into a franchise (which I think the outcome of the connective storyline would lend itself to that). Definitely a good pick to watch on this Hallows’ Eve.
This is another 80s anime film that I decided to revisit for this horror-filled marathon, and I’m glad I did. Sure, it drags on here and there, but it’s still a neat story (despite the traditional vampire setup, the setting is Mars) and the designs of the creatures are pretty gruesome and fun to take in (especially in that sequence where he enters the castle through an underground corridor filled with monstrosities). I think I missed that a sequel was released in 2000 (although note that this is an adaptation of a rather large book series), so I think I’ll probably check that out at some point.
I have mixed feelings after watching this. For most of it I felt pretty down on it, as not only is zombie fatigue big with me, but especially when it comes to the zombie post-apocalyptic variety (blame Walking Dead probably). I can say that I much preferred Train to Busan (this is a sequel to that film, taking place four years later), and I think that’s because of the train setting, which made things quite tense. I also preferred the animated prequel, Seoul Station, because I think the start of an outbreak is a more interesting story to tell, and it’s a really nicely animated film, with a neat little twist towards the end. Also, I absolutely hated the overly sentimental ending of the film, which just felt like it went on forever. But I did enjoy parts of this, and thought that the big car chase climax was especially thrilling to watch (think Mad Max Fury Road level of goodness), and that made sitting through all of this worth it for me. If you’re a fan of Seoul Station and Train to Busan, then you should probably watch this as well, but go in prepared.
I was very happy to see that this was going to get released this week — as I wrote in my other post about Creepshow, it’s what reminded me to go back and watch the rest of the series. This was quite good, especially the first story which is by Stephen King, and deliciously macabre — the second tale, by his son Joe Hill, gets good by the end, but the constant Twitter chatter by the main character annoyed me a bit. Also, this is more done as motion comics than purely animated, but it didn’t really make me enjoy it any less, as they did a good job of using this style to illustrate the stories, which both pretty much entirely revolve around long monologues. Well worth checking out.
After watching the reboot not too long ago, and the original first film late last year, it was time to revisit the sequel. Is it good? I’m definitely more a fan of the reboot and the way they position Chucky (as an A.I. run amok, instead of the supernatural take of the original films), but Brad Dourif’s voicing of Chucky is still classic and fun to hear. I did feel a bit bored throughout, but there were a few fun sequences, especially the climax and the way they “kill” Chucky at the end. It doesn’t really make me want to revisit the other sequels though.
I had watched the first couple of episode of this Shudder-produced series adaption of the classic 80s anthology film during my October marathon last year, and only now have I gotten around to watching the other episodes. I’m glad I did, because as I wrote in that original post, this is a really fun series, and does a great job of telling the same sort of creepy (and occasionally silly) stories that the original film did, which makes me happy. I was reminded of the series with the recent announcement that a new animated Halloween special is getting released later this week (also on Shudder).
Released back in 1987, this is another anime film I dug up while searching for anime releases that were horror-themed. It’s pretty much a take on Alien, and so a crew on a long-distance cargo ship starts having to deal with something killing the crew. Nothing groundbreaking, but it was entertaining, and decently animated. I only wish I could have watched the original Japanese edition — I could only find the American dub, which was apparently heavily edited (by Carl Macek of Robotech fame no less).
Since I’m a big fan of Junji Ito’s work, I’m really surprised that I had missed the release of this (back in 2012) — I just stumbled upon it while searching for horror-themed anime to watch. If you’re a fan of Ito, then you know what to expect: deliciously grotesque happenings of the weirdest kind — in this case, fish (and other creatures of the sea, including sharks) start roaming the streets with insect-like appendages. And then it gets even weirder. I quite enjoyed this, and would now like to read the manga story it’s based on.