Apostle

This is not an easy film to watch, but it’s well worth watching. The reason I say it’s hard to watch is because it’s so relentlessly dour and dark, and just never lets up — to a point where my wife stopped watching it about halfway (and she usually watches all these horror movies with me). But it’s mesmerizing to watch — mostly due to the great direction by Gareth Evans — and the setting itself is novel and interesting. But this is definitely not the “fun” kind of horror movie that you tend to want to watch for Halloween. And this is now the 3rd great Netflix original movie in a row that I watch (after Malevolent and Hold the Dark).

The Haunting of Hill House

I was very much looking forward to this new Netflix series, as it falls perfectly in my current horrorfest mode. I’ve watched the first two episodes so far, and I’ll say that I liked the first episode a lot more than the second one. I like the premise, but thing’s are moving a bit too slowly for my taste, especially in the second episode — it spends too much time on the family melodrama, while I’d like it to be more horrific. It’s too early to tell though where it’s all going, so I’ll definitely be watching more.

It Comes at Night

This was incredibly creepy, and I think it’s an interesting choice to never really explain the setting (i.e. the reason people are getting sick, and that they are in full survival mode). The cast is really good, and keeping everything so self-contained (it pretty much all takes place in and around a house in the middle of the woods) really helps keep things tense and claustrophobic. Very much recommended.

The First Purge

As I wrote recently for The Purge: Election Year, I do like this series, and was quite looking forward to watching this film. I liked it fine, but I’ll say that for me it’s the weakest of all the films (I think my favorite is Election Year). The big surprise here was to see Marisa Tomei in it — doesn’t feel like the kind of thing she’d do (although her part is relatively small — maybe she’s just a fan of the series). It’s still worth watching if you like the series, and it’s fun to see how it all started (it ends up being as crooked as you’d expect). I’m really curious to see how they’ll continue things, considering how Election Year ends.

Into the Dark: The Body

This is a new horror anthology TV series with a new episode (the length of a movie) every month that ties into that month’s holiday — the premiere episode is Halloween-themed, and they’ve announced that the November episode will relate to Thanksgiving. This sounded like something that would be right up my alley, but I have to say that this first episode, “The Body,” never really grabbed me. It was OK, but it didn’t make me want to continue watching the series. It’s an interesting premise, but it just didn’t land for me.

Hold the Dark

This probably falls more in the “thriller” category than “horror,” but it certainly has its share of creepy moments, and I really enjoyed it. It’s at times a very slow/meditative film, so I’d say you probably need to be in a mood for something like that in order to really enjoy it, but if you are, you’re in for an interesting ride. Great acting all around, and a novel setup/setting (best not to say too much). Oh, and it’s another good Netflix original film — they’ve really upped their game of late, especially with horror content for October.

Malevolent

Continuing with the October horrorfest, I next watched Malevolent, a recently added Netflix Original. This was pretty enjoyable, starting with a setting I liked — Glasgow in the 80s. It follows a group of fake ghost hunters who encounter — surprise, surprise — real ghosts. It gets pretty intense towards the end, much more than I was expecting, and overall I thought it was quite decent. I’m glad to say that the crop of Netflix original films are getting better and better.

Down a Dark Hall

I wasn’t really expecting much from this, and pretty much went into it blind, except knowing that it takes place in a big ol’ mansion (yeah, I like horror movies that take place in big ol’ mansions) and that it stars Uma Thurman. In the end, I can’t say that I was that into it, even though some of the ideas are neat (the reason the students were brought to that house). I didn’t hate it, but wouldn’t really recommend it either.

The Purge: Election Year

I’ll go ahead and say it, I like the Purge movies. It’s a fascinating — if terrifying — idea, and I thought the first two films did a good job of not only being fun thrillers to watch, but also building up this world, which happens even more in this film (showing how the US came to be like this). I’m also quite looking forward to watching the 4th film in the series that came out this year, The First Purge, and I’ve been watching the new TV series (it’s on Prime Video here in Canada).

Summer of ’84

This I really enjoyed (and my wife too). Sure, it’s the “kids on bikes” 80s kinda throwback that’s all the rage these days, but it’s well done. Think Stranger Things, but without the supernatural stuff. And the end takes a sudden turn that really surprised me, in a dark way. Even better, this was locally made by Montreal-based directors (they also made the 80s-influenced Turbo Kid), which is nice to see. I think it’s well worth watching.