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Film TV

Thrillin’ and Chillin’ in October 2020

Following the October horror marathons I did in 2018 and 2019, I decided to do the same this year, and what a ride it was. I ended up watching much more this year than in the past (34!), which is especially surprising since that includes multiple episodes of a few series (Lovecraft Country, Ash vs Evil Dead, Creepshow, and The Haunting of Bly Manor). I think that what contributed to this was that since the start of the pandemic, I barely watched any horror — maybe not such a big surprise — and so even though I’d slowly started watching some recently, when I decided to dive in for October, well, I really dove in. So below are links to my short write-ups of everything I watched, or you can get to them all under the “October 2020” tag.

  1. Ash vs Evil Dead (Season 3)
  2. Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island
  3. Books of Blood
  4. Child’s Play (2019)
  5. Child’s Play 2
  6. Creepshow (Season 1)
  7. Creepshow Animated Special
  8. Death of Me
  9. Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack
  10. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
  11. Halloween: Resurrection
  12. House
  13. House II: The Second Story
  14. Lily C.A.T.
  15. Lovecraft Country
  16. Nocturne
  17. Peninsula
  18. Relic
  19. Seoul Station
  20. Spiral
  21. Spiral (Uzumaki)
  22. Suspiria (2018)
  23. Tales From the Darkside
  24. The Babysitter
  25. The Babysitter: Killer Queen
  26. The Dead Don’t Die
  27. The Exorcist III
  28. The Final Girls
  29. The Haunting of Bly Manor
  30. The Mortuary Collection
  31. The Rental
  32. The Trigger Effect
  33. Vampire Hunter D
  34. Wicked City
Categories
Debaser Film

Relic

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.

Categories
Debaser Film

Books of Blood

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.

Categories
Debaser Film

The Mortuary Collection

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.

Categories
Anime Debaser Film

Vampire Hunter D

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.

Categories
Debaser Film

Peninsula

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.

Categories
Debaser Film

Child’s Play 2

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.

Categories
Anime Debaser Film

Lily C.A.T.

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).

Categories
Anime Debaser Film

Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack

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.

Categories
Debaser Film

Suspiria (2018)

After Nocturne, watching the Suspiria remake suddenly came to mind, and I’m glad I did as it made for a very good match. I’d been meaning to watch this ever since its release, but for some reason never felt in the mood to do so — I had even started it at some point, but stopped after about 10 minutes. Well, this time I was completely sucked in, and enjoyed the whole thing from start to finish. I watched the original Suspiria a few years ago, and while it does keep the main ideas, it does swerve quite a bit, but in a way that makes for a much more interesting story. The way its shot and the general aesthetic of the film are definitely its strong point, and I particularly liked the division in acts with an epilogue. Yes, it gets pretty nuts towards the end, but in what I thought was a satisfying way, and I felt that the scene that sees torture through dance (movements from one person affecting the other) was particularly inspired. A very good film indeed.

One thing I’ll note though is that I continue to have issues with subtitles on “auto” in Prime Video, in that they just stop working, and so when you’re watching a film that includes sequences in languages other than English (there’s a lot of spoken German in Suspiria) you need to put on Closed Captioning, which I find incredibly distracting. I had the same issue watching Jack Ryan, and it made it annoying to watch at times. It looks like this is a known issue with Prime Video, and I wonder why they don’t fix it.