The Ritual

Throughout the month of October I ended up watching quite a few Netflix Original films, something I hadn’t really done much of in the past, and this was another one I really enjoyed. Hiking in the woods is already a great premise for a horror film, and here they manage to really build it up nicely, to then cap it off with a great creepy payoff that isn’t really what you’d expect. Well worth watching.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I have mixed feelings about this series. I started out really liking it, finding it a fun mix of horror and dark humor, but then it sort of lost itself with its storytelling. I don’t care at all about the romance aspects, and had an especially hard time with the 5th episode — it’s a “dream” episode, and I hate “dream” episodes. I was watching this with my wife, so kept at it even though I was losing interest during the second half, but it finally got me again in the final episode, as I liked how it ended. I’m still not sure if I’ll want to watch the next season/part though. I will say that I like Kiernan Shipka in this a lot more than I did in Mad Men — I always felt like she didn’t do a great acting job in that series, getting worse and worse as she grew older.

1922

One of the two Stephen King films that popped up on Netflix a while back, I kept meaning to watch it and finally got around to it. Can’t say I liked it much though. There just isn’t much of a story here, which is no surprise when you learn that it was adapted from a novella/short story. The film itself is well put together, but I just didn’t find the story to be interesting, a bit too basic really. Might have worked better as a 30-minute episode for an anthology series.

Ghoul

I’ve been curious about this series for a while now, and so finally got around to starting it during my October horror fest. I’ve only watched the first episode of three, but I really liked the setup — a near future in India where religion is banned. They tease a bit of supernatural stuff, but it hasn’t really gone full out yet. Looking forward to watching the rest.

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.

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.

Disenchantment

I was pretty interested in watching this, even though I can’t say I’ve always been the biggest Groening follower. Sure, I liked the Simpsons back in the day, but haven’t watched any of it in over a decade (at least), and watched bits of Futurama here and there, and liked it enough, but that’s it. As for this, I’ve watched half of the episodes, and, well, I like it enough to watch more. It’s nothing amazing, it’s fun but not incredibly funny (although I absolutely love Elfo), but I find myself sometimes in the right mood to watch an episode, and do so. All this to say I like it fine — wow, what a noncommittal critique — and will watch all that’s there.