Thrillin’ and Chillin’ in October

Over the past month I did something a bit different from the recent movie marathons I’ve been doing. Instead of focusing on a year or a particular creator, I did an all-out horror fest, mixing movies with TV series (I didn’t necessarily watch all of the episodes yet, but I did for most of them). With 27 titles, it made for the most intense October viewing experience I’ve probably ever had, and it was fun too — I can definitely see myself doing this again next year.

Below, a list of all the horror content I took in throughout the month — you can also find all the posts under the “October 2018” category.

  1. 1922
  2. Apostle
  3. Ash vs Evil Dead (Season 2)
  4. Bone Tomahawk
  5. Castlevania (Season 2)
  6. Channel Zero (Season 3)
  7. Down a Dark Hall
  8. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
  9. Ghoul
  10. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
  11. Hereditary
  12. Hold the Dark
  13. Into the Dark: The Body
  14. It Comes at Night
  15. Malevolent
  16. Oculus
  17. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
  18. Summer of ’84
  19. Terrifier
  20. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  21. The Endless
  22. The First Purge
  23. The Haunting of Hill House
  24. The Purge (TV series)
  25. The Purge: Election Year
  26. The Ritual
  27. Winchester

Terrifier

I liked watching this, even though I found it to be trash at the same time. It’s fully in the b-movie camp, with low-budget effects, but it manages to have fun with that, all the while being really gory — more than I was expecting — and with a premise that sounds pretty dumb and simple at first, but ends up being more creepy than it should be (I think in part because of the odd and frantic performance by the actor playing the clown/killer). Not for everyone, and not for every moods, but can be fun to watch if you’re in the right frame of mind.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

I watched this in the context of the regular “Movie Nights” I organize at work — I pick a theme (this time was of course “Halloween”) and then create a survey for the team to pick the movie they’d most like to watch (choices were between this, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Scream, Creepshow, and Trick ‘R Treat). I had an absolute blast watching it, but it was in a fantastic setting: a large room with a bunch of people, drinking beers and eating popcorn, and having a fun time commenting at things and joking while we were watching it. This is a ridiculously over-the-top film — with an oh-so-young Cory Feldman — and it’s quite simply one of the best examples of what 80s slasher films were all about.

Oculus

I really didn’t know much about this movie, but came across it on Netflix, and it seemed to be rated highly. It was a very pleasant surprise, as it ended up being quite good — certainly one of the better movies I watched in October. Great spooky premise — a haunted mirror — with an interesting buildup (trying to stop it from happening again through a series of contraptions) and then payoff. Really enjoyed this.

The Purge (TV Series)

As I mentioned when I wrote about watching The Purge: Election Year and The First Purge, I quite like this movie series, and the TV series has been quite good as well. I’ve only watched the first 4 episodes so far (it’s still airing weekly on Prime Video), so I can’t say if the payoff will be good, but I like how it manages to examine the purge from even more different types of angles (a death cult, to get revenge within a corporate setting, the relationship with the ruling party, etc.) I think it’s worth watching if you’re a fan of the movies.

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.

Bone Tomahawk

This is a hell of a movie. I’d been wanting to watch it for quite some time, and had heard that it gets really crazy at some point, and yup, that final sequence is just, well, terrifying. I really love westerns, so I was first of all happy to have one that touches on the horror genre. It also does a nice job of slowly building towards what we witness towards the end — which is truly terrifying, both in terms of something you see happen, as well as seeing the remains of something they’ve done (I’m purposely leaving this vague). 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.

Channel Zero (Season 3)

I’d heard of this series when it launched, and was curious, but never got around to watching it. With the 4th season launching recently, and seeing some good buzz about it, I decided to pay season 3 a visit. I only watched the first episode (of 6), but wow, this was incredibly creepy, and definitely felt like something I’d like to watch more of (the only thing that stopped me was that I wanted to get more movies in during my October horror fest). It’s an anthology series that works like American Horror Story in that every season is its own self-contained story, and this 3rd season is entitled “Butcher’s Block.” From what I watched, this gives most horror movies a run for their money in terms of creepiness.