Watching Shudder’s Spiral film reminded me of the 2000 Japanese film Spiral (Uzumaki), itself an adaptation of the excellent Junji Ito manga, and so I decided it would be fun to revisit it. This is such a strange film, and not just because of the story (which is strange as fuck) but because of the way the film is made, including an odd cast, eccentric maybe even wooden acting, color correction that gives the entire film a somber green-ish tint, and an all-together old school feel (not something that was made in 2000). That said, I enjoyed my time with it, just going with the flow. Of course, it’s nowhere as good as Ito’s original manga, but it’s still worth taking in for the way it tries to tell that story.
As I mentioned in my write-up of the first House film, I wanted to see the sequel, and now realize what a mistake that was. This is not a good movie, to a point where I was barely paying attention during the second half. It leans even more in the comedy side of things than the first one, but it’s not funny, caught somewhere between an uninspired Jumanji and Gremlins. The one fun thing was in some of the casting though, and that’s for the inclusion of John Ratzenberger (who replaces his Cheers pal George Wendt from the first film), and Bill Maher as a sleazy record exec. The first House is a bit of silly fun, but don’t bother with the sequel.
Something I haven’t done so far as part of these October horror marathons is watch something animated, nevermind anime, and so I decided to look up a few things I could watch, and this came up. I do remember that this existed, with the reputation of being one of those “dark and dirty” animated films from Japan, but can’t remember if I ever actually watched it or not. Well, despite this being included in lists of horror anime films, this ended up being much more porn-y (with even a tentacle scene, natch) than horror. The setting is actually interesting, with the idea that humans and demons have a pact they renew every couple of centuries, and I liked the ending, but all of it takes a back seat to sexual encounters throughout. Oh well.
I came across a mention of this film in a movie magazine recently (I think it was Empire), and it came recommended, and so I decided to check it out — it’s a Shudder original film. I ended up really enjoying this. At first there was sequences that I disliked because it felt like an illogical thing for a character to do (like keeping something hidden from another character that it made no sense to keep hidden), but in the end it didn’t really matter because I thought the story they told was interesting — a gay couple moves into a small town, and strange things start happening with the neighbours — and not only did it come to a satisfying conclusion, but I also liked how it set up a continuation of the cycle (something we often see in Japanese horror films). Well worth watching.
This came out back in 2015, but I had never heard of it — I came across it only because I was looking through lists of the better slasher movies to have come out in recent years (my wife was in the mood to watch one). I really enjoyed this for what it is, a super meta take on the slasher genre, which it does by taking the piss out of it all. This is definitely a comedy more than anything else (you barely even see any gore), but at the same time it’s a love letter to the genre, specifically of the Friday the 13th/Sleepaway Camp variety. I’m surprised I didn’t know about it, but I’m very glad I got to see it, as we both had a lot of fun watching it. Definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre, or even just horror in general.
I finally got around to watching last year’s remake — after having rewatched the original not that long ago — and gotta say that I quite enjoyed it. I definitely like that they updated the premise by going with “rogue A.I.” as the reason for Chucky’s killing spree, instead of the supernatural happenings of the original. It does make it feel more “believable” (well, you know what I mean), and it was still horrifying to see it do what it did (it’s maybe even more creepy when you see what malicious programming an achieve). I also liked seeing Aubrey Plaza in this — she does a good job with the mom role. All in all, a very decent remake.
I quite enjoyed last year’s The Haunting of Hill House, and so it was a no brainer that I was going to watch this sequel series. I’ve only watched the first episode, but I already prefer the setting — nothing like a big ol’ manor in the English countryside. I’ll of course need to watch a lot more before I can say if I really enjoy the series or not, but I think it’s off to a good start, with a great cast, and some already pretty spooky and creepy moments. It’s definitely great to have this drop in October, like last year.
I had completely forgotten about this movie since being excited by the trailer when it had its theatrical release, and it came to mind yesterday and so I watched it, and overall I quite enjoyed it. I will say that the most enjoyable part of the movie for me was the first half hour, before any of the zombie stuff starts happening, when it just felt like a fun and quirky indie movie. The zombie stuff is hit and miss, but there’s still a lot to like, and the cast is of course amazing — and I gotta say that Iggy Pop kills it in his short zombie scene. I didn’t care much for what they were trying to say at the end about mass consumption though — it felt forced and not really in keeping with the rest of the movie. Watching this also made me realize that I haven’t seen Jim Jarmusch’s last few films (Only Lovers Left Alive, Paterson, Gimme Danger, The Limits of Control), and he was one of my favorite directors back in the day, so I now plan on catching up (well, post October marathon that is).
I skipped watching this when I did my 1986 movie marathon (it didn’t even make the list of 40 movies I watched for that), and I can’t even remember if I ever watched it even back in the day — what I do remember is the VHS box at rental shops. In a piece I read recently on Halloween H2o and its director Steve Miner, there was some mention of other films that Miner had directed, which included House (and also a couple of Friday the 13th films), and so I decided to watch it. This is definitely more of a comedy, using horror as the setting, while never being horrific. It was fun seeing something starring William Katt (The Greatest American Hero), and overall I didn’t dislike my time with this, enough that I’ll probably watch House II as well.
As I mentioned after watching Halloween H20, I wanted to watch its direct sequel out of curiosity. The way they get out of Michael’s death in H20 is pretty ridiculous — and even more silly in that the producer forced the creators of H20 to develop this and put it in a contract while they were making it, as he wanted to make sure there was a way to continue with the series. The film itself is, well, whatever. It was fun seeing Katee Sackhoff in it, and strangely enough, the idea of using a web-based reality shoot with audience participation as a premise is actually prescient, but it’s also contrived. Why is Michael in that house and looking to kill these people? I don’t think he has a sense of honour to be angry at the “desecration” of his childhood home, so what gives? Oh well, at least the current reboot series (presented as a direct sequel to the 1978 original film) is much, much better.