Every year one of my favourite video game Journalists Patrick Klepek and his wife Katie decided that they’re going to try to watch 31 horror movies during the month of October. Patrick usually has a list ready to go, but due to the birth of their new baby girl, he’s been busy and unable to post a list, so I decided to go in the style of him, and make my own list.
Going back to this list now that I made about a month ago, I didn’t hit my quota of 31 horror movies in the month of October. I also didn’t really stick to the list, I went off an watched some classics or some other favourites and left most of the films on this list off, for now. I plan to watch these movies over the next year when I’m in the mood and add them into the rotation next October. So for now here’s what I got to watch for the month of October. Ill list them off and do a brief review of what its about. I won’t score them this time, but I will say if I recommend them or not, and if I think they’ll be rewatched between now and next year.
- 31 (2016)-Rob Zombie – I watched this movie pre-halloween with my best friend Victoria. I thought it was pretty good, not his best movie, dare I say it still being The Devil’s Rejects and 2007’s Halloween remake. 31 is about a group of carnival workers who are taken hostage and forced to participate in a series of games of life and death. Their goal is to survive for 12 hours. The concept was much cooler than its execution. Recommendation – If you like Rob Zombies style, give it a shot. If you don’t this won’t change your mind on him. I think watching it once was enough for me, it was pretty forgettable in my opinion. Rewatch? – Maybe, if theres nothing better to watch.
- The Fog (1980) – John Carpenter – The Fog is really what kicked off my october film watches. Its a brilliant film from the mind of the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. John Carpenter. In which you can never go wrong with any one of his films, definitely my favourite horror director of all time. The Fog is about demonic victims of a shipwreck who seek revenge on the small coastal town. They remade this, so make sure if you want to watch it you get the 1980 version, word through the grapevine the remake was pretty awful, I will watch it eventually. Recommendation – Its a brilliantly told and scored ghost story. John Carpenter’s leading lady – Jamie Lee Curtis stars and its just a fun movie to watch. So yes, give it to watch. Rewatch – My love for John Carpenter these days is through the roof, so I see myself watching The Fog again very soon. (Hint at future blog post…)
- The Thing (2011) – Matthijs can Heijningen- Before I go into this, as it may sound a bit harsh. John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) is in my top 3 favourite horror movies of all time. As this isn’t a remake, its actually a prequel – not many people know about that fact. The Thing is about the discovery of an alien aircraft in Antarctica leading to a confrontation between student and scientist. It was neat to see how and where the 1982 film started, where this dog came from, etc. But that was the end of that venture, I didn’t like the overuse of CGI, but I also broke my rule and compared it with the 1982 remake, instead of going in fresh. The story was neat, the monster looked ridiculous. Recommendation – I don’t think I can recommend it, as the John Carpenter version is far superior. If you haven’t seen the John Carpenter version, i’d watch this first (as its the prequel) and then watch the 1982 version. If you’re feeling really sassy, you could watch the original 1951 version – The Thing From Another World. Rewatch? – Probably not.
- Without Warning (1980) – Greydon Clark – One of those so bad its good films. Its so cheesy and ridiculous now, but its a lot of fun to watch. Without Warning is about an alien creature stalking human prey. The effects are cheesy, the acting is so-so, but its a lot of fun to watch. Recommendation – If you like so bad its good films, Yes. If you can’t get over cheesy effects, no. Rewatch – a Scream factory blu ray was released of this, I plan on adding that edition to my collection.
- The Thing (1982) – John Carpenter – This is top 3 favourite horror movies of all time for me. Everything about this movie fun, the practical effects were brilliant, the characters were brilliant. John Carpenter has an amazing eye for detail, and his films are always superb. The Thing is about An alien whose able to shape shift into anything it touches. The members of an American research base are trying to stay alive while this thing is living among them. If you’ve never seen this movie, I honestly can’t recommend it enough. It has to be seen to be believed. Recommendation – Absolutely, the practical effects and Kurt Russell in this movie is brilliant. Rewatch – Most definitely, as its my favourite John Carpenter movie.
- Nerve (2016) – Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman – I was able to see this in theatre earlier this year and I ended up reviewing it. Link to review here: https://andrewmoviespot.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/nerve-review/ . I was happy to re-watch this movie in the comforts of my own home, without the entitled teenager who was cracking stupid jokes and kicking my chair behind me. I was able to really get into the movie and the characters more the second time. I honestly really liked this one, I guess it would considered more thriller than horror, but its an interesting movie nonetheless. Nerve is about a high school senior who participates in a game of dare , where she is manipulated by a group of online individuals called “watchers.” Recommendation – This is a fun and really interesting thriller and I definitely recommend watching it, at least once. Rewatch? – I’ll be watching this again, I really liked this one.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Henry Selick- I still find it interesting that people claim that Tim Burton directed this, he did not in fact, he wrote the short story. I think they plucked is name on there to get people to go see it, but it was indeed directed by Henry Selick (who went on to direct Coraline in 2009). Anyways this is a movie i’ll watch twice a year – October, and Christmas time. It transcends both holidays. The Nightmare Before Christmas is about Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween, discovering a tree portals to other holiday towns, including Christmas Town; to which he doesn’t fully understand the concept. Its definitely a film everyone should see. Recommendation – Yes absolutely, for either christmas or halloween, or both! you decide. Rewatch – I love this movie and grew up with it, so i’ll be rewatching it.
- Lights Out (2016) – David F. Sandberg – I unfortunately was away in Montreal for a concert when I won advanced screening tickets to go see Lights Out. I mean I did get to see Slipknot, so it wasn’t too bad. I thought Lights Out was a really cool idea, with smart execution. There wasn’t anytime in the movie where I would yell at a character for being dumb. Lights Out is a film I won’t tell you the story to, as I feel like it would take away from the film itself, so I will post a link to the trailer for the first time in my blog posts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LiKKFZyhRU . Recommendation – Yes, its definitely a different and smart take on a genre full of tropes. Rewatch – I don’t think I’ll watch this again anytime soon, but down the line I’ll pick up the blu-ray when its a bit cheaper.
- The Frighteners (1996) – Peter Jackson – Before Peter Jackson did The Lord Of The Rings, he had made quite the name for himself as a horror director. He directed the brilliant Dead Alive A.K.A. Braindead in 1992 and The Frighteners. The Frighteners is about a man who discovers he can communicate with the dead to con people. When a demonic spirit appears, however, he may be the only thing that can stop it from killing the living and the dead. I thought this movie was pretty good, nothing to write home about. Recommendation: if theres nothing else on, or you want to see a good Michael J. Fox film that isn’t the Back To The Future trilogy or a Peter Jackson film that isn’t the Lord of The Rings or his best film Dead Alive. Rewatch – Maybe.
- Halloween (1978) – John Carpenter – Surprise! another John Carpenter movie. Shocked? you shouldn’t be. No Halloween season is complete without watching this classic flick. I certainly hope everyone has seen this or knows what it is or who the slasher is. But if you haven’t, Halloween is set 15 years after Michael Myers murdered his sister on Halloween Night. Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill once more. This is probably one of the most pioneer John Carpenter films and slasher films of all time as it is iconic and legendary. Recommendation – Yes. no question. Rewatch – Always.
- The Lost Boys (1987) – Joel Schumacher – As much as Batman & Robin (1997) is a train wreck of bat nipples and brilliant ice puns, Schumacher’s best film in my opinion is The Lost Boys. Not only that, but its also my favourite vampire film. The Lost Boys is about a family moving to a new town, and the two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires. Its a comedy, horror, and it plays both roles brilliantly. Recommendation – Definitely. I remember showing my best friend Victoria this movie, she had never heard of it and she ended up loving it too. Rewatch – Yes, its my favourite vampire flick!
- Deep Blue Sea (1999) – Renny Harlin – In a genre dominated by Jaws (1975), and made people scared to go back in the water for years, comes a film in the shark genre that changes the rules, in the form of Deep Blue Sea. The film is about a group of scientists on an isolated research facility who are trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s who are being hunted by 3 genetically enhanced sharks. Playtime is over. It is a fully ridiculous plot, but its entirely fun to watch. Recommendation – Yes, if you like shark movies or movies that are so dumb they’re fun, this is for you. Rewatch – I’ve seen this movie more times than Jaws, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
- Lake Placid (1999) – Steve Miner – I determined that 1999 was a brilliant year for creature features. Sharks and now being freaking crocodiles! I mean you really can’t go too wrong. The film is about a group of people who are trying to stop a gigantic crocodile from terrorizing residents along Black Lake, Maine. Like Deep Blue Sea – Its dumb, big and fun. The plot is absurd, but its highly entertaining. Recommendation – Yes, its a great double feature with Deep Blue Sea. Rewatch – You Dammmmnnnnnn Right.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) – Jim Sharman – Another film that needs to be watched around October once a year for the season to really feel complete. Probably THE cult classic. Rocky Horror is about a couple’s car breaking down in the middle of nowhere on a dark and stormy night. The couple must pay a visit to the mansion of bizarre Dr. Frank-N-Furter for assistance. What happens after their arrival, is nothing short of bizarre, but its so much fun to watch. This is the only musical to make it on this list this year, but there are other horror musicals that do exist, and they too are a lot of fun. Recommendation – Always, If you haven’t seen this movie, you’ve been missing out on a great watch for years. Rewatch – Absolutely, its a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
- 28 Days Later… (2002) – Danny Boyle – A yearly watch for me, usually on the 28th of October… get it? 28 Days Later is what i’ve discovered this year to be in my top 10 favourite horror films of all time. 28 Days Later… is about an mysterious, incurable virus that spreads through the UK. While the infection spreads, a small group of survivors attempt to find sanctuary. Its just a brilliant movie, and its really entertaining to watch. Its a yearly watch for me, and that won’t be changing. Recommendation: If you like Zombie flicks, but are tired of the tropes… this is for you. These aren’t zombies, they’re infected, and they’re quick as hell. Rewatch – Every October 28th.
- 28 Weeks Later… (2007) – Juan Carlos Fresnadillo – This is the sequel to 28 Days Later… Which is also a yearly watch for me, usually on the 28th as well. It makes for a great double feature. 28 Weeks Later takes place 6 months after the original movie. The infected population they think is under wraps, and they’ve started to rebuild an area of London for the survivors of the outbreak. It is here they want to start again and rebuild what they’ve lost. I think this is a great sequel to a film that I didn’t think needed a sequel. Over the years its definitely grown on me. Recommendation – Yes, if you liked 28 Days Later… Its a great double feature film. Rewatch – Every October 28th with a double feature consisting of this and 28 Days Later…
- Puppet Master (1989) – David Schmoeller – this was another first time watch this Halloween season. It was one of Patrick Klepek’s favourite flicks so I decided to check it out. Puppet Master is about a group of Psychics that are battling a former colleague who committed suicide after discovering murderous puppets. Toy Story with murder? The acting and the film are cheesy but it is definitely fun to watch. Recommendation – Yes if you haven’t seen it and like cheesy horror movies or are creeped out by dolls or puppets. Rewatch – Well yeah, but there is 13 of them so ill try to watch them all.
First Time Watches – 6/17
Rewatches – 11/17
I am disappointed in myself for not hitting 31 horror movies this season. I think since I started doing this, it was only once or twice where I was actually able to hit 31 horror movies in October. But at least theres next year, next year i’ll try to get a lot of newer stuff and stick to my original list.
If you have any recommendations for horror movies, new or old, please pass them along. I love horror movies and I’m always trying to find the next best thing. For other horror movies I recommend but haven’t watched this season check out the list at the end after the closing note.
Until Next Time!
I won two advanced screenings – Moonlight (November 9th) and Bad Santa 2 (November 21st) so stay tuned on both of those evenings for my reviews.
Green Room (2015)
Lake Mungo (2008)
Take Shelter (2011)
White Noise (2005)
White Noise 2 (2007)