Monday, November 26, 2012

The Holidays

Time has been flying by! Halloween came and went by, then Thanksgiving snuck up right behind it. I'm not sure where this month went to! I'm ready to get into the holiday spirit, though. Macy's has been trying to get me into the Christmas mood since the day after Halloween, which is a bit unnerving if you think about it. Yeah, I know that they want us to spend our money there when we're buying gifts, but I don't want that shoved into my face the day after my favorite holiday. 

I have been getting more into the holiday spirit after all the Christmas specials have started and some fun holiday festivals are going on by me. I've already watched Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), and part of Frosty the Snowman (1969). It won't really feel like it's Christmas until It's a Wonderful Life (1946), though. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Birthday: Gene Tierney

Happy 92nd Birthday to Gene Tierney! I like a lot of her movies, but I have yet to see Leave Her to Heaven (1945), which I've heard a lot of good things about. My two favorite movies with Gene are The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) and Heaven Can Wait (1943). If you haven't watched these before, then you must! They're both so good!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Birthday: Grace Kelly

This was meant to be posted yesterday, but my Internet was acting up. I blame the little flurries outside for the problem! Happy Birthday to my favorite Hitchcock blonde, Grace Kelly! Not sure I'll be able to get around to watching Rear Window tonight, but I'm definitely going to be watching it soon. It's been too long! I love the dresses!

Monday, November 5, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 18: La maschera del demonio 'Black Sunday' (1960)

Black Sunday is one strange movie. I'd describe it as gothic horror. It's about a witch, who while being burned at the stake and smashed in the face with a mask of the devil, puts a curse on the royal family claiming that she will one day return.

Centuries later, two doctors, Dr. Andre Gorobec and Dr. Thomas Kruvajan, are traveling into the city for a medical conference when their carriage breaks outside a crypt, the one containing the old witch's remains. There is glass over the coffin, showing the mask over the woman's face and a cross to ward her off if she were to reawaken.

For some reason, Dr. Kruvajan decides to break into the coffin, destroying the cross and stealing the mask. Clearly, this was an enormously stupid thing to do. His blood drops onto the corpse and reawakens the witch. She will do everything in her power to possess the body of her look-alike descendant, Princess Asa Vajda, no matter how many people she and her servant murder along the way.

I love the atmosphere of this film. The use of light and dark makes scenes extra creepy. You never know what could be lurking around the corner! Especially when you're in a graveyard or a gothic castle with hidden passageways! I also liked that the witch wasn't just a witch, she was a vampire-witch. Vampire-witches are extremely evil! Capable of doing both witchcraft and conniving vampire tricks! She's one villain you don't want to mess with.

This is the first Mario Bava film that I've watched. I plan on watching more because I like his style. If you have Netflix, Black Sunday is currently on instant. The dubbing is a bit horrific at times, but it's still possible to enjoy the film. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! I hope you're watching a horror movie or at least watching Hocus Pocus or It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I wasn't able to finish 31 Days of Horror yet, but I'm going to continue posting. October isn't long enough for all the horror movies I want to watch! Also, as I anticipated, my schedule was very busy with two accounting courses, work, and other stuff. Busy, but good! Enjoy your Halloween!

31 Days of Horror: Day 17: Tower of Terror (1997)

Disney original TV movies were awesome! I still can't get over how much the Disney Channel has bombed over the years, compared to how it used to be. I mean, not playing Don't Look Under the Bed or Tower of Terror now is crap! I think they played Don't Look Under the Bed around 3:00 am on a weekday, which is an asshole move. Come on!

I loved Tower of Terror when it came out. The story came about because of the Tower of Terror ride at Disney. I'm very afraid of elevators dropping though, which is why I have never been able to go on the ride. I refuse to believe that it's fun!

The movie is fun though! Yeah, it's pretty cheesy, but I think it adds to its character. The movie focuses on the story of the death of 5 people who died in the elevator 60 years ago. The hotel is now abandoned, with the rumor that the ghosts of the 5 people now haunt the building. No one seems to know why the elevator collapsed to the floor, but a reporter Buzzy and his niece Anna end up trying to solve the mystery of what really happened that night.

This is definitely a campy movie, so don't expect to watch it and be scared. Some children's horror movies are still scary, like Don't Look Under the Bed. Although, the characters in the movie do seem legitimately scared at times. The scariest thing is the creepy old woman. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 15: New Nightmare (1994)

I'm a huge fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). I think it's the movie that got me into the horror genre more than any I had seen before. It made me laugh and it scared me at the same time; it also had a young Johnny Depp. Hard not to like something like that!

I've already included Nightmare on Elm Street in a previous year of 31 Days of Horror. My love for that movie led me to check out some others involving Freddy. The second one is unwatchable, but there are some that are still fun to watch. I liked Dream Warriors and I included that one in 31 Days of Horror last year.

I really enjoy New Nightmare! It's not really part of the Nightmare series because it's mainly connected with the first installment, instead of the series as a whole. It's different then other horror movies that I've watched before. It's filmed like it's a documentary, catching up with some of the actors during the 10 year anniversary of the release of the first Nightmare. However, all of that changes when Freddy becomes real and Heather Langenkamp has to fight him once again by being Nancy.

By starting the movie out as more of a documentary, it successfully made Freddy Kruger as scary as he was in the first Nightmare. I was very creeped out! Made me think Freddy was real while I was watching it, even though I know it's not possible! The real life mixed with a fake world is what made it so frightening. Watch it late at night when it's pitch black!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 14: Rebecca (1940)

Yeah, yeah, I know some of you are saying, "Rebecca?! That's not a horror movie!" False! It is a horror movie! How can you go an entire movie without the lead female having a name?! How can people like Mrs. Danvers be allowed in the movie?! Obviously, it's because it's a psychological horror movie!

Rebecca is an incredible movie. I have yet to read the book, but since Selznick was the producer, I think it's safe to say that the movie followed the book fairly well. He was a stickler to that, due to the fact that he understood an audience's love for a well written novel. I wish that people like him were still around...

Anyway, to get to the horrific elements of Rebecca, just look at the lead's whole situtation. She meets this handsome man, quickly falls in love, moves on from that mean woman that she had to take care of, and ends up in a mansion. Unfortunately for her, she isn't nearly as interesting or as glamourous as the original Mrs. de Winter, Rebecca. Pretty sad to never be called by an actual name, isn't it?

Mrs. Danvers really didn't care for the second Mrs. de Winter, but she sure had a thing for the original one. A little too obsessed if you ask me. Why would someone talk so lovingly about someone's hairbrush and leave their room exactly the way it was before they passed away? A creep! That's who would do that! Creep!

If you haven't already watched Rebecca, you are seriously missing out. It's one of Hitchcock's best movies. It's full of suspense, horror, and drama. There's even a bit of humor mixed into it! Fabulous movie! Great acting and great story over all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 13: El laberinto del fauno Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

I remember watching this movie for the first time and it was both disturbing, sad, beautiful and scary at the same time. I consider it a fantasy/horror. I watched it when it was in theaters and I think I even wrote an essay about for my Spanish course. It's a wickedly twisted nightmare of a fairytale and it's spectacular.

Pan's Labyrinth takes place in fascist Spain of 1944, following the life of a young girl, Ofelia, whose life changes drastically after her pregnant mother marries a brutally ruthless army Captain, Vidal, and they move in with him. Ofelia is crazy about fairytales and escapes to the fantasy world. One night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun, who is located in the center of the labyrinth. He informs her that she is a princess, but in order to prove that she is truly royal, she must survive three dangerous tasks. If she succeeds, then she will be able to be reunited with her real father, the king, again.

This is not your ordinary fairytale movie. It is NOT for children or the easily startled. It is very brutal and violent at times. Also, there is a very messed up monster, called the Pale Man, who still haunts some of my dreams. He is extremely freakish. His skin sags and pulls away from his body. His fingers have large claws extending from them. It's sick! He also is very quick when he starts chasing that poor little girl. Ah! No!!!! I hate the Pale Man! 

Vidal is also frightening because he is such a bloodthirsty bastard. If I were the little girl, I would have preferred the horrific fantasy world, too. Ok, maybe not if I saw that Pale Man, but Vidal is so vial and cruel that he's almost as scary. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 12: Burnt Offerings (1976)

Haunted houses have been one of the main focuses of horror films for a very long time. It's scary to think that something in a house can be malevolent and against human existence. This could occur in any house, especially if it is old and a death has taken place within it. I know of a house in the area I lived in as a kid that required a priest to come and exorcise it, due to some unknown force that kept turning on vacuums even when they weren't plugged in. I'm not even kidding. The priest solved the problem, so the family decided to stay.

The house in Burnt Offerings seriously needed to be exorcised. I'm still confused why the family agreed to stay in it because it was obvious that something was up with it, what with the weird owners having them only pay $900 to stay there and then asking them to watch over an old 85 year old woman, Mrs. Allardyce, who'd be staying there. Hello! Who'd leave an 85 year old woman in the care of complete strangers? Also, why the hell is her room the one at the very top of the house? We all know old people aren't capable of going up and down staircases once they hit a certain age! It's too hard on their hearts!

Yet, the morons, Marian and Ben Rolf, decide to stay there with their son, Davey and Ben's Aunt Elizabeth for the summer. Marian instantly starts to feel attached to the house, working hard to fix it up on a daily basis. She also takes the task of caring for Mrs. Allardyce very seriously, despite the fact that she's never actually met her and won't allow anyone else to attempt to meet her.

The house begins to negatively affect Ben fairly quickly. Causing him to experience horrific nightmares  involving a creepy chauffeur that he witnessed laughing during his mother's funeral when he was a child. Gradually, as the house continues to approve in appearance, the sanity and safety of the family begins to deteriorate. Why is this? What's wrong with this house?

Burnt Offerings is a decent haunted house horror film. It reminds me of a mix of The Shining (1980) and The Changeling (1988), but the other two are more frightening. That's not to say that this film isn't scary, it definitely is at times, particularly when the house starts getting to Aunt Elizabeth. Bette Davis plays Aunt Elizabeth and even though her part isn't huge, she gives her all to it. She had me believing that something terrible was going on! Her voice is kind of scary, too. Honestly, when wasn't Bette Davis awesome?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 11: Dolls (1987)

I've never understood what makes someone love dolls. I am very girly, but dolls have always scared me. I remember when I received a porcelain doll for Christmas one year and it terrified me. Dolls have vacant eyes, which makes them look like dead children. Take a look at one! Their eyes never shut! They're always starring and smiling! It's terrible, especially if you look at a doll when you're sleeping and it's facing you! They're evil and Dolls makes me think it even more!

Dolls is about a little girl's vacation with her horrible father and stepmother. The three of them are traveling, when their car breaks down during a terrible storm and they are forced to look for shelter. They end up going into an old house that they find close to the car, which is owned by a mysterious older couple who end up being magical toymakers.

After they arrive, a man and two gross girls show up. It's clear that the two girls are not kind and are equally as unpleasant as the little girl's father and stepmother, however, the man is a genuinely nice guy. The older couple offers all of them a room to stay in until the storm passes over. They are extra nice to the little girl and give her a Punch doll, which she loves.

Once everyone is given a room, things start to get weird. One of the gross girls decides that she wants to rip off the people who just gave her a place to say and a meal. Once she's in the act of stealing, she notices that the dolls in the room aren't normal. In fact, the dolls seem to be alive! Naturally, the dolls start attacking her and the little girl witnesses the woman being dragged by the dolls down the hall. She immediately informs her father and stepmother, but the won't believe her and shove her away. However, the man decides to listen to her and realizes that she's telling the truth. Who else will the dolls attack? Do they only attack evil people or are the innocent at risk, too? Watch and find out!

Dolls is hilarious and extremely weird. I laughed so hard during some of the scenes, I almost thought it was a comedy. Yes, what I was laughing at was very messed up, but I don't think someone could deny that this movie is incredibly funny. There were a few points where I was freaked out, especially when one of them was turned into a doll!

Monday, October 15, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 10: The Mummy (1932)

It is necessary to watch at least one horror movie with Boris Karloff in it at some point during your lifetime. Frankenstein is my favorite, but The Mummy is pretty good as well. The man sure knew how to play creepy monsters.

Karloff plays Imhotep, an evil mummy who comes back to life after a field expedition in Egypt uncover his tomb and one of the young members reads the Scroll of Thoth. Imhotep was an ancient Egyptian prince who was condemned and buried alive by his people. He believes that his true love has been reincarnated into a princess and he decides that he'll do whatever it takes to be reunited with her, including murdering some who dare to step in his way.

I love the part of the film when the mummy returns to life. The reaction of the man who reads the Scroll of Thoth is absolutely horrifying. It puts him into hysterics and shock. People who laugh like maniacs are usually creepy, but this man takes it to a new level. Scared the hell out of me because I was watching late at night and was getting water when it started. I thought there was a psycho in my apartment! That glass of water wouldn't have been a very good defensive weapon.

The pace of the movie is a bit slow at times, but the atmosphere is great and so is the acting. I really like the makeup they did for the mummy.