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.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 9: The Wolf Man (1941)

The Wolf Man is one of the best werewolf movies I've ever watched! It's awesome! It might be my favorite. I love the atmosphere of the film. The spooky setting in the woods of dark trees with claw-like branches and an eerie fog that sweeps along the ground and up into the trees. Why anyone would be walking around there in the middle of the night is beyond me. Definitely didn't look safe, you never know what's lurking around in the woods, even without werewolves!

The film is full of fantastic actors, Claude Rains, Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi being some of my favorites. Evelyn Ankers gave one hell of a performance, too. They make the story seem believable. The gypsies help add to the horror factor of the film with their creepy stories about werewolves! Especially the woman who'd randomly show up in the wood when the werewolf was roaming around, looking for someone to attack!

The first kill scene and the transformation scene are two of my favorites. Nothing like watching someone get blindsided by a werewolf attack without him realizing that it's a werewolf and not a regular wolf!

The transformation is fun to watch, too. When all the fur starts to grow, the feet and legs start to bend, and he's half wolf, half man. Oh yeah, spooky werewolf! I love the classics!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 8: Don't Look Under the Bed (1999)

I'm so happy that I was a kid during the 90s. That was the prime time for Disney Channel and Nickelodeon! Both channels have taken severe nosedives since then, which is very sad. The old shows and made for TV movies were fun to watch, even by adults! I wish Disney would play their fun original movies more often, since their incapable of making ones worth watching nowadays. Don't Look Under the Bed is a classic and it was actually frightening!

Don't Look Under the Bed made me afraid to look under my bed for about a week and to put my feet down by it whenever I got into bed or out of it. I used to have imaginary friends when I was growing up, good old Charles and Paige. As I explained in prior posts, I had an overactive imagination. I was convinced for a bit that the two were going to come back and haunt me like the Boogeyman did in Don't Look Under the Bed. That Boogeyman was not nice! All the pranks that he played were vicious; they made Frances look like a psycho who was desperate for attention! It definitely did not help her image in high school, which was probably already strained since she skipped a grade, poor girl.

I loved Larry Houdini! The actor was great and the character was so energetic, sweet and funny; it's hard not to love him. He adds comic relief! Kids wouldn't be able to handle this movie at all if it weren't for Larry. Well, until when he get's a bit scary by the end. I can still remember that Boogeyman's creepy voice and hands. His spooky hand with extendable claws emerging from under the bed in order to drag that kid into the depths of the Boogeyman world was beyond terrifying!

Not all kids will be able to handle this film. Actually, the majority of them will not be able to handle it. It's still a fun one to introduce them to it, if you're certain that he or she can handle scary moments. It's also fine to watch this as an adult. I know people who are adults who are still terrified from this movie and blatantly refuse to watch it. I heard that Disney actually got in trouble for showing it because of how many children were freaked out just by the commercials. Fear is instilled at a young age, which is why childhood movies that frighten you during that time are so memorable. If you haven't watched it before already, you should definitely give it a try! If you have watched it, I don't need to convince you that it's awesome!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 7: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

We Need to Talk About Kevin is one of the strangest films that I have ever watched, but I couldn't stop watching it. It's about a woman, Eva, who has a strained relationship with her son, Kevin. It's clear that Eva isn't fond of Kevin, even during her pregnancy with him. She loved her life before him, traveling the world, being a successful writer, and having fun.

Once Kevin was born, she resented him even more for constantly crying. As he grew older, his behavior became increasingly worse. He would take things out on her, he'd purposely disobey, and his father enabled his behavior because he never witnessed Kevin being that awful. He didn't realize it because he refused to recognize the truth about Kevin, that he's an evil psychopath.

Kevin was one freaky kid and an even more terrifying teenager. He did so many awful things, it's incredible that his parents didn't put him into some severe psychotherapy sessions right from the beginning. Maybe they could have prevented him from becoming so vicious. His final act is beyond appalling, that I'm feeling uneasy about having watched the film. It's definitely a psychological thriller that deserves to be considered for it's horrific qualities. Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller both give stellar performances.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 6: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1993)

Never, I repeat, NEVER let a child watch this movie! I snuck and watched it when I was around 5 or 6 years old when my grandma was taking care of me. I was at her neighbor's house and the kids were around my age. We saw the tape lying around and decided that we had to find out what all the fuss was about. I still remember going to the movie theater around the time this movie was being released. They had huge dinosaur heads and dinosaurs hanging from the ceiling with a tropical forest! Who wouldn't remember something that awesome?

We were all sitting there, enjoying the movie a lot at first. It wasn't until the T-Rex came along and was ripping up the Jurassic Park jeep that we all freaked out, but we couldn't stop watching! No, we continued to watch, despite being petrified. I'm still not sure where the kids' parents were when we were watching this movie. If they were at home, we would have scared the hell out of them the way we were screaming!

I remember how scared I was to go to sleep after watching that movie. I was convinced that a T-Rex was going to come around and tear the roof off of my house! I can still imagine it, seeing a glowing T-Rex eye in my window, it's sharp teeth and massive head! So scary!

The scene with the raptors really got to me, too. Together, they're equally as frightening as the T-Rex. Just look at the speed those raptors have when they jump! They've got huge spiky claws that could easily rip you to shreds! Keep away, raptors, keep away!