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Retro Horror Films (Part 2)

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For many years I have ignored black and white films. Not because I thought they were extremely bad or uninteresting. Maybe it was because they seem so dated and mostly terribly slow compared to movies of our time. But thanks to a “Horror Challenge” and the encouragement of a like-minded person, I started watching movies from the old days. And to be honest, after a while I started to appreciate them. Admittedly they are dated and some of them are terribly slow. Yet they radiate a certain charm and you can consider many films from that time as the foundation for later films.

 

As promised, another selection of watched movies

 

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

 

I am not much of a fan of silent movies, but I found this one very entertaining. A classic among monster movies. Now I know where “The Bollock Brothers” got the front-picture used on their LP “The Slow Removal Of Vincent Van Gogh’s Left Ear”. The sets are impressive. The ghost does look very creepy. Obviously, the expressions and movements are hugely exaggerated at times. But how else could one convey drama these days? All in all, I thought it was a pleasant experience.

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

 

Not exactly the first “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” movie that was made. I’ll probably watch the 10 years older version with Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins as well. This version does have a more famous cast. I thought Spencer Tracy was suitable for this role as the split personality. The man has a naturally calm facial expression that emphasizes the contrast with the psychopathic looking Jekyll. By the way, I thought the transformation (although it looks old-fashioned) was quite successful. And then you have Ingrid Berman and Lana Turner. Two ravishing beautiful women. I wonder if other versions of “Jekyll & Hyde” reach the same level.

 

The Wolf Man (1941)

 

Yet another monster movie from Universal. Filmed in an atmospheric way, but not really exciting. But isn’t it characteristic of most horrors of that period? The most positive thing I can say about films from that period is the length of time. Perfect as a quick inbetweener.

 

Cat People (1942)

 

I found this one quite disappointing. A lot of blabbering and little action. I have to admit, I liked the 1982 remake a bit better. But that must be due to the fact that I could marvel at the sensual body of Nastassja Kinski and that this film version did indeed portray the transformation. Admittedly, in 1942 the techniques were not yet so advanced that this could be achieved. For me, it was more about love affairs and their problems, than horror.

 

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

 

This was also disappointing. Bela Lugosi is certainly not the very best Frankenstein. I fear the sole reason for this movie’s existence was the success of the other two movies. The original films “Frankenstein” and “The Wolf Man” were so successful that some smart marketing employee came up with the bright idea to put both creatures in one and the same film. Success guaranteed. However, there was certainly no quality guarantee!

 

House of Frankenstein (1944)

 

 

I thought it would be a nice idea to unite all the key characters from the monster movies. Only Dracula missed that mysterious quality you experience with Lugosi and Lee. Frankenstein looked quite comical. Too bad they gave Boris Karloff the role of Doctor Niemann. Only Lon Chaney was allowed to reprise the role of Wolf Man. All in all, I thought it was a poor continuation of the Frankenstein franchise.

 

Dead of Night (1945)

 

Another golden oldie. Who knows. Maybe one of the first anthology horror-thrillers. Some good stories (The Mirror & Dummy). One bad one (The Golf Players).

 

Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

 

Well, given the age of this film, it’s not surprising that it feels quite dated. The humor is a bit lackluster. They reminded me of Laurel & Hardy and it got a little annoying at times. Still had to chuckle a few times (the union joke and the expression on Costello’s face when he pulled a tablecloth, for example). But I don’t think I’ll immediately watch the films about the encounters of this duo with other lurid characters.

 

The Thing from Another World (1951)

 

Really a movie that fascinated me. There are certainly points of contact with Carpenter’s “The Thing“. Only that this 1951 film looks a bit dated (but still stood the test of time). Obviously, the budget was limited at the time because the conversations flash by at a very fast pace. No time to waste. Also fun to see how they kept laughing till the end during conversations, even though the world is about to be conquered by intellectual creatures.

 

The Man from Planet X (1951)

 

One word describes it best: boring. Ok I admit, it’s a very old movie. But it seems as if the alien just fled from a puppet theater. The spacecraft resembled a tin dart. “The Invisible Man” from 1933 looked much better, even though it was made about 20 years earlier.

 

To be continued …

Entertainment

2021, The Year To Try To Enjoy Films Again

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This is a blog that I have pondered putting together for some months now and a new year led me to think that now may well be the right time. I spend, probably too much, time on Social Media because I adore watching films and I like talking about them. My hope was that I would find many like minded people, on Twitter in particular. Twitter is a place where I have very few followers who know me personally so I could be somewhat anonymous, a wry stranger who would occasionally drop into a conversation uninvited and deliver a line of Shakespearean wit and then disappear, leaving the gang of merry tweeters to wonder who the humourous stranger was that had just interrupted their discussion on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Fortunately, there are many such people on Twitter, who find and take great comfort in this dazzling of artistic mediums. They generally appear to share my love and fascination with the World of Cinema, appreciating the beauty and skill involved in every frame of celluloid (or whatever the digital equivalent is). Films have always been about escapism, they have been a comfort blanket when the World has thrown crap in my general direction. “There are always movies” I would be heard to yell, after Liverpool got thumped at home, or a school exam had been failed brilliantly, or mum had decided tonight would be the night for the infamous fish pie.* Films were there to take the burden of life’s pressures from me. They were like a friend. If life appeared to be filled with excrement, stick on Back to the Future, watch Indy get chased down by a bolder, watch the Ghostbusters cross the streams, watch the three men sing the little lady to sleep with a rap song, within minutes the World would be right again.

Does anyone know the lyrics to the three men rap? (I love the song but  can't find the lyrics anywhere) - Three Men and a baby/Little Lady Answers  - Fanpop
Hey Mary, did you brush your teeth?

What I didn’t expect from my trips to Twitterland was to be encountered by the dark side. There is a popular # called #FilmTwitter which if you use at the start or end of one of your tweets will notify it to large parts of the film fan community on Twitter and hopefully start a fun conversation. However, what this hashtag does more often than not is similar to when that dude opens the puzzle box at the start of Hellraiser, it unleashes the Cenobite dwellers of Film Twitter. These are the people who hate everything, the people who’s childhoods have been ruined more times than those of us who used to watch every episode of Rolf’s Cartoon Time.

There is a more sinister side to the FilmTwitter dark troopers, and that is that their hatred now has a platform, and in most occasions a pseudonym or anonymous platform for them to spout their views. Now before I go any further, I am not for one minute suggesting that people are not allowed to dislike a film, or for that matter comment on it explaining why they don’t, of course they are. If everyone in the World liked the same things then it would be quite boring, however we would also probably be now onto Three Men and a gaggle of Great Grandkids (not sure that title would clear the censors but whatever).

The problem we have now is that people love a “like”, a “retweet” a “share”, it’s what makes the unpopular popular, and the best way to do that, is to launch into a film and let it (a piece of art designed to entertain, lest we forget) have it with two Uzi 9 millimeters.

There is an unfair phrase banded around that nobody hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans. This all came about after the release of Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII The Last Jedi in 2018. Now personally, I thought it was fantastic, and here is why. I thought it dared to be different, I thought it wanted to tell a new story, with familiar characters in a Universe that had from day one embraced diversity and shown that regardless of who or what you are you can become all you are meant to be. As Yoda famously uttered in Empire Strikes Back “judge me by my size do you?”. The online response to this film (again piece of art designed primarily to entertain) was quite frightening. Again, I must reiterate, you don’t have to like a film, whether that be Star Wars, Jaws or Police Academy 7, it is perfectly ok to not like a film. But this wasn’t a dislike, this was pure hatred.

Keyboard Warriors - Are We Raising A Generation Of Bullies?

Here comes that sinister side, I was mentioning earlier. Some people hated this film so much that they PAID to watch it several times just to build up the evidence, just to back up their arguments. I followed one Twitter user who knew The Last Jedi to the most finite detail, that can only be achieved by studying the film, like a scholar of Shakespeare would. He knew so much about this film, more than I (someone who loved it) hadn’t even noticed. He knew everything about it, and hated it. There was a teeny tiny part of me that admired his dedication to his loathing, but generally I actually felt quite sorry for him. Not because he didn’t like the film, like I said perfectly entitled to that, but he seemed to be dedicating every minute to attempting to destroy this film, with every bead of energy he could muster.

STAR WARS EPISODE 8: THE LAST JEDI – US Wall Movie Poster Print - 30cm x  43cm / 12 Inches x 17 Inches VIII: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

Now obviously he was never going to succeed, he was a nameless faceless keyboard warrior, but he obviously felt it was important enough to him to do all of this. He launched an online petition (he wasn’t the only one) to get Episode VIII officially removed from the Star Wars cannon. This was pure dedication. The reason I felt sorry for him was, I couldn’t help thinking, what a waste of time and energy, why make yourself this miserable. Why not watch something you do like and put that amount of time and energy into promoting that film so that more people can see it? By constantly going on about Star Wars either in a positive or negative way you arouse the interest of people who are yet to see it.

The repetition doesn’t help either, there is always one joker who thinks, when asked which is his favourite of the 4 Indiana Jones, that they are the first person to come up with the not very witty response “pah, not sure what you mean there are only 3 films to me (smug face, smug face). Toxic fandoms, they achieve nothing. Actually that is not strictly true, crying, basement dwelling man babies managed to force Daisy Ridley and Kellie Marie Tran off social media, bleating on about ruined childhoods like some entitled toddler who has been told to turn Paw Patrol off as its past bedtime.

The other sinister side of Social Media is that there are films that no-one has even seen yet that are apparently awful. Steven Spielberg is due to release a re-imagination of West Side Story in December 2021 (delayed from 2020). This is a film that is designed for Twitter to tear it apart before even so much of a trailer has been seen.

So here is the thing. Lets make 2021 the year that we just get back to why we are interested in Movies in the first place, and that is to be entertained. We don’t need to think too deeply about them, they are there to take people away from their every day lives and offer some escapism. Yes of course they are there to make money and obviously there are a lot of films about social realism and other such issues, but they are still films and the primary aim is to entertain as an artform.

Think back to the first time you saw the Star Destroyer, engulf the big screen at the start of Star Wars, or when Marty realised what the serious shit he would experience at 88mph was, or when Sally inspired half the patrons in a New York deli to order what ever she was having, or when Cap heard a distant radio signal informing him that help was “on your left”.

Think about Donald O’Connor singing Make em’ Laugh, Harold Lloyd hanging precariously from a clock face, Charlie Chaplin making bread rolls dance, Mary Poppins inventing words like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, or Michael telling Fredo that he knew it was him, or Red walking across the beach to meet Andy, or Brody’s realisation that a bigger boat was required, or Buzz flying with Woody in Toy Story, or Axel Foley disarming an unmarked Police car with a banana, and Ripley advising the Alien Queen to step away.

Making 'Em Laugh Till You Hurt - OZY | A Modern Media Company
To Infinity and Beyond: My love for Toy Story – Pop Cultural Studies
Does Jack Latvala keep falling for the banana-in-the-tailpipe trick so he  can be CFO?

These are all magic moments that have been revered for decades. We are now at a stage where we are not allowed to enjoy such things, because ultimately waxing lyrically about things doesn’t get any likes, or retweets, it doesn’t get any attention.

Movies are a wondrous thing, the artform of my generation. They give out hope, they give credible diverse roll models. It’s time to stop trying so hard to find fault and just let yourself go. Life is way to short to be this angry about everything.

If you are the sort of person who finds fault in most films, then my guess is that its not the films that are the problem……….it’s you.

Here’s to a wonderful year of Cinema in 2021. If you let it, it could be the best ever.

About me

My name is Dominic Holder and I like to promote the beauty and wonder of Cinema in my writing. I spend a lot of time promoting the power of Cinema as a tool of wellbeing to anyone and everyone. I love all kinds of films but in particular, I am a devoted fan of Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, John Williams, Star Wars, Disney and Marvel. My love of Cinema stems from a trip as a 4-year-old to local cinema in Bolton to watch a Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back double bill, it was the first in a series of life-changing moments, I knew from the moment the Imperial Star Destroyer engulfed the screen at the start of  A New Hope I was hooked. Thankfully nearly 40 years later I still get excited and still find escapism and happiness within this wonderful medium.

You can follow me on Twitter @DomHolder and read some of my reviews on Letterboxd at letterboxd.com/DomH

You can read more of my blogs on Film at www.dominicholder.wordpress.com

*my mums is a phenomenal cook, just the fish pie really never again.

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General Topics

Retro Horror Films (Part 1)

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For many years I have ignored black and white films. Not because I thought they were extremely bad or uninteresting. Maybe it was because they seem so dated and mostly terribly slow compared to movies of our time. But thanks to a “Horror Challenge” and the encouragement of a like-minded person, I started watching movies from the old days. And to be honest, after a while I started to appreciate them. Admittedly they are dated and some of them are terribly slow. Yet they radiate a certain charm and you can consider many films from that time as the foundation for later films.

 

Hence this first episode with a summary of watched horrors from days long gone.

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920)

 

Well, you always come across this one somewhere at the top of a horror list. Apparently it’s mandatory to watch this ancient movie. Historically of inestimable value. But not my dada, such a silent film. Though, it does have an original design for its time. The sepia colors, the abstract and avant-garde design of the sets.

 

Dracula (1931)

 

The illustrious figure Dracula. A classic and I think the first time that Bela Lugosi takes on the role of this blood-sucking count. A suitable person for this role with his imposing eyebrows and diabolic look. It’s strange, however, that this vampire’s razor-sharp fangs do not come into view for a moment. And not a drop of blood can be found. Also, I found it weird that Renfield runs loose every once and a while in the so-called psychiatric institution. Furthermore, I thought John Harker was a kind of a stick-in-the-mud who acted overly nerdy. Edward Van Sloan was brilliant as the infamous Van Helsing. Add to that the atmospheric and dark sets and you get a hell of a movie.

 

Frankenstein (1931)

 

Most famous monster in movie history. And probably Boris Karloff’s most famous role. To think that a whole series of movies have been made starring Frankenstein’s monster. Most, however, cannot rival the original movie.

 

The Mummy (1932)

 

A pretty meek and super slow story about Imhotep, an Egyptian prince buried alive, who comes back to life and somehow wants to be reunited with his wife. The only thing that impressed me was Boris Karloff’s face with a skin that looks like parchment.

 

Freaks (1932)

 

This one had been on my wish list for a long time because it kept popping up in some Horror list. I’ve always put it off for myself because of the year 1932. I was already expecting blurry images, a terrible soundtrack (or no sound at all), and wooden acting in this almost 100-year-old film. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I saw the quality of all the listed aspects. Perfect picture quality and the way it’s portrayed. This film was way ahead of its time. And the acting was simply formidable. No exaggerated gestures and facial expressions. No wooden characters and forced dialogues. And a bizarre world was sketched. So hats off. The only thing I have a problem with is the horror label. I’d call it a drama with a moralistic slant. According to IMDb, the most confronting scenes were left out. Apparently, there was a scene where Hercules was neutered and then showed up at the end as a member of the freaks with a high-pitched voice. Maybe it would have been a bit more horror then after all.

 

King Kong (1933)

 

 

Finally, I’ve watched the original King Kong movie. Probably a breathtaking spectacle for the public at that time. Now it looks quite dated. The stop-motion technique worked, but the perspective was sometimes not so perfect. The close-up of Kong’s face also caused hilarity. It seemed as if this bloodthirsty primate kept grinning. Still quite daring for that time in my opinion. The monster was not exactly mild to its victims. And the lead actress sometimes wore little disguising clothing. In the end anyway when Kong ripped off her clothes and she made frantic attempts to cover certain body parts. I can imagine that the female public was quite outraged about this. All in all, a pleasant experience to watch this piece of film history.

 

The Invisible Man (1933)

 

A real classic. For such an old film, it’s fantastic how they achieved those special effects. Admittedly. The acting is a bit wooden and over the top. It seemed like Comedy Capers at times. The hysterical screaming of the inn’s owner was just hilarious. And you can’t really call it horror. Am convinced it was unbelievably scary and thrilling for the audience at the time.

 

The Black Cat (1934)

 

Two icons from classic horror films, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, playing in the same movie. You’d expect fireworks. Well, they used blanks in my opinion. First of all, I didn’t really think this was a horror. Second, I wondered why this was called “The Black Cat” as this beast didn’t really play a major role (besides the fact that Bela is terrified of it). There’s only the terrifying gaze of Karloff. The story itself can be described as thin and quite sober. In my opinion, the changing of bedrooms felt like slapstick. No, this was a minor setback. Fortunately, it was a short movie.

 

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

 

After the great success of the first Frankenstein film, a sequel was destined to be made. “Bride of Frankenstein” picks up where the first story ended. This film is not really more exciting. The humor level was increased considerably. You can see how the monster learns to talk, smoke, and drink. The only downside for me was the fact that what the film is initially about (namely the bride) is only briefly included in the story. I thought this was a missed opportunity.

 

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

 

It’s a pity that after 7 years no real progress had been made in the field of special effects. It looked almost identical to the first movie. Only now Vincent Price had the honor of playing the invisible man. There were no real comic situations here. And strange but true. In the first movie, it was monocane that made you invisible. Here it was duocane.

 

To be continued …

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Your Guide To Horror Movies This Halloween

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The month of October. Halloween month. That means at the end of this month it’s all about this worldwide celebrated holiday. A tradition with Celtic roots where mass dressing up parties arise and the television stations look through their horror catalog so they can treat their viewers to all kinds of creepy horror flicks. Coincidentally, a Horror Challenge was organized on my favorite Dutch film website. The result is a whole series of horror movies that I’ve watched in the last three weeks. So, if you don’t know what to watch at the end of this month, let me give you an overview of what I have discovered. Obviously, there are some gems in between them. And some films you’d better avoid because they are too crappy. But you have to decide that yourself. Here we go ……

 

1. The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

This one has always been high on my wish list. I myself am not a huge fan of Rob Zombie’s work. This director has movies that tend to push new boundaries on my scale of appreciation. In short, either it’s just plain awful to watch. Or they are simply great. The fact that Rob Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie plays in most of them, is always a plus. And not because of her acting qualities. I liked this one from the trilogy (a trilogy with “House of 1000 Corpses” and “3 From Hell”). Where the first film came across as totally insane with an overwhelming load of gore and disgusting images, Zombie left out the gore a bit in this one. Not that it has become a film for the sensitive soul. It is and remains to be extremely violent and cruel. Definitely recommended for a fun Halloween evening.

7/10
IMDB

 

2. The babysitter (2017)

To be honest, I’m not really a big fan of movies that mix horror with comedy (that you’ll notice a bit further). But now and then there are some funny films in between. Similarly, this film. A gory version of “Home Alone” with the gorgeous babysitter SamaraReady or notWeaving. And to my shame, I have to admit I hadn’t noticed that the ravishing Bella Thorne was also appearing in here. Unfortunately, it’s only briefly.

6/10
IMDB

 

3. Dead Silence (2007)

I didn’t really expect much from this. I thought it would be a run-of-the-mill horror story. In the end, it managed to surprise me a bit. Creepy dolls. Unexpected denouement.

6/10
IMDB

 

4. Horror Story (2013)

Voila, and here’s the first crap film. No more Bollywood horror for me. This was as scary as “Phantom Manor” in Disneyland Paris. Not scary at all. I could live with that. But the acting was so bad it didn’t even get funny. And those conversations. So stupid and ridiculous (even though they had an endearing English accent). There are plenty of conversations as follows: We have to find the roof.
Yes!
There is a roof on every building, right?

And always the word “Guys” at the beginning of every sentence. Sigh! And also, all of them claim their privileged role as an actor. No key scene passes without clearly depicting every main character. Either in group formation (preferably in a symmetrical triangle arrangement) or systematically one after the other in profile. And all have the same expression on their face of (posed) fear and despair. No, I would avoid this like the plague.

1/10
IMDB

 

5. Leatherface (2017)

Fine movie. An entertaining origin story about “Leatherface“. “The making of” as it were. The atmosphere is very good. Brutally aggressive and with some nice gore scenes. Even though I’m not really a fan of sequels. Or prequels.

6/10
IMDB

 

6. Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (1956)

This time I also ventured into old-school horror. Well, it naturally exudes nostalgic value. I don’t think it’s a really scary horror. It’s all too soft for me. I watched it with a smile and tried to imagine how young ladies experienced this in those days long gone. Wearing a petticoat with their hair tucked up, in the arms of their date at the cinema, with their hands over their mouths because of the unbearable tension. To be honest, I’ve been looking more at the shapes of Dana Wynter’s pointy bra. The tension in this film is out of proportion to the overly emotional expressions on the actors’ faces. I understand that fans of films from that period will curse me, but I fear that I cannot be counted among the fan base of 50s films.

4/10
IMDB

 

7. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Gothic ghost story. Something I like once and a while. And the decors and mood are simply fantastic. However, I personally don’t think it’s horror. More fantasy with a supernatural touch. “X-files” meets “Crimson Peak“. And Johnny Depp plays a great leading role again.

6/10
IMDB

 

8. Død Snø (2009)

Another Nazi zombie movie. A bit like “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” but with WWII actors in Norway. In short, many bloody situations and sometimes funny in a morbid way.

6/10
IMDB

 

9. Aquaslash (2019)

A High-school movie. That means the 3 B’s: Boobs, Booze & Blood.
It’s just not really a slasher in my opinion. More like a “slash”-movie as it’s limited to one single situation that causes victims. I think the makers used all the fake blood that was available. I dare not guess how many liters came down in the end. Quickly forget this monstrosity!

2/10
IMDB

 

10. The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

Well, I had to watch this one out of curiosity. And another proof that sequels are usually not worth a watch. “The Babysitter” was enjoyable. But this was just plain bad. The only bright spots were the soundtrack with “The Cramps” and “Dead Kennedys“. And luckily there was a bit more of Bella Thorne here. This way it was more enjoyable to look at the screen. Besides these plus points, I wouldn’t put too much effort into this film.

2/10
IMDB

 

11. Holidays (2016)

I love an anthology movie now and then. And as always, the level fluctuates from story to story. The first 3 weren’t really so good, except “Valentine“. The low point was “Mother’s Day” maybe. Or you are looking for some female nude in a horror. But the next 5 were worth it, with the highlights “Father’s Day” (most creepy) and “Halloween” (very funny in a sadistic way). Recommended for a Halloween movie night.

6/10
IMDB

 

12. The Unborn (2020)

A short horror. Luckily, because this was really a crap movie. The run-up was actually pretty good (despite the amateurish acting) and I was hoping it could get interesting. But to be fair, it didn’t make much sense. I had no idea what it was about ultimately. Didn’t quite understand it. Think I’d better look up the 2009 movie of the same name.

1/10
IMDB

 

13. Maniac (1980)

I couldn’t sleep. And the next day I had a day off. So I thought “Let’s just watch another flick”. I can remember standing in front of this one at the video store several times in the ’80s, wondering whether I would take it with me or not. Apparently I had such a premonition because I didn’t really like it now. Admittedly, it’s a movie from the 80s and quite dated when looking at the visual. But this one is simply too boring in terms of content. The massacres are nothing extraordinary. And there are also some minor flaws in it. For example, you see some people on a subway platform waiting. The next moment they have suddenly vanished. The only positive thing was the lead actor Joe Spinell. This “Silence of the Lambs” -like serial killer looks terrifying by nature.

3/10
IMDB

 

14. The Bye Bye Man (2017)

I don’t get it that this one has a very low score on IMDb. Granted, in “Candyman” and “Slender Man” you had the same concept. But “The Bye Bye Man” was much more exciting and intense than “Slender Man”. In any case, I thought it was a superb movie. Recommended.

7/10
IMDB

 

15. Awoken (2019)

The initial idea behind the demon Iddimu isn’t so bad. The movie reminded me a bit of “The Lazarus Effect“. Mixed with a little “Nightmare on Elm Street“. Well, it’s another movie from the list titled “There-is-someone-possessed-and-an-exorcism-will-help”. Only the denouement I found rather bland. It looked like a wizard duel from a Harry Potter story.

6/10
IMDB

 

16. Sputnik (2020)

Personally, I think it’s more a typical SF and not really horror. Maybe because it’s a bit bloody, it gets that last label. It felt like an “Alien” movie. Not exactly groundbreaking. You already know that when the military gets involved in something like what happens here, they mostly have a hidden agenda. But besides that, the alien’s design and the way it is portrayed, is simply sublime. Breathtaking realistic. Go see it!

7/10
IMDB

 

17. I tre volti della paura (1963)

Another one from the old days. I keep having a hard time watching these movies. However, they do have their charm. The movie poster for instance reminds me of the time when I was 10 to 12 years old and went to the cinema. I remember there were movie posters like that. Those old-fashioned painted posters with photos from the film around them (where white stickers were placed in strategic spots). But it certainly has a high nostalgic value. I thought “Il Telefono” was more of a Hitchcockian thriller. My attention was distracted too much by Michèle Mercier’s negligee. “I Wurdalak” was such an old-fashioned vampire movie that reminded me of those old Dracula movies that I watched late at night on ZDF or ARD (German television channels). With Boris Karloff in a leading role, of course. And “La Goccia D’acqua” is a standard horror story with a really bad looking doll as a ghost phenomenon. The best of the movie was the end with Boris Karloff on a rocking horse while people from the film studio ran in front of the camera with branches. Hilarious.

5/10
IMDB

 

18. American Fright Fest (2018)

The most horribly bad horror ever seen. Seemed like the thesis of students at film school. First of all, the acting is so laughable and amateurish. They should already invent a price for that. The story is rubbish. The practical effects just look awful. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.

1/10
IMDB

 

19. Student Bodies (1981)

Jesus, what a shitty movie. This horror/comedy fails in all areas. It’s certainly not horror. And the humor isn’t that great either. Kind of a “Hot Shots!”, “Police Academy” and “Porky’s” mix. But then with the most dumb and ridiculous jokes. I don’t understand how it gets such a score on IMDb.

1/10
IMDB

 

20. Raw (2016)

A fairly bizarre but at the same time original film in which cannibalism and budding sexuality are the central themes. With an ongoing initiation ritual for fresh students as a common thread. Coincidentally also something controversial these days here in Belgium. By the way, I didn’t know that the entire film was filmed here in Belgium. Ignore reports of people passing out during a screening because of the images. I personally think that’s a bit exaggerated.

6/10
IMDB

 

21. Blood Bags (2018)

Italian horror about I-don’t-know-what. And the ending was completely incomprehensible. Laughable acting. Awful movie.

1/10
IMDB

 

22. Midnight Son (2011)

This is my kind of movie. A reinterpretation of the old vampire concept in a unique way. It’s not really terrifying. But it sure is a neat, little special flick.

7/10
IMDB

 

23. The hole in the ground (2019)

Seemed like a more modern version of “Invasion of the body snatchers“.

6/10
IMDB

 

24. She never died (2019)

Certainly not a bad movie. But compared to its predecessor “He never died”, it was a huge difference (even if there’s only one extra letter in the film title). I missed the humor as a starter. The protagonist has something lugubrious but not the appearance of a Henry Rollins. And in “He never died” it was a little bit clear what it was about and what the person Jack was. If you start watching “She never died” without knowledge of the previous film, you have no idea what it’s about The brief image of the two scars on Lacey’s shoulder blades won’t tell you much.

5/10
IMDB

 

25. Harpoon (2019)

In the beginning, I had the feeling that it was going to be another low-budget horror/comedy. But in the end I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did the footage look great, the acting was far from bad and the story was engaging enough. Fairly black humor was used. And you could cut the atmosphere with a knife at times. Boats are a very popular location for horror nowadays. This movie was definitely a lot better than “The Boat”.

6/10
IMDB

 

26. The Perished (2019)

Uh, what the hell was this. Awful acting (really, that mom was just plain awful). Ridiculous how the monster looked. It looked like an employee in a rubber suit. Nothing terrifying. And a lot of senseless blabbering. I understand it’s about the traumatic nature of an abortion. They should have turned it into a psychological drama. A gallingly low level. Let’s quickly forget about this one.

1/10
IMDB

 

27. 3 From Hell (2019)

Too bad. This was rather disappointing. While the first two films in this trilogy were still full of sadism and senseless violence, I thought this was pretty weak. I didn’t really care what would happen to the illustrious trio. And the voluptuous Mexican ladies weren’t exactly pleasing to the eye either. Regrettable.

4/10
IMDB

 

28. 0.0 Mhz (2019)

A South Korean ghost story with “Exorcist” traits. Not really creepy. No jump-scares. But there’s very good camera work to admire. I thought it was an average story based on a comic apparently. Still something positive. Yoon-young Choi is a delicious looking Korean girl. Well, you know .. a little eye candy won’t hurt …

4/10
IMDB

 

29. The Dark (2018)

What a special movie. Such a quirky take on the zombie genre. I like that. To be honest, I didn’t really think it was horror but more of a drama. The portrait of an exceptional friendship between a murdered girl and an abused, blind boy. Simply beautiful.

7/10
IMDB

 

30. The Axiom (2018)

I don’t understand how this can get a 5.6 score on IMDb. The run-up wasn’t bad. The middle part started to falter a bit. But the denouement was a huge disappointment. And some situations were really too dumb for words. No, it’s not exactly a movie that’ll stay with you. In this and two days I won’t remember anything anymore of it.

4/10
IMDB

 

31. Hubie Halloween (2020)

I had been warned. And yet I couldn’t resist. I’m not a big fan of Adam Sandler anyway. And this movie can be added to the list “Movies-In-Which-Sandler-Isn’t-Really-Funny”. Here the other actors take care of that. Hubie’s mom’s t-shirts, for example. Or that lady who carelessly comments “I’m asexual but that girl’s is making me horny”. Stupid, absurd one-liners and situations. I had to laugh a few times. But towards the end, it was just plain bad. Even the bloopers in the end weren’t really funny. So forget about this one.

3/10
IMDB

 

32. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

And last but not least, yet another old classic. A surreal horror story (could also have been written by Stephen King) with Doctor Who-Esque creatures emerging from a parallel universe created by a writer. I thought it was entertaining enough.

6/10
IMDB

 

 

Have yourself a fun, scary HALLOWEEN everybody.

Hope the summary will help you in choosing the right Halloween Movie

 

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