Monday, November 2, 2020

Joe's 31 Days of Halloween Extravaganza

 Halloween is hands down my absolute favorite holiday of the year. Knowing this year, and how the big Halloween parties would be cancelled, the trick-or-treating would be sparse at best, and things would just be a general downer, I decided to celebrate Halloween on my own all month long. 

So I watched a horror movie each day in October. 

Notice I didn't say "Good", "Scary", or "Family-Friendly", though I did try to see movies I've never seen before but near the end had to give up and start watching some classics. 

So be warned. Safety is not guaranteed, but you should be in for a scream. 

I decided that writing a review for each movie would take another month to both write and read, so I'm going to give some awards for some of the best (and worst) films I found out there. 

The films I watched were: 

Hellraiser

Hellraiser 2

Children of the Corn

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

A Haunted House 

Poltergeist

Cabin in the Woods

Cabin Fever

Frankenweenie

Anaconda

Green Inferno

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Truth or Dare

Hostel

Species

Midsommar

30 Days of Night

My Bloody Valentine

Wishmaster

Crawl

The Night Eats the World

The Conjuring 2

Night of the Living Dead

Addams Family

Hereditary

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

Sleepy Hollow

Books of Blood

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Elmo's Gold Star Award for Bestest Monster

If I was going to hang out with any of the monsters from this list it would be the Djinn from Wishmaster. He grants wishes but always with an ironic twist, like the girl who wanted to always be beautiful who he turned into a mannequin, or the opening scene when a guy's skeleton crawls its way out of his body (I have no idea what to wish for to get THAT!). The Djinn was cool and as long as I was careful with my phrasing he'd be a blast to hang out with. 



Eye Fell Off the Muppet Award for Most Disappointing Monster

This was a race to the bottom but that would have to be He Who Walks Behind The Rows from Children of the Corn. This thing gets built up as some big bad pagan/Lovecraftian god and when we finally get to see it the thing is a bad special effect that changes colors. Such a waste. I'd have been happy if it was a guy in a corn-on-the-cobb costume with a chainsaw. 



Immediately Watch Cinderella Afterwards Award for Scariest Movie

To be honest I'm a sick weirdo and don't get scared by things that scare most people. I like possession movies, body horror, and torture movies, so to have a movie scare me is a unique thing. That being said the one that did get to me the most was The Green Inferno, a film about a group of college folks getting kidnapped and eaten by a tribe of cannibals. I won't go into everything that made this movie disturbing, but let's just say I no longer hum while I prepare dinner. 

Wake Me When The Killer Does Something Interesting Award for Most Boring Movie

I'd give this one to Halloweentown, which I attempted to watch but about 20 minutes in my brain started trying to crawl out of my skull so I had to turn it off, so instead I'll give it to Frankenweenie. This was a Disney tribute to the old black and white monster films, but it was just not interesting. After the initial resurrection of the dead dog the plot just meandered until it finally ended in a "Well, I guess death isn't a thing anymore, hooray" ending. 



"I Can't Believe This Was In The Dollar Bin!" Award for Most Surprisingly Well Done Movie

I was honestly scared of this ending up on my worst list, but the 2019 animated Addam's Family movie was such a delight to watch I was disappointed I hadn't seen it sooner. My family grew up on the Addam's Family, both the modern remakes and the classic show, so for another remake I was worried they'd not understand it, or ruin it somehow, but no this was definitely the Addam's Family I love, just with a few modern twists. 



"He's In The Closet Get Him!" Award for Most Obnoxious Character

I'm just going to give this award to all the stoners who made appearances in all these films. Never adding anything to the story but "Dude, where's my pot?" subplots, whenever they showed up I just wanted something to come along and eat them, which I suppose would technically make them an edible. 

Exception is given to Marty from Cabin in the Woods whose pot smoking is actually a major plot point and helps him survive and see a ton of cool monsters. 



The Inside Out Award For Most Unique Protagonist

Like a movie about the secret lives of emotions, this hero was one who found a special place in my heart for not being a clich√© or stereotype just there to make it through the movie, and this year the award goes to Elvira from Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. And no, she's not on here for the obvious reasons. Her personality of not caring what other people think, her willingness to find fun wherever she is, and her overall attitude made her a delight to watch, and I'm going to stop here before I dig myself any further into a hole. 



Fool of a Took Award for Most Useless Character

Most useless and most obnoxious are two different things, since as stated before even one of the pot heads came in useful at one point. This award though goes to the dad from Crawl, whose list of bad decisions included A: Not talking to his adult daughters about he and their mother's divorce causing them to blame themselves, B: Deciding that getting on the roof during a flood while surrounded by alligators was a bad idea for some reason, and C: Convincing his daughter that she could swim faster than said alligators. I did like this character at first but by the end I was disappointed he didn't end up as gator food. 



Law And Order With Guest Star Scooby Doo Award for Dumbest Premise

Rounding out the top of this list is the movie that most embodies the question "Why are we doing this?" In this case it goes to Snakes on a Plane, where an international drug kingpin decides that the best way to kill one witness is to fill a plane with deadly snakes and just hope that everything works out. It results in a fun movie but it's the kind of movie where you have to shut down your higher brain function to enjoy properly. 



Supernatural With Special Guest Star Scooby Doo Award for Best Idea Ever

This is the place for the best, most mind blowing concept that a movie on this list had that left me genuinely impressed and reminded me why I love horror movies. Special nod goes to Night of the Living Dead who started the entire zombie genre, but since that was one I'd already seen before this marathon it sadly doesn't get the reward. Other acknowledgements go to the much talked about Hereditary and Midsommar, but since they've received so much attention I feel like they can rest their laurels here. The film though that I kept thinking of after I saw it and was genuinely impressed by was The Autopsy of Jane Doe, a genuinely intense film about an autopsy that goes horribly wrong as it's revealed who and what this person actually was. This was high cinema with a horror twist and I loved every minute of it. 



As I say farewell to October I look at the last two months of 2020 with both dread and resignation, as I know that for me the best has already happened. October is a time when the weird things I'm passionate about become the norm and briefly the whole world is like me, intrigued and obsessed with the macabre and the creepy. I am looking for another theme to do to stay occupied and distracted from the nightmare dystopia that is our world, but till then I'll just be here eating my Halloween candy and remembering the good times, like that time that they opened the basement door and the little girl was eating her father but it's cool because he was a total jerk and the zombies were banging on the windows... 

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