In for my fourth. Bring on the October goodness!
This year's goal is again 31. Would love to go for the 100, but that's just not going to happen with a family and a full time job! I sure am jeolous of the guys that can do it though!
2008 Results: http://forum.dvdtalk.com/8961906-post52.html
2007 Results: http://forum.dvdtalk.com/8182034-post115.html
2006 Results: http://forum.dvdtalk.com/7333911-post97.html
1) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - Infinifilm DVD *****
The hype that came with the trailer for the remake got me in a Freddy kind of mood, so I decided to kick this year off with a Nightmare marathon. If pushed to pick a favorite horror movie, NoES would probably be it. I've been a Freddy fan since I was a kid. The original, and to a lesser extent the sequels, are like comfort food to me. I still have most of the lines memorized, but find more to love about it with each viewing. The Infinifilm DVD gets high marks in my book, but the Blu Ray is still highly anticipated.
2) A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) - DVD ***
You know, Freddy's Revenge really gets a bad rep. There really is a good movie in here, it's just bogged down by some bad ideas. Obviously the homoerotic undertones do not really do the movie any favors, but there are a lot of good, creepy moments here. Freddy is still dark and menacing, not the wise cracking cartoon he will eventually turn into. The opening scene in the schoolbus is a stand-out, as is the pool party massacre. Many other creepy moments throughout. If you discount this one as being not worthwhile, give it another shot, it may grow on you.
3) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) - DVD ****
Probably the best of the sequels, though this was the point that Freddy started his turn towards comedy. There are still many scary moments, but with all of the wisecracking, some of the terror of Freddy starts to become diluted. The death scenes became more inventive...who can forget the puppet scene?
4) A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) - DVD ***
A further step away from the dark and scary origins, Freddy is now in full fledged comedy mode. Dream Master is still a fun ride with great moments, but not much in the way of scares.
5) A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) - DVD ***
About on par with part 4, this one adds the twist of nightmares happening while awake. Some very cool gothic scenery and generally likable characters help save this one from the joke that it could have become.
6) Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) - DVD **1/2
Well, they had to hit bottom eventually. Some fun moments, but Freddy is a complete joke now. A Nintendo power glove? Come on now.
Glimpses of Freddy's backstory and how he came to be a monster are the saving graces here. That said...even bad Freddy is still pretty darn fun!
7) Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) - DVD ****
Now that's more like it. New Nightmare brings back the darkness and terror of the early days of the franchise. Without this movie, Scream and the whole horror reinvigoration of the 90's probably wouldn't have came to be. When it first came out, the concept was pretty mind-blowing since the whole self-aware horror movie kick hadn't yet started. My biggest complaint is that even though Freddy's look and the new glove were meant to be more scary, I thought it was the opposite. The make-up looked great when very dimly lit, but when brought into the light it lost some effectiveness and looked a bit silly. Still a great step in the right direction.
8) Sleepaway Camp (1983) - DVD ***
Ahh, good old Sleepaway Camp. One of my favorite horror franchises, this movie just oozes '80s. The twist is a classic.
9) Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) - DVD ***1/2
I know many wouldn't agree with me, but I loved the direction that parts 2 and 3 took. Pamela Springsteen's Angela is a riot...funny and very inventive with the kills. Always a fun watch.
10) Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989) - DVD ***1/2
More of the same from part 2...and to me that's a good thing.
11) I Walked with a Zombie (1943) - The Val Lewton Horror Collection DVD ***1/2
I really like this movie for some reason. I love how it's shot...the use of light and shadows gives a level of creepiness to even the mundane scenes. The journey through the fields to find the voodoo assembly is still creepy, and the encounter with guard at the crossroads is downright spine-chilling. Great classic.
12) My Bloody Valentine (2009) - Blu-Ray (2D) ***1/2 (new to me)
Even though I've never seen the original, I already had pretty low expectations for this remake. Fortunately, it turned out to be quite enjoyable. It had pretty much everything I look for in a "light" slasher movie. The 3D gimmick shots really stood out (no pun intended), but I'm sure it was lots of fun in the theater. We still have to go back and check some of it out in 3D, but I'm sure that doesn't work nearly as good at home. Very fun movie overall...decent acting and great kills. Can't complain there.
13) The Evil Dead (1981) - Book of the Dead DVD ****
Again going against the popular opinion, I prefer the original to the sequels here. There are some really creepy moments here, starting with the porch swing banging against the cabin in the beginning...something very un-nerving about that. Of course the tree scene is an absolute stand-out, iconic scene. The effects towards the end are a bit of an unfortunate blend of low budget and over-the-top, which takes it into cheesy territory instead of dark and terrifying. Still the atmosphere and of course good old Bruce help make this an all time classic.
14) Cabin Fever (2002) - DVD ****
I thought I'd stick to the cabin in the woods theme today with one of my favorites. I find Cabin Fever to have just the right mix of funny and scary for when I'm in the mood for lighter horror. I know he isn't well loved here, but I can't wait to see what Eli Roth does next.
15) The Orphanage (2007) - Blu-Ray ***** (new to me)
Wow. I'm not sure what other word to sum up my feelings on The Orphanage. Beautiful, terrifying, sad. I read a review where the author said this movie was crafted in a style that would make Alfred Hitchcock proud. High praise indeed, and completely accurate. My head is still spinning thinking of this movie, and it will take a while to sort out all my thoughts and to get it out of my mind. This one stays with you...haunts you if you will. Very nice video quality on the Blu, and the audio is absolutely awesome...even with my current lack of lossless capabilities. The surround effects will have you afraid to look around the room, and there are some subtle but extreme (if that makes sense) LFE moments that will really show off a good subwoofer. If you haven't seen this, go get it immediately. Just be prepared for a very emotional journey, especially if you are a parent. Outstanding movie.
16) Trick 'r Treat (2008) - Blu-Ray ***** (new to me)
Wow...and I mean that in pretty much an entirely different way than the wow for Orphanage above (though both are good wows)!
What a fun, clever little movie! I can't believe this didn't get the theatrical release that it definately deserved and instead sat on a shelf for so long! Did it live up to the hype? Maybe not entirely, but very close and I had no dissapointments. I loved how the stories all fit together and the way they did the timeline was great. Sam rocks...although I almost wish we wouldn't have seen under the sack. I can see this easily becoming required viewing this time of year, and it might end up battling it out with the original Halloween for my Oct 31st viewing pleasure next year! High praise indeed!
17) Happy Birthday to Me (1981) - DVD **1/2 (new to me)
Pretty decent '80s slasher, but nothing spectacular. Had some good deaths, and kept us guessing for quite a while. The ending was a decent twist too. It's nice to see this one get a decent DVD release, and $5 at WalMart was well worth it.
None today. Had to keep the DVR from filling up. Hopefully there will be another Halloween episode of Bones this year which would make a nice wildcard...
Another big fat zero. At least I started the month strong!
18) The Frighteners (1996) - Director's Cut HD-DVD ****
One of my wife's all time favorite movies, this is a fun ride. The CGI holds up remarkably well today. It's a nice comedy and horror mix, and the sound mix has a pretty good subwoofer workout too. Good stuff!
19) Dead Alive (1992) - DVD ***1/2
"...is that the one with the donkey and the chambermaid?" Not my favorite zombie movie, but a goopy good time. I am surprised to see this listed in imdb as being made in 1992...I really would have guessed mid-'80s. The first half hour drags a bit, but once things get rolling the humor and gore come fast and furious. Classic lawnmower scene...gotta love it. I kick ass for the Lord!
20) Dead & Breakfast (2004) - DVD ****
A nice back-to-back with Dead Alive...more hilarious, gory, zombie fun. I just love this little movie....it never ceases to make us laugh. My wife loves the music so much we bought the soundtrack. Great fun!
21) Drag Me to Hell (2009) - Blu-Ray ****1/2 (new to me)
Between this and Trick 'R Treat, we've been doing pretty darn good on the new horror blind-buys! It's great to see Raimi back in the genre, and he hasn't missed a step! Great story, great effects, great acting (damn Alison Lohman is a cutie!), and a great Blu-ray transfer add up to a lot of fun. I maybe had my hopes up just a little bit too high with all of the hype, but I can't complain and it was not a disappointment. Not quite perfect, but darn close.
22) Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009) - Blu-Ray **** (new to me)
Lots of good vampire vs werewolf action. Most people don't seem to like this one as much as the others, but I rate them all about the same. Very stylish and beautifully shot. Awesome A/V quality on the Blu...so no complaints there. Only downside is it makes me want to upgrade the other two that I only have on DVD!
23) Wildcard #1 - "Bones" A Night at the Bones Museum (2009) - HD on DVR *** (new to me)
Another great halloween episode of one of our favorite shows. Maybe not as impressive as last year's...afterall how do you top that Wonder Woman costume. Finding out Bones is a big fan of the old Universal Monster movies and quoting The Mummy was a lot of fun.
24) Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) - DVD ****
Such a fun little movie. Clever, funny, even a few good jumps. I thought this was really well written, and well acted for the most part (Leslie in particular was very charasmatic and great in the role). Great concept and well made. I'd like to see more from the guys behind this one. If you haven't seen this one, check it out.
25) Underworld (2003) - Superbit DVD ****
It was fun to revisit this closely after seeing the prequel. I really enjoy these movies...the atmosphere is breathtaking and the action is really well done in my opinion. The Superbit offers quite good audio and video quality, but I can't help but want to see it on Blu. One thing I really enjoy about this series is you never know who's side to be on. I'm sure we'll be watching the second one soon to complete the trilogy this month.
26) Underworld: Evolution (2006) - DVD ***1/2
I'm almost positive we watched this when it first came out, but I'll be darned if I could remember any of it. So it just might be a new to me, but I'm not sure. At either rate, this was of course more vampire vs lycan fun. I wasn't quite as into this one as the original and the prequel, but it was still a fun ride. I think my problem with it was it just felt more "modern" with the helicopters and what-not. I know the original was also set in modern times, but it felt more gothic and ancient or timeless. This one just felt too...normal I guess. Not sure exactly what I'm trying to say, but like I said I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Marcus was pretty bad-ass with the wings and being so much more bat-like than the others.
27) Hatchet (2006) - DVD ****
I always forget how great of a movie this is. Hilarious, well shot, and of course a great setting in the swamps. My only real complaint is the character design of Victor Crowley could have been a lot scarier. It maybe would have worked better if kept more in the shadows. The acting was mostly great, especially the main characters. Marcus is hilarious, and the guy that played Ben is great too. Also, how awesome is it getting to see Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, and Tony Todd all in the same movie? In my opinion, these low budget independant films are about the best slasher movies being made lately, between this, Behind the Mask, Midnight Movie, Malevolence, etc. All great movies.
none - had to catch up on the DVR
none - unexpected trip to look at a new Jeep...hehe
none - crazy long day buying above Jeep, going to a Star Wars event, and the Boo at the Zoo
28) Suspiria (1977) - Limited Edition DVD *****
Still one of the best. It's not a movie, it's a nightmare captured on screen. Yea the dialog and acting is mostly horrible, but that's not what this one is about. Some of the most beautiful and haunting visuals ever can be found here. And there is no beating the music...brilliant.
29) Freddy vs. Jason (2003) - DVD ****
It's always fun seeing our two favorite baddies battle it out. There is lots of fan service in this one. I had never watched this one so soon after watching all the Nightmare movies, and was surprised by how many little nods to those films are actually scattered throughout. There are a lot of lines of dialog and little incidental scenes that are reminiscent or even straight out of the earlier ones. Yes, there is some really bad dialog and acting, but it's so bad in places it almost has to be intentional as another wink to the earlier films in both series. Good brainless fun. Biggest complaint...the stoner dude that so wishes he were Jason Mewes (Jay of Kevin Smith fame)...but doesn't even come close.
none - annual Halloween party with the guys from work
30) Inferno (1980) - DVD ***1/2
I must be getting more of an appreciation for Inferno as it was much better then I remembered it being. I'm not sure if I was just getting overtired or not, but it does seem to drag on towards the end. Everything from about the rat attack up to the final scenes just seemed to drag on this viewing. The rest was more enjoyable than I was expecting though. The underwater scene is still truly awesome. I still don't know what's going or where they are half the time, but the visuals and death scenes are again beautiful and haunting.
31) Session 9 (2001) - DVD ****
Very atmospheric and creepy. I love the layers of story present here...on the surface just seeming like a haunted house story, but going much deeper than that. Well acted, beautifully shot. If you haven't seen this one yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.
32) It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) - DVD *****
It's not Halloween if you don't catch this classic. This was my first year watching with my daughter, and she loved it. We had to watch it twice.
33) Halloween (2007) - Blu-Ray ****
I feel a little blasphemous watching Rob Zombie's version this year rather than the original. We had just watched the original not too long ago though, and hadn't seen this one since the theaters. I stand by my initial opinion that this is a very good remake. As good as the original? Absolutely not, but good none the less. Very brutal. My biggest complaint is some of the over the top language and how everyone was trying so hard to be "hardcore redneck". It fit in his other work, but some of it was just out of place here. I'm talking about stuff like Laurie finger banging the bagel in front of her mom and stuff like that. Just out of place. But that aside, I enjoy this one greatly and can't wait to see H2 (which we couldn't get to in the theater), even with the bad reviews.
Well, I beat my normal goal of 31, but not by much. With the strong start I had, I though maybe I could do better, but ended up with too many missed days. October is always a busy month, and this one was no exception. Had lots of fun as usual though. Thanks to Chad and the others who helped run the show again...great job as always guys! Can't wait until the horror club starts up now. Should be fun!