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Old 09-01-18, 10:50 PM   #26
Undeadcow
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3,356
Re: The 14th Annual "October Horror Movie Challenge" (10/1 - 10/31) ***The List Threa


Gems: Laddaland, The Maus, Phobia 2, The Sitter, Murder Syndrome, Discopath, The Demon Inside, Terrified
Disappointments: Last Girl Standing, Corbin Nash, Lumberjack Man, Terrifier, Haunted House of Kirby Road
1st Viewing = first time viewing

Theme = theme day items
Subset = subset film

September 30 [Criterion Challenge Crossover Theme Night - starting after dusk, 7:13pm] (5 hours, 2 minutes watched)
01. Ghostbusters (1984, 105 minutes) ★★★★★★★★½✰ Creative mix of comedy and supernatural. The UHD video quality made some smaller details I hadn't noticed before pop and it was refreshing to revisit. Format: Digital [UHD, FandangoNow]. Theme
02. Dressed to Kill [Unrated Cut] (1980, 105 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Stylish that flirts with daring adult themes and has moments of brilliance but falters with a (perhaps intentionally) predictable ending leaning into some dated stigma tropes that blunt an otherwise well directed thriller. Format: Digital [HD, Vudu].1st Viewing ThemeSubset
03. Suspiria (1977, 92 minutes) ★★★★★★★★✰✰ Glorious restoration makes the avant garde elements pop and the leering ethereal camera more impactful with a style over substance verbal exposition heavy plot. The score remains one of the most memorable.Format: Blu-ray [Synapse Films Restoration].

October 01 [Night of the Living Dead 50th Anniversary] (9 hours, 31 minutes watched)
04. Lifeforce ['Director's Cut'] (1985, 116 minutes) ★★★★★★★½✰✰ Lifeforce smartly updates the Dracula mythos while keeping many of the core elements, dipping into scifi but with flying blood phantoms and zombie slaves. Some lurid trappings played so serious it's gratuitous without feeling sleazy and carries a gravitas. Gnarly vampire corpse effects. Some elements feel cliche. Format: Blu-ray. ThemeSubset
05. The Devil and Father Amorth (2017, 68 minutes) ★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ [SIZE="1"]'Documentary' about an actual exorcism starting with the oddity of the creative team behind 1973's The Exorcist hyping their classic, while apparently real it has some of the worse aspects of found footage with tilted camera work and talking heads without any real depth. The 'centerpiece' of a 'real' exorcism isn't as compelling as it's fictional counterpart often is. Some of the effects, like the voice, seem manufactured and the priest calmly repeatedly asking the spirit to leave or 'authorities' opinion on possession is ultimately too uninteresting and surface level - it makes me grateful for the talents of actual actors. This contradicts what I've always heard about the Catholic Church not commonly performing exorcisms so makes me wish for a more comprehensive documentary on the subject that doesn't hige on horror film writer pontificating on the nature of evil. "Do you believe there is inherent evil in all of us?"Format: Streaming [Netflix].1st Viewing
[Random Netflix International Film Double Feature]
06. The Secret: Suster Ngesot Urban Legend (2018, 98 minutes) ★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Throwaway plot with cliche imagery this Ringu-lite film wastes large swaths of time on extended games of 'hide and go seek,' with a lead that acts much more juvenile than suspension of disbelief allows and story points that get dropped. I sometimes think international films are interesting in how they repurpose tropes but this one just xeroxes from much better films. There are some attempts at being atmospheric with a large scenic house or a dimly lit hospital but ultimately no real substance and too many tangents. There's an annoying, slightly morbid, nursery rhyme that keeps getting repeated and must easily take up 5+ minutes of run time. Format: Digital [Netflix].1st Viewing
07. Mythily Veendum Varunnu (2017, 88 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Apparently the title is the character's name, one mystery solved. Slow going at first but has an interesting 'indian' flair with woes over arranged marriage, dowry, and caste complimented by an infectious lack of grit. Invests in character setup and carries through 'frights' that blur the line between subtlety and low budget. Never especially intense or graphic but with some lurid plot that comes across as general audience friendly pulp. Ultimately too incoherent and scattered. Format: Digital [Netflix].1st Viewing
08. Psychos in Love (1987, 88 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Proudly amateur film with a dark sense of humor that doesn't mess much with setup gunning for kill after kill from the go - gleefully cartoonish and 'adult.' Now I have the zany PoL song stuck in my head. Format: Blu-ray.
09. Night of the Living Dead (1968, 97 minutes) ★★★★★★★★★✰ Maverick social commentary shines with an isolated sense of dread that works better than any of the more obvious zombie horrors. Format: Blu-ray. [UK Netwerk] Theme
10. Laddaland (2011, 113 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ [SIZE="1"] Nicely draws in suburban family anxieties but to an inflated degree sometimes at a loss. So far probably the scariest film I've seen this month with more heart and melodrama than average to give it some weight. Format: Digital [Netflix]1st Viewing

October 02 [Studies in Terror Theme Night] (9 hours, 38 minutes watched)
11. The Maus (2017, 90 minutes) ★★★★★★★★★✰ Ethnic based slow burn interspersed with hallucinatory imagery playing on the Bosnian War (to the point I googled it). It's tense but not even really clearly a horror film for so long, nicely ambiguous with hints at terror mixing machismo and paranoia with sly situational humor played straight. Abstract challenging elements within an intelligent script. Format: Digital [Netflix].1st Viewing
12. Blue Sunshine (1977, 94 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Grisly hair ailments and horrific in your face violence well complimented the investigative aspects and the hooks were intense enough to carry through the sometimes slow aspects. Format: Blu-ray. 1st Viewing ThemeSubset
[Possession Double Feature]
13. The Secrets of Emily Blair (2016, 95 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ [SIZE="1"]Sleekly produced possession film that hits the right notes even if it doesn't break the mold from possession/exorcism films. Solid acting and some brutality keeps things intense. Earlier situational moments are more amusing (sort of exorcism sitcom) but as it goes along it becomes more cliche. Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing
14. Veronica (2017, 105 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ [SIZE="1"]Tries to parallel demonic forces with secular details like loneliness or 'kids raising kids' in the lives of low income latchkey kids. It works as a sort of poetry where definitions are vague and themes are visible but some of it seems contrived or pretentious (for example there is literally a blind nun, looks cool but makes 0 sense and feels engineered). There are better possession films. Format: Digital [Netflix, Spanish language ouija one not other 2017 Veronica].1st Viewing
15. The Blood Splattered Bride (1972, 102 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Progressive relationship sexual themes makes this film that works more as a metaphor of female 'liberation' than as a horror film. I'm fond of 70s European exploitation horror and remember enjoying BSB more in earlier viewings. While I think this is a feminist film my wife commented on the plentiful and sometimes nonsensical nudity leaving me wondering if that contrasts with what I think the themes are or 'makes' them (women are either being sexually empowered or repressed). Format: Blu-ray [Mondo Macabro red case limited edition]. Theme
16. Headhunter (1988, 92 minutes) ★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ [SIZE="1"]African tribal vibe is interesting but was done better in Ganja & Hess; here it's bogged down by an unconvincing police procedural with a fake Tom Selleck (you can tell he's not real because this one can't act). I wish more movies catered to mysticism, but not like this - this movie made me want to cut off my head.Format: Blu-ray. 1st Viewing

October 03 [Jawsploitation Theme Night] (9 hours, 25 minutes watched)
17. Corbin Nash (2018, 94 minutes) ★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ B-grade action fluff - the kind of movie where there are machine gun frequent swear words in place of any action. Strippers gyrate fully clothed here as an example of the tease in play with CN, a 'hero' so macho he has his name tattoo'ed on his chest. This is a poor man's Blade/Batman, if Blade where the kind of movie about drag vampires and 45 minutes of shirtless wrestling. It's unintentionally offense and mostly setup for what could be the most routine tv series ever. Format: Digital [Netflix].1st Viewing
18. 47 Meters Down (2017, 89 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ Underwater photography will never get old to me and this film has a nice murky blue atmosphere but is obviously shot on a well lit dim looking stage; I'm not a big fan of killer shark (fortunately this isn't really a shark movie) films and feel like this works best on the strength of character drama between the two leads - which is unfortunately shallow complaining about an ex-boyfriend for too much of the lead-in. In the last half the tension ratchets up nicely. Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing Theme
19. Blood Beach [Extended and Uncut] (1981, 96 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ I enjoyed BB in the past so looked forward to revisiting it's deliciously absurd premise. Rewatching it today the flaws were more obvious - some characters are out of place, a bit slow, but I still love the concept. Format: Digital [Thanks to Alyxstarr]. Theme Subset
20. Pay the Ghost (2015, 94 minutes) ★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ Starts with the strangest most un-Halloween like 'parade' and 'carnival' and Nicolas Cage plus don't seem to emote very well about their missing son; but they better capture the 'mid-grief' phase after the immediate hit. I'll admit to sometimes having a soft spot for PG13 rated horror movies that play out more like 'dark fantasy' and while there's no compelling reason to recommend PtG I enjoyed it more than I expected as a fast paced travelogue though it's own urban setting in search of a plot and teases at frights just enough to seem mystical. I would have liked to see more meat to the 'lost child' theme with parental guilt, etc. Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing Subset
21. Jaws 3-D (1983, 99 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ One of the most mechanical lifeless looking sharks in film history occasionally pops out as kids mostly muck around Seaworld, it takes so long to get going and aside from what must have been a cool 3D gimmick in 1983 has little really going for it. The aquatic park is a cool setting especially with an underwater tunnel, I wish it has been part of a better movie. Format: Digital [Vudu].
22. Orca (1977, 93 minutes) ★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ Works hard to establish that a killer whale is strategically blockading a port city to get revenge on a visitor and spends so much time humanizing the whale giving it a sense of agency that is unintentionally funny in it's extreme. Has some scenic scapes and a more abstract plot than usual that sometimes works as a cautionary tale of nature having value beyond to the degree it bends to man. Format: Digital [Vudu]. Theme

October 04 [Elevator Theme Night] (6 hours, 37 minutes watched)
23. The Lift (1983, 95 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Oddball series of vignettes about elevator death wrapped in a framing plot about a repair man investigating - it's campy and far out but with a premise that balances zany and evil well tapping into a fear of elevators ever self respecting human should have. Format: Blu-ray.1st Viewing Theme
24. Botched [Uncut] (2007, 95 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Humor is hit or miss and sometimes too 'cornball' but Botched has the most bizarre plot twists it's hard not to be captivated wondering what insanity will happen next in the compulsively original premise (the less you know the better). Format: Streaming [Vudu HD]. Theme
[Bad Parents Triple Feature]
25. Darkness Rising (2017, 81 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ Standard haunted house affair with an awkward backstory about traumatic family history staying with a woman who returns to a near abandoned family home. Spectres who have more depth and purpose than average; frights are routine and there's a good sense of mystery beyond just scares but some of it is so 'occult' it doesn't quite make sense. Format: Streaming [Netflix].1st Viewing Theme
26. Mom and Dad (2017, 84 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Leans heavily into extremes of parental anxiety and morphs them into horror tropes, it bumps against being shocking and adds more 'character,' than you might see in say a ravenous zombie movie, but ultimately neither satirical enough nor frightening enough to really deliver on it's premise. Some of the actors are better than average and I enjoyed bits of the suburban family angst but the horror elements felt uneven and premise too bizarre. Wavering between large scale epidemic and smaller scale family dynamics means neither one really delivers until the last half when it gets better but paints itself it a corner. Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing
27. Mom (1991, 95 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ I was surprised to have not heard of a 1991 horror movie by MGM like this before... but then I found out why, not great - overly long for the premise and one note nature of the hook with fleeting moments that are more interesting and practical effects from the prime of the medium. The opening scene werewolf male has some of the worse acting I've seen yet and some of the low production elements show. The mother son horror dynamic was done more gleefully in Dead Alive. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing
28. The House of Deadly Secrets (2018, 86 minutes) ★½✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Straight forward 'thriller' with tame threats and secrets that are of the obvious, perhaps intended to be ironic, variety. This was not the epic haunted house movie I've been searching for and has a lite family friendly vibe (well other than the murder). Format: Digital [Netflix].1st Viewing
29. The Shaft [aka Down] (2001, 101 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Remake of The Lift that is much more polished - empty lobbies are transformed into elaborate crowd filled marble caverns but stays true to plot which is a simple one to justify the elevator gags. This one brings a bazooka when the original had a handgun.Format: Blu-ray. 1st Viewing Theme Subset

October 05 [Anthology Theme Night] (10 hours, 6 minutes watched)
30. Kwaidan (1965, 183 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Amazing visuals with vivid color scheme these scenic tales are well crafted but sometimes overly long emphasizing dramatic hooks that aren't always logical. It's possible I'm overlooking parts of Japanese history that would help me appreciate Kwaidan even more. Format: Blu-ray. 1st Viewing Theme Subset
31. ABCs of Death 2.5 (2016, 86 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ If you enjoyed the previous 2 ABCs of Death then I definitely think 2.5 is worth seeing - there's some crap segments in it but also ones that are zany and far out enough to be worth a view. My favorite segments are M is for Magnetic Tape, M is for Mailbox, and M is for Mom - which are handled in much more creative ways then the titles alone let on. None of the segments seem low budget or amateur and if anything it’s more the content that’s hit and miss; it makes one wonder how these can look so polished and indie films can sometimes look so indie. So many ‘push the envelope’ in refreshingly gorey or intentionally over the top ways it can be fatiguing (also not a fan of the poop humor in some). Format: Streaming [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
32. [B]Phobia 2 (2009, 125 minutes) ★★★★★★★½✰✰ [SIZE="1"]Nicely ambiguous characters and an intelligent script. Comparing it to over movies this month Phobia 2 has a morality 'come-up-ance' that is unfortunately missing in many horror films. Sobering twists in a series of stories where the characters are often ambiguous, both good and bad enough to be sympathetic. I can think of more than a few films that are missing some of the 'heart' in heart wrenching that we see with Phobia 2. Some great concepts with more depth at play. I especially liked the first segment and the trucker one (well also the film crew one, and the salvage one – which is nearly all). Format: Streaming [Netflix]. 1st Viewing Theme
33. Tales from the Hood 2 (2018, 111 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Better than the generic cover art or duration since original lets on but it is preachy and too 'on the nose' with politics today getting weaker as it progresses with the finale collapsing into juvenile humor and cringeworthy near literal current event references. The first two thirds are refreshing thowbacks to when horror anthologies where more about light humor horror than intense weirdness; there's some occasionally uncomfortable social commentary but that's to be expected and a strength of the series. Format: Streaming [Netflix]. 1st Viewing Theme
34. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1985, 101 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Nicely updated some classic TZ episodes but many of these have become so iconic that this movie feels unjustly routine. The Dan Aykroyd wraparound is memorable. Format: Streaming [Vudu HD]. Theme
35. Caught (2016, 86 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Cryptic missionaries visit a home in a film that mixes strange behavior gags with home invasion themes effectively. It's tense and slyly funny with an unusal premise. Format: Streaming [Vudu HD].

October 06 [Zombie Theme Night] (8 hours, 26 minutes watched)
36. Burial Ground: Night of Terror (1981, 85 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ The lack of plot and strange low budget effects give it a dream like quality and those zombies are a gnarly mix of gross and low budget with extra points for creative use of maggots; the zombie masks are a.unique mix of obviously fake but scary and gross in spite of their shoddy production. I admire that BG doesn't waste time with plot and has a mix of gothic and zombies. Sometimes too cheesy for it's own good. Format: Blu-ray [Shriek Show]. Theme Subset
37. War of the Dead (2011, 86 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Smaller scale world war 2 zombie mystery hooked me in, it balances scope well by not tacking more than a small squad of characters and goes for the gusto on set design. It may be I have a weakness of occult nazi stories and zombies but this feels like the action horror movie I didn't know I was looking for despite it's weaknesses. Moody filled with burning cavernous underground bunkers but often obscured by shaking cameras; there's a fight scene where it's literally raining paper the whole time and those details are engaging. There's a lot of popgun bullet spraying as the heroes action pose, to a fault, and some of the shots feel engineered with unintentional pastiche. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing Theme
38. Peelers (2016, 95 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Amateurish is to be expected with a title like this, adds little new to zombie horror. It's hard to criticize a film like this that mostly feels like the victim of poor budget and indie aspirations but ultimately I didn't end up enjoying it much and there are other better movies that cover the same thing. Some of the effects approach being good but so much of it feels cliche. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing Theme
39. Scooby Doo: Camp Scare (2014, 78 minutes) ★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ It's hard to criticize Scooby but this one has so much going on it's hard to keep track, three monsters and a over the top technology camp detract from what could have been a cool romp in the woods - sometimes less is more. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].Subset
40. The Dead Next Door (1989, 84 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Scenes filled with zombies or other sight gags give this an epic scope and it's nicely paced. The effects are better than you'd expect. Despite being 'hd' the image still has a soft quality due to film source. Overall this one's a winner and goes into some of the physics of zombie outbreak without feeling like it's over explaining. Some of the religion vs science themes we've seen before but there's such as constant stream of action and the zombie squad is a really cool idea that it all works. Format: Digital [Vudu "HD"].1st Viewing Subset
41. Zombeavers (2014, 78 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ What seems like the stupidest 'college humor' premise surprises me - it's not high brow but it's not overly obnoxious and reasonably dives into sleazy low hanging fruit of sexualized characters and zombie critters. It's brisk enough and gets right into set-up without worrying about over establishing characters and dialogue is written in a more natural way where characters are more interested in cracking jokes than dramatizing. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. Subset

October 07 [Universal Studios Classic Monsters Theme Night] (12 hours, 58 minutes watched)
42. Last Girl Standing (2015, 91 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Clever idea of following a horror slasher survivor after the ordeal, here it's handled with less flair such as the most routine villain. It jumps into the mundane without executing a strong hook, trusting it's own premise perhaps too much without supporting it as well with necessary setup or solid acting. Doesn't seem to have as much fun with the plot and the actors sort of sleepwalk through it. The dialogue is sometimes painfully over polite (i.e. 'gee I'm sorry I over reacted,' then 'oh it's ok, don't worry about it' erupting in way more apologizes on screen than kills or even jokes – it's like a new apology subgenre lacking whit or fun where everyone it painfully sympathetic or unrealistically rude). It's much less 'meta' and self-aware than it probably should have been wallowing in overly serious fluff – no shocks, no frights for too much of it's runtime. They could have improved to film to make it's last chapters a short film. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
43. Dr Cyclops [Svengoolie Episode] (1940 [Dr Cyclops] / 2014 [Svengoolie episode], 95 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ Albert Dekker has an unique physique that combined with the spectacles looks imposing, not unlike a cyclops of greek legend (bulkier with obviously limited vision). I think his combination of scientific reserve and maniacal 'makes' the film more than the effects. The Svengoolie material corresponding with this, it was my first exposure to the horror host and was fun - Sevengoolie's a corny fellow but energetic. Format: Digital [thanks to Alyxstarr]. 1st Viewing ThemeSubset
44. The Mind's Eye (2015, 88 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Steeped in stagelight color and synth score this throwback film is like the spaghetti western of telekinetic horror, it hardly re-invents anything but very effectively riffs on stuff we've seen in The Fury or Scannerswith some gnarly effects. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
45. The Sitter (2017, 97 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Psychosexual without being lurid this moody film is slow paced but well shot and abstract, I could see it not being for everyone but I liked it a lot more than I expected. It's a slow burn that's at times too slow and psychological, which I found to be wonderful and even when things shift pace it's a well executed mystery with twists and over the top terrors. The trailer is misleading. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
46. The House With a Clock in the Wall (2018, 105 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ It's hard to be critical of all ages films like this but the type that goes all in on magic to the level of near constant fantasy takes some of the thrill out of it in my opinion. It basically starts as a comedy and never really recovers a level of tension despite some twists running off sight gags for so much of it's time. Overall me and the kids enjoyed it and it's refreshing for their to be family friendly season offerings. I'm not a big fan of Jack Black, he's masterful sometimes but often seems to play the same basic character and struggles with dramatic chops. The rise of a darker adversary makes things more interesting but editing could have been tighter.. Format: Theatrical. 1st Viewing
47. Son of Dracula (2017, 97 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ I've never been a big fan of Dracula stories (vampires are neat but the painstaking re-tellings of Bram Stoker's story get stale imo). It is interesting to me how Dracula is more of a real estate mogul in these than a fiend of the night and that one of his threats is to family property. Apparently this is the first time he is seen transforming to a bat on screen. Son of Dracula does an efficient job of keeping the same tone as earlier Dracula offerings but not being redundant. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
48. Split (2016, 117 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ James McAvoy performs well in a premise that seemed cringeworthy to me, the multiple personality stuff is no less over the top than I had feared. There is some grit and it's an ambitious premise but using real world trauma and make believe veiled as mental health as plot premises is dis-tasteful. Format: Digital [Vudu 4K]. 1st Viewing
49. Shivers (1975, 88 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Grisly premise that's far out and themes of civilization going savage make for an interesting theme. Dated now and perhaps not as impactful since biological horrors to the extreme of this have become more popular. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing

October 08 [Atmospheric Theme Night] (9 hours, 35 minutes watched)
[Jungle Horrors Double Feature]
50. Vinyan (2008, 100 minutes) ★★★★★★★★✰✰ Compelling mix of mysticism, travelogue, grief analogy, and trafficking cautionary tale that is scenic and cryptic but sometimes heavy handed in message while also being nicely subtle on the more interesting hint of lost children. I especially enjoyed Vinyan in the past in part because there's few movies as scenic as this with the jungles of Thailand and the abstract horror. Some of the preachiness eventually feels like it has more depth and gets abstract enough it’s more my style. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].
51. Hisss (2010, 98 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Excellent far out premise about a vengeful snake goddess shoehorned into a some giallo tropes that don’t quite work (detective trying to solve murders when all we want is snake goddess carnage) and needed tighter pacing. Didn’t expect ‘bollywood’ style film since Jennifer Lynch is an American director. Bollywood flair carries the film and while some of the effects are cheap and villain cheesy those doesn’t necessarily detrack given the Bollywood pulpiness. Some fertility issues are more in your face than typical but that’s on theme. Format: Digital [Netflix HD]. 1st Viewing
52. Mohawk (2010, 93 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Energetic and intense historical action in a cat and mouse chase between revolutionary colonist and Mohawk Indians. Tense twists and a great colonial forest setting make this film well paced and unique. If anything it's all wire tense mood and scenery without as much character setup. Format: Digital [Netflix HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
53. Ataúd Blanco: El Juego Diabólico [aka White Coffin] (2016, 75 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Scenic road chase movie with some odd twists that are distracting and random coming across not as surreal but as forced. The motherhood themes are potentially ripe but here there are too many fantasy elements that when there's a zinger twist the strained magical realism that proceeds it makes it seem too dreamlike and the imagery is too mundane to really sell the developments - like a made for tv make believe. Format: Digital [Netflix HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
54. The Lazarus Effect (2015, 83 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ The worst fake science mumbo jumbo obsesses these strangely casual scientists who cannot help but overexplain out way through the film. I haven't seen flatliners in a long time, but this feels like a pail Flatliner's imitation if Flatliners was about people who like to use initials to explain death and bore me instead of thrillseekers.Format: Digital [Netflix HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
55. Mother! (2017, 121 minutes) ★★★★★★★½✰✰ Abstract plot that stayed with me leaving me thinking, it's bizarre and the less you know in advance the better. Balances mystery and metaphor well.Format: Digital [Vudu 4K].1st Viewing Theme

October 09 [Cheesy 80s Theme Night] (11 hours, 41 minutes watched)
56. The Zero Boys (1986, 89 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Surprisingly meta with more depth than is obvious at first glance, re-watching it there are a lot of horror conventions this subverts and slyly lampoons with heavily armed heroes vs subdued slashers. The pacing is more restrained than the Zero Boy's machismo lets on nicely teasing at horror rather than a high body count.Format: Blu-ray. ThemeSubset
57. Out of the Dark (1988, 89 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Routine thriller with nicely dated elements (80s fashion, music, slow mo, etc) it's sleazy with a creepy clown mask killer. Amateur sleuthing run amok with some nice gore and many leering camera swipes. The ending reveal is predictable and so matter of fact that I cannot tell if it's intended to play on dramatic irony earlier established. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
58. Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988, 80 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Starts out with matter of fact campy kills and an obvious slasher but as things build it crescendos nicely into a campy gorey mess. I find that this and the first seem to get better as they go along and pile on the bodycounts, not necessarily through inventive kills but the dark comedy way things gel together from seeming routine to suddenly being more over the top. Bonus points here for not just being a retread of the first and it's gimmick plus some horror references. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
59. Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989, 80 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ Starts with a great hook but get increasingly boring. The 'campers' are all obvious adults and the 'campground' is some of the most barebone skimpy tents in the woods, it's missing a lot of the social elements that helped the first two along and replaces them with a 'under privileged' and 'wealthy' camper model that does nothing more than cater to the worst stereotypes of socioeconomics. Some of the kills are unintentionally funny, the sort of thing you'd wonder why the victim doesn't just walk off or how a small tree branch could be so fatal. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing Theme
60. The Wraith (1986, 93 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ A road race movie with an over the top mean spirited 80s 'gang' updating drag race movies with a supernatural car; the bad guys are mean spirited to the extreme and since it's told mostly from their perspective is hard to relate to them. The setting is unique and unusual that the supernatural is the good guy. Not especially scary and more of a revenge film. Clint Howard is amusingly out of character trying to be tough. Pump up the 80s hair metal for this one. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
61. Slaughterhouse Rocks (1988, 87 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Slaughterhouse Rock was the horrible campy nonsense I needed; it's dumb and cheesy but that makes it work. Although there is neither a slaughterhouse nor much rock (unless you consider Devo rock). It's not a good film with transparent effects and a fashion challenged ghost over explaining the plot, but it's enjoyable. Format: Blu-ray. 1st Viewing Theme
62. Murder Syndrome [aka Murder Obsession] (1981, 98 minutes) ★★★★★★★★✰✰ Impenetrable but stylish Italian thriller with a gothic atmosphere in a castle complete with ghostly footprints and a bare breasted woman being crucified while a plastic spider crawls on her. So far out twists and lurid imagery with a psychological minded mystery. Format: Blu-ray. 1st Viewing Theme
63. Hands of the Ripper (1975, 85 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ Slow going with period details I appreciate but a strained/elaborate way of connecting in Jack the Ripper with emphasis on an oddly too nice doctor, they should have called this 'The Too Nice Doctor Movie' instead. The flashing light device seems corny. I was promised this would be "one of the most gruesome Hammer Horror films every made," and there's got to be a special place in hell for that kind of marketing hyperbole. Format: Blu-ray. 1st Viewing

October 10 [Birthday Theme Night] (9 hours, 24 minutes watched)
64. Happy Death Day (2017, 96 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Far out premise with lots of red herrings and plot twists but a creative sense of fun - if the same person dies multiple times in a reincarnation cycle, how do we rule that as body count? Format: Digital [FandangoNow 4K]. Theme Subset
65. Wish Upon ['Unrated Director's Cut'] (2017, 91 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Entertains some of the less interesting teen horror tropes - the overly elaborate house no one can relate to, the cool girl who becomes a narrow sighted queen ultimately suffering drama that is more social than supernatural, mismatched characters/actors like Ryan Philippe as a dumpster diver, newspaper headline driven epiphanies, etc. It's a cool premise but under utilized trapped in a small scale high school wonderland where the wishes are not grand enough and the supernatural chaos not intense enough - there are similar movies that better explore the moral toll and ambivalence of using a box that grants wishes at a horrible cost. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
66. The Visitor (1979, 109 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰ [hard to rate - frustratingly incoherent but wonderfully shameless]Oddball plot with artful direction. Elements of re-incarnation and entities called Zanteen make the plot un-necessarily difficult to follow but once I realized it was all just set-up for a kid to be at deathly at odds with her mother Omen style and to interject some nonsensical scifi imagery I enjoyed it more, a style over substance ripoff of other movies that turns things up to cosmic degrees - the best description is 'all of 70s horror shoved into one film' (credit to vice.com). I'm still trying to figure out what John Huston's character was doing (other than just representing perhaps 'good'), and admit I resorted to Wikipedia synopsis (which seems to overemphasize a satanic cabal I'm not sure was even there) for some of the plot before realizing it was better to not quite understand and just go with the vibe. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
67. Welcome to Willits (2016, 84 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ Amusing alien paranoia help stale stoner kid tropes along; there are stretches where no much happens so the character driven weirdness keeps things afloat. Plays like an overly long joke told in serious tone with a body count, I can't tell if it's a clever idea or a stupid one because while the premise is more original there are some plot holes and stretched conveniences (some flaws are shared group paranoia; odd proximity of kids). If it were not as stylishly directed then it could have fallen apart altogether and it's better executed than the premise deserves, a premise which hurts my head to think about because so nonsensical. Format: Digital [Netflix HD]. 1st Viewing
68. Dead Awake (2016, 99 minutes) ★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Draws out the super obvious premise, it's no mystery the deaths are related to sleep paralysis or there is at least a hint of the supernatural so stop beating around about it. It's like they did a remake of Nightmare on Elm Street but forgot to CGI in Freddy Kreuger; everyone walks around in a panic but there is never an especially clear threat. Format: Digital [Netflix HD]. 1st Viewing
69. Bad Exorcists (2015, 85 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Comedy with exorcism/possession as another gag in the chorus, it's nicely paced but more focused on teen comedy with part of the joke is how oblivious everyone is to the supernatural. Entertaining enough but never laugh out loud funny and at times hammy, flirts with holy watergun style cliches complete with dick pic jokes.Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing

October 11 [Dogs, Bogs (Swamp), or Logs (Cabin) Theme Night] (9 hours, 49 minutes watched)
70. Cujo (1983, 93 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Re-watching Cujo was surreal because it has been a very long time since I saw it; Cujo looks great in high definition. Cujo is a great 'what would you do' scenario. I think future films that 'out-Cujo'ed' Cujo with pacing and atmosphere; but not Dee Wallace who gives a top notch performance. Cujo has some great ideas that seem to fall just short in execution, likely suffering in transition from book to screen. I'm a fan of allegory movies that are filled with social commentary and Cujo flirts with that such as with the unfaithful wife and that the true terrors might come in unexpected forms and I liked that the first half of the movie really focused on suburban strife. When the rabid dog comes in the schlock takes over (I love schlock too) blunting some of the first part making it feel more like extended setup than anything with merits of it's own; left feeling like probably overlooking something thematic. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. Subset
71. Lumberjack Man (2015, 105 minutes) ★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ So far the only recent film I’ve seen I considered abandoning. If films could wink this one invites you to a lame in joke the whole time - filled with awkward church humor and pancakes are literally plot points. What is Michael Madsen doing here? He does what he can with the horrible script but cannot save it. Characters are obnoxiously thin even for a horror movie and the things that do work are imitated from better films. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
72. Arbor Demon (2016, 100 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Hits the right notes with a moody couple going camping complete with some scenic landscapes and subtle paranoia starting with an odd dream about the woman running through the woods pregnant which gives a sense of mysticism to things and there are some cool twists with unique premise. Well acted and while there are times it's low budget is apparent it's very memorable. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
73. The Pit and the Pendulum (1991, 97 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Enthralling historical drama with Lance Henriksen commanding the screen as grand inquisitor and amazing period elements with much of the film in a cavernous dungeon. Some of the character elements don't quite work as characters sometimes act implausible/inconsistent ways. Format: Digital [Amazon Video]. 1st Viewing
74. Goosebumps (2015, 103 minutes) ★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ I never got much exposure to Goosebumps books as a youth and this was one film I could watch with the kids. It had some cute homages to R.L. Stine but aside from name dropping the series and parading elements of the books around it never really seemed to have a voice of it's own. It was chaotic but aside from sweeping chaos and book based characters never gave the sense it was a unique tale (it reminded me some of Cabin in the Woods, you could say this was as much as Goosebumps movie as Cabin in the Woods is a zombie movie). Some of the CGI was off putting and instead of fleshing anything out it just tossed in literally everything from the series. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing
75. Incident in a Ghostland (2018, 91 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ I'd heard hype about Ghostland so was excited going into it. It confirmed my suspicions that Martyrs director Pascal Laugier should never be allowed to write more screenplays. If your idea of plot is repeated gruesome facial brusing and 'tension' is basically roughing people up then this is totally the film for you. The twist is a simple one that is executed in choppy enough fashion to seem more complicated than it is, it's not unlike Martyrs where is depends on some twist to redeem it and the twist is weakly executed. There are some 'wtf' moments and imagery is occasionally jarring or interesting, but it rings hollow. Some of the cryptic elements are nice but they're overcooked. I did look into reviews/interpretations of Ghostland after watching it and couldn't find anything that changed my mind. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing

October 12 [Apocalyptic Theme Night] (0 hours, 0 minutes watched)
76. A Quiet Place (2018, 91 minutes) ★★★★★★★½✰✰ Really enjoyed the unusual setup of this and the creatures are very well done. The premise is a bit far out and feels engineered for this type of 'silent film' style to the point of being a little pretentious but so well paced and atmospheric that it's standout. The silence is 'deafening' much of the time with near total sound blackout and that felt immersive, the subtle sound design is the real hero here. Regarding word of a sequel, this is a really good film but the premise itself it probably one of it's weaker qualities and I cannot see another installment being as effectively executed - sometimes less is more.. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme Subset
77. Carriers (2009, 85 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Conventional post apocalyptic premise that veers more into morality than most and focused on slow burn simmering personal conflicts. This is like 28 Days Later's more philosophical cousin. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
78. Monster at the Nudist Colony (2015, 76 minutes) ★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Felt like something stupid and trashy; the 'monster' is a horrible gorilla suit and this misrepresents nudists as people who are constantly intertwined in softcore acts (some of which seem physically improbable - more like humping someone's belly button) - I was a little disappointed it didn't even really try to be a movie but probably should have known better. Format: Digital [Amazon Video]. 1st Viewing
79. Discopath (2013, 82 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Discopath has an outrageous premise of a killer triggered by disco music but is handled in such a subtle way it's quiet a good thriller, it's the best kind of pastiche filmed in a vintage looking soft style and handled in a way that even the most campy over the top kill segment is engaging. There is an enthralling use of sound without a lot of frivolous dialogue and lots of background music punctuated by periods of silence. I'm at the point in the challenge where I'm looking for offbeat comedies that are a bit more upbeat, I cannot say Discopath was it given it was a bit more intense/gorey. Format: Digital [Amazon Video]. 1st Viewing
80. Lurking Fear (2013, 82 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ Potentially cool monster fiend movie spoiled by cramming way too much into it's funtime, literally everyone have a backstory and it's overly elaborate to where the horror elements take a sideline to a strange graveyard heist plot. Nicely campy in places but just lacks direction in trying to do so much, and when the horrors are in play they seem half backed with a 'twist' that's predictable - one one scene the ghoul is seen in the background just sitting there watching, like a lost extra, which is a good metaphor for how aimless Lurking Fear is. Format: Digital [Amazon Video]. 1st Viewing
81. Monster Family (2017, 96 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ CGI is a step up from what I've seen in many other films like this, vibrant colors and good detail flesh out uninspirited designed. It's like a b-movie Hotel Transylvania and is a little choppy and predictable, neither scenic enough nor funny enough to be much effective and lacking the energy of it's more entertaining big screen ilk. Fart jokes abound and there's an odd emphasis on how parents can be unhappy with themes of considering adultery that seem to not make much sense in context of a family film.Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing
82. Mindwarp (1992, 95 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Like a caveman mutant version of The Matrix this is remarkably dated and low budget seeming but really goes all in on the post-apocalyptic gleefully embracing rubber masks and makeshift clothes of our future wasteland. Format: Blu-ray. 1st Viewing Theme

October 13 [Apocalyptic Theme Night] (0 hours, 0 minutes watched)
83. Inside (2007, 85 minutes) ★★★★★★★½✰✰ Inside is an effective and well executed thriller pulling on parental fears and home invasion elements. There is good tension and it doesn't shy away from gore, it is relentlessly bleak in color tone and in theme. There are a few elements that are awkward, looking cool but don't make sense when you think about it. Some of the effects are dated now. Inside is a nearly a modern classic that has gotten some acclaim but is too often overlooked. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. Theme Subset
84. Constantine: City of Demons (2018, 90 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Cartoon demon on demon fighting action fills the screen in a tale of a child's lost soul - it's not weird enough to be surreal, but weird enough that it's rules/structure are unpredictable and the script interjects some twists that work well. [COLOR="Gray"]Format: Digital [FandangoNow 4K].[/COLOR ]1st Viewing
85. Die Marquise Von Sade [Soft Edition] (1976, 70 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Lurid sexual antics of twin sisters, one of whom consumes the essence of her mates but feels not pleasure - which is instead felt by her twin in an odd twist on Dorian Gray. Poetically framed with some arthouse elements (like Lina Romay literally eating a flower). It's got a plot so abstract that it could seem slow, and I looked up some interpretations of it one - I liked the gutsy theme and it dives head first into exploitation cinema.Format: Digital [Amazon Video].1st Viewing Theme Theme
86. Inside (2016, 89 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Remake tones down the gore and is more emotional; the remake lead is a bit more 'whiny' and some of the elements that made the original great suffer but the remake is probably worth a watch and it does have some elements that are different, like the ending, more characters, and the invader being more prepared. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
87. Ladronas de Almas (2015, 88 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ [SIZE="1"]Period Spanish horror surrounding the Mexican war for independence and ghouls and while it's a gusty approach the plot tends to be very talky about lost gold. The twist of ghouls is nice but perhaps not lurid enough and some of the frights seem hackneyed. Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing
88. Im Schloß der blutigen Begierde [aka Castle of Bloody Lust] (1971, 92 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ Gothic horror with a side of boring, there are some gnarly surgery scenes and a rape-y Baron with a lot of horseriding around a castle. One woman wears a dress so low you can see her nipples in a dinner segment. This has a surprising amount of rape for 1968 and a strangely abrupt ending. Format: Blu-ray [Subkulture import]. 1st Viewing Theme

October 14 [FACT 100 Greatest Horror Soundtracks Theme Night] (0 hours, 0 minutes watched)
89. The Conjuring (2007, 85 minutes) ★★★★★★★½✰✰ Genuinely scary with great tension; some of the effects are cliche and the Warren hero worship seems odd but overall a modern age classic. Format: Digital [Vudu 4K].
90. Slumber Party Massacre (1982, 77 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Wastes no time getting to proceedings; the driller killer is cheesy but it's a cool weapon that works curiously well as a sexual euphemism. As a slasher SPM is lukewarm but as a stranger social commentary on gender and sexuality with a phallic wielding killer it's fascinating.Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. Theme
91. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (1982, 100 minutes) ★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ More of a generic Halloween family movie than a Goosebumps film with cursory appearances by a RL Stine character; not that I was ever a fan of Goosebumps. There is a lot more focus on character development than frights so pacing was sometimes off. Format: Theatrical. 1st Viewing
92. The Brotherhood of Satan (1971, 92 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ References to satanism alone aren't enough to carry a film and the geriatric brood that make up this film do little more than engage in hammy overacting. There is an epic satanic birthday cake. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing
93. Unsane (2018, 98 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ More straight forward of a thriller than I expected, well directed and discretely tongue in cheek. I enjoyed Unsane as an ok time waster and it has some well executed twists. Format: Digital [Vudu 4K]. 1st Viewing
94. Blood on Satan's Claw (1971, 93 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ It took a while to peak my interest but the strangeness with the children and increasing paranoia hooked me in. Has a nice folksy vibe to it.Format: Digital [Amazon]. 1st Viewing Theme Subset
95. Devil In My Ride (2013, 95 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ A possession movie with zany characters and hit or miss road trip humor. It was fun, rock n roll, and dumb – I liked it more as something different than the usually dark room bible thumbing exorcism movies more than I did as a film on it's own as it's plot is under developed saved mostly by the strength of charismatic leads who just chew up the scenery. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing

October 15 [IMDB Top Rated Theme Night] (0 hours, 0 minutes watched)
96. Sleepy Hollow (1999, 110 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ I love the moodiness and atmosphere in an elaborate retelling/update of the Headless Horseman. Some of the scientific debate could have been more subtly implemented; so many of the early scenes are Crane romanticizing the use of science to grimacing statesmen. Johnny Deph does an effective job here but there are times he overdoes his engineered awkwardness. The crimes seem solved in a surprisingly slapdash fashion suggesting the earlier emphasis on science was a red herring (just kidding, we’re supernatural here). The headless horseman effects was especially well done and nicely choreographed. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme Subset
97. Peeping Tom (1960, 101 minutes) ★★★★★★★½✰✰ The lead is an effectively creepy but proper person who seems to calculated and altering the perception to one where the villain watches an inept police force is interesting. Turning the camera on the murders is brilliant especially with that opening scene and then how the camera tends to leer over the main character showing seemingly mundane details tied to the crimes. Despite a tendency towards over explanation, usually a peeve of mine, it works well given character study elements. The aged technicolor film look adds a lot. Format: Digital [thanks to Alyxstarr]. 1st Viewing Theme Subset
98. Inhuman Resources [aka Redd Inc] (2012, 94 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Low production diddy that owes a lot to the Saw franchise about six crime witnesses/attorneys who all end up chained to a desk to do legal tasks while the seemingly resurrected killer presides over them. The workplace commentary is not sharp enough and the scares are mostly torture porn level with twists that are dumb rather than twisted. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing
99. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018, 97 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Loses some of the horror parody of the first two but keeps sight of the upbeat kid friendly dance party energy, there's some nice underwater eye candy and the conclusion is memorable family friendly fun. I felt like the first two films were stronger and that HT3 kicks right into the gags without as much setup, it is more of the same. Format: Digital [Vudu 4K]. 1st Viewing
100. The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967, 108 minutes) ★★★★★★★★✰✰ Perfect blend of comedy and atmospheric horror with a eccentric professor and his assistant searching for vampires across as snowscape complete with a vampire ball and ironic plot twists. The vampires have gravitas and never become overly familiar to us. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. Theme
101. Ayla (2017, 87 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Moody and strange with a premise that has problems from the go; a grief based plot that defies reason as an adult man pines for his long deceased sister at the expense of his day to day life. The plot really makes little sense other than for the lead to wallow in angst but I liked the cryptic nature and the odd family conflicts around an unusual and vague plot. I could see Ayla not being for everyone and it could have used more subtlety but I liked it. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing

October 16 [Killers \ Slashers \ Giallo Theme Night] (0 hours, 0 minutes watched)
102. Terrifier (2016, 89 minutes) ★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Sometimes Terrifier struck me as showing promise in isolated segments but ultimately obnoxiously disappointing. It felt almost kind of tame despite the gore; there are scarier clown villains and not much to the premise (to be tense a film needs to do more than chuck around some gore). Most of the buildup seemed to be 'Art the Clown is so cool/scary/evil' without plot, more a series of short vignettes than a film itself. The format worked a bit better as an anthology film with All Hallows Eve, where it seemed more far out and envelope pushing. The silent clown gag was sometimes promising but one note and I felt it hurt the film by being so much more about Art than much of anything else - all the characters felt thin. More pathos please. I liked some of the violence but it needed a better hook and buildup instead of 'zomg look how violent out generic villain is.' Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing Theme Subset
103. Trash Fire (2016, 93 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ Richard Bates Jr (of Excision fame) writes refreshingly quirky characters and this was a nice slow burn. Some of the population is perhaps too strange but it seems to come together as a smuck tries to reconnect with his family. This guy is such a jerk then he's not and there are some tonal shifts though the pacing works and it's well acted. Some elements feel abruptFormat: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
104. The Nun (2018, 96 minutes) ★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ Atmospheric and creepy, effectively scary, but too directly clones at least one other movie (the ending is an immediately recognizable rip off) that it left me suffering from second hand embarrassment. Worth seeing but I expected more from a Conjuring film. Format: Theatrical. 1st Viewing
105. Hellfest (2018, 89 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ Great idea for a slasher based on a haunted house, not unlike Houses October Build, but the haunted theme park is so elaborate and ever present it feels like too much of a distraction - Hellfest needed more slasher and less theme park. It's nicely seasonal to the point I could practically smell the rubber masks. Format: Theatrical. 1st Viewing
106. The Demon Inside (2017, 99 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Epic indie film that pulls off an ambitious premise that sounds generic, plagued by some of the worse cover art, but delivers on in your face sometimes nicely cartoonish horror comedy (often more tense than funny). Effects are sometimes cheap or acting questionable but never to the point it kills the pace. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
107. Sendero (2015, 85 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ Does little to advance torture with chainsaw massacre lite group dynamics. At one point it seems unintentionally funny that one person shoots someone then someone else shoots them then the shooter or the shooter gets shot. Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing Theme
108. Inside [not the french baby film] (2012, 85 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Brilliant supernatural prison thriller that's nicely tense with strangeness while at the same time being intentionally predictable. The set sometimes looks like house under construction and sometimes the apparently low budget shows but it's well acted and takes a basic horror trope to fill out the runtime with two inmates sitting in a cell. I have seen worse one location films but I wonder how Inside will hold up on repeat viewings. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
109. Tenebrae (1982, 101 minutes) ★★★★★★★★✰✰ Rocking sync music soundtrack and an image that looks especially good on the Synapse blu-ray. I think Tenebrae well deserves the acclaim it gets and is one of Argento's better giallos. Format: Blu-ray [Synapse Films steelbook]. ThemeSubset

October 17 [Beaches Theme Night] (0 hours, 0 minutes watched)
110. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976, 112 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰ The beach setting is great and does a good job of pushing some intense themes that stagger between exploitation and metaphor. It's a weighty film because of the premise and statements it seems to try to make about politics. Format: Blu-ray [Mondo Macabro standard]. ThemeSubset
111. Delirium [Photo of Gioria] (1987, 94 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ Dated fashionista drama pops across giallo tropes that feel routine at times despite standout hallucinatory visuals (like the eye woman, or a half bee lady]. Lamberto Bava generally does a good job of updating giallo conventions; as is the case here with a pulpy vibe, red herrings, and some usual kills. Format: Blu-ray [Code Red]. 1st Viewing
112. Shock Waves (1977, 85 minutes) ★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ I was warned about Shock Waves, but I had to see it for myself, it's a cool premise and Peter Crushing does what he can when on screen but so little happens. Shots of zombie nazis often don't even appear to be done at the same time as other actors, and these fiends literally push people. I am usually a sucker for aquatic/swamp settings but little is done here and sometimes comically misplaced (like row boating through a shallow river). Format: Blu-ray [Blue Underground].1st Viewing Theme Subset
113. Victor Crowley (2017, 85 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ I was never a fan of the Hatchet movies, too much of the "humor" I find to be obnoxious. I like the practical effects and horror luminary cameos so want to enjoy these more than I do. In VC so much of the start is just random (like a plane crashes) and it just doesn't quite work; more of the same if you're a fan and it's last third is much better than what proceeds it. [Hatchet 3 is still the highlight of the series] Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
114. The Haunting of Helena (2012, 84 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ Nicely paced and not too subtle but formulaic, much of what we've seen before to the point that as plot develops it's easy to think 'oh, they made another xyz type of film.' It is occasionally creepy with ghosts that seem unusually mean spirited to also be portrayed as victims so some of the tone is odd and drags a bit as we wait out what feels predictable for too long before a really great twist. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
115. Daemonium: Soldier of the Underworld (2015, 112 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Hellacious cosplay display with an obvious green screen quality and daemons that action pose and freeze for cool gunshots; it's a very ambitious film with a lot of action pop bang popcorn action fun of biblical level. There are homages to Star Wars and Thundercats and an over the top road warrior vibe. Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing
116. The Ballerina (2017, 107 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Relentlessly melancholy supernatural film about grief with some odd plot elements (like a homeless father and daughter living in the woods) that seem forced and defy common sense to a fault, regardless of the engineered aspects so far this might be the most emotional horror film I've seen recently. Some of the supernatural visuals are straight forward, but I suppose they're not going to scares and it does different things than you might expect going in. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
117. Sacrilege (2017, 96 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ An 'evil' music box compels hallucinatory imagery and some strange haunting elements. Frights are hit or miss and some of the acting amateur (like when a pivotal character dies and things just carry on). Sacrilege throws everything into the mix and some of the scary imagery is effective despite cheap production values and it is 'entertaining' even if it's some half formed hodge podge of stuff hung on the same types of tropes we've become familiar with. The cover art featuring a nun is just shameless marketing with nothing to do with the film, oddly it contains many horror tropes except nuns. I'm glad I saw it because even through it's got some flaws it's much better than I expected but I'm not sure I can explain it, the gradually developing premise takes some iffy tactics but really gels well with some cool twists. Sacrilege left me feeling more uneasy than most other horror films.Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
118. The Haunted House of Kirby Road (2016, 83 minutes) ★½✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Stoner comedy, teen drama comedy... within the first 5 minutes there's complaints about not having enough pot and 'jokes' about texting penis ascii art. Someone told me this was good; I hope the supernatural forces from the last movie get them because the ones in here are the weakest yet. The crew goes on to check out some Youtube style videos and 'lol' get instruction on how to use condoms at a gas station, until noting continues to happen for over half it's already short run time. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing

October 18 [Modern Theme Night] (0 hours, 0 minutes watched)
119. Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008, 98 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ I want to like Repo more than I do & it's got great production values. Constant subtle background music mixing in different sound effects is it's strength, a slow steady unending song. Shakesphere tragedy more than as a musical. The songs are so subdued and 'sing songy' dialogue more than jamming melodic beats,would have struck better if the songs had been more empathic, crescendos nicely to a frantic carnival like conclusion. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. Theme Subset
120. Unfriended: Dark Web (2018, 93 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ I like the Unfriended films, doesn't necessarily seem original that they're based on computer interface but format actually gives a lot of information with all the windows. Tense with nice twists but plays on the worst mythology of the internet, this dark web nonsense, twisting it into supernatural implausible items - it's stupid but very well executed. Format: Digital [Vudu HD].1st Viewing Theme
121. Insidious: The Last Key (2018, 103 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Insidious in the worst ways; it's premise is very convoluted (like a plot point it finding a whistle under a bed, the same bed that's been in the house over 40 years since one person was a kid - no one even moved the furniture despite habitation?) and offers little original to the a franchise that once started off very strong. Some visuals are fantasy enough to be interesting but lot to slog through. I cannot tell if I respect that these all tie into one another or if it just shows how forced the plot is. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
122. The Vault (2017, 91 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Frustrated angst filled bank robbers kick things off with a boom in an epic heist but then they're impotently trying to decide how to escape stalling the film at a mid-point until some overly dim lit weirdness happens. Could be creepy, but too dark and heavily edited to see other than flashes of generic. I love the premise and there's some nice twists but I wish some frights had been better delivered. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
123. Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017, 102 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Ably balances horror, action, and comedy but some of the effects are dodgy. I'm glad they made another JC film, this one is no exception to them being well paced chase sequences. Creeper has changed from a mystical horror beast to something that gets much more direct screen time during daylight scenes complete with an in depth exploration of his vehicle, from the opening scene, this is probably necessary to prevent being a rehash and there are some clever references to earlier films. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme
124. The Forest of Lost Souls (2018, 70 minutes) ★★★★★★★★✰✰ Black and white Portuguese film with artful shot compositions in a scenic forest and a thematic focus on bleak sadness that matches the drab colors of the film. Gradual subtle plot that is both shocking and nicely cryptic building on itself from abstract themes of the suicide forest (length of sadness) to more base slasher elements but with an arthouse slow mo style which I found to be a good metaphor for suicide/sadness devastating loved ones (which is my interpretation, not an obvious part of the film).Format: Digital [Amazon Prime]. 1st Viewing Theme
125. Scream and Scream Again (1970, 95 minutes) ★★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰ Initially disjointed as different threads come together for a conclusion that is good but might not be worth the patience needed to get there. There is a great psychedelic theme song and 70s style nightclub dancing. Peter Crushing is wasted here but Vincent Price and Christopher Lee get more scenes to chew on. It's a novel premise that hints at much more than what happens on screen, the type of thing that would be near impossible for any other movie to clone and rare for the pulp to come off as serious as it does here. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
126. Tag (2015, 85 minutes) ★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ Starts with epic bloody carnage before parading off to a series of pseudo-metaphysical nonsense punctuated by more bloody carnage. It's like a gorey Japanese spin on The Matrix with arterial spray and pondering on free will versus fate in terms of shaping reality and identity. Like a one person chase sequence I cannot decide if it's a setback that Tag lacks plot or if abstract and weird enough to not need one. For as many ideas that resonate there any number of plot holes, shortcuts, or just irreverent sight gags. Format: Digital [Netflix]. 1st Viewing Theme
127. Don't Knock Twice (2016, 93 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ Occasionally scary generic cursing witch film that managers to out-Insidious some of the Insidious sequels. Don't break much new group (or even really rip off Insidious, not sure why I said that), but there are some moments that are fantastic (like a bleeding tooth in the woman's soup dinner). One character is a sculptor whose husband is randomly rich ensuring there is all assortment of odd figures to jump scare through or stand-in as plausible red herrings across a overly garish estate because that's not a cheap plot/scare device. I like to think of this as being called 'The Gnarly Thing in the Hall Might Be a Statue,' but that wouldn't account for all the family drama with a the lead's pregnant estranged mom as they get to work out their issues at least until the witch gets them, or doesn't, I just want it to stop making the camera leer over dark hallways with implied supernatural presences (how can one house have so much hallway). Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing Theme

October 19 [USA Up All Night Theme Night] (0 hours, 0 minutes watched)
128. The Toxic Avenger (1984, 82 minutes) ★★★★★✰✰✰✰✰ Troma gets a bad rap; with Toxie Avenger the humor is hit or miss but it's a captivating mix of bizarre corny violence. It's brilliant how the hideous monster is the hero who kills the true villain at the end of the movie, hardly an original concept but the Toxie Avenger makes a fun antihero updating Frankenstein for the 80s even if some of the setup is too extreme. The setup is a little overlong, it seems like they're using violence to justify Toxie's violence later as perhaps less extreme. The character extremes are probably the weakest part of Toxic Avenger, the bad guys aren't just bad they're gleefully ridiculous slipping into what must be parody but to a near constant degree it's an assault on the viewer. Format: Digital [Amazon Prime Video]. Theme Subset
129. Remote Control (1988, 88 minutes) ★★★★★★★✰✰✰ Surreal now dated film about a video tape that seems to make people kill others seeming to tap into social commentary of the time about violence in films or television in general somehow impacting people's dispositions. An intelligent film, like Lieberman's Blue Sunshine, lampoons the routines of domestic life into something insidious and turns scifi cheese into something darker. Format: Blu-ray. 1st Viewing Theme
130. Pyewacket (2017, 90 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ One melancholy film, despite some plot holes it perfectly captures a dread sense of paranoia and subtle but creepy fear. A slow burn you'd have to be in the mood for it. Format: Digital [Hulu].1st Viewing
131. Lights Out (2016, 81 minutes) ★★★✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Wanted to give LO another chance in UHD, it's a very good premise ruined by over explanation and hanging on thin characters that twist this into a family drama with horror elements. The idea of creatures in the dark is a rich one that I hope can be revisited soon with a better script. UHD looks good so the too many scenes of a girl fighting with her 'boyfriend,' CPS, and mom are glorious if you can get into it. Format: Digital [Vudu 4K].
132. Terrified (2017, 87 minutes) ★★★★★★★½✰✰ Scary film with some great imagery and an unconventional approach to some of the horror, a favorite so far this month. It feels like it paints itself into a corner but does so in such a great way. Format: Digital [Shudder HD]. 1st Viewing
132. Revenge (2017, 108 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ Vibrant film with great landscapes and tons of syrupy looking blood. It is beautifully shot but none of the characters are especially likeable and it didn't strike me other than as a minor 'most dangerous game' vibe. The crew immediately splits up and engages in a series of one on one skirmishes. I feel like there are movies more action packed and/or more lurid that engaged me more and this production was almost too sleek, like a super glossy model headshot when most horror is newsprint resulting in a strange super bright vibe that clashed with the straightforward blood letting.Format: Digital [Shudder HD]. 1st Viewing
133. Followers (2017, 82 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ Inane for the first part, which might have been part of a strange commentary about social media. I feel like my YouTube brainwashed kids would have gotten more out of this and that I'm not the target audience. The commentary was mostly of the most obvious literal variety and there were a few twists that were nonsensical but fun and could do with fast forwarding to the middle at least. Format: Digital [Amazon Prime Video]. 1st Viewing
134. Little Evil (2017, 95 minutes) ★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ Not the horror comedy I was looking for, lacks the wit that you would think a premise as interesting would have filled with jokes that miss more than they hit. Most of the 'funnies' are based on stepdad who grimaces and responds with a subdued ironic 'what am i doing here' to everything so feels like a one note character, not unlike Adam Sandler films. The biblical apocalypse kept me from tuning out as much and things eventaully come together more but it always feels like they're playing it too safe.Format: Digital [Amazon Prime Video].1st Viewing
134. Night of Something Strange (2016, 94 minutes) ★½✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ Potentially cool sexually transmitted zombie virus theme gets knocked down to low brow 'comedy' standards with the most obnoxious material - they somehow manage to cram more references to menstruation per minute than should be possible.Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing

October 20 [VHS Rental / Prism Entertainment Theme Night] (0 hours, 0 minutes watched)
135. Evil Toons (1992, 81 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Great mix of sleaze, horror tropes, and upbeat cheese; ET is nicely self aware and the humor stands out. The soundtrack does a lot to keep the tone up and is better than average. The 'toon' doesn't show up much at all but Fred Olen Ray seems to understand no one is really in it for evil cartoons and it's a fun twist on demonic possession. Between David Carradine, Dick Miller, and Madison this is pretty star studded. Madison is not a great actress but her awkward stilted performance works perfectly to suggest possession and I am assuming that is purposeful. It's campy and amazing. Format: Blu-ray [Fred Olen Ray signed edition]. Theme Subset
136. Blood Rage [Composite Cut] (1987, 85 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ Bloody and cheap with tongue-in-cheek humor. Format: Blu-ray [Arrow Limited Edition]. 1st Viewing Theme
137. Slice (2018, 83 minutes) ★★★★★★★½✰✰ Stylish mystery thriller with supernatural elements combined in a cheesy and straight forward way. It's got a bumping sync score and throws a ton of supernatural fractions together, not especially scary but atmospheric in spades and a great conclusion. Format: Digital [Amazon Prime]. 1st Viewing Theme
138. It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958, 69 minutes) ★½✰ Pending. Format: Digital [Vudu HD]. 1st Viewing
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Horror Challenge: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 | Criterion Challenge: 2012, 2011, 2010

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-12-18 at 03:47 PM.
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