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"Theatrical / VOD / Virtual Cinema Showing" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge: Bonus Day

Old 09-24-23, 11:25 PM
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"Theatrical / VOD / Virtual Cinema Showing" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge: Bonus Day



Theatrical / VOD /
Virtual Cinema Showing


2023 EDITION

Nightmare
Fri, Sep 29, 2023
(Shudder)

Saw X
Fri, Sep 29, 2023
(Theaters)

The Jester
Fri, Sep 29, 2023
(Limited)

Deliver Us
Fri, Sep 29, 2023
(VOD)

10/31 Part 3
Fri, Sep 29, 2023
(VOD)

Dreams of Darkness
Sun, Oct 1, 2023
(???????)

Appendage
Mon, Oct 2, 2023
(Hulu)

Don't Look Away
Tue, Oct 3, 2023
(VOD)

Creepy Crawly
Tue, Oct 3, 2023
(VOD)(DVD)

Mary Had a Little Lamb
Tue, Oct 3, 2023
(VOD)(DVD)

The Mean One
Tue, Oct 3, 2023
(VOD)(DVD)

Haunted Mansion
Wed, Oct 4, 2023
(PVOD)

Aberrance
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(Limited)

The Exorcist: Believer
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(Theaters)

Totally Killer
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(Theaters)

The Royal Hotel
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(Theaters)

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(Paramount+)

V/H/S/85
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(Shudder)

When Evil Lurks
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(Limited)

Monsters of California
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(VOD)

Aberrance
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(Limited)

The Evil of Dracula
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(???????)

Johnny Z
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(Limited)

Crypt of Evil
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(???????)

He Killed in Ecstasy
Fri, Oct 6, 2023
(???????)

Impuratus
Tue, Oct 10, 2023
(VOD)

The Boogeyman
Tue, Oct 10, 2023
(DVD)

In the Fire
Fri, Oct 13, 2023
(VOD)

15 Cameras
Fri, Oct 13, 2023
(VOD)

Herd
Fri, Oct 13, 2023
(VOD)

Dear David
Fri, Oct 13, 2023
(VOD)

The Puppetman
Fri, Oct 13, 2023
(Shudder)

The Conference
Fri, Oct 13, 2023
(Netflix)

Dark Harvest
Fri, Oct 13, 2023
(VOD)

The Elderly
Fri, Oct 13, 2023
(Limited)

The Dive
Tue, Oct 17, 2023
(DVD)

Three Blind Mice
Tue, Oct 17, 2023
(VOD)(DVD)

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls
Thu, Oct 19, 2023
(Theaters)

KillHer
Fri, Oct 20, 2023
(VOD)

The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra
Fri, Oct 20, 2023
(IndiePix Unlimited)

Malibu Horror Story
Fri, Oct 20, 2023
(Limited)

Talk to Me
Mon, Oct 23, 2023
(DVD)

Til Death Do Us Part
Tue, Oct 24, 2023
(DVD)

Til Death Do Us Part
Tue, Oct 24, 2023
(DVD)

Suitable Flesh
Fri, Oct 27, 2023
(VOD)

Five Nights at Freddy’s
Fri, Oct 27, 2023
(Theaters)(Peacock)

Sister Death
Fri, Oct 27, 2023
(Netflix)

Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor
Mon, Oct 30, 2023
(Shudder)

Bloodthirst
Tue, Oct 31, 2023
(VOD)(DVD)

Listen Carefully
Tue, Oct 31, 2023
(???????)

Dark Haven
Tue, Oct 31, 2023
(???????)

A Wicked Breed
Tue, Oct 31, 2023
(???????)

There Is No Sanctuary
Tue, Oct 31, 2023
(???????)
______________________________

Attending a theatrical showing allows you to obtain a bonus entry. If you missed a day, this means you can still check off the subset list as being complete.

The same goes for attending a live event such as a horror convention, haunted house, play, ghost tour, etc. You have one.
______________________________


These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

______________________________




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2023 DISCUSSION | 2023 LISTS


Old 10-25-23, 04:24 PM
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Re: "Theatrical / VOD / Virtual Cinema Showing" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge: Bonus Day

Here are my thoughts on the theatrical movies I saw this season.
As an aside I've noticed cinemas aren't what they use to be - some even have screens that are starting to look un-natural and muted versus home viewing.
A few I saw during weekdays and was the only one in audience; disappointed in some sparse crowds but I place the Writers Strike (although justified).

Talk to Me was my favorite.
My favorite moments within more mediocre-ish films were probably the exorcism in The Exorcist: Believer or the axe in When Evil Lurks and Soul Mates had a great last third.
There were a few I would have liked to see but the showtimes were so limited I haven't figured it out yet (for example Malibu Horror Story).
Thanks to AMC A-list allowing three theatrical screenings a week for $20/month.

The Exorcist: Believer (2023, 111 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ Slow foreshadowing works best when the premise isn't obvious. It takes a lot of backstory to eventually get to the diabolical main course which presents an intellectually challenging dilemma and feels a little existential but seems random. The build up of obvious developments or relatively tame supernatural hints takes some patience. Its epic to hear the iconic Exorcist theme or seem some of the references to the first but there is little obvious or sensible connection to a 'franchise' and much of it seems shameless rather than compelling. In some ways its a startling reminder of how backward cinema has come over the years that a classic frightening film be reduced to a redundant gimmick featuring two girls rather than one because serving up even more of the same is sure to win. None of the characters feel well established and what development occurs is presented as an unearned 'twist' right from the start of Angela's birth leading the film. The attempt to incorporate different religious perspectives feels too token and weakens the gutsy confident spiritual warfare in earlier installments. The soundtrack is the star of the show and elevates the lingering moments which end up being the best part of Exorcist - not the plot or the visuals but the hanging weigh of a dark room with eternal stakes and no answers (a tone this film hits fleetingly in the end). Speaking of the end that felt like a bit of a letdown for reasons I wont spoil.
Five Nights at Freddy's (2023, 110 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ My 11 and 15 year olds both rated it 6 out of 10 stating they disliked liberties with the source material. It has a metaphysical dream theory subplot that I thought was surprisingly out there giving context to the pizzaria antics. It's a bit slow in the middle and maybe too safe with horror elements, there's some gore but frights are inconsistent. I'm not too familiar with the games so the plot seemed corny and maybe the film translated pieces too literally to recreate the game when it could have been more focused on the film pacing.
A Haunting in Venice (2023, 103 minutes) ★★★★★½✰✰✰✰ The Halloween/haunting tone is excellent ripe with atmosphere and some cool vintage seeming visuals. I've never been a big Poirot or Agatha Christie fan (too much pretentious mustache twirling and laborious wording) so this was the first of the newer Kenneth Branagh films, I was pleasantly surprised. My son kept joking about how a caged bird was clearly the killer because for the atmosphere they kept showing random rain, the bird, etc - which worked overall.
Hayride From Hell (2022, 91 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ "We're having a special on pirate corn - a buck an ear." A strangely straight forward Halloween hayride with murder and corny one liners from Bill Mosley. Bill Moseley banter elevates any film he is in and Kane Hodder is tossed in as a sheriff. It's a morbid breezy comedy with predictable turns and kills with more comedy laced gore. It captures the lame hayride antics of seasonal vendors well but rarely ever feels more than 'cutesy.'
It Lives Inside (2023, 99 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ Djinn style Pandora's Box films have a lot of potential, but this is part of the herd. I enjoyed the ethnic stretch but it felt more like casting cultural actors in a lukewarm film rather than weaving a unique culturally specific mythos (representation is important but feels like tokenism). Littered with clichés about diaries, closets, mother/daughter drama, popularity struggles, etc it struggles rather than lives - but it's likely 42 year old Dads are not it's target audience. The lead actress has a great bewildered look that helps some of the slow low effect stretches that go on too long. Ultimately it gets better along the way to deliver some on the patience it requires getting there and some of the more upbeat dramatic moments balance to create a sense of a world worth waiting for the scares in.
Nightmare Before Christmas [3D] (1993, 76 minutes) ★★★★★★½✰✰✰ I've come to appreciate the detailed figures and animation with NbC but haven't always been a fan of it's intentionally odd premise - the laborious stretch of staring into Jack skeleton just not understanding Christmas. The visual gags ultimately steal the show and it was a lot of fun watching it in 3D.
The Nun II (2023, 110 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ After The Flash and some of the similarly dodgy CGI here Im inclined to avoid Warner Brothers films. Still the visuals are the highlight because the plot makes little sense and in areas doesn't even seem to try - like offering a vague nondescript 'relic' chase as a pivotal plot point. Again some of the resolution reminds me of another film but the plot feels more like a framework to shoe horn in a reason for The Nun to nun around rather than offer much compelling storyline. It's annoying to hear 'religious' characters chatting about blasphemies in a way that seems unlike religious characters (sort of talking in 'church profanity').
Saw X (2023, 118 minutes) ★★★½✰✰✰✰✰✰ I don't think I've seen any Saw film after part 3 or 4 but figured it would be fun to see more horror at the movie theater so would dive in even if a little blind since this is suppose to occur between Saw 1 and Saw 2. The amount of stretch and world building for a torture pron film into a 11 film series is wild so I was disappointed to find Saw X seemed to require little knowledge of the franchise beyond Part II (almost a soft reboot). Nice gore but thin characters without the eerie grittiness of earlier films (there is a warehouse that seems awfully dull). Its probably intentional the traps seem more improvised and primitive with kills personal (less mystery, no video tapes) but that makes it feel more nihilistic and cheap. There are a lot of ethnic cliches to a point it flirts with offense about the plight of Hispanic drug dealers, third world hookers, etc. Id much rather the jigsaw persona than to peer into the tired eyes of Tobin Bell's addled increasingly needy seeming human character - it abandons any premise of 'fighting for life' in exchange for a cheap revenge plot (contradictory to a point it undermines the franchise even if there are some skeletal parts of the theme - he doesn't seem interested in 'saving' anyone anymore).
Soul Mates (2023, 95 minutes) ★★★★★★✰✰✰✰ Cleverly toys with romance tropes and horror scenarios to blend them into something that for the most part feels effective routine - except it becomes great when it doesn't let up and cuts to an aftermath that elevates the whole thing. It's unbelievable and cutesy but I enjoyed it.
Talk to Me (2022, 95 minutes) ★★★★★★★★★½ Deep and cryptic puzzler that delivers on visceral in your face freights with allegory ripe enough to leave uneasiness both in terror and in curiosity. Predictable irony is deceptive since much of the film betrays it's telegraphed elements and gives way to the unexpected - seemingly tame, then obvious commentary on loss or escapism, then a twist that destroys both but not really because there's not telling what is really going on other than in the splintered interpretations unique to each viewer. I took to online forums to read more and was amused to find so many contradicting interpretations. Enjoyable supernatural elements but also feels hard hitting on loss, belonging, and escapism (not all ghosts are supernatural).
When Evil Lurks (2023, 99 minutes) ★★★★½✰✰✰✰✰ Highly rated theatrical foreign horror seems like a win and I appreciated how experimental and weird it was mixing gritty rural life with far out evil stuff. There was demonic possession I didn't quite understand that felt like a lot of variables and rules that were a little harder to stick with me. At some point I gave up and just enjoyed the developments and visuals - the axe scene in the poster is intense and there are more than a few dark twists.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 11-02-23 at 09:59 AM.

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