10 Standouts from a Month of Horror
I woke up yesterday morning in a haze. My heart was pounding. My breath quickened. My eyes slowly began to focus only to find film clippings carelessly strewn about my room.
I told myself as I collected my breath and steadied my heart.
“Octobers horror movie marathon, is finally over.”
Moments later I Stumbled toward my coffee machine to fill my cup with energy as I collected my thoughts.
“I must write.” I told myself. “I must let the people know.”
And so I did…
It began last year as a few Hardcore Casuals community members watching a horror movie together. One movie became two, two became four, four became an ever evolving list of horror movies old and new being requested as potential movie showings for community movie nights. We didn't have a schedule or planned themes, only a desire to watch and share our favorite horror movies with each other. It was a great time.
I had no intention of repeating this impromptu movie marathon. However, there was one who took part in last years movie festivities that refused to leave this memory to the past. And so we began planning an official month long community movie marathon, and a Hardcore Casuals tradition was born. Throughout the entire month of October we watched a different horror movie each and every weeknight at midnight. The following are some of the stand out horror films we watched as a community, 5 from Netflix, and 5 from Hulu.
(Special thanks to LovingMelodie and Sabr5 for helping in the creation of this community tradition)
There are so many quotable lines, memorable moments, and fantastic actors in this movie! American Psycho came out in 2000 based off of the 1991 novel by the same name. This movie is not so much horror as it is a surreal depiction of the 1980’s and the superficial nature of the “age of excess” as explained through the proclivities of a homicidal maniac. If you have not seen this movie… WATCH IT!!! If you haven’t seen it in a while it is worth a revisit.
I Saw the Devil
This movie is perhaps the most graphic movie we saw last month while somehow not being the most gory and or bloody. The action is done in such a way that it looks plausible. So plausible in fact that it is down right realistic, and that right there, is what is most disturbing. The fighting, the violence, the moral dilemmas. Everything is done with a certain groundedness and grit that gives it more impact. This movie is not for the squeamish but I highly recommend it.
Let the Right one in
I originally saw this movie years ago with my brother and sister. This is the original Swedish version of this movie made in 2008. There was an American remake in 2010 that was halfway decent, however I would recommend watching the original. This is in my opinion one of the best Vampire movies I have ever seen. There is an innocence of young love aspect of this movie which stands in direct opposition to the dark and violent urgings of a vampire. It somehow threads these themes into an intriguing and eerily beautiful story.
The Fly (1986) gives us Jeff Goldblum in all his glory. Not only does this movie show us a toned Jeff Goldblum working up a sweat in his underwear, but it also shows his range as he undergoes his transformation. Oh and what a transformation it is! Honestly it has been many years since I saw this one, but after seeing it recently I believe that this is probably one of the greatest monster movies. This may not be a popular opinion but I for one think that practical effects age much better than CGI. Although the mind clearly knows what you are seeing is fake, there is something about the raw reactions to the on screen action that is viscerally satisfying. Oh practical effects how I love thee.
Last month was the first time I ever saw this movie! This has been a cult classic since its release in 1988 but I never got around to seeing it. This movie brings us back to a simpler time of horror movies. It is straightforward with a pinch of camp and a dash of cheese but my word it is well done. I think there is something great about movies that are faced with a lower budget. Limitation of budget or computer effects breeds innovation. This was the beauty of horror movies that has been lost over the years. Pumpkin head is a true horror classic and I am so sorry it took me so long to find out for myself!
I enjoyed the movie for its outlandishly comedic horror tone and downright cringe inducing practical effects. It definitely does not take itself seriously and somehow makes you laugh, scream, and wince all at once. It is irreverent and thought provoking while providing a fun campy horror movie experience. This is one to watch if for nothing else than to know what everyone who has seen it is talking about.
Interview with a Vampire
This is truly one of the greatest vampire movies ever made. It has been so many years since I saw it so when we played it last month it was almost like watching it for the first time. This movie has Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, and Kristen Dunst all giving fantastic performances. Everything in this movie from the acting, the story, the cinematography, the music all great. If you haven’t seen this movie, or it's been a while since your last watch, it is worth a play.
This movie is more suspense than horror. However, the premise, especially for parents, is horrific and the violation of trust is profound. Bad child acting is a pet peeve of mine, however the kids in this movie did a fine job of being believable. This one had me at the edge of my seat. The story was not deep, but they built up the suspense and it made for a fun ride.
This Netflix original is one of the most unique takes on zombies I have ever seen on film. Your typical zombie movie has a near instantaneous turnover time from bite to zombie which makes for a zombie world of total chaos, hence the phrase “zombie apocalypse”. What if, instead of turning instantly, you were instead given roughly 48 hours to live. What type of post zombie world would that create? What would you do with your last 48 hours? How would you protect those you loved from yourself? Cargo poses and attempts to answer these questions. This thoughtful and heartfelt story leads to one of the most emotional zombie dramas I have ever seen. A great movie even for those who do not typically like horror movies.
Another Netflix original which made the list of favorites for the month. The trouble I find with horror movies is that they spend the time to build up intrigue, story, suspense, only to toss it away at the end with a lackluster reveal. This movie however, did not disappoint. The Ritual had a rather straightforward story of friends who decided to go on a hike in the woods where things inevitably go terribly wrong, but it does the things it needed to do well. Does that make this a bit “by the numbers”? Sure but with so many horror movies failing to hit the basics I don’t think that is a bad thing. The film takes a little bit of time to get moving, but by the end I was fully engrossed. This is a great Netflix only psychological horror.
We watched many others… 21 others to be exact. But perhaps I will save those for another movie round up. What movies did you enjoy this Halloween? I would love to hear from you, and if you have yet to join the Hardcore Casuals community discord I hope you decide to hop in and say hi!