So, here we are! October 1, 2014. Do you know what that means? Yes, it means that BIZZAM’S!! Halloween Horror Celebration III is now officially underway! This is the month where I honor horror and horror films in all their gruesome glory.
I have reviews, previews, and Paranormal Ponderings for you throughout the month of October. So, let’s get this show started, what do you say? What’s October for if you can’t decide on a good horror flick to watch? I have cobbled together a list for 31 Days of Horror, a plethora of films that should be in your October viewing queue. Some of these you may have seen, some not. I dig them all, and I think you will, too. So, let’s start with 1-10. *NOTE: Until the last 10,these are in no particular order. 1-20 are just great horror films that need to be seen, period. 21-31 will be in a particular order for your week up to Halloween, Enjoy, and click on any cover art to head to Amazon to pick up anything you don’t already own.
31 Days of Horror
The Blair Witch Project
I can hear the screams of the masses already. WHY DID YOU PICK THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT? Everyone’s seen it already . . . Yes, everyone’s seen it already, but when was the last time you watched it, alone, on a dark night? Funny story. When this film was released on DVD, I told a guy at work about it. He rushed out and bought it, and the next night he started bitching at me about it not being scary. I simply looked at him and asked if he had ever lived in the country and had been in the woods at night. He said no. I told him to go home, re-watch it, and put himself in their shoes. To just imagine it was you out there with them. The next night he came in and told me it was the scariest movie he had ever seen. A lot of people hate this film. A lot of people love it. I think you need to not just watch it, but feel it. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine you are lost in the woods, at night, while some strange things are going on. It is terrifying. This is one of the few films that has genuinely scared me.
Read my review here. Sinister is another of the films that genuinely scared me. I remember walking out of the theater shaking. The film terrified me. While it hasn’t had the same effect on me in subsequent viewings, that initial terror has stayed with me. I look at the cover of the Blu-Ray and kind of get the heebie jeebies. It is quite simply a mainstream piece of cinema that managed to do the impossible and be terrifying. I like this film a lot, and it is in rotation for Halloween for the foreseeable future. If you haven’t seen this, do yourself a favor and check it out.
The Lost Boys
Yes, there was a time when Jack Bauer was a vampire. With a sweet, spiked mullet. It was pretty rad! Don’t let the ’80’s fashion sense dissuade you from this film, though. It is a pre-sparkling vampire film that is pretty rough, despite pretty boys and Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. It is a vampire film, through and through, and is a terrific film. This is before Joel Schumacker ruined his career with his terrible Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, and he certainly had the voice to make some notable horror films. Unfortunately, the last horror film he did was Blood Creek, and that’s not worth watching.
Before The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Katherine Bigelow directed a dirty, cruel little vampire film called Near Dark, starring Bill Paxton and Lance Henricksen. It’s dark, gritty, and dirty. It is amazing. This is one of the greatest vampire films ever made, hands down. What makes this one unique? The fact that they never mention the word vampire in the entire film. You know what they are, they know what they are, but no one ever says it. I love this film. You will, too!
This is one of the most terrifying films I have ever seen, hands down. In fact, I have only seen it once, when it was first released on DVD. It scared the bejeezus out of me. After a quiet, introspective beginning, it ratchets to 10 and then never lets up. The reality of the film is what’s terrifying. It could happen. Easily. Don’t let the ‘Based on True Events’ on the cover fool you, though. While it was inspired by actual events, this film is in no way anything other than a fictitious story. Scary as hell, though. *shudders*
Despite some logic issues with the film, High Tension is an experimental film from Alexandre Aja. He attempted to make a film that would ratchet up the audiences tension throughout. He succeeded. The film doesn’t make a lot of sense after it ends and you think about it, but getting to that end is a harrowing ride. This is a foreign film, so be prepared to read or have the mouths of the characters not match what is being said. I would recommend the dubbed version, simply so you can focus on the gruesome on the screen. Just be prepared. This one is not for the faint of heart.
I talk a lot of smack about the Paranormal Activity franchise on this site. I feel this film was a one trick pony that shot it’s load in this first film. (Mixed metaphor much?) That doesn’t change the fact that this is a slow burn, effective haunted house thriller. It is very creepy and borderline terrifying. Of the entire franchise, this is the film that I actually like, before the film makers started trying to create this elaborate mythology that makes very little sense. Make no mistake, if you watch this on a dark October night, while the wind is whipping, you will be scared. It is terribly effective and very good.
The Sixth Sense
When is the last time you watched this? It is probably better than you remember. Despite the marketing of the film giving away one of the plot twists of the film, it is a very effective, smart horror film. Make no mistake, it is a horror film. It is a pretty creepy film and a very effective ghost story. Poor M. Night Shamalamadingdong. . .when you make this as your first film, you will never, ever live up to it again.
Shaun of the Dead
Let’s lighten the mood a little bit, but still stick to our horror films. Shaun of the Dead fits that bill perfectly. Funny, charming, and scary this is one of the best zombie films made. If you haven’t seen this, you are doing yourself a disservice. This is a smart riff on the zombie genre of horror films and is the film that launched Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to near household names. See it.
So, the last item on the list was the zombie comedy, let’s add the zombie romance. Warm Bodies fits the bill. This film has it’s funny moments, too, but this is basically Romeo and Juliet, with Romeo being a zombie. The parallels are actually pretty heavy handed, but it is an extremely enjoyable film. If you have avoided this due to the romantic aspects, grab your dude or chic and cuddle up on a dark, October night and just enjoy this. It’s not scary, but it does have zombies and is an underrated gem.
We have a couple zombie flicks, some vampires, a demon or two, and a crazed madman in the Australian outback. That should cover the first 10 days of October and get you in the mood for the coming holiday. If you haven’t seen any of these, click the cover art to head to Amazon to pick them up and enjoy them. Stay tuned, as 11-20 will be coming next week.