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dsheinem
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by dsheinem Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:32 pm

My last entry for the year. I watched a lot this time around!

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Rabid (1977) - I'd read that this was a sort of spiritual successor to Shivers, which I watched earlier this month and quite liked. I didn't find this one to be nearly as enjoyable, and in fact struggled to maintain interest/focus throughout its 90 minute runtime. The effects work is appropriately gross-out inducing and the standard Cronenberg themes are present, but something about the pacing and camera movement/placement in this one didn't connect with me the way it does in most of the other Cronenberg films I've seen over the years. Glad to have seen it, but not one of my favorites from his oeuvre.

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The Sentinel (1977) - This is a film with a great lead cast (e.g. Chris Sarandan, Cristina Raines, John Carradine), lots of small parts for later-great actors (e.g. Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Walken), interesting plot ideas, a skilled director, and appropriately creepy effects...but it somehow still didn't land with me entirely. I think the pacing was off, or that there were too many long stretches of characters walking around looking for things, or that the larger sense of "mystery" was largely uninteresting once a few basics had been established. I still enjoyed the film overall (the last shot is pretty great), but I think this one's reputation set my expectations too high.

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Halloween (1978) - Watched this on Halloween night, and it was a first time viewing for my wife. She liked it so much she immediately wanted to watch the second part. Even though I'd seen this at least once or twice in the past ten-fifteen years, I had forgotten how "tame" the original Halloween is compared to most of what has come after it in the genre or in the series. The score still slaps, the cast is great, and Carpenter is at the top of his game in many respects - this is regarded as a classic for good reasons.

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Halloween II (1981) - The violence and gore in Halloween II is much more in line with the kind of reputation I think of when I consider the series as a whole, and the mostly-returning cast here is great in their immediate continuation of the first film's ending. Michael Myers is truly established as a force to be reckoned with here, and the film's various use of fire effects in particular are key in driving this home. The remixed score is used to perfection, and while the film doesn't look as great as the original, the scenes in the hospital hallways were especially well shot.

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Season of the Witch (1973) - I was hoping to close out the month with a great Romero film that I'd never seen...and unfortunately ended up wishing I had ended with something else. The audio design and camerawork made the already-dull dialogue that pervades the movie that much more tedious to watch, and the more crescendo-like horrific parts fall well short of Romero's more compelling zombie work. I am still interested in checking out a few of his other non-zombie films, but this one has dampened my enthusiasm.

Bonus TV:
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True Detective Season 1 (2014) - I watched this when it originally aired and it offers just enough cosmic/Lovecraftian horror for me to feel I can safely include the re-watch I started on Halloween and finished yesterday as an entry on the list. The two leads really do hand in some of the best performances of their career, and the show's cinematography is still second-to-few in the medium. There are some great episodes, and while a binge-watch made the show seem a little less weighty than when I was watching it in weekly installments, the more intense scenes still hit hard.

Month of Horror 2020
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Vibes (1988)
The Gorgon (1964)
Shivers (1975)
The House of the Devil (2009)
The Shout (1978)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Frankenweenie (1984)
The Scream of Fear (1961)
Hail Satan? (2019)
The Invisible Man (1933)
The Craft (1996)
Midsommar (2019)
Rabid (1977)
The Sentinel (1977)
Halloween (1978)
Halloween II (1981)
Season of the Witch (1973)
The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020) (TV)
True Detective - Season 1 (2014) (TV)
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:53 pm

Nice! If you haven’t read it yet, and if you’re a True Detective fan, be sure to read The first few stories in Robert Chambers’ The King in Yellow. It predates Lovecraft by a couple decades, and it is really, really creepy. (Written in the late 1800s, the alternate, fascist, “future” 1920s that serves as the stories’ setting is particularly fascinating.)

.....

The night before Halloween, my wife and I watched Tremors (1991) with our children. Despite all of the swearing, it was a pretty great horror films for kids, and they enjoyed it immensely.

On Halloween, my wife and I watched Annabelle (2014). It’s about a haunted doll, and it is tangentially related to The Conjuring. Whereas The Conjuring is a fun mainstream horror movie, Annabelle is just boring and stupid, and I don’t recommend it to anyone.

prfsnl_gmr’s Halloween Movie List 2020 - Outbreak Edition
Slither (2006) - :)
The Creeping Flesh (1973) - :|
Man-Made Monster (1941) - :|
Doctor X (1932) - :)
Audition (1999) - :)
The Vanishing (1988) - :D
The Return of Doctor X (1939) - :(
REC (2007) - :)
The Devil Doll (1936) - :)
Captive Wild Woman (1943) - :(
The Shout (1978) - :D
Phenomena (1985) - :)
Squirm (1976) - :)
Lake Mungo (2008) - :D
The Burrowers (2008) - :)
Psychomania (1972) - :)
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) - :)
Possum (2018) - :|
Final Exam (1981) - :)
The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976) - :)
The City of the Dead (1970) - :D
Hereditary (2018) - :)
Head Count (2019) - :D
Annabelle (2014) - :(

.....

Finally, my children had a great Halloween despite the pandemic. My daughter went as Himiko Toga from My Hero Academia, and my son once again went as Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th Part 3. (The blood-spattered jumpsuit’s a little tighter this year, but it still fit.). The my went trick ‘r treating by themselves for the first time, and we had socially-distanced outdoor dinner, drinks, and candy by a fire pit with another couple in our neighborhood once our children were done trick ‘r treating. Finally, the Halloween decorations were a hit, and we responsibly distributed candy to a good number of trick ‘r treaters via a homemade (and very spooky) candy chute. Good times!
dsheinem
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by dsheinem Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:52 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Nice! If you haven’t read it yet, and if you’re a True Detective fan, be sure to read The first few stories in Robert Chambers’ The King in Yellow. It predates Lovecraft by a couple decades, and it is really, really creepy. (Written in the late 1800s, the alternate, fascist, “future” 1920s that serves as the stories’ setting is particularly fascinating.)


I did read this back when the show originally aired in 2014, and agree it was worth spending time with Chambers' prose.
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