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  1. #1
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    31 Days Of Horror (Films)

    Last year I dove into “Noirvember,” where I watched a noir film for every day of November.
    Yet, in all my years, I’ve never attempted the “31 Horror Films In October” challenge (i.e. watching a horror film a day leading up to Halloween).
    Figured this year is as good as any to give it a go.
    Lottsa offerings on the various streaming sites, so there is no shortage of (hopefully) terrifying fare.
    We shall see.

    Who else is up for this geeky challenge?
    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-08-2022 at 12:22 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Pass.
    Noir November sounds more appealing.

  3. #3
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    DAY 1
    Werewolves Within - streaming on Showtime

    In the pantheon of werewolf movies only four readily come to my mind as approaching greatness: An American Werewolf In London, The Howling, The Company Of Wolves, and Ginger Snaps. While Werewolves Within doesn’t come close, it is a breezy and often entertaining entry in the genre. Rather low on gore and scares, it’s a mildly campy effort which unfolds like an Agatha Christie whodunnit. While I was sufficiently distracted as to who the werewolf was—via classic bait-and-switch and countless red herrings—when the reveal came I wasn’t at all surprised. Sadly, the werewolf FX were a bit lame and some of the humor and stereotypical characters were a bit thin. Yet despite the lack of horror, gore, and the rather mediocre werewolf effects, this was a fairly enjoyable effort.

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-08-2022 at 12:13 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookeyXXX View Post
    DAY 1
    Werewolves Within
    In the pantheon of werewolf movies only four readily come to my mind as approaching greatness: An American Werewolf In London, The Howling, The Company Of Wolves, and Ginger Snaps. While Werewolves Within doesn’t come close, it is a breezy and often entertaining entry in the genre. Rather low on gore and scares, it’s a mildly campy effort which unfolds like an Agatha Christie whodunnit. While I was sufficiently distracted as to who the werewolf was—via classic bait-and-switch and countless red herrings—when the reveal came I wasn’t at all surprised. Sadly, the werewolf FX were a bit lame and some of the humor and stereotypical characters were a bit thin. Yet despite the lack of horror, gore, and the rather mediocre werewolf effects, this was a fairly enjoyable effort.
    Love this! Unfortunately, I'm a day late and time short to participate.

    Are you taking reccs?

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinipenem View Post
    Are you taking reccs?

    Sent from my SM-S908U1 using Tapatalk
    Sure, I am open to recommendations…
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

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  6. #6
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    DAY 2
    WRONG TURN (2021) - streaming on Showtime

    This 2021 "reboot" is the seventh(!) entry in the Wrong Turn series.
    For those of you unfamiliar with the original film's concept, it basically took key elements from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes, mashed ‘em together, moved the action to West Virginia, and BAM! called it a new movie. The original film was enjoyable, if predictable, fare. It certainly didn't warrant 6 sequels, though.

    I am not sure why they decided to use the Wrong Turn name; I find it hard to believe that this series has such a devout fanbase (although the script here is penned by Alan B. McElroy, who wrote the first film and is returning to the franchise after 18 years). While there are some similarities, for the most part McElroy gave his original idea an overhaul and this film on resembles its predecessors on the surface. Sure, an annoying group of spoiled city kids get lost in the woods and all hell breaks loose, but everything else is just enough different that it really should have been a standalone film; we didn't really need a reboot of a mediocre franchise is what I'm saying.

    As with the original film, this is an entertaining, if derivative bit of action horror. As for changes, they are subtle: as previously mentioned, the locale has been changed. Additionally, our protagonists get lost on the Appalachian Trail rather than on some backwoods road. The antagonists have changed a bit, too, but to talk about them would spoil the new slants on the familiar story. Speaking of which, the plot ticks off all the requisite tropes and cliches, starting with annoying and mostly unlikeable characters (except for Matthew Modine's father character; I love how he is becoming a horror icon in this part of his career!), creepy locals, and the like.

    The acting is decent enough and the director knows when to amp things up; the action sequences are pretty intense, especially the opening act tumble down a hillside and the third act bravura finale. The reveal/twist is a little tepid, a little confusing, and meant to make some sort of socio-political statement, but exactly what, I'm not sure.

    This film definitely falls squarely into the B-movie category and as such it provides some chills and thrills, but overall isn't terribly spectacular (though that hill tumble sequence and the finale are pretty sweet and there's a fair bit of solid practical gore sprinkled throughout). Sadly, the specter of the horrible Wrong Turn films (2-6) hangs over this endeavor. Personally, I woulda called it Appalachian Terror or just The Foundation. But what do I know?

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-04-2022 at 01:06 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Not able to partake but following along. Silver Bullet is high on my own list of werewolf movies.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazderati View Post
    Not able to partake but following along. Silver Bullet is high on my own list of werewolf movies.


    Met Corey Haim at WonderCon back in the early oughts. He wanted to charge me $25 to take a picture with him using my own camera!
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

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  9. #9
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    DAY 3
    BENNY LOVES YOU - streaming on Showtime

    Imagine Elmo on a killing spree.
    That’s the gist of this Brit horror comedy.
    This is a bonafide red eye matinee, best viewed through an alcohol and psychedelics fueled haze with a loud crowd of like-minded viewers.
    Sadly, I am off the sauce and on the wagon and I watched at home alone, so a lot of the purile humor fell flat.
    In many ways the film owes a debt to Edgar Wright, but it lacked any of his snappy wit and brilliant staging.
    The bits with Benny (is he a bear or a rabbit?) are pretty hilarious as it looks like the director just moved him around with his hands like he was playing with a stuffy with his kids and then edited out his hands; Benny isn’t articulated or animated, he just bounces around with his ears and arms and legs flopping. Sure, that shit is kinda funny, but after awhile, especially if you are sober, it wears thin. Additionally, the blood and gore and practical effects are super cheap.
    In the end Benny Loves You kinda flails at it’s intended mash-up of comedy, horror, and nostalgia. That said, I know if I had seen this at at Midnite Matinee hopped up on brew and bud with a raucous crowd I’d be giving it 5 stars…instead I’mma go 2.5.

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-08-2022 at 12:18 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Don't bother with When The Screaming Starts

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1129942..._=nv_sr_srsg_0

    Garbage

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    Don't bother with When The Screaming Starts

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1129942..._=nv_sr_srsg_0

    Garbage
    It wasn’t on my radar mostly because I’d never heard of it before now.

    But thanks for the tip!
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  12. #12
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    I can’t quite do 31, but my wife and I have been doing this for a few years now. Last night was The Ritual on Netflix. I’d give it a solid C+.

    The newest rendition of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre from a few nights ago however gets an F. Good lord was it bad.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by alias_rice View Post
    I can’t quite do 31, but my wife and I have been doing this for a few years now. Last night was The Ritual on Netflix. I’d give it a solid C+.

    The newest rendition of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre from a few nights ago however gets an F. Good lord was it bad.
    I’m regards to The Ritual, if you are referring to the film about the annoying Brits who get lost whilst hiking in Sweden, yeah a C+ might even be a bit generous.

    As for TCM, the only ones worth watching are the original and the 1986 sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. The latter only gets a rec because it’s just so over-the-top. All the other entries in the franchise are weak.
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  14. #14
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    DAY 4
    DACHRA - streaming on Shudder and Canopy

    There’s quite a bit to like about this Tunisian horror film. There’s also quite a lot to be frustrated about.
    On the positive side, the direction is crisp and cool with lots of wonderfully composed shots that help to instill a sense of unease and dread. The acting is solid, too. But damn if this isn’t one derivative endeavor.
    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a group of college kids decide to go investigate a strange patient at a creepy insane asylum and film the interview for their journalism senior project. Naturally, they uncover a mystery and end up in the woods “enjoying” the hospitality of a strange community. Witchcraft and demons may be involved. Furthermore, our protagonist is an orphan who has been experiencing menacing nightmares.
    Culling elements from The Blair Witch Project (and dozens of other like-minded films that followed in its wake), the “Lady In Black” mythos, and of course the whole creepy backwoods locals schtick really hurts the story, especially since it embraces so many worn-out tropes without really giving them a new shine.
    I am cutting the film a little bit of slack due to “exotic bias,” as the Tunisian locales were stunning and weird and the language (a mixture of Arabic and French) is mellifluous to the ears.

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-08-2022 at 12:36 AM.
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  15. #15
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    DAY 5
    V/H/S/94 - streaming on Shudder

    Sewer rats, the living dead, cyborgs, and vampires, oh my!!!
    This 2022 reboot of the V/H/S anthology franchise is more or less a gonzo good time rife with splatter gore, jump scares, and twisted tales from the warped minds of Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto, Ryan Prows, and Chloe Okuno.
    Really the only weak link is the wraparound story by Jennifer Reed, which is convoluted and confusing, both in its editing and story. The rest of the vignettes, however, more than make up for it.

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-08-2022 at 12:10 AM.
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  16. #16
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    Oh, man. I thought The Ritual was pretty good and conveyed a sense of hopelessness. The visuals were pretty killer.

  17. #17
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    How about one of my favorites, Cabin in the Woods? When it came out 10 years ago, I hadn't even seen a preview, so went in having zero expectations about anything. First act seemed like a good old fashioned paint by numbers teen slasher. And that was fine and all, but boy was I wrong. Movie REALLY caught me by surprise in the best possible way. What a fun ride! I need to rewatch it.

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  18. #18
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    DAY 6
    THE PERFECTION -streaming on Netflix

    This is a jarring mash of revenge fantasy, body horror, and Lifetime styled lesbian love affair, with some additional heavy nods to MeToo.
    For about the first 20-odd minutes I thought I’d been duped as nothing much happened other that some minor projectile vomiting and a low level lovemaking montage. But then it gets kinda bonkers and eventually kinda creepy, and not in the scary way, but in that creepy, cringey way.
    While the gore and jump scares are minimal, it’s the odd twists and turns that really make this an interesting and entertaining effort.

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-08-2022 at 12:09 AM.
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  19. #19
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    DAY 7
    BLACK MAGIC

    This Shaw Brothers production is an odd duck of a film. Looking like a cheap cross between a Hammer horror flick, an early Mario Bava effort, and a weird riff on Fantasy Island, it’s injected with some soft-core eroticism and hokey creepiness. This is essentially a tale of misguided love (aka infatuation), dueling practitioners of black magic, and spiteful lovers. The scare factor is dismally low and there are zero bouts of kung fu craziness. Believe it or not, they made a sequel (which is next up in my queue, although I am not expecting much based on this film).

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-08-2022 at 12:25 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Great thread.

    Not sure if these qualify:

    Inheritance
    School Tales The Series

    Both on Netflix. Reasonably entertaining.

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  21. #21
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    DAY 8
    FEAR(S) OF THE DARK - streaming on AMC+ and IFC
    (In French with subtitles)
    Rendered in black and white and heavily relying on shadow and light, this is a dark, moody, and downright eerie animated anthology.
    Rabid dogs, swamp beasts, dead samurai, creepy crawly insects, malevolent ghosts, and a disembodied voice scared of philosophy and ideology inhabit the various vignettes that unfold before your eyes in a rich variety of illustrated styles ranging from ligne claire to aquatints, and big eyes inflected anime.
    Each of the stories adeptly conjure up feelings of dread, claustrophobia, paranoia, and in some cases mild revulsion, the end result being a satisfying cavalcade of chilling cartoons.

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-09-2022 at 12:10 PM.
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  22. #22
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    DAY 9
    PYEWACKET - streaming on AMC+

    This is a prime example of how just because a film screened at a prestigious festival doesn’t always mean that it’s good.
    I had high hopes for this endeavor since it premiered at TIFF a few years back.
    Sadly, it’s a run-of-the-mill teen angst and emotionally distraught parent story, albeit with supernatural undertones.
    To make matters worse, all of the characters are one-dimensional, the plot is pretty predictable (the ending terribly so), and the lack of necessary exposition just seems lazy.
    On the one hand the slow-burn pacing does create a certain sense of apprehensive dread, but when the insanely rote “twist” ending comes, it all seems for nought.

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  23. #23
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    DAY 10
    BEYOND THE GATES - streaming on AMC+

    Today was a weird one. I first watched a film called Proxy, which I more or less enjoyed, but felt that it didn’t really qualify as a horror film. Then I checked out Dementia 13, Francis Ford Coppola’s first official film. Again, didn’t really feel like it fit the definition of a horror movie.
    Third time was the charm.
    Beyond the Gates is like a bugged out mash-up of House, Phantasm, and Jumanji. It’s creepy, funny, and weird. While it bogs down at times, the quirk factor is high enough to keep you watching.
    Also, how the hell did I miss out on VHS board games?
    The whole crux of this film hinges on a bugged out “interactive” ouija board game.
    Cult scream queen Barbara Crampton adds some wonderfully campy and macabre ambiance to the whole proceedings. And there’s some pretty decent practical splatter gore to keep things appropriately ewey and gooey.

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-11-2022 at 11:52 AM.
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  24. #24
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    DAY 11
    HOUSE ON WILLOW STREET - streaming on AMC+

    This multi-genre mash-up has its moments, but overall ends up just being ho-hum.
    The practical effects are pretty decent, but sadly are marred by some seriously cheesy digital components (what the hell is the fascination with long, saliva drenched tongues writhing around like snakes in horror films?).
    The story, centered around a kidnapping, starts out promisingly enough, but soon gets bogged down with murky, half-assed exposition (or lack thereof) and underdeveloped and well-worn tropes.
    Then again, if you dig low-budget, SyFy Channel styled action horror, this might be in your wheelhouse…

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-16-2022 at 11:01 AM.
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  25. #25
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    DAY 12
    BLOOD VESSEL -streaming on AMC+ and Shudder

    Naziferatu.

    That was gonna be my pithy, one word review of this film.
    As clever as I thought it was, I decided to double check the webz to see if it had already been used.
    Fudge me like a day old brownie, cuz some nerd bro used it in his review back in 2020.
    My initial thought was “great minds think alike,” but then I realized I can’t vouch for that other guy.

    Any way, this is a nazi vampire action film that unquestionably would be a few nods better if seen at a midnight movie with a rowdy crowd hopped up on brew and booze.
    Sober, it’s mildly entertaining, if a bit predictable.

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 10-16-2022 at 11:01 AM.
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