What's up, you crusty fucking gremlins? Typically each year around Halloween, I do either a game or movie list of stuff I'd recommend you guys to check out for the spooky season. And, I figured I'd do it for another year, because fuck it. I need something to blab on about. Some of these are films that are considered classics, while others are things I'm guessing most of you probably haven't ever heard of or watched. So, lets get into it, pussyyyyy.
1. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Synopsis: When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies.
My thoughts: Quite possibly my absolute favorite zombie film ever made. A very bleak horror comedy from the 80's, which started the trope of zombies wanting to ear brains. (Also, quite possibly the first horror movie to have meta moments about other horror movies. Suck it, suck it dry, Scream.) Tons of great practical effects in this movie which push the dark comedy aspects out there, with everyone taking it seriously, still. I mentioned it was bleak earlier, let me reiterate that while this is a funny movie, thematically, it's very fucking dark. I would go as far to say it has more bleak themes going on over something like Day of the Dead. Anyways, classic 80's horror film that I'd highly recommend. The sequels are another story though, avoid those like the plague.
2. Re-animator/From Beyond (1985/1986)
Synopsis 1 (Re-animtor): After an odd new medical student arrives on campus, a dedicated local and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue.
Synopsis 2 (From Beyond): A group of scientists have developed the Resonator, a machine which allows whoever is within range to see beyond normal perceptible reality. But when the experiment succeeds, they are immediately attacked by terrible life forms.
My thoughts: You might be thinking this is kind of cheating having two movies listed together. But, I personally think that these should be a paired viewing experience one after another. Hence, why they're listed like this. You fucks. Both of these were made by the same director, and shared cast members between each film. Re-animator is probably the much more known film between these two, a cult classic horror film with comedy elements tossed in that also somehow got away with ripping off the music from Psycho completely. It's a cult classic for a reason though, because it's an extremely fun b-horror flick with good performances. I don't feel like I need to ramble on too much about Re-Animator, it's embedded enough in pop culture (Like being directly mentioned in American Beauty) where it speaks for itself.
However, I will yap my fucking mouth about From Beyond. From Beyond is definitely a more sloppy film in comparison to Re-animator, but shit, man. It's just fucking great. You've got giant rubber bug-man monsters, bizarre sexual content and brains being sucked out of eye sockets. What more could you possibly ask for from a movie? The performances, cinematography, effects and pretty much everything is done better than in Re-animator. The goofy shlock has been turned down and things are played more straight and narrow, which fits better with the Lovecraft style the movie is going with (Since it's a Lovecraftian story). Highly recommend both of these movies back to back, but if you can only pick one of the two I'd definitely say From Beyond would be my ultimate pick.
3. Satan's Little Helper (2004)
Synopsis: A naïve young boy unknowingly becomes the pawn of a serial killer.
My Thoughts: This pick is probably the most silly one out of all of my picks tonight. It also has the lowest budget by far, and surprised me with how actually entertaining it was. The film work and editing is done pretty well, and the performances are fairly decent throughout. Film genre wise, I guess I would consider this one a slasher movie, but, the movie definitely focuses on the comedy aspect. For example, there are parts in this movie where a child is basically roleplaying GTA alongside a murderer who is running over people. Shit gets very laughably weird in a lot of the spots of the movie. If you want something that isn't really gore filled and is more light hearted, then this would be the choice for you.
4. Dead Silence (2007)
Synopsis: A young widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife's murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a deceased ventriloquist.
My thoughts: This movie is probably the most disliked on this list, and I honestly think it's a little over done. While definitely having its flaws, I can't bring myself to say this is a pile of dog shit or anything. I honestly think had this movie been released in more recent times, it probably would have gotten a much better reception. Directed by James Wan, Dead Silence is a homage to the more classical ghost story movies of the past. It's a very dreary film, with a pretty gothic style/feel to the town the majority of the movie takes place in. While not having the most fleshed out characters, there's a lot of fun supernatural elements to the story which is what gets focused on. The performances are pretty standard across the board, nothing I would say was ever amazing but they're good enough. If you've got a boner for Slappy from GooseBumps, or Chucky from Childs Play, then this just might be the porn you're looking for.
5. REC/REC2 (2007/2009)
Synopsis REC: A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.
Synopsis: REC 2: In order to ascertain the current situation inside, a supposed medical officer and a GEO team step into the quarantined and ill-fated apartment building.
My thoughts: The first REC movie was a genuinely fucking great found footage horror movie, and came out of left field for me back then. I honestly think this might have been the first foreign language horror film I ever watched, and I'm glad I got a solid pick for it. This series has one of the most unique takes on a zombie virus/infection and I personally really digged it. I can't really go into that without spoiling things though. The performances are great in both of these films, and in the second movie there's some fun optical stuff happening later on with the camera. The effects are good, and narrative is very entertaining. I usually am not a fan of found footage movies, but these are both some of my favorites. Big recommend from me. (There's 4 films in this series, but I really only suggest you watch these first two together as things get kinda fucking stupid in the 3rd part, and the 4th part has a pretty weak ending.)
6. In The Mouth of Madness (1994)
Synopsis: An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.
My thoughts: The second to last film that legend John Carpenter made before he started spraying diarrhea into the eyes and ears of his fans, In The Mouth of Madness. This movie is another Lovecraftian type of movie, and is probably my favorite film within that genre. This movie stars Sam Neil, and I think it's one of my favorite performances from him, where he plays a skeptic investigator searching for a missing horror writer. There's a lot of surreal imagery in this movie, which is something different for a John Carpenter film. It ties in with an idea revolving around the horror books within the movie, and it works great. Beyond the fun cinematography and fun performances, there's a lot of fun set pieces and effects to be found in this movie as well. And, as an added bonus, John Carpenter decided he wanted Metallica's Enter Sandman as the theme of the movie. However, they couldn't get it. So, he said fuck it and just made his own Enter Sandman style song.
7. Event Horizon (1997)
Synopsis: A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.
My thoughts: Another horror movie starring Sam Neil, who'd have guessed? Event Horizon is hands down probably the best space horror film for me right behind Alien/Aliens. Another film that had mixed reviews upon being released. However, it has built a cult classic following over the years. There's some really great desolate atmosphere going on in this movie while they browse the ship and deal with everything, where the ship just feels unsettling and oppressive. (Fun fact, this movie was a direct inspiration along with a few other films for my absolute favorite horror franchise, Dead Space.) There's a lot of psychological/supernatural horror going on beyond the sci-fi stuff here. The movie at times almost reminds me a bit of Hellraiser if it took place on a space ship, which is a good thing. The casting was well done, with each character giving a good performance in the movie. The actual horror as well is very well done, with some good practical effects used that hold up well and amazing set designs. It's hard to talk about this movie without spoiling it, so just go watch it if you haven't. Bitchhh.
8. The Lighthouse (2019)
Synopsis: Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity whilst living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.
My thoughts: Just fucking watch it. Stop reading all this bullshit, and just go watch the god damn movie. The cinematography, the sound design, the amazing performances from the only two characters, the imagery, effects. Just, everything...Is so fucking good. You'll see every single range of human emotion in this movie, as a man falls into a spiral of madness. I found myself glued to this movie the entire time, having some laughs from the bleak hints of humor (And, a fart joke or two. You'd understand if you knew New England people.) and just enthralled with the film. I wouldn't say it's a frightening film, but it's very tension filled. Set in the 1800's, the film was made to look and simulate that time period as much as possible. And, it honestly looks gorgeous. For the horror elements, there's some decent Lovecraft vibes in this one as well (Mixed in with some Greek metaphors tossed in) which I wasn't expecting. Maybe one reason I love this film is because it's something similar to The Shining. I dunno, I just fucking love this movie. This could definitely be hit or miss for people watching it, I think everyone takes away a different take upon viewing it. But, if it hits for you, then it hits fucking hard. This was my absolute favorite movie of 2019, and I cannot recommend this indie flick enough.
9. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)
Synopsis: A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.
My thoughts: Probably the best film remake that's ever been done. This is still probably my favorite horror movie ever made, and I don't think anything could ever pull it out of my top 3 at the very least. A film showcasing pure paranoia, isolation and exhaustion. With the best practical effects I've ever seen. The lighting and colors are amazing for this movie, as is the performances and musical score. I would for sure consider this a slow burn type of movie, which I tend to really like. The only things I can really say that are weak about this movie are some of the stop motion effects used, and that the ending is a bit rushed. Otherwise, this shit is God tier for me in terms of horror movies. I genuinely cannot believe this movie was so poorly received when it came out, I think people in the early 80's might have been sucking on lead covered dildos or something.
10. Trick R' Treat (2007)
Synopsis: Interwoven stories demonstrate that some traditions are best not forgotten as the residents of a small town face real ghosts and goblins on Halloween. Tales of terror reveal the consequences of extinguishing a Jack-o-Lantern before midnight and a grumpy hermit's encounter with a sinister trick-or-treater.
My thoughts: Probably the only good horror anthology that's been released in the last 20 years. Trick R' Treat is one of my favorite Halloween movies ever made, it's one I watch each year on Halloween day. While having some black comedy tossed in here and there, the movie takes itself pretty seriously which I'm glad for. While the plot does intersect with each story, it never feels like he's beating off into your face over how fucking 600 I.Q. his directing is. The writing definitely shows that the person writing it loved what they were doing and has a big love for Halloween/Halloween traditions. The basic premise of the film without spoiling anything is that this movie is about righting the wrongs of Halloween. If you want a spooky Halloween movie to watch this year, this would be a solid choice. So, stop milking your nipples over Among Us and watch some of these fucking movies.
Lemme know if any of you pick one of these movies to watch over the next few days and what you thought!
Until next time, doods. Have a happy Coronavirus filled Halloween!