Saturday, October 8, 2011

Haunted Movie Marathon - Week 1

Happy October! We're a full week into my favorite month, and I've been continuing my yearly tradition of watching at least one spooky, scary, or Halloween-themed film every night. I try to mix in old favorites (there are several Halloween specials I *have* to watch at least once a year) with new films, as well as classics I haven't seen yet. Here's the first week of October 2011's films! First viewings are in orange, rewatches are in black. (May contain light spoilers.)

October 1st

House on Haunted Hill (1959)
I love this movie. I used to watch it all the time as a kid, and I'm happy to know that it's still a great watch today. Vincent Price is a god.

October 2nd

Let the Right One In (2008)
All my tears. I heard a lot of acclaim for this film, but I didn't really know what it was about (other than a vampire tale.) I was not expecting that sweet, beautiful love story at all. I really, really enjoyed it. I plan to watch the remake as well, so I'll report back on that eventually.

October 3rd
this was the least offensive screencap I could find.
The Last House on the Left (1972)
I really wish I could unwatch this. It had been on my list for awhile, mostly because my interest is piqued whenever a movie is called out as being sick and disturbing. And it was, and while I can appreciate its cinematic importance (I guess), I was mostly distracted by the terrible, terrible attempts at slapstick humor, horribly awkward music, and the overall reminder of how ridiculous the 70s must have been.

October 4th

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)
Another childhood favorite, I needed to watch this to remove the remnants of the previous night's viewing from my brain. I've adored Elvira since I was a kid, and I used to watch this movie often (though the version I had was taped off of TV, and had the "picnic scene" edited mostly out.) I'm really glad I had her as a role model growing up! She's hilarious, smart, sexy, and confident (and I am so envious of her wardrobe!)

October 5th

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
A classic, and the start of what is hopefully an eventual complete (well, as complete as my internet scouring will allow) viewing of The Halloween Video. Even though I must have seen this at least 1,000 times, I doubt I'll ever get tired of it.

October 6th

The Book of the Dead (2005)
This was a random Netflix find while I was looking for something short and spooky (it was midnight already and I needed to be at work early today.) The Book of the Dead is a Japanese stop-motion animated film set in the Nara period (AD 710-784) when Buddhism was first being introduced. If you are at all interested in Japanese history or (gorgeous, impressive) stop-motion animation, I definitely recommend it. It's a little subdued (that is, slowly paced), but I found it really engaging!

October 7th

The Machinist (2004)
Oh man, I loved this. Another film that's been rotting in my queue, I'll admit it wasn't my first choice tonight. I wanted to watch Black Death (a bubonic plague demon horror film with Sean Bean??) but I couldn't get it to stream properly on Netflix (I can't seem to watch about 75% of the streaming content on that site. I'd certainly complain if I was the one paying for it.) So when that proved unwatchable, I decided on this. I'm really glad I did! Normally I can take or leave Christian Bale (except for his roles in Velvet Goldmine or American Psycho, in which case I would take him forwards, backwards, and sideways), but man, he really killed this time around. I love films that mess with the perception of reality, and I think this did a really good job. It was a tad predictable (and there were plenty of "clues"), but it was still engaging, and complex enough to be suspenseful. The carnival ride scene in particular was fantastic.

I have some of the rest of the month's viewings planned (including the Evil Dead trilogy and Hellraiser), but I'd love some suggestions! I'm open to just about anything (with the possibly exception of most remakes and/or anything American from the last 15 years.)

Check out the rest of the marathon!
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 2
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 3
Haunted Movie Marathon Finale

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