Spooktacular Week 2: A Little More Spooky, A Little Less Scary

Week number two! And so far, no nightmares! However that’s mostly because of how I choose which movies to watch when. On the weekend, I watch whatever I feel like.  During the week, however, I usually watch my spooky movies during dinner with Mark.  He likes some spooky movies, but not to the extent that I do. So I set up a playlist of everything I hope to watch this month, and when I’m watching a movie with Mark he gets to pick whatever he wants from the playlist.  Which means, it’s probably not going to be too scary. I find this system has been working well so far. The only danger is that means I have to watch the super scary stuff when I’m completely alone!

img_7946Head Count: The premise for this film was super interesting, but boy was this a slow start. I was well over half way through the movie before I felt things really start to get interesting. Although spooky stuff was happening as the Hisji haunted a group of unsuspecting teens, it was only when one of the characters noticed the recurrence of the number 5 and began to research the creature that I started to really get excited.  The last half hour of the film was so intense that I wish the rest of the film had been just as strong.

Child’s Play 2 and Child’s Play 3: Ever since I saw a scene from one of the Child’s Play movies on tv as a kid (when I wasn’t supposed to), I’ve had a strange fascination with the franchise. I also adore puppets and practical effects, so these are the perfect horror films for me.  I had seen about half of the films in the franchise, but a little bit out of order, so this year I wanted to watch all of the remaining Chucky films I hadn’t gotten around to yet. Child’s Play 2 is definitely the stronger than 3, but both are pretty generic “horror film sequels” compared to the original.  I still enjoyed them though.

Curse of Chucky: I watched Cult of Chucky last year, not realizing Curse came first. This was a movie that HAD to be on my list this year. Between the two, I think I prefer Cult, but Curse is still a good watch. It follows the continuity of all of the previous Child’s Play films, while serving as a kind of reboot.  The previous films (Bride of and Seed of Chucky) were more along the lines of horror comedy, but Curse and Cult bring the franchise a little closer to the horror genre. Plus, I just love Fiona Dourif (who happens to be the daughter of Brad Dourif aka the voice of Chucky).

Child’s Play Remake: I was so excited to hear that this reboot was happening, but never got around to seeing it.  I am so happy that I didn’t waste my money to see this in theatres.  I love bad movies, and I love all the Child’s Play movies but this was not something I could bring myself to love. I appreciate the fact that the team behind it was trying to modernize the franchise by centering the premise around technology, but I did not want to watch a film about a sad robot doll who wanted to win the love of a lonely boy.  Also, as much as it hurts to write this, Mark Hamill’s performance disappointed me.

Critters: Another cheesy 80s flick! This movie was ridiculous and almost pure fluff.  Most of the fluff came in the form of the adorably creepy critters (aka the Crites). The puppetry was fairly simple, but I’m a fan of puppetry in any form so I wasn’t too picky.  I almost wish the film was more gory though; I think that would have made a great contrast against the more humorous elements of the film.  Overall, it’s not too memorable, but I did have fun watching it. I probably won’t bother too much with hunting down the sequels, but I’m glad that I’ve at least crossed this one off my list.

Critters Attack: Well, this was an absolute waste of time.  I probably should have stopped watching early on and given up, except I have this need to finish the films that I start watching, no matter how bad they are.  This recent sequel/remake of the Critters franchise was, apparently, a tv movie.  Although I didn’t know that going in, it certainly wasn’t hard to figure out.  Between the bad acting and the flimsy story, I still find myself wondering why I sat through the whole thing. Actually, I got up and did meal prep and only half watched during the climactic action sequences so… Yeah, it was bad.

Death Becomes Her: I didn’t know what to expect from this movie.  It ended up on this year’s list because it had “death” in the title and I figured “why not?”  Although this movie started off by feeling like a quirky rom-com, by the time the supernatural elements of the plot were introduced I was hooked.  The story took so many twists and turns that I was never really sure what the final climactic moment would be, or which members of the ill-fated trio would come out on top. My favourite parts, however, were the makeup and costumes.  I was really pleasantly surprised with this movie.

Seoul Station: Not only did this film have a slow start, it kind of felt slow all the way through.  Even after the zombies started their rampage.  Based on the tone of the film, I felt as if the creative team was trying to make a political statement about homelessness – it was just never entirely clear what that statement was. The action just always kind of fell flat for me until the final scene in the model apartment took place.  I was not expecting the twist at all.  I was actually really pleased with the ending and it made it worth sitting through some of the slower moments in the film.

Hellbenders: With a cast comprised of some of my favourite character actors, I had a feeling I would enjoy this film.  Although it came across as a mix between a mocumentary and a horror comedy, I’d say this was more on the comedy side of the spectrum. And even though the lower-budget feel added to the quirky charm of this piece, I almost wish this film had had a bit more of a budget for the action sequences. I found the premise of Hellbound Saints to be unique and well thought out, and had a good time watching this ridiculous movie.

The Frighteners: I’ve wanted to see this movie for years and never actually got around to it.  Until now.  This was a fun, spooky movie and I really enjoyed it.  Although the CG special effects are a little overused for my taste, and clearly dated, they were pretty decent considering the time period. And given that these kinds of CG effects were popular in movies around that time, I’m really not too surprised by their presence in the film. The acting was comedic and over the top, but it added to the more lighthearted feel of this supernatural murder mystery.

Spooky read of the week: Coma by Robin Cook: A few years ago, I watched the movie Coma for a course about the presence of women in the mystery genre in both literature and film, and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I’m just not as much of a fan of the book and I think that’s mainly because I don’t like the writing style.  Given the tone of the book, and the exploration of sexism and gender in the medical field, I’m surprised that we were not asked to read the book for the course as well.  But the writing style makes these moments of sexism and feminism just seem out of place an uncomfortable to read.  And although the medical parts of the book make for a more interesting read, I found I really only started to enjoy the book during the last hundred pages.

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