Spooktober Week 5: Fear Of The Spook

Halloween is over, and so is my spooky movie marathon. All that’s left are the films and shows on my list I didn’t have enough time to watch, and a large bowl filled with leftover candy…

Mark and I dressed as Kingpin and a Trust-a-Bro for Halloween
Life is tough when your boss bro won’t return your love

Gallowwalkers (2012): Not a good way to start my last week of Spooktober. This movie was beautiful, but it was a hot mess. The story was sloppy and the action was cheesy. The only thing that kept me looking at the screen were the gorgeous costumes. The makeup added to the look of the costumes, but felt less polished. Honestly, I debated abandoning this one and I’m not at all sure why I kept watching.

1 out of 10 Coloured Contacts

The Hunt (2020): This was unexpectedly fun and intelligently written. The opening scenes had me reeling in a good way as I tried to figure out who the “final girl” would be for this film. The focus would fall on one character just long enough for me to think that must be the hero/heroine. And then they were swiftly killed off. Once the story settled, it transitioned into a humorous commentary on the conflicts between liberals and conservatives. And I especially appreciated that the victor at the end of the bloody battle was the one character who did not have extreme views on either end of the political spectrum.

7 out of 10 Pigs

Grimcutty (2022): I loved the dark concept of destructive parent/child relationships, but this one fell a little flat. The subject matter is so unsettling that I found myself wishing the story went darker. I wanted to feel deeply uncomfortable by what I was watching, but I didn’t. And I have mixed feelings about the Grimcutty monster itself. The creature design was fine, but poorly executed. It was cheesy looking and obviously CGI. And yet, this kind of worked. Think about all of the meme monsters you’ve ever seen. They don’t always look realistic. Grimcutty literally looked like a generic creepy meme come to life. I couldn’t hate it as much as I wanted to.

5 out of 10 Helicopter Parents

Inside (2007): For me, the most effective form of birth control is pregnancy related body horror. I had heard this film was all kinds of intense, and it certainly was. I found myself wondering just how many gallons of fake blood they used for this French slasher film. And even though I knew, deep down inside (pun intended), that the final act of violence was anatomically incorrect, I still cringed and yelled out at the tv in disgust and discomfort. The only letdown in this entire film were the shots of CGI babies in the womb reacting to the violence.

8 out of 10 Scissors

Inside (2018): Less than a minute into the American remake I hated it. I disagreed with the way this film tried to force the fear. And rather than jump right into the action like the French film, this one wasted time with too much exposition. Plus, there was barely any blood and the ending was far too positive and hopeful. The only thing I actually appreciated about this one was that they made the protagonist hard of hearing because that added to the tension in some scenes.

4 out of 5 Hearing Aids

Goodnight Mommy (2015): This is what Grimcutty should have been. The fear that Mommy and her children could destroy one another is very real. Not only is the abuse uncomfortable to watch, but to see two young boys torture their mother like that creates a very visceral reaction. But where this German film got me was the twist ending. I did not see that coming at all.

10 out of 10 Creepy Lullabies

Goodnight Mommy (2022): Another American remake that toned down the tension and horror. Although it was well acted, there was much less ambiguity when it came to figuring out who was the real threat: mother or child. And the fact that I knew the twist ending meant it was too easy to figure out who was the most dangerous member of the family. The fact that the twins were made to look and act more distinctively than in the original was a contributing factor. I find this story works better if you have a harder time telling the boys apart. And, of course, there was less torture on gore, and the ending was much less spectacular as a result.

5 out of 10 Face Masks

Martyrs (2008): A couple of years ago, I watched the remake not knowing that this film had been remade. I was disappointed, but hopeful that the original French film would be just as fantastically disturbing as I heard it would be. It was. The gore is amplified, the characters are memorable, and the ending is impactful. I sure do love an ending that makes you think.

10 out of 10 Mademoiselles

Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (2008): After reading Lovecraft’s complete works earlier in the fall, I had to watch this documentary. Plus, the fact that most of the interviewees are writers, authors, and directors whose work I admire meant that I was not going to pass this one up. I already knew a bit about Lovecraft’s personal life and ideologies, so it was interesting to learn more and to understand what went into the things he wrote.

8 out of 10 Samael Statues Lurking Behind Guillermo Del Toro

Choose or Die (2022): This was a cute take on the game-gone-wrong plot type. The characters are stereotypes, and the situations are tropes, but there were some surprising and interesting moments of horror and violence in this movie. And how can you not love Robert Englund’s voice? I had fun watching this one.

7 out of 10 Cursors

Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2022): This should not come as I surprise to anyone, but this was one of the things I was most looking forward to watching during my spooktober marathon. Even better, Mark wanted to watch it with me! But between its release later in the month and trying to coordinate my schedule with Mark’s, we did not get as far along in the series as we had hoped. We are going to continue watching these phenomenal short films over the next week or so. I am really enjoying the series so far, and I appreciate that each film features different types of horror that appeal to an aficionado like me, and someone who scares easily like Mark.

10 out of 10 Director Statuettes

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

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