My blog: Some thoughts on films

If you like to obsess over films once you've watched them, you've come to the right place.
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Posts tagged "Halloween"

Went on a wonderful Halloween trip to Salem where my main mission was to visit the Dennison House from Hocus Pocus. Achieved! 

As many of you take down your Halloween decorations and put away your scary films for another year, it just carries on for me.

Watching some Criminal Minds in these bad-ass PJs…

Eating Halloween sweets…

From a haunted house…

Listening to some ghostly tunes…

It never ends, hope you’re doing the same!

I know I’m actually pretty late on this one, the festiveness of Halloween has caught up on me. 

So number on on my list is a bit of a no brainer….

It’s Halloween so crack out Halloween. Even the sequels are not too bad, and for once…a remake I actually really, really enjoyed. But it’s the 1978 original I watch every year at Halloween. Obvious reasons. 

                            

I really should have thought this list through a bit more…here are some others I would have included…

-Evil Dead 2

-House of 1000 Corpses

-Ginger Snaps

-Nightmare on Elm Street

-Addams Family 

-The Exorcist

-Paranormal Activity

-Scream

…I could go on…

Happy Halloween my lovelies. 

Re-Animator- Great film, but the theme tune is Psycho with a hint of Keeping Up Appearances.

This film has to  be on my list of films to suggest for Halloween because it’s the first proper horror film I ever watched, it scared me so much I had to check under my bed for months* afterwards to make sure Mrs Voorhees wasn’t under there with an arrow.

Like many successful horror films, Friday the 13th spawned numerous sequels and crossovers. I choose this original one though because it’s where it all started, the one that set the tone for the others and above all else, the scariest! Though the face of Friday the 13th is Jason, he only appears as a boy in this one. For some, a great big massive man in a hockey mask, wielding a machete may be the most terrifying thing…for yours truly it’s a crazy lady intent on seeking revenge for her son. 

I love slasher films and this is one of my favourites ever, it has great suspense and isn’t afraid to go for some all out gore. My favourite part of course is Kevin Bacon’s death scene, though it scarred me for YEARS. What gets me the most about this film is of course the music and the now notorious “che che che, ha ha ha” that runs throughout the film. 

When I was travelling in America there really wasn’t a time or situation where I didn’t turn to my friends and relate our particular situation to a horror film. For example, getting lost on the way to Yosemite…”Have you guys ever seen Wrong Turn?” Driving through Arizona….”Have you guys seen The Hills Have Eyes?” So when we were camping in the hills around Las Vegas, I remember waiting for my friend outside the bathrooms at the camp site with my little torch and all I could hear was the Friday 13th music soI had to try and hurry him up. 

This is the kind of film that made the ’80s great for horror, crack it out for the holiday season! And why stop there, watch the next few aswell. Just don’t ever watch the 2009 remake, it’s just awful. I’d choose Jason X a million times over that piece of shit.

*years

      

I think that my favourite zombie film of all time is 28 Days Later. I know it “should” be a Romero classic or something, and this is rather modern (well…actually it’s nearly ten years old, unbelievably) but it was the first time I’d really felt terrified of zombies. They’d been creepy, gross and scary yes, but this film made them a powerful force where it really felt like it was the end of the world.

I went to see this film with my brother, we were bored and didn’t really know what we wanted to see and he suggested we went for a showing of this. I actually knew nothing about it, all I gathered was that it was something about a virus that had spread across the country. I was pretty unenthusiastic about it to be honest. But, if you’ve seen the film, within the first 5 minutes I was gripped and knew this was going to be something pretty bloody spectacular. 

                           

The intensity of this film is unreal. I think the scene that best captures that frenzy is when they get a flat tyre in the tunnel, as they change it you see thousands of rats swarm past…then the realisation that the dead are coming hits. In Danny Boyle’s zombie movie, these bastards can RUN. They are infected with pure RAGE and they are hideous, erratic creatures. 

This film blew me away when I first saw it, the fab acting (my first introduction to the beautiful Cillian Murphy), some amazing cinematography (the iconic scenes of a silent London are still breathtaking) and some amazing music to set the whole film up is a brilliant mix. This film really is a modern horror masterpiece, it works everytime making this a brilliant Halloween movie.

I think it’s time for a proper classic scary movie on my list.

   

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was banned in Britain until 1998 when it was finally released with an 18 certificate. I remember when it was broadcast for the first time on TV around 1999 because I stayed up and watched it. We had family over at the time so I was sleeping on the sofa in the living room, this worked out well for me because I was never allowed a TV in my room so I had it all to myself. It was on pretty late and it had a cool introduction from the Doctor of Horror himself, Mark Kermode. I’d be lying if I said this was the first time I watched the film in full. I could not watch it all, I was around 14 at the time and although I did have a thing for horror films, this one felt too extreme for me then so there was a LOT of flipping over to something a bit less…MANIC. It had an impact though, the first portion of the film with the hitcher really weirded me out but of course, it was the first time we see Leatherface that really got me. You know that he’s coming, but at the same time you’re not expecting it. He just appears, does his thing and is gone. Where the frick is he going? And what the hell is he doing? Although I barely stuck around much after that initial taster, this film stayed with me. It was a few months later that I mustered up the courage to watch it all, luckily we taped it for my brother so i gave it another chance. 

If you are unfamiliar with the story (and I find it hard to believe you are) a group of friends are on their way to visit their granddad’s old house, but on the way they are terrorised by a chainsaw wielding maniac with a mask made of skin and his cannibalistic family. Not the day out they had planned.

The film was portrayed as a true story which makes it all the more effective having this at the opening of the film:

The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young …


But the character of Leatherface was based on serial killer Ed Gein, a bit information that is always in the back of your mind. This in a way, did happen. Ergh.

              

Texas Chainsaw Massacre stays with you for ages after you watch it, and personally makes me feel just dirty and gross, though amazingly, there is very little gore to it. To craft that yucky feeling for without doing all the blood and guts is why this film stands out among a lot of others. 

I like how there’s more to it than just bunch of teens getting killed, we don’t get any major back story to Leatherface but we go on a little journey with him. He starts out as this masked maniac that we are scared of, but then we see him troubled and scared; he is afraid of the kids that keep coming to his house and kills to get them to leave him alone. Later still, we see him ridiculed by his family wearing a dress and makeup. I personally think this is a chance at some humour rather than a chance of real sympathy for Leatherface…which would be hard to achieve.

 

Apparently during filming the house got up to 100 degrees and with a house that was furnished with bones and meat you can imagine how intolerable the stench was. Cast and crew had to leave to be sick. You get a sense of that when watching the film. Perfect house for these crazies.


This is a perfect film for Halloween because it is classically terrifying, it’s scares are in the noises and screams you hear and not what you see. It is relentless. Damn it I’ve made myself want to watch it right now… 

Halloween is fun, which is why not all the films I’m going to suggest are going to be scary. Like today’s, huzzah!

Hocus Pocus

I’m not sure if this film will have the same effect if you didn’t watch it as a kid, but who knows. I watched it last year for the first time in a while and it was still excellent. 

It has the perfect setting for a film about witches on Halloween, it’s set in Salem where Max Dennison (Omri Katz) has just moved with his family. He’s not into the whole Halloween thing, but has to take his little sister Dani (Thora Birch) Trick or Treating. They have been told about the story of the three Sanderson witches who are just waiting for someone to light a candle in their home to resurrect them. Through a chance meeting out Trick or Treating, Max bumps into a girl he has a major crush on who takes them to the witches house for an extreme Halloween experienced they’ll never forget.

This film is just fun and captures what Halloween should be about: sweets, costumes and witches. I remember being slightly scared by a few bits of it when I was 8, especially the story of how Winnie found her husband cheating on her with her sister so sewed his mouth up with a dull needle so he couldn’t tell anyone her secrets. Nasty.
Bette Midler stars in it so OF COURSE there’s a musical number, it just happens to be my favourite part of the film!

                             

This is only a short Disney film, so as a good companion to this you should definitely watch a few episodes of Eerie Indiana immediately afterwards. You will probably want to anyway as Omri Katz is in Hocus Pocus, but I’m going to just suggest it anyway. I used to love this show and I think it’s in the running for best TV Theme ever, they don’t make TV shows like this any more. The episode that I always remember watching is the one where Marshall falls for a girl with a heart condition, and after the bad boy at school dies tragically she gets his heart. She then starts acting like him in every way. Creeeepy, yet bizarrely beautiful! And here its is, enjoy!

Shutter

Today’s suggestion was brought to my attention by my good friend Ilan who lent me the DVD a few years ago. I watched this film in the dark on my own and I was so creeped out I had to go and sit in a brightly lit room by the fire immediately after it finished. It’s hard to find a film that will haunt you like Shutter does without it going for cheap tricks, Shutter builds up tension to a terrifying climax. 

                                           

Shutter is a Thai horror film made in 2004, it has since had an American remake starring Joshua Jackson which I have not seen. I would like to see it purely because there are some incredibly dark aspects to the original that I can’t see them keeping in with a film that stars Pacey from Dawson’s Creek. Anyway, the original follows a couple who are haunted by a girl after a tragic accident, she begins appearing in photos they take but it doesn’t stop there. Her presence starts to move and becomes alarmingly close to them, proving you can not forget your past, it will catch up with you. There are some twists along the way to keep you on your toes making this a gripping film, both in terms of story and how the scares get you.

                                              

Shutter is a great Halloween film because it is very imaginative and slowly builds up the tension. I think for the first 20 minutes you have to stick with it because nothing much happens, but it will pay off. It has a clever, intriguing story that culminates to one of the best endings to a film ever. It’s truly original and terrifying. 

I’m going to do a horror suggestion each day leading up to Halloween, while they may not all be “horror”, they will certainly suit the tone. I think I should start it off with the greatest film ever made, The Lost Boys.

If you want a massive insight to the film then you need to check out my celebration of it for Den Of Geek

But in brief, why is this the greatest film ever made?

-Great Vampires- classic ’80s but not too cheesy, this is STILL a horror film though it’s funny and the vamps bring in the terror.

-Superb soundtrack- any time anything remotely dramatic happens “Cry Little Sister” kicks in and the opening credits to Echo and the Bunnymen’s cover of People are Strange is perfect. 

-This film has BOTH Coreys

- Amazing one liners- “Death by stereo!”

If you’ve seen it before you’ll understand, if you have never seen this before definitely watch it on Halloween I promise you will not be disappointed! This is probably better suited to people who may not be that into horror, its a good mix of a lot of genres, y’know so you can ease your way in. You’ll be watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre before you know it. 

                               

When I was in Santa Cruz I randomly walked into a comic book shop which only turned out to be owned by the guy who owned the comic book shop from the film, he had the original Vampires Everywhere! comic which I held and a scrapbook filled with pictures of him on set. You can even see him in the scene where Sam goes back a second time in the background. I couldn’t believe my luck, I literally just wandered in…