Thursday, October 31, 2019

Doctor Sleep Read-Along - Final Thoughts #SomethingWickedFall

Yes, I am dreadfully late with this final post for the Doctor Sleep read-along. So sorry!

Did you finish? What did you think?

I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a solid sequel to The Shining. Finding out what happened to Danny when he grew up was one of life's big unanswered questions for Stephen King fans. He granted our wish. It was a fitting choice for Danny to have become an alcoholic, just like his father. We also learn that both of them took to drinking as an escape from the "Shine," as we find out that Jack Torrance probably had a bit of the shine himself. What worked in this book was how Dan was not doomed to repeat the legacy of his father, but instead found a way to heal himself and really live a life that matters.

The True Knot was a brilliant addition to the story. What a scary bunch of creeps. SK really knows how to invent some interesting villains. Loved the twist on vampirism too. Rose the Hat and that tooth. Ugh!

Really looking forward to the movie next week. It's apparent that the film is going with what happened to the hotel in Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining, in which the hotel does not burn to the ground, as it did in King's novel. It's going to be an interesting change from this book. We shall see how well it works.

Let me know what you thought of the book, and if you're planning to see the movie.

Thanks for joining me for the read-along, and for Something Wicked Fall. See you next year!

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30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - Favorite of all time...

Tagline: Just because you're invited, doesn't mean you're welcome.

Synopsis: Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined. (Google)
You might ask why I would choose a relatively new movie as my favorite of all time. Well, I love smart horror films and this movie, in my opinion, is one of the smartest ever made. Mildly funny at first, it soon descends further and further into disturbia. I think it almost could be considered folk horror, as this "secret society" looks for strong African American men and women for their nefarious purposes. I won't go into further details, as to avoid spoilers.

I knew this movie was becoming a favorite as I found myself watching it over and over again. The story never gets old. Jordan Peele took a risk with this one, and it paid off. His next offering was this past summer's "Us," which I also liked, but perhaps not as well as "Get Out." I hope Peele keeps coming up with brilliant films in the future.

What is your favorite horror film of all time?

Well, that's it for this year, and it has been fun! A big thank you to Leah for introducing me to this challenge. I wonder what horror movies will make the list next year? Exciting to consider.

Happy Halloween...Blessed Samhain!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - Least favorite of all time...

Tagline: Seeing is believing

Synopsis: A young woman spends her days renovating the Victorian mansion that she lives in with her husband in the countryside. When a stranger knocks on the door one night, he becomes an unexpected guest in their home. Later, his wife and two children also arrive to make themselves welcome. Terror soon strikes when the beleaguered wife tries to figure out why her husband is so seemingly friendly and accommodating to everyone but her. (Google)
I really don't find myself hating too many movies, but when I do, it's usually vehemently. When I first started seeing the previews for Mother!, I was so psyched. It looked intriguing. It had a fantastic cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer. However, what started out promising soon became...I still don't even know what. I sat there thinking, "What the hell am I watching?" After it was over, that became "What the hell did I just watch?" I remember there was a guy who left well before it got really bad and I thought, as I always do, "How can someone leave a movie before it's over." Later, I wished I had done the same. Disappointing. All things considered, when the movie popped up on Hulu, I thought about watching it again...just to see if my opinion might change, as it has before, on a second viewing. I still haven't worked up the courage to watch it again. I know it's supposed to be this sweeping epic allegory on climate change, and since I care about the environment, I should consider the movie genius story telling. Maybe I'll get there eventually?

What is your least favorite horror film of all time?

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - A film no one’s ever heard of...

Tagline: Take a trip… into the past

Synopsis: Two men capture a small group of deserters during England's civil war. After the captives ingest some wild mushrooms, they fall victim to the powerful energies of a mystical field.
I was going to go with Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse, but then my friend (Heather) mentioned she had it on her list to watch so...had to choose something else. As Hagazussa is, A Field in England is also considered folk horror. It really is a weird movie. It has some creepy moments, and some rather grotesque ones as well. It's worth a watch if you like weird, obscure movies like I do. (Google)

What's your favorite film no one's ever heard of?

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Monday, October 28, 2019

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - Cryptozoological film...

Tagline: The Myth is True

Synopsis: An ex-soldier ventures into the forests of the Pacific Northwest to uncover the truth behind his fiance's disappearance.


Yes, I changed up the category again. I just don't believe in "guilty pleasures." To me, it implies being embarrassed by something we might read or watch, and I simply do not feel embarrassed or "guilty" about anything I read or watch. Hence, the change of category.

Now some might argue that Bigfoot movies are most definitely a guilty pleasure, but I disagree. As a cryptozoological creature, Bigfoot is a pretty solid entry in horror films. Since I am basically obsessed with Bigfoot movies (I've been obsessed with the subject since I was a kid...even wrote a paper about it in 7th grade), I've seen my fair share, some good and some really, really bad. Among the good ones was the recent The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (not really horror, but just a good film...Sam Elliott). Also, Exists, Abominable (2006), Hunting Grounds, Primal Rage, Man Vs. (not sure if it was a Bigfoot, but possibly). One of my top favorites is Willow Creek. We never really see the monster, though the palpable fear of the two characters literally bleeds off the screen, but my pick for this category is Big Legend. The reviews have not been kind, but this was one that really scared me so it gets top spot...until the next good Bigfoot movie comes along.

Do you have a favorite cryptozoological film, or creature?

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Sunday, October 27, 2019

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - Favorite to watch as a child...

Tagline: The Most Fun You'll Ever Have... BEING SCARED!

Synopsis: A compendium of five short but terrifying tales contained within a single full-length feature, this film conjures scares from traditional bogeymen and portents of doom. In one story, a monster escapes from its holding cell. Another focuses on a husband (Leslie Nielsen) with a creative way of getting back at his cheating wife. Other stories concern a rural man (Stephen King) and a visitor from outer space, and a homeowner (E.G. Marshall) with huge bug problems and a boozing corpse. (Google)
This was a movie I watched over and over again when I was a kid. My parents were big Stephen King fans which meant we saw all the film adaptations in the theater. This movie had a lot of scary and a bit of funny. My favorite of the five tales by far is "The Crate." Adrienne Barbeau was so great as the obnoxious and overbearing Wilma. This quote is the ultimate: "Just tell it to call you Billie, you bitch!" My second favorite tale is "Father's Day"...."Where's my cake!!!???" How about Ed Harris in one of his early roles? That dancing! HaHaHa!!

There's a new Creepshow series on Shudder. I have not watched it yet, as I cancelled my Shudder subscription a while back. I think I'm going to resubscribe before Halloween so I can watch this. Plus, my friend has been recommending some good horror movies on there.

What was your favorite horror film to watch as a child?

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Saturday, October 26, 2019

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - Used to hate but now like...

Tagline: The only thing more terrifying than searching for the Devil... is finding him.

Synopsis: Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) specializes in tracking down rare and exotic volumes for collectors. Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) has recently acquired a seventeenth-century satanic text called The Nine Gates- a legendary book written by Satan himself. With The Nine Gates in his possession, Corso soon finds himself at the center of strange and violent goings-on. Not only is his apartment ransacked, it appears that he is being shadowed ferociously by others determined to regain the book. (Google)
I saw this in the theater when it first came out and I hated it. It was one of those "what the hell did I just watch?" moments. So, you might ask why I then watched it again when it came to cable premium channels. I don't know why, but I did...and I was hooked. Not sure if it was the book element, or the occult element, but I recognized it really was a smart film. Perhaps a bit convoluted, but the subject matter is actually really interesting to me. The critics don't seem to have liked it much...43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes...but it has an 88 percent liked rating with Google users, and 6.7 on IMDb, so really not universally hated. Needless to say, after that second viewing, it became a movie I would watch over and over again. It has actually been a while since my last watch, but I found out it's on STARZ so I think it's time for another rewatch.

What is a horror movie you used to hate but now like?

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Friday, October 25, 2019

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - Favorite Found Footage Film...

Tagline: New York's Scariest Haunted House Tour

Synopsis: Five years after 15 people were killed during a haunted house tour, a documentary crew visits the scene to investigate what really happened. (Google)

The category for today was supposed to be "A horror film in which you prefer the edited version over the director’s cut," but I have never really sought out the director's cut of a film so I wouldn't really have an answer for this one. So, I went with favorite found footage horror film.

I was going to choose The Blair Witch Project for this one because it is still a favorite (though I haven't watched it in years) and this year is its 20th anniversary. Wow! I can't believe it has been 20 years!

Anyway, I chose a rather obscure film, Hell House LLC. I was actually sent the director's cut (funny enough) for review by its director, Stephen Cognetti back in 2017. You can check my review out here. Not really quite so obscure any longer actually. It has an 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 91 percent of Google users liked it. I've watched it twice. The second time with my son because we were getting ready to watch Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel. It was good too. They're both pretty creepy and have some really scary parts, and are pretty well made for low budget films. There are some damn scary clowns in this (see image) so yeah, I was totally creeped out.

There is a third one, Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire, but I have not seen it yet.

All three are available to watch on Shudder, if you have a subscription. The first one is available on tubi, a free streaming service.

What is your favorite found footage horror film?

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - Made-For-TV Horror Film…

Tagline: Could this woman commit the crime of the century?

Synopsis: In 1893, Massachusetts spinster Lizzie Borden (Elizabeth Montgomery) is accused of murdering her father and stepmother with a hatchet. A lengthy trial ensues, but the case is not as airtight as the prosecutors would like. There is no physical evidence at the scene of the crime, nor did Lizzie have any blood on her in the wake of the murders. Amid intense media scrutiny and wild speculation about her motives, Lizzie maintains her innocence to the end. (Google)
I was going to go with "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home" (1978), based on the excellent book by Thomas Tryon, in keeping with my current love of folk horror (If you're intrigued, you can watch it on YouTube - Part One and Part Two), but MAN...I've always been obsessed with everything Lizzie Borden. I pretty much read everything about her, fiction and non-fiction, and watch every TV show or movie. This obsession began in 1975 with "The Legend of Lizzie Borden." Yup, Elizabeth Montgomery did a great job of portraying a not-so-innocent Lizzie (though she was acquitted at her trial, her innocence has always been speculated). Turns out, Montgomery was Lizzie's sixth cousin, once removed. Perhaps she was channeling the real Lizzie?

If you haven't seen this one, watch it. It's from the seventies, but I watched it again in recent years and I think it has stood the test of time. You can watch it on YouTube

What is your favorite made-for-TV film?

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - Horror-Themed TV Show...

Taglines: The Truth Is Out There

Synopsis: FBI special agents investigate unexplained, mind-bending cases known as "X-Files." Though the government is convinced that the outlandish reports are false, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and realist Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), for most of the series, stop at nothing to prove that "the truth is out there."

This is my favorite show of all time so, of course, I chose it for this category. Sure, a lot of it was about aliens and government conspiracies (the latter is quite horrific in its own right, especially in light of recent years), but there were some genuinely horrific episodes. The best one, in my humble opinion, was "Home" (season 4, episode 2). I mean what's better than a murderous inbreeding family?  Also, probably one of the more gory episodes. Definitely horror.
Honorable mention goes to "Our Town" (season 2) with cannibalism and more, "The Host" (season 2) with Flukeman, "Detour" (season 5) with a chameleon-like monster with glowing eyes, and "Squeeze" and "Tooms" (season 1) with the ever-after creepy Tooms.

I also loved the motion picture releases, especially the second one, "I Want To Believe." Of course, I was absolutely thrilled with the two season comeback as well. I wish they would make more, or make another movie. Super fan for life!

What is your favorite horror-themed TV show?

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge - Medical Horror Film...

Tagline: All of us are human. None of us are immune.

Synopsis: A Wall Street stockbroker (Dane DeHaan) travels to a remote location in the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company's CEO (Harry Groener) from an idyllic but mysterious wellness center. He soon suspects that the miraculous treatments are not what they seem. His sanity is tested when he unravels the spa's terrifying secrets and finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all of the guests there longing for a cure. (Google)

This was a movie I did not truly appreciate until I saw it for the second time. It's actually a great story, albeit a bit meandering, but that just adds to the atmosphere of the film...and this film is very atmospheric. I really like the lead actor, Dane DeHaan, and Jason Isaacs is always good. In this case, very creepy and, as it turns out, disgusting.

This movie is a mystery with some horrific moments. It's smart. Perhaps not really scary, but definitely creepy, and suspenseful at times. It really is a must-see.

What is your favorite medical horror film?

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