^Best Halloween film…
Watched at the weekend - bumper Halloween edition…
It Follows - obviously one of the big hitters of recent horror, enjoyed this as much second time around as the first. Beautifully shot and exceptionally scored. Maika Monroe is superb as the lead - hopefully after this and The Guest she gets some better roles than the recent Independence Day effort. Properly creepy despite only having a 15 rating and virtually no gore, this goes to show what you can do with a genuinely good idea. Be interesting to see what David Mitchell (not that one) produces next. 8/10
The Cabin In The Woods - a horror fan’s meta wet dream. Treats the many horror tropes with real affection and has an engaging storyline and cast to boot. The final 15 minutes of this is an excellent source of inspiration if you were struggling for Halloween costume ideas. 8/10
The Descent - annoying that Neil Marshall seems to have settled into being a big time TV gun for hire these days as this and Dog Soldiers are both genuine recent horror classics (I’ll ignore Doomsday for the time being). A film of two halves obviously, the first about the horror of loss and the fear of tight spaces, and then a more traditional, although very effective, peril film in the second. 8/10
Watched some short stuff too - these are all in the public domain so I’ve also linked them.
It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown - haven’t watched any Peanuts stuff for absolutely years, but enjoyed this very much. Forgotten just how surreal it can get. Watched this with my three year old who managed to sit through the whole thing but I think she found it a but boring so it’s probably not quite as fast moving as modern cartoons. 7/10
Night Of The Slasher - entertaining single shot short poking fun at the tropes of the traditional slasher/final girl scenario. 8/10
Bedfellows - very short film that manages a proper creepy scare in its two minute run time. 8/10
That’s quite the list.  Halloween itself found me at home watching Frankenweenie with my wife and son. Pretty much a perfect Halloween film for a 10 year old boy, with a handful of well-timed jump scares and a total monster mash at the end.
On Saturday I watched Under the Shadow. Liked it a lot, but didn’t quite do it for me as much as the similarly-themed Babadook.
Revisited the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre on Sunday - such an incredible film. Tobe Hooper gets a lot of flack for never really having lived up to the initial promise shown in that film, but who could?
Off to see a big-screen showing of Suspiria tonight which I’m well up for. Really excited to hear the soundtrack coming through a decent sound-system.
Happy day after Halloween y’all!
Thanks to both you and @Shimmetry for the recommendations. Not seen any of these and even though I may not like them I’m looking forward to giving them a try!
My halloween night was a double bill.
Possession - 5/5. Love this film. Isabelle Adjani is just great in it. The group I watched it in was fairly mixed in their opinions of it though. Can see why though, it’s a film with some odd traits.
You’re Next - 4/5. Great siege film. Fast and effective. Though not the most original with ts ideas the one subversive thing it does makes it quite refreshing. A lot of good gory fun. I liked it more than when I first saw it, and the thinly veiled liked it a lot too.
Watched yesterday - Train To Busan…
A Korean take on the zombie genre, but focusing squarely on the inter-personal relationships of the protagonists rather than the virus/apocalypse events (a bit like The Walking Dead used to before it became an endless loop of the group finds a new safe place that turns out to not be quite so safe after all). The set up is a mixed bag of various character types thrown together in the same carriage of an intercity train in motion who have to survive the attentions of an ever increasing army of zombies and various Lord Of The Flies style group breakdowns. These are fast zombies, which are the only type of zombies who are actually scary really, although this makes one scene where a character decides to punch his way through an entire carriage of the infected somewhat silly. While some of the characters veer towards cliche, there is enough involvement in most of them to keep you interested. Soundtrack is a weird mix of pulsing danger music and piano pieces that sound like they would be more at home in a movie of the week. Despite being focused primarily on the main characters relationships there is still room for some excellent zombie mass panic scenes (way better executed than stuff like World War Z for example). The final few scenes manage to mix bleakness with positivity nicely and overall this is a decent additional to recent zombie canon. 7/10
As an aside, went to see this at the new-ish Picturehouse Central. Nice cinema, particularly as it’s on the site of the former epically sterile Trocadero Vue.
Halloween might be over but the horror just won’t stop…
Went to a big-screen showing of Suspiria on Tuesday night. Been a while since I’d last seen this, but have always loved it. Had never seen it at the cinema before though, and as much as I feel like a cock saying this, I’m not sure you really have seen this film until you’ve seen it at the movies. The thing I was most excited for was hearing that soundtrack on a good sound-system and I was not disappointed. So loud, so immersive, just an insane auditory experience. Everyone after the screening was walking around with big goofy grins on their faces, like we’d all just had some amazing communal sexual/drug experience. It really was that good…
And then the night after, i watched TCM 2 at home. What the actual fuck? Had not seen this before, but was aware of its gonzo reputation… Bill Moseley’s just incredible in this. Am now doubly psyched about watching this recent interview with him:
I think just for the colours alone (red in particular) I can imagine Suspiria being great in the cinema. Not many other directors manage to get their colours to be so thick and rich. I mean, look at this (admittedly not the best screenshot but what I could find quick):
I mean, it also looks like everything has been lit by some sort of red sex lamp but you know, it works. Let’s see how that remake ends up though…
The colors are insane.  I love the bit where all the students spend the night on camp beds after the maggots rain down from the ceiling. Most of the time when you turn the lights off, it goes dark. Not in Suspiria!!!
This came out in cinemas here today so all the reviews have come out as well. I wasn’t a huge fan and gave it 3/6. Most others have given it 5/6 and a few 4/6. Weird.
I agree, marking stuff out of six is indeed pretty weird…
Almost everyone does that here. It’s because we use dice as a symbol so it’s out of six eyes on the dice. Which is still weird because throwing a dice suggests it’s completely random. But that’s how it is anyway.
Hmm. Have you guys got the metric system yet? If not, it’s well worth checking out…
has anyone seen Lake Mungo? that scene…
Anyone else watching Channel Zero?
Four episodes in so far and enjoying it very much. It has been compared to Stranger Things which is unsurprising given that it features children and the 1980s (and a bit of association with a runaway success story never hurts) but it is much, much darker. The source story came from Creepypasta, whose most famous creation to date is probably The Slender Man, and there are plans to make more six part mini series from other internet generated tales from there (second series is already in production).
Carrying on from @whiterussian 's request for horror TV recommendations, this is probably my favourite for awhile. Gold standard for TV horror remains Hannibal (despite a wobble at the start of series three) for me however, so if you haven’t seen that already then I would get involved.
Just a reminder to check out The Black Tapes Podcast, if you haven’t already done so: http://theblacktapespodcast.com/
Listened to the 4th episode over the weekend, and it might be the creepiest so far. One of the best horror-related websites I’ve come across in a while…
Halloween may be over for another year but if you want to hold onto the vibe for awhile longer then David Holmes put together an ace mix of horror film scores that is suitable eerie. Plenty of Focus Group, Broadcast and that particularly unsettling piece from Under The Skin:
Also, mini pumpkins down to 20p in my local Sainsburys
Watched last night - They Look Like People…
Micro budget psychological thriller with just four principals and primarily two locations, this makes the most of it resources. A claustrophobic paranoia storyline is supported by the very believable raport between the two male leads as old friends catching up after many years apart. There’s virtually no gore in this, but nonetheless this has a generally very creepy tone (in no small part to the sound design, which flits expertly between ominous background noise and ominous silence) and a genuinely tense finale. Linked films on IMDB include The Gift and The Invitation, and I could definitely see that you would enjoy this if you liked those two. 7/10
nice one, sounds intriguing. love good sound design/soundtracj, automatic extra point in my book. can think of so many films where it’s inseparable from the vibe/atmosphere of the film
The thinly veiled is away this week so am using the opportunity to catch up some on some horror viewing and listening…
The Green Inferno - I’m not sure what I was expecting from this exactly, but nonetheless it still managed to disappoint. Rubbish acting and ridiculous plotting as a group of characterless college students are gradually wiped out (it’s ok not to care about them though as in addition to having no character, they are also middle class privileged activists) in fairly bloody fashion. Also manages to be generally insulting to all of the foreign cultures encountered during its runtime. Some gore and some hamfisted attempts at comedy, plus a shameless set up for a sequel at the end. Remember when Eli Roth was the next big thing in mainstream horror? 2/10
Holidays - anthology collection all based on various calendar/festive occasions. There are nine shorts in all which means that none really have enough time to expand on what are in some cases interesting ideas. Wildly uneven, the best is probably the St Patrick’s Day installment which walks a pleasantly nostalgic line between Rosemary’s Baby and The Wicker Man. Kevin Smith’s chapter is, depressingly unsurprisingly, comfortably the worst. 5/10
I should be more discerning with my choices basically.
Have also checked out the first two episodes of The Black Tapes Podcast that @SloameOcean recommended up ^there. Lovely stuff so far…