Thursday, October 29, 2020

31 Halloween Movies - Week 4

Previously: IntroductionWeek 1
Week 2, Week 3

It's been another good week of horror viewing, and I'm already so close to the end! Early next week I'll share my final few choices and write a few thoughts on how overall I think this went. In the meantime, here's what I saw this last week.

22. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - This is another silent black and white classic, perhaps not as well known as Nosferatu, but I think beloved by hardcore adherents all the same. Dr. Caligari brings his traveling roadshow to town, and a series of murders begins shortly after, cause by a somnambulist the doctor has hypnotized. It took me a while to get into the story, but I was into it by the end.

23. Paranormal Activity - I was a little skeptical of the "found footage" concept, but I was able to get into this movie after a few minutes. The idea is that a couple suspects that their house might be haunted, so they set up cameras to try to catch strange activity. It used a lot of subtlety and suggestion, which I've always liked way more than jump scares or slasher type tactics. That said, this was one of the most stressful movies I've watched so far.

24. House on Haunted Hill (1959) - I've seen the remake but never the original, so I had to right that wrong. It had multiple twists, and Vincent Price (and his mustache) added a sinister quality where I went back and forth about rooting for him and against him, as well as what might really be going on with the house the group was all trapped in.

25. Hush - I had never heard of this one until a friend recommended it. Essentially, a deaf author moves to a remote home in the woods to write, and has to fend off a killer who has trapped her inside. As you might expect, there isn't a lot of dialogue - it's very much "show, don't tell," so it's mostly facial expressions and body language, which was original and well done.

26. Son of Frankenstein - I remember watching this decades ago with my family, and the fun we had doing so. It was actually the first Frankenstein movie I saw. The overall story of a man being haunted by his father's legacy was better than I remember, but I didn't like that the depiction of the monster took a few steps down from where the franchise left it in Bride of Frankenstein.

27. The Cabin in the Woods - Five young adults head off for a fun weekend at a cabin in the woods, and are in for a very scary time instead. It sounds very cliche, but there is so much more to it than that, and I feel like if I say any more I'll ruin it for people who want to see it, even if it's been out since 2012. It was original, funny, entertaining, and unexpected. I loved it.

28. The Birds - I figured that an experience like this needed at least one Alfred Hitchcock title on it. One of the scariest things about horror is when something doesn't have a clear explanation. This movie never explains why birds become violent killers, other than some small pockets of exploring how nature may turn on humanity. Instead it mostly focuses on how a small group of people in a seaside town try their best to get away from them, which was suspenseful enough.