Monday, November 02, 2020

31 Halloween Movies - Wrap-Up

And here we are at the end. I was able to honor my plan to watch a horror movie every day through October

Let's recap where we've been, first with what I've seen most recently:

29. House of Wax - I decided to go back to another Vincent Price vehicle, and was not disappointed by his sinister character who creates wax figures using murder victims. Price was so good in this genre -- even now that this is over, I'm going to look up more of his stuff.

30. Saw - I resisted watching any of these movies for such a long time. I didn't see the appeal. That was also before I was much of a horror fan at all, and I'd watch maybe one movie a year. This turned out to be more than "torture porn" - it featured an antagonist wanting to test the limits of human decency and the will to live...via his own sadistic violent means, of course. It reminded me a little of the movie Seven, except not as well-acted.

31. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) - I remember watching this when I was a kid...before I really should have, really. But at the time I couldn't have fully appreciated Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy all being in a movie together attempting to fight evil plants. It served as a fantastic conclusion to this experience.

And here's the entire rest of the list of what I've watched this month:

Week 1 - Nosferatu, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Wolf Man (1941), It (1990), Carrie (1976), Frankenstein (1931), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Week 2 - Bride of Frankenstein, The Shining, Us, Tooth Fairy (2019), The Invisible Man (1933), Creature from the Black Lagoon, They Live

Week 3 - The Mummy (1932), 28 Days Later, Evil Dead (2013), Bit, Night of the Living Dead, Dracula (1931), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Week 4 - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Paranormal Activity, House on Haunted Hill (1959), Hush, Son of Frankenstein, The Cabin in the Woods, The Birds

Back at the beginning of this, I had an idea that I could do this every October, maybe with different themes: one year only black and white movies, one year only franchises, one year only movies dealing with a particular kind of monster, and so on. I'm less confident about that now, because I'm not sure that I'll want to be this in-depth every year.

I watched a lot of movies that I've been meaning to see for a long time, and I generally enjoyed doing this. But there were certainly times when I got tired, or when this felt like a chore. Maybe by next October I'll feel ready to do this again, but I'm not going to commit to that.

People avoid horror movies for many understandable reasons. But the best movies, I think, ask pertinent questions about human nature. They can show when good intentions end up being destructive (Frankenstein) or when a threat isn't taken seriously until it's too late (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). They can show what happens when one feeling incredibly terrorized finally strikes back (Carrie), or how far someone may go when their own life is on the line (Saw). Sometimes they show that evil sometimes doesn't have a clear cause, but must be confronted nonetheless (The Birds), and sometimes they reveal that the real monster is humanity (Creature from the Black Lagoon).

It's not always that serious, nor does it have to be. Sometimes it's just about a fun scare, or facing our own fears, or a few hours of cathartic yelling at people making dumb decisions. And all of that is part of the human experience, too. And that's why, just like every other genre, horror has important things to say.