Monday, November 01, 2021

31 Halloween Movies 2021 - Wrap-up

My second year of watching horror movies during the month of October is complete. This year, I chose to focus on slasher franchises, and it was much more a hit-and-miss enterprise given how uneven these series could be.

First, the last few movies that closed things out.

29. Child's Play - A serial killer chants a voodoo spell that allows his soul to transfer into a doll. Chucky kills some people and traumatizes a child along the way. The premise is interesting, but still...it's a doll. Pick it up and launch it across the room or something.

30. Child's Play 2 - Chucky is back to exact revenge on the kid from the first movie, who is now in a foster home. Sometime during the first act I started letting myself accept the silliness of the whole thing and then it was easier to enjoy.

31. Child's Play 3 - Andy is now a teenager and has been shipped off to military school, and of course Chucky finds a way to follow him there. Everything about this one was pretty thin and humorless. I don't think I need to continue with the franchise after this one.

And here's what I watched the rest of the month:

Week 1 - A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Week 2 - Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th Part 2, Friday the 13th Part III, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

Week 3 - Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X, Freddy vs. Jason, Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Week 4 - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween: H20, Halloween: Resurrection, Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills

This year's experience was bound to feel repetitive, and it did. The monsters in these movies had a certain way of doing things, and they did it time after time after time. Some were more creative and original than others, and I appreciated those as they came. The Halloween movies in particular tended to have a higher quality of story, acting, and cinematography than the others, so if I had to choose a favorite out of these franchises, that would be it.

But evil isn't always unpredictable. It can rely on the routine and mundane, even use it to its advantage. Sometimes it can be so obvious in its motives and execution, and it may dare those who consider themselves good to stop it, and doing so still might seem impossible. And then even when it seems to have been defeated once and for all, one can't take for granted that it truly has.

Horror movies can teach us about evil's persistence, how it springs up in the midst of ordinary actions and keeps coming until we deal with it. It can creep closer and closer until it's too big to ignore. What is there to do at that point? That's the question that movies like these invite us to ask ourselves.