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***Official 20th Annual HTF October Scary Movie Challenge 2019***

Discussion in 'Movies' started by John Stell, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. HawksFord

    HawksFord Agent

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    9) Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - Back into the Universal monster collection for the next October film and back to another old favorite. Do I like "Bride" better than the original? I guess it depends on which one I'm watching at the time. Tonight, at least, "Bride" is the better film.
     
  2. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Bonehill Road (2017) **

    A mother and daughter are leaving a violent home when they end up on an old road where they are attacked by werewolves. They manage to make it to a house but inside the house is a serial killer. This Todd Sheets film is working with a very small budget and for the most part I thought it delivered on what you would expect it to and that's the gore, blood, werewolves and nudity. What really killed this film for me was how stupid the characters were. Yeah, yeah. I know this is the horror genre and we need characters to do dumb things but they are just too dumb here. The ultimate case is when the women are trapped inside the house fighting werewolves. A man with a car pulls up and the women run outside but instead of running to the car they instead tell the man to run towards the house trapping all of them yet again! WTF?

    Deafula (1975) **

    This adaptation of Dracula was the first horror movie to be done in sign language. Thankfully there was a voice over track for people like me. This was a rather interesting film to watch but it wasn't entertaining and I don't think the film was well-made. The sign language is what makes it special or at least different and I must say it was interesting watching the characters speak through that. The problem with the voice over track is that it just sounds like a really horrid dubbing job so subtitles probably would have been better. Another problem is that it really does seem as if multiple people directed this because the tone and the flow is just so uneven.

    3 From Hell (2019) * 1/2

    Sequel to THE DEVIL'S REJECTS had me kissing my own ass when it was over as I was about to spend $15 to go see this on the big screen yesterday but my track record with Rob Zombie told me to hold off for a cheap rental. I love Zombie as far as his concerts go and I love hearing him talk about movies but he's just not a filmmaker and this film proves that once again. The entire set-up or explanation of how these characters survived was just stupid and it hurt the original movie. The breakout of prison was just dumb. Everything in this film was just dumb and what's so disappointing is that the movie is just boring, watered down and there's just nothing entertaining here. I was really letdown by this film and I think it's easy to say at this point that Zombie got lucky or was touched by a higher power when he made THE DEVIL'S REJECTS because everything else has been bad.
     
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  3. Message #243 of 488 Oct 15, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    :emoji_jack_o_lantern: Abattoir :emoji_scream::emoji_scream::emoji_scream:


    upload_2019-10-16_0-2-24.

    Julia wants to be an investigative reporter but is stuck churning out uninteresting pieces on real estate for the local paper. After her sister and family are brutally murdered, she finds herself thrust into her own investigation when she discovers her sister's house has already been put on the market and sold within five days, something she knows is impossible in the real world. The new owner has no interest in the house other than the room where the murders occurred. Julia finds that he has already removed the room from the structure and transported it to the odd little town of New English, where it has been assembled with dozens of similar "murder rooms" to create the ultimate haunted house. The town is seemingly under the spell of Jebediah Crone, a cross between a carnival barker and a traveling preacher, who has made some vague promises to the townfolk of prosperity and renewal for New English if only they're willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, one that will also serve Crone's ulterior and nefarious motives.

    This film was the best of my challenge so far this year. Very well-done visually, the film creates some very unsettling and creepy atmosphere while spinning a rather unique and original story though the payoff is a bit weak. It's kind of funny how a film so original can, at the same time, remind you of so many other works. Throughout the film I was reminded of horror and murder mystery of course, with dashes of film noir, Lovecraft, Texas Chainsaw, nods to Stephen King's "Needful Things" and Leland Gaunt, Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery", and the Addams family.

    The film fades a bit toward the end, with the "why" of the whole thing kind of ambiguous, but the creepy atmosphere of the film (starting with the very unsettling opening murder scene), with some good sound design, and the wonderful performances of the always fun Lin Shaye (Allie) and Dayton Callie (Jebediah Crone) made for a somewhat disturbing yet enjoyable film. (blu-ray)
     
  4. sleroi

    sleroi Second Unit

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    21-22) Monsters S1 ep 8-9 ***

    Im still really digging this show. I dont have time to binge watch all 3 seasons before Halloween, but i will definitely keep watching.

    In sleeping dragon a reptilian creature hatches in a college lab from what appears to be an ancient artifact. And even though the creature is laughably bad, the acting, action and music is done with such melodramatic flair that it all works. And the professor is played by the professor. (Russell Johnson.)

    Pool sharks is a noir about a vampire hunter. Simple but nice.
     
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  5. Message #245 of 488 Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
    John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

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    045) 10/15/2019 Haunt (2019) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] (out of four)

    A group of college-age folks pick the wrong haunted house to visit on Halloween night. Very enjoyable thriller is lean and mean, with a likable cast and satisfactory ending.

    046) 10/15/2019 Night of the Living Dead (1990) [​IMG][​IMG]

    Almost scene for scene remake of the classic 1968 zombie film, with the main difference being Barbara kicks butt in this one. Direction by Tom Savini is okay but unspectacular. After so many years of zombie films there's little this film offers.

    047) 10/16/2019 The Night Stalker (1972) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    My pick for the best made for TV horror film ever. Reporter Carl Kolchak is both excited and horrified that murderer of 4 young women in Las Vegas may be a real life vampire. A perfect film: cast, direction, script, pacing, etc. are all outstanding. Kolchak's just the facts approach to relating the story means this moves like lightning. The humor and horror mix well together here.
     
  6. Message #246 of 488 Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
    dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    OCTOBER 15:

    19) Hellboy (2004) 4/5 stars
    - Guillermo Del Toro's Hellboy is a great take on the source material. It's in turns dark and funny, the casting and performances are spot-on, and the effects are fantastic. SOOOO much better than the David Harbour film. It's not even close. We watched the 4K UHD release that just came out yesterday and DAMN! This is a reference disc in every way. It is gorgeous! Next up - Hellboy II: The Golden Army in 4K.
     
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  7. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Peter Cushing: A One Way Ticket to Hollywood (1989) ***

    The bad thing about this documentary is that it lasts just 76-minutes. If you're a fan of Peter Cushing then you'll certainly want to check this out since it does feature the man himself talking about his career. There's plenty of discussion about Hammer, Christopher Lee and STAR WARS but the more interesting stuff was his pre-fame career where he talks about James Whale and Bogart among others.

    Gila! (2012) ** 1/2
    The Curse of the Komodo (2004) **


    Two creature features from Jim Wynorski who in my opinion is the best "B" movie director other than Roger Corman. GILA! is a remake of THE GIANT GILA MONSTER, which is a film I love. This remake does a nice job at looking and playing out like a movie from the 1950s. I thought the cast was good for what they were asked to do and the giant monster scenes were entertaining. The film was made-for-TV so there's nothing offensive but it was a nice throwback to those older creature features.

    THE CURSE OF THE KOMODO has a komodo growing to dinosaur size as a group of humans must try and defeat it. This one is a bit more adult in nature and we do get one scene where a beautiful woman goes skinny dipping but outside of that there's really nothing too bad here. The film is mildly entertaining for a low-budget creature feature but it really needed more monster action and less human talk.
     
  8. Message #248 of 488 Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
    Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    October 16: Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) - 4 out of 5 - First Time Viewing

    It's 1967 in Los Angeles, California, and a mother and her two daughters make a living giving 'readings' to folk looking to talk to or hear from deceased loved ones. It might be a scam, but there's good intentions behind what this family of three do. But when the family gets hold of a Ouija board to spice up their routine, they accidentally connect with an evil spirit who 'infects' the youngest daughter and sets off a series of ever more dangerous repercussions.

    A horror movie based on a board game should be an eye roller, but this is a surprisingly effective and interesting film. A prequel to 2014's Ouija movie (which I have not yet seen), the period setting, performances, and cleverly crafted thrills and chills do wonders and deliver a fun jolt of entertainment. I suspect the setting of LA 1976 was inspired in part from The Conjuring's effective 1970's settings, and I can't say I blame the filmmakers here because it takes us out of the here and now and places us at a more vulnerable, more innocent time against which the horrors seem that much more potent.

    Though only PG-13, there is some chilling imagery. The cast is excellent, which includes Elizabeth Reaser as the mother, Alice, and Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson as the older and younger daughter, respectively. Henry Thomas is also appealing as Father Tom.

    Ouija: Origin of Evil took my by surprise by being a solid, scary at times, and intriguing story. I'd love to see them continue in this style.
     
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  9. sleroi

    sleroi Second Unit

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    OCT 16

    23) Curse of the Cat People - TCM - *1/2

    What a letdown. There weren't even any Cat people in it.

    Oliver, from Cat People, is bothered that his daughter daydreams and has imaginary friends. Not much happens in the first 40 minutes, other than a slow introduction to the Farrons, an elderly woman and her daughter who live down the street in an old, dark house that is neither old nor dark.

    Then suddenly Irina from the first movie shows up and the Farrons are abandoned for a while. The climax ties everything together with a twilight zone like twist, but its too little too late.

    The film is mostly told from the child's pov, so it plays as a dreamlike fantasy. Unfortunately its not very compelling. Or mysterious. And theres no real payoff.

    The TCM host noted that Val Lewton wanted to call this movie Amy And Her Friend instead of Curse of the Cat People, but the studio wouldnt let him. So it seems even Mr. Lewton knew that presenting this as a direct sequel would only dissapoint a lot of people.
     
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  10. John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

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    048) 10/16/2019 Crawl (2019) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] (out of four)

    Father and daughter are trapped in former family home during Florida hurricane. Even worse there are hungry alligators all around them. Simple but gripping thriller with impressive effects.

    049) 10/16/2019 Ruin Me (2017) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Recovering drug addict, her boyfriend, and four others participate in "Slasher Sleepout", an event that literally puts its participants in a horror movie for the ultimate terror experience. But is it possible the events are real? An inventive, low-budget shocker that has more on its mind than just gory kills.

    050) 10/17/2019 The Night Strangler (1973) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]1/2

    Unemployed Carl Kolchak runs into former editor Tony Vincenzo in Seattle, and is soon covering another series of bizarre murders where the superhuman killer leaves rotted flesh on the victims. Very good sequel ramps up the humor but still delivers the chills. Writer Richard Matheson's story is rather interesting despite following the formula of the first film.
     
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  11. Message #251 of 488 Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    OCTOBER 16:

    20) Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) 4/5 stars
    - The follow-up to Hellboy is another great effort from Del Toro and company, although for me it doesn't quite have the allure of the first film. This is a fun romp, with winning performances from all concerned, particularly Luke Goss as Prince Nuada. The Forest God scene in and of itself is worth the price of admission. Watching this made me a bit sad that we won't be getting any more Hellboy movies from Del Toro. The 4K UHD release, while not up to the level of the original film's amazing 4K goodness, is very nice indeed.
     
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  12. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    No films in for me on the 15th, but I got in two yesterday. I just hit 31 films. For me, based on past challenges, I'm behind. I'm a primary caregiver for a parent, and this is the first year I've not forced her to watch some kind of horror film. Instead, we watch BREAKING BAD in the evening to gear up to the movie that just came out. So, yeah, I'm blaming her. I'm horrible! :)


    030 10/16 Child’s Play (1988) 4/5 I’ve seen this one a few times, but to my surprise, not for ages and not since I started doing the October horror challenge! Glad I finally decided to run the series! Anyways, this first film is a lot better than I remember. Solid cast, Dourif does a great job voicing Chucky. The Mom and kid are really good too, which saves the movie since it’s a likable, scared, natural kid with little personality instead of some annoying charisma monster like what usually gets casted in these. The plot is dopey with a whole voodoo thing I completely blanked on, but thanks to the doll being suitably shit looking, it all works. It helps too that this has a wicked nasty streak.


    031 10/16 Kolobos (1999) 3/5 A decent horror offering about a group of young adults who take part in an experimental film in which they are to live together in a house. The first night it’s discovered that the house is booby trapped, and they are locked in. Not up to SAW standards or others like this, but they play it straight and pile on some gore so you stay interested.
     
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  13. Message #253 of 488 Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    IMG_0328.JPG
    The Reptile-FTV
    Hammer really knew how to craft an atmospheric creepy film. Great acting, and sets.
    I'm glad I waited to see this for the first time on BD. Wonderful quality.
    Grade-B+

    Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula

    John Carradine may be the oddest choice for Dracula ever. I just don't buy him in the role, and never have. Oh well, he makes good use of his spooky hypnotic eyes. I really enjoy the film, but even going by the 60's model of B-Movies this should have been better in the writing department. Plays like a third rate Gunsmoke episode..with Dracula.
    Grade-B-

    IMG_0342.JPG

    The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula

    Lots of fun here. Kung Fu, and horror. Great combo.
    Very entertaining.

    Grade-B

    The Uncanny

    A horror anthology that has some great segments the cat episode is kind of strange in that the people could easily escape the claws of fury from so many feline doom dealers.
    The spoiled girl black magic segment is just plain weird. overall fun and no snoozers in the bunch.

    Grade-C+
     
  14. Message #254 of 488 Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    10/16
    (17) Climax (2018): Gaspar Noé doing Gaspar Noé. A dance troupe finishes rehearsals in an old school, then embark on an all-night party, only to discover their sangria is laced with LSD, when everything goes full-bore, surrealistic pillow. Or, maybe not. :rolleyes: There's some interesting visuals, but not exactly worth the journey. Nobody in this I'm familiar with, other than Sofia Boutella, who played Jaylah, the sexy alien ("Montgomery Scotty!") in Star Trek Beyond.

    (18) Drag Me to Hell (2009): In a way, this is sort of the culmination of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series, since it has very similar themes and the same twisted slapstick humor. This movie is just a lot of fun. I've seen it three times, and I always go back and watch the final sequence again.

    (19) Jennifer's Body (2009): I think audiences just didn't "get" this movie, which was written by Diablo Cody. When it came out, I assumed it was just another standard issue, stupid teen horror flick, but I saw a review that spelled out some of the humor, and gave it a shot. Like Drag Me to Hell, it's a silly horror/comedy with a nice little slice of raunchiness tossed in. I just don't like J. K. Simmons' character, which goes a little too far. Even though Megan Fox plays the title character, this is Amanda Seyfried's movie, and she's really good.
     
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  15. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    House of Frankenstein (1997) **

    This mini-series has a police detective investigating a group of murders and he eventually runs into some monsters. I still remember this when it aired, although I didn't bother watching it for some reason. Having now caught up with it the film really isn't that bad but at the same time I had a hard time connecting with it. I thought the human characters were all rather bland and boring and none of them were interesting enough to warrant the nearly three hour running time. I thought the best thing about the picture was Frankenstein's monster and I really enjoyed the early scenes with him trying to adjust to being in the city.

    Haunt (2019) ***

    A group of friends go to an extreme haunted house where it doesn't take long for them to realize that the workers are really trying to kill them. Once you get over why these kids went to a haunted house with no line, no cars around and in the middle of nowhere then this is really a good little gem. I thought it perfectly captured the spirit of going to a haunted house with friends and on this level it worked because I'm sure most people go into them wondering what would happen if it was real. There were some effective kill scenes, the haunted house itself was great and the cast was fun.

    Moonchild (1974) * 1/2

    An artist goes to an isolated inn where he soon meets a variety of strange people who all seem to want something from him. This is a pretty poor movie on many levels including the fact that we don't care about the lead guy, his situation or anything that happens to him. The only saving grace about this film was the performance by John Carradine. He easily steals the film in a very good performance and there's no question that the only interesting in the film comes from his performance and role.

    Raptor (2001) ***
    The Thing Below (2004) **

    Two more creature features from Jim Wynorski. RAPTOR has sheriff Eric Roberts trying to find what is killing and eating the people in his town. This leads him to scientist Corbin Bernsen who has created deadly raptors. I thought this film was a lot of fun as long as you don't take it too serious. The cast was a lot of fun, there were plenty of bloody monster attacks and at 80-minutes the film didn't overstay its welcome. THE THING BELOW, on the other hand, wasn't nearly as good as a group of scientists in the Gulf of Mexico accidentally unleash an alien. Yes, this is a low-rent version of THE THING and there were a few good things about it (silly monsters, erotic striptease sequence) but overall there were too many bland characters and not enough of the monster.
     
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  16. Message #256 of 488 Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    BTW, the Evil A has the Chucky collection BR on sale for $20.

    ...and a Hammer 8 film collection for $18.
     
  17. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    October 17: Phantasm (1979) - 3.5 out of 5 - First Time Viewing

    Strange activity around a small town funeral home lead a young boy, Mike, and his older brother, Jody to investigate. What they discover is a creepy tall man who may not be what he seems, small, dangerous robed creatures, and a strange and deadly flying sphere.

    Phantasm is ultimately a film about death and our fear of death, wrapped up in a neat little science-fiction horror idea, made on the smallest budgets with outsized effects. It's a clever film with some big ideas (certainly ideas bigger than the budget they had to work with), and is served very well by the creepy portrayal of the Tall Man by Angus Scrimm, and smart dialogue and smart actions from the young Mike, played by A. Michael Baldwin. Mike is treated well by the script which has him being smart and inventive in protecting himself from the bizarre danger he finds himself in.

    I never saw Phantasm growing up (this is my first time watching it), but its the kind of movie I would have loved. For me, my real introduction to horror movies came with A Nightmare on Elm Street, and so that's where my fond memories and unending appreciation lies. Had I discovered Phantasm first, it's possible the oddness and imposing presence of the Tall Man could have set the bar instead of Freddy Kruger. I'll never know, but I did enjoy Phantasm, particularly the strangeness of it all.
     
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  18. Message #258 of 488 Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    You're probably aware, but there are four sequels. I've watched the first four, and recall enjoying them to varying degrees, though the first two are the best. Phantasm II had major studio backing (Universal) with a larger budget, so it's probably the best produced, though apparently there was some studio interference:

    I recall films three and four were direct to video and are pretty low budget. But the presence of Angus Scrimm as the Tall Man in all of them is worth watching, IMO. I have not yet seen the final film, Phantasm: Ravager. I'm hoping to get there during this challenge.
     
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  19. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    In the last few weeks, I've finally seen some online reappraisals of this movie and alls I can say is that it's about damn time. :)
     
  20. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    It's a fun flick. I've probably seen it four times, and I have the BR.
     
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