***Official 21st Annual HTF October Scary Movie Challenge 2020***

dana martin

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First Time Viewing for Both
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21. Corruption :emoji_star: :emoji_star: :emoji_star:
not what i was expecting , Peter Cushing as a surgeon in Mod 60's London with a Model girlfriend, who gets disfigured at a party, his medical "research" shows that he can fix it if he has liquid sampled from pituitary glands, then the slice and dice begins, solid film and totally unexpected.

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22. Enter the Devil:emoji_star::emoji_star::emoji_star:


pretty
straight forward there is a cult along the Mexico/Texas border, and the Deputy Sherriff is investigating, but whom to trust, also an anthropologist is tracing the cult for information.
 

dpippel

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OCTOBER 16:

13) Zombieland (2009) (iTunes 4K Streaming) 4/5 stars -
Still funny after all these years! Bill Murray has one of the best cameos ever, and Harrelson, Eisenberg, Stone, and Breslin are all fantastic.

14) The Time Machine (1960) (Blu-ray Disc) 4/5 stars - George Pal's classic telling of H.G. Wells' seminal time travel story is still enjoyable every time I watch it. Sure, it has its problems, but the whole is greater than than the sum of its parts, and then there's the beautiful Ms. Yvette Mimieux. :)
 

Malcolm R

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Eight Legged Freaks (aka Arac Attack!) :emoji_scream: :emoji_scream: :emoji_scream: 1/2

What the hell was that, exactly?
A spider, man!


A toxic spill in a swamp near an arachnid aficionado (i.e. spider collector) causes his collection to mutate and grow to enormous size. The giant spiders then overrun the sleepy little town of Prosperity, Arizona.

This is one of my favorite all-time horror comedies. I can watch it over and over, and just laugh and laugh. It's basically a version of Gremlins, except with spiders. Like that film, the spiders are given personalities and vocalizations that are hilarious, and the music is even similar to Jerry Goldsmith's style at times. One of my remaining holy-grail titles that has not been released to blu-ray. The DVD was distributed by Warner, so I still hold out hope it will appear from the Warner Archive someday. In the meantime, the HD tranfer is occasionally run on cable (watched on IFC).

I'd have loved a sequel, but the film cost more than a giant spider movie probably should have ($30 million), and the box office was disappointing ($45 million worldwide), so a planned sequel was never made.

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Michael Elliott

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Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995) ***

The first film of the new trilogy is certainly a good one as it was aimed more for adults and the special effects were a lot better. Gyaos is back as the villain and his design is quite good as is Gamera's.

You Should Have Left (2020) ***

Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried play a struggling couple who take a trip to Wales with their young daughter and rent a house that seems to know their secrets. This film tries very hard to be a psychological film like THE SHINING and the two films share a few things in common but overall this one falls well short of that. The film is extremely flawed and I don't think it's secret works out as well as it could have but at the same time I had a lot of fun watching this and Bacon gives a wonderful performance.

Massacre at Central High (1976) *** 1/2

A new kid at school grows tired of the bullies controlling things so he plans revenge. I first heard about this film shortly after Columbine and it seemed to go more and more into the closet with every new school shooting. Watching the film today it holds up extremely well as it works as a social commentary as well as a slasher film. This was made long before the slasher craze yet it's amazing how much of the formula is on display here. There are some creative kill scenes as well as some excellent performances. Derrel Maury, Andrew Stevens, Robert Carradine and Kimberly Beck (FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 4) are all excellent here.

The Premature Burial (1962) *** 1/2

Ray Milland plays a husband who is terrified that he's going to be buried alive. Out of the eight Poe films Roger Corman directed this here is the best in my opinion. Milland is simply wonderful in the role and the film is exceptionally well-made. I really thought the film had a very creepy vibe to it and especially towards the end with everything that happens.

Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion (1996) ***
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999) ** 1/2
Gamera the Brave (2006) ***


GAMERA 2 is certainly the best film in the series as we get a lot of great action, great monsters and the humans are also very entertaining. GAMERA 3 has one major problem and that's the extended running time and the bad characters. Still, the monster action was a lot of fun. GAMERA THE BRAVE is a throwback to the early days of the series when it was a kid's movie. The film really wants to be like E.T. but I must admit that it worked for me. I thought the baby Gamera was adorable and it leads to a terrific final battle.
 

JohnRice

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18) Pet Sematary (2019) - 3.5/5 - Stephen King's story of grief, guilt and death is one of his nastier tales. I read the novel a million years ago, probably immediately after it was published. Back in my teens I was an avid King fan. I don't recall ever seeing the first film adaptation, but I'd heard good things about this one and it's free on Prime, so why not? This adaptation is a decent mix of dread and jump scares. The contrast of the pastoral farmhouse setting and the otherworldly second "sematary" is nicely done. The first two acts seemed to be fairly loyal to the source, but it's been a long time since I read that. The third act is when things deviate, and I'm not really sure why. The movie ends up being a bit more "slasher" than I recall the novel being, and almost completely loses the profound sense of remorse and loss that is the core of the novel. Still, it's a pretty good horror flick and worth a watch.
 
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whacky blacky

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October 17

39. The Dead Ones (2019). FTV. Streamed. 2/5. Students are trapped in a school by some masked killers to teach them some kind of lesson. Some cool effects in this one but not much else.
 

John Stell

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Rating - Out of a possible 4


083) 10/16/2020 The Mummy's Tomb (1942)


Lon Chaney, Jr. dons the mummy outfit for this "30 years later" sequel to The Mummy's Hand. It's basically a new high priest bringing Kharis to America so he can murder a bunch of old people. It doesn't matter that Kharis walks slow because the elderly victims can't exactly run away. This is a pretty lazy film that can't even remember Wallace Ford's character's name (it changes from Jenson to Hanson). But the atmosphere is potent and the film pretty vicious.

084) 10/17/2020 Night Monster (1942)


Neat horror mystery about mysterious murders being committed at Louisiana estate. Good cast including Bela Lugosi and Lionel Atwill as possible suspects or victims.

085) 10/17/2020 Bowery at Midnight (1942)


Bela Lugosi is master criminal who has in his employ mad scientist who keeps Lugosi's tossed-aside victims in his cellar. This seeming minor plot point figures into the unexpected finale. Lugosi seems to be having some fun here so that helps in what is mostly routine crime drama for much of its running time.
 

whacky blacky

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40. Cry Havoc (2020). FTV. Streamed. 1.5/5. Havoc still loves to chase and kill half naked women. This time he has a Charles Bronson clone (Robert Bronzi) to contend against.
Usual Rene Perez crap with the lots of gore.
 

dpippel

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OCTOBER 17:

15) Pet Sematary (1989) (iTunes 4K Streaming) 3/5 stars -
After watching the 2019 remake, of course I had to watch the original film as well. I haven't seen this movie in years, and it turns out I enjoyed the 2019 version more. Still, this is a pretty good little '80s horror, and it's always a pleasure watching Fred Gwynne. Plus, The Ramones. Also, the 4K DV stream looked fabulous!

16) Zombieland: Double Tap* (2019) (iTunes 4K Streaming) 3.5/5 stars - I had my doubts about the whole premise of revisiting this a second time, since the first film seemed to me to be pretty self-contained. I was also concerned about the 10 years that passed since the original Zombieland was released. But, it turned out to be a pretty fun ride. A little more somber and less fun than the first one, and Harrelson is moving more slowly here, but the cast did an excellent job.

17) Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1970) (Vudu HD Streaming) 4/5 stars - One of my favorite Hammer films, I watch it every year. Well done, unusual take on the vampire mythos with a great cast, including the very lovely Caroline Munro.
 
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Neil Middlemiss

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October 17: Return of the Living Dead (1985) – 4 out of 5

The carelessness of two medical supply warehouse employees releases a noxious gas from a army container in the basement. The fumes render the bumbling fools unconscious and leak out, mixing with the rain, and falling on the adjacent cemetery reanimating the dead. Things don’t go well.

Zombie horror comedy film from the mind of Dan O’Bannon, one of the writers behind the masterpiece, Alien manages to make a ridiculously entertaining film mashing up the undead with angry, aimless punks. By trading xenomorph horror for the gory goodness of the undead he delivers a bizarre, funny, and larger than life pseudo follow-up to George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (which the blundering characters in this film refer to as a movie they saw and look to for help killing the undead). What’s fun about Return of the Living Dead is the unrelenting goofiness, goriness, and outrageousness it dives headlong into. But it backs it all up with some vicious makeup effects, clever animatronic half-body zombie goodness, and the start why we think all Zombies want to do is eat brains. Trading lumbering undead with fast moving, talking, and thinking hordes. Return really goes for broke and largely succeeds. A collection of hard-to-take-seriously characters and an abundance of frantic scenes filled with lots of overwrought fear and shouting people doesn’t seem to dull the entertainment, either.

While George A. Romero did wonders for stories about the dead coming back to ‘life’, creating worlds and stories that had something serious to say, Return writer and director O’Bannon clearly just wants to have fun with situations and blood and guts. And that’s okay, too.
 

Malcolm R

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:emoji_jack_o_lantern: Malevolence 3: Killer :emoji_scream: 1/2

Martin Bristol has survived his kidnapping and psychological and physical torture at the hands of Graham Sutter, and has escaped the police after the events of the original Malevolence. Now that he's free and on his own, he's decided to head back home.

A huge step backward in almost every sense, this was a huge disappointment after the promise of the original low budget film, and the very good Bereavement. Honestly, I'm not sure why writer/director Stevan Mena felt it was necessary to make a third film, other than it's currently trendy to make every franchise a trilogy. The acting is awful, the sets are generic, the effects are basic and boring. It seems like an attempt to try and make Bristol the next Michael Myers. He wears the same type of overalls, he's "coming home," and you can stab, shoot, whack him hammers and chairs repeatedly and he just keeps on going (though it was established in the first films that Martin cannot feel physical pain).

The only notable cast is a cameo appearance by Adrienne Barbeau, who does manage to have the funniest and most memorable scene in the film, discussing the perils of smoking with an FBI agent. Barbeau must have worked practically for free, as reportedly the entire budget for this film was only $75k. (Blu-ray)

The first two acts seemed to be fairly loyal to the source, but it's been a long time since I read that. The third act is when things deviate, and I'm not really sure why.
Reportedly, the creators thought they could get a better and scarier performance by having the older daughter as the one who is killed and resurrected, rather than the toddler son as in the original novel and movie. It removed a lot of limits on what they could ask and expect a very young actor to do, and made it easier to direct the performance in the finale. They said they talked with Stephen King about it prior to filming, and he was fine with it and understood their reasoning.
 
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JohnRice

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19) Black Swan (2010) 4/5 - I swear, if it isn't one thing, It's your mother.

Seriously, there's nothing like a nice descent into madness, but rarely is it accompanied by such awesome music. Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a dancer in the New York City Ballet who is on the cusp of achieving star status in the company. Unfortunately, Nina's grasp on reality is beginning to slip. I mean, it's never a good sign when you pass yourself walking down the street. There is a LOT going on here. There's a lot of metaphor. Enough to keep the door open to multiple interpretations. I can't help but think about the ambiguous identities in Ingmar Bergman's Persona, with sex and body horror thrown it. I'm sure there are plenty of people who will state that "this" is what happened and what it all means. I'm content after three viewings over ten years to accept that there are many viable answers. In the end, it's a horrific ride, and an extremely well done one.
 

JohnRice

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Reportedly, the creators thought they could get a better and scarier performance by having the older daughter as the one who is killed and resurrected, rather than the toddler son as in the original novel and movie. It removed a lot of limits on what they could ask and expect a very young actor to do, and made it easier to direct the performance in the finale. They said they talked with Stephen King about it prior to filming, and he was fine with it and understood their reasoning.
That makes sense. It's also part of what amped up the horror in the novel, but executing it in a movie could be difficult.
 

Russell G

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Finally cracked 31 movies. Phew!

031 10/17 Blood On Satan’s Claw 3.5/5 A farmer uncovers a weird corpse in the fields which starts to affect all the kids in a small old timey village in this British horror. Has kind of a corny beginning but once it gets going it’s rather effective. The original title “Satan’s Skin” better represents how things start to manifest. So while it plays like the low budget Hammer Horror knock off it is, it’s a really good Hammer knock off which can hang out quite comfortably with other pagan Brit classics like THE WICKER MAN.

032 10/17 Before I Wake (2016) 3.5/5 This October 2020 I’ve been hitting Mike Flanagan's films and I guess we can consider his genre to be “Ghost stories as metaphor for dealing with trauma”. This one is about a family who has lost a child who adopts an orphan who has spooky powers that go from magical to troubling. The trio of leads do a great job, and the whole thing simply works. It manages to be creepy without really feeling like a corny ghost story so while Flanagan seems to be hitting this topic a bunch, he’s doing it really well.

033 10/17 Beyond Re-Animator (2006) 3/5 I’ve been avoiding this one since BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR wasn’t that great and I’ve heard this one was supposed to be worse. While it never reaches the heights of the original, I didn’t mind it. Dr. West is in prison and the new Doctor wants him to continue his work. Things get messy! There’s some goofy stuff in this, but when they go for it, they bring some decent gore and I found overall it held my interest. Call it low expectations, but it was fun.

034 10/17 The Nanny (1965) 3.5/5 Bette Davis starts as the nanny to a miserable little shit who’s returned home after being pinned for murdering his little sister. If you can get past wanting to throttle that kid, this one ended up being a really good thriller. While Bette doesn’t get much to do, she does a great job playing things straight and the film does a good job making you wonder who to trust. It ends up being a little low-key gem after the wilder hijinks of Davis’s films of this era.
 
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Jeff Flugel

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12. Theater of Blood (1973) ***



Vincent Price has a field day as a Shakespearean actor who enacts gruesome revenge on a group of critics who denied him a prestigious acting award, killing them in similar methods to those found in Shakespeare's plays. The supporting cast in this blackly comic romp is a deep bench of British character acting royalty, including Ian Hendry, Jack Hawkins, Harry Andrews, Michael Hordern, Robert Coote, Robert Morley, Dennis Price, Coral Browne, Diana Dors, Joan Hickson, Arthur Lowe, Miles O'Shea, Eric Sykes and Madeline Smith. The late Diana Rigg plays Price's loyal daughter. The murders are pretty damn nasty for the time period; the main thought I come away with every time I watch this one is just how violent Shakespeare's work is.

13. Whispering Ghosts (1942) **



False advertising here, as there are no ghosts to speak of, just a frenetically comic "old dark house" (or more correctly, "old dark ship") mystery. In what seems to clearly be a knockoff of The Ghost Breakers, Milton Berle plays a radio show host who investigates unsolved murders, and Willie Best is his reluctant valet who tags along to find out who killed an eccentric ship's captain. Blonde cutie Brenda Joyce (best known for playing Jane in several late-period Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films) is the heiress who is convinced that the late captain hid a treasure of diamonds somewhere on board. The plot is murky at best and the movie ends up being just a passable time waster, but the chemistry between Berle and Best is pretty good and the fog-bound ship set is a neat location. Also with John Carradine and Milton Parsons.
 

sleroi

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10/17

18. Shaun of the Dead (2004) - ****

A fun take on the zombie film. I hadnt seen it since the days of dvd but i bought the edgar wright triple feature 4k on prime day this week.

I remembered it being really funny, wich it still is. Especially the dart gag. But I had forgotten how serious it gets towards the end. Simon Pegg is pretty amazing here.

19. Suspiria (1977) - ***

I streamed this for last years challenge and enjoyed it so much I bought the 4k disc to watch this year.

Weirdly the film didnt quite hold up for me after only a year. The first kill is brutal, surreal and oddly beautiful. And the ending, travelling through the coven is still thrilling. But there is a lot of filler in between.

The 4k is nothing short of stunning however. Not only the colors, obviously, but there were so many small rich details that really stood out. Like a brief, small shadow in the forest that looks like the grim reaper, a wisp of windy rain outside a far away door deep in frame, or the shiny jewelry and bedazzled scarves that sparkle off the screen. Style over substance for sure, but what style!

The 4k says its from the uncensored italian camera negative. There isnt a blu ray included to compare, so im going off memory, but it did feel a little more violent. Its probably only a few seconds here or there but it does feel different. And also during the italian opening credits there is an odd unnecessary narration stating that Jessica Harpers arrival at the airport.
 

Jeff Flugel

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And also during the italian opening credits there is an odd unnecessary narration stating that Jessica Harpers arrival at the airport.
That odd little piece of narration has been in all the versions of Suspiria I've seen, Gavin. I have the Japanese Blu-Ray of this flick...it's a fun - if, typical for Argento, mean-spirited - movie with a very creepy soundtrack by Goblin. I do find this one plays better when watched every 4-5 years rather than annually, at least for me.
 
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whacky blacky

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October 18

41. Death Of A Vlogger (2019). FTV. Streamed. 2/5. A Youtuber has people convinced his place is haunted then he is found to be a fraud. His place gets haunted again and the cycle continues. Just a found footage flick you'll want to overlook.
 
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