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

Michael Elliott

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Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever (2012) ***

Yet another documentary taking a look at the slasher craze of the 1980s. I love watching anyone talk about horror movies so overall I had a good time with this film but there's really nothing new or original discussed here. Corey Feldman is among the people interviewed.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) ***

This was my second time seeing this on the big screen and it looks perfect there. It's easy to forget that at one point Freddy was just a dark, evil and sadistic bastard and wasn't a comedian. Great direction, great cast and some very effective sound effects.

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) ***

This Hammer adaptation of the Bram Stoker story is certainly much better than the Charlton Heston version that would come in 1980. There's no actual mummy here but what we do get is a rather good story as well as some rather gory throat cuts. I'm not sure if it was in the novel or what but there's a major fixation of throats being ripped out here.

Halloween (2007) * 1/2

I'm not sure what it is but every couple years I just have the desire to watch this film, which I hate. The opening sequence with the white trash family are horrid. The attempts to explain Michael eventually runs out of steam. The actual remake part is just a greatest hits package of scenes that worked in the original. This is a really, really bad movie at times yet there are some things that work including the final chase scene, although everything after the pool in the Director's Cut is bad. The rape scene? What the hell was Zombie thinking?

Ghost Ship (2002) **

A ship salvage crew come across a cruise ship that has been missing for 40 years. They shouldn't have boarded the ship. I had heard that the opening sequence of this was terrific and it certainly was. In fact, it was almost great enough to recommend the film. However, everything that follows was pretty bland and boring and it seems the director forgot he was making a horror film. Sadly a good cast was wasted.
 

TravisR

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Halloween (2007) * 1/2

I'm not sure what it is but every couple years I just have the desire to watch this film, which I hate. The opening sequence with the white trash family are horrid. The attempts to explain Michael eventually runs out of steam. The actual remake part is just a greatest hits package of scenes that worked in the original. This is a really, really bad movie at times yet there are some things that work including the final chase scene, although everything after the pool in the Director's Cut is bad. The rape scene? What the hell was Zombie thinking?
Yeah, I watched this again for the first time in a couple of years and disliked it more than I ever had before. I still think the opening is the better half of the movie (even though it's all white trash stereotypes) but that's because I never really cared for the second half of the movie. The dialogue sounds like it was written by a teenager and like you said, when they really remake the first movie with the Halloween night murders, it's just a greatest hits package that was better in the original. Negatives aside, I really do like the cast (I care that the kids are being killed because they're pleasant enough people), the music is an OK mix of 70's rock songs (half of the music I like and half I hate) but it all works in the movie and Tyler Mane as Michael is so gigantic that he's always menacing on camera especially against girls who are probably 5 foot 4 inches and frequently & needlessly nude.

I also rewatched Zombie's Halloween II (which I never liked) but there's some stuff that still works for me in that movie. Like the first movie, the main cast is enjoyable and when
Annie
is killed, I think that is pretty effective in showing how shocked and terrified she is and I like how it goes mostly silent and plays out in slow motion.
 
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Russell G

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Yesterdays viewing:

080 10/27 One Missed Call: Final (2006) 3.5/5 It’s crazy to say since Takashi Miike directed the first one, but this might be the best film in the trilogy. A group a students on a school trip to South Korea start getting the missed calls after a girl they bullied commits suicide. It’s pretty basic and simple plot wise, but after the nonsense in the second film it only helps to make this one more effective. Not the greatest J-Horror I’ve seen, but not bad either.

081 10/28 Gomu (2005) 2.5/5 Short film meant to tie into One Missed Call 2. It’s mostly silly and not much of a bother.

082 10/28 The Love Story (2006) 2.5/5 Short film that is a prequel of sorts to ONE MISSED CALL: FINAL. This one shows the love story of characters Emi and Jinu and is the kind of corny stuff that ends up being kind of irresistible.

083 10/28 Annabelle (2014) 3.5/5 This one fleshes out the story of the possessed doll that was mentioned in THE CONJURING. Young newlyweds get home invaded by a Manson copycat cult and one of them possesses this stupid doll. My big problem with this one is that fucking doll is horrific prior to any shenanigans', I can’t imagine anyone letting it into the house. Once you get past that, this one does a pretty good job and they do the right thing by not having that doll run around like a Chucky film. It makes for a pretty good, atmospheric film. I think the first Conjuring is better, but out of the 3 franchise films I’ve watched, none of them have been bad.

084 10/28 The Monster Squad (1987) 3.5/5 I was the prime age to love this film when it came out as I was age 13, but THE GOONIES put me off wanting to ever see any film with a bunch of kids running around in it and I was already into slashers so this one was a hard pass. Finally watching this, I was right that those kids would be annoying, but it’s also a lot of fun. It really does play like a big budget Spielberg film, only with monsters and a bunch of one liners that wouldn’t fly today. I didn’t love it, but I liked it.

085 10/28 Gerald's Game (2017) 3.5/5 A married couple get into some sex games at the cabin only for hubby to croak while the wife is handcuffed to the bed. I remember the book being quite good, and thinking that you couldn’t really make a movie out of this. Ends up you can, and while it may not be perfect, that it’s good at all is kind of a home run. Flanagan does a great job adding some visual panache to this one, and also does a good job of marrying the exploration of childhood trauma to the very real trauma of her predicament. Add in some good performances and this one can be considered a good Stephen King adaptation.

086 10/28 Coma (1978) 3.5/5 Tight thriller in which a doctor starts to wonder about all the coma patients in her hospital after her best friend succumbs to one during a routine surgery. This is one that’s been on my radar for years but left unwatched since friends called it boring. I quite liked it, the story is interesting with some pretty great twists and it’s a murderers row of actors, where people like Ed Harris and Tom Selleck show up for bits. If there are any complaints it would be that it plays like a ‘70s TV movie, but one of the best TV movies so it’s not really a complaint.

087 10/28 Random Acts of Violence (2019) 3/5 A comic book writer stuck on the ending of his series about a real life serial killer goes on a roundtrip only to discover that the killer is inspired by the comic book! This one is a bit of a mixed bag. They go hard with the road movie killer bit, which is great but the overall themes they are going for are a bit of a miss and frankly, I didn’t really care for any of the main characters. So it delivers the grisly slasher stuff you want it to but felt flat all the same.
 

Malcolm R

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Hopefully it's not like Ouija where the third film shits the bed lol.
Other than including "Ouija" in the title, I don't think that third film you watched had any connection to the franchise with the other two. I'm not aware of any sequels in that franchise beyond 2016's Ouija: Origin of Evil.

I did watch the 3rd Annabelle at some point, but don't recall much about it. If I were to try and remember, I think I liked it better than the first, but not as much as the second. The Warrens played a larger role in the third film, so it did seem almost more like a Conjuring film than a spin-off.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) ***
I haven't watched this one in a while, but caught a bit on cable last night. I'd forgotten how bad the acting was by many of the players. Fortunately the story is engaging enough to overcome most of that.
 
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Michael Elliott

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The cast and characters are certainly much better than some of the performances. The last time I watched it on the big screen some of the performances really stuck out as being REALLY bad. This time around they didn't bother me as much but it's certainly a reminder that this was a low-budget and minor film.
 
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Michael Elliott

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Yeah, I watched this again for the first time in a couple of years and disliked it more than I ever had before. I still think the opening is the better half of the movie (even though it's all white trash stereotypes) but that's because I never really cared for the second half of the movie. The dialogue sounds like it was written by a teenager and like you said, when they really remake the first movie with the Halloween night murders, it's just a greatest hits package that was better in the original. Negatives aside, I really do like the cast (I care that the kids are being killed because they're pleasant enough people), the music is an OK mix of 70's rock songs (half of the music I like and half I hate) but it all works in the movie and Tyler Mane as Michael is so gigantic that he's always menacing on camera especially against girls who are probably 5 foot 4 inches and frequently & needlessly nude.

I also rewatched Zombie's Halloween II (which I never liked) but there's some stuff that still works for me in that movie. Like the first movie, the main cast is enjoyable and when
Annie
is killed, I think that is pretty effective in showing how shocked and terrified she is and I like how it goes mostly silent and plays out in slow motion.
SPOILERS.....

I think my problem with the white trash thing is that every character is pretty much one and there's really not a single character to like. The "I'm going to skull fuck you to death" is just stupid and I'm sure Zombie meant for it to be dramatic but it's not. The problem is that every single character talks and acts this way including Laurie. Her first scene has her fingering a bagel????

I wish I had watched the Theatrical cut but I noticed the Scream boxset doesn't include it. The rape scene is just awful. The ending was quite intense except for the stuff that happens after the pool. I think the original ending was better. Tyler Mane is certainly menacing because of his size but like you said, you've basically got a giant attacking 90 lbs girls. Another problem is that the first half shows him to be human so all of the talk about the boogeyman in the second half just doesn't work and comes across rather silly.

I actually agree with you on that scene from part 2. On the whole I think it's the worst film in the series but at the same time that scene is just rather heartbreaking because of the look in Harris' eyes as she knows what's about to happen. There are minor touches like this one in pretty much all of Zombie's pictures but it always falls back on the writing to me. I'd really love to see him direct someone else's screenplay.
 

John Stell

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Bold - Denotes first ever viewing

Rating - Out of a possible 4


153) 10/29/2020 Fear No Evil (1969)
1/2

Excellent TV horror about psychiatrist who investigates bizarre claim of woman whose fiance was killed in car accident. It turns out he was taken over by demon just before he died and that demon now resides in mirror, intending to "marry" the woman on her original wedding day. Louis Jourdan is excellent as the doctor and the film delivers the chills. Great supporting cast.

154) 10/29/2020 Ritual of Evil (1970)


Sequel has Jourdan this time investigating socialite's suicide, human sacrifice, and an attractive photographer who claims to be a witch. Good follow-up holds interest, although the finale is a tad disappointing.

155) 10/29/2020 It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! (1966)


All time classic with surreal animation and just plain bizarre plot points (people give out rocks?). Great score too.

156) 10/29/2020 Garfield's Halloween Adventure (1985)


Garfield and Odie go trick or treating in this entertaining special. They get lost and find house where ghost pirates are supposed to visit at the stroke of midnight. Some good laughs.

157) 10/29/2020 Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special (1977)


Above average Looney Tunes special that links classic scary cartoons with new animation. It's always better to watch the original toons but this "greatest hits" approach works rather well here.

158) 10/29/2020 Hair-Raising Hare (1946)


Classic Warner Bros. toon has Bugs lured to castle of evil scientist who wants to feed the rabbit to his monster. Endlessly quotable and hilarious. "Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven, 'cause it hasn't."

159) 10/29/2020 Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991)
1/2

Mad scientist Wilshire Pig and his reluctant assistant Sheldon Snail find map which will lead them to where Doctor Frankenswine's monster is hidden. But first they have to navigate the monster party they find taking place at the castle. Creatively designed with some good ideas. But it's not as amusing as it thinks it is.
 

Malcolm R

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1604004554659.png


Sinister :emoji_scream::emoji_scream::emoji_scream:

A writer of true-crime books, Ellison Oswalt, has moved his family into a house where horrifying murders occurred (always a good idea) in order to research the crimes and write a new book. While in the attic, he discovers a box of Super 8 films depicting more gruesome murders, including those of the family that previously lived in this house. Odd symbols at the crime scenes are said to be the sign of a pagan deity who is said to be an "eater of children" according to a occult expert consulted by Oswalt.

A super creepy story with an original premise that can still make me jump even after multiple watches. The old films of the past murders are spine tingling, at least on the first watch, as you know something awful is about to happen but not exactly what. My only minor complaint is that the film is a bit slow moving at times and probably longer than it needs to be (approaching 2 hours).
 
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John Stell

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Rating - Out of a possible 4


160) 10/29/2020 Killdozer (1974)
1/2

A construction crew working on island run afoul alien force when it takes over D9 bulldozer. The title is silly if accurate. But this made for TV horror is pretty good because a solid cast plays things straight. There's lots of destruction and action, including a crane vs. bulldozer battle. Kino's Blu Ray is beautiful. I hope their made for TV horror releases do well enough to keep 'em coming.
 
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Malcolm R

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Blumhouse just announced Insidious 5, to be directed by star Patrick Wilson. Returning cast will include Wilson and Ty Simpkins as Dalton Lambert, who is now heading off to college.

https://ew.com/movies/insidious-5-patrick-wilson-directing/

The article says it picks up the story of the Lambert family 10 years after the "last installment". Technically, I think they mean 10 years after Insidious 2, as the last two sequels have not really involved the Lamberts, but have centered on Elise (Lin Shaye).

Great timing as I was just watching bits of Insidious (4): The Last Key on cable last night.
 

TravisR

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SPOILERS.....

I think my problem with the white trash thing is that every character is pretty much one and there's really not a single character to like. The "I'm going to skull fuck you to death" is just stupid and I'm sure Zombie meant for it to be dramatic but it's not. The problem is that every single character talks and acts this way including Laurie. Her first scene has her fingering a bagel????
I'm not going to really defend bagel banging but it plays as more real to me than the original movie's Laurie who seems like a fully formed adult rather than a teenager. The girls in this movie are kids and seem like people I knew at that age. Plus, excellent supporting actors like William Forsythe, Danny Trejo, Clint Howard, Sid Haig, Udo Kier and the great Brad Dourif are always welcome.


I wish I had watched the Theatrical cut but I noticed the Scream boxset doesn't include it. The rape scene is just awful.
Yeah and beyond being in bad taste, it's just trying too hard to be hardcore rather than being hardcore. I wondered about the lack of the theatrical cut in the Scream box set too. My guess is that either Zombie only wants the director's cut available or Scream just decided to not spend any time or resources on the RZ movies since they were already well covered (that great 4 hour documentary) and the fans are more focused on the original series movies.


I actually agree with you on that scene from part 2. On the whole I think it's the worst film in the series but at the same time that scene is just rather heartbreaking because of the look in Harris' eyes as she knows what's about to happen. There are minor touches like this one in pretty much all of Zombie's pictures but it always falls back on the writing to me. I'd really love to see him direct someone else's screenplay.
Maybe it's because I'm more attached to the original series but I think Halloween 5 and Resurrection are much worse than the RZ Halloween II. I can find a few things I like about HII but I'm hard pressed to name anything I like about 5 and Resurrection.

Rob Zombie is one of the most frustrating directors working today in my opinion. There's alway something really good in all of his movies and I want to love them but they usually never come together for me. The Devil's Rejects is one of my favorite movies of that decade and The Lords of Salem is a movie that seemed like it could have been great but fell short.
 
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John Stell

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Rating - Out of a possible 4


161) 10/29/2020 The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (1979)


Cute live-action family special. The Witch (Mariette Hartley) wants to quit her job, jeopardizing Halloween in Transylvania since the holiday can't begin until the witch rides past the moon. Dracula (Judd Hirsch) steps in to save the day. Hirsch and Hartley seem to be having a good time and mood is jovial. Favorite gag: the teeny tiny bat sequence.

162) 10/29/2020 Witch's Night Out (1978)
1/2

Rather odd tale of witch who learns there's going to be an adult Halloween party at her "haunted" house. She has fun terrorizing the guests, while granting some kids their wish to be something scary on Halloween. There's humor for both kids and adults in this. But the animation is rather off-putting and characterizations are mostly nothing special. Gilda Radner voices the witch.
 

Jeff Flugel

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24. An American Werewolf in London (1981) ***1/2



Been years since I've seen this one, and boy, does it hold up. Director John Landis does a skillful job keeping the tonal balance exactly right, never letting the occasional comic moments undercut the horror, which, when it comes, is full on. David Naughton makes a very likeable, real, and tragic central character, Jenny Agutter is sexiness personified as his sympathetic nurse/lover, and Rick Baker's groundbreaking transformation effects still really work. John Woodvine, who had spent several years in the '70s playing a hard-nosed inspector on the TV series New Scotland Yard, shines here as the doctor who goes the extra mile to find out what's really going on with his patient. The chaotic finale on the streets around Picadilly Circus is something else. Pretty much everything just works with this one, putting it right up at the head of the pack when it comes to werewolf movies.

 
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whacky blacky

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October 29

65. The Beast And The Magic Sword (1983). FTV. Watched on Bluray. 3/5. Paul Naschy is off to Japan to find a cure for his werewolfness. This one has everything in it even the werewolf wrestling a tiger just before he gets chained up and whipped. No dull moments here.
 

dpippel

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OCTOBER 29:

34) Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) (Blu-ray Disc) 5/5 stars -
A practically perfect film IMO. All of the elements click, the actors are great (even Pat Boone!), and the Twilight Time Blu-ray looks stupendously good. A very fond memory from my childhood.

35) Pacific Rim (2013) (4K UHD Disc) 4/5 stars - Guillermo del Toro knows how to make a giant monsters vs. giant robots movie! It's absolutely ludicrous and completely over the top, but there's so much eye candy and fun in this film that I can overlook the problems. Looks great in 4K.

36) Lovecraft Country - S1.E4 - A History of Violence* (2020) (HBO HD Streaming) 3.5/5 stars - This episode wasn't quite as engaging as the previous three, but it was still good. Episode 5 promises to be, uh, interesting, based on what happened here.
 
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Neil Middlemiss

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October 29: You’re Next (2011) – 3.5 out of 5 – First Time Viewing

A large family gathers at the vacation home but find that sibling squabbles are the least of their problems when animal-masked menaces begin a murderous home invasion.

I don’t care for home invasion movies. I also don’t care for movies that seem to delight in the wanton infliction of pain, but despite all that, I rolled the dice on You’re Next largely based on the good reviews. I’m glad I did. The first portion of the film seems like the stalking and killing of a large family in their home is all the film wanted to offer, but slowly and surely it begins to build intriguingly on that basic idea and become something far more interesting.

Despite the ensemble cast, the movie belongs to Sharni Vinson, who plays Erin, girlfriend to one of the sons of the family. Vinson, as the home invaders find out, is quite the survivalist expert and manages to handle the situation far better than anyone else in the house. There’s a humorous tone at times to some of the scenes, but they are fleeting winks as the film is more interested in tension and horror than giving us chuckles.

I am surprised by how much this film eventually worked for me. I can’t see myself revisiting it a lot, but I know that I will revisit it in a few years at least.
 

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