Before wrapping up the month of October I wanted to share, as promised, my Top 30 Horror Movies of All-Time – so that’s why this one comes a little later than usual. Last month was filled with the stuff of nightmares, and I LOVED it. I watched some pretty awesome movies and tv shows, and of course, October marked my return to blogging.
Viewings went well except for two films: first, Kong: Skull Island, which didn’t really disappoint as expectations were low anyway; and I’M SORRY but, Baby Driver. I know many of you loved this movie, and it’s not like I didn’t like it, but… I didn’t like it. Nice visuals, cool style? Sure. Great tracks? I guess, if you like them. And that about sums it up for me. With some cheese on top.
+ The Movies I Rewatched
So with that settled, let’s move on to the good stuff. I rewatched X-Men: First Class (2011) in preparation for our podcast episode on the best Marvel movies, as well as No Country For Old Men (2007), Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and Requiem for a Dream (2000) for our Non-Horror Scary Movies episode. The first one brought back memories of fassavoy, while the other three are pretty close to perfection. I also rewatched Blade Runner (1982), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and The Shining (1980) on Halloween night – all longtime favourites.
Best New-to-Me Movies of October
#04 The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)
#03 Thirst (2009)
A south korean vampire tale directed by Park Chan-wook, with humour as dark as the blood it spills. In Thirst, a priest turns into a vampire, curing himself of a terrible disease he volunteered to help eradicate, only to be consumed by bloodthirst and lust. The film is gorgeous with its nightly blue hues, and just quirky enough to set itself apart.
#02 The Haunting (1963)
More often than not, classic horror movies are not scary for modern audiences. And while The Haunting probably won’t keep you up at night, it does boast the kind of immersive horror that can be genuinely unsettling to sit through. It’s a haunted house tale, based on the acclaimed novel by Shirley Jackson, starring Julie Harris as a young woman who joins an experiment, where she is to spend a few nights with a group of fellow volunteers, at Hill House.
Shot at odd angles, the house itself is literally crooked, its decoration filled with ornamented furniture, heavy curtains, statues, chandeliers, silverware and many, many mirrors – that disorient both characters and viewers. We never see the source of terror – ghost, demon, whatever it may be: we hear it banging at the walls, flickering the lights, turning the air cold, feel it holding our hand in the dark…! It’s really very well done. I don’t know if this is the original haunted house movie, but it certainly set the stage for my favourite horror subgenre.
#01 Possession (1981)
It’s been weeks but I still find myself thinking about Andrzej Zulawski 80s horror masterpiece, Possession. So much so that I actually talked about it in our latest podcast episode, choosing it for my Interesting Movie of The Fortnight. It follows the end of a relationship, and the wife (Isabelle Adjani), suspected of having a lover, starts acting weird. Soon, the husband (Sam Neill), overtaken with jealousy and despair at the end of their marriage, starts acting just as strangely.
It’s hard to describe it. Heavy breathing, crazy eyes, shouting – almost like a state of fight or flight. The acting and the movie itself seem to get caught up in this caged animal frequency, making Possession a very uncomfortable, even unpleasant watch. It’s intense, it’s attacking you, and up until the end, it doesn’t make much sense. I mean, the “explanation” is weird AF but at least you get to see something (you’ll likely never forget). For all of this, I can’t say I recommend it unless you liked what I wrote, but if you did, you’ll probably love it.
+ The TV Shows Seen in October
October was pretty awesome for tv shows, especially for horror fans. (I swear, this is the last time you’ll read me gushing over horror anything for a while!) I saw David Fincher’s Mindhunter which is such a treat for true crime lovers. As I’ve mentioned before, I kept up with The Exorcist (still on air), and of course, the second season of Stranger Things, which was amazing. On a lighter note, there was the Will & Grace reboot, still on air, and for which I’m so thankful! This is a revival done right, guys. If you were a fan of the original series, you need to watch it.
+ What to Expect This Month – Noirvember!
Obviously, the biggest thing happening this month is Noirvember – the web event created by Marya of Cinema Fanatic where we get to celebrate film noir for a whole month! I’ve already seen Leave Her to Heaven (1945) and Gaslight (1944), and tonight I’m watching Out of the Past (1947). I hope to get a few reviews up, but you can keep up with all my watchings on Instagram or Twitter. This is my official Noirvember watchlist for 2017 – all new to me noir classics!