Halloween Movie Madness: Days 16-17

Over the weekend we watched Scare Me and The Babysitter: Killer Queen.

Scare Me is directed by Josh Ruben (Adam Ruins Everything). Similar to the “W&DB” we sometimes get the “Directed and Starring” That's the case with with movie, as Josh Ruben is the main star. We also have Aya Cash (The Boys), Chris Redd (Joker), and Rebecca Drysdale. That's basically the whole movie. A would-be writer tucks himself into a secluded cabin in order to write a horror novel. While there, he meets another writer who has written the greatest horror novel of all time. The power goes out, and she invades his cabin looking for power. She suggests they pass the time with telling scary stories. The premise is decent, but I honestly disliked almost every character in the movie. The certain plot points and the ending didn't make sense to me. Maybe you'll like it.

In October 2017, we watched the first movie, The Babysitter. When we saw there was a sequel, we had to watch it. It's directed by McG, who also directed the first movie, and stars Judah Lewis (The Babysitter), Emily Alyn Lind (Doctor Sleep), and Jenna Ortega (Insidious: Chapter 2) along with the cult from the last movie. It's two years later, and everyone thinks our main character is nuts because he's telling the truth about what happened. The problem is, no one believe him. Even his friend who was there is staying quiet. A new student arrives, and things start to get freaky. It's a decent sequel, and it feels similar in tone since it has all the same staff. It can't match the magic of the first one since the cat is already out of the bag, but it's still fun to revisit this story.

Halloween Movie Madness: Day 15

Tonight we watched a recommendation from Heidi, Blood Feast. Directed by Herschel Gordon Lewis, it stars Thomas Wood, Connie Mason, and Mal Arnold. A serial killer is attacking young women and taking their parts. Could the caterer be the culprit? It's an exploitation film filled with simulated gore and some seriously bad acting. I'm pretty sure I saw one of the cops reading his lines off his hand. If you like B-movie horror, this might be for you.

Halloween Movie Madness: Day 14

Tonight we watched the original Fright Night from 1985. I've seen it before, but Gregg hadn't. I wanted to see it again before watching the new one. Directed by Tom Holland (Thinner), it stars Chris Sarandon (The Nightmare Before Christmas), William Ragsdale (Herman's Head), Amanda Bearse (Married With Children), Roddy McDowall (The Legend of Hell House), Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark (House II: The Second Story), and Dorothy Fielding. Charlie is convinced that a vampire has moved in next door. No one believes him, but he's actually right. The vamp taunts him and attacks his friends and family. It's super 80s, and it's way longer than it needs to be. However, it's great to see Chris having so much fun.

Halloween Movie Madness: Day 13

Tonight we watched Carriers. Directed by Alex Pastor and David Pastor, we get a double W&DB two brothers from Spain. It stars Lou Taylor Pucci, Chris Pine (Wonder Woman), Piper Perabo (Looper), and Emily VanCamp (Captain America: Civil War). This one hit a little too close to home for me. The world is devastated by an air born illness that's incredibly contagious. People are forced to wear masks and avoid others to keep safe. However, most of the world is wiped out. So keeping their rules in mind, four 20 somethings go along the roads together steal cars and supplies. We see how each of them interact, and we get a good picture of who they are. You have our typical post-apocalyptic tropes, but I give them credit that there are no zombies. The problem I had was I couldn't find any likable characters. People were jerks, and there were almost no people to even annoy at this point. It was hard to get invested.

Halloween Movie Madness: Day 12

Tonight we watched Final Girl. Directed by Tyler Shields, it stars Abigail Breslin (Zombieland), Alexander Ludwig (The Final Girls), and Wes Bentley (Dolan's Cadillac). A girl is raised by a stranger to become an assassin. While that happens, a group of older teenager boys are hunting and killing girls while where tuxedos. I was hoping it would be more along the lines of The Final Girls, but the acting and story leave much to be desired. The story isn't cohesive. The acting is strange in that some is decent and some is rather stilted.

Halloween Movie Madness: Day 11

Tonight we watched the Stephen King classic, Gerald's Game. Directed by Mike Flanagan (Absentia), it stars Carla Gugino (Watchmen) and Bruce Greenwood (I, Robot) with a special appearance by one of my favorite modern movie monsters, Carel Struycken (The Addams Family). A husband and wife go to their secluded beach home to have an adventurous time. However, the husband has heart attack and dies, leaving his wife handcuffed to the bed. She's haunted by her own thoughts, a hungry dog, and the Moonlight Man. This was a book I really enjoyed, and I was curious how it would translate into a movie. While there were some changes, I don't feel like it impacted the story too much. Although, I would have liked to see three women talking to Jessie instead of Gerald. There are some possible triggers in that there is a history of sexual abuse. A good movie, but read the book first.

Halloween Movie Madness: Day 10

We watched two movies today: Muppets Haunted Mansion and Haunt.

Gregg really wanted to watch the Muppets Haunted Mansion. I admit, I do love the Muppets, even if I like the older ones better than these modern ones. However, I love Gonzo, and Gregg loves Pepe. So, it was a shoo-in to watch this year. Directed by Kirk R. Thatcher, it stars the human actor Will Arnet (The LEGO Barman Movie) as the Host. David Goelz returns as the voice of Gonzo, while Pepe is voiced by Bill Barretta. All the other actors are the new voices. Not a Frank Oz in sight, which made me sad, but I guess he is in his late 70s now. Having only been in the actual Haunted Mansion once, I probably didn't get all the references. Even still, it was a fun romp around a spooky house. It's short, clocking in at just an hour, and it has some new musical numbers to enjoy. I'm sure Gregg's favorite cameo was Darren Criss.

In order to keep on the schedule for the Horror Virgin podcast, we also watched Haunt (2019). Directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (writers on A Quiet Place), and it stars Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauryn Alisa McClain, Caleb Hunt, Andrew Caldwell, Shazi Raja, Justin Marxen, Damian Maffei, and Justin Rose. A group of college students wind up an an extreme haunted house on Halloween Night. It's like a mixture between Saw and Escape Room, without the victim pre-selection. I give credit to the set, costume design, and make-up effects. The set looks like something you would expect a pop-up or minimalist haunt to prepare. The costumes are also thoughtfully brought to life and are mirrored through the make-up effects. I have to give Beck and Woods credit. They did the “W&DB,” and they did it well. It's a great flick for this time of year.

(Technically we're one movie ahead now.)

Halloween Movie Madness: Day 9

The Wailing is a movie that's been on my list for years. Directed by Na Hong-jin, it's a Korean thriller that keeps spinning you into different directions up until the very last minute. It stars Kwak Do-Won, Jung-min Hwang, Woo-hee Chun, Jun Kunimura (The Audition), Han-cheol Jo, Jang So-yeon, and Seong-yeon Park. We follow a police officer as he's called to various tragedies in his small village. They seem unrelated until the rumors start implicating a Japanese man who lives outside of town in the forest. Could he be killing people or making them sick or possessing them? All this and more! Maybe. It could be a demon. Maybe he's innocent. The movie takes its time to develop the characters. You know who these people are and how they relate to one another. We might find some of them taxing, but they are always real. When terrible things befall them, we feel sorry for them. However, until you get to the very end of the movie, you don't know who is really good and truly evil. While I called some of the plot early, there were still subtleties that I missed. It is definitely worth a watch.

Halloween Movie Madness: Day 8

We strode into the weekend with Killer Sofa on the docket. I thought this might be a fun black comedy. It was more like a B-movie than an actually funny one, but we also have the curse of the “written and directed by,” in this case, Bernie Rao. He's done a fare number of short films. I don't knock that. I have loved some great short films. But this one had some stilted performances. It stars Piimio Mei and Nathalie Morris with a cast of cops, friends, lovers, and parents. A young woman buys a recliner, but she doesn't know it's possessed. The cops bet involved when one of her old lovers ends up in pieces. We learn what's happened and who is involved, along with some gross horror. It's mentioned in the same breathe as Rubber and Velocipastor, and I wonder if giving them better production values would make for a better movie. Maybe the part of being a weird movie is that it's low budget.

Halloween Movie Madness: Day 7

Tonight we watched Monsters. It's directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and stars Scoot McNairy (Gone Girl) and Whitney Able. I wasn't sure what to expect for this giant monsters flick. I guess I wanted more monster and less people. That's hard for this movie since there aren't many people. But it's tough to get invested because the two main characters are so unlikable. They never react or behave like real people would. It was rather distracting. The special effects and creature design were good. Think giant octopuses that walk on land.