Friday, November 2, 2018

2018 SCARE-A-THON FINAL RESULTS!!!



And that, friends and fiends, brings us to the end of yet another OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE and Scare-A-Thon 2018!

As always, the Challenge itself is to watch (at least) 31 fright flicks over the course of those glorious 31 days that make up the month of October, 16 of which must be first time views. I am happy to report that we have accomplished that lofty goal and that along the way, thanks to the generous hearts and minds of fans like you, over $2000 has been raised for Resilience (formerly Rape Victim Advocates) with additional funds still coming in. (The Scare-A-Thon 2018 fundraising site will remain open for another week, so if you are so inclined…)

https://resilience.salsalabs.org/supportresilience/p/scareathon/index.html

My thanks to everyone who participated in some way, whether it be reading the reviews, making a contribution, watching alongside, or just stopping by to chat here or on Facebook. It makes the long nights go by so much easier knowing that one’s efforts are noticed and appreciated. Hope you have found a few new suggestions for future movie nights along the way.

Below are the 31 “official” features viewed (with links to the full-length reviews), as well as 14 additional titles receiving the capsule treatment. (Only so many hours in the day!) Beyond that, there are a bevy of additional factoids you might get a kick out of… or at least feel better about your own OCD tendencies.

Enjoy!

Challenge Stats:
Total Movies Watched: 45 films
First Time Views: 17
Scare-A-Thon Pledges/Donations Total: $2,213.68

Bonus Stats:
Total Time: 3872 min
Average Length: 86 min
Longest Movies: mother! (122 min), The Killing of a Sacred Deer (121 min)
Shortest Movies: The Lodger (68 min), Curse of the Cat People (70 min), The Old Dark House (72 min)
Oldest Movie: The Lodger (1927)
Newest Movie: Halloween (2018)

Movies Watched Solo: 28
Commentary Tracks: 12

Sources:
Blu-ray/DVD review screeners: 16
Cinema: 10
Public Library: 7
Personal Library: 7
Streaming Services: 2
Borrowed from Friends: 2
Redbox: 1

Favorite Discoveries:
mother!, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Blood Beat

Favorite Revisits:
Ginger Snaps 2, Raw, [Rec], [Rec]2, The Old Dark House, Goke: Body Snatcher from Hell, Wicked Wicked, Bell from Hell, The VVitch, The Changeling, Creature from the Black Lagoon

Sequels: 13
(Ernest Scared Stupid, [Rec]2, [Rec]4, Howling IV, Grave Encounters 2, Survival of the Dead, Curse of the Cat People, Ginger Snaps 2, Sleepaway Camp II, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Revenge of the Creature, Creature Walks Among Us, Halloween)

Remakes: 2
(The Grudge, House on Haunted Hill)

Anthologies: 3
(Ghost Stories, Trick ‘r Treat, Tales from the Hood)

Based on Videogames: 2
(Rampage, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter)

Most Viewed Directors:
Jaume Balaguero (3), Paco Plaza (3), Jack Arnold (2)

Countries Represented: 10
(USA, UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Spain, Brazil, New Zealand)

SUBGENRES:
Psycho Killers 8
Ghosts/Hauntings 8
Religious Horror (Satan/possession/demons) 3
Science Gone Awry 2
Monsters 5
Animals Attack 0
Psychic Powers 1
Vampires 2
Killer Kids 1
Zombies 7
Enemies from Space 1
Cannibals 1
Werewolves 2
Scary Clowns 1




THE "OFFICIAL" CHALLENGE FILMS (with links to full-length reviews):

1. RAW

2. RAMPAGE

3. ERNEST SCARED STUPID

4. MOTHER!

5. SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD

6. THE HOWLING IV: THE ORIGINAL NIGHTMARE

7. GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2

8. [REC]

9. THE OLD DARK HOUSE

10. THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE

11. CLUB DREAD

12. THE BRIDE

13. GOKE: BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL

14. THE MAFU CAGE

15. THE CHILDREN

16. GHOST STORIES

17. CHILD EATER

18. AS ABOVE, SO BELOW

19. NEITHER THE SEA NOR THE SAND

20. RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER

21. TRICK 'R TREAT

22. STIGMA

23. BLOOD BEAT

24. CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON

25. [REC] 4: APOCALYPSE

26. THE DEVIL LIVES HERE

27. BELL FROM HELL

28. MANDY

29. THE CHANGELING

30. TALES FROM THE HOOD

31. HALLOWEEN (2018)




AND THE REST! (capsule reviews)


[Rec] 2 (2009) d. Balaguero, Jaume / Plaza, Paco (Spain) (2nd viewing) (85 min)

A great follow-up, one that deepens and expands upon the virus’ mythology in completely unexpected ways that don’t conflict with the original’s concept.





Gags (2018) d. Krause, Adam (USA) (2nd viewing) (89 min)

Attended the Green Bay premiere, which was something special considering the entire film centers around “Gags the Green Bay Clown.” Great crowd, great fun.





Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004) d. Sullivan, Brett (Canada) (2nd viewing) (94 min)

Another fantastic sequel, never feeling like a retread but instead striking out in a different direction than imagined without ever feeling like it’s not a completely justified storyline. Extra points for an early performance from Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany as the weird and magnetic Ghost.





The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) d. Hitchcock, Alfred (UK) (3rd viewing) (68 min)

While I still favor John Brahm’s 1944 telling of the story with Laird Cregar, Hitchcock does a fine job building and sustaining our interest, wondering whether our hero is in fact our killer. (Music Box of Horrors)





Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) d. Simpson, Michael A. (USA) (3rd viewing) (80 min)

Watching it at 5am, I enjoyed it slightly less this time around, but still consider it the best of the SC franchise. (Music Box of Horrors)

(Full Blu-ray review can be found HERE.)





Body Melt (1993) d. Brophy, Philip (New Zealand) (2nd viewing) (81 min)

This zany New Zealand tongue-in-cheek critique of the health/fitness industry never quite approaches the dizzy heights of countryman Peter Jackson’s early efforts; time and again, just when it seems like a scene is building up to a big explosive, messy, melting climax, it fizzles out. It’s still gooey fun, but not as gooey or fun as it should be. (Music Box of Horrors)





Wicked, Wicked (1973) d. Bare, Richard L. (USA) (3rd viewing) (95 min)

Shot in “Duo-Vision,” this high-spirited psycho killer movie employs the split-screen technique not for a few simple scenes, but for the entire running time! Goofy and campy and marvelous on the big screen among the faithful. (Music Box of Horrors)





House on Haunted Hill (1999) d. Malone, William (USA) (2nd viewing) (93 min)

Malone’s remake of the William Castle classic is performed to the hilt by a great ensemble (Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Peter Gallagher, Ali Larter, Jeffrey Combs, Taye Diggs, and Chris Kattan) with some killer practical effects that are so effectively polished… they look like CGI. Hmmmm.

Available now from Shout! Factory:

https://www.shoutfactory.com/product/house-on-haunted-hill-collector-s-edition?product_id=6860





The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) d. Lanthimos, Yorgos (UK/Ireland) (1st viewing) (121 min)

Still wrapping my head around this one. It’s an incredible horror film that knows it’s a horror film but keeps mischievously acting like it’s not a horror film. Discomfiting and disturbing throughout.





Revenge of the Creature (1955) d. Arnold, Jack (USA) (3rd viewing) (82 min)

Otherwise known as “the other half of the King Kong story we were telling.” Always enjoyable. Would love to see the original and this as a double bill on the big screen in 3D.





The Mothman Prophecies (2002) d. Pellington, Mark (USA) (2nd viewing) (118 min)

Having just spent six weeks in West Virginia and visiting the Mothman Museum in Pt. Pleasant on the way home, this was a must-see this month. Extra points for creating a cohesive script from John Keel’s rambling book by the same name.





The Creature Walks Among Us (1956) d. Sherwood, John (USA) (3rd viewing) (78 min)

The one where the Creature inexplicably looks like a football lineman, wears man-clothes, and gets his gills swapped out for lungs. The monster parts are fun, and the melodrama between Jeff Morrow and Leigh Snowden as his sassy wife is fun for another reason.





The Grudge (2004) d. Shimizu, Takashi (USA) (3rd viewing) (91 min)

I remembered this being a genuinely effective and scary remake of Shimizu’s own Ju-On. On a revisit, it’s… fine.





The VVitch (2015) d. Eggers, Robert (USA) (3rd viewing) (92 min)

Brilliant film, made all the more brilliant by getting to watch it on the big screen as part of DePaul University’s annual “Horror of the Humanities” program, hosted by the brilliant Peter Steeves. Oh, and brilliant writer/director Eggers showed up as well for a Q&A! Brilliant!




DOCUMENTARIES:


Halloween: A Cut Above the Rest (2003) d. Smith, Stephen (USA) (2nd viewing)

Watched in prep for the new David Gordon Green release. Sterling, insightful examination of a groundbreaking flick.





John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape (1998) d. Matessino, Michael (USA) (1st viewing)

Imagine a world in which this had been the enormous hit it deserved to be and Carpenter went on to be one of our most influential and successful directors across all genres. I know, right?




CIVILIAN:


Eighth Grade (2018) d. Burnham, Bo (USA) (1st viewing)

Got to watch this in the cinema with an actual group of 8th graders there on a field trip. The squirm factor was palpable and amazing. Highly recommended.


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