Thanks once again to Daniel D. Kraus of Booklist for establishing the #31HorrorFilms31Days challenge, which is a nightmare all of its own. For several years the various members of our staff have participated, so below are our films, by year and reviewer, and our Twitter-length reviews. (Please note that this year AEM was fascinated with the multi-part tweet, so her addendums have been added below.)

Anne Elizabeth Moore 2014

  1. ELFIE HOPKINS, CANNIBAL HUNTER People-eating melodrama has a petulant teen finding love and her passion — killing.
  2. TROLLHUNTER A working man w/a bad benefits package mentors some wacky kids, one of whom has a debilitating illness.
  3. TORMENT Killers from abusive homes use the heads of stuffed animals as masks and … that’s sort of it. Does it matter?
  4. IN THE DARK HALF A teenaged girl experiences lust. *Obviously* supernatural forces must be at work.
  5. HOUSE OF WHIPCORD This 1974 torture porn/morality play was clearly the inspiration for ‘s Lean In
  6. TEXAS CHAINSAW “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” is the needless moral of this pointless 2013 update/sequel.
    1. Addendum: In related news: if the kids today ain’t watchin’ TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE of they own accord the state of public miseducation is deplorable.
  7. THE MOTH DIARIES I thought “girls boarding school vampire flick” was code for “lesbian”? Apparently not so much?
    1. Addendum: Don’t get me wrong. There were lesbians. OK, maybe A lesbian. This falls far short of my daily quota of lesbians.
    2. Addendum: Thank you for all the calls and emails. My daily quota of lesbians is seven.
  8. HELLRAISER A woman with a mullet experiences a sexual awakening, and then spends the rest of her life paying for it.
  9. VIRGIN WITCH The basic plot of this movie is, “Lesbians! How dare they?!” NEVER MIND THE MIND CONTROL.
  10. A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING A film* in Pegg’s tangentially-related-to-horror-until-someone-loses-an-eye genre. (* lesser)
  11. BIG ASS SPIDER May have welled up in *actual tears* over the awesomeness of ‘s Latino “sidekick” José.
  12. BAD MILO Feature-length poop joke with a delightful support cast.
  13. 13 SINS A mysterious phone call sets off a series of serious questions about how cell phones work.
  14. STITCHES was right. The special effects in this ghost clown movie are *killer*.
  15. RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE Pussy-whipped serial killer Malcom’s got pseudo-intellectual theories about gentrification
  16. DETENTION There are so many allusions in this film that nothing seems to actually happen in it.
    1. Addendum: My level of disgust at this current flick has *nothing* to do with its gore factor. I’m out-of-my-mind enraged by it.
  18. THE CAT AND THE CANARY The cat in this film is primarily a metaphor. One of a potential five meows.
  19. THE COLLECTOR good ole house of horrors + unkillable protagonist plus an amazing rave/kill scene. Otherwise a bore.
  20. DRACULA, UNCUT OR WHATEVER Vampirism as reasonable counter to advancing Arabs. Interesting “history” to dig up, yo.
  21. ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE The whole squad at Smalltown High perishes under strange circumstances. Then shit gets weird.
    1. Mandatory addendum of: lesbians. Yay.
  22. SERIAL KILLING 101 Laugh-free comedy meets gore-free horror in a coming-of-age story about a straight white boy.
  23. COME OUT & PLAY White couple visits island where *all adults have been killed,* still asks folks to speak English
  24. THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN Slow-paced tale of a killer who wears a bag on his head and, *meaningfully*, shoes
  25. BABADOOK a troubled child and psychotic mom get a poltergeist. All fun and games ’til you vomit endless black slime.
  26. THE WOMAN A woman with an unconventional lifestyle moves to a small town, gets a new dress, and finds <3.
  27. THE BAY The best bugs-crawlin-outta-peoples-faces movie I seen in years. Years, I tell you!
  28. THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN Well-constructed narrative, brilliant female actors, *snakes*. Who uses snakes anymore?
  29. SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE Actual ’80s fashion montage precedes sorority girls slapping the wrist of a serial killer.
  30. VHS VIRAL an array of young peoples’ deaths reveals uncomfortable truths about society’s esteem for media.
  31. MR JONES Basically HIGH ART but with scarecrows, zero lesbians

My big finds of the season were: Babadook, The Taking of Deborah Logan, Come Out and Play, Big Ass Spider, and Trollhunter, although there was something delightful going on in Virgin Witch and the first half of Mr. Jones. Also, The Woman remains highly recommended, although I admit I only watched it again because I needed a solid film that night.


Anne Elizabeth Moore 2013

  1. 100 FEET: The coolest-lookin’, shittiest ghost ever beats the living bejesus outta any comer. Downside: Bobby Cannavale.
  2. THE FINAL: High school students seek vengeance on each other. Bonus: as juvenile and sex-obsessed as if written by same.
  3. THE STUFF: A clever vehicle for product placement of a delicious-sounding dessert with unique origins.
  4. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3: A morality tale about divorce and remarriage in the late 1980s.
  5. ‪ZOMBIE STRIPPERS: Yes, I watched it.
  6. ALL MY FRIENDS ARE FUNERAL SINGERS: Califone turns out to be the worst roommates Angela Bettis ever had.
  7. DEAD GIRL:  Bullying and zombie rape plus sentimentality WHAT
  8. CARVER The first sight of the killer—a few seconds in—is a little chilling. Then it’s like dead air, that’s also confusing and boring.
  9. 5IVE GIRLS: Things get sexy when a boarding school for the troubled hot turns out to have an admin staff OF DEMONS
  10. GHOST OF MAE NAK: Thai ghost story (long, sentimental, maybe not so scary) featuring a sweeeet plate glass bisection
  11. TWO-HEADED SHARK ATTACK: The single-headed shark lobby finally catches a lucky break with this Carmen Electra vehicle
  12. THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL: A 1983 documentary about teen pregnancy.
  13. MESSAGES DELETED a troubled art-school student takes copyright law into her own hands.
  14.  OCCUPANT: Like The Shining, except with a man and a cat in an apartment in Manhattan. So also not like The Shining.
  15.  V/H/S: A buncha boys gone wild meet deserved ends in the smartest horror anthology in *years*.
  16. ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE: An evil toymaker shrinks folks, then forces them to sing oddly appropriate show tunes.
  17.  THINNER: Stephen King phones in this tale of a man who gets what he desires. Oooooooh. Scary. Whatevs. On at the gym.
  18. BEHIND THE MASK: The cleverest end credits I’ve ever seen, provided they never ever make a sequel.
  19. THE WARD: Girls prove to be the ultimate evil, also BTW pristine purity. In sum: Little happens. Beginning to regret ‪#31HorrorFilms31Days
  20. THE EXAM: A sweet story about a stressful job application, if you overlook bloodshed, torture, misogyny, and racism
  21. 8213 GACY HOUSE: “We haven’t checked it yet” re: the crawlspace, means this is the dumbest written film in history
  22. BURNING: George Costanza—Not J. Alexander—is stalked by burn victim inexplicably and boringly wielding garden shears.
  23. MANSTER: I thought I would connect more strongly with the story of a US journo’s experiences with young women in Asia.
  24. TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL: Charm charm charm charm charm charm charm charm charm death laughter more charm #classwar
  25. THE DEAD OUTSIDE: Pretty simple: you go outside, you die, like those people. Also: do not let the dead inside.
  26. RAMMBOCK:  A forlorn man discovers the greatest demons are within himself. Except, of course, for the zombies. #AWSM
  27. FINGERPRINTS: A great poster belies a snoresome slasher/ghost tale with the subtlety of a Disney Afterschool Special.
  28. CHILDREN OF THE CORN: This movie left me with nothing but a vague discomfort around people with freckles.
  29. INNKEEPERS: Two kids alone in a big fancy house together don’t have sex. One dies. LET THAT BE A LESSON FOR US ALL
  30. HOUSE: A complex plot involving trauma, family, and war unfolds in a house with the best art collection in the world.
  31. VILE: Surprisingly original and aptly-named torture porn pits 7 hot nobodies against an old dude, then each other :( *
  32. ATM: A man kills three people on camera. OR DID HE. Also: Is the 15 minute closing credit sequence an ad for ATM II?
  33. HEADHUNTER: More thriller than horror, yet reminiscent of HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 in that everyone needs a bath all the time.
  34. CHILLERAMA: Throwback monster anthology replete with both dumb and awesome, featuring THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANKENSTEIN

* I watched two halves of another franchise at the gym one day as well, and listed it  as: 31.5 FRIDAY 13TH VII.5 Um, psychic abilities? When did I stop paying attention to the Jason franchise? ‪#OnAtTheGym


Gabrielle Gamboa 2013

  1. Starting with “Requiem pour un Vampire” (1971). French, quirky, French, boobies…did I mention French?
  2. “The Burrowers” (2008). Civil War era creepies. Spoiler: it’s mole-people!
  3. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968). So I’ve seen it 20+ times, but it’s my favorite. Still counts! Going to bed, eyes burning. 
  4. “The Dead” (2010). Zombie escape adventure set in Africa. Engrossing, a great surprise.
  5. “Days of Darkness” (2007). Cheap zombie/alien survival flick starring wrestler Chyna. In this one, when you become a zombie disgusting things happen to your genitals. Not good.
  6. “Grave Encounters”(2007). A spooky, well-executed deconstruction of ghost hunter-type tv shows. Dig it!
  7. “Night of the Demon” (1957). Using my time machine to have chubby Franco-American babies with  Jacques Tourneur.
  8. “The Devil Inside” (2012).Four 20-somethings make a documentary about exorcism, with surprising (for them) results.
  9.  “The Reptile”(1966). Hammer film in which a young couple inherits a house on the moors, then investigate strange deaths in the village.
  10. “Chernobyl Diaries” (2012). Young American “extreme” tourists visit Chernobyl. There is a mutant issue.
  11. “Vampire Circus” (1972). This Hammer film should be called “Glampire!”  Needs a Mott the Hoople Soundtrack.
  12.  “Audrey Rose”(1977). Reincarnation as horror. Could only have been made in the 1970’s. Appealing production design.
  13. ”White Zombie”(1932). Man regrets turning the girl he is obsessed with zombie. Bela Lugosi mugs. (score=3)
  14. “Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors”(1965).British anthology. Dumb framing story, but you can’t go too wrong with Christopher Lee and Donald Sutherland in the same flick.
  15. “Black Sabbath”(1963) Italian anthology. Creepy, beautifully shot, busty ladies/cute dudes, and Boris Karloff.
  16. “Creepshow 2. (1987). Terrible, terrible.
  17. “The Horror Show”(1989). This Lance Henriksen flick made me sleepy.
  18. “The Sisters of Death”(1977).7 years after a sorority hazing turns tragic, a father seeks revenge on some sassy gals.
  19. “Night of the Comet”(1984).Quirky 80s horror/comedy pastiche, plus Mary Woronov.
  20. “Session 9″(2001). Beautiful, atmospheric Brad Anderson film w/ superb Peter Mullan acting!
  21. “ATM”(2012). Thanks to those who recommended it! A simple premise with a reasonable set-up, very effective.
  22. “Fascination”(1979).Seems this Jean Rollin vampire flick is an excuse for soft-core porn.*
  23.  “Burn, Witch, Burn”(1962). Night of the Demon meets Oleanna, but not as good as either, plus eagles.
  24. “The Living Dead Girl”(1982).Jean Rollin flick. Blood-drinking re-animated existential crisis hot-girl hijinks
  25. “An American Werewolf In London”(1981).Still great! New details I didn’t see before. Wonder if Landis watched Frenzy?
  26. “The Unknown”. A 1927 silent better than 2/3 of my list! Lon Chaney, so amazing! I heart Tod Browning
  27. “The Golem”(1920). Been wanting to see this since I was a kid! Compact story w/ the frills of German Expressionism
  28. “Black Sunday”(1960). Atmospheric as hell, but the story left me feeling “meh”.
  29.  “Shrooms”(2007)Lovely to see handsome Jack Huston w/o his Boardwalk Empire mask.That’s the best I can say about this.
  30. “Mutants”(2009). Why didn’t the French know how to make horror films before the Aughts?.
  31. “Countess Dracula”(1971). If I was told I could look like Ingrid Pitt by drinking human blood, I would think it over. To be fair, she only bathes in it, but I would go that extra mile!
  32.  “Apollo 18″(2011). I did it, 31! Watching #32 right now. An excellent premise that is well-executed.

*Lord give me strength to get through this Jean Rollin marathon.


4 responses

  1. Pingback: Book Blog – Likely Stories, from Booklist Online » Blog Archive » 31 Horror Films in 31 Days 2012: The Bloodcurdling Conclusion

  2. Hi, I just wanted to say, I disagree. Your blog doesn’t make any sense.

    December 5, 2012 at 10:27 am

    • Hm, Uwowgold, I’m sorry you feel that way. Please get in touch if you have specific suggestions for how a horror film review blog might make more sense to one such as yourself. We would be fascinated to hear.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm

  3. I hope getting gold is due to reach for me.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:32 am

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