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
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
- 100 FEET: The coolest-lookin’, shittiest ghost ever beats the living bejesus outta any comer. Downside: Bobby Cannavale.
- THE FINAL: High school students seek vengeance on each other. Bonus: as juvenile and sex-obsessed as if written by same.
- THE STUFF: A clever vehicle for product placement of a delicious-sounding dessert with unique origins.
- PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3: A morality tale about divorce and remarriage in the late 1980s.
- ZOMBIE STRIPPERS: Yes, I watched it.
- ALL MY FRIENDS ARE FUNERAL SINGERS: Califone turns out to be the worst roommates Angela Bettis ever had.
- DEAD GIRL: Bullying and zombie rape plus sentimentality WHAT
- 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.
- 5IVE GIRLS: Things get sexy when a boarding school for the troubled hot turns out to have an admin staff OF DEMONS
- GHOST OF MAE NAK: Thai ghost story (long, sentimental, maybe not so scary) featuring a sweeeet plate glass bisection
- TWO-HEADED SHARK ATTACK: The single-headed shark lobby finally catches a lucky break with this Carmen Electra vehicle
- THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL: A 1983 documentary about teen pregnancy.
- MESSAGES DELETED a troubled art-school student takes copyright law into her own hands.
- OCCUPANT: Like The Shining, except with a man and a cat in an apartment in Manhattan. So also not like The Shining.
- V/H/S: A buncha boys gone wild meet deserved ends in the smartest horror anthology in *years*.
- ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE: An evil toymaker shrinks folks, then forces them to sing oddly appropriate show tunes.
- THINNER: Stephen King phones in this tale of a man who gets what he desires. Oooooooh. Scary. Whatevs. On at the gym.
- BEHIND THE MASK: The cleverest end credits I’ve ever seen, provided they never ever make a sequel.
- THE WARD: Girls prove to be the ultimate evil, also BTW pristine purity. In sum: Little happens. Beginning to regret #31HorrorFilms31Days
- THE EXAM: A sweet story about a stressful job application, if you overlook bloodshed, torture, misogyny, and racism
- 8213 GACY HOUSE: “We haven’t checked it yet” re: the crawlspace, means this is the dumbest written film in history
- BURNING: George Costanza—Not J. Alexander—is stalked by burn victim inexplicably and boringly wielding garden shears.
- MANSTER: I thought I would connect more strongly with the story of a US journo’s experiences with young women in Asia.
- TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL: Charm charm charm charm charm charm charm charm charm death laughter more charm #classwar
- THE DEAD OUTSIDE: Pretty simple: you go outside, you die, like those people. Also: do not let the dead inside.
- RAMMBOCK: A forlorn man discovers the greatest demons are within himself. Except, of course, for the zombies. #AWSM
- FINGERPRINTS: A great poster belies a snoresome slasher/ghost tale with the subtlety of a Disney Afterschool Special.
- CHILDREN OF THE CORN: This movie left me with nothing but a vague discomfort around people with freckles.
- INNKEEPERS: Two kids alone in a big fancy house together don’t have sex. One dies. LET THAT BE A LESSON FOR US ALL
- HOUSE: A complex plot involving trauma, family, and war unfolds in a house with the best art collection in the world.
- VILE: Surprisingly original and aptly-named torture porn pits 7 hot nobodies against an old dude, then each other :( *
- ATM: A man kills three people on camera. OR DID HE. Also: Is the 15 minute closing credit sequence an ad for ATM II?
- HEADHUNTER: More thriller than horror, yet reminiscent of HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 in that everyone needs a bath all the time.
- 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
- Starting with “Requiem pour un Vampire” (1971). French, quirky, French, boobies…did I mention French?
- “The Burrowers” (2008). Civil War era creepies. Spoiler: it’s mole-people!
- “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.
- “The Dead” (2010). Zombie escape adventure set in Africa. Engrossing, a great surprise.
- “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.
- “Grave Encounters”(2007). A spooky, well-executed deconstruction of ghost hunter-type tv shows. Dig it!
- “Night of the Demon” (1957). Using my time machine to have chubby Franco-American babies with Jacques Tourneur.
- “The Devil Inside” (2012).Four 20-somethings make a documentary about exorcism, with surprising (for them) results.
- “The Reptile”(1966). Hammer film in which a young couple inherits a house on the moors, then investigate strange deaths in the village.
- “Chernobyl Diaries” (2012). Young American “extreme” tourists visit Chernobyl. There is a mutant issue.
- “Vampire Circus” (1972). This Hammer film should be called “Glampire!” Needs a Mott the Hoople Soundtrack.
- “Audrey Rose”(1977). Reincarnation as horror. Could only have been made in the 1970’s. Appealing production design.
- ”White Zombie”(1932). Man regrets turning the girl he is obsessed with zombie. Bela Lugosi mugs. (score=3)
- “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.
- “Black Sabbath”(1963) Italian anthology. Creepy, beautifully shot, busty ladies/cute dudes, and Boris Karloff.
- “Creepshow 2. (1987). Terrible, terrible.
- “The Horror Show”(1989). This Lance Henriksen flick made me sleepy.
- “The Sisters of Death”(1977).7 years after a sorority hazing turns tragic, a father seeks revenge on some sassy gals.
- “Night of the Comet”(1984).Quirky 80s horror/comedy pastiche, plus Mary Woronov.
- “Session 9″(2001). Beautiful, atmospheric Brad Anderson film w/ superb Peter Mullan acting!
- “ATM”(2012). Thanks to those who recommended it! A simple premise with a reasonable set-up, very effective.
- “Fascination”(1979).Seems this Jean Rollin vampire flick is an excuse for soft-core porn.*
- “Burn, Witch, Burn”(1962). Night of the Demon meets Oleanna, but not as good as either, plus eagles.
- “The Living Dead Girl”(1982).Jean Rollin flick. Blood-drinking re-animated existential crisis hot-girl hijinks
- “An American Werewolf In London”(1981).Still great! New details I didn’t see before. Wonder if Landis watched Frenzy?
- “The Unknown”. A 1927 silent better than 2/3 of my list! Lon Chaney, so amazing! I heart Tod Browning
- “The Golem”(1920). Been wanting to see this since I was a kid! Compact story w/ the frills of German Expressionism
- “Black Sunday”(1960). Atmospheric as hell, but the story left me feeling “meh”.
- “Shrooms”(2007)Lovely to see handsome Jack Huston w/o his Boardwalk Empire mask.That’s the best I can say about this.
- “Mutants”(2009). Why didn’t the French know how to make horror films before the Aughts?.
- “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!
- “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.