Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Scary Movie Month

Hey all, I’m trying out a new segment.  This is scary movie month, where I summarize all of the Halloween-ish type movies that I watch in October.  But since it seems lame to make this post in November after I’ve watch all the films, I’m going to go back to the films I watch last year during 31 Days of Halloween so that you can read about it during October and possibly influence your own scary movie month choices.

Day first

Amityville Horror

Amityville Horror is odd in that it really feels like old hat. There’s a lot of stuff that’s really familiar and recognizable; some from before it was released, but a lot of it after. There are heavy tones of The Exorcist, The Shining, and Poltergeist, as well as many other popular horror movies. Its a hodgepodge of haunted house, Catholic stuff, crazy father, evil flies and what-have-you. The bleeding walls are really cool though.

7/10

Day this-and-that

Teen Wolf

Never seen Teen Wolf before. Now I have. So yup. Its okay, but it sorta doesn’t follow through on any of its potential conflicts.
And I don’t really like the make-up, or whatever you call it. Kinda grosses me out. But Mikey J. is likable, and its watchable enough.

Best horror/sports movie?

6/10

Day Somewhere near the Middle

Rosemary’s Baby

This is a creepy, effective thriller. There’s always something just not right, and this feeling builds and builds throughout. The pacing is just right. I’m not sure how I feel about the ending, or why she made the decision she did. Is it a mom thing? I dunno, but I didn’t really feel like she would do what she did.

I liked how scrabble was used as a plot device. Go board games!

9/10

Day in the Middle
The Phantom Carriage

Okay, so….. The phantom Carriage is a spooky-ish film from Sweden from the 20s.  Its a silent film, clearly, which I will talk about later.  I really liked the beginning half-hour or so of the film; it did a good job of drawing me in.  It had a spine-tingling atmosphere, and when the carriage itself shows up it provides us with some really cool imagery.

I must say though that once the flashback stories began happening, the momentum was sorta killed for me.  We were set up for this interesting afterlife exploration, but it really just turned into a Scrooge story that I found myself getting continuously bored with.   And as such the spookiness began to subside including the end where SPOILER: he ends up getting a second chance for some reason.

Also, I kind of want to talk about silent films in general for a moment, since I thought about it a lot while watching this.  I just can never seem to find myself loving silent movies and fully embracing them.  I know I’m no where near alone on this, but as someone who tries to be open to experiencing films from all points in history, I have to ask myself why.  Two reasons came to mind, which I’m not sure are valid or not but I thought I’d mention them anyway.

1) The title cards.    I really don’t like title cards.  I’m sure there are many silent films that are more physical, like the Buster Keaton ones for example, but when movies rely on title cards too much I find it really draining.  I mean, I know at that point its just the way it was, but I definitely appreciate how huge a leap for cinema it was when they got sound.

2) The music.  I am a little bit of a purest when it comes to movies, but its hard with silent films because most of the time the music is not original.  The phantom carriage for example had music composed for it in the 90s.  Granted they did a good job making it sound sorta 20’s era ish, but nonetheless it isn’t.  So am i really getting the full effect I should, or is it tainted?  It just kinda bugs me a bit, but the only other way is to watch it completely in silence, but even that doesn’t work, since these films were meant to be accompanied by music.

Day the Blobiest
The Blob (1958)

A group of teenagers in their thirties investigate a giant blob that is attacking people in their town. Its very much a basic monster movie with some strong special effects. The acting ain’t so great (though par for the course for movies in this vein), but I do appreciate how the writers try to make these characters more than just stereotypes. I was disappointed that the ending wasn’t going to deal with the discovery of the creature’s weakness, but then it turned around and did just that.

And also, potential global warning message with last line?

Day Where I Hated the Movies

Texas Chain Saw Massacre

I’ve wanted to see this movie for quite a while, considering it is a horror classic. Long ago, this was never a movie I was interested in. However, the more praise I heard it getting as a fundamental film of the genre, often talked about on the same level as a film like Halloween, the more interested I became. Finally I managed to track it down, but instead of getting a top notch horror movie as I expected, I got something else, more akin to the type of movie I thought it was earlier in my life when I cared not to see it.

This movie is ugly and vile. I hated it. I really have nothing more to say.

Halloween Viewing
Beetlejuice

Okay, lets talk Beetlejuice. So I suppose its fun at parts, but I kinda just don’t get it. Best scene is the banana boat scene for sure. But otherwise…. this is a comedy right? Cause I sure didn’t laugh too much, even though I knew that what was on the screen was supposed to make me laugh. Am I so jaded? Maybe I just don’t jive with Tim Burton’s style.

Michael Keaton puts a lot of energy into the role as Beetlejuice, but wow, for someone who is the title character he’s really not that big a player. Honestly, they could cut Beetlejuice out of the whole thing without missing too much.

What does everyone else think of this movie?

6/10

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2 Responses to “Scary Movie Month”

  1. So I could be that guy who says, “WHAT?! You don’t like Beetlejuice?!” but I get it, it’s not for everyone. It’s one of my favorite Burton films, probably because I grew up on it. Don’t know why my parents let me watch it so young. This movie probably helped develop my morbid sense of humor.

    Fun list for October. I need to see The Amityville Horror, but I’ve always been too chicken. Is it as frightening or intense as The Exorcist?


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