31 Days of Horror: The Road Thus Far

We’re officially halfway through October (so sad––where does the time go?). In years past, my list of horror movies I want to watch throughout the month has been pretty “strict”––I had a theme, and then each movie picked out, and their corresponding day I would watch them on. While this seems super organized, in theory, it isn’t the best method for me. Some days, I just wouldn’t be into my movie for the day, and making myself sit through it wasn’t a great experience.

So, this year, I decided to have my theme, and my list of movies, but I didn’t give them a corresponding day. I just have my list, and I want to work through it during the month.

My theme this year is occult, which encapsulates a variety of different horror films, I think. I did throw in a couple favorites, as I usually do each year, such as The Evil Dead (2013) and Sinister. Unfortunately, a couple of the movies I picked are impossible to find, so I’ve done some switching and moving around. That said, I’ve enjoyed the month so far! It’s definitely the best horror month I’ve had in awhile, and I credit that to the fact that I’m not forcing myself to watch movies I might not want to watch on a certain day.

If you want to see everything I’ve watched this far, be sure to check out my letterboxd page! I log everything. If you do, you’ll notice that I’ve had to skip a couple of days here and there, and then make up for them on another day: sometimes life is hectic and you can’t get a movie watched. Ah well.

The Good 

I’ve done a couple of rewatches thus far this month that I’ve enjoyed. Obviously, I rewatched The Exorcist, which is a great film. I also rewatched The Fog, which is one of my favorite Carpenter movies. And, I went to go see It again while on vacation, because I love it so much.

New movies wise, my two standouts this month thus far are definitely The Babysitter and Boys in the Trees. The Babysitter is super tongue-in-cheek, and is utterly ridiculous, but it’s so much fun. If you like 80’s camp, you’ll love this movie.

Boys in the Trees, on the other hand, gave me a lot of emotions. It’s not a movie I would recommend to everyone. It’s reminiscent to Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree, but with 90s music, and assholes. It’s a beautiful film, but in message and aesthetically. Honestly, I’m still thinking about this movie, and I watched it two days ago. I’m already looking forward to a rewatch. You will not like this movie if you’re not a fan of “art horror” and slower plots. I always hesitate to recommend checking out the trailer beforehand, because sometimes trailers spoil everything. And, I don’t think this trailer accurately depicts the film. However, if you’re unsure based on description alone, maybe give the trailer a watch, and just ignore the music (which was a terrible decision on the marketing team). I have a lot of things to say about this movie, so I’ll be doing a separate full review for it shortly.

I also enjoyed Haxan, which is a Swedish silent film from 1922. It’s weird, and another movie that’s not for everyone, but it’s fascinating to watch. It’s about witches, and gets super trippy. If you’ve watched silent films before and enjoyed them, maybe give it a go!

 

The Bad

The two worst films I’ve seen thus far are definitely Witchery (1988) and The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988). They’re both bad for completely different reasons, too. Witchery can’t be taken seriously as a movie. The acting is terrible, and the plot is razor thin. It’s fun to laugh at during some parts, but overall, it’s a pretty boring movie.

The Serpent and the Rainbow, on the other hand, has an interesting plot. Plus, Bill Pullman. However, it skirts the line between anthropological and racist just a teeny bit (as most white, Western movies about Haiti do), and I thought the main character made a lot of really, truly dumb decisions. This is supposedly based on a “true story,” but I always take that claim with a grain of salt. I would hesitantly recommend this movie if you’re into depictions of voodoo and Haiti in horror movies. And if you like Bill Pullman.

 

The Ugly 

Surprisingly enough, I haven’t had anything downright awful. I consider this a win.

Everything not listed here is in the six skull/three star range for me: it’s average. Entertaining, but not a groundbreaking movie. The acting is alright, the plot alright, it’s all just alright. I’ve watched a lot of horror movies, so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for me. It does mean I’ll probably forget the movies by this time next year.

Also! The Exorcist TV show is back and it’s killing it. I’m enjoying it a lot so far. If you haven’t started the second season yet, I recommend it! And, surprisingly enough, I’ve been enjoying AHS. What a time to be alive.

What are your standout movies this month? Or, alternatively, watch anything that’s downright terrible? Let me know!

Until next time, stay scary.

–E.

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