Happy Halloween month and libra season! Things are looking quite different this year in the wake of COVID-19. To celebrate the spooky season in the safety of my own home, I’ve decided to take part in the October Horror Movie Challenge. Though there are quite a few lists online with various challenges, I picked HorrorHound’s list from 2018 as a jumping-off point and modified a few of the challenges to fit my taste (I’ll mention those as the films come up). Every Tuesday, I’ll share mini reviews of each movie from the past week and at the end of the month, I’ll rank them all. Since there are so many movies, I will share one pro, one con, my star rating, and a few sentences of my thoughts. By the end of the month, we’ll have a stockpile of quick reviews to help you pick a scary flick to watch yourself.
The challenge lends itself to a variety of horror subgenres, classics, and new releases, so I’ll dip my toes into new areas of the genre. I have a stacked lineup with everything from Shaun of the Dead to The Invisible Man, with plenty of genre staples throughout. Without further ado, please enjoy my thoughts on the first three days of the #31DaysofHorror challenge.
Oct. 1: The Frighteners (1996)
Challenge: A movie that came out the year you were born
Pro: Cheesy but in a fun way
Con: Lacking a bit in character development
The Frighteners is supposedly about Frank (Michael J. Fox) a medium who can talk to dead, a skill that comes in handy as ghosts keep terrorizing people around him. The scariest part of the film is the idea of your crummy ex lingering after they bite the dust. Horror fanatics won’t be frightened despite the film’s title, though the late 90s film is a whole lot of fun to watch.
Oct. 2: V/H/S (2012)
Challenge: An anthology film
Pro: A classic found-footage film
Con: Shaky camera off and on — not for the easily nauseated
I’ve put off watching V/H/S since it came out since I’d heard such mixed things. Turns out, I am a hater and I apologize to any readers that cherish this found footage classic. The horror shorts strung together by a framing story had some very creepy and disturbing moments, but the plot got messier as the film went on. It was also very difficult to watch this movie as a survivor of sexual violence because there is repeated harassment and assault on-screen, so I would advise extreme caution or maybe skip this one if you don’t want to sit through that.
Oct. 3: Scream 2 (1997)
Challenge: Watch a Scream movie to celebrate Neve Campbell’s birthday today
Pro: Non-stop thrills — you don’t have to wait until the last 15 minutes for it to ramp up
Con: Not enough Jada Pinkett Smith
Wes Craven rarely disappoints me. Scream 2 is a sequel that leans into the sophomore slump by making it a running joke. The endless thrills and balance of comedy and horror is just right. To top it all off, Neve Campbell gives a stellar performance as Sidney, the kickass heroine.
That’s all for this week! Stay tuned to read about seven more movies next week (including Poltergeist and Tag!). I hope this inspires you to kick back and watch some Halloween movies to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
P.S. Neve Campbell if you’re reading this — I am free on Thursday. Call me.