Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hatchet (2006)

October Challenge: Day 21

My Husband and I spent the day getting our home ready for the arrival of a new kitten! As we're sitting here twiddling our thumbs until her arrival on this cold, rainy, Saturday night, I suggested watching: Hatchet.

I'm intrigued by the "Old School American Horror" tag line, so see you after the show (and after our kitten arrives)!!!

The Shelter (2015)

October Challenge: Day 20

Followers may have noticed that I'm posting this a day late. Although I was too busy to post a review, I did manage to watch a film.

I squeezed The Shelter in-between my day-to-day life and my monthly Horror, Hops, and Helping fundraiser, and walked away grateful I didn't have time to write up a review until a day later. I needed some time to think about this one.

Although an overall a visually stunning film, I wouldn't call it an entertaining film. I loved the cinematography, but I did not enjoy the writing or dialog. I saw where it was going and what it wanted to be, and appreciated the work that went into this feature, but - as all artists struggle with (speaking from experience) - one of our greatest struggles is knowing when to stop.

This film felt heavy when it should have been light and dreamy. It simply felt like there was too much (action, events, people, words) crammed into too little of space. There was too much, too much, too much. Although I'm not a film maker, I come from a family of artists in all mediums (film making being one of them) and I try my damnedest to both appreciate the work/be supportive, while also being positively critical where I can see growth.

I see a lot of growth here even though I didn't really like this movie in particular. A moralistic tale with religious and social commentary undertones, this is a film that has a lot to say and many ways in which it speaks. I didn't particularly care for the entirety (the last 20 minutes is pretty great) of this movie but I think the message is apt, heartfelt, and crucial - even if the method of conversation is clumsy/new/awkward. In all, this is a difficult movie to watch for many reasons, but keep going.

Pairs with patience, hard liquor, leftovers from the fridge, and watch alone.

I watched this film on Hulu or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this feature.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Wolf Man (1941)

October Challenge: Day 19

For this year's October Challenge I've been reviewing more films that I've already 'seen' than any previous year, and by 'seen' I mean I watched them so long ago I kinda, sorta, forgot about them - or I didn't really pay that much attention in the first viewing.

The Wolf Man falls somewhere in that range. I've seen it at some point in my life, liked it, know what it's about, don't really remember all that goes on in the story - but I really want to see it again because it's my October Challenge and I can do what I want.

What I recall from the first viewing is that I found it both very fascinating and confusing. I think I was also a bit green in my classic horror appreciation to give it the proper attention it needed. Giving it the proper attention is what I intend to do tonight!

And that's precisely what I did!

Oh man, I f***ing love werewolf movies.

I understand now why I was confused the first time I saw this film. Because it's confusing. Or rather, should I say, it's quite dated and some key elements of the movie harbors very cringy and 'wait..., what?' moments. I love this film and I also love to scold it. In short, it's chock-full of just plain wrong (e.g., Lon Chaney's character is super creepy - and I'm not talking when he's the wolf man. And the Roma...).

Lon Chaney is a super awesome werewolf though! Super awesome!

Oh The Wolf Man. You are entertaining. Good werewolf films are hard to come by, and I have quite a few heavy, slow, eye rolls for this classic, but it still stands as a sentinel in modern werewolf horror.

My siblings and I have, perhaps, a healthy/unhealthy appreciation/fear of werewolves. I have NO IDEA where it comes from but here it is and it looks like it's going to stay. Thus, I'm hard-pressed to pass up any werewolf film, and yet if someone starts up a conversation about dog people roaming around, this is me:

Werewolves. Werewolves and undiscovered giant creatures in the sea scare the living crap out of me. Although this film didn't 'scare' me, I still found it fascinating and quite honestly, Chaney as a wolf, is a sight to behold. 

I've read up quite a bit on the world-wide and very ancient werewolf legends (e.g., healthy/unhealthy appreciation/fear of werewolves) and what I've walked away with - as does this film - is that our minds and the societies that shape them can be one of the greatest and most dangerous monsters we'll ever face. Cheers.

This is a classic for a reason, and it's also wrought with a variety of social constructs. It's also worth a watch just to see this Wolf Man.

Pairs with a late movie night, snacks, have a heavy silver-lined stick handy, and enjoy watching some cringe binge history in action.

I watched this film on Shudder or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this sometimes fabulous sometimes absolutely not creature feature.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lights Out (2016)

October Challenge: Day 18

I've been really curious about this project ever since I first heard they were making the 2013 short film, of the same title, into a full length feature.

Why in the world I didn't see it in theaters when it was released is beyond me! I have a feeling this would have been a good one to see on the big screen...

Oh well.

Instead, I'll be watching Lights Out from the comfort of my couch, on this cold, stormy, evening.

My Husband is telling me that it looks like this movie is full of jump scares, and he's approaching it reluctantly. I'm very curious to see how this brilliant short turned into a full length film, and hoping it doesn't follow the same unfortunate path as the brilliant Mama (short) versus Mama (full). ... I didn't care for it, in any case ...

Well, see you after the show!

Oh my, that was a surprise - in a good way! Not at all what I was expecting but this movie captured my heart a little bit. It was more sad than scary, I dare say (although there were still plenty of jump scares).

I also have a nagging feeling that this story was not created entirely from the imagination, but rather through a traumatizing childhood experience...

A worthy, heart-breaking, film that throws you face first into the real world horrors of severe depression, abandonment, emotional and mental abuse, and most of it seen through the eyes of terrified children - this film tackled some rough subjects and still manages to make it ghost scary.

I very much enjoyed this film. Not only for the creep factor but also because it really shocked me with its material and drama. Although at times it felt rushed and a tad odd, overall it was a great pick for a dark and stormy night.

Pairs with popcorn in clear bowls, couch blankets, a goth kid sitting in the background somewhere (complaining), and in a small group or alone.

I watched this film on HBO Now, or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this frightful feature. 

PS: Well done with the opening scene [wink].

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

King Kong (1976)

October Challenge: Day 17

My Husband and I were discussing what film to watch tonight, and he suggested "a classic, you know, like King Kong".

I said, Okay, and started pulling up the viewing options on our Roku TV. When I selected the 1933 version, he said "Wait, hold on. No, I meant the 1976 version."

Me: "What?"

Him: "I meant a classic for our generation."

Me: "What?!"

Him: "You know, the 1976 version of King Kong."

Me: "What! I never knew this existed!"

And so here we are folks, a horror movie fan who has never heard of the 1976 version of King Kong, now watching the 1976 version of King Kong.

See you after the show! (and again, by that I mean tomorrow).


Oh, well. I was quickly reminded why I didn't know about this film. King Kong stories typically don't register strongly on my radar. I just find the whole idea weird (to use a single word) .... and rather than being 'scared' I'm more, like ...

I was also reminded that the real monster in this film is not Kong. Not by a long shot. It's the humans, of course. Here we have a hodgepodge collection of powerful petroleum companies, a good-at-heart nature conservationist, a starry eyed ingenue, greedy public, and innocent people harmed in the making of it all. It's a story as old as time.

Oh the movie is fine. A bit dated though, hilariously so, with several jokes about the porn industry and what astrological sign you are, and so forth. Unexpectedly it was also a bit difficult to watch - seeing that the entire end of the film focuses on the twin towers...

In short, I'm sure many people would find this a fairly entertaining film, just not me. I found it simply weird and unconformable at times. Not my style, I guess you could say.

Would pair with a small group. Serve pulpy food/dishes, popcorn, soda. A good fit for a weekday night movie night.

I watched this film on Amazon or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this predicable but endearing creature feature.