Thursday, December 31, 2015

Magic (1978)

Happy New Year, everyone!

As a Christmas present to myself I signed up for a subscription to the Shudder channel. Did someone say a curated collection of some of the best known (and unknown) horror films out there? SAY WHAT?


The first movie I chose to watch on this channel was Magic. It somehow seemed appropriate.

Based on the book by William Goldman and staring Anthony Hopkins, folks. this movie is nothing short of awesome. 

Anthony Hopkins is crap your pants frightening - and that's only 5 minutes into the film! Apparently the ventriloquist doll in the film was also so crap your pants frightening for Anthony Hopkins that he demanded, in the middle of the night, that it be removed from his home RIGHT NOW (the one night he took it home with him). 

I picture the good folks making Silence of the Lambs saw Hopkins in those first 5 minutes and said, "That's our man."

This one is also a thriller with a capital T. There are plenty of bad doll movies out there but nothing quite like this one...

You'll cringe, you'll gasp, you'll curl up in the corner and quietly say happy thoughts aloud to yourself. That is my kinda horror movie!!

If it's not already obvious, this movie is about a man and his doll. When third parties try to get in-between these two, things get ugly right quick. Although there is very little blood or gore, there is plenty of gut-retching suspense and heart-pounding drama. Frankly, this movie blew me away.

And just when I thought it was over - just in the last few seconds of the film - Peggy Ann Snow (Ann-Margaret) said something that sent Eeegads What!? chills down my spine. The thing of nightmares, folks. I'm not entirely sure she intended that. Seriously, I don't think that was her motive - happy accident...?

In any case, the horror was thorough.

Check this film out! You won't regret it.

Pairings: great for a group or alone. Just be sure everyone is paying close attention. Bourbon in flasks or beer in bottles. Coffee (milk and sugar). Roasted asparagus and popcorn. Have a few cigars and/or a couple decks of cards hanging around...

I saw this film on my Shudder Roku channel. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this incredibly terrifying film, and roll into the new year with some Magic...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Come Back To Me (2014)

Holy Smokes!

Folks, this is one knock-your-socks-off thriller!

Come Back To Me opens with a very brutal, intensely brutal domestic violence scene. These few moments will leave you completely horrified for the duration of the film.

My first thought: "Oh my - oh my word. This is terrible. This family is going to need some serious counseling. Serious counseling. Oh man, now it's getting worse. Serious. Counseling."

And then the horror morphs into a whole new level of hell for the entire family and anyone who comes into contact with them.

This movie is insanely original and kept me on the edge of my seat up until end - which is brilliant. Brilliantly horrifying ending, that is. The story line weaves and wanders, and you think you know what's going on - and you might be on the right track for a while - but I can assure you that you've never seen a "creepy guy stalking the ladies" story quite like this one.

Come Back To Me is based on the novel, "The Resurrectionist" by Wrath James White. A book and author I had not previously heard of but must now follow. Insanely original.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I'm filing it under top thriller entertainment, and head-spinning story lines so unique they're almost blasphemous. Great stuff.

Now, I've come across some reviews of this film that were a little harsh. Some didn't like the acting, for instance - okay, okay, I get it. It took me a moment too. Some of the characters were a little 'cheesy' at first, but that moment passed quickly for me. 'Cheesy' morphed into full on Responding-To-Terror-Appropriately pretty fast and furiously.

This movie could pair well in a group, but I would recommend that it be a small group (or alone). If you can watch it late at night, alone, with all the lights off - even better. You might want to peek out the window now and then, keep your eye on the new neighbor who just moved in...

Food and beverage pairing: Cookies and popcorn. In fact, make that *too much* cookies and popcorn... then WINE. Lots of red wine. Especially if you're having a ladies movie night. Shots of tequila will work nicely as well. Milk in wine glasses as a booze alternative.

I saw this film on Netflix. Or use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this mind-blowing feature.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Unseen (1980)

Some months back I was cruising through YouTube, probably watching fails or kittens or the like, when a suggested movie popped up: The Unseen.

When I saw the suggestion I was all like: "The Unseen! Why have I not seen this!?"

The movie surprised me in many ways, the first being that it takes place in and around Solvang, California. I was not expecting a horror movie to come out of this quaint little Danish village!!

I'm half Danish and I traveled down there to celebrate our family's biannual reunion some years back. I have a particularly fond memory of my 88 year old Mormor (grandmother) taking one bite out of a local vendor's aebleskiver then promptly spitting it out and shouting: "This is PANCAKE MIX!". Mormor was not a woman to mess with, especially when it came to the aebleskivers. Remind me to tell you sometime about when Mormor, in a rush to get outside, plowed right through her screen door. Ah....fond memories.

Okay! So the movie takes place in and around Solvang, this delighted me so much that I continued watching the film despite the sense that this might end in disappointment.

It did not end in disappointment, rather the surprises kept mounting! They were horror surprises, however, not happy ones.

This film focuses heavily on domestic abuse. I actually did not see that coming - figured this might be more of a ghost or creature feature...and it is, a little, in a sense...

The film also focuses, to startling degrees, on sexual reproduction. I can not tell you how all these elements interplay without giving away significant portions of the film's twists, just know these elements are present.

The final surprise came with the knowledge (after I saw the film) that the Director, Writer, and Actor in the film, Danny Stienmann, was so upset with the editing process (apparently claiming all the good scares were cut), that he had his name removed from the credits. Seems like a rather bold move, and makes me wonder what on Earth could have been cut! 

That said, the editing of this film is a little odd - even before I learned of the apparent editing fiasco, I noticed that the movie moved rather awkwardly, sections of the story appeared as if they were forced together when they shouldn't have been. 

The acting is startling and very uncomfortable for the viewer, partially because it's good and partially because the characters are just so dang strange.... This makes for some good old fashioned hilarity but you'll also want to laugh to dislodge some of that discomfort.

In the end the movie is an unusual hybrid of campy 1980's slasher meets very dark and twisted secrets. This is a nice blend for those looking for films buried far beneath the 1980's classics. I enjoyed this film quite a bit, but not because it's a stellar horror story but rather that it's a ballsy horror story. An unsettling feature that will pair well with a small group on a cold, dark night.

Recommended drinks: light beers in little glasses or dark wines in large, gaudy goblets. Food: chicken, stale crackers, aebelskivers.

I saw this film on YouTube. You should not watch this on YouTube. The quality is poor and I'm not entirely certain the producers put it up there. A DVD version was released in 2008, I believe. Or use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this downright disturbing feature.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Krampus (2015)

Hello everyone!

After taking a little time off and creating a Roku channel, I'm back from my posting hiatus to present my review of Michael Dougherty's Krampus.

This is one hell of a fun movie, folks. So Fun! Fun in the only way demons for the holidays can be.

I saw it with my brother - couldn't talk my Husband into seeing it just yet. He heard an NPR report that stated it was okay but too scary for anyone under 13 and not scary enough for anyone over 13.

My reply: "So... like Gremlins?" (a film that terrified me when I saw it in the theater as a child, my parents thought the movie was hilarious).

I think this horror story is very akin to Gremlins. Adult humor, snappy dialogue, relateable characters, while also saturated with a bunch of unique and totally original (downright frightening) monsters.

Krampus moves quick and slow yet keeps the audience engaged thoroughly. The scenery and setting is so well done that one will feel very much as if they too are sitting there with the family, huddled next to the fire, listening to the pounding of hooves on the roof.

I very much appreciated how effectively the story isolated this poor family from the 'real' world, creating a very believable and entertaining fairy tale land that allows the viewer to sit and watch without questioning logic, actions, etc. Very well done here, script writers. Well done.

The monsters, folks. These monsters. It's not just Krampus - and that I did not expect. Someone culled these creatures from the deepest, darkest realms of our childhood fears and then made them bigger and faster! At times the entire theater audience could do nothing but gasp and laugh at these things. Not laugh because they were funny, but because they were so over-the-top nightmarish that one's initial response to is to laugh while recoiling in horror. My jaw dropped at the sight of these creatures. Dropped.

Those who reject blood bath films, fear not! There is no gore here, no blood and guts at all. In fact, no gore was needed to make this a horror show.

Finally, the dichotomy of the holidays were portrayed so brilliantly that you might just want to high-five someone. The gift shopping chaos, the family fights, the political wars brought to the dinner table, and even the gun debates - it was all shared here with sharp, almost (good) painful wit and satire.

In all, I found this film to be completely entertaining. Krampus took itself just as seriously as it made fun of itself, creating a great environment for groups and families (where the kids are a little older). Treat yourself to a fairy tale in the classic sense - dark, twisted, wrong, and with some heavy handed morals to take home.

Pairs with anything hot, and spiked with booze. Have cookies, soups, and candy canes sucked to the point that you've created a small, sweet stabby weapon handy (just in case...).

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Horror Habit Is Now on the Roku!

Greetings everyone!

With the holidays approaching, I thought I might stop and give thanks to Roku.

Thank you, Roku, for providing so many awesome video streaming channels. A big, huge, gigantic thank you for allowing me the opportunity to create my very own channel! And thank you very much Instant TV Channel for teaching me how to do it!

Also, thank you so much friends and family, of course, I love you so much too. Tons of thank yous to all who have put up with my ridiculous excitement about my very own Roku channel. No, seriously, I love all you guys. You are the best!

The Roku Horror Habit Channel is up and alive! Look - see, see, see here!

This channel will be streaming some of my favorite movies, and I'll be changing the content once a month. Movies will continuously play once you've started the channel, and should you leave the channel during a showing (so long as it's in the same month), it will pause the film for your return. If you want to skip a film, simply click on the Forward button.

To see what's showing in the month, check out the My Roku TV Guide link in the side bar to see what's currently available.

I am so excited about this channel. The possibilities! And yet, it is also a work in progress so expect changes in look and design. In all, expect more awesome.

Thank you everyone! Thank you for supporting me, Horror Habit, and my never-ending exploration into the unknown projects. I enjoy them so much, and I hope you do too.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October Challenge 2015: Recap


This was a GREAT October Challenge! Not only did I not fall asleep in the middle of a single movie, but there were no terrible movies! Every film was entertaining.

This has never happened. 

To top it all off, there was beautiful Fall weather to play in, Mike's super fantastic 40th birthday, a few hilarious adventures, and a record breaking 2,500 views. Amazing.

Although all amazing, I want to take a moment to recognize the fallen tributes that did not make the October Challenge movie watching list this year, due to time constraints:

Stitches  and  Kill List

May the odds be better in your favor next year.

I'd also like to recognize the Big Bottle o'Blood that was finally emptied after 6 years of trusted use. Dear: Big Bottle o'Blood, thank you for helping me terrorize my friends and family all these years, and getting me out of some sticky last minute Halloween costume fiascoes. You've been a good, disgusting, non-toxic, and easy to clean-up friend. I will miss you.

Today I've updated all my horror movie lists and pages - be sure to check out the latest and greatest there, and thanks again for a really great October Challenge, everyone. It was the best yet, and I appreciate you joining me on it's 4th annual run.  

Until next time - as I'll be taking about a month break - peace, love, and gore, 

Sincerely, Lizzie/Horror Habit/Jolie

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween! Here's 18 Short Horror Films You Need To See!

October Challenge Day 31:


To celebrate my most favorite day of the year (minus my birthday) I've pulled together 18 short horror films for your viewing pleasure. 

Why 18 you ask? Because this is the 8th month of the old Roman calendar and the 10th month of the current calendar! BRAINS!

So without further ado, and in no particular order, below is my pick of some of the best out there (with a review in 18 words or less). Enjoy!


LOT254: Repairing this old cine camera may prove fatal...

Plastic: A clever horror comedy about society's idea of "beauty".

Slash-In-The-Box: A smart and effective little slasher tale a about killer toy...

Red Balloon: Babysitting gig goes terribly, horribly wrong.

Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger: This is a truly touching love story, that also happens to have dinosaurs wearing laser beams. 

Treevenge: A total gore fest about killer Christmas trees!!!

Monster: Here's a unique and visually stunning take on curiosity and tradition...

FOXED! A brilliant and disturbing stop-motion animation about evil foxes.

2AM: Encountering a smiling face while walking home alone at night has never been more frightening.

Luna: Creature feature with edge of your seat suspense and a power-punch ending: 

Suckablood: A fantastic and very spooky Gothic bedtime story for adults!

Itsy Bitsy Spiders: Here's a fun for everyone short about a child with some real killer drawings.

Game: Hillbilly psychos with a fun and gruesome twist!

Saturday the 14th: Super silly, super cute, super short.

Don't Move: A strange and unusual paranormal-creature-feature-slasher-total-gore-fest.

Breathe: Spooky little ghost story with a rather demented ending...

The Pride of Strathmoor: Very intense and disturbing film about hate. WARNING: This film may induce seizures . Dead serious. Watch with care.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Eyes Without A Face (1960)

October Challenge Day 30:

My brother came over yesterday and surprised me with a movie that has long been on my To Watch list:

I know in my review of Inside I said it would be several more years before I see another French Horror film again, but I made an exception for this. I had to and I knew it.

Here we have the daughter of a genius medical doctor. Unfortunately for her (and others) she is hideously disfigured in a car accident. The doctor, out of "love" for his daughter does what ever he can to restore her beauty... It should come as no surprise that things get more ugly as the story progresses.

This is a truly remarkable and ground-breaking film. It's also incredibly poetic and deeply disturbing (in a classy French Horror way).

I loved this film for it's creepy crawly climax and it's striking and startling moments of bone-chilling terror. This is a very unsettling film - it hits the visual version first (gently but sternly) and then dives deep into the mind were it burrows incessantly (ah, French Horror, you never disappoint with the mind melty burrowing).

There is a face transplant scene here that was incredibly difficult to watch, not because of gore but because of the lack of it. Also, the cinematography, costumes, and settings all play an important role for building the terror that finally ends in beautiful black and white horror.

I love this movie!

Perfect for a late, quite night alone or in a very small group. Pairs with a cascade of blankets, flowing dresses, or just a stiff and unnaturally bright white outfit. Small plates of light French dishes, or just cheese, wine, and crackers.

My brother owns this movie and I was so glad he shared it. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this beautiful but gorgeously ugly feature.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Demonoid: Messenger of Death (1981)

October Challenge Day 29:

My brother called me up and asked if he could come over and watch some movies tonight, "...maybe make it a double feature?" He asked.

I was all like, "Hell ya! And if you could bring over some gyros that would be awesome."

Matt brought over some gyros from Mr. Gyro and two movies from Scarecrow Video, We decided to start with Demonoid: Messenger of Death and see where we go from there.

Folks this movie is amazing.


In this film we have a demon hand (think an evil version of Thing, from the Addams family) that roams free and rips peoples faces off, crushes skulls, flies through the air, and takes over the body of whoever happens to run into it. This is kind of amazing.

The only way to get rid of the Evil Hand possession is if you cut off your own hand. Once this logic occurs to the possessed they begin to say really amazing things, such as "If you don't cut off my hand I'll shoot you." These possessed also start fights in a cosmetic surgery office (a most epic scene), a boxing ring, a church, and sometimes they blow things up.

This is a very odd movie with some jaw dropping moments, not because those moments are "good" but because they are so incredibly odd and shocking.

That said, there's not a whole lot that makes sense in this film - which adds to the Amazing! Anything Goes here (and it does).

This is absolutely a very fun film for a group of people on a fun happy night. It's good - in a very strange way - and it's bad - in an AMAZING way!

I had a lot of fun with this film and would recommend it to anyone looking for an outrageous 1980s horror show. Would also work well for Bad Movie Saturday Afternoon festivals.

Fun fun film. So insane this one.

We rented this movie from our local video store. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this AMAZING feature.

Metamorphosis (1990)

October Challenge Day 28:

Yesterday was a slightly hilarious Horror Habit October Challenge. We thought we'd be watching the 1990 Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor. What we ended up watching was the 1990 Metamorphosis.

I say "We" because I had the Lead Carpenter of the film (Alien Factor) over to the house to watch the movie with us! I even wrote up interview questions!

To make matters more interesting, our guest, David - although he worked on the film - never actually saw the movie in it's entirety AND the plots are rather similar (mad scientist begins conducting experiments on himself to devastating results). 

Here we were all huddled around the TV, anticipating when we'll see the sets that David built, then halfway through the film one of says, "I think we're watching the wrong movie".

Folks, we were watching the wrong movie.

There were warning signs. For instance the word "T-Rex" came up in the Amazon Video synopsis. David was all like, "I don't remember any T-Rex." 

Also, the film quality was pretty bad. David was all like, "I don't remember the film quality being this bad."

Finally, the plot started to wander all over the place and there were no signs of the story we were expecting.

Instead we saw a pretty terrible film. Terribly Entertaining! Oh this one is bad, folks. It's gaudy, the sound quality is awful, and the acting is .... interesting... 

1980's B-Movie fans, step right up!

I have to give some props to the dialogue, though. The writing here is engaging and builds nicely. Also, some of the cinematography is rather alarming. In all this was a bad film that was going places and it went the way of a T-Rex Man (which was weird and unexpected). 

We seriously did not think a T-Rex would show up. It did.

Although this was a pretty terrible film it was also surprising and not only in the We Didn't Plan To Watch This way. It honestly had some intriguing moments that kept us entertained and tuned-in.

We'll be watching the intended Metamorphosis film next week. Until then, I would advise checking out this particular film if you are a fan of mad scientists turning into dinosaurs... 

This movie pairs nicely with experimental dishes and a group of unsuspecting guests. 

I saw this movie on Amazon Prime Video. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this unintentionally hilarious feature.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Crimson Peak (2015)

October Challenge Day 27:

I got a chance to see Crimson Peak with my friend Stacy and my brother Matt last night!

First and foremost - this is a visually stunning film - a magical blend is disgusting and beautiful. The set effects are so incredible that the viewer can almost feel, taste, and smell everything in the horrible mansion that is known by the local town folk as "Crimson Peak".

The set and cinematography is also very pretty. SO PRETTY. So much so that your eyes go on a wild adventure through Edwardian era pomp and circumstance, while your heart and mind simply tries to keep up and survive the spooks and chaos.

Such as stunning film. I wanted to eat it up it was so delicious.

Although I wouldn't call this film terribly frightening, there are some death scenes here that had everyone in the theater cringing and gasping. These episodes were quite graphic, disturbing, and downright chilling.

This is very much a European Gothic ghost story - complete with spiritualism, romantic drama, grisly scandals, graphic murders, and high society exceptions meets complicated personal ambitions.

I love this stuff! Some years back, original Gothic stories were pretty much all I read. These little beauties are just so satisfying, over-the-top and yummy that one almost feels physically full after consuming even the shortest story.

Crimson Peak is very much a visual version of that reading experience. That all said, this type of horror movie may not be for everyone. It's absolutely geared to those who love Gothic - dare I say even Steam Punk stories.

I had a lot of fun with this film, and I had a lot fun seeing it in the theater with awesome people. You don't have to see it in a group though! If you look forward to curling up in a cozy corner to spend a rainy afternoon reading devilish little tales, then seeing this movie alone will work just fine for you.

See it alone or see it it a group, either way be sure to see it on the big screen.

Pairs with teas you can't pronounce, very watery soup, and LOTS of blankets and pillows. If you could wear something cozy yet unpractical - all the better.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Inside (2007)

October Challenge Day 26:

Despite the moody, gloomy, dark looking day it's been (I love it - especially when the sky, the water and the sidewalks are all the same color gray), it's been a pretty exciting!

First I spent 4 hours in a work shop learning all about my retirement options. Okay, so that wasn't particularly exciting - informative - not exciting. Except the part when they said I could retire with full benefits in only 30 years. Over half way there! Bright side! [makes a long deep sigh with a sad smile on, looks away to pick at some random lint]

Later in the day...

I was informed that I'm one of the newest members of the Horror Bloggers Guild! Yay! Thanks guys!

Later in the day ....

I called my Mom to wish her a happy birthday. She's right up the street from me so I asked her what she'd like to do after work - dinner? She was having none of it. She said she'd rather curl up to her favorite books and hide from the cold, dark, dampness of the day. "Excellent plan, Mom!"

Fun Fact: 
We're actually hobbits....

Now it is the evening - movie watching time. What to watch, what to watch. Then I saw it, a rental I had forgotten about...purposely

But should I do it - should I watch this movie On My Mother's Birthday?!!

Folks, we all know the answer to this. Yes.

Inside is a super gruesome French horror film about a psycho lady who is hellbent on obtaining another woman's child, a child still in the womb. Sometimes I blame myself for the reason we can't have nice things.

If watching a film like this - on my Mother's birthday - isn't bad enough, it's also a French horror film. French Horror is some of the most disturbing stuff I have ever come across. It takes no prisoners and absolutely doesn't give a fat fart if you kindasortawanta die afterwards. Its been called: New French Extremity horror, and it's nothing to mess with.

In all honesty, I will be surprised if I make it through the entire film. It's quite possible I'll start loosing my mind 30 minutes in and then by 45 minutes I'll be pacing the room, pounding the sides of my head, and talking rapidly to myself about bunnies and unicorns that live in the toilet (note, if you are familiar with extreme French horror, everything I just said there will make total sense).

So there you go. I'm going to get this movie started in about 15 minutes. If I don't return by sunrise then please contact the local hospitals.

See you after the show!

Oh, and Hi Mom! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! [waves maniacally at Mom who is sitting on the bleachers, shaking her head and wondering what in the world she's created sometimes.]


Hurray! I made it through the film - and I only had to fast forward through the last few minutes.

As expected, this movie is so French Horror it might have outdone its French Horrorness. In all, it was exactly as I expected and then some. You think you can anticipation massive amount of blood, guts, and torture, but you can't with French Horror. You just can't.

This movie was also so over-the-top and gruesome that I laughed out loud sometimes. Not out of fun or enjoyment, but because I needed to hear something else other than screaming, eyes popping, skulls crunching, and every other stabby sound you can think of. I had the movie volume turned down to near mute, too.

I think I made it through this film thanks to my new found Pre-French-Horror-Meditative Techniques that I just discovered, as of today. Mostly it involves a lot of humor, Ohms, and having the volume turned way down.

What made the movie watching experience worse (as in maddeningly horrifying) however, was my chicken noodle and dumpling soup dinner choice.

Folks, I was eating soup while watching this film. 
Don't eat soup while watching this film!

I think I'm pretty adult most of the time, making wise decisions and living a healthy productive life, but then I ate chicken dumpling soup while watching one of the most disturbing and disgusting films ever made. 

No Nice Things Sometimes

During the height of the movie chaos, I bit into some chicken cartilage. This - not the movie - sent me running straight for the sink where the rest of my meal was deposited with terrible sounds, drama, and gusto. This is not the first time something like this has happened. I have a long history of puking up my food whenever I bite into something "that wasn't supposed to be there". To all the fine restaurants where I tried Oysters - I'm sorry. To the dinner guests surrounding me, I'm very sorry. 

So although we can't blame the movie for this one, I must admit the timing was so wrong/right it really tied the movie together. Puking. 

Alright, I'm all done talking about this horrifying film. It's scary. It's wrong. It crosses boundaries. It's main goal in life is to destroy your soul. This is French Horror at one of its finest. 

Pairing: just... just try to live life and be a happy person and know that nothing pairs with this film. All you can do is try to prepare for it. See you again in another 3 - 10 years French Horror. My Husband and I are going to watch something comparatively happy now, like The Walking Dead.

I rented this movie from my local video store. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this super blood and guts-tastic feature.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

What Ever Happened To Baby Jane (1962)

October Challenge Day 25:

When I picked up this movie from the store my Husband said, "OH WOW! I've not thought of that film since I was a kid!"

I think that statement says a lot about this movie and the story it tells.

I read the book earlier this year, and I was dumb struck by how horrifying it was. Horrifyingly Awesome!

The movie and the book - they are two different elements of horrifying. I found the book to be very disturbing (overall) but I found Bette Davis and Joan Crawford to be excruciatingly disturbing.

Although I believe the book to be a superior horror story, the movie is performed so amazingly that I must call them two different horror stories - to compare the two would take away from each. Here we have two aging sisters/actresses competing for attention, compassion, and independence. Things get ugly when, after years of resentment, everything finally comes to a head.

I am completely terrified of Bette Davis in this film. She is so frightening that I can't help but clap and cheer every time I see her. That said, real life Joan Crawford is so terrifying that I can't help but sit still and be quiet until she's off the screen and hope she didn't notice me.

This is a straight up simply terrifying psychological thriller. I loved it. I also loved the book - these two should be appreciated separately though. Also, knowing that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford had a real-life hatred of each other during the filming, made the movie even more intense. One can't help but think that the "acting" was not really acting....

Pairs with siblings and chicken. Preferably chicken cooked just enough to keep you from being sick. Watch alone or in a group (so long as everyone pays close attention). Stand in front of the window and before you turn off all the light and close the blinds, be sure to do something mysterious for the neighbors to talk about for weeks later.

I rented this movie from my local video store. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this super disturbing feature.

The Canal (2014)

October Challenge Day 24:

This movie disturbed me so much.

It didn't help that a car accident occurred outside my front door immediately following the show. More about that, and how I won the "Most Entertaining" award at a birthday costume party later that evening, in a moment.

From this day forward I am going to approach every Ivan Kavanagh film with respect and caution. This is the second film I've seen of his (the first being Tin Can Man), and neither have disappointed in the Curl Up In The Corner Cry/Somebody Please Give Me A Hug Now department.

This movie disturbed me so much that I had four hours after I finished the film to get ready for the party but I simply couldn't bring myself to type up a review in that time.

UHG. A day later and I'm still dreading the conjuring of images from this film....

The Canal is your typical ghost story: family moves into a house where murders occurred, someone in the family begins to hear strange sounds, someone starts seeing ghosts, family is promptly torn apart in chaos and deaths.

Unlike your typical ghost story, the ghosts here are not what makes this film horrifying. It's the IDEA of ghosts that makes this film horrifying.

At this stage of my horror watching career, it's hard to get my heart pounding in the "scary" arena. This movie had my heart pounding even before the ghosts started showing up! Kavanagh does suspense REALLY WELL. He also does Depression really well.

This movie is depressing. Very sad, folks. Very sad. Very frightening, too! Depressing Horror - not something to approach lightly.

I walked away from the film, cold and unsettled. So I decided to step out on our patio and get some sun. That's when I noticed a car had just slammed (and by that I mean crushed the entire front of the vehicle as I was opening the patio door) into a post right outside my front door.

No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No

(I would like to point out that this is the very thing you'll be saying throughout the entire film).

I called 911 and was startled by how shaky my voice sounded. I hung around until the paramedics arrived and sent my prayers to the driver and his family. I don't know exactly what happened but it looks like the driver will be OK after some intense time in the hospital...I hope.

Not sure what to do with myself at that point, I decided to watch some stand-up comedy. Non of which made me laugh, and quite frankly, only made the day worse.

It wasn't until I was getting dressed for the costume party that my spirits began to rise and I was feeling good about the world again.

This Movie Messed Me Up Bad. 
Again, the car accident didn't help.

I dressed as Peter Pan for the party and ended up winning the Most Entertaining award. I'd like to think it was my random flute playing that won everyone over.

In all, this is one very disturbing film that may have you dressing up as Peter Pan and playing the flute at people by the end...

Pairs with depressing looking wet sandwiches and a glass of water. Hang up some depressing looking Christmas lights and prepare for some heart pumping chaos.

I watched this movie on Netflix. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this very disturbing feature.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

October Challenge Day 23:

Folks, I have a serious confession to make. I know I'm a huge horror movie fan, and I've seen upwards to a 1000 of them - in all shapes and sizes, but until yesterday I had never seen The Return Of The Living Dead.

[gasps, plates drop, record skips, band stops playing, somewhere someone says something inappropriate that is now heard by everyone]

I Know!! What happened? And I called myself a horror aficionado...

But now I can hold my head up high and say, "Yes, I've seen that one!". Not only did I see it, but I saw it in style. I saw it on a 33 foot by 60 foot HD LED screen at Seattle's Experience Music Project (EMP) Sky Church theater.

What hasn't been said about this most awesome zombie movie? I have no idea!

We have hilariously over-done teenagers partying in a cemetery. We have gruesome and original zombies. We have side-splitting bumblers that accidentally trigger the zombie attack. We have spectacular outfits and crazy fun dialogue. In all we have a extremely well done movie that knows how to make fun of itself while also taking itself very seriously.

Even better, I saw this movie with my brother and a slew of strangers all having as much fun as we were. I couldn't think of a better venue for watching this film.

Everyone grabbed their sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and beer, and were able to watch this movie with eyes wide and rear-ends comfortable and snug. The couple to our left even brought an inflatable mattress.

I had so much fun watching this film. So much fun. Although you may not be able to watch this movie in such an experience, I still highly recommend you watch this film (again and again and again).

Pairs with fun groups ready to PARTY! Bring your boombox, mixed tapes, and have your collars up. Prepare for an enjoyable ride that will leave you laughing, cringing, and clapping by the end.

Also, feel free to leave your I'm A Horror Movie Fan But I've Never Seen [blank] below. This is a safe place.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Night of the Seagulls (1975)

October Challenge Day 22:

When I saw the word "Seagulls" and images of zombies on the cover of this movie, I chuckled. Then the memory of my watching The Birds at an unusually young age and promptly noticing the little seagull sculpture on my grandparent's front porch - this suddenly menacing sculpture had a Blood Looking Dot on it's beak - came right back.

Birds are nothing to mess with.

I stopped chuckling and immediately made my way to the checkout desk.

This is a damn fine horror movie.

Surprisingly fine.

You may not know this at first. What we have here is a small army of blood thirsty zombies from the Knights Templar, looking for virgin sacrifices. 

Ladies, if you're not out "parading" yourself around town and being killed by one psycho, then you're playing by all the "rules" and being killed by a bunch of psychos.

Based on the premise alone, I could not take this film seriously. Then I started watching the film and I was all like, "I see where this is going and I like it..."

This is a smart horror film. I particularly like the super slam on zealous religious followings. Here I thought I was going to see a film about a group of people throwing their hands in the air and screaming about the supernatural chaos, instead I saw a couple of scientists tackling backwards logic with some sensible, mental kung fu moves. 

I'm not sure if it's good or bad that this surprised me.

The soundtrack is rather amazing, and the writing and story line is particularly sharp and poignant. I was not expecting this based on my rash first impressions. That said, this movie can work very nicely as some Mystery Science Theater-like fun! I'm not sure how this movie pulled it off but you can make fun of it OR not and still really enjoy the film. It's rather genius, really.

This is a great film, folks. And a great film to enjoy with others - especially those who enjoy horror movies of all types. In all, and quite simply put: this is a very enjoyable  film. Also, the zombies are pretty awesome!

Pairs with anything you can find in a small dry goods store. If the shop keeper could give you the stink eye then all the better. Fish as the main course then dramatically spill some red wine on the front of your white shirt and make a big deal about it all night.

I rented this movie from my local video store. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this alarming feature.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It (1990)

October Challenge Day 21:

I'm a pretty avid reader - averaging between 70-80 books a year. I give myself little challenges every year and this year's challenge is to read all (and by that I mean as many as possible) books that have been turned into movies. Public Service Annoucment: My book tastes, unlike my movies, cover a wide variety of genres. I feel this is important for you to know.

I was trucking right along at my average book pace until I hit Stephen Kings': It.

That's when everything Slowed Way Down. I made the mistake of starting this book mid-year. Should have waited until December....

Now it's October and not only am I way behind on my yearly reading average, but the library fees I've accrued trying to read this massive novel is not something to just shake a stick at. I blame the intimidating size of this story (I prefer books under 400 pages), and the library fees.

Halfway through the book and nearly six months later, I'm still chipping away at it. Today though, today I walked into the movie store - saw this movie sitting there on the shelf - and was all like: "Screw It! I'm watching the movie now!"

Folks, I've never actually seen this film. I've seen bits and pieces! I know what it's about (mostly), but I've never sat down and watched it from top to bottom.

I'm looking forward to putting an end to this IT saga.

Also, since we're celebrating the 30th anniversary of Back To The Future today. AND we're celebrating the very day Back To The Future II went into the future. AND it's probably going to take me 30 years to read this novel.... AND the It creature comes out every 30 years (see where I'm going with this?!?!?!?!) I think this movie is going to be a perfect fit for the evening.

That said, I can already see into the future. 

This is a TV mini-series movie. This will be a long movie. Seeing as it's only two hours until my bed time - I have a feeling I will not make it to the end of the film tonight. The saga continues...

Wish me luck! See you after the show!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Zombi 2 aka Zombie (1979)

October Challenge Day 20:

I have FINALLY seen this film. Finally.

Last year it was selected for one of my October Challenge films but I never got a chance to see it. Good things come to those who wait...

Zombi 2 is top shelf zombie horror. Top. Shelf.

My Husband didn't care for it though - non horror movie loving fan that he is. But like many rare top shelf items, this one is also an acquired taste (pun intended/not intended). He mistakenly thought this was the type of horror movie you could talk through and make fun of. School him I try, but he simply can't figure it out. 

"No no no", I say, "Don't make fun of this scene, it's a really important one. It's serious."

He replies "But... but it doesn't make any sense, I mean - this isn't even possible -  "

"I know it doesn't make sense but now it's serious time and not funny time. Oh! Quiet now, this zombie is about to attack a shark! Very IMPORTANT SCENE. No laughing."

We're still working on the difference between the horror movies you love to make fun of and the horror movies you pay damn close attention to. I don't think he'll pass any tests soon but he's still being a good sport about it all. He has threatened me with a November full of poorly made documentaries and I think he might just throw in some cooking shows... there could be a new level first ever November Challenge in our near future....

This movie is great. 

Super great. Super gross. Super jaw-dropping. Super duper.

For so long I've heeded the warning about this movie's gore factory that I was almost disappointed. Almost. In my opinion, this movie did zombie gore Juuuuuuuuuuussssssst RiiiiiiiigggghT.

It's pretty straight to the point, full of surprises, alarming zombie effects, and slow death scenes that will have you CRINGE. I loved it. Absolutely loved it.

I also can't help but feel there is an underlay of religious animosity going on here... just a little. I really enjoyed that as well - added a nice spice and extra kick to the story and zombie killing.

This is a sharp, clever and incredibly gross film. There is also a surprise hero, free-spirited nudity, a whip-smart end, and a surprising amount of goats (just for good measure). I absolutely understand why this film has topped many horror movie charts and is recognized as one of Fulci's best films.

Quick note: there is a Zombie vs. Shark scene in this movie. It. Is. MESMERIZING. Not Joking. I dare say it's beautiful, in the only way a pre-CGI zombie vs. shark scene can be.

If that statement doesn't spin your head a little then I don't know what will. 

Great movie for a group, so long as there is little talking. A lot goes on in the dialogue world here. Paris with drinks that have umbrellas in them. Put a couple little umbrellas in the raw steaks while you're at it. Goat cheese with spicy jams for appetizers.

I rented this movie from my local video store. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this alarming and well made feature.

House of Evil aka Dance of Death (1968)

October Challenge Day 19:

I know what you're thinking - but today's the 20th! True, but I watched this movie yesterday and simply couldn't write a review about it yesterday. Here's why:

This is the type of movie you tune into after a long but fun day with friends and family. It's dark, it's late, but you're hungry and not yet tired. You turn on the TV, start flipping through channels, and then you stumble upon a unfamiliar classic (not classic) playing on a channel you never pay attention to.

Your first thought: WHAT IS THIS MONSTROSITY?

Your second thought: SWEET! WATCHING IT NOW!

Now you're settled into the couch or bed, lights are off, happy belly, everywhere it's quiet, peaceful and perfect, now the eyes are drooping - life couldn't be cozier or more oddly entertaining.

Then you fall asleep to the sweet sweet sounds of comically overacted damsels in distress or men in dinner suites trying to fight each other. You wake up refreshed and think back fondly of that odd little movie you watched the night before. You can't recall what in the world it's about - it doesn't matter - but you'll always watch it when it's on TV and the time is right again.

House of Evil (or as my DVD case calls it: Dance of Death) is THAT movie.

I also have a little crush on Boris Karloff - I'll watch anything he's in.

I was pretty sure I knew exactly what I was getting into when I popped this one in the DVD player - and I savored every second of it. Until I fell asleep. I made it through the entire movie and then fell asleep the second the credits hit. I slept so well I had a really hard time waking up this morning (this is odd - I usually hop out of a bed, literally, and start the day running).

I don't recall every aspect of this film, mostly because it's so strange and I was getting so tired, but I do remember that spooky Karloff gathers his relatives over to his massive mansion to talk "business". Karloff suddenly dies and his toy collection begins to kill off all his family members, one by one.

You read all that right, folks! His toy collection start to pick off his remaining family members! The dancing Sikh doll is especially vicious ... and oddly unnerving.

This is a very strange film. Very strange. It also does not fall into the So Bad It's Good category. It's a '60s psychedelic mind trip. It's neither good or bad. It is its own beast and best appreciated in a quiet place where you can be left alone with your thoughts.

I guess I can't stress enough how much I enjoy the Entire Experience of late night odd horror movie watching with just myself and a cozy setting for company. I imagine it's how some people feel about a fine glass of super expensive liquor, or a long hot bath after a long hard day, or even standing atop a cliff you just crawled up (that may actually be a stretch, but roll with it). In all, it's a personal experience that brings a super happy and satisfied smile on your face - Just Because.

Watch this one alone, on a quiet late night when you have nothing else to think about expect getting into your pajamas and relaxing the rest of the day away. Pairs with your favorite food and beverages.

I rented this movie from my local video store. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find pleasantly odd feature.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Harvest (2013)

October Challenge Day 18:

It's been a great birthday weekend for my Husband. Not only has he been having a great time, living life and loving it, but I've also been able to live in my pajamas for two days straight - and loving it.

There's been bike rides, there's been beautiful weather, there's been relaxation and quality time together. Simply put: it's been great. Again, Happy 40th Michael!

And then I introduced The Harvest into the end of the mix. 

Folks, I can't help but feel this would be a very hard movie for parents. Very hard. We are the eccentric aunt and uncles, so there is absolutely a pull there, but parents - walk into this one lightly...

The movie is absurdly blatant with the opening scenes. Crazy lady, sick kid, and a house loaded with secrets. Your first thought are swiftly and easily made: Munchausen by proxy. A mental illness that fills me with a rage that has still unparalleled many others.

I have to tip my hat to this film's writing, though - you pulled a fast one on me. I thought I had you figured out....

The acting is phenomenal. Phenomenal! Unfortunately, there are some editing and writing elements that left me a little confused and took away from the horror. Not much! But it was present. In all there are some scenes that could have been elaborated upon which would have made a world of difference. But I'm focusing on details that really don't make a major impact on the story as a whole.

This movie, in its entirely, is absolutely horrifying. So much so that Mike and I had to take a bike ride afterwards - get s a fresh breeze on our face and think about happy things.

During the film my Husband and I had to add some extra dialogue for Peter Fonda, just to give us a little light humor. Such as "That's really great advice, Peter Fonda!" or "That wasn't very helpful advise, Peter Fonda!" or "Well, Hello Peter Fonda, I like how you rock those shades!" Peter Fonda became the focus of our comic relief. Not because he was but we because we needed some.

There are no blood and guts, but this movie will have you cringe and wimpier. And although there are no obvious discussions about some hot political and religious topics, you'll be sure to want them after the film. To a degree, this movie begs so many questions about so many things.

This film is someone's nightmare - a nightmare where beasts are living in your own home. Scary stuff, folks. Some of the scariest.

Pairs with soup, hot chocolate, and anything that can be eaten through a tube. Watch in a small, silent group or, preferably, alone. Again: Parents Approach With Caution.

Another note of caution - I don't suggest watching the trailer. I feel there are too many clues there. Just start watching the film and let the terror begin.

I rented this movie from my local video store. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find very unsettling feature.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday Double Feature: Village of the Damned (1960) and Children of the Damned (1963)

October Challenge Day 17:

You may have noticed that there was no October 16th post. That's because it was my Husbands 40th Birthday!! Happy Birthday, Michael! He's not a horror movie fan and as one of my birthday presents to him, I didn't watch a horror movie that day. Instead we went outside and played, it was great! Happy birthday, sweet pea.

Today, on the other hand, turned into another Saturday Double Feature Day!

Village of the Damned:

In all this time and all my horror movie watching days, I knew nothing about this movie except that it had glowy-eyed children in it. That's it!

This classic beauty is about an unexplained loss of time that an entire English village experiences. When everyone comes to, it's quickly discovered that all the women of child bearing years are pregnant and the blue-eyed blond haired "children" born are not "human".

As a women who has never wanted children and never will want them, to black out, wake up, and discover that you are pregnant is an unfathomable horror. Unfathomable. This movie will give me nightmares just for that.

This movie is very dark. Very unsettling. Very unnerving. It's also a story about hate, fear, paranoia, abandonment, and how powerfully dangerous knowledge can be (if used for evil). This is also a whole new level of horror for the ladies (those who want and do not want children). Nearly every women in this film is merely a vessel for unspeakable terrors. Eegads - this still sets me off into a head spin.

Downright spooky story, this one. Downright spooky!!

Pairs alone or with a small, quiet group. Suggested beverage: Booze. The stronger the better. Food: school lunch fare. 

Where The Village Of The Damned was located in just one small community, this one is the United Nations version.

Individual super genius alien children from all over the world are brought to London for a series of experiments and for the leaders of all these nations to study. 

This one is dark and unsettling on a different level than its predecessor, and the children simply weren't as frightening. The Adults were - they were crazy. These kids, not so much. This film felt more packed full of social commentary on the time (Cold War), rather than a tale about how super smart children are a threat to society. 

This one is a bit more sad, than Village. The kids here have it all figured out, it's the adults that make a mess of things. That, and well, a slew of blond-haired blue eyed children were a lot creepier than a small collection of multinational children working together (see also the packed full of social commentary at the time comment).

Although, for a horror story, I liked Village better than Children. I really appreciated what this movie was. It too was jam-packed full of fear mongering, paranoia, and women as vessels, but it ended on a note about the real dangers of fighting and war (see also my bit more sad comment).

Another film to watch alone or in a small group. Paris with bread, butter, and perhaps a couple glasses of water.

I found both of these films to be a little bit of a downer, actually. I would not recommend watching them on happy days - probably sick days or days where you're ready to start political discussions right afterwards. Well done horror, though. Well done.

I rented these movies form my local video store. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find these super creepy features.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

King of the Ants (2003)

October Challenge Day 15:

Halfway though the month and I FINALLY made it to the local video store!

After work I hopped on my hot-pink Free Spirit bike (that my mom bought for my 13 year old self back in 1992 - just found it in her basement and now I ride it everywhere - I know you're jealous) and cruised on over to Rain City Video. This is where, in true Horror Habit October Challenge fashion, I select my completely random pick of horror movies for the week.

I love this - the ride through the crisp air, the colorful leaves, the Halloween decorations around the neighborhood, the friendly neighbors who shout at you as your ride by (today's was: "Hey! That's a Pretty Bike!" and "I wish I had someone else to blame for this shoulder pain!" - all true folks. These things were actually shouted at me today by complete strangers).

As I was merrily cruising down the quite road, smile on my face and rejoicing in all that is Autumn, I accidentally hit my front break too hard and took a tumble off my bike. Everything is fine, just a little sore, especially the ego.

Two blocks later I pass (now walking) an apparent homeless man, sitting on the sidewalk with a cardboard hand-written sign that reads, "I Need A Fat B**CH". Folks, I have nowhere to put this - assuming he doesn't need a pregnant female dog... Also, Why?

So that's my lesson of the day for you! Sure sure, Fall is GREAT but if you're not careful your love for Fall might become literal AND you might see a sign that puts your brain on the fritz and leaves you with more questions than answers.

Which brings me to tonight's movie pick: King Of The Ants

According to the DVD cover, this movie is about a hard-up hit man who has been double crossed by the man he's working for. Thugs try to take this hit man down but he has a few tricks up his sleeve.

I know this movie and my story of the day don't sound like they should be tied together - but something tells me they are... a little bit...sorta maybe...just roll with it.

So here we go, folks! I'll see you after this show that I suspect promises more than a couple of bloody surprises.


This movie was a lot more raw and gritty than I was expecting - but I nailed the bicycle reference! A little, there was quite a bit of bicycling.

I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue and the acting was downright well done. I have to complain about some of the shots and costume choices though. Actually - JUST the scene right before the home invasion. I could not buy the hitman's helmet or him walking down the middle of the street in the outfit of choice. I laughed there and I don't think I was supposed to - was I? Maybe I was...this movie is clever...

Although not the blood bath I was expecting, the torture is painfully real and a bit hard to watch. Gripping and dare I say captivating, in all this is a well done horror movie! Honest, hard, unapologetic, and brutal - a surprisingly good horror show.

Pairs with a small group, cheep beer, and an unidentifiable pasta dish. The redder (and meatier) the better.

I  recommend this movie for anyone looking for an indie revenge horror flick they've never heard of. This one is a surprise and has more than one trick up the sleeve.

I rented this movie from my local video store. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find unsettling feature.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Zombeavers (2014) vs. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)

October Challenge Day 14:

Here's an actual text conversation I had with my brother today:

  • Matt: "You coming to The Martian?"
  • Me: "Oh man! No - I forgot I'm already supposed to see Zombeavers with the ladies tonight!"
  • Matt: "You're so lucky I know Zombeavers is a movie. This could've been very awkward...."

I had this movie playing in the background, earlier this year, while I was doing something constructive (vacuuming?). I knew what I was going to get myself into with one, hence why I was only mildly paying attention. 

It's an entertaining movie alright! Silly, absurd, over-the-top, typical, odd, groan-worthy one liners, you name it and this one has it. 

Something I've not yet experienced with Zombeavers, however, is that now I'll be watching it with some of my best horror movie watching friends! With just the one liners *we'll* be spouting out, this will be time well spent....

I'll likely update this post with Quotes of the Evening and other hooliganisms, but in the mean time, just know that this movie should really be seen in a large, rowdy group. Watching it alone might just make you feel a little unconformable or bored and for no clear reason (then you start vacuuming...)

We've got pizza in the oven, popcorn popping, and lots and lots of chocolate all over the house. Have fun with this one, folks! It's the only way it can be seen and enjoyed.


I have to mashup this review - it's very important. We didn't watch Zombeavers at the movie gathering last night. It was changed, last minute, to Tucker and Dale vs. Evil!

The original movie host couldn't host, movie attendees changed, and I show up at the new location seeing this new movie pick is on the menu. Although I have also already seen this film, the pick was Fine By Me! Because:

I like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil much more than Zombeavers.

Zombeavers is funny, campy, super ridiculous, and a little trashy - but Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is Funny, Campy Super Ridiculous, and Quality.

Insanely clever, dangerously sharp, and oh so heart warming, this is absolutely a must see for any type of horror movie fan or non horror movie fan. 

There are some blood and guts here, but it's hilarious. There are blood-thirsty psychos on the loose, but they too are hilarious. Everything about this film is hilarious. You'll even feel good after the film. I assure you.

Watch in a group (the whole family will work too!) or watch alone, also pairs very well with pizza, popcorn, and candy. 

I love me some Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. Love it.

I saw these shows in various formats. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find these wide variety of entertaining features.