My third annual 31 Days of Horror is now complete, so I compiled a list of all the films that I watched this October!
October 1: The Houses October Built 2 (2017). I picked this movie for a couple reasons—the first being that it had just been released so the timing was perfect. The second reason is that I watched the first one with my husband on October 1 last year and I liked the idea of watching the sequel with him to kick off my 31 days of horror again this year. I had some issues with this movie’s story, but I’m fascinated by these films—they’re a pretty unique take on the tired found footage trope. I’m also very curious about their writing and production process.
October 2: Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988). I didn’t love the first Hellraiser but decided to watch a sequel on the second day of the month. I realized I could have done an entire month’s worth of sequels but that probably would have gotten old quickly. I also realized that I’m just not that into the Hellraiser series and need to remember not to bother watching the rest (there are like a thousand more). The special effects must have been really cool in 1988, though. The Cenobites are the best thing about these movies.
October 3: Bloodsucking Bastards (2016). A mildly entertaining office horror comedy starring Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods) and Pedro Pascal…aka Oberyn Martell!
October 4: Pumpkinhead (1988). Pretty sure I’ve seen this one before—the opening scenes felt familiar—but it clearly wasn’t super memorable. It at least has a unique take on the “young adults off to a cabin in the woods” trope.
October 5: Night of the Demon (1980). This bottom-of-the-barrel B-movie has it all: terrible acting, disturbing imagery, hilarious monster sound effects, plenty of gore, and a dude in a truly awful Bigfoot suit.
October 6: Lights Out (2016). A decent haunting story with a couple of solid scares. Overall nothing particularly stands out aside from the kid playing the little boy—he’s quite good. Child actors have come a looooong way!
October 7: Blair Witch (2016). I remember people being super stoked when this movie came as a surprise announcement at San Diego Comic-Con last year after being billed as a screening for something called The Woods. This movie is alright, but nothing can beat the terror of the original film that kicked off the found footage trend.
October 8: Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre (2009). A super low budget film with terrible acting, but that’s what makes it entertaining. I actually chuckled several times. Featuring Felissa Rose—the original Angela from Sleepaway Camp!
October 9: House (1985). Not at all the same as the 1977 Japanese House that I watched last year. I’m pretty sure I’ve already seen this one. Just like Pumpkinhead, it felt very familiar. I may have semi-blocked it out due to all the Vietnam flashbacks (war stuff just doesn’t interest me). Hilarious monsters, though!
October 10: House II: The Second Story (1987). I figured I might as well watch the sequel, and I ended up enjoying it more than the first. It was funnier, there was no war stuff, and some of the monsters were downright adorable…especially something that can only be referred to as a caterpuppy.
October 11: Deep Red (1975). A Dario Argento film that was released two years prior to his shining achievement (and one of my favorite horror films), Suspiria. The story in this movie was more straightforward than Suspiria but you can still tell it’s an Argento by the colors, sets, and music. Goblin handled the excellent synth-horror tunes here, as they did with Suspiria.
October 12: Hell of the Living Dead (1980). I have mixed feelings about this one. It was incredibly culturally insensitive, which can certainly be chalked up to the times, yet I hate to use that excuse. But the gore was disgustingly entertaining. The opening credits song reminded me of Medeski, Martin, & Wood, which is funny considering Goblin did the music in this film as well…and MMW actually recorded their own version of the Suspiria soundtrack some years ago!
October 13: Friday the 13th (1980). I mean…was there really another option for my movie on Friday the thirteenth?! I also put the sequel on while I was getting ready to go to a party, but I didn’t actually sit down and fully watch it so I’m not counting that one.
October 14: Friday the 13th: Part III (1982). I figured I’d go ahead and watch the third installment in the series because I’m pretty sure I hadn’t seen any beyond the original and then the 2009 remake. This one was hilarious because it was shot in 3-D and had a bunch of random shots aimed at showing off the effect, like a guy yo-yoing into the camera and two guys juggling fruit into the camera.
October 15: Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984). I decided to just go for it with Friday the 13ths! This one featured more recognizable names since Kevin Bacon appeared in the original: a pre-Goonies Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover. The latter had what is probably the most ridiculous dance scene ever captured on film—it puts Elaine from Seinfeld to shame.
October 16: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985). Nothing of note here, just your standard 80s slasher with sex, drugs, topless women, and virtually no plot.
October 17: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986). At this point I was just trying to watch as many of these as I could before my free Starz trial via Amazon Prime ended (Starz had all the F13th films). The most recognizable actors here? Tony Goldwyn in a small role and Renee Jones—Lexie Carver from Days of Our Lives! Bonus movie: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010). I believe this was my third or fourth viewing…it is too damn funny!
October 18: you guessed it…Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988). This movie marks the first instance of Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees. Fun Fact: Hodder also appeared as a gorilla in House II. Lar Park Lincoln (Tina in this movie) was in House II as well! This installment also featured a couple faces familiar to 1990s Days of Our Lives viewers: Staci Greason and Kevin Spirtas, who played Isabella Black and Craig Wesley, respectively. Bonus: His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (2009), a documentary that coincided with the release of the franchise reboot starring Sam Winchester himself, Jared Padalecki!
October 19: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989). The title is a mild case of #fakenews because only a third of the movie takes place in NYC. I’m guessing the original plan was for the whole thing to shoot in Manhattan but they could only afford some on location filming, so they set the first two thirds of the movie on a boat en route to the city. All the typical NYC horrors are on display: violent junkies, rats, Times Square, a maniac on the subway, the third rail…the subway itself. I think my favorite part was when the final girl went off into a disgusting NYC alley to sulk in a chair that would 100% be bedbug-infested IRL. NOPENOPENOPE
October 20: The Slumber Party Massacre (1982). I have the vague sense that I’ve seen this one before because it felt familiar, though there’s nothing super original about this film. However! The cool thing about it is that it was written, produced, and directed by women.
October 21: Society (1989). DEEPLY weird (in a good/disgusting way) with some major body horror in the final act…I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of this movie until I saw it on Amazon Prime. This marked the third film I watched this year featuring Heidi Kozak (she was also in Slumber Party Massacre and Friday the 13th Part VII. And this one stars another Days of our Lives alum: Billy Warlock, who played Frankie Brady. His best line in the movie? “Fuck you, butthead.”
October 22: The Conjuring 2 (2016). This movie was WAY too long. Two hours and fifteen minutes for a horror movie? Unnecessary. Also, not as good as the first…definitely skippable.
October 23: Grizzly (1976). Sort of a Jaws-in-the-forest vibe, complete with a zoom in/tracking out shot.
October 24: Pet (2016). I saw the first twist coming, yet the movie still managed to surprise me. So for that reason, I enjoyed this one. Plus, anything with Dominic Monaghan (Charlie from Lost!) is alright with me.
October 25: Chopping Mall (1986). I’m a sucker for any 80s movie set in a shopping mall. It’s all fun and games until the last 10 minutes or so when a killer robot knocks over aquariums housing tarantulas in a pet store…FUUUUUUCKKKKK WHYYYYYYYYY
October 26: Alice Sweet Alice (1976). A well done, creepy film featuring Brooke Shields in her first (small but key) role!
October 27: Raw (2016). A French coming-of-age cannibal film that’s not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot to squick me out, but some of the body horror in this one was almost too much for me. Almost.
October 28: Hell House LLC (2016). This found footage movie had some legit scary shit in it, so I rather enjoyed it. A nice surprise find!
October 29: Tales of Halloween (2015). A series of ten short stories, each with its own director, set in the same town on Halloween night. It has a similar vibe as Trick ‘r Treat, especially when its stories overlap, but it’s not as good. Still fun for this time of year, though. Bonus: Gerald’s Game (2017), the new Netflix adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, which I have not read. Pretty disturbing stuff, though the movie was just okay.
October 30: It (2017). My husband and I FINALLY got around to seeing this in the theater! And it was gloriously creepy. The kids were amazing and Bill Skarsgård was an excellent Pennywise. Also, this NKOTB moment cracked me up so much (DONNIE 4EVAAAAA)!
October 31: Halloween (1979). Duh.
Number of Horror Films By Decade:
- 1970s: 4
- 1980s: 16
- 1990s: 0
- 2000s: 2
- 2010s: 12
Phew! Honestly, I’m glad the month is over. It’s fun to watch a ton of horror movies, but this year the challenge really lived up to its name—I had many days where I found it difficult to find time to sit down and watch a movie. But I’m glad I finally worked my way through most of the Friday the 13th movies, as bad as most of them were. That’s the joy of horror movies: even when they’re bad, they’re still entertaining!
Which horror movies did you watch this past month?