Monday, October 26, 2015

Scary Movies

I watch about 60 movies a year and run through 70 or so dvds, usually with Matt, watching TV shows and such. That's 2 or 3 a week, or our 2 dvd Netflix membership supplemented with the occasional local rental, maybe 3 a month. Not a whole lot considering the average kid in school watches 5 hours a tv a day.

My whole point in this was to highlight the absurdly high ratio of scary movies I still manage to mow through. I don't like what I think of as torture porn. Man terrorizes anyone (usually a woman) via bondage, fear, and/or mutilation or slasher movies where the body count ends up being everyone but the virgin. Especially when the victim in any situation is able to knock over the bad guy...and then they run. No. If their head is within reach and you have a weapon, you keep hitting until there are visible brains. Preferably breaking some other bones along the way, but mainly avoiding recapture. There are many delicate things located in the delicate head area. Eyeballs, nose, ears, throat.  HIT THEM HARD.

Many scary movies rely heavily on gimmick and gore and that can be fun at times-I fully enjoyed Sharknado, a movie with a body count in the double digits and not even the barest nod toward science. But in general, it's just more of the same and sooooo overdone. The scariest thing about some of those movies may be how banal seeing a person's life being taken from them can become. That's not entertainment, it's...torture porn. I am still working out the difference, like Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite movies and people die left and right in it. Maybe it's the survivors surviving vs slashers slashing?

Anyway. Here are my picks for the year, some are not from this year, but I can't help when I see them. Since it's nearly Halloween, I will pair them with a snack suggestion.

Netflix Instant:

I wrote about this one when I saw it, but it's a good layered story even with the plot holes.
Pair with a chocolate bar, the siblings had a childhood gone wrong. What better way to soothe the inner child?

An American Ghost Story.
6 actors, no high tech effects. Just a ghost story that has such good boo moments that I squealed. One particular effect where the main character (who wrote the movie!) falls through a doorway is delicious. I laughed so hard, talk about an oh shit moment.
The main character is alone 90% of the movie, but is likeable and is friendly, gentle, and calm. It somehow makes him feel more vulnerable without making him wimpy. Like he's open to what's going on, but no fool. It's a good movie, I hope he does more.
Pair with MnMs. You'll need something to occupy the moments between scares.

The Awakening.
Creepy and scary, set in a boys boarding school in an isolated area during an earlier era. The protagonist is a female supernatural debunker, hired to calm the boys and parents after a boy dies and rumors fly about him haunting the school. Battling inner demons of her own, she sets out to find answers. With science!
Pair with tea and scones. It's British.

Don't Blink.
I don't usually like movies where there's something wrong from the start and the people involved barrel ahead anyway. Especially if the main barrel aheader is a dumbass bully. But the effects in this are so well done, when it ends you just wonder what happened. Here's a hint: people disappear.
Pair with gummy worms. No reason, I just like them.

The Babadook.
This needs to be watched twice because the first time you cover your eyes too much. Also, the mother/child combo the movie focuses on is so disfunctional you want to line them up and slap them both. It's almost distracting as you think maybe it would be okay for them to be eaten by a character from the scariest children's book ever. Then you start getting into the story and realize the shreds of sanity that poor mother has left are wafting in the breeze and unless she can get her act together, they really might get devoured. By a book? By their grief? By their sheer disfunction? What's the turning point, and how close is it to the breaking point?
Pair with pretzels. You can scare the bejeebers out of your viewing friends with a well placed crunch.

The House at the End of Time.
From Venezuela, this movie has a female main character who has been released after a 30 year sentence for killing her whole family. Still under house arrest in the very house the murders took place, the local priest gets enlisted to help find out exactly what did happen that night.
Pair with nacho chips and cheese dip. Because they are yummy and also vaguely Hispanic. To Americans anyway.

Stonhearst Asylum
Based on a Poe story, it's got it all. Creepy location, period drama feel, a love story, a mystery needing answers. Arriving as a young and very new doctor, our main character quickly discovers they keep the most insane tenants in the basement. He pops down for a visit and finds them appearing quite sane and claiming to be the actual staff of Stonehearst. Pair this one with Twizzlers, you'll appreciate the twists.

Killer Legends
This is actually a documentary focused on discovering the origins of 4 popular uraban legends. I enjoyed it, it's a good chance to learn more about the genre and get a new perspective.
This film needs Nutty Buddies so you can peel off layers while the team unravels some history.

On dvd:

The Orphanage
A good haunted house horror film, it's about a woman who has convinced her husband to buy and reopen the orphanage she spent a happy childhood in, this time for ill children. Odd, I know. After moving in, her own unwell adopted son disappears and the ghosts in the house may or may not actually be helping her find him.
Pair with Milk Duds. Seriously.

A time travel movie with a plot so easy to follow yet so difficult to absorb that you will lie awake and think about it.
Pair with those 2 colored cheese sticks. Or some Mike and Ikes.

This movie is more tense than scary and I admit I only added it because Jason Statham is in it and I somehow missed it when it came out.
A boy in need of money badly stumbles upon a way to make some fast. The only catch is, he has no idea what it entails. He assumes the identity of a dead man to get in the door and discovers he's now a player in a game with some very high stakes.
Pair with almonds, you don't need any more sugar if you've made it this far.

At the theater:

Crimson Peak
Period drama, ghost story, love story, creepy on many levels and the ghosts are black and rattle and moan and are scary. Once the movie moves to the house above the mines, the creepy factor jacks up as the blood red clay the family fortune was built on becomes another character, oozing up, sliding down, bubbling over and slicking the walls, coloring everything it comes in contact with. I thought Alabama was bad, but our red clay has nothing on this place. The movie goes some surprising directions, there are leaves in the house-but no trees nearby, the women are strong characters and despite being certain there are nefarious plots in motion, you end up being caught up in the love story aspect as well. Tom Huddleston does some amazing acting with just those blue eyes of his. It's a very enjoyable movie to sit back and watch.
Seeing Bobby from Supernatural was a nice surprise, too.
Pair with theater popcorn, but skip the giant soda. There's not a good spot to run pee and it's a solid 2 hours long.  

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.