We’re officially into the second half of October, and I’ve once again become painfully aware of the speed of time whipping by and the crushing relentlessness of adulthood. Or maybe I’ve once again realized we’re closing in on the end of the year and that’s it. There’s really no way of knowing which it is. Here’s everything I watched and played this weekend to stave off the advancement of time:
It’s October. It’s Friday the 13th. How could I not write about horror movies today? This is in no way an exhaustive list on either side, but here are five horror movies I love and five I should have seen a long time ago but still haven’t for whatever reason. I’m leaving the past few years out of this, which knocks a ton of great movies out of contention—including It Follows, The Babadook, and two of this year’s best movies: Get Out and It.
Let’s get down to it.
Love: 28 Days Later
Post-apocalypse + horror + hope = a movie made for me. Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s 28 Days Later is terrifying both in the moment and after the fact, and it stuck with me more than most other movies of any kind after watching it. It breathed new life into the zombie subgenre while not really being a zombie movie, and its assured, frantic direction elevates the suspenseful story from greatness to excellence.
Shame: The Thing
This is, unfortunately, not the only time a John Carpenter movie is going to show up on the wrong side of this list. Everything I’ve heard and read about The Thing tells me I’ll love it whenever I finally get around to being a decent horror fan, but I’m a little worried my expectations have gotten out of control.
Love: The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is lightning in a bottle. It’s a great horror movie and an even better deconstruction of horror movies. It captures all the good of slashers and amplifies it with the perfect dose of self-aware humor. It’s never really scary, but its perfectly paced shifts between horror and comedy make it immensely watchable.
Shame: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film helped shape nearly every horror movie that came after it, and it’s widely considered to be a classic. So of course I haven’t seen it.
Love: Paranormal Activity
There were several mid-to-late 2000s horror movies that could have gotten the nod here, but none affected me quite as much as Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity. It isn’t my favorite horror movie, but Paranormal Activity‘s masterful, perfectly paced escalation of tension and suspense is undeniable. The fact that it was done on almost no budget and led to a massive franchise is impressive, but it’s the superb build and payoff of this film that stands atop the franchise’s accomplishments.
Everything I’ve heard about Suspiria paints it as a must-see horror film. It’s thrilling, bloody, artful, and stylistic, and it’s completely unacceptable that I haven’t seen it. At least with this one I have the excuse that it’s not exactly easy to see in the US. Hopefully the impending remake will change that.
There’s no denying that Aliens outshines its predecessor in almost every way, but it’s impossible to replicate the tension and and isolation of Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece. It’s one of the best and most important movies ever released, blending horror and science fiction with a tremendous performance from Sigourney Weaver. It just might be the perfect horror movie.
So, uh… yeah. There’s no excuse for this. I know that. Modern horror movies wouldn’t exist as we know them without Halloween
Love: The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project can get almost unwatchable at times. At most times, even. Heather, Josh, and Mike’s bickering is painful more often than not, but it’s also real. Put in the movie’s situation, I have no doubts that most people would fall into the same patterns of The Blair Witch Project’s characters. It’s tense and thrilling in its early moments, and there’s little out there that matches the all-out horror of The Blair Witch Project‘s third act.
Shame: Don’t Look Now
This one’s been on my watch list for a while, just waiting for me to rent it and dive in. There’s just something about the blending of horror cinema with unbearable grief that’s kept me from getting there, though.
Have a good weekend. Watch some horror. Let me know what you’re watching, and what I need to watch, in the comments.
You don’t need me to tell you a new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi dropped last night. You don’t need me to share my thoughts about Rian Johnson’s entry in the Star Wars franchise based on the trailer. I really only have one thought about the trailer, though:
I’m not fucking watching it.
It’s Columbus Day. As you all know, that means basically nothing. It was still a weekend, though, which means there was plenty to enjoy on my TV screen.
I’d like to say I’m going to get to everything I’m about to list, but I know it just isn’t going to happen. I haven’t managed to get to everything I’ve been interested in the past few months, and there’s a hell of a lot more dropping in October.
Fall weather finally kicked in over the weekend… and it’s colder than I remember. I still love it, though, and I ended up spending a bit more time outside than I have the last couple weekends. There was still plenty of time to stay entertained thanks to the various screens in my apartment, though.
Here’s my third check-in for the entertainment goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year. It seemed to be pretty simple. Impossible to fail. It’s looking like I was wrong. Here are the goals I set:
- Watch 100 movies, at least one each week (never watched before)
- Play and finish at least 15 games already in my collection (never finished before, played is okay)
- Read 26 books (never read before)
It’s only been a few weeks since that other Stephen King adaptation started making waves, but that didn’t stop Netflix from dropping Gerald’s Game today. Directed by Mike Flanagan and written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard, this adaptation of King’s 1992 novel thrives on full-throttle tension from the start and doesn’t let up.
I started watching King Arthur: Legend of the Sword yesterday. The intro was fine, if unexciting. The growing up montage that followed went on way too long and actively frustrated me. The next sequence wasn’t much more exciting. After all this, I did something I’ve rarely done in the past: I stopped watching.
Paramount released the first teaser trailer for writer/director Alex Garland’s next movie this morning. It’s called Annihilation, and I’m already sold on it. Chances are you will be too if you’re a fan of Garland’s previous work or sci-fi in general. Let’s take a look.