100 Horror Films in October 2021: Update One
Ding ding round two!
Spooky month is here! As the pandemic is still raging on and I'm not going out quite as much as normal I thought I might as well try this insane challenge again.
In case you didn't see my updates last year, the challenge is to watch 100 horror movies in the month of October. It used to have a dedicated website and several blogs of people attempting it but it seems to have died off altogether now but I think it's a lot of fun to try and fail every year so I'm digging it up. These are the rules that I can remember that I usually bend quite considerably:
- For a film to count it must have 'horror' listed as one of its genres on IMDb.
- No shorts, each film must be at least 60 minutes in length.
- You have 5 wildcards to use to count a non-horror film towards your total.
I will list what I've watched, and where I watched them in the UK in case you fancy them, and I'll review the best, worst, and weirdest. In a slight change from last year's updates, I also thought it would be fun to note whether these are new movies to me or rewatches (as far as I can remember).
1) Pentagram (2019, US, IMDb genre: Horror, Director: Steve Lawson) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
2) Till Death (2021, US, IMDb genre: Horror/Thriller, Director: S K Dale) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
3) The Haunting in Connecticut (2009, US/Canada/UK, IMDb genre: Drama/Horror/Mystery, Director: Peter Cornwell) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
4) Little Evil (2017, US, IMDb genre: Comedy/Horror, IMDb genre: Comedy/Horror, Director: Eli Craig) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
Busy day so I'm behind already, oops!
5) Skinwalkers (Also known as Skinwalker Ranch, 2013, US, IMDb genre: Horror/Mystery/Sci-Fi, Director: Devin McGinn & Steve Berg) Watched on Amazon Prime Video. First watch.
6) Extracurricular (2018, Canada, IMDb genre: Drama/Horror/Thriller, Director: Ray Xue) Watched on Amazon Prime Video. First watch.
7) Zombieland (2009, US, IMDb genre: Adventure/Comedy/Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi, Director: Ruben Fleischer) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
8) The Exorcism of Karen Walker (Also known as Aura, 2018, UK, IMDb genre: Horror, Director: Steve Lawson) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
9) Zombieland: Double Tap (2019, US, IMDb genre: Action/Comedy/Horror, Director: Ruben Fleischer) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
10) Before I Wake (2016, US, IMDb genre: Drama/Fantasy/Horror/Thriller, Director: Mike Flanagan) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
Bonus of a busy day yesterday, I couldn't move from the sofa today so I caught up!
11) Fantasy Island (2020, US, IMDb genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Horror/Mystery/Thriller - so a bit of everything then!, Director: Jeff Wadlow) Watched on NOW. Rewatch (but I only remembered halfway through that I'd seen it before and didn't much care for it but it was too late by then!).
12) Sea Fever (2019, Ireland/UK/Sweden/Belgium, IMDb genre:Drama/Horror/Mystery/Sci-Fi/Thriller, Director: Neasa Hardiman) Watched on NOW. First watch.
13) The Omen (2006, US/UK/Ireland/Italy/Czech Republic, IMDb genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Horror/Romance/Thriller, Director: John Moore) Watched on NOW. Rewatch.
14) Boogeyman (2005, US/New Zealand/Germany, IMDb genre: Drama/Horror/Mystery/Thriller, Director: Stephen Kay) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
15) Sinister (2012, US/UK/Canada, IMDb genre: Horror/Mystery/Thriller, Director: Scott Derrickson) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
16) Jennifer's Body (2009, US/Canada, IMDb genre: Comedy/Horror, Director: Karyn Kusama) Watched on Disney+. Rewatch.
17) Bad Hair (2020, US, IMDb genre: Comedy/Horror/Music, Director: Justin Simien) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
18) Crawl (2019, US/Serbia/Canada, IMDb genre: Action/Horror/Thriller, Director: Alexandre Aja) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
19) There's Someone Inside Your House (2021, Canada/US, IMDb genre: Horror/Thriller, Director: Patrick Brice) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
20) Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! (2021, US, IMDb genre: Documentary/Comedy, Director: Sean Doherty/Ricky Kelehar/Alice Mathias) Watched on Netflix. First watch. Wild Card #1, this is a small cheat because it's two minutes off an hour but *shrug* close enough.
21) Sinister 2 (2015, US/UK/Canada, IMDb genre: Horror/Mystery/Thriller, Director: Ciaran Foy) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
22) Saw 3 (2006, Canada/US, IMDb genre: Crime/Horror/Mystery/Thriller, Director: Darren Lynn Bousman) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
23) Halloween (1978, US, IMDb genre: Horror/Thriller, Director: John Carpenter) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
24) Halloween II (1981, US, IMDb genre: Horror, Director: Rick Rosenthal) Watched on Netflix. Rewatch.
25) The Haunting (1999, US/UK , IMDb genre: Fantasy/Horror/Mystery/Thriller, Director: Jan de Bont) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
26) Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982, US, IMDb genre: Horror/Mystery/Sci-Fi/Thriller, Director: Tommy Lee Wallace) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
27) Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988, US, IMDb genre: Horror/Thriller, Director: Dwight H. Little) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
28) Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989, US, IMDb genre: Horror/Thriller, Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard) Watched on Netflix. First watch.
So there's my first update, one third through the month and I'm on 28 movies, only a few off where I should be, and one wildcard down. This is going suspiciously well! Below I will review the best, worst, and weirdest.
The Best: Boogeyman (2005)
I've seen this movie once before and I thought the same thing then: this feels like Sinister on a tighter budget. It has all the same key elements. A male protagonist who's not immediately likeable? Check. Creepy house? Check. Ghostly children? Check. A well-meaning but not hugely helpful sidekick? Check. A humanoid creature whose name begins with B? Check. However, when I looked up their estimated budgets on IMDb, Boogeyman was $20million and Sinister was $3million so I guess Sinister is in fact Boogeyman on a tighter budget! Regardless, I enjoyed Boogeyman. I like that it took the idea we're all scared of as children and made it scary for adults too. Using the creepy closets as portals to each other but seemingly at the control of the Boogeyman was a unique concept. I warmed to the protagonist quite quickly and the acting was good. I'd say the biggest things that let it down are the soundtrack, which is unremarkable, and the heavy use of CGI towards the end. The CGI has not aged well, but it rarely does so I won't hold it against it too much.
8 stars out of 10.
The Worst: There's Someone Inside Your House (2021)
To be perfectly frank, this movie is boring. If it hadn't been for the fact that I'm doing this challenge and can't afford half-watched movies I think I'd have turned it off after about half an hour. The first death is great, although I do particularly hate/love a good Achilles tendon slice death so maybe I'm biased. The second death is fairly amusing. After that it's nothing special. The whole 'reveal your secrets' premise has been done before and honestly most of the secrets don't seem worthy of being killed for, a public shaming maybe but these are high school age teenagers & who hasn't done stupid things they regret when they're older? Maybe I'm just finally outgrowing teen slashers? Ha, no, that will never happen. Also, the whole thing felt very 'anti rich straight white man', and while I am a big lefty snowflake and I do think politics/social agendas can have a place in horror it has to be cleverly done and this was not. Also, the title is very clunky. Sydney Park's performance is great though, she has scream queen potential I think.
3 stars out of 10 (two for Sydney Park and one for the first death).
The Weirdest: Bad Hair (2020)
Now this is how you do a horror film with a social message, take note There's Someone Inside Your House! Part respectful and often sad portrayal of the pressures of fame and society on black women, part wacky horror comedy about weaves with minds of their own. I don't want to give too much away because I really think you should watch it but if you like horror comedies you'll love it. I don't think I've seen lead actress Elle Lorraine in anything before but she does a wonderful job here as Anna Bludso and I'd like to see her in more. The movie hinges on her emotional growth and you really cheer for her. The other actors are great too, Vanessa Williams as tough boss Zora is a particular highlight, and there are some fun cameos. As Anna works at a music TV channel, the soundtrack is a stand-out. My only criticism is that it's a little slow to start the carnage but stick with it because once the blood starts flowing it doesn't really stop!
9 stars out of 10.