Saturday, November 2, 2013

Weekend Weigh-in: What Was the Best/Worst Movie You Watched During Scary Movie Month?

There's just one more thing to do before we can close the book on #ScaryMovieMonth 2013.

SO many of you participated in this year's Scary Movie Challenge, resulting in our biggest and best one ever. And while we can usually glean whether or not you liked a movie in just seven words, we don't get to talk about them more than that. So here's your chance! What was the best thing you watched this October? Was it a new surprise? A classic you finally got around to seeing? Something you already knew you loved? What was the worst thing you saw? Anything you would have done differently? Anything you're already planning for next year!

Let's debrief.


  1. Thanks to Scream Factory's amazing sale that featured one or two movies each day at deep discount, I picked up a lot of movies that I've been wanting to see for a while. Some big winners for me were Terror Train , which was predictable but fun, and Terror Vision, which was incredibly bizarre but not like anything else.

    As for stinkers, I wish I'd stayed away from the Dusk Till Dawn sequels and Puppet Master: The Legacy is an entire movie composed of clips from other Puppet Master movies, which really hit a sour note for me.

    I had more fun this year than I've had in a few years. This community and all our friends had a lot to do with that. Hugs all around!

    1. Quick Scream Factory related question for you and anyone else who might be into them. Am I the only one that reverses the blu-ray cover so you have the newly done cover on the slipcase and then the classic cover on the inside? I just noticed with the Howling that you could do that (and that cover in particular brings back old video store memories for me) and I think it's such a fun added touch in the already great Scream Factory releases.

    2. You're not! I do the same with mine. I love both designs for Halloween III in particular, so having both available makes me happy :)

    3. Yes! That and the one for Halloween 2, which reminds me of when I used to think the Halloween movies were about some sort of killer pumpkins!

    4. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought that! That poster scared the hell out of me when I was a kid.

    5. I had originally planned to flip all the covers so that they had the original art, but now I've come around on the custom covers and am leaving them. I love that we get the option, though.

      Speaking of Scream Factory, we all heard that they're putting SLEEPAWAY CAMP out early next year, right? Our commentary should be on there as a bonus feature. WHO'S WITH ME?

  2. The best films I watched were probably Messiah of Evil and Blood Diner. Messiah of Evil wasn't the scariest film but man was it beautiful and had some incredibly creepy moments. (Side note: It also used the phrase "Where no one can hear you scream" years before the Alien tagline did). It was almost Argento-like in its use of colour but more subdued. It wasn't as pulpy a film as those Italian films and less overtly stylish. But it was constantly visually interesting and really created a cool otherworldly atmosphere. It's kind of like a Lovecraft tale of a village gone wrong mixed with a little bit of Dead & Buried. There's a few excellently creepy scenes that I'm surprised haven't been copied since. One in particular has a young woman go to a cinema and in the theatre there's only a couple other people. As the film goes on, more and more people quietly fill the seats behind her and by the time she notices almost all of the seats behind her are full. There are a few chilling moments like that throughout. I'd highly recommend it.

    Blood Diner on the other hand was just batshit crazy and hilarious. There's a talking brain in a jar, a guy getting repeatedly run over without dying and several unrelated characters inexplicably wearing Hitler outfits. It's a horror-comedy most of the time but then some of it is just so baffling it becomes funny in a "so-bad-it's-good" way. Just a really fun time.

    My disappointment might be somewhat controversial. I watched quite a lot of horror films this month and there's only really one that I was disappointed by in any big way and that was the original Night of the Demons. It had a couple of good laughs and good effects but on the whole I was just watching without it affecting me in any way. The forty five minutes of build up were pretty painful just because the characters were all awful people and were just not funny to me. There are fun moments to the film but it's not something that will stick in my mind at all. The tedious moments just outweighed the stuff I actually enjoyed. It also didn't scare me at all, not a deal breaker for this type of film but it would have brought something to the film. Maybe just the intense insanity of Lair of the White Worm and Blood Diner set me up for a crazy-fun that Night of the Demons just couldn't match. It was neither as funny nor scary as many of the films I watched this month so ended up being a bit of a bore. I'll maybe revisit it in a while, with people, to see if I can see what others enjoy about it so much.

  3. Children of the Corn was the worst scary movie I watched over scary movie month. Being my first viewing, I didn't have nostalgia preventing me from realizing how corny, cliche, and kinda boring it was. With a very scary and original concept, I think the story had a lot of potential that was far from met in this cheap, dated film that deserves its place in your local Walmart's bargain bin.

    Best discovery was 1980's The Changeling. Standing the test of time through its strong performances and effective storytelling, the film drew you into its creepy atmosphere and gave you a consistent dose of scares. In the same vein as 1963's The Haunting, you can see how films like The Changeling have influenced the genre all the way up to this year's The Conjuring.

  4. I saw 30 horror movies I've never seen before in October which was great. Some of the best discoveries for me were Martin, Dead and Buried, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The Tingler and Island of Lost Souls. I also got to see Ti West's new movie, The Sacrament, early and it does not disappoint. I feel like it's got some Casper nominations in its future.

    I had a blast revisiting the first two Scream movies which are still a lot of fun and also developing a new found affection for Sleepwalkers and Thinner.

    The biggest drags were Leviathan, April Fools Day, The Gate and the endless Kiss of the Damned.

    I would definitely do things a little differently next year primarily not having a plan of what to watch. When I made a stack of movies to get through it sort of felt like pressure more than fun.

    1. I absolutely agree with every single thing you said here, and that is not snark, sarcasm or being a jerk. Honestly.

      Well, wait -- I cannot agree regarding The Sacrament, but that's only cause I haven't been lucky enough to se it yet.

      Otherwise, you discovered some real winners!

      (I have some lingering affection for The Gate because nostalgia but it's really awful and I'd like to go back and stop myself from seeing it so I could never look back fondly at such a piece)

    2. Well, now you're both wrong. Errgh.

    3. Happiness is a warm Muller.

  5. I really enjoyed SMM this year. I watched a lot less movies than last year but that helped it feel like less of a chore in finding those precious hours in the already busy day to watch them in. I also found the overall energy of the site and everyone involved in SMM was much more positive this year. I think the difference in the Massacres reporting is the best example.

    Best movies this year were two I watched last year. I revisited The Woman due to SMM Club and I was just as impressed with it this time as I was last year. I really got to appreciate the fully formed characters right from the outset this time and the great subtleties in the performances, particularly between the Man and his wife at the BBQ at the start.
    The other top pick was The Loved Ones. I was blown away by this movie last year and in revisiting it, while I saw more of its flaws this time around, I was still really impressed with the thought placed into the script and performances in a movie that is ultimately a fairly straight forward horror flick. The main character is overwhelmed by grief and a broken heart for his dad and has a death wish, so the kidnapping and torture play into his arc to give him the will to go on without his dad and fight to survive for the ones alive who he loves. In a typical movie like this all the characters would be two dimensional stereotypes (i.e. the jock, the bimbo, the nerd, etc etc), but here, while the characters aren't overly deep as such they are all defined by who and how they love, which really stood out as an impressive element. Also, I think it has a really strong ending which is always a great way to end.
    I cant promote this movie enough, and I feel my affection for it may overshadow its flaws for me, but I love it. Love for Love.

    From love to hate. Worst movie. The Collector. I dont use the word Hate lightly, and I do mean it literally. There is no point to this movie beyond the torture of the main character. None. All the events before the torture are only there to place the character in the torture house, and the only smallest element of thought or interest in the character is only included so 3/4 through the film when he is almost out of the house he goes back in. So we go through all this pointless, gut wrenching torture and pain, which is physically uncomfortable, then we get to the end as the main character is saved and getting away...then the bad guy comes back, kills everyone and captures the main guy, role credits. Insult to injury. I was furious. I dont think ive ever had such a strong negative reaction to a movie before. There was no point to it. No point to the torture. No point to my physical discomfort and pain. The only point I can see was to cause me the discomfort. Thats it. FUCK THAT!
    If anyone has a hidden meaning for the Collector that I missed, please chime in.

    sorry for the long post. too many words suppressed for the 7 word reviews. this has been my venting outlet :-)

    Thanks all. Thanks Patrick.

  6. I snuck in a couple of personal faves that are also bona fide classics during the month: Halloween and Creature From the Black Lagoon. Hard to wrong with either of those.

    Of the movies I hadn't seen before, I have to say that The Funhouse was a pleasant surprise. It has a reputation as being a "lesser-than" to Texas Chainsaw, but comparing the films is unfair. They're too different. The Funhouse is bright and colorful, but still with some great gloom and a cool monster. The last shot, which I won't spoil, is just wonderful.

    I know it has its fans on this site, but for me the worst of the month was Chillerama. Instead of being funny and gross, it was trying way, way too hard to be funny and gross. What a waste of time.

    1. So glad to hear you liked The Funhouse. I dig that movie more every time I watch it.

      And I totally understand your distaste for Chillerama. I was NOT a fan the first time I saw it. For some reason, I warmed to it on repeat viewings (not that I'm suggesting watching it again). I'm sure my fondness for the some of the people involved lets me cut it some slack.

  7. Since I watched Psycho this month along with NotLD and some Universal monsters can't really choose a "Best".

    Was surprised how good The Perfect House was. I found the film for no other reason than it starred Felicia Rose and Jonathan Tiersten.

    Worse was The Worse Horror Movie Ever Made. Not because it's cheap, gory, amateurish, tasteless and badly acted....they say all that up front. But it's never funny as they also claimed.

    If I had it to do over I'd spend less time looking for stuff during October that I hadn't seen and more time watching what I'd already found

  8. Ah Scary Movie Month is over- it was a great time but I gotta admit the last couple days I was starting to feel a bit of burn out (it didn't help that the one non horror movie I saw late in October was Escape Plan which = disappointment) Overall though the month went smoothly for me and I obliterated my original plan of watching 31 films and actually ended up doing 50.

    The best thing I can reccommend during Scary Movie Month is pace yourself. I never did more than 3 movies a day so I was able to keep things in check. Also I had a good mix of new to me stuff, old classics, and Take Two (trademark F This Movie) films and never had a stretch of too many clunkers come my way. Also writing the 7 word reviews was very cool, sometimes they would come to me 20 mins through the film, other times it would take a little bit afterwards. Special thanks to Patrick and the gang for reading some of mine as favs, its nice to be noticed (See some people do like me mother!)

    Anyway on to some awards I just made up along with some longer thoughts on some movies

    Best Movie: The Shining- I had the pleasure of actually seeing this one inside the theatres for a classics screening at a local Cinemark. It was digital but damn it looked good and played even better then I remember it as a kid. In proper Kubrick form I made sure to write 97 versions of my review before I actually posted the one I did.

    Worst movie: Halloween 6 The Curse of Michael Myers- Ugh this movie. Something told me to give this movie a second chance and sometimes movies don't deserve a second chance this is one of them. There are a lot of bad things in this movie but the worst I think is the terrible performance of Paul Rudd. How he came back from this to become one of my fav actors working today is nothing short of a miracle.

    Biggest Disappointment: Escape from Tomorrow- The infamous filmed in Disney World movie is a total mess. It was actually filmed in Disney World and Disneyland and the movie jumps all over the place until reaching an illogical conclusion. Also a handful of the inside jokes they have in the film have been tagged before. The one interesting thing involving Spaceship Earth is dropped almost immediately after its brought up. There's a reason Disney isn't suing this guy, they don't have anything to worry about. As a Disney World cast member I can say this movie doesn't even scratch the surface.

    Biggest Surprise: Sleepaway Camp- I went into this movie knowing only that you guys did a commentary and that it was a summer camp movie, I had no idea what was to come. I won't spoil it for those who haven't viewed it but this movie is a laugh riot with the hardest working community theatre performers that were available the week they shot the movie.

    Anyway great month- cant wait for December and Sentimental Movie Month!

    1. I love that we are part of a community where you can say something like:
      " I never did more than 3 movies a day so I was able to keep things in check"
      and know that everyone who reads it would be thinking "yep, sounds right, nice one".
      A "my name's Tom and Im a movie-a-holic" moment.
      Hi Tom!

    2. I caught myself once this month telling someone to make sure they texted me on October 12 because I was watching 24 hours of horror movies and I couldn't talk on the phone. It's hard to explain that to Huggles (non-horror watching folk).

  9. I really do not know where to put this, but I thought I'd share my thoughts about contributing to the Scary Movie Challenge IV:

    Dear Patrick and the "F this Movie Team",

    I've been listening to the Podcast since the Wolfman remake. I must confess that I listen to the podcasts of movies I have seen and am interested in, and have not listened to all of them for fear of spoilers, but I always wanted to contribute because I am extremely envious of you lot. I would die to be able to attend a 24 hour Horror marathon at my local cinema, but no such luck at least I get to hear how you've enjoyed it. JB you are a lucky son-of-a-gun because I wish I could teach my passion (film) too. Instead, I am a Special Educator, that has over an hour cummute nd your podcasts help me keep my sanity.

    I also usually have a ridiculously busy IEP meeting schedule in October. However, this year I got lucky and had the month free. I got super anxious and started watching Horror movies in September (Thus the huge amount of 7 word reviews on October 2nd and 3rd. No fear though, I did as I promised and went back and re-watched all the Universal Monster movies already watched.

    I own all the Universal Monster films, their Silent Horrors, The Karloff / Lugosi Poe films and team ups, and of course the Universal Remakes, but I focused on the iconic Monsters. I am a huge Hammer fan and own all of their horror and a large amount of their other output like their Sci-Fi Horror and Psychological Horror, but stuck to their Horror / Monster output. I love all of these films, and some are weaker then others, but I cannot really choose. Thus, I am taking the time to thank you.

    I watched over 70 films averaging about 2 to 3 a night (I thought my wife was going to kill me.). However, I loved doing it because I got to show you my passion and admiration for films because I am so impressed by your passion for film and your fantastic podcast. I am honored that you had mentioned my 7 word reviews in two podcasts. Oh and yes JB, my mind was blown at the thought of the Bride of Frankenstein and Dracula's Daughter together. Thank you so much for making Halloween a bit more fun this year..

    Sincerely Yours,
    -Ed Perry

    1. Thanks for your nice comments, Ed. I enjoyed your reviews.

      And look at it this way-- you have a whole year to convince your wife and a friend to dress up as the Bride and Dracula's daughter next year.

      Hubba hubba.

    2. We're super happy to have you here, Ed. Hope you'll continue to comment, even if it's just on the podcasts for movies you've seen. Thanks for helping to make SMM great.

  10. As pretty much everybody mentioned, SMM was fantastic this year. I kept it mostly to one movie per day due to lack of free time (though I was able to squeeze in more over the weekends) and found a nice balance of movies I already knew I liked/loved, movies I had never seen, and movies I wanted to give another chance (and boy did Halloween Resurrection not deserve that second chance).

    Of the movies I had never seen, Dead & Buried was my favorite and I don't know that I'd have ever seen that without Patrick & JB talking about it on the Massacre(s) episode. The worst was probably Cornered! since it wasn't only amateurish and bad, but it was also obnoxious to the point where it seemed contemptuous of its own audience. Black Waters of Echo's Pond may have been a garbage movie (and was it ever) but at least it seemed sincere. Cornered! was ugly and cynical on top of being obnoxious and boring. Not a good combination, that.

    I expected to feel burn-out from SMM, but other than forcing myself to write a short piece on one movie per day on my much-neglected blog it never felt like homework. I've said plenty of times before how much I love the community here and the lack of cynicism and negativity, and that's probably never truer than during SMM. We're all immersing ourselves in horror and thereby in so many garbage movies but the general mood stays so positive that it doubles the fun of an already fun celebration of scary movies. You guys (and by that I mean the whole F This Movie! team and literally everyone in the comments) rock and every one of you is a reason to love F This Movie! and to love Scary Movie Month. Thanks for all of it, everybody.

  11. This year was a big epic fail for me as far as fitting in time to watch scary movies. It is appropriate for my comment that you have a picture from Trick 'r Treat for this post, because it was the one and only scary movie I got around to watching for SMM. Therefore, I suppose it was simultaneously the best and worst movie I saw this SMM. But mostly the best.

    1. P.S.: I'm psyched that Trick 'r Treat 2 is definitely happening!

  12. Thanks for a great Scary Movie Month everyone - I was so frequently impressed (and sometimes a little jealous) at how clever everyone's reviews were. Is it just me or is 7 words particularly hard to hit? So many times my first STAB at it would result in 8 words and I'd have to WHITTLE (that's scary right? "The Whittler" movie anyone?) it down to 7 or completely overhaul it. It was too bad we didn't quite manage to hit 1500 review but I'm sure we'll blow that out of the water next year.

    I managed to get in 42 scary movies this month and it's really hard to just stick to naming two in response to the question, especially for Best (I really liked most of what I watched), so I'll break it down a bit. The best OVERALL movie I watched this month was Carrie (1976). My appreciation just grows and grows for this movie every time I watch it. I also managed to convince my spouse-to-be to watch it with me (she's not generally a fan of "older" movies or horror especially) and she loved it so it became a nice shared movie experience for us (An American Werewolf in London was another). My best new-to-me movie for the month was They Live - I know it's one I'll revisit again and again and it's what locked in my Van Dien vote for Carpenter. Honourable mentions in the new-to-me's go to Fright Night (1985), The Howling and Day of the Dead.

    As for Worst, though there were a couple stinkers in my coverage of the Halloween and Romero's Dead franchises, I'm giving them a pass because I liked both franchises as a whole. So my worst of the month goes to The Collection (sequel to Brad's hated The Collector). Unlike Brad I didn't HATE the first one, and I don't know that I'd even say I HATED the sequel, but I just found it completely devoid of fun and too lacking in good characters or story to make up for it not being any fun. For me, a good horror movie has to have at least one or the other.

    Thanks again to F This Movie for really making October special - looking forward to the next one already.

  13. Well, I got to 31 for the month, but only by breaking the rules… It really is bothersome how that pesky, little full-time job gets in the way, ain't it?

    The BEST of the month is a tie between Slither at the Massacre and The Fly remake on my new TV.

    The worst? Why, Final Destination 3-DOA, of course.

  14. I felt fairly blessed this year, as my roster didn't feature that much garbage. The highlight is a tie between rediscovering the original Nightmare on Elm Street and finding that I truly love it (and that my impulse buy of its new steelbook blu-ray wasn't a mistake) and seeing the 1931 Frederic March version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the first time. Even though the F This Movie! crew has showered it with praise since the very beginning, it still took me two years to get around to it. Luckily, no amount of hype could spoil it, and I was blown away by every moment of it. Pure genius.

    My low point was undoubtedly Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. I simply didn't understand how any character's motivation in that movie made any sense. I wanted to get around to watching the entire franchise for the first time, but I decided to end on Dream Warriors so I could go out on a relatively high note.

    One last thing: the car crash from Halloween II was undoubtedly my most memorable scene of the month simply due to its manic hilarity. Scary Movie Month rocked! Here's to next year.

  15. I had a great #ScaryMovieMonth! I have to say there wasn't as many low points as I thought there might be.

    For the bad, it was too easy. "Gingerdead Man: Saturday Night Cleaver" was awful and I was 99% sure it would. "Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan" was a close second.

    For good, I had old reliables "The Bride of Frankenstein", "Slither", and "Candyman". I also enjoyed the remake of "Maniac", "V/H/S 2", and "Kiss of the Damned", even more than (CONTROVERSIAL OPINION) "The Lords of Salem", which I like but have problems that I will address in the "Scary Movie Month Movie Club".

    As for pleasant surprises, I enjoyed "Pumpkinhead", "Blood Runs Cold", "Ganja & Hess", "Twins of Evil" and "Tales from the Hood".

    Scream Factory will be taking ALL my money for next "Scary Movie Month"!

  16. I think my favourite thing I watched that was new to me was Spider Baby. I really loved the idea and the execution. I loved getting the chance to catch up on some I had been meaning to watch for a while such as The Innkeepers, which I watched twice (once on Halloween). I think the worst two films I saw were Black Christmas (2006) and Silent Night Deadly Night (1984). I would give the worst to Black Christmas as I got to enjoy your commentary after I saw Silent Night, so least I got a few laughs out of that viewing (same applies for The Burning!) whereas nothing of merit came out of watching the Black Christmas remake! I really enjoyed the original. Some movies I really enjoyed and watched thanks to Fthismovie recommendations were Carnival of Souls, Hatchet, From Dusk till Dawn, Slither and Fright Night, a few of these I am planning on buying on DVD. I think the movie that stirred the strongest reaction was The Woman; I had a lot to think about after seeing that. I enjoyed the variety of films I was watching, a lot of different types of horror. I think I will try to that with next year, but I am determined to write more 7 word reviews next year, so I have to beat 35. I still feel like there was some I wanted to watch that I didn't get round to so I am still watching a few, like Tucker and dell versus Evil, which is just fantastic!

    1. It was really great reading your reviews, and I'm thrilled to see you become such a part of our community. Super cool that you checked out some of our recommendations and found stuff to like -- that's a strong list of movies.

      I first saw Spider Baby at least year's 24-hour Massacre, and everyone who was there agreed that it was the best surprise of the marathon. A really terrific movie.

      I saw the Black Christmas remake once a couple of years ago and thought about revisiting it now that I've FINALLY seen the original and really, really liked it. Sounds like I should stay away, huh?

    2. Thanks Patrick, you guys have made me feel very welcome! I should have joined in a while ago but now I have started I will definitely keep it up as I find it very fun. I heard that podcast where you all said how great Spider Baby was, so that was the main reason I went to find it. I think the problem with the Black Christmas remake is that I watched it back to back with the original! Maybe I would have found something in it to like had I not done that (bad move on my part I guess). But I think the main problem was that I think they didn't understand what was good about the original. The creativity just wasn't there. They added all these back stories I didn't understand the point of, maybe they were inspired by Silent Night, Deadly Night? I think that was their way of trying to show how well developed their characters were, when really they should have focused on their actual personalities. With the original I love how you really get a sense of who Jess is and even characters like Pyhl. Bob Clark doesn't need to flashback to parts of their childhood for that! I went in not knowing what to expect trying to be open minded, but the overuse of flashbacks really lost me after a while and I somehow turned against the film. Maybe because flashbacks, if overused, make it feel as though the filmmakers think the viewers are morons? At least I know what the remake is like and tried to give it a fair chance but I did find myself wishing I had just re-watched the original!

      I checked out Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters the other day as well, I really loved it, I thought it was such good fun. I don't understand the general critical opinion of it. Maybe it is a little similar to Snow white and the Huntsman where playing with the traditional fantasy fairy tale in an interesting way, with a very specific aesthetic, doesn't work on some people. I happen to love fairy tales, especially when a film Hansel and Gretel decides to twist it in a clever and humorous way, so it really worked on me.