Saturday, October 17, 2015

Weekend Open Thread

#ScaryMovieMonth is more than half over.

It's at this point that separation anxiety sets in and I realize that soon the fun of October will end. I don't handle it well. In the meantime, let's keep watching tons of scary movies and writing seven word reviews.

How are you all feeling? Are you pacing yourselves? Burned out? Just getting started? What are your highs and lows so far? We don't get to comment on each other's viewings in the Scary Movie Challenge thread, so here's the place to do it.

56 comments:

  1. Forgive me F-Heads, for I have sinned. It's been four days since I last watched a scary movie. The work schedule has been killing me. But I'll mend my ways and get back to it tonight.

    Could someone help me with a ruling? I just blind bought Why Don't You Play in Hell because I remember Patrick mentioning it in the year-end podcast. Is it a horror movie (meaning can I watch it for the Scary Movie Challenge)?

    On the non-scary front (sorry about that), next Wednesday is BTTF2 day! Oct 21st 2015 is the date they went to in BTTF2 and I'm planning to take a little break from #ScaryMovieMonth and watch the movie (or perhaps all three) with a few friends. Also, there's a special 40th anniversary screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in my town tonight. Really excited for that!

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    1. Per the rules established by Patrick on the SMM primer, you can do non-horror movies in the seven-word review if you feel like it. I'm half-tempted to sneak a review of Visconti's "Rocco and His Brothers" and Ridley Scott's "The Martian," but I haven't dared. :-P "Why Don't You Play in Hell?" isn't horror but it's plenty bloody and a really good self-aware action flick. Some people have already reviewed it, so jump in with yours. The precedent has been set. :-)

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    2. Oh. I interpreted the primer differently than you J.M. I thought that the Scary Movie Challenge (i.e. the seven word reviews) are soley for "horror" movies. However, you CAN watch other stuff in October - it's just not part of the challenge.

      As for Why Don't You Play in Hell, it's a great movie. According to wiki (because I have no film knowledge of my own), a horror movie seeks to elicit a negative reaction by playing on the viewer's primal fears. On that measure, I'd say it's not strictly traditional horror, but more horror adjacent (kind of like Battle Royale). That being said, I wouldn't kick up a fuss if you used it for SMM.

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  2. This has been an AMAZING week of scary movie watching for me! I watched a Tobe Hooper marathon and watched all his hits. The highlight of that was The Funhouse. I thought that movie was incredible. So much fun!

    I also re watched The House of the Devil, which I watched for Junesploitation New Horror day this year and didn't much care for. Ok, I get it now. That movie is a masterpiece. I adored it this time.

    Undoubtedly, the scariest film I've watched all month is Under the Skin. I almost never get scared by movies but that one shook me up! Amazing film and I loved it.

    Today and I'm in Chicago and am going to the Massacre! My first one ever and I'm crazy excited. Most of the films I'm seeing for the first time so its going to be such a treat.

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    1. Nice! Love to see someone come around on The House of the Devil - it's an all-time favourite of mine.

      And, yeah, Under the Skin - wow, eh? It took me awhile to shake that one - I love that a movie that could have just been (and probably is to some idiots) "the one where Scarlett Johansson gets naked" ended up being one of the best sci-fi/horror/??? movie ever.

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    2. I was actually surprised at how little she actually is naked. People talk about that movie like it has Lifeforce nudity. Those people might not have understood it. haha

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    3. The scene at the beach freaks me out

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    4. The beach scene is one of the most unsettling things I've ever seen - it all happens so quietly and off in the distance - and then later that night...ugh

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    5. Yep. Its very powerfull. It almost turned me off the movie a little as I watched it, it definitely has power if you let yourself get drawn in, you need patience to watch it and not everyone can handle a slow burn

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    6. What really killed me as watching the baby cry alone on the beach in the dark. That was super rough. The scene of the two guys underwater freaked me out as well.

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    7. I hate to do the "as a father..." thing but I saw it for the first time when my son was 4 weeks old and the thought of him alone on a beach like that...it totally gut-punched me, but in such a way I'm willing to give the movie credit for - that's about as bloodlessly horrifying as it gets, and you don't need to be a parent to get it - it's a kind of fragility and peril everyone can understand.

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  3. I'll be at the Massacre. Stop by and say hi if you're going. I'll be wearing a Bulls hoodie. Have a great day F-Heads!

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    1. Hmm, the Massacre or the Cubs getting beat by the Mets in the first NLCS game. I'd hate to be an F-head and a baseball fan today. Guess you can sneak a cellphone and watch the game with a coat over your head while the movie plays, just like when we were teens. ;-)

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    2. That's why I'm a White Sox fan

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    3. What happened to Chicago Pride? It's the Cubs, man, the lovable losers everybody roots for over the moneybag NY Mets. Watch the game tonight instead of the movies for the real massacre. ;-)

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    4. I'm bummed I didn't see you there man! Oh well.

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    5. Yeah. Me too! I was there until about midnight. What did you think?

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    6. Up to They Live, it was incredible. Dawn of the Dead was an incredible experience, even though the audience was laughing at everything they shouldn't have laughed at. After that it went straight down hill. I slept through some of it, but they also basically showed a porno. I actually made a point to sleep through as much of that as possible. But it ended strong with Christine. I didn't expect much from it, but it really surprised me! Overall, I really dug the experience and it honestly wasn't as hard as I expected.

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    7. Did Daniel deliberately sleep through Vampyros Lesbos?!

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    8. The large majority of it, yes.

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  4. I'm officially burned out. Took time off to watch real movies in theaters (Ridley Scott's "The Martian," Visconti's amazing "Rocco and His Brothers" remastered in 4K), and the horror ones I saw afterward felt inferior and wanting. What I expected to be highlight of the month, a 35mm screening of 1982's "Alone in the Dark," disappointed because the movie is just not good. What can I say, "You're Next" has spoiled any home invasion film that doesn't bring its 'A' game. I'll still watch horror films every once in a while, but the thrill of SMM has officially worn off for me. This is what I get for being a year-round movie watcher of all genres. The idea of tuning out all the good movies out there that aren't horror for a whole month, even October, is just too restricting an idea for me.

    BTW, there should be a minimum quality standard for what streaming services allow in their pipelines. Amazon is particularly guilty of letting some shoddy transfers through, but some (Wes Craven's "Chiller," "Eternal Evil," "The Chill Factor," etc.) are literally VHS SLP-quality bad recordings with tracking errors and even muddled audio from whatever it was recorded over. Regardless of whether a horror movie's going to suck or not, it deserves a minimum amount of visual information for viewers to not let the picture quality dictate whether it's any good or not. If this is what the end of physical media spells I'm holding for dear life to my HD-DVD's, DVD's and Blu-rays. :-(

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    1. Ugh...You're still killing me with the "real movies" thing, Vargas. The Martian is as real a movie as Microwave Massacre or Alone in the Dark, for that matter.

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    2. ^^^ Speaking like a man that hasn't wondered through the swamps of Amazon Prime and gotten stuck with brain-sucking leeches like "Eternal Evil," "The Chill Factor" and "Breeders." Walk a mile in my dampened SMM shoes and you'll understand the pain watching films like those can bring to my fragile little mind. :'(

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  5. Best thing I've seen so far this month is A Field in England. Is it really horror? I wouldn't categorize it as such, but it does contain the single most disturbing sequence I've watched during SMM. After getting burned out on found footage and jump scares, I was definitely more appreciative of the psychological phantasmagoria of the film, and I can't wait to see it again. Caution: this one is weird as hell, so I'd recommend watching the trailer first to see if it's your cup of tea.
    The low point has been testing the horror films on Canadian Netflix. There's only about two dozen (none of which are ever the ones recommended here on Fridays), and I got about 45 seconds into An American Haunting before saying, "This fool can not die soon enough to please me." Same deal with The Haunting of Whaley House. iTunes will be getting all my money this month.
    Today's movie is going to be Rigor Mortis, and then I'm seeing Crimson Peak tonight. Speaking of Del Toro, everybody should check out the article in The New York Times about the house that holds his collection of horror memorabilia. I think it's the house that most of us wish we lived in. Or maybe that's just me.

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    1. What genre would "A Field in England" qualify as? Even after reading a plot summary and watching a trailer I have no clue. Sounds intriguing, and it's streaming on Amazon Prime.

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    2. I don't know what genre to place the movie in. It's equal parts comedy, drama, horror, religious allegory, drug trip--and yet I never felt like it was tonally inconsistent. I rarely use the word 'original,' since everything seems to be riffing on something else, but I've never seen anything else like it. It will likely be the first thing I rewatch once I get to the end of SMM, but I haven't recommended it to any of my friends, since I feel like the most common reaction I would get is, "What the hell is this?" I'm really interested to hear what other movie lovers think of it. Other than, "What is this?!", of course.

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  6. I have no idea where the first half of October went! It's all a blur of responsibilities like work and family stuff, and I just haven't been able to get to horror movies like I want to. Sometimes being an adult really sucks...but then again, being an adult is what lets me collect and watch all these horror movies in the first place. The good news is that I've still got precisely 14 days to cram in as much horror as I can, and I know that things are going to really ramp up as the 31st draws nearer. I'll probably be programming a few all-night (or--more realistically--maybe half-night) marathons during the last week of the month. It also helps that our temperatures dropped about 30 degrees overnight. The month may be more than half way over, but I'm just getting started. It's exciting.

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  7. Yesterday ended up being a Zero day for me. That sucks, and I wasn't really happy about it. My wife and I spend the day, painting, running errands, cleaning, cooking, cleaning again, running out for more paint, touching up paint, putting our kitchen in order again and decorating our whole home for our Halloween party this evening. We went to sleep Friday at 6:30PM and woke up at 2AM Saturday morning to finish all these tasks, and made it back into bed to sleep from 9AM to 11AM before our Horror Movie Marathon begins (oh, NOW) Noon. I should be able to cover my loss of yesterday with todays selections.
    I'm having a blast this SMM, though I've seen a lot more stinkers than winners. Deathgasm was a highlight. Reel Horror or possibly Amityville Death House was low-point.
    Hope everyone else is having as much fun as I am, Happy Scary Movie Month!

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  8. Here's some depressing news:

    "A sixth Die Hard film is in the works with Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman attached to direct. The film may be a prequel set in 1979, with the title Die Hard: Year One." - Deadline

    A Die Hard prequel? That makes no sense what so ever. The great thing about John McClane in the first Die Hard is that he was an every man cop (maybe a bit better). To give us a prequel and say oh he kicked massive ass before that episode in the tower building happened is pretty much shitting on the character of the first Die Hard. Also Die Hard: Year One is the stupidest title idea. Is it going to take place when he is an infant? I dont know why this made me so mad, it's not like ive seen any of the sequels and I wont see this one, but it's just such a dumb idea.

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    1. Just speculation and heresay. I wouldn't put too much stock into this. Although a movie about John McClane writing tickets and investigating insurance fraud sounds great.

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    2. I read about this too. Awful idea.

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    3. Haha, I would watch that movie. Die Hard: Good Lieutenant

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    4. Can't wait to see who they cast as Holly Gennaro. Sexy Holly for the win... NOT!!! :-(

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    5. I´m more interested in how they want to do this with Bruce Willis. Either they have to take a younger actor resembling him or going the Terminator route via CGI. Now that would make a really horrible film...

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  9. Franchise month

    Friday the 13th. All 11 movies was a little tough but overall much better than I thought it could go

    Scream movies went down like chocolate. Lots of fun

    Wishmaster 1 and 2 were great. 3 and 4 almost broke me. I struggled through them

    Tonight im starting the Poltergiest movies and then onto all 7 Chainsaw films. Finally finishing with Halloween and any more I can squeeze in, I want to also rewatch the Chucky movies

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    1. Did you like 8? I hated it the first time I saw it. Now, it's one of my favorites. It's absolutely ridiculous and I love it.

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    2. You have some serious endurance! I started with Halloween (very fun) then made it through 3 Fridays before I had to change tactics (will finish out the series before month end). My one suggestion is maybe don't end the month on Chucky. Finish the month on a high note, perhaps your go to Halloween night movie. Good luck on your franchise month.

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    3. Cheers Brent,
      Part 8 I really liked it though my only complaint was most of it was on the boat and he wasn't in NY as much as I would of liked. But the one shot in Time Square in the crowds and stood still doing the Chest breathing thing made it all worth while

      Cheers MD,
      Im want to do Chucky next after Poltergeist, my plan is I want to be hitting the Halloween movies the final week leading up to Halloween. So any small franchise inbetween then is cool. Evil dead has just 4 Demons just 3 and Fright night 3 and Basket case just 3. I got it kinda mapped out. Its just as many as I can get through!

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    4. You may need the power of the Necronomicon! Shop smart shop....you get it.

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  10. I just wanted to say if any of you get a chance to see Tales of Halloween with a crowd, please do it. I had a shit eating grin on my face throughout the entire movie.

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    1. That's how I saw it. I think it helped.

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    2. I saw it by myself like a piece of shit and I loved it. I watched it, started it over and watched it again. We don't get this kind of thing very often so when we do, we should embrace it. I don't quite understand you if you don't like it but hey, not everyone is awesome.

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  11. Fthismovie SMM 7 Word Review Count (to date)

    Day 1 = 170
    Day 2 = 123
    Day 3 = 151
    Day 4 = 139
    Day 5 = 121
    Day 6 = 100
    Day 7 = 110
    Day 8 = 90
    Day 9 = 102
    Day 10 = 102
    Day 11 = 96
    Day 12 = 95
    Day 13 = 84
    Day 14 = 66
    Day 15 = 75
    Day 16 = 87
    Day 17 = 66 (2:30am Chicago Time)

    Grand Total = 1,777

    Average per day needed to hit 3,000 is 88ish

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    1. We're doing well and hopefully we all push it up for the final week too, a final surge of madness

      If anyone wants to join in lets have a guessing game

      My vote is for 3588 by the end

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    2. Sounds like the under/over to me.

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    3. If you read each day, though, a lot of those reviews are 'dead' links where a comment's been erased, plus many reviews appear twice in a row. If you exclude those we're way down from last year. I think we'll barely, barely come to about the same number of reviews as last year.

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    4. Way to piss on the party JM...

      I vote 3589

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  12. This week was ROUGH, you guys. I watched way more crappy movies than movies I actually liked. Anyway, here are my picks for week three, such as they are:

    Best new-to-me movie: Pontypool (2008)
    Worst new-to-me movie: After School Massacre (2014)

    Best movie I’d seen before: Hellraiser (1987)
    Worst movie I’d seen before: Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

    New horror icon: Little girl in the white mask from The Houses That October Built (2014)

    The so-bad-it’s-good award: Monsters Crash the Pajama Party (1965)

    Most over-the-top performance: The lead reporter from WNUF Halloween Special (2013)

    Best final girl: Judy from Night of the Demons (1988)

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    1. I hear you, MM. When you watch a good horror movie it rejuvenates you and makes you wish SMM would go year-round. But when you watch a bad one (and let's face it, that's the bulk of what's available) it drains you and makes me ask 'why the fuck am I wasting my life watching this?'

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    2. By my calculations with those films you listed you were 5-3 for the week (6-2 if you actually liked Houses October Built)...I'd say that's a win, Mac!

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  13. My studies have been cutting into my movie-watching time, so my participation in the Scary Movie Challenge is mostly comprised of various Tales From the Crypt episodes (I'll try and stick with movies from here on out). What few flicks I've managed to watch so far have been first-time viewings. My thoughts:

    Graveyard Shift (1990) - Garbage, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. Many 90s Stephen King adaptations fall under "good trash" in my eyes (see also: Thinner).

    Silver Bullet (1985) - On recommendation following Patrick's write-up; thoroughly enjoyable. [I picked up that Paramount collection Riske mentioned on the recent podcast. I plan on watching The Dead Zone before the month is up]

    Army of Darkness (1992) - Short and sweet; a boatload of fun.

    Body Bags (1993) - Carpy's no Cryptkeeper, but his tales (The Gas Station, Hair) delivered. Hooper's segment (Eye) was probably the weakest of the lot, due to a familiar premise [I seriously need to re-watch Body Parts], but its great seeing Mark Hamill have a ghoulishly good time with the part.

    As always, you guys are knocking it out of the park with your 7-Word-Reviews. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Oooh. Body Bags, I love the Stacey Keach Hair story a lot, great choice

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  14. Crimson Peak is close to great - will be the most misunderstood film of the year.

    Overall I really, really enjoyed my time with this. I adored and LOVED the first half of this film. Even though Chastain has stressed it IS a gothic romance, I'm unsure a lot of people are ready for the amount of a more Joe Wright period drama & romance story were getting here - but told in a more succinct and creepier pace, a la the fist half of many Ken Russell films. You almost NEED to set your mind to the "I'm going to a repertory screening of The Uninvited or The Innocents" (or insert other b&w gothic, formal, high class ghost stories). Once you're in, you kinda know what you're getting. One thing that left me feeling cold was that I thought the film needed even more romance and love scenes. Maybe I'm just a sucker for 80s/early 90s steamy sex scenes? Lover of erotic cinema? Perv? Yes to at least two of those. The acting is far superior to any horror story you'll see. Chastain is at her best, and coldest.

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    1. I must be a perv too because once I realized this movie's speed I did think to myself that it was oddly sexless for what it was trying to be.

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  15. First time scary movie month challenge participant, and I was so pumped for this month to start, but I am burning myself out. Started strong, with super awesome films, now I've hit bits of turbulence 28th certain films. Patrick had spoken about re-watching favorite horror films of his, for a change, this year, and to kickstart the rut I have become trapped in this week , I'm going to do the same.
    The films that have impressed and become favorites of mine were:
    - The House of the Devil
    - Starry Eyes
    - Wolfcop
    - Was Cravens New Nightmare
    Looking forward to more horror films!

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