Friday, October 13, 2017

Reserved Seating: Random Thoughts on #ScaryMovieMonth

by Rob DiCristino
Or: What Rob does in the shadows.

Rob: Welcome to Scary Reserved Seating. I’m Scary Rob DiCristino.


Rob: Oh, sorry. Scary Adam Riske is on assignment this week. It’s just you and me, kids. Let’s talk.

1. I’m proud to say I’ve now completed my runs though the Big Three slasher franchises. I did all of Friday the 13th in a weekend (don’t do all of Friday the 13th in a weekend), which means I can’t give you too many details about any one film. I remember the guy on the roof who got his head punched off, and I remember Terry in Part 2 (#HorrorsGreatestShorts). I remember Crispin Glover and the movie where Tommy Jarvis was played by Corey Feldman and therefore not useless. And Joey. Always Joey. The Halloween series is fine. I know Part 6 is a train-wreck, but I actually thought it was the only one of the later sequels really trying something. Similarly, I think the Nightmare on Elm Street series was my favorite because it took the most chances. I really didn’t mind Freddy’s Revenge that much; I think it’s the only one that bothers extending the Freddy metaphor in an interesting way. The Dream Child held my attention, too, probably because it went so far off the goddamn rails. Jason X is easily the best film of them all, though. Just kidding. Maybe. What do you think, Adam?

Adam: ….

Rob: Adam agrees with me!
2. I subscribed to Shudder for Scary Movie Month! Because I can AFFORD it! Because Game of Thrones and Twin Peaks are over! Anyway. First up was the 1989 cult hit Society, which I somehow made it this far knowing absolutely nothing about. I read something that described it as the “anti-Ferris Bueller,” which sort of fits and sort of doesn’t. I really enjoyed it, but I can’t help but wish it was a little weirder a little more frequently. That shower bit is so, so awesome, and one or two scares like that peppered throughout would have gone a long way. That being said, I can’t fault the filmmakers for saving all the Cronenbergian craziness for the climax. My other complaint is that the “butthead” joke was clearly backward-engineered. But even that, you know? How can I complain about a movie where a guy literally has his face pulled through his…you know what? I won’t spoil it. Just go into Society with the understanding that it has one central metaphor, it’s going to beat it to death, and you’re not even going to care. I liked it so much that I’ve decided to make it my first Arrow Films Blu-ray purchase.
3. Speaking of discs, let’s play a game: My discs are sorted alphabetically. I’ll give you a pair of horror films I own, and you give me a recommendation for one I should own that would sit between them. For example: I say Halloween/House, and you say Hellraiser. Got it? Okay. Leave it in the comments:

a. Fright Night/From Dusk Till Dawn
b. Poltergeist/Possession
c. Ringu/Rosemary’s Baby
d. What We Do in the Shadows/You’re Next
e. The Shining/Silent Hill

Rob: Cool game, right Adam?


Rob: This blows.

4. I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m never going to like scary movies as much as I like Scary Movie Month. There are so many new names in the comments! I love scanning the seven-word reviews for everyone’s trends and habits; Adam Riske is hitting late ‘90s horror with a vengeance, for example, and it feels like a lot of people opened their month with The Funhouse (RIP T-Hoops). F This Movie! is great all year round (seriously, those of you who only joins us for October should hang out more often), but Scary Movie Month feels like the one time of year we all really roll up our sleeves and get to work. We all have our little projects and homework assignments, those gaps in our knowledge we’re eager to close and those titles we scrawled on post-it notes in August to remind ourselves for later. As a person who didn’t grow up on horror, it’s been great to learn so much about everyone’s tastes and to be there for your first-time viewings. It’s also super fun to explain this whole thing to outsiders. It’s one of the few things we do that they actually understand. They’re all, “I’m trying to think of a scary movie to watch on Halloween.” And I’m all, “What about the other 30 days? YOU’RE SO FAR BEHIND!”
5. One more alphabet game before I let you go:

f. Scream/Shaun of the Dead
g. Alien/An American Werewolf in London
h. Tremors/Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
i. Eraserhead/Evil Dead
j. Pieces/Planet Terror

Keep writing those reviews! Happy Scary Movie Month! These seats are reserved!


  1. a. Frightmare (1983)
    b. Popcorn
    c. Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare
    d. Wild Beasts
    e. Shivers
    f. Seconds
    g. Alucarda
    h. Trilogy of Terror
    i. Exte: Hair Extensions
    j. The Pit

    1. i. Apparently, I don't know how to spell. I still vet for Exte, but Escape from Tomorrow is another potential suggestion. (You won't like it, though.)

    2. It isn't really a horror movie, it's pretentious, largely plotless, and unpleasant.

    3. (It is one of my favorite movies, though.)

  2. Only one scary movie comes to mind that fits snugly between What We Do in the Shadows and You're Next, and that's Xtro.

  3. Oh my. I don't own enough horror movies to play this game.b(and don't keep anything in alphabetical order)

  4. Ahem...

    a) From Beyond
    b) Pontypool
    c) The Rocky Horror Picture Show
    d) White Zombie (alt. Wolfcop)
    e) Silence of the Lambs
    f) Scream and Scream Again
    g) American Psycho
    h) Trick or Treat
    i) Escape to Witch Mountain
    j) Pirhana

    You're welcome...

    1. Thanks! I just realized that the app I used to make those lists doesn't count American Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs (both of which I own) as horror movies. Weird. I'll add the other ones to the list.

    2. Something incredibly useless, apparently.

    3. An app is a series of very small tubes.

    4. Und btw, JB, is that the Charles Martin Smith 'Trick or Treat' you're suggesting?

    5. No, the more recent one with Anna Paquin. Did I get that film's unique spelling wrong? By the way, I was only half kidding about the app. To play this game, I used my Blu-ray collection and a flashlight. It was fun.