by Patrick Bromley
The best month of the year is just a few weeks away. As is the case every year, I have grown impatient waiting for October to come. Spirit Halloween has already opened near me and some stores have begun putting out their Halloween stuff, but we're still not quite close enough for us to put up our decorations or to find a box of Count Chocula on the shelves at Target. We've got a few weeks still, so in the meantime let's gorge ourselves on horror movies to tide ourselves over.
The Tingler (1959, dir. William Castle) Because we've got to have a Vincent Price movie, and a Vincent Price/William Castle collaboration is too good to pass up. I'm not ambitious enough to rig the chairs in our basement with buzzers to complete the effect of "Percepto," but The Tingler is a great time even without the gimmicks.
George A. Romero) Here's one of those movies I'm constantly defending because it's either ignored or derided, neither of which is a fate I feel the film deserves. I'm a big fan of this Stephen King adaptation about an author (Timothy Hutton) whose pen name becomes corporeal and begins committing murders. This is always one of the first movies I feel like watching as the seasons begin to change, because George Romero really nails the look and feel of Fall better than most. I can't quite explain my affection nor the effect this film has on me.
Dolls (1987, dir. Stuart Gordon) The majority of the movies I'm programming into this marathon fall under the category of "fun," which aptly describes Stuart Gordon's Dolls. It's a couple different kinds of horror movie rolled into one: killer toys, slasher, old dark house movie, creepy fairy tale. It's better at being some of those than others, but it's always fun and is short enough so as not to overstay its welcome.
Evil Dead (2013, dir. Fede Alvarez) Here's another one I'm anxious to revisit. I wasn't crazy about it when I first saw it (we recorded our podcast as soon as we got out of that first screening), but have really warmed to it in the years since. I've not yet seen the longer, supposedly gorier director's cut, which is the one I'll program into our marathon. The remake is grisly and nasty and mean-spirited, but fun in its own way and should fit nicely into the overall tone of these 24 hours. I hope.
Fright Night Part 2 (1989, dir. Tommy Lee Wallace) I'm not even crazy about this movie (please no one tell Elric Kane), but the beauty of these 24 hour marathons is that they get me in the mood to watch stuff I might not otherwise feel like watching. On its own, Fright Night 2 is kind of disappointing retread of the first film, which I dearly love. As part of 24 hours of horror movies, though, it's just a different flavor -- a change of pace, a new vibe -- and, as such, probably would play a lot better. We'll find out, I guess.
over at Bloody Disgusting about all the ways it subverts slasher tropes, but the truth is that most of these things weren't tropes just yet. This is such a good movie and perfect to watch as the sun comes up.
David Cronenberg) This is a David Cronenberg horror movie I still haven't seen. There's no excuse for that. Weirdly, first thing in the morning feels like the right time to check it out and I don't really know why that is. I think I once watched Rabid in a similar time slot and I'm just conflating the two movies.
It: Chapter One (2017, dir. Andy Muschetti) With It: Chapter Two just days away from release, I thought it might be fun to end our marathon by revisiting the first of the two films. Public perception seems to have cooled on this once since the weekend it was released, but I still love it to death. I love the kids, I love the direction, I love Pennywise, I love it all. And because the final shot of the final movie is so important in these 24 hour marathons -- it's a very specific feeling I'm chasing -- this one will make for a perfect capper. Chapter Two can't get here soon enough, and either can #ScaryMovieMonth.