Hello everyone. How was Halloween for you all this year?
Here in the Philippines, in addition to Halloween (on Oct 31), we also have All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2– so as everyone troops to the cemeteries to light a candle and remember the dearly departed, the city stops to a standstill, at least until everybody comes back from the provinces in time for work.
Consider it a personal tradition, but for Halloween, I’ve lined up for myself a bunch of movies to watch (as I have been doing since 2007). Here’s a quick review of the ten films I’ve put together this year– some good and some bad, but all of em just plain fun to watch.
My 2010 Halloween Horror Movie Playlist:
- The Human Centipede (2009)
- Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
- Martyrs (2008)
- 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days (2010)
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
- Thirst (2009)
- Salem’s Lot (2004)
- Hostel 2 (2007)
- Antichrist (2009)
- Three Extremes (2004)
The Human Centipede (2009)
A disturbing Dutch horror film by Tom Six. You got this German doctor who kidnaps tourists and surgically joins them– ready for this? –mouth to anus– thus creating the aforementioned human centipede.
You’re probably asking yourself: is it even humanly possible? Director Tom Six says it is, having an actual surgeon assist him with the whole concept. Of course, the film has its own naysayers. Just don’t take it too seriously– just watch and enjoy the ride.
Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
The DVD came out just in time for Halloween. I didn’t get a chance to see the re-imagining of the film that made Freddie Krueger a haunted household name when it came out in cinemas earlier this year.
I saw the originals when I was a kid, and I gotta tell you– Nightmare on Elm Street absolutely terrified me (at least the first few movies in the franchise did). I guess it’s a tougher crowd now, as this one hardly scared me at all. I don’t know– partially you already know what’s going to happen, and partially horror films have to suprise you with something new altogether.
Regardless, it’s fun to watch Jackie Earle Haley (as the iconic Freddie), Clancy Brown and Thomas Dekker in this one.
OK, so you have a secret organization whose entire raison d’etre is to find out more about the afterlife through the euphoric visions of martyrs. Martyrs is a French horror film that pushes the envelope– I’ve seen some pretty violent movies, but this, I suppose takes the cake.
It’s got brutal slayings, a mysterious creature– fairly standard horror movie fare– but it also has torture and well, I don’t know about you, but the scenes were enough to make me wince. Not for the faint-hearted at all.
30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010)
I picked this up because I thoroughly enjoyed the 2007 film with its gritty, gory horde-of-vampires-lays-waste-to-a-sleepy-Alaskan-town storyline.
This one, however, didn’t quite grab my attention so well. Sure, vampire hunters make for a good plot device, but the concept was somehow poorly-executed in this film. Then again, this movie might be alright for some people, but it sure isn’t something I’d cue up on my player anytime again soon.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Had to watch this one, thanks to the most recent episode of Glee (which paid homage to said film). It makes for a great change of pace as it’s not really a horror film, but more of a comedy/musical, definitely groundbreaking for its time, and still very fun to watch (and sing along to, if you’re familiar with the songs).
Features a very young Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon, by the way. So you might want to check that out.
All you need to know about Thirst: it’s a Korean movie, it’s a vampire love story, and it won The Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Not bad, eh?
The version I got is the Korean original with English subtitles. Admittedly, I originally thought this was just cashing in on all the hype from Twilight (of which I am not a fan), but I gotta tell you, I was wrong. This is a different take altogether, and made for good Halloween viewing for me.
Salem’s Lot (2004)
I’ve read the Stephen King masterpiece, and watched its disappointing 1979 made-for-TV movie. I thought this 2004 TV miniseries was actually fairly faithful to the source material– at least until the ending, which again, left a bad taste in my mouth.
Still makes for good vampire entertainment, and has that classic Danny-Glick-scratching-at-your-window scene that left me almost soiling my shorts.
Special thanks, by the way, to Chilling Scenes of Dreadful Villainy for the Danny Glick pic.
Hostel 2 (2007)
The first Hostel (by Eli Roth) was a delight. This movie picks up where the first one leaves off. Hostel 2, however, sort of falls short for me, and although it does have its moments, I think it might have overstretched the original concept a little too far.
It’s got enough gross-out stuff to make it into my Halloween playlist for the year, but it’s safe to say that I probably won’t be watching Hostel 2 again after this.
OK I might be missing something here, but I feel like the title didn’t seem to set up the movie well enough for me. Still, this Cannes Film Festival-acclaimed project by Lars Von Trier is beautifully made, and focuses on a couple’s attempt to deal with the unfortunate and untimely death of their only son.
Simple enough, you think? Well, it’s got some surreal imagery, and sex, and everything builds up for the movie’s final act– if the scenes near the end of the film won’t make you wince, I honest to God wouldn’t know what will.
Three Extremes (2004)
Three horror stories in one film, featuring the works of Fruit Chan (of Hong Kong), Park Chan-Wook (of South Korea) and Takashi Miike (of Japan). A generous enough serving of Asian horror perfect for the long Halloween weekend.
What I didn’t know is that it’s a sequel (of sorts) to an earlier 2002 film which also features three stories from three acclaimed Asian directors. So it seems I have to get a copy of that one to check it out.
In my collection, but haven’t watched yet:
- Shutter (2004)
- Let The Right One In (2008)
- Suspiria (1977)
- Dead Snow (2009)
- A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
- Rec II (2009)
- Deadgirl (2008)
- The Fourth Kind (2009)
- The Last House on the Left (1972)
- Wrong Turn 2 (2007)
There are definitely a lot more good horror movies out there that I haven’t included in this list. I’m always on the lookout for good scares to add to my collection. Have you watched any good horror movies lately?
Unless otherwise indicated, all images taken from Wikipedia.
What did you watch this Halloween?