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31 Days of Halloween Horror Movies: Week Two Recap

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Every month of October for a few years now I have committed myself to watching at least one horror movie every day in preparation for Halloween. If you were around last week you may have read my week one recap and if not feel free to go back now and check it out. You might see something you want to watch yourself before Halloween is upon us.

As with the last entry again I will say this is not a top 10 list of horror movies you should watch. This is simply a list of movies I watched this week leading up to Halloween. Some of the movies were fantastic but some of the others were far from it. So keep that in mind. Without further ado here is week two:

October 8th: Maniac (2012)

Most of the time remakes are dreadful pieces of garbage especially when they are a carbon copy of the original. However Franck Khalfoun and Alexandre Aja handled this one masterfully. They took an interesting approach in this film that I haven’t seen used elsewhere very often, a first person perspective. Most of the film, in fact, is seen through the eyes of Frank played fantastically by Elijah Wood. He’s not in the shire any more.

The kills are devastating and very graphic. They also did a great job of capturing Frank’s decent into madness and his odd obsession with mannequins. As of the moment I am writing this it has just been released on Netflix streaming so I wouldn’t hesitate running over there and watching it now. It is a little artsy and if you are squeamish you might have some trouble during a few scenes. But overall this film is one of the best remakes you will see.

31 Days of Halloween Horror Movies: Week Two Recap

October 9th: Absentia

In addition to watching a lot of horror movies this month I’ve also picked up on my reading. I’ve always been fascinated by H.P. Lovecraft so I wanted to squeeze a couple of Lovecraftian films into my list. Absentia was a small crowd funded film that was getting some praise so since it was on Netflix I decided I would give it a try.

People in the small town of Absentia begin disappearing. Tricia and her recovering sister begin investigating what happened to her husband. What they find is that there might be stranger forces behind her husbands disappearance. When he turns up one day the story finally begins to pick up and we learn a little more about what happened to him.

Overall not bad, but really slow. I did however enjoy the concept and the execution was not bad either. Not a terrible waste of an hour and a half.

31 Days of Halloween Horror Movies: Week Two Recap

October 10th: Stake Land

Holy shit. Why did it take me so long to watch this movie? I have been looking at sit in my que for months now and finally I hit play. This is why I like using October as an opportunity to watch the films I have been neglecting for WAY too long.

Everything in the world has gone to shit and only “Mister” and his protegĂ© Martin are the only ones trying to do something about it. They travel across the country in search of “New Eden”, the promised land. On the way they pick up a few people, kill a couple of vampires and get into a tussle with a radical religious group. Good times.

If you haven’t seen Stake Land yet, stop what you are doing, go over to Netflix and watch it. Go ahead and then come back here. Holy shit that was awesome right? It definitely erased all the shitty looking vampires we have seen recently from my mind. So if you want some bad ass, feral, killing machine Vampires, go check it out.

31 Days of Halloween Horror Movies: Week Two Recap

October 11th: The Snowtown Murders

This is another “based on a true story” movie that has been getting a lot of attention. Jamie begins hanging out with his mother’s new boyfriend, John. This guy is a true psychopath who has a burning hatred for pedophiles and believes the best way to take care them is by wiping them out.

There are a number of disturbing scenes, one of which is a rape scene. None of the actual killing is usually that gory but they come off as very realistic and unnerving. It takes a special kind of person to sit down and watch this and not be at least a little disturbed.

31 Days of Halloween Horror Movies: Week Two Recap

October 12th: Sleepaway Camp II

Part II of the Sleepaway Camp franchise takes us right back to camp where Angela has returned as a camp counsellor. Once camp starts she begins sending campers home one after the other. However when one of the campers tries calling them she quickly discovers they never made it home. Angela has done something else with them.

I’m not really sure why they would let someone like Angela back but hey its Sleepaway Camp. Who cares? It’s a classic over the top kills, 80s slasher romp. A fun fact about this movie is that when I was about 12 or 13 I rented this from my local video rental store. I remember banging my head to the metal riffs during the opening credits and then being in awe of how many breasts were on the screen in the first ten minutes. Of course at this point my mother made me turn it off. I never got the chance to finish that movie until now. It only took me 15 years but I did it.

31 Days of Halloween Horror Movies: Week Two Recap

October 13th: Paranormal Activity 4

As with all the Paranormal Activity films this one follows the same format. Alex and her family move across the street from a creepy little boy who keeps finding his way onto their property. One day his mother gets hurt and Alex’s family decide to take the little guy in for a couple of days while she gets better. Once he gets into the house he begins to corrupt Alex’s little brother and the family will never be the same again.

I felt this was actually one of the better Paranormal Activity films I have seen. I’m not a huge fan of the franchise but since this was just released on Netflix I figured I’d give it a try. If you like the other PA films I’m sure you’ll like this one as well.

31 Days of Halloween Horror Movies: Week Two Recap

October 14th: Dagon

As I mentioned above I have been reading a bit of Lovecraft recently and I remembered always seeing the box for Dagon at the rental store. So I read the short story and then hunted down the movie to watch right after. I had forgotten that this was a Yuzna/Stuart Gordon production so I was pleased to see that in the opening credits. However the film itself was a huge let down after reading the story.

The film opens with a couple whose ship has wrecked with their friends in trouble. They both travel to a nearby island to get help. Once they arrive they begin to notice some strange things and soon they will be hunted by some outlandish creatures in search of a sacrifice for their lord, Dagon.

The short story is a real fantastic read and unfortunately the movie only follows it very loosely. They take a couple of concepts and a couple of scenes from the story but that is about it. I would really love to see a faithful adaptation.

31 Days of Halloween Horror Movies: Week Two Recap

 

So that about does it for my week two wrap up. This week was held down by two really fantastic films and a couple other not so memorable ones. Nothing was really outright bad like last week though. So I’ll put down week two as a success. Stick around for me Week Three recap in a couple of days. Also don’t forget if you haven’t already to check out my week one recap here.

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2 Comments

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      1. Tiago October 20, 2013 at 11:38 pm

        Great list. I’ve missed Absentia, gonna watch it. I am yet to find a good Lovecraft movie adaptation. There are great horror based on his mythology, like Reanimator, or Evil Dead, but all the adaptations suck so hard.
        Sleepaway camp 2 is so awesome, that scene in the picture is one of the best slasher kills of the 80’s. I think this movie is the best camp/slasher of the 80’s, and I love the Angela of parts 2 and 3.

      2. Derek Smith October 22, 2013 at 1:22 am

        The “Maniac” remake is CooL..i’m a big fan of the 1980 original & the remake does it even more justice!!!