31 Scary Movie Choices for Halloween!

We enjoyed showcasing and looking back at 31 scary movies over 31 October days!  To wrap up our month-long event, here are all 31 films (with our review links), and why not pick a scary movie or two tonite to watch while the trick or treaters stop by? Enjoy…and leave the lights on! Oct. 1 – “Frankenstein” (1931) Oct. 2 – “Dead of Night” (1945) Oct. 3 – “House of Wax” (1953) Oct. 4 – “Diabolique” (1955) Oct. 5 – “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956) Oct. 6 – “Black…

31 Scary Movies: ‘The Eyes of My Mother’

“The Eyes of My Mother” (2016) – “Loneliness can do strange things to the mind.” Mother (Diana Agostini) tells a story about St. Francis to her young daughter, Francisca (Olivia Bond), and closes the tale with the above quote.  Little does the girl realize the supreme accuracy of her mom’s statement.  Not only does “The Eyes of My Mother” prove that loneliness can do strange things to the mind, but it can also drive twisted and depraved ones as well, in the one of the most unforgettable films of 2016. Presented…

31 Scary Movies: ‘Lake Mungo’

“Lake Mungo” (2008) – A tragedy befell the Palmers, a pleasant family from Ararat, Australia, and June (Rosie Traynor), Russell (David Pledger) and Matthew (Martin Sharpe) try to make sense of their present and future. Unfortunately, both aforementioned time periods become terribly cloudy, when they believe that their lost family member has returned as a ghost. Writer/director Joel Anderson structures his mystery like a documentary, as June, Russell, Matthew, and others reflect on the inexplicable occurrences, and the film also uses photos and video to reveal and retell their experiences. …

31 Scary Movies: ‘[REC]’

“[REC]” (2007) – This Spanish horror film – that spawned three sequels and an American remake (and sequel) – generates plenty of fear with its effective documentary-style screenplay, but “[REC]” is a frightening concept, no matter what method is used to convey its story. Local television reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) is after a story too!  She’s the host of “While You’re Asleep”, and tonight, she’s filming – with her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) – the Bravo 128 Fire Company. They will document how firemen live, work, and eat! With…

31 Scary Movies: ‘Slither’

“Slither” (2006) –  Alien wormlike parasites terrorize the folks from Wheelsy, a sleepy little town in the U.S. South, but a local named Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) is the most adversely impacted in this monster invasion-zombie-comedy mash-up. The film includes buckets of ghastly and twisted body horror that rivals “From Beyond” (1986), but also includes plenty of hilarious discourse and two appearances of Air Supply’s “Every Woman in the World” (1980). Not too many writer/directors could make this cinematic concoction work, but James Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014), “Guardians…

31 Scary Movies: ‘High Tension’

“High Tension” (2003) – This savagely violent picture from France innocently begins when Alex (Maiween Le Besco) invites her college friend Marie (Cecile De France) to her family’s farmhouse for rest and relaxation. This big and beautiful home – surrounded by corn fields, a clothesline in the backyard and a welcoming family inside – seems like a Norman Rockwell painting that has come to life. Mayhem, however, is soon to follow, and director/co-writer Alexandre Aja splatters buckets of blood all over the pristine aforementioned figurative artwork.  Aja doesn’t shy away…

31 Scary Movies: ‘Open Water’

“Open Water” (2003)  – How many people never really got the hang of treading water? Please note that this critic is raising his hand.  After 15 seconds or so in the deep end, where is the edge of pool, STAT? Well, imagine needing to tread water in the middle of the ocean for a lot longer than 15 seconds.  A lot longer.  For Susan (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis), keeping their heads above water in the deep blue sea is the least of their problems. These two career-minded 30-somethings…

Mulligan and Gyllenhaal shine in Dano’s ‘Wildlife’

“Wildlife” – “Do you know what they call trees in a forest fire?  Fuel.  Do you know what they call the trees when the fire goes by?  The standing dead.” – Jeanette Brinson (Carey Mulligan) Jeanette (Mulligan) and Jerry Brinson (Jake Gyllenhaal) and their teenage son Joe (Ed Oxenbould) look like an all-American family during a Montana autumn in 1960. Jerry and Ed toss the football around in front of their modest home, while Jeanette has dinner waiting for them.  Both parents show affection to each other, encourage Joe with…

31 Scary Movies: ‘Shadow of the Vampire’

“Shadow of the Vampire” (2000) – Director E. Elias Merhige’s movie is about a filmmaker (John Malkovich) making a movie with an eccentric star (Willem Dafoe).  Sounds simple enough and not out of the ordinary, because what movie actor or actress isn’t at least a little eccentric? Well, not so simple. Merhige’s eye-popping fantasy-biopic doubles as a horror film, because Malkovich plays director FW Murnau who attempts to make 1922’s “Nosferatu”, and Dafoe is actor Max Schreck who plays the chalky-white, long-nailed Count Orlok.  The rub?  Murnau claims that Schreck…

Hill’s ‘Mid90s’ avoids nostalgia and embraces timeless themes

“Mid90s” – Looking back at 1995, millions of Americans flocked to see “Braveheart” and “Toy Story” in theatres, listened to TLC’s “Waterfalls” on the radio, watched “ER”, “Seinfeld” and “Friends” on television, were fascinated by the O.J. Simpson trial, and loaded Windows95 on their personal computers.  Even though these cultural phenomenons (and many more) captured the public’s attention 23 years ago, they do not appear in writer/director Jonah Hill’s movie “Mid90s”, about a group of skateboarding kids in Los Angeles. This is by design. During a Sept. 2018 interview, Hill…