Suspiria (2018)

Score: 5.5/10*

Length: 152

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, supernatural, witch, girly, paranormal, remake, hotel

I watched this over an extended period of time. Like, a more than a week. It’s very long, and conveniently in chapters, so I quite enjoyed it in more of the television episode format. Almost like people of the eighties and early nineties got to enjoy Stephen King classics on tv as a mini-series, instead of being trapped in a theatre for three hours. The characters are mostly the same, and so is the story, but I didn’t often liken it to the original. In fact, although the OG Suspiria is incredibly memorable and well-known, I didn’t think of it much at all while watching the new version. Yes, it’s about ballet and witches, but I more felt it akin to watching an art-school film, and it took me closer to memories of my own art experiences (hence the high levels of pretension…). I found the many characters confusing (as I usually do when there’s more than five or six) but I still enjoyed the performances by all the great gals in the film. Even Dakota Johnson’s performance was decent, though I don’t appreciate the actress in the least. The Director, Luca Guadagnino, is virtually unknown- mainly directing shorts- but I’m curious how he came upon directing, as he is also Italian, like Argento. Tension, dread, and gore are all fairly absent in this highly anticipated film, just tipping it into flop status. There were some unexpected bits, such as the Star Wars blob and the lengthy bone-crunching scene, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it added anything amazing to the film, it just caught me off-guard, The cinematography was exquisite- a visually beautiful film from the ballet to the gore- but this isn’t a stoic piece of art, it’s a movie, and as such, it really falls flat.

* score based on watching in episodes. Would for sure be lower if I watched it all at once, as this film could do with some harsh editing.

OG Suspiria 1977 review here

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I Am Not A Serial Killer (2016)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 104

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer

A teen, who is a little too serial killery himself, discovers his elderly neighbour murders for fun, or rather the CGI blob who inhabits him does. It’s well-acted, with Christopher Lloyd and Max Records (the kid from Where the Wild Things Are) and it had a nice moody tone. However, this is just another film festival flick that’s quirky and well-pieced, but boring and forgettable. I’ve seen this type of movie a million times- it’s intriguing, it has potential, but it’s just not something I’d want to revisit or recommend to anyone.

Six Scary Santa Shorts

When I was making Thirteen Days of Christmas Horror Shorts, I came across so many great Santa shorts I had to make a separate list. Even narrowing it down to six was hard! Here are my favorite Kris Kringles and Old Saint Nicks.

 

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6. Seasons Greetings (2015)

Length: 4:26
A girl wakes up to a present from Santa and a monster in her bed. Not much to it, but somehow this short has both fun jump scares and a cute vibe to it. Watch here

 

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5. Luchagore Christmas (2017)

Length: 1:43
The most gore (aside from the claymation) on the list, and a very sour-looking set. This super short is a great one because of the dirty, disgusting Santa, focus on disturbing details, and the gore galore. Very Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Watch here

 

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4. Christmas Presence (2015)

Length: 5:16
A babysitter arrives at an over-decorated house. It takes her a while to realize that the life-size Santa statue with the creepy white mask is not part of the family’s decor. One thing that really bothered me was that when the babysitter entered the house, you couldn’t see the glow of the outdoor lights and the interior was so sparsely decorated. Watch here

 

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3. Milk & Cookies (2017)

Length: 2:35 
When a girl doesn’t follow her father’s rules to not eat the milk and cookies, she suffers cookie-consequences. Sean Whalen as the dad in a Freddy Krueger sweater is fantastic. The snarl at greedy children on Christmas is appreciated. And best of all, the blue cookie-eater creature with the pointy nose and blood pouring out of his mouth was just spectacular. Maybe even my favorite horror Santa. Watch here

 

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2. Here Comes Santa (2016)

Length: 5:03
A child stays up to catch Santa on his video camera, but instead discovers he’s a hideous skeletal creature. Simple, cute, memorable. Watch here

 

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1. Winter Stalker (2009)

Length: 2:05
Arty and stylized, this short features Santa checking his list. He’s making a doll for Katie, and he’s been watching her closely. His voice sounds like Jigsaw, and our Santa is dire need of a bubble bath. A great short with a twist that leaves me feeling uncomfortable.
Watch here

Top Ten: The Simpsons, Treehouse of Horror Episodes

Since season two, The Simpsons have had a Halloween episode. Some are hilarious and fantastic, some are meh, and some are immediately forgotten. In each episode, the family remakes three or four popular (usually horror or sci-fi) movies. As an added touch, even the names in the credits are altered for Halloween. These are my favorite Treehouse of Horror episodes based on my personal tastes. It took me a lot of rewatching and narrowing down, but I’ve finally decided on my top ten (twelve).

Rank: 10
Episode: XX 21×04
Intro: Classic Monsters Halloween Party
Segments: “Dial ‘M’ for Murder or Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu”, “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind”, “There’s No Business Like Moe Business”
Summary: In black and white, Bart proposes a “criss-cross” with Lisa to kill each other’s enemy. Krusty Burger’s new creation turns Springfield into zombies. A musical of mostly Moe making beer with Homer’s blood.

 

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Rank: 9
Episode: XXI 22×04
Intro: Bart vs Homer presented by Professor Frink, The Monster Office
Segments: “War and Pieces”, “Master and Cadaver”, “Tweenlight”
Summary: Bart and Milhouse are sucked into a board game world. Marge and Homer rescue a man on their boat vacation but end up having a change of heart. Lisa meets the vampire boy of her dreams and introduces him to the family.

 

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Rank: 8
Episode: XXV 26×04
Intro: Kudos and Kang Celebrity-style
Segments: “School is Hell”, “A Clockwork Yellow”, “The Others”
Summary: Bart excels in hell-school. Homer, Moe, and friends form a gang and terrorize the town in white outfits. The Simpsons’ house is haunted by ghosts of their former selves.

 

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Rank: 7
Episode: XXVIII 29×04
Intro: 3D Simpsons Candy Bars
Segments: “The Exor-Sis”, “Coralisa”, “Mmm… Homer”
Summary: Maggie becomes possessed after she is given a demon statue. Lisa finds a magical tunnel which leads to a secret family with button eyes. Homer develops a taste…for himself.

 

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Rank: 6
Episode: IX 10×04
Intro: Main Intro Murder Bits
Segments: “Hell Toupée”, “The Terror of Tiny Toon”, “Starship Poopers”
Summary: Homer gets a hair transplant and becomes possessed by the hair’s former owner, Snake. Bart and Lisa are transformed characters on TV while watching Itchy and Scratchy. Maggie’s true, tentacled identify and father are revealed.

 

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Rank: 5
Episode: II 03×07
Intro: Marge Presents, Gravestones, Too Much Candy
Segments: “Lisa’s Nightmare”, “Bart’s Nightmare”, “Homer’s Nightmare”
Summary: An old monkey’s paw grants three wishes with terrible consequences. Bart is a gifted child who can read minds and has the power to turn people into strange creatures. Mr. Burns and Smithers make a robot with Homer’s brain.

 

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Rank: 4
Episode: I 02×03
Intro: Marge Presents, Gravestones, The Simpsons Kids Tell Treehouse Stories
Segments: “Bad Dream House”, “Hungry are the Damned”, “The Raven”
Summary: The Simpsons’ new mansion wants them out. After the Simpsons are abducted by aliens, they fear they are outer space food. The classic Edgar Allen Poe story is told by Homer.

 

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Rank: 3
Episode: VIII 09×04
Intro: Fox Censor, Death Penalty Simpsons
Segments: “The HΩmega Man”, “Fly vs. Fly”, “Easy-Bake Coven”
Summary: Homer is the last man on Earth… besides the lepers. Bart switches bodies with a fly when Homer buys a matter transporter at a garage sale. Marge and her sisters are tried as witches in Salem.

 

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Rank: 2
Episode: XII 13×01
Intro: Burns’ Bat
Segments: “Hex and the City”, “House of Whacks”, “Wiz Kids”
Summary: A gypsy curses Homer, and bearded Marge attends a leprechaun’s wedding. The family is sold a futuristic robot-house which is determined to rid of Homer. Bart and Lisa attend Wizard school and fight the dragon, Mr. Burns.

 

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Rank: 1
Episode: V 06×06
Intro: Marge Presents, Graveyard Deaths, FrankenSimpsons
Segments: “The Shinning”, “Time and Punishment”, “Nightmare Cafeteria”
Summary: The Simpsons are caretakers at a lodge where Homer goes insane and Groundskeeper Willy tries to save the family. Homer tries to fix a toaster and accidentally creates a time travel machine. The school cafeteria decides to spice up the menu with new kinds of meat to solve the detention capacity issue.

 

 

Honorable Mention

I wanted to include these episodes as, although they contain my least favorite segments, they’re still some of the best and they deserve to be included.

 

Episode: VI 07×06
Intro: Sleepy Hollow Krusty, Hung Simpsons
Segments: “Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores”, “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace”, “Homer³”
Summary: Giant mascots come to life and terrorize the town. Groundskeeper Willy kills in various forms in The Simpson kids’ dreams. Homer finds a portal behind a bookcase which transports him to a dimension where he is 3D.

Episode: IV 12×01
Intro: The Munsters
Segments: “G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad”, “Scary Tales Can Come True”, “Night of the Dolphin”
Summary: Homer’s horoscope predicts death by broccoli, and his ghost is forced to do a good dead in order to get to heaven. The Simpsons version of Hansel and Gretel. The dolphins plot revenge and take over Springfield.

 

 

 

 

Attack of the Killer Donuts (2016)

Score: 2.5/10

Length: 98

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, food, murderer, horror comedy, almost horror, good bad

So I had braved the ice-wind to get some donuts from Tim’s. It’s not like they’re the best donuts or anything, but they’re right around the corner and Modern Jelly was closed for delivery. Although this review was started way back in winter, I still remember my numb hands frozen into a claw trying to carry this wide, flat box around the corner to my apartment. The donuts in the movie aren’t overly horror-influenced, even though they’re supposed to have tiny little flesh-ripping teeth. Besides the parts where the pastries are CGI, spinning and floating in the air, the donuts mostly spend their time looking like they’re being flung by humans, at humans. (Which us the obvious truth.) This is another cheap and corny horror flick that has a mildly fun idea that’s wasted on a lazy, humorless hour and a half of film. The cuteness is pretty watered down, and I’d be satisfied from just watching the trailer and nothing more. On the plus side, I got to pig out on donuts, and there ain’t nothing bad about that.

 

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Score: 4/10

Length: 97

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, murderer, supernatural, gore, slasher

I may have watched this on actual Friday the 13th, but the Freddy in me had me sleep on the review (heh). We start the film with Freddy flashbacks, and he explains that people have forgotten about him so he needs Jason to come back (from the dead) and help him kill. (Queue massive eye roll.) So Freddy returns as Jason’s mother to rise her son’s body from the grave. Some random girl with giant, exposed (for no reason) boobs is killed, and then the story begins.

You can tell it’s going to be bad right from the start because the script is so obviously horrible, but then its awfulness is secured by the presence of Kelly Rowland. There are lots of typical (but still fun) Freddy and Jason kills that take up most of the middle of the movie. By the time you get this far in a franchise, the decent thing to do is to include some wild originality and laughs. I mean, there’s definitely some bad CGI weirdness like a mossy worm with a hookah, but as you may be able to guess, it makes zero sense.

Freddy does fight Jason near the end, when he tries to go after the victims that Freddy wants. Yeah, it’s pretty stupid. Jason cuts off Freddy’s arms which he grows back. Lots of AAHHs and HAAHHs and other obnoxiously bad fighting grunts. Then, Jason is flung around by Freddy’s dream powers, but of course, doesn’t die. One fight is in Freddy’s world, the other is in Jason’s. And then there’s a final showdown, with the other characters trying to kill them both as well. I can’t say it’s not entertaining. It’s a great background movie for when you want to eat popcorn and talk, or make-out and not really pay attention.

A Quiet Place (2018)

Score: 6.5/10

Length: 90

Rating: PG-13

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, monsters, aliens, murderer, recommended

This film was smart, original, and had some nice tension. It starts in the middle of the action, and finishes before the craziness dies down. It’s about a family living in a world where there are strange creatures that have taken over, and I’m assuming they can’t see or smell very well, as they attack mostly when provoked with sound. So, the big thing about this movie is that it’s mostly silent. And it’s by that guy from The Office. The silence creates tension and drama, but at the theatre, I was annoyed every time someone cleared their throat or coughed. Would have been cool if the theatre put on a performance version where people dressed up as monsters and grabbed you every time you made a noise. I’d pay a fair amount for that. Anyway, the movie had good actors, a good story, and was well-paced.  It’s a mix of a horror, drama, and action, and that works well, but it all felt a little neat to me. There isn’t much to criticize, but I wasn’t moved enough by it- whether that be scared, stunned, or angry- to have an overwhelming opinion. I almost might have enjoyed it more as a television series. It’s a very watchable movie, and a wide audience will enjoy it.

Pin (1988)

Score: 5.5/10

Length: 203

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 90s, murderer, toys, psychological

This strange Canadian gem probably isn’t quite what you were thinking. Yes, it’s about a life-sized, plastic medical dummy. But it’s also got a Psychoesque tinge to it and there’s a heavy lean on psychology. This definitely isn’t a fast-paced slasher, but it’s thoughtful and fairly original. As the training doll ages, it will be scarier in its vintage. If you can see through the awkward cheesiness of the film, you might be able to experience the realistic yet unique character and his development. I couldn’t help but be drawn to Leon, yet he was also easy to be revolted by. His words were very vulnerable and familiar, yet he was creepy, and very mannequin-like himself. Leon and his sister grow up with the doll, learning life lessons from their father who acted as the ventriloquist. A schizophrenic, Leon brings the doll into his adult life, giving it more lifelike accessories and talking to himself in Pin’s voice. Ultimately, Leon acts on his impulses, hiding behind Pin and spiraling out of control. The movie isn’t necessarily memorable as a Canadian movie, but it’s definitely memorable nonetheless.

 

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Film Face-Off: Without Name vs. The Nameless

The only thing that might make this face-off better is to snack on various no-name brand munchies while watching them.

 

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Without Name (2016)

Score: 7/10

Length: 93

Rating: NR but probably PG-13

This film is about a surveyor who works on measuring a gorgeous, Irish forest with his lover-assistant while staying at a cabin on the land. The shots of the forest and trees were stunning each time, and if the entire movie was just the camera moving through that forest, I wouldn’t be upset. It’s artsy, it’s earthy, and it has something to say. It makes me want to open my windows and breathe the air of the trees. I mean, I live in the city so it’s only like, five trees on this block, but that’s okay. The problem with the film is that the second half is so dreamy with vivid images and murky with hallucinations that it’s difficult to really remember anything exactly when the movie is over. This is more of a visual trip than a horror movie, but luckily, I’m into flashing tree lightning.

 

The Nameless (1999)

Score: 4/10

Length: 102

Rating: R

There’s a mom, who is sad and depressed, grieving for her deceased daughter. A call comes in, supposedly from the dearly departed, and the mother begins to question if her daughter is really dead, or if she is captured by a cult and the body belongs to another child. ‘The nameless’ are pretty much described as crazy angels, and they may have captured the daughter and are keeping her in this earth angel house. I’m not sure if it’s the script or the translation, but the lines are so awful it’s distracting enough to ruin the movie. There are a few stories going on, but none is too exciting, and the film just drags on until the nonsensical climax. I kept realizing as I went on, how much of this I had already fallen asleep to on the first attempt. Cloudy clues, retro slasher music, and needless repetition like the movie wishes it were a soap opera mini series. And the whole thing with the nipples… what’s up with that?? A ridiculous ending finally finishes off the film and leaves you only feeling relieved that it’s over. My favorite part of the whole movie was the creepy dude (pictured above) in the asylum talking in riddles. His blotchy skin patterns made the movie, in my opinion.

 

*!Winner!*:

Without Name, without a doubt. Although I forgot what this movie was about and had to watch it a second time before reviewing it, the film was a lot easier to enjoy than The Nameless. Devoid of bad writing and dullness, Without Name is my Film Face-Off champion!

Nightbreed (1990)

Score: 7/10

Length: 202

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 90s, supernatural, murderer, monster, Stephen Kingy, underground, recommended

In light of a Nightbreed television series soon to premiere, I’m taking a look back at the original cult-classic film! Even though I’m a big Clive Barker fan (currently reading The Scarlet Gospels… would like to remember where I left it…) I haven’t actually read the book the film is based on, Cabal. I love the crusade of creative characters. I adore the idea of a magical city that looks like a drawing of a graveyard in Calgary, Alberta, which is where I freaking live!!! But, unfortunately and ironically, I could give a rats ass about the main character, Cabal. How funny that the book is named after him (I can only assume much more character building was involved), and I, myself, right now am working on some character building in my assignments.

If they don’t feel something towards your character, if they don’t want him to succeed, then who cares?

All I see in Cabal is that he is really into having sex with his girlfriend and he dreams of a place called Midian. He is also named Aaron (first name) and Boone (last name), although he’s mainly referred to as Bonone. The story of the killer with the iconic mask- button eyes and a crooked zipper smile is smartly weaved into the story, and I wish it played an even bigger role. I never, ever say this, especially thinking about how many Stephen King mini series I’ve slept through, but this film could definitely have been longer. That being said, the television series should be the perfect remedy, and I’m excited to give it a go!