Halloween Scene: The Great Chronological Franchise Project

It’s that time again. Some horror fans celebrate October by watching a movie or two a day. Others do deep dives into all their favorite franchises. I’m mixing the two up and putting a slightly different spin on it all with The Great Chronological Franchise Project! Because I”m some kind of glutton for punishment, I decided to put all of the original (non remake) films in the Psycho, Romero Zombie, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Scanners, Phantasm, Return of the Living Dead and even Final Destination series’ in release order and watch them. Here’s the list I’m working off of:

As you can see, I’m using the Apple Notes app to keep them all straight and have already made some pretty solid progress starting with Psycho. I don’t believe I’ve ever properly written about the Alfred Hitchcock classic. I’m not really sure I have much to add because it’s a masterpiece that people have written whole books on at this point, but I will say that it’s a very interesting place to start with a project like this because you can’t help but see, feel and even hear the influence this film had on the others.

From there I’ve watched Night Of The Living Dead, Halloween, Dawn Of The Dead, Phantasm, Friday the 13th, Scanners and Friday The 13th Part 2. Having recently watched Night and Dawn, I didn’t intend to watch them as closely, but Romero did such an amazing job with the films that they were hard not to watch. For the latter, I actually chose the European cut and listened to the cast commentary which was a lot of fun. I also listened to the John Carpenter/Jamie Lee Curtis commentary while watching Halloween which was a real joy because JLC does NOT like scary movies!

Having good luck with the commentaries, I also took that route for Phantasm, which I watched not long ago after purchasing the excellent Blu-ray box set. I will say that I had some trouble getting through the first two F13 movies. Maybe I’ve seen them a bunch or maybe I”m just not feeling slashers right now. I bet I’ll be more into 3, though, that one’s pretty fun.

Finally, Scanners might have finally landed for me. I didn’t love it, but I liked it more than the first time I watched it and didn’t get and the second time when I fell asleep. David Cronenberg’s great, but I think this movie tees off way too hard with the head explosion scene before getting fairly procedural after that. That bit primes you for a crazy, gory action thriller, but that’s not really what the movie is until the end. I still prefer Shivers and The Fly, but Scanners is getting better.

I’m pretty excited to move forward with this bonkers idea. I’ve watched Michael Myers, Freddy and Jason flicks a bunch over the past few years, but am really looking forward to getting back into Phantasm and Return of the Living Dead. I’m even excited, though cautiously optimistic, to finally see Romero’s latter zombie films and watch the Final Destination movies in relatively quick succession.

What’s even crazier is that I’ve already come up with another list of franchises that I can do this again with, if I ever finish this round!

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