Halloween Scene: My Halloween Watch List

Goodness gracious! I was looking through my unpublished drafts and found this post about the rest of the horror movies I watched during October. There’s some good stuff in here, so let’s jump back in time a few months and think scary thoughts!

dawn of the dead originalAfter a super busy September and October, I’m still catching up on all of the movies I watched for work and fun. After focusing on new films early on in the season, I decided to go through my movie collection and Netflix to make a list of films I wanted to watch leading up to Halloween. The list had a total of 26 films, though I wound up removing five. All told, I watched 13 plus the seven films making up the original Halloween franchise. I’m saving a few of them for another post, but I did want to throw out a few thoughts about what turned out to be a major rewatch experience.

As it turned out, zombies were a huge part of this year’s list. Dawn and Day Of The Dead easily made the list along with Dance Of The Dead, the Dawn remake and World War Z. I didn’t get to those last two, but I keep seeing more and more things in those two Romero movies that I love. I’ve been seeing a lot of people dump on the zombie genre lately. To them I say, watch those two movies. They are amazing films, not just horror flicks. Meanwhile, I still have a great time with Dance which is just super impressive when you take into account it’s a low budget film that doesn’t look it. This is easily one of my favorite zombie movies from the past few decades. Continue reading Halloween Scene: My Halloween Watch List

Halloween Sccene: House (1986)

2008-10-25
8:13:07 pm

I went to Blockbuster last night looking for something without really know what. I went through the new releases and there wasn’t really anything I wanted to watch on my own (Em hates horror movies, so I watch them after she goes to bed). I found myself in the not great, but not awful horror section looking around and found two movies I wanted to check out. One was Halloween H20 which I still haven’t seen. That was going to be the pick until my eyes panned down and I saw a DVD copy of House. I knew nothing about this movie, but remember seeing it all the time when I used to go to the video store with my parents. The creepy hand always freaked me out. I’m not sure why I never rented it once I turned 16, but that’s another story. The cover I remember seeing is below:

House won out over H20 (partly because I haven’t watched H5 or 6 yet this year), but I ended up falling asleep around 11:30 last night. I did wake up around 1:30, tried to watch it then, but kept getting freaked out by the old lady as I fell in and out of sleep and decided to just call it a night and go back to bed.

I lucked out today and Em took a nap, which gave me time to check House out and I kind of love this movie. It’s not a great film and it’s not all that scary, though I do really like the practical demon/monster/zombie make up and effects. It’s kind of creepy, well acted and just well put together, but it’s also fun.

Just check out the people who helped put this movie together. It’s directed by by Steve Miner who also did Friday the 13th Parts 2 and 3 and Halloween H20 (weird coincidence, huh? that I was choosing between two Miner movies). The script was based on a story by Fred Dekker, the dude who wrote Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps (a former Manly Movie Mamajama pick). Plus you’ve got William Kat who used to be the Greatest American Hero, Cheers’ George Wendt and Night Court’s Richard Moll in starring rolls. Seeing Richard Moll in a monster roll kind of validates all of the weirdness he gave off on Night Court (anyone else remember the series finale where he got beamed up by aliens?).

House is basically a haunted house movie with some monster, zombie and Vietnam War moments thrown in as well. Katt plays a writer who decides to live in his aunt’s old house after she hangs herself. It’s also the house that he and his wife lived in when their son mysteriously disappeared. He’s there working on a book about his experiences during the Vietnam War, but also getting hassled by a very cool looking monster in the closet and other tricks the house is playing on him to get rid of him. Meanwhile George Wendt plays his nosey neighbor who gets pulled along for the ride because he can’t mind his own business. Moll plays Katt’s army buddy who he refused to kill and ended up getting captured by the enemy. His ghost comes back later and looks AWESOME. We’re never quite sure why the house is being such a jerk, but it doesn’t really matter as the story focuses on Katt beating the house and eventually getting his son back. It’s kind of a fist pumping ending which I appreciate. And you know what? I don’t need an explanation. As long as the movie makes enough sense to not make me mad, I’m happy with it.

House isn’t Jaws, Halloween or TCM, but it is a fun movie that kept my attention the whole time. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a movie like this nowadays. It’s somewhat lighthearted, funny when it’s supposed to be, happy, sad and sports some of the coolest looking practical effects I’ve seen in a while.