31 Horror Films in 31 Days of October

It’s now a contemporary tradition to watch a horror film for each day of the month of October in celebration of Halloween. This is what I intend to do, simply because I love horror films, I enjoy sharing horror cinema with fellow fans of the genre, and most importantly, because it seems like a fun thing to do!

Generally, I prefer watching old horror films from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Yet I’ll be starting the month off with some more recent cinematic terrors.

For Day #1, I watched Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem (released in 2012).

I think The Lords is among Mr. Zombie’s best work as a writer and director. The film features a creepy, building tension which ends in quite an epic pay off at the end. The cast is especially great and the characters are relateable. For example, I felt much empathy for Heidi Hawthorne (played by Sheri Moon Zombie) and her increasing psychological disintegration and habitual relapse into drug-addiction. The actresses cast for the part of the witches were superb, namely: Judy Geeson, Meg Foster, Patricia Quinn, and Dee Wallace. The handsome Bruce Davison also plays a scholar on the Salem Witch Trials in this film.

With lots of vibrant cinematography, beautiful set designs, solid acting, and a plot with substance, The Lords of Salem really packs a creepy punch.

The Lords.jpg

 

For Day #2 – I decided to watch a Rob Zombie film I’ve never seen before, 31 (released in 2016).

Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say about 31, other than I didn’t enjoy it. It’s got plenty of gore, but zero substance. The characters were flimsy and I couldn’t find myself rooting for any of them. Maybe I did root for Sheri’s character to some extent, but that’s mostly because I’m a fan of other roles she’s played in other movies.

The plot is standard with nothing new brought to the table. The ending, too, was disappointing. The most interesting part of the film for me, was Richard Brake’s  intense opening monologue.

31

 

Day #3 – I spent a cozy rainy morning watching The Blair Witch Project (released in 1999).

What I find intriguing about the Blair Witch is that we never really see the witch, and there is no gore in the film. Yet make no mistake, this is one creepy flick. The sound effects are very effective, allowing the audience to want to lean in, and, much like the three main characters, ask, “What the hell was that!?”

The actors are especially good in performing as average, young Americans attempting to make a documentary about a local legend. The performances seems so natural and effortless that it makes the film seem very real. In fact, the marketing for The Blair Witch Project utilized this element (is it a film, or is it really found footage from three missing documentary filmmakers?) previous to its release in theaters — with great success. The first film to be wide release and marketed on the internet, Blair Witch grossed $250 million dollars worldwide on a $60,000 dollar budget!

Blair Witch

4 thoughts on “31 Horror Films in 31 Days of October

  1. I always have a hard time watching Rob Zombie films. His interpretation of people is that of a trailer park. Everyone is insanely raunchy and lack emotional compassion. Its too fanatical.

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    1. I agree with you. However, the characters in The Lords of Salem are quite human and more like everyday people, which I greatly appreciated. Then again, I did also enjoy the gritty insanity in The Devil’s Rejects.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember House of 1000 Corpses being pretty crazy! It’s been a few years since I’ve watched it, but I remember enjoying the far out macabre of it all. I should re-visit his H2. As bad as the reviews were, I’m not sure it was any worse than some of the other Halloween sequels!

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