31 Days of Horror: Day 26 “Young Frankenstein”

31 Days 26-01

Day 26: The scariest comedy of all time! Young Frankenstein.
Young Frankenstein is a movie I will watch year after year. The jokes are obvious and silly but the pacing is excellent and I never feel like I miss out the punchline. But what amazes me here is the actual attention to detail placed on delivering a product that feels like it I was made way back when. The staging shots are all done in a similar slow pan and the lighting tricks are simple but work well with the black and white to truly respect the original Frankenstein made in the 1930’s. This film is in no way a spoof of the original, it is a true homage to another classic from another time in cinema. An homage with great knockers.
-Christopher Patterson
I have to admit that I didn’t have time to re-watch this movie and it has been years since I’ve seen it, but it is one of my favorites. The movie is full of great on liners and is a classic Mel Brooks movie. The movie is a comedy rather than horror but Gene Wilder is a perfect actor to play the mad scientist and in my opinion brings an element of horror that would not have been in the movie if anyone else was cast to play the role. Between the props and the black and white filming the movie really makes you feel like you are watching the old 1931 Frankenstein movie and is a perfect parody of it. I think this is a must see movie not just for horror fans but for people who just appreciate film.
-Charlie-
Like many of these films, I grew up watching this movie. I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen this over the years. I have such a deep appreciation for it that when people tell me they don’t like it or they thought it was okay, I immediately lose my ability to connect to that person. My wife fell asleep during the movie before we were dating because she thought it was too slow. I guess I liked her enough to look past it though. She’s pretty cool. I do admit, there are scenes that seem to drag on, but even those serve a greater purpose of building towards punchlines that fly so fast, they still leave me dying. Again, I know I’m biased towards this film but there really is so much to love. Thank you for sharing your lab with us. Rest In Peace Marty, Peter and Gene.
-Josh T. Romero

31 Days of Horror: Day 25 “Hereditary”

31 Days 25-01.jpg

Day 25: Every family tree hides a secret… Hereditary.
This movie is a cinema masterpiece as far as combining great special effects with a believable horror storyline. There are very subtle special effects that are just done perfectly. The build up of mystery and suspense is really good. The characters evolve with the story line really well with great acting. The last 20-30 minutes of the movie pull everything together and really make the movie worthwhile. I felt like the movie has so many little nuances that you have to see it at least twice to catch most of them. To me it looked like every detail in each set was agonized over, which also correlates with a theme in the story line. As I’ve said in previous reviews I don’t like satanic themes, but it is easy to overlook it in this movie because the overall, it is so well done.
-Charlie-
Wow. Hereditary caught me off guard. The climax was everything I had hoped for after how well that story was told. And good God the grief was felt, a few scenes were difficult to watch not because of any horror elements but because I felt like I was intruding on a family’s intimate moments. While certain plot points may seem obvious afterward I never felt like I was plotting the rest of the movie in my head. I was wholly present watching it play out. Each scene moves and flows very easily and nothing feels wasted. What I appreciated most was the actual creativity in both the deaths and hauntings. You expect people to die but how they die in Hereditary was new. Everything is tied up in the end without room for any glaring, unresolved questions for me.
-Christopher Patterson
What in the hell did I jus- Man, oh man. I haven’t been this stoked for horror in what seems like an eon. Talking about going above all beyonds here. One of the freshest, eerily unsettling movies I’ve ever seen. Hands fully down. From all the subtly nodded background non-static to the wholly fledged fore-frontal onslaught of lunacy. This movie has everything. The actors could actually not be more perfect for their embellishments in bringing to life their levels of stress and disorder. This is one of the very few – as I am practically desensitized to the genre by now – that I can say truly flattened me. Astonished, that’s what I am. Go into this with absolutely terrific terror, cause it’s a wild ride.
-David Burchell
After seeing this movie for the first time in theaters with Charlie, it took me three days to digest, enough to say that I “liked” it. I left the theater knowing that I’d just witnessed a piece of art but it took me up to a week to decide that I absolutely loved Hereditary. Yes, there were flaws. There were some acting decisions that I can only assume were director driven but this wasn’t even close enough to detour me from my appreciation of this film. I’ve heard wild reviews of this movie leaving people in tears of terror and dudes walking out with their pants wet… I can honestly say that it didn’t hold that same terror for me while watching. However, there are scenes in this movie that burned themselves into my mind and haunted me for nights on end. I’ve had similar experiences and seen things that shouldn’t be seen, fully cognizant and awake and coming out of sleep. I’ve never seen a movie pull off the visual effects in such a realistic way. I can’t recommend this movie enough… I could go on for paragraphs telling you how amazing and well done this movie was, but I’d rather you just see it! Haunting, Terrifying and Masterfully Created, Hereditary will hold it’s place in horror cinema history for years to come.
-Josh T. Romero

31 Days of Horror: Day 24 “Lost Boys”

31 Days 24-01.jpg

Day 24: Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be a vampire. The Lost Boys.

Once you get past the bad camera shots and some cheap special effects of this movie you realize that is a must-see film. The movie does a good job of addressing questions that any viewer may ask, so there aren’t any holes in the story line. It has a great balance of horror mixed with comedy. I believe there is a message in the movie that even vampire boys need a family in order to be raised in to mature mentally healthy vampire adults. This movie has some iconic scenes that make you remember the 80’s. I really enjoy a movie with a good twist at the end that I didn’t see coming and this movie has it. I also enjoy watching this film for the nostalgic feel and seeing so many actors make a name for themselves in this movie.
-Charlie-
I watched the Lost Boys for the first time a few months ago. This is a movie that I’ve known so much about and pretty much loved when I first heard about it. The characters are so iconic and the story is fantastic. It’s filled with so many characters who you can relate with at so many points. Who hasn’t been sweating shirtless, on stage with a saxophone!? Even with the hype of the years, I wasn’t even close to let down. David is the ultimate bohemian, punk-rock vampire and that status has held strong for 31 years. At a minimum, this will be a Halloween staple for years to come.
-Josh T. Romero

31 Days of Horror: Day 23 “Scream”

31 Days 23-01.jpg

Day 23: Someone Is Playing A Deadly Game, Someone Who Has Seen Way Too Many Scary Movies. Don’t Answer The Door, Don’t Leave The House, Don’t Answer The Phone, But Most Of All, Don’t SCREAM.

A good horror movie that keeps you guessing till the end. There are just enough clues to figure out who the bad guy is but also enough clues to make you think it is someone else. The ending really comes together and explains everything. The movie has some comedy in it, and is a parody of horror stereotypes. The chase gets a little redundant because victims and killers continue to come back to life or survive the attacks. I don’t think the movie itself is scary, but the idea of revenge and sociopaths living around us is.
-Charlie-
Scream is a weird blend of horror and dark comedy for me. It has never been one of my horror favorites but the way it remains self conscious throughout the film is entertaining enough. Talking about horror movie tropes while those tropes are happening in real time always gives me a light chuckle. I do like how Mr. Ghost Face is portrayed as a person, you never assume he is an evil entity or actual ghost. He runs into doors, trips, and answers questions asked by victims. They loose a little of this humanity in the sequels where he seems slightly more sinister but that’s not what this movie is. This is a slasher film teasing slasher films with high schoolers being high schoolers. This movie became my “textbook” on horror movies and introduced many terms I use today.
-Christopher Patterson
Classic cheese, this. But really good cheese. One of my favorites, including the ones that’d followed up, for good reason. The satire is so well placed, not too abrasive, not too overwhelming, but just enough to really make this the movie that it is. The twists and turns are absolutely rousing, the characters are all of intrigue, their own individual suspicions, which leads to a colluding climax and finale that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The horrors are there, but so’s the cheese. Best of both. Definite must watch for me.

-David Burchell

31 Days of Horror: Day 22 “Let the Right One In”

31 Days 22-01.jpg

Day 22: Eli is 12 years old. She’s been 12 for over 200 years and, she just moved in next door. “Låt den rätte komma in” Let the Right One In.
I’m not sure what to make of this movie. I felt like they wanted to make a horror movie with a purpose but they didn’t accomplish either in my opinion. The monsters in this movie are kids, which makes for a creepy story, but it could have been done much better instead it only gets creepy toward the end of the movie. The point I think the movie tried to make is that those we call monsters aren’t necessarily monsters while those called “good” are the real monsters. Or maybe I just read too much into the movie. Either way, there are other aspects that I didn’t care for so I probably won’t even try to watch this movie again. Since watching this movie I’ve heard that the book does a better job of explaining the backstory.
-Charlie-
Let The Right One In presents a view of the vampire lifestyle that I hadn’t seen before, the innocence and compromise when you happen to be a 12 year old (sort of) vampire. Eli and Oskar are navigating that strange territory of a first relationship all while she needs to drink blood to survive. It’s interesting and done well but not without a few flaws. The kids, who carry the movie, seem too one dimensional with the only real emotion shown by the few adults. Also, several questions went unanswered through the end and while they don’t kill the plot I was annoyed those explanations were ignored. Still a better story than Twilight.
-Christopher Patterson
If there were ever a movie about blood-sucking, child-like vampires that painstakingly tugs on your heartstrings, this is it. Let The Right One In takes you straight back to your childhood and makes you question what you would do in these situations. It’s heavy, heartfelt, gruesome and I love it. The way the movie plays out leaves quite a bit open to interpretation and discussion. If you’re a fan of vampire movies at all, I’d recommend it this in an instant and I’d love to hear your thoughts. There are multiple versions out there and an American remake called Let Me In that I’ve attempted to watch. If you can find it, watch the Swedish version with subtitles.
-Josh T. Romero

31 Days of Horror: Day 21 “The Thing”

31 Days 21-01

Day 21: Look closely at your neighbour … Trust no-one… Man is The Warmest Place to Hide. John Carpenter’s, The Thing

I remember my dad always watching this movie when I was younger and never really getting into it but watching it now that I am older I can really appreciate it. Some of the movie is slow, but it builds the suspense throughout the movie. The movie keeps you guessing which makes it interesting. Some of the special effects could have been done better but some were done really well. The movie has a tragic ending, which is a nice twist.
-Charlie-

The best thing about The Thing is exactly that, the unknown. Kurt Russell knows there is an evil, but he doesn’t know what it wants, how it operates, or who it is. The film plays out as a common 80’s action/horror but it is that unknown that keeps you on your toes. The helplessness and paranoia that come with battling the unknown. A flamethrower seems to work well, until you have to use it on a crewman you aren’t sure is still the man you arrived with. The Antarctic isolation brings a familiar desperation akin to Alien while the Thing picks off victims one by one, just like Alien again. For fans of Alien, Predator, and good movies in general.
-Christopher Patterson

Again. Perhaps I hang myself in bias; or perhaps this is the greatest horror movie ever made. This is for the cosmic puritans. An aged classic that actually doesn’t lose any of its credentials because of when it was made. The execution is mind-numbing, in the ways that it frames suspense, the ways in which it thrusts you into its rickety confines. These aren’t merely actors fit to screen. You’re right there with them the entire time, unsure of the actuality, unsure of yourself. The subtle, filled-in details. The open-ended saloon-door swivels. Every thing colludes at their own runaway speeds, eventually leading to a climax and finale that will leave you with such shivers that you might as well keep both eyes peeled in the night. Ridiculous. Amazing. But again. Maybe I’m just biased.
-David Burchell

I can’t peg the first time I saw this movie. I can tell you for sure that I’ve loved it from from the beginning. If I’m being honest, I may have loved it before I watched it. Going into the movie knowing about it’s cult status and that John Carpenter was responsible for it kind of built a bias in me. Normally I try to brush those things off or I become hyper critical of them but Carpenter is kind of who I want to be when I grow up. The Thing is an excellent blend of action, sci-fi and horror with brutal visual effects, phenomenal acting and a super dark ending that leaves the story open enough that your mind stays in it when the credits start rolling. There no real “good guy” in this movie and I love that. It adds a nice realism to an outlandish idea. Everyone, including the Thing, is simply looking out for their own survival. That said, I really do want that beautiful alien pup.

-Josh T. Romero

31 Days of Horror: Day 20 “Shaun of the Dead”

31 Days 20-01

Day 20: “Take car. Go to Mum’s. Kill Phil. Grab Liz. Go to the Winchester. Have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over. Yeah, boyyyeee!” Today we share our thoughts on Shaun of the Dead.
One of my all time favorite movies… or is it spelled favourite? Either way, the British humor is second to none in this zombie apocalypse comedy. From lighter takes on otherwise-dire situations, it really captivates you as a viewer and still manages to keep a serious tone. Moments can be frightening, all the while laughing to cover up my true feelings of terror. It begs the question of which is scarier, Shawns life before or after the outbreak? You’ve got red on you.
– Tyler Sawicki | Onsight Media
I don’t have a lot to say about this movie it is a comedy about horror movies, without any memorable scenes. It has some funny parts but nothing that I found to be too funny. What I did like is that the grown boy finally does become a man and wins the girl while keeping his best friend at the end of the movie.
-Charlie-
There are people in this world who would give anything to live in a zombie apocalypse. I think Shaun of the Dead may be responsible for a large part of that desire. Before I had kids, I saw this movie and the tragedy this group faced as an escape from the monotony. Shaun and Ed live eerily mundane lives to an extreme extent. I think that’s something we all fear as humans so the idea of an apocalypse to shake things up doesn’t seem so bad. If this movie has challenged me in any way, it was to avoid living a life without purpose much like Ed in the end, doomed to a life of pure existence, chained up in your best friends shack, mindlessly gaming away. Shaun of the Dead will always be a favorite of mine, partly due to their refusal to shy away from the grizzly zombie attacks in such a wild comedy, but also because of the bizarre and dangerous lengths these friends will go to for each other. It’s inspiring. To my best of friends, you know who you are, I will always go out of my way to help you kill your dead step-fathers.
-Josh T. Romero

31 Days of Horror: Day 19 “The Babadook”

31 Days 19-01.jpg

Day 19: Where there is imagination, there is darkness and from within that darkness lurks a being of unfathomable terror … close to home. If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of … The Babadook
I don’t have anything negative to say about The Babadook. I absolutely loved it. It’s dreary and tense from the start with little rest throughout. The creature’s design is unnerving but he is kept just enough in the dark that I was inescapably drawn to him. The mother’s sanity brings in more conflict as you try to determine whether or not this is all hallucination or reality. If Get Out was so praised for it’s horror realization of racism, The Babadook is the equivalent for grief. The mother’s struggle through her pain is executed so well within the creature’s plot that by the end, when resolution and relief are finally met, I actually smiled. I want to watch this again soon.
-Christopher Patterson
Between this movie having a slow beginning and an insanely annoying kid (which just means he was doing a good job of acting) this movie almost lost me. The more I watched the more I enjoyed the movie. It has some unexpected twists and eerie scenes as well as some seamless camera tricks. This is more than just another scary movie, by showing the different outcomes that a tragedy can bring. Badadook is the manifiestation of grief, and how grief can destroy us and never leaves us. The film didn’t look like it had a big budget but I think they did a great job with the budget they had. There are a lot of little nuances in the movie that make this a film worth watching again, including a surprise ending which the more I thought about it makes a lot of sense.
-Charlie-
I remember my first time watching this movie… All I could see was that insane little kid and the mother’s desperation and it was way too close to home. My son has since grown and is still a monster, but not quite to the same extent as this guy. The Babadook is so well done. The second time through, you begin to notice things you didn’t see before and it takes the movie to a whole new level. Jennifer Kent both wrote and directed this movie with class. The first time I watched it, I left reeling over it for days. The second time was the same! There are so many possibilities when it comes to interpreting this film from the supernatural to the more natural in that you get a sense that there are several psychological issues that this mother is dealing with. In the end, it all just goes to show that there are some ghosts you can never get rid of.
-Josh T. Romero

31 Days of Horror: Day 18 “The Void”

31 Days 18-01

Day 18: A new dimension in evil; There is a hell – This is worse. The Void. 
The Void is not perfect though it does deserve at least one viewing. The acting is just okay across the board with a relational subplot that’s been done plenty of times before. Where it shines is the practical effects. Almost every creature and set piece look handmade and I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic to horror movies of yesteryear when that was all they had. Each layer down the shift in atmosphere is noticeably darker, increasing the tension with each new room. Also, I’m a sucker for Lovecraft inspiration and there are several points here.
-Christopher Patterson
The plot and some of the scenes reminded me of Hellraiser, but not as well done. The plot of the movie has a definite creepy feel to it but I do wish the acting was better. The plot is very dark and without ruining the movie I do think the trauma suffered by one of the main characters could really affect a person like in this movie. I don’t think that I wasted my time watching this movie but there wasn’t a lot of really scary scenes. Too many of the scenes were shot in really dark lighting and hard to make out the monsters. The ending, like a lot of movies today, it leaves it open for you to decide what happens or they were trying to leave it open for a second movie, but I think a sequel will be hard to keep with the storyline.
-Charlie-
This one wades for me at both ends: the timid shallows, the further deeps. This is a film that isn’t quite comfortable on that spectrum, one that sort of just darts to and fro as it pleases. Some parts literally astounded me with its terrors, its concepts, its acting, its cinematography. But then an equaled chunk of the film tossed all that to the wayside. I loved the ideas, and I love what it could’ve been when it was that for tidbits here and there, but the overall execution of it didn’t really come together. I think that with more compelling actors, an entirely shifted main character (this one’s not a prized stallion, by any means), and a little more attention to the detailing of suspense, this would be one of my all-time favorites. It’s definitely got the nods from me for its Lovecraftian delving – the ending, in particular, I thought of as wonderfully frightening – but it still doesn’t do justice to the original image they perhaps had in mind. Glad I watched it, but probably not a second time.
– David Burchell
Culty, Lovecraftian Monster Movie? I’m always in! I can’t say that there is anything new about this movie, but I’m not sure it was supposed to be. The whole movie seemed intentional about paying homage to older movies holding that classic status. The whole movie had a super dark vibe to it but it was a little more action-packed than I prefer my horror, almost pushing that video game horror feel. I’m also not sure if I was just in the wrong mood for this movie, but I can say that I finished it without feeling an emotional attachment to any of the characters… That said, I would still recommend this movie to anybody looking for a bloody good time.
-Josh T. Romero

31 Days of Horror: Day 17 “The House of the Devil”

31 Days 17-01

Day 17: Talk on the phone. Finish your homework. Watch T.V. Die …in The House of the Devil.
The House of the Devil is a slow, slow burn. Unfortunately, when it does pick up it has already been so long since anything exciting has happened the climax seems thrown in there at the end. As if the first hour and a half is one movie and the finale is separate. I wanted more build to that climax, there were honestly maybe only one or two clues before our Samantha is actually in danger. When the danger does happen it happens way too quickly, 0 to 100 in less than a minute. One positive takeaway would be the 1980’s representation. The editing, typography, and soundtrack work as an excellent homage.
-Christopher Patterson
This movie is supposed to happen in the 80’s so the entire movie has an 80’s feel, even the credits. It’s a slow movie but I think it keeps the viewer interested enough to keep watching by building the suspense. There is satanic rituals in this movie, which I don’t like, but it isn’t throughout the movie. The only thing I didn’t like about this movie is the climax is so short. I felt like they could have drawn out the chase scenes, but I think they did want the movie to have a “slasher” feel to it. I’m not sure why this movie didn’t get more recognition when it came out. because I hadn’t heard of this movie till I saw it on this movie review.
-Charlie-
The House of the Devil was one that snuck past me. I think I stumbled across this one on Shudder a couple years ago. The poster and title caught my attention. Anything dark and culty in a haunted house will get my money, for better or for worse. Ti West, our homie responsible for The Innkeepers (mega fun) and Cabin Fever 2 (Not a favorite) both wrote and directed The House of the Devil. The 80’s throwback feel coupled with the suspense of the creepy home owners built this movie up to deliver a crazy intense ending that I can honestly say I didn’t see coming! If you’re a fan of creepy, occult 80’s movies, I’d recommend this one in a heartbeat.
-Josh T. Romero