31 Days of Horror! Day 20

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Wow. Day 20. I have been KEEPING UP lately. I just got back from seeing The Judge and it was EXCELLENT. That rotten tomatoes score is BULL PUCKEY. PUCKY. WHATEVER. It really was a fantastic movie. Anyway onto the horror. I have one film left in my mystery franchise so expect that post SOME TIME TOMORROW!

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The Howling (1981)
Joe Dante made Gremlins and Small Soldiers so he is an essential element of my formative years. This movie predates both of those and I did not watch it as a child. It is more than likely a good thing that I did not watch it as a child, because I would have been quite disturbed and I also probably didn’t know what sex was yet and there was quite a bit in this movie.

Anyway it’s about a news reporter who is kidnapped by a serial killer and forced to watch a filmed rape. Just right off the bat messed up. She was part of a sting operation in an attempt to catch said killer and they shot him but she had some pretty nasty ptsd so she and her husband or boyfriend or whatever head out to “The Colony” on the recommendation of her therapist. They meet strange people and strange things happen and it all culminates into werewolves. Big ol’ nasty werewolves.

The only real issue I had with this movie besides some pacing problems was that the werewolves’ ears were HUGE. Like wolves’ ears are not that big in comparison to their heads. It looked almost comical. Aside from that, I was super into this one. I love werewolf movies. They’re my favorite generic movie monsters. It was gory and had a super unique story.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
It may shock you to your very core that I, Will, horror movie fanatic, just watched this for the first time today. October 21, 2014. But alas, dear reader, that is the case. When you watch as many movies as I do, sometimes you miss some of the more popular ones. But the past is dead and I have seen it and I loved it.

Anyway if you AREN’T aware, there’s not much in the way of plot to this one. It’s your typical horror plot, with the wonderful exception of this being kind of the launching point for basic horror plots. A group of teenagers go to an empty house and get picked off by a deranged killer. This one uses a chainsaw and has a lovely human skin mask! And an apron!!!! Anyway there are some twists that I wasn’t entirely aware of at the end, which was nice. If I can come to a 40 year old movie without finding out the twist in it then I’m not going to spoil it for those of you who have yet to see it.

I mean this movie basically invented the slasher. Maybe it wasn’t the first but it absolutely was a building block aiding the giant horror tower we have today and sometimes I take my metaphors too far…
Anyway it’s a low budget 70s slasher exploitation film. It’s disturbing, the shots are shaky and nauseating, oftentimes it seems the scantily-clad women are really only there to be scantily-clad and to scream, and the whole thing is wonderful. It’s a classic experience in old-school shock horror, still disturbing even by today’s *ahem* standards.

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The Innkeepers (2012)
See I didn’t go all old school today! This is one of the more recent releases by Ti West, who gave us the amazing 70s throwback The House of the Devil and the fictitious modern documentary-style retelling of the massacre at Jonestown; The Sacrament. Both of those are on Netflix and so is this!

Oh also he is the guy in You’re Next who gets face shot with a crossbow and dies first.

Anyway this is about these two front desk managers at a hotel who is open for its final weekend. It’s a super old hotel and one of the employees claims to have seen the spirit of the woman who owned it when it was first built. Or something I don’t know ghost movie plots aren’t super complex. Anyway so the other employee starts having weird, typical paranormal encounters and the plot really gets going.

This is pretty much a typical ghost story in an atypical package. It’s got all the cliches and such but just the way it’s presented is so unique. It’s got some solid comedy, some legitimately frightening atmosphere and scares, and some quirky little odd bits to the story. It’s the kind of movie that you think you’re going to like and then you start to doubt it and then it gets really good. Which is a nice feeling.

Anyway that’s day 20. Look for my next post tomorrow night and also my special franchise breakdown post probably maybe in the afternoon sometime. Maybe earlier. Or later. Who knows. I don’t owe you ANYTHING.

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