31 Days of Horror! – Days 12 & 13

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OK I know it’s early afternoon on day 14, but you know. I’m not getting paid for this so you can just deal. I SHOULD have Day 14 to give you later, if all goes according to plan. I’ve had a busy couple of days, you know?
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Day 12
The Exorcist (1973)
Directed by William Friedkin
Written by William Peter Blatty

Yup. You read that right. I hadn’t seen The Exorcist. ME. The horror movie blogger! It almost seems like I’m not even qualified to write about horror if I haven’t seen The Exorcist. Well, there are no qualifications for writing about horror, so here we are.

I’m sure many of you know what The Exorcist is about, but if you don’t, I’ll tell you really quick. The Exorcist is about a little girl who gets possessed and they get some priests to try to exorcise the demon out of her.

I thought it was great. Again, I know I’m late to the party, but I feel like I offer a different perspective now. In 2016, we’ve had exactly 1,786,922 movies about exorcisms since The Exorcist released in 1973. The biggest one is probably The Conjuring. It’s also probably the best one since The Exorcist. Does that mean that I love The Conjuring? No. Exorcism movies are simply hard to do right. The Conjuring came the closest, giving us a movie that was 75% good and 25% idiotic bugshit lunacy (that was pretty hilarious).

The Exorcist, however, is a much better film than The Conjuring. It’s got spooks, it has an engaging narrative around the horror, and above all, it has Max von Sydow. So yeah. Here I am to tell you what you probably already thought you knew: I really liked The Exorcist.

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Day 13
Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Directed by Brian Gibson
Written by Michael Grais and Mark Victor

Poltergeist is a classic. It has all the fun of 80s movies and actually proves to hold up pretty well thanks to excellent practical effects and an overall fun, but still scary, tone. Poltergeist II: The Other Side is not considered a classic. Like many horror sequels of the 80s, it has generally been forgotten (although Scream Factory! is putting out a blu ray restoration of this and Poltergeist III). I think that’s a shame, because in my opinion this is almost as fun and enjoyable as the first.

Poltergeist II is about the family from the first one (minus the older sister, Dana, played by Dominique Dunne who was tragically killed by her boyfriend before the year the first Poltergeist released) now moved to a new house. A strange old man named Henry Kane is spooky and people walk through him and he is the best part of the movie. Anyway he’s trying to get little Carol Anne again. With the help of a Native American stereoty-I MEAN SHAMAN-they have to fight Kane (who is a demon) to get her back.

The special effects are even better and more creative in this than the first one, I think. There’s a great scene involving a worm that you will just have to see for yourself. There’s also the braces scene (pictured above) that I loved as well. Overall, this movie feels a little darker than the first one. It seems like it wanted to be a little more of a serious, scary movie than the first one, and honestly I think that’s the only thing really keeping it from being just as good as the first one. All-in-all, I would count this alongside Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and Friday the 13th Part 6 as one of my favorite sequels to an 80s horror movie. It’s on Hulu!

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