31 Nights of Horror, Night 10: American Horror Story Coven, Episode 1, Bitchcraft
Three sentence review:
I love that American Horror Story is an anthology television series and was excited to close the door on AHS: Asylum and start fresh with a brand new story in AHS: Coven – especially since Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett joined the already stellar cast (also, witches are totally in right now – zombies, whaaaa?) The first episode, the aptly named “Bitchcraft,” felt refreshingly stylish and modern (a stark contrast from the dark and antiquated feel of the first two seasons) and I nearly passed out from excitement watching Kathy Bates play the insanely evil Madame Delphine LaLaurie – murderous socialite from 19th century New Orleans . The young witches, Zoe, Madison, Queenie, and Nan played respectively by Taissa Farmiga, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sibide, and Jamie Brewer are fun to watch (Zoe’s “power” made me slightly uncomfortable) and I’m ridiculously excited to see how New Orlean’s Voodoo history ties in – this season seems to have big potential!
31 Nights of Horror, Night 9: The Conjuring (releasing on blu-ray October 22!)
Three sentence review:
Supernatural horror is one of my favorite sub-genres, and I’d argue that James Wan’sThe Conjuring is the best addition to this category in the last two decades – I mean, it’s Rated R just for scares alone (no gore, just lots of suspense and tension!) Ed and Lorraine Warren, real life paranormal experts previously best known for investigating the Amityville Horror House, finally have their incredible life stories put into the spotlight by the supremely talented Vera Farmigia and surprising horror regular, Patrick Wilson. Supporting actors Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston are excellent as the Perron’s, a husband and wife who move their entire family into a farmhouse with a gruesome past, and the movie clearly (and successfully) draws influence from retro horror gold like Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror, and the Exorcist.
31 Nights of Horror, Night 7: V/H/S 2 (Originally titled S-VHS)
WARNING: This film is for seasoned horror fans and I do not recommend casually watching this or popping it in for your Halloween pumpkin carving party.
Three (run-on) sentence review:
Just when I thought mainstream horror couldn’t get any more disturbing, more innovative, or shocking; that films like “The Conjuring” and “Cabin in the Woods” were the answer to modern horror’s lack of fresh, scary material, and just when I thought I had seen it all and could never ever possibly feel genuinely scared again, I watch V/H/S 2 and its four short films: Clinical Trials, A Ride in the Park, Safe Haven, and Slumber Party Alien Abduction. V/H/S 2 completely blows the first installment (which I reviewed last year and consider my favorite watch of 2012) out of the water and manages to pack four completely new and frightening short films into the same anthology/wrap-around narrative format we saw in the first V/H/S. The overarching story of the movie is about two investigators searching for a missing college student who stumble upon his weird collection of VHS tapes – the found-footage/POV camera style of all of the shorts are unnerving, and while all of the four installments are incredibly solid and frightening, “Safe Haven”, the third and best phase of V/H/S 2, left my jaw nearly dragging on the floor and I’m finding it hard to shake off some of the visuals and adrenaline rush it produced even an hour after the credits rolled.
“Clinical Trials” is about a man who agrees to test out a bionic eye with ghostly side effects.
Rise and shine, readers. You’re probably wondering where you are. I’ll tell you where you might be. You might be on the blog you die in (I mean, from awesomeness). Up until now you simply sat in the shadows watching others live out their lives. But what do voyeurs see when they look into the mirror? Now, I see you as a strange mix of someone angry, yet apathetic. But mostly just pathetic. So are you going to watch yourself die today, readers, or do something about it?
Welcome to the 2013 31 Nights of Horror blog! [Applause].
Starting October 1 you’ll get a fresh review from some well known, obscure, foreign, family friendly, and/or totally cheesy horror films. AKA my most favoritest genre of the entire solar system.
Here’s how it works:
I watch a movie. It might be one you’ve seen 1,000 times. It might be one you’ve never heard of. It might be really bizarre, gory, disturbing. It might be an episode of the Walking Dead. There’s a good chance I’ll involve Disney movies. There’s zero chance of sparkly vampires.
I’ll write a three sentence review about it. That’s it. None of this “Pitchfork” style full-page, flowery language like here. “paranoid sawtooth synths” I mean what?! (OKAY – I love Pitchfork. But their reviews make me giggle a little. Also – Yeezus, man.)
You comment and tell me what you think. Or what your favorite horror related media might be. Or what you suggest. Or maybe I’ll ask… DISCUSSION QUESTIONS!!!
Maybe I’ll throw in some bonus features like Halloween recipes or decorating tips or scary music videos. Maybe I won’t.
And that’s it! No, I’m not a professional film reviewer. I took one film class in college. I probably won’t be exploring themes and cultural implications and whatever people much smarter than me discuss. I just genuinely love horror movies and I’d like to share my passion with you. And hear about your favorites.
Seriously, y’all. It’s nearly Halloween season and I can’t contain my excitement. Join me on this epic journey through haunted houses, dark waters, slasher infested forests and whatever the hell is going on in “Audition”.
Horror fans, curious outsiders, friends and family of scary movie addicts, it’s time to come together!