66 Things to Do in Salem, MA



Halloween - derby st house

The famous Derby St House of fantastic decorations. They make an incredible effort every year that it’s a tourist attraction in and of itself – even on Christmas. Next to Dave Eng’s Flowers, 136 1/2 Derby St.

Because I like lists, and sympathise with the tourist dilemma of “Bollocks! We only have 5 hours to spend here – what do we do first??”, I’ve decided to compile a big fat list of 66* awesome things to do in Salem.

*Yes, this list could have been shorter, but the number 66 is evilly cool, and Salem is a spooky, kooky version of that surreal little hamlet in Gilmore Girls, so ner. (Click “Continue reading” to read more!)

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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2019, Day 21: Extracurricular [2018]


Image result for extracurricular movie

Not to be confused with the American teen comedy of nearly the same name, Extracurricular gets a nod for trying something new in the slasher subgenre, but fails to execute anything meaningful from its angle.

Which was promising – the story starts with a couple driving up to a romantic cabin getaway; after a few scenes of atmosphere-setting, the couple are quickly despatched by a group of masked knifers. And then the narrative rug is pulled out from under us by showing us that the protagonists are actually the antagonists – the killers themselves – who are a quartet of regular high-school kids. Who plan and execute murders for fun.

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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2019, Day 19: The Lighthouse [2019]


Ever wondered what it feels like to be trapped on a New England [woo!] rock with an increasingly strange boss who treats you like crap while a nor’easter storm brews ominously in the foreground? Then enter The Lighthouse.

Weirder than even The VVitch, Dave Eggers‘s sophomore offering is another entry in the modern-horror-fable subgenre, and a fine evocation of insidious sea shanties of yore.

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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2019, Day 18: Eli [2019]


Image result for eli 2019

I don’t enjoy writing bad reviews. I’m fully aware that this is someone else’s hard work and that I’ve yet to make a film myself. I actually, genuinely prefer describing the parts of a movie I like, because I want to try to (as objectively as possible) convince someone that this might be worth watching – especially if it’s a new or smaller movie.

Like many internetting humans, I have Netflix, and today they dropped Eli, so I thought ‘why not? how bad could it be?’

Hoo boy.

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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2019, Day 17: A Dark Song [2015]


Filmed with Irish money but on Welsh soil and using just two English actors, A Dark Song is a truly British film indeed. The debut of writer/director Liam Gavin, the film works best if you approach it as a drama, in spite of how you might feel following the closing moments.

It’s out of character for me, but unavoidable spoilers after the jump.

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31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 16: Be My Cat: A Film for Anne [2015]


Alexandra Stroe, Florentina Hariton, and Sonia Teodoriu in Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015)

The world’s first Romanian found-footage horror movie (and entirely in English), Be My Cat: A Film For Anne is a hard movie to find. I’d first heard of it pre-release, and then nothing ever seemed to come of it. I found it listed on Amazon Prime, but all I got was ‘this title is not available’ for no reason. Given that I also knew nothing of its director/star/editor/everything Adrian Tofei, this just added to the film’s overarching, morbid mystique.

I will say that this more than lives up to the WTFerry garnered by initial buzz. Even if you don’t believe me, this is likely to be one of the most unique horror movies you’ll ever have seen – regardless of (but perhaps bolstered by) its country of origin.

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