365 Days of Horror, Day 2: Muñecos Infernales [The Curse of the Doll People] [1961]


Excuse the poor English dub, but, like YouTube’s poor rendering of an already bubbly print, you get used to it.

Yesterday was Dia de los Muertos and, in the spirit of the day, Muñecos Infernales/The Curse of the Doll People, by Benito Alazraki, was profferred by a half-Mexican ghoul/friend.

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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2017, Day 31: Hallowe’en [1978]


Hallowe'en Halloween John Carpenter 1978

Yeah, I’ve seen John Carpenter‘s Halloween before. But, honestly, not for a long time, and never in a cinema, and certainly not in a screen full of other people who have seen it so many times that they laugh at both every awkward line delivery and the iconic moments when Michael Looks Really Quite Threatening and Scary.

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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2017, Day 26: Juan of the Dead [2011]


source: Ain’t it Cool News

Newsflash, Rotten Tomatoes users: THIS IS NOT AN HOMAGE TO SHAUN OF THE DEAD. How can anyone have fully watched this zombie movie with an incredibly overt political message and think it’s not inspired by the Romero classic?

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31 Days of Hallowe’en Day 2015, Day 25: Clown [2014]

Clown 2014 eli roth jon watts

source: Cinemablend

I trusted you, Jon Watts, director of the brilliantly witty, knowing, colourful Spiderman: Homecoming. But your movie Clown, buried by studios, made me look like a fool to all of whom I recommended this after only having seen the first 45 minutes.

And what a 45 minutes. The first few shots, blunt cuts of birthday party debris overlaid with deafening children’s screams that turn out to be screams of excitement/joy, made it clear, at the time, that I’d be in for some grim fun. The almost immediate body-horror setup, in which realtor Kent (an affable, sympathetic Andy Powers, who I’ve never seen before but would watch more of him), dons a found, dusty old clown costume to fill in at his son’s birthday party and subsequently can’t remove – and the gruesomely funny methods he tries to rid himself of it, including a wonderfully deadpan doctor’s visit.

But he can’t. It’s become a second skin. Even Peter Stormare‘s welcome supporting role can’t fix things. Kent panics, and accidentally, awkwardly reverse-snaps a family friend’s arm in front of his consistently-disapproving father-in-law.

Then it gets horribly uncomfortable.


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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2017, Day 15: Gerald’s Game [2017]


Gerald's Game Netflix Stephen King

In the wake of the Weinstein allegations, the people behind Gerald’s Game couldn’t have timed this Netflix original any better.

From the trailers, this adaptation of Stephen King’s novel tells you most of what you need to know: Jessie (Carla Gugino, carrying the entire movie in her most significant role for me outside of Spin City, even though that’s not saying much) and her semi-controlling husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) plan a cabin getaway  to rejig their marriage. First thing on the agenda: sex with his handcuff kink – something they’ve never tried, and something that gets weirder as it transpires that Gerald’s needs run all the way to straight-up rape fantasy. After Jessie’s repeated protests during foreplay that she’s not comfortable, he finally climbs off of her, but before he can take her out of the handcuffs, the viagra causes a fatal heart attack.

What follows is part-survival thriller, part psychological drama, with multiple threats for each: a stray dog that starts eating part of Gerald from the get-go, and Jessie’s own fears, magnified by both the hallucinations of a Death-like figure and multiple flashbacks from her abusive childhood. Aside from an unevenly toned, Lifetime-movie ending, it’s well-shot, carefully plotted and decently paced once we open up the flashbacks.

After the hashtag movement #MeToo, there’s not a woman alive who doesn’t have a story of a sexual assault and/or unwelcome advances. And this is on top of encounters that made them feel guilty, ashamed or manipulated because of controlling. Perhaps the filmmakers knew this. Some of it is unsettling to watch. And that’s even including the gore, which will make you wince for days.

Score: 🎃🎃🎃

31 Days of Hallowe’en 2017, Day 13: Teeth [short] [2015]


Another little creepy but cute (but mostly creepy) short, Teeth has a surprising star as its narrator: Richard E. Grant.

Writers-directors Tom Brown and Daniel Gray‘s Shudder-homed short is a charming, oddball slice of strangeness that falls into the category of ‘I don’t know where this was going and I still don’t’.

It animation is pleasant enough to look at, but the overall work didn’t leave any kind of lasting impression on me. It did, however, remind me that I need to get that weirdly-nervy tooth looked at.


31 Days of Hallowe’en 2017, Day 13: The Separation [short] [2003]


Ah, Robert Morgan. Ever since your magically creepy tale The Cat with Hands, I’ve made it a point to keep an eye out for your stuff. And the BAFTA-winning The Separation, more ‘wtf’ than ‘wtfairytale’, is no exception to that rule, as we watch events unfold after a pair of conjoined twins are freed from each other.

By turns both gruesome, disturbing, poignant and sweet (in… a way…), I have to wonder what goes on in Morgan’s head. This is more than just fucking weird. It is fucking weird and unforgettable.

Score: 🎃🎃🎃🎃