31 Days of Hallowe’en 2022, Day 31: Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, Episodes 1-3 [2022]


And so another year’s horror-thon comes to a close. Since covid I’ve stayed in for Hallowe’en, a far cry from my annual childhood parties or the multi-month-long carnival that is autumnal life in Salem. So what better way to ring out my 9th 31 Days of Hallowe’en with the presentation of one of our modern masters of horror?

Also: Happy Hallowe’en!

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is an anthology series presented by del Toro – literally, with openings in the style of Hitchcock – with each of its eight episodes helmed by different directors. Tonight I sat down and watched the first three, and it was a very mixed bag for me, so I’d rather score them individually for that reason.

Episode 1: Lot 36

The first episode, directed by Guillermo Navarro, stars Tim Blake Nelson as a racist piece of shit who also happens to be a war veteran, but whose days currently revolve around purchasing storage units to see what he can salvage while not getting the shit kicked out of him by loan sharks. One day he comes across a lot owned by a literal Nazi and stumbles upon some occult artefacts but, naturally, he doesn’t believe in any of this and proceeds to blunder his way through the rest of this predictable episode, which is impossibly slow-moving and features too hateful of a protagonist to spend this much time with. It seems to hark back to a Tales From The Crypt style in which there’s no scares, spooky atmosphere, tension or dread until the episode’s final moments but by then, I just didn’t give a shit.

Score: 🎃🎃

Episode 2: Graveyard Rats

Directed by Vincenzo Natali, this one genuinely scared me as it built up suffocating levels of dread while still maintaining its own distinctly camp, grim, grimy style. It’s largely a one-man show for David Hewlett, who plays grave robber Masson, and he absolutely nails every beat of pathos, terror and abject bastardism while still making you root for him. Once it starts, it never stops being scary, and the creature design is just fantastic. Bonus points for being set in Salem (albeit for no apparent reason).

Score: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Episode 3: The Autopsy

Directed by David Prior, this episode stars F Murray Abraham as a coroner who carries out the titular autopsy on a group of miners after a mysterious explosion. Hailed in some articles as the scariest of the bunch, it didn’t quite sit that way with me. I felt that the ending was too telegraphed and it took some time getting started, and in a way I didn’t quite expect (pace-breaking backstory upon pace-breaking backstory). I also found the antagonist too cheesy in a modern way when set against Abraham’s (characteristically brilliant) measured performance and the episode’s clearly vintage setting. Still, I thought it had a richly eerie atmosphere, some grisly visuals and a couple of good scares.

Score: 🎃🎃🎃

That’s it for this year. We’ll do this again in October 2023!


31 Days of Hallowe’en 2021, Day 31: Freddy’s Nightmares 1×07: Sister’s Keeper (1988)


Another year, another horror-thon comes to a close. It’s my second year of doing nothing thanks to bastards who won’t wear masks or social distance (thus, creating new variants, sigh) – or, at least, those who are in the position of doing so but choose not to. Fucks. I went for a run, which is the only way I’ve been leaving the house these past few months, and I guess maybe I shouldn’t have been whisper-singing along to that PJ Harvey song since I choose to run at night like a fucking weirdo.

Freddy's Nightmares (TV Series 1988–1990) - IMDb
source: imdb, but i bet i could have drawn this shite, and i can’t draw for shit
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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2020, Day 28: Goedam, episode 1: Crack [2020]

Goedam (TV Series 2020– ) - IMDb

Short and mostly sweet, Netflix’s Korean horror short anthology series Goedam seems to be as much of a mixed bag as the Nordic one Bloodride.

There’s not much to say about this since episode one is less than 10 minutes in length, but Crack follows a fairly simple story: a young schoolgirl is haunted by something in a bathroom.

My OCD got chills, so perhaps I’m biased. But why do people sit on a toilet seat knowing that other people have blasted bodily fluids on and around it? Why does she put her hands and FACE on the floor – the gross floor in front of the toilet itself – to see if someone or something else is in the toilet? At that point I would have just given myself up to the ghost as long as I didn’t have to touch anything but alas, my OCD was further triggered by events I shan’t spoil. It’s typical short-film format, though: the scare is always at the end. With Crack, it wasn’t worth the wait for me.

Score: 🎃🎃

31 Days of Hallowe’en 2020, Day 24: La Révolution, episodes 1 & 2 [2020]

La Révolution (TV Series 2020) - IMDb

When I saw the synopsis for Netflix’s new French offering La Révolution, I noticed ‘horror’ as the genre’ and the word ‘disease’, so I assumed it was going to be French Revolution-era zombies, sort of Kingdom meets Les Mis. It’s sort of…not. The first two of the total four episodes were more muted than I thought it was going to be.

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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2019, Day 12: Marianne 1×01 [2019]


Image result for marianne

I can safely say that Marianne is the most frightening title on Netflix. Created by Samuel Bodin, this eight-episode French horror series scares the shit out of you by using the oldest genre tropes that are so insidious they will lurk in the back of your mind long after the closing credits.

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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2018, Day 26: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 1×01 [2018]


chilling adventures of sabrina, netflix, horror, horror tv, sabrina, halloween,

As a lifelong Archie comics fan, I was excited for this series. I’ve read the excellent (and no-punches-pulled) comic series Afterlife with Archie, but I never got around to reading its spin-off, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina [why isn’t there a ‘The’?]. Luckily, this Netflix series has talent from both series onboard as series developer and writer (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa).

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31 Days of Hallowe’en 2018, Day 13: The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell 1×01 [2018]


curious creations of christine mcconnell, netflix, baking, horror, halloween,

I am so ill I am legit struggling to comprehend how Twitter is telling me that is is simultaneously National Baking Week and National Chocolate Week. Either way, this is the perfect day to write a belated post on Netflix’s latest baking show, which happens to be exactly the kind of spoopy, quirky food programme I would have wanted growing up as a kooky little goth girl.

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