Shocktober Nightly Halloween Spooktacular 2011

On a whim I decided I was going the take some time every night this October and watch a scary movie. The game is over when I have to shut one of the movies off in pants-wetting terror. Or boredom, as the case may be.

Night 1 – The Exorcist. Oftentimes considered to be the scariest movie ever made, and I can see why. I’d never seen it before now, but I can see where a lot of horror movies since then have ripped it off. This film has mastered the art of juxtaposing intense moments of what-the-hell terror with calm shots of people walking home from work. So a priest talking to someone on a bridge jump cuts to a little girl vomiting on someone. And man, can that girl vomit.

Night 2 – Let the Right One In. This is the original Swedish film that was remade for Americans as Let Me In. And I  kind of don’t understand why it was necessary, since the two films are almost shot-for-shot identical. The only thing is that the Swedish version seems scarier, because every word spoken sounds like a death metal chorus.

Night 3 – Poltergeist II. Craig T. Nelson and his family can’t seem to get away from those darn ghosts! And forget that stuff about an Indian burial ground; it was actually a 19th century suicide cult. And Chief Bromden is going to help them protect themselves. Aside from one scene where a tequila worm posses Craig T. Nelson and makes him over-act, then turns itself into a slimy claymation puppet, this film isn’t very scary.

Night 4 – Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Netflix considers this a horror movie so I figured what the hell. But hoo boy. It’s like they set out to create a comedy version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but then forget that last bit at the end where they put jokes in it. Still, Mel Brooks makes a better Van Helsing than Hugh Jackman.

Night 5 – The Thing. I’ve seen this one a couple times, but a prequel is about to be released in theaters, so I figured it was worth another look. If the new film can recreate the sense of distrust and paranoia that pervades this classic, then it should be excellent. And finally my burning questions left from the original will be answered, like: Where did that dog come from? Why was that dog an alien? And didn’t everyone die before Kurt Russel showed up, thereby predetermining the ending of a prequel where everyone dies except for one guy who doesn’t speak English?

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