Night 20 – Village of the Damned. While watching this, I had to wonder at which point the trope of the creepy little kid became tiresome. I’m betting it was some time between “right away” and the minute John Carpenter made this movie. The story follows a whole clique of white-haired hellspawn with who are openly and obviously forcing people to kill themselves with glowy eye rays. Everybody in town knows the kids are evil, but darnit, they just can’t prove it. Not scary, but imagining Kirstie Allie as a scientist is pretty entertaining.
Night 21 – White Zombie. SOMEbody pointed out to me that Night of the Living Dead was not actually the first zombie movie. So fine. Here’s the first movie I could find that made any mention of zombies (from 1932), even if they’re not really dead, and they don’t eat human flesh, or do much of anything except wander around, and the curse can be broken by true love. Bela Lugosi’s eyebrows steal every scene.
Night 22 – Phantasm II. This movie might’ve made more sense if I had seen Phantasm 1. As near as I can gather, an old man with superhuman strength goes around stealing corpses and making them into Jawas, and Pete Hornberger’s going to take him out. Also figuring prominently into the plot are large, sentient murder pinballs, forgetting to turn off your gas stove, a quadruple-barrel shotgun, and necrophilia. Beyond that, I don’t think there is a plot other than “We got to kill that old guy!” Pretty good!
Night 23 – One Missed Call. From the director that brought us Audition, a story about a ghost that kills people using cell phones. This movie was remade in the wave of Americanized-horror movies that started after The Ring, right when Hollywood realized that Japanese ghosts are super scary. However, nobody knows revenge-obsessed Japanese ghosts like Japan. So far, this and The Exorcist are about the only films I’ve watched this month that made me genuinely afraid.
Night 24 – Hell Night. A fraternity initiation goes awry when the haunted mansion they stay in turns out to be occupied instead by murderers! Starring Vincent Van Patten, of the Van Patten dynasty, and grown-up Linda Blair, who I gotta admit is pretty cute when she isn’t puking on stuff. At this point, it should be noted that the college-age demographic has a disproportionate number of deaths due to psychopaths with knives. Why are there so few movies about retirement homes being terrorized by monsters?
Night 25 – Blue Velvet. Netflix has been calling this a horror movie, but it turned out to be typical David Lynch weirdness. Which is plenty creepy, sure, but when you come expecting a Lynching, it doesn’t really phase you. I heard in the original version of this movie, Dennis Hopper sucked helium instead of nitrous oxide. I can’t imagine why they changed it.