By Chris Withers
October. Month of Halloween, the time when ghosts and goblins and ghouls are as common as a housefly. I’m Christopher Withers, your not-so-humble host of this wonderful column. Throughout the month of October I’m going to be undergoing a massive project, I’m going to watch a new horror movie every single day. That’s right: 31 days, 31 horror movies. And I’m inviting you, readers of The Point, to join me. Every week for all of October, and a little of November, I’m going to post a new update to this project, which will be a collection of reviews for the movies I watched that week. From this you’ll (hopefully) learn of the existence of some horror movies you’ve never heard of before. And every week I’ll be handing out awards to five movies, Best made, Worst made, Scariest, Most entertaining, Least entertaining. So without any further ado, here is the first collection of movies.
John Carpenter’s The Thing R
A group of scientists at an American research outpost in Antarctica discover that a Norwegian outpost nearby has been decimated. Soon after a creature begins to attack them. But how can they fight back when the creature could be any one of them?
The Thing is a classic for a reason. The movie is utterly fantastic, great atmosphere mixed with fantastic acting. This movie has way too many amazing, quotable scenes to go over in any kind of detail. The atmosphere is thick, the characters are trapped in an Antarctic research outpost and you genuinely feel like you’re trapped there too. Coupled with a bleak ending makes this a must watch.
The Stuff R
A new snack sensation begins to put Ice Cream out of business, so a corporate spy is brought in to investigate, The Stuff.
A glorious B-movie with a brilliantly cheesy villain. The fact that the villain of the picture is literally a white blob (and in most shots composed of shaving cream) adds a great laugh-out-loud factor to the creature. However the film does have an agenda, namely that it wants to sound off on the demerits of conspicuous consumption and commercial brainwashing. But this isn’t to say that the film is super-serious, it tackles these issues with a light touch and never stops being a joy to watch.
Jack Frost R
When a vat of chemical-bonding acid is dumped on a serial killer he becomes a snowman. No really, that’s the plot.
This film is god-awful. It’s trying to be a horror-comedy, mixing a generic slasher movie with low-grade humor. Only it isn’t funny, at all. The humor never extends beyond the worst forms of puns (‘I only axed you for a smoke’ is the funniest line in the film). And the kills are uninspired and in terrible taste, for example there is a rape scene, which is played for laughs. The only funny thing about the film is the absurdly low budget, largely in how fake the snowmen look.
Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge NR
Martial arts girl vs. Chainsaw man; you wouldn’t think that would be a boring movie would you?
Boring. This movie is Boring. That’s really all I can say about it, It Is Boring. The film is poorly paced moving from fight scene to character scene without any kind off of transition. The main characters are dull, poorly developed, and mug through every scene. The film is based on a manga of the same name and frankly it shows, because every scene feels like it was lifted from a manga page. Coupled with a dull nonsensical ending, its one of the most boring movies I’ve ever seen.
Awards for week 1
Best Overall Film: John Carpenter’s The Thing: One of the best horror movies ever. Need I say more?
Worst Overall Film: Jack Frost: There is a rape scene between a grieving seventeen year old and a killer snowman in this movie. Just saying.
Scariest Film: John Carpenter’s The Thing: Great atmosphere is the key phrase here. The genuine sense of loneliness in the film makes the creature all the scarier. Also great effects work.
Least Entertaining: Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge: If you had told me a year ago that the Japanese could suck the fun out of a magical monster who wields a chainsaw fighting a martial arts high school girl I wouldn’t have believed you. I do now.
Most Entertaining: The Stuff: Hilarious performances from Michael Moriarty, Garret Morris, and Paul Sorvino already make for an entertaining flick. But add in a cheap looking monster, and a hilarious tagline/moral “Are you eating it… Or is it eating you?” and you’ve got one of my favorite B-movies ever.
Preview for Week 2
Next week your humble host will take you for a ride with one of the most successful new-breed slasher film series ever. Featuring one of the most iconic villains of all time.
That’s right, Saw. All of them.