We are on a roll with some pretty good Halloween movies! Last night we watched The Devil’s Backbone, which takes place in a remote Spanish Orphanage during the Spanish Civil War. An orphan boy is left at the orphanage, which is run by a disillusioned widow and a kindly doctor. Meanwhile, there is a boy spirit roaming the halls and a young but heartless worker is seeking the orphanage’s supply of gold, which leads to a climactic ending. It is spooky but not terrifying and definitely well made and interesting, not unlike The Orphanage. I read somewhere from a secondary source that the film is an allegory for the Spanish Civil War, and it makes me curious about that. It was a cozy way to spend a wet Halloween Eve evening (including a fire place fire).
WIfe M and Daughter L heard about Black Christmas on Faculty of Horror, and we noticed it has been well received over the years and it kind of set the stage for the slasher genre (although I’ve never watched those with the exception of Halloween, last weekend). I liked it. I really like films that are patient and set atmosphere with a deft hand, and this film did that really well. It felt real, not cheap and wafer thin, and was frightening but not overly so. I can’t believe the same director did this film, Porky’s and A Christmas Story 🙂
My mom didn’t like us watching slasher films as a kid, and to be honest I didn’t like watching kids getting killed. So although Halloween was a huge cult hit when I was young, I have never seen it, but Wife M and I watched it today for the first time. I loved it. It is like a ghost film, except instead of a ghost it is a homicidal killer.
I love the music and opening credits against the pumpkin — great tone setter. The performances and flow of the movie are good. I love how the main character suspects something amiss but no one aroujnd her believes her. Love how “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is playing on the radio as Michael Meyers is trailing them. Love how the old house looks like a haunted house. It is funny how no one notices a sinsiter man standing in a hockey mask, how no one thinks to alert the town that Michael Meyers has escaped (of course, this was in the days before everyone had a mobile device). THe movie is proof that you don’t need a lot of action to build suspense, creepiness and fear (this is one of my ocmplaints about Horror Story, that it is too over the top with endless “thrills”). I love the role of the psychologist, reminds me of the exorcist in The Exorcist or George C. Scott in The Changeling… I can’t believe this is the same director who did The Thing, which was more cheesey and was essentially about the dumbest scientits on the face of the planet (“hey, let’s blow ourselves up so the monster can’t get away”).. It seems to be a rule of slasher films that women don’t wear bras and look for any opportunity to pull their clothes off (“Oh, I spilled on myself, let me pull off all my clothes”)… The Thing appeared on the screen, a movie the director remade a few years later… The Washing Machine soujnded like Michael Meyers breathing in the mask… All these kids are running around the neighborhood, and none of the adults are home — that is soo how it was in the 1970s! Parents were always “out,” and so many kids had free reight to roam the neighborhood in packs and get into mischief… Brilliant to have the door unlocked the second time and the inside of the car fogged! I love the theme of no one believing each other, and the killer roaming in-between the spaces of this mistrust… With the beat of the music, how Michael keeps coming after her at his steady pace, I was thinking of It Follows.
Like most kids, I liked Halloween time, most of all the thoughts of haunted houses. October is also one of the few times I like dark, cloudy days. So it was fun today to ride my bike through the old neighborhood today to return some movies, especially since today is rather cloudy. It reminded me of Octobers during my grade school days. Generally, I don’t reminisce about childhood, but October is one of those times )
We watched The Pact, and loved it is a ghost movie. It has a creepy twist and the movie is as much a mystery as it is a horror film. It has an indie feel to it, has some unusual twists and is a thriller. I loved the lead in it, who is also great in Mad Men, and who reminds me of Savannah, who used to work for me.
American Horror Story is one of the shows that I always *want* to like. But many years it involves homicidal maniacs, violence or is just flat out too over the top, so that really the only year I’ve truly liked is Coven, which I flat-out loved. I also like the first season pretty well, although sometimes there were just too many ghosts, which detracted from it. But this season, where it takes place in a house built in the 1700s in the remote South, seems okay so far. It has a Haunted Mansion, type feel. But there seems to be an obsession with pigs, and I am hoping that the pigs don’t get too weird (honestly, pigs? It seems strange. Yes, boars have killed people in history, but somehow “Oh my god, look out for the pig!” doesn’t seem that interesting or scary). But it has potential, so after two episodes I am hanging in there. For now. Here is hoping!