Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: The Final Girls (2015)

If you’re in the mood for something slightly scary, very funny, and filled with a surprising amount of genuine heart, you’ll love my Day 17 pick for 31 Days of Halloween: The Final Girls.

The Final Girls Poster

IMDB’s Description: “A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer.”

This movie has some elements of parody to it. Anyone familiar with the tropes of slasher movies from the 80s will definitely understand the humor behind this one! It’s very funny at times, but it’s also super touching as well. I’ll admit that I actually teared up at a few points because the main character’s grief that’s being processed is incredibly realistic even though the horror/slasher setting is not. Overall, this was just a truly fantastic movie that plays with horror conventions in a really interesting way.

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: [REC] (2007)

For Day 16 of my 31 Days of Halloween, I have picked [REC], one of the best found-footage horror movies that does a great job at creating an atmosphere of confusion and paranoia.

[Rec] Poster

IMDB’s Description: “A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying..”

This is one movie where I don’t want to give too much away about even the premise because it’s just better to be surprised. Basically, once the emergency workers and journalists get to the apartment building, events really get twisted. You wonder for a while what is really going on, and the payoff at the end is well worth the waiting and suspense. I was so impressed by this movie that I’m not sure why I haven’t yet watched the sequels. I’ll definitely have to rectify that this Halloween!

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: Lights Out (2016)

A lot of people are afraid of the dark. Darkness makes you feel vulnerable because you can’t see any danger that might be lurking about. Just the trailer for Lights Out made me uneasy, and it took me a while before I decided to actually watch it. But once I did, I loved it, and that’s why it’s my Day 15 pick for 31 Days of Halloween.

Lights Out Poster

IMDB’s Description: “Rebecca must unlock the terror behind her little brother’s experiences that once tested her sanity, bringing her face to face with a supernatural spirit attached to their mother.”

This movie was so much more than a typical haunting. The backstory of the malevolent force was truly interesting. Also, there was so much about the family dynamic of those being haunted that was fascinating to unpack too. Yes, there are a lot of jump scares, but this wasn’t the surface-level horror I expected it to be. There’s a lot about family and friendship as well.

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: Saw (2004)

There’s a whole spectrum for serial killers and a large range of motivations. But the truly terrifying villains, in my opinion, are the ones who just enjoy the chaos of torturing others. I think that’s why Saw was so scary, and it’s one of the reasons that it’s my pick for Day 14 of 31 Days of Halloween.

Saw Poster

IMDB’s Description: “Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, soon discover they’re pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.”

This is the movie that launched a very large serial killer franchise and inspired other filmmakers to be more grisly. Jigsaw, the antagonist of the movie, is really twisted. He isn’t just content to kill, he has to play with his victims first through unsettling puzzles and forcing them to make horrifying decisions. It was a unique movie experience that I think most horror aficionados can appreciate.

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: The Descent (2005)

For Day 13 of my 31 Days of Halloween, my pick is The Descent. This is a truly heart-pounding movie that will definitely make you feel extra claustrophobic.

The Descent Poster

IMDB’s Description: “A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.”

This was such a good movie. As the spelunkers get trapped in the cave, you’ll feel trapped too. Visually, most of the movie is very dark since they’re in a cave, and it feels both disorienting and claustrophobic. Once it’s clear that they’re also being pursued by something or someone deadly, the terror really gets going. This was one of the only horror movies that made me feel physically off as I was watching it because there were times where I literally felt stuck and like it was difficult to breathe. I definitely recommend this one!

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: The Shining (1980)

For Day 12 of my 31 Days of Halloween, I have another movie based on a Stephen King novel: The Shining. Adapted and directed by Stanley Kubrick, this has become one of the most iconic horror movies ever.

The Shining Poster

IMDB’s Description: “A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.”

While the movie has a lot of differences from the book, it is still fantastic. There’s something really terrifying about being isolated, and that’s exactly where this family is at. Is this madness cabin fever or something even more sinister? Overall, this is a visually stunning movie with lots of frightening moments.

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: Misery (1990)

Sometimes, realistic things are the scariest. While vampires and werewolves might be fictitious, psychopaths and the deranged definitely are real. I think that’s why Misery was such a great movie (and book!) This is my pick for Day 11 of my 31 Days of Halloween.

Misery Poster

IMDB Description: “After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he comes to realize that the care he is receiving is only the beginning of a nightmare of captivity and abuse.”

First, Kathy Bates is a fantastic actress, so this is worth seeing just to watch her in this role. Also, this is one of the least scary movies on my list, but I wanted to include it because it’s just psychologically interesting. Real people can be every bit as horrifying and damaged as this woman. It’s a fascinating analysis of what might constitute a number 1 fan of something. Sometimes, people just break loose from reality in their mind and there can be terrifying results.