Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: Resident Evil (2002)

For Day 24 of 31 Days of Halloween, I have selected another movie based off of a video game: Resident Evil. As you may have noticed from this list, I don’t really find zombies very interesting. This is my one big exception!

Resident Evil Poster

IMDB’s Description: “A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.”

I am obsessed with this franchise. I own all 6 films, and I’ve seen them multiple times. While these are zombie movies, I find them interesting because the zombies are not the villains per se. Rather, the organization controlling the zombie apocalypse is the main antagonist. Also, these films are packed with nonstop action from start to finish, and Milla Jovovich is PERFECTION as the main character. If you’re more into action than atmospheric horror with jump scares, then I think you’ll love this one!

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: Silent Hill (2006)

I have never really been into video games, but I seem to really enjoy horror movies that are based off of them. One of the best is definitely Silent Hill, which is my pick for Day 23 of 31 Days of Halloween.

Silent Hill Poster

IMDB’s Description: “A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.”

This movie definitely wins the award for most interesting monsters. The creatures in Silent Hill are terrifying but fascinating in their construction. Also, I just love the backstory for this place and the explanations for why everything is the way that it is. Visually, this is one of the best horror movies. (My favorite scene is the one with the nurses). I just don’t care what the critics say – this is one of my favorite movies! I’ve seen it so many times and it just doesn’t get old.

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: The Ring (2002)

For Day 22 of 31 Days of Halloween, I have picked The Ring because it was a formative part of my childhood. This movie came out when I was in grade school, and it was one of the first real horror movies I got to see. I loved it, and I loved that it didn’t scare me as much as it scared my friends.

The Ring Poster

IMDB’s Description: “A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.”

Some personal backstory… I had a friend who was terrified of this movie. One day, she didn’t quite close her locker all the way, so after she left, I opened her locker and wrote “Seven Days” on the little whiteboard she kept inside. She was thoroughly terrorized, and that might actually have been the meanest thing I’ve done in my life.

But moving on to the movie, this is a really interesting one! Visually, it’s unsettling to watch the entirety of the montage on the mysterious videotape. But also, the story here is really great and you get to fully understand what has caused this malevolent force to have emerged in this way. Overall, it’s a really well-done concept and a very cool horror movie that isn’t very graphic, so it’s perfect for beginners!

Movie Review

31 Days of Horror: V/H/S (2012)

I think that anthology horror movies are underrated. While I love full-length tales that deliver a broader story, sometimes horror works best in the concept stages. Short horror vignettes can often deliver genuine scares, and that’s why I’ve picked V/H/S as my Day 21 pick for 31 Days of Halloween.

V/H/S Poster

IMDB’s Description: “When a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.”

As the characters in the movie play the VHS tape that they obtain, you get to see short horror films that are on the tape. While there is a larger narrative structure, to me the most interesting part of this movie is seeing the vignettes on the tape (each of which were written/directed by a different horror filmmaker). It’s so cool to see the different styles of short film.

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: Mama (2013)

The role of motherhood in horror movies is an interest concept to unpack. Often, motherly characters are portrayed as paragons of virtue. Sometimes their love is undying. One interesting take on how maternal feelings can surpass the grave is the movie Mama, my Day 20 pick for 31 Days of Halloween.

Mama Poster

IMDB’s Description: “A young couple take in their two nieces only to suspect that a supernatural spirit named Mama has latched itself to their family.”

This is an interesting movie with an ending I really didn’t expect. There’s so much about the choice of motherhood and what that truly entails. It’s also hauntingly beautiful in parts due to its cinematography. Visually, this is a stunning movie, and it’s one that is more focused on telling a story than it is delivering scares.

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: It (2017)

For Day 19 of 31 Days of Halloween, we have another movie based off of a Stephen King novel: It. This newest version is so much closer to the book than the Tim Curry version. I love how terrifying but whimsical the villain of Pennywise is in this film, and I can’t wait for part two to come out!

It Poster

IMDB’s Description: “In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids band together to destroy a shapeshifting monster, which disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small Maine town.”

This is a fabulous adaptation! It’s genuinely scary and visually very interesting. If you’re afraid of clowns, prepare to lose some sleep for sure! But that’s not all that this film has to offer. The eclectic bunch of kids that band together are a truly lovable group of misfits, and this makes you really want to root for them!

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

It’s hard to reinvent the classics. Sure, some classic horror films don’t stand the test of time, but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre sure does. That’s why it’s my pick for Day 18 of 31 Days of Halloween.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Poster

IMDB’s Description: “Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.”

This film is so well done. It’s no wonder it launched such an enduring franchise and has inspired so many similar films. The setting is genuinely unsettling, as is the setup of this dastardly family. It’s not a very long film, but every minute seems to count. It’s a very fast-paced movie with plenty of genuine scares. Seriously, if you’ve ever seen a movie with backwoods serial killers and enjoyed it, you need to see this film.



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.