Well gang, we made it! Its the final week for my October Horror Movie Marathon. I'm happy to report that I made my "quota" of 31 days, 31 films. I finally got around to watching the sequels to one of my favorite modern horror films, saw one of the films I was most looking forward to this fall, and wrapped it all up with one of my favorite movies in the genre. If you'd like to check in on weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 click those numbers, and if not get ready to dive right in!
Movie #25: Devil (2010)
Director: John Erik Dowdle
Starring: Chris Messina, Caroline Dhavernas, Bokeem Woodbine
Plot: Five strangers become stuck in an elevator and it soon becomes clear that one of them is not who they say they dare.
Opinion: Yet another film that plays out like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone, and one of the rare horror films with a moral lesson at the end of it. I especially enjoy the "whodunit" nature of the plot that keeps the audience guessing right up till the end.
Movie #26: Insidious (2010)
Director: James Wan
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins
Plot: After one of their sons mysteriously slips into a coma, the Lambert family begins to experience terrifying paranormal activity and a medium is called in to try and help them.
Opinion: Does that plot sound a little familiar to you? Well that would be because this film is pretty much an remake of the 1982 haunted house classic Poltergeist. There are some obvious differences but the premise of a family plagued by the supernatural with one of their children specifically being targeted is no coincidence, because thankfully the premise is not all they share. Just like the 82' classic, Insidious is in my opinion one of the best haunted house movies ever made. Thankfully there is one aspect of Poltergeist that Insidious doesn't share: The quality of it's sequels...
Movie #27: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
Director: James Wan
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey
Plot: It seems that the Lambert's troubles are not over yet, as Josh's experiences in "The Further" have horrible consequences.
Opinion: Wan proves once agin why he's a master of the macabre with this sequel that is just as good as the original. He smartly focuses more on the family drama, over the pure relentless scares of the first film, and expands upon the lore and denizens of "The Further" in interesting and innovative ways.
Movie #28: Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)
Director: Leigh Whannell
Starring: Lin Shaye, Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott
Plot: Set before the experiences of the Lambert family, and following psychic medium Elise Rainer who must overcome her own fears of her dark gifts to help a young woman experiencing violent and oppressive paranormal activity.
Opinion: Frequent "Wan" collaborator and Insidious co creator Leigh Whannell takes over the helm for this prequel, and its clear he's been taking notes. We return to the relentless pace of the first film this time, and once again we get more insight into the lore of "The Further". Shaye slips right back into her role like a glove and its honestly refreshing to see an actress who has never gotten the spotlight finally getting to showcase her talents.
Movie #29: Insidious: The Last Key (2017)
Director: Adam Robitel
Starring: Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson
Plot: Set in between the events of Chapter 3 and the first film, we again follow Elise Rainer who returns to her family home to deal with demons from her past both real and metaphorical.
Opinion: It seems that when this series gets to the even numbered entries it likes to take its time and focus on the story and world building, and you know that is just fine with me. Once again Shaye gets to enjoy her time to shine and Whannell has returned to scripting duties with newcomer Robitel taking over in the drivers seat. Overall "Last Key" is a fun sequel with some really unnerving moments and great makeup design, and if you've enjoyed the series so far then there is no reason why you wouldn't enjoy this one.
Movie #30: Halloween (2018)
Director: David Gordon Green
Starring: Judy Greer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Virgina Gardner
Plot: It's been forty years since Laurie Strode survived the horrible murders committed by Michael Myers, and has been preparing for his return ever since.
Opinion: Well, its not the best Halloween film, but it is nowhere near the worst and thats disappointing considering how much I was looking forward to it. I've got a lot of problems with this movie but I think the biggest one has to be how the film seems to feel like it is looking down its nose at the slasher genre. Like somehow its better then the films that preceded it, yet this new movie still adheres to the basic formula and tropes of the subgenera. Still its fun to see Jamie Lee back in her old role and she absolutely kills it.
Movie #31: The Thing (1982)
Director: John Charpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David
Plot: A shapeshifting alien organism wreaks havoc on an antarctic research base.
Opinion: I figured what better way to close out the season than with one of my favorite horror films of all time. I was lucky enough to get to watch it with a group of people who had never seen it and I'm happy to report that the film's groundbreaking special effects still hold and continue to shock even today's audiences.
Well that wraps up the whole marathon! I will be back in two weeks with a wrap up of my experience at this years Vancouver International Film Festival, and after that we will be back to business as usual. So I'd like to say, once again, thank you for reading and I'll see you next time!