October 21: The Veil. Rating: 3/5. Comment: This flick was genuinely original with an interesting story line. Was it horrifying? Mostly no. That being said, the actors acted the deuce out of their script! The (obviously) Jim Jones-esque cult leader was spectacular. Admittedly, at times, the scenes were a little hard to follow. The lighting was not good — intentionally, but it still made it hard to figure out what was going on. Overall, I’d recommend this one, on the basis that you promise not to get offended by the content. Promise?
October 20: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Home Again. Rating: 5/5. Comment: Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, Ash does something like this — and totally redeems himself. No, I’m wrong. He makes a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad choice and makes things ridiculously complicated. Also, Kelly and Ruby were, essentially, useless after the first five minutes of this episode. Ugh. Women.
October 19: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Ashy Slashy. Rating: 4/5. Comment: I took a point off the rating for the (overly) cheesy writing. Something wonderful happens in this episode. But mostly it’s a bunch of terrible things that happen. Just awful.
October 18: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Delusion. Rating: 5/5. Comment: Ash wakes up in an old, run-down insane asylum. Much like in the Wizard of Oz, most of the past 30 years were actually part of a dream. Patients and hospital staff played large roles in Ash’s “memories.” Spoiler: I’m not sure we can trust this storyline because it is clear throughout the episode that we can’t trust this storyline. But I’m sure you knew that already. Furthermore, it is the unanimous opinion of the Frightfest judges that this show was surprisingly scary with a distinct Nightmare-on-Elm-Street-meets-One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoo’s-Nest vibe.
October 17: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Trapped Inside. Rating: 5/5. Comment: Ash and the gang find themselves trapped by an angry mob — something about him murdering a young woman at a bar/being Ashy Slashy. His sister, Cheryl, who died in the original movie, returns with an ax to grind. Pablo, tortured by his link to the book, possibly gives the team a way to banish Baal. Eventually, Ash is knocked unconscious.
October 16: Splatter. Rating: 1/5. Comment: Oh my. Apparently this was supposed to be some sort of Netflix original webisode? I was convinced this was a high school play that Tony Todd had volunteered to star in. He was assuredly made to do so under duress — perhaps it was a bargain he struck so that the drama teacher would write his daughter a good recommendation for college. The facial expressions and reactions were unrealistic and inappropriately understated, given the gravity of the situation (being trapped in the house of a murderous ghost while your acquaintances are picked off one by one). The lines were stilted and ill-performed. There was weird concave lighting. The scenery was shoddy. The special effects were laughable. The fake blood and rotting skin was just cherry Kool Aid poured over a sticky hand from the quarter machine outside the grocery store, probably. Yet, in the words of an online reviewer far wiser than me, “This isn’t the worst thing Corey Feldman has done.” In summation, I loved it. But you honestly, seriously, really won’t. Stay away.
October 15: Creep. Rating: 4/5. Comment: If I’m being honest, this movie is about 3.5 stars for me, but since I’m not allowed (based upon the rules I set a decade ago) to give half marks, I bumped it up. There was very little violence in this movie. It definitively fits the bill for a “psychological thriller.” Imagine you’re hired to do a job for a complete stranger, who has cancer and a baby on the way. Then imagine that you actually know very little about the stranger, and you begin to realize that some things don’t add up. Then, imagine said stranger believes your friendship is a lot deeper than you feel it is. Yeah. You see where this wind is blowing
October 12: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Rating: 5/5. Comment: I have such nostalgia in my heart from childhood that I can’t bear to rate this any lower. However, viewing it through the adult lens was eye-opening. I even read this short story a few years back. However, it wasn’t until tonight that I realized, brokenheartedly, that all three main characters are simply awful human beings. Katrina is a spoiled little rich girl who intentionally inflames a rivalry between two men to feed her giant ego. Brom is a vicious, violent, jealous sociopath who feeds people’s fear in order to lay claim to a woman he believes is his right to own. Ichabod, an educated fool, is self-destructively superstitious in addition to being a coward who uses his students and selfishly leads women on to get what he wants (which, as it turns out, is Katrina because her father is filthy rich and will leave her a large inheritance that Ichabod believes he deserves for literally no reason and through no sustained effort of his own at all). The bright spot is I’m old enough to appreciate the masterful narration and musicality of Bing Crosby, and to understand every word in this old tale. Who says aging doesn’t have its perks?