Tag Archives: Halloween

Fall Frightfest October 31, 2019

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Category 3: Nostalgia Views. October 31: Hocus Pocus. Rating: 5/5 (Originally 5/5). Original Comment: I actually think this movie deserves better than a perfect score; as a teacher, however, I feel it would be unfair to introduce bonus points this late in the month and only grant them to my favorites without telling the others. The Divine Miss M sings “I Put a Spell on You” in a way that only a true diva can, and I cried at the end…again. Update: I just love this movie so much. The witches are hilarious. The plot is fun. The Halloween Spirit is strong with this one. I watched it while drinking hot chocolate with Halloween peeps and leftover candy. I regret nothing. I cried at the end…again. Don’t judge me. If you haven’t watched this movie, what are you waiting for? You’re missing out!

Fall Frightfest October 30, 2019

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Category 6: My Phobias: Claustrophobia. October 30: The Silence of the Lambs. Rating 5/5 (Originally 5/5). Original Comment: For the first time, I watched this movie straight through, unedited, with no commercials. Whoa. The plot was fascinating; it contained a decent amount of action, but also featured dialogue full of symbols and puzzles. Jodi Foster was almost unrecognizably young, but her acting was flawless. Speaking of brilliant performances, this is the second time Anthony Hopkins has made my list with a perfectly-rated film this month — way to go, Tony! Update: I am currently reading the novel for the first (but definitely not the last) time, and while it differs in some respects, I feel both are worth your time. The character Clarice Starling is a strong heroine — a worthy role model for young people. Dr. Hannibal Lecter is an icon at this point, on par with Michael, Jason, Freddie, or Chucky. I cannot emphasize enough how much the hubs and I enjoyed this one, and I am very excited to be able to finish the novel this weekend.

Fall Frightfest October 29, 2019

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Category 2: 21st Century Favorites.
October 29: Scary Movie. Rating: 5/5. Comment: I heart this movie (and subsequent sequels). It’s got every type of humor: slapstick, wit, allusion, inuendo, and mockery. I can’t help but laugh out loud every time I watch it. (“Cindy, do you know where I am?” “Ummm…You’re behind the couch. I can see your feet.”) It is my guilty pleasure. Update: In a total coincidence, we watched this on October 29 the year we first reviewed it, too. This didn’t age terribly, and so long as you know the references, you will probably enjoy it (isn’t that true of any spoof?). I knew almost every joke yet I still laughed. I recommend.

Fall Frightfest October 28, 2019

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Category 3: Nostalgia Views.
October 28: The Evil Dead. Rating: 5/5 (Originally 5/5). Original Comment: Though released as a horror film, this movie was so poorly done and everyone laughed so much that the sequel was released as a comedy. Maybe it’s because I’m in a tense mood, or maybe it’s because the clay-mation almost looked realistic, but I was actually scared during this movie and even jumped on several occasions. Update: Ah, to be young again. It’s not that scary. But it is, in my opinion, the best of all the Evil Dead franchise. Don’t get me wrong — I like cocky, joke-cracking, self-amputating, vengeance-seeking Ash. But this movie was more “Ash is like a real person just like me and I wonder how I’d react,” y’know?

Fall Frightfest October 27, 2019

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Category 7: Stephen King Favorites.
October 27: The Shining. Rating: 5/5 (Originally 5/5). Original Comment: Jack Nicholson may, perhaps, be the greatest actor ever. I must take this time to thank his eyebrows for their award-winning performance. Though it differs in several significant ways from the novel (which is one of my all-time favorites by King), I feel this movie is, in its own right, a sensational success. Update: I almost dropped this movie to a four, but I wonder if I’m being overly critical. Here’s the major problem I have, and I bet Stephen King would agree with me on this: Dick Hallorann flew all the way from Florida to Colorado because Danny contacted him with the shine, but couldn’t even sense he was in danger of getting axed by a raving lunatic? His injury is a major deviation from the book (King wouldn’t have been so sloppy in logic) and only serves as a deus ex machina to rescue the otherwise helpless (and virtually useless) weeping, hysterical woman trapped in a tiny room with certain death bashing in her door.

Fall Frightfest October 26, 2019

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Category 3: Nostalgia Views.
October 26: Beetlejuice. Rating: 5/5 (Originally 5/5). Original Comment: While it is a bit dated, I love everything about this comedy. There is nothing particularly “sad” — though the main characters are young and on top of the world before they die (in the first ten minutes) — or “scary” in this movie — despite the scenes involving giant snakes and women who were cut in half. The music, the animation, the concept, the acting, and the ridiculous jokes come together to form a highly underrated family film. Update: Coincidentally, we watched this movie October 26 in 2012, too. I’m unfortunately going to have to disagree with young me. With age, I’ve come to see this as a sad movie: a young couple struggling, while living, with fertility issues and dying in a tragic but preventable accident; the same young couple feeling displaced, helpless, and scared, then learning they are trapped for over a century in a home drastically changing around them as life moves on without them. Maybe I’m just particularly sensitive this year, or maybe I’m reading too much into what was supposed to be a silly movie.

Fall Frightfest October 25, 2019

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Category 8: Josh’s Phobias: blizzard driving, heights, and car accidents.
October 25: Misery. Rating: 5/5 (Originally 5/5). Original Comment: It takes a truly stellar cast to pull off such an incredibly realistic and, simultaneously, frightening performance, especially since the majority of the film’s scenes features only two characters. There is a reason Kathy Bates is a movie star, even though she’s “not the movie star type.” The story itself is psychologically damaging in its authenticity. I was afraid (and by afraid I mean slept in Mom’s room) when I read the book the summer before my senior year of college. That Halloween, when I watched the movie on television, alone in my dorm room, I was terrified (and called Josh at 4 a.m., telling him to wake up and protect me; consequently, he was very angry when I ran into his room and made him snuggle me until it was time for him to escort me to breakfast). And today, having for the first time ever watched the unedited version on dvd, I am particularly horrified by the “hobbling” scene. If you’ve seen it, you know the part of which I speak. Update: I just hate winter driving. With fame comes risk, and social media makes it even easier for stalkers to become obsessed. I wonder what this movie (book) would be like if written today. But I genuinely don’t want it to ever be remade. It’s perfection as is.

Fall Frightfest October 24, 2019

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Category 3: Nostalgia Views
October 24: Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror IX and Treehouse of Horror X. Rating: 5/5. Comment: While Episode nine was solid, none of the segments stuck out to me as being a favorite, and, separately, I’d likely rate this a 4.5 (which, according to Frightfest precedence would automatically bump up to a 5). Episode ten, though, had a clear winner in I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did, a parody of I Know What You Did Last Summer. However, Josh was quite partial to Desperately Xeeking Xena, and said, “I love everything about it,” so I guess the favorite choice depends upon whom you ask.

Fall Frightfest October 23, 2019

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Category 3: Nostalgia Views
October 23: Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror VII and Treehouse of Horror VIII. Rating: 5/5. Comment: The favorite choice of both Fornelli judges of episode seven was Citizen Kang, in which space aliens take the form of and replace Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and nobody notices or believes Homer. Ahh, politics. Episode eight was also fantastic, with a segment mocking the Salem Witch Trials in a way that is both hilarious and semi-accurate.

Fall Frightfest October 22, 2019

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Category 3: Nostalgia Views
October 22: Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror V and Treehouse of Horror VI. Rating: 5/5. Comment: The fifth episode is one of my favorites overall. It includes The Shinning, a parody of Stephen King’s The Shining, and Time and Punishment, which is modeled on a Ray Bradbury story and features Homer going back in time repeatedly and screwing up the future worse each time, and Nightmare Cafeteria, where the teachers and Principal Skinner hatch a plan to deal with all the delinquent students in detention. I’ve probably seen that episode ten times, and I’ve loved it every time. Number six is less memorable for me, but I give it a five strictly based on the Nightmare on Elm Street-inspired segment.