31 Nights of Frights (Week 1)

October 5, 20199 min

This year I’ve decided to watch as many horror movies as I can throughout the month of October. But I’m not adhering to any strict rules, some films may be horror-comedies, some just plain thrillers, but all with just a touch of terror and gore, or full on slasher-fest. Again no real rules other than they will be films my mother would never watch. It will also be random and include films I’ve seen before but decided to revisit. Maybe it will put some on your radar to watch on those dark scary nights in the lonesome October.

October 1st – 4th The Sins of Spiders, Rockers and Sons

Spider Baby or the Maddest Story Ever Told (1967)

An inbred family that is being raised by their chauffeur (Lon Chaney Jr.) must play nice when distant relatives and their lawyer come to claim the house and property now that their father has passed away.

This is a pretty great late sixties black and white old school terror. Beverly Washburn and Jill Banner play the sisters and are the perfect blend of politeness and creepiness. The true standout along with The Wolfman legend Chaney is a young Sid Haig who plays the man child brother of the family. In the dinner scene when he is staring at the food and drools for what seems like the entire scene is impressive as it is disturbing.

The Gate (1987)

Two friends accidentally discover an ancient evil in the backyard which could unleash hell on earth.

This was a constant video rental of mine back in the day. Stephen Dorff in his first feature film gives a very dated performance, as does most of the young cast, but the real reason to watch it now is for the pure nostalgia of some of the practical effects, the guys in monster suits, the stop motion big bad in the finale, it’s classic cheesy 80’s horror. And playing the rock album backwards as a plot device is still a personal favorite of mine.

The Perfection (2018)

A former musical prodigy seeks out the biggest star to come out of her old school and when they meet, together they make some troubling discoveries.

This is a disturbing journey that has several twists and turns, and rewinds that just keep going into darker and darker places. The two leads played by Allison Williams (who I loved in Get Out) and Logan Browning both give intense performances that continue to build until the brutally shocking final shots of the film.

Se7en (1996)

Detective Mills and Somerset are chasing a serial killer using the seven deadly sins as his method of torture and death.

This being the first of director David Fincher’s epic one, two, three punch of this, The Game, and Fight Club still holds up despite the true life horror that has become Kevin Spacey. It’s still impressive to watch Brad Pitt Brando-ing it up in this and I’m still blown away with his climactic “What’s in the box!” scene. And Morgan Freeman is still the best with that calm and collective voice of his. And Fincher’s visuals are to this day all together magnificent.

Hereditary (2018)

After the death of the matriarch, a family deals with grief as greater tragedies await in the dark corners of their home.

Seeing as many horror films as I have, it takes quite a bit to scare me with images on screen. But I will not lie, just the trailer for director Ari Aster’s first feature unnerved the hell out of me. The imagery was the thing of nightmares. So much so I put off seeing the film for a while. Now that I’ve seen it, I have to say, Aster is a true master in the making. This film is something else, the tone, the music, the truly intense performance by Toni Collette, all of it builds to a remarkable horror film destined to be a classic.

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