31 Nights of Frights (Week 2)

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This second week of films was not as terrifying or as entertaining as the previous week. Some were suggestions and others were random picks with some of my favorites mixed in. Check ’em out!

October 5th -10th Rocks, Revenants, and Ramekins

In the Tall Grass (2019)

A brother and sister hear a voice calling out for help in a field of tall grass in the heartland only to find that dark forces may be keeping them there.

Plant we all get along?

Based on a Stephen King and Joe Hill story, and directed by Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice) this does it’s best to make grass scary, but it’s as hard as it sounds. The cast does what they can with the insane situation but there is one too many fantastic elements that drag this down as with many adaptations of King’s horror stories. There are some tense moments and some disturbing imagery, but in the end doesn’t live up to Natali’s previous work.

Ramekin (2018)

After the death of her grandmother a young woman moves into her now vacant home which may be run by a ramekin.

With a simple premise and pretty strict adherence to the rules it sets down, there are a couple of slightly creepy bits in this what feels like a student film made with friends. I was not particularly scared of the evil white ceramic dish, but I could see how someone would be by the end. I also hear there is going to be a sequel, titled (surprise) Ramekins.

Snake Woman (1961)

A doctor injects his pregnant wife with snake venom not knowing what the side effects will be as the child grows up in a superstitious village.

This is a very basic almost completely ‘non-scary’ scary movie. The footage of living snakes was the only thing that remotely made me uneasy. This was the era where Corman, Hitchcock would start to change cinema, but the rest of the horror community had yet to catch up.

Lake Mungo (2008)

After the drowning death of Alice Palmer, her grieving family starts to experience strange events in their home.

I think there is something out of focus behind us.

Filmed as a fake documentary the filmmakers rely on spooky music and holding on blurry creepy images. With no jump-scares in sight, it just has waves of dread as the story unfolds. It plays like a disturbing episode of Dateline as more and more secrets are revealed. Though the longer it goes on, the less convincing it becomes.

The Frightners (1996)

A con-man posing as psychic who in fact does see ghosts, is all that stands in the way of a reaper-like spirit that is killing both the living and the dead.

Without a doubt, this one of my favorites of all time as it blends horror and humor in the greatest of ways. It was director Peter Jackson’s last film before he was consumed by hobbits and magic rings. It is also my favorite Michael J. Fox performance after Marty McFly. And every scene with the legend Jeffrey Combs is pure gold. I simply love the constant turns the film makes both in story and in tone. This is a perfect one to roll on Halloween night.

Paranorman (2012)

A young boy who can see dead people must save his town from an evil curse.

Hair-raising!

This is a great family Halloween film, much in the vein of Monster House, Goosebumps, and Hocus Pocus. It has kid-size frights and fun stuff for the adults to chew on. While it does get a bit dark near the end, it still a really solid stop-motion film, second only to Laika Entertainment’s masterpiece Kubo and the Two Strings.

31 Nights of Frights (Week 2)
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