Movies for the Halloween Season – Part 2
Yes, I know that Part 1 of this feature (that will continue throughout the rest of October), may have been a little soft on the Horror and more focused on Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I agree! I’m just slowly building up here, people! Let’s look at more of my favourite Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies I own that are essential views for this time of year.
The Descent (2005)
This movie is fantastic and no matter how many times I see it, I still feel uneasy – which is a great thing for a horror movie to do after multiple viewings.
This is the tale of five women who meet up for a bonding experience through spelunking (otherwise known as cave exploring). The descent (get it?) into a cavern is where things slowly start turning for the worst for the women with a few incidents have them discover things around them and about each other that are not pleasant. The claustrophobic nature of this film is enough for me, but added gore and surprises just add to the overall delight from this movie. Watch it!
I know that this falls into the genre of Fantasy like some of the movies I showcased in my first edition, but in this movie there are trolls, darkness, and Satan himself (well, Darkness as he’s called here)! Tim Curry’s portrayal of the dark lord is enough to make this essential viewing.
A quick synopsis of this film is, without giving too much away, Lily and Jack (the two main characters) go to where Jack promises Lily she’ll see unicorns. Darkness wants the unicorns’ horns and one is killed by a troll as Lily, unbeknown to her, is distracting it. A ring is dropped into a pond and Jack ends up trapped underneath it as he jumps in to swim for it and suddenly everything in the land is frozen due to the unicorn dying. It’s quite the unique movie and I loved it when I was a kid. It’s still pretty cool to watch today!
Thank goodness for ignorance as I got to see this movie as soon as it came out on home video. When my family got together, they really engaged in conversation. With that being said, most time when it came to watching movies, I got to watch whatever I wanted (under some discretion, mind you) and I got my uncle to rent me this. Holy shit. If you have not seen it, it is gory and the concept of the movie is even more frightening.
From the twisted mind of author, Clive Barker, the movie is about a man named Frank who is accidentally resurrected, coming back to life through drinking blood. This is all due to his brother’s wife, Julia, who helps him. Little does she know he’s trying to escape from Hell, which is under the patrol of Pinhead, leader of the gruesome Cenobites. Kristy is Frank’s niece and discovers the puzzle box (Lament Configuration) that caused Frank to end up in hell in the first place and accidentally summons the Cenobites and makes them aware of what is going on. Suffice to say, they don’t like it and they want to take everyone back to Hell with them.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Just when you think the last movie couldn’t be topped, Pinhead, the Cenobites, and the gore all return in the sequel. Subsequently, after Part III, I didn’t care about the franchise anymore.
Dr. Channard is secretly after Lament Configuration (the puzzle box), that unlocks a way into Hell. Kristy is under his care in a psych ward after being admitted because she can’t deal with what happened in the last film. She also gets messages from her father that he is in Hell and she wants to help him escape.
Dr. Channard becomes totally obsessed with not only experiencing all the suffering and torture in Hell, but he actually wants to take it over and he doesn’t care who he has to go through. He resurrects Julia through the same methods she resurrected Frank in the last movie. It’s quite a surreal movie with even more gore and blood than the first. This one still gives me goosebumps as the visualization of Hell and what it entails can give you nightmares. The plot isn’t as solid as the first film, but gore hounds should be pleased with this one.
OK, back to something a little more fun. I’ll admit that I had not watched Gremlins in ages (probably a good 15-20 years until I got this and the sequel on Blu Ray). I remember it being a fun movie, but man, after seeing it again awhile back as an adult, there are some horrific scenes, some awesome (and gross) special effects, and some traumatizing events that unfolded in this movie. That all makes for some good viewin’!
If you haven’t seen it, Billy Peltzer receives a unique gift from his dad: a Mogwai. This cute little guy he names Gizmo came with three rules: 1) don’t expose it to sunlight, 2) don’t get it wet, and 3) don’t feed it after midnight. Billy’s dad isn’t told why, as he ends up with Gizmo by practically stealing him. As you can probably guess, the rules are broken and chaos ensues due to a growing horde of little demon guys called Gremlins. It’s a great film still and there’s a lot of dark humour mixed in.
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
The sequel (which I totally forgot came so many years later) adds more of the same: more awesome effects, more chaos, and more dark humour. Actually, I find this one to be more humourous than the first and they really try to make the Gremlins themselves the star of the show by creating unique personalities and looks for the species. If you’ve seen the first, you’ve seen this. If you haven’t seen the first, then watch them both! The main difference here is that the movie takes place in a business centre after Billy is reunited with Gizmo after it’s discovered that Gizmo is being used as a “lab rat” for a corporation.
Horror mastermind Dario Argento unleashes hell on earth, well, in a movie theatre, with a heavy metal soundtrack! This one was one of those movies that had a scary VHS box for it (look it up! It was freaky looking when I was a kid). I never saw it until I was in my early 20s and the first time I watched it, it kinda freaked me out. I don’t know if it was because I watched it late at night, or if the beers where making me feel a tad uneasy, but it was a movie I ended up snagging on DVD for my collection because it hit the right nerve.
In a nutshell, people are invited to watch a movie in a theatre. Unfortunately, some characters are scratched by a mask and that causes them to turn into…DEMONS! It’s almost like a zombie effect here where those people who are eaten/bit also transform into the undead. As people try to leave the theatre, they find out they are locked in. While the effects and overdubbed dialogue can be cheesy to some, I find the grainy lo-fi quality of it all is what gives the movie it’s charm. There’s not much of a plot, but some people who like horror who have never seen it may get a kick out of it.
Join me for more installments in the upcoming week! Seen any of these? What are your thoughts? Leave comments here and on my Facebook page!