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Ginger Snaps, 2000

Thoughts?

A: The only thing I remembered about this movie was the trailer that I saw when it was released when I was in grade eight. It seemed so very scandalous and I think I pictured it being a lot racier than it actually is. In my mind, this was pretty much a sex movie.

Turns out, it’s really tame.  I’m not really into werewolf movies because they’re generally all the same. The wolf is a representation of suppressed aggression and sexuality, blah, blah, blah. I get it. I just don’t like it. Seems obvious.

So Ginger and her weird younger sister are like, really weird and take pictures of themselves dead in various ways. It’s actually pretty gruesome and made me uncomfortable, but I bet I would have thought it was “so deep” as a teenager.

Also, Ginger and her sister are weird because they’re 16 and haven’t gotten their periods. Seriously, that’s a plot point.

Anyway, one night, Ginger wants to go torment a Mean Girl at school and instead gets bitten by a werewolf and gets her period on the same night. I WONDER WHAT THAT MEANS.

So she starts acting slutty, having sex with all the boys, and becoming meaner. Her younger sister (I legitimately don’t remember her name) and her boyfriend (who is a Canadian actor I remember having a crush on when I was 12) try to find ways to slow down her transformation.

I know I’m being very whatever with this movie, but I actually liked it. It was a lot of fun in the way that watching 90s movies is fun.

But I have some issues. I’m going to be really feminist here - it’s starting to kind of annoy me that women are constantly being portrayed as monsters when they get their periods in film. The Exorcist is another example. Guys really don’t have any idea what’s going on. Yes, it’s about a girl becoming a woman, but that woman is always scary and man-hating and slutty. It’s not that I think that the topic of periods shouldn’t be touched because when you think about it, it’s a strange but amazing body function, and is also perfect for horror and really works with werewolf mythology. I guess I just wish there would be a more female perspective on something that only women go through.

S: We talked a lot during this movie, so there are solid chunks of it that are a bit vague to me now, but I know I generally like it. I used to watch this on TV every Halloween, so I thought we should bring it back for Spooky October. I’ve been pestering A to watch it with me since we started this, but I never made it a priority. I thought it was because we had so much other stuff to watch that this wasn’t my first pick, but now that I’ve seen it again, I realize it’s because this movie is just alright.

I’m not really one to really think about meanings and metaphors, so the whole coming-of-age and period thing didn’t really resonate with me. I mean, I get it, it just didn’t add anything. From my perspective, Ginger gets slightly mauled, starts transforming, bangs some kid who looks like he’s 12, and then straight up murders people and starts looking gross. Like, at one point, she semi-successfully seduces the drug dealer who’s trying to help her sister, but I don’t understand how she was even semi-successful when she was deformed and rocking 6 nipples by that point.

So, you know, there’s that. Overall, it’s entertaining and gruesome and there are some scary moments, but it’s still doesn’t really transcend just being an alright movie. Maybe it’s just a werewolf movie thing. Interestingly enough, this one doesn’t rely on any old fallacies like full moons or junk. She just legit transforms in to a wolf and some how the weird high school boys think it’s sexy. But! Props to the makeup artists involved, it was kind of a cool aspect.

Have you ever been to a Halloween party and there’s a movie playing in the background on mute to add to the ambiance? This should be that movie.

Oculus, 2013
Thoughts?
A: S and I watched Absentia at the end of the summer. I found out that Mike Flanagan’s next film was playing at TIFF, so we grabbed tickets. I was hesitant. The premise about a haunted mirror seemed alright, but I had my problems with Absentia, so Oculus could really go either way.
I loved loved LOVED this movie.
I really don’t want to give too much away, but basically this movie’s about an antique mirror that’s haunted and makes people kill themselves and/or their family. Kaylie drags her brother Tim (who spent the last few years in a mental asylum btw) with her to their old family house to try and destroy it and exonerate their deceased father. Kaylie wants to prove that he was possessed and would never have killed her mother otherwise. Obviously though, things start to go very wrong.
The film jumps in time from present day to the past to show Kaylie’s father’s (Rory Cochrane) descent into madness. The film picks up momentum right away and never stops. The line begins to blur between what’s real and what’s fantasy and as an audience member, even I started to wonder if any of it was real and maybe if it was all in Kaylie’s head.
I know I’m always harping on Traditional Ghost Stories, but Oculus is a perfect example. It’s a great script that deftly tightropes across the notion that yes, this mirror could be haunted…or it could be that Kaylie’s father went crazy and abused his family and this is Kaylie’s way of coping with it. WHAT IS REAL? IS IT ALL A LIE?
Mike Flanagan is one of my favourite current horror directors (the other being Ti West) and I’m really excited to see what he does next. The bigger budget really helped here. He created an awesome, genuinely frightening ghost story with an underlying current of familial abuse that grounds the story in reality enough for you to believe that maybe there IS a ghost bitch hiding in a mirror trying to kill people.
Check this out if you can, it’s well worth it.
S: I never participate in anything TIFF-related, unless I’m invited to a screening and I can’t think of an excuse to stay home. It’s just not really my scene, y’know?
A invited me to this, and I was pleasantly surprised by Absentia, so I said I’d attend despite not being able to find a damn thing online about this movie. When A said it was about a mirror, I was like “Uhhhh…alright”. Twenty minutes in to the movie, I think we both knew exactly how it was going to end. Normally that would ruin a movie for me - but not this time. By the time it ended the way I thought it would from the get-go, I could finally breathe normally.
It’s good. Real good. Surprisingly good. Present and past are intricately weaved into an intense story about a deteriorating family that’s sad and horrifying at the same time. The acting is very strong for the most part, with an amazing performance by the girl who plays young Kaylie. It’s a typical story-telling method that Flanagan managed to manipulate in a unique way. The way in which time and storylines blended together, there were moments as an audience member where I lost the thread and even though I knew how certain events would pan out, I would be caught up in hoping things would be different for the characters.
There were also some Absentia cameos, which I thought was cute.
I didn’t think it would bother me after it was over, but I definitely spent a few hours sleepless that night, just staring at the mirror in my room and praying nothing would happen. I won’t say this one is perfect - there are a few “Oh, COME ON” moments - but it was damn good and my favourite of everything we’ve reviewed this year.
I will also never be investing in an antique mirror, because I do not want to risk being haunted by a crazy mirror-eyed bitch with a thing for torture.
Zoom Info
Camera
Nikon D3
ISO
4000
Aperture
f/3.2
Exposure
1/80th
Focal Length
70mm

Oculus, 2013

Thoughts?

A: S and I watched Absentia at the end of the summer. I found out that Mike Flanagan’s next film was playing at TIFF, so we grabbed tickets. I was hesitant. The premise about a haunted mirror seemed alright, but I had my problems with Absentia, so Oculus could really go either way.

I loved loved LOVED this movie.

I really don’t want to give too much away, but basically this movie’s about an antique mirror that’s haunted and makes people kill themselves and/or their family. Kaylie drags her brother Tim (who spent the last few years in a mental asylum btw) with her to their old family house to try and destroy it and exonerate their deceased father. Kaylie wants to prove that he was possessed and would never have killed her mother otherwise. Obviously though, things start to go very wrong.

The film jumps in time from present day to the past to show Kaylie’s father’s (Rory Cochrane) descent into madness. The film picks up momentum right away and never stops. The line begins to blur between what’s real and what’s fantasy and as an audience member, even I started to wonder if any of it was real and maybe if it was all in Kaylie’s head.

I know I’m always harping on Traditional Ghost Stories, but Oculus is a perfect example. It’s a great script that deftly tightropes across the notion that yes, this mirror could be haunted…or it could be that Kaylie’s father went crazy and abused his family and this is Kaylie’s way of coping with it. WHAT IS REAL? IS IT ALL A LIE?

Mike Flanagan is one of my favourite current horror directors (the other being Ti West) and I’m really excited to see what he does next. The bigger budget really helped here. He created an awesome, genuinely frightening ghost story with an underlying current of familial abuse that grounds the story in reality enough for you to believe that maybe there IS a ghost bitch hiding in a mirror trying to kill people.

Check this out if you can, it’s well worth it.

S: I never participate in anything TIFF-related, unless I’m invited to a screening and I can’t think of an excuse to stay home. It’s just not really my scene, y’know?

A invited me to this, and I was pleasantly surprised by Absentia, so I said I’d attend despite not being able to find a damn thing online about this movie. When A said it was about a mirror, I was like “Uhhhh…alright”. Twenty minutes in to the movie, I think we both knew exactly how it was going to end. Normally that would ruin a movie for me - but not this time. By the time it ended the way I thought it would from the get-go, I could finally breathe normally.

It’s good. Real good. Surprisingly good. Present and past are intricately weaved into an intense story about a deteriorating family that’s sad and horrifying at the same time. The acting is very strong for the most part, with an amazing performance by the girl who plays young Kaylie. It’s a typical story-telling method that Flanagan managed to manipulate in a unique way. The way in which time and storylines blended together, there were moments as an audience member where I lost the thread and even though I knew how certain events would pan out, I would be caught up in hoping things would be different for the characters.

There were also some Absentia cameos, which I thought was cute.

I didn’t think it would bother me after it was over, but I definitely spent a few hours sleepless that night, just staring at the mirror in my room and praying nothing would happen. I won’t say this one is perfect - there are a few “Oh, COME ON” moments - but it was damn good and my favourite of everything we’ve reviewed this year.

I will also never be investing in an antique mirror, because I do not want to risk being haunted by a crazy mirror-eyed bitch with a thing for torture.

Black Christmas (1974)

Uh oh, looks like Spooky October missed most of October. Hey, what can we say? We were too ambitious and real life things got in the way. But we’ve got a few more spooky reviews for you to cap this year - here’s one from what was scheduled to be our Psycho Killa week.

A: This is one of the first horror movies I watched at my mother’s suggestion.  I was 12 or 13 at the time and I’m actually surprised that she allowed me to watch this movie because of all the filthy things that the caller says to the hot young girls on the phone.


I’ve always liked this movie.  It’s subtle, creepy, and an exercise in good horror movie writing.  It’s a slow and gradual burn.  The sorority girls are celebrating Christmas together before they all go home for the holidays.  During the party, they get a fucking weird phone call from a nut who says filthy things before saying that he wants to kill them.  They hang up, nervous, but still calm because hey, it’s just some weirdo making an obscene phone call somewhere else. Little do they know that the killer is already in the attic. Ahh!  He kills Clare who’s heading home for Christmas the next day without any of her housemates knowing.  When her Dad comes and she can’t be found, they start to get worried and go to the police regarding these fucked up phone calls they keep getting. Meanwhile Jess (Olivia Hussey who is beautiful and a great actress and I love her) finds out that her boyfriend knocked her up and she wants to get an abortion. But he’s a little unbalanced and this doesn’t really go over well.


I know it sounds complicated, but trust me it works. The subplots merge seamlessly and lead to the crazy conclusion.  It lets the scares build so that the audience can get to know the characters.  These girls aren’t faceless bimbos. For example, Margot Kidder plays a drunk bitch and she’s amazing.


I also love how this movie, filmed in 1974, presents abortion as a reasonable and rational decision. Jess says that she has her whole life ahead of her and she doesn’t want a baby right now.  When her boyfriend offers to marry her so she can still reach her goals, she declines because she doesn’t want to marry him.  You would NEVER see that in a movie today and it helps make Black Christmas more modern and realistic, despite the dated wardrobe and production design.


This is a great film and one that helped establish the slasher movie genre (it came out 4 years before Halloween).  It’s awesome to see women in a horror/slasher film as real people instead of sexualized victims.  This is definitely one of my favourite horror films and I highly recommend it.

S: I had heard a lot about this movie, so imagine my surprise when it turned out everything everyone had told me was about the remake and didn’t really have anything to do with the original. I liked this movie, it’s got an old school/first time slasher vibe, and it’s SO Toronto. Not the murder stuff, but pretty much everything else - I’m positive I’ve walked by most of the buildings they used numerous times.

  Aside from the old time kitsch factor (hullo, giant fur coat, I love you), there’s not much to tell you. It’s a straight up slasher flick with minimum rhyme or reason. The murderer prank calls a sorority house where he says some super filthy stuff (I was actually surprised), and then starts killing off house members. Olivia Hussey, who is fucking gorg, has an inkling it might be her crazy bananas boyfriend/baby daddy Peter. Well, I guess that’s the gist of it. It’s not confusing, it’s just not held together very well aside from “psycho in house”.

 That said, it’s fun. It’s about Christmas (not my favourite holiday) and people being Halloween (my favourite holiday) style murdered. There’s a creepy attic, a drunk house mother, an awkward dad, a laughing detective. Oh, and a terrifying eyeball in door crack scene that gave me a bit of pause. But the highlights for me were definitely the dirty, dirty phone calls, Olivia Hussey’s face and Margot Kidder being a drunk bitch.

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

Ghost Week at Spooky October, so we’re reviewing the third installment of the Paranormal Activity series - AKA the film that made us realize this could have been a part of Witch Week.

A: The third film in the Paranormal Activity series is a prequel to a prequel.  I know, right? If you don’t already like the series (I really, really do), the fact that this movie goes back to when the girls were kids seems annoying. But I swear, it actually kind of works. Sort of. 

Like I already said, this movie focuses on their girls when they were kids and tries to explain the mythology behind the series (i.e. why the hell they’re haunted by a demon in the first place). It seems like Katie and her mother Julie have the same “type” - Julie’s boyfriend Dennis is a wedding videographer and decides to start filming their lives ever waking minute because weird things start happening when Kristy’s invisible friend Toby comes around.

Same shit, different era - banging noises, sleepwalking, invisible shapes doing creepy things.  This movie actually has some of the scariest sequences in the series.  One involving something dressed up as a ghost in a sheet sneaking up on a babysitter while her back is turned.  The other involves a not-so-innocent game of Bloody Mary in the girls’ bathroom. (Side note: did anyone ever play that game?  I was always too much of a chicken shit.)

The only issue I have with this movie is that it makes even less fucking sense than Paranormal Activity 2. Remember the whole backstory of Katie’s house burning down in the first movie? Doesn’t happen. Also Julie and Dennis get murdered at the end and the girls were raised by their grandmother (who never appears in either of the other movies). Those are big fucking points to skip and a little too jarring to add so late in the game. Are we really supposed to believe that neither of the sisters can remember shit this important?  Sure, you can argue that they’re under some witch’s spell and don’t remember anything, but that’s a bit of a stretch.  I’m willing to accept a demon haunting a family in a horror movie, but once you introduce memory-erasing spells to explain huge errors in continuity, that’s when I call shenanigans.

But whatevs.  I’m totally going to see Paranormal Activity 4 when it comes out this weekend.  Holla! 

S: This was my favourite of the Paranormal Activity series by far. It had a lot of new scare tactics, and I was definitely terrified. I’ve said it before and I will say it again - children make me a bit uncomfortable, so when kids are interacting with unseen forces, I am liable to freak the fuck out. I tried to play it cool, but I was terrified - my favourite scares include when there is a child-sized ghost figure standing behind the babysitter, and then WHOOSH there ain’t no child in that sheet. WHO WAS IT? There’s also a particularly spooky kitchen scene, but the best/worst part was when friend Randy decides to play Bloody Mary in the bathroom with Katie, and they get sufficiently terrified (as did I, Randy. As did I.) After this movie I was kind of like, I get it now. I get the hype.

Here’s what I don’t get. I loved this movie - but as a stand alone feature. As a part of the series it actually left me with more questions about the lives of Katie and Kristi and their non-friendly demon than it helped to answer. What did the grandmother obtain by her participation? What kind of demon was/is it? Was Katie actually possessed as a child? How did either of the kids grow up to be normal people? Where was the burning house part? Is the grandma still alive? When did Toby (the demon) stop being Kristi’s “friend” and start being an enemy? (I know some enmity was shown in this, but it wasn’t enough to convince me) I have a lot more to ask, but there weren’t any answers. It went from a loosely explained haunting experience as expressed in 1 & 2, and this plot failed to tie together anything for me.

ALSO if you read any blurbs about the movie it says that Kristi and Katie befriend the invisible entity, but I think that’s a complete lie. I pretty much thought Katie got the raw end of the deal and had the shit beat outta her the entire movie. Or maybe I am sensitive towards chubby, bossy, older kids because I totally am one. Either way, not nice.

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

It’s Ghost Week at Spooky October, and why not continue the Paranormal Activity trend with the prequel?

A: Like I said before, I lurve these movies.  I saw Paranormal Activity 2 when it was released at a midnight screening.  And of course it scared me.

There’s not a lot of information given in the first movie, so the screenwriters for the sequel had a lot of room to take the story anywhere they wanted. In this case, the sequel was actually a prequel; the events take place before the events of the first movie.

This film focuses on Katie’s younger sister, Kristy, who has just had a baby.  Shortly after Hunter’s birth, weird things start happening around the house.  It’s the same shit: shadows on the walls, things moving on their own, footsteps in the middle of the night, etc., etc. Kristy’s step-daughter figures out that they’re being haunted by a demon that Kristy’s great-grandmother may or may not have made a deal with for power in exchange for the first born male in their family (that would be Hunter). So they send the demon over to Katie and thus begins the series.

It makes sense and then it doesn’t make sense. Based on the first movie, we all know that they’re haunted by a demon.  Sure, Katie’s distant relative MIGHT have made a deal with it for money and power in exchange for a son (why a demon would exchange power for a baby, I’ll never know), but it kind of negates all the exorcism stuff the first movie tried to set-up. Remember how another girl was haunted by the same demon and then died from the exorcism? That shit doesn’t make sense if the same demon has haunted one family for generations.

So there may be plot holes if you really think about it, but the scares are good and aren’t as repetitive as they seem. Like this once scene where all the cupboards in the kitchen slam open in the middle of the afternoon. It’s scary as fuck because we all know that demons get busy AFTER MIDNIGHT.

S: Again, this October is my first real exposure to the Paranormal Activity series, so this was all fresh and new for me. Except that Paranormal Activity 2 wasn’t. A lot of the old demon tricks are recycled for this film - doors opening slowly, sleep standing/walking, possession, body throwing and the good ol’ fly out the room move - which makes sense, but also became a bit dull after some time. I also wasn’t entirely convinced by the cast for this one - unlike Katie and Micah in Paranormal Activity who had me having heart palpitations. I found the father figure to be a bit wooden, and Kristi is portrayed by Donna from SOA, so the “real life” facade was lost for me within the first minute or two.

However - that said - I actually liked how this film worked in to the plot of the original, by kind of encircling the story to elaborate on the presence of the demon. There was still a lot of character stupidity - like when they realize that the demon is after baby Hunter because he is the first male born to that side of the family, so they try to pass off the curse on to Katie (enter the original film). How is that helping anything? Didn’t we just realize that it wants the male baby and not the older female? But hey - I guess I wouldn’t be making smart decisions if I was in their position (yes I would be) so I can’t judge (yes I can and do). What I’m trying to say is…without this particular ending, we wouldn’t have been able to make Paranormal Activity 4.

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Ghost Week at Spooky October! Bring on the sisters.

A: I’ve wanted to watch this movie for a few years now, but there was no way I was going to watch it alone so thank god that I convinced S to watch it with me.  

I have to say that Asian ghost films are the scariest of all ghost films.  In a lot of American films, the ghosts come out all covered in blood and are disgusting, which is scary for about five seconds until it becomes funny.  In A Tale of Two Sisters, the ghosts slink onto the screen.  You’re not even sure that something is there, until you see a white hand and then the full ghost appears in front of you.  Sometimes there’s a glimpse out of the corner of your eye or it’s there for a second and then it’s gone.  So spooky!

I will say though, that the ending is hella confusing.  I’m still not 100% sure who’s dead and who’s not and that takes the edge off a bit.  It’s hard to be scared when you’re confused. For me anyway.

Still, I slept with the light on the night I watched this because I’m a loser I was still scared.

S: I was terrified to watch this movie before I even knew what it was all about - I knew it involved ghosts and children. NO THANKS. I don’t really like kids on good days, let alone in horror films.

I ended up not being terrified, but I will say I was at least mildly disturbed. It’s definitely twisted, but some of the horror was lost on me because I was confused at times (whatever - it is hard to read subtitles when hiding behind hands in case of a scary ghost). It’s actually not entirely ghost-ly either - there are only a few scenes with incidents, and the rest of the movie is spent building suspense or developing the plot. If you’re looking for something to watch that isn’t just continuous horror in your face, I’d say check this one out - UNLESS you prefer linear movies, in which case, you’re boring.

I will weigh in with this though: I am SO SICK of ghosts that crawl, even if they only do it for a short amount of time. I don’t like it at all.

Carnival of Souls (1962)

It’s Ghost Week at Spooky October, so we took a look at an old school flick about…ghosts.

A: Again, this is another film that I’d never even heard of before it was suggested to us as a good ghost film to review for Spooky October.  So glad I watched it because I really love this movie.

Mary gets in a car accident with her friends in the opening scenes of the film and somehow manages to be the only survivor.  Soon afterwards, she decides to move to another town to be an organist in a church (random, I know). While there, she starts to see a bunch of creepy ghouls and is drawn to an abandoned carnival.  Oh, and she lives in a boarding house with another guy who keeps trying to weasel his way into her room and calls her a prude (basically, she lives with a potential rapist).

We watched the Criterion edition (so fancy) and the picture was sharp and the sound quality was decent.  For an old-timey movie, the make-up and special effects hold up fairly well.  The ghouls are scary and there a lot of sly moments with The Man (aka the Leader if the Ghouls) showing up in mirrors and windows when you least expect it.

It’s a great, creepy movie that’s highly sophisticated, considering the year it was made. I definitely recommend this film if you’re a fan of David Lynch, Night of the Living Dead, and psychological horror films - Carnival of Souls is the springboard for all of them.  It’s the only film by Herk Harvey, which is too bad because this film is such a strong debut and clearly influenced some great/revolutionary directors.

Don’t watch this movie if you’re not a fan of films pre-1980 - this film is old as balls.

S: I don’t have too much to say. It’s obviously an old movie, and the story was a bit predictable. It was a bit hard to relate to the characters because it’s from a different time - I don’t know any organists myself, and the ol’ timey chaps made me a bit uncomfortable at times (was there such a thing as coming on too strong then? Or was she just supposed to be flattered by her weird, alcoholic, peeping tom housemate?). That being said, this is one of the few times that I am not going to give a speech about the movie failing to stand the test of time.

The “ghosts” or “souls” or whatever they are in this movie are just people with shabby makeup, and they do weird things and show up in inconvenient places. So what if it’s old and predictable - it still managed to spook me at least a little bit.

Poltergeist (1982)

Ghost Week at Spooky October, and we had to include this movie. In the clip, a ghost researcher hanging around the haunted house is Poltergeist-ed to the extreme and somewhat inexplicably tears off his face. So. Awesome.

A: I loved this movie when I was a kid.  It was also one of the very first horror movies I watched - memories! 

The movie isn’t very terrifying because it’s a movie that Spielberg probably directed for kids. It feel like a horror version of E.T. involving ghosts, but there are some definite spooky moments.  There’s some shit involving a clown doll and a guy hallucinating ripping his face off.

There’s no real pacing aside from surprise!-we-have-ghosts to the-ghosts-stole-my-daughter in about five minutes. But it’s fun and retro and there are some sly jokes for us grown-up - like the parents smoking pot in their bedroom while their kids shit themselves over a scary thunderstorm.  Just watch it for the nostalgia.

PS: Insidious totally ripped this movie off, except it sucked at it.

S: Poltergeist rates super excellent in my book of horror movies because it is, aside from exceedingly 80s, a brilliant example of “Well, that escalated quickly” horror. First the ghostly being(s) arrive via TV, and then they pull a few ol’ pranks in the kitchen which go from pulling out the chairs from the table to, seconds later, stacking them quite intricately. Then, after a day of simply causing items in the kitchen to slide around, the poltergeists abduct the son through his bedroom window via giant tree hands, and the daughter is sucked in to the closet and disappears in to an afterlife type place. Wait what? I thought we were stacking kitchen chairs!

There aren’t any terrifying moments in this flick, partially because the effects don’t carry well over the years, but A and I still managed to jump once or twice, so I will tip my hat to that. Also, I feel as though we have to pay this movie homage because it is one that will never be re-created (IMO) properly - as in, it will lose a lot of what makes it a great movie in the process of becoming updated (ahem, shitty Insidious).

Paranormal Activity (2007)

It’s Ghost Week at Spooky October, and demonic hauntings are included! In the clip above, the stupid idiot Micah decides to use a Ouija board to connect with the demon haunting his girlfriend. Because he’s a stupid idiot.

A: I saw Paranormal Activity when it was released in Toronto way back in 2009.  I then had to walk home alone and sleep in my apartment by myself. I WAS TERRIFIED. This movie inspires Blair Witch style horror within me.

Katie and Michah decide to start filming the weird shit that happens around their house in the middle of the night.  After finding out that Katie is being haunted by a demon, Micah decides that it’s a good idea to call it out even further, to challenge it and see if it’s real. Really bad stuff happens after that.

I know that this film is pretty divisive. Personally, I really like it. It’s a very effective horror movie. The scares build slowly - one night nothing happens except floorboards creaking, then a door moves slightly, then Katie starts sleepwalking. And then shit gets fucking real. The film is sparse enough to let you imagine the worst, but still shows enough for you to notice the progression and get scared just thinking about what’s going to happen next.  When I saw it in theatres, people were screaming before anything happened because they were so terrified just waiting to actually see it.  And even though I’ve seen the movie like three times now, I still felt my heart jumping during certain scenes.

Like most horror movies, Paranormal Activity relies on the characters doing what they’re not supposed to do to move the plot along.  Like how Micah buys a Ouija board after Katie tells him not to, which is incredibly frustrating for someone like me who knows not to fuck around with that shit when a DEMON IS HANGING AROUND YOUR HOUSE (thanks for life lesson, The Exorcist). 

If you like fast-paced horror movies with lots of action, blood, and gore, you’re probably not going to like this movie. I’d recommend this to people who like all that ghost/demon/haunting shit.  I’d also recommend this to people who think they’re too good for horror because it just involves slashing and boobs.  The spirit of horror relies on the terror of the unknown, of what you can’t see and can’t explain. If this movie doesn’t scare you, you’re probably a demon.  Because I couldn’t sleep for a week after I first watched this and I’m like, so jaded when it comes to horror films.

S: I know that everyone and their dog has seen this movie, but I held out for a really long time. I was a little bit weary because of the hype surrounding it’s release, and I eventually just kind of forgot about it all together. Since I am the queen of spoilers, I did watch the end of the movie on Youtube a few years ago just so I could join in conversations about how scary it was - but watching a 5 minute end clip really does not do this flick any justice.

I surprised myself, because I love this movie. Love in a “I will never watch it again because I lost sleep” kind of way, of course. It’s the really minor things that scare the shit out of me - I don’t care about noises and footsteps in the night, really, and I wasn’t too freaked out about the whole photo in the attic/hallway drag business (spoiler alert? kinda?) - but I got very worked up over the sleep walking. So when haunted Katie gets out of bed at night and just stands for 2+ hours, or leaves the house to sit in the backyard, or near the end when she leaves the room and is screaming for Micah for unknown reasons, I was hoping I would melt in to the couch and disappear because OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING WHY IS THIS A THING.

Then I remembered it was a movie and got over it until I went to bed and envisioned myself doing the creepy sleepwalk stand, and then I couldn’t sleep.

Negatives: Micah is a moron, and Katie is really forgiving of his idiocy. Also, they do a lot of sleeping and going back to sleep for people living with a demon.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

It’s Witch Week here at Spooky October and um…duh. We even chose the song clip for you.

A: I suggested this movie because it was one of the first ones I thought of when we decided to have a week of witch movies.  Or maybe S brought it up.  I vaguely remember watching it once as a kid and I thought “hey, this will be fun”.

I’m going to say this super secretly because S really likes this movie, but…I’m not that down.  It wasn’t a huge part of my childhood and as an adult, it doesn’t hold up that well.  It feels very TV movie. 

That being said, I still like two things about this movie: the make-up on the witches is pretty fancy (love SJP’s look) and the reason the witches are brought back to 1993 is because the main character is a virgin and lit a candle.  They keep mentioned that he’s a big ol’ VIRGIN WHO CAN’T DRIVE.  I dunno if this just shows how us 90s kids had way better movies than now because of the swears and sex-talk or if the writer was weirdly obsessed with this whole virgin thing.

S: It’s not a scary movie, it shouldn’t have been in our Spooky October queue, but it’s an excellent Halloween flick and I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BAD TO SAY ABOUT IT.

I love it.

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