Shocktober 2016

Inspired by the discussion of horror movies by Gregor and Schröck in the month leading up to Halloween, every year I try to squeeze in a bunch of scary movies into my schedule. This year I was motivated to watch 13 movies, which I selected in this list. However, like every year, I do not come close to watching all of the movies I plan to watch. I will attempt to watch the remaining films by the end of the year and add the links to this blog entry. In addition, I selected three horror-themed TV shows I wanted try to watch in what I call “Showvember”, didn’t work out either.

Before I begin with the actual reviews, I’d like to mention two Halloween TV specials I watched. As every year, Brooklyn Nine-Nine did a special Halloween episode. In these Halloween episodes, the squad determines who the best detective / person is. Probably among the very best episodes of this show because they are full of twists and turns, they first were a contest between Jake and Captain Holt. Last year in season 3, Amy clandestinely joined the fight and won. This year, the three main protagonists are paranoid and suspect traps and ploys behind everything. The contest escalates in scale when a crowd of pizza delivery guys shows up and the show once again manages to be surprising by revealing who the mastermind behind everything really was.

brook-halloween

The other special I watched was It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. After just recently having watched the 2015 Peanuts movie, this special was kind of average. We see all the characters and their quirks, including Snoopy’s adventurous daydreams as a pilot, Charlie Brown trying to kick a football, Charlie Brown generally failing in everything he attempts. I’m no expert in the Peanuts history and it could well be this special was integral in establishing all of that which we now consider canon. However, I didn’t particularly like the plot about X waiting for the Great Pumpkin and disappointing Sally, who waits with him. The trick or treat tour was kind of amusing because poor Charlie only gets stones.

great-pump

In order to prepare for the release of the second season of Ash vs Evil Dead, I wanted to finally catch up with the infamous franchise, which is why I have watched all of the three original movies directed by Sam Raimi, as well as the 2013 remake Evil Dead. Infamous because in Germany the first two movies have been on the index for a long time.I finally wanted to know what the cult status was all about. By now, I have become a fan of the series and of the character Ash Williams and will definitely watch Ash vs Evil Dead soon.

The Evil Dead (1981) – Gruesome Cabin Horror

Evil Dead II (1987) – exactly like part I, just a lot more absurd

Army of Darkness (1992) – Welcome to the Ash Williams show -or: From horror to comedy in one franchise

Evil Dead (2013) – A competent horror flick, a bit less successful as a remake

 

Then I watched two movies which mostly caught my interest because of the lead actress. As a big fan of her character Maggie on The Walking Dead, starring Lauren Cohan was reason enough to watch The Boy, which was a pleasant surprise to my low expectations.

The Boy (2016) – or rather: The “Boy”

I also like Natalie Dormer a lot, not just because of her awesome portrayal of the very cunning character of Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones. Set in Aokigahara, the suicide forest, I expected it to play with a primal fear of man. It turned out to be rather disappointing.

The Forest (2016) – a movie almost as dull as its title

 

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