#100DaysOfHorror (2020) Part 10
#100DaysOfHorror 2020 Part 10
Watching 100 horror films for the first time in the 100 days leading up to Halloween, and it turned out to be more than a hundred. I can’t help it: I love films!
#10 Let’s Scare Julie (dir Jud Cremata, USA, 2020)
This is a rare film that has poor ratings on IMDb but I liked it; not so much for the story, but the way everything was made so real, due to the portrayal of a simple teen get-together at the start. Sure, the writing is clumsy here and there, but it’s surprisingly effective. Read more in my full review.
#9 Slaxx (dir Elza Kephart, Canada, 2020)
A film about a killer pair of jeans is bound to be surreal, and this surely is (though bizarrely gory too). When some scenes with realism are slotted in they do feel like a somewhat uncomfortable fit, but it becomes apparent towards the end that there is something to think about in Slaxx, and therefore it doesn’t make sense to get too comfortable. Oh but there’s a wonderful little dance scene too though.
#8 Sin Origen AKA Origin Unknown (dir Rigoberto Castañeda, Mexico, 2020)
Some have complained about writing, acting, continuity, and other trifling issues; but if you like to watch moody characters swashbuckling, you can just sit back and enjoy an action adventure. It doesn’t have to be high class. Read more in my full review.
#7 La Funeraria AKA The Funeral Home (dir Mauro Iván Ojeda, Argentina, 2020)
I enjoyed this one a great deal, though more for the unusual setting and the spooky-to-the-core atmosphere than for the story. And it’s great to see that there are still new approaches to a haunted house plot. Read more in my full review.
#6 Lucky (dir Natasha Kermani, USA, 2020)
Everyday sexism, harassment, and assault are the stuff of real-life horror. Lucky is an allegorical film, and potentially difficult to watch for anyone who’s either been there, or is female, or both. Worth watching out for when it comes to Shudder next year.
#5 Honeydew (dir Devereux Milburn, USA, 2020)
Milburn is a director to watch out for, but I’m almost certainly going to buy the soundtrack if it becomes available. This was one adorably loopy film, with a Jeepers Creepers-style pessimistic ending. Read more in my full review.
#4 The Dark and the Wicked (dir Bryan Bertino, USA, 2020)
Wow. Several times in recent months I’ve felt like a director I respected had let me down with the latest effort, but not this time. The Dark and the Wicked is scary, one of the scariest new films I’ve seen this year. A rural horror again, with a similar setting to Unearth (though apparently, it’s Bertino’s own farm), but with beautiful skies and an intense horror mood that calls to mind Hereditary. Read more in my full review.
#3 Ghostwatch (dir Lesley Manning, UK, 1992)
Ghostwatch has such a strong reputation as a scary BBC film that I’m inclined to wonder if there’s something wrong with me: I admired the writing and the production style was certainly somewhat ahead of its time, but it didn’t get to me at all. I think this came down to the amateur acting, which prevented me from suspending my disbelief. Oh well.
#2 Beast Mode (dirs Chris W. Freeman and Spain Willingham, USA, 2020)
A daft action horror with an element of satire screened as part of Grimmfest’s Halloween Horror Nights event. Ideal for winding down after a heavy month, it included some lovely effects and some great cast: James Duval (who played Frank in Donnie Darko) and a favorite of mine, Ray Wise.
#1 The Craft: Legacy (dir Zoe Lister-Jones, USA, 2020)
It’s funny: when commenting about Sin Origen just now, I pretty much said it doesn’t matter about the writing. But I really felt the writing needed to be better in The Craft: Legacy. Great to see a genre film leading with a couple of steps towards better queer representation, but that didn’t compensate for the film’s flaws. Read more in my full review.
Attack of the Demons (dir Eric Power, USA, 2019)
Well, I’ve watched a hundred horror films for the first time, but it’s not yet Halloween, so I’m recording some more here in #100DaysOfHorror 2020 Part 10. Attack of the Demons, unlike quite a few I’d watched recently, was not part of a film festival programme, but it really deserved to be: not only was it beautifully made (animated out of craft paper), but also a lovely homage to many genre styles and influences. Oh and I can now declare this film is even better the second time. Read more in my full review.
1408 (dir Mikael Håfström, USA, 2007)
I haven’t seen many Stephen King adaptations this year (I think this is just the second), and I’d picked up the DVD because of the film’s reputation. It was beautifully made with nightmarish chaos, but I didn’t quite feel sucked into it. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood; I’ll give it another go sometime.
Baskin (dir Can Evrenol, Turkey, 2015)
This was a treat: not because I was excited to watch something known to be so brutal and extreme, but because watching it was the central feature of a virtual Halloween party that I was lucky enough to get an invitation to. And because the night before Halloween was the last night I would be on my own for a week – my adolescent son returning the next morning – the timing was perfect. Oh and I enjoyed the film too.