On second thought… Halloween edition

As my blog and podcast have melded together over the last 6 months, I decided to give my first movie/tv review by way of the blog. I’ve resolved in referring to these as “On Second Thought” because I prefer to give everything more than one chance. With that being said, a few of these I had never seen and my official “second thought” will come later. Don’t worry, I’ll give my first thought below.

First and foremost, when putting together my tile of images, I found there’s a Conjuring 3 coming out in 2021. I nearly screamed like a child just learning they have a surprise trip to Disneyland tomorrow when I read those words. So I’ll start here.

The Conjuring 1 + 2. I’ve seen these movies multiple times, and this Halloween movie-a-thon started as a way to find horror movies I might like more or equal to these. Mission NOT accomplished. Keep in mind this is only my opinion, but the Conjuring films have everything a movie in this genre needs. They brought old school horror back in the most meticulous and masterful way. The thing that scares me more than anything is the paranormal, so that’s definitely a plus point for the creators of the Conjuring. I also love when different movies are tied together…for instance, Nun and the Annabelle series are connected to The Conjuring. Ed and Lorraine Warren were fascinating people and their stories told through these amazing films are gripping, to say the least. Even after knowing the outcome and the tale and the movies nearly by heart they still frighten me. (I LOVE being scared…adrenaline baby!!) I can’t watch these with the lights off or even home alone for that matter. If I wake in the middle of the night needing to use the restroom, and it’s anywhere in the 3’oclock hour…I’ll suffer till 4. Silly, I know, but my imagination is wild and I need sleep. The following movies listed are great, but none as great as both Conjuring movies, hands down, still my favorites, and I cannot wait to see what nightmares the third brings to the surface. I do hope they bring back that good old fashioned game of hide and clap – hahahaha, NO!

Creep factor- the first two Annabelle movies and Sinister both have this covered. Anything with dolls or possessed children gives me the hair on my neck at attention, goose pimple covered, straight up willies. I wasn’t disappointed in the three films, but there was a medium level of predictability. For Sinister, I think it’s because the movie came out in 2012 and I’ve heard much about it since then. As for the Annabelle movies, I think simply because I have researched the Warren’s and watched The Conjuring so many times, some of that movie couldn’t help but be spoiled in its own way. If I had to rate these, they’d easily all receive a 4/5 stars. I live for a five star scale…but these definitely deserve accolades at a four star or 4.5 star level.

Best acting…I will tightly circle back up to Sinister for this. I am a fan of Ethan Hawks, and hands down this is one of his greatest performances. He is believable which, in my opinion, makes this movie as great as it is. Period. 5/5 stars for Mr. Hawke in Sinister.

Most realistic….Host. Wowzer! Now, I say this with a little reluctance because a movie I didn’t get around to watching which has much potential in this category….Alone…could have taken the cake, more to come on that. As far as Host goes, I jumped, I actively screamed and covered my eyes and I turned on many lights during this one. If you don’t know, it certainly has that Blair Witch vibe that makes you think you’re there. It’s a group of friends who are in quarantine (love these nearly real time flicks!) and they decide to do a seance via zoom. There are said to be many rules when performing such a ritual but this film makes it clear – doing it online is a bit of unchartered territory. The whole thing is shot as if you are looking in on this zoom meeting watching each friend interact with the host they have invited into their circle. It’s spellbinding and filled with screams and emotions and snotty faces (just like Blair)! I give this 4/5 stars as well.

Best in classics is forever – Halloween. Best in revisits and reviving, are Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies. (For anyone scoffing at me, don’t worry, IT is a close second, along with Pet Sematary, however, I did NOT watch those this year)… Michael Myers is my favorite Villain and always will be. The OG Halloween is cheesy as they come but is a cult classic everyone should see in order to fully appreciate films of this stature. Rob Zombie artistically brings Michael back to life and almost creates more believable characters across the board while respecting and keeping the classic at the back of any real fan’s darkest spots in our heads – from the time-honored theme song to characters and details it may take 2-3 viewings to figure out…bravo. 5 stars to you Mr. Zombie, even after seeing this a tenth time! Nothing will ever trump Halloween, and thank you for keeping it real.

Most terrifying scene goes to Hereditary. Spoiler alert! Someone loses their head in the most horrific way. I will spare the deets for anyone who hasn’t seen it but it’s tough to watch. The acting in this is hit or miss at times but I will hardly discount the movie for that. The story is MOSTLY excellent, the end left it wide open for a second (I have yet to hear a peep about) and the final scene almost ruined it entirely, if I’m being honest. However, it’s still a good film, and still worth watching…even if it’s just to see that grisly scene. I’ll give this 3.5/5 stars.

Zombies. Truthfully I’m hit or miss with them. I watched TWD religiously and after a while got tired of watching zombies kill and eat people. That being said, I still appreciate a LOT about a well choreographed zombie flick. World War Z made me more fearful of zombies than I had ever been (because they are suddenly not “zombie-like” and are quite fast!)…however, this review isn’t about World War Z…it’s about The Crazies. What I love most about this is getting to look at Timothy Olyphant for 101 minutes. The acting is believable and the story in itself isn’t too far off these days, if I’m being terribly honest. Watch it, you’ll see, it’s that bit of government secrecy stuff I am sure many of you will find hideous. This one is tops in the government conspiring zombie making small town ruining category for sure. As a whole I’ll give it 3.5/5.

Lastly, I want to touch on two different shows on Netflix. I’ve recently rewatched the first seasons of each of these to prep for the new second seasons.

Haunting of Hill House and Haunting of BLY Manor. Hill House is hands down one of my favorites. BLY Manor gave good effort but this is another where the ending ruined it for me. Maybe even completely. I won’t say much because I know plenty of people who still need to watch it, and it is worth watching, but doesn’t hold even a flick of light to Hill House. Hill House gets 5 stars and BLY will finish off with 2.8

Haunted, true stories and experiences told by the people who lived them. The whole reason I watched these (aside from the obvious) is because there’s an episode based in my home town of Olympia, WA. Anything from “around these parts” gets me hooked. Also, any true story, count me in (I’m a documentary junkie as well). In this case, however, season two takes the cake. They upped their creep factor about 10 octaves and it got so bad I had to stop watching it alone (during the DAY) for a bit. Actually, now that I think on that, I haven’t finished! Time to go! I give this 4 stars as a pair.

Till next time friends, stay scared…and beautiful.

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