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An Octoberfest of Horror Films 
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Post An Octoberfest of Horror Films
As a few of you already know, I'm devoting the month of October to watching a slew of horror films I haven't seen. I've used Facebook for recommendations (with a handful coming from fellow forum members) to complie what I think is an eclectic list of 20. I figured I'd create a thread to document the month, and hopefully spark some discussion (also Ed demanded posts on all the movies). I'm pretty excited and hopefully after seeing the list you will be too. I used a random number generator to determine the order in which I'll watch the movie. Here it is:

1. Hour of the Wolf
2. Poltergeist
3. Dementia 13
4. The House of the Devil
5. The Omen
6. The Human Centipede
7. The Terror
8. Thirst
9. Angel Heart
10. Suspira
11. Theater of Blood
12. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
13. Fright Night
14. Freaks
15. The Fly
16. Shadow of the Vampire
17. Rosemary’s Baby
18. Insiduous
19. The Tripper
20. Feast


So yeah, that's pretty much it. I'm about to watch the first 2 movies as soon as I'm finished with this post, and hope to have something up on each film by Monday.


Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:22 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Suspiria? Unfriend the one who recommended it...it was probably ed


Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:41 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Patrick wrote:
Suspiria? Unfriend the one who recommended it...it was probably ed



Excellent film, although Deep Red is arguably higher in the director's oeuvre. As a horror landmark, it deserves to be seen.

The Human Centipede is full of excellent scenes and memorable scenarios - unfortunately, it never coalesces into an accomplished film.


My personal top 5 from this list:

1. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
2. The Fly
3. Rosemary's Baby (followed by a steep drop-off...)
4. Freaks
5. House of the Devil


Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:54 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Patrick wrote:
Suspiria? Unfriend the one who recommended it...it was probably ed


It was Ed. Let's beat the shit out of him at the Reelviews meet and greet.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
My personal top 5 from this list:

1. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
2. The Fly
3. Rosemary's Baby (followed by a steep drop-off...)
4. Freaks
5. House of the Devil


Cool. I'm fairly certain I saw The Fly as a kid, but I don't remember it at all. Those 5, along with Angel Heart and Shadow of the Vampire are the ones I'm most looking forward to.


Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:33 am
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Oh, I've been doing a year-long horror-thon, but I have my own reasons for that.

It goes without saying that I'll be continuing the streak throughout October. So far, I've seen To the Devil a Daughter, Hammer's last horror film from its heyday and an overall weak slice of post-Exorcist faith-sploitation, and Daffy Duck's Quackbusters, a surprisingly fun collection of old Looney Tunes shorts strung together with new material.

Popping in Someone's Watching Me! at the moment, so we'll see how that turns out soon.


Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:26 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Image

Hour of the Wolf, Bergman's surrealist dream/nightmare, like all of his films, is not for everyone. The film concerns an artist (Max Von Sydow) who, along with his wife (Liv Ullman), are living in solitude on an island. Von Sydow's character, Johan Borg, is in a rapidly deteriorating state of mind where he sees demons during the hour of the wolf (which is exactly what the film's poster claims it to be). At some point, Borg's wife Alma begins seeing the demons as well. Rather than a plot summary, just know that what begins as a seemingly straightforard tale of supernatural entities visiting real people, ends up turning into a vividly surreal filmed nightmare. The final act of the film is completely ambiguous, as the audience has no real idea what actually took place and what didn't.

Apparently, Bergman saw the movie as a companion piece to his earlier film Persona. I can see the comparison as both films deal quite a bit with a person's perception of events. However, where Hour of the Wolf differs is that it plumbs a little bit deeper. It asks if one person's fears can be taken on by another, and extends that thought to asking if ultimately, two people in a relationship can end up doing anything but destroying one another. As you'll find in anything you read on the film, it's a deeply personal one, and one that's incredibly difficult to make sense of. It can be read as Bergman attempting to deal with his own personal demons, as a meditation on the nature of human relationships, as a look at how one's perception of events skews what one thinks, or even as a warning of giving too much of yourself to the artistic process. Really, all of the different possible readings of the film are the point. After all, the hour of the wolf is the time of night when demons are at their most powerful and prey on a person's fears. At it's core, it's a film that deals with how we all deal with fear, in it's own intentionally confusing and surreal way.

Technically, there's a lot to like. There's a ton of symbolism in just about every frame, some of which is meant to intentionally throw the audience off, and some of which actually means something. Bergman plays with black and white lighting to create a creepy atmosphere that walks the line between reality and fantasy. There are a lot of really memorable and frightening images.

At the end of the day, while I enjoyed this film a bit more than Persona, I can't say it's a great film. Sure, it's essential in the director's canon (his only venture into the horror genre), but there's just entirely too much confusion for confusion's sake. A movie that's ultimately about fear certainly is ideal for the horror genre, and the psychological is often much more scary than the tangible. Bergman plays both of these concepts up, but the intentionally surreal nature of the film leads to a more confusing experience than a frightening or thought-provoking one. It's a thinking person's film, as are all the Bergman movies I've seen, but the end result is one that doesn't seem to completely take advantage of just how horrifying it's premise could have been.


Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:32 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Cool thread! I've seen about half of the films on your list, and there are definitely some great ones in store for you down the road.

I've had Hour of the Wolf in my Netflix Instant queue for forever now; I need to be in a very specific mood in order to watch a Bergman film.


Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:56 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Peachy:

From the films on your list, the only ones I haven't seen are Hour of the Wolf, Angel Heart, and The Tripper. Largely, you've got a fine line-up there, though The Human Centipede wasn't my thing, and Feast was pretty average (avoid the sequels at all costs, especially #3).


Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:05 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Blonde Almond wrote:
I've had Hour of the Wolf in my Netflix Instant queue for forever now; I need to be in a very specific mood in order to watch a Bergman film.


Agreed. I had it in my queue for close to a year and kept finding reasons not to watch it. I only chose 3 of the films on my list by myself (the rest were recommendations, which I chose, but not on my own), and one was Hour of the Wolf. I figured this was the only way I'd ever sit down and force myself to watch it.

A.J. Hakari wrote:
Peachy:

From the films on your list, the only ones I haven't seen are Hour of the Wolf, Angel Heart, and The Tripper. Largely, you've got a fine line-up there, though The Human Centipede wasn't my thing, and Feast was pretty average (avoid the sequels at all costs, especially #3).


Yeah, I don't expect much from Feast and I was kind of bummed when the random number generator placed it last. I have a few friends who rave about how fun it is, and I've actually seen the first 10-15 minutes. I've heard the sequels are complete crap so I'll be avoiding them.


Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:16 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
The Fly is definitely my pick of the list.

I saw the season of Project Greenlight (or whatever the show was called) in which they made Feast. The behind-the-scenes stuff was cool, but the movie looked awful. I never did get around to seeing it.


Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:52 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Petey, this idea is very cool. I'm actually quite excited about this project of yours. That's mostly because I've only seen 9 of those and must admit that I've never even heard of some of the titles. I look forward to your thoughts and hope that I (and a few others) can pick up some recommendations. Does your creatively titled Octoberfest also involve drinking copious quantities of beer?

PeachyPete wrote:
Patrick wrote:
Suspiria? Unfriend the one who recommended it...it was probably ed


It was Ed. Let's beat the shit out of him at the Reelviews meet and greet.


I feel confident that I can take most of you pussies. Or, at least administer a slap that will really hurt for a couple of seconds. Your faces might even turn crimson, albeit temporarily. Is Phil coming though? I fear that my kung-fu won't be able to get past his toned abs.

PeachyPete wrote:
At the end of the day, while I enjoyed this film a bit more than Persona, I can't say it's a great film. Sure, it's essential in the director's canon (his only venture into the horror genre), but there's just entirely too much confusion for confusion's sake. A movie that's ultimately about fear certainly is ideal for the horror genre, and the psychological is often much more scary than the tangible. Bergman plays both of these concepts up, but the intentionally surreal nature of the film leads to a more confusing experience than a frightening or thought-provoking one. It's a thinking person's film, as are all the Bergman movies I've seen, but the end result is one that doesn't seem to completely take advantage of just how horrifying it's premise could have been.


I get the impression that you admire most of Bergman's movies more than you like them. At least, that's mostly been my experience and it sounds like Hour of the Wolf is another of those. Great poster though. That shit is cool.

Ken wrote:
The Fly is definitely my pick of the list.


Wait, this is the Cronenberg Fly, yes? I somehow doubt that most of you would have so much praise for the Vincent Twice (Vincent Twice) version.


Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:03 am
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Yeah, I just assume Cronenberg Fly by default. Though Vincent Price does have that cool voice.


Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:36 am
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
ed_metal_head wrote:
Petey, this idea is very cool. I'm actually quite excited about this project of yours. That's mostly because I've only seen 9 of those and must admit that I've never even heard of some of the titles. I look forward to your thoughts and hope that I (and a few others) can pick up some recommendations. Does your creatively titled Octoberfest also involve drinking copious quantities of beer?


I'd love to sit back with a bottle of Sam Adams Octoberfest for each movie, but I've realized that drinking more than a beer or two at a time tends to give me a headache. So, no beer for me while watching movies.

ed_metal_head wrote:
I feel confident that I can take most of you pussies. Or, at least administer a slap that will really hurt for a couple of seconds. Your faces might even turn crimson, albeit temporarily. Is Phil coming though? I fear that my kung-fu won't be able to get past his toned abs.


What I got from this? You plan to smack Phil's abs until they turn pink.

ed_metal_head wrote:
I get the impression that you admire most of Bergman's movies more than you like them. At least, that's mostly been my experience and it sounds like Hour of the Wolf is another of those. Great poster though. That shit is cool.


Awesome poster. One of the best, IMO.

Yes, I do admire more than love most of Bergman's movies. I've seen 5 now and the only one I outright loved was Wild Strawberries(same as you). I haven't seen his films that supposedly have the most feeling, and I'm not discouraged from seeing any of his films, I just don't particularly love his movies.

Ken wrote:
Yeah, I just assume Cronenberg Fly by default. Though Vincent Price does have that cool voice.


Fear not, gents, for it is the Cronenberg Fly (that sounds like a swimming stroke). The Vincent Price movie I'm watching is Theater of Blood, which sounds like all kinds of campy fun...with Shakespeare! Along with the Bergman movie, those are the 3 I picked myself.


Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:53 am
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Image

You really have to appreciate the opening few minutes of 1982's Poltergeist. It opens with the national anthem blaring through a TV station's sign off, with a close-up of pixilated images on the screen. As the song continues, the camera moves ever so slowly away from the TV set and we see the family dog come into the room. Clearly someone fell asleep while watching TV. We then follow the hound through the house as he introduces us to each member of the sleeping family. There's the dad, Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson), the wife, Diane Freeling (JoBeth Williams), and three children - 16 year old Dana (Dominique Dunne), 8 year old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and 5 year old Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke). Carol Anne is awakened by the white noise the television set her father fell asleep watching emanates after the sign off is complete. She goes to the TV, and, well, you know the rest (if not, just look at the poster).

Those first few minutes not only serve as a very clever and efficient way to introduce the audience to the main players, but also as a way to let the audience in on exactly what this film will be about - a very typical, nice American family will risk being ripped apart by outside influences. The fact that many of those outside influences are supernatural (as opposed to real - of which there are plenty in the film) makes for good entertainment. Who doesn't love some good old fashioned allegory?

After that opening bit of inspired filmmaking, the remainder of the movie is somewhat of a disappointment. Sure, the movie very much delivers on it's main theme, and has the courtesy to never directly reference it and assume it has an intelligent audience. However, while the movie never overtly dumbs it's theme down, much of the plot is moved along by doctors and spiritual mediums standing around and explaining how and why things are. The movie takes it's time setting up the suspense (along with the theme) in it's first act, only to blow it by having an "expert" explain away the logic behind everything. Granted, the experts end up being incorrect, but that doesn't stop the scenes from being any less mundane. The ending of the movie, which is on par with the beginning, don't make up for a middle section that feels mostly like filler. It's a tough chore to seamlessly marry plot and theme, and Poltergeist has incredible moments where it does that as well as could be asked, but there are too many moments where the movie becomes too invested in explaining the spiritual/supernatural world to the audience. As always in film - show, don't tell.

Additionally, there are a few stories involving the production of the film that are pretty interesting. Steven Spielberg doesn't receive credit as director, but there have been many disputes as to who really deserves credit. Spielberg served as the film's producer and one of the writers (based on his own story), but couldn't direct the picture because his contract with Universal prohibited him from directing for another studio (MGM in this case). Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) is billed as the director, but many of the cast members have outwardly said Spielberg was the real director.

There's also a nasty little thing known as The Poltergeist Curse. I'll let you read about that for yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poltergeist_(film_series)#The_Poltergeist_curse


Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:26 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
ed_metal_head wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
Patrick wrote:
Suspiria? Unfriend the one who recommended it...it was probably ed


It was Ed. Let's beat the shit out of him at the Reelviews meet and greet.


I feel confident that I can take most of you pussies. Or, at least administer a slap that will really hurt for a couple of seconds. Your faces might even turn crimson, albeit temporarily. Is Phil coming though? I fear that my kung-fu won't be able to get past his toned abs.


I could probably beat up anyone in this forum if I'm drunk enough. Except munroe. He's one big, remorseless fireball of vitriol and hatred. In actuality, if we had met two years ago, Dan would definitely have tried to take a swing at me. For the record, my history against pissed-off Spurs fans is 1-1 (Bryan Adams has a pretty poor left hook, but Kenneth Branagh is a beast after a few malts). So I'd let fate decide that one.

Regarding a confidential PM I received a few hours ago (from Patrick Stergos): When we have the meet-and-greet, will it be wives and girlfriends, or flesh-lights and skin lotion?


Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:36 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
PeachyPete wrote:
As a few of you already know, I'm devoting the month of October to watching a slew of horror films I haven't seen. I've used Facebook for recommendations (with a handful coming from fellow forum members) to complie what I think is an eclectic list of 20. I figured I'd create a thread to document the month, and hopefully spark some discussion (also Ed demanded posts on all the movies). I'm pretty excited and hopefully after seeing the list you will be too. I used a random number generator to determine the order in which I'll watch the movie. Here it is:

1. Hour of the Wolf
2. Poltergeist
3. Dementia 13
4. The House of the Devil
5. The Omen
6. The Human Centipede
7. The Terror
8. Thirst
9. Angel Heart
10. Suspira
11. Theater of Blood
12. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
13. Fright Night
14. Freaks
15. The Fly
16. Shadow of the Vampire
17. Rosemary’s Baby
18. Insiduous
19. The Tripper
20. Feast


So yeah, that's pretty much it. I'm about to watch the first 2 movies as soon as I'm finished with this post, and hope to have something up on each film by Monday.

No Blair Witch Project? Awww.... :(


Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:52 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Just finished up The Reptile, from 1966. I appreciate Hammer trying to incorporate a different sort of monster (although Universal still did a similar concept better in Cult of the Cobra), but the setup/execution have been done to death. The title creature is barely used enough to be effective, and as with other relative Hammer obscurities The Gorgon and Plague of the Zombies, what the film calls a mystery can be penetrated from a mile away.


Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:36 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
I haven't seen Poltergeist since when I was very little. Little or no memories remain, but I do still have an aversion to televisions that show nothing but static. Turn those babies off. It's safer that way. Also saves electricity.


Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:33 pm
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Always a good idea to make an ambitious list and draw up all of the world's intent in order to better verse oneself in the universal language. It never seems to work for me, of course.

I've commented extensively enough on Bergman's superior Hour of the Wolf that I'd just be repeating myself. The most interesting choice on the list -- it's not a horror film -- is Shadow of the Vampire. Now here's a movie that sees filmmaking as I've seen it on my most existential days: preserver of mistakes, honest intent meeting flawed action. One of the more interesting premises of any film I've seen in the past so many years. I hope you love it.


Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:54 am
Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Ragnarok73 wrote:
No Blair Witch Project? Awww.... :(


Sorry man, but I've seen that. Numerous times, actually. It's good.

A.J. Hakari wrote:
Just finished up The Reptile, from 1966. I appreciate Hammer trying to incorporate a different sort of monster (although Universal still did a similar concept better in Cult of the Cobra), but the setup/execution have been done to death. The title creature is barely used enough to be effective, and as with other relative Hammer obscurities The Gorgon and Plague of the Zombies, what the film calls a mystery can be penetrated from a mile away.


I think you watch more movies than anyone on the forum. It's humbling. I've never even heard of a lot of the movies you watch, this one included. What are some Hammer films you'd recommend? I'm severely lacking in that department of my film knowledge.

ed_metal_head wrote:
I haven't seen Poltergeist since when I was very little. Little or no memories remain, but I do still have an aversion to televisions that show nothing but static. Turn those babies off. It's safer that way. Also saves electricity.


Yeah, I think I also saw it as a youngster but didn't remember much of it. It's a pretty good movie, but the ideas behind it seem to be better than the execution. There's just too much standing around and explaining. Contrasted with the great visual opening, all that explaination causes big time disappointment.

Major Aphasia wrote:
Always a good idea to make an ambitious list and draw up all of the world's intent in order to better verse oneself in the universal language. It never seems to work for me, of course.

I've commented extensively enough on Bergman's superior Hour of the Wolf that I'd just be repeating myself. The most interesting choice on the list -- it's not a horror film -- is Shadow of the Vampire. Now here's a movie that sees filmmaking as I've seen it on my most existential days: preserver of mistakes, honest intent meeting flawed action. One of the more interesting premises of any film I've seen in the past so many years. I hope you love it.


These sorts of things don't usually work out for me either, but I figured that it's only a month, I can see that through to the end. Right? I hope so.

On Hour of the Wolf: You have 5 posts! You haven't commented extensively on anything! I don't even know who you are! Capitalization and use of the space bar be damned, I want to hear what you think.

On Shadow of the Vampire: Cool! All I knew about if before your post was that it was about the making of Nosferatu and that the cast members began to think Max Schreck was a real vampire. I wasn't aware that it's also a comment on the filmmaking process. I also hope I love it.


Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:43 am
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