Tales of Horror and Tales of Horrible in Kidcha’s Halloween Movie Review

Hello friends, my name is Kidcha and I am here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t watch this Halloween, because I put my foot in my mouth and declared I knew more than anyone else in the universe has ever known about this subject.

I mean, it might be true, but it was a bit dumb to brag about it, you know?

Yeah, I bet you do.

13 Horror Movies That Are Worth The Time It’ll Take To Search Them On Netflix

A novel idea isn’t enough to make a horror good, in my books — a good horror has things like pacing, atmosphere, a decent villain, and plenty of shadows. Also, rewatch value.

I can’t really stress enough that I’m pretty sure a good horror will still hold your attention, and still wig you out a bit, when you already know what’s coming.

With these things in mind, my friends have assured me all these choices are absolutely petrifying, and will never watch them. But don’t worry — I have since disowned them all.

Have some background music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDaFPMHrEP0 to set the mood, while you peruse 13 movies that won’t be a waste of your time to watch.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

I’m pretty sure this only became a classic because of Johnny Depp’s pretty face, but that’s okay. I can forgive him for that, though.

Unlike in the later sequels where Freddy embraces the ~joy of slaughtering teens in their dreams~ and takes a class on expressing himself in the most creatively b-grade ways possible, NoEs is about nothing but him getting revenge for the whole ‘Your parents killed me’ thing. Slowly. He’s very single minded about this, and barely takes any time out of the stabbing to feast on their sweet, sweet fear.

Arguably, the lack of success comes from the fact Nancy ain’t taking none of that shit and has no intention of lying prone while he slices her up, and so proceeds to thwart him at every opportunity.

I’m not sure the movie really works — I don’t think anyone is very sure, honestly. But it’s okay, because you’re probably still going to crap yourself once his knives start scraping against the boiler room pipes as he slowly walks towards you.

Dead Silence (2007)

Dead Silence is about Vinnie from Home & Away pretending to be American, and how the ghost of a pissed off ventriloquist named Mary Shaw is going to destroy him and his entire bloodline, because his ancestors pissed her off. Yeesh, being brutally murdered sure can make some people touchy.

This movie relies on darkness, scary faces, and the fact that we all secretly suspected urban legends are maybe sort of actually true. It plays on how creepy ventriloquist dolls are even when they aren’t actively trying to kill you, and somehow got the idea that things like atmosphere and creepy goings-on might actually spook you, instead of distracting with pretty CGI and fancy big-name stars.

I don’t know where they got that idea from.

This movie deserves a hell of a lot more acknowledgement than it gets. Acknowledge it.

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Anyone who tells you Evil Dead is better than Evil Dead 2 is a liar, and anyone who tells you Evil Dead 2 is better than Army Of Darkness has atrocious taste, and should be shunned. Don’t trust their advice. BUT, what Evil Dead 2 does do better, is be kind of bloody disturbing.

So Ash and his pretty girlfriend go to a cabin, accidentally release an ancient evil, and bad things happen, etc etc — it’s a pretty standard set up, you know. Thank the movie gods for Bruce Campbell and his ridiculous overacting, or else this movie never would have worked as well as it did.

The first half of the movie consists of Ash being trapped and the sole target of all the bad juju, which naturally leads to a rapid descent into batshit crazy. The scenes transition jerkily, cutting from one to the next with moments seemingly missing — and while it is both a horror and a comedy, it’s rarely both simultaneously so much as in rapid succession. There’s also a notable lack of background music, which lends to the overall sense of isolation, and not even the copious amounts of fake blood and maniacal cackling detract from this.

This movie is fucking fantastic.

Also, hey, he wears a chainsaw for a hand! That alone has to be the price of admission.

Ghost Ship (2002)

The trailer for this one is surprisingly terrible — but I guess you can’t guess what it’s about just from the title.

Ghost Ship isn’t really trying to invent the wheel here, and it doesn’t — there’s ghosts, on a ship, and then some live people come and shockingly turn into cannon fodder. Whatta twist!

Compared to the events that lead up to them, the deaths seem almost mundane, which is the way it needs to be — do we really need another movie where the puppet master’s plan works because people are too stupid to pay attention, rather than because it legitimately appears to be an accident? We really don’t, no. Added to that is the fact the lead female manages to not be annoying, and it’s almost like these guys were trying to make a decent movie.

But with flashbacks, and ghosts, and some truly creepy visuals.

It starts strong, and the ending gets me every time. I love that ending. And because of this, while I want to hate all ghost movies, I really can’t.

Thanks a lot for not sucking, Ghost Ship.

Ginger Snaps (2000)

So one day, someone looked at puberty and went — yeah, okay, so there’s some blood, and your body starts changing, and hair starts growing in weird places, and you start wanting different kinds of meat (cue sniggering) and you start noticing weird feelings in weird places, right? But what if — and hear me out here — what if –

What if also werewolf?!

Nothing about this movie should work. The lead characters are genuinely weird, and their status at outcasts isn’t some hilarious misunderstanding — they revel in it. It’s them against the world, and if they aren’t out by 16, they’ve made a pact to die.

Whoops.

The natural progression of things is genuinely impressive — both in attitudes and events, things never feel forced, and the moments of sincerity in the carnage are all the more disturbing. And, naturally, my favourite character dies in a violent and bloody way.

A++ definitely recommend, would watch again. (Though fair warning for dogs being torn up, and a brief, though vaguely unsettling, emphasis on how gross periods are.)

Hellraiser (1987)

Confession time : I’d never actually seen Hellraiser until I started doing ~research~ for this (and it was totally research, or else I just spent two weeks binging on bad horrors for no reason and that wouldn’t be very mature of me at all) and if I’d seen the trailer first, I wouldn’t have bothered. It looks so generic.

I’d seen one of the sequels and it was absolute trash, so the fact the synopsis was “An unfaithful wife is tormented by the zombie of her husband’s brother” didn’t strike me as odd at all. And hey, I had a few hours to kill, so why not?

And then it was over and I was glued to the screen, absolutely enthralled. That synopsis is both 100% accurate and not at all what I watched — I’d always assumed what I did know about the Hellraiser series was enough. ‘Cause, you know, there’s a guy with pin in his head, a box that sends you to another place to get tortured, and a bunch of people who are dumb enough to keep messing with it. That’s enough to get the gist of it, right?

More fool me for my arrogance.

Identity (2003)

You’d have to be a monster not to like Identity, I swear. It’s the best thriller, and everyone else should just stop trying and go home now.

A bunch of strangers with strange last names and the same birthday all end up mysteriously trapped in a motel, after a storm washes out the road and they can’t leave. Naturally, they all start dying — in order of their room numbers. Clearly, this must be the work of the convict being transported!

Spoilers : That would be too easy.

This movie never stops being great.

Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the terminator wanted to eat parts of people, instead of just kill them? Wonder no more, because here’s your answer! It won’t change your life, but it’s sure as hell going to be a fun ride.

There’s really not much else to it — two siblings discover that once the creepy guy decides he wants you, he chases you. Relentlessly. Forever. No matter where you go or what you do, no matter where you hide or who is with you — he will get what he wants.

So yeah, go ahead and be scared. That’s exactly what he wants. That’s how he knows if he wants you.

:D

Mimic (1997)

You know what this list needs? Some bugs. Some man-sized bugs that are definitely not cockroaches, in a movie directed by Guillermo del Toro. What could possibly go wrong here?

Honestly, not as much as you’d think — at least, not for the first half. It’s a slow burn to the scares, with a bit more daylight and mundane activities than you’d expect in a horror. But then the daylight disappears and they start crawling into tunnels and oh my god is that poop dangling from the ceiling I think that’s poop dangling from the ceiling and wait what are those holy crap those are huge fucking bugs you should run now WHY AREN’T YOU RUNNING FASTER THIS ISN’T GOING TO END WELL FOR ANYONE?! It’s pretty weird.

Also some stuff explodes, which is never a bad thing when you’re dealing with giant bugs that appear deliberately maliciously and about twice as smart as anyone I know. And they don’t like you.

Not cool, Mr del Toro. Not cool at all.

Pulse (2006)

I watched this on a recommendation, and only found out later that everyone hated it. Well, screw you guys, this movie is great.

Tragically, trying to explain it isn’t going to end well — “But then the ghosts come through the computers and you give up and die and explode into dust! They steal your life!!” It sounds dumb because the plot really, really is. It’s the kind of crap you’d come up with as an angsty teenager.

But the atmosphere holy crap this movie is so creepy. I was genuinely wigged out — and it wasn’t just because of the jump scares, although there’s a few of those. The entire thing is disturbing on a really odd level, with all the washed out colours and invading sense of apathy and hopelessness.

Luckily!! There’s multiple false endings, which will successfully ruin the effect the rest of the movie had, and leave you bored at best. Don’t make the same mistake I did, guys — just stop after the first one. You’re not missing anything.

Silent Hill (2006)

Silent Hill is the heart-wrenching tale of a mother trying to find her lost daughter.

In an evil town. That’s full of monsters. And populated by a religious cult. And constantly soaked in fog, so you can’t see more than a few feet in front of your face.

But who cares about logic when you’ve got monsters spitting acid in your face and now there’s a bunch of babies trying to explode burning chunks in your hair, and a guy with a huge knife and a weird helmet!! (And bugs. So many bugs.)

What Silent Hill does well, it does very well — there’s enough mystery to hold your attention, but not enough to lose it. The pacing is fantastic, the soundtrack is top notch, the atmosphere is beyond reproach, and the monsters are flawless. Not to mention the climax is, quite frankly, more than satisfying in its viciousness.

A+ will make you crap your pants, watch immediately. (Also, it was 90% of the reason I ever got around to playing the games. What a huge accomplishment.)

Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

Man, I love anthologies. Don’t you just love anthologies? Let’s all sit here and stew in our mutual love for anthologies.

There are rules for Halloween, you know. There’s traditions. And if you don’t follow them, well — this is the kind of thing that happens. (I always suspected so — we don’t celebrate it much here, but I always suspected there were consequences.)

There’s five stories, all woven together, with a common denominator of a little dude in a sack mask. Since the characters appear in each other stories, it’s easy to get an idea of the chronological order of how they happen. I mean, it’s not necessary, but it was a nice detail that I liked.

This movie is fun, and it can be violent, but it’s not gratuitous about it. It doesn’t rely on blood and shock; the stories are good, no matter how much I expected them to be otherwise. There’s so many neat little details, and a bunch of cute foreshadowing, and they got an actual kid to walk as the scarecrow dude and you just have no idea how much extra creep factor that added.

Everything ties up nicely, and everything ends as it should. It’s very satisfying.

Oh yeah, and it’s genuinely kind of creepy.

Reeker (2005)

A bunch of kids are on their way to a rave in the middle of the desert, but this is easier than it sounds, and they end up stranded at a deserted motel (that was not deserted a few hours before, obv). The car has no gas, it’s too far to walk anywhere, the phone lines are cut and the radio gives only static.

Well that’s not weird at all.

A ghostly, hooded spectre flickers in and out, mostly unnoticed. They see other things, too, that can’t possibly be there — dead things, mostly, but not only. There’s spooky writing in old journals, messages scrawled on walls, and a god awful stench.

Gosh, I wonder if not being able to leave is going to be an issue in the near future!

Reeker isn’t the only movie I’ve seen use this premise, but it’s the only one that’s used it right — the twist makes it better, but it stands pretty confidently before that, too. There’s no need for a dismissive hand wave to explain all the plot holes you’ve just sat through, which is a nice change. The characters are independent of each other and make decisions for their own reasons — and they don’t do anything glaringly stupid, mostly.

This movie is the fucking best, and you will never convince me otherwise U:

13 Movies You Should Aggressively Avoid Because They’re Absolute Trash

Which is a shorter title than I wanted to give it, with far less cursing — behold my self control.

I’m pretty sure you have to be trying to mess up as badly as these ones do, I’m gonna be honest with you.

Also, spoilers ahoy. You’ll thank me later.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Why do people like this movie? It baffles me. Apparently I don’t get it because I have no imagination, but I’d like to point out there’s a difference between spelling everything out for the audience, and crapping something out on a handheld camera that amounts to wandering around in the woods and finding some sticks tied together. Oh, but there’s some scary noises too, so that makes it okay!

But look — it’s meant to be realistic. That’s why you can’t hear parts of the dialogue, and nothing is explained, and there’s a bunch of boring moments. It’s found footage! This is how real life works!! They go into the forest to investigate an urban legend, get lost, and (possibly) (maybe) (it’s not really clear, because realism) get dead!

The big climax is about as clear as mud, and just as interesting. But — it’s realistic, so it’s okay!

You know what else is dumb? Everything. Stop being an asshole, guy, and put down the camera when your friends tell you to. If you know you don’t have money for props or special effects, make it work with what you have. Don’t half-ass it and expect the audience to create their own fear.

I recommend you go watch grass grow, if this is all you have to watch. You’ll thank me later.

Cabin In The Woods (2012)

When Atnevon said this movie sucked, I laughed at him. I really did. How could it suck, with Joss Whedon attached and also Chris Hemsworth’s muscles in a starring role? It’s a comedy/horror and also deconstruction of the genre. The premise alone is fantastic!

WHOOPS. That’ll teach me to be optimistic.

Clearly, my humour chip has malfunctioned, because I couldn’t even figure out where the jokes were meant to be. This was horror only in the sense there were, uh, some monsters. And some people died, I guess. It was a failure on both accounts, to the point of being tedious. It had potential, but that has never meant less than it does in this context.

Five kids go to a cabin, and are promptly drugged and manipulated into fulfilling the standard archetypes as a sacrifice. ‘Cause if they don’t, evil giants under the ground will bring about the apocalypse. There’s a difference between playing with clichés and archetypes and making it interesting, and being lazy and predictable. I will be eternally annoyed this difference was not acknowledged.

Also, the ending takes like ten fucking minutes more than it needs to. Just end it already we get the point they’re both assholes. It adds nothing but another reason to roll your eyes and groan and strain to pick up the remote without moving off the couch because it’s not even worth that much effort.

(Ran would like to state she vehemently disagrees with this assessment, and found it highly amusing. Clearly, the difference is if you find this sort of thing funny.)

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

More than anything, zombies are my thang. I will watch any zombie movie, even though they’re all bloody terrible, just in case this one isn’t. To dump DotD here means it has to be something special.

And it is. It remains the most boring zombie flick I’ve ever seen — and that’s including all the ones that don’t even bother utilizing zombies. See, the trailer looks exciting, sure, but what you don’t realize is the plot is people are the real monsters and the zombies are about as much of a threat as an ingrown hair, so long as you don’t fall into a giant pile of them.

So they hole up in a mall under they can’t anymore, then escape, and die anyway, because this is a zombie flick and what else did you expect. Have you heard about the zombie baby? I’m sure you have. It was the major selling point.

It’s as dumb as it sounds, and looks twice as ridiculous.

The only thing this has going for it is that it’s a good hour shorter than the original, which was also bloody terrible. On the other hand, the token black guy was better in the original.

0 out of 10 stars.

Dead Snow (2009)

I watched this because zombies. It was recommended to me because Nazi zombies. I guess this is because killing Nazis is still funny? Haha dead Nazis getting screwdrivers stabbed in their eyes and their intestines hanging out? Heads being cracked open and brains flopping wetly to the floor? You’re killing me with this, guy!! Stop being so hilaaaaarious before I bust a gut open!111!!

This isn’t horror, and this isn’t comedy. It’s gorn. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Gorn It relies entirely on the gorn. So I guess if you’re into that, what are you waiting for? For the low price of too many dollars and 99 cents, you can own it right now! Imagine the gems I haven’t mentioned!! There’s a machine gun at one point!

This movie was fucking repulsive.

Hostel (2005)

The only parts of Hostel I remember particularly clearly are the torture, so I guess that says more about me than the movie, since it makes up like, a tiny potion of the run time.

But until the day I die, I don’t think I will ever understand how they made the concept of “And then they buy people to torture and kill and some escape!” into the snoozefest that is this. I guess because watching people fail to escape when there’s no tension and you don’t give a crap about them isn’t that interesting. Quick — add some more torture! Cut off an eyeball! Slash something! That’ll keep them awake!

Fuck all torture porn and it’s lazy story telling, but fuck Hostel in particular, because I can’t even remember anything else to be angry about. It’s just that forgettable.

Mirrors (2008)

Do you know how good Mirrors starts off? It starts off really good. I was hooked. I was totally into it. Then it kind of just shrugs and goes to take a nap, and half asses the rest. I mean, why not, yeah? It already spooked you once, isn’t that enough?

There’s a reason there’s a bunch of mirror tropes and why the mirror scare is a standard in horrors — that’s what they lend themselves to. Kids talking to their reflections, then getting up and walking away while their reflection stays put? This is creepy. Your reflection doing that is worse. Your reflection then slicing its own throat and yours getting sliced too isn’t exactly hard to make spooky — you can see yourself reflected in practically everything. You will never escape. You will never be safe.

So yeah, mirror tropes are a thing, and with good reason, and we get a heaping helping of this. When Kiefer Sutherland has to deal with his evil reflection and bad things happening about the place, he decides that he’s going to get to the bottom of it …!

Some more people get killed in gratuitously gory ways, people seem to deliberately not notice when their reflection doesn’t move like they do, and not much else happens. Turns out it’s just an evil demon that was vomited into a room of mirrors, and then he gets trapped in the mirror world because reasons.

Roll credits!

Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

Hey, remember Freddy Krueger? No no, not the guy who slaughters you in your dreams in increasingly creative ways for increasingly flimsy reasons, who grins like a creeper and oozes fun from every pore as he delights in your pain and fear. No, I’m talking about the other one.

You know, the pedophile that stabs you, tries to sound growly and fails, and who looks like he’s wearing a two dollar shop Halloween mask. The one with no pizazz or redeeming feature for showing you his face straight up? (Did I mention he’s a pedophile.) (Because he is.) (Did you forget it yet? Let the movie remind you.) (Aw fuck it, let’s just make it a central plot point.) (That’s what everyone wants to see, amirite.)

Yeah, I wish I could fucking forget him, too.

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Sanctuary says I can only put movies on the shitlist that I’ve actually seen, and that watching the trailer and pointing at it accusingly doesn’t count as watching it. Clearly, this entry does not exist. Sorry!

So I definitely won’t be able to point out they aren’t even ghosts, because they’re too busy being invisible demons. Invisible bloody demons. Or the fact that basically nothing happens for 90 minutes, then five minutes of spooky noises and a few jump scares, and then obvious bait for a sequel. Spooky footprints in the powder! Doors slamming! Staring at your sleeping lover! Or the fact that there’s a shot of a ouija board that bursts into flames, for no reason, with no explanation. (Fuck ouija boards, I guess?)

I won’t be able to argue — again — that implication only goes so far, and leaving the scares up to the audience to get on their own is lazy storytelling. (If you aren’t scared, you just don’t have enough imagination! This is a smart movie that doesn’t lay out everything for you! I was scared, so there’s something wrong with you if you aren’t!) There would certainly not be a correlation between hype and expectation, and how some people get spooked by anything, but how people who actually watch a lot of horrors don’t necessarily poop themselves at a door moving on its own.

And I really can’t say that I tried to find it, so that any entry on it would be fair, since I knew from the start it was going to be on here. But, tragically, that my only legal option for viewing would be to buy it, and that simply wasn’t really very likely. After all, it’s not fair to judge a book by its cover, right? I should definitely sit through it before making any rash decisions.

But seriously, invisible demons? Good fucking lord.

Plague (2006)

Holy crap I can’t believe my luck. I had no idea this was a straight up horror my prayers are answered and this list can finally be finished.

Plot : There’s a plague, and all the kids fall into a coma for ten years. Any new kids born, bam, coma for you too! James Van Der Beek comes back to town, and soon after, the kids wake up and start killing people + taking their souls!! (They have a hive mind now, you know.)

Their reign of terror is stopped when Dawson selflessly decides to go willingly, turning them all good when they suck his soul. Then they leave the love interest alone, because she’s the love interest, and also because she’s cool with all this and not afraid of them.

Roll the credits, yo, we’re done. We don’t believe in handing out explanations like we’re in kindergarten, let the viewer come to the conclusion this is an analogy for the Rapture.

Rubber (2010)

This movie claims to be a horror / comedy. I was recommended it because wow, novel concept! Do you know the plot? Let me tell you the plot.

There is a tire with psionic powers, and it can make people’s heads — and also entire small animals — go bam! It is evil. It becomes obsessed with a woman for some reason, and then they get it to blow up a mannequin of her, and it’s reincarnated as a tricycle.

There’s a subplot in which a bunch of people in the desert are watching this “movie”, and it can’t stop until they stop watching, so after inviting them out there, their mysterious benefactors starve them and then poison them? Except the old guy, who demands a resolution to the plot.

I’m not being deliberately incoherent, it just makes no sense. I think it’s important that when you think up a concept that hasn’t been done before, you take a moment to consider that maybe there’s a reason for that.

I sat through this so you don’t have to, even though I’m just not smart enough to get the message it’s laying down. Feel free to send me gratitude in the form of banana daiquiris and state quarters.

Silent Hill (2006)

Hey, you know how I said SH was great? That was before I knew the source material.

Rather than actually adapting the story, they decided to just Frankenstein shit from SH2 in as well, because why not! It’ll be cool, yo. This is what the fans want. What else do they want?

1. A female protag, because clearly a father searching for his daughter is unbelievable.
2. Scrap the symbolism. The monsters and music from SH2 are way better, so we’ll just gank them. Toss Pyramidhead in there, too, ’cause the fans want it. Is there a pedophile monster? No? Make one up!
3. No no, they don’t need to scuttle around when they get shot. That won’t be creepy at all.
4. The names are dumb. Let’s change them.
5. Just kind of vaguely wave the source material in the general direction of the script, it’ll be sweet.

Not even my need to be aggressively contrary can convince me to defend this giant turd. It shows zero respect for what it’s meant to be representing, and I can’t even sit through it now. Thanks a lot, guys.

Teeth (2007)

Teeth is the thrilling tale of a girl with teeth in her hoo-hah and a town that suddenly all wants a piece of that sweet, sweet lady butt.

The rest is a forgone conclusion. It’s exactly what you’re thinking.

But then she learns to control her inner demon, so, yay for female empowerment I guess? Yaaaaay.

Evil Dead (2013)

The rage I feel for this movie is indescribable and eternal. I’m not sure I can even express it.

Five friends go to a cabin to — HEY LOOK IT’S THE OLDSMOBILE GUYS LOOKS HERE GUYS LOOK LOOK — help one of them get clean from drugs. Then one of them finds the Necronomicon — GUYS LOOK IT’S THE EVIL BOOK — and unleashes evil and bad things happen.

But they don’t leave, because clearly she’s just doing it to get out. God, what a quitter. Trying to use possession as an excuse.

Is it comedy? Horror? Played straight or for laughs? We don’t know, and neither do they! It starts off generic, which is disappointing but not as much as absolutely saturating it in references to the original trilogy to the point of distraction; while still playing it absolutely serious, they start pulling out shit like terrible makeup and cutting off body parts with bread knives. Also important : They remembered the tree rape scene. God forbid they forget that.

But once they have their five sacrifices, The Abomination arises! And the FMC (who spent most of the time possessed, then died, and was revived with a car battery) does battle with it!! She tears her hand off, slaps on a chainsaw, and rips the naked chick in half as the skies rain blood.

Score one for the good guys! I mean, everyone else is dead, but chainsaw haaaand!!

Fuck this movie. Fuck it more than anything else on this list, or any other movie I’ve ever seen.

I told you I couldn’t express my disgust. Next time, believe me.

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