I did it! I managed to knock this year's October Horror Movie Challenge out of the park.
Let's look at some stats first:
- MOVIES WATCHED: 40
- FIRST TIME VIEWS: 28 (70%)
- THOSE WITH GAMING CONTENT: 11 (27.5%)
While some hardcore horror fans (over at the Challenge's Facebook group) were notching up viewing figures of over a 100 films, I'm pretty pleased with my 40, given that I wrote a review for each of them.
I was surprised that some people had regimented lists of everything they were going to watch for the challenge.
This meant there were some totally random picks and some opportunist viewings when things popped up on TV, mixed in with some old favourites.
I'm happy with the amount of "first time views" I got in, but when I next participate I hope I'll be able to up the amount of movies that I can draft some original gaming content for.
When I was doing my mini Challenge-within-the-Challenge of watching the entire Friday the 13th franchise in chronological order, it was fascinating to read the comments I was getting on the movies and how each film - and I mean each and every one - is someone's favourite.
Ones that I thought were trash people were willing to go to bat for, while quirky ones that I felt I "got", others were more than willing to slag off.
And, as long as it's all done in a good natured way, that interaction is what I love about reviewing films; the world would be a very dull place if we all liked the same entertainment... and it would be very difficult to find new things to try.
I don't expect people to like everything I like, and I don't expect to like everything that other people like.
Two 'first time view' films I really enjoyed were Mitzi Peirone's Braid and the Soska Sister's Rabid, creations of female genre auteurs with distinctive and original visions of what makes horror.
Ari Aster's weird 'break-up' movie-cum-Wicker Man remix, Midsommar, was wonderful visual treat, while being truly shocking and disturbing.
Hagazussa, I'd say Midsommar was one of the most strikingly memorable films I exposed myself to last month.
I also tried to challenge the idea of what makes a 'horror film' a horror film, but including such oddities as The Singing Ringing Tree and Addams Family Reunion, the former being an old fairy tale that "haunted a generation" while the latter uses the tropes of traditional horror movies, but in the context of a very poor comedy.
There were some disappointments along the way, particularly Rob Zombie's sequel to The Devil's Rejects, 3 From Hell, which I was really looking for to, and The Curse Of La Llorona, as I've been pleasantly surprised by my belated discovery of The Conjuring Universe movies.
Less of a shocker was the waste of celluloid that was Nic Cage's The Wicker Man, but later in the month I had the good sense to rewatch the original of The Wicker Man to remind myself how it should be done.
Reviewing more than 31 films in a month, while trying to maintain a normal life and produce a multiple-post-a-day blog, is hard work. Enjoyable (I mean, who doesn't love watching horror films, right?) but hard.
I'm now going to try and mix things up genre-wise for a while, and, maybe not watch (and review) a movie every day.
This year's Horror Movie Challenge films were:
- Slender Man (2018)
- The Seventh Seal (1957)
- The Wicker Man (2006)
- The Curse Of La Llorona (2019)
- Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)
- Friday The 13th (1980)
- Friday The 13th: Part Two (1981)
- Friday The 13th: Part Three (1982)
- Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
- Friday The 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
- Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
- Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
- Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
- Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
- Freddy vs Jason (2003)
- Jason X (2001)
- Friday The 13th (2009)
- Thirst (2015)
- Braid (2018)
- Last Ones Out (2016)
- Hagazussa (2017)
- In The Tall Grass (2019)
- Draug (2018)
- Child's Play (2019)
- The Banana Splits Movie (2019)
- Brightburn (2019)
- 3 From Hell (2019)
- The Singing Ringing Tree (1957)
- Rabid (2019)
- Addams Family Reunion (1998)
- Tales Of Halloween (2015)
- Mirrors (2008)
- The Uninvited (1944)
- Zoltan, Hound Of Dracula (1977)
- Night Of The Eagle (1962)
- The Midnight Man (2016)
- The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)
- The Wicker Man (1973)
- The Thing From Another World (1952)
- Midsommar (2019)