SNAPSHOTS OF | Halloween + Scary Movies

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Someone had way too much fun with Google’s “halloweenify”

I know, Halloween was forever ago. I mean, it’s practically Christmas now, what with all the holiday decorations and commercials I’ve been seeing. I’m going to try not to freak out that we have practically jumped from October to December. Ugh. Β Retailers.

So yes, Halloween, my favorite holiday (?) or day of the year. It also marked two years since we bought our home. (How has it been 2 yrs?) We watched scary movies all month long, I baked vegan rice crispy treats (SO GOOD), we decorated our house with decorations my dad gave me long ago with a new addition of a black pumpkin (battery operated/plug in pumpkins are the best — easy and no waste), and we dressed up in bizarre last-minute costumes. For the first time in a long time we gave out candy (Haribo gummy bears) to our neighborhood kids who had been suffering with our attempts at passing out healthier Halloween options over the years (pistachios, Amy’s graham crackers, Clif bars, granola bars). You’re welcome neighborhood kids.

I tried to convince Sly to go to a haunted corn maze, but instead we spent the rest of the evening watching even more scary movies and eating leftover Halloween gummies. Then, as quickly as it started, it was over. Sigh. I wish Halloween lasted for more than just a day.


Every Halloween ‘season’ I have the itch to watch scary movies, but since we have already seen so many of them it’s hard to find newer, decent movies that aren’t total gore (I’m more of a Rosemary’s Baby type scary movie lover, not Saw gory movies) or aren’t totally stupid. I was excited to learn there are a lot more “indie” horror movies being made these days which are low-budget and more psychological/eerie than gory.Β Here’s a list of movies we binge-watched Sept – Oct. (thank you, Netflix).Β 

Oculus — The premise was actually scarier than the execution. While there were tense moments, I found myself yelling at the characters to stop being so stupid more than a few times, which I guess is sort of the fun of horror movies.
Paranorman — I love stop-frame animation, so naturally I loved this. Darker plot, good Halloween vibe.
Paranormal Activity 4 & The Marked Ones — I always get a case of “DO NOT GO IN THERE” when watching these movies but I still enjoy watching them, plot holes, stupid characters and all.
Insidious & Insidious 2 — Okay, how did I not see Insidious until now? The first half of the first Insidious was super tense. There was one part that actually made me scream out loud, which I rarely ever do in scary movies (I’m more of a laugher when things get tense, or the person that yells out in the theater, “OMG THAT’S SO FAKE). Insidious 2 was not as good, but still decent enough for a sequel.
The Purge 1 & 2 — Sly picked this one so I was sort of expecting it to be dumb (we have different tastes in movies). It’s not super Halloween-y, but there are some creepy characters in the movie that wear masks. And Ethan Hawke was in the first one, which was kind of weird/surprising. Part 1 was decent, Part 2 kind of dumb, but still watchable.
Evil Dead (2013) – This movie got really good reviews. It’s a remake of an older movie and is a classic cabin-in-the-woods type slasher B-movie type flick. While I appreciated this aspect, I thought the movie and characters were painfully stupid.
The Awakening – British ghost thriller that tried way too hard. The set was awesome, the plot and characters were not.
Attack the Block — Another British movie produced by the same folks as Shaun of the Dead. This time the world is being attacked by aliens. Like Shaun of the Dead there’s a good mix of humor, suspense, good and evil. Like.
Willow Creek — An indie horror, hand-held documentary “found footage” style horror flick with Bigfoot as the focus. The characters were not very likable, but overall worth a watch.
Honeymoon — another indie horror movie with the Wildling girl from Game of Thrones as lead. Newlywed couple, in a remote cabin, things go wrong. A fresh take on the cabin in the woods genre.
Only Lovers Left Alive — a different kind of Vampire movie. It started off slow for me, but once I got used to the pacing I ended up really liking it. It’s weird and original and very dark.
Carrie (2013) — I didn’t think I would like this movie, but I found it watchable. A simplified mix of horror and teen high school genre updated with bullying/social media references. Does not compare to the original, but then I wasn’t expecting it to.
In The Flesh — While not a movie, we have been binge watching this British zombie series. In this scenario, there has been a cure for zombies, allowing them to return — albeit with a stigma — to ‘normal’ society. Different and well done approach.
Dark Touch — I saved the worst for last. One word to describe this movie: frustrating.

…and here’s one more from…

Until next year, Halloween. πŸ™

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