A (late) look at October past

We’re on the far side of November now, but I am finally taking the time to look back at my favorite month of the year. This past October was wonderfully full of birthday cake, cross-country meets, hiking beneath the giant sequoias, acquiring a new kitten (hi, George Michael!), and of course, tackling Booklist’s annual horror film challenge.

I hit 36 films this year, and with the discovery of ShudderTV, I was able to watch a lot of indie and foreign films I hadn’t seen before, plus some great stuff from the seventies. The list is below. I’ve highlighted in green a few favorites, and I eagerly await 2018.

Oh! This is also a chance to mention that I’ve greatly enjoyed the horror resurgence of 2017. I was thrilled by the brilliance of GET OUT, loved the toothy leer of old Pennywise, but one film I really admired, and which has stuck with me, was IT COMES AT NIGHT. A slow burn, perhaps, but well worth it.

My list:

36. LAKE MUNGO Meet Alice Palmer, Australia’s Laura Palmer.
 
35. THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE Oh, this was right up my alley. Mental illness, self-loathing, and the language of empathy.
  
34. RED DRAGON Ralph Fiennes gets a tattoo. Kills everyone.
  
33. HOSTEL: PART II Elite Hunting gets sloppy again.
  
32. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS We let the kids pick tonight’s movie, and monsters that we are, we let them watch it.
  
31. DRAG ME TO HELL That was a lot of dragging over a button. RIP kitten.
 
30. SPRING An American fugitive heads to Italy where he finds an earthly (and dangerous) sort of miracle.
  
29. PIÑATA: SURVIVAL ISLAND A $20k purse competitive panty hunt + partying co-eds + an ancient piñata filled with evil
 
28. CARRIE (2013) Remakes are tough, but there were a few moments before the blood’s spilled that really worked for me
  
27. HONEYMOON How do you REALLY know you’re not marrying an alien host?
  
26. SUN CHOKE Little girls and their violence…
  
25. CUBE Interestingly enough, this was pretty much the same story as THE BAR, except it featured Leon from PIN.
  
24. THE BAR A group of strangers trapped in a Madrid bar by an unseen killer. Human nature, as always, prevails.
  
23. THE BABYSITTER Okay, I thought this was a remake of the Alicia Silverstone movie. Spoiler alert: It’s not.
  
22. RESOLUTION A junkie and his best friend just might find God out in the scrubby California wilderness.
  
21. THE GALLOWS The Hangman Cometh. Was this going for gasps? Or laughs?
  
20. FRIDAY THE 13TH Yeah, we should’ve watched this one yesterday.
  
19. FRIGHT NIGHT It’s an abundance of 80’s goodness when a vampire moves in next door to a teen horror fan.
  
18. WOULD YOU RATHER That’s really not how I remember that game.
  
17. THE SACRAMENT A fictionalized found-footage version of the Jonestown tragedy.
  
16. BE AFRAID I don’t know what this movie had to do with sleep paralysis, but that corn monster scared me.
  
15. I AM THE PRETTY THING THAT LIVES IN THE HOUSE An elderly horror novelist hires a hospice nurse who scares easily.
  
14. FUNNY GAMES A Clockwork Orange, this was not.
  
13. ALWAYS SHINE Best friends harboring some dark career rivalry head to Big Sur for the weekend. Rompers abound.
  
12. WOLF CREEK Australian Outback Texas Chainsaw Deliverance Massacre
  
11. THE REEF Step 1. boat capsizes in Australia’s shark-infested waters Step 2. Everyone gets in the water. Yikes.
  
10. AND SOON THE DARKNESS (1970) Two girls cycling the French countryside. One vanishes. It’s all downhill from there.
  
9. CRUSH THE SKULL Just the right amount of pedicure comedy mixed into this torturous game of cat and mouse.
  
8. IMAGES Robert Altman’s 1972 look at a children’s author’s lonely descent in madness. Goodbye, unicorn.
  
7. THE LAST EXORCISM A fraudulent exorcist heads out on one last scam & ignores some very real drawings of his fate.
  
6. RAW Reasons not to go to college with your sister: jealousy, secrets, family drama, she’ll eat your boyfriend.
  
5. THE CRAFT Snakes. Hexes. Walking on water? Something witchy this way comes. With bonus nineties Skeet Ulrich.
  
3. SWEET, SWEET LONELY GIRL A doll broke. An aunt died. Someone wore a bunny mask. Was this a horror movie?
  
2. BLUE SUNSHINE Disco, LSD, copious wig snatching, and a politician who wants to “make America good again.”
  
1. COMPLIANCE Nastiness going down at the Chickwhich. I really don’t think this is what Stanley Milgram had in mind.
 -sk
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