October 24: Poltergeist

movie reviews

The 80s get a bad rap for all the cheerleader and sorority murders, but there are some genuinely creepy movies that came out in the decade of big hair and spandex. Poltergeist is one of the most intense and scary horror movies ever made, in spite of its tame rating.

Imagine you’re a young college football coach and have moved into a new house with your family. Creepy things start happening and your daughter disappears. Into the TV. What do you do? Where do you turn? Why is your pool filled with bodies?

The effects are fun. And even though some of the characters come across as ridiculous when taken out of context, the acting was pretty darned good. Yet another movie my mom should have stopped me from watching as a child.

October 5 – V/H/S

movie reviews

Me and anthologies don’t get along so well. It seems that the good segments are always too short, and the bad ones are too long. Every now and again, though, an anthology comes along that really has it together.

There are so many parts of V/H/S that are genuinely creepy. There’s a great ghost story, a freaky succubus, and a festive haunted house. The movie consistently goes where you don’t want it to, which makes it a great one to watch in the dark by yourself. In a horror era where found footage flicks are a dime a dozen, this movie stands out as a serious contender.

October 2: The Conjuring

movie reviews

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but, when I do, I watch a lot of ghost hunting shows. For the most part, they’re dumb. I have a soft spot in my heart for A&E’s late Paranormal State, in which a truly likable guy leads his group of college friends in an effort to help those plagued by the paranormal. Several episodes of Paranormal State feature a frail old woman named Lorraine Warren. Lorraine is a clairvoyant and, more often than not, is the first to point out that people’s houses are packed to the brim with bonafide demons.

The Conjuring tells the story of one of Lorraine and her husband Ed’s most famous terrifying investigations. The pair responds to the pleadings of a mother frightened for the lives of her family. The paranormal cowboys arrive on scene to find the house haunted as hell. It is a truly frightening film.

Watch for the subtle nods to The Amityville Horror, based on the Warrens’ most famous case. I look at this movie as something of a prequel.

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