Wow! Blogtober has flown by faster than a witch on her broom! That's right, Halloween is in only two days. If you're like me (in your mid-20s with no kids and no parties to go to Wednesday night), you're probably planning to sit at home with your significant other, a group of friends, or by yourself and watch some movies.
I'm here to help! In today's blog post, I will give you a few Halloween movie recommendations for adults and for kids. The list will include a short write up on the plot, so you know what you're getting yourself into when you watch. Let's get in to this blog post:
ADULT's HALLOWEEN MOVIE PLAYLIST
The movies on this playlist are recommended for adults or mature teens. They contain more violence, gore, or scary concepts that are best understood by older people.
THE OTHERS (2001)
SWEENY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF Fleet Street (2007)
THE BABADOOK (2014)
THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)
Cole admits to Malcolm that he sees dead people, and Malcolm begins to try to better understand Cole and what's going on. This film has a surprise twist at the end, much like that in The Others, so I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you're looking for a film that isn't an outright horror, but has elements of one.
CHILDREN'S HALLOWEEN MOVIE PLAYLIST
These movies are great options for kids, or for families looking to have a bit of spooky fun this Halloween after trick-or-treating!
HOCUS POCUS (1993)
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)
THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1991)
THE HALLOWEEN TOWN SERIES (1998-2006)
Well, that's all for both of my movie playlists. I hope you will check out these movies this Wednesday when you are looking for something to do between trick-or-treater visits.
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Since today's movie is all about Halloween, I will use pumpkins as my rating scale at the end. I wanted to try to watch something that was on Netflix that I know people can access.
So, grab a snack, sit back, and read more about this collection:
The plot to "Tales of Halloween" is difficult to explain. That's because Tales of Halloween is actually a collection of ten short films, probably by different writers and directors, all centering around the theme of Halloween.
I will give a short synopsis of each of the shorts:
1. SWEET TOOTH: A boy comes home with his trick-or-treat treasures to be watched by his babysitter and her boyfriend while his parents go out for a party. The babysitter's boyfriend tells him the story of a child who would go trick-or-treating only to have his parents take his candy after saying that it was bad for him and would make him fat and lazy. The boy comes down stairs to find his parents indulging in his candy. He kills them and eats the candy from their stomach. Now, kids are required to leave candy for "Sweet Tooth" or be killed by him. The night turns ugly when the babysitter and her boyfriend don't heed their own warnings.
2. THE NIGHT BILLY RAISED HELL: A boy's big sister and her boyfriend trick a boy into egging the home of a strange neighbor. The neighbor catches Billy (the boy), dressed in a devil costume, and takes him inside. You then see the neighbor leave with the devil and commit some funny and some rather serious crimes, including murder. Billy is in a lot of trouble when the cops come to find him, but was it really Billy doing those awful things?
3. TRICK: Adult friends are hanging out, watching scary movies, and waiting for trick-or-treaters. When one comes to the door, one of the friends goes to greet them with candy. The friends are shocked to see the trick-or-treater stabbing their friend and they soon find themselves overcome with seemingly insane children. But, is there a reason for their rage?
4. THE WEAK AND THE WICKED: A group of bullies is confronted by a teen in a devil costume. He passes them a photo of a scary beast and says that anyone who is weak wears the costume and calls on the beast for help will have their problems taken care of. What could these bullies have done to warrant murder?
5. GRIM GRINNING GHOST: An adult woman leaves her mom's Halloween party following the telling of a local ghost story. Her car then breaks down and she has to walk the rest of the way home. She feels something following her and runs home. Feeling as though she is safe, she snuggles on her couch. But what's that scary feeling that's made her dog leave the room?
6. DING DONG: A woman is distraught because she has no children. Her husband dresses their dog as Gretel, but it makes her turn into a red demon with creepy nails. The couple performs a little play for the trick-or-treaters featuring her as the witch and her husband as Hansel. A little boy dressed as Hansel visits the house and the husband tells the boy to leave so his wife won't bring him inside. But when they return inside the home, the husband shares a secret that causes his wife to lose it. What happened?
7. THIS MEANS WAR: This whimsical short features two neighbors competing to put up the best Halloween decorations on the block. One neighbor has carefully set up the same display every year for a decade while another is new in town and is trying to outshine the old timer. But, what causes the battle to end in murder?
8. FRIDAY THE 31ST: A serial killer is chasing a girl dressed as Dorothy. She runs to his shack and finds the remains of a friend. He eventually chases her down and kills her, but a small alien is dropped off via UFO and asks the killer for candy. When he refuses and steps on the alien, the alien inhabits Dorothy's body and they each attack one another continually until they both die. The alien then leaves with the killer's head.
9. THE RANSOM OF RUSTY REX: Two men see a wealthy local letting his son out to trick-or-treat. The capture the masked child and call him up for a reward. He tells them they've made a mistake and the men find out that the boy isn't a boy, but a monster who has now latched on to them. What will the men do to get their lives back?
10. BAD SEED: A man is carving up a pumpkin before a Halloween party. But his wife comes down to find that the Jack-o-Lantern he just created has turned into a killer monster. How many will the pumpkin kill before he's stop...or if he is stopped?
ACTING | 3/5
These are lower-budget shorts, so obviously there are no Oscar-nominated actresses or actors in the films, but Sam Witwer, best known for his TV series Being Human, was in the second-to-last short.
I think that some of these did feature pretty good actors and actresses. I think "This Means War," "Sweet Tooth," and "The Weak and the Wicked" were probably the best from an acting standpoint, but all the others weren't very good, if I'm being honest.
THE STORYLINES | 2/5
There was only really one short that I thought had a somewhat interesting storyline, and that was the first one, "Sweet Tooth." It was a creature story and it was rather entertaining. The story did captivate me. Most of the others were kind of lame or just didn't make sense at all. I would definitely have to rate this kind of low on the storyline rating.
SCARINESS | 1/5
If I thought I could give this a zero, I would. None of these were truly terrifying, which is something that is hard to come by with shorts and low-budget horror movies. I would say that these movies were more corny. If that is your cup of tea, you will like most of these. The corniest ones were "Friday the 31st" and "Bad Seed," but they all had a bit of corniness to them.
If you are one who likes to be spooked when you watch a Halloween movie, this isn't the movie series for you.
SPECIAL EFFECTS | 3/5
I do want to say that for low-budget horror shorts, the special effects were probably as good as they could be. However, when your short is put into a short film collection and placed on Netflix, you're opening yourself up to a bit more of criticism. The special effect makeup was really good in all situations, it was just the blood and the effect that makes it look like someone is bleeding that was just really sub-par and corny.
Mathematically, this rating results in a 2.25 rating, so we will round it down to a 2/5. I really think that is pretty fair. Some of the stories were great, which is unfortunate for them. They are kind of lumped in with lame stories or terrible acting and it keeps others from watching them. I suggest watching "Sweet Tooth," "The Night Billy Raised Hell," "The Weak and the Wicked," "This Means War" and "The Ransom of Rusty Rex." They are all still kind of corny no matter how you spin them, but they are the best in the collection.
Not many students like school, but the opposite is true for Lucas Ward, a dedicated student who would do just about anything for the perfect grade. All bets are off in this thriller staring Dylan Sprouse. The now grown Disney star is far from his young and free-spirited character on the Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
Since Dismissed is all about school, I'll be using apples as my rating image this go-round. Keep reading for the plot and my opinion on different aspects of the movie.
Mr. Butler had it all. A beautiful wife, a baby, and the job of his dreams: an English teacher at a local high school. We soon learn, however, that Mr. Butler's passion for teaching isn't enough to pay the bills. His wife, Rachel, offers to go back to work, but Mr. Butler reveals that he is likely to get a professorship at a college in the area, which would pay him enough to take care of his family.
The next day, Mr. Butler walks into class early to be greeted by Lucas, a transfer student. Lucas had gone ahead and completed all of the assignments he had missed before transferring. He also gives Mr. Butler a red glass apple. During class, Lucas answers questions at a college-level, impressing Mr. Butler, who is normally surrounded by less-than-interested high schoolers.
Everything seemed to be going great between the two until Lucas turned in a dissertation-like English paper, which resulted in his first-ever B+. That's when things turn sinister. Will kidnappings, a few murders, and blackmail get Lucas the grade he wants? Watch the movie to find out!
ACTING | 5/5
I really enjoyed the acting in this movie. I think it was because I never really saw Dylan Sprouse in anything other than his Disney show with his brother. He was a lot more mature and actually played the crazy card pretty well. He reminded me a lot of Jake Gyllenhall's character in Nightcrawler. You really believed that Lucas was an insane kid with a perfection complex.
I also thought that the actor who played Mr. Butler (Kent Osborne) was really good. He was very convincing as the passionate teacher who loved his family and didn't want to back down to a crazy student.
THE STORYLINE | 4.5/5
I always thought that making a creepy movie about some kid who wanted better grades was a little dumb, which is why I deducted half a point. After I investigated different mental illnesses further, however, I realized that a complex like Lucas had is very real and people could actually get violent if they don't get what they think they deserve.
I was worried going into this movie that it would be kind of goofy, but the storyline is very believable once you educate yourself on how mental illnesses work.
SCARINESS | 4.5/5
I think I am more spooked by paranormal movies because they are largely about things that can't generally be touched. However, I would be lying if I said that Lucas didn't give me the heebie-jeebies. Just the way he can switch his personality on and off. I'm pretty sure he is a psychopath based on my research.
Now that I think about it, it is possible that people we can see are far scarier than things we can't see...
SPECIAL EFFECTS | 5/5
When it comes to movies like this that are less paranormal and more about a psycho killing people, I look at the special effects surrounding bodies and things like that. There isn't so much CGI in these films as there are special effect makeup looks.
I thought that the special effects in the movie were the best they could be. When you see one of Lucas' victims, you really believe that they kicked the bucket.
Mathematically, this rating would result in a 4.75/5 score, but I'm just going to give it five apples! I think that the entire movie is really well done and you kind of feel as though you know the characters. I would definitely recommend checking this out! You can find it on Netflix!
I've always been a huge fan of scary movies, so I was surprised when my husband, who actually hates scary movies, suggested that we go see this all-new horror film.
Since today's post is about The Nun, I am going to use scary nun heads to rate the movie at the end of the post!:
The plot of this film follows Sister Irene and Father Anthony who have been sent to Carta Monastery in Romania following the suicide of a nun to see whether or not the monastery could still be considered holy ground. Frenchie, a farmer who lives in the area, was the one who found the dead nun, who was hanging from a window of the monastery.
Creepy things start to happen all around the trio. Father Anthony is haunted by his past, when a young boy died after he exorcised him. Sister Irene, who is a new initiate into the nunnery who has yet to take her yows, has her faith tested. And Frenchie, an unsuspecting third party to the trip, is taken aback by the shadows following him in the woods.
The only question is: will they make it out alive to report back to the Vatican?
ACTING | 4.5/5
The actors in the movie were all very good, in my opinion. Sometimes you risk watching actors who have corny reactions or terrible acting skills, especially in the horror genre. But, each of the actors and actresses in the film adequately represented the natural fear someone in their situation would have.
THE STORYLINE | 5/5
Overall, I thought the storyline made a lot of sense. In some horror movies, leaps are made to create a character's backstory or to create the scary creature or ghost. However, in this one, it made sense. The demon was the result of a pagan ritual that the previous owner of the castle had done. Then, the religious people stormed the castle and took it for the church, which turned it into a monastery.
An earthquake had reopened the seal to the underworld, which was previously opened by the pagan ritual. It was closed by the ancient artifact that held drops of Jesus' blood. The backstories of the father, sister, and Frenchie were all great, as well!
SCARINESS | 3/5
Admittedly, I don't get scared very easily when watching scary movies. There were a few jump scares that got me, but nothing that truly horrified me. However, this will change from person to person. If you are easily spooked by demons and phobias like being buried alive, this movie will be scarier to you than it was to me!
SPECIAL EFFECTS | 5/5
Special effects are a must with any horror movie. I thought that the special effects, CGI, and just everything that they had to do with computer animation was fantastic. There is one part of the movie where it looks as though the hallway has turned into a wind tunnel. This was effectively communicated through animation as well as the ominous view of crosses turning upside down simultaneously.
After I took all of these into consideration, I think I would have to give this film:
As I said, it scored low in the "scariness" category for me, but I still think it is worth a watch this fall. If you can't catch it in theaters, you can surely rent it online or at Redbox when it becomes available!
Photo Credit: Dread Central
I've always been a fan or the horror and thriller genres, as you will quickly learn if you become a regular on this page of my blog.
One series I really enjoyed is the Purge Series. But, when I saw the First Purge, which hit theaters in my area only about a month ago, I was kind of taken aback by a few things, so I figured I'd share my opinion of the movie with you. So first, if you haven't seen the movie, I suggest you watch the trailer for it, so I'll leave it linked below.
The First Purge follows mainly Isaiah and his sister, an outspoken activist very much against the Purge, who must get through the night without dying.
The people who live on Staten Island are encouraged to take part in an experiment called the Purge or stay on the island. The experiment was the brainchild of a psychologist who said that studies show that releasing anger can help reduce crime. Those who stay on the island are promised a cash reward, and the rewards keep coming if they choose to partake in the night.
Isaiah starts to sell drugs for an old friend who once had a romantic relationship with his sister. She finds out and of course is angry. It turns out, Isaiah just wanted to help pay the bills. So, he decides to sign up for the Purge to release his anger and to get some money from the government.
As the Purge commences, Isaiah and his sister find themselves being chased by an insane drug addict, groped by a man in a sewer, and all kinds of horrifying things.
That's the main plot of the movie. I suggest if you haven't watched it and are going to watch it, you stop reading until you see the film, because the next part will go into more detail about the movie, and spoilers will be included.
Photo Credit: The Verge
SPOILING THE PLOT
Basically, the Purge was just meant to be an experiment to see if people would participate in such a night. However, when one of the spokespeople who works closely with the New Founding Fathers, decides to take matters into his own hands when people don't seem to be participating.
Angry when he sees drone footage of people partying in the streets during the experiment, the man calls in mercenaries, KKK members, and other fiendish groups to incite violence. During one scene, you see members of the KKK going into Isaiah's church. They kill almost everyone inside. The body count continues to rise, and the spokesperson has the inventor of the Purge killed for fear she will tell media it was all rigged.
Eventually, the groups make their way to Isaiah's apartment, where he, his sister, and two families from the church are hiding. Luckily, the drug dealer and former flame of Isaiah's sister comes to the rescue. However, we know the story doesn't have a happy ending, as the Purge continues on for a number of years following.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM WATCHING THE FIRST PURGE
The first indication of this was the use of actual footage from riots and protests from recent years. At the beginning of the film, it's almost like you're actually watching a TV interview, as an actor is seen interviewing the creator of the Purge and the spokesperson for the New Founding Fathers about the experiment.
You also see the manipulation of people by using money. Sure, this has been a way to have people participate in different experiments before, but it just seemed so real, especially because many of the participants were from poorer communities in Staten Island.
The use of the KKK and other fiendish groups that have been garnering news coverage as of late was also revealing. The fact that they went into a black church further heightens concern around the issue of race, especially since the shooting at a black church in South Carolina that led to the deaths of several people who had just gathered there for bible study, as they did in this film.
All in all, I think that this last Purge was a sort of political piece. It was an eye-opening experience that showed that the current state of the USA could lead to something like this. I want to know what you think about the Purge. Vote in the poll below to share your opinion.
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