Halloween Movie Ratings

For the spooky month I will be doing short reviews of horror and thriller movies to get us all in the Halloween spirit! All reviews and ratings are subject to the writers opinions, especially the scare rating as the author is a scaredy-cat.

Day 11: Shutter Island (2010)

This film will screw with your brain forever, the first time I watched this film I was 16 and it has resonated with me for 5 years. After the film ends you are stuck in the mindset of questioning the film and your own sanity. Leo and Mark create complex characters whose minds you try, and mostly do not succeed, to get into the mind of. The films story line is complex with so many twists and turns that your brain is tangled in knots that you cannot untangle. The film is set on an island which is continually plagued by storms, having you creeped out and on the edge of your seat. This is one of the best thrillers (no Leo bias happening here at all) so even if thrillers are not your thing but good films are you shuld watch this film. 

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Day 10: The Meg (2018)

I would not call this film a traditional horror or thriller, but I did jump at one point in it so it counts and for those who may have a fear of sharks I can see this movie being petrifying. The idea of this ancient mega shark sitting below where anyone can see is a prospect that may not be scientifically accurate but with so much of the oceans remaining unexplored the prospect in a film isn’t so far-fetched. The effects of the film are of such a great quality that it felt very believable, which is probably why despite the fact that 5 second earlier I said the shark is going to get him I still jumped and screamed. The acting was great, it was light-hearted as well as serious, keeping you engaged in the characters. This is one thing I hate about traditional horror films because for there to be real fear I think the characters need to be relatable and lovable so your fear for their life is heightened, this film does this well. 

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Day 9: Coraline (2009)

Everyone that is going to come at me right now about how this is a children’s movie and isn’t a horror can just turn around and walk away because you are absolutely wrong! This film is utterly terrifying for a children’s film. Any film that sews buttons onto people’s eyes is classified as a horror movie, full stop, end of discussion. In saying that though the film does a miraculous job of being creepy and maintaining the elements of a kids movie. The film captures that desire of a child to have the ideal world that you can escape to, but the film shows that this desire can have dire consequences. From the same director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick has an eye for quality creepy animation. The film is a lesson for children that sometimes real life is a lot better than what you think it is, and a lesson to adults that we may need some therapy to get over this film. 



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Day 8: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) 

This was probably my first ever horror movie as a teen and it scared the living daylights out of me back then. I remember my best friends videoing me watching it and capturing my screams, I also remember having trouble getting to sleep that night petrified Freddie was coming for me. I was also in my twilight obsessed days and seeing ‘Emmett’s’ horrifying end was just about enough for a twelve-year-old girl. Now nearly a decade on Freddie is still terrifying. It’s not a film where you can yell at the stupid teenagers for their decisions that lead them straight to the killer, like going to a cabin out in the woods or not running away, you literally have to sleep to live! That is what has made it possible for Freddie to go from the classic films to this remake and remain terrifying, you realise you would also fall into his hands. The effects are all around pretty well done, and the acting suits the script and situation. For a remake it is not so bad, and is just the thing if you are trying to pull an all nighter. 

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Day 7: Carrie (1976) 

A classic horror tale, coming from the horror king himself Stephen King. The tale is a reminder of how cruel teenagers can be, and a warning of the repucusions your actions may have, such as the bully getting their revenge with a killer prom. If you have not experienced this film yet it is a great start to King’s stories for those just wanting to dip their toe in the water and for a 70’s film the effects are great. The pigs blood and firey prom can be a bit of a turn off, and when I first watched the film made me worry for my safety at my formal. All the important film techniques are covered, but I have one major criticism – the unnecessary nudity for the first scene which I personally believe comes from the inate sexism in the 70’s. I also recommend watching this one to compare to the remake from 2013. 

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Day 6: Get Out (2017) 

This is a ‘woke ass’ film and it was not what I expected, but was still amazing and slightly terrifying. The film is one that prompts discussion in families and friendship groups, and makes one think about the inadvertent racism that exists in some communities. My biggest word of advise with these movie is to throw away all expectations that you gain from the trailer and go in with a fresh mind or you may be highly confused due to your preconceived ideas. If you are a Bradley Whitford fan you will feel emotionally torn due to his great acting skills convincing you he is, mind the language, the worlds biggest dick. The lighting, acting, writing, directing, sound effects, just every film technique, come together to form a strong film with an engaging storyline that you do not want to drag your eyes away from. No spoilers, but the ending will have you feeling all kinds of emotions. 

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Day 5: The Roommate(2011)

It’s the cast of half the shows I watched as a preteen (gossip girl, the vampire diaries and hell cats) come together for a slightly disappointing film. The story line is engaging and you like the main protagonist, and the motivations of the antagonist are believable, but these do not save the film from being a bit bland. The acting and film techniques are great, but the script and music let down the film where there is massive thriller potential. (Spoiler ahead as a warning) If you love animals, especially cute defenceless ones there is one scene that will have you mad at the film for the reason of why it was necessary. This moment alone sells the antagonist as basically a basket case. But then the film delves into the ideas of proper mental health issues as opposed to sheer insanity. An aspect the film could have delved into more. The biggest thing this film teaches me is that self defence course should be a must at on campus living!

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Day 4: A Quiet Place (2018)

John Krasinski brings to life a twisted and new horror theme in a quiet place, a film where silence is used to bring the story to life. The film is well written, produced and directed, and the acting for such complex parts is impeccable – although what else would you expect of Emily Blunt. The monsters are incredibly terrifying, but what is more terrifying is the idea that Emily and John could not keep their pants on and insisted on having another child in a world where being quiet meaning life or death. Despite this major character flaw you grow very attached to the characters and want them to get through it, unlike some classic teen scream horrors. The film has a clear thought process to this apocalyptic world, with the characters having thoughts and feelings beyond the stereotypical ones of the genre. Krasinski puts forth this idea of women heroes in a genre where women are traditionally seen as helpless, whether this is because of his feminist ideals or his way of saying his wife is a badass is unclear. Krasinski had already established himself as an incredible actor, but now has added director to the list of things he is amazing at, it will be interesting to see what he does next. 

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Day 3: Legion (2010)

The end of the world, angels and the messiah all come together to make one terrifying apocalypse sitiuation movie. The film meshes together some of the most frightening horror aspects like the sweet old lady who is actually crazy and the psychotic child, as well as your classic dumb person goes running toward the danger and gets other people killed. The film does not fit into the traditional horror film category with bullets, blowing up cars and fight scenes giving off an action movie vibe. Most of the main characters in the film are recognisable from other roles in movie and television, making you root for their survival more than usual. Although an enjoyable film the end asks questions and leaves them unanswered that seem redundant to the plot of the story. Would watch again, but am going to need Paul Bettany to not be so classicly cryptic and just tell me what his cryptic blow to the ‘bad guy’ means. 

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Day 2: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

The cabin in the woods is hilarious! It is a movie that turns on its head the whole idea of scary films about teenagers in a secluded cabin, just when you think you know what to expect it is all turned on its head. This is not the movie for you if you love Chris Hemsworth as big brave Thor or Jesse Williams as the smart doctor type (Greys Anatomy). This is 100% the movie to watch if you are a Joss Weddon fan and use to expecting the unexpected. It is the horror movie to watch for a laugh, and to be completely questioning what on earth was the writers inspiration for such a bizzare story. The film has its typical horror clichés such as the blonde, the stoner, the jock and the nerd tropes, but due to its bizarre story telling and exploiting of these clichés you won’t find yourself scared to fall asleep. I know that sequels are overdone, and not a cliché those such as Joss Weddon would want to surcome to, but I would love to see more of this! 

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Day 1: Saw (2004)

The original saw movie is perfect for those like me who love the gruesome but can’t do the overly scary. With few jump scares the scary side is more the psychology of the psychotic master mind Jigsaw. It sounds a little crazy but you can not help but be in wonder of the genius that goes into his plans of torture. If blood is a sore spot though I would not be watching this film, it is not for those with a weak stomach. The first time I watched this I was 12 years old, now watching it again at 21 the film stands the test of time unlike others in the genre who are let down by poor CGI and low budgets. James Wan makes the halloween master piece for his directorial debut, and the film has been so popular it has been followed by so many sequels they haven’t stopped with them yet!

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Tyler Bridges