I bet you can guess the answer to the rhetorical question that is this post’s title. Yes, I’m watching horror movies. At least one a day, to be exact, as I’ve done every October since I was 15.
In the past I’ve tried to structure these viewings into some kind of pattern- chronologically, by sub genre, only things I’d never seen before, etc. But this year, I’m watching what I’m feeling that night. My favorite month came rushing upon me out of nowhere. After one heck of a busy September, I was suddenly stuck without a plan of attack! How was I going to make this month sufficiently spooooooky?? Pure, unadulterated randomness. For a hyper-organized, over planning girl like me, that concept in itself is its own kind of terror!
October 1st- Scream. Not because its my favorite or the scariest. Simply because I wanted to turn off my brain after a long day and just feel a little scared. I forgot how much this movie was part of my childhood, how 90s-tastic it was in all the right ways. I ALSO forgot that it’s brilliantly self-referential! This whole series is layered, complex, and aware of its own genre trappings in a way that I’d never seen before. You can get an entire horror movie education if you simply watch every film they reference. And Stu, you horror loving goofball you, let’s be real life friends.
October 2nd- Children of the Corn. This was a silly choice. But I had the morning off of work so I couldn’t think of a good scary movie to watch before I even had my coffee. This light weight, campy flick was a nice way to wake up, but good luck taking Linda Hamilton seriously in a highly feminine role. Still if you’ve ever wondered why corn fields persist as a horror trope to this day, you can find your answer here.
October 3rd- Gravity. Maybe you wouldn’t deem this a horror film, but the vast hopelessness of outer space scares the bejesus out of me. Also, one of the strongest reasons I have for enjoying horror movies is learning how to cope and be grateful. So a good survival story really enlightens the soul, and it’s really hard to complain about trivial problems after watching people go through truly heinous things.
October 4th- American Mary. I can’t remember when I first heard about this indie flick, but I somehow felt I needed to watch it. I’m glad I did, because this movie is ridiculously awesome. It’s twisted and clever and impeccably well acted. OK maybe not everyone acted well, but Katherine Isabelle is great and oh-so-sexy. It’s on Netflix, and I think it deserves your attention because there is nothing else like it.
October 5th- The Craft. My boyfriend hadn’t seen this! To me, this was a travesty. One of my all time nostalgic favorites that I can essentially recite by memory, this is the horror equivalent of Mean Girls- kinda sexy, kinda catty, but thoroughly and unrelentingly entertaining.
October 6th- Rosemary’s Baby. Again, it was revealed that an essential viewing experience was missing from my boyfriend’s repertoire, so this had to happen. If you are unfamiliar with Polanski, start here. His grasp of dark human psychology and ability turn any space into a claustrophobic nightmare are only some of his many talents. It’d be nice if he were allowed to work in the US still, but I’m not about to spark the debate on that whole debacle.
October 7th- Bay of Blood. This was my turn to be schooled. A fellow film scholar discovered my lack of Mario Bava viewing and suggested this be remedied via the visually stunning A Bay of Blood. There’s something stilted about Italian Horror films, something so painfully melodramatic, that can stilt one’s appreciation. But I urge everyone to look past the acting and bad dubbing and just admire the shot compositions and creative deaths. A clear cultish experience.
So here’s the best part, readers!!! Because this is totally random, if you suggest a film, I’ll watch it! Open to any recommendations!