31 Days of Horror – Week Two

8th October – The Shallows (2016)

So, I was going to make Sundays all about true classic horror, but when it came down to it I felt like watching something new and simple! Nancy is surfing at the Mexican beach which her (recently deceased) mother visited when she was pregnant with her. However, as the other surfers leave for the day, Nancy finds herself attacked by a Great White Shark and isolated on an outcrop of rocks only 200 yards from shore. I love sharks, so I do have mixed feelings about the many films that vilify them, but this was still a pretty decent flick.

9th October – The Mist (2007)

I’d forgotten how good this film is! After a particularly fierce storm, a disparate group become trapped in a local supermarket when a mysterious mist descends from the local military base. It soon becomes evident that it’s not the mist, but rather what’s hidden in the mist, that they need to be afraid of. It has a great cast (Toby Jones is particularly charming), lots of jumps and plenty of depictions of human nature at its worst. It’s topped off with a wonderfully bleak ending, which I really love!

10th October – Sightseers (2012)

I’ve been meaning to watch this film for years, but unfortunately when I finally got around it, it turned out to not really be my cup of tea. Downtrodden Tina sets off on a caravanning holiday around Yorkshire with her new boyfriend Chris, but things soon turn sour as it turns out Chris has some unorthodox approaches to conflict resolution with strangers. I can’t quite put my finger on why I disliked it, but I think it mainly boils down to finding the two main characters really unlikeable.

11th October – The Green Inferno (2013)

A gorefest from Eli Roth – wildly un-PC and pretty good fun. A University activist group head to the depths of the Amazon rainforest with the aim of stopping a corrupt logging company, accused of displacing and killing local tribespeople. Things soon go awry, and the students find themselves at the mercy of the very people they were trying to save. There’s a couple of likeable characters, and some good gory set pieces, but the plot itself is thin and the acting hit-and-miss. It’s a tribute to films like Cannibal Holocaust, and in that regard (low on quality plot and acting, high on shock value) it works.

12th October – Blair Witch (2016)

I was intrigued when I first heard about this sequel, seventeen years after the original Blair Witch Project. Heather’s brother has been looking for evidence of his sister, and is drawn back to the woods where she disappeared when he is sent new footage by a local. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this film. I was genuinely on edge and a little scared during the final scenes. I’m going to write a fuller post on this and the original film later in the week, so watch this space!

13th October – Friday the 13th (1980)

A group of teenage camp counsellors are preparing for the reopening of Camp Crystal Lake – a summer camp where, years before, a child drowned in the lake – when an unknown assailant starts to stalk and kill them one-by-one. This is one of the big three slasher franchises (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th) spawned in the late seventies to early eighties, and it’s probably my least favourite. However, it’s still a classic slasher flick and has inspired so many horror tropes down over the years, it’s worthy of recognition.

14th October – The Wicker Man (1973)

My absolute favourite horror film, so much so that it is the inspiration for the title of this blog. I know this film very well, but I’m always happy to re-watch! Wholesome and uptight Sergeant Howie travels to Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. What he discovers is an island devoted to the old pagan ways. As a devout Christian, he is appalled, but determined to stick around until he finds the truth…but the truth turns out to be worse than he could have imagined. This is a true classic, for good reason, and Christopher Lee is spectacular as the effervescent Lord Summerisle.

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