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My Week With Halloween Films in 2014 - Day 1

Date: Monday 27th October 2014
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My many years on Halloween have just been about watching whatever is on TV or something on my DVD shelf that I bought, but this time I decided to spend a week watching all the films I could on the run up to Halloween.

So here's the list of films that I watched including my thoughts on them:

House (1986)

House is a comedy horror film about a horror writer, Roger Cobb, who is trying to write about his experiences with the Vietnam War, instead of another horror book. He decides to stay at his late aunt's house, who is found hanging from the ceiling in the beginning of this film, to try and help him write the book. Through some flashbacks (which are done in a confusing way at times) his son disappeared from the house without a trace and his wife, an actress, leaves him. It also turns out that his aunt is more than a little bat-shit crazy and has a belief that the house is haunted. During Roger Cobb's stay in the house events start to happen, like random noises upstairs and the thing in the closet that only comes out at 12 midnight.

For a comedy horror, the film is fairly enjoyable with good performances from the actors and some pretty good effects from the monster makeup. The film does tend to lean more towards horror than comedy and does so fairly well.

Scariest moment: When Roger Cobb's girlfriend makes a surprise visit, the house turns her into a horrifying monster, causing Cobb to shoot her with the double barrelled shotgun.

Funniest moment: To convince himself that he isn't going crazy, Cobb orders lots of video cameras and SLR's and sets them up near the closet that the monster is in. Dressed in his Vietnam gear he decides to do a test run and leaps down the stairs and through the front doors of his house sliding on his knees, ending in a pose almost similar to the front cover of the Platoon film. The reaction from his neighbour is priceless!

House 2: The Second Story (1987)

House 2 is a stand-alone sequel to the first one in that it does not feature anyone from the first film nor does it have any references to it. In this film, Jesse, and his girlfriend Kate, moves into a mansion that has been a part of his family for generations. It appears that he was born there from the start of the film as a baby is given away to another couple before the baby-bearing couple get shot by a mysterious figure asking where his skull is. Jessie is joined by his friend Charlie, a complete idiot, and Charlie's girlfriend Lana who is trying to get his girlfriend signed up as the next Madonna. Jesse finds out about his great great grandfather who originally had a crystal skull but the whereabouts of the skull is unknown. They decide to exhume his great great grandfather's grave and find the skull there and then get attacked by the occupant of the grave, only for it to be revealed to them that the occupant isn't a mindless zombie – just that his great great grandfather has the ability to live a long life thanks to the powers of the crystal skull. Jesse and Charlie now have to make sure that the crystal skull doesn't get taken away by the forces of evil.

For a horror comedy sequel, this film is a strange one in that it's pretty much like The Neverending Story in terms of style and the cutesy bird and puppy/caterpillar pets Jesse and Charlie keep but it does have it's horror elements – you'll know what I mean when you see it. The creature effects are ok and it is acted fairly well – not too hammy.

Scariest moment: It's more of an ok moment but the closest it gets is the appearance of Slim Razor coming up through the dinner plate.

Funniest moment: Bill the electrician comes into help with the electrics and discovers an alternate dimension behind the chimney. He lets Jessie and Charlie know about this and swords in hand they head in, he comes in after them with his own sword. After the encounter Bill starts to pack up and leave but before he does, he hands them his card which reads: “Bill Towner - Electrician and Adventurer”.

Stranded (2013)

Stranded is a sci-fi horror film about a group of astronauts who get hit with a meteor storm that causes major damage to their lunar habitat. During the clean-up one of the team finds a meteor that looks like a spore. Upon further investigation by the doctor of the team, it is discovered that the spore has the ability to change shape. The female member of the crew gets infected by the spore, whilst helping the doctor and ends up giving birth to a shape-shifting alien that then tries to kill the rest of the crew. The team must then try to stop the alien from killing them and getting to earth.

There isn't much to say about this film, the quality looks like straight-to-video but the acting is ok. Oh and the star is Christian Slater, being....Christian Slater! I can't put in a scariest moment or funniest moment for this entry as there really wasn't one, at least House 2 tried to have a scary moment in it, this film, however, just didn't have that atmosphere or the psychological dread that The Thing had. Best avoided, unless you're really bored this Halloween.

Next: Day 2 - Hellraiser: Bloodline / Nazis at the Center of the Earth >>

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