Every year we marathon horror films during the month of October, with one big push the last week where every night without fail we watch a scary movie. I say we in the broadest sense possible. While the tradition started when Twincess and I were living in Los Angeles, it has grown and evolved to all who care to join. Many of the sisters Funkowitz have joined at various points, friends can come and go as they please. But perhaps most important of all, is the addition of RC as my consistent and most wide eyed companion on my voyage through the dark side.
He started showing interest last year, but this year throughout October he was the one asking for more and more. His insatiable love of monsters and the strange has only fueled his desire to learn more about this endless well that is horror cinema. And while I obviously couldn't share the entirety of my favorites with the young lad, his experience perfectly demonstrates what I love so much about film. That film as an art form or media style is something that brings people together, it's something that can cause discussion and bond people over similar experiences. Like an old family recipe there are films that are passed down through generations. My dad showed me Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein when I was about 10 years old, I immediately loved it and it was something we have shared since. I showed RC the film this year and it was amazing to see just how much he fell in love with it. He even requested we watch it again immediately following the film. An amazing experience to experience the same feeling my dad must've felt when he showed me the film, and we owe it all to cinema.
As for scary movies in general? Well to hear ore of my thoughts be sure to listen to the PORTEcast in which we talk about a few of our favorites as well as my thoughts on scary movies in general. The short version? Being scared is a good thing, and something that we shouldn't try and protect our children from.
So without further ado here are some of the highlights from this years marathon.
Beetlejuice - started with this one this year and RC fell in love with this too. Watching this film amazes me just how weird and dark and fucking brilliant Burton could be. This is such a unique story inhabited by characters you hate and love and goddamn Keaton is impeccable.
Sleepy Hollow - the start of Burton doing strange adaptations? Well here we still have his mean streak throughout as I challenge you to find a film with more decapitations. Beautiful looking film thanks to Lubezki and maybe the last time we've seen Burton show off his true talent.
Drag Me To Hell - Raimi going back to his roots. This is less gory and more gross, don't worry there's plenty of blood but plenty of cat sacrifice and other fluids too
Trick R Treat - wonderfully charming passion project from the writer of X-men. This film is in love with Halloween and explores the holiday and it's tropes. This is scary and fun and some nudity for good measure.
The American Scream - a documentary on three "haunters" and just how much love they out into decorating their homes for the holiday. The film is full of lovable weirdos and we see the toll it takes on their families as well. Not really scary but full of heart and you see just how much people love the holiday and how it brings people together.
Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein - just perfect. Shame on you if you haven't seen it
Witchin and Bitchin - have you heard of Alex De La Iglesias? Cause if you haven't go watch everything possible, if you have, this is his newest film. I imagine then that you've stopped reading and gone to find this film. This man bleeds out exuberance on the screen as violence and humor and heart spill all over the screen. He perfectly blends insanity with great filmmaking. He inhabits a strange world and he invites you to join him on a journey through his psyche . Oh yah this film is about witches... And silver Jesus.
The Exorcist - do I really need to say anything?
Halloween - Carpenter is such a badass, this film has so much inventiveness and cinematic flourishes. So much of what we see now is because of this movie. Also casual nudity is missed.
Re-animator - campy perfection. No one is making films like this anymore. I love how over the top this film is, equal parts hilarious and grotesque, rising up in my favorites. Also, boobs.
The Shining - the closer...always.
One last thought - so what did you watch this year? Oh yah this little movie made an appearance too.