For the last few years, I’ve tried, successfully, to watch 31 horror films over the month of October. For past years, I’ve done a mix of films I’ve seen before and new films. This year though, I’ve decided to watch 31 films I’ve never seen before. I’ve picked from the streaming services I have and added in a few others from other sources to give me a bit of a buffer in case things go sideways and I need different films. Anyway, the first seven days of October are done and I thought I’d drop some mini reviews on the first seven films.
Film 1 – Boar (Shudder) – This Australian creature feature looks fun on paper but is a bit dull. The giant boar looks exactly like what it is, a giant animatronic boar that belongs on stage with Chuck E Cheese. It’s ridiculously bad in the best ways and is the films redeeming feature. Nothing else works here though and I can’t recommend. 2*
Film 2 – Hell House LLC (Shudder) – Found footage films are often misfires for me but I had heard good things about Hell House LLC so I gave it a go. Those good things were mostly true as this is a pretty effective found footage film with some great, creepy, imagery finding its way in to frames. The ending kind of sucks but everything up to that point mostly works. 3*
Film 3 – Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel (Shudder) – Found footage is not a sub-genre that lends itself well to franchising. I’m not saying it can’t but it tends to stretch believability and that’s the most needed aspect of these films. Hell House LLC II has an OK hook to return to the hotel from the first and while it doesn’t always work, many of the shots deliver on the creepy side. The lore they establish is intriguing and I kind of enjoyed it even though it is noticeably a step down. 3*
Film 4 – Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire (Shudder) – Sometimes you stretch your cool idea too far and it ruins everything, this is Hell House LLC III in a nutshell. They don’t have a good reason to return to the hotel this time and the continued story is stupid. It takes all the mystery out of the events and instead is just dumb. 2*
Film 5 – DOOM: Annihilation (VoD) – we knew this was going to be a shit show and it is but it’s also kind of a fun shit show. Everything is so awful that it is actually hysterical and I’m not surprised Bethesda and id disowned its existence. 2*
Film 6 – In the Tall Grass (Netflix) – Stephen King has a spotty record with film adaptations of his work but Netflix has done a pretty good job adapting his stuff over the last few years. In the Tall Grass is no exception. This isn’t particularly scary but it’s a solid time bending thriller in a terrifyingly simple setting. The cast is excellent. The visuals are top creepiness and the soundtrack is effective. Aside from a few minor quibbles, I loved it. 4*
Film 7 – The Perfection (Netflix) – This film is trash. Full stop. This is the modern version of a mid 90s “erotic” thriller like Poison Ivy. And by god I loved it. It’s not a good movie by any measure (although it’s competently made trash) but by god, it’s gloriously fun. 3*