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The Female Perspective: Horrific Halloween Entertainment

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


First off I want to say this post will be less about feminism and more about the fun of the month of October and all the movies you can watch and scare yourself silly (or laugh yourself silly). I need something fun to write and hopefully you need something fun to read that has nothing to do with movements or politics or any of the current nonsense in the world. Maybe that’s burying my head in the sand, but I’ll bury it for the hour or so it takes to write this up and then continue to slog through all the insanity being spouted in the media.

That being said, let’s talk Halloween movies, do you have a favorite that you watch every October? Are you looking for a few new offerings to add to your already stellar collection of frightening fare? Here are some of my favorites! They may not be terrifying, but they are a lot of fun.

Tried and True Tales

Trick ‘r’ Treat

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One of my favorite go-to Halloween movies has to be Trick ‘r’ Treat. If you haven’t seen this treasure you should totally watch it this year. It’s a 2007 American-Canadian horror anthology film written and directed by Michael Dougherty. The stories are all a bit creepy, a big icky, and very clever. They all take place in a small fictional town in Ohio.

One common element that ties the stories together is the presence of Sam, a mysterious child trick-or-treater wearing shabby orange pajamas with a burlap sack over his head, that makes an appearance in all the stories whenever someone breaks Halloween traditions. – Wikipedia 

Trick ‘r’ Treat has gotten quite the cult following and finally, in 2013, it was announced that a sequel would one day come our way, fingers crossed!

The Descent

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A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators. ~IMDB

This 2005 horror gem scared the pants off of me when I first saw it. I have a thing about being underground, and trapped, and squeezed into teeny, tiny spaces while being hunted by blood thirsty creatures that can see in the dark.  So yeah, this one hit my buttons in a lot of ways. It took me awhile to re-watch it, but when I did I wasn’t quite as scared, but totally enamored of this all-girl tale of horror underneath the ground. Great visuals, nice jump scares and plenty of tension make this a must watch Halloween flick!

Poltergeist

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No, I am not talking about the remake. When I listen Poltergeist on a list of movies, I am talking about the 1982 original and I am also making sure that all the lights are on and it’s totally daylight. Ever since I saw this as a kid, it has scared me to death. As a 37 year old woman, it still scares the holy bejesus out of me. I realize the effects are outdated but damn if when that guy’s face peels off if I don’t get totally grossed out. Something about being attacked in your own home by demonic forces really terrifies me. It also doesn’t help that there’s an attack clown, I am 90% certain that the reason I hate clowns is because of this movie.

There’s one more thing. A terrible presence is in there with her. So much rage, so much betrayal, I’ve never sensed anything like it. I don’t know what hovers over this house, but it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world and take your daughter away from you. It keeps Carol Anne very close to it and away from the spectral light. It LIES to her, it tells her things only a child could understand. It has been using her to restrain the others. To her, it simply IS another child. To us, it is the BEAST. Now, let’s go get your daughter. ~IMDB

Yeah, I get all chills and fear when I think, talk or read about this movie. It’s the one that really triggers my childhood fears, but that’s also what makes it so amazing, all these years later.

*Also, looking up a picture to put in this blog scared the holy Hell out of me. I hate this movie, why am I talking about it?

Are You In The Mood For Something Italian?

Now onto something completely different! A few years ago my friend introduced me to the Italian genre of horror films. These movies aren’t so much scary as they are amazingly funny, goofy, and just plain gross. Not to mention they are completely the antithesis of my feminist ideals, but I can suspend that a bit to watch a movie.

Zombie 

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Directed by Lucio Fulci, Zombie was one of the first Italian horror films I ever saw, and I have to say, it is probably my favorite. 

A zombie is found aboard a boat off the New York coast which belongs to do a famous scientist. Peter West, a journalist, travels to the Antilles with Ann, the daughter of the scientist. On the way, they meet with with Brian, a ethnologist, and Susan. When they arrive at Matul Island, they find Dr. Menard, and discover a terrifying disease which is turning the islanders into horrifying zombies which devour human flesh and seem indestructible. ~IMDB

That’s it, a nice, simple premise but what’s amazing about pretty much all of the Italian films I’ve seen, the dubbing, the dialogue, all of it is totally ridiculous. The blood saturation is high and gruesome and some of the kills are just plain disgusting, but it’s worth a viewing if you are into horror films and just how ridiculous they can be.

Cat In The Brain

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I’ve only seen this gem once so my memory of it is a big foggy, but know that the first 5 minutes are probably the best thing ever, so ridiculous you just have to see it because mere words cannot do it justice.

Also directed by Fulci, this one stars our beloved director, Fulci himself, wondering if his work is finally making him mad and tries to get help, but unfortunately, things don’t quite work out for him like he hopes …

Dr. Lucio Fulci is a director of splatterfilms. He stages a gestapo-orgy like it was any other movie scene. But he is influenced by these things more than he likes. He is hunted by bloody visions day by day. Is Fulci still normal? He asks a psychatrist. He doesn’t know that the psychatrist has much bigger problems than Fulci himself. The psychatrist uses Fulci’s visions for brutal murders in real life. ~IMDB

The film is mostly incoherent madness, with a few laughs, a lot of blood and a whole lot of ridiculousness thrown in. It’s a good watch when you need something lighter than the usual Halloween fare, or even as the backdrop of a Halloween party. Its a great bit of cinematic, nonsense fun.

And Now, For Something Really Gross…

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ICK.

For my last film, I’m going to a dark place people, a creepy place, a place that I personally will probably never go again (but never say never). That’s right, I am talking about The Human Centipede. One of the most horrifying movies I think I’ve ever seen. Truly I watched it with a blanket over my face while I yelled at the TV. I felt disturbed by it for days afterward and even though I have since watched the 2, yes TWO, sequels (which were horrible, the 3rd one was unwatchable) I have to say that the original is still the best.

The first Human Centipede is a horror, torture film interspersed with a suspense that I normally love.

A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a trio of tourists in order to reassemble them into a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others’ rectums. ~IMDB

It’s a pretty simple (and gruesome) idea, but the mad doctor, played to perfection by Dieter Laser, really makes this movie what it is. His madness is nearly unmatched and the scene where he describes his medical plan to his unsuspecting victims is probably the most terrifying part of the movie, not the grossest, that comes later, but it is truly horrific as he lays out his plan with total scientific glee.

There you have it folks, a few (but defiantly not all) of my favorite Halloween films, what are yours? Sound off in the comments and maybe I’ll talk about them in an upcoming blog!