Here you are, stuck at home on Halloween. It’s 2017 and you’re “adulting”, so you can’t get too drunk this particular evening. There are no kids knocking on your door, no Halloween costumes for you to procure last minute, so you’re at home. You’re possibly writing a blog or painting or something. It’s just a normal night. But wait! It’s Halloween! Take this opportunity to give in to the dark side and watch some movies.
Here’s a list of scary-ish movies I’ve watched this week to get into the spirit of things.
Ava’s Possessions (2015)
This one would classify as being on the bottom of the “scary” list. Ava’s Possessions is a spoof on The Exorcist, if you can compare it to one particular horror movie. It starts out with 20-something Ava just recovering from her recent demonic possession. Her lawyer gives her three options as a means to avoid being arrested after all the misdeeds she’s conducted during the month she was possessed. The best option would be to join a group called “Possession Anonymous” wherein the way to graduation comes in the form of taming your demon, or more specifically, to willingly remove a necklace, while you’re possessed, that the leader of the group puts on you for the sole purpose of bringing the beast back out again. And your fellow group mates get to watch. The story goes through the usual arcs: she confronts her past, doesn’t like what she sees, and tries to make amends, all while finding out her family is hiding secrets of their own. It’s a great flick for the faint of heart, for those of you who may enjoy the sight of a little blood, but don’t want to piss their pants, but still want to be able to say they watched a scary movie on Halloween. It’s more of a romp, with sexy twists and turns, and in the end all is forgiven… or is this the end?
Here’s a lighthearted adventure for the sympathetic among you. Delicatessen was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, so if you’re a fan of Amélie, you’re in luck. With his overly dramatic zooms and supernaturally speedy pans, his style canvasses the otherwise grisly story in a sense of comedy. This movie centers on a man (Dominique Pinon) who has just left the circus to take up residence in the apartment building of a killer butcher. “It happens at night on the stairs,” his love interest (Marie-Laure Dougnac) confides in him during a romantic moment shared over their mutual love of music. Unbeknownst to her, she drugged him into a deep sleep, on accident, because it’s that kind of movie. It’s funny! Of course, no one wants Louison to die, so there’s that element of surprise whenever her father, the butcher, offers up a pound of meat for his tenants’ monthly rations in the otherwise bleak and disturbing universe that Jeunet has devised.
The Voices (2014)
Ryan Reynolds stars in The Voices, a movie about an otherwise happy-go-lucky man who spends his days working at a shipping factory, then one night “accidentally” falls upon his crush whilst brandishing the blade he just used to hack through a dying deer he ran into while attempting to take her home. He hears voices: his dog and cat talk to him; they’re the caricature of the ol’ angel and devil characters peaking around his shoulders. Needless to say, this guy is deranged. He stops taking his meds and all hell breaks loose. Maybe it is supposed to be a funny movie, to those who are possibly too jaded to feel the least bit of sympathy for those he’s slain, but it’s a little on the dark side, if you don’t mind my saying.
Now, we’re getting into shadier territory. I took a whole bunch of notes on this one. I wanted to write a blog about it, but instead segued into… calmer waters. Needless to say, this one freaked me out for oh, a couple of days after I watched it. A had a nightmare. I’m that much of a grown up… 1922 is based on the novella by Stephen King in which Thomas Jane (The Mist, The Punisher) kills his wife to keep his land, and his boy, safe. They throw her in the well, then surreptitiously allow a cow to fall into the well to cover their tracks, even though the cops aren’t exactly of the mind to dig too deep into it. They say they’ve found her in a ditch somewhere. All the worries leave his mind, or so you think. He’s tormented daily, even though he tries to move to the city after his boy kills himself and the boy’s 15-year-old love dies of gun trauma incurred while they’re on the lam. Wooftuh. This one’s a doozy. And I didn’t realize it was Thomas Jane until the end, and I was like, “Damn, he’s good!” Not to mention the fact that his now dead wife (Molly Parker, Deadwood) has become the Queen of the Rats, haunting him every step of the way. I would probably say, start your night with this one, then go backwards, if you want to try to cull those potential nightmares into a more sedated place.
Shangri La Suite (2016)
If you’re not a devout follower of the Emily Browning franchise, you should be. She is the darling debutante of last year’s Cannes Film Festival hit, Shangri La Suite. Herein lies another bloody romp through the desert sands of our Millennial Sun Times. Browning is spot on with her “nervous ticks”, the little head shakes best seen through Eddie O’Keefe’s lens as the golden glowing starlet in this tragedy where the leading man (Luke Grimes) is on a mission to kill Elvis Presley (Ron Livingston, Office Space, Swingers, The Conjuring). The two lovers meet in an insane asylum and they click. As they fall in love, their past catches up to them and she ends up leaving her perfect family behind while he kills his last living relative. Under the sheets, they confide, “I’m 50% Irish, 50% Lacota Sioux.” “I’m 100% white trash.” Ah! It’s lines like that that get me. With shots in the style of Wes Anderson comme Eli Roth, this is one for the books. Something to watch on those nights where you’re looking for an indie film, while possibly painting your nails, jerking off, or maybe even stretching for something toward French art film noir, but can’t quite reach that pinnacle of form you’re searching for. It’s a good flick, if you have the means. Kudos for these guys for all the marketing hype and making me wait so long to see it.
There you have it! You can probably watch all four of these in one night, if you dare. They’re on Netflix, so go ahead. I’ll wait.
Let me know what you think of them in the comments.
Featured image via BLOODY DISGUSTING