Halloween Favorites

It’s that time of year again, one of my favorites I must admit and amidst everything going on in life at the moment I want to slow down for a second and talk about spooky movies. I suppose more specifically I want to talk about three movies I try to always make a point to watch every year around this time. I say there are three specific movies I try to watch mostly because I don’t have the time or opportunity to watch all the movies I would like to, so I at least try to watch my favorites and, on that note,, let’s dive right in.

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

No, not for “reasons”, in reality I’ve always loved the corny and cheesy side of a lot of things and Elvira plays directly into that love. Overall an homage to classic horror movies but in general it comes off as completely cheesy but over all it’s just plain fun if you ask me. So, if you’ve been under a rock, or more likely you’ve never bothered to watch it, the plot is pretty simple. Elvira is hosting her tv show when the new station manager makes a pass at her and she quits (yeah that’s the short boring version cause it’s more enjoyable to watch and I don’t wanna spoil anything from an incredibly old movie). Once she realizes that was a terrible idea and she won’t be able to put money up for her Vegas show she tries to find another way to make the money when her Aunt dies leaving her a home in your classic bible belt style town where she obviously sticks out like a sore thumb. After turning the town upside down and a little supernatural battle, not to mention being accused of being a witch and burned at the stake, she lands on her feet and gets her Vegas show and the town learns a little something about tolerance.

Like I said, overall, it’s cheesy and corny, the acting is moderately good from everyone involved but to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way and it’s one of the reasons I try to watch it every Halloween.

Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktacular

In the realm of budget animation, nothing exemplifies this more to me than this movie and its sequel. Based on the books by Jill Thompson this particular hour-long movie (approximately at least) centers on a little girl named Hannah Marie who gets locked in a spook house by her cousin Jimmy and his friends in an attempt to scare the “baby” on Halloween night. The result? Hannah meets her Scary Godmother and is taken to the “Fright Side” to see that monsters aren’t bad at all by inviting her to an annual Halloween party. Budget is an understatement when you look at the animation and style, but to be honest I love the story and even the acting and all of it combined makes it a treasure of a movie to watch. Sure, the overall premise of Halloween is to be spooky and scary but I always make time to watch this little joy and if there’s time I throw in the sequel as well.

Army of Darkness

I’m hoping I don’t have to explain this one, especially since it requires setting up two movies prior (technically) but the long and short of it is that this is the third movie coming in after both Evil Dead 1 & 2 and takes a very different turn than the Evil Dead series. In the set-up Ash is basically transported back in time in a way (back to 1300 A.D. to be somewhat more specific) and while he’s there his only goal is to get home, which requires the Necronomicon, which involves fighting Deadites and an army of the dead. With a mix of comedy and horror it’s a classic movie without question but there is another reason I make a point to try to watch it every October (besides being an awesome movie on its own that is). One other reason why I always try to watch Army of Darkness goes way back to my high school art class, before my teacher pulled a asshat move and made me hate art for the longest time, but she insisted we watch this because of the fact there is a stop motion animated army of skeletons fighting and the second I saw it I fell in love with this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love Evil Dead and its sequel but this one is without question my favorite of the three. There’s never really a wrong time to watch it in my opinion but Halloween time is definitely the perfect time to watch.

Well folks, there you have it, even though I have a lot of movies that are either horror or Halloween related, as I grow older and my life becomes a bit more busy I have less time to watch the movies in my collection that I love to watch. All that being said though, these three are movies I always do my best to try to watch each and every year. If you haven’t seen any of them then I suggest checking them out at least once, and if you have seen them and love them as much as I do then you know exactly why too.

This also wraps up Halloween time and moves us in to winter, I’m considering trying to theme the coming weeks around winter and Christmas, or the holidays in general, not sure, felt cute, might delete later and all that jazz. Either way, stay tuned and I’ll see ya next time folks.

~Fallyn Aingeal~

A Haunting Favorite

Since we’re getting closer and closer to one of my favorite days of the year (Halloween if you haven’t guessed it by the title), I wanted to take a moment to talk about one of my favorite scary movie…would scary be the right word? Horror movie perhaps? I know, Thriller, maybe that’s more fitting. In any case, “The Haunting” for whatever reason has managed to make it as my favorite Halloween time movie, if not my absolute favorite then right up near the top that’s for sure.

Now I couldn’t tell you what movie I had gone to see when I saw my first teaser for “The Haunting” but I can tell you that the mixture of the haunting music and tone, coupled with the morphing house into a twisted face had me hooked the second I saw it and right then and there I knew I had to see this movie. I knew that it was essentially a scary movie and even though I have a love/hate relationship with being scared out of my mind I still wanted to see it. Honestly I think it was the CGI use in the teaser that hooked me more than anything but in the end I don’t care, I wanted to see this movie and damn it I would if it was the last thing I did on this earth. Now to be fair I’ve done many things since seeing it so naturally watching the movie was not the last thing I did in this mortal coil, but saying it felt fitting to say the least.

Again, since it’s been so long, I couldn’t tell you when I first saw the film either and while it was less scary than I thought it would be I love it none the less. I loved the story, the concept in general, even the characters, there’s just something about this movie that really grabs me, and I think it’s because it is a scary movie but not too scary if that makes any sense. Looking back at it, the story may not be the best regardless of the fact that I loved it, well it is a little corny or predictable at times, but it made it all the more interesting to me but it was the slow realization of what was going on that really hooked me.

Sadly it has been a while since I’ve seen it and parts of it are lost to memory but one that always stands out is the spiral staircase scene, Eleanor standing on the edge at the top as she’s possessed in a way while the good Doctor begins climbing then without warning it begins to crumble away beneath him. It isn’t fast, it isn’t intense, it’s slow and drawn out, building suspense with every second, wondering if he’ll survive or not and that is what got to me, that’s what I loved and not just in that one scene but it was across the movie in various spots. I love the thrill (does that make this a thriller?), wondering if they are going to make it or not but done so in a way that brings you to the edge of your seat without it being a face paced roller coaster ride.

Every year around Halloween time this is one of the movies I try to make sure I watch and unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity in the last couple of years to do so though I’m honestly hoping to change that in the coming days. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, all I can say is if you enjoy a decent thriller without a lot of blood or gore and love an occasional jump scare or three then “The Haunting” is definitely worth watching even though I know it’s been slammed on many occasions for being silly or boring but still, I personally found it enjoyable and I know I can’t be the only one.

Incidentally, and perhaps I should have mentioned this one first, this particular movie is actually a 1999 remake of a 1963 movie (with the same title) which was made based off of a 1959 novel (The Haunting of Hill House…yes, same as the Netflix show, and yes, somewhat tied together as well in a way). To be perfectly honest, even with the film being panned for various reasons, not only is it worth watching, along with its 1963 counterpart, but the history of the novel and it’s adaptations are also worth looking in to and to be fair I myself kept getting distracted as I went further down that particular rabbit hole.

~Fallyn Aingeal~

The Terribleness of Video Game Movies (One in Particular)

Okay so before I jump into this I want to make something abundantly clear, because I know how the internet works (just enough) and no matter what someone is gonna get all pissy because I’m talking about what I think is one of the worst video game movies and most people are going to come back at me screaming “MARIO BROS IS THE WORST MOVIE NOT WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO SAY, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!?!”. Okay I got that out of my system, but this is just my opinion and mine alone, if you agree then that is totally awesome, if not, that’s cool too. There are a lot of games movies to choose from, in fact the genre, for lack of a better term, has a plethora of candidates that could easily qualify as the worst film adaptation of a game but after a lot of thought I narrowed it down to one (and technically its sequel but I’m just talking about the first one right now). Curious about the movie yet? Probably not but I’m laying it on you anyway. Of all the movies to choose from, and I’ll concede that I did indeed consider the Mario Bros movie but personally I think the title of worst video game movie should go to “The House of the Dead”.

“It’s spring break and these college kids just want to party. When they charter a boat to take them to a rave on a nearby island, they find it completely deserted, except for the bloodthirsty zombies that have taken it over.”

That up there? That’s the plot synopsis that Amazon Prime Video has for this atrocity of a movie. Now it’s reasonably safe to assume that as gamers, most of us have heard of the game itself a much-loved game no less which in my opinion is way more fun to play in an arcade than on a console but that’s neither here nor there. Now with our familiarity of this game we know at least one thing for sure, it takes place in a house…not an island, not during a drug infused rave, a house. Now to be fair this is billed as a prequel to the original game and quite honestly, they should have just named it anything else then it would just be a bad zombie movie. Then again, if it was called anything else and not tied to a video game, it could almost be considered decent or at least it could have except for an even bigger issue that pops up.

Like I said, this is supposed to be a prequel movie to the game, cool, awesome, whatever, then why are we using actual game footage, for the game that technically isn’t supposed to have happened yet in the story, in the midst of battle sequences as a substitute for actual effects. I suppose it isn’t completely fair to rag on this film alone, it was made by Uwe Boll and we know his track record with various IPs so it should come as no surprise how it turned out and yes I will concede that a video game movie isn’t like making a normal movie, you have to balance your fans, subject material, and try to reach a broad audience all at once so it’s no easy task there either. Unfortunately all of that said, House of the Dead and it’s sequel are treated with so much disrespect it’s not even a bad joke and even knowing who was behind the movie I really wanted to like it, I mean I really tried, but I couldn’t do it. Oh, I made it all the way through both movies but each one left me filled with a mixture of disappointment, rage, sorrow even at how such a great game and series was given an absolutely horrible treatment.

Yes, video game movies are hit or miss, and of all the ones I’ve seen, most of them have been at least acceptable. I enjoyed Mario Bros, Doom, Prince of Persia…were they perfect? Of course not, and all video games catch flak for one thing or another because as gamers our expectations are so high to see our favorite games brought to the big screen that to be fair, sometimes it’s our own fault, some movies will never meet the expectations that we set on them. At the very least the only thing we can truly hope for is at least a movie that holds the spirit of the games we love at its core as it expands the lore of the subject matter itself. It’s that same thought that I personally approach every video game movie I see or hope to see, I have a bit of cautious optimism if you will, always hoping that it will be what I think it should be but always expecting it to be terrible.

Just a thought or two on gaming movies in general but mostly, admittedly, probably mostly ragging on a movie that everyone already knows is terrible, but I wanted to get off my chest. I would like to know what you’re least favorite or most hated gaming related movies are, or even ones that you loved.

~Fallyn Aingeal~