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~

Favorite Games – The Halloween Edition

Since it’s Halloween time it seems as good a time as to talk about my favorite spooky/scary games, or at least some of them. I’ve always loved Halloween but for the most part I’ve always had something that stopped me from fully enjoying it, be it work, or a busy life, or not enough time to even decorate properly, there’s always been something and even in the midst of my own apartment being renovated I’m trying to find ways to enjoy it. Now I will be the first to admit that scary things (movies, games, tv shows), well, scare me. I’m not a huge fan of things being gross just for the sake of being gross but still, I do enjoy a good thriller and even a good horror movie when the mood strikes. I will also admit that when playing scary games, depending on the game, usually I end up playing from save point to save point (so about five minutes at a time when I tried tackling Dead Space). In short, I love scary games they just, you know, scare me, but regardless of that fact I want to talk about some of my favorite ones so do follow along and enjoy the ride.

Layers of Fear

I want to start off with a game that scares the ever-loving hell out of me and ranks as one of my favorite scary games of all time. I honestly did not know what I was getting in to when I first heard about it and once it was one of the Games with Gold on Xbox, I figured I wasn’t out much as far as trying so I gave it a shot. I don’t swear much in my posts, but holy shit did this game terrify me, I was literally only able to play it a few minutes at a time between the jump scares and the super creepy atmosphere I was constantly on edge. All in all, there weren’t a lot of jump scares it was more about the environment, the mood, and especially the story which had to be one of the most twisted ones I’d experienced in a long time. Now up until this writing I hadn’t played in months up until the morning of writing this entry for an early morning stream, but one of the biggest thing that draws me in is the heavy focus on exploration and story since combat isn’t a driving factor (it doesn’t even exist to my knowledge in the game).

Never knowing what was around the next corner, and often times turning around to a very different setting than what you left, never knowing what was behind you or even around you…I really do love this game and eventually I’ll be able to finish it, hopefully.

CarnEvil

Anyone who grew up in an arcade most likely knows of this one, wandering around a carnival and blasting creatures that nightmares are made of, it was less scare and more just the setting that made it creepy yet incredibly entertaining for me. Basically it was a light gun game in the shape of shotguns as you wandered around, clowns were prominent of course because, why not, but also many other nightmarish creatures, and overall it was just a good bit of fun and it was my personal favorite next to House of the Dead 2 anytime I was able to get to an arcade. Now I will concede that it’s been years, actually decades, since I’ve played this one mostly because arcades in my town have gone somewhat out of style and the few that are still around mainly have an overload of racing games, but I still loved it when I was younger and if I ever get the chance to play it again I wouldn’t even hesitate.

Silent Hill 4: The Room

Now I will admit I was never a huge fan of Silent Hill, I remember when the first game came out and everyone told me how terrifying and scary it was and when I first played it I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I wasn’t scared (which was odd since at the time even Super Metroid scared me), I wasn’t freaked out, maybe it was that I didn’t get far enough in but I also didn’t have the patience for it either so I quickly put it aside…and then “The Room” came out.

While for the most part it wasn’t too scary for me to handle, I actually made it much farther than I thought I would, but the atmosphere is what did it for me and I notice that’s a trend amongst scary games for me. Sure jump scares get me, no question, but when the environment is done just right I’ll spend a great deal of time trying to get from point A to point B, longer than I should, because I’m always expecting something just based on the mood the game presents. If I’m being completely honest though, the one thing that actually did really creep me out was a room with a giant head in it, I mean come on, and those eyes, I get shivers just thinking about it now.

Resident Evil 0

I love Resident Evil, as a series of course but there are a few that stand out that I really love and Zero (yes, I’m writing out the word) is without question my favorite. I know at the time the feelings were mixed on the game, ditching item boxes for item dropping which most definitely made things a little more complicated (though if I’m right, that was the intent in the first place, to make the game more difficult) as well as adding a new partner zapping system which allowed you to hot-swap between Billy and Rebecca to solve the games puzzles. Like I said, I loved it but I also loved essentially seeing the original game from the perspective of Bravo team plus Rebecca Chambers was always my favorite character in the RE series so seeing her get her own game (well basically) was pretty awesome as well.

This was also the first RE game I ever finished without even considering a cheat, and I still have no idea how I managed to finish it without extra help as I needed it for the first three games plus RE4 as well. Tis a mystery that will never be solved for sure.

Bioshock

Finally I’m adding Bioshock because why the hell not. When I first tried the demo I “noped” the hell right out as soon as the first slicers showed up before the game even started that’s how spooked I got. Eventually I forced myself to try it and I’m proud of myself for making it through the entire game. Between the environment and location, the eerie setting, the twisted baddies, the entire game was nightmare fuel for me and oh how I loved every second of it. It wasn’t even the jump scares that got to me to be honest, it was always the environment more than anything, everything about the environment alone was done so well that it always kept me on edge because it always felt like there would be a jump scare around the corner and a lot of it was mostly my mind playing tricks on me.

Over time I’ve played through a couple of times I believe, and I’ve played both sequels but if given the opportunity I’d always choose the original each time.

There you have it, not all my favorites but ones that stand out the most and why. I hope you enjoyed reading, I know I enjoyed writing it, until next time…as Elvira would say “unpleasant dreams”. Sorry, it’s late, I’m getting loopy, but I’ll see ya next week 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~