5 Classic Horror Movies to Watch Before Halloween

With only about a week left until Halloween, it’s crunch time to binge on as many scary things as possible and for me, that means watching as many horror movies as I can before the best month of the year is gone. Before my fellow Halloween lovers can shed a tear for another spooky season almost behind us, here are five of my favorite classic horror movies for all of you to indulge in now.

1. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

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Credit: Vulture

This one will always have to be first in my book because it has a little bit of everything: eye-rolling humor, beautiful effects, and even a great soundtrack. An American Werewolf in London follows two young, American men that get lost while on a trip with their school and, in return, have to suffer the consequences of the Werewolf’s Curse. Director John Landis takes the scare value beyond just the normal blood and gore by adding a perfectly executed predator/prey scene that really immersed audiences into the film even more and even managed to throw in Nazi monsters in the mix. With the perfect blend of funny  and scary, you won’t be able to help but to have fun with this one.

2. Psycho (1960)

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Credit: Entertainment Weekly

Oh, Alfred Hitchcock. What would we do without including you in the mix? Psycho is the well-known masterpiece from Hitchcock that follows Marion Crane and Norman Bates while giving people a terrifying look into the human psyche. Hitchcock blends seductiveness with Bates’ boyishness so well that it seems impossible that someone like him could commit such atrocities. The scare tactics that trigger the unknown that he uses are also so simple yet, so efficient because they build up slowly, allowing the best one to come very last. If you thought the iconic shower scene was bad enough, you need to see this one because there is so much more than just that.

3. Carnival of Souls (1962)

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Credit: Getty Images

When many people hear “B-Movies,” they automatically write off the film as being just alright without giving it a chance. Carnival of Souls is one of the hidden gems out there that has been able to mix strange apparitions and slow deterioration of the mind to create an unforgettable art piece. With a low budget, sacrilegious organ music, and deathly figures just covered in black and white makeup, filmmakers had the ability to create a surreal atmosphere that can be obviously seen in other horror films of the past and present. The film is admittedly on the weirder side compared to others on this list but because of its distinctive style of scare, it definitely deserved a place here.

4. House of Wax (1953)

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Credit: Boom Howdy

There is no such thing as a horror movie list without the beautiful master himself, Vincent Price. Wax figures are already unsettling but Price brings a whole new level to that fear with House of Wax. Price stars as Professor Henry Jarrod, a disgruntled wax figure sculptor that sets out for revenge on those who he thinks wronged him. His choice of poison is none other than some handy, good ol’ hot wax. Before going into this, you may need to realize that this movie isn’t one of those that will make you jump out of your seat or make you want to sleep with the lights on but it will leave you with disturbing images of that involve both wax and flesh mixed together. Professor Jarrod is one of Price’s more sinister characters and any Halloween fan will appreciate the extra focus on the macabre.

5. Fright Night (1985)

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Credit: Dread Central

We’ve covered werewolves, we got the manic murderers, and we took notes on the ghosts but what else are we missing? Vampires. Fright Night has always been my go-to to not only get my vampire fix but to also get some great laughs. The film follows Charlie Brewster, a teenager who’s obsessed with horror movies, sex, and his mysterious new neighbor that can only be found at night. Charlie becomes suspicious after realizing that his neighbor had a prostitute come over once, only to see her face plastered on the news as a victim soon after. The best part about this film is the realistic immaturity stuck to it. Audiences can’t help but to relate to and cheer on Charlie’s nonsense, feeling as if they had to go face the vampire neighbor themselves. It’s entertainment value has been able to hold up for over 30 years now and if you have the option of choosing between this one and the more recent 2011 version, do yourselves a favor and embrace the 80’s campiness.

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Classic Movie of the Week: The Silence of the Lambs

What do you do when you want something scary and disturbing but don’t want to have to rely on demons and monsters to get the job done? Turn to The Silence of the Lambs. For over 20 years, this movie has entranced audiences everywhere with the endless realistic possibilities of how psychotic murders and dangerous mind games can affect the human psyche. Even if it can be argued that there have been many other great thrillers made since then, The Silence of the Lambs brings a quiet intensity that will forever be ingrained into people’s minds.

The film starts out with wide-eyed FBI rookie, Clarice Starling. Something is seen in her and she is sent out to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter to see if she can somehow persuade or out-smart him into giving her and the agency clues to tracking down a serial killer he had been familiar with years before committing his own atrocities. Throughout the movie, Clarice has to turn more to the doctor’s intellects to make the different pieces of the case clear and before she knows it, is hit smack dab with the possibility of nabbing her first huge case or becoming another body in Buffalo Bill’s collection.

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Credit: New York Times

Even though Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling was supposed to be the star of the film, Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter couldn’t help but to outshine her. His natural, Shakespearean ability to be smooth yet sinister showed audiences that people like him are the monsters they should be worried about because they stand so close on the border  between good and bad that they can blend in perfectly with the rest of us. You can’t help but to like him due to his charm and charisma but you could easily be that next person he wraps around his finger and turns into his puppet because he feels that he just can.

Buffalo Bill is the bizarre opposite to Hannibal’s suaveness. In everyday life, he was just a man with a creepy looking van that most would ignore but no one had an idea what he was doing behind closed doors that turned him into a completely different person. His killing of a specific type of woman gave the power and courage that he craved because he couldn’t cope with the person he was. As a former patient of Hannibal, all we learned was that he couldn’t come to terms with himself loving to crossdress and liking men yet we could never get into his head long enough to read what first caused his murderous rampage in the first place. Unlike Hannibal, acceptance never came easily for Buffalo Bill and his characterization further shows audiences how many strange cases there truly are in the world and how someone like this could be living amongst us.

Silence, for me, will also always be remembered because of only one scene. Specifically, the autopsy scene. During this scene, audiences get glimpses of one of Buffalo Bill’s victims with two heaps of skin taken off her back and with nails destroyed from trying to claw for her life. Clarice and the others that are examining the body have to rub a cream under their noses to distract themselves from the stench and if this wasn’t enough, a cocoon is discovered in the victim’s throat. Whenever this scene would come on, I would instantly start gagging and had to turn away because of how gruesome it was. Filmmakers had executed it so well that it was as if I could smell the funk of death and had grab the bug out of the throat myself. It made me realize that while I was getting grossed out about this, death is a very real thing and for some people, their endings weren’t easy.

The Silence of the Lambs is one of those that has to be watched once because whether you like it or not, it will change the way you view “scary” within film. It’s disgusting, it’s charming, and it’s so alarming that you will be talking about certain scenes that bothered you for years to come. As one of the best book-to-screen adaptations I have seen, this one can’t be missed because filmmakers were able to grab the type of fear from the book and make it 10 times better on film.

 

 

Halloween Review: Michael Gets Modernized

As a child, the 1978 version of Halloween was scary enough to give me nightmares that lasted into adulthood. To put it plainly, this latest take on Michael Myers would never be able to do that. Unfortunately, Halloween was unable to capture the magic of what made the first one so terrifying.

One of the only aspects of this movie that really stood out was Jamie Lee Curtis’ obvious dedication to keep this film as authentic to the granddaddy of them all. The audience could just feel her deterioration through 40 years of living in fear of Michael Myers and how, despite this, she was the strongest character within the film. I mean, she survived an almost strangulation and getting thrown over a balcony so she deserves nothing less than all the credit here. Curtis gave her all, trying to give fans closure as to what Michael’s fate turned out to be but she executed it so well that it seemed as if she was finally giving herself the closure needed.

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Credit: In The Seats

Now on to the bad stuff. First of all, this movie was purely fan-focused instead of fear-focused. It just wasn’t scary. Filmmakers relied too much on nostalgia from the early movies instead of trying to find ways to reincorporate the things that made the first film unforgettable. Don’t get me wrong, seeing the three iconic masks from Halloween III: Season of the Witch on kids trick-or-treating and seeing Michael’s reflection in the window of his next victim felt good in the soul but I wanted that same alarming feeling back, thinking that Michael was somewhere out there in the real world.

Secondly, this version just felt too childish for my own taste. Once I found out the Halloween was backed by Blumhouse Productions, I wasn’t expecting much because I figured that somehow, this movie was going to have the same too-modern, teenybopper feel that their other films do and I wasn’t wrong. It tried to give the entire atmosphere a lighter feel with too much teenage drama and humor that barely deserved a chuckle. Yes, the original was also themed around teenagers and their halloween shenanigans but it was also to-the-point and no-nonsense because we were supposed to get the feeling of suspense right off the bat. That suspenseful feeling is in the 2018 version too, but only barely because we all already know what to expect from Michael.

Overall, this newest sequel of Halloween is still worth checking out to say you actually got to see something close to the original in theaters. Without giving too much away, it also seems that we’ll get other Halloween films in the future because Michael just won’t give up as long as Laurie Strode is alive. I just hope that if there are other sequels planned, filmmakers will somehow give us the same bone-chilling feeling that the original gave without trying to over exaggerate the past so much.

TV Review: The Rookie

As of late, I will admit that I haven’t been the biggest fan of police-themed shows since some of my favorites like CSI: New York ended and Law and Order: SVU went completely south but I knew when I started seeing advertisements for ABC’s The Rookie, this was something I had to check out. Even though I wasn’t expecting too much from the pilot episode, all of this waiting just to see what it was about was entirely worth it.

Just to give some background info, the show revolves around a 40-something year old man named John Nolan who has something between a midlife crisis and an epiphany when a life-changing incident happens to him. From this event, he decides that he needs to change his life somehow and that’s where the LAPD comes into his life (or more like he finds them and won’t let them go). As the oldest rookie on the force, he has to deal with the constant criticism and skepticism from his team while trying to find out what the next chapters of his life are going to be about.

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Credit: Broadcasting & Cable

The show started out a bit rough because it seemed like they were trying to tell John’s entire story within the first couple of minutes so they could move on to the bigger details. The audience knows in just this small amount of time that John’s divorced and an unhappy construction worker who, in about five minutes, goes on to magically appear at the steps of the LAPD building for his first day on job. It’d be nice if John’s background with his marriage, divorce, and even time in the police academy is elaborated upon in later episodes but with the rest of the events that happened in the episode, it seems as if they will be focusing primarily on John’s future, not his past.

It was also refreshing to see how the creative minds behind The Rookie managed to mix charm with dark realness. Of course John and others are likable and we want to see them succeed but the show emphasizes the fact that many of these characters may not have happy endings. Their lives are in limbo due to their personal issues mixed with their careers and they have to take things day-by-day, even if some days seem worse than others. Just like all of us, these characters are trying to find their true happiness and ABC is showing us that sometimes, to find it, we have to lose everything and start over.

Overall, don’t expect The Rookie to be something comparable to NYPD Blue or even Cops but just by viewing the first episode, the show has tons of room for major potential. I’m more anxious to see whether ABC will maintain the handsome charisma mixed with snippy humor or will the show take a more serious route as time goes on. As per usual, I would recommend this show to anyone who is a fan of the crime-filled dramas that have bits and pieces of flirty amusement blended in and if you aren’t a fan, watch it anyways. It’s that pretty darn good.

The Nun: Scary Spin-Off Takes a Different Route

 

If The Conjuring and Conjuring 2 weren’t enough to satisfy your creepy bone, Corin Hardy’s The Nun will make you start questioning whether otherworldly creatures really exist while still being a hit and more of a miss. The latest spin-off in the Conjuring Cinematic Universe focuses on the demon nun, Valak, who was originally seen in the second film. Taissa Farmiga and Demián Bichir star as Vatican-sent investigators, Sister Irene and Father Burke, sent to check out the death of a nun and the unholy secrets surrounding Cârța Monastery.

While the film itself has a small number of strengths, one of the main weaknesses that can be noticed is how a few questions are left unanswered and how they might leave audiences feeling as if they’ve been gypped because of the hype that has surrounded this movie. What does Valak want exactly? Was there any way to get out of the sticky situations without the drastic use of Jesus Christ’s blood? Do demons ever truly die? The Nun breaks tradition by showing audiences that demonology has no rules and that they shouldn’t expect their questions to get answered because nothing can ever be predicted in the supernatural world.

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Credit: Gizmodo

Despite the gaps throughout the film, The Nun does a great job with the straightforward, by-the-book jump scares. Every minute or two, the movie used various objects and methods to get audiences out of their seat and to make up for the fact that there is extremely weak logic and narrative. I figured that the scaring part wouldn’t be a problem because Valak was just as scary in Conjuring 2 and Warner Brothers had to keep up that image to make sure the hoards of people still came. They had to rely on the mysteriousness of the demon, jump scares, and a strangle in a coffin to assure that audiences didn’t leave angry at the lack of everything else that was also just as important.

Probably one of the biggest strengths for the movie was just how good-looking it was. While some parts were very off with lighting, the design elements, which made the film feel like a mixture of American Horror Story and The Sentinel, added to the overall eeriness and made viewers feel as if they were part of the story. The look of hundreds of safety coffins with all their bells going off at once was scarier than what actually happened to Father Burke in his own coffin because filmmakers were able to give the illusion that the brush with death was currently happening all around the us and there was no way out. If nothing else, you will have to appreciate Hardy for the looks and scares because they are what give the film more pizazz and personality.

The Nun had some great moments and others where Hardy just could’ve taken better advantage of the situation and given audiences something other than a common scare and a lot of reasoning that just didn’t make sense. Despite giving everything he had with creating this film, it was obvious that he had to rely too much on a comic relief (that won’t be named or explained right now as I don’t want to spoil TOO much for you guys), spooky images, and basic fear tactics to try to live up to the strong reputation that The Conjuring and Conjuring 2 has given. As always, I still advise all of you to at least go check it out and see what it is all about because while still being a lot stronger than 2014’s Annabelle, we can only hope that The Conjuring doesn’t go south and take the same route that The Nun did.

Universal Studios & Movie Monsters: The Classics are Making a Comeback

When I say that I was excited to write about this, “excited” is still a complete understatement. While I’ve gotten back into the swing of things, I’ve been able to catch up on all my movie news and what especially caught my eye was a little something that Universal Studios is doing this year for Halloween Horror Nights.

As many theme park goers and movie fans know, in the past, HHN has mainly focused on some of the usual scary things including Michael Myers, Chucky, and various characters from the Purge franchise. As the maze lineup started to be revealed little by little this summer, I wasn’t expecting anything much different until I saw that Universal is finally putting a fresh twist to the original monsters that made the company so legendary in the first place.

That’s right folks. Universal Studios and the creative forces behind HHN have decided to go back to their roots and immerse people into a world that was originally so terrifying to audiences in just black-and-white film. All of the gore and bloody goodness of modern horror films will just have to take a step back this year because HHN is going to prove that nothing still beats the mystery surrounding such legendary monsters. People will get to relive their childhoods and remember just why these creatures of lore are still so important as the foundation for some of the scariest movies around today.

Credit: Halloween Horror Nights on YouTube

Being the HHN fanatic I am, of course I was ecstatic about this because what person wouldn’t want to be scared and interact with the original Universal Monsters. All I thought about was finally being in the same vicinity, trying to run away from Frankenstein and the Wolf Man but more questions arose as my movie-loving, analytical side came out. Why did Universal decide to go the classic route all of a sudden? Are the current horror movies not enough to suffice audiences and crowds anymore? Will people actually appreciate the nod to the classics or will they think they’re too tame compared to modern horror?

For me, there is nothing wrong with Universal deciding to take the classic horror route. These classics are the ones that modern films cannot ever fully emulate because they were created with such poise and style. They had to rely on the power of mystery and hair-raising seduction to truly trigger people’s psyche, not just the blood and guts. Throughout time, the Wolf Man, Dracula, and Frankenstein have proven that there are no other films like them because their legends are still trying to be investigated by people today. Yes, I will admit that the films themselves are much more tame than what is around today but people will have to appreciate the maze at least somewhat because these are the beasts that started it all.

Right now, it’s still too early to really have an idea if people are going to really embrace the classic monster culture at HHN or not but if John Murdy, HHN’s mastermind, is willing to take a chance on it, it can be almost guaranteed that this will be something that the people have needed for a long time. If any of you get the chance to, please visit Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood and if you already plan on it, don’t hesitate to tell me how your trip was.

Classic Movie of the Week: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas & Hunter’s Lunacy

Hi there everyone! It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on here last but lemme tell y’all: life hasn’t slowed down one bit. In fact, it just seems to be moving faster all the time and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. As of very recently, I’ve had to force myself back into my work routine after being extremely sick in the hospital. My boyfriend and I took advantage of the free time we had and decided to see as many new movies as we possibly could.

Because he had never really heard of Hunter S. Thompson and all the work he had done, I decided it was time to immerse ourselves into the madness that is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Now, anyone who is familiar with the bat-crazy journalist knows that this movie isn’t for the faint of heart and that it also can’t be taken too seriously or analytically. My boyfriend had a hard time with this at first, trying to find some deeper meaning within the film but once he realized that this was not something to take so literally, he had so much more fun than he expected with Thompson’s drug binge.

For those of you who don’t know too much about Fear and Loathing, it’s based on Thompson’s novel of the same name. He documents his own incidents of trying to find the American Dream in Las Vegas while reporting on stories through Raoul Duke and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo. Their journey is one humongous drug-induced haze filled with questions on whether the different events are fact or fiction. The 1960’s cultural aesthetic also adds to the wild ride for audiences with Thompson’s perspective of society and music during one of the most influential time periods in history.

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Credit: Plejmo

One of the main reasons  why this movie has stuck with me so much over the years is how much I actually disliked it and Thompson at first. Way back when, I had very precise ideas on what writers were and how they were supposed to be. I was thinking more along the lines of Fitzgerald and T.S. Eliot, not Hunter S. Thompson. When I first viewed the film, I couldn’t believe this man was an actual recognized writer because he just seemed so unorganized, unrefined, and a total loon with a drug problem.

In reality, he was all of these things but they were what made him so likable and riveting. He, unlike many people, embraced all of his vices and wasn’t afraid to be the freak that he knew he was, which led him to developing such a fresh and radical view on journalism. He didn’t have to try hard to make Gonzo Journalism popular. People thrived towards it because he blended both reality and fantasy so effortlessly, which is exactly what the movie conveyed. All of the bits and details within the film made it feel as if the audience was traveling through Thompson’s brain as he was writing this story out on his handy typewriter, trying to make sense of what actually happened and hurrying to get it done before Jan Wenner’s deadline.

Even if this movie was an overall flop in theaters, I couldn’t help but to enjoy Thompson’s idea of the American Dream. Raoul’s and Dr. Gonzo’s journey was so outlandish that there is no way to really determine where paradise began and where it ended. That is where I have to pay my respects to Thompson because that instability and madness was his idea of the American Dream. To him, the Dream was the pastel, smoke-filled walls of the Las Vegas casinos. It was the drive through the blazing desert in a beat up convertible with a system full of uppers and downers while chain-smoking. It was having some kind of crisis at every corner and being able to evade a giant hotel bill after trashing his room. His version of the Dream showed that he really did stay true to himself from the beginning to the end and that no matter what, he was going to be the man that could only function through madness and chaos.

Fear and Loathing, just like Hunter S. Thompson himself, is one of those that people will either love or hate. Going into it originally, I became annoyed because I wanted a straight shooting movie with a meaning that was in black and white but I realized that with Thompson, you absolutely cannot expect that from him. Once I let go of my own expectations, I was able to appreciate a man that has probably almost died 15 different times and managed to survive each incident long enough to write about it. As always, I recommend this for anyone who is looking to watch something a little different and obscure and for those who have already seen it, let me know what you think.

 

The Strangers: Prey at Night – Too Much Gore for its own Good

Hello, everyone! It’s been quite a few good minutes but I am back. Life takes us in weird turns sometimes and we just have to find our ways back organically. But, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t stop watching any good (and definitely bad) movies.

The one specific one I wanted to talk about today truly rubbed me the wrong way because it felt as if no effort was put into it, especially after watching its predecessor! Of course, you all have to know that I am talking about The Strangers: Prey at Night. I knew right off the bat that this one would either be a hit or miss for me because of how much I liked The Strangers. The original was one of those that legitimately scared me (let’s remember I was also like 13 or 14 when it came out so) and I wanted that same teen horror feeling of being stalked and caught to be back. While Prey at Night was definitely entertaining, it just could have been so much more than it was.

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Credit: Variety

The movie starts out in a secluded trailer park where Dollface, Pin Up Girl, and Man in the Mask pull up to a seemingly random trailer in a truck, blaring 80’s music. The similarities to the original immediately start when Dollface wakes up the occupants of the trailer and the wife goes to check who is at the door. To prevent spoiling the rest for anyone who still has yet to see it (and because I’m sure the rest of the plot is obvious), I’m going to stop the summary here, especially since it was so fast paced and there are some key moments I would rather not ruin.

What really stood out for me was how impersonal the entire plot execution was. Remember how I said it felt as if no effort was put into the movie? Yeah, that’s where this point is relevant. With The Strangers, we were able to sympathize with Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman) because they were the sad young couple who had no idea they were about to face terrifying problems outside of their little bubble of a relationship. We just couldn’t help but feel bad for them and wanted them to come out on top in the end. Prey at Night doesn’t give audiences the chance to grow attached to any of the characters because the main focus is on the thrill of the kills.

**THIS IS WHERE ONE SPOILER COMES IN SO YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED**

For me, it would have just been nice to see some background information on the family or even the killers because our own feelings invested would add some value beyond just short term, gory amusement. Audiences are left very early in the movie with just the children to depend on getting the much wanted revenge on the psychopaths we’ve all been waiting for since 2008. Even then, we hardly know anything about them or why the killers want to hurt people in the first place. Because the cat-and-mouse chase is so concentrated on, the film is instantly forgettable due to the fact that not one character showed why we should be cheering them on (except maybe the daughter).

That point rolls into this next part because with Prey at Night, filmmakers sacrificed depth for lots of blood and a poor effort at a cliffhanger ending. This film tries to take fear aspects out of many classic horror movies to create a much more gruesome and campy feel compared to the 2008 version.  Yes, blood is scary and the idea of getting chopped in half with an axe is enough to make anyone squirm but the thought of being someone’s prey is even scarier. They thought that a few explosions and blood curdling screams would be enough to cover up for everything that’s already been done and to compensate for everything else that was obviously lacking.

Overall, I know I will be sticking to The Strangers and probably won’t be seeing Prey at Night again. As soon as the movie ended and the lights came back on, the man sitting next to me couldn’t help but laugh as he said, “That was so terrible that it was funny,” and even though I wanted to like it, I couldn’t help but to agree with him. Besides a few key kills and good jump scares, so much more could’ve been done to develop this into something memorable to continue a legacy. As always, go check it out now and if you already have, share some thoughts about it here.

Classic Movie of the Week: House on Haunted Hill

Oh Vincent Price, what would us horror fans do without you? House on Haunted Hill has been on my list of movies I’ve wanted to talk about for SO long but I never knew exactly what to say without spending the entire piece raving about how great I think Price is. That’s when it hit me that yes, Price is utterly amazing (especially in this one) but it’s not even about him. It’s about the simplicity of this movie that makes it so scary.

Without spoiling the entire film for those who haven’t seen it, Price stars as Frederick Loren, an eccentric millionaire who seems to love to spend his money watching people sweat and suffer. He invites five guests to spend an entire night in his house filled with frights for the opportunity for each of them to earn $10,000. A wrench is thrown into the mix with Loren’s enemy/wife, Annabelle, being the guest of honor and the audience has to decide for themselves who is more dangerous; Loren or his ghosts.

Credit: The Motion Pictures

I will admit that this one isn’t frightening after seeing it a million different times but director William Castle treated it in such a way that the suspense was even more bone chilling than the actual jump scares. Seeing shadows coming around the corner and even the foreshadowing between Frederick and Annabelle was enough to prove that House on Haunted Hill far surpasses many modern horror films because it didn’t need tons of gore and blood to shock people. Just like Vincent Price himself, the movie just screamed class without overdoing anything.

It also always shocks me when people aren’t willing to give the OG horror films like this one a chance because they feel that they’re too tame or “boring” because they’re in black-and-white. Yes, House on Haunted Hill definitely is unlike films that we are used to and filmmakers had to make due with what they had because times were different and extreme violence wasn’t acceptable but I would still take this over something like Saw any day because this is just one of the movies that all modern horror has had to be based off of. It made things like being killed by acid, deadly relationships, and ghost stories even more terrifying with the most minimal material possible.

As a complete Vincent Price fan, this one stands high on my list of favorite films featuring him but like I said earlier, it’s so much more than just his namesake. It will always bring nostalgic feelings of my childhood and Old Hollywood that will never be brought back. If you’re a fan of Twilight Zone or are willing to give the vintage horror movies a chance, I definitely recommend this one. You’ll all probably become just as obsessed with Vincent Price as I am.

I, Tonya: Harding’s Story Gets Nasty

Stunned. There are not many words to describe how I felt after seeing I, Tonya this past weekend. I was just stunned in both good and bad ways. Because I already knew that the film was such a dark comedy, I wasn’t expecting to be as moved as I was (or to even feel an ounce of sympathy for Tonya Harding). Yes, we all know that the main focus of the movie is on that one incident in 1994 but director Craig Gillespie shows us that Harding is so much more than just a very, very bad decision.

To really understand the extent of the film, you have to go back to the early 90’s, during Harding’s ice skating hey day. In 1991 during a competition, she became the first woman to complete the triple axel and was also investigated in 1994 when her ex-husband tried to plan a way to injure a fellow skater, Nancy Kerrigan. There’s no doubt that no matter how lowly people thought of and treated Harding, she truly was the best skater in the world during this time.

The problem isn’t with her skating or that she doesn’t compete anymore. In fact, I bet she could’ve been even more popular if she was just able to get her life together. The problem was with her background because she never had a chance. Gillespie conveys her hard life through a wickedly fun, fake documentary-style film that emphasizes just how much of a horrible impact her mother, ex-husband, and the others around had on her. From getting beaten daily to getting told she would never be good enough, it’s a wonder how she didn’t end up worse! Sadly, I’m sure we all could relate to the anger she had because she was trying to prove to herself that she really was the best and no one could put her down. Through the incident, she became a face within sports history that we all love to hate but really, she was just a young girl that had deep rooted problems and needed someone to help.

Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

Now, as we all know, Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Janney were all absolutely perfect in this. It was interesting to see Robbie go out of her comfort zone with this one and try something much more intense than the other movies she’s been in. Stan is still fairly new to me as I only have seen him in the Captain America films but WOW you cannot say that he didn’t look exactly like Harding’s first husband, Jeff Gillooly. He made the role of the sketchy, creepy wife beater so convincing that I couldn’t help but want to jump through the screen to beat him up myself. And with Ms. Janney, there are no words for her because she really can do no wrong. She completely transformed herself into Harding’s abusive mom and deserves ALL the awards for it.

As a child that grew up in the 90’s and have parents that loved the 80’s, I, Tonya completely satisfied my aesthetics with the bright colors, cheesy outfits, and music from various artists such as Supertramp and Heart. If we’re going to be honest here, the movie probably wouldn’t have been as good if filmmakers didn’t make it so nostalgic and relatable, especially with a time that really wasn’t all that long ago. The movie captured the simpler times with big hair and multicolored jumpers with turtlenecks underneath. Even though it wasn’t the most fashionable time in history, it’s what we all grew up with and it was just nice to not have any over exaggeration about it. Filmmakers stuck to the era and tied it in smoothly with the story so it literally felt like watching a legitimate documentary with past footage.

Overall, with a few more watches, I can see this easily becoming a favorite. It’s brutal, daring, and just plain damn funny to watch. I also had no sympathy for Harding before, thinking that she was willing to say and do anything to get her way but now, I realize all the issues she really has. All she wanted to do was skate but the people in her life couldn’t do anything but bring her down. Her story is extremely intriguing and even though it’s been told 150 different ways, I, Tonya brings a fresh view to audiences that is a better indicator of what was actually going on. Thankfully, it is still in theaters and while you all still have the chance, go see it now!