October rambles, fan art, and updates. · 11:56pm
So, ladies and gentlemen, October is upon us! What a treat that is. It's one of my favorite times of year, being the horror fan that I am. I admit it: I love the dark, the macabre, and the disturbing. Hence my enjoyment for fics like Cupcakes, Cheerilee's Garden and Rainbow Factory, on top of some of the corresponding songs. I know, I know, none of them are technically good (and we will never speak of the so called sequel to Cheerilee's Garden, "Scarlet Harvest.") Though there are some amazing fics on here like SS&E's Herald, and just about anything by Horse Voice.
But anyway, being the horror fan that I am, I want to share some of that with you. So, in the interest of this being October and the month of horror film watching, I'm going to give you some suggestions of some great horror/psychological thriller films that I love. The catch? They won't be the ones we've all heard of. So no Halloween, no Nightmare on Elm Street, no Silence of the Lambs and so on. So...
1. Trick R Treat. A nice little horror anthology film with one of the creepiest kids in horror to tie everything together. Obviously some of the stories are a little better than others, but none of them completely flop. Plus, for an added bonus, it has a pony VA in it! Princess Cadance plays a complete bitch! None of that bland perfection that she has in the show (but in all honesty, I like her character, but I do wish she had a bit more). Also great performances by Academy Award winner Anna Paquin (1993 for The Piano) and the always fun Brian Cox.
2. Wolf Creek 1 & 2. Yeah, okay, they both have a few problems, especially the second one. Especially the second one. (CGI kangaroos, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 hideout for the villain instead of the restrained one for the first scene, the fact that Mick Taylor (based off of Australian serial killer Ivan Milat) is a little more like a cartoon character than the terrifying guy he is in the first one...) but even despite those flaws, Wolf Creek 2 has some excellent scenes. A disappointment compared to the pretty good first film. The first one is a little more restrained and relies on tension rather than gore, and it it lets us get to know the characters, something that the second one does not do. Of course there is gore in the first one, and it is a pretty film is pretty brutal at times, but if that's your thing, I think you'll enjoy these films. You'll prefer the first one, though. Seriously, though, fuck those CGI kangaroos.
3. Hard Candy. A psychological thriller instead of a straight up horror film, but it will have you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Without giving too much away, there is no black and white good and bad in this film. There is a lot of moral gray, which is always interesting. The film is led by Academy Award nominee Ellen Page (2007 for Juno) and the highly underrated Patrick Wilson. He's an actor that I have enjoyed in everything that I have seen him in, but he is rarely listed among truly good actors. He should be, because he's great. This isn't an easy film to watch, but it definitely worth a look.
4. Funny Games. Yeah, this might be a controversial pick for anybody who has seen it. I'm talking about the American version here, starring Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts (2003 for 21 Grams and 2012 for Lo imposible) and Tim Roth, whom most of you probably know from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. This is easily the toughest film that I'm suggesting. Like Hard Candy, this film relies on next to no gore, instead preferring atmosphere and tension. The two villains of the film are creepy, and turn in great performances. The most disturbing aspect of this film is that, unlike other horror films, this one isn't restrained by reality, at least in the basic premise (let's not talk about the TV remote. Actually a little bit...) This is the kind of thing that could happen. Two men hold your family hostage? Yeah, could happen. We all know that Freddy Kreuger isn't real, but people like Peter and Paul? Why not? My film teacher turned this film off for that very reason.
5. The Wicker Man. A detective psychological thriller movie musical. Sounds stupid, right? Well, this film has been called the Citizen Kane of horror films, and is widely considered one of the finest films the UK has ever produced, as well as being number 8 on my all time favorite movies list. Some of you (read 95% of you) are more familiar with the Nicholas Cage "not the bees" 2006 remake. To that I say you should be ashamed of yourselves. Instead of no real conflict in the remake, there is major conflict between the very religious Sgt. Howie (played by Edward Woodward) and the pagan residents of Summerisle, led by the always spectacular Christopher Lee. The songs are amazing. One of the best soundtracks in the history of film. "Gently Johnny," "Willow's Song," "The Tinker of Rye," and "Sumer Is Icumen In." The latter being one of, if not the, oldest known song in the English language. I know I'm focusing a lot on the music, but you really need to watch this film.
6. Eraserhead. It's David Lynch, so... I... I don't even know. You just need to, uh... Yeah, I got nothing. Just watch it. I've seen it twice and I still have no idea.
7. The Loved Ones. I'm really becoming a fan of Aussie horror lately (see Wolf Creek above) so I was not disappointed when I checked this one out. Another one that wasn't that easy to watch. With a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it's one of the highest rated horror films on the site. It has a very Misery vibe to it, as it largely takes place in one room with two complete crazies. It's a shorter horror film, but I'd highly suggest it. Aussie horror is pretty good, and this is one of the best entries.
8. Suspiria. Ah, now we're getting to Dario Argento, one of the best horror directors of all time. Well... he used to be. Now he's not really. He's made a string of critical bombs, but in his prime he was making visually stunning films like Suspiria. This is one of the more supernatural films on this list. As I said, this is a visually stunning film. Each frame looks like a masterful painting. Not to mention that it has one of the best theme music in horror. Some people might see it as a touch dated, but it is still worth a look.
9. Black Christmas. I watched this one with Kaidan during BronyCon when I went in 2013. Good times. Again, some of you might be thinking about the 2006 remake when I mention this film, but seriously, that's a no-no. Pretty much every horror trope can be attributed to Black Christmas (and they tend to be attributed to Halloween instead, despite the fact that the latter came out four years later). I Camera POV of the killer, killing the morally suspect, as well as others that I won't give away because those would be spoilers. The killer is one of the scariest in horror history. His phone calls are very disturbing, but in a good way. Check this one out!
10. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. No, not the 1950s commie allegory version. I'm talking the 1978 Donald Sutherland remake. Having seen both of them, I can say that the remake (surprisingly) is far and away better. Maybe it's because it's actually, you know, scary. The aliens are pretty terrifying, especially their shrieks. You don't need to have seen the original to check this one out.
11. Peeping Tom. No, this isn't about a guy who peeps into girls' rooms while they're undressing. He's right there in the room with them, then he murders them while filming them. Sounds disturbing? It is, especially because we're the one following the killer. This is me being all "film degree-y" (I have a film minor in college and I've written more than one essay on the film) but we are the killer as we are seeing the kills through the perspective of the killer and his camera. Not only that but we actually sympathize with the guy. It's an unsettling film. It's called the "British Psycho," which is odd, because this came out a month (to the day) before Psycho and Hitchcock was British. Oh well. An excellent film regardless that I've seen three times. It never gets old.
12. Sleepaway Camp. This film sucks. Not gonna lie. This film sucks. Stick with it, though, the ending rocks.
13. When a Stranger Calls. The 1979 version. Watch the first twenty minutes. The fast forward to the last ten or fifteen minutes.
14. Wes Craven's New Nightmare/Halloween H20. I know that I wasn't going to suggest the more traditional films, but these are the far away sequels of those films; both the seventh in the series. Neither of them quite reach the heights of the originals, of course, but they are both far and away the best sequels of the films, and not bad horror films in their own right.
15. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. A nice Third Age Slasher that's in the same vein as Scream in that it dissects the genre. However, what sets it apart is that in the universe of this film, all of the events of the big slasher films (and all of the smaller ones too) are real. They all happened. The titular Leslie Vernon contacts a documentary crew to let them all know how it's done, while saying that he's going to be the next big slasher icon.
16.V/H/S & V/H/S 2. These films are very uneven, but when they succeed, they succeed. Give me both films and a knife and I'll cut you a darned near perfect V/H/S movie.
17. The Night of the Hunter. At 1955, this is the oldest film on my list, but it is #6 on my all-time favorites list. One of the best horror performances in cinema in Robert Mitchum's Harry Powell. Powell? Hmm... that name sounds familiar. TD Harrison Powell? Wow, what a coincidence! Well... no. No, it's not a coincidence. I named my most famous OC after a horror film serial killer. Heh... All that aside, have you ever seen anybody with "love" and "hate" tattooed on their knuckles? You know what that's from? If you said this one, you're absolutely right. Some might find this film a little dated, but having shown this film to a lot of people, I can say that some of the scenes still hold up and put you on the edge of your seats. The American Film Institute ranked Harry Powell as one of the greatest film villains of all time. Rightfully so. You'll enjoy watching this total scumbag.
So yeah, those are my suggestions for this October. In terms of FimFiction stuff, I've got more fan art, this time for Broken Gladiator!
As for writing, I'm hoping to pump chapters of A Shadow Hangs Overhead out more frequently now that I'm going into canon chapters. Also I'm part of the way into the new Alicorn, and about 500 words into a killer Applejack fic, because it's October and I need a new grimdark fic. And hey, how about a Gwenwyn update? I mean, why not?
So yeah, I rambled, but there you go.