As to be expected in the spooky month of October, I watched a number of thriller and horror movies, and found new favorites among them. I also revisited a few classic favorites such as The Innocents and The Uninvited (both of which I watched last night for Halloween). Anyway, onto this month’s log of movies!
New-to-Me Films by Decade:
- 1920s – 1
- 1930s – 2
- 1940s – 8
- 1950s – 5
- 1960s – 3
- 1970s – 3
- 1980s – 3
- 1990s – 1
- 2000s – 2
- 2010s – 3
List of New-to-Me Films:
- Fatal Attraction (1987)
- The Blob (1958)
- Misery (1990)
- Don’t Look Now (1973)
- House on Haunted Hill (1959)
- Gone Girl (2014)
- Murder by Death (1976)
- Clue (1985)
- The Canterville Ghost (1944)
- A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009)
- Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010)
- Peeping Tom (1960)
- Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
- My Sister Eileen (1955)
- Dead of Night (1945)
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
- Island of Lost Souls (1932)
- I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
- The Body Snatcher (1945)
- Isle of the Dead (1945)
- Mr. Lucky (1943)
- It’s a Big Country: An American Anthology (1951)
- The Ghost Breakers (1940)
- The Woman in White (1948)
- The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
- A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (2011)
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
- The Perfect Furlough (1958)
- Village of the Damned (1960)
- Mad Love (1935)
- An American Werewolf in London (1981)
- Best Picture Nominees Watched: 1
- Movies Watched from The Criterion Collection: 4
- Movies Watched via the Watch TCM app: 13
- Movies Watched on TCM: 1
- Movies Watched on Hulu: 0
- Movies Watched in theaters: 1
Trends and Notes
- Watched 2 films featuring Eileen Brennan in a row. Both were also comedy murder mysteries!
- Watched 4 films starring or featuring Janet Leigh, as she was TCM’s Star of the Month for October.
- Watched 3 films produced by Val Lewton, 2 of them in a row (3 if you disregard my re-watch of The Shining that I had in between).
- Watched 3 films from the year 1945, 2 of them were in a row and starred Boris Karloff (re-watched The Shining in between those 2 films though).
A Few Favorite Discoveries:
It’s amazing that Rob Reiner, who’s known for directing such comedy classics as When Harry Met Sally… and This Is Spinal Tap, directed an equally great thriller! There were a lot of tense moments in the film that had me on edge throughout. Kathy Bates was very scary in this, I can see why they gave her the Oscar. James Caan was excellent too, and played off of Bates’ insane character very well. And of course, I loved seeing Lauren Bacall in a small role, who’s always a welcome presence in films.
This was a film that I was really looking forward to seeing, and I’m so glad it didn’t disappoint! Everyone in the cast is hilarious, especially Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, and Eileen Brennan, and they all work off of one another well. It’s full of an endless amount of quotable lines; I can’t even narrow it down to just one to give an example (plus it’s better to see it action). The film is just brilliantly funny, and I’ll add it makes for a nice double feature with Murder by Death, which is what I did.
One reason I saw this was because it was on Martin Scorsese’s list of 11 Scariest Movies of All Time. In my opinion, it’s not terribly scary, but the anthology film does feature a very chilling story about a ventriloquist and his dummy. What I love about this film is that it has a good mixture of stories, with some being more light-hearted and others being downright creepy. I’d say anyone who’s a fan of The Twilight Zone should check this film out; the stories featured in the film really reminded me of something I’d see on the show, except with classic British flair.
This film greatly balances between comedy and horror, with the horror really coming through with the excellent make-up effects done by Rick Baker. All the visual effects hold up so well today; I was even cringing a little whenever Griffin Dunne showed up onscreen as a slaughtered corpse because he looked so gruesome! The film also really won me over with its use of music, which included Bad Moon Rising and a few versions of Blue Moon, all of which were appropriately used.