My fourth annual Horrorfest went about as well as I expected it to. Like previous years, I fell a little bit short of my goal. I didn't end up watching 31 movies for all 31 days of October but it still went well and here's why. Out of the 31 films I planned on seeing, 21 of them were brand new. And I watched all 21 of those films. It was memorable because of that fact, that I experienced so many movies for the first time. So without further ado, here's my favorites of the fest:
John Carpenter's social commentary during the Reagan era was a blast and I can understand why it has garnered cult classic status. It stars Roddy Piper (yes, the wrestler) as a hardworking, blue-collar American who comes upon a pair of glasses that allows him to uncover the fact that the world is being taken over by aliens. The film features great special effects work and a hilariously long fight between Piper and fellow actor Keith David. The only missteps are Carpenter's score which gets a bit repetitive and actress Meg Foster who just creeped me the hell out.
Jacob's Ladder stars Tim Robbins as a Vietnam war veteran who returns home. The film plays like one long interconnected dream and features downright frightening imagery. The videogame franchise Silent Hill took a lot of its inspiration from Jacob's Ladder and you can immediately see that. It's terrifying, heady stuff and the film wraps up very nicely.
Trilogy of Terror
Trilogy the Terror is a made-for-tv movie that stars Karen Black in three different horror tales. The first tale is about a teacher and her student who becomes infatuated with her. The second story is essentially a tale of two sisters and the third is about a freaky African tribal doll. Each story is progressively better than the one that precedes it but all three are solid tales of horror. I really enjoyed this film, especially the character work from Karen Black.
Favorite of the Fest: House of the Devil
House of the Devil is director Ti West's throwback horror film celebrating 70's horror. The film is basically about a college student played by Jocalin Donahue who takes a babysitting job with a weird ass family. The film could have been gimmicky, in trying to emulate 70's horror but it wasn't. About 25 minutes into the film, there's a scene that shook the hell out of me and from that point on, I was hooked. Another reason for me loving this film so much is how well the suspense and mood is built up. You know some crazy shit is about to happen to this girl but all you can do is wait. The film also makes pizza look disgusting which is a feat in its own right. Favorite film of the fest, by far.