Today marks the start of week two of our count down to Halloween. If you missed last week’s movies, click here!
Thursday October the 10th: The Purge
I actually saw this movie on a whim. I had a free ticket and had to kill a few hours. Starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, this movie will mess with your head. It is set in a dystopian future where the United States choose one night to hold “The Purge”. In efforts to combat high crime (or a high “undesirable” population, depending on who you ask) the United States government picks one 12 hour period a year where any and all crime is legal. Kill your neighbor, boss, or rob anyone you want, as long as it is in the 12 hour period, you cannot be punished. All emergency services, including emergency rooms, are shut down for the 12 hours. The rich are able to afford expensive security systems, while the poor are left to fend for themselves. Some people actually enjoy and look forward to the purge, planning murder parties. This movie is short and expect a little emotional damage from seeing it. Well worth at least a watch, if anything to appreciate that we don’t have “The Purge”!
Friday the ALMOST 13th: Sinister
Sinister just so happens to star Ethan Hawke as well. Hawke plays a true crime writer that seems to have a habit of moving his family into murder houses. In the attic of their most recent home he finds a box full of old-school movies. The movies portray horrific acts and images. Ethan Hawke plays a creepy, paranoid, crime writer exceptionally well. This movie twists and turns the whole time and it creates a wonderful feel of confusion and terror. The writing is a little on the “meh” side, but its still a very fun movie to watch. The cinematography is excellent and I truly enjoyed the actual story behind it. This movie made me scream so loud my 70 pound dog felt the need to sit on my lap and keep me safe!
Saturday the 12th: Saw (and its subsequent movies)
A gruesome but great psychological thriller. Coined the famous “Do you want to play a game?” and that creepy mask. Saw 1 follows the murders of the meticulous Jigsaw serial killer. In each murder, the victim has a slim chance of survival but to survive they must perform horrific acts either to themselves or another. Jigsaw claims and shows that he is interested in seeing how far a human will go to live. The first movie is compelling and well made. The next two movies are still worth watching, as they further develop the story of Jigsaw. After the third movie the franchise lost me (which they continued on to 7 major films). Saw 1 is not your average serial killer movie, and a definite October must see.
Sunday the 13th: Sphere
Another movie I grew up watching. This movie has it all, code breaking, aliens, underwater expedition, horror, and Samuel L Jackson. All with a little cheese sprinkled on top. Sphere follows a team under the ocean to investigate a mysterious Sphere found there. It is a top secret government mission (of course) and the team is made up of scientists and mathematicians. Naturally, one of the team members has a less than perfect psychological profile. They make contact with what they think is an alien life. Is it though? You will have to watch the movie to find out.
Monday the 14th: Blade Series
Blade is what you get when comic book movies and horror. There are three movies in the series, but its really all about the first two. Blade Trinity was a high budget Hollywood film that left me feeling very “meh”. Wesley Snipes plays Blade, a half vampire/half human vampire hunter. They call him the Day Walker because he can be out in the sunlight. He does not feed on humans and actually spends most of his time trying to protect them while killing all the vampires he comes across. Doing this review I learned that Guillermo Del Torro (One of his films, Mama, was previously featured in this countdown) directed Blade 2. Similar to The Lost Boys I have probably seen Blade 2 hundreds of times. (I like vampires…) Its an excellent action/fantasy/horror/comic book/slight comedic tragedy. All three are worth watching to get the complete story but Blade 1 and 2 trump Blade Trinity.
Tuesday the 15th: Se7en
Starring Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey and Brad Pitt this movie was destined to become a classic. Se7en is about two detectives, Freeman and Pitt, who are investigated gruesome serial murders. The murders each follow a theme of one of the seven deadly sins. The serial killer is creative and vicious in the manners he forces his victims to die. Morgan Freeman plays the typical seasoned officer training the new loud mouthed rookie (Brad Pitt) before he retires. This adds that wonderful buddy-cop flick aspect to the movie. Of course the case becomes overwhelming and personal for everyone involved. The end of this movie is fantastic. A very fun movie to watch on a creepy October evening!
Wednesday the 16th: Dark Water
Dark Water stars Jennifer Connelly as a freshly single mom trying to make it work. She into a run down apartment complex with her daughter. The divorce is nasty and trying on Dahlia (Jennifer Connelly) but she tries to keep it together for the sake of her daughter. Shortly after moving into the flat they notice a dark water stain on the ceiling and noises coming from the supposedly vacant upstairs apartment. Dahlia begins to see things, such as a little girl in a washing machine, but simply assumes its the medicine she is taking for extreme headaches. Her daughter has trouble adjusting to the new school and soon takes an imaginary friend named Natasha. Children taking imaginary friends that turn out to be ghosts is so commonly used in horror movies it can get old and predictable. That being said, it works for Dark Water. This movie captures the psychology of stress and adapting to new situations.