Happy Halloween one and all! Halloween has never really been my favorite holiday but I do like getting into the spirit by watching horror movies and the like. I watched and enjoyed 3 recently that I wanted to share. Enjoy!
The Conjuring 2
Besides actually being scary while using jumpscares, The Conjuring 2 actually has a compelling but also a sweet? story (which is an odd thing to describe a horror movie). This is the sequel to the 2013 movie, The Conjuring and the sequel follows the same paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine, from the first movie and they are helping the Hodgson family who are experiencing weird, haunted activity in their house. Meanwhile, Lorraine is having visions of a demonic nun and her husbands impalement. It sounds like the usual haunted house movie but I think the Conjuring 2 uses the horror tactics, jumpscares, and false jumpscares of other horror movies and executes them really well and actually startles me. But more than that, this movie takes the time to build these characters and the sweet relationship between Ed and Lorraine so that when shit starts to rain down on them, you actually care about what happens to them. It does take a while to get going but when it does, it’s nonstop scares.
I decided to watch this after reading LifeofaFemaleBibliophile’s post on her favorite Halloween movies and I ended up really enjoying it. It reminded me a lot of Paranorman (although I did like Paranorman more). The main character, DJ, can’t wait to become an adult and he, of course, gets the most character development and the rest of the characters are just caricatures that prop him up. I’m surprised at how truly suspenseful and inventive this movie is. It follows DJ and his friends as they figure what exactly is inside this insidious house in their neighborhood. I expected the concept behind this haunted house to be silly or lame haunted house in order for it to exist in a children’s movie but it surprised me. It actually holds mystery and makes you intrigued as to what is inside this house. The animation might be a hit or miss however, as it feels like a cross between stopmotion and CGI. But I thought it was really creative and fun movie.
The Witch is my favorite movie out of the three movies I’m reviewing. It’s a historical fiction horror movie but not the kind of horror like The Conjuring 2 is. It’s the sort of psychological horror that creeps up and unsettles you. It follows a Puritan family in the 1600’s whose baby son disappears one day. Although a witch has taken the baby, the family begins to suspect and blame one another. Throughout the movie, you can feel this family falling apart bit by bit until the explosive ending. They, however, don’t fall apart because they are blatantly nasty people; they fall apart because of their subtle insecurities and deepest fears vented out on one another. The father, for example, feels incompetent because he is not able to prevent the crops from failing and the farm from falling into debt and it was fascinating to see his actions become more and more desperate as he tries to fix the situation. But character is not the only thing this movie does well. It is also blessed with a fittingly shrill soundtrack. I also loved the visceral imagery and Biblical parallels and the lighting is put to eerie and effective use.
Have you seen any of these movies? What are your favorite Halloween movies? Any plans for Halloween?