Wednesday, October 31, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Treaters

Two friends who are invited in a big Halloween night score by a mysterious third kid: Why just settle for the candy they can get by going door to door when they can just rob the candy shop?

Like any good heist movie, this one's got a break-in, reversals, betrayals, and a daring getaway. Like any good horror movie, it's got tons of atmosphere and surprise twists. It's a great little film for you to spend a few minutes on, on this the last of the 31 Nights of Halloween for 2018!

Treaters (2017)
Starring: Leila Wetton, James Grogan, Renate Morley, and Charlie Huckett
Director: Peter Stanley-Ward
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars


The last of the 31 Nights of Halloween is almost here! Let's celebrate with song!

By Fletcher Kinnear

31 Nights of Halloween: Tricker's Treat

The Big Night is almost here, and so I present a cautionary tale. Watch and consider what you see, because I would hate for anyone reading this to draw the ire of the Halloween Spirits who roam freely this time of year.

Tricker's Treat (2012)
Starring: Paul Hernandez and Mitch Kerzic
Director: Danny Green
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

31 Nights of Halloween: The Jester, Chapter 2

The Big Night is here, and I hope you are ready for the onslaught of ghouls and goblins and ghosts that will be running wild in the streets. We also hope you show the appropriate amount of Halloween cheer (or is that fear?)... especially if you come face to face with the Jester.

The Jester first made his appearance at Terror Titans, exactly one year ago. Now he has returned....

The Jester: Chapter 2 (2018)
Starring: Michael Scheffield, Rebecca Rose, and Nick Lewis
Director: Colin Krawchuck
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: A Tap at the Window

If tonight's short film doesn't creep you out, you need to check your pulse... you may be one of the walking dead haunting these 31 Nights of Halloween! This is one of the best film's I've featured this year!

A Tap at the Window (2018)
Starring: Cindy Pham and Dru Blohm-Craig
Directors: Jimmy Ren and Jack Vang
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

Monday, October 29, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: One Selfie Plz

Halloween is almost here, so tonight I'm presenting a short film is part treat, part trick, just in case you need a little extra spark to get that Halloween Spirit going. (This may not be the most technically accomplished film, but it's a lot of fun.)

One Selfie Plz (2015)
Starring: Mohammad Salim Khan and Tharani Kharthikesu
Director: Skraddha Ramteke
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Musical Mondays: Don't Fear the Reaper by Exploring Birdsong

For the Final Musical Monday of this year's 31 Nights of Halloween, I've chosen what may be one of the most haunting, beautiful versions of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" ever recorded.

However, I think it needed more cowbell.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Pieces

I have a few major issues with the way this story of a woman finding horror while packing up her deceased grandmothers belongings unfolds, but the spooky atmosphere throughout and effective use of horror movie techniques that are annoying and cliched in the hands of lesser filmmaker make this film worth watching. It's well worth your attention on this, one of the final few 31 Nights of Halloween.

Pieces (2014)
Starring: Kristi Guest, Louise Willoughby, and Kate Sandison
Director: Dan Sunley
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday Scream Queen: Jamie Lee Curtis

Born on November 22, 1958, Jamie Lee Curtis claimed her place among the great Scream Queens with her first starring role in "Halloween" (1978). She is unquestionably one of the quintessential actresses of 1980s horror films--also starring in such classics as the 1980 films "The Fog" and "Terror Train", and the teen-slasher genre founding flick "Prom Night" (1980).

Curtis also made her mark on comedies and action films with "Trading Places (1983), "A Fish Called Wanda" (1988), "Blue Steel" (1990), "True Lies" (1994), and many, many others.

She has also been a regular on numerous successful television series, such as "Anything But Love" (1989 - 1992), the 2012 season of "NCIS" and the "Scream Queens" series (2015-2016). And then there have been the countless guest-starring appearances on shows of every genre.

Jamie Lee Curtis could only look more 1980s if she was wearing a Walkman.
But throughout her career, Curtis has returned to the horror genre in pictures like "Virus" (1999). She has also revisited the character who launched her to stardom, Laurie Strode, in "Halloween II" (1982), "Halloween H20" (1998) and the best-forgotten "Halloween: Ressurection" (2002).

In the early 2000s, Curtis mostly retired from acting to focus on writing. However, she has continued to appear in one or two projects a year, and starting in 2010, she ramped up her acting career again. Curtis has most recently returned to horror, as well as the is the Halloween series with a film simply titled "Halloween". It "reboots" the series by wiping out all sequels to the original 1978 film (save perhaps "Halloween II."). Is it better than all the sequels it is overriding? Is it worse than some, better than others? You can let the world know in the comment section bemow. But, regardless, Curtis is undoubtedly be excellent in it.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fear-filled Phantasms: Emanuele Taglietti

Halloween is just around corner, and here's another collection of paintings from Emanuele Taglietti to help you get in the mood!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Your Date is Here

A mom and her young daughter spend an evening at home, just hanging out and having fun, eating pizza, watching movies, and playing boardgames. What can possibly be spooky or horrorific about that? Well... this is the 31 Nights of Halloween, so it could be anything!

Your Date is Here (2017)
Starring: Becca Flinn and Dani Tiernan
Director: Todd Spence and Zak White
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Peek A Boo

Aubree Bowen returns for her second appearance during this year's 31 Nights of Halloween celebration, and she is once again haunted by 1990s technology. (It's also happens to be the second film titled "Peek A Boo"...)

Peek A Boo (2017)
Starring: Aubree Bowen and Olive Bernadette Hoffmann
Director: Neil Stevens
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Peephole

Tonight, a trip into the realm of nightmares starts with a knock at the door...

Peephole (2017)
Starring: Tim Leuke
Director: Jaron Henrie-McCrea
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Monday, October 22, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Death in C Minor

Although I don't really get the "why" of tonight's film, it's spooky and more than just a little worthy of the 31 Nights of Halloween. (This is also the first of two appearances by Cindy Pham and the team at PixelGlass in this year's selections.)

Death in C Minor (2015)
Starring: Cindy Pham and Ellen Davis
Directors: Jimmy Ren and Jack Vang
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Musical Monday: Don't Fear the Reaper by Leo Moracchioli

This may be the month of terror and doom, but here's a little something to put your mind at ease while you rock out.

If you enjoyed that, you can find more of Leo's cover tunes here.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Idol Threats

We're ten nights away from the Big One, and I hope everyone's getting into the Halloween Spirit! Here's another short film to help you along the way. It's full of ancient mystery... so full of it in fact that I don't quite follow why the evil spirit did what it did. For that reason, the film doesn't quite work for me, even if I did find it very creepy and entertaining. Maybe someone out there can explain why what happened to Colin happened?

Idol Threats (2014)
Starring: Michelle Corvais and Dennis Frymire
Director: David Schmidt
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Saturday, October 20, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: The Visitant

If you like straight-up horror movies, then you're going to like this one about a mother, demons, and a big knife. This 31 Nights of Halloween offering packs more horror into 5 minutes than many films manage in 75.

The Visitant (2014)
Starring: Amy Smart, Sibyl Gregory, and Doug Jones
Director: Nick Petersen
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

"The Visitant" was incorporated into the 2016 anthology horror film "Patient Seven". It was a well-deserved second life for this excellent bit of film-making.

Saturday Scream Queen: Amy Smart

This is Amy Smart's second appearance as a Saturday Scream Queen, but, as you'll see if you watch "The Visitant"--appearing here this evening as part of the 31 Nights of Halloween celebration--you'll see that it's well deserved. In fact, if you've seen any the horror films she's had a large role in, you know it's well deserved.

Born in 1976, she studied dance and acting as a child, and had her first professional acting gigs in 1996. She added horror films to her resume in 1997 with "Campfire Tales" and "Strangelands" and they've been a regular part of her busy schedule ever since.

Horror films in the past ten years that have been graced by Smart's presence are "Mirrors" and "Seventh Moon", both released in 2008; "Among Ravens", Flight 7500", "Run for You Life", and "The Visitant" (all debuting in 2014); "Hangman" (2015); and, most recently, "The Keeping Hours" (2017).

Friday, October 19, 2018

Fear-filled Phantasms: Emanuele Taglietti

During the 1970s and 1980s, adult-oriented horror comics were big business in Itality. Emanuele Taglietti was one of the most prolific painter of covers for these titles, sometimes creating as many as ten in a single month. Every Friday this month, I'm presented a small gallery of his work in celebration of the 31 Nights of Halloween.

When the market for comics full of sex and violence and monsters and gore began to shrank, Taglietti  left the commercial art field to work as a fine artist and art instructor. He retired in 2000, but he continues to do work in the field of mural restoration.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Knock Knock

This is a nice little chiller that sags a bit in a middle, and there are a few touches that raise questions that are never answered, but it otherwise fairly well done. (It was based on a two-sentence story, which I will post below... but don't read it until after you've watched the film.)

Also--and I never thought I'd say this--but it's refreshing to see this sort of story NOT feature a young hottie in her undies and/or nightie. Maybe I've watched waaaay too many of these short-shorts over the past few years?

Knock Knock (2014)
Starring: Akansha Sukhija
Director: Simrat Sandhu
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

And the two sentence story the film is based on: "I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I thought it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again."

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Sleepwalker

Here's a great example of "less is more" when it comes to horror films!

Sleepwalker (2017)
Starring: Isabelle Goddard and Aimee Piere
Directors: Sean Loch and Sammi Price
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Selfie Pride

Today's film is a cautionary tale about stupid online challenges. (The creators of this 2017 film are are unknown, and I don't recognized the star, but I give "Selfie Pride" Eight of Ten Stars for making me chuckle in the way "Tales from the Crypt" comics used to make make chuckle.)

Monday, October 15, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Shall Not

I just realized that this is the first "Babysitter in Trouble" film during this year's 31 Nights of Halloween. That's a major change from some past years where it seeme like every other film I thought worthy had the sitter menanced by ghosts, mad slashers, monsters, or the ghosts of mad slashers who were monsters. Maybe they're all dead?

As far as tonight's selection goes, what litte dialogue there is in ths film could have been a lot better scripted, and I wish the director had made the effort to give a sense that more time passed than just the five minutes it takes to watch the film--because from the basic events it's obvious that hours do pass, but it doesn't feel that way while watching. I also would have liked a better set-up of the main character. Despite its flaws, however, "Shall Not" is an atmospheric, creepy little movie that's worthy of your time this Halloween Season!

Shall Not (2015)
Starring: Jessica Martinez, Jason Martinez, Cindy Schindewolf, and Elija Schindewolf
Director: Robert Newman
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Musical Monday: Don't Fear the Reaper by The Alice Band

It's Monday... and it brings a song in celebration of the 31 Nights of Halloween.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: The Clapper

Anything has the potential to be haunted, especially during the 31 Nights of Halloween. Although sometimes the seemingly supernatural has a perfectly mundane explanation. What will it turn out to be in the story of Rachel, a young woman who just wants to make her life easier with The Clapper as she recovers from a broken leg?

This straight-to-the-point chiller will have you thinking twice before deciding to play around with old gadgets you find laying about (or even those sent to you by Mom).

The Clapper (2017)
Starring: Aubree Bowen, Neil Stevens, and Lindsay Garvey
Director: Neil Stevens
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Saturday, October 13, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Ghosting

Tonight's offering is an excellent modernization of the gothic ghost story.

Ghosting (2015)
Starring: Allison Miller, Chase Williamson, and Lilan Boden
Director: Kim Sherman
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Saturday Scream Queen: Allison Miller

Born in 1985, Allison Miller studied acting, music, and dance in High School, and after dropping out of college, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Since her first professional job in 2006, she has stayed with a variety of roles on television series, and in films that have run the gamut from soap operas to mind-wrenching terror flicks.

Miller is perhaps best known for her roles as Skye on the sci-fi television series "Terra Nova" (2011), and as Laura on the sci-fi thriller series "Incorporated" (2016).

Miller's first horror role was co-starring in "Blood: The Last Vampire" (2009). Other horror films on her resume include "Betwixt" (2010), "Devil's Due" (2014), and the horror comedy "Strange Calls" (2016).

She currently part of the ensemble cast on the ABC series "A Million Little Things."

Friday, October 12, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Unboxing

If I were to make a list of the many things I don't get the appeal of, "unboxing videos" would probably be somewhere near the top. Although that's an element of today's horror short, I got the scary parts here. The film also reminds of an episode of the "Hammer House of Horror" television series that sticks with me to this day and the featured actress here is really good. I hope you enjoy today's selection (even if, apparently, the writer/director has decided to stop making short films).

Unboxing (2018)
Starring: Alana Wallace
Director: Veemsen Lama
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Fear-filled Phantasms: Emanuele Taglietti

Here's another gallery of chilling paintings from Italian artist Emanuele Taglietti, selected to encourage some Halloween spirit as the Big Night draws ever closer!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Friend Request

You gotta be careful accepting Friend Requests from total strangers... especially during the 31 Nights of Halloween!

Friend Request (2013)
Starring: Emily Sandifer
Director: Nicholas Acosta
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

This film gets everything right--even the jump scares! It's rating of Ten is well-deserved. (BTW, if you want to Friend me, you should probably do it via this blog and G+. My Facebook page is mostly rants, roleplaying talk, and repostings of goofy memes.But please let me know if you're a vengeful ghost first!)

The Halloween Canon (according to me)

It's been 40 years since John Carpenter, for better or worse, changed horror movies forever when he crystalized the tropes of the slasher genre with the first two "Halloween" movies.

There's a new "Halloween" movie coming out soon--not a remake, but another sequel to the original 1978 film. It seems to be positioning itself as THE sequel, since plot summaries imply that Michael Myers has been locked up in an asylum for the past four decades.

Will it be any good? Time will tell, but it can't be any worse than that wretched Rob Zombie remake from 2007.

However it turns out, now seems like the perfect time to produce the ultimate Terror Titans Halloween round-up post: Reviews of the ONLY Halloween movies you should watch. These four films make up a complete story, and everything else that claims to feature Michael Myers or Laurie Strode should be ignored. (Unless the film that comes out on 10/18/2018 is so good it changes my mind...)

Halloween (1978)
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance
Director: John Carpenter
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Michael Myer, who has been confined to a mental institution since committing several brutal murders as a young child, escapes and returns to his hometown to kill his last remaining relative, his sister. While his psychiatrist Dr. Loomis (Pleasance) tries to get the local sheriff to clear the streets of Halloween trick-or-treaters to protect them from a killer who the doctor believes to literally be possessed by evil spirits, Michael is cutting his way through the population of Haddonfield, getting ever closer to his actual goal, his sister, Laurie (Curtis).

"Halloween" was the first of this type of movie--an unspeakably violent, hands-on killer butchers his way through hapless victims until one girl faces him alone--and it still remains the best. The gore may be mild compared to the countless slasher flicks that follow, but the tension and terror flowing from the screen remains unmatched.

All actors featured in “Halloween” turn in great performances, with Curtis’ portrayal of the terror-stricken, yet scrappy, Laurie being particularly impressive. Horror movie veteran Pleasance also turns in a great performance as the stressed-beyond-stressed-out, gun-toting mental health professional bent on stopping a man who is “pure evil” before he murders again. Even the actor playing the masked, silent Michael Myer is wonderful—he has an animal-like way of cocking his head that is very creepy.

Other strong aspects that really make “Halloween” stand out is the camera-work, lighting, and set-dressing. All of these combine to turn typical small-town America into a creepy and threatening environment that is as much a character in the film as the principle actors. Much of the tension that is built in the early parts of the film grows from the curiously unsettling aura throughout the town of Haddonfield.

Finally, the soundtrack score of "Halloween" needs to be singled out for praise. Performed completely on synthesizers by director Carpenter, it stands as not only one of the creepiest horror movie scores but also as one of the best works of electronica ever composed. Plus, no other horror movie has a theme as memorable as "Halloween." (Only "The Exorcist" comes close, and the theme from it wasn't originally composed for the movie.)

Halloween II (1981)
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

'Halloween II" is a direct sequel to the original movie, picking up pretty much exactly where it left off. After narrowly escaping death at the knife-wielding hands of her insane brother, Laurie is taken to the local hospital while an apparently dead Michael Myers is taken to the morgue in its basement. It quickly becomes apparent that someone was a bit hasty in declaring Myers dead—a natural mistake since Dr. Loomis had shot him six times in the chest--and soon he is stalking through the darkened hospital and sending everyone on the graveyard shift to the graveyard. Maybe Laurie won’t live to see the sun come up on November 1st after all.

The film takes place almost entirely within the Haddonfield hospital. Director Rick Rosenthal. Rosenthal successfully uses the empty, darkened hallways to evoke suspense and horror, and to eventually emphasize the isolation of Laurie as she for the second time in one night is the object of her brother’s murderous intentions.

On the acting front, we’ve got Curtis and Pleasance reprising their roles from the original “Halloween”, and they are just as good as they were before. Curtis once again strikes a perfect balance between strength and terror, and Pleasance once again excels as a man obsessed with putting an end to what he views as evil given form on Earth.

The only weakness that prevents this film from being as good as the original “Halloween” is, curiously, the script. Although Carpenter and Hill wrote both, the story for “Halloween II” never really seems to build up quite the same momentum as the original movie. The middle is actually downright dull at times.

“Halloween II” is still worth watching, but a tighter script would have made it so much better.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Starring: Donald Pleasance, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, and Michael Pataki
Director: Dwight H. Little
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Ten years after Michael Myers brought real terror and bloodshed to Halloween night in the small town of Haddonfield, he escapes while being transferred between two asylums. He returns to his old stalking grounds, but finds that his sister, Laurie is now out of his reach. However, his young niece Jamie (Harris) is not so lucky. Soon, the bodies start to pile up, and Jamie and her teenaged protector (Cornell) may not survive the night, even though Dr. Loomis (Pleasance) is once again stalk Michael as he stalks them.

With “Halloween 4,” Myers joins the ranks (whether he is elevated or if he falls depends on your point of view) of all the other indestructible psycho-killers, since he was burned to a crisp on camera at the end of “Halloween II.” However, Dr. Loomis, is also back (and he didn’t fare much better than Myers in that fire), so he is probably the only slasher-flick hero who is as indestructible as killer himself!

Unfortunately, this film is another step down from the heights where it all began. Like “Halloween II” was an inferior film when compared to the original, so is “Halloween 4” weaker than both its predecessors. The greatest flaw is the setting of Haddonfield. Where Carpenter and his crew managed to infuse the town itself with a sense of dreadful anticipation, the director of this film just conveys that it is like any other little town. Because of this, the movie doesn’t seem quite as suspenseful as those that came before. Yes, there are plenty of shocks, and Myers is now conducting himself as we have come to expect from a man in his like of work (like Jason, and Freddy, and dozens and dozens of other cinema maniacs that appeared in the decade since Myer first cocked his head at Laurie Strode), but the same level of tension is never quite reached.

Acting-wise, however, the performances are as good as they were in the first pair of movies. Curtis isn’t in the film—her character reportedly died in a car accident shortly after she gave birth to a daughter—but instead we have Danielle Harris, a very talented child actress playing Jamie, Myers new target. Cornell also puts on a good show as the stubborn teenaged girl trying to keep herself and Jamie alive as Myers is killing people all around them. At first blush, Pleasance’s performance seems to be a bit much, but if one considers that Dr. Loomis has shot Myers in the chest six times, in the face twice, and burned him alive, and still the human monster fails to die, then it would make sense that the character has gone completely nuts. In that light, his performance is perfect.

Like “Halloween II”, this installment suffers from script problems. In this case, the script isn’t ponderous, but instead is burdened with some useless and annoying subplots (such as one involving brave rednecks hopping in their truck to go kick Michael-ass). I suppose the filmmakers sensed the other problem with the film’s storyline—that Myers was starting to no longer be scary. We saw all his tricks in the first two films, and all we had now was the same as before, except he was so monstrous that he would go after a very young child.

This problem with Michael Myers is what let to some truly stupid missteps in the three movies that followed. Someone, somewhere, decided to take Dr. Loomis at his word. Soon, the series was burdened with bizarre Satanic cultists. It's almost a shame that "Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers" marks the point at which the series tips over the edge of the abyss and plummets into the Bottomless Depths of Truly Crappy, because it has what I've always thought to be the most striking poster/home-video cover image of the entire series--Michael holding his trademarked butcher knife with the blade fading into an image of a young girl in a harlequin costume. Harris and Cornell are also both back with excellent performances. It’s a shame the overall movie isn’t have been better. (That's the illo at the tip of this post, by the way.)

The final word on “Halloween 4” is that it’s worth seeing if you like your slasher-flicks with some good acting.

Halloween: H20 (1998)
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, and LL Cool J
Director: Steve Miner
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Keri Tate (Curtis) has spent the past twenty years trying to put a single night horror behind her. Her successful career as an educator has helped, as has the love of her now-teenaged son (Hartnett) and the fact that she faked her death and changed her name when she became pregnant with him. But now, the past is coming back with a vengeance... Keri will no longer be able to deny that she is Laurie Strode. Michael Myers is back, and he still wants her.

"Halloween: H20" is the only entry in the series since "The Return of Michael Myers" that is worth your time. In fact, it's one of the best slasher movies to emerge from the late 1990s when the genre enjoyed a bit of a revival, because it doesn't engage in self-mockery and remains true to the tone and mood of the original "Halloween" films while presenting a slasher story with a slightly different structure than what we're used to.

Also like the original "Halloween", this film does not rely on body count and gory, creative butchering of characters. Instead, it relies on the fact that the audience actually cares about what happens to the characters in the film. With its well-written script, solid cast--Curtis in particular is fabulous as a broken Laurie Strode who suddenly finds the strength to fight not only for herself but for the life of her son--and a highly underrated director at the helm, the audience is drawn into the action and terror as it builds and unfolds.

(I feel Miner is underrated, because this and other horror films he's done shows that he understands that there needs to be a pay-off to any build-up of suspense, and that the key to making a horror movie truly scary is that the characters in the film need to be human and sympathetic. Both of these facts seem to be lost on many modern horror film directors who believe that one fake scare after another and flat characters surrounded by CGI monsters is all that's needed.)

"Halloween: H20" was a great way to celebrate twenty years of Michael Myers striking fear into the hearts of audiences around the world--it almost managed to reach the great heights achieved by Carpenter and Company in the original film. As of this writing, it remains the last worthwhile entry in the series.

Actually the "Nightdance" graphic novel from ten years ago is also good enough to be "canon." The rest of it... it never happened.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: The Quiet Zone

Today's offering is spooky from beginning to end, and I think the least said up front the better. Check it out and prepare for scares!

The Quiet Zone (2015)
Starring: Jessica Bayly and Kasey Iliana Sfetsios
Director: Andrew Ionides
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

The only complaint I have about this film is that ending doesn't quite work for me, because it strays into "hitting the viewer over the head with a hammer" territory. Everything else about it I love (even if I'm as squemish as ever when it comes to graphic violence (of which there is a little).

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Polaroid

I'm trying to decide if the unfortunate photographer in tonight's short film's biggest mistake was to shake the polaroid photos as they dry or to not run away after taking the first one.

Polaroid (2017)
Starring: Ethan Mikael
Director: Joey Greene
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Monday, October 8, 2018

Musical Monday: Don't Fear the Reaper with Ghost & Anthony Vincent

If today's video and cover of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" doesn't stir the Halloween spirit within you... well, then you may be beyond help!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Peek A Boo

Ghosts and other terrors reaching into our lives from the screens of our computers, smart phones, and tablets has becoming an ever-increasing popular theme in horror movies over the past decade or two. Here's one such film. Take it as a warning... if some stranger asks you in chat "Shall We Play a Game?" (or some variation there-of) block them!

Peek A Boo (2017)
Starring: Vivian Wu and Rosa Lin
Director: Jose Escorcia
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Saturday, October 6, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Repossessed

Would you sell a house to this woman?

The realtor in tonight's short film tries to, as the 31 Nights of Halloween continue!

Repossessed (2002)
Starring: JoBeth Williams and Juliet Landau
Director: John Coven
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

This is a nicely done chiller, featuring familiar faces and good performances. It would have earned at least another Star if there had been another twist or two. The scares here are EXCELLENT, though.

Saturday Scream Queen: Juliet Landau

Born in 1964, Juliet Landau is the daughter of  Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, so performing is literally in her blood. She grew up in England and studied acting and classical ballet before returning to the United States at the age of 18 and embarking on her acting career.

Landau remains best known to horror fans for her role as Drusilla, the insane vampire on the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003) and its spin-off "Angel" (2000-2004), but aside from her famous TV horror role, she's been in the horror-drenched sci-fi flick "Ravager" (1997); "Tool Box Murders" (2004) and "Hack!" (2007);  the zombie movie "Fairfield" (2014); and, most recently, "The Terror of Hallow's Eve" (2017); and several others.

Friday, October 5, 2018

31 Nights of Halloween: Pumpkin Eyes

There plenty of reviews here at Terror Titans that illustrate that I'm rather squemish when it comes to the sort of graphic violence that was a hallmark of the now-thankfully mostly extinct subgenre of torture porn. Today's short film, though, made me squirm and grimace and want to fast forward past the gory bits (even though most of them are implied rather than shown, which makes them worse!) as much as any of those films ever did. But I soldidered on, because in addition to making me feel uncomfortable, this film also made me smile... because in addition to be the kind of horror that really horrifies me, it's also silly and goofy. That, in turn, makes it a worth viewing during this year's 31 Days of Halloween.

Plus, who out there can't relate to the work party that's volunteer-but-mandatory to attend?

Pumpkin Eyes (2015)
Starring: Colten Phillips and Caleb Dish
Director: Jacob Perrett
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Fear-filled Phantasms: Emanuele Taglietti

This year's featured artist during the 31 Nights of Halloween is Italian painter and illustrator Emanuele Taglietti. He was most active as a commercial artist during the 1970s and 1980s, and he specialized in covers for horror comics that featured lots of sex and graphic violence.

We're starting on the mild end of Taglietti's range, but it will get more graphic as the monsters awaken from their slumber and Halloween draws near.