Creepy Cinema: Grab Bag | Week One

I have to admit that I've been looking forward to Creepy Cinema. It's become such a staple in our lives and a wonderful tradition. The first three films were all very good and I can't wait to share my thoughts with you!

1. Tales from the Darkside - 1990 
This film is a little known horror anthology which is comprised of three short stories and a subplot. The first story, Lot 249, was a delightfully creepy tale of an archaeology nerd’s revenge. I loved seeing a young Steve Buscemi play a young intellectual who becomes consumed with vengeance. The short also stars Christian Slater and he gets a bit crazy, which is when I enjoy Slater the most.  The second story, Cat from Hell, started off a bit campy, but the ending was terrifying. It only further confirmed my distaste for cats. I just can’t trust them and you wouldn’t either after watching this. The third story, Lover’s Vow, was by far the weirdest of the three, and was on it’s own level of horrifying. The plotline was predictable, but the visual effects were incredible. The last scene is so haunting that it will forever be etched in my memory. I was less interested in the subplot, but it was nice to see Matthew Lawrence. Overall, I enjoyed Tales from the Darkside and it was the perfect start to Creepy Cinema! 

2. The Babadook - 2014
For a while now, I’ve heard Markus and a few friends sing the praises of The Babadook. I knew from his comments that it would be on this year’s list, which only added to my fear and trepidation. I watched the trailer and I could tell it would be the kind of movie that would make me cover my ears and close my eyes. After watching, I have to say, that it was spectacular and lived up to the hype. There is so much to love about this movie. The acting is amazing by both the mother and young boy, Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman. In the beginning of the film, you really begin to hate the boy and don’t understand why his mother let’s him act out. Then throughout the course of the film, things begin to subtly change and become more clear and more sinister. What I loved most is its simplicity. The film relies heavily on the acting and not on jump scares or tactics. There were moments that were so intense and that I had to pause the movie. Despite being terrified most of the time, I can’t deny that The Babadook is a great film that I would recommend to anyone.

 3. Carnival of Souls - 1962
I really enjoyed watching this independent horror film from the 60s. When Carnival of Souls was originally released it wasn’t well received but over the years it gained popularity and became a cult classic. I read somewhere that this film influenced horror titans David Lynch and George A. Romero, which totally makes sense. The ambiance and imagery is hauntingly beautiful, and there’s something off kilter about the main character, Mary Helen. I was so invested in her life and wanted to know more about her. She seemed lost and in search of something. When she finally moves to her new town and begins her new life, I desperately wanted her to succeed. I felt bad for her when her next door neighbor kept forcing himself on her. What a creep. More importantly though, why does a creepy, pale man keep following her? The twist was predictable, but it didn’t reduce my enjoyment. The film was quite refreshing and not like any I’ve seen in awhile.