31 Horror Movies In 31 Days – Check Out What We Saw, Including Best and Worst! (Part One of Three)

This is going to have to be split up into three posts, since we already needed to take a month to watch the movies and don’t want to take another month writing this.

Even with the number of horror movies ole Mrs. Horror Boom sees being more in a month that the average movie-goer sees in a year, you’d think finding 31 I hadn’t seen yet would be a cinch, right? Wrong! Fortunately, there was a huge number of new releases for the month of October 2014. I actually saw more than 31, but some were so shitty I don’t even want to add them to the list. A couple of them literally put me to sleep, and there were a couple of others that were so bad I blew a mental fuse just sitting through and trying to tolerate the goddamned things, and either picked up my iPad for some task/game that required most of my attention, or just said the hell with it and turned it off, then re-watched something I knew was a sure thing and would not disappoint me (thus, the few re-watches on the list).

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However, let’s just start with the list. I could put them in the order I saw them, but then I would have to look at a detail of our Amazon Instant Video and the VOD cable bill, which I am too nervous to look at and see how fast the charges added up (I’ve seen enough scary movies, I don’t need scary real-life).  Let’s try alphabetical order. An asterisk means that the movie was a fairly new release, say available on VOD less than six weeks.

Oh, and if there is an R-Rated and an Unrated version available for a flick, assume I watched the Unrated (such as the very torture porn-y Carver.  Also if they ever tried to make an R-Rated version of The ABCs of Death 2,* it would probably cut the running time by a good 10 minutes, depending how much of a prude the ratings board members were for that project. For PG-13, there would be about 200 words that you cannot say in a PG-13 movie cut out, and some of the shorts (they usually average 3-4 minutes) would last maybe 30 seconds and you would not definitely know what the fuck was going on with most of them. So thank you, Magnet Releasing!

I also added links to the IMDB pages (or pieces Horror Boom did on the fright flick in question previously), and stuck in a few of the better trailers to keep things interesting. Turns out roughly a third of the horror movies on the list are found footage, and while at least a couple will end up on the “worst” list, there were some nice surprises (including the “mockumentary” The Gerber Syndrome).

The list, and links:

*The ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

(Here’s the gory Red Band trailer, NSFW–enjoy!)

Alyce Kills (2011)

American Mary (re-watch, 2012)

Any Minute Now (2013)

Antisocial (2013)

Bad Kids Go to Hell (2012)

 Black Death (re-watch, 2010)

Here’s the Black Death HD trailer (and yeah, it’s as grim and bleak as it looks)

*Cabin Fever – Patient Zero (2014)

*The Canal (2014)

Carver (2008)

Chasing The Devil (2014)

*Chemical Peel (2014)

Dark Mountain (2013)

*Dead Snow 2 – Red VS Dead (2014)

*Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

Evil Things (2009)

*Found (completed in 2012, but not released on VOD till Fall 2014). Trailer is below, and it earned every blurb and award)

The Gerber Syndrome (2011)

*Horns (2013, but only released recently)

*Housebound (2014)

*The Houses October Built (2014)

Here’s a clip for you from the above movie (yep, more found footage).

*Inner Demons (2014)

The Monkey’s Paw (2013) (quit laughing! I was scraping the bottom of the barrel by this point, I believe Day 29.)

Open Grave (2013)

The Possession of Michael King (2014)

Here’s the trailer for the latter:

*See No Evil 2 (2014)

Sleepy Hollow (1999, re-watch…on Halloween, Day 31)

*The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014 – sale rental on Amazon, free on Netflix streaming)

*V/H/S Viral (2014)

Witching and Bitching (2013)

*Wrong Turn Six- The Last Resort (2014)

Up next? The ten worst films on the list; after that we’ll get to the ten best.

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* We will have a review of ABCs of Death 2 coming up where we name the top ten entries. This will actually take some work, because the shorts were so much better it’d be faster just to name the few stupid or lazy ones. In the first ABCs of Death, I couldn’t even get a list of the top ten together; after “X is for XXL”, “L is for Libido”, “T is For Toilet”, “Young Buck”, and “Dog Fight”,  picking five more would be a stretch.  A list of the ten worst for the same movie, however, would pretty much write itself. I was happy to discover after the sequel roared to a finish that I could barely list the five worst. But I digress…

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Horror Boom and Disney’s Haunted Mansion Wish You a Grim Grinning Halloween!

Nope, we never get tired of posting these every year!

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The first one is from Disney’s “House of Mouse” special; the second one is a really great fan tribute with all kinds of perfect Disney clips, and a slower song.

Keep your eye out for the “Night on Bald Mountain” clips in the below version. If this doesn’t put you in the mood for Halloween, well, you’re riding in the wrong end of a hearse!

aaand here’s a new one for 2014- the Halloween light show at the real Haunted Mansion (with the voice of the “Ghost Host”).  It includes the the extra verse and MAN would we love to be there one of these years on Halloween!

Happy Halloween 2014!

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Hurrrrry baaaack…. hurrrry baaaack….

La Llorona Halloween Attraction – Damn, Haunted Houses Sure Have Stepped It Up Since We Were Kids!

Apart from a few exceptions (which are vivid enough memories and such unique experiences they deserve their own post) the last I remember of going to local haunted houses, usually sponsored by a local rock radio station, you would get shuffled through a maze and some people with creepy make-up/costumes would come springing around a corner, go RAAAAWWR! or scream at you and sometimes grab you.  This is actually scary if they put some care and showmanship into it, which they did much of the time.

But this, this horrifying shit, takes it to a whole new level. I realize that this is Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights (this was taped in 2012, if they still have the attraction when we can afford an actual vacation in a couple of years, we are going, paying extra for some VIP pass if we can) and they have unlimited money and talent. Well okay, not unlimited, but the budget allows for a lot more. Not just actors, but animatronics. BIG ones.

But let’s get to the back-story of La Llorona (which translates as ‘The Weeping Woman’). I love that they based it on not just a folktale/legend, but a Latino one, and a simple one at that. No elaborate, intricate back-story, just the right amount of the basics to let your imaginations fill in the blanks. This attraction would be scary as hell without the legend, now that I think of it, but they fill you in on the basic version while you’re waiting in line or entering the maze.

Oh yeah, THAT should be a safe area of the attraction to mosey on through.

Oh yeah, THAT should be a safe area of the attraction to mosey on through.

Here’s their version, and here’s a link to the Wikipedia page to read more. I am sincerely glad I did not hear the legend of La Llarona when I was a little girl, and already had my nightmares full of stories about licked hands, dead boyfriends with signs around their necks saying YOU SHOULD HAVE OPENED THE DOOR, and hooks dangling from car doors, among many others. I didn’t need this on top of the huge terrifying library of urban legends (mostly told to me by friends at slumber parties) that were stored neatly away in my head, where they stay to this day

“Immerse yourself in the horrific tale that has tainted the dreams of children for centuries, with new twists and turns, spawning countless excruciating nightmares.

Succumb to the bloodcurdling screams of Maria, a mother tortured by the guilt of drowning her children, forced to suffer for an eternity as she wanders the Earth hunting for the souls of her children. Beware, for those who hear her weeping are marked for death!

If you think you know how it ends, you’re dead wrong!”

Well, they got THAT shit right.

I watched several taped versions and this one was the best quality (for night vision).  I hope to GOD there’s an age restriction on this. Fortunately I didn’t see anyone that looked under 18 going through the ‘maze’. Universal Studios calls it a maze –I know they have to classify all the attractions– but it looks more like a very frightening walk-through of a series of increasingly disturbing locations, including a fly blown butcher’s shop and a bridge over a body of water with the drowned corpses of children floating in it face down, and that blood-curdling bedroom with the first giant La Llorona creature – look at how long those horrible spindly arms and fingers/claws are, almost big enough to pick up the bed.

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Check out the detail in the set dressing, like the very small children’s dresses hung on the wall.

If you’re curious, there’s a version in Universal Studios Florida where they took a different approach and used only (I think) live talent. You can see it below (it’s also terrifying), and there are some pretty frightening images, especially when they use the strobe light effect. The sound effects are especially haunting.

However, sorry, those giant animatronic creatures (bigger than you are, in some cases), are just complete show-stoppers for me… not that it’s a contest, they’re both effective.

There’s also behind the scenes daylight walk-throughs with the head of the production team for this attraction on You tube (Sharp Productions has a really great YT channel), and those things STILL look scary as hell. I didn’t watch more than a couple of minutes because I didn’t want to spoil the illusion. The sun is currently up, though; after it gets dark tonight,  I may change my mind.

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Here’s the short version of the Wikipedia entry of the legend. The page linked to also mentions that “Parents often use this story to prevent their children from wandering out at night.”  Hell, they probably don’t want to wander out from under the bedcovers after their parents tell them this is a true story:

Although several variations exist, the basic story tells of a beautiful woman by the name of Maria who drowns her children in order to be with the man that she loved. The man would not have her, which devastated her. She would not take no for an answer, so she drowned herself in a river in Mexico City. Challenged at the gates of Heaven as to the whereabouts of her children, she is not permitted to enter the afterlife until she has found them. Maria is forced to wander the Earth for all eternity, searching in vain for her drowned offspring, with her constant weeping giving her the name “La Llorona.” She is trapped in between the living world and the spirit world.  Often it is said that if you lock the doors to a room with a mirror, light red candles and say her name a couple of times in front of the mirror, you may see her. [Ed: that’s okay, we’ll take your word for it]

In some versions of this tale and legend, La Llorona will kidnap wandering children who resemble her missing children, or children who disobey their parents. People who claim to have seen her say she appears at night or in the late evenings from rivers or lakes in Mexico. Some believe that those who hear the wails of La Llorona are marked for death… She is said to cry, “ay mis hijos!” “oh my children!”

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