Oct 23rd: ParaNorman (2012) ☆☆☆☆

I love a good underdog story, especially when they can talk to the dead.

This little Laika Studios gem has been a favorite of mine since it first graced Cartoon Network back when I was a teenager. It’s a scary-themed but not frightening film intended for younger audiences, but the story is so well done that adults can enjoy it’s feel-good message of friendship and acceptance easily. My biggest critique of this film, directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler and available on Netflix as of this week, is the seemingly shallow understanding of justified rage vs. bullying. But I’ll get into that.

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Oct 22nd: The Canal (2014) ☆☆☆1/2

Ah, a real haunted murder mystery. Let’s get unreliable!

I really enjoyed this one, the first movie in a while that gave me a little scare (although only in the moment) and had a story that didn’t make me want to jump in a canal myself. Directed by Ivan Kavanagh, The Canal is available on Prime Video and features ghosts, demons, murder, crime, and some cool-faux historical film footage.

(Also, I like this movie poster way better than the one they have on Amazon.)

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Oct 21st: Rebecca (2020) ☆☆

Where’s the gothic? Where’s the ghosties? When I hear “haunted” and “battling shadows” then I expect ghosties.

Boy oh boy. Director Jason Wheatley, what are you doing? I haven’t even read Rebecca, the 1938 novel by Daphne du Maurier, but I heard it’s praises sung in the lit classes of my historically women’s college enough that I am offended by this presentation. Pshaw.

You can watch the long, not scary and not very thrilling Netflix adaptation of Rebecca, or you can use 2 hours of your life on something enjoyable. But, hey, the actors did a good job (especially you, Kristin Scott Thomas), and Manderley sure is pretty!

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Oct 20th: After.Life (2009) ☆☆☆

Well, this one is just kinda sad.

When I put this movie on the list, it was a real last minute addition, and I wasn’t super intrigued by it. It wasn’t until later that I realized it starred Liam Neeson, of all people, and Christina Ricci (The Addam’s Family for LIFE). Justin Long is in it, too, but I never recognize him by name (sorry, Justin.) I thought I might be in for a real treat with two actors who have graced the horror genre before, and Liam Neeson, but I didn’t find this move nearly as scary as I found it full of desperation and confused hope.

Directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo and available on Hulu, I would recommend giving After.Life a chance if you’re into slow-moving think pieces on life and death and if you don’t mind seeing poor Ricci a bunch.

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Oct 19th: Nocturne (2020) ☆☆1/2

Another one that I didn’t totally hate, but, just like the main character, it had so much wasted potential!

This movie, while beautiful, seemed a bit lacking in a few respects: the actual horror factor, the use of the foreshadowy notebook, and any kind of point. I ended up wondering why I even watched it when it taught me nothing, showed me nothing, didn’t inspire me, and didn’t even scare me.

Another Welcome to Blumhouse entry, this Prime Video special was directed by Zu Quirke and features some really beautiful piano playing, at least.

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