31 Days of October Madness – Part 4


Welcome to the fourth chapter of our October Madness feature! Here are five more titles I highly recommend visiting on your October movie nights.

Stay tuned next week for more, and be sure to share your choices with us in the comments section.

Related Stories: 31 Days of October Madness – Part 1, 31 Days of October Madness – Part 2, and 31 Days of October Madness – Part 3

Happy Halloween

What We Do in the Shadows

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement wrote, directed and starred in this morbidly hysterical and witty offering from New Zealand. Drenched in deep vampire lore, this horror/comedy mockumentary comes across like the bastard lovechild of This Is Spinal Tap and Only Lovers Left Alive. This voyeuristic journey into the lives of flatmates Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav offers a deadpan look at their daily struggles that involve typical problems associated with creatures of the night as well as mundane adult responsibilities such as paying rent and keeping up with household chores. What We Do in the Shadows is sincerely heartfelt and a hilarious tribute to classic horror mythology that only gets better with repeat viewings.

What We Do In the Shadows

The Devil Rides Out

Based on the 1934 dark fantasy novel by Dennis Wheatley and adapted by the legendary Richard Matheson, The Devil Rides Out was Christopher Lee’s favorite Hammer film and remains mine as well. Released as The Devil’s Bride here in the States to avoid confusion as a Western, this 1968 British horror film is rich in menacing atmosphere and nightmarish imagery that can creep into your dreams for weeks on end. Magic, witches, the angel of death, and a disturbing satanic cult… this eerily effective trip into the cinema macabre is without a doubt a hell of a good time!

The Devil Rides Out

Angel Heart

Psychological voodoo film noir head trip is the best way to describe Alan Parker’s Angel Heart. It was a brilliant move to change the setting of William Hjortsberg’s novel from New York to New Orleans because the surreal atmosphere becomes its own character in this movie and gives it an extra layer of eerie authenticity. The casting is great from top to bottom with Mickey Rourke filling the shoes of Harry Angel, Robert De Niro giving a performance so creepy that Parker practically avoided him on set, and a gutsy performance from a young Lisa Bonet. I dare you to get this movie out of your head long after it’s over.

Angel Heart

The Cabin in the Woods

From the opening frames Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon cleverly use misdirection to unsettle their audience and gradually defy their expectations while injecting a loving dose of validation into the heart of the horror genre. Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, and Jesse Williams all portray variations of stock horror movie archetypes and, in a testament to Whedon and Goddard’s exceptional screenplay, show that these characters can be so much fun to hang out with that you will barely notice that the movie’s first kill doesn’t happen until about 44 minutes into the running time. The Cabin in the Woods is a smorgasbord of monster mayhem and laughs that never relies on being condescending to the horror genre and if anything reevaluates the importance of the genre while breathing new life into it.

Cabin in the woods

Dead & Buried

Gary Sherman’s visceral horror opus Dead & Buried plays like a demented episode of “Twilight Zone” with the spirit of EC Comics thrown in for good measure. Written by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett with Stan Winston’s gruesome special effects and a moody score by Joe Renzetti (Child’s Play) channeling early Harry Manfredini, this bizarre movie effectively builds tension and subtly gets under the skin as the surreal vibe grabs a hold unexpectedly. Sherman makes great use of foggy atmosphere and wisely only used red in the murder sequences to strengthen their impact. Originally intended as a dark comedy, Dead & Buried works quite well as straight horror with an insane concept that’s brutal and sufficiently entertaining. Keep your eyes open for a brief cameo from Robert Englund before appearing in “V” and playing Freddy!

Dead and Buried



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