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My Summer of Horror Entertainment – Movies, Games, and TV

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying the horror genre this summer. Here is what I’ve been up to:

Night of Comets – This film has been on my to-watch list for years. A long time ago, I went to a therapy session and somehow zombies came up. When my therapist (a very non-horror fan) asked if I liked zombies, I said yeah, and she mentioned this film. I was always under the impression it was about something else, but ya know, it’s sorta about zombies.

It’s an upbeat take on the apocalypse with Chakotay from Star Trek Voyager in it. I had fun watching it, but I won’t be back for a second viewing.

Fun fact, it inspired the creation of Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

It Follows – An A24 film, before people said an A24 film. I remember the hype in 2015 when this film came out, and while I enjoyed it, I remember being a bit underwhelmed. I gave this a second viewing with my wife, and I actually enjoyed it a lot more this time around.

There is some real tension that occurs when things begin following and despite everyone frowning and no one smiling in this film, you still become invested in their survival.

Wither – Released in 2013, this Swedish homage to Evil Dead looks more like Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead but makes references to Sam Raimi’s. The gore and special effects are fantastic, sadly the film goes on for too long, and lack of likeable characters makes it a bit of a chore to get through.

Death Spa – Talk about an unexpected surprise. This 80’s fantasy/slasher takes place in a cutting-edge health spa that well… has what you would call AI. The kills are great, the girls are great, and I love the 80’s fitness vibe. Tons of fun to be had here.

Girls Nite Out – I was enticed by the Arrow cover art, and well… despite the interesting costume for the killer, this movie was a letdown. It’s another early 80’s slasher film that really offers nothing new or interesting. If you love slashers and want something to throw on in the background it might be worth a watch. The killer reveal was great, that is the one thing I will give it credit for.

House – When I think back to my childhood, I can remember the first horror film I saw all the way through was Popcorn. The second was House. Since then, I’ve attempted to watch House three or four times, but always fall asleep about halfway through. Well, I finally made it all the way through, and I can see why I loved it as a kid, but as an adult, it’s a little slow and a bit cheesy for my tastes. The effects are great and gave me an Evil Dead vibe at times.

Witchboard – A remake of Witchboard is coming out in 2024, and the trailer was pretty great. I decided I needed to see the original and luckily, Joe Bob Briggs covered it on The Last Drive In this past season.

Starring Tawny Kitaen, this film features a Ouija board that wreaks havoc on a couple. The jump scares are wonderful in this film as are the effects. Sometimes the death scenes are so unexpecting, it’s just a surprise which I enjoyed.

Hide and Go Shriek – Similar to Death Spa this was a pleasant surprise. I had never heard of this film until I saw it on a list of movies taking place in stores. I checked it out that evening and loved it! It takes place in a furniture store and features a great killer, a fun cast, and some great kills.

Alligator – Whew… so I’ve wanted to see this film for years. I LOVED the poster. This was another film I watched on The Last Drive In and it was no doubt enhanced by the Joe Bob experience. It’s goofy, but not a terrible creature feature. I loved the miniature work in it.

Sharknado – Okay… so this is not my type of movie, but my wife loves it. When it was announced for The Last Drive In,we tuned in and while it is not something I’ll watch again, spending the night with Joe Bob, Darcy, and my wife was a blast.

Extraterrestrial – After watching and loving the Peacemaker television series, went looking for other films that Freddie Stroma (Vigilante) acted in. Extraterrestrial popped up and looked right up my alley. It’s a dark, alien movie that sort of plays out like a slasher. Well… least the first forty minutes or so, then it goes off the rails and just ends terribly.

The Haunting in Connecticut – This is a film I really enjoyed when it came out. It was during a time when ghost type films weren’t being made as often and it was refreshing. The story itself isn’t great and it’s full of jump scares, but the imagery is great and the sound mixing is terrifying.

The Walking Dead Pilot – After years of Walking Dead jokes, and several mediocre seasons before I quit watching, the Walking Dead’s name was tarnished. I forgot how amazing it began and while watching the first two episodes with Joe Bob, I quickly remembered what a wonderful western this series truly was. It’s a shame the consistency didn’t stay up all the way, but man those first two episodes are gold.

Barbarian – This is the epitome of what I don’t like about horror right now. There are some good ideas that go a little too crazy and the next thing you’ve known you’ve wasted 2-2.5 hours on something that should have been better. The first half of this movie was pretty good.

Critters – This film is what started this summer of horror. After meeting Dee Wallace at Carolina Fear Fest, my wife had noticed some Critters on the various vendors shelves. She’d never seen them before, and I told her I’d actually never watched the franchise either. So, I bought the blu-ray set, and we sat down to watch the first film. I was expecting the worst, but it was actually a ton of fun! Had I seen this film as a kid, it would have no doubt been one of my favorites.

Critters 2 Critters 2 picks up where the first one left off and tells another, fun, goofy story with incredible creature designs by the Chiodo Brothers.

Evil Dead Rise – 2013’s Evil Dead is my favorite horror film of all-time, so I knew following it would be tough. While Rise never reaches the levels of intensity that Evil Dead did, it’s still a worthy entry into the franchise and I had a blast watching it. The more Evil Dead the better I say. Read my full review here.

Natty Knocks – I went in with low expectations and really, really enjoyed this film. Read my full review here.

In Search of Darkness III – I’ve loved all of these documentaries and this one is no different. In fact, I liked it better thanII since it focused less on Italian horror (I’m just not a fan). I also felt like the movie selection was a bit better, and several of the films it covered I’ve watched this summer like Critters and Witchboard.

The Pool – An early 2000’s slasher film starring a young James McAvoy taking place inside an indoor waterpark. It featured some great kills and was better than expected.

Urban LegendYou can read my review of Urban Legend here. It was my first ever review for this site. My opinion has not changed one bit.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Series – Way too much to write. See the full recap here.

The Walking Dead: Dead City – AMC got me. They had Joe Bob host the pilot episode of Dead City and next thing I know I’m watching all six episodes. I’d say this was a solid three out of five, but it easily could have been an episode less and I’m still not sold the main villain. Still, I’ll be tuning in next season. You can read the recap of the pilot episode here.

Chucky Season Two – So last year, I finished up the first season and watched the first episode of the second season, and then stopped. Life and Halloween burnout got in the way. So, I finished up season two in preparations for season three, and I got to say, I really enjoyed it. I’m not a huge Chucky fan and some of the comedy bits are a bit too on the nose for me, but I really like the main cast, Brad Dourif is always amazing, and Fiona Dourif steals the show for me. I might could do with a little less Jennifer Tilly in this next season.

Walking Dead: The Complete Collection – The first Walking Dead game is one of my favorite emotional experiences in my own video game history. After picking up Star Trek Resurgence which was created by some of the old Telltale Team and watching the original pilot of the Walking Dead, I felt compelled to pick up the complete collection when it was on sale. It’s been fun revisiting the world of Clementine and while I haven’t made it too far, I do think this is a game and series, I will be finishing up in the near future.

Evil Dead the Game – I love Evil Dead and I’ve loved the past Evil Dead games, but I’m not a huge asymmetrical game player. I just don’t have the time to get good enough to play these types of games. Luckily, the controls are amazing in Evil Dead, and I can play with other players against AI or just with AI companions. It’s eons better than Friday the 13th, and I’ve put in more hours than I ever expected to do so with this game.

Days Gone – Probably my favorite zombie game of all-time, this game is a bit repetitive, but challenging and a lot of fun to play. I put in a few hours every few months and will one day finish it off.

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