31 Days of Horror 2015
In honor of the greatest month of the year, we’ll be watching and reviewing a new horror movie every day in October. The films will range from new releases to older classics, but all will be first time watches. You’ll find a brief synopsis of each film below. Click on the film title to watch the trailer and read a more in-depth review.
Day 1: 13 Eerie
A predictable, but entertaining and well-paced zombie flick that makes up for a weak story with exceptional effects and old school gory fun.
Day 2: Lost After Dark
A fun watch for fans of retro 80s horror. It’s hard not to appreciate the filmmakers’ sincerity and genuine adoration for the slasher subgenre. We get a well-made and competently acted piece of horror nostalgia. It’s not for everyone, but there’s a lot to love here.
Day 3: The Drownsman
This homage to 80s horror had the makings of a solid stalker film from back in the day. But it quickly lost its momentum and devolved into a silly, sopping mess that ends in boredom and frustration.
Day 4: Scarecrows
Don’t expect much in the way of plot or brilliant acting, but that shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of this highly entertaining and genuinely creepy gorefest.
Day 5: Savage Weekend
Considering the fact that this movie was a bit of a pioneer in the slasher subgenre, some allowances should be made for its obvious shortcomings. In spite of all its mistakes (and there are many!), it’s strangely compelling and highly watchable.
Day 6: Gravy
A smart and highly entertaining horror comedy that benefits from a stellar cast, exceptional FX, plenty of bloody gore, a great soundtrack and an inventive script.
Day 7: Cooties
Wryly funny and a bit demented, Cooties is a fun ride for fans of both comedy and horror. It’s a clever and competent entry into the heavily saturated zom-com subgenre.
Day 8: Tormented (Berkshire County)
A simple, yet effectively creepy and terrifying home invasion movie.
Day 9: The Nightmare
Told through a variety of personal accounts of sinister late night visions, brought to life through horrifying reenactments and special effects, this documentary on sleep paralysis does double duty as an effectively creepy and chilling horror movie.
Day 10: We Are Still Here
An effectively creepy and atmospheric ghost story that starts slow but builds to a frenzied, bloody climax. The cast shines, especially Barbara Crampton, and director Ted Geoghegan makes a solid and memorable directorial debut.
Day 11: The Perfect House
This micro-budget, truly independent film offers a unique and clever twist on the anthology horror subgenre. Despite its limitations and flaws, this is an entertaining film with a strong cast, considerable bloodshed and great practical effects, and surprisingly high production values.
Day 12: Dead End
Dead End is a genuinely suspenseful and entertaining thrill ride that is clever and well-written, anchored by outstanding performances and compelling characters.
Day 13: V/H/S Viral
The third installment in the franchise offers little in the way of genuine scares. While a couple of the segments are reasonably entertaining, there’s no continuity and nothing to tie the shorts together. Overall, it’s a bit of a mess that fails to deliver on the ingenuity and thrills of the previous two films.
Day 14: Burying the Ex
This clever zom-com directed by genre master Joe Dante plays like a love letter to the genre, and it’s hard not to truly appreciate the effort even if the execution is not perfect.
Day 15: Old 37
Well-written, well paced, and anchored by standout performances from horror heavyweights Bill Moseley and Kane Hodder, Old 37 is a brutal, bloody, old school slasher that is quite an entertaining thrill ride from start to finish.
Day 16: Tales of Halloween
A welcome treat for genre and anthology fans, Tales of Halloween is a fun, gory, wickedly funny omnibus highlighting exceptional talent both behind and in front of the camera. Any shortcomings are easily overlooked due to the film’s strong visual style, great pacing, creative filmmaking and cohesive storytelling.
Day 17: Honeymoon
Although it’s more creepy and unsettling than truly suspenseful, Honeymoon is a smart and stylish slow-burning horror film that really packs a punch. Chilling and nail-bitingly tense, the most terrifying thing about this film is what lies just below the surface.
Day 18: Knock Knock
Roth branches out from his familiar, blood-soaked comfort zone and delivers a smart, sexy, darkly funny thriller that defies categorization.
Day 19: JUNE
A supernatural tale of pint-sized possession, L. Gustavo Cooper’s sophomore film JUNE strikes all the right chords. Creepy and unsettling with heartbreaking undertones, this is a solid and stylish film from a talented up-and-coming director.
Day 20: Roman
Bettis makes a stunning directorial debut, brilliantly balancing all the weird and wonderful elements of this film in a way that is so effective…and deeply affecting.
Day 21: Circle
Circle is a highly surprising and exceptionally entertaining sci fi thriller. Nail bitingly tense and relentlessly fast paced, this unique and chilling tale keeps you guessing to the end, while offering brilliant insight into what makes us tick as humans and what we’re willing to do to survive.
Day 22: Dismembering Christmas
Dismembering Christmas is a surprisingly well made, ultra low budget Christmas horror. A modern slasher with a great 80s feel, this movie is fast paced, full of creative kills and ultimately a great deal of fun.
Day 23: The Final Girls
A smart, funny, highly original slasher spoof that is surprisingly heartwarming and a blast to watch from beginning to end.
Day 24: Crimson Peak
Although more gothic romance than horror, Guillermo del Toro’s moody and atmospheric giallo-style thriller is a staggering visual achievement and a true cinematic masterpiece.
Day 25: Goosebumps
Goosebumps is a fun and frantically paced adventure for kids, which nicely captures the spirit of R.L. Stine’s original books. The film also offers a nice nostalgic vibe for adult fans who grew up reading Stine’s supernatural horror novels.
Day 26: Haunt
A fairly straightforward ghost tale that doesn’t offer much in the way of originality or memorability. Still, it’s a fairly entertaining watch that is well shot and legitimately creepy at times, even if it is never truly as scary as you want it to be.
Day 27: Satan’s Little Helper
Despite a low budget, this film boasts a solid cast and a darkly funny and highly original script. It’s as sadistic as it is hilarious, and writer-director Jeff Lieberman creates a memorable and entertaining film deserving of cult status.
Day 28: Dread
An exceptional debut for director Anthony DiBlasi, Dread is a dark and gritty psychological horror. It’s a slow burning nightmare that offers compelling characters, an intriguing plot (based on a short story by Clive Barker), and an unforgiving climactic ending.
Day 29: Last Shift
A twisty, clever, and exceedingly intelligent psychological thriller with a supernatural twist. Last Shift is a creepy and terrifying movie that keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat until the final, gut-wrenching scene.
Day 30: All Hallows’ Eve
ALL HALLOWS’ EVE is a fun and inventive anthology film. Despite its flaws, this film offers enough genuine scares and practical gore, as well as a super creepy and memorable bad guy, to satiate most horror fans.
Day 31: All Hallows’ Eve 2
This is a well-curated collection of eight independent, high quality horror shorts. It falls flat as a complete film, but the talent on display from each of the independent directors and writers is commendable.