I’ve never had a high threshold for gore, but this season, I’ve been amused by the thrill of the darkness. There’s something kind of cool about peeking behind the corner, even when you know you shouldn’t. I’ll admit, I’ve covered my eyes many-a-scary-part over the past few movies we’ve watched, but I’ve stuck horror movies out to the bitter end much more easily this year. I couldn’t really tell you why, but I suspect the fact that I’ve been dipping my toes in the fantasy realm with the likes of “Dr. Who“, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and other improbable worlds has played a major role in the matter.
Valhalla Rising was a bit too much for me, as was some pretty horrifically violent Samurai movie I thought I could man up to and take with Future Husband. Valhalla Rising, a movie set in the hellish pastoral setting of 1000 A.D. with Vikings, was silent, stilted, gory and pretty much super terrifying. I don’t think I’ve come closer to seeing a version of Dante’s The Divine Comedy come to the big screen. I endured it’s slow-paced descent into a torturous realm though, albeit a trusty iPad helped me get through the worst of it. If you’re looking for scary this season, this is a good one to turn to.
Troll Hunter was fun to watch. A nuanced adaptation of the Blair Witch Project–documentary style, this Dutch movie, set in the mountains of Norway, follows three college kids as they seek out the mystic trolls of the mountain region. Besides the fun we had watching the lead-up to the computer-generated monstrosities, the ever-present natural background in this film is spectacularly gorgeous. Evil Dead Two, too, was great fun. The b-rate parody is pretty over the top. Mystery Science Theater 3000 has loads of fun “horror” movies. Our favorites are Werewolf, Hobgoblins, and Manos: The Hands of Fate (redundancy to the extreme of hilarity). The tackiness will have you rolling in laughter, and it will leave you a little wiser, and a whole lot snarkier.
But my favorite pick of this creepy crawly season is the BBC’s “Being Human“. We started with the American version and were subdued into a blase plot line for some time, before giving up on the series. But I can confidently say that, as for the BBC version, our hours upon hours of viewing were well spent. We got incredibly wrapped up with this awesome comedy/horror/drama with vampires (eh, I know, but wait…), werewolves (with one of those geeky, charming types) and my personal favorite, Annie, the ghost. All the typical rules for these creatures apply, so the things I sadly know because I live in current pop culture exist, like a rivalry between werewolves and vampires, stuck-up vampires, moral-by-day and rage-filled-by-night werewolves and skittish, shy, empathetic ghosts.
Over the weekend, Future Husband and I spent more time watching Mitchell, George and Annie go about their adventures, than I care to think about, as if we were flies on the wall of the house of some very unusual individuals. It gets cooler too, because the main characters’ monstrous traits come in handy as they begin to develop their powers. And as the characters learn more about themselves and how to master their traits, they become more like superheroes. George kind of hulks out during a full moon, Mitchell battles his own kind for the good of mankind and Annie has X-Men Storm-type powers. So cool! They’re really cute and humorous roomies, but the show also has a lot of betrayal and gore and…well, and scary parts, which, when balanced, make up my kind of scary.
Other TV recommendations for the eve of the Hallow — that sounds right, right? Sure — include Must See TV Thursdays which, as much as I’ve grown away from network television, are still near and dear to my heart.”Community“, as always, was immensely entertaining, super funny and exerted the kind of feel-good vibe that brings me back to ABC’s TGIF line-up when I was a kid. Every time I see it come together, I grow a new-found desire to write for a brilliantly fun TV show. Then I fall back into real life. “Parks and Recreation” was great, but to be honest, my attention kind of drifted. I enjoyed “The Office”‘s novel approach to Halloween as a season of coming together to face one’s fears. All in all, it was a good set, so definitely check it out if you can.
I suppose I should close by saying, this Halloween, don’t be afraid to dive into your fears, and try to have fun doing it. And with that, I wish a Happy Halloween to all, and to all a good night.
For your entertainment: A scene from MST3K’s Vier-Vollf
Music for the season of jokey fear: \”They are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!\” by Sufjan Stevens