Thursday, 30 October 2014

Day 31: Top 25 Films To Not Watch This Halloween

There is no shortage of "Tops Films You HAVE TO Watch This Halloween" lists on the internet because, let's be honest, there's a lot of good movies out there. OK, over the course of the last month I might not have enough recommendations to come up with enough to cover the day but that's only because I was aiming to watch films that I hadn't seen before. You only get one Halloween but, like, a few dozen recommendations for the one film you must watch that day, so I'll help you scratch a few off your list or at least help you justify to friends and well-wishers why you ignored their advice and went your own way.

28 Days Later
OK, I'll give this movie one big get: It's the most accurate representation of animals rights activists I've seen in a film. Dumb, thoughtless idiots break into a research lab - with no knowledge of what was being tested on the chimps - with the intent on releasing these mystery illness inclined animals based purely on their own sense of self-righteousness with no thought of the consequences. As a result of these idiots not being willing to research (read: read) what's up with the chimps the world is f**ked. As is this movie, after this opening scene the movie goes rapidly downhill. This movie gets a lot of flack for "fast running zombies", hardly its biggest problem. This movie also features Cillian Murphy's wang. It's in the second scene. If that's what you want to see you can turn the movie off then, it doesn't make a reappearance.
If that's not what you want to see, then, I dunno, tough - This film has way more problems than you being a massive prude and if I have to reason you past this point then I might wear myself out before the real problems show up.

Ghostbusters 2
I've mentioned before that I think "The Secret of the Ooze" is a near perfect movie subtitle. Ghostbusters 2 had the chance to use it first and didn't. Strike one.

This film came out in 1989, so would have been out on video and in my house in 1990 or 91, which would have been when I first saw it. That bit where the painting of Vigo comes alive and zaps the guy with electricity from its eyes terrified the sh*t out of 7/8 year old me. So much so that I leapt across the room, ejected the video, threw it under the couch I'd just left and ran out of the room.
I would not wish that kind of fear upon anyone. Do not watch this film.

On the basis of how many versions there are of this film I would advise never watching, mentioning, or showing any interest in this film ever for fear of encouraging another remake.

The Fly
"I watched The Fly last night."
"The one with Jeff Goldblum?"
"Did you know that it's a remake?"

Avoid this tedious exercise in pedantry by avoiding this movie.

One of the most popular Japanese horror films in recent years, a film which asks: I thought you wanted to watch a film, not read a film?
I did a post on books if you do want to read.

The Ring
It's the US remake of 'Ringu'. Why do the US have to remake things, am I right? Can't they just leave things alone?!
Some bonus points go to this movie as Naomi Watts and Brian Cox do their best to distract you from the unintentional hilarity of seeing a horse jump off of a boat and into its propellers.

The Blair Witch Project
So, what? When these guys make a shakey, badly lit movie it inspires a new, wildly popular sub-genre in horror film-making, but when I do it I get a condescending "Oh, that's really nice, Dave." before the tape is rewound and immediately recorded over?
You know what! Just for that no one gets to hear the cassette tapes of a much younger me pretending to host my own radio show - what I lacked in production values I more than made up for in being f**king adorable!
Don't watch this movie, it'll just remind you that to be a true innovator requires marketing that you don't have, no matter how similar your ideas were to what's now a trend-setter.

The Silence of the Lambs
'Night of the Living Dead' had a night complete with swarms of the living dead. 'The Thing' had a f**king thing or whatever. 'Evil Dead' had some evil, dead sh*t.
This film has very little silence and not a sight of a lamb. False advertising makes this an easy film to avoid.

The Thing
One of the most notoriously difficult films to market a line of sex toys from. You know that bit where the doctor tries to use a defibrillator and the chest opens up?

Just try to imagine a Fleshlight based on that? Would you buy it? No. Pass!
Don't watch this film so you won't have any ideas about any other potential nightmare-ish sex-toys.

As an added bonus not watching this film will help you to avoid ever potentially being party to this conversation:
"I watched The Thing last night."
"The remake?"
"No, the one with Kurt Russell."
"Ha! That actually is the remake, the new one was people thought was a remake was actually a prequel."

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
I know what you're probably thinking, "That sounds like some horror re-imagining of 'The Picture of Dorian Grey'!"
Well, let me tell you how wrong you are! Do not watch this film! At no point towards the end does Henry stab a large oil painting of himself, only for the picture to turn into a murderous psychopath who has raped and murdered his way through this movie, leaving an innocent man standing there, ignorant of any wrong-doing, before a parade of previously-dead people run in singing and dancing because the crimes are undone by picture magic or some sh*t.
No. Do not watch this film.

The Shining
A film about house-sitting? This film lacks any sense of realism as Jack Nicholson doesn't even attempt to keep the hotel clean. Elevator doors open in a waterfall of blood, corpses roam the halls, and not once do we see Jack so much as try to scrub anything down or even attempt to creatively move a chair around to cover a patch on the carpet. If you're one of the dozens of people I know who claims to have "OCD about cleaning" do not watch this movie.

An American Werewolf in London
A film about backpackers? Complete with an awkward trip to a country pub, an unexpected visit to the zoo, a mishap in an underground Tube station, and an evening out to an adult cinema? When you put it like THAT the film doesn't seem so appealing, does it?

Rosemary's Baby
A woman moves into a new apartment, gets pregnant, hates her neighbours (who gave her a very smelly pendant, in fairness), then she hates her husband's success. At some point a baby is squeezed out.

The Wicker Man
"I watched The Wicker Man last night."
"The original or the one with Nic Cage?"
"The original one!" (you finally got it right this time!)
"Oh, you should see this great clip online of the best scenes from the remake! It's hilarious!"

Don't bother watching either film - It'll just end with watching that YouTube clip again and again.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Good news: Yes, there was a remake of this one but it was so tedious and badly received that I'm not sure anyone will even think to mention it when you announce "I watched 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'!" instead you'll get the almost consolatory conversations about how it's Robert Englund's greatest role, how no one could ever pull off the Freddy Krueger character, but that people just wish he was in more stuff, but it's cool, he could play that character forever and people would still watch it, even so far as what will surely be a regrettable viewing of "Freddy versus Jason". It's that conversation or the "I think I saw that years ago... was that the one with the guy with the hat? And he had, like, Edward Scissorhands hands? Did Edward Scissorhands come out before or after that Nightmare movie?"
If you could choose between having one of those conversations or NOT having either of them which would you choose? Pass? Pass.

Bram Stoker's Dracula
Francis Ford Coppola created a movie destined to condition an awkward younger me. No idea how old I was when I was watching this film on Channel 4, all I remember is that the ONLY time anyone else walked into the room was when Dracula had set his brides to sex-tap someone, or to personally do some invisible deed with a woman - so the most prominent line of dialogue I knew was a cautiously delivered: "What the h*ll are you watching?!"
To this day I have a Pavlovian response that watching this movie is somehow wrong and shameful and you should too! Avoid this!

The Phantom of the Opera
You can say "Oh, I mean the Lon Chaney one!" all you want, but all I will ever think of is the Joel Schumacher version and my theory that he only directed it to try class it up, and segue using his name towards a classy "Joel Schumachier" (shu-ma-she-ay).
As untrue as that theory may be it's permanently lodged in my head and I'm incapable of thinking of that film without it. Avoid it, for my sake.

Friday the 13th
As a title "October the 31st" would have made it a 'must watch!' movie for Halloween. "Friday the 13th" is way off. It'd be like busting out "Elf" on New Years Eve, it just wouldn't be right. Don't watch this one.

A little on the nose, don't you think? Are you gonna watch "Valentine's Day" on Valentine's Day? Or "New Years Eve" on New Years Eve? Or "Leap Year" on February 29th? Do you label your underpants with the days of the week so you know what to wear when too? Come on, give it a rest.

A classic horror movie so modern it's post-modern! So post-modern that you got to this party too late! If you haven't seen it and you watch it now you will be subjected to every tedious opinion everyone has on how every sequel to it sucked and somehow ruined the original and you will become their sounding-board for opinions they should have found a better outlet for or just been let go of years ago. Good luck opening the time-capsule full of opinions there. Or just don't watch it, that's probably a better idea.

All many of us ever wanted to be at some stage in our lives was an astronaut. Then 'Alien' came along with it's industrialized space ship as if space travel was just some means to work a labourious job in a remote destination and not a 'Star Trek'-like journey of discovery and wonder. THEN they added the threat of having an alien ovipositor shoved down your throat.
If you want to keep the wonder of space travel alive in your heart do not watch this movie.

The Birds
Birds? Really? Birds? You know dinosaurs evolved into birds? Why not use the magic of film to turn back the clock a few years and have a group of dinosaurs terrorize a quiet bay-side town instead? Birds! Really? A major criticism of the movie 'Pacific Rim' is why the people don't just station giant robots by the deep-sea crater and kill the monsters as they exit/ before they can reach dense population centres; a major criticism of this movie is that birds wings are basically made of light hollow material and a swift slap could immobilize one, leaving it them pottering about on the ground pecking at people's feet. So, yes, if you have really nice shoes this is a horror movie; even then - in the same way that you never see a knife stab someone in 'Psycho' you never see a bird so much as desperately peck at any shoelaces here.
So, no, don't watch this.

The Exorcist
Do you like movies about priests? No, you don't - because the straw man persona that I have assembled of you HATES religion and priests and god and is so militantly atheistic that you would literally implode to have to suppress those feelings long enough to stay quiet during a movie.
Save yourself the ruptured blood-vessels in your head and skip this movie.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
How much more exposition can you cram into one movie title? "There's One Bit Where a Guy Waves a Chainsaw About Like a Maniac & Growls" might have been a good subtitle.
So, yeah, that's the movie title: setting, weapon, outcome.
Read the title, skip the movie.

The Descent
I'm claustrophobic AND I have an acquired distaste for some people's hobbies; well, not the hobbies themselves but we all have that one friend who won't shut up about "the climbing wall" or some specific piece of equipment that they use better than everyone else. So 'The Descent' hit a nerve with me on simulating claustrophobia quite well AND having some potholers pothole their way around some potholes on a potholing weekend amoung new and unexplored potholes. Shove it up your pothole, The Descent!

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