31 Nights of Halloween: Nancy Drew (2019)

31 Nights of Halloween

Hey, guess what, I’m that person who likes to make lists and then I’m like – who needs lists, I’m a free-spirit, I don’t need lists. Needless to say, I did not watch Carrie this evening and instead, watched the first episode of The CW’s Nancy Drew reboot. This is the problem with lists, amazing things could present themselves that might be missed out on if one stuck to a list! I will slot Carrie in for that horrible Hulu original series that I already mostly forgot about and watch it this weekend. See, at least I have a plan…

I grew up on the Nancy Drew mystery series and was excited about a reboot but also hesitant because of that travesty of a show Riverdale that is loosely, loosely based on the Archie comic books. I’ve said it before and feel compelled to say it again, Ms. Grundy was a 70-year old matron and not a hot body music teacher who banged underage pupils. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Anyway, I still decided to give this new series a watch and see how it compared to the beloved books. To start, the characters seemed a lot older than those in the book (the teens in the book are a lot more innocent if you know what I mean). Nancy has ‘retired’ her detective work after the death of her mother. She is waitressing in her small hometown, still dating Ned Nickerson. The show deviates from the book with her other friends, Bess & George are still around but in a vastly different capacity. They aren’t really friends at all and are just forced together through circumstances, that circumstance being they’re accused of murdering a local heiress. While trying to solve this case, they uncover details about the unsolved disappearance of a local girl from decades ago. There’s a surprising amount of supernatural elements in the show and it’s pretty dark in nature. I guess that’s what happens when producers try to add a modern twist that appeals to a younger generation that didn’t grow up on the books and can’t relate to the stories. I think it’s cool to see Nancy make a comeback but also, can everyone stop ruining my childhood icons?! Come up with your own damn content. Anyway, it was a romp but I’m not sure I’ll keep watching.

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31 Nights of Halloween: Grimm (2011)

31 Nights of Halloween

Well, I was supposed to watching Chopping Mall tonight but I can’t find it. I really should have pulled out my movies when I made my list but it didn’t occur to me at the time. Instead, I watched a few episodes of Grimm. I loved this show, up until the last two seasons. Each episode is based loosely on a Brothers Grimm tale. The main character, Nick is a detective who finds out that he is grimm which is someone who can see the Grimm fairy tale creatures for what they are. His ancestors have been tracking and killing the creatures of decades.

The first episode is a classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf. Nick and his partner Hank are investigating the slaying of a college student when Nick starts to see weird things. His aunt who is very ill, arrives in town and tells him that they need to talk. Unfortunately for the both of them, she has been followed by another being who kills grimms and she is delayed in passing down her knowledge to him. Meanwhile, a little girl goes missing and the detectives think the two cases are related. Nick meets Monroe, one of the big, bad wolves who helps him solve the case and fills in some of the missing pieces about his grimm history. The two make an unlikely team but their friendship is on of my favorite elements of the entire series. Hank and Nick bring the bad guy in and the little girl is found unharmed.

The show is set in Portland, I’ve always dreamed of living there and the foggy, damp atmosphere is the perfect backdrop to this spooky show. Overall, it’s a fun series with unique story line and an enjoyable cast.

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Check out what else I’m watching: 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List

31 Nights of Halloween: Friday the 13th (1980)

31 Nights of Halloween

Ch-ch-ch-kah-kah-kah. A group of sexy teenagers are hired to work at Camp Crystal Lake where a small boy drowned decades ago. What could possibly go wrong, except everything…

Spoiler: everybody dies, well most everybody. Jason Voorhees, while attending summer camp accidentally drowns and his mother blames the negligent camp counselors. In the years following the accident, a string of incidents leads to the camp shutting down amid rumors that it’s cursed. Under new ownership, the camp is set to reopen. The town crazy tries to warn the kids about the camp’s reputation but is unable to convince them that they may be in trouble. One by one, the teens are picked off by who we assume is Jason Voorhees who is somehow still haunting the camp. We soon find out that it’s actually Mrs. Voorhees killing everyone to avenge her son. We only catch a glimpse of Jason at the very end of the movie and really, he was scarier when we didn’t know what he looked like or if he was even alive. The isolated cabin setting, unseen killer, extreme weather event and teenage naivete all contribute to the creep factor of this classic slasher.

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Check out what else I’m watching: 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List

31 Nights of Halloween: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

31 Nights of Halloween

When in doubt, stick to the classics. I have watched this film countless times and still enjoy each viewing. It’s an intriguing story, one that’s been done to death nowadays but enlisting a psychopath to aid in the capture of a serial killer is a pretty fantastical concept. I mean, who knows the mind of a crazed killer better than an equally crazed killer? FBI trainee, Clarice Starling is enlisted to profile, Buffalo Bill, an active serial killer who is murdering women and taking pieces of their skin. Her director assigns her to interview Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist and face-eating serial killer to gather some insight into Buffalo Bill. Lecter is happy to oblige if Starling is willing to tell him personal details about her life. Which, seems like a terrible idea and probably the first thing they tell you not to do in Serial Killer Catching 101. Her desire to catch Bill obviously clouds Starling’s judgement and she engages in this creepy quid pro quo arrangement. Ultimately, Lecter does somewhat help solve the case in  really roundabout way that almost costs Starling her  life but Bill’s most recent, high-profile victim is found alive thanks to her persistence.

The more times that I see this film, the more I dislike Lecter. I mean, I don’t think that the audience is supposed to like a face-eating serial killer but at first glance, he’s this super smart, kind of charming doctor who just happened to get caught killing people. In reality, he really is an asshole. From implying that Starling was only chosen for the job because her boss wants to sleep with her to calling her a backwoods hussy, I think Lecter was a misogynist and I just don’t like him. By today’s standards, the film is surprisingly tame, while there are some shocking parts it never feels out of place or forced and it’s what you aren’t seeing that builds momentum. Anyway, it’s one of my all-time faves and it never ceases to be enjoyable.

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Check out what else I’m watching: 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List

31 Nights of Halloween: The Body (2018)

31 Nights of Halloween

The Body is the first installment of Hulu’s 12-part, horror anthology Into the Dark. I have to admit, I was expecting a lot more and was almost completely disappointed. I will even admit that I kept skipping parts because the plot was predictable and pointless scenes were drawn out to irritating lengths. The premise was not bad, a hit man hides his victim in plain sight by simply allowing people to think that it’s part of his Halloween costume. I loved this, I thought it was brilliant commentary on the naivety and ignorance of modern society. That being said, the best part only lasted about 25 minutes and the rest of it was just filler crap.

Wilkes, the hit man, proceeds to drag a body out into the city streets on Halloween. He runs into a group of people headed to a Halloween party who think his costume is awesome and convince him to attend the party with them. The shtick continues at the party with revelers taking photos with the corpse. Wilkes meets Maggie, a data analyst, hacker, personal assistant to the guy throwing the party and all around psychopath. She is enamored with Wilkes and offers to get him a ride to where he’s going. Things turn bad when there is a delay with getting a ride and Wilkes reveals that his ‘prop’ is actually a corpse. He kills one of the kids who took him to the party and the remaining three steal the body in retaliation. An absurd chase all over the city leads to Wilkes killing pretty much everyone and delivering the goods to whoever hired him. Wilkes is killed shortly thereafter by Maggie who we thought he left for dead.

It sucked, it was literally the worst. The whole Maggie character  becoming obsessed with Wilkes and collecting trophies from the dead bodies was really bizarre and I actually thought her being stabbed was well-deserved. There were too many gruesome for the sake of being gruesome scenes, the cast was mediocre, the whole thing just sucked. I’m not even sure that I will continue watching these as part of my 31 Nights of Halloween. Have you watched any of the series? Let me know what you thought, maybe they get better.

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Check out what else I’m watching: 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List

31 Nights of Halloween: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

31 Nights of Halloween

The highly-anticipated first glimpse into the wonderful world of Hogwarts did not disappoint and I still find it to be pure magic to this day. The acting from the kids wasn’t amazing but pretty adorable and the star-studded cast of seasoned actors definitely made up for it. This is probably my least favorite book in the saga but one of my most-watched adaptations. I love the aesthetic of this movie, from the cozy dorm scenes to the creepy Forbidden Forest, it’s the book come to life. These movies also seem timeless given the absence of technology and current events, it’s easy to get immersed in the fantasy. From the costumes to the special effects, I think this one is absolutely delightful.

I think everyone knows the story line, Harry Potter who was orphaned as a baby finds out he is a wizard and is whisked away from his miserable living situation among the muggles. He meets his best friends Ron and Hermione, arch rival Malfoy and even the wizard responsible for the death of his parents. Is it the best plot, not really but we do get to meet a ton of important characters and learn about more about Harry’s history. This one is definitely the most kid-friendly installment and it’s just a ton of fun all around. Harry Potter fanatic or not, I recommend.

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Check out what else I’m watching: 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List

31 Nights of Halloween: Creepshow (1982)

31 Nights of Halloween

Admittedly, I didn’t know that the 2019 Creepshow series was based on this feature length anthology, written by Stephen King (who even stars in one of the stories). I thought that the series was really good but knew I had to check out the original and this Twilight Zone meets Tales from the Crypt mash-up did not disappoint.

The flick starts out where all good horror films do, a child seeking revenge on a dirtbag parent. In this case, Billy is furious with his father for tossing his Creepshow comic and while sitting in his room is visited by the main comic book character come to life. The Creep then takes us on a journey full of 5 sordid tales. From the revenge of a murdered father risen from the grave, to an alien parasite – this one has everything. The tone is definitely comedic while still being genuinely creepy. I think that my favorite stories were Father’s Day, (a bitter old man is offed by his scheming daughter who then manages to bring him back to life by accident. He kills the entire family and enjoys a delicious and terrifying Father’s Day cake) and The Crate (a crate containing an Arctic monster is found on a college campus. After killing a few people, one of the college professors uses his wife as bait to lure the monster back into its crate and yes, she dies).

Finally, in the  closing scene we see Billy finally getting revenge on his abusive father by means of a voodoo doll. I loved it, if you like the aesthetic of 80’s horror flicks then you’ll enjoy this. All of the stories are brilliant in their own right, they aren’t too short or too long and it’s an all around fun watch. If you haven’t checked out the reboot, I definitely recommend as well!

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Check out what else I’m watching: 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List