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The Halloween Hangover

Yes I know, Halloween is over. It's a sad fact, for sure, but that doesn't mean we can't still talk about it. What did you do to celebrate Halloween?

If you don't already know, I celebrated the holiday by watching horror movies and playing chilling video games all month. While I didn't get to do everything I had intended to do, I kicked into a high gear on October 31st, and spent the whole day watching highly praised horror movies, as well as some of my personal favorites. The first movie I watched on that day was...

That's right, Paranormal Activity. This movie is the most recently released in the ones that I watched, and a lot of people declare it as "one of the scariest movies ever made". Perhaps it was because I wasn't watching it correctly (it was still day time, so I was watching it in broad daylight, with only one ear-piece), but it's wasn't that scary.

Don't get me wrong, it was suspenseful, and I was interested to know what was behind the noises and other phenomena, but the scares just seemed gimmicky. Admittedly, if I was watching this on a large TV with the volume up, the jump-scares and eardrum-piercing noises would have terrified me. But, I digress.

With Paranormal Activity, the only part that truly frightened me was the ending. I'm not going to spoil it here, but I'll just say that I did jump, and was creeped out by the conclusion.

The next movie on the list is truly sickening. It's...

Along with the 2008 Rambo movie, The Evil Dead is easily one of the most bloodiest movies I've ever seen. When there's a scene with blood in this movie, subtlety is nowhere to be found; this movie is literally filled with buckets of the stuff. Of course, that's the point.

Aside from the shock-value and gross-out factor, this movie relies on atmosphere and characters for scares. The movie is set in a lone cabin in the middle of a forest, which doesn't seem to have been used for years. That's where our characters come in, the main character being Ash, played by Bruce Campbell.

During the beginning scenes, the characters are established, and you grow emotionally attached to them. Then, the really bad stuff starts happening. Demon zombies (at least, that's what the look like) start rising from their graves, and start attacking our main characters.

Once the gang realizes what's happening, they start fighting back, and that's when the gore is turned up to eleven. Even though the movie was made with a small budget, the effects are extremely gruesome and detailed, albeit a bit cheesy. I won't lie, the final scene literally made my stomach hurt (if you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about).

I haven't seen Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness yet, but I'm extremely excited to do so. Ash was a cool character, and I want to know what happens to him.

After The Evil Dead, I had to take a break, to go out for the night for Halloween shenanigans, and when I returned, it was pure night, the perfect time to watch horror movies. The next movie on this nightmarish trek is...

If you haven't seen Scream, stop reading this blog right now, and go watch it, especially if you're a fan of horror films in general. Not only is this a successfully scary movie within itself, but it's a love letter to the genre, as well as a pitch-perfect parody.

A lot of the dialogue is self aware, and it's always pointing out the cliches in horror films, and then pulling off said cliches. While that may sound stupid, the way it's executed is masterfully done, and it comes out being both hilariously dark and terrifyingly suspenseful at the same time.

My main problem with the movie is the ending, and even then I can't complain much, just because it's so well done. The ending is hinted at throughout the movie, and seems painfully obvious, but that's what they're going for. It comes off as knowing how obvious it is, yet throwing constant twists in to make you look at the story in a different way.

If you couldn't tell, I adore this movie. To me, it pulls off everything it's trying to do. It's a horror movie, a parody, a dark comedy, and a love letter, and it hits all of those notes perfectly.

Of course, what else would you expect from the awesome mind of Wes Craven? Speaking of which...

(This poster is really weird...)

A Nightmare on Elm Street. I'll be the first to admit that I love this movie to death, and it's easily my favorite horror film. Freddy Krueger is one of the most terrifying, most cruel, and most bad-a** killers in the genre. Unless you try to stand up to him (and win), there's no way you'll get away from him. If you go to sleep, he'll kill you. If you try to stay awake, you'll get tired, pass out, and he'll kill you. Unless you have the guts to face him, he'll rip yours out. (Ok, that was a pretty graphic joke.)

If you've never seen the original Nightmare on Elm Street, you need to turn in your nerd card now, and stop reading this blog. I don't even want to talk to you if you've never seen this classic slasher flick.

For its scares, Nightmare on Elm Street relies not only on atmosphere and special effects, but the mentality and fear of being killed in your sleep. With people being at their most vulnerable while they sleep, that's certainly a bone-chilling thought.

Even though this is definitely my favorite horror film, I can certainly spot it's numerous flaws, most of them being the cheesy special effects. While I'm sure they looked fine back in the 80s, they don't hold up very well today. Some scenes are fine, but some just seem goofy.

(Seriously?)

Sometimes, I wish movies could be remade the same way video games are. Just look at Ocarina of Time 3D, it's the same game, but the graphics are updated to a beautiful shine. I wish the same could be done with movies; not changing the actors, story or script, but just updating the effects to match today's standards.

Sadly, we're stuck with... this.

What's wrong with this, you ask? Let's take a closer look at Freddy.)

Yeah. He looks like a mutant or something! I mean, just look at his squinty, alien-like eyes! That's not the Freddy we all know and love!

Sigh.

But I do have to give the remake credit, at least it tried to go for a serious and chilling atmosphere, and it pulled it off for the most part. The script, most of the actors, and Freddy's design just couldn't reach the same level of quality.

Oh well.

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