Favorite films

  • Son of Frankenstein
  • The Curse of the Cat People
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
  • Prince of Darkness

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  • Sh! The Octopus

  • From Beyond

  • The Old Dark House

  • Hocus Pocus

    ★★★

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  • Halloween II

    Halloween II

    ★★★★½

    Haddonfield's (and heartland America's?) dark night of the soul. If the original Halloween is carefree late afternoon and early evening trick or treating, then this is an after-midnight, witching hour reckoning.

    Halloween is getting ready for the annual dance and working up the courage to ask a boy out; Halloween II is your crush melting away, a fiery husk crumbling into the flaming wreckage of a car accident.

    Halloween is candy and jack-o-lanterns; Halloween II is razor blades in apples.…

  • Blood Rage

    Blood Rage

    ★★★½

    My favorite movies are the ones where you're pretty sure everyone involved needs therapy of some kind.

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  • Hocus Pocus

    Hocus Pocus

    ★★★

    Pretty sure I hadn't sat down to watch this since the 90s (and I wasn't exactly the target audience then, having already inappropriately graduated to slasher movies and R-rated horror), but I have to say I totally get how this one became a staple of my generation. There's some legitimately great craftsmanship in the production design, too, which captures the kind of Americana Halloween I never got to actually experience as a kid. It creates an idyllic All Hallows Even landscape that I would totally love to be transported to, and, well, isn't that the kind of magic we often want from movies?

  • The Night House

    The Night House

    "Between the script’s investment in this human dimension and Hall’s well-drawn performance, THE NIGHT HOUSE terrifies not only with conventional scares but also with its stark portrayal of mourning. Beth’s quest becomes a desperate, existential quest to fill a void she never imagined could have existed; the spirits she disturbs along the way fill them in a way she once refused to imagine. THE NIGHT HOUSE is a reckoning involving an unconventional crisis of faith: what happens when a non-believer must confront the grim truth of what lurks in the hereafter?"

    MORE AT DAILY GRINDHOUSE

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  • Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

    Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

    ★★★★★

    Sean Cunningham and Steve Miner set the mold, Joseph Zito refined it, and Danny Steinmann unhinged it. And then Tom McLoughlin came along and reshaped it, nudging a few holes and wrinkles into it with Jason Lives, the first of the series to show some self-awareness. It's not a glib, above-it-all self-awareness, though, and that makes all the difference. Sometimes I think McLoughlin really "got" this series better than anyone, and it's a shame this was his only outing. I think he would have especially delivered a killer Freddy vs Jason had they actually produced it in the 80s.

  • Saw III

    Saw III

    ★★★★

    Not the best Saw (that honor belongs to the original), but this one weaves such a big, twisted web that really captures the essence of this franchise. Between the flashbacks and the dueling games, it's a lot to take in, but it all coalesces with the franchise's best climax. If they had never made another one after this one, I think the Saw trilogy would be absolutely revered.

    (Not that I'm mad that they kept going, though. I just found out they're already developing Saw 10 and I couldn't help but smile.)