I am pretty excited about this MOVIE MONDAY because, well, we watched a TON of movies this past week. I mentioned in the last post that we’ve been doing something called “horror roulette” — we just go to the horror section of Amazon Prime Instant Video (a reeeally awesome side perk of having an Amazon Prime subscription) and Nate scrolls through without us looking. When I say “stop!” he lands on a movie and presses play before we get a chance to see what it is. It prevents us from judging a movie before we’ve watched it — whether it’s by the specific genre (fantasy, satirical, documentary, etc), the director, a certain actor, the cover, the description, anything. Not all movies are winners — there’s definitely times when we get 15 or 20 minutes into a movie and hate it, and then we just pick a new one. But this week there were 11 (ELEVEN!) movies that we watched to completion… and some were pretty awesome. Dread (2009) — Anything that can be described as “from the mind of Clive Barker” is going to be a pretty instant win in my book, and this was no exception. It has some pretty sadistically evil scenes in it that were decently disturbing, even for me, but it was necessary to tell the story. I also now have a huge crush on Jackson Rathbone (I had no idea who he even was until I watched this movie but apparently he’s in all of the Twilight movies… oops). Black Sunday (1960) — Not to be confused with the 1977 thrilled about the Goodyear Blimp pilot, this was more in the realm of vengeful witches and their identical descendants. It was… okay. Not really my thing. It did a great job of creating an incredibly spooky atmosphere — I felt genuinely creeped out throughout most of the movie solely because of the settings and mood alone — and it’s supposedly responsible for one of horror’s first female evil villains, so that’s awesome. Dark Souls (2010) — Entirely in Norwegian and subtitled in English, this movie is based almost entirely around a father’s quest for revenge after his daughter is, in a way, taken from him. It was slow at times and I kind of hated the ending, but overall it had a fairly interesting plot and the perspective of father rather than direct victim or law enforcement was neat. Black Rock (2012) — Once I saw that the screenplay was written by Mark Duplass (the story was actually written by Katie Aselton, one of the actresses in the film), I knew I’d love it, and I was right. I haven’t seen Kate Bosworth in much but I do love Lake Bell, so it seemed like a solid cast. It starts out as an innocent girls’ trip to an island off the coast of Maine (woop!) but turns very dark very quickly… genuinely frightening as it deals with raw violence and revenge and some obvious mental issues either triggered or worsened by a run in the military. Awesome movie. Cursed (2005) — This was… whoa, really bad. The only thing that got me through was Jesse Eisenberg because I love him and his awkwardness. But really, any movie with a combination of Christina Ricci, Joshua Jackson, and Shannon Elizabeth is bound to be a hot mess. Oof. Grave Encounters (2011) — Oh HELL YES this movie. Classic handycam-style movie taking place entirely in an abandoned asylum with a group of TV ghost hunters. I swear they were making fun of Ghost Adventures (especially the main guy — he was doing his best Zak Bagans impression throughout). But think Ghost Adventures crossed with Session 9. You can almost feel the desperation of the characters as the movie progresses, and there are some TRULY scary scenes (including one where I put the blankets over my head and just screamed to get the fear out). Highly recommended! Resolution (2012) — This was unexpectedly great. It’s a slow-paced movie for sure… it doesn’t drag along but it’s gradual and there’s not really any crazy, heart-thumping scenes. But the connection between the two main characters — a meth-addicted man squatting on an Indian reservation and his concerned friend determined to get him clean — is palpable, and it’s really worth the ride to just see them interact (which is, at times, hilarious). There’s more of an undertone of fear and horror to this — it doesn’t start to get in your face until the end and then boom, it’s over. Great film. Student Bodies (1981) — Maybe painfully obvious parodies are just not my thing but this movie didn’t do much for me. It definitely hit all of the stereotypes of horror movies… but it hit them a little too hard. There were few enough genuinely funny moments that I could count them on one hand… and I just rolled my eyes for the rest. Homecoming (2009) — This was also surprisingly good. I’m not a huge fan of Mischa Barton but she did a great job at playing the scorned lover, still living out her high school years in the midst of a town doing the same. It had some of the same disturbing elements as Stephen King’s Misery — the psychopath trying to convince the victim that this is all for their benefit, that they’re really there to help them, getting angry when they aren’t showing enough gratitude… when really it’s just a twisted game. Pretty awesome. Trollhunter (2010) — One of my favorites of the week. Entirely in Norwegian and subtitled in English, it follows a crew of college student filmmakers hoping to interview someone they think is a bear poacher, but things turn out to be MUCH more interesting. I don’t even want to go in more detail than that… you should just see this movie. NOW. The Final (2010) — This was… not my favorite. Your basic plot, highly stereotyped — a group of high school outcasts decides to exact revenge on their tormentors. It was, in some ways, more suspenseful than gory… but truly disturbing in many of the scenes, reminiscent of many of the torture films that are out there. I think they tried too hard. Everything was poured on SO thick… their home lives, the actual bullying in earlier parts of the movie, and their attempts at eliciting fear and remorse. We laughed several times at lines that were clearly intended to be a punch to the gut. I won’t even start in on my beliefs of how damaging a movie like this can be. Blech.