I figured for Halloween I would do one of the easiest hack blog entries a person can do, a series of movie recommendations based around Horror.
I don’t think I am ruffling any feathers in the horror community to say that the Nightmare franchise has the highest overall quality, ESPECIALLY for a series with as many entries as it has.
A special commendation has to go to the second entry as being the one with the best themes and best blend of creative dream nonsense with actual horror elements, but I am betting that number 3 is the one that most people will list as the high-water mark of the series. The fifth entry is perhaps the worst, a shame because I feel it brushes against greatness. There is just something off about it which kills it.
With 9 entries it is enough for a whole Halloween, and I think that Freddy the character, the implied mythology, and the various missteps I see in the series could fill a book. I have talked about the franchise some before, but it was only last year that I finished watching all of it.
TV Shows to Watch
As a Netflix and Amazon guy there is a lot of stuff on Hulu that I am not able to access (but there is still stuff I would recommend).
The first pick would be “Hannibal” which is a series I watched on a lark thinking, “A prequel series to Silence of the Lambs…. I bet this is a cash grab mess.” Turns out it is one of the most visually arresting series I have ever watched, and I consider the heroic protagonist Will Graham to be a character I identify with to a shocking level (like, while watching the show, I would finish the character’s sentences). The first season is fantastic and will hook you for the second.
The second is one people have probably already seen, “The Haunting of Hill House” (I did a review of the audiobook). Mike Flanagan is a creative person who has instantly entered into my “I will consume anything and everything they make” category. And as soon as I have more time I will be binging his latest series, “The Haunting of Bly Manor”.
Cartoons Series and Animated Movies
I have talked before about my infinite love of the “Ghostbusters” franchise, and I can point to two opportunities to experience underappreciated aspects of the franchise. “Extreme Ghostbusters” (It has one of the best theme songs ever) the 90’s animated sequel to the 80’s “The Real Ghostbusters” cartoon is probably the most underrated cartoon of the 90’s (plenty of people would point to “Freakazoid”, but that show has gotten a lot more love in the years that followed). It is currently on Hulu, and I love it.
Continuing with ghost busting, there is “Filmation’s Ghostbusters”, which aside from having a talking TV, Car, and Gorilla on the team is also one of most fever dream of all the cartoons I have ever seen. I wish, in the depths of my soul that Filmation had been less of a shit about “The Real Ghostbusters” because I think a crossover animated movie would have been a delightful relic of the late 80’s. What could have been.
As far as movies, I have talked about my love of stop motion before, and this is going to be a case of me vigorously pointing at the work of Studio Laika and saying, “Watch their stuff!” But start with “Coraline” an adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name (and I love Neil Gaiman). But then move onto “ParaNorman” a movie that gets the tears welling up at the climax every time I watch it.
Most Under Rated Movie
I find myself mentally revisiting the movie “Underwater” all the time. It is a mix of science fiction and horror tropes that speaks to me. The acting is great, the use of claustrophobia and aquaphobia are fantastic when coupled with the simple plot of, “We are being hunted and we have to get out”.
It has perhaps the coolest monster reveal at the films climax I have ever seen. I was legitimately filled with dread and awe when watching Kristen Stewart trying to deal with these horrifying things in the dark.
I would also say that this movie benefits from the audience going into it knowing as little as possible to help preserve some of the set piece moments and plot developments.
Give it more of a shot than the studios did, when they released it to no fanfare, little promotion, and after having shelved it for years.
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