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31 Nights Of Horror

Spooky as fuck time is here once again. Join me as I watch a different horror movie each night of October leading up to Halloween.

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Night 1 – Demons (1985)

If Evil Dead and Return Of The Living Dead had an abortion, Demons would be the glowing eyed fetus snarling up at you from the surgical pan.

Unlike those two films however, Demons isn’t nearly as entertaining as it should have been. Aside from some decent special effects and a scene involving cocaine, a pair of breasts and a razor blade, it was a forgettable child.

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Night 2 – Ju-On: The Grudge 2 (2003)

I just realised I’ve been watching these movies out of order, and that the Ju-On series started with Ju-On: The Curse, which means I haven’t seen the first two films. I will have to rectify this.

I enjoyed this entry, it definitely had me tense throughout and there were plenty of scares throughout. I’m a bit confused about what was happening with the Chiharu character but apparently that ties back to the first film.

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Night 3 – Kairo (2001)

Kairo started off promising enough, building tension and mystery but soon became frustrating to watch as the film failed to deliver any explanation for what was happening on screen.

The plot never reaches any kind of conclusion and once the credits rolled I was left with more questions than answers.

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Night 4 – The Hunger (1983)

I enjoyed this somewhat, mainly because it was incredibly stylish and well shot. It just oozes eighties decadence.

It was a bit dull at times, and there wasn’t a lot happening in the plot department, but it was well acted and reminded me of Interview With The Vampire in the way it depicted vampires as sympathetic, sexy creatures cursed by loneliness.

I thought the little girl was a young Edward Furlong, until I realised it was a little girl.

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Night 5 – Friday The 13th (1980)

I gave up waiting for the Friday The 13th Blu Ray collection to be released in Australia and imported online instead.

I felt like I was watching this for the first time, the picture quality is that good. As for the film, it’s my least favorite of the big three (Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween) but it’s still an enjoyable slasher flick and I’m looking forward to filling in the gaps in the series that I’ve missed.

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Night 6 – Friday The 13th Part II (1981)

More of the same. Jason is all grown up and hunting teenagers to avenge his psychotic mothers execution at Camp Crystal Lake in the first film.

His pillowcase mask is creepier than the iconic hockey mask, and I really liked his little shack in the woods with the shrine to his mother.

I’ve seen this one before, but again it was like watching it for the first time with the fantastic picture quality.

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Night 7 – Friday The 13th Part III (1982)

When I first saw this film I didn’t know it was made for 3D, so finally watching it as it was intended to be seen was a much better experience.

The use of 3D is at times gimmicky, but there are a few cool scenes (the spear gun comes to mind) that make good use of the technology.

It’s a mindless slasher and I have a bit of a headache, but it was an enjoyable ride.

Aside from Freddy VS. Jason, this is the is the last Friday The 13th movie I’ve already seen.

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Night 8 – House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)

This movie is a lot of fun. Everything is so textured, from the grainy film filters to the vintage movie clips to the cluttered set design. It’s a horror feast for the eyes.

While I love how over the top this movie is, it goes a little too far at the end with the introduction of two characters, though this is more an issue with the character design than the plot.

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Night 9 – Puppetmaster (1989)

I’m not sure why this film fascinated me so much growing up. Truth be told it’s pretty awful.

I guess I was drawn to the design of the puppets themselves. They moved around crudely, and weren’t at all scary, but they were fun to watch.

I also really enjoyed the films theme song, it’s catchy and set’s a mood of mischief and mystery.

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Night 10 – Puppet Master II – (1990)

It might have been the beer I was drinking while watching this but I thought Puppet Master II was superior to the original.

The puppets seemed to have more to do, the effects were better and Toulon (the guy pictured above) added some kookiness to the film and gave the puppets a leader.

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Night 11 – Coming Soon (2008)

I started watching this at midnight and had to turn down the volume on my headphones about halfway through because I was worried I was going to have a heart attack.

It had me tingling with suspense and grinning ear to ear. My only complaint was I felt the film became less frightening after a certain revelation, though I kind of liked it so it was a trade off. Recommended.

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Night 12 – Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon

This is a great film. If you liked Scream or Cabin In The Woods it has a lot in common with those films. It’s a self-aware tribute to the horror genre.

For some reason I remembered Sam Rockwell playing the role of Leslie Vernon, when he is actually played by Nathan Baesal. Both actors have a similar energy.

It wasn’t as captivating watching it for a second time knowing what was coming, but it was still entertaining non the less.

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Night 13 – Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Jason loves to kill people by stabbing them through things. He’s always stabbing, slicing and hacking at people through doors, windows, shower screens and other barriers.

The ending was just strange. Spoilers. Are they really trying to say that Corey Feldman protecting his sister is going to lead to him becoming the next Jason Vorhees?

There were also lots of tits in this movie. It seems like everyone but the mother got their chesticles out.

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Night 14 – Creepshow 2 (1987)

None of the stories really shine here, they’re all kind of just okay, and I think that’s the problem the problem with Creepshow 2.

If you’re going to present a series of short horror stories like this you need to either have a few good pieces mixed in with some average ones or at least have enough average ones so it feels like it adds up to an overall good one.

It was still fun to watch, but it really does feel like it’s missing that final piece.

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Night 15 – Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

The movie that started it all. The title that kicked off the entire zombie craze. This little black and white film, it’s as fantastic today as it was when I saw it for the first time as a teenager.

The conflict between the survivors and the ever mounting threat of the lumbering zombie hoard all make for a suspenseful experience that laid the foundations for future generations of horror films.

I would really like to see a video game, or at least a mode for a video game where the visuals look like you’re playing within Night Of The Living Dead. There’s something about that grainy black and white film that is uniquely creepy.

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Night 16 – The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

It’s pretty hard to disturb me in a horror film, but the hotel scene in The Devil’s Rejects really gets to me. The molestation of the wife in front of her husband and the violence that follows was sadistic and hard to watch.

Anyway, the film really didn’t work for me, not just because of that scene, but because it’s success hinged on manipulating me into sympathising with the killers, which I never did.

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Night 17 – Ju-On: The Curse (2000)

I wish I’d seen this film before watching all it’s sequels and remakes. It was kind of creepy, but I already knew exactly what to expect so it never really had the impact it would have had if I had gone in fresh.

The film is good, but far from perfect. There’s a scene with some terrible cgi that ruins an otherwise creepy moment and the film comes to strange and jarring end that left me scratching my head. Perhaps it will be explained in the sequel…

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Night 18 – Sinister (2012)

Sinister started out with so much potential. You have a true crime writer moving into the home  of a recently murdered family to write his next book on the crimes that took place there. He then finds a box full of old 8mm film reels in the attic, each one documenting a different gonzo style killing of a family in their own home. Driven by his desire for a new best seller he decides to investigate the killings himself, and of course, spooky happens. Unfortunately it’s when things start to go supernatural that the movie starts to show it’s cracks and crumble apart.

This can be attributed to two things. Minor spoilers. The demon who appears throughout the film is poorly designed. This brings me back to the House of 1000 Corpses Dr. Satan character. They both look like they were taken from a metal music video. Secondly, the creepy children. They’re not. They still look cute and I can still see their bad acting through their uninspired makeup job.

The found footage is incredibly unsettling, and easily the strongest part of the movie. It’s just a shame that they ruined the atmosphere they created with bad child acting and the lost member of Slipknot.

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Night 19 – Friday The 13th: A New Beginning

Just awful. The movie was absolutely butchered by the MPAA. Every kill is more or less a shot of a weapon being raised and then a cut away.

The storyline, while ambitious for a Friday The 13th movie, didn’t work. The twist doesn’t make any sense, and you’re left not knowing if the ending is real or not.

Worst film in the series so far.

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Night 20 – Friday The 13th: Jason Lives

This could have been the sequel to “The Final Chapter” skipping “A New Beginning” entirely. Story wise it’s nothing special, but it works, and corrects the mistakes the previous chapter made steering the series back on course.

Unfortunately things feel off. The gore is back, but it’s cartoonish and forgettable. The movie feels more like an action film than a horror film at times, and the entire thing lacks any real suspense or scares.

I think I need a break from Jason.

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The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale

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The season finale of Telltales The Walking Dead Season 2 came out last night. The entire season was thoroughly enjoyable, and the finale featured one of the most difficult moments of The Walking Dead to date.

Obviously spoilers ahead, so don’t read until you’ve finished the game.

I chose to shoot Kenny to prevent Jane from being killed. I favoured Kenny throughout the entire season, supported and defended him, but I couldn’t watch him kill an innocent person.

He had gone too far, the baby was dead, it was nobody’s fault. Kenny had finally snapped and the game gave me no other choice but to shoot him or watch him murder Jane.

I killed Kenny, and in his dying moments he thanked me. He knew he had gone too far. That he had lost himself. I told him he was going to see Katjaa and Duck now, and then he was gone.

Then the baby starts crying.

Jane and I follow the sound and find the baby safely tucked away in the back of a nearby car. Jane then reveals that she knew the baby was there all along, and that she lied to Kenny to set him off and prove to me how unstable he really was.

This insane cunt had just orchestrated this entire situation and manipulated me into killing a character I had known for two seasons, all to prove that he was a potential danger.

I was furious.

If there was an option to execute her right there and then I would have.

All I could do was walk away with the baby as she pleaded for forgiveness.

My game ended more or less as it started, Clementine on her own. Except now she has a baby to take care of and is about to walk straight through a heard of walkers covered in undead juice. Hope little AJ doesn’t start crying.

I was happy with my choices in the end, I did the best with the knowledge I had at the time and I’m yet to rewind any of my decisions made while playing The Walking Dead.

This game, this fucking game, it brings me to tears every episode.

What a fantastic ride.

Thanks again Telltale.

 

 

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GODZILLA (2014)

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Godzilla (2014) is full of dull characters I was told to care about, running from giant monsters I wanted to see more of.

No chemistry or love is ever established between any of the leads before I was expected to care about the potential of their demise.

The result is an emotional disconnect where I found myself literally struggling to stay awake while waiting for the next monster scene.

The film adopts a less is more style when revealing the monsters which unfortunately only serves to expose the abundance of uninteresting characters sleep walking through this film.

Whats sad is that the film itself looks fantastic. The monsters have a great sense of scale, and the adaptation of the Godzilla design maintained his menacing, chunky look from the Japanese films.

Unfortunately the lack of character development makes for an incredibly dull movie when he’s not on screen, which is the majority of the time.

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NIER

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I picked up Nier after reading numerous people on the internet praise the game for it’s fantastic storyline.

I’m usually a very tolerant guy when it comes to games. If I start something, it takes a lot to deter me from finishing it. So despite it’s many flaws, I persevered and completed Nier.

Or so I thought.

Turns out in order to experience the full storyline of Nier you need to complete the game three more times. Three. More. Times.

Granted, these wouldn’t be full play throughs (more like half play throughs), but that would still mean spending another fifteen hours in the world of Nier.

Not wanting the time I’d sunk into this game to be a total waste, and still hoping to discover this “amazing story” I’d been promised,  I looked up the other three endings I’d missed on youtube.

I’m glad I didn’t waste my time.

There are some interesting ideas explored in Nier, but nothing anywhere near worth sitting through it’s awful gameplay for 35 hours.

You visit the same bland areas again and again, fighting the same bland enemies over and over through a series of repetitive dungeons.

The peaceful towns are filled with people offering the dullest of dull fetch quests (which to it’s credit the game mocks you for accepting).

There are several parts of the game where you are forced to read through long passages of text on a black screen. There is nothing wrong with reading dialogue, but you are literally reading the game like a book at this point and it has the nerve to quiz you on trivial details about what you’ve read at the end of it, sending you back to the start if you fail.

The voice acting , except for Grimoire Weiss, is awful. I was literally cringing throughout most of the scenes that were supposed to impactful. Reading bad dialogue is one thing, hearing it out loud is another.

Nier is in no way a rare gem like I was lead to believe.

Had it refined it’s ideas and delivered it’s storyline through a single playthrough it would have been an infinitely better game. As it stands, it’s just not worth playing.

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CIBO MATTO

I’ve been exploring the side projects of Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto lately which has lead to me discover some great music I would have otherwise remained oblivious to.

In case you don’t know, Cibo Matto are a rock/trip-hop/indie band which released two great albums back in the 90’s.

They were best known for their single Sugar Water, which they performed on the television show Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Gamers will also know them for their song Birthday Cake, which was featured on the soundtrack for Jet Set Radio Future.

Cibo Matto – Sugar Water

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