Sunday, October 31, 2010

31 Days Of Horror Day 31: Fright Night/Don't Look In The Basement




Phew.

I made it back home with my sanity still somewhat intact after a night of great horror movie debauchery at the great Aero Theater. A night spent with good friends, with good films in a great theater, what better way to celebrate Halloween?

What's more, I also finished yet another 31 Days Of Horror. When I appeared on On The Stick I was asked if I felt like I was running out of films to cover. Far from it. There's actually going to be a few bits of overflow in early November. Films I couldn't quite sandwich into 31 Days for various reasons. But which I wouldn't dream of not covering.

Still, 31 Days of one genre is 31 days of one genre. And I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was a bit fatigued, as I made it into the final week.

Of course all of that went away when I came in contact with the two afore mentioned movies.


Fright Night, is one of those heartening films that remind you that no matter how thoroughly you've scoured a genre, you've never seen everything. For whatever reason I'd never viewed the horror comedy classic until now and was thoroughly delighted to find it a great little movie. On Par with the likes of Army Of Darkness full of interesting wrinkles (I reserve the right to do a more indepth review of it later. Right Now I'm bushed) as well as some of the greatest practical effects I've ever seen.




The Aero also makes it policy to usually program in some horror movie to which I genuinely have no idea how to react to. (In this case with Blood Birthday as well, two). Whether The Children, the film that features a paunchy country good ole boy sheriff chopping the arms off of small radioactive children or Demons (No explanation necessary).

Of Don't Look In The Basement, I'm not going to say anything, since everyone deserves to walk into this one unspoiled. I will only say that it was one of the most batshit crazy things I've ever seen on the big screen (And remember I've seen The Candy Snatchers) and it worked the audience into a lather not very much seen outside of Pentecostal Prayer Meetings.

The rest of the festival was good as well, the well meaning and ambitious, but ultimately not very good Candyman, the aforementioned Madness of Bloody Birthday, as well as Phantasm, and Cementary Man, a movie I have never liked but I now realize makes perfect sense under extreme sleep depravation.

But beyond all that, I must return to those first two movies. If after 31 Days of force feeding horror, I can still be reached, entertained, and truly delighted, there is no other word for it, by two horror films as polar opposite as those two, well then the genre really does have magic. And I'll happily truck through 31 more days as long as I can.

Thanks for everyone who did 31 Days with me. Particularly those who the feature has introduced to the site. Here's hoping you'll stick around. It's going to be a great November...

Until next year, Happy Halloween, lets close the way we opened...

9 comments:

Chris Stangl said...

Aw snap, I was at Horrorthon — easily the strongest lineup of LA revival horror marathons this season (and the easiest to get tickets to). I admit that the selling point for me was CEMETERY MAN, my second-favorite movie, and, in totally unsupported counterpoint, THE BEST FILM OF THE PAST THIRTY YEARS! By now I know, though, that the chances of converting others are... remote.

After seeing the movies, I might've swapped the program positions of BLOODY BIRTHDAY and BASEMENT, for maximum progression of sleep-deprived delirium. BASEMENT was a great pump-primer, but I imagine it would have driven that audience insane after being cooped up for seven hours. The film was the original co-feature of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, which probably striped the fun factor significantly.

Bryce Wilson said...

Aw, Chris wish I'd know you were there could have said hello...

Or at least ALAN ALAN ALAN ALAN ALAN!!!!

I thought Basement worked pretty well were it was, particularly since it really benefited from having a theater that was more or less full (Though this looked to be one of the fests busier years. And a better portion of the audience stayed later then usual. Both of which were heartening).

The only problem with Basement being were it was, was that it REALLY harmed the much slower paced Candyman. The idea of it playing with Last House BLOWS MY MIND.

In all fairness, I really did like Cemetery Man a lot better this time out. Before it had been introduced to me as a Dead Alive/Evil Dead 2 film, which I think we can both agree its not. And I was only half joking, being tremendously sleep deprived really did help me follow the movie's singular vibe a lot more willingly.

I still wish the movie had a stronger last fifteen minutes, but in all fairness I don't really know were else the story could go either.

The Film Connoisseur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Film Connoisseur said...

Glad you liked Fright Night, that one is one of my all time favorites, love everything about it, the make up effects work is still amazing to this day.

I only hope that the remake thats being filmed will live up to the awesomeness of this one...

Bryce Wilson said...

Like I said, I was so pleasantly surprised by Fright Night. I do think the sequel would have potential, but so much of what makes Fright Night great are those amazing practical effects.

Did you see the sequel? I'm curious but 80's movie sequels are usually "Same thing but worse." sooo....

Biba Pickles said...

I remember suggesting that The Palm play Fright Night for Palm Wednesday.

The Film Connoisseur said...

The sequel to Fright Night is actually not as bad as some would have you think. It basically tells the story of Regina, Jerry Dandriges sister, she's come for revenge. And Charlie is her target.

The make up effects work is equally good, this one has insect eating ghouls, werewolves and vampires.

The good thing about it is that it feels like a genuine sequel, with Peter Vincent and Charlie both being played by the same actors, which is great. Charlie is trying to make himself believe everything that happened in the first movie was hallucinations...

It has nifty effects, but the ones on the first are still better. Basically, theres more effects on the first one. But the ones on the second are also well achieved as far as Im concerned. I am a Fright Night fan, so take that from me.

Richard of DM said...

I love Don't Look in the Basement. I played it for my wife, mother-in-law, and our friend during a movie night. They all uniformly hated it though they found the ending satisfying. Sigh. Why must I be tortured like this?

Bryce Wilson said...

@ FC: Thanks for the heads up. I'll definitely be checking it out.

@ Richard: Dude just the fact that they'd sit down and watch it with you would seem to put you ahead of the curve.