FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Nov 1, 2017

A Wee SHOCKtober Wrap Up!

Well, here we are in lame November. Stores are putting away the fake eyeballs and putting up the fake trees. While it's safe to say that most–if not all–of us will continue to indulge in all things horror no matter what the stupid calendar says, it's a sad fact that another SHOCKtober has come to an end. There's only one thing left to do, and that's some good old-fashioned number crunchin' and comparin'.

Let's face it, when it comes to clicking, the world of "2017" is a much lazier place than the "2010" world gone by. People simply do not want to click more than once! We've grown so accustomed to sites like hell Facebook, hubs that allow you to scroll and watch videos and message people and comment and read articles on other sites without ever really leaving the confines of Facebook itself. Had I allowed folks to leave their lists as comments over there, I assure you there would have been a higher turnout. People "liked" my posts but never sent emails–emails are a lot of work! I get it. The Internet and the way we interact with it has changed a shit ton over the last seven years, so I was not expecting 2010 numbers. And I didn't get them! But the turnout was terrific anyway, and I thank everyone who sent in a list of their 20 favorite horror movies. We got another great master list with more variety and--aw heck, let's just get to the numbers.

Total movies on the list: 632 (2017) / 732 (2010)

I didn't keep track of the number of people who submitted lists, but it was far, far fewer this time around. You can't really tell by the total number of films on the list–only 100 fewer!–but the number of votes really gives it away. Still, dang, 632 movies ain't nothin' to sneeze at. SO DON'T SNEEZE AT THEM.

Number of movies released since 2010: 78

A kind reader tallied up that a total of 258 movies appear on the 2017 list that did not appear on the 2010 list. That's nuts! According to my science calculator, 78 films on the 2017 list were released after 2010. That's nuts-ier! Heck, one of those films, It Follows, made the Top 20. I'd say horror is doing just fine, thank you.

Number of women directors: 9 (2010) / 26 (2017)

This is the most telling number of all (and my favorite)–there are more and more women making movies out there! And wow, some of the movies are great! How nice that future lists of " the best horror movies directed by women" won't simply include Near Dark and American Psycho. Gee golly, maybe one day there will be so many women directors out there that they won't be segregated. A Final Girl can dream!

The Top 10s

Now here is where we see how much of a drop off in participants there was from 2010 to 2017: the #10 movie in 2010 received more votes than the #1 movie in 2017! And the #1 movie in 2010 received more than twice the votes than the #1 movie in 2017. But it's quite interesting to compare the Top 10s, no?

10. 2017: Carrie // 2010: The Descent
  9. 2017: Black Christmas // 2010: A Nightmare on Elm Street
  8. 2017: Night of the Living Dead // 2010: Suspiria
  7. 2017: Dawn of the Dead // 2010: Dawn of the Dead
  6. 2017: Alien // 2010: Night of the Living Dead
  5. 2017: The Shining // 2010: The Shining
  4. 2017: The Exorcist // 2010: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  3. 2017: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre // 2010: The Exorcist
  2. 2017: The Thing // 2010: The Thing
  1. 2017: Halloween (52 votes) // 2010: Halloween (123 votes)

Weird, right? Some flip-floppin', some samey-samin'. In, say, 40 years when my ghost is running SHOCKtober 2057, what will the Top 10 look like? Where will these movies place? I think some recent films are absolutely classics already (hello, The VVitch) and down the line they'll be as revered as the "canon" is. Right? Maybe? I guess we'll have to wait and see!

A fun little question posted in the comments recently: starting at #1, how far down the list do you have to go before you get to a movie you haven't seen yet? I made it to 109–I haven't seen The Final Girls yet. (I know, right? That's some Alanis Morrisette-level irony right there!)

Again, thank you to everyone who participated. Although, again: I am disappointed in every single one of you! Nary a vote for Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes. That's fine, I'll be over here in the corner all by myself talking to the possessed floor lamp.

Oct 31, 2017

SHOCKtober: 10-1

Here we are, the Top 10, the Final Countdown, the winner's circle, the crème de la crème, the head honchos, the big cheeses, your favorite horror movies of ALL TIME! Bold numbers indicate number of votes received.

10. Carrie (1976, Brian De Palma) -- 26

9. Black Christmas (1974, Bob Clark) -- 27

8. Night of the Living Dead (1968, George A. Romero) -- 27

7. Dawn of the Dead (1978, George A. Romero) -- 33

6. Alien (1979, Ridley Scott) -- 34

5. The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick) -- 34

4. The Exorcist (1973, William Friedkin) -- 36

3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974, Tobe Hooper) -- 39

2. The Thing (1982, John Carpenter) -- 48

1. Halloween (1978, John Carpenter) -- 52

I have to admit, I was kind of rooting for The Thing to take the #1 spot just so there'd be an upset, but there's no toppling the tale of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. They were close right until the end (heck, the whole Top 10 was pretty close), though, and ultimately they're not separated by that many votes. Maybe when I do this again in like ten years...? Eh, who am I kidding, Halloween is just way too beloved. But congrats to John Carpenter on taking the #1 and #2 spots, I'm sure he finds this to be the highest honor he's ever received!

YES I know there are some ties in there–Black Christmas and Night of the Living Dead, Alien and The Shining–but as I said way back when, this ain't yer mama's countdown! I play by my own rules, and my own rules say the rankings are sometimes arbitrary!

And just like that, it's over.

OR IS IT? I'll be back tomorrow with some kind of a post-game show... much like evil, SHOCKtober never dies! Thanks to everyone who cast a vote! Thanks to everyone who's just reading along! Happy Halloween! Exclamation point!

Oct 30, 2017

SHOCKtober: 20-11

Today we enter the Top 20! Amazing, isn't it. As always, the bold number is the number of votes each movie received.

20. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978, Philip Kaufman) -- 17

19. Scream (1996, Wes Craven) -- 17

18. The Fog (1980, John Carpenter) -- 17

17. The Blair Witch Project (1999, Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sánchez) -- 18

16. Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock) -- 19

15. It Follows (2014, David Robert Mitchell) -- 20

14. Rosemary's Baby (1968, Roman Polanski) -- 23

13. Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg) -- 24

12. Suspiria (1977, Dario Argento) -- 24

11. The Descent (2005, Neil Marshall) -- 25

And there you have it. Tomorrow–your Top 10 favorites! Well, it's the Top 10 favorites of some of you. In a way. You know what I mean.

Oct 29, 2017

SHOCKtober: 41-21

I can't believe SHOCKtober is winding down! Time flies when you're...doing this stuff.

The bold number is the number of votes each film received:

41. Don't Look Now -- 1973, Nicolas Roeg -- 11
40. Friday the 13th -- 1980, Sean S. Cunningham -- 11
39. Let the Right One In -- 2008, Tomas Alfredson -- 11
38. The House of the Devil -- 2009, Ti West -- 11
37. Hellraiser -- 1987, Clive Barker -- 12
36. Phantasm -- 1979, Don Coscarelli -- 12
35. The Changeling -- 1980, Peter Medak -- 12
34. Creepshow -- 1982, George A. Romero -- 13
33. Evil Dead II -- 1987, Sam Raimi -- 13
32. Poltergeist -- 1982, Tobe Hooper -- 13
31. Prince of Darkness -- 1987, John Carpenter -- 13
30. Re-Animator -- 1985, Stuart Gordon -- 13
29. The Return of the Living Dead -- 1985, Dan O'Bannon -- 13
28. Session 9 -- 2001, Brad Anderson -- 13
27. The Silence of the Lambs -- 1991, Jonathan Demme -- 13
26. An American Werewolf in London -- 1981, John Landis -- 15
25. Candyman -- 1992, Bernard Rose -- 15
24. The Evil Dead -- 1981, Sam Raimi -- 15
23. The Haunting -- 1963, Robert Wise -- 16
22. The VVitch -- 2015, Robert Eggers -- 16
21. A Nightmare on Elm Street -- 1984, Wes Craven-- 17

I introduced some pals to Creepshow recently and they really dug it (thank goodness, otherwise we'd have to stop being pals). I was especially pleased that they each made an astute observation: "Are we supposed to hate Billie? I don't, she's fun."

Oct 28, 2017

Death Count Giveaway!

Man I tells ya, the warm reception that Death Count has gotten so far really warms me in my heart place.

The limited sketch edition has sold out, so thanks to everyone who picked one up! If you missed out, though, I've got good news: I'm doing a sketch edition giveaway! The winner will receive a copy of the book along with the Crystal Lake Kick Line sketch you see below! All you have to do is follow me on Instagram @finalgrrl and hashtag something or other with #f13DeathCount. I'll be drawing a winner on November 1st from everyone who hashtags and follows, so give it a go! A moment of social media pain is worth a lifetime of having this book and original art.

As you know, reader pics are my everything so keep 'em coming, I'll never get enough. And for real, the enthusiasm and all of it means the world.

SHOCKtober: 61-42

Can you feel the excitement in the air? We're breaking into the Top 50, aww yeah!

The following films received EIGHT VOTES each!

61. 28 Days Later -- 2002, Danny Boyle
60. The Cabin in the Woods -- 2012, Drew Goddard
59. Deep Red -- 1975, Dario Argento
58. Friday the 13th Part 2 -- 1981, Steve Miner
57. Martyrs -- 2008, Pascal Laugier
56. Tenebre -- 1982, Dario Argento
55. The Babadook -- 2014, Jennifer Kent
54. The Birds -- 1963, Alfred Hitchcock
53. The Innocents -- 1961, Jack Clayton
52. Videodrome -- 1983, David Cronenberg

The following films received NINE VOTES each:

51. Bride of Frankenstein -- 1935, James Whale
50. Carnival of Souls -- 1962, Herk Harvey
49. Halloween III: Season of the Witch -- 1982, Tommy Lee Wallace
48. Sleepaway Camp -- 1983, Robert Hiltzik
47. The Beyond -- 1981, Lucio Fulci
46. The Ring -- 2002, Gore Verbinski
45. The Wicker Man -- 1973, Robin Hardy
44. You're Next -- 2011, Adam Wingard

The following films received TEN VOTES each:

43. The Brood -- 1979, David Cronenberg
42. Trick 'r Treat -- 2007, Michael Dougherty

How crazy is Halloween III? It's crazy! Not every day that you see a horror movie whose villain wants the wholesale slaughter of children, never mind that the plan involves masks that, when triggered, make snakes come out of kids' faces. I don't understand the science behind it, but I sure do love it. (That gif, by the way, is courtesy of our pal Jason over at My New Plaid Pants, who featured Season of the Witch in his excellent, long-running "Ways Not to Die" series.)

Oct 27, 2017

SHOCKtober: 82-62

The following movies each received SIX VOTES:

82. From Beyond -- 1986, Stuart Gordon
81. Happy Birthday to Me -- 1981, J. Lee Thompson
80. Inside -- 2007, Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury
79. Messiah of Evil -- 1973, Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz
78. Near Dark -- 1987, Kathryn Bigelow
77. [REC] -- 2007, Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza
76. Ringu -- 1998, Hideo Nakata
75. The Omen -- 1976, Richard Donner
74. The Others -- 2001, Alejandro Amenábar
73. Tourist Trap -- 1979, David Schmoeller

These films got SEVEN VOTES each:

72. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors -- 1987, Chuck Russell
71. April Fool's Day -- 1986, Fred Walton
70. Cat People -- 1942, Jacques Tourneur
69. Drag Me to Hell -- 2009, Sam Raimi
68. The Exorcist III -- 1990, William Peter Blatty
67. Get Out -- 2017, Jordan Peele
66. Let's Scare Jessica to Death -- 1971, John D. Hancock
65. Martin -- 1978, George A. Romero
64. Night of the Creeps -- 1986, Fred Dekker
63. Shaun of the Dead -- 2004, Edgar Wright
62. The Fly -- 1986, David Cronenberg

I checked out Messiah of Evil after reading its praises in the comment section on this very blog and I fell in love with it, ain't that somethin'. So if you haven't seen it yet, consider this my recommendation that you get it in your face anon.

Doesn't Tourist Trap seem more like a 1982 film than a 1979 film? It does to me. And now you know how I feel about that, so have a great weekend!

Oct 26, 2017

Princesses from Another Castle

I you do not follow me at Kotaku, well, I figured I would let you know about some of my recent posts over there as I've been busy. Perhaps something will be of interest to you! Or not, who can say. It's your life, man, be interested in whatever you want.

Today I've got a piece called Video Games, According to Horror Movies, a look at some of the ridiculous (and often hilarious) ways games and game developers are portrayed in horror movies. Films like Brainscan, Stay Alive, Nightmares, and Hellraiser: Hellworld all get it delightfully wrong and I couldn't be more pleased.

Also, Hellworld is the EIGHTH Hellraiser movie and it is not the last. It's shocking just how massive some of these franchises are–like, everyone knows there are more Friday the 13th movies than you could count on all of your fingers (I assume). But there are almost 20 Amityville movies! How can that be? And don't get me started–don't even get me started–on Witchcraft. Last I knew they were up to Witchcraft MCMXVIII.

I also wrote a piece about the current state of horror games (spoiler alert: it's pretty dang great!). Basically there's a shit ton of good stuff out there in every imaginable subgenre. It parallels the ebbs and flows of the horror film industry, to an extent: when "corporate"/big budget stuff gets too bland and fans get tired, the indies experiment with new ideas and make it all feel fresh again.

I done did my first review of a AAA, The Evil Within 2, huzzah and hooray! (spoiler alert: it's pretty dang great!) I loved it. Fantastic open world-ish survival horror. If that's your bag at all, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

It's all fulla nope.

I wrote a bit about a recent Friday the 13th: The Game update, although since then there's been another update that adds Fox as a playable character and I don't even know why I'm still writing here when I could be playing as Fox?

Finally, I wrote a list of horror movie recommendations for horror game fans. You know, if you like this game, watch this movie kind of stuff. Of course, the inverse also applies–if you're a fan of one of these movies, maybe you'll enjoy the game. It's not 1:1 stuff, like "If you enjoy playing Resident Evil, watch Resident Evil!" because man, what a boring list that would be. It's more moods and vibes and maybe some lesser known films, so maybe someone somewhere got introduced to something great and then my life will feel complete.

It's been a great SHOCKtober all around, and it ain't over yet!

SHOCKtober: 104-83

Aww yeah, into the top 100! We're getting to the nitty and the gritty, children. Each of these movies received FOUR VOTES!

104. The Stepford Wives -- 1975, Bryan Forbes
103. The Void -- 2016, Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski
102. Wolfen -- 1981, Michael Wadleigh, John D. Hancock, Rupert Hitzig
101. Zombie -- 1979, Lucio Fulci

Each of the following movies got FIVE VOTES:

100. Audition -- 1999, Takashi Miike
99. Brain Damage -- 1988, Frank Henenlotter
98. Dawn of the Dead -- 2004, Zack Snyder
97. Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI -- 1986, Tom McLoughlin
96. Ginger Snaps -- 2000, John Fawcett
95. Hausu -- 1977, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi
94. High Tension -- 2003, Alexandre Aja
93. Inferno -- 1980, Dario Argento
92. Pieces -- 1982, Juan Piquer Simón
91. Shivers -- 1975, David Cronenberg
90. The Blob -- 1988, Chuck Russell
89. The Conjuring -- 2013, James Wan
88. The Legend of Hell House -- 1973, John Hough
87. The Lost Boys -- 1987, Joel Schumacher
86. The Slumber Party Massacre -- 1982, Amy Holden Jones
85. The Vanishing -- 1988, George Sluizer

These movies received SIX VOTES each:

84. Dead Alive -- 1992, Peter Jackson
83. Event Horizon -- 1997, Paul W.S. Anderson

Look, I don't want to be a pill or a sore sport here, but I checked out The Void because it's like the hottest thing and man, I just couldn't really get into it. The special effects were cool and I'm into the old school approach to gore and the such, but things were kept so dark it was hard to really appreciate them. The story felt like a rehash of several better movies, and I'm tired of useless women in horror movies. Well, everywhere and all movies, really, but horror especially. That doesn't mean they all have to be the Final Girl or lawd forbid "strong female characters" (I'd love to see that term go into fucking retirement), but...well, the breakdown of characters in the little ensemble of The Void just got me all riled up. Ah well, I don't want to spoil things for those who haven't seen it (or go on a forever tirade), so I guess I'll just go burn my bra.

But not before posting this absolutely obligatory scene from you-know-what:

Oct 25, 2017

SHOCKtober: 125-105

Ooh we're almost in the home stretch...but today we're still listing movies that each received FOUR VOTES!

125. Fright Night -- 1985, Tom Holland
124. Ghost Story -- 1981, John Irvin
123. Hellbound: Hellraiser II -- 1988, Tony Randel
122. The House on Sorority Row -- 1983, Mark Rosman
121. In the Mouth of Madness -- 1994, John Carpenter
120. Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- 1956, Don Siegel
119. Pulse -- 2001, Kiyoshi Kurosawa
118. Maniac -- 1980, William Lustig
117. Misery -- 1990, Rob Reiner
116. Paranormal Activity -- 2007, Oren Peli
115. Pet Sematary -- 1989, Mary Lambert
114. Phenomena -- 1985, Dario Argento
113. Possession -- 1981, Andrzej Zulawski
112. Prom Night -- 1980, Paul Lynch
111. Pumpkinhead -- 1988, Stan Winston
110. Slaughter High -- 1986, George Dugdale, Mark Ezra, Peter Mackenzie Litten
109. The Final Girls -- 2015, Todd Strauss-Schulson
108. House on Haunted Hill -- 1959, William Castle
107. The Innkeepers -- 2011, Ti West
106. The Sentinel -- 1977, Michael Winner
105. The Seventh Victim -- 1943, Mark Robson

I tells ya, this tiny clip from House on Sorority Row never fails to brighten my day:

I could watch that on a loop forever!

Oct 24, 2017

SHOCKtober: 147-126

It's time for the last of the movies with THREE VOTES EACH!

147. The Amityville Horror -- 1979, Stuart Rosenberg
146. The Bad Seed -- 1956, Mervyn LeRoy
145. The Black Cat -- 1934, Edgar G. Ulmer
144. The Burning -- 1981, Tony Maylam
143. The Devil's Rejects -- 2005, Rob Zombie
142. The Hitcher -- 1986, Robert Harmon
141. The Howling -- 1981, Joe Dante
140. The Invitation -- 2015, Karyn Kusama
139. The Manitou -- 1977, William Girdler
138. The Mist -- 2007, Frank Darabont
137. The Old Dark House -- 1932, James Whale
136. The Orphanage -- 2007, J.A. Bayona
135. The Uninvited -- 1944, Lewis Allen
134. Tombs of the Blind Dead -- 1972, Armando de Ossorio
133. Tremors -- 1990, Ron Underwood
132. Tucker and Dale vs Evil -- 2010, Eli Craig
131. Vampyr -- 1932, Carl Theodor Dreyer
130. Wes Craven's New Nightmare -- 1994, Wes Craven

Well lookie here, each of these movies got FOUR VOTES!

129. Black Sabbath -- 1963, Mario Bava
128. Chopping Mall -- 1986, Jim Wynorski
127. Creature from the Black Lagoon -- 1954, Jack Arnold
126. Frankenstein -- 1931, James Whale

Sure, sure, everyone is always going on about The Bad Seed. But what about the sequel The Rad Seed?

The Invitation is great and if you haven't seen it yet you should definitely check it out!

I love living in a world where The Manitou got three votes.

Also, is this a good time for me to admit that I've never actually seen Chopping Mall? I know. I know!