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!

Oct 16, 2020

SHOCKtober: 460-429

Here we are, at the start of the soulmates section (or the terrible twos, depending on your outlook) at last. That means each film on this chunk o' list received two votes!

As has been proven several times already this month, the list is indeed a whole journey each and every day. The surprises, shocks, and cruel twists of fate never end! Why, just yesterday a voter lamented that their beloved When a Stranger Calls was beloved only by them. It is a lament we have heard time and again, always with good reason. Isn't When a Stranger Calls a classic, a formative film, a film still referenced in wider pop culture on the regular? Are the calls no longer coming from inside the house?? 

Part of this, of course, is that this is indeed a list of "favorites"--as you no doubt discovered when you were making yours, it is a chance to follow your heart and let your freak flag fly. Yes, The Exorcist is a classic, and maybe it's also one of your favorites! Or, maybe you cite it as a classic and think it's one of the all-time greatest horror films, but the truth is you secretly enjoy Exorcist II: The Heretic more. It's more of an actual fave, and you can live that truth of yours during SHOCKtober.

But! I also wonder how much streaming has influenced the results in this iteration, and how it will continue to influence results in the future. If someone is young, is not a film nerd, is not a horror movie obsessive, doesn't buy physical media, and only subscribes to Netflix, what kind of content are they exposed to? Many services skew towards the "new" and man, there are so many new horror movies every goddamn  day. I certainly do not keep up with all of them, and I have a blog. Also I think we're in a bit of an age right now. Golden, whatever you want to call it--there have been some stone-cold will be timeless classics released in the past five years.

As for the already timeless classics, they don't always hit the way they used to, and many of them are greeted with a shrug these days by first-time viewers. Heck, I remember interviewing Marilyn Burns and she told me that her niece thought The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was dreadfully boring and vastly preferred the remake. I can only imagine what the young-uns think about John Carpenter's Halloween, never mind When a Stranger Calls. (For the record, of fucking course I dig When a Stranger Calls, and When a Stranger Calls Back is absolutely tuh-riff-ick, shockingly so for a made-for-TV sequel released ~15 years after the original. But that is the power of Carol Kane, I suppose.)

Hopefully we'll all still be around to see how this shakes out in 2025, right? Something to look forward to, at least. For now, let's dig into these gruesome twosomes!

460. 10 Cloverfield Lane -- 2016, Dan Trachtenberg
459. Aliens -- 1986, James Cameron
458. Altered States -- 1980, Ken Russell
457. American Gothic -- 1987, John Hough
456. Amulet -- 2020, Romola Garai
455. Anguish -- 1987, Bigas Luna
454. Apostle -- 2018, Gareth Evans
453. Asylum -- 1972, Roy Ward Baker
452. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage -- 1972, Dario Argento
451. Black Sheep -- 2006, Jonathan King
450. Blade II -- 2002, Guillermo del Toro
449. Blood Diner -- 1987, Jackie Kong
448. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 -- 2000, Joe Berlinger
447. Bug -- 2006, William Friedkin
446. Child's Play 2 -- 1990, John Lafia
445. Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest -- 1995, James D.R. Hickox
444. Christmas Evil (aka You Better Watch Out) -- 1980, Lewis Jackson
443. City of the Living Dead -- 1980, Lucio Fulci
442. Creep -- 2014, Patrick Brice
441. Dark Night of the Scarecrow -- 1981, Frank De Felitta
440. Dead End -- 2003, Jean-Baptiste Andrea & Fabrice Canepa
439. Deadgirl -- 2008, Marcel Sarmiento & Gadi Harel
438. Death Proof -- 2007, Quentin Tarantino
437. Deep Blue Sea -- 1999, Renny Harlin
436. Diabolique (aka Les diaboliques) -- 1955, Henri-Georges Clouzot
435. Doctor Sleep -- 2019, Mike Flanagan
434. Don't Look in the Basement -- 1973, S.F. Brownrigg
433. Dracula A.D. 1972 -- 1972, Alan Gibson
432. Excision -- 2012, Richard Bates Jr.
431. Final Destination 3 -- 2006, James Wong
430. Frankenhooker -- 1990, Frank Henenlotter

  • Got to see Child's Play 2 on the big screen for the first time with an enthusiastic crowd shorty before the plague descended upon us all and it was so much fun that I'd like to memorialize the experience with a Precious Moments figurine atop my mantel.
  • Blood Diner is completely bonkers and Jackie Kong rules!
  • A lot of goodies on this chunk. Diabolique, City of the Living Dead, Children of the Corn III (what a trio, all hail LIST), Dark Night of the Scarecrow! Asylum! Bug! Umm, excuse me...ALIENS!


Susandoku said...

Praise the goddess Shocktobra and the two angels who reminded me to watch American Gothic IMMEDIATELY.

Berserk Kirk said...

To answer Stacie's question, and at the risk of drawing the scorn of all horror fans everywhere, I just watched the original Halloween for the first time about a week ago (full disclosure::: - I am a 43 year old man and longtime fan of horror movies, but slashers have never really gotten me all that excited). I am sad to report that I found it a bit underwhelming after all the hype I've been hearing about it for decades. Don't get me wrong, I loved all the characters and the all the little moments that were worked into the script that made the setting and events feel authentic. But... and this is where everyone's going to hate me... I just didn't find Michael Myers to be all that menacing. Even with Donald Pleasance's monologues about Myers' backstory, he just seemed like some dude in a mask. However, I recognize that it was a groundbreaking film, one of the first of its kind, and I do appreciate that the last 20 minutes or so were extremely well done and suspenseful. I think it's just one of those things where, if you didn't grow up loving it, it's not going to wow you when you see it for the first time after a lifetime of watching all sorts of other horror movies. Please don't hate me.

Susandoku said...

OMG I just realized what's missing from this list, a two-word title starting with B, indicating the impossible scenario of more than two people having voted for it. SHOCKTOBER KEEPS SHOCKING!

Leah Richards said...

Where's my Deadgirl soulmate at?

Riccardo said...

I hope those two that voted for DIABOLIQUE aren't planning something...

Catsparkles said...

I'm so excited to see both Frankenhooker and Excision got TWO votes even though I made the now-obviously-wrong decision to leave Frankenhooker off my list. I wish I'd taken a Wheel of Fortune bonus round approach to my list, like when they finally just started giving contestants RSTLN and E as freebies. Favorites like The Shining, Alien, The Thing, Poltergeist, those are my foundational, obvious picks, and it's hard to leave them off in favor of some newer, wackier favorite.

goblin said...

Berserk Kirk, I doubt anyone here would give you shit for your opinion on Halloween. After all, I think everybody can name at least one classic (horror) movie they just couldn't get into for whatever reason. For me, for example, it's Friday the 13th which I know isn't quite as big of a "sacred cow" as Halloween, but there are still a lot of folks who regard it as one of the best horror films ever. Well, I watched Part 1 when I was in my mid 20's after I'd already accumulated some experience with slasher flicks and I just found it tedious. It might have been thrilling for its time, but in the mid 2000's, it just didn't cut it anymore (no pun intended) in my opinion. Of course, it also didn't help much that I had the ending spoiled years before I ever got to see the movie (thanks, Scream.) That being said, though, I would never deny the huge influence Friday the 13th had on the horror genre and that many of the slasher movies I enjoyed more are basically its kids or grandkids.

Peter said...

I don’t hate you, for what it’s worth.

Peter said...

Black Sheep is pretty fun.

Anonymous said...

The 2 souls who selected Frankenhooker and Don't Look In The Basement are definitely invited to my next virtual movie night.

Eve said...

I am the other Deadgirl fanatic--was delighted to discover that it had at least one other partisan, and here we are! What a sad, queasy movie. It just looks and feels soiled.

Astroboymn said...

Berserk Kirk: Don't worry, everyone's can name at least one of those classics as a bit of a bore. Mine is The Omen. Even at the time of its release I was never all that into it, though I admit it's got several great set pieces—certainly that pane of glass gives a very memorable performance.

Leah Richards said...

I realized, making my list, that many of my favorites have a common element, and I think you've articulated it: sad, queasy, and soiled. They dig into my brain and hang out there, and I like that.

Michaelichael said...

I am one of those angels! I’m so glad to know other people have seen this!