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31 Days of Horror: Spooktober Wrapup

The running joke with the Kali Krew is that I’ve seen about four movies, ever. So when I announced that I was planning to watch a horror movie a day for the entire month of October, I was met with (understandably) some skepticism. Lilyn especially was not at all convinced. Luckily for me, I am incredibly motivated by spite when someone tells me I can’t do something. For that reason, I would like to credit Lilyn with my sticking with this, and tell her to SUCK IT!

In all seriousness though, I used to be a huge movie buff but when my mental health took a nosedive a few years back, it took my will to watch movies with it. For a long time now, it’s been a pretty good month if I manage to watch more than one movie, and a lot of the time those movies are rewatches of things I already know and love. Luckily I’m in a better place mentally now and trying to get back to some of the things I loved but neglected along the way, so Spooktober seemed like a great excuse to jumpstart my love of film again.

Now, onto the movies. My rules for myself were only horror, one movie a day (no playing catch-up) and no re-watches. That means all of these were new-to-me – and yes, I had more than a few weird horror gaps going into this. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that as much as I’m a mood reader, I’m a mood watcher too, so a lot of these were spur of the moment picks depending on what I was feeling that night. I tried to get a good mix of subgenres in so I wouldn’t burn out watching horror every day, and I think I got a decent variety in the end.

THE GOOD: My favorite movie of the month was, hands down, From Dusk Till Dawn. I loved absolutely everything about this movie! I’m a big Robert Rodriguez fan and I love, LOVE anything vampire, so how this one stayed off my radar until now is a mystery. This thing is quotable from beginning to end, the entire cast is incredible, the gore is fantastically over the top…I loved it all! This wasn’t just my favorite of the month, it’s rocketed onto my all-time favorites list.

THE BAD: Malevolent was bad, bad, bad. The acting was atrocious, the entire cast of characters is made up of walking, talking assholes and I could not have cared less whether any of them lived or died. There were 0 stakes for me because I just didn’t care at all. The plot has been done before, and far better, by other movies, and the twist was utterly predictable. Did I mention this movie was bad?

THE IN-BETWEEN: One of the movies I was most excited to watch this month was Session 9. Gracie loved it and we’re usually pretty in sync on our tastes, so I had high expectations. Expectations which were not quite met. I didn’t dislike it, but there was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on that prevented me from clicking with it. I do plan to rewatch this one though, and I expect to enjoy it more the second time around. Though I’m sure my inner project manager will still be screeching over their poor asbestos abatement practices no matter how many times I watch it…

Now, without further ado, here is my ranked list of Spooktober movies! I’ve also added links for the movies that have previously been reviewed on the site.

My Spooktober winner, and a new favorite – From Dusk Till Dawn
Valentine has an actual death-by-Cupid’s-arrow scene and if that isn’t top 10 material, I don’t know what is.
  • The Babysitter
  • eXistenZ
  • Overlord 
  • Slumber Party Massacre 2 
  • Daybreakers
  • Brain Damage
  • Disturbing Behavior
  • Slumber Party Massacre
  • Cube
The lovely Aylmer from Brain Damage
  • Halloween 
  • Eli 
  • Session 9 
  • Ghost Stories 
  • Trick r Treat 
  • Alien 
  • Les affamés  (Ravenous)
  • Hold the Dark 
  • Mom and Dad 
  • Friday the 13th  (1980)
  • The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
  • Malevolent 
Les affamés is a unique (and very Quebecois) take on the zombie genre, but left me hungry for more detail.

Supernatural, slashers, creature features, sci-fi horror, slow burners…I watched a bit of it all. The movies that worked best for me were the ones that built up the tension and atmosphere before unleashing (in some cases quite literally) all hell on the viewer. Not too shocking since that’s what I like best in horror novels as well. What did surprise me though was how much I enjoyed most of the slashers on my list! It isn’t a subgenre I would have considered myself a fan of going in, especially since I don’t love gore. I didn’t find them especially scary (the supernatural movies on the list were definitely the ones that spooked me most) but damn, I had a ton of fun with them!

I won’t lie, I impressed even myself a little by sticking to this but I’m so glad that I did! I found new favorites this month (I’m already looking forward to rewatching From Dusk Till Dawn, I can’t believe I waiting so long to get to it!) and got to explore quite a few classics that I’d somehow missed out on. But more than that, I’m thrilled with how much I enjoyed having an excuse to watch a movie every day! I’ve already watched a couple movies since wrapping up my Spooktober viewing, and I’ve got a long list of other films I want to get to soon. It definitely feels like I’ve got my film bug back!

See any of your favorites on the list? Did I miss any that I absolutely HAVE to watch? Let me know in the comments, I need all the recommendations!

Published inMovie Talk


  1. Congratulations on your achievement and restored mental health. (Because watching horror movies demonstrates mental health?) Some odd thoughts on your list:
    The Autopsy of Jane Doe – I wanted to like this one more than I did. It seemed to me that it thought it was being clever when it was being arbitrary.
    In the Mouth of Madness – Yes, there are funny horror films.
    How could I forget “Brain Damage,” with its cute monster and that last, final, fatal kiss?
    Session 9 – Resonates with me because the actual setting, and many similar such places, are in my home state.

    • I think it’s interesting how we gravitate to and away from things depending on our mental health.

      When mine plummeted, I couldn’t watch anything that was too full of love because the idea that someone could find love or be loved, even on film, when I was anything but absolutely did me in in a way that I couldn’t describe.

      Now that my mental health is better I find myself drawn again to the concept of love in literature.

      I think that a return to a genre that you’ve had to avoid is absolutely a sign of restored mental health.

      We will have to agree to disagree on the Autopsy of Jane Doe, though I will say that the last few minutes rubbed me the wrong way.

      • No problem with you disagreeing about a movie. That’s one reason we write these things. 🙂

        And your reflection on mental health is to the point.

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