Week of HORROR Fest

Fall break starts this Friday for me, and I will be staying in the dorm for the next week for work and what-not. During that time I will be catching up on a genre that has so far managed to elude me: Horror. I recently learned from a friend that he’s planning on seeing the following films this October, and the timing couldn’t be better. We’re focusing more on classic horror, including some thrillers and creature films. I hope to write up quick reviews each day (we’re planning on three a day at present) and posting them here.

Here’s the list:

  • Psycho
  • Dracula
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Frankenstein
  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • The Mummy
  • The Wolf Man
  • House on Haunted Hill
  • House of Wax
  • The Invisible Man
  • The Last Man on Earth

What classics are we missing that HAVE to be on the list?

The Goonies

The Goonies
Directed By: Richard Donner
Starring: Sean Astin / Jeff Cohen / Corey Feldman / Jonathan Ke Quan / Josh Brolin

So I watched The Goonies last night (For the first time) Yes, I had never seen it before. I know, I know, how could I have missed such an instant classic, yada yada yada.

As I was telling a friend earlier, The Goonies grabbed my soul. From the start of the film and throughout their fantastic adventure, I was a Goonie.

I love how many actors in this film will become popular actors in the near future. They go on to such classics as Rudy, Stand By Me, The Fugitive, No Country for Old Men, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, and the upcoming W., to name a few.

For a film that I initially thought was going to be a cheesy 80’s cult favorite, it was put together really well. For example, the editing of the opening scene with the Fratelli’s was really good. Not to mention the amazingly moody atmosphere. The Goonies walks a fine line between realism and children’s fantasy and succeeds admirably. It was a very evocative and nostalgic experience for me.

One of the coolest parts of the film for me was when a clip from the beginning of The Sea Hawk was shown, but the music played during the scene was actually from The Adventures of Don Juan, another Errol Flynn film. It was almost as cool as seeing a scene from The Three Musketeers in Singin’ the Rain. So with that rabbit-trail out of the way…

If you haven’t seen The Goonies, rent it, watch it, love it. Regardless of your age you may come away with an awesome experience.

AFI: All About Eve

All About Eve (1950)
Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Starring: Bette Davis / Anne Baxter

Another AFI film off the list. Watching All About Eve, lots of things I’d heard over the years clicked and made sense. I heard the classic line, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night” I finally saw a Mankiewicz film, who I’d heard about for quite some time (Although I may have seen The Virginian) And last but not least, I realized why All About Eve was listed AFI’s Heroes & Villians list, and deservedly so.

Anne Baxter put in a near-perfect performance as the title character, playing Eve with just the right amount of subtlety and charisma. I also really liked Bette Davis in the role of Margo Channing. I was reminded of Gloria Swanson’s chilling performance as Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. Both characters are obsessed with their own stardom and have a desire to control their surroundings. (Both films also have similar beginnings as well) Ironically, both films were released in the same year.

For a film that relies predominantly on dialogue between the many characters to tell the story,  I was surprisingly engaged throughout. This is proof that you don’t need action to tell an entertaining story.

All About Eve also has another ending that I really liked and fit the story perfectly in a circular manner. This is definitely a film worth watching.