For the first time in my life, I have a job that gives me weekends off. My entire professional life so far has been spent working in retail while trying to find a way out of working in retail. I am supremely thrilled to have achieved this goal, and it just comes with the added bonus of free Saturdays and Sundays.
The first couple months, all of my weekends were totally booked. I used them to catch up on projects, make plans with the people I never see and go to events I would ordinarily miss. This past weekend I actually thought we had a party to go to, but I was mistaken. So Friday rolled around and the question came up, what do we do these next two days?
I love horror movies. Lucky for me, Kyle does too. It’s one of the interests we share, and something we bonded over early in our relationship. I suggested that, if we were going to have a lazy weekend, maybe we could spend Saturday having a horror movie marathon? And make delicious snacks to eat while we watch? Who could say no to that? Neither of us.
I was pretty impressed with ourselves — we started early and got through six movies. I was expecting to do only three or four. Most of the movies we watched were free with Amazon Prime video, and the others were on Netflix.
You’re Next (Amazon, also available on Netflix)
Snack: Breakfast, really. Omelettes with bacon, feta cheese and sauteed onions, garlic and halved grape tomatoes.
This one starts out as your typical slasher flick — family gathering in remote vacation home turns into a bloodbath when a crossbow-wielding psycho starts picking off helpless yuppies. You had your typical stock characters — Asshole jock and bitchy girlfriend counterpart, overly-trusting nice girl, quiet redshirt who’s just there for bodycount, judgmental gothy chick, whiny intellectual and heroic badass. The interactions between these characters are about what you’d expect, though not all of them end up being exactly what they seem at the beginning.
You’re Next doesn’t come out with anything groundbreaking, but a couple twists and turns definitely keep things interesting. I wasn’t even sure how many killers there actually were until pretty close to the end of the movie. It’s the kind of movie that doesn’t win any awards, but keeps you in your seat and rooting for the good guy(s) until it’s over.
We definitely started out on a high note with this one, because this ended up being our favorite out of the movies we watched that day.
Apartment 143 (Amazon)
Snack: Cocoa Rice Krispie Treats with Butterscotch Drizzle (Kyle made this one up. We just followed the standard Rice Krispie Treat recipe with Cocoa Krispies, and melted some butterscotch chips to drizzle over the top)
Apparently we had already seen this movie and forgotten about it. It was forgettable enough that, even halfway through the film, we still weren’t positive if we’d already seen it. It’s a found-footage flick about poltergeist activity in this family’s apartment. It’s reasonably well-done, as far as cinematography in these films goes — very little shaky cam and multiple angles while still maintaining a realistic found-footage feel.
The characters and storyline, however, are completely forgettable. They try to paint this portrait of a family with a hidden troubled past, but fall short of getting the viewer to actually care about any of the family members. The only character I sort of found myself caring about a little bit was the camera guy, but he didn’t do very much that was relevant to the plot. This movie really wants to be the next Paranormal Activity, but doesn’t have enough of a storyline or a powerful creep factor to achieve that. Apart from one or two jump scares, it really wasn’t scary at all. I do have to give this film credit for having a small child as one of the main characters, but not having him be creepy or possessed. In the end, though, I wasn’t sure exactly what all had happened, but I didn’t really care either.
Jug Face (Amazon, also available on Netflix)
Snack: Grapes. Because grapes are delicious.
This movie was like Deliverance meets Children of the Corn — and is that a hint of Juno I detect in there? The teenaged female main character belongs to a redneck compound who lives in the woods and makes illegal moonshine, and also they are a cult who periodically sacrifices their members to a muddy clay pit that they worship. Sacrifices are decided by a potter who goes into a trance and creates a clay jug with the face of the next person to be claimed by the pit. The main character finds out that she is next in line to be sacrificed, and hides her jug face in hopes that no one will find out. Also she finds out she’s pregnant. The rest of the movie involves her trying to hide both of these secrets from the town and her abusive parents while the clay pit kills hillbilly after hillbilly in attempts to satiate its bloodlust.
I have to give Jug Face points for originality. Also for good character development — the main character and her friend, the awkward friend-zoned potter, were the most sympathetic characters out of all the films we watched. Now that I’m thinking about it, I enjoyed this movie more than I gave it credit for when we were watching it. As far as horror movies, though, it wasn’t chilling or suspenseful enough to really grab me. Despite the gore and one or two attempts at jump scares, it really didn’t scare me at all.
For original, disturbing content, though, I have to call this movie all right.
The Bay (Netflix)
Snack: Goat Cheese and Leek Fritters (a recipe I cobbled together based on a similar appetizer I had at a restaurant in Georgia — just diced up leeks mixed with goat cheese, salt and pepper, shaped into bite-sized balls, and rolled in a seasoned flour and corn meal mixture. I deep-fried these at a high heat so the outside got brown and crispy while the cheese held its shape)
Our second found-footage flick of the day caused Kyle to complain that we were watching too many found-footage flicks. I had to remind him that we’d only watched one so far.
The Bay takes place in a quiet Maryland town with a history of chicken farming and no qualms about dumping excess chicken poo in the nearest body of water. The opening titles claim that some horrible catastrophe took place here that was never reported by the media. Narrated by a young former reporter, the film is supposed to be a collection of footage from a town festival where things went awry. Some THING was in the water! Oh noes!
I had high hopes for this film because it touted its connection to the producers of Insidious, which was a film I really liked. But the plot was weak, the acting was horrible, and it was all barely held together by cell phone, camcorder and surveillance footage that I don’t even understand how the narrator got, if this whole thing was supposed to have been covered up by the government.
I’m kind of mad that we wasted our time on this one, but at least my curiosity is satisfied.
House on Haunted Hill (1959) (Amazon)
Snack: Jalapeno Popper Grilled cheese (cheddar cheese, cream cheese and sliced jalapenos — Kyle said it wasn’t really a snack, but if you cut the sandwiches into four or more pieces, that’s totally a snack.)
We wanted to watch at least one classic. And how can you not love Vincent Price? I’ve never seen the 1999 remake, so I had no idea what it was about. I really enjoyed it, in that funny old horror movie kind of way. There were a couple parts that were actually scarier than I expected, and others that were so horribly cheesy by todays standards that I couldn’t help laughing (the skeleton at the end? Come on, that’s hilarious).
This one was second place for me. I can’t say a whole lot about it that hasn’t been said already. I really liked it, and I can totally see why it’s a classic.
House of the Devil (Netflix)
Snack: We were done with snacks by this point.
By the time we got to film number six, it was pretty late and we weren’t even sure we could make it through another film. But this was one I’ve been wanting to watch for a while, and I thought I could make it through.
House of the Devil is about a college student who gets hired to “babysit” an elderly lady on the night of a lunar eclipse, but ends up caught in a messed-up cult ritual. It took a little while for things to get going, and by the time they did, we were both starting to doze off. I know I fell asleep for at least a few minutes of the movie, and since I don’t know what I missed I really can’t judge it properly.
The film is set in the 1980s, and the director definitely tried to give it that feel. He did a really good job in that aspect. The soundtrack and the opening credits made me question if this movie was really made in 2009. The acting was decent, too. I might have stayed awake and enjoyed the whole thing if the action hadn’t started so late in the movie. I know we were both awake for the ending, but I honestly don’t remember what happened. Did she live? Did she become brainwashed? I don’t know.
So, overall I’d say it was a successful marathon. I’d love to do it again with other kinds of movies. Superhero movies? chick Flicks (not if Kyle can help it)? Anthony Hopkins marathon? I’m loving all the possibilities.
If you have any horror movies you think we’d love (warning: we’ve watched a LOT of horror movies) or great movie marathon ideas, I’d love to hear suggestions!