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October Horror/Spooky Film Review Roundup #1

IT'S OCTOBER! Which means its the season of horror, and one thing I love to do throughout the month is watch as many horror/spooky/Halloween related films as possible! These range from the classics, to the creepy, to the more family friendly films I can watch with my children. Throughout the month I will be creating these updates covering what I have watched with mini reviews! Enjoy, and if you have any recommendations let me know in the comments below!

1408: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena -- before he checks into the Dolphin Hotel, that is. Ignoring the warnings of the hotel manager (Samuel L. Jackson), he learns the meaning of real terror when he spends the night in a reputedly haunted room.

As always we start the month with one of my favourite horror movies. If you haven't watched this you really should as it's a fantastic ride. John Cusack is on form in what's probably his best role in years and Samuel L Jackson hits it out of the park as the hotel manager. The fact that the evil in the movie is not an entity as such and is the actual room is a nice change and the story has real moments when it hits you deep in the feels, especially when it comes to the main characters deceased daughter. If you can I highly recommend the directors cut of the movie which adds about 10 minutes of extra content and a new ending. Also youtube the alternative endings (there are 3 of them) - the theatrical is much more upbeat than the other two, but all of them are satisfying enough. Just remember "It's an Evil Fucking Room". TOTAL SCORE: 9/10

Doctor Sleep: Struggling with alcoholism, Dan Torrance remains traumatized by the sinister events that occurred at the Overlook Hotel when he was a child. His hope for a peaceful existence soon becomes shattered when he meets Abra, a teen who shares his extrasensory gift of the "shine." Together, they form an unlikely alliance to battle the True Knot, a cult whose members try to feed off the shine of innocents to become immortal.

I have a confession to make, I don't really care for The Shining. I think it's overrated and nowhere near as great as people make out. However, I do like the setting and the whole Shine ability side of it. I actually really enjoyed Doctor Sleep, it's a great adaption of the novel and sequel to the original Kubrick's original. The acting is fantastic from the main cast and revisiting the Overlook hotel with all new shiny special effects was great. Yet again this is another of those films that you really need to watch the directors cut of as it adds alot of content (almost 30 minutes) that add greater impact and depth to the existing scenes. I also like that the way this is presented means you don't need to have necessarily seen the original The Shining movie to understand the plot. TOTAL SCORE: 8/10

Corpse Bride: Victor (Johnny Depp) and Victoria's (Emily Watson) families have arranged their marriage. Though they like each other, Victor is nervous about the ceremony. While he's in a forest practicing his lines for the wedding, a tree branch becomes a hand that drags him to the land of the dead. It belongs to Emily, who was murdered after eloping with her love and wants to marry Victor. Victor must get back aboveground before Victoria marries the villainous Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant).

The first of the Tim Burton or Johnny Depp Movies we will be watching this month. Corpse Bride is the better of Tim Burtons stop motion films. I love Nightmare before Christmas and while Corpse Bride may not be as iconic it has a much smoother look to it accompanied by a great soundtrack and colour scheme. The voice cast is fantastic and although its a little on the short side, it's an enjoyable ride for the whole family. TOTAL SCORE: 7/10

Frankenweenie: Young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is a science nerd and outsider at school, but he does have one good friend: his dog, Sparky. But then, tragedy strikes, and Sparky shuffles off this mortal coil. Victor is heartbroken, but his science teacher (Martin Landau) gives him an idea of how to jolt old Sparky back to life. The experiment is successful, and all goes well, until Victor's fellow students steal his secret and use it to resurrect other dead animals -- with monstrous consequences.

I told you there would be more Tim Burton films didn't I. This is the feature-length remake of Burton's 1984 short film of the same name (which was live action compared to the stop-motion animation here). This film is basically a homage and a spoof of classic monster movies like Frankenstein and is presented in full black and white. Unfortunately this is one of my least favourite Burton films. Whilst it's classic call backs are great, the overall plot is pretty predictable and is a rough retelling of Frankenstein for a younger audience. Your kids will probably enjoy it but will probably get bored of the bland colour scheme before the credits roll. TOTAL SCORE: 6/10 That's it for part one of our October movie review round up! Expect a longer list next time and if you can recommend some horrors or family friendly spooky films in the comments below we will do our best to fit them in as well!

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