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Hauntingly Halloween- The Search for Spooky Cinema, Edition 3

Welcome back to the final installment of scary movie reviews. As October came to a close with Halloween last week, the movies I’m reviewing are more typical horror movies that everyone knows and loves. However, take caution if you’re not a huge fan of horror movies, because these have some pretty terrifying scenes. 

The first movie I’ll be reviewing is The Thing, directed by John Carpenter in 1982. It focuses on a group of researchers in Antarctica trying to outlive an unknown monster that has breached their facility. Carpenter weaved some of the same artistic touches that were present in his previous famous horror film Halloween, which I have also covered in a previous review. Examples include an unknown antagonist, abandoned protagonists, and an electronic-sounding score. Compared to his 1978 film Halloween, these elements work together more exceptionally in The Thing (1982). The atmosphere Carpenter creates in The Thing is akin to that of walking alone in the dark: danger is around every corner, shadows start to look like people The special effects in The Thing are all practical or real – not CGI. This makes the film look more authentic and creepy. But, if you’re a fan of heroes winning in the end, you may not be satisfied with this movie. Overall I rate it an 8/10.

The next movie I’m covering is 2014’s It Follows, directed by David Mitchell and impressively shot in Michigan. The movie tells the story of the young woman Jay and how she is given an evil curse. This curse appears in the form of a haunted human and follows her wherever she goes. It will not stop until it kills her or she passes the curse onto another person. The entire film feels dreamlike, with cars and fashion from multiple decades and actors appearing older but acting like children. The constant inevitability of the ‘it’ getting her hangs over the characters and audience. Every time the audience thinks that she’ll be alright or that ‘it’ went away, we’re thrust back into the reality of the situation. Be warned, though: this movie does contain adult themes and a fair amount of nudity. Regardless, this movie is definitely worth the watch if you’re over 16. I give it an 8.5/10.

Finally, the last movie I want to review is Jordan Peele’s 2017 Get Out. It centers on Chris and his girlfriend Rose, an inter-racial couple heading to meet Rose’s parents for the first time. However, Chris senses her family is up to no good, and he must figure it out before it’s too late. This movie touches on real world issues, such as racial inequality and unreliable law enforcement through the lens of horror. It focuses on the anxieties of being the only person of color in the room and the pressures people feel to conform to the majority around them. The commentary blends with the horror very well: making the audience examine the ways they behave and how they can identify people they know in Rose’s antagonistic family. The horror is also elevated by the actors’ performances, some having to switch personalities on a dime. I rate it a 9/10.

Unfortunately, this is the last chapter of my movie reviews, but this does not stop me from watching great movies, and I encourage everyone to do the same. At the end of the day, this review allowed me to watch great movies I hadn’t seen and provide you with reliable suggestions. As always, you can find my LetterBoxd here with all of my favorite movies.         

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