Michael Walters | Author

2020’s #31DaysOfHorror

I’m taking part in #31DaysOfHorror again this year. If you don’t know it, it’s a challenge where you watch a horror film every day in October, culminating in Halloween. I’m taking a couple of extra weeks to fit them in, but I’m posting a film a day below, with a link to a short blog post about it — like a spooky advent calendar.

  1. Doctor Sleep (2019), dir. Mike Flanagan.
  2. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), dir. James Whale.
  3. The Exorcist (1973), dir. William Friedkin.
  4. Tenebre (1982), dir. Dario Argento.
  5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), dir. Philip Kaufman
  6. Land of the Dead (2005), dir George A. Romero.
  7. Christine (1983), dir. John Carpenter.
  8. Prom Night (1980), dir. Paul Lynch.
  9. A Cure for Wellness (2017), dir. Gore Verbinski.
  10. The Dead Center (2019), dir. Billy Senese.
  11. It Follows (2015), dir. David Robert Mitchell.
  12. The Beyond (1980), dir Lucio Fulci.
  13. #Alive (2020), dir. Cho Il-hyung.
  14. The Mummy (1932), dir. Karl Freund.
  15. City of the Living Dead (1980), dir. Lucio Fulci.
  16. Blade (1998), dir. Stephen Norrington.
  17. Cure (1997), dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa.
  18. Spring (2014), dir. Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson.
  19. Jacob’s Ladder (1991), dir. Adrian Lyne.
  20. Noroi: The Curse (2005), dir. Kôji Shiraishi.
  21. Berberian Sound Studio (2012), dir. Peter Strickland.
  22. Piranha (1978), dir. Joe Dante.
  23. Fascination (1979), dir. Jean Rollin.
  24. Vampyres (1974), dir. José Ramón Larraz.
  25. Knife+Heart (2018), dir. Yann Gonzalez.
  26. Death of a Vlogger (2020), dir. Graham Hughes.
  27. Pulse (2001), dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa.
  28. The Crow (1994), dir. Alex Proyas.
  29. The Fog (1980), dir. John Carpenter.
  30. Atlantics (2019), dir. Mati Diop.
  31. The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), dir. Jack Arnold.

And if you like a spooky story, you should try The Complex, my debut novel with Salt Publishing.

Latest blog posts

  • Doctor Sleep (2019)

    Doctor Sleep (2019)

    31 Oct 2020

    Danny Torrance is an alcoholic, but finds a place of peace and sobriety in New Hampshire, where he uses his psychic power, which he calls the shine, to ease the deaths of the elderly people in a local hospice. Death...

  • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

    The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

    30 Oct 2020

    The Bride of Frankenstein contains some of the most iconic images in cinema, but it opens with a scene I really didn’t expect — Lord Byron and Percy Shelley praising Mary Shelley for her book, Frankenstein. In a bold move...

  • The Exorcist (1973)

    The Exorcist (1973)

    29 Oct 2020

    The Exorcist is a cultural behemoth. It’s my twenty-ninth film in this year’s #31DaysOfHorror, and I’m feeling horror fatigue. The film has a weighty reputation — I’d seen clips on television, of Regan vomiting on Father Karras, and turning her...

  • Tenebre (1982)

    Tenebre (1982)

    28 Oct 2020

    Tenebre is set in Rome, but we could be anywhere, because the story stays in hotel rooms, suburban streets and modernist buildings made of concrete and glass. There are artfully sculpted gardens of stone, water and trees. These locations lend...

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

    27 Oct 2020

    People in the background of shots look directly at the camera. Matthew’s windscreen is a web of cracks that we struggle to see through. The score is spidery and jarring, and the camera is often off-kilter. You are not paranoid...

  • Land of the Dead (2005)

    Land of the Dead (2005)

    26 Oct 2020

    I’d been so careful choosing films until last night, and I thought I’d take a chance on this because it’s directed by George Romero. It felt like a safe bet, but I was wrong. This film made me angry. I...

  • Christine (1983)

    Christine (1983)

    25 Oct 2020

    Stephen King is brilliant at weaving vivid teenage experiences into his novels. Christine was one of the formative books of my childhood. The film doesn’t have time to go as deep as the book into the love triangle of Arnie,...

  • Prom Night (1980)

    Prom Night (1980)

    24 Oct 2020

    Like Scream’s Ghostface, the killer in Prom Night can be dodged and knocked over. This is not Michael Myers. There is a lot of disco. Jamie Lee Curtis is a fantastic dancer — this role for her comes straight after...

  • A Cure for Wellness (2017)

    A Cure for Wellness (2017)

    23 Oct 2020

    An ambitious young executive, Lockhart, is sent to a Swiss sanitorium to bring back his company’s rogue CEO, Morris Pembroke. The head of the spa, Dr. Heinreich Volmer, drips bad guy charm, but is also the voice of scientific reason....

  • The Dead Center (2019)

    The Dead Center (2019)

    22 Oct 2020

    In a Nashville morgue, an unnamed man comes back to life and escapes. Sheriff Edward Graham investigates the missing body, but across town, psychiatrist Daniel Forrester checks the now unresponsive man into a ward at the psychiatric hospital. These two...

  • It Follows (2015)

    It Follows (2015)

    21 Oct 2020

    The film opens with a wide shot of a leafy suburban street, and we look closely for whatever we think the director wants us to see. Like Jay, we are trained from the start to scan the horizon for trouble....

  • The Beyond (1980)

    The Beyond (1980)

    20 Oct 2020

    Returning to Fulciland, The Beyond is more coherent than City of the Living Dead, but of course, it’s still driven by images. Like The Amityville Horror, there is a portal to hell in the basement, and people get mysteriously hurt...

  • #Alive (2020)

    #Alive (2020)

    19 Oct 2020

    After Fulci’s barely moving undead, the running zombies of #Alive are a bit of a shock. Technology is an ally here, which is refreshing in a horror film, although at the start, Joon-woo seems to be in a semi-infantile state,...

  • The Mummy (1932)

    The Mummy (1932)

    18 Oct 2020

    The original Universal horror films are a bit of a blind spot for me. They weren’t on TV in our house, so I have no childhood affinity to them, and once my parents let me watch horror, I was straight...

  • City of the Living Dead (1980)

    City of the Living Dead (1980)

    17 Oct 2020

    Zombies really bothered me as a kid. Seeing the insides of the human body spill out was as pure a vision of horror as I could imagine. Guts should not be outside of your body, full stop. I only watched...

  • Blade (1998)

    Blade (1998)

    16 Oct 2020

    The opening sequence is brilliant. A woman lures a man to a party in an abattoir. It’s an aggressive crowd, and when the fire sprinklers come on, it’s not water but blood, and everyone around the man turns into a...

  • Cure (1997)

    Cure (1997)

    15 Oct 2020

    How much control do we have over what we do? What do we ever choose to do in full consciousness? Takabe, a detective in Tokyo, investigates a series of murders, each by a different killer, but all carving a cross...

  • Spring (2014)

    Spring (2014)

    14 Oct 2020

    If Guillermo del Toro shot a film scripted by David Cronenberg, based on a story by HP Lovecraft, then had it edited by Richard Linklater, you would get Spring. I thoroughly enjoyed Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson’s time-puzzle film, The...

  • Jacob’s Ladder (1991)

    Jacob’s Ladder (1991)

    13 Oct 2020

    Jacob’s Ladder treats the subject of the Vietnam war with a little more respect than Piranha. Jacob is beset by visions and fever dreams. We constantly switch between realities, from the Vietnamese jungle, to his home in New York City,...

  • Noroi: The Curse (2005)

    Noroi: The Curse (2005)

    12 Oct 2020

    Kobayashi has such a soft face, and is kind, but he is also dogged and brave. We know from the start things will go badly for him, but we still hope he will be okay. It isn’t clear for some...

  • Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

    Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

    11 Oct 2020

    Another horror film that divided people, and another edge to the horror film landscape. Renowned film sound technician Gilderoy is a fish out of water in a remote Italian sound studio. He thinks the film he’s agreed to work on,...

  • Piranha (1978)

    Piranha (1978)

    10 Oct 2020

    Being nibbled to death by a swarm of piranha is a different agony, I imagine, to being bitten in half by a great white shark. The standard issue opening victims, David and Barbara, go swimming in a pool at a...

  • Fascination (1979)

    Fascination (1979)

    09 Oct 2020

    Fascination is set in France, 1905, and has a fairy tale vibe, with misty countryside, a splendid French chateau, and a protagonist, Marc, who at the start steals a bag of gold. He hides at the chateau to escape his...