In October 2021, I took part in #31DaysOfHorror. If you don’t know it, it’s a challenge where you watch a horror film every day in October, culminating in Halloween.
- Werewolves Within (2021), dir. Josh Ruben.
- Jakob’s Wife (2021), dir. Travis Stevens.
- The Addiction (1995), dir. Abel Ferrara.
- Lisa and the Devil (1973), dir. Mario Bava.
- Shadow in the Cloud (2020), dir. Roseanne Liang.
- The Thing From Another World (1951), dir. Christian Nyby.
- The Thing (1982), dir. John Carpenter.
- The War of the Worlds (1953), dir. Byron Haskin.
- A Quiet Place (2018), dir. John Krasinski.
- Nightmare Beach (1989), dir. Umberto Lenzi, Harry Kirkpatrick.
- Salem’s Lot (1979), dir. Tobe Hooper.
- Nosferatu (1922), dir. F.W. Murnau.
- The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (1971), dir. Sergio Martino.
- My Bloody Valentine (1981), dir. George Mihalka.
- The Crazies (1973), dir. George A. Romero.
- Triangle (2009), dir. Christopher Smith.
- Saw (2004), dir. James Wan.
- Night of the Demons (1988), dir. Kevin Tenney.
- Dawn of the Dead (2004), dir. Zack Snyder.
- La Llorona (2019), dir. Jayro Bustamante.
- Censor (2021), dir. Prano Bailey-Bond.
- Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972), dir. Sergio Martino.
- Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021), dir. Kirk R. Thatcher.
- Scream 4 (2011), dir. Wes Craven.
- Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1987), dir. Stephen Chiodo.
- Planet Terror (2007), dir. Robert Rodriguez.
- Halloween II (1981), dir. Rick Rosenthal.
- Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), dir. Dwight H. Little.
- Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), dir. Steve Miner.
- Ghostbusters II (1989), dir. Ivan Reitman.
- In the Earth (2021), dir. Ben Wheatley.
I took a couple of extra weeks to fit these films in, so it was more like forty-five days of horror, but I posted a film a day on Twitter, with a link to these short blog posts:
Werewolves Within (2021)
1 Oct 2021, 07:01
To kick off this year’s #31DaysofHorror I chose Werewolves Within, a comedy-whodunnit-horror based on a Ubisoft video game. I heard screenwriter Mishna Wolff (perfect name) and director Josh Ruben talk about making it, and it sounded like ...
Jakob’s Wife (2021)
2 Oct 2021, 07:08
The irrepressible Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden star in this story of a woman’s mid-life crisis being super-charged by an encounter with a vampire. Anne lives a quiet life as the wife of minister Jakob, who is a pillar of ...
The Addiction (1995)
3 Oct 2021, 07:28
After two quite light films, Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction is a hard turn downwards into the circles of hell. Kathleen is studying for a doctorate in philosophy in a grungy, black-and-white New York, where the streets are lined with ...
Lisa and the Devil (1973)
4 Oct 2021, 06:42
Lisa and the Devil lives in one of the lesser-known corners of the Mario Bava-verse. Telly Savalas as the possible devil Leandro is an amusing presence, and if he is not particularly devilish, the dream-like plot definitely is. Lost ...
Shadow in the Cloud (2020)
5 Oct 2021, 06:50
Horror stretches across many genres, and you can’t always know in advance how horror-y a film is, so with Shadow in the Cloud we are in war-action-horror territory, in that order. Maude Garrett arrives at an about-to-takeoff B-17 in ...
The Thing From Another World (1951)
6 Oct 2021, 06:51
After Shadow in the Cloud, I wanted a calmer, less frenetic experience, but to also feel like the next film flowed from it naturally, so I chose The Thing From Another World. It’s set not long after the end ...
The Thing (1982)
7 Oct 2021, 06:49
I’m breaking one of my #31DaysofHorror rules with The Thing, because I saw it almost exactly five years ago. It was a key film in getting me into horror movies again after a fifteen year hiatus. The chance ...
The War of the Worlds (1953)
8 Oct 2021, 06:52
I recently watched the Spielberg/Cruise War of the Worlds, which I found surprisingly bleak, so I thought I’d go back to the original 1953 adaptation, The War of the Worlds, to see what that was like. That was also ...
A Quiet Place (2018)
9 Oct 2021, 07:25
My brain combined The Thing and The War of the Worlds to suggest to me A Quiet Place, one of many recent horror blockbusters I hadn’t seen. A family are trapped in their valley by blind alien creatures with ...
Nightmare Beach (1989)
10 Oct 2021, 07:39
It’s the late eighties, and it’s Spring break, somewhere near Miami, Florida. Thousands of young people are in bars and cars all along the seafront, drinking, sunbathing and having sex. A biker gang has a vendetta against local police chief ...
Salem’s Lot (1979)
11 Oct 2021, 06:30
Salem’s Lot has a special place in my heart. It was the first scary book I ever read. The film is the two part miniseries I remember from the eighties stitched together. It smartly does away with the ...
12 Oct 2021, 07:09
I wanted to see the original Master, so I put on the oldest unseen film in my collection, Nosferatu. I appreciated the original Dracula and Frankenstein, but they were pretty dry in places. Nosferatu is ten years ...
The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (1971)
13 Oct 2021, 06:57
The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail involves Lisa Baumer, whose husband is killed in a mid-air plane explosion, and her inheriting from him a million dollars. They had an open marriage and lived in separate countries, and soon people ...
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
14 Oct 2021, 07:02
My Bloody Valentine is one of those films that is talked about with reverence in horror circles, but until I got back into horror in 2017, I’d never heard of. In Valentine Bluffs, Canada, twenty years previously, the mining ...
The Crazies (1973)
15 Oct 2021, 07:04
It’s hard to know what to make of this period of George A. Romero’s career. He was experimenting, I guess, because how else does an artist follow up a debut like the seminal Night of the Living Dead? He made ...
16 Oct 2021, 07:21
One of the reasons I do #31DaysofHorror is to catch up on my ever-growing list of films to see in the hope of finding one that blows me away. Triangle is this year’s first such nugget of gold. ...
17 Oct 2021, 07:50
I really, really didn’t enjoy Saw. Perhaps it’s because Triangle was so good, or my age, or the film’s reputation, although this first one is considered by many to be a bit of a horror classic. Two men wake ...
Night of the Demons (1988)
18 Oct 2021, 06:47
I might have been too harsh on Saw, but it can take it, and this is the eighteenth film of my #31DaysofHorror. I’m in a dip. To lift my spirits, I wanted a palate cleanser, but rather than go ...
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
19 Oct 2021, 06:50
This time last year, I took a chance on George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead, and in the summer I believed the hype and watched Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead. I must have a hunk of ...
La Llorona (2019)
20 Oct 2021, 07:17
Some subjects are horrific enough without the added charge of being in a horror film, so I had been avoiding watching the much lauded La Llorona. It’s about the aftermath of the trial of a general who ordered the ...
21 Oct 2021, 06:58
Censor has been on my radar all year, since I heard about it, partly because it was set in the era of video nasties, and partly because it seemed to speak to the whole experience of watching horror films. ...
Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972)
22 Oct 2021, 06:30
I can’t decide if I’m enjoying these borderline gialli. Sergio Martino knows how to build tension, as characters roam the rooms of a massive run down mansion in the Italian countryside, and it depends if I’m in the mood for ...
Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)
23 Oct 2021, 07:20
I started this journey with an adapted video game, and nearing the end I find myself watching an adapted amusement park ride—Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion meets the Disney-owned Muppets to create Muppets Haunted Mansion. The first period of The Muppets, ...
Scream 4 (2011)
24 Oct 2021, 06:30
The original Scream changed the course of horror cinema, but I didn’t enjoy Scream 2 or 3 half as much, so when Scream 4 came out to mixed reviews, I skipped it. That was a mistake. Scream 4 is ...
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1987)
25 Oct 2021, 07:03
Clowns on screen have never frightened me, not even Pennywise, although on the page he was a different proposition. Killer Klowns from Outer Space isn’t a film that’s trying to scare you. It’s more of an adult cartoon playing ...
Planet Terror (2007)
26 Oct 2021, 07:01
If Killer Klowns is lovingly sewn together by your coulrophilic neighbour (wait, no…), Planet Terror is a grindhouse pastiche ruthlessly tailored by a master craftsman. It’s ridiculous fun, and as much as I am not an admirer of style ...
Halloween II (1981)
27 Oct 2021, 07:13
The original plan was to watch Halloween Kills in the cinema, but the reviews were so awful I couldn’t bring myself to go. Instead, I went for the original sequel, Halloween II. I was surprised to see Dean ...
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
28 Oct 2021, 09:16
I heard someone on a podcast say Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers was their favourite of all the Halloween sequels. I was never a sequels guy growing up, these films were never on television in the UK, ...
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
29 Oct 2021, 07:33
The #31DaysofHorror train keeps chugging along with my exhausted corpse tied to the front. Friday the 13th Part 2 is many peoples franchise favourite, and I bought it for three quid a couple of years ago, so if ...
Ghostbusters II (1989)
30 Oct 2021, 20:47
To finish my parade of eighties sequels, I went with Ghostbusters II, which I can remember seeing in the cinema with friends back in the day. My father took me to see the original Ghostbusters, at Swansea Odeon, when ...
In the Earth (2021)
31 Oct 2021, 18:28
And so we arrive at the final film of my 2021 #31DaysofHorror, Ben Wheatley’s In the Earth. Wheatley is always interesting, and Kill List is a masterpiece, so I was happy to see him return to folk ...