I love October. The long, sweltering days of summer are gone. The air is crisp and cool. Sweatshirts go back into the closet to be worn once again. The leaves start turning. The smell of burning wood in fireplaces and fire pits fill the air. It is a glorious time. It is the month of Halloween and with it scary movies. As you’ll see from the list of movies coming out this week, October means horror. For a genre fan like me, October is like Christmas.
Surprisingly, my Pick of the Week isn’t supposed to be all that scary, violent, or even gory. It is a family drama with a supernatural bent. David Lowery directed Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara as a loving couple in a relationship that has its ups and downs. When Affleck dies in a car crash, he comes back wearing the stereotypical ghost sheet. He cannot interact with Mara’s grieving woman but can just stand and watch. What sounds kind of ridiculous has garnered a lot of great reviews, including one from Cinema Sentries' own David Wangberg.
Amongst all the ghouls and goblins I expect to watch this month, I’m really looking forward to this simple Ghost Story.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Cult of Chucky: The wise-cracking, death-dealing doll is back in this seventh installment of the Chucky horror series. Somehow, I have never managed to see any of them though it's the sort of thing that should be right up my alley. There is also a fun-looking set of all seven films that comes with an actual Chucky doll.
Children of the Corn: In a small Nebraska community, a group of Amish-looking kids start killing all the adults. Based on a Stephen King story, this cult film spawned a handful of sequels and now Arrow Video has created their usual nice-looking Blu-ray release. The film scared me to death as a kid, but I tried to watch it again a few years back and it does not hold up well at all. Read Kent Conrad's review.
Don’t Torture a Duckling: Lucio Fulci’s grusome horror flick about a remote village rife with sex, violence, and superstition get the Arrow Video treatment. I’ll be giving a full report soon.
Vampyr (Criterion Collection): Charles Theodor Dreyer’s seminal vampire film from 1932 gets the Criterion treatment. It is one of the earliest cinematic depictions of vampires and was greatly influential in the genre. I’ve never seen it but a Criterion upgrade seems like the perfect opportunity.
The Wizard of Lies: Robert Di Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Hank Azaria star in this Barry Levinson drama about Bernie Madoff and his ponzi scheme that defrauded people out of millions.
iZombie: The Complete Third Season: The CW’s zombie show has more laughs and romance than The Walking Dead. It stars Rose McIver as the titular zombie who is self aware and who tries to not let her need for brains turn her into a killer. I’ve seen about the first half of the first season and it's a fun, if pretty forgettable, little show.
American Horror Story: Roanoke: I made it about halfway through the first season of this horror anthology. I kind of like it but after every episode, I just felt dirty and nauseated. Which was maybe the point, but it's hard to keep going like that.
House of Cards: The Complete Fifth Season: Yet another show I made it part way through (I think I actually made it to the middle of Season Two on this one). I like it quite a bit, actually, but I keep getting distracted by other things.