In case you’ve been stuck inside without any form of media (or a calendar) over the last month, Halloween is this Friday. I love this holiday more than just about any other day. I love the weather, the candy, the scary movies and dressing my kid up in some ridiculous costume. I just love every little bit of it. For years now, my wife and I have hosted a pumpkin-carving party. We invite all of our friends over, decorate the house, dress up the kids, fill every bowl with candy, put Thriller on the stereo, and carve little orange vegetables into creative works of candle-lit art. It's the one big to-do we involve ourselves in and it's crazy amounts of fun.
Unfortunately, this year we weren’t able to throw that party. We plan to build us a nice house soon, but for now we’re in a tiny little apartment with little room for us, much less a bunch of our friends. If we actually had any friends, this would be a more serious problem than it actually is. It's weird coming back to your childhood home. Most of my old friends have long since gone. What's left is their parents and an odd assortment of seniors who taught me when I was in grade school and people I’ve casually gotten to know a little over short visits over the last couple of decades.
One of those folks, who used to be my parents' neighbors until they moved, invited us to their big fall festival party. They own a bunch of land in the country and were throwing a big bash full of apple bobbing, hay rides, wheel-barrow races, chili competitions, and pumpkin carving. We could be in charge of that last bit they said; it would be fun. So we went, and it was fun. But it wasn’t much of a pumpkin-carving party. A few folks brought their already carved pumpkins, and lots of kids had fun putting stickers and glitter onto their tiny little pumpkins, but there was so much else going on hardly anyone paid much attention to our little area. We had fun doing all the other activities and a good time was had by all, but it made me really miss our parties.
None of that has anything to do with this week’s new releases or my pick, but it's that time of year for all things fall, pumpkin-y, and scary. There aren’t very many horror movies out at all this week as they all needed to be released earlier in the month for folks to enjoy them before we all move onto to Christmas films.
Deliver Us From Evil stars Eric Bana as a New York police officer who has a sixth sense about turning up juicy Poltergeist-y cases. He and his partner Joel McHale turn the detective genre into an exorcism one and the results have gotten mixed reviews. I don’t care about that though. Horror has rarely garnered critical raves and I like Bana well enough and love McHale in Community. But mostly it's almost Halloween and I want a movie that will scare my wife and make her cuddle closer when we put the kid to bed.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Begin Again: It seems like I was just seeing the previews for this at the local cineplex and now it's already out on video. That doesn’t bode well for any film, nor does Adam Blair's review, but I’m thinking I might just need a nice light romantic comedy after making my wife suffer through another horror flick. Plus this one's got Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo in it, and I rather like them.
Wish I Was Here: I’m not really a fan of Scrubbs nor Zach Braff, and I kind of hate how he used Kickstarter to publicly fund his movie. Still, I’m strangely intrigued by the final product.
The Complete Jacques Tati (Criterion Collection): This collection covers the master French comedy director’s career. Films include Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Jour de Fete, Mon Oncle, Playtime, Traffic, and Parade.
The Vanishing (Criterion Collection): Everyone says this original French thriller is a million times better than the American remake. My wife was so disturbed by it that she refuses to be in the room anytime I suggest we watch it. Which means I’ve never seen it. Perhaps now I can send her shopping and finally get it in.
WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete Series: I loved this show as a kid, though to tell you the truth I remember nothing about it now. My best memory of it actually involves not seeing it at all. My mother was visiting around Thanksgiving and kept going on and on about the Thanksgiving episode so we tried to queue it up on Netflix or Hulu but the TV gods were not with us and the Internet kept crapping out. She laughed so much just telling us about it that I’m tempted to buy this entire boxed set just to see it.