This month has been so light on gaming because I have been pretty much obsessed with working on cross-stitch projects. On the upside, that means a lot of #Spooktober TV time. Normally, I am almost exclusively a re-watcher, but this year, all that extra time meant I could dive into some new things without missing out on any of my favorites.
I am sort of grateful that I don’t actually have a good way to track the sheer amount of hours that I spent on my couch this month – I think I would find that somewhat depressing. On the upside, I did manage to re-watch most of my favorite horror and Halloween themed movies and shows this season, and still managed to carve out some extra time to check out some new (to me) stuff.
I have a soft spot for anthology horror – the first two Creepshow movies (we don’t talk about Creepshow 3 around here), Tales from the Darkside, Cat’s Eye, Tales from the Hood, and Trick’r Treat. Normally, the stories range from decent to pretty good, while the frame story is normally weak to downright awful. The Mortuary Collection flips that convention around – the frame story is probably the best part of the entire film, while the four tales are just alright. I’d recommend it primarily for the frame story, which really pays off at the very end.
I went into The Final Girls expecting an actual horror movie, but what I got was barely horror-adjacent. Somehow, a handful of teenagers get sucked into a horror movie, which stars our main character’s mother (who of course, is deceased). It’s an interesting side-eye of a genre that’s often as silly as it is scary, and I’m glad I saw it, but I don’t know that I’d watch it again.
The Muppets Haunted Mansion also fits into the category of something I’m glad I watched, but probably won’t seek out for an annual rewatch. It’s more of a holiday special than a full length movie, and while there’s a lot of neat references if you’re familiar with the Disney Haunted Mansion ride, there’s … not a whole lot going on here. It’s amusing, with some good running gags, and there’s enough here for a Muppets fan to make it worth the hour run-time.
I’ve seen the first season of Hemlock Grove a few times now – it’s a fairly well contained story that didn’t need any additional seasons to feel finished. However, Netflix can’t leave a good thing well enough alone most of the time, and on my previous attempts to dive into season 2, I never got very far before losing interest. This year, I persevered through the slow open, and while it wasn’t as satisfying as the first season, the story does get pretty damn interesting, especially if you’re already a fan of some of the characters from the first season. It’s certainly not unmissable, and oh lord that ending, but it’s a good watch if you really liked the first season. I’m not sure I ever plan to watch the final season though – the shark, it has been leapt over.
I actually subscribed to AMC+ near the beginning of the month, solely to check out the new Creepshow series, and while it’s not bad, it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be. It’s most definitely a love letter to anthology horror, with (almost) every episode telling two complete stories. Unfortunately, most of the stories were utterly forgettable. The standout stories from the first two seasons, for me, were “The Finger” (S1E2) and “Public Television of the Dead” (S2E1). I didn’t even bother with the third season, however, so there might be some gems in there.
You would expect a show that begins with half a dozen people crawling out of their graves to be a full-on horror story, but Glitch manages to avoid horror almost entirely. While that was slightly disappointing for what I was looking for at the time, I still watched the six-episode first season, and I have to say, it’s a pretty solid drama with some light horror elements. The final episode takes a pretty big swing to the side trying to actually start to pull together an explanation for all this, but season one is really all about the characters and the weirdness that ensues when people who aren’t supposed to be around just suddenly show up.
Slasher was the big surprise hit of #Spooktober for me this year. I love a good slasher movie, but this show takes the concept of a human serial killer and stretches the story out into an eight episode season, giving you more time to get invested in the characters and story and figuring out who is doing all the gory stuff. The seasons are all complete tales, although there is some actor overlap like in American Horror Story, but they can very easily be watched in any order. However, other than the first season, which is comparatively tame, this is not a show if you’re even a little bit squeamish, as the gore is plentiful and very very graphic. A lot of the characters are completely unlikable, but that just makes it more fun to root for the killer. Plan to binge watch each season, because you probably won’t be able to stop thinking about it until it’s over.
Trigger warning: The second season contains a pretty disturbing rape scene, which was not something I was expected and it was probably the hardest thing to watch in all four seasons. Which is unfortunate, because for me, it was also the strongest season overall. It feels a little silly to TW a show called Slasher but I really wish I had known about it in advance.
Is there a scary movie, spooky show, or adorable holiday special you revisit year after year? Was there something new you watched this year for the first time that you’d recommend?