24. Tales of Halloween (2015)

JDF recently affirmed his love of the horror collection, I thought this would be right up his alley. In the tradition of Trick ‘r’ Treat and the recent A Christmas Horror Story — I give you Tales of Halloween, a group of inspired, Halloween-related tales that often twist convention, a la’ O. Henry.

Be on the lookout for some familiar faces, including Lisa Marie and Barbara Crampton from We Are Still Here and Alex Essoe from Starry Eyes, among others.

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23. Curse of the Witching Tree (2014)

What is it with people moving into new houses — or in this case, farms? This time, we’re up for a bit of British horror with a tale of the revenge of a hanged witch. Adapting the story of Para-Norman…oh, wait, apparently it’s not an adaptation… Anyway, a billion years ago, a witch was hung…hanged, I mean, and now she’s come beck to extract her revenge by locking a boy in a cupboard and scaring the shit out of bullies. Oh, and killing people – can’t forget that.

So, enjoy this story of latchkey kids and their pigs.

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22. We Are Still Here (2015)

Playing an little catch-up after being out of town for a couple of days. After the accidental death of their son, and older couple — having never seen Poltergeist or Amityville Horror — does the most insane thing possible and move into an old house without doing an exorcism or anything. Predictably, they begin experiencing the usual problems people have with older houses: the electricity goes on the fritz, the basement is too stuffy, and evil lurks in every corner. Top that off with creepy neighbors and a downright hostile small-town atmosphere and the obvious answer is to call in pot-smoking hippie friends. After all of that, death would be a warm release.

While certainly nothing new, the film is helped by the presence of a smattering of scream queens and character actors. Just don’t go down in the basement…in 30 years or so.

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21. Last Shift (2015)

Along with the “thing in the woods,” one of my favorite horror genres is the lone victim slowly being pushed into the darkness. This is that type of film. A single woman* in an unfamiliar, empty place at night — forced to ride out the rising wave of terror, wondering, at first, whether it is just paranoia, but eventually accepting that things have gone south.

At its heart, this is a simple film that treads over a lot of familiar ground, yet still seemed fairly fresh to me. Despite the simple surroundings and small cast, the movie kept me engaged throughout. A nice addition to the genre.

*Did you ever notice that it’s always a woman? That’s because when it’s a single guy, it’s an action movie (e.g., Die Hard). See also the Sigourney Weaver exception.

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20. Fear(s) of the Dark (2007)

We’re two-thirds of the way through October, and I thought I would do something a little bit different to shake things up. So, tonight we have the first French film, the first film from the 2000s, and the first animated film of our experiment in terror.

Told as several separate stories, Fear(s) of the Dark is an examination of the creepy and quietly disturbing. Told in black and white, these are stark, unsettling tales that make for a nice change of pace, I think.

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19. The Boy (2015)

I like to think of this movie as the American bookend to Goodnight Mommy. The themes and pacing are very similar, but instead of trying to spin you around and keep you guessing like in Goodnight Mommy, The Boy just comes at you straight and true as a laser to the forehead. The beautiful backdrop only makes the story that much more disturbing.

For those of you who like your horror to be in your face, this subtle grinder may just wear you out by the end.

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18, A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

Tis the season! Me and the crew were sitting around eating tacos and anticipating Krampus this weekend, when I thought to myself, “Gee, wouldn’t it be great if someone did a vignette-style horror movie based on Christmas? Sort of a Trick ‘r’ Treat for the virgin birth?” Lo, but that would be cool, because if The Nightmare Before Christmas showed us anything, it’s that Halloween and Christmas are two great tastes that go great together.

Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of Santa-filled terror, because the oh-so-originally named A Christmas Horror Story might just fill you with the spirit of the season. So get your hands off your yule logs and check it out.

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