When I posted at the beginning of the month that I was doing 31 Days of Halloween, I mentioned that my original short list was 50 movies which got edited down to the final list of 31. I thought it might be fun to let you know what 19 movies were on the list that didn’t make the cut – and talk about why!
Halloween 2 (2009)
In addition to the main John Carpenter films that made it to the list, my short list also included Halloween 3 as well as both Rob Zombie remakes of Halloween and Halloween 2. I was most interested in watching the trajectory of the Michael Myers stories (as convoluted as it is – so much so that the producers keep retconning everything in the series to keep it mildly coherent!) so that third installment was an easy out. I’ve seen the first Rob Zombie movie but not the second, and even though Tyler Mane is a goddamn snack, I decided that I would just stick to the original series to make way for other horror gems that I wanted to see.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Sorority Babes In The Slime Ball Bowl-O-Rama
My Bloody Valentine
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
There were quite a few classic movies from the 70s and 80s that made it to my list, but they just didn’t have what it takes to make the final cut. Blood Diner is one that I’ve heard good things about (for a B movie!) but I don’t know a ton about it so it was an early drop from the list. Killer Klowns – using Ks for Cs long before either Mortal Kombat or the Kardashians! – is another classic that I’ve somehow never seen, but I find clowns kinds of off-putting anyway, and so I didn’t need to add clown creepiness to the general existential dream I’m already experiencing! Sorority Babes is a class B that I remember being shown on USA Up All Night fairly regularly, but somehow I never actually saw the whole thing. It’s definitely still on my list to watch eventually, but it didn’t have the same pull as others that made it. My Bloody Valentine is one that I’ve been wanting to see as well, but since I have already seen the remake, I decided to ax this one…or rather, pickaxe it! This was one of the last to be eliminated since I really do want to see it. I remember reading about it being very controversial for it’s time, but I don’t remember exactly why. And Invasion of the Body Snatchers…well, I generally love paranoia horror, but there is plenty in the world to be paranoid about right now without adding to it with sinister pod people!
Child’s Play (2019)
Pet Sematary (2019)
I don’t mind remakes and reboots at all (I don’t know why so many people struggle with the idea that you can love two versions of a thing simultaneously?!) and a couple of remakes did make it into my final list (Suspiria and Black Christmas), but these two just didn’t quite push through to the end. I’ve seen the Child’s Play remake before, and I generally liked it. The kills were fun and a little ridiculous (like the OG series) and I think that it’s a missed opportunity that more horror isn’t tapping into not only a fear of technology itself, but the ways that our tech is becoming more and more pervasive and inter-connected. I definitely need to go back to this one at some point, but since I have seen it relatively recently, I decided to boot it and leave room for other movies I haven’t had the chance to see yet. And Pet Sematary is something I want to see eventually, but I’m not in any hurry. It’s not my favorite Stephen King novel by far, and the first movie doesn’t hold much nostalgia for me, so I’ll wait to catch this at another time.
THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT:
It Comes At Night
They Come Knocking
I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House
I really like ghost stories and supernatural horror, but I found myself steering away from those kind of films as I was making my list. These three spooky movies all got the ax before the planning was through. It Comes At Night looks really good, but I don’t know enough about it and I haven’t heard any reviews that make me think it’s an absolute must see. I’m sure I’ll get to it. They Come Knocking: I’ll admit, I know absolutely nothing about this movie! Hulu had it listed under Supernatural, and the short description sounded enticing, but I have no real connection to it so it was a pretty early elimination. And I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is excellent, and I wouldn’t mind a rewatch at some point, but it is fairly slow paced and since I have already seen it I decided that it just didn’t need to be in the final group. But if you like ghost stories a la Shirley Jackson and you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it.
I’ve really been into horror shorts lately, and I thought it might be fun to include some anthology type films in my list. Unfortunately, neither of the two collections that were on the short list ended up making it into the final selections. 10/31 is an indie collection that I picked up at a Days of the Dead, and while it looks fun, it’s also the type of horror that I’m more likely to pop in on a random weekend, even lately when I’ve been avoiding a lot of horror. Plus, I think I might have already watched it; I picked up two anthology horror collections that are somewhat similar, and I watched one of them, but I can’t remember which one. I decided to leave that mystery for another day. Scare Package was the last film to be eliminated, and if I finish early I might add this as a bonus. I’ve already seen it, and it’s really good. It’s creepy and funny, and the different shorts as films in a video store is a fun concept; plus, I love the way the characters who introduce the shorts are eventually brought into a story of their own. This one is a lot of fun, and my favorite Shudder Original so far.
The Neon Demon
The last four movies are all films that I definitely want to see at some point, but my drive to see them RIGHT NOW isn’t really there. They are on the “I’ll get to that someday” list. Crawl is one that I didn’t have any interest in but my friend Brooklyn was raving about it on Facebook, so I want to give it a chance just because I know that she has excellent taste in horror and I might have written this off too early. Hatchet is one that I want to see just because I want to get through the earlier ones in order to watch Victor Crowley, which features the fabulous Felissa Rose of Sleepaway Camp fame. I’ll get there, but there’s no real rush. Mandy is another one that is coming off a recommendation: my friend Erica from Atomic Cotton has been saying how amazing this is. I had two on the list that had been hyped up by Erica, Mandy and The Ranger, and I decided to keep just one of them; since I have a tshirt of The Ranger, I decided to go with that one so I know what I’m promoting when I wear it! Yes, I did buy a shirt without seeing the movie – Erica’s artwork is just that good! And The Neon Demon is something that has been on a my list for a long time, just because of how interesting and stylized all of the trailers and promo images look. It’s like horror in a discotheque and I’m here for it…just not here and now.
So those are the 19 films that didn’t quite make it into my 31 Days of Halloween challenge. Let me know what you think – would you have swapped out any of these for other films that did make the list? Anything I didn’t have on my short list that you think I should have included! Let me know down below in the comments, or if you want to keep the discussion going you can always join my little horror community at Miss Jaye’s Friday Night Frights!