Halloween Horror | Shocktober 2021
Updated: Jun 5
Inspired by last year's Halloween Horror | Shocktober 2020 I will be repeating it all again this year with another 10 horrors. I have again chosen the 10 movies which are spread over various streaming platforms and each of them will contain a little synopsis. Some of the movies I have seen previously and enjoy enough to watch again, and some of them are new. There are actually 12 movies in the list below. This is because for the final one I have chosen Halloween, and I will be watching the 1978 original, along with the sequel Halloween II from 1981, and finishing off with Halloween H20 from 1998. The streaming services that I chose to watch all of my 12 movies on are, Prime Video, Netflix, Shudder, and Disney+. More details regarding subscriptions for these streaming services can be found at the end of the reviews.
A Classic Horror Story (2021)
A Classic Horror Story is directed by Roberto De Feo and Paolo Strippoli, starring Matilda Lutz (Revenge), and is a Netflix original. A group of 5 strangers carpool on a journey through the Itallian countryside in a camper van: Fabrizio the driver, Elisa who is trying to get home to her parents, a young couple Mark and Sofia, and a doctor Riccardo. When they end up off the road and hit a tree, it's not too long before things start getting weird, and all is not what it seems for our group. I went into this movie not knowing all that much about it, and it was probably the best way to go. There are elements of other movies throughout, as well as a few little nods to some old classic horrors. The pacing is good and there are more than a few scenes of gore - you may be wincing in your chair. I found A Classic Horror Story to be a thoroughly enjoyable horror movie and a welcome addition to my list for this year.
Saint Maud (2019)
Maud (Morfydd Clark), a private care nurse and recent covert to Roman Catholicism, gets a job caring for a terminally ill patient and former dancer Amanda (Jennifer Ehle). Becoming obsessed and believing God wants her to save Amanda's soul, Maud takes things into her own hands, which result in her losing the job caring for Amanda. As she starts to unravel, we find out details regarding Maud's past, and her mental state further declines along with her faith. This was a movie that I had seen earlier in the year on rental, after missing it initially at the cinema due to the lockdowns and restrictions at the time. It is definitely one of the big highlights for me this past year, and I would recommend it. Morfydd Clark (soon to be seen playing young Galadriel in Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show) is just outstanding as Maud.
Saint Maud is written and by directed by Rose Glass and it is available now on Prime Video.
Amnesiac Isaac (Jonathan French) is hired by Moe (Ben Caplan) to house sit for him and to keep an eye on his catatonic niece Olga (Leila Sykes), who is recovering from the loss of her parents. The house is quite remote on an island and with it's run down appearance, it does certainly provide a great setting for this Irish indie horror. Soon after arriving at the house, Isaac starts to witness some very strange events, and as we get further into the movie, his memory does gradually start to return. Caveat is an impressive indie horror, that is very well made and acted, with some tense and genuinely jump-worthy moments. The little clockwork drumming rabbit adds to the eerie nature of the movie, and this was definitely one of the highlights of the movies in my lineup this year, having not seen it previously. Caveat was directed by Damian Mc Carthy and is available in the UK and Ireland exclusively on Shudder.
Goddess of Love (2016)
Venus (Alexis Kendra) works as an exotic dancer in a strip club. One night while working she meets Brian (Woody Naismith), an Australian photographer, and it's not long before they are in a full on relationship. Right from the on-set of the movie, we start to see the cracks in Venus's reality, and soon after she gets involved with Brian, her violent and rapid descent into madness gets more and more noticeable. Alexis Kendra is very good in the lead role as the fully unhinged Venus, and also co-wrote and produced the movie. There is a little twist or two along the way, but I will not spoil anything regarding that here. At the end of the day though, this is a generic and average horror drama at best. But it is still worth giving it some of your time with a viewing nonetheless, as it does not overstay its welcome at all. Goddess of Love was directed by Jon Knautz, and it is available in the UK and Ireland on Prime Video.
The Night House (2020)
I deliberately avoided any reviews for The Night House after seeing the trailer a few months ago, and it was good to learn that the movie was going to be available to stream in time for my blog post. Rebecca Hall plays Beth, who has just suffered the loss of her husband Owen, played by Evan Jonigkeit. Soon after, Beth begins to see and hear things around their lake house, and yeah, you guessed it, all is not what it seems with her recently deceased husband's past coupled with what is currently going on. This was a breath of air, and definitely not what I was expecting. As the story unfolds, you realise this is not just another ghost story. Rebecca Hall is great as Beth in the main role, and the movie also stars Vondie Curtis-Hall and Stacy Martin. This is yet another definite recommendation from me this year. The Night House is directed by David Bruckner and it is now available to stream on Disney+.
No One Gets Out Alive (2021)
After the death of her mother, Ambar (Cristina Rodlo) moves from Mexico to Cleveland and finds a room to rent in a run down old house. The landlord, Red (Marc Menchaca), starts to act weird and a whole host of strange and supernatural things begin to take over Ambar's life, all seemingly centered around an ancient stone box. Ghosts of the building's previous tenants start to torment Ambar, and along with the remaining tenants, unable to escape the house, she soon discovers that Red and his unhinged brother Becker (David Figlioli) have some sinister plans in store for them all. I knew nothing about this movie going into it, and it is another of the recent crop of Netflix horrors. Yes it is watchable, but maybe not one that you will be giving a second viewing to. No One Gets Out Alive was directed by Santiago Menghini and it is available to stream right now in the UK and Ireland exclusively on Netflix.
Another movie that I missed at the cinema, but managed to watch on rental, Possessor is a science fiction psychological horror, and it's certainly one for fans of Black Mirror. Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) is an assassin who carries out her kills by taking control or possessing other people's bodies. It's all sci-fi here with nothing supernatural about it, and when Tasya transfers into Colin Tate (Christopher Abbott), who is the latest host, she becomes trapped and unable to leave. This becomes extremely problematic when Tate manages to uncover some of Tasya's memories. Possessor is a movie that you absolutely must see. There are a few moments not for the squeamish, but those aside, this is a great movie. The cast also includes Sean Bean and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Possessor is written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg, and it is available now in the UK and Ireland exclusively on Shudder.
For fans of Scream or slasher movies, Initiation will be right up your street. It is set on a College Campus with a masked killer picking off a group of students, and stars Lindsay LaVanchy as Ellery, one of the members of the sorority who gets caught up in it all. It also stars Lochlyn Munro as the college chancellor and Yancy Butler as the local detective. This is another one of those average at best horror movies, but definitely worth that one viewing. There is also a social media aspect to Initiation - all of the texting and tweeting from the characters is seen as an overlay on the screen, which worked quite well as it meant we did not have to watch closeups of everyone's mobile phone every 5 minutes. Based on the short film Dembanger, the director expanded it into a full-length movie after seeing Unfriended. Initiation, directed by John Berardo, is available in the UK and Ireland on Prime Video.
There's Someone Inside Your House (2021) Makani (Sydney Park) has recently moved to Nebraska, living there with her grandmother, for the final year of high school. When her classmates all start getting picked off one at a time, some in more gruesome ways than others, with the killer exposing each of the victims darkest secrets, no one at the high school appears to be safe anymore. The movie is based on the Stephanie Perkins horror novel of the same name, and it is produced by Shawn Levy and James Wan. This is a slightly above average teen slasher movie, and it is another in the recent trend of teen horrors appearing on Netflix. It can be quite violent at times, but also a little bit generic, but I would say that it is definitely worth your time, especially if you have a current subscription to the streaming service. There's Someone Inside Your House is directed by Patrick Brice (Creep, Creep 2) and it is available right now to stream exclusively on Netflix.
This is absolutely THE classic Halloween horror movie. It is a John Carpenter masterpiece that I was lucky enough to see on the big screen a couple of years ago. Michael Myers, the killer, having spent most of his life locked up after murdering his sister, escapes from the institution and makes his way back to his hometown of Haddonfield on Halloween night. Local babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends, Lynda and Annie, become the prey, as Michael tears up the town with a large knife and a William Shatner mask. I have lost count how many times that I have seen this movie over the years. It is a wonderful classic horror, a classic Halloween movie, with a soul-less brutal killer on the loose in a small town, all filmed on a very small budget. It is still an iconic horror movie to this day. Halloween was directed by John Carpenter and is available to stream now in the UK and Ireland on Netflix.
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween II is often overlooked, especially now with the new reboot movies out, but is still for me just like a proper continuation of the first movie and one that needs to be seen. It continues literally in the moments after the first film with Laurie taken to the local hospital, and Michael on her trail, ripping up each department in the building trying to get to her. Doctor Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is back on the hunt for Michael and eagle-eyed viewers will notice Dana Carvey (Garth from Wayne's World) in this movie with a small part. It often gets labelled a TV movie, and it was only written and produced by John Carpenter, as he chose not to direct it. You could literally join both movies together and make a 3 hour film from them. I am actually watching part I, then part II and finishing off with H2O this year for the perfect trilogy. Halloween II, directed by Rick Rosenthal, is also now available on Netflix.
Halloween H20 (1998)
Twenty years have passed since Laurie's run in with Michael Myers on that fateful Halloween night in 1978, and after faking her death, changing her name, and relocating, she is now the head-mistress of a secluded private school in California. As you can probably guess, it's not too long before Michael shows up and begins to slice and dice anyone who gets in his way. Halloween H20 is often overlooked as just another Halloween sequel, but it definitely sits as the final part of my trilogy here. Despite some very predictible moments, it still manages to hold it's place alongside Halloween and Halloween II for me. Jamie Lee Curtis is joined for this one by Adam Arkin, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, LL Cool J, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as her mother, Janet Leigh. Halloween H20 was directed by Steve Miner and is availabe now to rent on Prime Video as well as other streaming services.
Thank you for reading this little Halloween themed movie watching Shocktober blog of mine for 2021. I have really enjoyed watching these movies and also re-watching some that I had seen already. I will most likely repeat this all again next year, but for now I will leave you with some information regarding each of the online streaming services that I used to watch my movies on, with a link to their websites and some information about their subscription prices.
The information below applies to the streaming services I used. The prices listed below are for Ireland, so just make sure you check your own region as there may be differences with both the prices and availability of some of the titles that I viewed.
Prime Video - Amazon's own streaming service will cost you €7.00 per month for a Prime sub.
Netflix - Maybe the most popular streaming service with prices starting at €7.99 per month.
Shudder - AMC owned mostly horror content service and €4.99 per month for a subscription.
Disney+ - All of the horror related content is on Disney+ Star and it all costs €8.99 per month.