JWM SPOOKATHON 2020: The Sixth Sense (1999)

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (IMDb)
Less a suspenseful thriller than a delicate drama that captures in whispers and patient takes all the agonizing horror and supernatural spookiness of loss, loneliness, grief, and fear. Great turns by the main four players make for many memorable scenes of dialogue (see Lynn and Cole in traffic; Malcolm and Anna at the end) that anchor a satisfying plot and a twist ending that makes sense in the best possible way. The chilly and transitional season of fall makes for a perfect setting for it all.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
CREEPY QUOTE: “I see dead people.” – Cole Sear
SPOOKY STILL:

JWM SPOOKATHON 2017: The Bat (1959)

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A crazed killer known as “The Bat” is on the loose in a mansion full of people. (IMDb)
There’s not much 50s horror cheese to speak of here, save for the villain (those claws just seemed really impractical) and some action sequences, and what is here is overwhelmed by the refreshing female protagonist (the dryly witty Cornelia), engaging dual-mystery (even if its big reveal went unexplained), and consistently solid dialogue and acting (Doc and Mr. Fleming plotting murder is an early highlight, Cornelia’s summation an ending one: “You can hide money, but you can’t hide murder”).
7/10 (Good)
CREEPY QUOTE:
John Fleming: “What would you do for half a million dollars?”
Dr. Malcolm Wells: “Anything short of murder.”
John Fleming: “Why not murder?”
SPOOKY STILL: the-bat-04

 

It Follows (2014)

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A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter. (IMDb)
The style is more memorable than the substance (despite the uniquely discomforting premise rooted in teenage sexuality), but this speaks mostly to the incredible atmosphere created by the former through a simply superb spooky-synth score (listen especially to the walk to the pool) and a vaguely retro adult-less Americana suburb setting, gorgeously captured in striking colour, with plenty of creeper zooms and mesmerizing tracking shots that help craft the film’s brand of (literally) slow horror.
8/10 (Great)

Scream (1996)

Happy Halloween, dear readers! Go pour yourself a mug of hot apple cider, grab some candy, and watch a scary movie. This one is highly recommended by me! 🙂

 

Attempting to cope with her mother’s murder, Sydney and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by a murderer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go. (IMDb)
A top notch scary movie featuring an entertaining combination of tense slasher-violence, unnerving murder mystery, and loads of jump scares to go along with dashes of dark teen comedy and meta, self-parodying horror movie satire. It’s well acted (the supporting Lillard and Kennedy are especially delightful) and cleverly written (“Look behind you, Jamie!”), and its whodunit plot is packed full of great twists and red herrings that keep you guessing right up until the absolutely killer climax.
8/10 (Great)