Tag Archives: halloween

Horror Movies: A Love Story

Song Lyric of the Day:

And then silence! It was a whole new day / I thought, “Huh, I wasn’t scared of him anyway.” / Until I noticed those rips in my sheets / And that was proof that there had been a nightmare, on my street

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince / “A Nightmare on My Street

It’s November now, time for my annual horror-movie detox. Not that I only watch them in October — I just watch more horror movies in October than during the other months. Really, watching horror movies is a year-round hobby. It’s just that October is our favorite month for me and my sisters to indulge in our love of all things horror. Why? Because we grew up watching it.

For us, horror movies were family time. Whenever the latest Friday the 13th would premiere on HBO (or whatever channel we watched them on), Mom, Dad, my sisters, and I would all be huddled together on the couch to watch. I have fond memories of my dad sweetly consoling my sister when she cried about the dog dying in Cujo, even though, let’s face it, Doggy had to go. I still laugh when I think about how my sisters and I were home during a storm watching Aliens when the power went out; I laugh because I left them yelling in the dark while I hauled ass downstairs (my bad). It was right when the Xenomorph rises up in the water behind Newt. Great timing, power outage! And I know — Aliens is technically a sci-fi movie, but only because it’s a horror movie in disguise.

I reveled in instilling what turned out to be a lifelong fear of clowns in my sisters thanks to a local TV guide cover that featured Pennywise, complete with sharp teeth, on it. Every night at bedtime I’d show them the cover and tell them that he was going to get them. The fun lasted for me until my mom caught me, rolled up the TV guide, and smacked the crap out of me with it.

Not scary, right?

Because this isn’t terrifying for kids to see at bedtime, right? #worstbigsisterever
Image found on IndieWire.com via Google search

Of all the serial killers we watched slash their way through countless movies — and victims — Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise is our favorite boogeyman. My sister and I went and saw Halloween on opening weekend. Our verdict: good scares, great homages to all the sequels its timeline erased, and a fitting direct sequel to the 1978 original. Our other sister begged to differ.

I’d say Jason Voorhees is probably my second-favorite slasher-movie serial killer. There’s just something intrinsically terrifying about a seemingly unkillable killer running after you in the woods, in the middle of nowhere. Which is why when I’d go on Girl Scout camping trips, I’d always position myself in the middle of my troop on hikes. Why? Because if said campground boogeyman were to grab anyone, it’d be the ones on the outside, giving me a chance to run. (Issues, I got ’em.) I wish I had a photo to share with you of my mom’s expression when I told her that several years ago. That’s the only time I can recall her saying that maybe, just maybe, she shouldn’t have let me watch such scary movies at a young, impressionable age.

I don’t just enjoy slasher movies. Those can be pretty predictable and follow a typical horror-movie formula, and excessive gore does not equate fear for me. It’s just gross. There are some great ghost stories out there that don’t rely on gore or violence to scare the pants off a viewer. I watched The Woman in Black in the daytime and almost peed myself; don’t bother with the sequel, though, as it was pointless, not scary, and literally too dark to see for most of it. The Others was a beautiful haunted-house movie. The Changeling is terrifying with its mostly implied scares. And Spanish gothic-horror movies El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil’s Backbone) and The Orphanage (El Orfanato) manage to scare while also ultimately breaking your heart.

I’m glad my parents exposed me to horror movies at an early age, though. Even though most of those movies scared the crap out of me and my sisters, we always knew those things weren’t real. Those movies taught us the rules for how to stay safe — or at least how to survive in a horror movie. We learned to run out of the house, not back upstairs. Never be dismissive of weird, unexplained noises. Always keep the doors and windows locked. Work on your cardio so you can outrun even the fastest walker. Watch where you’re running so you don’t trip. Make sure your flashlight has fresh batteries. Keep your car properly maintained so it will always start. Don’t go investigate anything by yourself. Always, always go for the zombies’ heads (characters in zombie movies almost never figure this out in time). And NEVER, EVER leave the weapon behind.

Coraline — who I have not yet allowed to watch horror movies — once asked me why I love horror movies so much. I explained that for me, they’re like roller coasters and other thrill rides. It’s fun to know I can scare myself silly. And unlike a ride I can’t get off once it’s started, I can always hit pause on a movie and walk away if I need to.

True story.

Found on me.me via Google Search

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Happy Halloween 2017 From Pubert Addams

Sebastian As Pubert

Drawing a mustache on your baby and slicking down his hair are some of life’s simple pleasures. Happy Halloween!









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Halloween 2013: Family Costume

When Coraline declared she was going as Cinderella for Halloween, Rich wondered how we could turn that into a family costume like we did last year. I suggested going as the Ugly Stepsisters Anastasia (Rich) and Drizella (me). Rich went trick-or-treating with us dressed like this. Which is why he should win Father of the Year.

Of course the star of our family costume was our very own princess, Coraline.

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Photoblogging: Cinderella


Coraline As Cinderella

For Halloween 2013 Coraline went as Cinderella. Which is not surprising because lately she is all princess, all the time. This might now be my favorite new photo of her.

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Halloween 2012: Family Costume

The Doctor Who family

Happy Halloween from Sarah Jane Smith, (the fourth) Doctor Who, and the TARDIS!


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Halloween 2011: Behold Baby Gaga!

Best Foot Forward

Baby Gaga puts her best foot forward.


Showing off her frogs

Sending a Kiss With Love

"Baby Gaga sends a kiss to all my little monsters ..."

Kiss Sent

"... I love you all."


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Faves: Horror Movies

Creepy Halloween Music of the Day:

Halloween Theme Song

John Carpenter / ” Halloween Theme

In honor of Halloween, I thought I’d list some of my all-time favorite horror movies. I grew up on horror movies.  OK, horror movies and Mel Brooks’ movies, but mostly horror movies. Every time a new Friday the 13th premiered on cable, it was family night. (And despite what the spouse says, I turned out just fine after having watched so many horror movies throughout my life, thankyouverymuch.)

You may notice the absence of such classic horror movies as Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That would be because, being of the generation I am, they don’t scare me. My list also doesn’t include any torture-porn movies, either, because to me, gore is not scary — it’s just gross (I admit I liked the first Saw, but the franchise as a whole was overkill).

This is my list of horror movies that for one reason or another scared the shit out of me.

Black Christmas*

I made the mistake of watching this late at night, by myself, right before bedtime, in our cave-dark basement bedroom in our A-frame. Because I’m smart like that. What makes this such a scary movie to me is how we never actually see the killer. And the phone calls are the creepiest ones in a horror movie outside of When a Stranger Calls and The Ring. The tagline says it all: If this movie doesn’t make your skin crawl, it’s on too tight.

Skip the horrible remake, which featured an actor dressed unconvincingly in drag, indistinguishable characters (Girl With Bangs, Girl From Party of Five, Girl With Glasses, etc.), and a green villain — yes, green. It’s impossible to be scared when Kermit the Frog’s son is the killer.

The Amityville Horror*

This is the first haunted house movie I remember watching that really frightened me. And, boy, did it stick with me. Never had a house seemed so creepy, and so life-like. Who can forget how those half-moon-shaped windows looked like the house’s eyes? I won’t get into the terror the little girl’s “imaginary friend” instilled in my young, impressionable self.

*I could not for the life of me get the trailer for this embedded, no matter how many different versions/URLs I tried. Go here to watch.

The Shining (Kubrick version)

“What?! You’ve never seen The Shining?!” My friends introduced this movie to me in college. And after watching it, I realized it was one of the best, most atmospherically creepy horror movies I’d ever seen. The Shining is proof that sometimes the best scares don’t involve any blood or gore. Except for that classic elevator sequence. And the twins in the hall, of course.

(It seems like sacrilege, but I saw The Simpsons‘ spoof, The Shinning, before I ever saw the original movie. Talk about a dead-on parody.)

The Fog*

This movie is the reason why, up until maybe three years ago, that being in fog, driving in fog, or so much as merely seeing fog scared the bejesus out of me. I love how this movie still has the power to scare me. That morgue scene? That’s the stuff of nightmares right there. This is a horror movie that has it all: a good ghost story, spooky, danger-concealing fog, people trapped in an isolated church, and leper pirates. Leper pirates! Thanks so very much, John Carpenter.

The Ring

This was my introduction to Americanized J-horror. It stuck to the J-horror tradition of minimal (or no) gore, a central story about a ghost done wrong, and an overall sense of creeping, impending doom, best exemplified by how it took something as innocuous as everyday phone calls and transformed them into something to fear. Combined, it added up to a scary movie that inspired me to dive into a whole new genre of horror. Oh, and it inspired a few nightmares. The image of a creepy dead girl crawling out of a well — and out of your television — will do that.

The Descent

Great female friendships? Check. Characters that embody female strength and empowerment? Check. Hungry, blind, creepy-ass things living in caves? Check. The reason why I will likely never go caving? Check.

28 Days Later

The not-a-zombie-movie zombie movie (it was an infection of rage) that introduced the concept of fast-moving, well, zombies. Sacrilege to some, a fresh new terror to others. Count me in the latter camp. The living dead were scary to begin with. 28 Days Later made them a force to really be reckoned with.

El Orfanato (The Orphanage)

A haunting gothic horror movie in the best sense, El Orfanato has the hallmarks of a few other Spanish horror movies I’ve seen: a spooky haunted house, mistreated and possibly vengeful spirits of children, and a strong story, altogether resulting in a relentlessly creepy, atmospheric film that will ultimately break your heart. Add in a devastating, powerhouse performance by lead actress Belen Rueda, and El Orfanato is a movie that will stay with you long after it has ended.

Be sure to watch it in Spanish with English subtitles.

Friday the 13th*

This movie is the reason why, at Girl Scout camp as a child, I made sure to always flank myself with my fellow hikers. That way, in case Jason Voorhees grabbed someone, it would be my friends on the outside of the path, giving me a chance to run and my best odds of survival. See? This is what happens when you watch horror movies starting at a young, impressionable age. I blame all those family nights.


The movie that changed the face of horror, Halloween is largely credited as the original slasher movie. I credit it as the movie that still scares the living crap out of me with the theme music alone. And imitators be damned — Michael Myers is the boogeyman.

Honorable mentions: The Changeling, El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil’s Backbone), Rec

*The originals, not the (mostly bastardized) remakes.

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One More Day Till Halloween … Silver Shamrock!

Song Lyric of the Day:

One of these mornings / Won’t be very long / You will look for me / And I’ll be gone

Moby / “One of These Mornings”

I felt compelled to change the name of this blog. While I may gripe about something now and then, I don’t want ranting to be the kind of thing that defines me.

Now, pop culture — that defines a big part of who I am. The way other people follow sports is how I follow the wonderful world of infotainment. I soak it up like a trivia-hungry sponge. Let it be said, though, that that is not all that defines me.

Halloween is upon us again. The hubby and I went to our friend’s annual Halloween party last night. We went as Puggsley and Wednesday Addams. We’d gone as the Addams siblings 4 years ago to a party in D.C., but our local friends hadn’t seen us as these characters. We didn’t feel like spending money on costumes this year, so it worked out that we still had our Wednesday and Puggsley outfits. We are not hosting trick-or-treaters this year, though. Not motivated enough to deal with kids ringing the doorbell all night and getting the dogs all riled up. Besides, I don’t want anyone ringing the doorbell and interrupting my appointment viewing of Desperate Housewives. Maybe next year we’ll host trick-or-treaters. We’ll see.

Right now I’m trying to adjust to daylight savings time. There is nothing I love more than gaining an hour of sleep, but it will take a few days for my mind and body to stop thinking it is later than it actually is. Also, I’m pooped from spending a large part of the weekend running errands.

I can only imagine how pooped I’ll be after flying to Las Vegas this Friday. I’ll be there for six wonderful days. No family visits, no obligations, just a vacation. More on that soon!

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Song Lyric of the Day:

I wanna stand up, I wanna let go / You know, you know – no you don’t, you don’t / I wanna shine on in the hearts of men / I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand

The Killers / “All These Things That I’ve Done”

Some random thoughts on movies.

  1. I wish more people had gotten the brilliance that was Wonder Boys.
  2. The ending of The Shawshank Redemption still makes me cry after countless viewings. Morgan Freeman was robbed of that Oscar.
  3. I will watch anything that Christopher Guest writes, directs, or stars in.
  4. Clue is one of my all-time favorite binky movies.
  5. Charlie’s Angels should have been left where it belonged – in the 70’s.
  6. After seven (to date) increasingly lackluster sequels (except H20), Michael Myers is still the boogeyman, and always will be. That mask scares me like nothing else.
  7. Seeing Carrie-Ann Moss in the original Matrix and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill made me want to learn how to beat people up and be able to look cool doing it.
  8. The Wachowski brothers should have left well enough alone and never made The Matrix into a trilogy.
  9. Brad Pitt is one of the most highly paid, high profile actors with one of the most lackluster movie resumes.
  10. Black Hawk Down made Saving Private Ryan feel like a cakewalk.
  11. Jennifer Lopez should never be allowed to act in a movie ever again. Or sing. Or get married.
  12. Disney royally screwed up that cushy Pixar deal.
  13. Basic Instinct 2? Et tu, Sharon?
  14. More directors need to rein Will Smith in and not let him be Will Smith in every one of his movies.
  15. I liked A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. I really did.
  16. Before I can call myself a true movie buff, I need to watch all the films on the AFI’s top 100 of all time list.
  17. The Taco Bell chihuahua’s talking mouth was better CGI than the Burly Brawl in The Matrix Reloaded.
  18. I hated Ocean’s 11. Enough with the “we’re such cool cats” setup already. Maybe Ocean’s 12 will find a plot.
  19. That giant breeze hitting us? That’s the collective sigh of relief that McG will not be allowed to touch the new Superman movie.
  20. Pirates of the Caribbean reminded me of why I wanted to marry Johnny Depp when I was younger. Before Winona Ryder came along and ruined everything.
  21. Clive Owen is too good to be the next James Bond.
  22. I will never get tired of Young Frankenstein.
  23. I can watch horror movies, good or bad, any time.
  24. People who cannot pronounce the names Sam Peckinpah, Martin Scorsese, Djimon Hounsou, or Keanu Reeves (among others) shouldn’t even try.
  25. After getting to see movies for free for 13 years, having to pay for them now sucks. Especially when the movie sucks, too.

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