My person and I both love Halloween. The holiday keeps us high when we’re getting low about the cold, dark evenings ahead. We have several totes full of scary decorations (3 times more than our Xmas gear). We love to dress up and have get-togethers. And most of all, we love good and bad horror films.


Each year we try to watch as many as possible. We also say “we should try to watch one a day” yet never do it. This year, we did. Not only did we watch 60 in a two-month period, but we also did it in less than 40 days. We had to as we snuck in a 7-day, sans-horror film, trip to Hawaii in the middle of it.


How was the film fest? Here’s what we watched, this what order, and what we thought about each film.

1. Piranha 3D (2010). We knew what we were getting into but still had a few higher expectations due to the cast. Adam Scott, Elizabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd as well as a few others cashed a check for some campy lines mixed in with some gratuitous nude scenes. Was it bad? Yes… very. But it was also a bit of fun. We understand what they were trying to do and they successfully did it. Rating: B

2. Train to Busan (2016). A good friend scolded me for several years due to me not seeing this movie. I had seen the trailer several times and it was high on my watch list. But you also need to be in a specific mood to watch a fast-paced, foreign zombie film. I’m now scolding myself for not seeing this soon. A fantastic film that goes beyond the language, and culture barrier. Rating A

3. Let the Right One In (2008). I’ve seen this several times but it never gets old. There have been remakes for film and television that aren’t terrible, but the original is just grand as hell. Again, it’s a foreign language but not a crazy amount of dialog to distract you from a visual thrill. I love this film. Rating A+

4. Trilogy of Terror (1975). Karen Black plays 4 different women in three different films that once played as a special presentation TV night that I remember as a kid. As a child, these were scary. As an adult not so much. But it did help me appreciate Black more as an actress. I understand the limitations of horror they had created something for 1970s television, and I took that to heart when I gave this… Rating C

5. Frankenstein (1931). Everyone knows the story, they recognize Boris Karloff’s classic portrayal and look, but not everyone has actually watched the entire film. It’s fun, campy, dated, and honestly fun to think that this film scared the audience to near death in the 30s and pretty much is a comedy today. Not to spoil the ending but it ends with people drinking in a hallway… BOO! Rating B+

6. The Return of the Living Dead (1985). The amount of times I had rented this on VHS in high school with friends is countless and didn’t numb me to enjoying this dated classic today. It’s everything you want in a 1980s zombie film and more. Sure I’m biased from my teen years but I don’t think that would stop anyone from agreeing with me seeing it for the first time today. Sidenote, keep your eye out on actor Don Calfa. You’ve seen him in dozens of film and each time he takes his little parts and nails them. I was a giant fan of his work and he should have been far more famous than he was. Rating B

7. Young Frankenstein (1974). Anything I say will be redundant. It’s a goddamn gift from the movie Gods. Rating A+

8. 28 Days Later (2002). Danny Boyle can take any genre and make it his own. One of the few movies on this list that still scares me today. Rating A

9. Hellraiser (1981). This film scared me as a kid because I was told it should. The iconic Pinhead is visually so threatening you forget that really, he’s not the one to be scared of the whole time. It’s still fun, it’s still bad, and it’s still going to be watched by me every few years. Rating B-

10. X (2022). It’s hard to find horror films today that still engage, X does. There are jump scares, and creep scares. I enjoy the latter. X spoon-fed me those in a beautiful fashion. Don’t give up on modern-day horror, see this film. Rating A

11. The Descent(2005). Here’s how the pitch meeting goes. “Guys, what if a bunch of hot chicks goes in a cavern and find monsters”. From there, we get this film. There are some well-done scary scenes and I’ve seen it more than once, but occasionally I forget who to root for during it. Rating C-

12. Blair Witch Project(1999). Everything about this film is perfect, until the VERY LAST SCENE. Still, I’ll happily watch it over and over until the very end. Rating A

13. His House(2020). I find this by chance, so upset that I didn’t know about it sooner. It’s the story of a refugee couple from South Sudan whose new life in an English town, and assigned home is just crazy, scary nuts. It’s done really well and loaded with acting talent. I need to watch it a second time and see what I missed. Rating A

14. Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (1989). Anything starring Shannon Tweed and Adrienne Barbeau should have prewritten reviews. This film played with its bad script, scenes, and acting in a very acceptable way. They camped in the jungle and on-screen which made it badly fun. Rating C

15. The Rental(2020). I may have been drinking while watching this, but I honestly don’t even remember how it ends. That’s how memorable this film was. The cast was great and probably worth watching it for that. Rating B-

16. It Follows(2014). I’ve seen it a few times and it still stirs up some horror juices. It’s a good concept and does pretty well. It’s a bit lazy with the backstory, I mean… if you have sex a monster will get you until you have sex with someone else. It’s teens so really the monster should only be chasing you for a few days until you get funky again. Rating B

17. No One Gets Out Alive(2021). Visually it’s a really good movie. It’s a bit predictable in the build-up but gets good weird in the end. Rating B

18. Popcorn(1991). I have zero clue how it is that I had never heard of this film until 2022. It had everything I was looking for in 90s horror. Bad writing and all the characters being knocked off one by one. It’s cheesy but it knows it. Good performance from Tom Villard who died too soon. Rating C

19. Mosquito(1994). I wanted to swat the actors and save the mosquitos. I’m not sold they knew this movie was as bad as when they filmed it. It’s as if they were holding on to a glimmer of hope they were making something amazing. Rating D

20. Host(2020). Found footage films are a bit dated. Making the base of your film an online pandemic meetup will date it even more. But I have to admit, this movie might stand the test of time. It’s really well done and the suspense carries still though filmed the idea of laptop cameras. Liked this a bunch more than I thought I would. Rating A-

21. An American Werewolf in London(1981). There’s not a Halloween that I haven’t watched this classic. Each time I do, it just gets better. John Landis is just a hit-or-miss director, fortunately, this one hit the mark. Rating A

22. Carrie(1976). I feel bad for anyone who attempts to turn a Stephen King book into a film. So many just turned out to be complete shit. Then you have Brian De Palma who makes weird things. This combination seemed to work. It’s still weird and very awkward to watch but I still dig this one a bunch. It is probably a bit more for the amazing performances from Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie than the actual scare factor, but it still very much should be a Halloween viewing. Rating B+

23. Salem’s Lot(1979). When I saw this was available to stream I had a lot of emotions go through my brain. I remember watching this as a child and being a bit too scared to go to bed. The reason why was the boy scratching at the window to get it. I then had scarier memories of my Dad scratching my window after I finally went to bed while was outside smoking a cigarette. I was eager to watch it again. But two things I didn’t count on. First… I didn’t remember this being several episodes. It is. Next, I didn’t remember it being so bad. It is. I might wait another decade before watching it again. As I pointed out before, most Stephen King adaptations are shit. Rating D

24. The Monster Club(1981). This was a new find for me. I had never heard of it before but because it starred Vincent Price and John Carradine, I wanted to give it a go. I should point out, it’s bad… but also fun. Imagine if you blew your entire budget on getting Price to be in your horror film, and you had $15 left to use on the film. You’d get this. It’s three stories being told throw Price, while even weirder musical acts perform in between. Rating C-

25. Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974). It’s just as I remembered. Gore and fun. Still creeps the shit out of me when you find out Grandfather is alive. Rating B+

26. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge(1985). They are SO GODDAMN LUCKY they didn’t kill the franchise. Rating D

27. The Black Phone(2021). I wasn’t sure I’d buy Ethan Hawke being this sort of villain, but he truly makes it work. It’s filmed well and told well. I won’t watch it yearly but will gladly watch it if it’s ever placed on my TV again. Rating A-

28. The Frighteners(1996). This originally was a video store find for me on a late Saturday night. One of the last remaining new releases and I almost walked right by it. I watched it twice in one night. I loved it. As much as there’s some great comedy, there are a few great scares too. I own this on DVD, somewhere in my house. Probably will keep it once I find it. Just because. Rating A-

29 The Ring(2002). Once you’ve had the wet girl crawling out of the well thrown at you over and over for the last twenty years, you’re not dumb to anything scary about this film. From then you just focus on the bad writing, lazy plot, and the odd color correction they picked for this film. Rating C-

30. Found Footage 3D(2016). Found footage films work when everyone involves acts and reacts as real people. Found Footage 3D performs like a bunch of non-actors trying to perform. Scenes look as if they are painfully being rehearsed right in front of you, at no time does this ever look anymore more than friends shooting a film for fun. Rating D-

31. The Wolf Man(1941). Another iconic horror film that should be watched at least once… just to say you watched it. Watch it again and you’ll start questioning things like why Lon Chaney Jr.’s character proudly boasted to a woman that he was spying on her, to court her as well as why people take walks at night in weird, foggy forests. Rating C

32. The Exorcist(1973). It’s great, just fucking great. It always will be. I’ve worked with Linda Blair before and it took everything I had not to just talk to her about this film all day. Rating A+

33. The Kingdom of the Spider(1977). Oddly I had never heard of this film before, and sadly… I wish that was still the case. If you like to watch tarantulas stepped on over and over by bad actors then this is the film for you. Shatner was the least cheesy thing in this film. Rating D-

34. Dawn of the Dead(2004). A bit of a remake. The first 10 minutes are probably some of the best zombie cinema today. From there, a mediocre tale of people being too stupid to fight dead things that walk at a snail’s pace. Rating C+

35. Willow Creek(2013). People other love or hate this film. There’s no middle. I love it. Bobcat Goldthwait managed to hit a homer with a found footage film. I feel most of this is based on how he handled a single scene with the stars trapped in their tent at night. He brought you into the tent with them and put you on edge. Looking for another Goldthwait gem? Go see Windy City Heat. Rating A-


More to come!