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Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. So, since 2011, I have spent the entire month of October every year reviewing a horror movie each day. I've changed formats many times over the years, and in the past few years, I've even been joined by my wife Solee, as well as the occasional guest. We've got text, drawings, video reviews, audio reviews... we got it all! Wanna check out our reviews? Look below, or use the menu to the left to dig deeper!
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Die 12:02 AM -- Thu October 2, 2014  


It's October! And I just love watching a horror movie a day. So I'm doing it. This year, I was wondering what to do with the movies I watched - I've done video reviews, I've done written reviews, what's left? Well, it wasn't until today that I came up with the answer. I encountered Inktober, and decided to draw my reviews!

Well, not really. But I am going to do a drawing a day, in ink with no penciling at all, so it's gonna get messy, and the drawings will pertain to the movies. So prepare yourself for no further ado, and keep in mind that spoilers be everywhere this October, so watch the movie first if you care...


So, in this movie, we have a bunch of seemingly unconnected people who attempt suicide, and then wake up imprisoned by somebody who then puts them through Saw-esque situations in which a roll of a die (Get it? A DIE!) determines whether they live or die.

What's interesting here is that there's a sort of non-traditional structure to the story. There's no real protagonist, though there's definitely a villain. There are basically two stories: one is the people imprisoned and what happens to them, and the other is a cop who's investigating the situation (come to think of it, this is exactly the structure/plot of Saw). The cop is the person you could best describe as the protagonist, but she never interacts with the villain at all, which makes one of the prisoners more of a protagonist, actually battling against the villain a few times. But then he shoots himself. Pretty strange. Although that was sort of a highlight. You don't often see a "hero" just kill themselves (and in the process, sort of win... sort of).

What's not so great is that there's a lot of stuff in the story that's "artistically" not shown. Like one person is presented with the scenario where rolling the die (GET IT!?) will either kill them or set them free, and then they roll the die offscreen, and it cuts away to the next scene. It's only later that you see how they turned out, and you never actually find out what the roll was or what happened, only that they survived it. This is just confusing and not so artistic.

In the end, we have a body count of 5, and the movie earns 2 out of 5 Dice. Not a great movie, with a pretty silly ending, but not really bad. I dunno. I didn't know quite what to think.

So let's celebrate with this picture inspired by the film! There wasn't really anything I felt like drawing, so I kinda just made the movie poster (without any reference, so maybe it's totally different, but it's how it looked in my head).

And no one who speaks German could be evil!
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Plus One 11:41 PM -- Thu October 2, 2014  

This movie begins as a standard teen "party at the rich kid's house at the end of senior year and this is the nerds' last chance to fit in and become popular magically" movie. Then a meteor crashes down, which obviously (as we all know from SCIENCE) makes time skip into weird little loops. Basically, time moves on as normal, but every few minutes, the people nearby are duplicated with versions of themselves from a few minutes ago, who go on living out those few minutes until they disappear again. So the regular-timeline people have to deal with these copies for the time that the copies are around. Yeah, that's pretty weird. Luckily for 90% of the characters in the movie, they happened to be in a different place a few minutes ago, so they don't even see their duplicates until near the end. Only our heroes, the nerds of course, are in on the weirdness from the beginning.

The horror comes in in that each time, the duplicates are from sooner back in time, so the characters know that eventually they'll 'catch up' with the present. Which leaves them wondering what happens when they do. Their solution to this potential catastrophe is to try to murder their duplicates so that they get to be the only survivors. This is quite an overreaction. Clone Wars ensue.

This movie does not click for me. It's so weird how the people react with such violence and horror at seeing copies of themselves. I mean, I'd freak out, it's certainly not normal, but my instincts wouldn't jump right to grabbing a knife. And did nobody worry that killing the copy, which they realized was themselves from an earlier time, might result in their own death? I mean that's some high stakes to completely ignore! But for the record, no, nobody once suggests that. Strangely, the instant somebody brings up the idea that the timelines are going to merge eventually, everybody just goes nuts and gets ready to start bashing heads.

That does make for an interesting change of pace - the regular timeline people turn out to be the badguys here, lashing out at the clones before the clones have any idea that anything is wrong. But like I said, it just doesn't ring true that people would be this violent in the face of confusion.

So, there are moments in the middle of this movie that feel like Donnie Darko, and make it feel like there's some big mystery that's going to come together (spoiler: there's not). But for the most part it's just a bit silly and teeny-bopper. And makes almost no sense. The "hero" of the story is a guy who murders his girlfriend because he likes her clone better after Groundhog-Daying her into un-dumping him (and once again, how is he so sure that you can kill one to make the other be the 'right' one? No concern at all that you're just plain killing them?).

In the end, we have a body count of somewhere around 10 (there's a very confusing twin battle at the end), and the movie earns 1 out of 5 People in one timeline, and 2 out of 5 People in another, for an average of 1.5. Not really a movie I'd recommend, but it's certainly original. It felt like it might become something good by about halfway through, but then everybody just went nuts and it was a slasher movie starring everybody as Jason.

Today's picture is a very bad cartoon about how odd the people in this movie acted. And yes, I know the guys on the bottom are strange stretchy-armed mutants, with no shading or background. I'm terrible at drawing people to begin with, but especially after I spent an hour on the top, I was just ready to be done! I need to speed up and just do quick sketches. Please keep in mind I am not doing any penciling or practice, so hopefully I'm learning stuff as I go. Maybe day 31 will rock!

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  Belittling Horror Excessively: 388 Arletta Avenue 10:51 PM -- Fri October 3, 2014  


This is a found-footage movie, and you know I love those. In this one, the cameras we are viewing the action through are all hidden cameras that a stalker has placed in a couple's home. Which is a clever idea, but there are some really silly cameras, like he has one installed inside their car, which is fine, except he has another camera attached to the front grill of their car like it's a racing game switched into a low-down perspective. Another one is inside their alarm clock, where you can see the giant digital numbers half-obscuring your view. Odd.

Anyway, the stalker kills the wife of the couple, but hides the body and leaves a note that she's just left, and then he does various things to try to drive the husband insane. Like he kills their cat and replaces it with a very similar-looking one, but that doesn't fool the husband, because who'd be fooled by the wrong pet? So the husband looks really crazy as he tries to explain to cops that the cat isn't his cat.

Really, all this strange stuff is pretty interesting, but it is kind of slow-moving. The one thing that really got to me is that this movie looks and feels like a Paranormal Activity movie - you see long shots of empty hallways, waiting for something to happen. Only since you know this isn't a ghost movie, you know no chairs are going to suddenly move or anything, the most interesting thing that could happen is one of the couple walks across the hall. Later in the movie, that gets a little better as the stalker is actually in their house just being creepy, so he shows up in some shots, which is somewhat akin to spotting a ghost in Paranormal Activity, but still lacks some creepiness.

So, all in all, it was okay, but a little slow, and the ending was to me a big letdown. I expected something different as it got towards the end, and what I expected would have been way more interesting. I had that epiphany moment you get when you've figured out the twist just before it's revealed, only the filmmakers didn't figure out the twist, so they didn't manage to film the twist. Thus no twist. I give this 3 out of 5 Mix CDs, and it has a body count of 1 cat and 3 people.

For this movie, I drew a comic of my alternate ending. There's a point right near the end where, one by one, the various hidden cameras in the house click off, presumably because their work is done. But the second I saw that, I thought the comic below was going to be the ending, and it would've made the movie ten times better if it was!

(In case my storytelling skills aren't quite up to par, in this ending, it turns out there was no stalker. The husband had killed his wife himself, because he is NUTS and the stalker was in his head. There are no actual cameras switching off, it's just him having the realization that there aren't any cameras as he snaps back to reality. And isn't that fun to watch a found footage movie which turns out not to be footage at all?)
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Devil's Pass 11:56 PM -- Sat October 4, 2014  


This is the found-footage story of a group of filmmakers who go to Dyatlov Pass in Russia - a real place, where people really did die mysteriously (they tore their tent open and ran out into the snow barefoot, where they were found frozen to death! Google away, it's quite the mystery) - to make a documentary about the aforementioned incident. Surprisingly enough, the process ends up killing them as well. Finding of footage ensues.

This movie seems interesting as it gets going. They start discovering strange things that don't seem to add up, and seem kind of silly (like bigfoot footprints), leading you to wonder just where this is going. Where it goes gets interesting, right before it gets dumb.

The last 20 minutes or so of this movie get seriously scary. It's the first movie I've done this month which did actually scare me. It's wandering through the dark in an abandoned compound, knowing something bad is in there. Which is great... until they reveal the bad thing that's in there, which turns out to be mutant zombies borrowed from a video game. They are lame CGI monsters, not at all hidden in shadows, but just right there in front of you to marvel at how lame they look. It was amazing, I was right on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going on in the dark up ahead... and then the second it appeared, all nervousness evaporated and I instantly become bored and annoyed. That's certainly a lesson in filmmaking.

But that's not where the bad ends. After running away from the cartoon monsters, the movie devolves into the ultimate in over-explaining and extreme exposition overload, trying to make sure nobody misses anything about what's going on. It's so fakey and weird, and it's capped off by a final shot where it zooms in on "the big reveal" which is revealing something you'd have to be brain-dead to not already know, and yet it spends 30 seconds zooming in closer and closer, and the monster it's zooming in on obligingly turns its head to make sure you can clearly see the thing it's trying to show. It's just so insulting.

And back on the flip of the flipside, the actual explanation of things is pretty good. It all kinda works out and makes interesting sense. If only I had figured it out for myself from clues instead of having it repeatedly drilled into my skull, I would've liked this movie! That kind of fun twisty concept is just what I want out of a movie. I just don't want it spoon-fed to me.

So in the end, there is a body count of about 14, and the movie gets a frosty 2 out of 5 Tongues.

For this movie, I just drew some of the scenery. The fun thing about drawing mountains, which proves I am not an artist, is that I can just sort of randomly crosshatch in different directions rather than match any sort of real thing. Which is nice, because real stuff is hard to do.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: The Den 12:03 AM -- Mon October 6, 2014  


This is a movie told entirely through webcams and phone cameras (used in the most unrealistic way imaginable, like somebody just walking up to their neighbor's house with their phone camera held out and filming as they visited), about a woman who for some reason is given a grant to just sit on a fictitious equivalent of ChatRoulette for a month straight or something. Of course, somebody uses it to stalk and potentially kill her. Realistic Youtube comments ensue.

The most fun thing about this entire movie is that almost all the computer stuff is completely realistic. There are absolutely horrid youtube comments, she downloads a trial version of some software to use it once, and Google street view gets used, among all sorts of other little things (like the kind of awful people you find on stuff like ChatRoulette). Of course, on the flip side, some hacker can control the main character's computer and make it turn on and start filming her when she's asleep, so it's not exactly documentary material.

Overall though, it's completely silly, and impossible to suspend your disbelief for all the ways cameras get used. At one point, a camera is dropped at a crime scene, and later bagged and taken into evidence and we continue to watch it as it's picked up and carried around and pointed exactly at what it's supposed to be, filming through the plastic bag. As found footage goes, I think this movie actually goes more insane with the usage of cameras than any I've seen before. You can't take it seriously.

So in the end, this movie earns 2 out of 5 Series Of Tubeses, and delivers a body count of 6, I think. It's pretty absurd as a story, with a halfway fun twist/explanation at the end, and the most fun you get out of it is the silly/realistic internet stuff in it. It probably would've worked better as a comedy, actually!

There wasn't much of anything I found drawable about this movie, so I just drew some sort of "network" as inspired by this movie being about computer networks.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: The Bleeding House 11:37 PM -- Mon October 6, 2014  

Wow. This movie was a bit of a surprise. It's the story of a family that is kind of shunned in their town because of an unexplained event that happened in the past. Then a guy in an old-timey suit shows up at their door asking to spend the night because his car broke down. Old timey murderin' ensues.

Just wow. The gist of the family's secret (I told you there'd be spoilers!) is that their daughter is a psychotic murderer. Which, when the visitor shows up to murder the family and she escapes, sets up a fun situation that could've been good – the old "He doesn't know what he's getting himself into" situation. Only, it doesn't happen. She doesn't toy with and eventually destroy him, she's more your regular old slasher heroine who barely escapes time and again. It doesn't particularly matter that she is also a psycho. Very disappointing.

But that's not the real disappointment! That would be the horrendous acting, the complete lack of suspenseful music, the total blase nature of everything that happens, and just the weird and stilted feel to the entire proceedings. This is bad stuff, for sure. I really enjoyed one scene – when the daughter comes across a frizzy-haired woman who turns out to be something like the visitor's girlfriend, out in the woods. The visitor's girlfriend is hilarious! It usually takes something pretty special for me to notice bad acting, and boy did I notice it here.

So in the end, we have a body count of six people and one bird, and the movie fully earns its 1 out of 5 Ball-Peen Hammers. Ridiculous.

The old-timey visitor was a fun character, it seemed like this movie could've had a chance based on his "charm", so I drew a picture of him from a Google image search. I'm kind of proud of the picture, I think it looks alright, except for one thing: it doesn't look anything like him. Faces are subtle and tricky things, and I just didn't capture his essence. But it looks like somebody and I give myself credit for that.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Below Zero 01:46 PM -- Wed October 8, 2014  


In this movie, John Connor is a writer who takes the perfectly reasonable step of traveling across the country to lock himself in a meat locker in order to write a story about a guy who gets locked in a meat locker. What ensues is almost like an anthology movie – it cuts between the story he's writing and the reality he's in (and intermingled confusion between the two) as it goes on. That's a fun premise, and I was really looking forward to it. Can you guess yet whether it pays off on that premise?

Of course not, it's dumb like they always are! From the description I saw beforehand, I really expected some trippy delirium, blurring of reality and fiction, and to be truly confused about what was really going on. The truth was not that. It had a few sort of twists to the action, like a fun scene where, in the story, the characters suddenly step forward and start discussing what should happen (as in 'reality', the writer and the woman who ends up locked in there with him are discussing it and things are changing as they go). But for the most part, it was just the one straightforward cannibal meatlocker story, and the 'true' story of him just trapped in a locker writing (which also goes bad, but in a very silly and contrived way).

The twist at the end is good in the sense that it changes everything that came before a bit, but bad in the sense that it was pretty obvious, and doesn't feel right even so. It's a little too "easy" of a twist, and yet at the same time doesn't seem plausible.

So in the end, we have a body count of 2 plus 1 cow, and a rating of 2 out of 5 Electric Tubs.

Just like the last movie, I gave a shot at drawing a murderous monster for this movie. Kind of the same result – it turned out pretty good if you don't mind the fact that it looks nothing like the guy I was trying to draw. Two tricky things about ink drawing sans pencil: you can't lay out shapes in advance, so you have to guess at proportions and things and imagine where future parts of the picture will go (that craggy shape in his elbow is actually his previous elbow - I was way off!), and you can't make very light subtle lines. Everything is very sharp and linear.

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  Belittling Horror Excessively: You're Next 09:30 PM -- Thu October 9, 2014  


This story hit close to home. It's about an awkward family get-together where everybody is being awful (and awfully loud and screechy), and at one point, one guy says he's a filmmaker who makes documentaries, and another tells him how commercials are where it's at and he should make those. Oh yeah, I've been there, folks. Games and apps are not the same thing!!

So (twist spoiler incoming) it turns out that some of the family members hired killers to kill off the rest of the family so they could collect the inheritance. What they didn't count on is that the girlfriend of one of the family members (one of the evil ones, as it turns out in the final twist) grew up as a survivalist nut with all the trap-laying skills of Macauley Culkin and Wile E. Coyote rolled up in one. She kills the killers, then kills the people who hired them, and even kills a cop or two (on accident) before all is said and done. This is basically what I wanted to happen in The Bleeding House a few days ago, and I couldn't be happier!

Well, I could be happier. It's not a great movie by any means. The worst part is how awful the people are, and when crossbow bolts start flying, they all start screaming so discordantly and endlessly that it's just torture to even watch the movie for some fairly hefty chunks of it.

Aside from that issue though, I don't really have any notes of stuff I really didn't like. It was kind of enjoyable to watch her take out the badguys. You don't get a lot of that in horror movies, usually it's all just heroes being slowly killed off until it ends with a sudden SPLUT and credits. So we have a body count of 15, and I'm going to award this movie the coveted 4 out of 5 Spike Traps.

For this one, I just drew the face from the movie poster – the killers all wore these sort of plain animal masks under hoodies. It's pretty creepy.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Entity 11:01 PM -- Fri October 10, 2014  


Similar to Devil's Pass a short while ago, this is the found-footage story of a documentary team heading into Russia to find out what happened to a bunch of people who died years ago. Then come the differences: these guys are heading into the woods (and end up in an abandoned government facility for most of the movie) instead of the mountains, and they're bringing along a psychic so it's one of those ghost hunter type movies that are pretty common. Backwards N's ensue (that's how they make it Russian!).

Actually, this movie mixes found footage and regular filming. It should be a lesson to the typical found footage makers – rather than contriving absurd reasons for people to keep holding cameras or pointing them at the right thing, it's actually less disruptive to the viewer to just drop the pretense and shoot things like a real movie. We all know it's fake, you don't have to bend over backwards to try to trick us.

Also, this movie takes place in Sadovich, which sounds like a very sad place.

There are some really creepy scenes of the sort found footage can do well – you can't see things clearly, but you know something is there. When you get a good clear view, it ruins the fear factor. But I felt like things didn't really make that much sense here, it was kind of just "ooh, scary ghosts!". And the ending was pretty inexplicable. I liked the idea of it, but there is never any explanation as to what the ghosts are all about or why they can cause that ending. I don't know, I guess movies can't win with me – either they overexplain it, or they don't explain enough.

Well, in the end, there are 34 bodies before the movie starts (that's what they're there to learn about!) and then 4 or so during the movie. I award this film a middling 3 out of 5 Sadoviches.

I was not particularly inspired by this movie into any feats of artwork, so here's a pirate puppy.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Shallow Ground 07:44 PM -- Sat October 11, 2014  

This is the story of a young man without any clothes save for gallons of blood, who goes traipsing through the woods to meet some new friends. He then... uh, I don't know. Stares at them mainly. Writes cryptic stuff on the walls in blood, leaks blood all over, causes people to have visions with his blood. Look, blood is his thing. He's kind of like a Terminator, but made of blood instead of liquid metal. Then there's an old lady who murders people, and a lot of really bad decisions (by the characters as well as the filmmakers).

This movie is fun. It's like an Evil Dead movie in a lot of ways, with some rather outrageous gore, and over the top stuff that doesn't bother to make a lot of sense. When it first started, based on the description, I was expecting a serial killer real-world type movie. My jaw was dropped for a while trying to re-adjust from reality to abject insanity. The movie also has some really well-done gore, despite obviously being a very tiny budget. There are these strung up corpses that are just thoroughly disgusting.

I honestly don't think this movie actually makes sense. There may be some connection between things in the writer's mind, but the end result is totally disconnected. It follows no logic I can discern, and the ultimate sign of that is the hilarious 'twist' in the last 2 seconds of the movie. It's totally out of left field and verily didst it cause me to LOL for realsies. I mean, you could come up with an explanation for what caused it, but if you do, you're a better man than the movie's writer.

Oh and the music... wow. It tries so hard. It needs to stop trying. Actually, this movie reminded me quite a bit of Pumpkinhead. It's just overwrought overserious silly fun. With foggy woods.

So, in the end, there's an actual body count of 9, in addition to a mention of 36 other bodies, and I have to give this movie just 1 out of 5 School Buses. I hate to do it, because I totally had fun, but I'm still not sure I can call it "so bad it's good". If you like bad movies though, it might be a good choice. I just can't in good conscience give it points for being so insane.

In the movie, there's an issue (which again makes no sense) of women being strung up from trees and stabbed. I didn't want to draw that, but I like drawing trees, so I put a noose on this one.
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