Hooked On Horror's 31 Days of Horror 2022
It's that special time of year again folks! And as we traditionally do, I've selected 31 horror films to watch everyday in October. Gone for a varied list that should have something on it for everyone to enjoy and has not featured on the list for the previous 2 years; I'll be posting more behind the scenes shots and fun facts about each film on the day they're watched. And of course Ceris will be returning to write her reviews for each flick. Let us know if you're watching along with us or if there's any you think we missed out. Enjoy folks!
Mystery Loves Company
Scooby and the gang face their most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this dogpocalypse, the gang discovers that Scooby has an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.
This film actually marks the first time since 1988's A Pup Named Scooby Doo that Fred has not been voiced by veteran voice actor Frank Welker. Welker originated the role in the original 'Scooby Doo, where are you?' series in 1969. Although Zac Efron voices Fred in this film, Welker returned to voice the titular character himself, which he's been doing since 2002.
Art by Brian Taylor
In Space No One Can Hear You Scream
The crew of a commercial spacecraft encounter a deadly life-form after investigating an unknown transmission.
During early development of Starbeast (yes that was actually the original title), writers Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett ran into a writing impasse while trying to work out how the alien would get aboard the Nostromo in the first place. Shussett came up with the idea "the alien f*cks one of them", which was eventually tweaked and developed into the facehugger concept.
This method of reproduction via implantation was deliberately intended to invoke images of male rape and impregnation, so both writers were adamant that the facehugger victim be a man. Firstly, because they wanted to avoid the horror cliché of women being depicted as the easy first target; secondly, because they felt that making a female the casualty of a symbolic rape felt inappropriate; and thirdly, to make the male viewers feel more uncomfortable with this reversal of gender conventions.
Halloween 4: The Return of
Ten Years Ago HE Changed The Face of Halloween. TONIGHT HE'S BACK!
Ten years after his original massacre, the invalid Michael Myers awakens on Halloween Eve and returns to Haddonfield to kill his seven-year-old niece. Can Dr. Loomis stop him?
John Carpenter didn't plan on having Michael Myers in another Halloween movie after his 1978 classic. He wanted a different Halloween related story each time, but after the first film was such a success, producers forced him to use Myers again. He did, but killed off Myers and Loomis to be done with them. Then he produced Halloween III: Season of the Witch to get back to his original plan. However, at that point horror fans flocked to cinemas expecting to see Michael Myers again, which of course they didn't.
The film was a huge failure, luckily it has gone on to gain a cult following since and is regarded as a Halloween must-watch by a lot of the horror community. Carpenter then sold the rights years later, because he wasn't interested in bringing Michael back. Much to fans delight however, new producers brought Michael back without giving much of a backstory or explanation as to what happened following the events of Halloween II. The original script did feature a flashback to the end of the second film but it was later scrapped. As explained by director Dwight Little-
"We decided only to reference the first movie. I think the reason was we didn't want to get tied up with a lot of logic police questions with Michael and exactly what happened to Dr. Loomis. Alan studied it very carefully. So we knew that if we hit any landmines or made any big mistakes he'd catch it. But I didn't really want to be influenced, artistically, by anything other than Halloween."
"Stephen, where's my cake?"
Behind the scenes of the iconic 80s horror anthology Creepshow.
The Most Fun You'll Ever Have... BEING SCARED!
A horror anthology which tells five terrifying tales inspired by the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s.
The film featured jaw-dropping special effects and make up by SFX legend Tom Savini. The film boasts several great pieces of work from Savini including the walking corpse in Father's Day, where Savini made use of rice krispies for maggots for the actor's eyes (as well as real maggots elsewhere). Covering Jordy Verill (writer Stephen King) in "meteor shit", which King later found out he was incredibly allergic to; he was then subjected to a series of injections and medication "so the work would be more bearable". Turning Ted Danson into a water logged rotting corpse. And of course the iconic Fluffy featured in The Crate.
Tom Savini with his monster, he nicknamed Fluffy, for 'The Crate' in Creepshow.
Fluffy was actually the first ever fully animatronic monster that Savini had created. As this was new to him he went to someone with animatronic experience- fellow effects master Rob Bottin (who had a lot of experience following his work on The Howling and The Thing). Savini spent an hour and a half on the phone with Bottin getting advice and tips on how to build the creature.
Art by Nick Prinzing
Discover the past. Save the future.
When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.
To prepare for their roles, Jason Reitman asked Carrie Coon and Mckenna Grace to read Violet Ramis-Stiel's autobiography "Ghostbuster's Daughter: Life with My Dad, Harold Ramis" as much of their characterisations were inspired from the book. Jason Reitman credited Ramis-Stiel as one of the key persons who gave the blessing to get this film off the ground. Egon, played by the late Harold Ramis, was brought back using digital effects with director Jason Reitman admitting it took a lot to get the effect just right.
The Egon seen in quick and obscured glimpses during the opening scene of the film was played by Bob Gunton. For his appearance in the finale however, Harold Ramis's likeness was aged and recreated with computer-generated imagery based on clips and photos from the first two movies. The images were then digitally pasted onto Gunton and Ivan Reitman, who played out the scenes. Special permission was obtained from Ramis's children to create the effect. They called the finished scene "so satisfying. They could have done him as this jolly Santa-type, but that wouldn't have been true to the character. He was in great shape, nice and trim. My dad would have loved that."
The Silence of the Lambs
Art by Dave Flanagan
To enter the mind of a killer she must challenge the mind of a madman.
A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.
To prepare for his iconic role as Hannibal Lecter, Sir Anthony Hopkins spent hours studying files of serial killers. He also visited prisons, and studied convicted murderers, and was even present during some court hearings concerning gruesome murderers and serial killings. Hopkins also drew inspiration from a friend of his living in London who rarely blinked whilst speaking, which unnerved anyone around him. Hopkin's portrayal as Hannibal was so startling and convincing that his own mother wouldn't let him into her home after seeing the film. His co-star Jodie Foster also later admitted, "The movie didn't scare me, but Anthony Hopkins scared me."
You'll Float Too
In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids band together to destroy a shape-shifting monster, which disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small Maine town.
Director Andy Muschietti decided to keep Bill Skarsgård separate from the child actors up until they had to shoot scenes together. On the day of their first scenes together, the production staff warned the kids about how scary Skarsgård could be while in character. Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie) was the first one out of all the kids to work with Bill Skarsgård.
During their scene, Grazer would cry and gag while Skarsgård was right in his face yelling and drooling. Skarsgård was genuinely concerned for Grazer and after the scene ended, asked him if he was okay. Grazer looked right at him and said, "Love what you're doing with the character!" Skarsgård was left confused and impressed at Grazer's attitude, calling the child actors "little professionals."
Dracula Dead & Loving It
You'll laugh until you die...then you'll rise from the dead and laugh again!
Mel Brooks ' parody of the classic vampire story and its famous film adaptations.
When Mel Brooks and the rest of the filmmakers gathered together for the first time to discuss making this film, one of the early questions was should the picture be made in black-and-white, mainly because Brooks' earlier film (Young Frankenstein) was made in black and white in order to give the movie the feeling of the old Universal Frankenstein films. This idea was dropped, mainly because, as Steve Haberman said in the audio commentary of the film in DVD, a lot of the great Dracula movies were in colour, specifically the Hammer Horror films starring Christopher Lee and Bram Stoker's Dracula.
The Last Showing
He Gave His Life to the Movies. Tonight, He'll Take Theirs.
A couple trapped in a cinema are manipulated into becoming unwilling actors in a film being captured by CCTV cameras.
This indie horror flick was actually filmed on location at Vue Cinema in Cheshire Oaks, England here in the UK.
Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Art by Adam Rabalais
The Freeling family relocate and live with Diane's mother in Arizona. However, they soon learn that the spirit of an insane preacher is causing trouble for them.
The only family member absent from Poltergeist II is Dana, who according to the script is off at university, but a scene explaining away her absence was never filmed. Tragically Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend John Thomas Sweeney (who later changed his name to John Maura and disappeared) shortly after Poltergeist premiered. Ultimately, no mention is made of Dana in the final film, or of her being in college. It was decided by the filmmakers to retire the character and not recast her out of respect for the deceased actress and her family.
Dunne's murder combined with Julian Beck's death from stomach cancer, and Will Sampson's death due to complications from open heart surgery shortly after shooting wrapped on this film as well as Heather O'Rourke's unfortunate death from a mysterious case of intestinal stenosis before completing Poltergeist III created the "Poltergeist Curse".
"HOLY SHIT, IT'S GHOSTFACE!"
Jack Quaid behind the scenes of Scream
It's Always Someone You Know
Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town's deadly past.
This is the first Scream film not directed by Wes Craven, who sadly passed away in August of 2015 from cancer. The character of Wes was named in honour of him and the film is dedicated to him in the end credits. Actress Neve Campbell admitted she was initially hesitant to return to the franchise, especially for a film that didn't feature Wes Craven as director. What changed her mind was a letter sent to her by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, where they wrote about how much Wes Craven and his films meant to them as filmmakers.
Unfortunately, this film marked the end (for now) of Campbell's involvement with the franchise as well. She will not be appearing in Scream 6, which is set to release 31 March 2023, due to a pay dispute with Paramount.
“Sadly I won’t be making the next Scream film. As a woman I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream. I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise. It’s been a very difficult decision to move on. To all my Scream fans, I love you. You’ve always been so incredibly supportive to me. I’m forever grateful to you and to what this franchise has given me over the past 25 years.”
The Cleansing Hour
Art by Neil Fraser
The Perfect Internet Hoax Just Went To Hell...
Two friends, Max and Drew, live-stream staged exorcisms on the internet. Things go south when Drew's fiancé, Lane, is possessed by a real demon who starts threatening the nature of their relationship.
The demon "Malphas" referenced in the movie is real in demon mythology. "Malphas" first appears in Johann Weirs Pseudomonarchia daemonum. Demonological sources describe him as a mighty Great President of Hell, with forty legions of demons under his command and is second in command under Satan. He appears as a raven, but if requested, will instead resemble a man with a hoarse voice. Malphas is said to build houses, high towers and strongholds, throw down the buildings of the enemies, destroy the enemies' desires or thoughts (and/or make them known to the conjurer) and all what they have done, give good familiars, and quickly bring artificers together from all places of the world. According to the writers, Malphas accepts willingly and kindly any sacrifice offered to him, but then he will deceive the conjurer.
Come Early... Get a Seat!
An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.
When Mel Brooks was preparing for this film, he discovered that Ken Strickfaden, who'd made the elaborate electrical machinery for the lab sequences in the original Frankenstein films by Universal, was still alive and living in the Los Angeles area. Brooks visited Strickfaden and, much to his delight and surprise, discovered he had actually stored all the lab equipment in his garage. Brooks made a deal to rent the equipment, and gave Strickfaden the screen credit he didn't receive for the original films. So this spoof actually boasts the same props as the original 1931 film from Universal Studios.
The Wolf Man
Make up artist Jack P. Pierce adjusts his work on Lon Chaney Jr. behind the scenes of Universal Monsters classic The Wolf Man
In many a distant village, there exists the Legend of the Wolf Man, a legend of a strange mortal man with the hair and fangs of an unearthly beast... his hideous howl, a dirge of death!
Larry Talbot returns to the family estate in Wales after having spent 18 years in the United States. He's now the heir to the family estate after the death of his older brother John. His father, Sir John Talbot, welcomes him back warmly and he soon settles into local life. Larry takes an interest in a local girl, Gwen Conliffe, but while walking her and her friend home late one evening is bitten by a wolf. Fables and myths abound about werewolves, beasts that are half-man and half-wolf. For Larry, those myths may be all too real as he becomes a werewolf himself.
"Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright." This quote has been listed in some sources as an authentic Gypsy or Eastern European folk saying. Writer Curt Siodmak admits that he simply made it up. Nonetheless, the now iconic rhyme would be recited in every future Universal film featuring the Wolf Man as well as Stephen Sommers 2004 flick Van Helsing.
In fact many of the modern myths of werewolves originated from this film, such as a person becoming a werewolf through a bite, the only way to kill a werewolf is with a silver bullet, and werewolves and their victims being marked with pentagrams. Some are taken from the earlier (and unsuccessful) 1935 werewolf film Werewolf of London, and others are original concepts created by solely by Siodmak. Actual werewolf folklore is extremely varied; in some, one became a werewolf by being cursed or by making a pact with the devil, could turn at any time, and were mortal and could be killed by conventional means. Later films added the detail of werewolves being immortal; it basically gave studios and film makers in Hollywood an excuse to keep bringing the character back for sequel after sequel.
Art by Christopher Cox
Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell
leads up to light.
A serial killer begins murdering people according to the seven deadly sins, and it is up to a veteran detective who is about to retire and a rookie detective who just moved to the city to bring him to justice.
When the film played for the first time in New York City, it had a different ending and cut to black as soon as Mills pulled the trigger on John Doe. David Fincher spoke with the cinema beforehand, asking them to keep the theater completely dark after the final image to let the audience take it in. This didn't happen, and the lights in the cinema came up as soon as the gunshot was heard. The audience was then immediately handed comment cards asking their thoughts on the movie, and the audience members had to begin thinking up answers to questions like "Who was your favourite character?" Fincher remembers three women who walked by after the screening and hearing one of them say, "The people who made that movie should be killed."
It didn't help that the recruiting card to get people into the screening asked, "Would you like to see a new movie starring Brad Pitt (Legends of the Fall) and Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy)?" "I don't know what the f*ck they thought they were gonna see," says Fincher, "but I'm telling you, from the reaction of the people in there, they were bristling. They couldn't have been more offended." Someone else at that screening came up to Fincher afterwards and said, "Don't be depressed. You'll probably get another job."
When people have nightmares they dream of Freddy. When Freddy has nightmares he dreams of Chucky.
A single mother gives her son a much sought-after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.
The original plot idea was to have life-like Good Guy dolls that had blood and latex skin. If the kids tore the latex skin, they could go out and buy Official Good Guy bandages. In a blood-brother pact, Andy cut his own hand and mixed his blood with Chucky's, thus causing him to come alive and become human.
The first draft of the script was completed in the summer of 1985 and referenced the blood brother pact with Chucky (or Buddy as he was originally called) and killing those against Andy manifesting Andy's loneliness and isolation from an overworked mother and absent father. In addition to being a more psychologically driven horror film, "Buddy" also only came alive at night when Andy was asleep.
Many scenes from later sequels originated in this first draft. Such as Andy's teacher's death and the climax set in the toy factory, (Child's Play 2) ending with the the blood mixing with the melted plastic that begins to swirl, (Child's Play 3) and Andy's teenage babysitter getting electrocuted (Bride of Chucky). Buddy was also supposed to have a pull string in his back to speak, and later when it was revealed he was alive, he would pull it father out of his back, to the point where his voice deepens and use it to strangle Karen.
You're invited to play for your life.
Six strangers are given mysterious black boxes with tickets to an immersive escape room for a chance to win a large cash prize. Being locked in several rooms with extreme conditions, they discover the secrets behind the escape room and must fight to survive and find a way out.
Each room featured in the film is designed after each character's traumatic accident.
1: The oven room mimics Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll) surviving the IED/burns.
2: The freezing room mimics Jason (Jay Ellis) surviving freezing conditions for several days after his boat crashed.
3: The upside down room mimics Zoey (Taylor Russell) surviving a plane crash (where her mother and other dead passengers hung upside down for over a week).
4: The poison room mimics Danny (Nik Dodani) surviving carbon monoxide poisoning.
5: The acid room mimics Ben (Logan Miller) surviving a car crash when he was under the influence of drugs/alcohol
6: The compression room mimics Mike (Tyler Labine) nearly being crushed to death in a mine shaft collapse.
Director Sir Alfred Hitchcock with stars Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh on
the set of Psycho
The picture you MUST see from the beginning... Or not at all!... For no one will be seated after the start of... Alfred Hitchcock's greatest shocker Psycho.
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
After this movie's release, Sir Alfred Hitchcock received an angry letter from the father of a girl who refused to have a bath after seeing Les Diaboliques, and now refused to shower after seeing Psycho. Hitchcock sent a note back simply saying, "Send her to the dry cleaners".
Funnily enough he originally envisioned the shower sequence as completely silent, but Bernard Herrmann went ahead and scored it anyway, and upon hearing it, Hitchcock immediately changed his mind. The director loved the score so much he in fact doubled Herrmann's salary to $34,501, later saying "Thirty-three percent of the effect of Psycho was due to the music."
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Based on the iconic book series.
On Halloween 1968, Stella and her two friends meet a mysterious drifter, Ramón, and uncover a sinister notebook of stories.
Special makeup effects artist Mike Elizalde (co-owner and creative director of Spectral Motion) was recruited to do the makeup and effects for this film. With the caliber of the filmmaking team and knowing they would be staying true to the nightmare illustrations he and his children remembered from the books, Elizalde together with his wife Mary did not hesitate to jump on board.
"This is a series of books that I remember as terrifying. Just the imagery alone. If you didn't read the stories and you only saw the images by Stephen Gammel, they were burned into your subconscious forever because they're so frightening. They have a primal kind of quality that reaches into your soul and says, 'there's something very wrong going on here' and you can't unsee it."
Guillermo and director Andre Ovredal approached Spectral Motion with a list of four main monsters one of which was not from the original series. Elizalde split the builds up into teams, led by two veteran monster artists Norman Cabrera and Mike Hill. Elizalde said it was a dream team and a dream project.
All the monsters were done mainly practically but CGI was used in parts. Contortionist Troy James, who appeared on America's Got Talent, portrayed the Jangly Man. CGI enhanced the movements of his face, but he performed the movements of walking backward, and crawling upside down himself. The Pale Lady character presented a few challenges as well, but it was a fun build for the team overall. This suit would also be worn by Mark Steger, a veteran monster suit actor known for bringing many characters to life with Spectral Motion in the past, including the Demogorgon from the first season of Stranger Things. Mike Elizalde explained one of the performance problems created by the character design-
"There was the issue of where the eyes were. They're too far apart for a human. So we had to create little peepholes for Mark to be able to see where he was going."
There was also a lot of discussion about how to execute The Pale Lady's outfit, which resulted in an unsettling solution. "We decided that we don't know what it is. We don't know if it's skin or if it's nightgown fabric that's fused on which makes it even creepier," explained Elizalde. "In the paint job, there are these stains that have dried, and it's terrifying. You don't want to get near this thing!" You can watch a behind the scenes look at how they created the monsters below.
Basic Switch. Killer New Look.
After swapping bodies with a deranged serial killer, a young girl in high school discovers she has less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent.
The original name of the film was 'Killer Body'. It was then changed to 'Freaky Friday the 13th', a reference to the various Freaky Friday films, about a mother and daughter body swapping, and the iconic slasher series Friday the 13th.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Art by Devon Whitehead
In Space No One Can Eat Ice Cream!
Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorise a small town.
The $2 million budget went primarily on production costs. The clowns and visual effects were created almost entirely by the filmmakers at very little cost. Originally, the giant clown featured during the films climax, Klownzilla, was supposed to be made with stop motion animation. But due to production costs and limited time to shoot, they made a suit instead which was worn by co-writer Charles Chiodo.
Friday the 13th Part VIII:
Jason Takes Manhattan
Kane Hodder adjusts the iconic hockey mask behind the
scenes of Jason Takes Manhattan.