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31 Horror Films in 31 Days 2012: The Bloodcurdling Conclusion

The fourth annual 31 Horror Films 31 Days Challenge is accomplished. And for the third year straight (let us never speak of 2009!) I claim victory. I prepared a full statement last night. And I quote:


End quote.

This “victory” I speak of was not a comfortable one. I clawed through my 31st film mere moments before the clock struck midnight on October 31st. At last count, over 20 people had joined my cult of the damned this year. Poor, wretched fools.

A few select fiends: The suspicious creeps at The Blog Is Coming from Inside the House have admitted their crimes. Author Dan Poblocki has aired his filthy, filthy laundry. Author(s) Lex Thomas assessed the damage they had done. Hershal Whiteman’s blood spatters are ripe for interpretation. Rob Kirby’s bite marks are just waiting to be measured. And Booklist‘s own Carlos O. displays his battle scars proudly. Drooling for more? Just check the #31HorrorFilms31Days hashtag on Twitter. You disgusting animal.

But we all kneel before Peet Rosa. This mysterious she-demon ascended through malodorous ashes and rotten earth to claim her rightful seat upon the steel throne of the mighty bloodbeast. The devastation that lay in her wake? Fifty-three films. You read that right. Trembling, we raise our tankards of simmering pus and toast this magnificent maniac. Then we scuttle away like the rats we are.

Here ye shall find the record of my most shameful endeavor.

THE MOVIES (in order viewed):

1. DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE! Grunting photographer/weightlifter/murderer/all-around-interesting-guy faces off with a variety of women who have just stepped out of the shower. Best line: “He hangs out with this chick named Hot Pants.”

2. THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN. Based on a true story. But, I don’t know, I have trouble believing that the death by trombone thing really happened. Am I being cynical?

3. SLEEPAWAY CAMP. Aw shucks, summer camp is rough, what with all the making friends and doing crafts and kissing boys and OH SWEET JESUS THAT ENDING!!!

4. BLOODY BIRTHDAY. Three cute kids born under an unfortunate astrological sign stick children in refrigerators and impale babysitters with arrows and generally raise a ruckus, those lovable little scamps.

5. THE WILD, WILD PLANET. Miniature organs created to sire race of perfect men defended by a bevy of inflatable beauties. Why, no, I have not been drinking today, officer.

6. WOODCHIPPER MASSACRE. Gory title belies painfully bloodless shot-on-VHS thingamajig starring what looks like the director’s reluctant family.

7. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTED. French experimental tone poem involving copious nudity and vacant looks and pretty much nobody being hunted whatsoever.

8. V/H/S. Anthology film inspires mass fainting and puking all across the nation. And that’s just because of the camerawork! I’m here all week, folks.

9. DEATH BED: THE BED THAT EATS. It doesn’t “eat” so much as it “dissolves people with yellow foam.” Does that make it a waterbed? Is its sleep number 666? Questions, questions.

10. PULSE. Moody J-Horror (as opposed to cheery J-Horror?) about ghosts haunting your internet. I think they ghosted themselves in through a series of tubes.

11. DOCTOR X. Cool-looking oldie about a group of doctors, one of whom has been killing and cannibalizing and whatnot. “Synthetic flesh” scene is a doozy for 1932.

12. RED STATE. Right-wing church folk with heavy artillery think the apocalypse is at hand. A better sign that the world is ending? Kevin Smith keeps making movies.

13. SINISTER. Ethan Hawke! Bummer about the ghost haunting. Guess you shouldn’t have purposely moved into the house were everyone was viciously murdered. Dangit!

14. WE ARE WHAT WE ARE. Daddy cannibal dies so cannibal kids try to step up. But prostitute meals just aren’t the fine cuisine they’re used to. Dilemma!

15. THE CHILDREN. A school bus passes through a nuclear fog and all the kids turn into black-fingernailed freaks whose hugs melt adults’ flesh. Man, that’s worse than lice.

16. THE LAST BROADCAST. Pre-Blair Witch Blair Witchiness about a public access show that goes live to debunk the Jersey Devil. More movies about public access weirdos, please.

17. GOTHIC. The somewhat, shall we say, embellished story of the night Mary Shelley came up with Frankenstein. Chock full of orgies, which is par for the course whenever Julian Sands in the cast.

18. ROOM 237. Documentary that asserts The Shining was really about (among other things) Stanley Kubrick apologizing for faking the moon landing footage. He should apologize. It really needed better dialogue.

19. THE VANISHING. The best Dutch film about kidnapping and obsession since Becthkten gelijkk en Vensieke Blaardigheigeetkkin.

20. MANIAC. Sweaty dude likes to scalp women and put those scalps on mannequin heads and oh good god is this month over yet?

21. UNCLE SAM. Former war hero return to life to wreak Fourth of July-themed havoc upon suburban community. (Y’know, flag impalements, unsafe use of fireworks, etc.)

22. XTRO. Dad abducted by alien. Alien impregnates woman. Dad re-birthed full-size. Dad spews disease into family. Dad teaches son to make giant womb from babysitter. Wow, the circle of life is beautiful.

23. TRICK OR TREAT. Skippy from Family Ties delicately portrays a headbanging teen who plays an LP backward and summons a heavy-metal demon. So many record player needles ruined here, I could barely watch.

24. THE INNOCENTS. Creepy big-headed children may be possessed by creepy dead adults. Still don’t explain the big heads, though.

25. THE STONE TAPE. Sound recorders stumble across ghost and decide to tape it. Naturally, it goes swimmingly and the film ends five minutes later with the whole crew enjoying a cuppa hot cocoa.

26. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE. Because after watching The Human Centipede: First Sequence, the one thing audiences agreed upon is that this idea can never, ever get old.

27. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4. Now with even more slowly opening doors!

28. THE SHORT FILMS OF DAVID “ROCK” NELSON. Imagine a series of VHS short films in which a man and his friends dress up in rubber monster masks and pretend to fight on the sidewalk. Ha-ha, that’s pretty fun, right? THEN YOU TRY WATCHING IT.

29. ABSENTIA. Wife’s husband disappears for seven years and then returns, shell-shocked and certain he was stolen away by giant insect. Nobody believes him. Oh, people. People and their not-believing.

30. HOUR OF THE WOLF. Ingmar Bergman does horror. So mostly this is comprised of shots of Max von Sydow trudging along windswept cliffs and looking grim.  (Someone does dig her own eyeballs out, though.)

31. EXCISION. High school loner fantasizes that she’s a scantily-clad blood-covered experimental surgeon. But didn’t we all at that age?




About the Author:

Dan Kraus is Booklist's Editor of Books for Youth. He is also the producer and director of numerous feature films, most notably the documentary Work Series, and the author of several YA novels, including Rotters and Scowler, both of which won the Odyssey Award. Follow him on Twitter at @DanielDKraus.

4 Comments on "31 Horror Films in 31 Days 2012: The Bloodcurdling Conclusion"

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  1. This cuts the list to the 13 best Zombie Films – and the total time to view is 15 minutes

  2.' Alana J.. says:

    Seems you’ve forgotten “Dead Alive.” An overkill on a zombie movie: the zombies cannot be beaten as their organs and intestines live on and continue taking over the area.

  3.' Pablo says:

    Daniel you saw a good list of horror movies but I agree with Alana you missed some zombie movies

  4. So this is your list of the movies. I really don’t know some of them.

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