At The Movies: Spooky

I'd heard several people talking about Hereditary recently. I'm not really much of a horror guy, but I decided to give it a shot for some reason. I didn't know anything about it except that was more psychological than slasher, which would be my strong preference between the two.

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As we're in the seasons, how do you like your horror movies, if at all? Favorite subgenres or movies in general?

46 thoughts on “At The Movies: Spooky”

  1. So i re-watched Prometheus this weekend and then followed up with Alien: Covenant and Alien3.

    Prometheus is gorgeously filmed and I think I liked it a lot better than when I saw it when it first came out. Definitely some cool questions posed and just enough of a link to the Alien franchise. Alien: Covenant wasn't great. After making Shaw a bad ass in Prometheus and then just have her dead (sorry, these are 3 year old movies) was a cop out. Plus it went into to much Alien Fan Service. with Alien chest burstings and androids with ulterior motives galore. I had high-ish hopes for Alien3 due to it being directed by David Fincher but it wasn't that great and the penal colony setting wasn't as claustrophobic as an old spaceship.

    1. If you ever get the chance, watch the special features for Alien3. Fincher has severed himself from the film and doesn’t even appear. There was a ton of studio interference. The reason they’re all bald is that it was supposed to be in a monk’s monastery (that’s also the reason the architecture looks as it does). Upon getting to set, Fincher and everyone else was informed of the many changes. Prisoner Golic was supposed to end up teaming with the alien after his business with it, but instead he ends up dying in the scene. He took the role as something that could turn him into a star, and the studio hacked his story to the point that you could lose him without any repercussions to the plot.

      Then there are the sound mixing issues. Good Lord.

  2. We've started a "Saturday Family Movie Night" at our house.

    * Inside Out - Hadn't seen it. It was mostly really good, and had a couple of classic Pixar weepy moments, but I wasn't totally sold on it for some reason. The premise is great, and the core idea is well-executed, but it still felt kind of slight somehow.

    * Lion King - Holds up. Darker than I remembered. The stampede scene is maybe my favorite Disney scene.

    * Star Wars & Empire Strikes Back - A New Hope is fun, Empire Strikes Back is still about as flawless to me as a Star Wars movie ever could be. Newbish ate up every second of both of them.

    * The wife and I watched Irresistible one night after Newbish went to bed. It was....fine. It felt kind of toothless for a Jon Stewart movie, and while I liked the message, the execution was kind of all over the place, and the final denouement engaged in some sort of nullified parts of the rest of the movie in a way that I don't think was intended.

    * We also did Palm Springs one night. I thought it was a very solid take on the Groundhog Day style. It went some interesting places with the concept, while staying pretty funny throughout. Andy Samberg is hit or miss for me (and the wife, which is why we -- gasp -- haven't started Brooklyn 99 yet) but he was pretty much the perfect choice for the lead here. J.K. Simmons was also really good in a smaller role.

    * We also started Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It's good, though perhaps not what I'd consider everyone's cup o' tea.

    1. Philosofette recently started Crazy Ex-Girlfriend too. Having seen pieces of it... it is quite something. I'm struggling to identify a relatable character, based on the little bits I've seen.

      Also watched Palm Springs not all that long ago and enjoyed it quite a bit.

    2. * Lion King - Holds up. Darker than I remembered. The stampede scene is maybe my favorite Disney scene.

      * Star Wars & Empire Strikes Back - A New Hope is fun, Empire Strikes Back is still about as flawless to me as a Star Wars movie ever could be. Newbish ate up every second of both of them.

      Agree completely about Lion King. When we took the kids to the remake, I didn't realize my wife hadn't watched the original--she was not prepared for the stampede scene.

      We just made it through the original trilogy with my youngest for the first time. He went crazy for the Ewoks, making Return of the Jedi his favorite. Over the years the fun of A New Hope has probably made it my favorite to watch, even with Empire being the better movie.

      1. * Lion King - Holds up. Darker than I remembered. The stampede scene is maybe my favorite Disney scene.

        The original came out on VHS in 1995, right around the time The Boy emerged from his egg.

        He was a devoted Simba fan and had a Simba plush toy/doll (actually, a puppet, but...). He would regularly stroke himself on the cheek with Simba's tail when he needed to sooth himself.

        also, and more to the point, when he was in the 2-3 age range, before his sister arrived, we sometimes would put the tape on for him to watch while we were getting ready for work in the mornings. He would lay on our bed to watch, but as the stamped scene approached would move out into the hallway to watch until after Mufasa's demise, before returning to the bed. It was both hilarious and kinda heartbreaking to see the little guy navigate that scary scene.

        Now, of course, he writes horror scripts.

    3. Inside Out is still my favorite animated movie. Hopefully the sequel expands on the potential

      I saw the first episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I find Rachel Bloom to be very very clever, and I love musicals, but for some reason she doesn't hit the pathos buttons for me.

  3. Continuing to watch through the BBC Top 100 comedies (and I missed this post last month)...

    Raising Arizona is still hilarious. I hadn't seen it in 15 years, but it's fantastic and a great trial run for the greatness that becomes Lebowski.

    Clueless was also pretty funny., but the ultimate resolution with Cher falling for her step-brother still doesn't really work for me. I didn't realize the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones were in it before ska had its blip.

    Singin' in the Rain was entirely made by Donald O'Connor. He was just beyond wonderful. Oh, and I had no idea "Good Morning" was from the movie. I always associated that with being in the car while my mom listened to Boone and Erickson on WCCO Radio.

    Sullivan's Travels was surprisingly deep. It manages to take a peek at the criminal justice system and racism in a 1940s comedy. Plus, it inspired the name "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

    Somehow, I had never seen The Philadelphia Story until just watching it. Between it and The Awful Truth, I had no idea that Cary Grant was actually pretty funny. Growing up, I just associated him with North by Northwest.

    Watching A Night at the Opera mostly confirmed that the Marx Brothers aren't really my thing. I chuckled once or twice, but it was just a little too ridiculous.

    Some parts of M*A*S*H* held up really well. Other parts (like all the misogyny) not so much. The biggest shock to me was that I had no idea there were lyrics to "Suicide is Painless."

    The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie started off funny and then just devolved into bizarre gobbledygook.

    Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown was pretty funny but not particularly memorable.

    Outside of the list, we also enjoyed Borat 2. Of all the events I have attended in my life, a debutante ball is definitely one of the ones most calling out for the Borat treatment.

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    1. The story of "Suicide Is Painless" is hilarious:

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      1. I knew that story, still hilarious.

        I have a soft spot for M*A*S*H and it was my dad's favorite show and therefore I've seen every episode probably five times. But yeah, lot's of misogyny and not always cool conversations about mental illness and trans issues.

    2. Ben Thietje played the O’Connor role when MSU Mankato did Singin’ in the Rain. He was very good, but I’ve never seen someone so intimidated as I did when he and I watched the movie so he could prepare for the role. O’Connor is relentlessly hilarious.

  4. Season 3 of ST: Discovery has had a promising start. They freed themselves up, canon-wise, by setting it in the far future, and I'm glad they made Tig Notaro a regular.

    Nice to see the latest season of Archer not messing around any more.

    Mrs. Runner and I have been watching The Right Stuff series on Disney+. A lot of it is rehash of the movie (which was rehash of the book), but it's been able to pull in some more details of the lives of the astronauts and their families as well as the NASA workers.

  5. Last night we started watching The Queen's Gambit on Netflix. We ended up watching 5 or 6 episodes. Mid 60's era piece on the chess world, but there is a lot more going on than chess. Interesting stuff, and the actress who plays the lead is brilliant.

    1. We finished this series the next night. Very satisfying ending. Can't say enough about this show. I saw Stephen King called it the best he has seen this year. Lots of good critical reviews floating around. The lead, Anya Taylor-Joy, is also the actor who is cast to play Furiousa in the next Mad Max film. She has talent.

  6. In the Halloween vein, we recently watched Frankenweenie with the kids (meh), and happened to rewatch the original Pirates Of The Caribbean, which seemed seasonally appropriate. Pirates, skeletons, curses, etc. All good fun. I had remembered how awful the 2nd and 3rd ones were, but I can see now that the first one was pretty enjoyable.

    1. When the first Pirates came out a bunch of dads and the boys went to see it. We ate beforehand and had a bunch of margs. I was pleasantly buzzed and remembered that the movie was quite entertaining.

      1. It came out while I was in Basic Training, and a group of us went to see it during Officer Candidate School on what would have been one of the very few release days we'd had in months. I'm sure the sense of freedom made it all the more enjoyable.

      1. When I did the movie The Forbidden Fruit back in 2008 or whatever, the co-actor in all my scenes was a professional Jack Sparrow impersonator. Which is great, except for some reason he brought it to the set and spent about 30% of the time being Mark and 70% being Sparrow. It was as tedious as it sounds.

  7. Watched The Peanut Butter Falcon which we both enjoyed a lot. Though:

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  8. We've hosted the backyard movie theater twice now. Dirty Dancing (with a quarter of Dirty Dancing 2 (what a turd of a move - poor Peter Sagal), and Beetlejuice. I'm surprised at how well Beetlejuice holds up, and also surprised at how long it takes the title character to actually show up in the movie.

    1. It helps to have multiple national treasures in one movie. We watched Beetlejuice with the kids a couple weeks ago and my daughter will be going as Beetlejuice for Halloween.

  9. We're watching The Killing. I cannot fathom how people watched this when it was current. I like that it takes a more realistic, slow pace on a murder investigation but the case takes two seasons to solve. The detectives are also rather dumb and the characters do some dumb things. I should not be able to regularly think of things the detectives should be doing and then they either don't or it takes another episode or two for them to finally do it.

    Around that, we're also watching The Great British Bake Off Baking Show. One of the hosts from previous season had conflicts and couldn't be there this season. I have yet to warm up to the replacement and not sure I will.

  10. Been thoroughly engrossed by the miniseries Fosse/Verdon. One episode to go, but it’s been a terrific piece of entertainment.

    Normally I’m not really a fan of Broadway or musical theater in general, but this warts and all profile of director-choreographer Bob Fosse and his 3rd wife, actor-dancer Gwen Verdon has had me from the get go.

    Sam Rockwell has managed to make the selfish and self-destructive Fosse human, and Michelle Williams is nothing short of amazing as Verdon. I don’t know that there is a better actress working today. Happy to report she won the Golden Glove for her work here.

    (Also, apologies if I may have missed when other citizens might have discussed the series.)

    1. Just watched the finale. Gutted. Wow. I had Wiki-ed these two during the course of watching, so I knew the ending. But man-oh-man, did they sell the hell out of it. A brilliant series.

    2. Glad you posted this E-6. I will definitely watch this soon. I remember back in college, I watched All that Jazz for a film class I took. As a result, I kept tabs on Fosse for a while, but was not aware of the miniseries you mentioned. Looking forward watching it.

      1. Really powerful stuff. The chemistry between the leads is so, so good. Can’t imagine you not enjoying it.

        I now feel the need to watch Cabaret, All That Jazz and Lenny (but not Chicago.)

    3. I watched the movie Fosse in college, which definitely didn’t have the vulnerability or teeth you’re describing. The dumbest girl in our department showed a scene from it during a class to illustrate a point during a presentation on dance, and she said “the really cool thing is that Fosse plays himself in the movie.”

      It’s very obviously Roy Scheider.

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  11. I've been rewatching the first season of Stranger Things. Philosofette, who hates scary shows, finally relented. I knew she'd like it, but I am surprised at how much I'm enjoying it again, the little things I'm picking up that I missed the first time, etc. Honestly, this first season is one of the best-written shows, especially since I know in advance where it goes, how the characters develop, etc.

  12. We watch a movie with the kids every Saturday night. Yesterday was Bambi 2. Two thumbs up. Patrick Stewart is Bambi's dad and Alison Krauss sings the songs. How did I not know that until yesterday?

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