Top 50 Favorite October Movies/Shows (50-26)

HM . Terrifier (2016)

Rating: 2/10 ; Available on Netflix

This is probably my least favorite movie from this list but I chose to include it because it’s definitely a great Halloween movie! Crappy plot, full of tropes, and cliches but that’s not why you’re here. You’re here for the gore. The movie is over the top with its gore and there’s also a clown so, there’s that. Enjoy!

HM. Scary Movie (2000)

Rating: 5/10 ; Available on Netflix

I would put this a lot higher on the list solely because of Anna Faris but it has aged so poorly. It get’s to a point where the majority of the humor is just offensive for the sake of being offensive. I still find a lot of this movie hilarious but I just can’t excuse how bad some of the jokes get. Still really fun and probably my favorite movie from the series.

50. American Horror Story (Roanoke 2016)

Rating: 5/10 ; Available on Netflix

One of my favorite and also least favorite seasons of ACH. The beginning of the season is a really good parody of different horror genres including the infamous found footage sub genre and the reality tv genre. As the season progresses, however, it becomes a lot more 4th wall breaking and gets pretty unbearable. If you want to watch the first half of the season then I would highly recommend!

49. Goedam (2020)

Rating: 5/10 ; Available on Netflix

This series of Korean short films had its pretty disturbing moments but it’s still very low on this list for a reason. It gets sooooo repetitive! There seems to be a format that every segment follows and after a few short films the viewer might get tired of the over the top disturbing movements and jump scares. However, if you want a short watch that you can quickly binge then I would recommend!

48. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Rating: 5/10 ; Available on HBO

A guilty pleasure for sure and one of the only scary movies that I have enjoyed both in a comedic sense and fairly creepy concept. If you haven’t watched this movie than please catch up and if you forgot about this movie then please rewatch it! Again it’s pretty low on my list because it has its faults but it’s also not meant to be taken so seriously.

47. The Banana Splits Movie (2019)

Rating: 4/10 ; Available to rent on streaming platforms

Suggested by Queen John, I was forced to watch this movie. It’s basically an irl Five Nights at Freddies. Very ridiculous, self aware, gory, bad? This is a great movie to just sit back and drink with some friends and I’m glad this exists for some reason.

46. Slasher (Any season 2016-)

Rating: 5/10 ; Available on Netflix

Like many of these bottom of the list movies, this isn’t anything amazing or elaborate. It goes from being gory murder mystery to just becoming a blood fest and I enjoy that quite a bit sometimes. There are times when I really just want to lay down, turn off my brain, and watch idiots mindlessly getting murdered while I try to guess which one of those idiots could have done it. It’s very cliche and the plot is basically the same in every season but again this is a horror series to turn your brain off. The gore can become a bit overwhelming on season 3 though.

45. Final Destination (2000)

Rating: 5/10 ; Available on Netflix

Another classic that tapped into the anxieties and fears of anyone that watched it. The movie has a ton of flaws but still succeeds in its goal to make the viewer extremely paranoid. The majority of the people don’t even remember the plot but will have nightmares of the character’s deaths. Rewatching this movie made me realize that it was so much cheesier than I remember but my fear to get on planes reappeared.

44. Final Destination 2 (2003)

Rating: 5.5/10 ; Available on Netflix

The sequel to the movie listed above, “Final Destination 2” tries to create an actual villain to the prior movie and make an overarching story. I put this movie above the first one because I feel like this movie has even more memorable deaths. The fire escape death actually traumatized me as a kid even though that situation was extremely unlikely. In my opinion this movie is the best in the series and with a more competent director with a better vision, the series could have thrived a lot more.

43. As Above So Below (2014)

Rating: 6/10 ; Available on Netflix

I was hoping that this movie would be a bit higher on the list but it just has too many flaws. It’s a found footage horror movie where the characters are exploring the Catacombs in Paris and with that description, I was already sold. It isn’t an awful movie and there is a bit of a story to be looked into as well but it leaves a lot to be desired. The story takes a while to get started, there is a lot of rpg style side quests which isn’t good in a movie, and a lot of plot holes. Still a fun movie with a fun concept so please give it a chance!

42. Idle Hands (1999)

Rating: 6/10 ; Available to rent on streaming platforms

Another classic horror comedy on this list that I really enjoy to watch. The jokes are cheesy, the kills are cheesy, and the plot is cheesy. But I love this movie! It’s so much fun and a great example of how a horror parody should be done.

41. Insidious (2010)

Rating: 6/10 ; Available on Netflix

I feel like everyone has watched this movie and knows the impact that it had on horror movies for the beginning of the 2010s. Although jump scare horror had already been a thing, there weren’t too many horror movies that had a bit of a higher production value and a decent story. It also led for films like “The Conjuring” and “Sinister” to come out as well. People actually lined up for this movie solely for the “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” scene so I would be dumb to not include this movie on the list.

40. Paranormal Activity (2007)

Rating: 6/10 ; Available on Netflix

Another movie that paved the way for future horror movies to come. It eventually became a huge jump scare franchise but I still have a lot of love for this movie and what it went for. Again, this is a movie that could have been a lot more had it not just became a money hungry series but great concept.

39. American Horror Story: Murder House (2011)

Rating: 6.5/10 ; Available on Netflix

My favorite AHS season and a great kick off to a very mediocre series. Interesting story, somewhat likeable characters, and a few spooky moments. I had higher hopes for the rest of the show but can’t deny that this is a great season.

38. Cabin Fever (2002)

Rating: 6/10 ; Available for rent on streaming platforms

Pancakes. Watch the original please.

37. Silent Hill (2006)

Rating: 6.5/10 ; Available on Prime Video

In my opinion this is the best video game movie adaptation and also guilty pleasure of mine. It has great references to the video game and the score is so spot on! On top of that it even works as a pretty good movie. The concept of being in a weird alternate dimension where hell basically exists after a certain hour is so terrifying for me. If I could put this movie higher I would but it is pretty badly acted and the husband character is shoe horned in every now and then and slows the pace of the movie. A great movie for “Silent Hill” fans.

36. Dead Silence (2007)

Rating: 6/10 ; Available on Shudder and Cinemax

A pretty good puppet horror movie. I actually show this to every person I know and they always love it so hopefully you guys will too. I’ve watched it like 50 times at this point so I can point out almost every flaw it has but regardless of that I still enjoy it so much that I’ll probably watch it another 50 times.

35. Grave Encounters (2011)

Rating: 6/10 ; Available on Prime Video

I was looking for this movie for so long since there are a lot of “Encounter” titled movies and I had to watch a good amount of them to find this one. This movie contains one of my favorite horror movie concepts of not being able to escape an area and also multiple dimensions and timelines. I’m usually biased with any type of “you can’t escape no matter what” plot and this did a pretty good job. It’s a pretty good found footage film and I would like more people to watch it.

34. Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)

Rating: 8/10 ; Available exclusively on Shudder

A great documentary going into the life of a homosexual actor and his struggle to try to make it into show business after staring in the notorious “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge”. It puts into perspective how difficult it was to be gay around that time and the kind of hate he got for it. It’s a really great and informative watch so give it a chance!

33. In the Tall Grass (2019)

Rating: 7/10 ; Available on Netflix

I have mentioned in a few of these movies that one of my favorite things in horror movies is the inability to escape a certain force. Whether it be supernatural force or being completely useless in an area, it has always been a fear of mine to just be stuck somewhere with no way out. This film definitely delivers on that. The movie focuses on a couple that gets lost while looking for a young boy in a grass field. I’ll try not to spoil anymore than that but it’s a pretty trippy watch. It’s also on my top 3 favorite Stephen King movies.

32. Child’s Play (1988)

Rating: 7/10 ; Available on Vudu

This franchise has become a very self aware cop out series at this point but I still have a lot of love for the original. The concept is great and it’s pretty well acted compared to its many sequels. In my opinion this movie still holds up so if you have some time rewatch it and maybe a few of the other sequels.

31. Ravenous (2017)

Rating: 7/10 ; Available on Netflix

One of my favorite zombie movies of all time, “Ravenous” does a great job taking a different route in the zombie genre. It’s French-Canadian and just a really nice adventure with some pretty clever symbolism and humor throughout. It’s not hectic like a zombie movie is expected to be.

30. May (2002)

Rating: 6/10 ; Available on Comic-con hq ?? also to rent on streaming services

Anna Faris is in this movie which was a huge plus for me. This movie revolves around May, a socially awkward veterinarian, who tries really hard to get with the guy of her dreams. She goes to any length to get with the guy she likes and well this movie isn’t for everyone. In fact it threw me off a bit when I originally watched it. Again not for everyone but if you enjoy a different type of psychological horror then give this a try.

29. Searching (2018)

Rating: 8/10 ; Available to rent on streaming platforms

Not necessarily a horror movie but it is suspenseful and very well thought out. Since it’s not strictly horror it goes a bit low on the list but it’s one of my most recommended movies. It’s about a father looking for his daughter who has gone missing for some time. The viewer only gets the point of view of electronic devices around the house so it’s up to the viewer to put certain hints together. It’s a great watch and if you’re wanting something with a bit of mystery and suspense I would highly recommend!

28. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

Rating: 8/10 ; Available on Prime Video

Wallace & Gromit is one of my favorite animated shows of all time and this series special has become a tradition for me. It’s very cute and I always appreciate a great Claymation movie. It’s free for Prime users so if you haven’t watched this before give it a chance!

27. The Ritual (2017)

Rating: 6/10 ; Available on Netflix

This was my most recommended movie for a while since it had been the first Netflix horror movie to actually be pretty decent. My opinion of it has gone down a bit at this point but I still enjoy it a lot. The forest setting and the weird lore behind the cult there is makes for a creepy vibe. It’s on Netflix and isn’t that long of a watch so try it out.

26. The Witch (2015)

Rating: 7/10 ; Available on Netflix

A very chilling and well made horror film. It had some wicker man vibes and the old timey setting makes it so much more unsettling. Just really great movie all around. (From the director of “The Lighthouse”)

Thank you guys for reading this far! I’ll be coming out with the next 25 in the next few days. Hopefully y’all can find at least one movie to watch from the list to enjoy your spoopy month! If there are any movies that you would recommend to me or you would have put on your list let me know!

Dr. Sleep (2019)

Available on HBO

“Dr. Sleep” is a horror film directed by Mike Flannigan, known for his other works like “Haunting of Hill House”, “Gerald’s Game”, and “Hush”. I’m actually a really big fan of “Haunting of Hill House” and the other two I mentioned weren’t awful so I was kind of excited for this guy directing a sequel to the Shining. I won’t go too much into it in case anyone hasn’t watched it but if you enjoy a decent horror film with a good amount of “The Shining” fan service I would recommend.

Pros

I’ll say some of the scares definitely got me and the use of some of “The Shining” references were pretty well done. The actors that they got to play a lot of the old cast did a great job as well. There were some pretty goofy moments as well and I enjoyed it for a good amount of the movie.

Cons

This movie dragged out so much! There was a point where the person I was watching it with had to ask how much longer the movie was going to be and we were barely half way through it. They were definitely enjoying it more than I was too so it wasn’t just me thinking that it was taking forever to get going. Some of the effects were a bit goofy and a lot of “The Shine” references were also shoe horned in for like no reason besides it being like “oh look this was in the last movie do you guys remember that!?” I feel like if the movie would have been cut down at least 20 minutes it would have been a bit better for me. There were certain things that could have been developed as well instead of padding with other scenes too.

That’s really all I have to say about this movie. It wasn’t really bad but it dragged out so much.

My Rating: 6/10

May (2002)

Available on Shudder and other Prime services

“May” is a psychological horror film directed by Lucky McKee a director that I’m not too familiar with besides his other movie “All Cheerleaders Die”, which I didn’t enjoy too much. This movie had been on my watchlist for quite some time so I was pretty excited to watch it with some friends (Especially since Anna Faris was in it). So this film revolves around May, an animal surgeon who seems to be pretty confused on how to be social. She finds what seems to be the love of her life and a lot of weird chain of events come from her trying to get him to fall in love with her. I won’t be going into spoilers but I’ll be mentioning a few broad things that I liked and disliked about the movie.

Overall I was pretty positive about this movie. One of its main goals was to make the viewer feel uneasy and awkward at times and I feel like I definitely got that vibe throughout the whole movie. The way they made the main character still relatable and easy to sympathize with at certain times made the film a lot less painful to watch. Ana Faris’ character was actually the perfect fit for her and I honestly just love seeing her in anything she’s in. The boyfriend character wasn’t just the stereotypical douche that just drops May for no reason, which made the movie feel weirdly believable. Overall this film acting wise and character wise was great. A lot of the themes that were being presented stayed fairly consistent throughout the film as well which helped a lot. The main down sides I have with the film is that it kinda dragged a bit. After about the halfway point my friends and I could already guess where the film was going and we waited quite a while for it to finally get to that point. There are a few scenes that could be a bit too disturbing for the average viewer and could even be labeled gore porn but I feel like every gore scene still had its meaning behind it. The cheesiness of the film also helped it in my opinion. Anyways this is a pretty great psychological horror and it was presented in a really unique way than most horror movies. I would recommend for anyone trying out a different type of horror.

My Rating: 7/10

Metamorphosis

Available exclusively on Shutter (or rent it please)

“Metamorphosis” is a Korean horror film that was directed by Kim Hong-sun who has made other pretty good movies like “Traffickers” and “The Chase”. The film centers around a family of an exorcist basically being cursed by the devil and they have to find a way out of it. That may sound very cliche but it seems to have taken a different twist with it. It was recommended by a friend and hoped that I would finally find a horror movie that would spook me. Luckily enough, this has been the best horror movie that I have seen in 2020 so far.

I won’t be going into spoilers since I really recommend people to watch this and I don’t want to ruin anything. Before I begin praising this movie I would like to mention some of the flaws it has. For the most part the only thing that took me out of the movie was the amount of horror movie cliches that came with the movies. There were tons of jump scares and the story, for the most part, was pretty generic for a horror movies. Of course neither of these things made the movie bad in my opinion and the pros that this movie definitely made up for it. The practical effects and makeup were very disturbing to look at, the acting was great, and even the cliches that were shown were done amazingly. There were actually reasons to be in suspense and some of the scares were actually freaking me out and it usually takes a lot to scare me. The film basically does its job and it does it great so if you’re looking for a fresh take on an exorcism movie I would highly recommend it.

My Rating: 7/10 (maybe 8/10 if I give it another watch)

“Black Dynamite” (2009)

Available to rent on streaming platforms.

I’ve been recommending a lot of pretty serious and even depressing films for this little segment. So I’m gonna recommend one of my favorite parodies ever, “Black Dynamite”. I was trying to keep these recommendations to movies people may have not heard of but it appears a lot of people only know the show and not the movie. “Black Dynamite” is a comedy that parodies blaxploitation films from the early 70s and it does such a great job. This movie is completely self aware and it had me laughing in almost every scene. For people that think that this movie was made to offend, try to think of it more as it was made to poke fun at the idea of this type of movie (that’s kinda what a parody is). It has characters spitting out exposition, it has over acted scenes, and the action is over the top as well. Usually I would be the one to judge against these types of movies, but once again, that’s the whole point behind this movie. It’s to make fun of these common cliches. Hope you guys enjoy this recommendation too!

I checked Imdb and I gave this movie a 10 apparently soo

My Rating: 10/10

“Waves”(2019)

Available to rent on streaming services. It’s only $1 on Amazon.

“Waves” is another film that I am recommending to go along with the theme of African American movies. Although the director, Trey Edward Shults, isn’t African American, the majority of the cast is African American. If you read through my top 10 films of 2019 you would see that this was actually in my top 5 and there’s I still think it’s a pretty great movie. It tackles a lot of issues like the pressures of having to act a certain way when growing up in a black household, abortion, forgiveness, and redemption. A big reason I really think this movie is so amazing is because it let’s you see both sides of the issue and you can even sympathize with either. One pattern I’ve been noticing with the films that I give positive reviews in is that if the themes you are going for are going to be presented with have depth and a purpose, it makes it a lot more relatable and interesting. The soundtrack for this movie is great and fits the movie very well, the acting is great, and it’s one of my favorite redemption films if you can even consider it a redemption film. This movie was EXTREMELY SNUBBED AT THE OSCARS and I feel like it deserves a lot more recognition. Enjoy! Also it has some pretty sad and deep moments so get ready for an emotional rollercoaster.

My Rating: 9/10

“Moonlight” (2016)

Mico Recommends

Available on Netflix

I’ve noticed that Netflix is recommending a lot of black directed films so I thought I would also recommend some of my favorite black directed movies. “Moonlight” is a film directed by Barry Jenkins who has also made “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Medicine for Meloncholy”. Although this film is pretty darn amazing, it is mostly known for being the movie that screwed over “La La Land” for the Best Picture Award at the Oscar’s. After that, nobody really watched this movie since everyone was pretty upset that “La La Land” didn’t actually win best picture. I won’t go into too much about this movie since I really want more people to watch it.

This is a coming of age film revolving around Chiron, a young boy who is confused about his sexuality while also having to deal with his drug addicted mother. My absolute favorite thing about this film is that all of the characters and have so much depth to them. Nothing is presented on a surface level and there’s so much to get out of this film. For example, this movie could have easily presented the mother to only be a stereotypical drug addict and that’s it. But the film goes beyond that and shows her trying to put in the effort throughout the movie, even though she is extremely manipulative and abusive for most of the movie. Chiron could have easily just been written to be a stereotypical gay character, but they went above and beyond and wrote him to be someone genuinely confused and overwhelmed at times about how he truly felt. This is important when making a movie about this subject because coming out isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially when you been brought up from an African American traditional mindset (not trying to be offensive in any way, I understand that Hispanic traditional families are also very homophobic as well). To summarize my thoughts, I just love how real a lot of this movie feels and how well it was acted. Without spoiling too much of the film I would just say this is one of my favorite movies of all time and probably one of the only good movies on the “Netflix Black Lives Matter” section.

My Rating:9/10

“Da 5 Bloods” (2020)

Available on Netflix

“Da 5 Bloods” is a film directed by Spike Lee, a director I’ve never really been a fan of and have really only watched one decent movie from him which was “BlacKkKlansman”. When I saw Netflix advertising the living heck out of this movie I knew it would be hard to avoid it. Having “BlacKkKlansman” being his most recent film and pretty good I thought I would give it a chance. I hated this movie. In fact it is probably one of my least favorite movies that I’ve watched this year. Before I have a ton of people calling me racist, maybe try looking at the movie from a much more objective view.

Why this movie was awful

Themes and Story

First off, I will admit that this concept is actually really interesting. Learning that a lot of African Americans had to be put in the front lines during the Vietnam war was actually pretty upsetting and I would have enjoyed getting to explore this subject a lot more. There was a very sad moment that actually hit me quite a bit and it was around the time that Martin Luther King Jr. was announced to be dead over the radio. It made it even more sad because that scene could have been so much more. The characters could have been a lot better showing their emotion, the radio lady took me out of the movie as well, and the resolution in this scene was a little too cheesy for my taste. A big theme that I usually see in Spike Lee’s movies is how African Americans struggle and are constantly oppressed by the U.S. In this movie that theme is present but it’s so pandering. There was a point in the beginning where they are showing a flashback of our main characters going through a helicopter crash and only one person dies. This person was white and I wasn’t going to think too much of it until the frame has a close up on the only white person on that helicopter being dead and immediately goes back to the main characters who seem to ignore this event. I actually rolled my eyes during that part. The very few other white characters were also extremely 1 dimensional only being: 2 cliche American hating villains, 1 comedic relief, and 1 love interest. That is all. When you want to present a theme like black oppression it would make more sense to give the only white people more depth. Maybe if the racism of the villains was a lot more subtle, I could relate a lot more. Because even though there are a decent amount of people who are openly racist, the majority of racist people don’t really make it so obvious. Comparing it to “Parasite”, a film that doesn’t deal with the same issue in this movie but tackles complicated social class issues, the rich people are never really seen to be cliche awful people. They have flaws and are definitely sheltered from any inconveniences because of their privileges but they are still seen as human beings which adds to how believable the movie is. But when you pander, give no depth to any character, or present a certain race as one dimensional characters, it makes the theme a lot weaker to me. To add on to this, I don’t think Spike Lee has any idea what subtlety is. I’m not saying that every movie has to be deep or be extremely artsy or complicated but everything is extremely on the nose. For a movie that was supposed to be tackling a lot of difficult issues, it presented every issue on such a surface level. Not to mention that this movie had no idea what it wanted to be. Sometimes it wants to be a heartwarming friendship adventure, sometimes it wants to be a period piece, sometimes it wanted to be a war movie, and other times it wanted to have like this found footage documentary style. It failed at all of those things. I could go on and on about how bad Spike Lee handled this premise and themes but I think my point was made.

Cinematography

I was actually surprised that this TWO AND A HALF HOUR LONG MOVIE did not have a single good shot or scene to me. At least nothing caught my eye. There was a thing the movie did where it changed the filter of the scene to show the viewer when it was the past and present and it was pretty awkward. Usually there would be an abrupt cut between time periods and it gave me a vibe that this film might have been rushed. The cuts were also sloppy and made it pretty irritating to watch in every scene. There were points in the movie where the past period filter was being incorporated for the present and I want to say that this was a way to show how both timelines were becoming intertwined and possibly even foreshadowing about future events to come. However, even that came off very sloppy and the transitions between time periods were also messy.

Acting

Not a single character seemed convincing to me in this movie. I mentioned before that all of the white people were portrayed as one dimensional, but even the main characters were one dimensional. There was a comic relief, an uptight guy, a crazy guy, a money hungry guy, and caring son. For the whole movie, the main characters will consistently be these roles and have the minimum amount of character development. So I guess I can blame this more on the script and the director since actors are only told how to act and it is up to the director to make sure the actors get the proper emotions across. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that these actors can not show emotion and when they do it comes off either under acted or over acted.

My Rating: 2/10 (solely because the idea was actually pretty great)

“Boy” (2010)

Available for free on Amazon Prime and Vudu

“Boy” is a New Zealand film directed by Taika Waititi. He’s mostly known for directing the good “Thor” movie but after catching up on some of his old stuff I would say he’s way too talented to just be making formulated super hero movies. “Boy” is a comedy centered around young Alamein who idolizes Michael Jackson and his father who has mysteriously been gone for the majority of his life. He then reappears and Alamein and Rocky are finally able to bond with him after so long. I’m not gonna get into spoilers or even that much into detail of this movie but just know that I really enjoyed it a lot

Pros

In my opinion I found this movie to be perfect for what it was going for. It was a father and son movie tackling a lot of difficult problems that are usually presented to be such 2 dimensional things. The father could have just been a completely awful dad, and he was, but there’s a lot more to it than that. He never seems to have ill intentions and he’s also aware about some of the responsibilities he has as a father but falls short in terms of his own maturity. Without spoiling too much I enjoyed how they wrote the father character. The dynamic between the 2 siblings was so great. Both brothers are handling the loss of their mother in different ways and it seems to take a toll on them as the movie goes on. Alamein takes the role as the man of the house even though he is extremely young while Rocky is in a constant state of guilt where he finds himself always going to see his mother at her grave. I want to go into it a bit more but just know it’s such a heart warming story and the comedy is just great. The child acting was also on point which is pretty rare!

Cons

I don’t really have any cons for this movie. The pacing is a bit slow but I really enjoyed the slow burn of it since it helped me enjoy all of the characters more and more. I can see the New Zealand accent being a bit hard to understand at times but I found it very charming and helped a lot with the humor since a lot of their slang was very new to me.

My Rating: 7/10 (probably an 8 actually)

“Thirst” (2009)

Available to rent on streaming platforms

“Thirst” has a been a film I’ve been extremely interested in watching for quite some time. It is directed by Park Chan-wook, who also directed Old Boy (2003) which is one of my favorite movies of all time. Before I get into my more detailed thoughts I will say that I really enjoyed this film. It is a South Korean horror/romance film revolving around a young priest who volunteers to get experimented on in the hopes to find a cure for a certain virus. The testing goes wrong and he receives a very cursed gift in return. The story is very interesting and it goes into very good themes like temptation and self interest. If this seems interesting to you, then I would highly recommend to watch it before reading the rest of the review.

Spoilers after this point

Pacing

This might be one of the only cons I have about the movie and it might only be because I’ve only watched it once. So I’ll make it quick so I can get to all the good things I found with the film. It is a little over two hours long and I definitely started feeling it during the mid point of the movie. Personally I feel that being unable to predict exactly what’s going to happen next in a film makes the film feel like it goes on a lot longer since I am constantly in a weird state of suspense. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it can get exhausting. Again, my opinion on this might change with a second viewing but as far as my first viewing goes, it felt very long and dragged out.

Practical Effects

Although I mentioned before that some of the visual effects looked cheesy (the flying and jumping mostly), the practical effects were very well done. Something that added a lot to Park Chan-wook’s “Old Boy” was that a lot of the punishments and violence felt so real and this film is no different. The scenes where Sang-hyun is throwing up, the fish hook scene, the leg stabbing, the killings, everything just looked so real and disturbing. There are a lot of horror movies that just have a bunch of gore a blood effects for the sake of shock value but any time there was ever a violent scene in this movie it felt so purposeful to the tone the film is trying to present. It takes a lot to make me flinch and when the fish hook scene got a reaction out of me I knew that the practical effects were doing their job.

Acting

The actors were great! Something I really enjoy about this director is that he knows how to work with these actors to get exactly what he wants from them. Kang-ho Song has become one of my favorite actors at this point after everything I’ve seen him in. He brings this charismatic energy and is honestly so hard to hate even though he does some very messed up things in this movie. There are small mannerisms that he does through out the movie that just add so much character to him and the chemistry that him and the lead actress had seemed so real even though their relationship was very unusual to begin with. I hadn’t seen a movie with the lead actress, Ok-bin Kim, but she also did a great job. She was charming when she needed to be and did such a good job at being a somewhat manipulative antagonist(using antagonist in a very loose definition). The rest of the cast did a great job as well. The mother character actually had a lot of depth same with her son and even the worshipers were convincing.

Writing and Character Development

So I usually don’t really notice how well characters are written but it was something I had to point out for this movie. There is so much depth in each character and all of their actions are justified considering the kind of people they are. Usually when it comes to horror movies, the characters are written to act irrationally and that has always been such a pet peeve of mine. With the characters presented in this film, any time they ever act crazy or do something ridiculous the viewer can look at that character see the way they behave or the way they are developing and see a reasoning behind their actions. Even the side characters like the worshipers, the ex-police officer, and the old priest all have a good amount of depth with them regardless of their very little screen time.

Mrs. Ra

On the surface Mrs. Ra can easily be seen as a stuck up rich woman who constantly feels entitled to boss around Tae-ju, but there are small moments where you can see that she genuinely cares for her and other characters. It is often said that a person’s true thoughts can be seen when they are drunk and this character is the definition of that. When she’s drunk she reveals a lot of her true feelings towards Tae-ju and even states that she will eventually give her the dress store. She is presented to be the person who acts the most on her own self interest, but by the end of the movie she ends up being the one who did the most for people and was the one who went through the most pain. I even started sympathizing with her a lot more than the main characters even though she was technically just an annoying drunk for the most part.

Tae-ju

Even though the mother ended up being one of my favorite characters by the end of the movie, I think my overall favorite character was Tae-ju. She was such a complicated character through in through. She was extremely manipulative but at the same time I just sympathized with her so much. She was in a position where she was tired of her life with these people but also depended on them to survive. She wanted to break free from any type power over her and it made sense because all of her problems were solved by other people. Her husband helped her by asking his mother to house her, her husband’s mother gave her a job, and Sang-hyun gave her an escape from the frustrating husband and son. So it makes sense that throughout the movie she rebels against everyone, even the person who gave her all the love he thought she wanted. Tae-ju wasn’t just some one dimensional character that wanted to find love and break free from her suffering. She was greedy, manipulative, and was only ever concerned for her own self interests. Even with all those traits, she just wanted to be happy and do something for herself which makes her first death such a huge moment cause she finally accepts the fact that she had what she wanted all along. It was only after her husband’s death and seeing how things were starting to back fire that she started realizing that she really didn’t have it that bad. Of course she comes back to life and seems to have a completely different mindset but that’s mostly because she now has the power to do whatever she wants. In a way Tae-ju can be a symbol for man kind and how man will tend to only act out of self interest and greed. Of course this is only my interpretation of the character and even though I find her to be an awful person, she’s the most interesting to me.

Sang-hyun

Now we have our main character. The development for this character was actually quite interesting. He goes from being a very selfless priest who ends up eventually showing his true nature letting his temptations take control over him. A theory I had thought of was that he symbolized Jesus and him being released into the world after his procedure was basically Jesus coming to save the people (with a bit of a twist). Of course I wouldn’t make it a huge parallel but it makes sense. With the people throughout the movie treating him well and hoping he will save them it puts him in this savior role. People will try to do nice deeds or even mention good deeds they have done in the past while he is in the room. Adding on to the fact that people will only act out of their own self interest, even if they are good deeds. I was constantly reminded throughout the movie of the saying “the path to hell is paved with good intentions” and I think it really fits. The mother constantly needing to remind Sang-hyun about all the things she does for everyone, the ex-police officer getting Sang-hyun out of trouble, the man in a coma telling him about how he once gave cake to starving children, and even Sang-hyun believing that he is doing all of this work of God to be a good deed. Ironically out of all the characters I just mentioned, Sang-hyun is the only one who ended up being the most self interested of them all. He is in a constant state of denial, justifying all of his misdeeds and thinking that at the end of the day he is only doing what he does for the greater good. At the end of the day the only problems he actually solved, was the problems that he created on his own. Although Sang-hyun comes across as more kind and logical, he is no better than Tae-ju. In fact one of the reasons he could have such an attachment to Tae-ju could be because she is basically an uncensored version of him that gives in to temptation. While he punishes himself for even thinking about anything sexual, she welcomes it and basically forces Sang-hyun to give in to her. While he tries to keep his blood consumption to a minimum, she goes and kills when she’s thirsty even though she technically doesn’t need it. While he tries to only use his powers when it’s necessary, she uses them for basically everything. As the movie goes on, it is shown that he gives in to all of these desires ultimately making him the same person. There might be more observations that I get on this character after a second viewing but this is a good amount of what I got on the first viewing.

Other Nitpicks

As mentioned before, the film seemed to drag quite a bit. The super human powers were also not great. Another thing I would like to add to this is that there are moments of this film that are not really made for an American audience. Certain sexual parts of the movie are a little too aggressive and could even be considered rape and inappropriate. However, these moments did have a purpose behind them so I don’t think the movie is trying to romanticize these actions even though it is somewhat a romance movie. Other than that I don’t really have many complaints about.

My Rating: 8/10 (Maybe a 9? Need to rewatch it)