Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Late Halloween

I didn't watch a single horror movie in the last nine days leading up to Halloween, an obvious consequence of traveling abroad and the fact that they don't tend to program horror movies as choices for your in-flight entertainment. Apparently, it's not such a good thing if you're a child trying to sleep on a 14-hour flight and you see someone's head getting cut off on the screen next to yours. (I do remember watching the horror movie Lights Out on a flight I took in early 2017. It must have passed some threshold of minimum gore.)

I made up for this with a day-night double feature on Sunday, my third day back, after returning from a family-oriented music festival at which we camped on Saturday night. (Which cannot have helped with my jet lag, now in its fifth glorious day.)

The first was a selection that was reluctantly mutually agreed upon by my kids, to pass the late afternoon as we recovered from the festival. The second was a Sunday night viewing of a movie assigned to me in a movie challenge for the month of November, teasingly missing its target month of October by the narrowest of margins.

Monster House is a movie we own on DVD, but as often happens, it took seeing it as an option on Netflix to promote it to an actual viewing. My older son wanted to watch a movie that for some reason the younger one didn't: Madagascar 2: Back to Africa. I was sort of rooting for this one as I have actually not seen it. The younger one wanted to watch Dinosaur Island, which I am absolutely not going to sit through a second time. I was surprised to see the older one agree to this compromise, because Monster House (or as he used to call it, Spooky House) was something he could never fully sit through because it was too scary for him. Apparently he was willing to give it another shot.

For a time. And then he remembered why Spooky House had disturbed him so much the first time, and promptly relocated to another part of the house. (He had his Minecraft so he didn't really care.)

It turns out the younger one is made of tougher stuff (no offense, older one). He didn't cop to being afraid at any point of the movie, and he asked questions that I thought were useful rather than bizarrely fixated on unimportant details. My baby's all grownsed up!

The older one also returned for the end, and didn't seem too concerned with it at that point either. Then again, their aunt just showed them Jurassic Park the other night, knowing the younger one's love of dinosaurs, so I guess they've had their skin toughened recently.

Trick r' Treat is a movie I had never credited with much more than "anonymous horror movie" status until I started to hear it spoken of in really glowing terms over the past few years. In fact, such is the regard for it that it was eligible to be chosen in this movie challenge I'm doing in my Flickcharters group on Facebook. Each month you are randomly paired with another person in the challenge, and you are assigned the highest ranked movie on their chart that you haven't seen yet. Trick r' Treat was somebody's #31, and that somebody commiserated with me the poor timing of not drawing his name a month earlier.

Although there is a lot to recommend in Trick r' Treat, I suppose I was expecting something a bit more sublime for a movie that was this guy's #31, and highly ranked by others in the group as well. It's reasonably clever in its intertwining of four stories that take place on one Halloween night, each of which has a surprising reveal and each of which kind of involves this guy you see in the poster above. But I find it more of a solid entertainment than something sublime that either clearly rises above its brethren or falls into the category of outlandish camp. I guess solid genre fare is worth celebrating in its own right.

Happy Halloween, even though it is no longer Halloween even in the most far-flung of time zones.

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