Monthly Archives: October 2013

6 horror movie must-sees you’ve probably never heard of (and a few you have)

Now that Halloween is upon us again (literally, like, it’s tomorrow, whoops), it’s time for my annual horror movie compilation post. For the last two years, I’ve put together some pretty great lists of some pretty classic, pretty awesome and pretty classically awesome scary movies, most of them known by the general public. You can revisit them here and here.

This year, I’ve put together what I consider a pretty sweet list of movies generally unheard of by the kind of people who a) aren’t huge horror movie buffs and/or b) who only watch movies that are produced on a large scale and featured in the theaters (with a few popular ones thrown in for good measure). Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally awesome to go to the theaters and see the cliche horror movies they’re coming out with these days (another exorcism movie, how original), but anyone looking for a good scare (or two) this Halloween should check out some (if not all) of the following:

Insidious Chapter 2. Okay, this one is obviously well-known to anyone with a TV, but I loved the first one (so much it made my list two years ago) and the second one is no different. Actually, I liked the second one better which, for anyone who knows how obsessed I was with the first, obviously means it’s worth watching. Obviously. It should be out on DVD in about a hundred years (okay, really, like a month, but same difference). Chapter 2 seemed to have more terror to it, more scenes to make you jump out of your seat, and I especially liked the development of the Old Woman. Just go watch it, you’ll see what I mean.

The Barrens. You may or may not have heard of this one (I hadn’t) but you’ll find a familiar face in this flick. True Blood’s Stephen Moyer plays Richard Vineyard, a troubled man just trying to bring his family back together with an innocent camping trip. But an urban legend from his past comes back to haunt him and his family, and what seems like a nice vacation quickly turns grim. Not the scariest movie of the year, and the special effects aren’t quite Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights standards, but it will definitely make you think twice before wandering off into the woods.

V/H/S. Loved this movie. It’s actually a horror anthology, a series of short films strung together with an overall story line to tie them all together. I’m particularly fond of Adam Wingard’s segment (mostly because I’m slightly obsessed with him), but all of the segments bring something unique and terrifyingly awesome to the table. Apparently the movie was so successful they produced a second.  V/H/S/2 is actually pretty great as well (and available at Redbox right now) and doesn’t require having seen the first one, but I personally enjoyed the original more than the sequel. But you should watch them both anyway. In a row. In the dark. By yourself. Right now. And… go.

ABCs of Death. Speaking of horror anthologies (and Adam Wingard), ABCs of Death is a pretty badass movie (that most normal people who don’t sit up at night watching horror movies in the dark have never heard of). It is exactly what it sounds like, a horror anthology chronicling 26 ways to die in alphabetical order. You’d be surprised how some of the letters of the alphabet could off a guy.

Would You Rather. Less of a scary movie and more of a disturbing one, it viewed like a mild version of Hostel as far as content and plot, but it’s by no means as gory or sexually explicit (although I still wouldn’t recommend letting your kids watch it). I thought it was a fairly creative idea for a movie, and it had a pretty good twist at the end. Although I saw it coming, but nothing gets by me, so that’s not surprising, but it was still a decent ending to a decent flick.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence). This movie is several years old, 2009 I think, so more and more people have heard of it by now, but it’s still a good one to make this list. I actually watched the second sequence first but was unimpressed. I finally sought out the original, first sequence, about 8 months ago and, while completely disturbing, I found it sickly satisfying. I think you will too. Don’t deny it, you love watching this sick crap almost as much as I do.

So there you have it folks. This year’s awesomely unheard-of horror movie mania list. Be terrified, be disgusted, have nightmares for weeks. These are all signs of a positive horror movie experience, and I think everyone should know what it feels like at least once in their life (or every day, if you’re me). Happy haunting!

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6 Halloween costume ideas (based on this year’s popular culture)

If you haven’t already decided what you’re going to be for Halloween this year, here are a few ideas based on current pop culture obsessions.

The Royal Baby. Who doesn’t love when adults dress up as babies? Make sure you distinguish yourself as the royal baby and not just some random, non-royal, unimportant, everyday baby. You certainly wouldn’t want to be confused with an ugly baby, like your coworker’s or your best friend’s.

Minions. Everyone loves these adorable Despicable Me characters, and if you don’t, well, there’s probably something wrong with you. They are so lovable and original, you are bound to get a lot of compliments throughout the night. Be especially impressive by contorting your face to literally accommodate the cyclops eye of Carl. And make sure you play the part and walk around chanting “Bee-do” and saying other unintelligible nonsense. People will love you for it.

A pregnant Kim Kardashian. It’s still hard to believe sometimes that this particular Kardashian reproduced (and with arrogant Kanye West nonetheless) but the world continues to love her and her offspring despite her flaws. Plus I just think it would be really funny to see someone walking around as a preggo Kim.

The Fox. By now everyone and their mother has seen the instantly famous “What the fox says” video and if not, you must be living under a rock. Regardless, this chart-topper features several different versions of The Fox to choose from (not to mention other animals that make for one of the coolest tea parties I’ve ever seen). If you do decide to dress up as The Fox, maybe you can enlighten us as to what a fox actually says, because no one seems to know.

Miley Cyrus twerking in her stuffed bear backpack. I don’t approve of Miley’s recent behavior (or music videos), but you can play this one up as a joke and probably still win a costume contest or two.

Creepy Snickers commercial lady. This one isn’t actually current (thanks to the selfish ad guys who decided not to air the commercial again this year), but it’s still relevant enough to make this list, and awesome enough to never get old. It’s pretty much the best commercial I’ve ever seen, and one of the creepiest costumes you could hope for this south of Halloween Horror Nights, and I think it would be pretty fantastic if I saw someone out and about dressed up in the mask and leopard coat.

Good luck executing your costume, and please get back to me with some photographic proof. Also be sure to check out my costume ideas from last year here.

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4 things to do and see in Atlanta

With my most recent road trip in the books, here are some highlights (including things to do and see) from my weekend in ATL.

Oakland Cemetery features some of the most intricate mausoleums I've ever seen.

Oakland Cemetery features some of the most intricate mausoleums I’ve ever seen.

Oakland Cemetery. By now everyone knows I’m obsessed with all things gothic/spooky/horrific, so it’s no surprise a visit to the cemetery is first on my list. But whether you frequent these final resting places or not, this specific cemetery is a must. Not only is it a beautiful park, it’s also home to some of Atlanta’s most noted citizens, settlers and Confederate soldiers. I strongly suggest making your trip around the annual Sunday in the Park. The Victorian street festival is a delight for all ages, and whether you dress the part or not, there’s plenty to do and see during this all-day event. With a small entry fee (that goes directly to restoring and preserving the historic landmark), Sunday in the Park is a fun and affordable way to spend a few hours or an afternoon. If you don’t make it to the festival, you can still enjoy a serene visit to the cemetery for free. Either way, put it on your list. Near the top. Just do it.

The Jane. In its own words, the Jane is “a mixed use redevelopment in historic Grant Park.” Conveniently located across the street from Oakland Cemetery, it’s the perfect place to end up after a long stroll through the headstones. Pop into Six Feet Under or Republic Social House for a pint and bite and enjoy the view from the roof. You can thank me later.

Nestled in the trees, Stone Mountain is one of many natural sites Atlanta has to offer.

Nestled in the trees, Stone Mountain is one of many natural sites Atlanta has to offer.

Stone Mountain. Possibly one of the only mountains in Atlanta, Stone Mountain is a must for anyone with a love of nature (or at least a general liking of it). If you’re looking for a good workout, brave the steep, 825-foot trek up the side of the mountain. The view from the top makes the sweat and burn to get there totally worth it. Of course, if you’re feeling a little weak (or just especially lazy), you can take the Summit Skyride and get to the stunning view faster. The lift will also get you closer to the Confederate memorial carving on the side of the mountain. Along with the natural aspects of the park, there are plenty of family-friendly activities for everyone to enjoy, including rock climbing walls and ropes courses. If you have the opportunity, check out the laser show. My trip to Stone Mountain was only during daylight hours, so I haven’t yet seen the nighttime spectacular but I hear it’s fantastic (and free with your $10 parking fee).

Living Walls. I think anyone can have an appreciation for art, whether it’s their “thing” or not. Living Walls Atlanta is definitely the kind of artsy thing that’s perfect for non-artsy people to enjoy. Summer Hill has a high concentration of murals in one location, but there are others scattered around the city that are worth checking out, too.

There are, of course, a million other things to do and see in Atlanta, but I haven’t gotten to them yet, so you’ll have to figure it out for yourself.

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