Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Scare-A-Thon 2016 has officially come to an end. I successfully achieved the goal of 31 films in October! It was a fun month, but it sure got tricky towards the end. I had a lot to juggle this month and piling 31 movies on the top of it all probably wasn't the best idea. Regardless, it's for a fantastic reason and all worked out! I sincerely thank everyone out there for your support, encouragement and feedback throughout the past 31 days of blood, babes, and beasts.

Below is a brief summary of the month, with links to the full breakdown of each week to satisfy your curiosity. That is, if you are curious. 

Thanks to everyone who pledged and supported this wild endeavor, and to both The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Reach Counseling Services for their incredible and continued work! 

Total Films Watched: 31 (of 31)

First Time Views: 24

Total Amount Raised: $1,313.64 
($656.64 for each organization)

Decades of Horror Watched: 7
1930s, 50s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s

Countries Represented: 10
Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Jordan, Romania, Spain, Turkey, UK, and US

Most Movies in a Day: 3 (10/15)
Psycho II, Psycho III, Undocumented

Sequels Watched: 7

Favorite First Timers:
Baskin, The Nameless, Psycho II, Sauna, Southbound, Undocumented

Most Enjoyable Revisit:
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Least Favorite First Timer: Rob Zombie's 31

Why Did I Watch This Again?:
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and Halloween: Resurrection

Week One Recap

Week Two Recap

Week Three Recap

Week Four Recap


End of the month also means end of the Scare-A-Thon. And how'd I do?! The goal of 31 movies has successfully been achieved! Full recap of the entire month - with total amount raised for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Reach Counseling Services coming very soon.

But first, let's dive into the last round of viewings for the month.

25. UNDER THE SHADOW (2016) - First Time Viewing
Set in the late 1980s, war-torn Iran, a family's life gets shaken as Iraj is called to war, leaving his wife Shideh and their daughter Dorsa at home, while the terrors of the war gets closer to home. However, that's not the only terror they must face, as something possibly more evil begins to creep in.

Working within the one-location setting (although we do get a few other locations briefly), Under The Shadow focuses heavily on atmosphere and tension through isolation. For the most part, it achieves this reasonably well by hitting familiar beats of the haunted house genre, even though this is not a haunted film. Writer/director Babak Anvari utilizes the empty apartment and parental-paranoia to not just craft suspense, but to draw you to Shideh played by Narges Rashidi, who turns in a solid performance.

I greatly enjoyed that this is heavily-rooted in Iranian culture. At the same time, I do believe there was a slight disconnect, or more so that I didn't fully grasp certain moments/aspects. This never felt like an issue, though. I wouldn't say I enjoyed myself any less because I'm not familiar with the culture. Certain elements, including the antagonist, didn't connect as fully as I think they would with an Iranian audience. That said, the film is still effective as being a creepy, self-contained tale regardless of where you live.

Even clocking in at a sleek 84 minutes, things did get slightly stale and redundant. We get glimpses of the neighbors in the apartment building, before they all leave due to a missile threat, which offer a welcomed deviation from the rest of the film. Much of the story revolves around Shideh and Dorsa questioning each other and their home, which is fine, but did become stagnant after a while.

Nonetheless, Under The Shadow is a finely tuned and crafted character-driven piece full of mood. It's simple and effective, and sometimes, that's all you really need.