A Montage for a Month of Horror

Is it cliche by now to focus on horror movies during October? Wait, don’t answer that – because we don’t care. We love horror films here at RowThree (well, most of us do anyway) and so a good portion of the posts for the next 31 days will be devoted to just that.

So to kick things off, here’s a little video we created set to the tune of “Batcat” by the great band Mogwai…


Bob Turnbull
Critical Thinker At Large


  1. I caught this earlier at your site. Awesome job, Bob! I especially appreciated the inclusion of Jigoku, Audition and Vampyr.

    I myself am kicking off October right tonight with Empire of Passion.

  2. Love. You did such a great job editing and pacing this, Bob. Now I'm getting all excited to dive into my horror selections for the month – got House of Wax (Vincent Price) and 28 Weeks Later from Netflix today, will have The Girl Who Knew Too Much on Monday, and Cinefamily starts off their William Castle series with 13 Ghosts tonight – with ghost viewers and everything!

  3. No, I haven't. I saw Days awhile back and didn't love it (I was still working through my dislike of zombie movies), so I didn't rush out to see Weeks. Now that I like zombie movies, I'm ready to check it out, and it was near the top of my must-see list this October.

  4. Greg at Cinema Styles has a great piece about that opening scene of 28 Weeks Later. Jandy, don't read it until you've watched the movie.

    Thanks for the comments…Marc, I could've picked scenes from most of the last half hour of Jigoku. Once that movie arrives in Hell, it is seriously messed up.

    I guess I was heavy on Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Cure, Pulse, Seance, Retribution – but for good reason…And if you love the Hammer, you gotta love those Amicus films as well.

    Have fun with House of Wax Jandy! And Mike, I hope Session 9 works its magic on ya.

  5. God Bless you, Bob, for pointing out that article. There is a man who understands 28 Weeks Later… and the wonderful and disturbing 'family dissolution' horror that it is. That opening scene, both the epic cinematography, and the supreme moral/love failure is indeed fucking scary shit!

    • That article sums up the movie exactly. The opening ten minutes or so is probably the scene of the year (2007) and is the best scene of both films. But he's right in pointing out that the rest of the film doesn't come close to living up to it. Which is a real shame. If the rest of the movie lived up to it, it would be an instant classic. Unfortunately after that amazingness, the film takes a long LONG breath for a set up of the rest of the plot which is, having now seen it about 5 times, lacking in payoff.

      There are small pockets and moments of pretty cool shots, but the story and excitement on screen doesn't hold a candle to the original. The opening scene is gritty, minimalist and presents ideas and moral dilemmas at a lightning quick, heart pounding pace. The rest of the film (again, aside from a few small pockets) is a glossy chase movie (from the military more than from zombies unfortunately) that is really just schlocky.

  6. Thanks for the link, Bob. I won't read it until I've watched the film, I promise. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I'm excited to now; Greg writes some great stuff. I need to remember check in over there more often. His videos/screencaps are always wonderful, too.

  7. Nice montage. Knew a lot, but didn't know a lot as well. What were the movies that has the girl hanging and she was moving around? Also, the one where the guy falls into the small bucket of blood? It's at the 4:06 mark. Is that Retribution? Cure is AMAZING!!

  8. I remember I hated 28 Days Later and loved Weeks. Then, I went back to watch 28 Days again and was blown away on how amazing it was. I like it a lot more than Weeks (which is good too).

  9. Thanks Reelist…The film with the twitching hanging woman is "Reincarnation" by Takashi Shimizu (director of the Ju-On Grudge films). It got a bit lost in the "8 Films To Die For" series, but is a really well done slice of horror delivering some scares as well as creepiness. I took a number of clips from it actually.

    The woman in red crashing down on the guy into the bucket is indeed from Kurosawa's "Retribution". I remember the film didn't get much acclaim at the time, but I loved it.

    All hail 28 Weeks Later!

  10. THanks! Not too many people know about Jigoku (which paints a horrifying picture of Hell) and also "Onibaba."

    Can you name some of the ones out of that montage that really stand out as good horror movies. There are some in there that look pretty good.

    Diabolique is AMAZING!!

    I have seen Suspiria, Cure, Jigoku, Onibaba, Changeling, Night of the Living Dead, Diabolique, Audition, and a few others.

    Thanks again!

  11. Well, I kinda like everything from that montage…B-)

    Given your list, give these a shot:

    Acacia – A slow burn of a film that ends up in a horrific place.

    Bay of Blood, Black Sabbath, Black Sunday, Kill Baby Kill – Mario Bava is an amazing stylist. Doesn't always give a rat's ass about plot, but he knows how to create images that burn into your brain. Bay of Blood is considered the root ancestor of slasher films.

    Deep Red – Argento's other masterpiece. A bit more giallo, but chock full of great scenes and amazing compositions.

    House Of The Devil – A recent favourite here at RowThree. It's all about the build up.

    Kwaidan – Masaki Kobayashi's supremely gorgeous film probably won't terrify you, but it's a glorious work of art.

    Peeping Tom – The film that almost destroyed Michael Powell's career because it was considered too dangerous, filthy and just plain immoral. Well, actually, it did kinda destroy his career.

    Pulse – Possibly my favourite horror film of all time, the atmosphere of this film is oppressive and matches its theme of human isolation to a 'T'. Though I haven't seen the American "remake", I doubt it's even in the same ballpark.

    Reincarnation – I would love to hear more opinions on this little lost gem.

    Seance – I think this was initially made for TV, but it has some extraordinarily effective moments. Kurosawa played with sound (and the absence of it) like nobody since some of the great Japanese filmmakers of the 60s (Hiroshi teshigahara comes immediately to mind).

    Session 9 – Maybe rot can chime in on this one…

  12. Looks like I have some adding to do to my queue.

    I'm one of the ones who really hated on Session 9. Didn't care for it at all.

    Thank you for the suggestions.

    Kwaidan was good, but I thought it was going to be a tad bit better. You are right that it is a glorious work of art. Harakiri is one of my favorite films of all time and Human Condition is amazing as well (not horror movies).

    House of the Devil was good as well.

  13. Session 9 didn't work for you? Too bad…That's usually a sure fire winner.

    Harakiri is phenomenal – yeah, I would rank it WAY up there in my list of favourites. Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion is almost as good. I still haven't watched Human Condition yet – it's been sitting on my shelf gathering bits of dust. The 9 hour run time is intimidating, but I fully expect to be drawn right into it within no time at all.

    A really fine Italian horror that I didn't have access to is The House With Laughing Windows by Pupi Avati – I need to revisit that one myself.

  14. Just finished watching House of Wax. I enjoyed it, but I did have one major problem with it: No Glenda Farrell. I have decided I prefer The Mystery of the Wax Museum, Vincent Price notwithstanding. Thankfully, it's on the same Netflix disc, so I get to watch it again. Bob, looks like you give the edge to House of Wax, digging up the comments on my last year's horror post where we talked briefly about Mystery of the Wax Museum.

  15. So I watched Session 9 and I guess the sign of a good horror film is I spent an hour in bed creeped out and unable to sleep. Its not what I expected at all… its not a perfect film by any stretch, Anderson continues to have problems with characterization, and like The Machinist if there is supposed to be any suspense about what is happening to the protagonist than it is poorly done… but the situation is scary, the use of sound is really fucking good (the 2 times I got chills were from use of sound). It is very much Blair Witch meets The Shining in tone and story. I am one of those people who found Blair Witch terrifying (I had trouble sleeping nights afterwards) so as horror Session 9 was playing in the right territory to freak me out.

  16. Session 9 did not tickle my scary bone as much as I hoped it would; there were some interesting moments, but overall I was not all that invested in the characters, so I did not care much when it all came to a head. Also, David Caruso is terrible.

    Did anyone happen to watch the Session 9 special features? There was an element that originally existed throughout the entire film, but was cut out after the film was done. I thought it made the film worse, so it was the right call, but it was interesting they had something in there that effectively changed the film entirely and only cut it out after everything was done.

  17. Agreed Mr. Rot, I really, really enjoyed that film. I love Woody; he's one of those guys that I enjoy in pretty much everything.

  18. Sound is such a critical element to horror – one of the reasons why I like many of the J-Horror films. In particular "Pulse". I find too many modern horror films overdo the sound and assault the senses. A good example was "Inisidious" from Midnight Madness at this year's TIFF. Not a bad film – some nifty moments in it to be sure – but the way they used music to over-amp so many of the situations totally removed any tension from those scenes.

    I'm not a big fan of the characters in Session 9 either, but found them a whole lot more interesting than Vanishing On 7th Street. I did feel a certain amount of sympathy for the main character Gordon (played by Peter Mullan) – I think he very effectively played a man wrestling with demons, even if you knew where the story was going or what had previously happened. The star of the movie is the building though.

    Anderson can do character though – I think his best is Next Stop Wonderland and that is solely based on the characters (and the fact that I'm hopelessly smitten with Hope Davis).

    Keith, I can't remember if I went through the special features or not. If I did, I don't remember that specific element they cut out. What was it? You can't put some spoiler tags around it if necessary…

  19. Jandy, yeah I guess I gave the edge to the 50s version of Wax, but not by much. You're description of the 30s version is spot on and it is more fun than one might expect. I like Andre de Toth's 50s version because of Price, of course, and the added colour. The technicolor of the older version was indeed quite lovely, but the added palette for the 50s version just nudged it ahead. Then again, the older version has Fay Wray and that's a huge plus.

    So we recommend both!

  20. That's a nifty little festival David! Love the Argento pick. I just saw Critters the other night for the first time – not great (nor really very scary), but a reasonably fun mid-80s creature film. And it stars Dee Wallace and M. Emmet Walsh, so it can't be all bad.

  21. Yeah it should be a fun weekend. I've not seen Crystal Plumage yet, so I'm looking forward to that. I noticed the Critters write-up on your blog. I've seen it before when I was a teenager and I can remember quite enjoying it. I actually bought the full 'quadrilogy' for next to nothing recently for a bit of a nostalgia fix, but not got round to watching them (as usual). Leonardo DiCaprio is in one of the sequels which should be fun to see especially considering how carefully he seems to pick his roles these days.

  22. There were 4 Critters movies?! I was pretty sure there was second one, but I didn't realize they went that deep. It was entertaining – I probably came across a bit too negative on my post. I'll try to consolidate some of those items in a couple of October posts here as well…

    There's a short scene from Crystal Plumage in the montage – I expect you'll be able to pick it out when you see the film. A pretty solid Giallo with a couple of great scenes.

  23. Just watched "The Beyond" last night and pretty much hated it. I can now say I'm not a fan of Fulci. Argento is much better and he isn't all that great either. I feel Fulci relies on shock factor more than anything. How many times are you going to show someone getting their face squeezed and eyeballs popping out?!? I hated Zombi 2. I'm sure some of you like this movie, but I just don't know. Very poor. Actually the opening scene was really good, but fell flat extremely quick after that.

  24. I don't actually remember much from The Beyond (though I vaguely remember the opening being good). I haven't had a whole lot of luck with Fulci yet either – haven't seen Zombi 2 (was thinking of rectifying that this month), but two of his earlier giallos ("Lizard In A Woman's Skin" and "Don't Torture A Duckling") didn't quite do it for me. Both OK, but nothing overly memorable. Except, that is, the final death scene in the latter film – simply one of the funniest uses of a dummy as a body I've seen.

    Here's the clip (it kinda spoils the end of the movie by the way) –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjV7oWtsf-w


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