#31DH: October 22, 2015 – Eraserhead

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Synopsis: Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

Impressions:I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with David Lynch.  His films are so interesting that it keeps you attention for the whole film, and at the end you felt like you wasted your time, because you do not understand what you just saw.  The black and white filmography, acting, sound, and story is a beauty to experience as well as a horrific experience.

Social Message:  One thing i picked up on was just the hardships of being a parent.  Having a child (disability or not) is a difficult task to achieve.  When Henry’s girlfriend can’t handle the child and leaves henry is alone to take care of it.  Throughout the film, certain things like dating, work, etc. are difficult for him to do because he has a child to take care of.  As a parent, I am grateful that my wife is my partner in trying to raise a child.  I also have a lot of respect (more so now after watching this film) for single parents who do their best to raise their child.

#31DH: October 21, 2015 – Ginger Snaps

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Synopsis: Two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf.

Impressions:  What a creepy, gem of a movie.  It was hard for me to appreciate the horror aspect of the film, while i am being beaten by the message of the film.  As much as this film is laced heavily with a social commentary, it ended up becoming a film to enjoy once but have no means of revisiting.

Social Message:  Where do i begin?  One theme you see is it is heavily influenced with feminism.  Werewolves have historically played by men.  Going back to the Lon Cheney jr.’s version, he was a small, wimpy man, who became a strong, angry, masculine beast.  Ginger, when she begins her transformation, is empowered by her feminine prowess.  Even when you look at her family dynamics, the male figure, says little to nothing at all.  Females have the power and any male authority figure who tries to intervene get’s killed.

The other element that i picked-up on was ho much a change to adolescence is hell.  When Ginger gets her period (and attacked by a werewolf). she begins to change into what is expected from becoming a woman.  experimentation with drugs, sex, looks, etc.  This disease is something that she has a love/hate relationship.  The dynamics between Brigitte and Ginger are also strained as bridget, who has not have her period (not bitten by a wolf), is at odds with her sister and does not want to change like her sister does

#31DH: October 20th, 2015 – Ju-On 2

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Synopsis: As their curse spreads on all around, the ghosts find their chance to live once again through the pregnancy of a cursed woman.

Impressions:  In the mid-2000s, americans were remaking Japanese horror films.  two of the most notable ones were Ringu (the Ring) and Ju-on (the grudge).  During this time i would watch both the american and the japanese versions.  With Ju-on, the Japanese version was 1,000 times better than the american one.  With Ju-on 2, it was good but a lot of it i’ve seen before in the grudge 2.  Ju-on was so much better with it’s different story lines, where Ju-on 2 hit on the same vibe as it’s predecessor but was more linear which i thought took the charm out of the series.

Social Message:  With the Grudge series, there is this theme of unrest for those who died with having some kind of grievance (a grudge).  the message is that if we have some kind of anger, grievance, grudge, etc. towards someone, that it’s best to reconcile it.  As a counselor, i have known people who have lost loved ones while still harboring some kind of anger to them but now they can not tell them how they feel because they are gone.  This usually effects the client in a negative way as they continue to deal with guilt, and anger with no way for reconciliation with the accused.  So if you have any anger towards someone, try to reconcile it quickly.

#31DH: October 19, 2015 – Dead Silence

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Synopsis: A widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife’s murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist.

Impressions: A new scary doll that rivals Chucky.  The story was something new and the plot continued to thicken a bit, but in the end, it was another wasted effort of trying to get scares then tell a great story.

Social Message:  N/A

#31DH: October 18, 2015 – The Woman in Black

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Synopsis: A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

Impressions: The movie had some big buzz being the first film that Radcliffe was in after Harry Potter was done.  As much as I enjoyed his work in this film, I did not find this film interesting.  The story was new but i felt the execution was not there.

Social Message:  Arther is still grieving over his wife’s death.  To the point that it his heavily effecting him at his job.  The fact that the woman in black was someone who was terrorizing a bunch of people who had lost children/love ones symbolizes the fact that sometimes we cannot let go of our love ones who are gone.  It is a fact that when we can not let go our those who have passed, they end up haunting us to the point of our lives being deteriorated.

#31DH: October 17th, 2015 – The Monster Squad

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Synopsis: A young group of monster fanatics attempt to save their hometown from Count Dracula and his army of monsters.

Impressions:  This was missed on my radar of classic 80s films like Lost boys, Goonies, etc.  This film had the same charm as these films with a bit more heart.The dialogue is heavy with 80s cheese, but it was good, fun family fright of a film.

Social Message: Monsters are not always portrayed as the Draculas and Wolfmen of the world.  In the film you have seen a lot of different monsters in subtle forms.  One of the most obvious one is when the kids are at the scary german guys house and ask him if he had seen monsters.  HE said yes and when he shut the door, you say a number tattooed on his forearm which tells us he is a survivor of the Holocaust.  The less subtle one was Sean’s parents fighting and pending divorce.  Even when Dracula was at Sean’s house you can see the luggage in the background alluding to Sean’s mom leaving.  Don’t be looking for monsters in crazy murderers or zombie, but look for them in the everyday subtleties.

#31DH: October 16, 2015 – Halloween (2007)

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Synopsis: After being committed for 17 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution (where he was committed as a 10 year old) and he immediately returns to Haddonfield, where he wants to find his baby sister, Laurie. Anyone who crosses his path is in mortal danger.

Impressions:  Like most remakes, the viewers is always comparing how it lives up to the original.  Watching this, I like the focus on the backstory of young Myers as a kid, going through his psych evaluations, escaping, and terrorizing the neighborhood.  Beyond that, i thought this film was not done well.  It seemed like Zombie, wanted to focus on the grit and gore of the story, and not build up much suspense.

Social Message:  From the beginning of the film, you see how Michael’s homelife effected his worldview, an with being constantly picked on by the live-in male role model, older sister, and by classmates you can easily see how his fragile young mind begins to crack.  After he is admitted, you slowly start to see the innocence of the boy slowly disappear behind a “mask” which leaves a hollow shell for evil to dwell in.  What we can learn is that we don’t know what kind of experiences people have when they are away from us, so make every opportunity to show love to all.  Even a simple smile, or a friendly hello can speak volumes.

#31DH: October 15, 2015 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

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Synopsis: A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

Impressions:  For an older film, it was pretty interesting to see the horror of the different acting and special effects.  It moved at a nice pace and really made you feel sorry for the Dr. Miles.

Social Message: I got a Mental Health awareness vibe from watching this.  At first, when people were talking about not feeling themselves or afraid they were going to be taken away, the Dr. would give medicine and say that they were being crazy.  Eventually, in the end, when he is telling people to not go into town because of the people, they were ignoring him, and thinking he was crazy.  You can view this as, we should change our cultural viewpoint on mental health, or that medicine will make people feel not like themselves.

#31DH: October 14th, 2015 – Horns

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Synopsis: In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to find strange horns sprouting from his temples.

Impressions: It was slow going at first, but then it started to pick-up some speed.  It had an interesting concept that that didn’t fit together well in the end.  An interesting movie to see, but nothing that will make a lasting impression.

Social Message: One of the many themes is how when someone is accused of something, instead of them being innocent until proven guilty, we make people guilty until their innocence can be proven.  Even when the accused tries to do the right thing, many people will continue to see them guilty.  eventually, it changes people who are good to be evil. because that is what society wants them to be.

#31DH: October 13th, 2015 – Apartment 143

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Synopsis: A team of parapsychologists sets out to investigate a series of anomalous phenomena taking place in a newly occupied apartment

Impressions:  I thought that this film was going to be the same paranormal films with it’s cheap scares and grainy film effects.  However, this film has a lot more depth going on in, that makes it a film to not only scare you but to figure out the mystery that the parapsychologist are trying to solve.

Social Message:  Ultimately, the psychologist are trying to figure out why a certain family is being haunted.  Through interviews, interactions, and hauntings, you begin to see the hidden dysfunction that causes a lot of heartache for this family.  Sometimes are actions have consequences that end up haunting us as we try to move on with our lives.  It is important to reconcile the past before moving on, or you end up taking it with you.