A Cure For Wellness- A Gothic Spectacular

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Visionary director, Gore Verbinski is back with his first horror film since The Ring. 2017’s A Cure for Wellness blends Verbinski’s meticulous attention to detail with elements from gothic and weird fiction. The resulting film contains a few flaws, but overall is a beautiful and unique cinematic experience.

A Cure for Wellness follows ruthless young businessman, Lockhart (Dane DeHaan), on his mission to Switzerland to convince his company’s head to return to his life in New York. Lockhart is the kind of guy who will do anything to achieve a goal, and he isn’t afraid to push people around in order to get what he wants. His arrogance leads him to believe that retrieving his boss will be a simple task, but he quickly discovers the sanitarium is hiding secrets in every corner, most of them related to the water.

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From a technical perspective, A Cure For Wellness is a feast for the eyes. Verbinski’s clear understanding of visual storytelling, creates a tense atmosphere of foreboding that is present in every scene. Whether the camera is following the dizzying movements of a group of white robed dancers, or showing a static image reflected in the eye of an animal bust, there is a grandness created within the frame. His indulgent style is an excellent fit with the dramatic storyline.

As for the story itself, there’s a bit of everything for all types horror fans. Fans of gothic horror will be attracted to the old buildings, incestuous relationships, and the forbidden romance. Those more drawn to Lovecraftian themes will enjoy the slimy creatures, the body horror, and the overall sense of individual oppression by the seemingly larger than life institution.

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The mystery behind the water in A Cure For Wellness is compelling, but a bit predictable. Chances are, most viewers will figure out what’s going on, pretty fast. That doesn’t make the film less enjoyable, just don’t expect to be shocked. It’s also a little on the long side, but because Lockhart is learning more and more with each scene, it doesn’t seem slow or boring. However, it might upon repeat viewings.

The film is at its very best when it relies on the creepiness of the characters and the cult-like mindset of the institution. The weird water based treatments, the polite but stiff staff, and the zombified patients in white are what makes the movie so spine chilling.

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The film is at its worst when ventures beyond the atmospheric and the psychological. The climax boils down to a physical fistfight between Lockhart and a character that basically transforms into Skeletor (No spoilers, here.). For a film that spent two hours being so thought provoking, it seems jarring and out of place for a high action scene to occur. For some this borderline comedic resolution may ruin the film. For others it’ll just seem like a sizeable bump in the road.

A Cure For Wellness is likely to be on many top 10 lists for 2017. Even though, it contains some significant blemishes, it still possesses many brilliant qualities. Like Crimson Peak, its gothic aesthetic and precise performances more than make up for its basic storyline. Verbinski may not have created a genre masterpiece, but A Cure For Wellness still way exceeds most studio horror productions.

8 Yandere Girls That Will Stab Their Way Into Your Heart

Yandere – Yandere is a type of character trope in anime. These girls start out as cute, but go totally psychotic when they fall in love. Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect time to shine the spotlight on these violent vixens.

Note: These are not ranked in any particular order, and there are plenty of spoilers.

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1. Yuno Gasai – Mirai Nikki/Future Diary

Abusive parents, traveling between parallel universes, and competing in a survival game are definitely contributing factors, but what really brings out the homicidal in Yuno, is Yukiteru Amano. The premise of Future Diary is that 12 contestants must kill each other in order to become the god of time and space. They are given a diary that gives them information about the future. Each person’s diary is tailored to their own personality and style. Yuno’s diary keeps track of Yuki and all of his actions. Yuno is prepared to kill anyone, to protect Yuki and their love. Fortunately for Yuno, Yuki warms up to her terrifying methods of expressing her devotion.

Most Yandere Moment: When she force feeds Yuki in her underwear, in a dark room next to her dead parents.

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2. Lucy – Elfen Lied

Lucy is a Diclonius, meaning that she is part of a new powerful species, that poses a massive threat to humans. She has seen very little kindness in her life, so when she made friends with young Kouta, she resorted to violence of Carrie level proportions in order to keep him.

Most Yandere Moment: When she decapitates Kouta’s father and tears his sister in half.

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3. Toko Fukawa- Danganronpa

Toko seems like a shy, reserved girl. She is a young romance novelist with a large amount of success, but underneath it all she is a deadly serial killer known as Genocide Jack. Genocide Jack only comes out when Toko becomes obsessed with a boy. In the anime, Toko lapses into her Genocide Jack personality when she sneezes or faints. Keep a tissue and a straight jacket handy!

Most Yandere Moment: Genocide Jack is known to crucify her victims with her Genoscissors.

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4. Kaede Fuyou- Shuffle

Shuffle is a pretty standard harem anime, but it’s one of the first harems to include a yandere. Kaede Fuyou is pretty, talented, and athletic. Unfortunately she’s also insecure, self loathing, and suffering from a bad case of unrequited love. When her crush/roommate Rin gets a girlfriend, she snaps. She goes as far as to try and murder Asa, Rin’s girlfriend in order to eliminate the competition.

Most Yandere Moment: Kaede does pretty much all the household cooking. That’s fine except for that time she was intensely stirring an empty pot with an expression of pure madness on her face.

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5. Misa Amane- Death Note

Crazy attracts crazy in Death Note. Misa and her love, Light prove that. Misa is a popular young model/actress, who’s not afraid to go after what she wants. She has a cute gothic style and a bubbly personality, but many consider her to be annoying. Misa devotes herself to Light, after he kills the man who murdered her family. Both Light and Misa are able to hold the lives of others in their hands. This makes them a deadly combination. Although Misa is willing to do anything for Light, but Light feels nothing for her. I’d compare their relationship to the one between Harley Quinn and the Joker.

Most Yandere Moment: Misa tells Light that she’ll kill any other girl he shows an interest in. Little does she know, Light was planning to kill her after she ceases to be useful.

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6. Kotonoha Katsura – School Days

Kotonoha, seems like she has it all. She’s beautiful, rich, and charming. However, she’s hiding a seriously sinister side. At the beginning of the series, she is quiet and polite, and always seems to be alone. Then she starts dating Makoto and it’s all downhill from there. When their relationship begins falling apart, Kotonoha becomes desperate. She started out as a prude, but in order to keep Makoto she transforms into a straight up nymphomaniac. She even encourages Makoto’s other yandere love, Sekai, to get an abortion. She also does crazy shit like pretending to talk to Makoto on the phone, when no one is on the other end.

Most Yandere Moment- In order to prove Sekai was lying about her pregnancy, Kotonoha stabs her in the stomach then goes digging for a baby. Then she sails into the sunset with Makoto’s severed head.

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7. Sekai Saionji – School Days

Sekai may act like a sweet tomboy, who only wants her best friend Makoto to be happy. Go beneath the surface, and she’s a manipulative bitch, pulling strings to get Makoto and Kotonoha to do as she wants. Sekai is the one who initially sets them up, she gives them relationship advice, then she steals him from her. When Makoto wants to got back to Kotonoha, she pretends she’s pregnant to force him into staying with her.

Most Yandere Moment: Sekai texts Makoto “goodbye” before stabbing the hell out of him.

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8. Yuka Minase- 11 Eyes

Yuka and Kakeru met as children, they grew up together at an orphanage. Like many other yanderes, Yuka is kind and reserved but has a jealous side that is powerful when unleashed. Yuka is so powerful that she creates a whole world just for her and Kakeru. Unfortunately, this new world is populated by pretty girls that love Kakeru.

Most Yandere Moment: When Yuka decides, Kakeru is getting a little too close to Misuzu, she hides a razorblade in her tea.

Do you agree with my list? Who else would you add? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

Rings- Too Little, Too Late

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Rings, the third film in the American Ring franchise comes more than a decade after The Ring 2. Like the first two films, Rings focuses on a cursed video tape, and the mythology surrounding it. Since it’s 2016, one might expect Rings to focus on social media, and the way a video can go “viral”. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Instead, the movie delves deeper into the history of the tape, creating a boring, disjointed narrative.

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Rings follows two college aged students (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz and Alex Roe) that become involved with the tape and the mystery of Samara. When Holt (Roe) begins attending college, he is convinced to watch the tape by his professor, Gabriel (Johnny Galecki). Gabriel believes the tape provides absolute proof of life after death, and he has created a club dedicated to watching and spreading it. While the tape is a sure death sentence, that death can be avoided if you have someone else watch it. Julia (Lutz) watches the tape to save Holt. After that she begins experiencing visions of Samara, the legendary girl from the tape. These visions, accompanied by clues from the tape lead Holt and Julia to the small town where Samara was born. The couple struggle to put the pieces together, before it’s too late.

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Rings has some intriguing stuff in it. The idea of a club being built around the tape is a good one. The film also shows the innovative ways the tape can be viewed and shared. However, these aspects of the movie are minor and are never given enough time to fully develop. Instead, all of the emphasis is put on Samara and her history. The 2002 Gore Verbinski film did an excellent job of detailing Samara’s story, Rings only adds details that are both unnecessary and confusing. In the final act, Rings attempts to redeem itself by adding a plot twist involving Vincent D’Onofrio. Unfortunately, it falls flat.

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In addition to the details of the story, the film suffers from a distinct lack of worthy characters. Julia and Holt lack personality. Their love story feels hollow. There’s just nothing there to make the viewer feel attached to them. The film would be much better, if it followed Gabriel the professor, and his obsession with the tape.

Finally, there’s Samara herself. She’s a creepy character by nature. However, Rings attempts to make her more menacing by adding excessive makeup and CGI. She’s reduced to a silly parody of the Samara/Sadako fans have come to know and love.

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Rings isn’t a terrible film, it’s just boring. The plot is too tedious. On the surface it seems like the story makes sense, but it can be picked apart with ease. It does nothing to enhance or further the franchise. Rings played it too safe. Director, F. Javier Gutierrez attempted to copy the format of the Verbinksi film, but had little success. The end result is another sloppy, paint by numbers horror film.

 

Split- M. Night is officially back!

Every horror fan knows that M. Night Shyamalan has had a rocky career. He’s hit some high highs, but unfortunately he’s also hit some extreme lows. In 2015 he gave us the Wayward Pines series, which I’ve yet to finish, but showed promise. He also released The Visit which falls into a weird gray area where it manages to be both awesome and awful. His latest film, Split places him firmly back into good filmmaker territory, well at least for now.

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Split follows a teen outcast (Anya Taylor-Joy) and two of her classmates (Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula) that are captured by a man with multiple personalities (James McAvoy). The girls must figure out how to stay alive, and how to protect themselves from their attacker’s 24 identities.

Split relies on heavy tension and well crafted characters to hold the viewer hostage until the very end. Each one of McAvoy’s personalities is unique and feels like an actual person, or perhaps even something supernatural. He sheds personas with ease, allowing him to shift back and forth between characters. Like his captives, the audience is left waiting for him to snap and change into someone or something else.

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The film tackles issues of mental illness and abuse with an unexpected level of compassion. Split makes you feel for McAvoy’s character, even as he commits horrific crimes. There is great deal of debate about whether Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder even exists. For the purposes of Split, DID is both a gift and a burden. McAvoy’s character, possesses a multitude of talents, due to the diverse nature of his personalities. However, it makes life difficult for him, as he essentially has 24 identities competing for control, and some of them have bad intentions. In addition to DID, Split also delves into abuse. Both the protagonist and the antagonist are victims of child abuse. This is intriguing, because in a sense it makes them kindred spirits, who have wound up on different paths.

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Split is a great theatrical horror film to kick off 2017. It’s smart, it has fully developed characters, and one hell of an ending. Hopefully M. Night can keep producing quality work like Split.

 

Speed Date Through The Apocalypse

One of the best parts of living in Southern California is we are in the heart of the haunt, horror, and Halloween community. This a place where many live like it’s Halloween everyday. Honestly, who wouldn’t want it to be Halloween every day? Being in Southern California gives us the ability to attend and experience macabre events unlike anywhere else. So, when the team here at All Hallows’ Haunts found out that Serial Killer Speed Dating and The Bunker Experience, two of our favorite events, are teaming up together, we were filled with blood soaked joy.

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The Bunker Experience is a fully immersive post-apocalyptic escape room and mini maze, filled with mutated villains trying to prevent your escape. For this special event, Serial Killer Speed Dating will be hosting a special speed dating segment where participants will receive special clues to help them through the Bunker. It’s really important to note that while Serial Killer Speed Dating is hosting the speed dating portion, the speed dating is not serial killer speed dating.

Per their joint email that went out earlier this week: “Speed date with like-minded singles in the dystopian future deep in underground Old Pasadena. The evening starts with speed dating, where you’ll all be given clues as to how to survive the night, before being ushered into The Bunker Experience’s outstanding escape room and haunted maze. This one’s a doozy, people. It has a 20% success rate. Good luck.”

(Photo by The Bunker Experience)

The best part is that tickets for this amazing evening of fun, romance, fright, and adventure are just $39.95. Tickets include full entry to both speed dating and the escape room. Plus you will get access to a hidden bar, right across the street from The Bunker Experience and enjoy a 30% discount on drinks. Tickets can be bought at https://the-bunker-experience.ticketleap.com/speed-dating-in-an-escape-room/ and it’s recommended that you buy tickets early as they can sell out.

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This awesome event will take place every Friday night at 8pm in February at Bunker Experience- 20 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, Ca 91103.

The Bunker Experience, which first opened during the 2015 Halloween season, now runs year round. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit them online at http://www.thebunkerexperoence.com . You can also follow them on Twitter- @BunkerEx . Serial Killer Speed Dating made its debut at ScareLA 2015 and has been touring all over Southern California since. You can find more info about all SKSD events at http://www.serialkillerspeeddating.com and follow them on Twitter- @SKSpeedDating.

You can also read our past review of The Bunker Experience here https://allhallowshaunts.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/will-you-escape-the-bunker-experience/ and our review of Serial Killer Speed Dating here https://allhallowshaunts.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/serial-killer-speed-dating-spring-fever-edition/

Be sure to follow All Hallows’ Haunts here and on twitter-@HallowsHaunts, for more information of Halloween, horror, and haunt events in Southern California.

(Main Postcard by Serial Killer Speed Dating/The Bunker Experience)

Lola’s Top Ten Worst Films of 2016

While 2016 was mostly a good year for the horror genre, there were still some major flops that slipped through the cracks. My list consists of the films that were not necessarily the worst, but the ones that I found most annoying. I’ve ranked them accordingly.

disappoint5.jpg10. The Disappointments Room

There isn’t much to say here. I think Wentworth Miller had some sort of gothic trope check list that he used to create this script. The sad thing is, he’s an excellent writer. Stoker is a favorite of mine. If you want to see a good gothic thriller starring Kate Beckinsale, I’d go with Stonehurst Asylum.

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9. Holidays

There have been some great anthology films of late. Unfortunately, Holidays falls into the weird and stupid category next to The ABCs of Death. The best segment of the batch is the Kevin Smith one, but even Smith’s piece seems lacking. The worst one is the Saint Patrick’s Day one, which crams a shitty 90 minute film into about 15 minutes.

171610088-7213fc65-1b44-41b3-a847-68a42f5b4325.jpg8. Green Room

I know many of you are going to disagree with me about this one. I liked the director’s first film, Blue Ruin, but Green Room seemed sloppy and nonsensical. It was drastically underlit, and I frequently couldn’t tell where the characters were in relation to one another. I’m also confused as to why this massive group of white supremacists couldn’t wipe out a few punk rockers. Finally, I have to talk about Patrick Stewart. His performance was almost unwatchable. He mumbles his way through the whole damn movie, like he’s sedated or something.

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7. Intruder

If I were ranking these films based on how poorly they were made, Intruder would be at the very top. This Netflix original had little to offer except unintended laughs. The most cringe worthy scenes are the ones where Moby attempts to act. Also, why can’t that girl see her stalker when he’s standing right next to her while she’s in the shower? She better get her peripheral vision checked.

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6. The Purge: Election Year

The Purge is a fun concept, and I enjoyed the first film and parts on Anarchy. However, Election Year just took it way too far. I didn’t hate this film, but it was just trying too hard. There were moments and characters I enjoyed, but the film as a whole felt like silly political propaganda.

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5. Ghostbusters

Ok, so Ghostbusters isn’t a horror movie, but horror sites covered the hell out of it and it has ghosts. To be honest, I couldn’t sit through the entirety of this film. The jokes fell flat as a pancake, and the characters made my flesh crawl. Whoever thought this script was good must’ve had their streams crossed.

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4. Morgan

This film had so much potential to be smart and scary. Instead, audiences were forced to endure some needless action scenes and an obvious plot twist.

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3. Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever gets the award for most pointless remake of 2016. Ever wonder what would happen if you took the exact same script, and reshot it with different actors? Yeah, neither did anyone else.

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2. Blair Witch

The Blair Witch happens to be one of my very favorite films. When I heard about the new film, I was pretty excited. The trailer looked good, and I knew it was in the capable hands of Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a messy, confusing rehash of the original. Dumbest part of the movie? The drone, definitely the drone. They set it up to be an important part of the film, and then did nothing with it, what a waste.

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1. The Darkness

This film is so rubbish, it’d be comical if it wasn’t so sad. The trailer offered promise of an unusual ghost story, with Anasazi gods at the heart of it. Unfortunately, the Anasazi gods were only a minor part of the film. Instead, the audience was forced to endure haunted house 101 gimmicks, and a family that is full of dysfunction and low on likability. Kevin Bacon, you can do so much better.

 

 

A Special AHH Anniversary!

12670167_10153237045047750_5102022318822753542_n.jpgThe very first AHH meeting.

As of yesterday, All Hallows’ Haunts hit our one year anniversary. It’s been a crazy and wonderful year for us. We’ve got to do so many things and meet a variety of new friends from the horror community. In 2016, we got to experience Midsummer Scream, Scare LA, Stan Lee’s Comic Con, Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm, and so much more. Andy and our Force of Nature friend, Sebastian Munoz built the Fallen Saints haunt from the ground up. Lola transformed into every creature under the moon for the ghoulish theatre experience, Urban Death. Finally, our little claws typed numerous articles on topics both delightfully spooky and frighteningly disturbing.

12049186_10153073784827750_6124095253612958666_n.jpgThe AHH founders with our friend, Vincent.

When we started this journey, we didn’t have a clue. Each step has been a learning process, and we’re still growing. However, there is one thing that has remained consistent, and that is our supporters. We’ve received so much love from the horror community. That love drives us to do more, to be better. That love has radiated from every dark, cobwebbed corner. So we want to say thank you. Thank you for engaging us at conventions, thank you for reading and sharing our content, and thank you so much for your kindness.

13422340_1754294864783083_5834912263037025618_o.jpgAndy and Lola with our friends, Sebastian and Adam.

In 2017, we intend to stay focused, and to expand our reach. We’d like to try our hand at other forms of media, in addition to the ones we already use. We’re undergoing some big changes right now, and it may be awhile before we feel settled. We ask that you stick with us and provide honest feedback. As the site mutates and develops, we promise to continue supporting Halloween enthusiasts, horror fiends, and other macabre weirdos. This is starting to get so sweet we’re worried about drawing mosquitos, so we’ll close with a final thank you to you, our dear friends.

 

Lola’s Top 5 Episodes of The Twilight Zone

It’s a tradition for the SyFy channel to air a marathon of The Twilight Zone every New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I thought, what better time to countdown my own favorite episodes of Rod Serling’s classic show. I imagine some may be surprised by my picks. Most of my favorite episodes fall into the psychological horror category, and they’re not necessarily the most popular of episodes. However, these are the ones that I believe are the most bone-chilling, the most unsettling. Bottom line, these are the episodes that give me the creeps. Enjoy!

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5. The Hitch-Hiker

I love driving alone in the middle of nowhere. There’s this feeling that anything could happen at any time. It feels a little dangerous, and a tad thrilling. Add in a mysterious stranger lurking on the side of a desolate highway, and you’ve got yourself a situation that is ripe with horror potential. The Hitch-Hiker isn’t especially groundbreaking with its plot twist. However the setting and imagery is darkly poetic, and the lead character’s terror is palpable.

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4. The Masks

I think I love this episode so much, because I just love masks. Masks fall into that wonderfully wacky territory of the uncanny. A mask is an expression of our inner selves. It’s us in the most wild, expressionist way. At the same time, masks are used to hide identity and shield the truth that’s beneath. All of this symbolism, is at the heart of this episode. Let’s just say our protagonist gets his revenge, in the best way possible.

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3.  Perchance to Dream

Dreams are one of the most bizarre, confusing parts of life. There’s so much that we don’t know yet about dreams, so it makes sense that The Twilight Zone would want to tackle this topic. In Perchance to Dream, a horrified man is driven to seek therapy, after a series of dreams in which a beautiful woman is trying to kill him. Unfortunately for him, his dreams are bleeding over into his waking life. This is a super surreal episode, complete with a scene at a carnival. Picture Freddy Krueger as a sexy lady, and you’ve got Perchance to Dream.

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2. The After Hours

I like The After Hours so much that I based my short film, Plastic Bodies on it. There’s something undeniably frightening about mannequins. Mannequins are human, yet not human. They are crude representations of us composed of hollow artificial materials, and disguised in the latest fashions. Now imagine these uncanny monsters were after you. Imagine, that the world as you know it, is not the true reality. That’s what our heroine is up against. This is a theme that The Twilight Zone covered many times, but never with as much finesse as in The After Hours.

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1. Mirror Image

I’ve always had a fascination with dopplegangers. There’s something petrifying about the notion that there’s a sinister double of you wandering around. When I was a child, I had a dream about my doppleganger, and it still freaks me out today. In Mirror Image, the protagonist must come to terms with the possibility that she has a look-alike wandering around, or she’s losing her grip on reality. Perhaps the worst enemy you can have, is yourself?

The All Hallows’ Haunts 2016 Awards

With 2016 almost in the books and 2017 right around the corner, the team here at All Hallows’ Haunts thought it would be fun to look back at what we thought was the best of the best in 2016. So, without further ado, here are the All Hallows’ Haunts 2016 Awards.

Movie

Andy’s Pick- Hush

Lola’s Pick- Train to Busan

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TV Show

Andy’s Pick-  The Exorcist

Lola’s Pick- Stranger Things

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Creepy Album

Andy’s Pick- Metallica- Hardwired To Self-Destruct


Lola’s Pick – Birdeatsbaby- Tanta Furia

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Book

Andy’s Pick- Maggie Goes To Hollywood & Maggie Reloaded by Kate Danley

Lola’s Pick- I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

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Convention

Andy’s Pick- Midsummer Scream 

Lola’s Pick – Midsummer Scream

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Unique Event

Andy’s Pick- Serial Killer Speed Dating

Lola’s Pick- Halloween Club’s 4th Annual Spookshow

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Play

Andy’s Pick- Demonic Housewives

Lola’s Pick – Wicked Lit

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Haunt

Andy’s Pick- Knott’s Scary Farm

Lola’s Pick – Knott’s Scary Farm

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Haunt Show/Attraction

Andy’s Pick- Queen Mary’s Freak Show

Lola’s Pick- Micah Cover’s Haunted House Calls

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Maze

Andy’s Pick- Shadowlands (Knott’s Scary Farm)

Lola’s Pick – Shadow Lands (Knott’s Scary Farm)

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Scare Zone

Andy’s Pick- The Hollows (Knott’s Scary Farm) 

Lola’s Pick – Fiesta de los Muertos

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Lola’s Creepy Christmas Countdown- Part 2

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(I do not own any of the images featured.)

Alright guys, it’s round 2 of my Creepy Christmas Countdown! We’ve reached the top five, and there’s no turning back. Please let me know in the comments or on Twitter what your favorite films of the holiday season are.

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5. Dead End

There are so many reasons to love this movie. From the flesh eating lady in white to the severe psychotic breakdowns, Dead End is the gift that keeps on giving. Dead End follows a family on their way to a holiday gathering. They become lost, and all hell breaks loose as they face their deep-rooted resentments and the evils that lurk in the surrounding forest. You thought your family holidays were hell, just wait until you see what these people end up going through.

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4. Dead of Night- Christmas Party

Dead of Night is one of my all time favorite films. Unfortunately it’s a little tricky to find. I used to have it on dvd, but then I got in a car accident and someone stole my movie case from my car. It’s a long story. Car crashes and theft aside, Dead of Night is well worth seeking out. The Christmas portion of the anthology film is the nightmarish tale of a young girl who attends a party at an old mansion. While playing hide and seek, she ends up finding a young boy who wants her to stay and care for him forever. Like the rest of the film, Christmas Party is understated and provides a lurking dread that is like the falling snow, light but constant.

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3. Gremlins

I don’t like to judge the tastes of others, but if you don’t enjoy Gremlins than you’re just a big Scrooge. Gremlins takes the third spot on my list for its originality, its charm, and for the adorable Gizmo. Although it’s a film that can and should be enjoyed by the whole family, in my book it’s still a horror movie. If you have doubts, just watch that scene where Gizmo first starts spawning furry little demons. If that doesn’t constitute as body horror, then I don’t know what does. As a final word of warning, if you’re planning on getting anyone a gremlin this Christmas, I’d recommend you thoroughly go through all the rules.

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2. Black Christmas

It’s weird to think that Bob Clark directed Black Christmas and A Christmas Story. I guess he had a lot of Christmas to get out of his system. Black Christmas is one of the few slashers where the killer is never fully identified. This makes the film terrifying on a whole different level. My favorite part of watching Black Christmas is trying to discern WTF is going on in those weird phone calls. To this day when the phone rings, I still worry that the call is coming from inside the house.

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1. The Nightmare Before Christmas

For my top favorite creepy Christmas film, I’m going full on cliche. It may be the obvious choice, but that doesn’t make The Nightmare Before Christmas any less brilliant. This movie has everything! It’s got glorious stop-motion, a touching love story, life lessons, and best of all both Christmas and Halloween.