October has arrived, which means that it is time for my yearly marathon of horror films, which over the last few years I have been dubbing simply October Horror Fest. From now until Halloween, I will watch as many horror films as I can. Since I take a hiatus mid-month for Toronto After Dark, I usually end up watching about a dozen films, though I hope to go past twenty this year. I typically only count the films I watch at home, though I also see quite a few theatrical horror offerings in October, which this year includes a Wes Craven retrospective at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Something I am doing new this year is running down some of the films that I plan to watch over the course of the month. I have a shortlist of 25 films prepared and I hope to see at least half of them, though it would also be nice if I could squeeze them all in.
Without further ado, here is my planned October Horror Fest line-up!
- Donnie Darko – As my favourite film, I’ve seen this film way too many times to remember. My latest rewatch of the film will be preparation for an upcoming podcast recording.
First Time Watches
- Suspiria (October Blindspot) – This will be my first time seeing a film by horror master Dario Argento. It’s only fitting that it will be one of his most well known titles.
- Dead Snow – I shall watch the original Nazi zombie film in preparation for the sequel screening at Toronto After Dark
- Father’s Day – After loving The Editor at TIFF, I thought that it was finally time to watch Astron-6’s first feature
- Paranormal Activity 4 – Writing a retrospective column on the series for Toronto Film Scene, so I thought I would catch up with the entries I haven’t seen…
- Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night – …including the non-canonical Japanese-produced spin-off
- From Beyond – Stuart Gordon’s loose adaptation of the short story by H.P. Lovecraft
- Absentia – I’ve been meaning to watch this film, since seeing director Mike Flanagan’s follow-up film Oculus.
- Ravenous – I keep hearing great things about this cannibalism thriller
- Session 9 – This has been a film that has been on my watch list for ages. I hope to finally get to it this year.
- The Blair Witch Project – Hard to believe that it has been 15 years since the release of one of the first (and still probably the best) found footage films. Nothing beats those final five minutes.
- Shaun of the Dead – Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. I will be watching the film for the first time on blu-ray.
- Paranormal Activity – It’s been five years since this film became a surprise Halloween hit. Hence the reason I’m writing a column on the series.
- The Changeling – Saw the film for the first time at the Bell Lightbox last year. Re-watching the film for a column this year.
- Mimic – Recently acquired the director’s cut blu-ray for a film that I already enjoyed, when I watched it for the first time last year.
- The Others – I haven’t seen this ghost story since its theatrical release way back in 2001. Look forward to revisiting this atmospheric and creepy film.
- This is the End – Technically this is comedy, but there are enough horror elements to make this film fit in the line-up.
- Cabin Fever – The only film of Eli Roth’s I’ve watched (and I quite like it)
- The Devil’s Backbone – Might pair this up with Mimic for a Guillermo del Toro double feature
- Friday the 13th (1980) – I have my blu-ray of the film freshly signed by Sean S. Cunningham
- Ginger Snaps – I already watched the freshly released blu-ray, but I like the film enough to watch it again.
- The Innkeepers – I’m a big fan of Ti West’s minimalist ghost story.
- You’re Next – Might re-watch this to coincide with the theatrical release of The Guest next week.
Traditional Closing Films
- Trick ‘r Treat – It has now been five years since this film has become a Halloween staple for me. There’s a sequel coming soon.
- Halloween – I’m considering upgrading the film to blu-ray this year (though I’ll keep my DVD, which is signed by John Carpenter)
Well that’s what I have planned to watch this month. I probably won’t have the time to watch all 25, though I expect to at least get through at least half. You can keep track of my progress through the October Horror Fest on both Twitter and Letterboxd.