Introducing Fly After 5's Horror '31 for 31' series

For the past few weeks, the Fly After 5 team’s collective excitement for October has been reaching a fever pitch. In the near future, we’ll have stories about all manner of ghosts, psychics and a few other spooky surprises.

But for me, this month is dedicated to the movies.

For the last few years, I’ve participated in the challenge of watching 31 horror movies for the 31 days of October.  Inspired by a thread on the popular r/movies subreddit (which has since spawned its own garish subreddit, r/horrormoviechallenge), I set out in my junior year of college to see as many horror movies as possible, preferably ones that I hadn’t seen previously. As with most things, it was easier then, due to more free time and my own personal luck with scoring a job behind the counter of Temple University’s massive 16,000+ film lending library. Containing schlock and masterworks alike, it was not difficult to devour the library’s contents.

Now in my fourth year, it’s still just as much fun to set aside horror viewing for one all-encompassing month per year. Each October, I make sure to set a few parameters to keep things interesting:

    1. Try to watch at least one movie in each decade from the ‘30s onwards. Generally speaking, horror films from upwards of six decades old aren’t worth watching for the scare factor, but it’s interesting to see what works as time goes on. For example, “Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages” is a quasi-documentary from 1922 about how hysteria and a lack of simple understanding led to witch hunts. The imagery of the film is still powerful 94 years later, and it’s easy to see that it could have scared the pants off of some Scandinavians back in the day.

  1. Mix up the country of origin. It would be all too easy to just watch the best of what’s come out of America, but it would also be immensely dull. Specific countries have certain eras tied to them that can lead you into a goldmine of choices – think the prime of the Italian giallo period in the ‘70s or the stomach-churning nature of the New French Extremity movement from just a decade ago.

  1. Switch up the sub-genres. One of the main reasons the horror genre inspires such, well, cultish fervor, is that you can do almost anything within the parameters of what is considered horror. Comedy, history-based, western, sci-fi, romance, as well as monsters, body horror, found footage…the opportunities seem limitless because they are.
  1. Finally, try to watch things I’ve never seen. It would probably be just as fulfilling to watch thing I already love, like the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series or “The Thing” or “Don’t Look Now” over and over and fill out 31 spots easily. But as the years have gone on, half the fun has been amassing dozens of new movies, good or bad, that I could experience for the first time (or the first time in a long time).

(For the previous three years worth of lists, skip to the bottom of the page.)

This year, I’ll be cataloging all of these viewing experiences in a new Fly mini-feature each day that I’m dubbing “31 for 31.” Because of how the dates line up, the first two movies will get their due on Monday. My goal for this year is to break out of the habit of solo viewing because, hey, it gets lonely out there for the persistent horror fan. Fly’s list of movie theatre showings will come in handy to assist in that. For each movie, I’ll catalog some useless stats, including a month-long body count, as well as the method in which it was tracked down and related situational information.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably not concerned with how self-serving of an exercise this is. I make no claims of being any sort of horror expert, merely a loving fan of the process and execution of creating an enjoyable scary movie. In a best-case scenario, I will inadvertently inspire someone to watch a movie they had never heard of and make a new fan. Some films will be bad, but hopefully in a way that some good can be culled from the carcass. Feel free to make recommendations and I will gladly add them to my running pool of movies, as long as they’re not “A Serbian Film.”

See you on Monday!

Previous Seasons of the Halloween Movie Challenge

2015

  1. Blair Witch Project (1999)
  2. Pet Semetary (1989)
  3. Body Bags (1993)
  4. Pin (1989)
  5. God Told Me To (1976)
  6. Creepshow 2 (1987)
  7. The Serpent & The Rainbow (1988)
  8. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
  9. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  10. Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)
  11. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978)
  12. Horror Express (1972)
  13. Tales From the Darkside (1990)
  14. Eyes Without a Face (1960)
  15. High Tension (2004)
  16. Silver Bullet (1985)
  17. The Omen (1976)
  18. Crimson Peak (2015)
  19. Haxan (1922)
  20. New Nightmare (1994)
  21. Mother’s Day (1980)
  22. The Innocents (1961)
  23. Candyman (1992)
  24. The Bat (1926)
  25. The Exorcist III (1990)
  26. Scream II (1997)
  27. [REC] (2007)
  28. Cemetery Man* (1994)
  29. Halloween (1978)
  30. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
  31. Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (2010)

 

2014

  1. Children of the Corn (1984)
  2. Carnival of Souls (1962)
  3. Night of the Demon  (1957)
  4. Irreversible (2002)
  5. Pontypool (2008)
  6. Onibaba (1964)
  7. The Phantom Carriage (1921)
  8. Alice Sweet Alice (1976)
  9. The ABCs of Death (2012)
  10. The Changeling (1980)
  11. Perfect Blue (1997)
  12. Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)
  13. Inside (2007)
  14. Wisconsin Death Trip (1999)
  15. Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)
  16. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  17. Dead Alive (1992)
  18. Dead Ringers (1988)
  19. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
  20. Monkey Shrines (1988)
  21. Manos: The Hands of Fate (MST3K) (1966)
  22. Calvaire (2004)
  23. Werewolf (MST3K) (1996)
  24. Hobgoblins (MST3K) (1988)
  25. Horror on Party Beach (MST3K) (1964)
  26. The Last House On The Left (1972)
  27. Fright Night (1985)
  28. Bay of Blood (1971)
  29. Stitches (2012)
  30. Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warrior (1987)
  31. Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

 

2013

  1. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
  2. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
  3. Black Sabbath (1963)
  4. Freaks (1932)
  5. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
  6. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  7. Repulsion (1965)
  8. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  9. The Village of the Damned (1960)
  10. Creepshow (1982)
  11. Blood Simple (1984)
  12. Wait Until Dark (1967)
  13. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
  14. Ju-On (2002)
  15. Deep Red (1975)
  16. Martin (1977)
  17. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
  18. Re-Animator (1985)
  19. The Exorcist (1973)
  20. Daughters of Darkness (1971)
  21. The Fog (2005)
  22. Black Christmas (1974)
  23. The House On Haunted Hill (1959)
  24. Dead of Night (1945)
  25. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  26. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
  27. The Hands of Orlac (1924)
  28. Session 9 (2001)
  29. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  30. The Dead Zone (1983)
  31. Trick r Treat (2007)
  • Share on Tumblr
Posted in Movies

Kevin Stairiker is a features writer for Fly. He is a graduate of Temple University and enjoys writing in third person. When he isn't writing, he's probably playing guitar for a litany of bands, reading comics or providing well-needed muscle at The Double Deuce.

Close Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *