Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Every horrorhound's favorite month is upon us, and to celebrate, I'll be dishing out film recommendations for every day in October. I hope you enjoy the month with some good movies, even if they aren't ones I recommend!

Today's Pick: WNUF Halloween Special (2013)

I'm not a huge fan of found footage as a sub-genre (read: gimmick) for horror films. It can be used effectively, but the hit-to-miss ratio highly favors the duds. Authenticity is the hardest thing to capture in a found footage film, and the golden standard for the technique has been made: WNUF Halloween Special is so believable that you could easily prank your more gullible friends into thinking it really is some infamous lost piece of urban legends goodness.

To be fair, WNUF Halloween Special isn't the most compelling story, but that's not what the film is interested in achieving. It is going straight for your nostalgia gullet. This is a movie where the commercials are some of the best parts! There's a genuine feel to the all the local spots, and their some of the most humorous bits in the film. I even love that they replay throughout the broadcast, and the viewer who taped this fast forwards through them!

It's that dedication to the aesthetic and tone that makes WNUF Halloween Special soar above 99% of its found footage contemporaries. The filmmakers even recorded the film on video, and then copied the tapes multiple times in order to get real tracking errors and distortions. I don't see any of the POV found footage films of today going to such lengths to replicate the technical deficiencies of their medium.

The movie isn't just worth it for the aesthetic though. The characters all feel like real public television personas, and they even come off as charming in an appropriately clunky way. The film may be slow going, but it's all in service of making you actually like the characters. Having them get you to laugh and poke fun at their surroundings makes some of the scarier stuff more effective. But, don't expect a creepfest. This movie is all about fun.

And boy is this movie fun. These last few recommendations are films that really celebrate the motifs, imagery and spirit of Halloween, and this is definitely a top tier contender. It'll transport you back to a simpler time, and if you never experienced the kind of television WNUF Halloween Special presents, then its a great window into a bygone era for the younger generation.

For tomorrow's film, make sure you're wearing your skeleton, jack-o-lantern or witch mask, and get ready to watch the magic pumpkin. Waaaaaatch...

31 Days of Drew 2 (2014)

31 Days of Drew (2013)

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