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Horror Film Marathon (2019): Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), Crawl (2019), Aterrados (2017), Rattlesnake (2019), Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019), Eli (2019, The Perfection (2019) and Deadtectives (2018)







In celebration of Halloween and Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) it's time for my yearly tradition of holding a movie marathon. Now this does have to be taken broadly since I will be watching as many as I can in one sitting (1 and 2 november 2019). However I will take breaks in between. What can I say? I am getting old and need my naps.

First film I watched was:



Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)



I actually was looking forward to this. I enjoyed the original and thought that Woody Harrelson alone could make a film better. And I was right. He did make this one better. Unfortunately Zombieland: Double Tap was incredibly disappointing since it tried too hard to be edgy and funny like the original but simply wasn't. The real revelation was Zoey Deutch. She and Woody stole the show every time. The most fun scene was at the end during the credits when a very familiar face makes his entrance. Very likely most people would have left the cinema already to enjoy it.


After this I felt like:



Crawl (2019)




I wished I could say I this viewing experience was better but no. While I appreciated the premise and the potential I wasn't invested in this film one bit. Only a few times I connected but those usually were the none horror moments. The biggest problem with Crawl is the lack of tension and suspense. Only a few times the scares were effective. But for the most part they happen as you would expect and feel nothing about it. In my opinion a waste of your time!

After a considerable nap I wanted to watch  a film that was unscheduled:




Aterrados (2017)



A film I came across Netflix and that seemed very inviting. It's incredibly over the top especially since it wastes no time into exposing the supernatural. But then manages to creep you out and put you on the edge due to sheer insanity. The scares in this are incredibly effective since they are used sparingly. Trust me on this. I was very skeptical at first myself but became a true believer at the end. Not that it was perfect. Far from it. But because it manages to do what a horror film is supposed to do.

It's a real mystery to me why this one is not being pushed by Netflix as opposed to the next film I am going to discuss. Since it's far superior to the disaster that is:



Rattlesnake (2019)



Rattlesnake is a film that had a pretty interesting premise but then fails to deliver on it. In short, the daughter of  Carmen Ejogo's character gets bitten by a rattlesnake then gets cured by this mysterious woman. Then several figures come up to her and tell her to pay the price which is another person's soul. These people don't tell her more so there might have been several ways to tackle this but writer and director  Zak Hilditch resorts to the most predictable. Carme Ejogo is the only real reason you should watch. She gives the film the weight it deserves but is let down by the script and execution. In my opinion this is one to avoid entirely.


I don't think I am that demanding when it comes to horror films. I don't mind if they are predictable but you at least have to deliver on some of the elements that make it fun. Like being scary or creepy. Or comedy if you are focused on delivering laughs. But most on this list failed in my opinion.

So after a long break (sleep, daily life things and other stuff) we started up the marathon again with:





Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)





Another title I was looking forward this seeing how this was produced and written by Guillermo del Toro. Premise wise this definitely is a step above the standard fare. It was very entertaining. However it was never scary nor creepy. It could have been but for some reason they opted this to be PG-13 and remove all the elements that would have made this terrifying. It's very clear this film is jumping on the bandwagon of Stranger Things and at this point that is quite lame. But I went with it and enjoyed myself while it lasted. Still it's very disappointing that it's so forgettable. 

Next up was Eli which is available on Netflix and if you are looking for a good horror films on Netflix this is one to pick:





Eli (2019)


Eli is a real treat. It delivers on the mystery and horror. Sure it relies on the cliches and some predictable scares but they are very effective and fun. You really are rooting for Eli because the kid has a lot to endure. What really made this a good viewing experience for me was that it played around with conventions enough to give them a different spin. Eli manages to keep you guessing on what is going on until the very end. Even for a veteran like me. So a must watch for sure!

After a short break we watched:



The Perfection (2019)



Another Netflix that genuinely surprised me. It's quite twisted and bizarre. But good god does it deliver on the horror goodness! Just when you think you know how events are going to play out it changes up and heads into another direction. The twists and turns will make your head spin. And it's not afraid to depict the horror in all it's glory. Sometimes that was a little too much as it was gross as hell. But I am so glad to find out that Netflix also has films like these. After the extremely poor In the Tall Grass and Rattlesnake I lost hope. 

We felt we could take on another film which was:



Deadtectives (2018)



Clearly more focused on the laughs than horror elements. And some actors tried a little too hard to be relevant and cool like for example Martha Higareda but the others make up for it as they are more genuine and invested. I think that is what makes Deadtectives really enjoyable. It's a bunch of film makers having fun and wanting the audience to have fun as well. The horror elements are done as much as you could expect but I personally would not have minded had they incorporated truly scare scenes. Perhaps they could work on this in case they want to turn this into a franchise.



A lot of disappointing films in this marathon. Fortunately the good ones were so good that they made up for them and it didn't feel like a waste of time. Or perhaps I should abstain myself from watching the good ones and save them. I'll think about it!








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