As October draws to a close, so does my month of horror. Here is one final batch of mini-reviews to end the month. Happy Halloween!
I feel like my expectations may have been too high for this one. The plot is paper thin — an American transfers to a prestigious ballet academy in Germany, only to find out it is run by witches — and the film suffers from poorly dubbed dialogue and subpar acting. Taken on these merits, there isn’t much to Suspiria. However, as an audio/visual experience, this is unlike anything I have ever seen. Director Dario Argento uses a wide array of vivid colors to create vibrant imagery, and this is enhanced by progressive rock band Goblin’s screeching soundtrack. The music is a “hate it or love it” type deal. Sometimes the frightening music works masterfully with what’s happening on screen, while other times it feels forced and unnatural. While I’m a bit surprised to see the universal praise for this film, it is certainly a unique offering despite its flaws. 6/10
I hadn’t seen John Carpenter’s classic in many, many years, so I was more than due to give this another viewing. Halloween still holds up remarkably well today — the first person POV shots, the “Boogey Man” appearances of Michael Myers, the iconic score. Everything about this is top notch, which is especially intriguing given the simplicity of the plot. It’s also interesting to look back at this film that influenced so many slasher movie tropes, yet it’s one that has a relatively low amount of violence on screen. Even with several years perspective, Halloween remains startlingly effective without needing to do very much at all. 9/10
The Omen 
The Omen isn’t so much of a “scary” film as it is a well-told story. It moves along at its own pace, and it works more on building suspense rather than opting for cheap thrills. The story has seen all sorts of variations over the years — couple has a stillborn and replaces it with an adopted child that just so happens to be the Antichrist — but it’s still effective. I believe part of this is due to Gregory Peck playing the lead role. His presence gives the film additional dramatic chops, and he is a perfect fit for the role of U.S. Ambassador. My only complaints for the film come from a couple of cheap deaths, as they could have clearly been avoided with minimal effort on the part of the characters. Regardless, I have no qualms with calling The Omen a great film. 8/10
And that wraps up this month of horror. What do you think of these classics?