Oct 31, 2020

Monthly Media Recap - October 2020

Well, we made it! However you plan on celebrating tonight, please be safe!

For the first time since 1997, I will not be in Salem tonight. I might finally try out one of the new spooky games I got for my birthday and/or try to get Mrs Dex to watch a horror movie. If you're looking for something to watch tonight, there's plenty suggestions below! This may be the longest Recap post in the blog's history so get comfy and grab some snacks and a drink!

Unsolved Mysteries (S2, Netflix) - Burned through these much quicker than I planned! I think the first season had a better run of stories because they were a little stranger.

Cobra Kai (S2, Netflix) - This is one of those rare times when a reunion thing feels organic and not like everyone is there to pick up a paycheck. Bring on season 3!

Schitt's Creek (S6, Netflix) - One of the best comedies of all time. It started out strong and never let up. You don't realize how invested you are with the characters until it comes to an end. Bravo! 
The Boys (S2, Amazon Prime) - This show started at just the right time and took the superhero genre to shockingly different places and I love it for that.

Salem Horror Fest

Since it went virtual this year, I got the all access pass for both weeks which allowed on demand viewing of all their programming, horror shorts, and films. Two weeks still wasn't enough time to see it all but here's what I took in. If you see a link in this section, it will go to a trailer. I didn't want to flood the post with embedded trailers, it's going to be long enough as is!

Nightmare on Elm Street 4 Reunion w/ Lisa Wilcox, Tuesday Knight, and Toy Newkirk. 
It was fun to see the girls (virtually) together and talking about the movie and what they've been up to. Knight didn't talk a whole lot and she had to leave early but Wilcox and Newkirk had no problem carrying the rest of the panel. 
Matt and Jay talk about Gremlins! It wasn't a video podcast but was still the usual bit of fun you come to expect from the guys. I was excited to see them part of the festival this year.
This campy modern update of 50-60s B-cinema stars an Afro Latino soon-to-be-dad fighting for his life against flesh-eating giant scorpions. A quirky, campy comedy flick with talking giant scorpions and a surprising bit of heart. It charmed me while watching, even more so after I watched a Q&A with the creator and found out it was mostly shot in a storage unit!
Rating: 6/10
Danni and the Vampire (2020)
A madcap drifter tries to reignite a special feeling from her past by helping a vampire achieve his dreams. A crazy dark comedy, vampire love story. I was immediately smitten with Alexandra Landau (Danni). The energy she brings here is infectious and makes the movie! Of everything in this post, this was the one that was the most fun.
Rating: 8/10

A documentarian has roped her husband into a project that involves setting up cameras throughout their house. Complications arise when the cameras start showing that same couple in an alternate universe. Definitely an interesting concept that kept me watching. I'm not sure how I wanted it to end but it just didn't stick the landing for me. I'm more interested that there's a study for these occurrences in the movie world.
Rating: 5/10

In the dead of winter, a musician travels to a remote cottage to work on new material but soon finds herself under attack from a mysterious dark presence. This was one of those moody flicks that has a sense of dread lurking in the background that makes you want to stand out in the sun after you watch it. A very slow burn with a couple of good scary/creepy parts.
Rating: 6/10
A "Diablo Rojo" bus driver, his helper, a priest, and two policemen fall victim to a mysterious spell and end up lost somewhere in the Chiriqui jungle, where they will have to survive the creatures that inhabit the roads, with the old bus as their only refuge. The first horror movie from Panama uses local folklore with a twist. It's a wild ride with lots of practical effects that help make it something special.
Rating: 7/10

The Witches of Hollywood (2020)
This documentary clocks in just under an hour and looks at the role of witches throughout cinema history from Haxan to The Wizard of Oz to The Craft and everything between/beyond. A worthwhile watch if you're into the subject matter.

Hell House (2001)
Not to be confused with Hell House, LLC, this is a documentary about a Christian haunted house that wants to scare people into the arms of religion using the horrors of drugs, abortion, homosexuality, and the occult. This was probably the scariest thing I watched all month because these people are real. It did provide a couple of laugh out loud moments like when they're writing a script talking about role playing games and mention Magic: The Gathering. They also paint a large pentagram but instead of using a five pointed star, they use the Star of David. Clearly, research is the true work of the Devil. This is a documentary in the strictest sense, it documents the event with no attempt at making an interesting story. Still worth a watch to witness the crazy first hand.

Whew! So that was my Salem Horror Fest experience and I barely got through a quarter of the movies that were available!


Definitely out of place in an October recap! Finally managed to record them all from various channels and will slowly be making my way through the whole series. The special effects and tech (Usenet? really?) don't hold up that well but the action scenes make up for it.
Rating: 6/10
Enola Holmes (2020, Netflix)
It's Young Sherlock Holmes meets Nancy Drew! I like Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things and enjoy her talk show appearances even more. She is delightful in this. I haven't decided if talking directly to the camera is a good or bad thing in this particular case. They definitely left the door open for a sequel and I'm on board for that.
Rating: 7/10 
Spiral (2019, Shudder & Prime)
A same-sex couple who move to a small town with their daughter, only to suspect that their initial welcome from their neighbors may be concealing something much more sinister. This falls into a new favorite sub-genre of mine: person questioning their sanity while things fall apart around them. In addition to having horror elements it also taps into real life horror of discrimination.
Rating: 7/10

Hubie Halloween (2020, Netflix)
Several times during the movie I asked myself "Who is the audience for this?" Most of the humor is at a grade school level yet there are definitely adult jokes that make no effort to go over younger heads. I never got on board with Hubie, maybe it's the mashup voice of Waterboy and Bill Murray in Caddyshack that had me constantly adjusting the volume when he spoke. It takes place around Halloween and was filmed in and around Salem so there is that bonus but Salem wasn't actually featured in most of the movie.
Rating: 5/10

For a couple of people sitting around telling scary stories, this was pretty entertaining. The character interaction is everything as there's only four people in the cast. I'm giving them an extra point for the idea and execution.
Rating: 7/10

This right here? Pick of the month! It's not often a horror anthology fires on all cylinders and maintains a high level throughout all its segments but this one does it easily. The individual stories and wraparound are great, Clancy Brown is ghoulishly gleeful! I'd love to see more of his character.
Rating: 8/10

Look, when you get to the seventh installment of a series, I'm not expecting much. So it was definitely a low bar for this to impress me and it did! It's easily the best looking in terms of effects and location. It doesn't have quite the same level of humor as previous entries and I think it suffers a little for that and not going full R with the gore. I do have to ding it for having more slow-mo explosions than a Michael Bay movie.
Rating: 6/10

New: 13 (not even intentional!)   Rewatch: 1

Year to Date
New: 67  Rewatch:3
Didn't Finish:


  1. Quite a busy month! Hope you had a good Halloween!

    1. It certainly was! This was about x2 what I normally watch in a month.