Most years, I know exactly what I intend to watch. By now, I’ve usually picked something out, guarded it jealously, and unveil it for the occasion. Not this year. It’s my own fault. I can’t go to The Cabin in the Woods because I’ve been there. Returned a few times, too. I’ve attended the wedding of The Bride of Chucky and babysat The Seed of Chucky, so they’re out. I can’t battle the Evil Dead or The Army of Darkness because those fights are over. I’ve had my Happy Death Day, journeyed through Zombieland, joined Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, spent an evening with Shaun of the Dead, discovered What We Do in the Shadows (the movie), and am more than a little familiar with Jennifer’s Body. Some of these films are in the permanent collection, others were one and done. If you’re an aficionado, you know which was which.
Like a vampire at an old folks’ home, I want fresh blood. Last month, I thought I’d found my prize: Freaky. And maybe I did. Described as “Friday the 13th meets Freaky Friday”, it stars Vince Vaughn and was filmed by the guy who directed Happy Death Day. The Rotten Tomatoes critics promise that it’s 83% Fresh. Because Decider.com told me I couldn’t stream it on the services I use, I picked up the DVD. Cheap, because I’m the only living adult in the USA who still uses DVDs.
Except… it almost feels as if I’ve watched this one already, you know? Being who I am, I’ve seen more than one of the Friday the 13th movies. Being who my partner is, we’ve seen Freaky Friday, too; all of the versions, as far as I know. I mean, Vince will do in a pinch, maybe I'll love all 102 minutes of it, but the sense of anticipation is definitely dulled.
Then Den of Geek magazine arrived – because (1) I’m the only living adult in the USA who still subscribes to magazines; and (2) the subscription is FREE for all, my favorite price – and writer Rosie Fletcher offered a pair of alternatives that I found quite intriguing.
The first option was Psycho Goreman, a Canadian film starring no one I’ve seen and directed by someone with credits I’ve never watched. The critics on Rotten Tomatoes can’t get enough of it, marking it as 92% Fresh. Rosie described it as "joyful" and filled with great gags. Good. The Tomato website describes the film this way: Siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord who was entombed on Earth millions of years ago after a failed attempt to destroy the universe. That wasn’t as good.
The main characters are children? Ehhhh. The main monster is an evil alien overlord? Ehhhh. Like all right-thinking people who aren't raising kids, I try to avoid films when the leads are human beings below the age of puberty. I’m always unimpressed by monsters who are evil alien overlords. I avoid them when I’m writing fiction – very few of my mail-order bride romances feature evil alien overlords – and I try to avoid them in the course of regular life. It’s called having standards. Worse (because let's be real, my standards aren't THAT high, I'm subscribing to free magazines), I can’t stream Goreman on the services I use and the DVD is going for twice the price of Freaky. That’s money I could be spending on unhealthy snacks.
Rosie had one other offering to investigate: Slaxx, also a Canadian film starring no one I’ve seen and directed by someone with credits I’ve never watched. The critics’ opinion? 96% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The storyline: A possessed pair of jeans is brought to life to punish the unscrupulous practices of a trendy clothing company.
Immediately, I needed this in my life. The main characters are adults. There’s no evil alien overlord in the credits. Instead, these brilliant filmmakers give us EVIL DESIGNER JEANS. Whenever I try them on, I think designer jeans are evil, too. Although the movie's not available on the services I use for streaming (maybe I need better services), the DVD is cheap. It’s Freaky-cheap.
Could there be a more perfect movie for Halloween? For my Halloween, anyway? I can’t wait!