Every year since I have been watching a horror movie a day during the month of October, I take all of the scenes I have watched and put together a list that I call ‘The Ones That Made The Cut’. Ie. the best deaths, horror movies, and characters I have seen throughout the whole 31 day challenge. Have you been following along? It’s time to find out who made the cut and who was left on the chopping block…
Please note that the following article will contain spoilers.
Best Death Scene in a Horror Movie: Kristen and Michelle dying by drilldo in Satanic Panic
2020 Winner: Crisis Mike in The Hunt
I love Satanic Panic. It’s the right kind of spooky and kooky, and the deaths involved in the film are both completely ridiculous and strongly compelling so it’s easy to see why the infamous drilldo death in Satanic Panic makes the Best Death Scene in this years 31 Day October Horror Movie Challenge.
As the heroine of the film Sam escapes the clutches of the evil Satanic cult, she seeks refuge in a nearby house, in which it is revealed that two sisters named Michelle and Kristen are setting out to kill Judy, the Satanic leader’s daughter. Their plan for her death though was to basically fuck her with a GIANT steel drill dildo, which is as absurd as it is a horrifying thought. As Sam discovers the horrifically large appendage attached to Michelle, Michelle runs to attack her and accidentally ends up impaling her sister instead. With the force of the inertia of the attack, Michelle and Kristen – now attached together by the giant strap on drilldo – hit a wall and electrocutes them both when the drill punctures wiring in the wall.
So not only is Kristen impaled by a giant drilldo, her sister is electrocuted while wearing it and they both die.
It’s absurd, but fucking hilarious and a huge take to try as a death scene in a horror comedy. My hat goes off to Satanic Panic for it as they win the Best Death Scene in a Horror Movie as part of the 31 Day October Horror Movie Challenge.
Strongest Victim in a Horror Movie: Harper in Haunt
2020 Winner: Grace in Ready or Not
I was quite taken by surprise with my Strongest Victim in a Horror Movie winner, as this film kind of came out of nowhere. Haunt is a 2019 horror flick that appeared on Netflix late into October and when I flicked it on it I was quite taken with the main character of Harper, (played by unknown actress Katie Stevens) who seems like any other normal final girl entering a haunted house with her friends on Halloween. Harper has a checkered past full of abuse from her father and her current boyfriend, so the strength in her to keep going and face her fears is powerful enough as it is. But as the haunted house continues and her friends fall, Harper is the one who is strong enough to start taking down the killers and she actually ends up killing five of them, including the mastermind of the attraction, who follows her back home and gets stuck in a trap she sets for him.
The final girl syndrome is strong in Harper, and something tells me she won’t be abused again.
Most Surprising Slasher Movie: Till Death
2020 Winner: Countdown
Look, we’ve all fallen a little in love with Megan Fox recently as she emerged from her overly-sexualised cocoon in recent months, and some of that could definitely be credited with her recent Netflix movie roles. In Till Death, Megan plays an unhappily married woman named Emma with severe PTSD from a violent home invasion. As she heads out to celebrate her wedding anniversary with her shady lawyer husband, he surprises her with a romantic and very secluded getaway at a lake house in the dead of winter. Upon waking, Emma is surprised to find herself handcuffed to her husband with no way out before he shockingly shoots himself in the head and commits suicide. Handcuffed to his dead body, Emma discovers that this is all part of an elaborate plan of her husband, who has discovered her affair and at the brink of ruin in his career. As a final act of nastiness that is completely uncalled for, Emma tries to find a way to free herself from the shackles that bind her – only to discover that the man who attacked her in her past has been hired to hunt her down.
Going into this I was expecting a good horror movie, but I was intrigued by the premise. Why was she handcuffed to her husband? How did he die? Why did he do this to her? The movie ended up being really well done, and well acted on Megan’s front as she has to brave the dead of winter to find a way out from her captures and the dead body strapped to her wrist. It was an intriguing premise that ended up being surprisingly really good!
More Realistic Horror Movie: Land of the Dead
2020 Winner: The Farm
George A. Romero’s fourth take on the zombie genre certainly wasn’t as groundbreaking as Night of the Living Dead or Day of the Dead was, but it was definitely the most realistic when it comes to zombie films, and also out of the horror movies I watched this October as well. Land of the Dead is set up as a designated safe zone in downtown Pittsburgh, with slums of the poor taking up one side, and wealthy individuals taking up a luxury high rise in the centre of the slums. The wealthy don’t leave their glass-walled manors, but instead pay for teams living in the slums to cross out into the dystopian world for supplies. This is honestly what I thought was the most realistic about Land of the Dead – even in a world destroyed by zombies, civilised society will still be an us vs. them mentality and the way it was shown in Romero’s film was the most accurate of what would happen in bigger run societies at the end of the world.
There was the seedy underbelly of society depicted in zombie vs zombie cage matches, which honestly is probably just what would happen still if we all lived together, and the take on zombie’s getting smarter (they have weapons now!) seems like an appropriate link the zombie evolution chain. The only thing that was realistic about the events of Land of the Dead, was the fact that we had to ignore the fact that Simon Baker was trying to be anything less than a suave gentleman.
Best Villain in a Horror Movie: The Butcher from Freaky
2020 Winner: Baby is House of 1000 Corpses,The Devils Rejects and 3 From Hell
We are all so used to seeing Vince Vaughn as the funnyman in comedies that flipping the script and seeing him as a dagger wielding Jason Vorhees -like killer in the slasher flick Freaky was an amazing turn of events. Vince Vaughn did get to dig his hands back into the comedy world by playing a teenage girl for half of the movie, but it was his work as the strong and silent killer of The Butcher that really made him take out the role of Best Villain in a Horror Movie during the 2021 31 Day October Horror Movie Challenge.
Aged, manic, and the perfect embodiment of the classic slasher killers of the good old horror days, I want to see Vince Vaughn in more horror movie type roles because he simply NAILED the concept.
Most Horrifying Horror Movie: VHS94
2020 Winner: Grace
VHS94 brings back the spine-tingling handheld camera style of anthology horror and while there was certainly a lot of good and bad parts in this film, VHS94 scores the coveted Most Horrifying Horror Movie spot in the 31 Day October Horror Movie Challenge list particularly because of the segment “The Subject”.
‘The Subject’ is a short film based in Indonesia about a deranged scientist who is conducting cruel human experiments on kidnapped victims. As the scientist attempts to create a living mechanical-human hybrid by performing lobotomy’s and other experiments on his test subjects, he films the entire process and within minutes you know you are in for some deranged horror.
And deranged horror is what you get. Fashioning a camera onto his female test subject, she films and essentially witnesses the appearance of Indonesian soldiers who have been tracking the kidnapping and the experiments. They attack and kill the scientist, and as they search the lab they discover more than what they bargained for when one of the other experiments essentially turns into a killbot and goes on an all-out destruction spree. The female – who eventually we see has had her upper head and face preserved and replaced by cybernetics and a camera – just wants to get out, but the soldiers undertake an attack to destroy everything in the lab.
What follows is probably nearing fifteen minutes of explosions, mutilated corpse surprises, gallons of blood and death, and some very horrifying takes on human experimentation. It’s really destructive and horrifying, and by far one of the most-in-your-face horror movies I have ever watched. It certainly called upon my fear of surgeries and waking up to find yourself a destroyed human guinea pig, and that’s why VHS94 takes the coveted Most Horrifying Horror Movie spot.
The One That Didn’t Make the Cut: Halloween Kills
2020 Winner: VHS Viral
Just skirting in as the last horror movie I watched during the challenge, Halloween Kills was an unfortunate let down for my actual Halloween celebrations. The sequel to the 2020 kind-of-reboot-kind-of-not was basically a story in setting up for the final throes of battles between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers – but for the next movie. Not this one. Laurie doesn’t even share a scene with Michael Myers in this movie. She spends the whole time in hospital dealing with injuries I forgot she sustained last movie while some strange mob rules mentality go after Michael, and end up killing some weird prisoner in the hospital instead. You think she is getting into the action and getting back out there after Michael when she basically shoots adrenaline in her ass, but nothing ever happens or comes of that other than her kneeing a doctor (like what?).
Where did this mob mentality come from and why weren’t they ever helping Laurie in any of the other 12 Halloween movies? The whole thing features a flashback with extremely unnecessary and unimportant characters in an attempt to make the mob seem important. They are just not. They are fodder for Michael Myers to kill, and it affects the film terribly.
The final battle between the mob and Myers doesn’t even seem like a final battle. It was probably the only good part of the film, but it doesn’t lead anywhere and it certainly doesn’t lead to Laurie. I was so surprised when the movie ended because it just didn’t feel like a climax or a denouement in any way. I actually said, “Was that it?” to my friend in the theatre.
Look, the movie does set up the series for the final part of the horror series coming out next year, but a lot of the set up was unnecessary, especially when you hear they are setting the next movie four years later. We could easily just ignore this movie (like Halloween H20 and it’s runoffs) and watch the final showdown without any problem, and I highly suggest you do. Unfortunately, like in its 2018 debut. Halloween Kills just doesn’t make the cut.
Do you want to see what other movies made it to the lists? Find the previous years 31 Day October Horror Movie Challenge – The One Who Made The Cut list here: