Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition - Masks

It's one of my favorite times of the year! We're back for a month full of Halloween Editions from Wandering Through The Shelves. This week we're talking about masks. Serial killers love those things so I've got plenty to choose from. The only rule I gave myself was to not use one of "The Greats" ie: Jason Voorhees, Michael Meyers, Leatherface or Ghostface.

1) Hush

This is one of the best horror movies I've seen recently. A man terrorizes a deaf woman in her home. Normally I'm not for home invasion flicks but this one loses a lot of those tropes and does something fresh. This guy actually has the balls to remove his mask early on to go "Welp. Now you've seen me, I'm still killing you."

2) Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

This movie is more hilarious than scary, but serial killer Leslie Vernon gives a documentary film crew a behind the scenes look at some innocent folks he's about to terrorize. Look at that goofy mask. It would be scary if it was coming for you in the dark. 

3) Goosebumps: The Haunted Mask

Like any kid that grew up in the 90's. I loved me some Goosebumps. Of the books that were adapted into films, The Haunted Mask was always my favorite. I loved Carly-Beth and was afraid for her when this mask wouldn't come off. 


11 comments:

  1. I've only seen Hush and I loved it. That movie was so good!

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    1. Yay! I love the movie blogging community because that's how I first heard of that film.

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  2. As I think I'll be saying frequently this week I haven't seen any of these. They sounds disturbing though that mask from Behind the Mask looks like he cut holes in a giant lime so it's more stupid than scary.

    Well horror isn't my genre of choice and ones that deal with masks even less so but I resolved that by going with three versions of one I did enjoy.

    The Phantom of the Opera (1925)-Moody, expressionist original version of the Gaston Leroux novel tells the tale of a disfigured man (Lon Chaney) who resides under the Grand Opera House of Paris and becomes enamored by a young singer (Mary Philbin). He becomes obsessed with making her a success resorting to extremes to bring that about. Contains a most impressive color sequence which considering it’s almost 100 years old is beautifully composed from the primitive elements available at that time. There have been many versions but this remains a singular experience thanks to both Chaney’s self-designed makeup hidden for most of the running time behind a mask and skill at expressing emotion through it.

    The Phantom of the Opera (1943)-Rejiggering the origin story somewhat this version starts with opera violinist Erique Claudin (Claude Rains) hopelessly in love with raising soprano Christine DuBois (Susanna Foster) who is also pursued by baritone Anatole Garron (Nelson Eddy) and police inspector Raoul Daubert (Edgar Barrier). Claudin secretly sponsors Christine’s vocal training until he is dismissed due to arthritis in his hands. Having submitted a concerto to an unscrupulous publisher Claudin discovers his work stolen and in a fit of anger strangles the man just as his assistant enters and throws a tray of acid in Claudin’s face. Permanently scarred he dons a mask and haunts the cellars of the opera house pursuing his goal to make Christine a star at any cost. Incredibly lush looking film was nominated for four Oscars. Unsurprisingly Rains is excellent and both Eddy and Susanna Foster were major opera stars of their day so the performance sequences are solid.

    The Phantom of the Opera (2004)-Filmed take of the enormously successful Andrew Lloyd Webber version does not capture the magic that was present onstage. Curiously inert considering the entire thing is sung and staged for movement with the mask once used to hide the phantom’s disfigurement far more aesthetically pleasing now that he has been transformed into some sort of romantic stud ideal. Considering he’s not a trained singer Gerard Butler does well enough in the lead but you’ll miss Michael Crawford soaring power on the songs. The rest of the cast is efficient but unmemorable except for Minnie Driver who has fun as the bitchy diva Carlotta, though her voice is dubbed.

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    1. Nice theme within a theme! I actually liked the 2004 version even though singing wise, the actors were not that strong. I remember some of my theater friends in high school haaaaaaated it with a passion though. I don't think I saw the 40s version, but I did see the 20's.

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    2. The 20's version really is remarkable thanks to Chaney. TCM ran it recently which is what helped inspire me to use the three and I'd forgotten how vivid that color sequence is especially when it was really in its infancy at the time.

      It is so unique and despite the lack of dialogue the best version but thanks to Claude Rains the 40's film is definitely worth checking out. He makes every film better just by showing up.

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  3. I haven't seen any of these which is not surprising. My niece was hooked on Goosebumps and that face with the teeth is chilling

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    1. It was pretty intense for a kids series.

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  4. I haven't seen any of these films though I kinda went with something different.

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    1. They're good ones if you ever get the chance to see any.

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  5. I don't know these and I don't want to know them!

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    1. Yes you do. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

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