We’re watching a scary movie every day in October. Well, technically we’re watching 31 scary movies in October because we’ll be on vacation for 5 of the days.
There are two rules:
- We can only watch movies that neither of us have seen before.
- No torture/gore flicks in the Saw, Human Centipede, Hostel vein.
We began our search on Netflix and were quite surprised to find they don’t have a Halloween channel set up yet. Missed opportunity, guys. Amazon has a Horror listing, but it’s all stuff that requires rental and there were several mis-filed films that should not be under horror.
Anyway, we ended up watching Dark Mountain, a “found footage” movie from 2013 starring Sage Howard, Andrew Simpson, and Shelby Stehlin. The premise is that they journey to the Superstition Mountains in Arizona to search for the Lost Dutchman Mine. Weird shit ensues. It’s Blair Witch in the desert, basically. One of the characters even jokes about the Blair Witch. I believe that is called “lampshading.”
It was a complete ripoff of The Blair Witch Project, including the casting of one strong female who owns the documentary project and two doofy guys along for the ride. The woman’s mistakes/hubris lead the group into trouble (and isn’t that actually the oldest story EVER?), and bickering, arrogance, sobbing, and wandering follow. Instead of the intermittent black and white footage that the Blair Witch Project employed, this film used ‘phone cam’ footage that apparently had a grainy 70s Instagram filter. The usual shit happened, and no answers were given. At least in the BWP, you knew who the bad guy was: the goddamn witch. In Dark Mountain, it is never clear if the unseen heavy is the ghost of the Dutchman, aliens, crazed locals protecting a gold claim or something else. BUT having said all that, this movie did scare me a bit. The BWP scared the shit out of me back in the day, and those familiar techniques worked again. It’s not awful by any means. Maybe if you think of it as a reboot of BWP instead of a copycat it will feel fresh and fabulous. Bottom line: I didn’t have to cover my face with the Afghan of Doom and peek through the eyeholes, but I did pull it up to my nose a couple times.
It definitely did carry a Blair Witch Project feel to it, from the “Based on real events” to the “found footage” used to create the movie. I’m unsure if the bad guy was supposed to be the Native America spirits, aliens, time vortex’s, or crazy Dutchman mine hunters. All of these played a part in the scare, but with nothing ever being explained. I know they don’t have to explain these things, but it felt like they took the rest of the Scooby-Doo mysteries and made them all be the bad guys. And while it did generate a little scare in me, it was done through the familiar “it’s dark with little light and a jumpy camera and then something jumps out” that would startle almost anybody. Overall, it was an ok movie, but not something I would really recommend to anybody.