October 25 – Halloween Countdown

As we come into the final stretch, I’m focusing on trailers for movies set in October, on and around Halloween.

Beware of the Stranger is pretty much ingrained into us. But sometimes it is hard, because sometimes the Stranger is so perfectly friendly, so sympathetic, so damn pretty…

Shades of The Stepfather (a rare horror movie where the Father-figure is the genesis for violence and violent behavior, rather than the mother) brings us The Guest from director/editor Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett- the devilish duo responsible for the excellent You’re Next.

The Guest stars Maika (It Follows) Monroe, cementing her place as a potential scream queen for the 20-teens, and a fantastic turn from Dan (Downton Abbey in the title role. Lance Reddick (always dependable), Sheila Kelley and Leland Orser all add gravitas, and a terrific performance from young Brendan Meyer holds the movie together.

The Trailer perfectly sets up the movie- a family going through troubled times after the death of the eldest child, serving overseas, is visited by his former squad-mate. He is quickly welcomed, trust is established, he serves a purpose for each member of the family to aid them through their grieving, and help them in their daily lives. You know, carrying the groceries, giving a sympathetic ear, beating the shit out of some bullies, normal stuff…

But, like Terry O’Quinn in The Stepfather there is something a little off about this seemingly kind man, an undercurrent of malevolence. And only the teen daughter can see it- but who will believe her before it is too late?

The Carpenter style, retro sounding soundtrack certainly helps- and the pumpkins and fog machines just add to the atmosphere- and then suddenly machine-guns. Because why not?

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