Sunday Sesh: Mystery Horror Theater Returns


Halloween is only 9 days away, so if you’re anything like me, you’ve been trying to cram as many horror movies and thrillers into your brainhole as humanly possible. And if you’re not anything like me, you probably have major character flaws. This Sunday Sesh is for both of you, because I’m going to cram even more horror into your open skull-o-lanterns until the gory bits spill forth like pumpkin spice Bit o’ Honeys!

Today I have three short horror films for your deviant pleasure. Let’s get right to it!

Don’t Look Away

Few things can hamstring horror films like excessive exposition. Too many horror flicks today (and films in general, and trailers especially, if we’re being honest) are too content to tell rather than show. Thankfully, Christopher Cox’s spooky eight-minute thriller, Don’t Look Away is very light on the why and heavy on the wtf. The premise is simple: a teen girl notices a creepy man in her yard just as her father calls her; after she describes the man to her father, he urges her that she must not look away. Although we’re given a bit of insight on the mechanism of the entity in the film, or at least a sliver of a why, Cox makes zero attempt to tell us what the creature is, what it’s after, and why this particular family, and the short is all the better for it. This film is light on violence and jump scares, but the questions it raises are worth the price of admission. Cox does well to simply leave you guessing.

The Jigsaw

Although it clocks in at about the same length as Don’t Look Away, the Al-Safar Bros’ The Jigsaw plays with a much higher production value. The filming and music all work to create a mournful, longing atmosphere, and it is that tone that delivers the wonderful punch at the end of the film. Ostensibly, The Jigsaw plays with a similar theme to Beyond the Gates. There’s a mysterious game sold by an unsettling toy store owner, and the character’s obsession to complete the game ultimately drives the plot to its conclusion. Unlike IFC’s big-budget stinker, however, The Jigsaw plays on an entirely different emotional spectrum. Its protagonist is little more than a sad old widower, frittering away his hours with trivial activity to stave off the loneliness consuming his heart. All this the film conveys without saying a single word, and when the surprise ending hits, the film’s emotional impact leaves us all the more cold.

The Passing

Of the three films I’ve collected today, Moore, Wynn, and McKissack’s The Passing is easily the most stereotypical. That said, the short does so many things right that I couldn’t not include it. The setting, a creaky old wooden house at night, is perfect for the duration. The acting too is better than you typically find trawling through short films on YouTube. And while the climax isn’t exactly unexpected, there’s a nice twist in the middle that works well. Wynn smartly knows what to show and not show to build tension, and it all pays off in this haunted house story of demonic possession and murdered children.

Seen any horror flicks you like? Binging stuff on Netflix? Wish I’d chosen some more graphic cuts? Sound off in the comments below.

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  • The missus and I have been powering through my Halloween blu-ray set. Overall there’s more bad ones than good ones, but they’re all good for ~90 minutes of entertainment. Of note:

    Halloween III: Season of the Witch is an underrated 80s horror classic. Great Tom Atkins moustache, fucked up plot, and of course the departure from beating the Michael Myers dead horse. This would be held in at least SOME higher regard if released separately from the franchise to begin with.

    Halloween V & VI have that weird Thorn cult tattoo Man in Black thingy that tries to explain Michael’s immortality and drive to kill, but it’s not really consistent with the previous movies and was abandoned by Halloween H20, aka the one with Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, and that girl from Dawson’s Creek.

    Halloween: Resurrection is the worst/funniest one. Busta Rhymes goes full on ninja high kick on Michael and electrocutes him in the dick.

    As for the Rob Zombie ones? Take away the obnoxious redneck crap from the first one and you have a much better movie, but overall I like it; one of the best (adult) Michael Myers portrayals by far. Fuck the second one.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    It ain’t even halloween yet and I already burned through so many of my classic faves that I don’t even know what to watch on the day itself now…
    Anyone got recs, hit me up!
    (my faves: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ’74, Halloween ’74, The Thing ’80, The Exorcist, Eraserhead, Suspiria, Night of the Living Dead, Alien, Repulsion, Maniac ’80, The Fly, Psycho ’60, The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, Possession, Kill List)

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    R.I.P. Martin Eric Ain

    His sparse vocal work on Monotheist still creeps me the fuck out.

    • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

      Man, I had no idea. Jesus, just last night I almost got the shit kicked out of me by some rednecks for interrupting their little Garth Brooks session by putting “Morbid Tales” in the jukebox at a bar. R.I.P.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        I can’t decide what’s the most tragic thing about your story:
        a) the fact that people throw a temper tantrum over someone changing tunes at a jukebox
        b) the fact that there are people out there who don’t seem to like Morbid Tales
        c) the fact that there are fans of Garth Brooks’ music

        • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

          It was quite pathetic. Fucking redneck bastard comes to me “hey man, we was listenin’ to them country tunes, don’t you go changin’ em” and I was like “dude, chill, it will be over in 4 minutes”

          I kinda wanted to play more songs but I’m 133 pounds and not precisely built for bar fights, so I just let sleeping dogs lie. Unlike them, I believe myself to be intelligent enough to tune out music that I don’t like

    • KJM, Blood Farmer

      This sucks. He wasn’t even that old. R.I.P.

      • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

        50 years old. Gone too soon

        • KJM, Blood Farmer

          In other words, the same age as me.

    • GoatForest

      Damn. I am really sorry to hear that he died. And, yes, his work on Totengott set a standard that has yet to be matched. Well, maybe he finally got to see His face.

    • more beer

      Absolutely terrible. Gonna have to bump some Celtic Frost and Hellhammer today!

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    OT but in its own way it’s still rather eerie:

    Apparently they’ve (finally) unmasked ‘The Giant’ of the Nijvel Gang, a notorious group of ‘armed robbers’ who in the 80’s committed a couple of massacres in Belgium while they raided some well known supermarkets. They barely stole any money, but just shot everyone in sight (even children were executed). For 35 years it has remained one of Belgium’s most mysterious and disturbing crime cases since they never got the identity of the perpetrators – even though it was always rumored that certain persons inside the military police who were close to far right organizations like Westland New Post were behind these crimes as a means to destabilize the country.

    Now it indeed turns out that ‘The Giant’ was a person from a special elite unit of the Belgian military police back in the day who died 2 years ago. He admitted being part of the Nijvel Gang to his brother on his deathbed.

    Truly evil shit and something which has haunted the country for a long time.

    • KJM, Blood Farmer

      That’s horrible, but at least now part of the mystery is solved.

    • Howard Dean

      Woah, I had never heard of this before. Just did some reading on it. Crazy shit. I read that during one of their last raids they wore bizarre masks and face paint and roared/growled at the people in the store. The “Killer” in the group also shot anyone who looked at them, including children cowering on the floor. That’s some cold, evil shit.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        It’s one of Belgium’s most notorious cases. Not only because of the brutality and the fact that the crimes didn’t make any sense, but also due to the fact that the investigators (seemingly deliberately) made a lot of fuck-ups throughout.
        During their last raid they wore carnival masks – now it seems fitting because apparently “The Giant” used to be involved with a carnival organization in his native city. “The Killer” probably died after that last raid where he was wounded by the police. They never discovered his body though.
        Doesn’t really surprise me they were rogue members of the gendarmerie. Especially back then the gendarmerie was known to be a corrupt mess with more than a handful of members frequenting extreme right wing circles. The whole idea was probably to spread fear into the public (not just the big raids…sometimes they just walked into a small store to shoot the owner…a taxi driver was tortured and killed) so more clout for law enforcement was gained.

        • Howard Dean

          Crazy stuff. Saw lots of conspiracy theory stuff out there when I searched about it–stuff that apparently links these killers to the actions of a serial killer and pedophile who apparently helped orchestrate activities for perverts within the Belgian government.

          Seems like all countries have their own conspiracy theories involving corrupt, perverted elites.

  • KJM, Blood Farmer
  • GrungierNine0

    Color me as spooked.

    Also, found out my tablet has a (very) barebones photo editor and shat this out as practice. Figured since it was metal related I’d leave it here: