HBO MAX Picks Wilhelm Screamfest VI

With so many streaming services, there seems like there isn’t enough time to watch all the content, especially for horror fans. Under the two year mark HBO MAX has been giving film lovers so many solid choices for entertainment, and this Halloween season continues that tradition. Whether you are wanting something to terrify you or simply entertain while you carve pumpkins, here are my recommendations for HBO spooky content.

WHAT I RECENTLY WATCHED

Ash showing off his boomstick.

Army of Darkness”

After a quick recap of the previous film, Dead by Dawn, the film kicks into high gear of the ridiculousness that is “Army of Darkness.” We find Ash now in medieval times, yes you read that correctly,  where he must go on a journey to retrieve the book Necronomicon Ex Mortis to not only save the poor souls who have proclaimed him a prophet but send him back to his time. It’s an absurd plot, though one that you would expect within this film franchise. If you haven’t been on board for the first two films, then likely you’ll not like this one. However, if horror was the main reasoning for your distaste in the previous movies you might want to stick around and give “Army of Darkness” a shot.

By far it’s the least scary of the franchise, as it dances across the border of horror into action-adventure; though the visuals and creatures still make this film a great watch on Halloween. The iconography of the moonlight graveyard is as pleasing as any other film of a horror marathon. Speaking of the graveyard, that scene offers some truly hysteric moments. Sam And Ivan Raimi perfect the humor that has been ever-growing in the Evil Dead Franchise. It’s a mix of slapstick, one-liners and black humor. 

Like it’s predecessors, Bruce Campbell’s charisma, along with his chiseled jawline, carries the film. He sells every pratfall and other forms of bodily harm with his stellar comedy skills. The cheesy one liners just add to the fish out of water theme as the film maintains its enjoyably corny tone throughout the runtime.

If you ever wanted a film that was party Monty Python, part Evil Dead and part action adventure, “Army of Darkness” is that film. It’s ridiculous enough to work as it takes the B-movie tone to a blockbuster scale.

“The Evil Dead” and “Evil Dead II:Dead By Dawn” are also available on HBO MAX.

NEW RELEASE

“Malignant”- Just go in blind. Don’t even watch the trailer. I’ll just leave it at that.

RECOMMENDED FRANCHISE

“The Conjuring” Trilogy– If you haven’t seen any of these, stop your search and pick this trilogy. Some truly terrifying scenes in this franchise. Though elements of archived documents have been exaggerated to horrify audiences, these films are based on true events; making it all the more creepy. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson lead the trilogy as Ed and Lorraine Warren, a married couple whose career is paranormal investigation. The fact that the two fully embrace their respective roles is one of the selling points of the franchise, and has spawned various sequels.

BINGE WORTHY

“Wellington Paranormal”– If you want to continue a scary night with some laughs give “Wellington Paranormal” a watch. Basically it’s “The X-Files” and “Cops” with a Taika Waititi Flair. Set in the same world as “What We Do In The Shadows” the series follows two New Zealand Police Officers who bump into various elements of the supernatural.

Previous Reviewed Films Also Available on HBO Max

“Warm Bodies”– A romantic comedy set during a Zombie Apocalypse. A drop dead gorgeous human and a human that has dropped dead.

“Return of the Living Dead”– Is this movie scary? No, but it does offer some amazing practical effects in all of its cheesy 80’s glory.

“Trick R Treat”– A Cult classic turn Horror Favorite, this film has captured the hears as a standout of an overpopulated catalog of mediocre original horror films. Sam might be the greatest horror Icon of the 2000’s.

“The Invisible Man” (2020) – A modern-day classic led by an mesmerizing performance by Elisabeth Moss.

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