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Trunktober: Gremlins

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This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: Gremlins

Directed By: Joe Dante

Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, Corey Feldman, Jonathan Banks, Howie Mandel

We Watched On: Amazon Prime (rented for $3.99)

Trunktober Approved Because: Our introduction to the horror/comedy hybrid genre, “Gremlins” also featured our first crush (Cates) and our most sought after childhood pet (mogwai). It is a true classic in every sense of the word, and while we love it, we haven’t eaten after midnight since 1984.

Biggest Scare: We’re still tortured by the horrifying images of the Gremlin leader Stripe melting at the end of the film. Nightmare material!

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Trunk Gaming

The Top 13 Games to Play During October

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Much like the creepy wooden doll on the big wheel in the corner that is staring deep into your soul, we would like to play a game… actually, we want to play 13 games, and they have to be the very BEST games to play during the month of October, with no limit to the year the game came out, the console on which the game originated or the active availability of said games. We’ve locked our Trunk Gaming staff in a closet with nothing but a bag of candy corn and an extensive list of video games to comb through in order to find you the most horrifying of all the polygons, bit graphics and full motion video. Here is what they came up with!

13. Loaded

Though this game is technically an over the head shooter, you can’t help but recognize this game set the groundwork for the beautiful mood lighting that console games boast today, and we’re not talking Red Lobster, prom date lighting. This was one of the first games to show actual gradients and creepy flash light lighting that will have you reaching for the contrast button while playing late at night. Some could even argue the Loaded series was the forerunner for some of the trigger-happy horror games like Devil May Cry.

12. Altered Beast

Perhaps one of the earliest games, if not the earliest, to tackle life as a werewolf or an “Altered Beast.” Somewhere between a side-scrolling fight-fest and a horror flick, this game was one of the pioneers that made transforming into a monster as routine as getting fireballs from a mushroom in Mario Bros.

11. Luigi’s Mansion

Speaking of the famous plumbing Mario Brothers, Luigi stepped out of his brother’s gaming shadow and into…well, a lot more shadows in a haunted mansion! Traversing this side scroller and busting ghosts with your vacuum and flashlight was the best Ghostbuster experience to hit the gaming realm up to this point. The popularity of this now retro game has even launched a current ping-pong ball based arcade game that can be found in arcades around the globe.

10. Splatter House

Splatter House was one of the earliest games to attempt the horror genre and do it with great success. Though the first game was not featured on a mainstream console, it still garnered a fan base that launched the Splatter House franchise and made Sega Genesis the console to get if you wanted to play Galaga with the undead creatures of the night.

9. Doom II

To talk about the horror genre without discussing Doom II would be like talking mob movies and leaving out The Godfather. Simply put, Doom II was the best first-person shooter to grace PCs and terrify parents and teachers alike. Some of our Trunk Gaming staff may even remember having a friend that put Doom II on their school’s server so students could meet for “study hour” in the computer lab and blast some demons. This was also a major turning point in the discussion of age appropriate ratings for video games.

8. The Evil Within 2

Unlike movies, sequels in the horror gaming industry just get better and better with each new installment. The Evil Within 2 is no exception. This gaming experience truly plunges you into a surreal world that is as terrifying as it is gorgeous. This survival horror story is the ultimate John McClane experience and will no doubt be the fuel of our nightmares for months to come.

7. The Last of Us (remastered)

We chose the remastered version of The Last of Us because if the devil is in the details, then this game is carrying a pitchfork and twirling its mustache while sitting on a flaming throne. This installment was among the first to put you in a cinematic gaming experience. For the first time, you have some control during full motion portions of the game, which was unheard of at this time, and helps you feel like you’re experiencing this fungus zombie world in real time.

6. Jaws

Yup, the one for the NES! Anyone else remember this? There weren’t many things to be scared of on the old NES system, but the Jaws game boasted that recognizable John Williams soundtrack and put you pixel-to-pixel with the great white beast. This was also one of the first games to switch between side scrolling to first person interaction.

5. Friday the 13th

The latest installment for the PS4, Xbox One and PC is as close as you will get (or should want to get) to being in an actual Friday the 13th movie. The game serves up the option to play as a camper or the poor, misunderstood serial killer, Jason Voorhees. Though there are some gameplay issues that people get hung up on, you have to tip your hockey mask to the overall gaming experience.

4. Silent Hill

Just the idea of those sirens sounding and the ghastly otherworldly realm taking over your screen is as anxiety inducing an experience as any ever created by a video game. The haunting score and use of lighting were among the first to perfectly replicate the horror experience of suspense in a video game setting.

3. Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts

This was that wonderful era when Nintendo took all their NES titles and plussed them up with “Super” in front of every title, but… in this instance we have to agree with them. Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts began exploring the idea of gaming on different levels of depth much like an animation cell. You could have things happening on multiple fields of game play at the same time. This was groundbreaking stuff and helped fill your screen with numerous ways to lose your armor or be cursed into a wee little baby adventurer.

2. Super Castlevania IV

Another plussed up offering from Nintendo, Super Castlevania began delving into the realm of 3D with levels like the swirling casket room – you know the one that you have to have a Dramamine before playing now? Also impressive for its time was the masterful soundtrack. We realized upon playing the SNES Classic console that was recently released, just hearing the first few notes of the soundtrack, you immediately recalled which level and experience you were about to have.

1. Resident Evil

The crème de la crème of the horror gaming genre. Resident Evil easily takes the heavyweight title in our book. It’s the first video game we remember playing and having an actual horror movie response of jumping in surprise when the undead dog jumps through the window to chase you down the hallway. Never mind that this gaming franchise also spawned a successful butt-kicking movie franchise featuring Milla Jovovich, the Resident Evil games continue to stand on their own and terrify fans in fresh and horrifying ways. Look for Resident Evil 2 remastered coming up in early 2019!

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Trunk Stubs

Trunktober: Supernatural

SupernaturalHalloweenFeatured

This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: Supernatural

Episode: “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester”

Directed By: Charles Beeson

Starring: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Ashley Benson, Robert Wisdom, Don McManus

We Watched On: Netflix

Trunktober Approved Because: You didn’t think we’d get through an entire spooky season without throwing our favorite monster-hunting series a bone, did you? In this episode, the Winchester brothers get into some demon-raising trouble on Halloween, which could mean a whole lot of evil being let out into the world unless they can stop it. Which of course, they do!

Biggest Scare: Boiled alive while bobbing for apples. Kind of puts a damper on a perfectly good Halloween party.

Here’s a look at this week’s brand new episode.

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Trunktober

Trunktober: The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell

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This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell

Directed By: Not Listed

Starring: Christine McConnell, Colleen Smith, Michael Oosterom, Mick Ignis, Drew Massey, Adam Mayfield, Dita Von Teese

We Watched On: Netflix

Trunktober Approved Because: Part Food Network and part twisted “Fraggle Rock,” this is a series so quirky and unusual, it’s hard to imagine such a thing could even get greenlit, but we’re thankful it did. Imagine it this way… If Lydia Deetz from “Beetlejuice” created a show based on the writings of “The Handbook for the Recently Deceased,” and in doing so, became the Martha Stewart of the afterlife, this is what the show would look like.

Biggest Scare: This isn’t a scary show, but the elaborate curious creations that Christine cooks up in the kitchen are terrifying, mostly because we know our versions could never come close to looking as amazing.

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Trunk Stubs

Trunktober: Pumpkinhead

PumpkinheadFeatured

This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: Pumpkinhead

Directed By: Stan Winston

Starring: Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D’Aquino, Kimberly Ross, Joel Hoffman, Cynthia Bain, Kerry Remsen

We Watched On: Amazon Prime

Trunktober Approved Because: We loved this revenge-based monster movie as kids, so we were worried that our impressionable young minds would have put it on a nostalgic pedestal that it could never live up to. Surprisingly, it holds up pretty well, and for an ‘80s horror movie, the performances aren’t as bad as you’d expect. Some of the subtle things that Henriksen does – removing a piece of dirt from his dead son just before he’s going to bury him – elevate the film in ways that our childhood brains could never appreciate.

Biggest Scare: The demon Pumpkinhead is a great design, but his hands… and the way they grab its victims… creeps us out today just as much as they did when we were kids.

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Trunk Stubs

Trunktober: Sometimes They Come Back

SometimesTheyComeBackFeatured

This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: Sometimes They Come Back

Directed By: Tom McLoughlin

Starring: Tim Matheson, Brooke Adams, Robert Rusler, Chris Demetral, Robert Hy Gorman, William Sanderson, Nicholas Sadler, Matt Nolan

We Watched On: Amazon Prime

Trunktober Approved Because: Yes, this was a made-for-television movie from the early ‘90s when Stephen King stories were being told on the small screen with great regularity, and it certainly feels like a Movie of the Week at times, but there’s still something eerie about it that works even when the corniness does not. The fact is, sometimes we come back to watching “Something They Come Back” and we enjoy it just as much as we did when we were preteens.

Biggest Scare: “Show him the face.” Yes, THE face!

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Trunk Stubs

Trunktober: The Cabin in the Woods

TheCabinInTheWoodsFeatured

This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: The Cabin in the Woods

Directed By: Drew Goddard

Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, Amy Acker

We Watched On: Amazon (rented for $3.99)

Trunktober Approved Because: It takes a lot to surprise us these days, but this horror/comedy hybrid from writer Joss Whedon kept us on our toes, butchering overused horror tropes and cast members simultaneously.

Biggest Scare: The entire end of the movie, which is awesomely weird and unpredictable, is alone worth the price of admission.

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Trunk Stubs

Trunktober: Beyond The Sky

BeyondTheSkyFeatured

This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: Beyond The Sky

Directed By: Fulvio Sestito

Starring: Ryan Carnes, Jordan Hinson, Peter Stormare, Don Stark, Martin Sensmeier

We Watched On: VOD

Trunktober Approved Because: It is refreshing to discover a film about such fantastical subject matter still grounded in a very human reality. That’s what makes this UFO thriller so interesting, the fact that it’s not about a grand scale doomsday, but the doom and gloom that surrounds those individuals who believe they have been abducted by beings from another world.

Biggest Scare: When the reality of what is happening becomes apparent in the final half of the film, the action and special effects open the door to what feels like a different kind of movie than the one you’re already invested in, which works because of the tension that Sestito has built. For some the pace in the early going may seem slow moving, but it feels necessary for the overly-stretched elastic to snap free and bring you to an enjoyable cinematic climax.

Bonus: Check out our interview with Jordan Hinson here!

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Trunk Stubs

Trunktober: The Nightmare Before Christmas

NightmareBeforeChristmasFeatured

This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Directed By: Henry Selick

Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page

We Watched On: Amazon Prime

Trunktober Approved Because: It doesn’t get more Tim Burtony than this modern day classic, which defies traditional character development and storytelling to give us a truly unique cinematic masterpiece. What’s this? What’s this? We’ll tell you what it is, Jack Skellington! It’s Halloween gold! (With just a touch of macabre Christmas thrown in for good measure!)

Biggest Scare: Those mischievous Lock, Shock, and Barrel are the annoying kids in your neighborhood that kind of creep you out, only these ones have sharp instruments and a ghoulish curiosity that a curmudgeonly “GET OFF MY LAWN!” has no impact on.

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Trunk Stubs

Trunktober: Goosebumps 2

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This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Directed By: Ari Sandel

Starring: Jeremy Ray Taylor, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Caleel Harris, Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell

We Watched On: The big screen, aka, in theaters!

Trunktober Approved Because: There are not many horror-related projects that we can enjoy with our kids, mostly because genre storytelling isn’t meant for young, impressionable, nightmare-producing brains. Thankfully, the Goosebumps brand has been bucking that trend for nearly three decades, and the latest film in the ever-expanding franchise, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” gives us some frightful fare that we can watch alongside of our little monsters.

Biggest Scare: What both the first film and this one do so well is really nail the creature designs and perfectly blend the SFX with traditional make-up and prosthetics, giving this new school storytelling and old school feel in the vain of “The Monster Squad.”

Bonus: Check out our interview with Jeremy Ray Taylor here!

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