Do you have big plans for Halloween night? Oh, shut up, you do not. Also, no, handing out candy to ungrateful kids definitely does not count. If you're doing that, you're at home. If you're at home, you might as well watch a movie. Your friends for damn sure aren't going to keep you company. They're getting dolled up in their finest sexy Ebola nurse/doctor/patient costumes to hit the town and make even more terrible decisions.
This can't conform to proper safety protocols.
Obviously, with today being Halloween and you being a total lemming who just does what everyone else does, if you do decide to stay in and stare at your television, chances are you'll want to watch a horror movie. If you're at a loss for one to watch, have a listen to this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast ...
... where I'm joined by Cracked editor Tom Reimann and podcast editor Brett Rader. We talk about a whole bevy of underrated horror movies you should consider watching tonight, including one about how George Washington was a cannibal who made utensils out of the bones of children. You obviously don't want to miss that shit.
As for this column, I'll be doing the same, except with a slight twist. Staying home alone on a party night is never fun -- but, again, that's exactly what you're doing tonight. Instead of feeling bad about it, make sure your selection of horror movies cements your faith in the fact that leaving the house for any reason is a terrible idea. For example ...
I cover a lot of real estate in this column hating everything zombie-related, up to, including, and especially The Walking Dead. So, get ready to call me a hypocrite (I promise not to listen), because there are two zombie films on this list.
It's not like every zombie film ever made has been terrible; it's just a premise that's been taken in damn near every direction imaginable, to the point that most "fresh" ideas these days just involve mashing up zombies with something else awful. Like Nazis, for example!
Of course it's a real movie!
Because of all that, my instinctive reaction to seeing a well-done zombie movie in this day and age is something approaching complete and total awe. So, with all that buildup out of the way, might I suggest you stop everything you're doing and watch a movie called Contracted?
Someone's never heard of red eye correction!
Not only is it creepy as shit but it will go a long way toward alleviating any sadness you might feel over the fact that your Halloween night will not be punctuated by fucking a stranger in the back of a car. That's how the night starts for Samantha, the "hero" of this movie, after she meets up with a guy who, if I'm understanding the subtle imagery of the opening scene correctly, may or may not have been fresh off of sexing up a dead body with a biohazard tag on it down at his neighborhood morgue.
So, bad life choices all around. Whatever you've got going on that's making you feel bad about yourself or depressed about your station in life, just keep in mind that you're not having sex with corpses or people who have sex with corpses. How would you know if you were, anyway? As this movie teaches us early on, sometimes the person date-raping a dead body and the person slipping date-rape drugs in your drink are, shockingly, the exact same person. How confusing! Good thing you're staying home tonight so you don't have to worry about any of that nonsense.
You'll feel even better about your soul-crushing solitude as Contracted moves past its opening combo of awkward sex scenes. From there, the sole focus of the movie is Samantha, as whatever she caught from banging the creepiest motherfucker on Earth slowly turns her into a zombie.
As counterintuitive as it may be, it's the "slowly" part that's important. Instead of immediately turning into a snarling menace, Samantha tries her best to keep up her usual daily routine, all while that mystery illness that her doctor can't fix slowly eats away at her body.
If you've ever been forced to go to your shitty day job while violently ill, this movie will hit especially close to home.
3Under the Skin
Don't worry, fellas, there's a "don't fuck strangers" film for you too. It's called Under the Skin and, chances are, you've probably already seen it. Maybe you've even heard good things about it. Maybe you've watched it six times and still have no fucking idea what it's about.
If so, that's because you're not paying enough attention. A simple repeat viewing should reveal that, at its core, this is a movie about how if a chick who looks like Scarlett Johansson pulls up in a white van and asks if you want to have sex, it's a sinister trap and you're going to die in a truly horrific manner if you take her up on it.
That's a total "too good to be true" situation. If you're not getting murdered, you're probably getting arrested. Whatever the case, one thing's for damn sure: nothing good ever happens in a van that looks like this ...
Under the Skin
Actually, scratch that. Nothing good happens in a van of any sort. Vans represent nothing more than defeat or deception. They are for people who've given up on having anything resembling an interesting life if it doesn't involve the abduction and murder of several innocent victims. In Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson tools around in that white van pictured above and, to the misfortune of the men of Scotland, decides to use the murder option to fuel her vehicle.
Also, that's basically the entire plot of the movie. I mean, I guess there's more to it, but not much. She's an alien of some sort, which explains the van, but the vat of liquid that each gentleman is dumped into, thereby disintegrating everything but their skin, is a little more difficult to figure out.
Someone make this make sense for me.
The movie certainly isn't concerned with that, though, so you shouldn't be either. Once you accept that you're basically watching the Donnie Darko of alien-abduction flicks, the entire experience becomes much more palatable.
At that point, it's just a movie about the dangers of going home with one of those unspeakably attractive women who randomly approach men on the street to proposition them for sex on such an appallingly frequent basis. One of those women might be Scarlett Johansson, and that Scarlett Johansson might be a goddamn alien.
Also, not a single word of the preceding paragraph will ever happen. You're going to die alone. Spooooooooooooooky!