October Re-Screen: Something Spooky This Way…House.

Welcome to Re-Screen!

If this is your first time reading, Re-Screen is a weekly selection of one or more double features set around a shared theme or idea.

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Sometimes scary things happen in places. Sometimes those places are houses. And sometimes houses are cabins and apartments and mansions.

Other dimensions can be found in unexpected places.

Ghostbusters (1984) and Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999)

More than any other commonality, these films share one important trait: nostalgic delusions of grandeur for a specific generation.

Ghostbusters is so ingratiated into common culture now (“Who you gonna call?” Don’t pretend you can’t hear it in your head.) that it’s easy to forget how absolutely strange it is. It was written by its stars, had expensive and experimental special effects, and included a giant marshmallow man. And even those make more sense than the tonally obscure romance subplots between both Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver and a possessed Weaver and Rick Moranis. But if you were 8-16 years old in 1984? This movie was everything.

On the other hand, you have Don’t Look Under the Bed, one of what is now more than 100 Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs). Unless you were 6-14 years old during and soon following the year 1999, you probably missed this. I must confess that I did as well, having been restricted from television for the most part. But, like any good Millennial, I know this: this movie scared the crap out of my entire generation.

Neither of these movies are great. But they are simple and fun, and sometimes that’s all you need.

This is not going to go the way you think.

Clue (1985) and Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Clue is a great-bad movie, with nothing to say, and infinitely re-playable. Cabin in the Woods is a fine movie, that thinks it has a lot to say, but really doesn’t.

The first film did absolutely terrible when it was released. The characters mostly run around to no effect, and depending on which theater you went to, you received a different ending. And yet, all these years later, Clue has become something more. It is so stupidly wonderful, with most credit being due to Tim Curry.

The second film is a weird little thing, a movie that is about horror movies, but isn’t actually a horror movie? There’s an entire mythology built here, complete with Sigourney Weaver making her second appearance this week. Think of it as a much shallower Truman Show, but with more Chris Hemsworth and forces of eternal darkness.

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Originally from the bear-infested schools of Wyoming, but now lives in Chicago. More importantly, he achieved minor Twitter fame once and hasn’t stopped bringing it up since. He has a healthy obsession with Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Bulbasaur. Please validate him by following him on Twitter, @ericsmorals

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