November 2022: What I'm Watching
Recently watched, links, and more
Another month and I have some recommendations for the movies, TV, and music I’ve enjoyed.
In October, I mostly spent time watching horror movies I’d never seen before. Usually, I’d revisit movies on my shelves, but this year I felt pretty ambitious. After deciding to subscribe to the streaming service Shudder, I could watch newer movies like Watcher and Deadstream. On the Criterion Channel, there was a whole series of ‘80s horror movies and I watched Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark. Finally, as the month closed, HBO Max premiered one of this year’s most talked about horror films, Barbarian.
Overall it was a nice change from rewatching some of my favorites like Carpenter’s Halloween and The Thing. Don’t get me wrong, those are still fantastic choices (there are no wrong choices for October horror watches), but I was looking for something a little different and I wasn’t disappointed. There are still a few horror movies that I’d like to watch heading into the busy November month, but next month’s list will look a lot different as I try to catch up on some movies coming in the next two months.
No mini-reviews for this monthly recap as I don’t want to spoil Barbarian and there are plenty of movies already on my docket for November including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. You’ll want to make sure you’re subscribed so you can get reviews of those titles and more.
What I’ve Been Watching on TV:
This month was mostly dedicated to horror movies and HBO’s House of the Dragon. I completed Season 1 the other day and while I find the show compelling, I don’t care about any of the characters as much as I cared about the Stark family in Game of Thrones. I have two theories for why this might be the case:
The Time Jump
In the first season of House of the Dragon, the show jumps ahead a decade between the fifth and sixth episodes. It’s essentially a new pilot episode since the audience has zero connection with the new actresses portraying the two leading ladies Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. I’m not about to say that the actresses now portraying those characters are ill-suited for the roles— that’s not the case at all. It’s that the audience was beginning to care about particular characters and those specific performances. Not to mention a half dozen new characters that will seemingly have great importance to the plot moving forward to season 2 and it’s very distracting when I’m not sure it needed to be.
We Know Not to Get Attached
When Game of Thrones originally came on the scene, it was still somewhat novel for TV shows to kill off main characters. Along with AMC’s The Walking Dead, those two shows really showed audiences that they shouldn’t get attached to characters or they’ll be destroyed when the showrunners eventually kill them off. When [ ] dies at the end of episode 8 of House of the Dragon, I wasn’t so surprised that the character was killed off, but rather how graceful it was. The strength of Game of Thrones was its ability to make us fall for characters and then remove them without remorse from the illusionary chess board for the throne. Right now there are only two characters I really care about (Rhaenyra and Alicent), but I’m prepared that when all four seasons of House of the Dragon have aired neither of them will be left.
Outside of House of the Dragon, I watched more of The Great British Bake-Off (Mexican week was an atrocity) and completed Shudder’s 101 Scariest Movie Moments. As you might expect, many of the classic horror films showed up in the top 10, but there were some surprises as well. I’m positive that the scenes that were shown in the series are more effective when watching those movies, but if you wanted some suggestions of movies to try or just enjoy lists, then I can recommend the show.
The White Lotus, the acclaimed HBO mini-series, is now back for a second season. Featuring a whole new cast (except for Jennifer Coolidge who returns for another go at the fantasy resorts), this new season promises equivalent ridiculousness from the first. It definitely has a fantastic opening song. And if Indiewire’s Proma Khosla is to be believed, The White Lotus is easily the horniest show on TV right now. That might be reason enough to tune in.
A new adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front has recently been released on Netflix and represents one of Netflix’s highest-rated original films this year. If you’re interested in reading about this new version, Kenneth Lowe from Paste Magazine has a write-up on it.
On the episodic TV front, Netflix released a new series of horror stories. The series, Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, includes eight different stories from some fantastic horror directors. Jim Vorel of Paste Magazine reviewed the series. I ended up watching the seventh episode of the show from director Panos Cosmatos (Mandy) called The Viewing. I really enjoyed it and although it’s not indicative of the entire series, I’d recommend that episode for sure.
Vulture writer Jason P. Frank scoured the internet and found some Halloween outfits as worn by celebrities over the holiday. This is a fun diversion.
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