A bit of history.
I’ve always been a horror nerd, doing some kind of solitary fright flick marathon as far back as 2007 with the abominable Resident Evil 3: Extinction. On another defunct blog I started calling the annual fest Hail Horror – if you can believe this post from 2009 I was already on year 4 – and the name stuck. No real structure: the only rule at the time was that I would try to watch films I hadn’t seen or reviewed before. Back then the film blog community was a pretty cool place, and a bunch of us would gather and recommend films to watch and (virtually) chat about. But blogs come and go, and the online film fan community is, uh…well, while not dead per se, it’s certainly a different landscape than the more communal vibe I experienced back in the day. I loosely kept the schedule going for my own benefit, but a lot of the joy and fun withered on the vine.
Enter Letterboxd. And Cinemonster.
Since 2014 David Hood, under the username Cinemonster has been using Letterboxd to host Hooptober, an annual horror movie marathon that started as a fun excuse to watch some movies, revel in one of his favorite directors, and expand his personal scope of horror. Since that small kickoff the event has morphed into a yearly celebration with hundred of folks coming together to participate.
Back in 2014 the rules were deceptively simple: starting September 15th and ending on Halloween night watch and review 31 horror films. Try to have at least one film from five different decades. Try to watch films from at least four different countries. And either watch five films from one directors or 3 films each from 2 directors. You can see his original call here. At the time it was a few dozen folks, though look closely near the bottom and you can see yours truly among them.
Fast forward to today, and this Wednesday is September 15th, officially kicking off the 8th Hooptober horror marathon. The number of folks participating have increased exponentially, though the number of folks who have stuck with it each year have shrunk like the living teens in a slasher film. I count myself among one of the few remaining Final Girls™ left, and am delighted to share some truly weird and craven films with you the Cinema Dual community.
You can see my full list on Letterboxd here, and if you’re not a member of the Letterboxd community now is a perfect time to join. All are welcome, as Zelda Rubenstein once said in some obscure movie I’m sure no one has ever heard of before. Last year Jon and I dedicated a podcast to two of the films on my 2020 list (apologies to those of you who actually watched The Witch Who Came From the Sea), and why I didn’t put my reviews on the site then I’ll never know. But it’s never too late (unless you’ve had sex in a Friday the 13th movie) so this year I’ll be posting all my reviews on the site. I strongly encourage you to join in the mayhem and play along: it’s great chance to not only watch some ridiculously fun stuff, but the way the rules are constructed allow you to really broaden your horizons when it comes to the genre., The list of rules for those curious and intrepid are below:
- 31 films watched and reviewed
- 6 films from different countries
- 8 films from different decades
- 4 films from 1981
- 2 “folk” horror films
- 2 films from the year of your birth
- 2 haunted house films
- The worst rated Part 2 horror film you can access and haven’t seen
- 1 film set in the woods
- 1 Kaiju or Kong film (cannot be Kong vs Godzilla)
- 2 Hammer Films
- 3 films with POC as the director or lead (excluding Asian)
- 3 Asian horror films
- 1 Tobe Hooper film (there must ALWAYS be a Tobe Hooper film)
***FOR THOSE THAT LIKE TO DO EXTRA WORK: watch JD’s Revenge, The Skull, and The Scooby-Doo Project short film!***
In addition to the above, each year I try to pick films I’ve never seen before. This year was hard, so I have three I HAVE seen (you can probably guess) but I’ve never reviewed them or used them for this marathon, so they’re new enough. My list of films this year:
The carnage begins on Wednesday, September 15th. Hope to see you there, and here.