Monday, October 10, 2011

2011 October Horror Movie Challenge Movie 31: Encounter with the Unknown

This is one movie that scared the living SHIT out of me when I was a kid. I'm not kidding you. My uncle David brought the ratty old VHS of this movie with him when he visited us one day when I was a kid, and we sat down to watch it, and my poor little ten-year-old mind was reduced to a quivering mass of terror for MONTHS afterward. It's mainly the second story in this trilogy, where a little boy is playing in the woods and he loses his dog and then comes upon this mysterious hole (almost falling in) with weird mist and moaning sounds coming from it. All the men in town come to check it out after hearing the boy's story, and they are scared of this hole too, but the boy's father decides that the dog might be at the bottom of the hole (oh sure, all that mist and all those moaning sounds are coming from a DOG, you brain dead lump of fertilized sperm). I'm not going to give away what happens in the story, but suffice it to say I was convinced for MONTHS that whatever was at the bottom of that hole was going to come after me. I would lay awake at night crying in terror, I was so scared. I was sure that the evil creature or whatever was down in that hole was hiding in my closet waiting for me to go to sleep so it could get me (don't ask me how I transfered the monster from the bottom of that hole to the closet, but there you go). Seeing the movie now makes me break out in more unintentional laughter than shivers, but that hole in the woods is still pretty freaky, even after all these years. Whatever is down there, I hope it doesn't come after me. I'm staying away from my closet from now on, just in case.

The other two stories aren't half bad, either. The first story, which terrified my brother when we were kids almost as much as the second story terrified me, is about some college friends who play a prank on one of their friends and cause a terrible accident. The mother of the boy who is the vitctim of the prank gets her own kind of revenge on the other boys in the group, and it is creepy. The third story is a take on the "girl on the bridge" story which I've heard many times. A man driving his car alone at night sees a girl standing on a bridge, and she asks him to take her home, but when he gets to the address she gives him, he finds out that something supernatural is going on. I think even the show "Supernatural" used this story in one of their episodes from the first season. The story isn't bad here, but they add a lot of unnecessary filler to make it longer than it needs to be and pad the running time unnecessarily.

The whole movie is EXTREMELY dated. The hairstyles and clothes are some of the scariest things about this movie, but that misty hole in the woods still gives me chills, and I can't wait to scare the shit out of my own kids with this movie some day, continuing the proud family tradition of terror.

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