For many, December marks one of the most exciting times of the year. But for horror fans and fans of the anything-but-ordinary in general, October’s where it’s at. And this year, the month kicks off with a new moon. Why does that matter? Because it’s the first of two this month – a rare lunar occurrence known as the black moon.
So what better way to start of our Countdown To Halloween than looking at a double bill of horror centred around rare lunar events.
That means no werewolves. There’s nothing rare about a full moon, though they are awesome.
House Of The Devil kicks us off with a full lunar eclipse.
Throughout the film you’ll hear mentions of this phenomenon in the background, but the real focus here is our protagonist. Played by the brilliant Jocelin Donahue (Insidious 2, Heartbreaker), Samantha is just a student like many others looking for an easy job to make some quick money at uni and she finds it in babysitting for a couple somewhere off in the country.
As we know, couples off in the country are always up to no good. And little does she know what the moon has in store for her.
One of Ti West’s (V/H/S, The Innkeepers) greatest flicks to date, paying homage to horror films of the 70s and 80s.
With the lunar eclipse over, it’s time to move on to Seventh Moon, directed by Eduardo Sánchez, who did a little film called The Blair Witch Project.
Here, a pair of newlyweds are honeymooning in China, with the intent on meeting up with husband Yui’s family.
Like Samantha, they find themselves heading into the deepest parts of the country on the night of special festival explained similar to Halloween, whereby the locals leaving offerings for the dead on the full moon of the seventh lunar month (hence the title).
Once again, things don’t go well out there in the sticks. But this time, it’s something all sorts of different, as the pair find themselves chased not only by locals, but supernatural horrors too. Tensions build as the pair realise something around town is obviously up and whatever’s going on is focused straight at them.
While trying to avoid spoilers, both films tie together nicely thematically not only with lunar events but also the threat of occult or superstitious rituals they sparks of.
Compared to The House of the Devil, Seventh Moon is a bit less polished, with some hiccups along the way, but it’s still well worth the watch, especially considering its director.