Autumn has fallen and it’s time once more to celebrate the primal, compulsive instinct of fear. Rainestorm finishes its horror trilogy and goes to the well one last time to highlight 31 days of spooky scares that season the eerie atmosphere of Halloween.
Hex cast: 2011
The charm: An unheard-of instance of a horror series actually getting progressively better with each episode. Perhaps that’s because this trilogy is told in reverse. Part one was nails-on-a-chalkboard irritating, which undercut the too-little and far too sporadic suspense. Part two began a bit more promising before devolving into the same slightly-less grating tedium. This latest installment was astonishingly effective, helped in no small part by some genuine and genuinely funny humor. The ingenious use of an oscillating fan as a makeshift panning camera is the lynchpin that builds most of the tension and it provides some clever frights. However, character is key in horror films. If you can’t make us care about your characters, then what happens to them is irrelevant. At that point you no longer have a horror movie, you have a cynical cash grab. Paranormal Activity 3 skirts the boundaries of annoying characterization, but just when you think a major character is going to exhibit the same dubiously annoying behavior as her predecessors, the movie does an about face and falls down a wonderfully chilling rabbit hole.
Focal point: That damn oscillating fan.
Entrancing trivia: Most of the scenes in the trailers are not in the actual movie, which angered many fans of the series. I think this is a rather interesting practice. It promotes the movie without giving away too much footage.
Speak the words: “It’s a real life poltergeist. Kristi’s like Carol Anne.”
Companion spell: Poltergeist (1982). This classic movie is far less frightening than its reputation purports… as in, not at all. Still, it has some memorably nifty moments, including a logistically impressive feat involving rearranged dining room chairs (gasp!).