On This Day in Horror History: ‘The House by the Cemetery’ Spooked, ‘The Monster Squad’ Kept the Streets Safe and 2009 Gave Us ‘Grace’
August 14th hasn’t been a consistently amazing day for the horror genre, however, it has had its high points. One of those high points came in 1981 when Lucio Fulci turned Italian heads with his super creepy, The House by the Cemetery. Also on our radar is the 1987 family-aimed horror piece, The Monster Squad. And then there’s 2009, which ushered in a few fair to fine flicks.
Lucio Fulci’s, The House by the Cemetery didn’t arrive stateside until 1984, but it began making waves in 1981, when it premiered in Fulci’s home country of Italy. It’s got the Fulci flare we all love, and it’s got a few moments to turn the stomach, as we’ve all come to expect. Some consider it a classic and some have forgotten it entirely. Having just revisited this one recently, I can comfortably call it a fun, eerie little throwback.
30 years ago today, Fred Dekker’s timeless classic, The Monster Squad hit theaters. In what may be a surprise to the uninformed, the movie absolutely tanked at the box office. It opened at number 12 in the box office race with a depressing $1.9 million total. It never gained traction with theater-goers, either; The Monster Squad topped out at $3.7 million at the box office. Thankfully, just a few short years later the world had awoken and noticed the film’s glorious charm once it had had some time to marinate with the home video crowd. The Monster Squad is now a beloved work that frequently earns a deserved nod as one of the best horror movies to creep out of the ‘80s.
Moving on to 2009…
I may have slept through August 14th, 2009, because if I hadn’t I’d probably remember hanging out binging new flicks half the day. The amazing District 9 arrived to warm, surprised fanfare. It snagged the top box office position with a strong $37 million showing. It went on to earn an impressive worldwide total of $210 million, all against a $30 million budget. Now that’s a successful film.
The underrated killer baby movie, Grace also hit the market on the same day. The film received a very limited theatrical push, but it did have a sizable amount of media outlets firmly behind it, and it did win over home audiences, who were quick to scoop up the deeply unsettling Paul Solet piece.
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