31 Days of Reviews 2016 – Reflection

With the arrival of November, another year of 31 Days of Reviews has ended. This was my third year doing it, so in a way, it has definitely become a tradition of sorts, but I’m still getting used to it. I don’t think there ever is a way to be completely used to it. It’s an undertaking, no matter how much I prepare.

I did try preparing a bit more this year. I had about 10 reviews shelled out before October even started, that way most of the heavy lifting was already done for those particular movies. For the most part, I tried watching a film and writing its review to be published the next day, rather than doing all of that and publishing at once.

By writing reviews to be published in the future, I was able to do a lot more editing and proofreading. I was even able to have a second person read the reviews to make sure my thoughts were flowing cohesively. I feel like this helped with the overall quality of my reviews this year.

I won’t lie and say that it was easy. It definitely wasn’t. I still got burnt out about halfway through the month, and I had to find some way to re-ignite the writing flame. I wasn’t fully inspired by a lot of the movies I watched this year, and this was a big part of that feeling. I’m not a fan of writing negative reviews. It doesn’t work well with my style of writing. The occasional negative review is fine, but when it’s several reviews one after another, it gets tiresome.

As a filmmaker, I always try to learn things from the movies that I’m watching. As a filmmaker who personally specializes in scary films, these 31 Days of Reviews can be a really good indicator of modern trends. Where are horror movies going? Based on the films I watched this month, I saw a trend of style over substance. There were a lot of really gorgeous films, artistically crafted in terms of shots, set design, and the like. The problem is that most of these didn’t have a good story to support its aesthetic appeal.

Some of my favorite films that I reviewed this past month didn’t really have a polished aesthetic, but the story was different and compelling. Two of these films that really stood out to me were The Invitation and They Look Like People. Other than some of the wide theatrical releases, these films were my favorites to really dissect. I really enjoyed them.

Now that October is over, I will resume my weekly reviews. It’s hard to believe I’ve already been doing that for a full year now. I’ll be glad to get back into a routine that’s more productive for other areas of my work.

Thank you for sticking with me through it all!

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