You know the drill by now. I’ve already listed 10 Titles on HBO MAX, Hulu, and peacock. Now It’s time for the streamer formerly known as CBS All Access to get the spooky treatment.
Personally, I’m not sure they deserve it. We’ve been going back and forth about how they failed to bring the existing audio description for Showtime titles along when they decided to put it as an add on. They think they can be cute, and I’m going to let them know they can’t be.
That being said, they do have quite a library. Paramount as a studio has released some classics over the years, the big question now is, does it have audio description? All titles on this list are currently listed as having audio description thanks to the most recent update available on The Audio Description Project (ADP.acb.org), and if it is on this list, I also recommend it. The only caveat here is that I might not have seen the film with audio description, but rather from my sighted days, so I don’t know if the audio description track is great as well.
Now, on with the list.
1) A Quiet Place
A very odd film to land on a list for blind people, I must be honest. I’m hoping the audio description track for this film is incredible, because it has to be. The entire premise of this film revolves around making as little noise as humanly possible, because these very gnarly looking aliens now roam the planet and they are very sensitive to sound. It’s not just how they hunt, but they also take things out that are inanimate that make noise. It really is a great premise, and very well acted by the entire cast. John Krasinski proves he has a bright future behind the camera here, and this is one of the easiest recommendations I’ve made. There is a sequel, which is pretty good too, especially the first part, but it can’t beat the original and the emotional weight.
I’ll give this trippy Alex Garland sci-fi horror film a nod. It’s one that has somewhat divided the film community, but I think only because it serves as his follow up to Ex Machina. Basically, something is happening in this area on earth, and Natalie Portman must go in and see what lies beyond the veil. Alex Garland is a very bright director, and the use of anticipation in the film is nice, as you really aren’t sure what is going on. It’s gory and scary enough to qualify, even if most wouldn’t say it is a traditional Halloween film.
3) Kiss The Girls
Not your traditional Halloween fare by any means, but some people like a good thriller, and this one about a serial killer who kidnaps women until one gets away, is pretty damn effective, and features strong performances from Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. It’s not just “good for the 90’s”, it’s actually a nice Alex Cross thriller, something cinema failed to recapture in any other film after this.
While I was disappointed only by what this film could have been, this is still a Nazi Zombie film of sorts that has American soldiers with a given task at hand, but they might just have to kill some rather interesting things to get there. I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember any mention of this stuff in class when we were learning about WWII. It would have made history class a lot more fun.
5) Candyman (2021)
Jordan Peele produces this requel of the Candyman franchise that sees a new terror born, and a legend retold in a way that was actually scarier, gorier, and more interesting than the original. i thought the 90’s Candyman with Virginia Madsen was silly, but Jordan Peele uses Candyman as a social statement. It has nods to the original, and even a legacy character, so it does help if you’ve seen the original.
6) Significant Other
A new release for paramount Plus, and this is basically a preview of my review to come. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and this film really kept evolving as it moved along. What seems like a cut and dry film about being in the middle of nowhere and needing to survive, becomes a film that seems to change how it wants you to see it. Sometimes it’s dramatic, sometimes it’s scary, and sometimes it is intentionally funny. It’s hard to pull that off, but somehow this one charmed my face in half.
7) Sweeney Todd: The demon Barber Of Fleet Street
If you can think of a better time of year to watch a musical about killing people, baking them into pies, and feeding them to other people, let me know. Because, let’s be really honest, that’s exactly what this Stephen Sondheim film is about. Some films are about cannibals knowing they are cannibals. This one is about revenge, and Ms lovett’s interestingly delicious meat pies. A little priest? Don’t mind if I do.
8) The Ring
you can definitely skip the sequel, by the way, but The Ring was basically responsible for a movement where horror films were just adaptations of Asian horror flicks for a while. Gore Verbinski does a decent job of ripping off Ringu, so if you are wanting to see this story told and need audio description, this Naomi Watts starrer is the way to go. I’m hoping the audio description does this one justice, because this movie came out in 2002 and there are some images I still can’t get out of my head.
9) World War Z
Not really scary, but full of zombies. Tons and tons of zombies. i remember seeing a shot of like a thousand zombies piling on each other to climb a wall. So, this is very much a zombie movie for those in the mood. It plays more like an action film, and while there’s long been talk of a sequel, I don’t think that’s ever happening. So, take this for what it is, and know it’s based on a book if you want to read more.
Look, I said i would only recommend titles I’ve seen, but that remains a problem here. And it really shouldn’t be. There are some really bizarre choices being made as to what gets audio description. For example, four Paranormal Activity movies are listed as having audio description, but not the original. Why? The first one is the good one. And, who decided that only Friday The 13th part 3 gets audio description? That’s so random. Plus, the service (for some reason) dropped the far superior Orphan just like a month after debuting the average Orphan First kill. I’d love to put a Jason film on your plate, but I have to admit, I didn’t see part 3. And I loved Paranormal Activity, and I remember my audience loving it too, but I thought the concept of sequels defeated the found footage concept so I never watched them. And, I’d recommend Orphan at the drop of a hat, but First Kill just isn’t scary. It also assumes you know the twist, which ruins the superior first film.
Some additional notes. Paramount Plus does offer audio description to The Ruins, which I previously used on another list, and i didn’t want to keep repeating myself. It also has both animated Addams Family movies, but apparently not the Raul Julia live action entries. I didn’t bother with the animation, but I would have recommended the Raul Julia films in a flash. True, there are some titles I’m interested in seeing (like St Maude) that might have made this list, but there were some titles I purposefully left off.
I still need to do Disney Plus, Netflix, and Amazon. So, stay tuned.