Halloween (2018)

Score: 6/10

Length: 106

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: recent, 2000s, murderer, slasher, recommended

Even though I saw this before (or maybe just around) Halloween, I saw it in theatres, so I’m just getting around to review it now. I was in Hollywood, wandering around in the middle of the day, when it was decided that we’d stop by TCL and check out the new Halloween. Especially as we had spotted Jaime Lee Curtis’ star earlier. It was awesome to see her as “a grandma” rocking grey hair in a similar style to her original 1987 role. It did, as mentioned, delve a little more into Michael’s character, but it stayed true to the mystery and the fact that he’s simply just a cold-blooded killer. It’s most likely because I was at the theatre, but the movie felt really fast. I wanted more hunt, more struggle to capture Michael, but I have a feeling that if I were watching it at home, I might not feel the same. Jaime Lee Curtis was fantastic, but I already forgot what the other characters were like. The kills were fast and random, true to M.M. style, and there were lots of fun throwback references. Definitely not disappointed with this movie, and glad it had fantastic timing.

Oh right… it’s about Laurie and her two younger generations battling an escaped Michael Myers. Laurie is now a grandmother, living in fear and paranoia of Michael, and existing in a house on lock-down. She’s been practising for years, and finally works up the courage to hunt her hunter. A couple of journalists are looking to interview the murderer before he is transferred to a maximum security prison. They are dismayed that he chooses not to speak, and get nothing out of him before the bus driving the prisoners crashes and they all escape. Laurie and Michael chase each other through houses on Halloween and end up in her escape room for the final face-off.

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Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Score: 4/10

Length: 97

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, murderer, supernatural, gore, slasher

I may have watched this on actual Friday the 13th, but the Freddy in me had me sleep on the review (heh). We start the film with Freddy flashbacks, and he explains that people have forgotten about him so he needs Jason to come back (from the dead) and help him kill. (Queue massive eye roll.) So Freddy returns as Jason’s mother to rise her son’s body from the grave. Some random girl with giant, exposed (for no reason) boobs is killed, and then the story begins.

You can tell it’s going to be bad right from the start because the script is so obviously horrible, but then its awfulness is secured by the presence of Kelly Rowland. There are lots of typical (but still fun) Freddy and Jason kills that take up most of the middle of the movie. By the time you get this far in a franchise, the decent thing to do is to include some wild originality and laughs. I mean, there’s definitely some bad CGI weirdness like a mossy worm with a hookah, but as you may be able to guess, it makes zero sense.

Freddy does fight Jason near the end, when he tries to go after the victims that Freddy wants. Yeah, it’s pretty stupid. Jason cuts off Freddy’s arms which he grows back. Lots of AAHHs and HAAHHs and other obnoxiously bad fighting grunts. Then, Jason is flung around by Freddy’s dream powers, but of course, doesn’t die. One fight is in Freddy’s world, the other is in Jason’s. And then there’s a final showdown, with the other characters trying to kill them both as well. I can’t say it’s not entertaining. It’s a great background movie for when you want to eat popcorn and talk, or make-out and not really pay attention.

The Initiation (1984)

Score: 6/10

Length: 97

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, psychological, recommended

I’d never heard of this movie, but YouTube recommended it for me, and I was pleasantly surprised. I figured it’d be a typical sorority slasher, which it was, though definitely not typical. It was fairly well thought-out, and had a big twist that I wasn’t expecting. When you look back on the clues, it’s easy to guess, and although it may not it be overly original, I just wasn’t planning on a twist of any sorts, so it was exciting! I watched this movie over a few days, as it isn’t exactly thrilling, and I mean, it’s hot out. It’s summer. It’s hard to watch non-beachy horrors right now. But this one is set in a mall! And that’s always fun.

It’s about a sorority initiation gone wrong, where the girls are set to steal the guard’s clothing, and instead, everyone dies. Our main gal has been having nightmares and trying to get therapy. Her dreams might be reality, and she’s in store for a few revealing surprises. There are loads of characters you don’t care about, but their acting is decent and never distracting. There are, of course, needless boob scenes, as this is horror in the eighties, but overall, there isn’t much to turn my nose up at. It was fairly enjoyable, but I could have done with with a fleshier character story build.

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)

Score: 7/10

Length: 85

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, slasher, woods, recommended, murderer

I didn’t notice that the title included “Prey at Night” which is obvious, meaningless, and just plain dumb. The director for this sequel is different, but he follows the original enough so that you can’t tell if you don’t focus on it. This one has a tense but loving family (though the mom and dad have a lot of similarities to the couple in the original) who stay at a trailer park and are stalked and killed off by the three masked strangers. Since there are more people to kill (an aunt and uncle, others in the campsite), there are fewer mind games and slow tension scenes which is the only thing making this film stand apart from the first. Strong acting from Bailee Madison who I’m excited to see evolve from the over-dramatic characters she played in R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour. A few scattered jump scares and mini-twists make this second-go entertaining, but it’s lacking the intense tension that makes the original a memorable favorite.

April Fool’s Day (1986)

Score: 6/10

Length: 89

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, slasher, cabin, recommended

Exactly what you think it’d be, but not mundane or generic at all. This movie is about a group of rich, young adults who spend a weekend at their friend, Muffy’s mansion on April 1. There’s a killer on the loose, and through the twists and turns it’s laced an elaborate prank. A surprisingly good movie, nothing too cheesy, such as the acting or special effects. Lots of deaths and drama, with a small sprinkle of tension. There were the typical character types, but everyone was interesting and likable in their own way, especially the final two. It’s a simple movie and I think it works because the quality of each aspect is clear. The biggest issue with a movie like this (about April Fool’s Day), is that we know all the secrets of the film before we even begin, just based off the title. I’d love to see a modern remake with a different, more mysterious title. I wasn’t upset in any way by the ending, I felt it was light and fun and I was okay with that.

 

photo: http://crypticrock.com/

Film Face-off: New Year’s Evil (1980) vs Terror Train (1980)

There are a few New Year’s Eve- themed horrors out there, but none of them look astounding. Here are the best two in a face-off against each other! Both have creepy masks, both are from the eighties, and both available to watch for free on YouTube!

New_Years_Evil

New Year’s Evil (1980)

Score: 3.5/10

Length: 90

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, holiday, murderer

You know I love a good theme, so bring on 2016, the champagne, and this movie (which I shockingly have never seen before).  This one starts off strong with some intense eighties blush. It’s about a dance and music show host who gets a call while working New Year’s Eve from a stranger with a comically stupid voice. (Yes he’s talking into a voice-changing device, but it’s ridiculous nonetheless). He does’t have a vote for best song, but he does have New Year’s resolution to commit murder- and it’s going to be someone the host knows. What ends up happening, is that the stranger kills someone she knows each hour, with the intent on killing the host on New Year’s Day. There isn’t much of a story behind the killer (as in most slashers, unfortunately) and the ending, though realistic, is not memorable. The only thing I’m really left thinking about is all of the bad eighties rock music I just had to sit through.

 

terror-train-groucho-killer

Terror Train (1980)

Score: 5/10

Length: 97

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, holiday, murderer

The title doesn’t elude to any holiday high jinks, but this film is about a bunch of aspiring doctors and their college friends who are trapped on a train with a killer during a New Year’s Eve costume party. I quite enjoyed the idea of being stuck in a small space with no where to go and the story was creative while still being feasible. The “awkward sexual encounter that turns you into a serial killer” thing is really old, but this was also made in the eighties while I was busy not existing for six years after this film was released. The Groucho mask was creepy, the acting is fairly well-done, and you can’t go wrong with Jaime Lee Curtis as the heroine (in yet another JLC slasher), and David Copperfield playing the magician. I appreciated that the killer changed into the costumes of the victims (kept things interesting) and there were a few twists throughout to throw you off. Overall, it’s not too bad! A lot more entertaining and original than I thought it was going to be. Definitely the winner of this battle!

 

photo credits: http://basementrejects.com, http://dorkshelf.com, http://crypticrock.com