William Castle’s “House on Haunted Hill” was a pretty great horror movie that inevitably became a pretty good remake in 1999. When Sam Raimi founded Dark Castle films, his love for William Castle was worn on his sleeve, right down to theatrics of the remake. “House on Haunted Hill” from 1999 does a good job of delivering something new and unique to the premise of the original film, putting twists in the premise, and offering some contemporary thrills that more than make up for the film’s massive short comings, overall. It’s a great Halloween treat; I can at least say that for it.
Yes, you could say it only had three seasons on television, but I prefer to think of it as we horror fans had an “Evil Dead” series for three whole years. While Starz! Didn’t stick to their guns in the long run, we had a good run re-visiting Ashley Williams once again in his journey to bring down the deadites from hell and track down the necronomicon. “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is a stellar horror comedy series that didn’t shy away from anything that made the original movies so fantastic, and if you’re flexible, you’ll love how the writers even stretch the mythos for a wider scope and more interesting depth, as well as a new variety of deadites like a hand puppet, a high school mascot, and a cell phone.
While the rest of the horror community are celebrating the big releases from Scream Factory this year like “Creepshow” and “Trick r Treat,” in comes a somewhat overlooked horror child known as the “[REC] Collection.” Shout! outdoes themselves packing together all four films from the found footage horror series from Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza, and it’s a box set that should be explored if you’ve never seen the “[REC]” films or have only ever seen the original.
Whether you know it as “Bram Stoker’s Shadowbuilder,” “Shadowbuilder,” “Bram Stoker’s Shadow Builder,” or jut “Shadow Builder,” Jamie Dixon’s 1998 horror fantasy is an okay genre entry. While stumbling here and there in visual effects, the STV horror flick makes for a neat diversion with genre vets at the helm. Dixon’s horror fantasy is one of the last remnants of the video store/Pay Per View age, where horror was mostly relegated to trenches. I never gave it much of a chance when it was heavily promoted on cable back in 1998, but watching it now, it’s aged considerably well, garnering the old fashioned late night cable flavor I miss so much.
After almost twenty years not making horror movies, fans were excited to see Sam Raimi getting back in to the genre that introduced him to us originally. While we might have wanted another “Evil Dead” rather than a PG-13 horror film, with Raimi you never get just a PG-13 horror film, after all. After many years of working on the big budget spectacles of the “Spider-Man” movies, Raimi blasts in to the horror world once again to deliver what has been a very thoroughly analyzed and appreciated little gem. Leave it to Raimi to throw in a smaller film that packs a punch over time.
Well it’s done and sadly, this is probably the last we’ll ever see of Ashley Williams. Despite fans wanting more from “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” Starz! Verified that the series was officially cancelled after three seasons, and Bruce Campbell confirmed that he’s hanging up his boom stick and chainsaw as Ash forever. It stings to know Ash won’t be back in live action form at least, but you know what?
On the bright side we got three whole seasons of a great series. “Ash vs. Evil Dead” continued the movie series, paved new roads for the series, introduced new deadite fighting heroes we can root for, and never held back on gore, grue, and deadite chopping action and comedy. Thanks to Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell for giving fans a last hurrah for Ash Williams. Hail to the King.
Here are ten of my favorite moments from “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”
“And it was going so good too.” That’s my initial reaction to the third act of “Ghost Stories” which feels like one gigantic cop out of a finale. You can reason that the creators wanted to introduce these esoteric ideas that come colliding, but I felt like “Ghost Stories” just ran out of ideas and just stopped trying. I’m also not a fan of the underlying message about how lack of belief is linked to being some kind of bitter individual with a horrible life. Either way I imagine the finale to “Ghost Stories” will be a very polarizing element in the horror movie world in 2018. I think some horror fans will defend its radical approach while others will lambast it for trying way too hard. I’m in the latter category. I didn’t buy its self important morality play.
The definition of disappointing is the big lead in to who or what the Creeper is. The writing makes a big deal about how you’re able to read its origins by touching a severed part of it, even staging a scene where a group of people channel its origins. There’s a close up of its magical spears and emphases on its car which is built like a virtual indestructible tank, and in the finale Creeper wails in anger as crows fly around, reacting to a sign that reads “We know what you are.” Guess what? We’re never told what the Creeper is. There isn’t even a hint of an explanation. The writing tries to cop out by metaphorically explaining that the creeper is a monster that changes and destroys lives. Damn it, to hell with stupid clichés and tell me what the hell the Creeper is!