With the fate of the movie series still up in the air, the likelihood of “Friday the 13th” fans getting a new film within the next three years seems like pipe dreams. The fan community has managed to keep the franchise alive, though, including Vincente DiSanti. After his incredibly popular 2017 fan film “Never Hike Alone,” DiSanti continues his take on the series, this time giving fans what we’ve been asking for, since “The New Blood”: Jason Voorhees slashing his way through the snowy terrain of Crystal Lake.
2006’s “Pirates Ahoy!” is one of the more clever animated sequels to come from the aughts when the “Scooby Doo” movie series was pretty much stale. By this time they’d given up fighting real monsters, and reverted back to criminals and goons with fancy costumes and illusions. It’s surprising how much talent these direct to DVD movies always attract, and the cast compliments what is a pretty nifty mystery, altogether.
2020 has been filled with a ton of surprises for movie fans, and one of the better ones was the sudden introduction of the Deluxe “Friday the 13th Collection” from Scream Factory. While there have been a ton of re-releases since the initial DVD set in 2004, Scream Factory has never been prone to just re-packaging the same movies in to “new” sets, so it was no shock when the Deluxe Collection for “Friday the 13th” was announced, fans crashed Scream Factory’s site to order the set. Suffice to say, Scream Factory simply hasn’t failed horror buffs and Jason Voorhees fanatics. What began as a means of ripping off “Halloween” in 1979, Sean Cunningham and screenwriter Victor Miller’s summer camp slasher film became an iconic pop culture sensation and long running franchise.
Who better to celebrate Halloween than the Scooby Gang? “Happy Halloween, Scooby Doo!” is the thirty first animated movie in the long running franchise. It’s a long running franchise that, to its credit, doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. This installment is firmly a Halloween oriented movie, revolving around the idea of fear, and Velma trying to ignore her emotional response to fear in favor of rationality. What she ultimately comes to realize is that fear can be a good thing; it can even help us survive in perilous situations.
The “Slumber Party Massacre” movie series has never really been too much of a straight faced horror movie franchise. The original film is a dark, silly bit of slasher fodder that is famous mainly for its title. The sequel from Deborah Brock basically takes the whole series in a direction that’s bizarre, completely unusual, and borrows very much from 1985’s “Freddy’s Revenge” with its strong and blatant LGBTQ overtones.
I am one of the folks that loved McG’s 2018 horror comedy “The Babysitter.” It was a weird, gory, and funny horror comedy with an excellent cast, including Samara Weaving, who could take any role and turn it in to gold. When I heard of the sequel coming up shortly after, I was skeptical, if only because there didn’t seem to be anywhere else to go. Oddly enough the writers go in a completely new direction and for the most part it’s a raucous and fun follow up.
The “Deep Blue Sea” movie series seems to be veering slowly away from the campy nonsense that was the original and headed more in to Peter Benchley lite fare. For a movie that followed the silly shark fest with Sam Jackson, this is a surprisingly straight faced and dull second sequel. There’s nothing really here, save for the usual riffs on “The Deep,” “Aliens,” “The Abyss,” and only a very small connection to the sequel, which had a very small thread tied to the original Renny Harlin cult classic. It’s all fairly standard killer shark fare.
In 1996, John Carpenter essentially pulled a Sam Raimi with one of his key creations, Snake Plissken. While “Escape from New York” is a great scifi action film, Carpenter is this time given a bigger budget and decides to cover a wider field of his mythology, cramming in as much as he could with this sequel/remake. While I wouldn’t call “Escape from LA,” it manages to rise above the rest in Carpenter’s ouevre with some very good concepts, and Kurt Russell doing a bang up job, as always.