It’s been a very long time since Michael Myers was such an imposing or scary horror figure. After many years where he became a reality star getting his ass handed to him by a hip hop star, and being turned in to a hillbilly, it’s good to see Michael Myers once again return to the form he arrived in as “The Shape.” Directed by David Gordon Green, “Halloween” (or “H40,” if you want to get very technical) won’t be for everyone, as it is a mixed bag that makes a controversial decision with its narrative and the mythos. In the end, though, I had a great time, and would recommend it, especially for the horror base looking for a good return to the universe Carpenter specifically established.
I’ve never been a fan of the “Hatchet” series, this I must admit. I think Adam Green is a much better horror fan than horror director, and I think his friend Joe Lynch has mastered the art of genre filmmaking, while Adam Green still tends to direct like a film student still learning the ropes. That said I enjoyed “Victor Crowley” so much more than the previous three films in the series. I would not watch it again unless I was painfully bored, but as a sequel/reboot, I laughed, I groaned, and for once I enjoyed Green bringing his friends aboard to indulge in some good blood shed.
Truthfully, “Bad Apples” isn’t a terrible movie even when you consider it’s a shameless rip off of “The Strangers.” It just obviously has a paper thin premise and not much else to do but pad the time. The movie is ninety minutes long and for twenty of those minutes it feels like a relationship drama set on Halloween starring Brea Grant and Graham Skipper as married couple Ella and Robert. She’s trying to adjust to her new house, he’s working his new job, and she’s trying to teach at a school run by an overly religious principal, oh the hilarity. Then it decides to dip in to the horror–eventually.
There are two kinds of survival thrillers I place in separate categories. There’s the “They’re completely fucked” films like “Open Water” and “Alive” where their situation is hopeless. Then there’s the “Calm Down and You Might Survive” category with titles like “Frozen” and “47 Meters Down” where if people just relaxed and displayed some kind of common sense, they could make it. “ATM” is in the latter category where if these three moronic characters would just stop and think for a moment, they could have actually made it through the poor man’s Jigsaw without many battle wounds.
I should say that I love slasher movies. I adore the sub-genre and long before I fell in love with the genre of horror cinema, slasher movies were my bread and butter. I am all for a resurgence of slasher movies but if Gregory Plotkins’ “Hell Fest” is the attempt at starting a new renaissance of the sub-genre, it’s a horrible step forward. I don’t know how audiences will greet “Hell Fest” in ten years, but save for Tony Todd’s appearance I imagine this will be thought of as another horror groaner banking on the thirst for horror for the season. With five writers, “Hell Fest” never quite rises above utterly abysmal, and at best, would probably make okay background noise at a Halloween party.
I admire the cut of “Blood Feast’s” jib. It aspires to be an all out horror comedy gore fest that celebrates horror movies, and in many respects, it succeeds. I even forgave it for ripping off “Cabin in the Woods.” It’s just even when you shut off your brain, “Blood Feast” is bogged down, and ultimately defeated, by its insanely far fetched climax, and abundance of plot holes. I suspect audiences will leave this movie trying to connect the gaps in logic, more than celebrating its odes to “Saw,” “Night of the Living Dead,” and the fun cameo by Zachary Levi. Seriously, what was up with that? “Blood Fest” has a good idea in its corner it just has no idea how to cleverly deal it out for the movie audience.
I should point out that I’m a big “Friday the 13th” fan. I’ve seen every movie in the series a thousand times and used to rewatch my “Jason Lives” VHS so much it eventually broke. One of the finer points of the movie series is that it’s filled with plot holes and inconsistencies that add to the charm rather than detract from it. The premise for the series always amounts to a lot of fun and some laugh out loud, or awkward moments. Here are but a few.
What are some of your favorite “Friday the 13th” moments? Let us know in the comments!
It’s a shame that “Prey at Night,” the long awaited sequel to “The Strangers” hit like a thud in 2018, because it sure is a top notch follow up to the atmospheric original we saw a decade ago. Where as the original was more an homage to the Manson family murders, “Prey at Night” is a slick hodgepodge of slasher and thriller nods and winks that paint our trio of Sack Face, Pin Up Girl, and Baby Doll as more aggressive individuals that spend less time tenderizing their victims before they go in for the ultimate kill.