Regarded by many horror fans as one of the greatest horror movies of the eighties, and one of the greatest Italian splatterfests, “Demons” has carved a larger than life reputation in horror cinema, even in spite of its messy sequel line up. Lamberto Bava’s “Demons” is the essence of punk rock horror, a movie so unabashedly chaotic, violent, and gruesome, but one also packing a sense of mysticism. Its sequel is a pretty awesome follow up that repeats the original’s formula, but brings it in to a new arena where humans are hopelessly trapped.
“The Conjuring” cinematic universe/series has been a horror ride of varying degrees. It’s had its great highs and its depressing lows (Ahem—“Annabelle”), and in spite of delivering two genuine horror classics, the mainline movie series can’t quite escape the dreaded curse of the third film. While “The Devil Made Me Do It” is not at all a bad movie per se, it’s not high in scares or tension as the first two films. The first two movies relied on mounting tension and absolute terror, while “The Devil Made Me Do It” feels a lot more like if they took the series and tried to turn it in to a crime procedural.
“The Conjuring” is a series I hope studios keep re-visiting (with some caveats—ahem—“Annabelle”), since there’s so much they can do with the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren. At this point the movie has taken many of their actual cases and expanded them in to wonderful horror films and “The Devil Made Me Do It” is no exception. True it’s not as good as the first two films, but the third part in the core movie series really does help to emphasize the heroism of Ed and Lorraine.
Marcus McCollum’s horror drama is a film teeming with potential that never fully realizes it. Even with the somewhat tense finale, a lot of “Noise in the Middle” is mixed up, half baked ideas about mysticism, the supernatural, the afterlife and the toll that grief can have on us. It’s “The Shining” meets “The Babadook” without any of the heavy emotional weight or substance. The writers MCollum and Mark Conley throw so much in the air and none of it ever lands with considerable resonance.
While I wouldn’t peg the Mick Garris fueled “Nightmare Cinema” a horror masterpiece, I had a good time with the selection of horror stories, and loved how various storytellers in the film managed to go in completely different directions than I originally thought they would. Despite a shifty story frame, like most horror anthologies, “Nightmare Cinema” is a mixed bag of horror treats that will click with most lovers of the format, if only for its ambition and style.
When I was a kid, “Hello Mary Lou” was one of my all time favorite horror movies. It was a sequel to a film I didn’t see until many years later, and it was always presented in edited, cut for time versions on Channel 11 WPIX in New York, but I sure as hell loved it. It was just a wacky, occasionally creepy movie that was so much crazier than I originally thought it was. The only theme that “Prom Night II” has in common with the original slasher movie is the overtone of revenge from days past. That is about as far as it goes, as “Prom Night II” takes a massive departure from the original premise involving an axe murderer out for revenge stalking high schoolers leading in to a disco centric prom with Jamie Lee Curtis front and center.