The Fly (1986)

Rating 18

Length 1Hr 36

Release 13.2.1987

About When scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) completes his teleportation device, he decides to test its abilities on himself. Unbeknownst to him, a housefly slips in during the process, leading to a merger of man and insect. Initially, Brundle appears to have undergone a successful teleportation, but the fly’s cells begin to take over his body. As he becomes increasingly fly-like, Brundle’s girlfriend (Geena Davis) is horrified as the person she once loved deteriorates into a monster.

The Good

  • The makeup and visual effects are incredible. Repulsive in some respects, but they certainly stand up to a modern viewing. From Seth’s mottled and sickly looking skin to his complete metamorphosis, it’s compelling and scary to see.
  • Jeff Goldblum and his ticks and twitches in particular. I do wonder if it’s his role here that put him up for consideration in Jurassic Park. There are similarities within the characters and the only difference being; Ian Malcolm would have predicted all this chaos. Goldblum has been long established as a loveable kook for me, that seeing him in this very different role helps bring the horror alive.
  • I love that Seth has a better outline plan of action than a Tory government. Something I thought right before he tells Veronica he wants to be the first insect politician. I giggled way too much at myself for that.
  • John Getz wins me over by the end of the film. I can’t remember what else I’ve seen him in, but the word ‘sleaze’ comes to mind and that’s before you consider the ‘Han’s buddy’ beard he has going on. Sleaze is actually right. He’s a knob to Veronica and I hate him for about two thirds of the movie. However, he really turns it around.

The Bad

  • There’s less Science and more about the relationship between Seth and Veronica. While it certainly makes for a better horror, I personally didn’t care for it.
  • The timeframe seems off, making the relationship seem overly toxic, without the whole spontaneously mutating into a psychotic insect. I know there’s a comment close to the end of the film about how a month has passed, but early on it seems like a day goes past and they’ve gone from bed buddies to an old married couple holidaying to Florida.
  • Not sure how I feel about the narrative commentary of Veronica having to tell Seth about her intended abortion. I know it’s necessary for the cause and effect to lead to the final act, but I’m very uncomfortable with it when he’s shown violent predator behaviour. Without getting bogged down in gender politics, I think it’s fair to say that if you’re beau has become a mutation that vomits over his own food and scared the bejesus out of you, you can wave the ‘conversation’.

  • I can see how the film is interpreted as a commentary of the AIDS crisis, however it is self evident that the commentary is much too broad for this to be the case. It’s a shame, as if they went in with intention, it could have made an excellent theme. That said, we have werewolves for that.

The Ugly

  • The gore was too much for me. Made me physically sick and it’s the first time during this advent I’ve had to look away from the screen.
  • The maggot baby birth! Holy fuck, that was horrific. Perhaps it has more impact on a woman but that was a visual I could have done without.

Final Thoughts

It’s a well made film that had proven my theory that I am indeed a pussy when it comes to gory horrors. It’s like Captain America gone wrong, way way wrong.

The Fly(1958)

Rating: X

Length:1Hr 34

Release: 31.7.1958

About: When scientist Andre Delambre (Al Hedison) tests his matter transporter on himself, an errant housefly makes its way into the transportation chamber, and things go horribly wrong. As a result, Delambre’s head and arm are now that of the insect. Slowly losing himself to the fly, Delambre turns to his wife, Helene (Patricia Owens), for help. But when tragedy strikes, Delambre’s brother (Vincent Price) and Inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall) are forced to pick up the investigation.

The Good

  • I love the narrative framing that’s used. The anticipation of discovering what happened to her husband then, as time goes on, the wish that you can stop it all from happening.
  • Vincent Price has a presence on the screen. Not one that shines while suppressing others, but a charm and persona that simple commands attention. I look forward to exploring his filmography beyond the few films I’ve seen him in.
  • The effects are brilliant, even for a film made today I’d been happy with what they presented. From the close up flies to the presentation of Andre’s mutation, they all allow you to buy into the situation. The ending, in which we see the mutated fly is an incredible visual.
  • In much the same way The Creature From the Black Lagoon had the historical Science lesson, The Fly contains a commentary about technological progression, playing God and the fear that brings. Science is at the heart of many horrors and it’s the beauty of them. Lack of explanation makes us feel uneasy, so bending or breaking Science to our will is a goal for many. The biggest fear being that it’ll fail. It’s a subconscious fear, but that’s where a horror is better at getting under your skin.

The Bad

  • There’s a scene or two within the flash-back framing that are impossible for the wife to tell, as it contains only Andre or the camera angle presents his view (however amazing that it). Yes, it’s a weak point and not something a viewer would perhaps notice, but I need a bad and I hope this shows the quality of the film if I’m being petty.

The Ugly

  • That poor fucking child! No one tells him his dad is dead, even though the Police are deciding if his mother should be hanged for murder or locked up in the looney bin for her explanation. Actually, he constantly asks when his dad is coming home… maybe he didn’t inherit his father’s genius.

Final Thoughts

An excellent film, but no fear factor due to perhaps knowing the outcome from the start.

The Terminator (1984)

Rating: 15

Length: 1Hr 47

Release: 11.1.1985

About: Disguised as a human, a cyborg assassin known as a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) travels from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). Sent to protect Sarah is Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), who divulges the coming of Skynet, an artificial intelligence system that will spark a nuclear holocaust. Sarah is targeted because Skynet knows that her unborn son will lead the fight against them. With the virtually unstoppable Terminator in hot pursuit, she and Kyle attempt to escape.

The Good

  • As much as the arriving naked baffles me (and suffers from the sequels almost lampooning the process), I do love Kyle Reese’s Supermarket Sweep of what I could imagine being the ‘things’ everyone would go on to wear in 1985.
  • The gritty colourisation that is almost the definition of 80s movies. I feel at home with it and it hides some of the film’s ageing and instead gives it the retro feel that Stranger Things has painfully replicated.
  • The two dream sequences gives a better look at the post-apocalyptic future than any of the future movies do. While watching the first dream sequence I actually thought about how this franchise has perhaps kept hold of the time-travel assassin trope (fuck, they’ve over used it so much it’s become a trope!) for too long. What the franchise needs is a war movie. Show the audience these cyborgs in a different genre.
  • I remember being a kid and being scared by The Terminator. I still felt that apprehension and the key is in the lack of dialogue. There’s no reasoning with him; he’s a juggernaut computer with an ass you could bounce coins off.
  • Sarah Connor is one of the best female protagonists with one of the best character development. She stands among Leia, Ripley and others as a character who shows strength in a male dominated genre. What sets Connor apart is her development from traumatised to the bad ass she becomes in Judgement Day. It’s subtle but there’s a line and when you hear it, you know she’s no longer the same.

The Bad

  • There are some scenes towards the end in which Arnie looks like he’s in the French Revolution or a girl who has a heavy hand with a foundation that’s twenty shades out. It’s really hard to tell if this is something that hasn’t ‘aged well’ or a shit make up job so I have to write it up.
  • The stop motion sticks out in some parts and I put it in the bad, not because of it not ageing well, but because it is only about 5% of the footage that doesn’t look right, suggesting inconsistencies. It certainly looks better than, the opening sequence of Lockout (2012), for example. Plus, I personally would take stop motion over CGI any day. Except for Jurassic Park (Sorry, Phil Tippett).

The Ugly

  • “You’re terminated, fucker.” It’s strange that as someone who loves her puns and adores these sort of wise cracks in Buffy, I rolled my eyes and groaned at this death nell for the Terminator. Again, I feel it’s the sequels that actually harms this film more than the film in, and of, itself and what it perhaps just a line rings a little hammy.

Final Thoughts

A solid classic, only tainted by the tonal shift of the sequels.

All the Film Reviews in One Place


Absolutely Everything (2015)

Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin (2019)

American Made (2017)

American Sniper (2016)

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Annie (2015)

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame Spoiler Free (2019)

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)


Big Hero 6 (2015)

Bird Box (2018)

Birdman (2015)

Blackhat (2015)

Black Panther (2018)

Blade Runner 2049 (2018)

Blade Runner: the Final Cut (1982)

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Book Smart (2019)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)


Cake (2015)

Capricorn One (1979)

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain Marvel (2019)

Changeland (2019)

Christmas Carol (1951)

Christmas Story, A (1983)

Craft, The (1996)

Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954)

Cure, The (1996)

Curse of Frankenstein, The (1957)


Darkest Hour (2017)

Dead Don’t Die, The (2019)

Detective Pikachu (2019)

Dumplin (2018)

Dunkirk (2017)


Elf (2003)

Enemy of the State (1998)

Entourage (2015)

Ex Machina (2015)


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Fantastic Four (2015)

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Final Portrait (2017)

Fly, The (1958)

Fly, The (1986)

Foxcatcher (2015)

Fred Clause (2007)

Frighteners, The (1996)

Fun Size (2012)


Galaxy Quest (1999)

Ghostbusters (1984)

Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

Greatest Showman, The (2017)

Gremlins (1984) 50


Halloween (1978)

Halloween (2007)

Halloween (2018)

Hellboy (2019)

High Lonesome: A Father For Charlie (1995)

Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

Hobson’s Choice (1954)

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Holiday Affair (1949)

Hollow, The (2004)

Home (2015)

Home Alone (1990)

Hotel Artemis (2018)

Hotel Transylvania 3 (2018)

Howling III (1987)


Incredibles 2, The (2018)

Incredible Hulk, The (2008)

Indian in the Cupboard, The (1995)

Interview, The (2015)

Into the Night (1985)

Into the Woods (2015)

Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man 2 (2010)

I, Tonya (2018)

IT (1990)

IT: Chapter One (2017)

IT: Chapter Two (2019)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)


Jaws (1975)

Jungle Book, The (2016)

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park Halloween Edition (1993)

Jurassic World (2015)

Just Friends (2005)


King of Thieves (2018)

XKingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Kingsman: Secret Service (2015)

Kitchen, The (2019)

Krampus (2015)


Lion King, The (2019)

Little Shop of Horrors, The (1986)

Long Shot (2019)

Love, Actually (2003)

Love, Simon (2018)


Magic Mike XXL (2015)

Mama Mia! Here I Go Again (2018)

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Meg, The (2018)

Minions (2015)

Mom and Dad (2018)

Mother! (2017)

Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Mummy, The (2017)


National Lamoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Nativity! (2009)

Nerve (2017) 100

Nightmare Before Christmas, The (1993)

Nightmare on Elm Street, A (1984)

Nightmare on Elm Street, A (2010)


On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Overboard (2018)


Paddington 2 (2017)

Paper Towns (2015)

Paranorman (2012)

Patti Cakes (2017)

Perfect Date, The (2019)

Pet Sematary (2019)

Please Stand By (2017)

Polar Express, The (2004)

Predator (1987)

Predator, The (2018)

Pretty in Pink (1986)


Queen, The (2006)

Quiet Place, The (2018)


Raging Moon, The (1971)

Raising Helen (2004)

Rampage (2018)

Rare Exports (2010)

Ready Player One (2018)

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

Rocket Man (2019)

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)


Santa Claws (2018)

Scream (1996)

Scrooge (1970)

Scrooged (1988)

Selma (2015)

Shape of Water (2018)

Shazam! (2019)

Sherlock Gnomes (2018)

Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)

Simon Birch (1998)

Skyscraper (2018)

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Slow West (2015)

Small Soldiers (1998)

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Spy Who Dumped Me, The (2018)

Stan & Ollie (2018)

Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Surviving Christmas (2004)


Terminator, The (1984)

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Terminator Genisys (2015)

Three Wishes (1995)

Theory of Everything (2015)

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Tomb Raider (2018)

Toy Story (1995)

Toy Story 4 (2019)

Trading Places (1983)

Trapped in Paradise (1994)

Truth or Dare (2018)


Undrafted (2016)



Wedding Ringer, The (2015)

Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)

We’re No Angels (1955)

When We First Met (2018)

Whiplash (2015)

Wild (2015)

Wind River (2017)

Wonder Park (2019)

Wonder Woman (2017)

Wooly Boys, The (2001)


X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)


Yesterday (2019)


Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)

Dracula (1958)

Rating: X

Length: 1Hr 22

Release: 22.5.1958

About: On a search for his missing friend Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen), vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is led to Count Dracula’s (Christopher Lee) castle. Upon arriving, Van Helsing finds an undead Harker in Dracula’s crypt and discovers that the count’s next target is Harker’s ailing fiancée, Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh). With the help of her brother, Arthur (Michael Gough), Van Helsing struggles to protect Lucy and put an end to Count Dracula’s parasitic reign of terror.

The good

  • The acting is much better than my past experiences of watching Dracula. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee provide that familiarity that you’d come to expect of Hammer Horrors. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else take on Van Helsing in a better way.
  • It took me a while to spot him, but Wayne Manner’s resident butler Michael Gough is an absolute joy to watch as the father of Lucy. It’s at his introduction that the film is a smoother watch and he works very well with Cushing.
  • The defeat of Dracula is quite brilliant, even now. Yes, there was a slight difference in the colouration to the rest of the film, but the physical effects themselves really do stand up. Much better than so CGI counterparts ever could.

The bad

  • I’m unsure as to why Dracula speaks at the start but is reduced to growls and hisses. It does nothing for the narrative and having him speak. It’s not enough to make him disarming and it’s too much to allow him to be fearful.

The ugly

  • I think it might be the Dracula story itself, but I found this rather clunky and slow to gain traction in its lack of protagonist. Or rather, a protagonist who isn’t present from the start. Perhaps framing the film and beginning with Van Helsing receiving Jonathan’s diary. That way we’re with Cushing from the start.

Final Thoughts

A clunky but well acted version of the legendary Dracula that plays a little more like a thriller than a horror.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Rating: 18

Length: 1Hr 35

Release: 7.5.2010

About: Teenagers Nancy, Quentin, Kris, Jesse and Dean are all neighborhood friends who begin having the same dream of a horribly disfigured man who wears a tattered sweater and a glove made of knives. The man, Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley), terrorizes them in their dreams, and the only escape is to wake up. But when one of their number dies violently, the friends realize that what happens in the dream world is real, and the only way to stay alive is to stay awake.

The Good

The 2010 offering takes what is an interesting concept, offers a polished script and gives a better explanation to the fate of Freddy and his supernatural motivations.

It’s most definitely a horror. There’s jumps and scares (even those beyond my cat jumping onto me as someone gets the Freddy knives to the chest). The music has some part to play in that, but the biggest sell for the fear factor is how possible some of it seems. Not the whole ‘slasher killing you in your dreams’, but the repression after trauma, sexual predators being brought to vigilante justice by an angry mob.

Krueger is visually better. He looks like a burn victim rather than a jazz hand muppet or Christopher Llyod in Who Framed Rogger Rabbit? While Englund is iconic, time has been unkind to his camp Freddy. Now we have a Krueger that you believe may have been wrongly punished. Not only do his motivations bring fear, every movement is slow, calculated and necessary. It’s the opposite of what the 80s provided and, even ten years on, it scares the crap out of me.

The Bad

Some CGI scenes are bad. I actually reported a ‘trivia’ note on IMDb that stated that GCI was only used when ‘absolutely necessary’ as I believe that to be utter bullshit. The two scenes in which Freddy enters the ‘real world’ through the bedroom walls did not need to be done through CGI. It looks flawless (and creepy) in the 1984 version while the CGI one detracts from the horror.

The Ugly

The final scene that suggests it’s not really all over. It’s not the only film guilty of it, but I am disappointed that in 2010 it’s the only way Hollywood can end a horror movie.

Final thoughts

It’s the best horror remake/reboot I know of and it certainly has the scares you want from a horror. I just wish it would have relied on practical effects over CGI.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Rating: 18

Length: 1Hr 31

Release: 23.8.1985

About: In Wes Craven’s classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams — which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it’s too late?

The Good

  • It’s opening is quite interesting even if it feels like I’ve entered the industrial zone of the Crystal Maze. We’re thrown into a situation already in action. It’s full throttle from the get go and actually makes the audience a little off kilter. There’s nothing better than throwing you out of your comfort zone to bring the fear.

The Bad

  • Fred Krueger. Unfortunately, he’s a little too cartoonish to be fearful and as we see him within the first 30 seconds of the movie, I feel there’s an element of over exposure.
  • I’m not sure if the film was trying to keep the cast down, but the plot and motivation of Fred Krueger doesn’t quite match up with how the victims are picked. The mother’s revelation is a little hard to follow and I feel it implies she is solely responsible for Fred’s death.

The Ugly

  • Nancy, Nancy, Nancy! Why didn’t she die? Why was she such a shit actress who had two settings: monotone or SCREAMING EVERYTHING. In fact, there wasn’t really any acting (read: no facial expressions or responses to anything being said to her) at all. The best way to see the appalling acting is when she’s listening to her friend, Tina, recount her dream. Nancy reads a line that indicates Nancy has prompted her to remember her own dream. But nothing, LITERALLY NOTHING, about her body language suggests she finds the dream familiar.
  • I don’t even feel bad saying this, but I was rooting for ol’ Krueger. I felt, on irritation factor alone, she deserved to die. You know there’s something wrong when I’m rooting for a child slasher to win.

Final Thoughts

Little too small town Stephen King storytelling with a Sarah from the Labyrinth casting reject makes this an underwhelming watch for me.

Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954)

Rating: A (hasn’t been reclassified)

Length: 1Hr 19

Release: 9.12.1954

About: Remnants of a mysterious animal have come to light in a remote jungle, and a group of scientists intends to determine if the find is an anomaly or evidence of an undiscovered beast. To accomplish their goal, the scientists (Antonio Moreno, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Whit Bissell) must brave the most perilous pieces of land South America has to offer. But the terrain is nothing compared to the danger posed by an otherworldly being that endangers their work and their lives.

The Good

  • How can you not be charmed by this Universal classic? Get past the rather jarring Biblical opening and you’re met with a this incredible set up: a scientific and geological finding that brings together a team. It’s fascinating and almost educational(in a geeky fun way. Like Mr DNA). You feel safe, you’re smiling and maybe you even begin to wonder why this is on a list for Halloween. Plot wise the first half reminds me of Jurassic Park while the second half is King Kong and Jaws.
  • The creature is incredible, on the most part. The person they have in the suit truly brings Gill-Man to life and is able to make moving about in water organic and distinguishable from both David and Mark. I would say in terms of the long shots within the water Gill-Man is as good as modern creature feature man and Starfleet officer, Doug Jones.
  • The musical score provided many of the films cues and impeding ‘scares’. It adds tension and atmosphere to the more chilling parts of the film. It certainly seems to be something that inspired Jaws’ main theme.

The Bad

  • Inconsistency with the character of Mark is a sticking point for me. He’s hell bent on killing, stuffing and mounting the poor creature who’d had his home invaded. Yet within seconds of bludgeoning the bastard, he’s entrusted with taking him to safety. It happens a few too many times, which suggests the characterisations were not the priority. While story is important, I do like a focus on characters.
  • I’m certain it wasn’t the intention, but the one creature hands reaching out for land was repeated a little too often in a short amount of time that it became comical. No… I tell a lie, it was even funny the first time.

The Ugly

  • Now, this is almost unfair. However, I’m finding it hard to put something here that I feel I have to. The creature’s suit was brilliant, almost faultless considering the time and some of the CGI renderings today. However, the only issue I had with it was the eyes. They were so lifeless and fake that they really brought attention to them. Perhaps it might not have been so noticeable had there not been the focus on the movement of the gills which was incredible. Perhaps had they have been painted over with a matt paint they would have worked better.

Final thoughts

A charming film from the vaults that should be spoken about and aired on tv more often. It has clearly inspired a host of modern film makers and I certainly find that fascinating.

Halloween (1978)

Rating: 18

Length: 1Hr 31

Release: 25.1.1979

About: On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith’s Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

The Good

  • The filming is atmospheric: from the voyeuristic Michael Myers’ POV shots to the ones that track Michael, have him placed in shot without showing him fully.
  • The music adds to this with that creepy and chilling score.
  • I love that there’s no running really. It’s all sneak attack, up close and often without them expecting it. Largely that seems to do with the fact that it’s all set around the one day.
  • Donald Pleasance having his own storyline away from the survivor is a refreshing change. Having no one believe him is terrifying.

The Bad

  • Laurie is a little bit dumb. Not once, but twice she discards the knife right next to Michael Myers’ body. Okay, first time I’ll let you off. But you know the bastard is good at playing dead, why the fuck would you hand back the knife?!?!

The Ugly

  • What sort of basketball player worthy cameraman did they use for that opening sequence in which Michael, a six year old Michael at that, is given a camera POV shot? Way too tall and it really pulled me out of the scene.

Halloween (2018)

Rating 18

Length 1Hr 46

Release 19.10.2018

About It’s been 40 years since Laurie Strode survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when his bus transfer goes horribly wrong. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the masked madman returns to Haddonfield, Ill. — but this time, she’s ready for him.

The Good

  • This is a clever continuation of the 1978 film. It nods to the things that made the original the classic that it is, while reworking some tired tropes for not only a modern day audience, but for a Horror fan wishing to see something different.
  • Woohoo! An 18 that doesn’t require the women to die with their breasts out. The theme of chastity being a saving grace has been removed, instead giving us a much more complex and rewarding theme of survivor complex and generational family dynamics.
  • It’s a proper decent script and a great cast. There are two awesome lines within the film and they are supported by two brilliant actors delivering them. There’s a ‘oh Shit’ that feels like one of the most authentic responses I’ve ever seen in a horror movie and there’s a ‘gotcha’ that rings with power that I ended up shouting at the tv.
  • The music and title credits are … well, they’re beautiful. The film opens with the traditional score and a new approach to the visuals. It closes with a modern remix.

The Bad

  • The showdown at the house feels flawed. While it may be seen differently on a repeated viewing, it will spark irritation in some viewers who have been charmed by its smart choices for everything that comes before.

The Ugly

  • While it cuts down, or rather out, the nudity it does not hold back the gore. As a filmic genre Hollywood has moved away from the implied and all but splatters the audience with blood. While it was not something that turns my stomach, I will always find the misdirection of the famous Psycho shower scene much more effective.

Final Thoughts

Fuck me, this is the best of the franchise. However, it won’t truly work in isolation. To really appreciate it as a story, and as a film, you do need to watch the original and, as much as I hate to admit this, watching the 2007 version will also help.

Halloween (2007)

Rating: 18

Length: 1Hr 49

Release: 28.9.2007

About: Nearly two decades after being committed to a mental institution for killing his stepfather and older sister, Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) breaks out, intent on returning to the town of Haddonfield, Ill. He arrives in his hometown on Halloween with the indomitable purpose of hunting down his younger sister, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton). The only thing standing between Michael and a Halloween night of bloody carnage is psychologist Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell).

The Good

  • Certainly the first half has a great attempt at… being its own film. The filming style and story contains a nod to the original, but it’s definitely meant for a different audience.
  • I guess good on ‘em for not being a Hollywood shithouse and providing the cinema goers with a rated 18 movie. I’d say well done for not being a pussy, but as the rating was probably given for that gratuitous full body shot…. yeah…
  • There’s a solid cast and having Malcolm McDowell as Loomis was a good call. While I can’t say he brings all of his menace and authority from De Large days, he doesn’t bring the ham either.

The Bad

  • While I definitely commend the attempt to add a background to Michael Myers and his violent tendencies, it actually detracts from the horror. Going down the psychological exploration for his pathological behaviour makes sense; he had a shit life and exposed to violence from a young age, of course it manifests. However, one of the scariest parts of the original is that there’s no explanation. We always fear the unknown, so explaining it removes the fear.
  • Laurie is no longer the protagonist. She doesn’t appear until halfway. Spending so much time with Michael stops you from engaging with Laurie and her friends. I care very little for her survival. There’s very few changes at this point other than as babysitter’s, both Laurie and Annie suck.
  • Having Laurie be Michael’s sister was something the original franchise attempted, and failed to bring to fruition so I’m unsure why they would expect it to work here. The biggest sticking point being I don’t get how the bastard knows Laurie is his sister?! If you are going to do it, do it well.

The Ugly

  • The running, the screaming, the deaths. It was all just noise. Loud, obnoxious and game play noise. The two kids being looked after are so annoying and whiney, the viewer will be rooting for Myers and hoping he kills them. Slowly. With a rusty spoon.
  • That multiple, fake-out ending is just overkill. I felt as if nothing short of a nuke was going to stop him and I need some realism to my serial killers.
  • There’s an absolutely unnecessary and violent rape scene which I really could have done without as it verged on the torture porn gore that has become rampant in modern day horror.

Final Thoughts

It’s a film for the over stimulated generation and I checked out way before Laurie Strode made her stage left debut. Myer’s gets a back story no one asked for and runs the risk of the audience connecting with him.

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Rating: X/ 12

Length: 1Hr 22

Release: 2.5.1957

About: Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is a brilliant scientist willing to stop at nothing in his quest to reanimate a deceased body. After alienating his longtime friend and partner, Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart), with his extreme methods, Frankenstein assembles a hideous creature (Christopher Lee) out of dead body parts and succeeds in bringing it to life. But the monster is not as obedient or docile as Frankenstein expected, and it runs amok, resulting in murder and mayhem.

The Good

  • The film has an interesting narrative framing in which we meet Victor Frankenstein after the events. It’s not something you see often in modern films and it was a refreshing change.
  • There are some incredible shots in what is largely a play-like adaptation. One particular scene in which Victor goes to purchase eyes for his creature is filmed from the neck down.
  • Peter Cushing is fantastic as Victor Frankenstein. His acting is best scene in some of the subtle movements he makes, like when he is discussing the need for a brain with Paul. Cushing’s eyes at one point flicker to Paul’s forehead and it put me on edge for the rest of the film.

The Bad

  • The commentary of women within the film pissed me off. Not because I’m some snowflake who can’t see it as a product of its time. No, I’m pissed off about Victor’s “I’ll introduce Elizabeth to Science” was used as a threat to Paul and that Paul spent a lot of the film ‘mansplaining’ to Elizabeth. I’m pissed off not for some feminist ‘women can Science too’, but because the source material was written by a woman!

The Ugly

  • It’s the problem of it being an adaptation. While it is an incredibly well made film, I found that the core elements and themes from the book did not make an appearance. It doesn’t make it bad, per say, I’m just disappointed.
  • The biggest theme/plot point that defines Frankenstein is Victor’s revulsion of his own creation and the eventual abandonment. I know this is to do with film rights and n avoidance of a law suit, but it just didn’t meet my expectations.