The Evil Dead (1981) Halloween Advent

Rating 18
Length 1h25
Release 17.1.1983
Director Sam Rami
About Five friends travel to a remote cabin in the woods where they play a tape with incantations. This releases the demons which possess them in succession until only one is left fighting for survival.
Moon: Full Moon sighted throughout the film.
Where to Watch: Rented from Prime but is currently on Now Entertainment
Trailer:

Trick

  • The tree rape! Did it really have to be so explicit and gratuitous?! Does it also meant that the Deadening that the group go on to experience starts life as an STI?! Its all rather odd and is almost filmed with a certain, limited, target audience.
  • The Deadening voices, particularly of the women, really start to grate after a while. Particularly the three women, who were already hard to tell apart.

Treat

  • The Super-8 feel really gives such a retro, intimate and indie vibe to the whole film. Its a refreshing change to see a film with rough edges and no Hollywood budget.
  • The story is simple, yet effective. There’s no twists or complications. It’s the ideal length and is, or was, a self contained story with no sights on setting up a sequel.
  • Bruce Campbell is awesome as Ash in his original form. To see the horror unfold around him while he comes to the realisation of the things he has to do, is something else.

Final Thoughts

I can see why this film was banned in places around the world, and it isn’t necessarily something I’ll watch again, but it is a must watch for any horror fans.

Halloween II (1981) Halloween Advent

Rating 18
Length 1h32
Release 26.4.2012
Director Rick Rosenthal
About Myers, a horrific murderer, spends 15 years in an insane asylum after terrorising the people in his small hometown on the eve of a Halloween. As soon as he gets out, he hunts down his sister.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Netflix
Trailer:

Trick

  • The opening is rather clunky and almost feels like I’ve missed a scene or two. I understand it starts off directly after the first film, but I think that puts this film at a disadvantage because of the first being resolved.
  • The tone of the film is off. It has the Horror elements, but there’s also lines of dialogue and the way they’re delivered, that will reduce most viewers to fits of giggles. The biggest laugh is when a Michael Myers is hit by a police car. The sequence, I’m sure, is meant to be shocking. It most definitely isn’t.
  • Michael Myers has a whole new silhouette. They must not have been able to get the original guy back, and it shows. It’s hard to not notice and it really takes you out of the film.
  • The time of day is really unclear. In some scenes it appears at if it’s at least gone midnight, in others it appears like its not even past 7pm. Add to that, the fact that the hospital Laurie is taken to is unusually empty for a peak evening, the film just feels disjointed.

Treat

  • The new theme remix is cool.
  • Some of the deaths are messy and genius, particularly the one in the hot tub.

Final Thoughts

To make this work, it really needed to go the way of Alien/Aliens and not sit in this middle ground of a tonal shift. Because the original is so good, it was never going to match it, so it needed to offer something completely different.

American Werewolf in London (1981)

Rating: X/18

Length: 1Hr 37

Release: 8.11.1981

About: David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne), two American college students, are backpacking through Britain when a large wolf attacks them. David survives with a bite, but Jack is brutally killed. As David heals in the hospital, he’s plagued by violent nightmares of his mutilated friend, who warns David that he is becoming a werewolf. When David discovers the horrible truth, he contemplates committing suicide before the next full moon causes him to transform from man to murderous beast.


Treat

  • The visual transformation of David is mind-blowing and a work of art even now. It’s aged incredibly well and looks so much better than any CGI transformation Hollywood can provide today. It’s still the best transformation I’ve ever seen. Thanks to David Naughton’s acting, I believe it’s painful.
  • This is a film that has a perfect balance of character, relationship and plot. I love the relationship between David and Jack and I’m actually a little sad that we lose that relationship so early on. I know Griffin Dunne continues to play Jack, but there’s a dynamic shift.
  • Speaking of Jack, he has a transformation of his own and it’s amazing. Visually it’s gruesome and may cause you to flinch but it’s expertly done to gain that response.
  • I have, of late, become rather disenchanted by movie love, however this Florence Nightingale effect is actually well plotted and delivered. Their relationship is quite possibly one of the most believable from a supernatural movie perspective.
  • The opening sequence that utilises the Western’s ‘stranger walking into a saloon’ to great effect. I’m not sure all films could pull it off, but racks up the tension.
  • I could go through this film frame by frame, I love it so much. Instead I’m going to end on the dream sequences because it’s the one time where I’ve appreciated the dream fake out. The imagery is rather odd and random; I find that it’s something films forget about when it comes to dreams.

Trick

  • I’m struggling to be critical of Werewolf. It a film that has aged really well, both in terms of story and effects.
  • There perhaps is an element of gratuitous nudity (the porno theatre) but then I feel as if I’m censoring to my own tastes. At the end of the day, the movie was going to gain an X rating, so it could do what it wants.

Final Thoughts

An incredibly fun, yet gory movie that will have Londoners begging for those days. It’s a werewolf movie snout and tails above the rest.