Length 1Hr 37
Release 31.7.1987 (US release)
About Teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their mother (Dianne Wiest) to a small town in northern California. While the younger Sam meets a pair of kindred spirits in geeky comic-book nerds Edward (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander), the angst-ridden Michael soon falls for Star (Jami Gertz) — who turns out to be in thrall to David (Kiefer Sutherland), leader of a local gang of vampires. Sam and his new friends must save Michael and Star from the undead.
- Ed Herrmann is always a joy to see in anything he did. Because of his performance, and his previous roles, I am surprised every time by the reveal. Especially when you play him against Sutherland, who is always good at playing the alpha. This time, because I didn’t remember the dinner sequence, I was convinced it was going to end up being the grandpa as the head vamp.
- The music to this film is like the 80s equivalent of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Cry Little Sister, People are Strange and Good Times are iconic to this film.
- There’s some excellent flying POV shots at the beginning of the film which keep the mystery of who the vampires are. At least that’s I think that was the purpose. It’s hard to tell going into it already knowing the plot.
- I love the fact that we are presented with a brotherly relationship that is quite harmonious. At least at the start. It allows that change in character for Michael to have more of an impact.
- The comedy is pitched perfectly to balance out the darkness within the plot. It could have quite easily be taken too far and camp up the film, but as it stands, it enables the film to be more Goonies after puberty hits than a bloated emo fest.
- What the hell was with Corey Feldman’s ‘I am Batman’ voice. It really was stupid and quite possibly made this one of very few roles of his I absolutely hated.
- Why the hell does Corey Haim have a poster of Rob Lowe in his bedroom? I mean if it was something I believed the character would do, fine. But I so didn’t believe it.
- How many times did the name ‘Michael’ have to be said? Jesus, that bugged the fuck out of me.
Yet another film that scared me as a kid but I love now. The only let down is Feldman’s performance.
Length 1Hr 34
About Stephen King tales follow a cat into a smokers clinic, onto a penthouse ledge and into a girl’s (Drew Barrymore) bedroom.
- This is like an awesome, film version, of the Treehouse of Horror offerings from the Simpsons. Three short tales, with a connection theme running through. In this case it’s an awesome cat that had me hooked. General is like the Groot of this movie.
- The first tale is fucked up and I took a rather sick delight in it. An update is needed for the vaping age in which its the smoker who is electrocuted. Although, I did think that if my child looked like Deirdre Barlow, using her as leverage wouldn’t do much good.
- The middle tale is visually brilliant and the concept is something that’s been used recently in the horror movie Truth or Dare. It’s the shortest of the three and is the only one I’m not sure could ever be adapted into its own full movie.
- The final story is the most frightening and the one that involves General the most. I was petrified throughout most of it. The music and the visuals of the creepy troll that escaped from Labyrinth will most likely keep me awake tonight. It’s amazing how much is fitted into that thirty-odd minute segment.
- This is a personal thing that probably would go into the ‘treat’ for others, but fuck Stephen King. Fuck him up his stupid ass. All the self referential bullshit is so up his own arse and exactly why Stephen Spielberg took out all the references to himself in Ready Player One. I’ll admit its possibly because I’ll not well watched or read when it comes to King, but I know enough for it to grate.
It’s a fantastic film with two very strong narratives, excellent performances throughout and loved the fake out ending that almost saw General be the breath taker.
I have a sneaking suspicion I’ve seen this film before, for the sole reason that the window and troll are more how I remembered Labyrinth to be back before my rewatch in 1997-ish. Prior to that, I thought Labyrinth was a horror movie.
Length 1Hr 34
About All seems well for Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell), wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) and their three children as they move into their new house in the suburbs of Illinois. Soon, youngest daughter Maddy (Kennedi Clements) begins talking to an imaginary friend, or so the family thinks. It’s not long before sinister spirits wreak havoc in the home, holding Maddy captive and forcing the parents to consult a team of parapsychologists who engage the supernatural entities in a battle for the girl’s freedom.
- This is a streamlined plot with a well cast family who you will root for off the bat. The film makes it feel as if its learn from the franchise’s missteps to craft a more coherent story. This starts by you seeing them move in rather than having them well established and making a connection to the paranormal investigators earlier in the film.
- As reboots go, this is a solid attempt at keeping the good while making it the director’s own. They keep the tree, the moving of items and the false resolution, but the best is the young girl’s delivery of the iconic ‘they’re coming’ / ‘they’re here’. It wasn’t a mimic, but actually a much more subdued vibe.
- Sam Rockwell holds his own in this film. Not only does he have the leading man persona, but he lifts up some of the children’s performances. Rockwell brings comedy and emotion to his role. His ‘you‘ve got to be brave’ speech being cut short by his freak out over an invading squirrel is tricking genius, but it’s his tears at explaining that his daughter is missing that really makes the character well rounded.
- The use of technology in this update is also something that really gives it a legitimacy as a reboot. I love how the eldest girl, first of all is much more present than the original, uses her phone to detect the disturbances. Then there’s the addition of the drone that is used to explore the Other Side. Yes, its been done to death in Stargate with the Rovers to ‘check out the other worlds’, but her it feels new and has a purpose not only in terms of plot, but character as well.
- I love this score. I listened to it so much after I’d seen this film in the cinema. I also love the song, TV Set by Spoon, that’s used for the closing credits.
- Jared Harris, what a brilliant guy. Not quite ham, but whatever it is, he’s certainly enjoying himself.
- So, while I end up loving the story arc of middle child Griffin, I fucking hate the kid at the start. I feel as if his meekness and fear of everything is a tad over acted. He’s a massive pussy and a total cock blocker. Even his mum gives him shit for acting like a baby. However, once his sister has been booted into the Other Side, he really does become a brilliant, non-pussy character.
- The CGI, in places and particularly at the end is really ropey. Okay, so you’re not really going to make it look as good as the original when they used actual skeletons, but physical effects often trump what computers do. When you are living up to the effects from an original, I think filmmakers really should reconsider what I feel is the easy option.
A brilliant vehicle for Sam Rockwell to demonstrate his acting range. It cleans up the plot from the original and gives the audience some excellent character development.
Length 1Hr 38
About Psychically attuned youngster Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) is sent to live in Chicago with her Uncle Bruce (Tom Skerritt) and Aunt Pat (Nancy Allen). But that doesn’t mean that she’s escaped the apparitions that have haunted her in the past. When she starts experiencing terrifying visions, her school psychologist believes that they’re figments of her imagination. But this becomes hard to believe when ghostly foes start inhabiting the mirrors in her relatives’ high-rise apartment.
- The music is even more sinister than the other two movies. I found that this score fitted the franchise the best outside the reboot.
- It has a feel of the novel High-Rise from 1975. Okay, so this has it isolated to the one family and minimal connected people, but the same atmosphere is developed.
- Again, this film does more to retrospectively explain the franchise. While ordinarily this would be a trick, I like how it brings the whole thing together.
- The use of mirrors is quite incredible and effective. It helps this edition stand out from the others.
- While I hate the scene, the meat locker scene is undeniably well made and successfully creeped the crap out of me.
- While I love Bruce as a character and how he reacts to the situation, does he really have to have such a similar job to Steven.
- I don’t know how I feel about the fact that the husband, Bruce, shows more defection to Carole Ann that Pat, who is the girl’s aunt. Also, Pat… you clearly never watched Eastenders because there’s no way you’d be bitching about being called Trish.
- Again with the rapey “He wants Carole Ann now, before she grows up.”
- This has some of the worst acting out of the trilogy and unfortunately, Zelda’s Tangina is a little too hammed up to enjoy her presence. Well, its that and the fact that she spends most of the time rubbing the vulva necklace for its ‘power’.
- While I’m on that necklace that Pat almost looses fifty million fucking times. Have you forgotten that you have a perfect fucking place to put it so you can use both fucking hands to fight off Pastor Kane?!
- Finally, the plot doesn’t make any sense. You’ve lost your daughter to the Other Side on TWO occasions yet you’re going to pack her off to live with someone else. Even though you’ve been told its your love that protects her?! Fuck off!
A very interesting concept, but its execution is way off.
Length 1Hr 31
About The Freelings have escaped their haunted house, which is now being studied by paranormal investigators, including shaman Taylor (Will Sampson). When Taylor realizes that the Beast, masquerading as the Rev. Kane (Julian Beck), knows where young Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) now lives, he goes to warn the family that their daughter is in danger again. To protect Carol, her father, Steve (Craig T. Nelson), and the rest of the family must plot to take down the Beast.
I think this was the film that traumatised me as a kid. I was an odd one growing up, in the sense that I love my shows and films about oldies. Cocoon, Batteries Not Included and Dad’s Army were among my must watches. Along with these, I absolutely adored Golden Girls and it just so happened that an episode was on the same tape as, what I can now confirm was, this film.
I think it was the vomit scene that I managed to land on and I was as petrified then as I was watching this film last night.
- The sequel has better pacing and narrative flow. There’s even some retrospective explanations that make the franchise a little more coherent.
- The film attempts to explore the themes of PTSD and grief. There are some sweet scenes, even if its not fully developed.
- It’s a scary film. From the ghost man, Pastor Kane and his skeleton face to the tequila sperm Gill-Man that Steven gives mouth-birth to. It’s all god damn fucking hide under your duvet scary. Also, if I’d ever seen the braces scene (well crafted too) I would NEVER have spent my childhood wanting braces.
- The addition of Taylor is really interesting and it adds some Native American ideas to the situation.
- Steven is a fucking dick throughout this movie, to the point where I’m not sure the actor is playing the same character. His “say hello to the magic munchkin” in regards to Tangina is downright disrespectful at the best of times, let alone when you consider the woman saved your child’s life.
- The film is just so rapey! Not in a “Baby it’s Cold Outside’ snowflake way. In a proper ‘this is fucking rapey’ way. First we have Pastor Kane who wants, and needs, Carole Ann. It’s even said ‘he tasted her life force’. Then there’s the husband-but-not-husband attempted rape before he chucks up the tequila sperm Gill-man. It’s nasty and scary, even if Steven was possessed by the tequila sperm. Oh and to bring it full circle, Kane-as-Steven talks about needing Carole Ann while grinding on Diane. As I said; rapey!!!
- The throwing up tequila sperm foetus was quite possibly the scariest thing I’ve ever seen on tv. I’m curious about something that was mentioned in Grey’s Anatomy last week about muscle memory in regards to trauma and I wonder if the fear of this scene is more to do with how scared I was of it as a kid?!
Am I fuck ever watching this film ever again. It’s well made and much better than its predecessor, but nope, nope, nope, nope. This film can go away. Please.
Length 1Hr 49
About Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings — Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O’Rourke) — when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.
- The music is what immediately stands out for me. Jerry Goldsmith provides a rather upbeat score for the movie. It’s surprising how unsettling it is as an audience.
- I really enjoyed how the dog was used to track through the house and introduce us to everyone.
- Being centred around the tv in the home and its connection to ‘the other side’, I loved the back and forth between the neighbours over the placement of the tv and their remotes.
- There are plenty of things that visually work and that is largely to do with the use of practical effects. The pyramid of chairs being done in one shot is incredible.
- Both Beatrice Straight and Zelda Rubinstein steak the show for me. Straight, I was unsurprised to discover was primarily a stage actress. She gave an incredible speech to Diane. Rubinstein was just a great presence and I only wish she’d arrived sooner.
- I found I had a massive disconnect with this film. There was nothing about the family that I liked or engaged with. I didn’t find that they gelled well as a ‘family’.
- There was a lot of scenes that I didn’t find interesting (the dead bird, the parents talking in bed smoking pot) and there was a really odd mid-scene cut about 30 mins that makes the film feel amateurish.
- It takes way too long to get to the bulk of the movie so it feels really bloated. It happens again at the end when we get a false resolution. We don’t need all that time spent with them packing.
- So many illogical plot choices. Why on earth would a kid who is petrified of the tree be seen climbing the fucker all the way to the top at the start of the movie?! Who the fuck bought the creepy assed clown for the lad who clearly is petrified of it.
- The reveal of the graveyard being what the houses are built on comes a little too late and appears a little forced.
It’s a solid story, but the pacing and editing is way off kilter for it to be a repeat viewing affair.
Length: 1Hr 37
About: A young American named Greta (Lauren Cohan) takes a job as a nanny for an 8-year-old boy in a remote English village. To her surprise, Greta learns that the child of her new employers is a life-size doll. They care for the doll as if it was human, which helps the couple to cope with the death of their own son 20 years earlier. When Greta violates a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring her worst fears to life, leading her to believe that the doll is alive.
- It has that The Others and Woman in Black meets Annabelle vibe, if that’s your kind of thing.
- The creepiest thing about the whole film is the parents. I actually wish we’d had more of them. I definitely want to know how an eight year old with a clear vitamin D deficiency over powered them enough to run with this fucked up charade.
- The film does use some standard, but slightly underused camera shots to creep the fuck out of the audience. Namely the ‘under the bed’ pan. I hate it because it gives me the creeps.
- My biggest problem is the setting and filming locations. It’s set in the UK and if you’re from any other country that might work for you, but to my tea-drinking self, it’s not filmed in the UK and it’s odd. The home doesn’t look British. At a push, maybe it’s Scottish but there’s definite American influence. Now, all of this might seem a little petty until you consider the fact that the plot has her fly all the way from America to babysit the doll. Why do the family HAVE to be British and, if they must, why can’t they live across the pond which would make some of the other plot decisions a little easier to believe. Because, boys and girls… if they lived in the UK the Super Nanny would have been on the case and naughty stepping that bastard out of his murder ways.
- Gratuitous shower scene is eye-roll worthy as it is, but to follow it with Greta climbing up to the loft with her fanny going commando in a towel is just a step too far. (Although I did read that the original script had her wandering the house naked, so I guess the illogical exploration with a towel is the better option)
- The reveal, certainly for me, came as no surprise so it dampened some of the fear factor for me. No, let’s be honest, the sheer stupidity of the plot had me checked out long before the reveal. I do think that perhaps owing to the fact that you’re not really going to be on side with Greta all the way through the movie having an audience reveal earlier on might have made for a better narrative.
- I hate the fake-out ending that reveals he’s still alive and ready for a sequel. How the fuck he survived those burns without a trip to hospital, let alone Greta’s slice and dice is beyond me.
Too mind bogglingly stupid and one to many ‘what the fuck’ moments to be scary. It’s all too Scooby Doo and it’s already got a second one on the way. Unless you give me a sequel with William Zabka taking no crap and calling out Brahms for being the pussy that he is I’m not watching.
Length: 1Hr 19
Release: 14.8.1987 (no UK release)
About: Five youngsters find themselves up against the combined might of Dracula, the Mummy, the Gill Man and Frankenstein’s Monster who arrive in town in search of a magic amulet.
- It’s a great way to homage the Universal monster movies of the 40s and get them all into the one movie.
- The film has a decent cast of kids and adults. They’re used well and have moments to stand out.
- While on the short side, time wise, it matches up to the similar lengths of the monster movies it’s emulating.
- Having young Phoebe be the one to do the spell that frees the town was brilliant. Not sure how I feel about it being the result of the original reader not being a virgin. Perhaps it was an original idea at the time, but it feels tropey by today’s standards. Also, when it comes to Phoebe, I love the friendship she has with Frankenstein’s monster.
- Gillman’s face is incredible. It seems to rectify all the issues I had with the original design.
- It’s another film that almost forgets who they want their audience to be. I always find it odd when a film centres around young teens that can’t go see the film themselves.
- It’s lacking something. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but not having it makes the film feel longer than it is and a bit like The Goonies’ cousin no one likes to talk about.
It checks all the boxes for a decent film, but it falls flat on the overall feel of the film.
Length 1hr 51
About In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew, causing him to fall into a coma.
- It’s visually a stunning film. There’s no question about the detail and effort that has gone on the set and alien tech.
- There are plenty of individual scenes that are incredible. One being the famous ‘chest buster’ scene that has been mimicked so many times that I’m sure I knew about it way before I saw this film.
- The xenomorph itself is really good. Couldn’t tell you if it’s the physical thing itself that makes it good, because the film makes clever use of close ups and lighting to hide a lot from the audience. It works, it really does.
- The music and, to a certain extent, the set design seems like a homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Perhaps it lends itself as a type of foreboding when it comes to Ash, but either way it makes for an interesting and almost clinical atmosphere prior to the shit hitting the fan.
- It’s first half feels rather boring and longwinded. As a group on a mission in deep space, there’s a big disconnect between the members. While that makes Ripley’s quarantine decision clear cut, it makes Lambert’s reaction a little odd. Unless of course she was fucking Kane, but she just seemed to be a sappy bitch.
- In contrast to 1982’s The Thing which has no women at all and no objectification we have here two women, a wall full of naked ladies and gratuitous undersized-knicker’s pussy shot of Weaver. Which, I might add, wouldn’t seem so gratuitous had Ripley not been presented as an almost cold genderless character throughout the film. Also, what the fuck did you use the George Lucas line on Weaver when it came to her bra?
- Did we really need to see Bilbo Baggins with a face full of Hobbit gang bang juice?! Seriously, who had the idea of spraying his face with the white stuff?!
- What the fuck is with the damn cat and why did it pop up out of nowhere? Do you have a rat problem? At which point the dildo boxes you’re using to find the xenomorph will be a little useless, right? Other than it being used in a scare fake out, I don’t see the point in it. And I love cats.
Amazing cast (except Lambert. Lambert can go fuck herself), but on the whole a little too bland. Give me Aliens any day.
Length 1 hr 44
About In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one.
- This is a near perfect film for me. There’s a perfect and smooth introduction to the cast. It’s not clear at the beginning who is the protagonist, and even when you consider Kurt Russell’s Mac your main man, the film throws I doubt your way. Even if movie logic tells you that he can’t be the Thing, your breath still catches.
- Speaking of Kurt Russell, he is perfectly cast and I love the initial progression of his character from the reluctance to fly to Norway’s camp to insisting they have to go a second time. Also, he has such pretty, pretty hair. While many blokes might not appreciate it, but as a woman with little else in the film designed to engage me (Other than a fucking awesome plot), I’m going to pick up on his god damn pretty hair.
- There’s no women in this film. I’m not saying the absence of women is the treat, but the way in which its handled is. Not only are there no women cast, there’s not naked posters objectifying women. In fact, there’s no mention of women at all. The only thing that’s presented is when Palmer turns off a game show to play porn and even that is done in a tasteful way; we hear it, but at no point to we get a shot of it.
- The music is terrifying. I’ve never found a score more effective than the rhythmic beat from this theme. It’s almost that its simplicity is what makes it so terrifying.
- The effects of this film are still as gory and horrific As I’d imagine they were back in the day. Yes, some of the transformations make the human features look ‘fake’, but I feel that actually adds to the horror of it all, especially when it comes to THAT scene. There’s no CGI that could make that crawling head freak me out more.
- The tension in this film is constantly evolving, but it never lets up and the key to that is how the film uses ambiguity and suspicion to tear the group apart.
- The opening shot is very similar to the once scene in Predator. By that I mean the childlike corner drawing of the Earth and the spaceship entering the atmosphere. Something that I feel is a little pointless other than letting you know height from the get go its aliens. Plus, Earth in the corner?! No wonder we all grew up popping the sun on the corner of our page when we painted as kids.
- I would have liked a mention of life beyond the camp. There’s no mention of having people ‘back home’ and I think that might have added emotional weight and give at least one of them something to fight for.
A film that is well made, well cast and scary as hell. Not so much the creature itself, but how easily man turns on itself and the fear of the ultimate unknown.
Length 2Hr 7
About As hordes of zombies swarm over the U.S., the terrified populace tries everything in their power to escape the attack of the undead, but neither cities nor the countryside prove safe. In Pennsylvania, radio-station employee Stephen (David Emge) and his girlfriend, Francine (Gaylen Ross), escape in the station helicopter, accompanied by two renegade SWAT members, Roger and Pete. The group retreats to the haven of an enclosed shopping center to make what could be humanity’s last stand.
- As an audience, you’re thrown in the deep end. Chaos has already taken hold and you have to run to keep up.
- There was a zombie POV shot in the Peter/Roger opening scene that was really well done and I was very surprised to see that this film has more balls than Walking Dead by having, and killing, children zombies.
- There’s plenty of shots that have clearly inspired others, namely the Mall based sections of S3 of Stranger Things.
- Rogar’s fate was played out in a rather unexpected way that I found interesting. If he hadn’t been just a toolbag, I might have actually cared.
- Despite its relatively high powered opening, I ultimately found the film boring and lifeless. Pun aside, I felt no sympathy or attachment to any of the four main characters.
- Is it wrong that I was waiting for the baby to claw it’s way, all zombie-like, from the woman’s womb?
- While the four characters provide a certain dynamic that works to a certain extent, I fell as if more human characters are needed for the length of time the film runs for. Perhaps it’s the quality of the acting, or the expectation of a human body count but for me it really stalled the plot.
- Some of the zombie scenes are rather too comical. From having the humans punch them in the face to falling all over the place, it’s hard to take seriously.
Of my creatures featured in movies, zombies are my least favourite. It comes as no surprise that I’m indifferent to this movie. Yes, it’s well(ish) made for an independent effort from the 70s, but it’s not the amazing fanfare to cinema I’ve been made to believe.