Rating 12 Length 1h29 Release 14.10.2022 Director Jeff Wadlow About A man and his daughter must team up to save their town after an ancient and mischievous spirit causes Halloween decorations to come to life and wreak havoc. Moon: full moon 25 minutes in Where to Watch: Netflix Trailer:
Lauren Lapkus. I struggle with her style of acting at the best of time, but this one was over the line. Whatever that accent was, was too fake and too forced. I hated every second she was on screen.
The CGI, other than the skeletons was really bad. Like cheap, bad. I get that visual effects are better than practical but it really does suck.
There’s a little bit of that ‘we’re building a franchise’ feel to the film. It’s not in the moment with the audience, but instead looking to the future. I don’t like it, but I stuck with it. Other’s won’t do the same. What’s worse is that if no sequel appears, the effort could have been put into making this a better movie.
Marlon Wayans has major DILF energy in this. He’s hot, he’s funny in a dad-joke way and I am loving it.
Priah Ferguson really carries this film, bringing with her that scene stealing realness from Stranger Things. The best part of this role is that she spends a lot of the time acting against the adults and I’m not sure there are many others her age who could do that.
The plot is perfectly silly and all-round family fun. There’s enough humour among the PG scares to entertain everyone.
The skeletons look like they’re inspired by old-school Jason and the Argonauts. Which helps improve what could have been otherwise shoddy looking CGI.
A solid offering from Netflix and certainly an improvement from Hubbie’s Halloween. A good watch with kids and a must see for anyone who loves Stranger Things.
Rating 18 Length 1h35 Release 05.08.1980 Director Sean S Cunningham About A group of counsellors are brutally killed one by one at a summer camp held at the Camp Crystal Lake, when the entrepreneur Steve Christie reopens the site, which was shut for years. Moon: Full moon for both 1958 and 1980 ‘present’ sequences Where to Watch: Rental on Prime (It’s the only one you can’t get without additional payment) Trailer:
They fucking killed the snake! That snake was actually beheaded on set. I don’t care how scary an animal is, you do not kill it for ‘entertainment’.
The full moons in most time frames. 4th July 1958 did not have a full moon, it was in its waning gibbous phase. While the film states 13th June “present day”, I can confirm that 1980 did not produce a full moon. Yes, full moons are pretty and make for a good “shot”, but for fuck’s sake, ya boring!
The “killer POV” was a little too much for me. Specially when it comes to driving the cook to camp. I get it, you don’t want to reveal the killer but how the fuck did they not crash the car while looking at her for so long.
They say if you don’t suspect the person who is revealed as the killer, you’ve not done a good job. At least that’s what they say about books. What I’m going to say about films? If you’re going to have a female killer, you have to use women in all the filming of the deaths. It’s obviously a man in every death scene until the reveal. Mrs Vorhees threw a 90lb girl through a window?! pffft. She lifted a man and pinned him to the door with arrows, at close range? Now, I know there are sequels and that Jason lives. However, I’m watching this movie, for the first time. I’m not buying it. Maybe, just maybe, if the ‘dream’ Alice had involved an adult Jason and not ‘a boy’ as she describes I might have bought into the idea that it was him doing the killing and mummy dearest was there just to clean up.
Ki ki ki ma ma ma ma. Holy crap, Leo meme, “That’s what that reference was!”. That music cue is genius. It’s chilling and works in the exact same way as the Jaws theme. It puts you on edge and lets you know what’s coming. Perfect.
The deaths are quite unique in a way. For example, I was expecting the cook to be the final girl from how we were introduced to her. Then how each individual was killed in isolation. It wasn’t until the final act really that the characters knew anything was amiss. That put the audience in a rather voyeuristic, yet powerless, position.
Young Kevin Bacon was a treat and while his death seemed completely improbable (no one could put something like that through as slowly as it was done with the space they would have had under the bed), it sure was fun.
A little too flawed and way too hyped for me to enjoy fully. That said, it’s a great premise and the use of music is perfect.
Rating 18 Length 1h37 Release 12.02.2009 Director Marcus Nispel About A group of collegians decide to spend the weekend at Crystal Lake, which proves fatal for them. They come across the deadly and vengeful Jason Voorhees who is waiting to kill them. Moon: Waning Gibbous Where to Watch: Netflix Trailer:
I was working at a cinema when this came out. This was released in one of the smallest screens and it sold out before we’d even got to the Friday. I’d have put good money on us selling out if we’d also put it in our largest screen. You know what we had in our main screen that Friday the 13th? Pink Panther 2! For the peak time showing, we had maybe 5 people in there watching Steve Martin bastardise a classic. Alas the managers could not switch the screens due to contracts with the distributors. How fucked is that?Anyway, one of the things I loved about working at the cinema was the ability to watch a preview. Even after being dubbed the ‘girl that cried’ by the projection guys after sobbing for most of Marley and Me. So I think it was the Tuesday or Wednesday morning, I got in super early and watched Jason go to town on a load of teens.
It is so bloody dark. Yes, the darkness hides a multitude of sins. It also stops you from seeing any of the action. I know this was perhaps the way they had to go for the purpose of CGI, but it does disengage an audience.
I hate the ending. There’s that trope of wanting to leave the audience on edge so there has to be the hint that the bad guy has survived and, as a result, the final girl/guy will not survive. It sucks. It leaves the viewer a little dissatisfied and in this case, it’s bullshit. Stabbed in the heart, strangled and brought all the way to lake and submersed in water. Yeah, okay Jason survived that. Sure thing.
Is there too much sex?! Well, I guess if Michael Bay (yup, the dude who put Transformers’ gal Megan Fox in those spray-on clothes) is walking out in disgust… yes?! I’m on the fence on this one. Perhaps there’s a few too many augmented boobs and there really wasn’t a need to have ya one on the wave rider without her top, but the premise of Friday the 13th is that Jason died because the counsellors were all too busy ‘having sex’. Add to that the fact that sex and virginity are long standing staples of the horror genre and I’m not too sure.
The opening in black and white is perfect for setting it apart from the 2009 aspect of the film. I also love that it is able to condense the entire of the original movie into those 4-ish minutes of credits.
The inclusion of the kikikimamama at key moments was spot on. It gave the hint to the original without relying on it.
The Title card doesn’t appear until after the first 2009 sequence, 25 minutes into the film. This is weirdly unsettling and puts you on edge by loosing a sense of time. When I first watched this, because my body was tense throughout I thought that was the end of the movie. My body relaxed… but oh shit, there’s more.
This film gets to do more by it’s clever framing of the story. There’s enough shown for you to watch this film without the original, however there is value added if you’re an existing fan. The campfire scene gives you enough to be going off regarding Jason and his mother. It also stays fairly cannon up until he becomes supernatural somewhere in those sequels, so this film works both as a sequel or as a stand alone.
The kills are very different. Gone is the intimacy of revenge. It’s replaced more with a mindset of survival and a response to intrusion. He’s also a resourceful guy and proficient in hunting. I guess you’d have to be to survive there all those years.
Who doesn’t love a Winchester?! I’m not going to complain when Sammy is taking on something a little less supernatural.
I prefer this to the original, but I do wish the lights were turned up a little bit in those darker scenes.
Rating 18 Length 1h48 Release 30.10.1998 Director John Carpenter About Jack and his team of mercenaries must hunt down vampires and retrieve the Black Cross of Berziers, an ancient relic that, should it be obtained by vampires, will allow them to endure the sunlight. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Free with ads on Amazon Prime Trailer:
James Wood. I dislike him as an actor, as a person, hell I even hate his face. Now, if I cannot engage with, or empathise, with the protagonist I’m shit out of luck for liking a movie. I long for the day when I can deepfake this shit out of this and put my choice of actor in the role.
Not his fault, but Daniel Baldwin is not the Baldwin we all want in the role. He suffers in the sense that he’s the ‘wish’ version of his brother. It’s like having Donnie in a role and being told you could have had Mark!
I cannot put my finger on what it is, but the devastation of Crow’s team suffers narrative wise in the same way the first Tom Cruise MI outing does. Instead of moving the plot forward, it stalls it slightly. Almost as if we needed a movie before this allowing the audience to get a feel for this “universe” and almost become attached to the characters. You know before they’re taken away in a bloodbath.
Annoyingly, my personal feelings aside, I must say that James Wood does do a good job as Crow. He provides the same elements and checks all the boxes that Russell would have.
The story is brilliant. Not only does this story play on the popularity of vampires that born from the success of Dracula (1992) and Interview with a Vampire (1994) it also acts as a bridge to them for the fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997- 2003). The mythology and language is all there, with some sweet surprises along the way.
The story gives you an “oh fuck”, Macguffin. It has a massive impact to the world of humans and vampires.
Visually this film is to die for. The setting, the importance of the transition of the day, the ‘slayer’ lifestyle having an almost biker gang community. It’s Buffy meets Sons of Anarchy and I love it.
I truly hate that James Wood ruins this movie for me, because it really is John Carpenter on form.
Rating PG Length 1h20 Release 05.02.1956 Director Don Siegal About In Santa Mira, California, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is baffled when all his patients come to him with the same complaint: their loved ones seem to have been replaced by emotionless impostors. Despite others’ dismissive denials, Dr. Bennell, his former girlfriend Becky (Dana Wynter) and his friend Jack (King Donovan) soon discover that the patients’ suspicions are true: an alien species of human duplicates, grown from plant-like pods, is taking over the small town. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: NowTV Trailer:
The talk around this movie being an allegory of politics and “McCarthy-ism” is really annoying. It’s such a significant criticism that you can’t look this film up without seeing mentions of this take. Let the film be a film!
Kevin McCarthy not only was hot when he was younger, he played a decent good guy. I know him from Innerspace, so this is refreshing.
While other versions will play the story as action, this original outing is much more psychological than fast paced. Honestly, films’ today could learn a thing or two by watching this and taking notes.
Another good use of the bookend/wraparound narrative. The urgency and fear seen with Miles gives a great atmosphere and set up for the unravelling mystery.
It’s fear lingers much longer than any other type of horror. Not because of the aliens or any belief that it could happen. The real fear is from the idea that you would not be believed or even dismissed. That’s the fear that is so very real and so well played into the story that it’s creeped under your skin before you’ve had chance to realise what it’s done.
One of my favourite films and the reason why you should never dismiss a movie because it is in black and white.
Rating 18 Length 1h32 Release 12.2.1980 Director Paul Lynch About This slasher movie follows a relentless killer who is out to avenge the death of a young girl who died after being bullied and teased by four of her classmates. Now high-school students, the guilt-ridden kids have kept their involvement a secret, but when they start being murdered, one by one, it’s clear that someone knows the truth. Also coping with the past are members of the dead girl’s family, most notably her prom-queen sister, Kim Hammond (Jamie Lee Curtis). Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Part of Free with Ads on Amazon Prime Trailer:
The inclusion of the escaped convict and presumed killer of Robin was stupid and not even fully formed within the plot. The biggest issue is that it’s for us, the audience and we already know that it was the four children that have a hand in her death. The very fact that Kim and Alex were witnesses to the four children playing in there that day does beg the question of how they got away without being suspected at all?!
The pacing is incredibly clunky. I almost wish that we opened up, after the credits, on everyone getting ready and being at the prom. Again, the biggest issue with getting us caught up on the lives of these children is that they’re best friends with Kim and not showing any sign of remorse?
What the fuck was with the Saturday Night Fever interlude?! It felt almost spoof like.
Not quite sure what the motivation was for that particular day. Yes, it was the anniversary of Robin’s death. However why this particular one? 6 years isn’t overly significant. Clever editing could have allowed the convict escape to be used as a smoke screen, maybe?
Leslie Nielson playing it straight. He’s a brilliant comedian, but he also does incredibly well in serious roles too; this is no exception.
The kills are brutal, but they are well done. It also succeeds in a way that Friday the 13th didn’t; it was able to provide the isolated kills without the detachment to the progression of the plot.
Everyone is a suspect. Honestly, the red herrings are wild and free in this and, other than the escaped convict, I couldn’t pinpoint one individual.
It is wrapped up neatly with not intent for a sequel. We get a resolution that will satisfy most viewers. Yes, there are sequels however they’re not necessarily direct follow ons.
It’s a bit too clunky, but at least it is better than the remake.
Rating 18 Length 1h51 Release 14.10.2022 Director David Gordon Green About Four years after her last encounter with masked killer Michael Myers, Laurie Strode is living with her granddaughter and trying to finish her memoir. Myers hasn’t been seen since, and Laurie finally decides to liberate herself from rage and fear and embrace life. However, when a young man stands accused of murdering a boy that he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that forces Laurie to confront the evil she can’t control. Moon: full moon around an hour in Where to Watch: Cinema and and streaming through Peacock in the US Trailer:
While there’s a certain strength in the Corey storyline, I do wonder why it takes up so much of the plot and why it doesn’t feel right for a resolution and final instalment of a trilogy. It makes it hard to believe they had a plan in place for a trilogy and that the two additional movies weren’t a cash grab after the success of the 2018 outing. For me, to truly make the storyline work as part of the trilogy, the seeds need to be planted in the previous two movies. It’s too much to have the kid’s origin story, his insertion into Allyson and Laurie’s lives and his unravelling in this one movie that is meant to be about endings.
Speaking of which, yeah okay Corey’s hot! However, would Laurie really set her granddaughter up with someone with such a loner, creepy vibe and would Allyson really get such an instant wide-on for him?! It’s too neat, too Twilight love and again screams “we didn’t have a plan”.
I love the Corey storyline. While I don’t like the way in which he’s brought into the Strode family circle, and I personally would have liked his presence throughout all three movies, I truly loved the exploration of psychosis upon a person who is being punished for something they hadn’t done. The reason why this, for me, works so well is that there is some truth to it. In Trondheim, 1994, two 6 year old boys killed a girl. They were never issued with criminal charges nor were their names released. The argument was that if you were to punish the boys for something like this, being as young as they were, it could cause split personality disorder to protect themselves from the punishment. Because the act Corey is being outcast for was not intentional, this is what happens to him. He begins to disassociate.
Jamie Lee Curtis truly gives her all in this instalment. That’s not to say she hasn’t been a powerhouse in all of the others, but there was something finite about this performance and I truly loved it.
The return to the POV shots for the evolution of Corey was genius. It was over used and really gave use a sense of unravelling. Perfect.
Another unusual like for me, but I truly enjoyed the narration that bookends the film. It felt almost like a nod to older horrors, but also acts as a goodbye from Laurie.
Case of everyone being a critic. If you wanted more of the same, but a *little* bit different, you are out of luck. However, it is a psychologically chilling look at trauma and is certainly worth a watch.
Rating A (old school rating) Length 1h16 Release March 1936 Director George King About London barber Sweeney Todd (Tod Slaughter) provides the bakeshop next door with grisly makings for meat pies. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Netflix UK and Youtube Trailer:
It’s a ‘when it was made’ sort of grumble. The shots used to tell the story would not be what we’d remotely accept today and it’s mainly down to the placement of the actors. In some scenes, the camera will move to a close up and back to a mid shot and there’s no continuity to where the actor is, or even to the facial expressions used from one shot to another. Another example would be when moving to a close up of an actor’s hand. There’s no way in which the hand would be held in such a way and it’s often obvious that it’s not even on the same set.
There’s a way in which people performed in early cinema, particularly when it came to the projection of the voice. It really does grate on me.
Unfortunately the quality of the film must have deteriorated somewhat before it was digitised. Now, I do like an element of the scratches, but it does sadden me that there are other films that will have been lost due to this.
Much like a Hammer horror, we get the bookend narrative. There’s something rather charming about it and in this case, it allows for a humorous ending as the listener runs from the “modern day” barber’s into the street of a bustling London.
Tod Slaughter was rather brilliant as the titular barber. The manacle laugh and his treatment of his apprentice, all gave Sweeny Todd a memorable charactisation.
NO SONGS! I’m not a musical gal and it’s why I’m not overly fond of Burton’s offering of the penny dreadful story. However, I do love the story so this is just perfect.
It’s not going to keep the family entertained, but it certainly is a must watch for anyone with an ounce of love for film.
Rating 15 Length 1h38 Release 12.4.2017 Director James Wong About Alex saves his school friends from death when he gets a premonition that their plane will crash. Unfortunately, they all begin to die one after another in horrifying ways. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Now TV Trailer:
Some of the pacing, or perhaps the editing, is way off. After Alex is picked up for being super stalker freaky outside the teacher’s house, he’s let go by the detectives and made to make his own way home. That’s shit, but what then happens is worse. Yes, this allows Alex to be seen leaving the house right before it blows, but that also the exact reason why they would have insisted on taking him to his own house. Then, the next scene the detectives are at Clear’s and looking for Alex. Without a scene between Alex fleeing and Clear’s house, it almost looks as if the detectives have had a premonition of their own and not that they’d interviewed Hitchcock as a later scene suggest. It’s sloppy and given the short run time, its not like they couldn’t have added a little bit to the scene.
Trope moan! Why is it when a person is impaled, they instantly remove the object. While we’re at it, why does it always land in an artery?! Seriously, impalement 101; do not remove the plug that is keeping you alive! This is now the second film in a matter of days that’s done this and it fucking bugs me.
Finding out that this was possibly an abandoned X-Files script has me a little gutted. I’d have loved to have seen Mulder and Scully explain away this phenomenon that is “Death’s plan”.
There is an anticipation and a crafted build up to a number of deaths once the survivors begin to pay the price for leaving the plan. It’s not just the music and it’s much more complex than the trope of closing the bathroom cabinet and seeing a figure standing behind the person. Not only that. Once the film settles you in, it thows an odd shock death. It’s all designed to keep you on edge and it works, beautifully. That said, there are two to this day that I struggle to watch for the sheer number of near misses that happen during the unfolding death.
Tony Todd, Candyman himself, makes a chilling cameo. His knowledge and understanding of what the seven survivors have been through has led to many a fan theory that he’s Death himself. Only Tony Todd could have that presence and I was open to the theory before I knew he was already a Horror icon.
The cast is as brilliant now as it was when the film first came out. Being a teen, it was awesome to see that Casper had hit puberty, that Stiffler was in another movie. Add to it Brendan Fehr, Kerr Smith and up and coming Ali Larter and you’ve got the perfect poster for the teen magazines.
Certainly the high for the franchise and a reason why I get a little scared flying on occasion. Also the reason why I’m going to have a good tidy around my house this evening so I don’t trip in the night and freak myself out.
Rating 12 Length 2h02 Release 03.12.2008 Director Catherine Hardwicke About When Bella Swan relocates to Forks, Washington, to live with her father, she meets a mysterious boy, Edward Cullen, and gets drawn to him. Later, she discovers that he is a vampire. Moon: no full moon sighting Where to Watch: Netflix Trailer:
Kristen Stewart cannot act. She’s atrocious in this; from her heavy handed approach to the script to the zero chemistry she has with Robert Patterson. Even the ‘jokes’ she’s meant to tell fall flat. Which I guess isn’t entirely Stewart’s fault: the character of Bella is void of anything that would make her interesting. Hell, she’s void of anything that makes her remotely passable as a human being. The fact that she has anything with a penis after her, begged the same question then and now: Does she have beer flavoured nipples?
Robert Patterson plays the part of a constipated century old teen with facial expressions he can only have learnt from playing dead for so long in Potter. Jesus, it’s sometimes painful to watch. It’s hard to tell whether the ‘I don’t want to be here’ aura was an act, or just realisation it was a massive mistake to have signed on for a known franchise.
The biggest problem with this film is the fact that it’s a “romance”. This is a 110 year old man, creeping into a 17 year old’s bedroom (without consent) to watch her sleep. Just because he looks like Rob Pattison and not Danny DeVito, what, makes it okay?! Fuck no! Unfortunately, imagining Danny DeVito pulling the faces and sparkling like Edward does, does not repulse me. It makes me cackle with such laughter. I digress. This is a toxic relationship that has actually warped a generation’s understanding of what a partner should be like. Edward and Bella are up there with Romeo and Juliet of couples that people should not, but totally do, aspire to be. Fuck that noise.
Vampires should never sparkle! Ever. They certainly shouldn’t whine that they are hideous while they sparkle. Vampires also shouldn’t do the fast running, “spider monkey” shit they have Edward doing.
The soundtrack is badass. Too good for such trash. Seriously, it’s an emo/ indie kid’s wet dream and about the only saving grace to today’s watch.
Anna Kendrick. Oh, she took her baby steps in this so she could own, and run, with Pitch Perfect. (Confession: I almost vetoed Pitch Perfect because of how much I loathed the character she plays in Twilight. Thank God, because Kendrick is the Queen)
Rachelle Lefervre is the perfect Victoria and it really is a shame she doesn’t get her time to shine in the third of the franchise. While she’s a little bit wasted here, that stormy departure from the prom have us a hint of what we’d have gotten had Dallas-Howard elbowed her way in.
Not only do we have the perfect casting of Billy Burke, we have the sole awesome character in Charlie Swan. Seriously, him cleaning the gun as Edward arrives. *Chef’s kiss*
Not even the fond memories of watching this film back in 2008 could redeem this garbage. It’s not romantic. Its perhaps, at best, necromantic but lets face it Edward is a creepy little paedophile and Bella needs a lot of help for what I can only imagine is vampiric Stockholm syndrome.
Rating PG Length 1h43 Release 30.09.2022 Director Anne Fletcher About Three young women accidentally bring back the Sanderson Sisters to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking havoc on the world. Moon: Full moon all the way through the film Where to Watch: Disney+ Trailer:
I’m going to say something controversial here. I didn’t like the young Sanderson Sisters in the opening. There was nothing about them other than the mimicking of the older counterparts. I’d have loved to have seen them have a little bit more freedom and a little more fun.
I adore Doug Jones, so it pains me to say it, but what the fuck was that accent?
There were a few references that the Sanderson Sisters used that just didn’t make sense. How on earth would Mary know cowabunga?
I was worried that the return of Doug Jones’ Billy would be a case of ‘less is more’. However I’m delighted to be wrong. His part was joyful, funny and perfect (other than the accent).
The story is its own. It isn’t about re-treading what made the original great but creating a story that those who grew up with the original can watch with their little ones. While there are Easter Eggs aplenty. They’re not overdone and they’re not just thrown in.
The Roombas! Yes, much like many, I was sceptical. Oh but I adored them. They almost took on a BB8 like quality to them, especially when discovering spilled popcorn when the Sisters arrive at the festival.
Hannah Waddingham steals the film for me. She’s delightful and gives in to the British Panto tradition with ease and is clearly having a ball while doing so. She made such an impact, I spent the rest of the film waiting for her to turn back up.
I enjoyed it from start to finish. Don’t go in comparing it to the original; they’re not in competition. At any rate, they certainly compliment each other. I’ve heard whisperings of a third outing. Given how this one ends, I’m worried the Mouse House is going to unpick a rather neat ending for a quick cash cow.
Rating 15 Length 1h30 Release 19.07.2014 Director Richard Bates Jnr About An unemployed man who can talk to supernatural beings joins forces with a bartender to hunt down a vengeful ghost that has been terrifying their town. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Free with Ads on Amazon Prime Trailer:
It’s really clunky for such a run time. It’s almost as if they only had enough story for a short, so added lots of filler to get to the official run time of ‘a movie’
In fact, what it does feel like? A rejected pilot. Which is really quite sad, because I would have watched the shit out of that show.
Kat Dennings is the the saving grace of the film. The issue? She’s not in it nearly as much as she should be.
The aforementioned Kat Dennings. I’m not entirely sure she’s ever acting and, instead, offering up herself in whoever she plays. That said, I do not care. She’s awesome, she improves a film 1000%.
Matthew Gray Gubler is perfect for this role and scenes with Dennings just give him a spotlight to shine. It really is just a shame that they’re both bogged down with a raft of ‘other’ that makes the film hard to engage with.
I liked the attempted story, just not the execution.