Rating: 18 Length 1h 41 Release 12.12.1997 Director Jim Gillespie About Four high school teenagers try to cover up a hit-and-run case. A year later, they start receiving anonymous letters and each one is attacked by a mysterious man who knows their deep, dark secret.
The four leads are what make this film; then and now. I like that the film doesn’t have them walking the halls of a high school and instead have them on their own paths.
Johnny Galecki was a cool spot back in my teens, having grown up in the Rosanne household. Even now, though, he’s still that guy you know from Big Bang Theory. Man can he do creep well, too.
I love the setting that’s Amity but not quite. Its not new, but it does feel refreshing. For me, it also adds to the lack of community I felt watching it. That this isn’t a town that talks to each other.
The music! At the time it was perhaps “eh, its cool”, but now it has that hit of nostalgia. This is up there with Scream 2 for awesome credit song choice.
The hunting of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Helen is movie perfection. This is the actress I knew as Buffy, so seeing her vulnerable and afraid was beyond disturbing. Then the editing of the whole scene; from the diversion of the cop car that’s taking her home to her almost making it to the crowded streets is phenomenal.
Johnny Galecki’s Max was killed off too soon. In fact, the most frustrating part is that they spend so long building up suspicion of him, to resolve it so suddenly, its almost anti-climactic. There’s also the massive plot blunder of him in the car boot. Yes, I totally get its attempt to build on julie’s unravelling and I guess our sense of smell does not transcend celluloid, but it is improbbable the killer could have cleaned that boot as impeccably as the film wants us to believe.
The final showdown reveals the killer’s mood board of the friends. Well, what do you know, the killer has not only managed to do all the damage he has; he’s been able to get candid photographs of the day developed too. Not something I caught the first time around, but it stuck out like a sore thumb this time.
I so feel like there’s a lake of interaction between our four targets and the rest of the town. I mean, Barry is the jock but there’s no posse?! Ray is given that loner persona, but there’s no one else for the other’s to hang out with. So, aren’t they loners too? It just makes the whole thing feel superficial and that no one is really going to miss these kids when they meet their maker.
I’m not sure I buy the killer’s motivation. In fact, I find the whole thing a little convoluted watching it as an adult. Perhaps I wasn’t distracted by the next “death” as I once was; it certainly wasn’t that I remembered the story.
That ending in the showers. Yawn. Made even worse if you’ve seen the sequel.
It’s a film that fairs better the less you think about it. Just watch the pretty people make dumb life choices and Gibb’s mentor weild a hook, give Edward Scissorhands a run for him money in the hair department and be an absolute motherfucking hypocrite.
Rating 18 Length 1hr 35 Release 19.10.2015 (no UK cinematic release) Director Nick Simon About Two psychopaths target a young woman (Claudia Lee), a photographer (Kal Penn) and a group of models at a secluded house.
This film takes a risk with its ending. It *almost* works. The idea of an open ending to a stand alone horror film in a way that’s not a rug pull (see I Know What You Did Last Summer, House of Wax and Saw) is rare. There’s no showdown, there’s no final girl. Now, considering the rest is formulaic as fuck, that ending really impressed me.
Yeah, that’s all I got folks. This film was garbage and I actually almost turned it off.
By calling your ‘slashers’ psychopaths, does not free you of having a motive. Towards the back end of the film we get the idea that he has some sort of feelings for our lead, Colleen. However, where does the second guy factor in to this infatuation? There’s also the fact that we come into the film at victim 7. The film made loose connections to the photographer, Kal Penn, but just didn’t follow through. If only the film unpacked the fact that the two men were in the same year as Penn’s character, it would have made for a much more satisfying movie.
As much as I love Mitch Pileggi, the incorporation of the police force within the town was frustrating and of no use to the plot with how they were used. Just throwing around “No body, no crime.’ And repeatedly telling Colleen there’s nothing they can do is utter bullshit ;and the stereotype we moved away from almost two decades ago. When these photographs are popping up and they resemble the missing persons report… they would have to do something. While I do like the fact that the psychopaths are left to kill another day, if you’re also going to make the police incompetent and the reason these girls have died, at least have them as part of the body count.
How is the disappearance of seven people not caused commotion in this town? How is it not a much bigger thing, that’s going to make the local news at the very least? I just find so many of the things in this so illogical.
Did we really need the commentary of “the photographer” on consent. He actually says “permission isn’t sexy”. Which is made all the more galling by the fact that the guy is using a big ass camera with a massive flash to photograph Colleen. Oh, and while we’re on the topic of consent. Having a guy secretly film his casual sex is one thing. Having the girl discover it and then masterbate to the footage is very much another and absolutely not okay. Remembering, the issue is not the sex, but the violation and lack of consent. My biggest issue being who this film’s demographic is and what it might say to them.
The over-use of Wes Craven’s name in all of the publicity. He was a producer, nothing more. There is nothing in this film that can be said to be inspired by his body of work and its only made worse by the over zealous use of “This was the last film he worked on.”
Few things I didn’t understand: who the fuck wrote the blog? Who made the connection to the photographer, and was it every single photograph? If so, why?
Oh, why is the boyfriend such a dick? Like, really? Can someone explain to me? He seemed lovely and really trying to make things work, but Colleen was clearly not on the same page. When Psycho Tom tells boyfriend “you should have treated her better” all I could think was that he really should have been saying that to Colleen.
The blood, the gore! Jesus, I know it was an 18 and everything, but come on! Its been proven time and time again that not showing a death is much more effective. Why do we need to see all the blood?!
This film has potential behind the gore, but the editing and unresolved questions leave it being little more than garbage. Its not even clever enough to be considered an exploitation film.
Rating: 18 Length: 1hr 40 Release: 18.10.2019 (No UK theatrical release) Dir: Patrick Lussier About: On Halloween night in 2015, Patrick `Trick’ Weaver massacred his classmates at a costume party. After being arrested, he managed to escape police custody, but not before being shot five times by Detective Mike Denver. Everyone believes Trick must be dead, but when a masked killer reappears the following Halloween, and every Halloween after that, they realise the nightmare is not over.
The film has an excellent, visceral, opening. With a bloodbath opening on par with 2009’s My Bloody Valentine, it doesn’t let up even when we change location.
The whole sequence on the docklands is frighteningly good. From the set up, the people involved and the effects.
Omar Epps is a great casting choice as the detective obsessed with the Trick killer. While the framing of the story doesn’t give him protagonist status, he really should be.
Sheriff Lisa Jayne’s insistence that there’s no case when people are being slaughtered in the name of Trick, if not Trick himself, really is shit. Even if she doesn’t believe it is Trick, there are connections and Detective Denver shouldn’t be dismissed as much as he is.
What is said to Denver is very repetitive. Almost as if dialogue was copy and pasted. it gets old… fast.
Its way too disjointed and lacking any flow at all. By opening the film up on Cheryl and the massacre, it has implications that she’s the ‘final girl’; the protagonist. However, she’s missing from the narrative for over half of it and certainly has no impact upon the murders between the first and third act. This then means there’s no investment with the characters or the outcome.
This lack of coherent protagonist also means that everything feels really shallow. The lack of connection and screen time with the survivors means there’s no real backstory to Trick and the dismissive nature of the police and FBI means there’s no real investigation to clue us in to any motivation.
Jamie Kennedy having such prominent billing yet so little screen time does disappoint. It does also make the final scene a little too obvious and lacks the shock that was intended.
The ‘reason’ for the attacks is such bullshit. “No one needs a reason to be evil.” and “We do this because we can.” I mean, what the fuck?! While there is an element of the tv show The Following with this ending, but it just doesn’t match up with the rest of the film.
It was great to have a modern slasher to watch and this really did have potential. Its just a shame it didn’t follow through with the set up.
Rating: 18 Length: 1hr 33 Release: 18.11.1963 Director: Lewis Teague About: Donna, a suburban housewife along with her young son Tad, drives out to the home where a perturbed St Bernard is driven insane by rabies. She must now save herself and her son from a brutal attack.
The second half of this movie is incredible; it taps into basic fears and keeps the body count coming. While Cujo started off as a sweet Saint Bernard he quickly becomes a volatile, foaming-at-the-mouth fuzzy monster. There are two massive dog-related scares that left me petrified; the initial attack on the car and the attack on Donna.
There’s an incredible shot in which the camera does a number of 360 degree spins, the revolution getting faster than a teacup ride. It has a emotive and physical effect that is perfect for a horror.
The bats that bite Cujo are proper scary. Like the teeth and the hissing. If there was anyone I was invested in from the start, it was poor Cujo. He was having a nice time, chasing a rabbit. He gets bitten and no one cares. No one gets him to a vet. Poor Cujo. Poor, poor, Cujo.
The music is rather tv-movie and a good chunk of it, doesn’t match the tone of the movie.
I feel as if something was missed out in regards to Donna and her views about dogs. Her reaction to Cujo when she meets him for the first time almost hints at a long standing fear or dislike. However, it’s never confirmed. Given that so much time is spent on exposition that had no value, I’m certain they could have dedicated a bit to this.
Donna makes some dumb-ass decisions, much like many people in horror movies.
The first half of the movie is total dog shit (excuse the pun). The film takes up over 40 minutes developing characters and I really don’t understand why. With the Camber family, the mother and son are built up to just disappear for the second act which feels a little pointless.
Then there’s the matter of the lead. What we learn about Donna in the first 45 minutes is that there are problems in her marriage, perhaps because of his stressful and totally BORING job. She’s ‘screwing around’ with her ex boyfriend. Yes, it gives us a final act misdirection when the husband is searching for her, but it also makes her an unlikable character who I am not invested in.
Tad, Tadpole, Tadders. The kid takes up a lot of the film and while research has suggested the opening scene has more significance within the book, it feels pointless. Although, I must admit I did like the way in which he prepared to launch himself into the bed once the light was turned out.
All in all, there’s way too much build up and not enough pay off. I’d have liked to have seen Donna and Tad get into their peril much earlier and perhaps one of the other deaths happening a little earlier.