10/30/2008

Spotlight on: HALLOWEEN



Tomorrow is Halloween and I figured it was time to take a look at the Halloween film series. So here are mini-reviews of all the films. All reviews out of 4 stars. Enjoy!

- John Carpenter's tale of three babysitters being terrorized by maniac, Michael Myers, who has escaped the psycho-ward after being locked up, for killing his sis, when he was a child. Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) tries to stop him.
Simple enough plot, but the movie is flawlessly made. Scary and suspenseful and extremely influential on the genre. A classic, I hope you seen this one, by now! ****

- Continuing where the first one left off, this one has Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) going to the hospital, where Michael follows her and kills those who get in his way.
Uneven pacing really hurts this one. The gore is upped, but little more is added. The climax is suspenseful, but to get there is kind of hard to stay awake. Not bad, but far from good. **

- A bunch of masks combined with annoying song makes kid's heads have snakes and bugs crawl out of them and die.
This movie has zero to do with series and is sometimes dissed by fans because of it. But guess what? Even taken as it's own film, it is pretty bad. The over-the-top villain, annoying song, stupid plot, and overall silliness makes this one very much a not need to see. On the bright side, there is some decent gore and Tom Atkins is a great hero. And, guess what? There are far WORSE entries in the series! *1/2

- Michael awakens from a coma and goes after his niece, Jamie (Daniele Harris), who is the daughter of the now dead Laurie. Loomis is hot on his trail.
Well made slasher is by far the best sequel in the series. Suspenseful, well directed, and with tight acting from Harris, Pleasance, and Ellie Cornell. The ingenuous kill of busty and beautiful Kathleen Kinmont via shotgun impalement is a series highlight. Unlike, the tongue-in-cheek Friday the 13th series, this series takes itself serious, and it shows, in a good way, in this fine slasher film. Highly recommended. ***

- A year later Jamie is a hospital after having stabbed her adopted mom. Uncle Michael is back, though, and now, Jamie has a psychic connection to him.
I don't think this movie is bad just uneven. On one side, the movie is stylishly shot and has a great use of shadows. Harris' performance is great, and the mean-spirited climax where in Myers chases her, gives the movie a rough edge. On the other hand, the characters suck ass. Cornell's character gets killed, and we have to put up with the WORST girl in slasher history in Tina, who is not even that hot. The blonde babe in the devil costume is hot, and we do get to see her tits. But, her boyfriend keeps wearing a Michael mask, in a played out and stupid joke. Oh, and the ending just plain blows. **

- Jamie. now an adult, escapes a cult led, by the man who broke Michael out of jail. She gets killed but her child is taken to safety by Loomis, who is after Myers. Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd), the kid form the original, is obsessed with finding the truth about Myers. And, the Strode family is trying to sell the old Myers house Secrets are soon revealed about Michael...
This entry is not a bad film, but did we really need to know all this about Michael? Still, Rudd does pull in a good performance and there are a few stylish shots. The movie lets the gore fly high, with an exploding head and a thrilling slaughter in the hospital room. But, the ending is terrible, and the movie makes little sense. There is a superior producer's cut, but alas it can only be seen on bootleg. It cuts back on the gore, but makes much more sense, and is a solid movie. Sadly, that ending sucks, too. Still, if you can see the producer's cut, go for it. But, either way I like this entry.
Theatrical cut- **1/2
Producer's cut- ***

- Ignoring parts 4-6 (why?!), this Scream wanna-be entry has Michael confronting sis Laurie, twenty years later.
A bigger budget and a bunch of TV kids get added, but do little to save this one. Josh Harnet is terrible, and quite frankly I could give a shit about anyone, other than Laurie, in the film. Plus, Jodi Lynn O'Keefe does not even get nude. She does die violently, and Laurie's battle with Myers at the end is OK. But, there is a lot of lame shit to wade through to get there. *1/2

- Myers did not die! You see he put his mask on some loser, and he got his head lopped off, instead at the end of the last one. Anyways, Michael finds and kills Lauire, then offs a bunch of annoying people shooting a webcast at his home. Hey, that would piss me off, too. Unless, the show was made by Playboy TV!
Terrible, terrible film has little to no redeeming qualities. There is no suspense, the acting is terrible, the movie is uninvolving, and filled with a bunch of people who need to die. Why is Tyra Banks in this? At least she dies, but then Busta Ryhmes disses good-old Mickey who does NOT kill him? Huh? Since when was he such a goddamn pussy?! A cool decapitation and some tits, keep this from getting a zero, but by the time you get to the end, you might wanna throw a pumpkin bomb at this filth. Fuck this movie! 1/2 a star

- Rob Zombie's remake explores Myer's origin, as we see him as a disturbed child in the funny-farm, after killing his mom's boyfriend, his hottie siste, and her boyfriend, while under Loomis' (Malcom McDowell) care. As an adult he escapes and goes off to find his sister, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) and off her pretty friends.
The best of the recent wave of remakes, this a more brutal and violent take on the series and on Myers. While, the director's cut (the version on DVD) changes the escape scene, what it adds is really good and makes this movie even better. The acting is strong and the climax suspenseful. The humanizing of Myers is interesting and overall this one show that the genre is in good hands in Zombie. Plus, we get to see to see Danielle Harris' tits. Zombie should get props for that alone! In all seriousness, though, this is the best slasher film since High Tension, and the second best entry in the series. ****

BONUS REVIEW- The excellent docu Halloween: 25 Years of Terror.

Anyways, have a safe and happy Halloween!


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