If there’s one thing I love about Halloween, it’s the excuse to watch horror flicks. As I tried working on a new horror short (about college students dealing with a curse), I enjoyed five horror movies. Pretty decent marathon. Here are my mini-reviews:
Jack the Reaper
High school kids who didn’t turn in a paper go on a Saturday field trip to make up for it and get a quick speech from Tony Todd before the horror starts.
Cons: Starts off strong, goes tepid for me. As soon as the horror started, I immediately figured out the surprise ending. Clichéd characters are fine unless they’re trying to be more but failing. Horrible title. I almost didn’t want it based on that alone. And there’s this random woman who has creepy narration I just didn’t get into.
Pros: Tony Todd, even onscreen for a minute or two, is always a plus. Jay Gillespie from 2001 Maniacs proves he’s a good horror lead, even though he’s 30 playing 17 (sigh). Character dynamics were fun. It was well shot.
Overall: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Some partying young adults get stalked and killed by some psycho calling himself Spider.
Cons: The amusement park aspect seems shoehorned in. The characters were bland. I don’t really remember a whole lot from this one, although I watched it about five hours ago… Would have been better if it was a slow burn type of movie instead of juxtaposing innocence with confusing violence.
Pros: A few creepy moments. The Spider killer was effective enough.
Overall: 2 out of 5 stars. Not a repeater for me.
The first gay slasher. Four roommates in West Hollywood go out partying on Halloween and are stalked by a mysterious killer dressed like a devil.
Cons: I’m torn on not getting any background on the killer.
Pros: The cast, the script, the everything. This hits all the right slasher beats (and is produced by one of the producers of the original Halloween, well done!).
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Fun slasher that deserves more credit and a sequel.
Trick ‘R Treat
This is one I like to watch annually. An interconnected anthology following a smallish town during Halloween.
Cons: Can’t think of any.
Pros: Script, cast (IMD them, they’re awesome), direction. I’m a big fan of anthology movies, and having all the stories flow into each other just kicks this one up another notch.
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars. There’s so much to love here, and I’m delighted they FINALLY announced a sequel. Bring it on. Trick ‘R Treat could turn into a powerhouse series, which I’m all for.
See No Evil
Teenagers (?) in prison start a work release program in which they have to clean up an old hotel while Kane from the WWE brutally butchers them.
Cons: No one’s getting any Oscars from the acting here. This one is a strange mix of low budget and high budget (produced by the WWE, which will soon be releasing the Leprechaun remake). I love low budget, but they had the money.
Pros: It’s got a take-no-prisoners approach you have to respect. Some fun kills, decent script, and a menacing killer.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars. This one popped up on my radar again since a sequel has been shot for release next year. Count me in.
In other Halloween news, big stuff for Sleepaway Camp fans. You don’t know how happy I am that the original is getting a Blu ray release next year and it’s uncut. Fans know the DVD, an improvement over the VHS, had a few snip and tucks. In addition, a reboot of the series spearheaded by creator/writer/director Robert Hiltzik was announced. I have a feeling that I’ll be watching some Sleepaway next Halloween.
This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you a happy All Hallows Day.