Everyone: “The Last House on the Left is more a comedy than a horror film.”
Me: “Shut the fuck up.”
My girlfriend and I watched Showgirls a couple of nights ago. We both really enjoyed it, and not even in a let’s-laugh-at-how-terrible-it-is way ala Troll 2 and The Room. That’s not to say the film didn’t have its share of eyebrow-raising moments, but otherwise, this is yet another one of those maligned films which I genuinely like.
Having finally watched all eight of the original Halloween films, I can offer my thoughts on each of them. As with most horror franchises, this is one that begins with promise but ultimately descends into a bay of shit.
Halloween (‘78) - Widely considered the best of the bunch and I can’t disagree. The formula has been often-imitated (after all, it was accompanied by seven sequels, not to mention a remake with a sequel of its own), yet there’s something about the first film that simply works. I watch the film every October 31st and it’s one I never tire of revisiting.
Halloween II (‘81) - It can a little bland at times and it seems to be more preoccupied with a higher body count than mustering any genuine suspense. On the plus side, though, Rosenthal does a competent job of imitating Carpenter’s style and it’s easily one of the most enjoyable in the series.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (‘83) - I wish more people would accept the film for what it is (a sequel made with the intention of taking the series in an anthology direction) as opposed to whining over Myer’s absence. Fortunately, this charming and atmospheric little film has garnered something of a following over time. For me, this one’s the second best.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (‘88) - I would have preferred the notion of an anthology series, but the return to Haddonfield is still a welcome one. The fourth film doesn’t quite approach greatness for me, but it’s still fun to watch with some decent characters and Donald Pleasence giving it his all as usual. It also has a brilliant ending, until it’s essentially ruined by the follow-up…
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers - (‘89) This is where things turn sour with an entry that feels tired and generic. I also don’t think it was a good idea to kill off one of the predecessor’s best characters so early on; the supporting characters aren’t good enough to carry the second half of the film. Not awful, but neither is it particularly good.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (‘95) - I’m torn with this one, although I do think it’s an improvement over the fifth film. Moments of it are genuinely effective and intriguing, but it all falls apart in the third act when the studio interference rears its ugly head. Pity.
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (‘98) - Surprise, surprise - I consider this to be the best since the initial trilogy. I would have rather they hadn’t ignored the previous three films, though. Still, it’s a competently-scripted slasher and a breath of fresh air which the series most definitely needed. If only it had ended here, on a high.
Halloween: Resurrection (‘02) - Normally, I maintain the idea that even the worst horror films aren’t truly bad because they’re at least entertaining. Resurrection is just plain bad. Everything annoyed me, from the ridiculous retcon to the sheer presence of Busta Rhymes. The film is a desperate cash-grab and it’s a real shame that the conclusion of H20 had to be tarnished by such crap.
I watched it last night and it was poor in every conceivable way. They really should have ended the series with H20, which I think is a decent film. Anyway, I’m thinking of uploading another text post either tonight or tomorrow where I offer my brief thoughts on each film in the series. Long live the new flesh (I don’t know why I decided to reference Videodrome).
I now own all eight Halloween films (yes, I’m excluding the Rob Zombie ones) on DVD. The first three are the only ones I’ve seen in their entirety, whereas I’ve seen chunks of the succeeding ones on television. I was planning on watching all eight back-to-back today. I’ve only watched the first two, though. I’m a failure. Perhaps I’ll watch the third one later and then squeeze in the others tomorrow.
Tim Burton frequently collaborates with the same people = hack
Christopher Nolan frequently collaborates with the same people = genius
Interesting. It’s also funny how everybody loved Sweeney Todd when it came out but are now pretending it doesn’t exist because that would mean admitting that he still makes good films.
I thought it was a horrendous idea when they first announced they were going to remake The Evil Dead. Bear in mind that the original is my favourite horror film (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a close second), so a remake was never going to win me over immediately. It got worse, too. Diablo Cody writing? Drug addiction driving the narrative? I wasn’t overly impressed with the first trailer, either. Fortunately, with more footage and reports from folks who visited the set, my expectations spiked dramatically. I took my girlfriend to see the film today and I really enjoyed it.
As good as the original? I don’t think so, no, but then I was hardly surprised by this and I appreciated it on its own merits. Having said that, I did like the various references to the first film and you could tell that it was directed by somebody with an appreciation for Sam Raimi’s series, as opposed to just slapping together a remake for a quick buck. The characters were more interesting than I expected them to be (with the exception of Natalie, who was a non-entity for much of the film), the practical effects were very good and the film was a relentless joyride of blood and severed limbs from start to finish. I’m genuinely surprised to see that this was granted an R rating in America. I wonder what was cut to avoid the dreaded NC-17.
I did have some minor issues with the film (too much exposition at the beginning, lapses into modern horror cliches and a rubbish post-credits ending), but when you’re watching an Evil Dead film, I think an Oscar-winner is the last thing on your mind - you’re expecting much in the way of style and gruesome antics. This film definitely delivered in that regard. I’m looking forward to the Blu-ray release (particularly because I’m curious as to what the uncut version contains) and to the inevitable sequel.
I finally watched Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes Part II. It’s somewhat entertaining, so it’s not entirely without merit, but otherwise, I can see why it’s such an unpopular film. The links to the original film are contrived, the flashbacks are excessive, the characters are largely forgettable and the death scenes are a weird hybrid of elaborate and anti-climatic. Wes, what were you thinking? At least the poster is nice.
This arrived in the post yesterday - Anchor Bay’s ‘Book of the Dead’ release of The Evil Dead, the third edition of the film that I’ve owned. Naturally, I’ll stick to the Blu-ray release whenever it comes to re-watching the film, but the packaging is amazing and I’ve always wanted this in my collection.
You know when one of your passions takes a backseat to everything else but then, for no reason whatsoever, it feels like you’ve become a fan all over again? It’s like that for me at the moment when it comes to horror films. I’ve ordered a bunch of horror boxsets I’ve wanted for ages and I’ve been obsessively watching clips related to different franchises, particularly the Hellraiser series. I think I’ve developed an affinity for Dr. Channard and his phallic tentacle. Good thing I’ve purchased the puzzle box DVD, then. I can watch Hellbound: Hellraiser II uncut, having been used to a censored VHS for years. On a slightly different note, I’m determined to watch the original seven Elm Street films back-to-back some day, preferably when neither my girlfriend nor I have work and we have the house to ourselves. I have done something similar before, actually. My parents bought me the 1-7 DVD box set for Christmas 2006 and I watched films 3-7 in the space of a day because I’d already seen the first two and was urgent to see the rest. This post is lacking in coherence or purpose.
I love the new Tomb Raider, but I hope it doesn’t turn everybody into snobs like Christopher Nolan did when he unleashed The Dark Knight upon the earth. Anybody who previously turned up their nose at Batman was suddenly The Caped Crusader’s Number One fan. Already, I’ve read numerous comments in which people laud praise upon the reboot whilst simultaneously mocking the earlier games. As I said, I love Tomb Raider/Tomb Raider 2013/TReboot, but that doesn’t mean the games that came before are devoid of merit all of a sudden. Tomb Raider II is still my favourite and if today’s generation of gamers got past the dated graphics and stopped being so damn impatient and superficial, they might appreciate the originals more.