Title: Halloween II (1981) Runtime: 92 minutes Director: Rick Rosenthal
SPOILER WARNING: This is a review of the theatrical cut of Halloween II, and will contain spoilers for the original Halloween (1978).
I tell ya, if I was Laurie Strode, I don’t think I’d ever leave my house again, because between Halloween and Halloween II, she has definitely had a worse night than any three other people combined. Halloween II introduces the sibling aspect to this franchise that is now one of the series’ most well-known elements. That is a nod to John Carpenter and Debra Hill (the writers of both the original and this sequel) because even though Carpenter claims he was struggling to find a plot twist for this one, and the sibling element was the result, it’s almost impossible to look back on the original without this knowledge. See, the best ideas come when we’re backed up against a wall! Continue reading →
Title: Halloween (1978) Runtime: 91 minutes Director: John Carpenter
They don’t really get much better than Halloween. The more times I watch this horror masterpiece from John Carpenter, the more I fall in love with it. Carpenter proves that you don’t need a large budget (just $320,000 on this one, and $20,000 was for Donald Pleasence alone), lots of blood, or virtually any special effects to create a wonderfully effective horror film.
The biggest kernel I took away from this most recent viewing is just how absolutely brilliant Donald Pleasence is as Dr. Sam Loomis. Yes, he brings the element of camp to the film, but he is so damn sincere about it that it doesn’t feel campy. Virtually every line the man delivers can be looked at as a classic line in horror history. Without his passion for the character, Loomis would be nothing. Continue reading →
Title: Child’s Play (1988) Runtime: 87 minutes Director: Tom Holland
Child’s Play is one of those films that I rented over and over again from Blockbuster when I was younger (much too young, in fact). It’s a film that helped me fall in love with horror, which makes this next statement so strange: this felt like a first-time viewing! I couldn’t remember some scenes, which is highly unusual for me. But, it made it that much more interesting. Continue reading →
Title: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) Runtime: 98 minutes Director: Dario Argento
It’s incredible how much more creative the Italian giallo films I’ve seen are compared to the American slasher film, and The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is another fine example of just that.
This is Dario Argento’s debut film, and some of the exact same techniques he uses in his later masterpiece, Deep Red, can be seen here. He also begins his fascination with gloved hands. Continue reading →
Title: Prom Night (1980) Runtime: 89 minutes Director: Paul Lynch
How in the world was Prom Night (2008) a remake of this film? They are entirely different. In fact, the only similarity between the films – that I can see – is that they both take place on the night of prom.
In Prom Night, there is a masked maniac on the loose, seeking revenge on a group of high school teenager (on their prom night, of course) for a tragic event that happened when the group was much younger. Continue reading →
Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) Runtime: 96 minutes Director: Chuck Russell
This film is often cited as being the best (and some say only) good sequel to Freddy’s Nightmare on Elm Street saga, and I can definitely agree. Not only is this a solid sequel, but it stands up on its own as a good slasher film.
Dream Warriors follows a group of teenage patients as they literally fight with their dreams. Nancy, the victim in the original film, is back, but all grown up and a practicing therapist. She knows what these kids are going through, and just how real their “fantasies” are, and decides to risk it all to help end their nightmares on Freddy Krueger. Freddy responds with a new plan: instead of killing them himself, he’ll just drive the teens to suicide, which doesn’t help Nancy’s credibility one bit. Continue reading →
Title: I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006) Runtime: 92 minutes Director: Sylvain White
That’s right, for better or worse, the Last Summer franchise was turned into a trilogy in 2006. Obviously most of the stars in the original two have moved on to bigger and better careers, so none of them appear in this final installment. That might also be why it is easily the weakest in the trilogy. Continue reading →