Search only in certain items:

The Hills Run Red (2009)
The Hills Run Red (2009)
2009 | Horror
Wilson Wyler Concannon was a director who made a horror film twenty years ago that was said to be so gory, so disturbing, and so traumatizing that it was pulled from theaters after only a handful of people got to see it. Now, in the present day, Tyler is obsessed with The Hills Run Red even though a copy of the complete film doesn't seem to exist. After doing countless hours of research on this lost horror gem and seeing the trailer more times than he can count, Tyler decides to make a documentary as he, his best friend Lalo, and girlfriend Serina travel outside the city. Tyler only has one lead to fall back on and that's Alexa Concannon, the daughter of Wilson Wyler Concannon. Tyler feels like this is the break he's been waiting for as he thinks he'll either get to meet the director he's grown to admire or see this lost classic in its entirety to see if it lives up to the hype. But is there really light at the end of this tunnel? For what reason would a film not be released for twenty years? How does the killer, Babyface, fit into all of this? As stated earlier on in the film, some films should stay buried.

Going by the DVD cover and title alone, The Hills Run Red looks like it's just capitalizing on the success of The Hills Have Eyes remake from 2006. So going into the film, that's pretty much what I was expecting. Since it's a horror film that was released straight to DVD, expectations should never be high since they're usually released that way for a reason. Surprisingly though, that wasn't the case this time around as this turned out to be a pretty solid little horror flick. The film winds up bearing little resemblance to the Alexandre Aja directed The Hills Have Eyes as it delivers a fairly original concept and a satisfying experience overall.

The film will pretty much reel any horror fan in with the opening sequence as the atmosphere for the film is set up early on and doesn't shy away from blood and gore. Lack of nudity and sexual content isn't an issue either as there is plenty of that to go around. With all that in mind, this pretty much has everything any horror fan could ask for already: lots of blood and tons of T&A. The acting is also a bar above what you're probably expecting for a release like this. To be honest, it's pretty decent and there really isn't much to complain about in that department. Although, I do think William Sadler steals the show but he's also probably the only recognizable actor in the film. Babyface actually turned out to be quite sadistic and better than his origin let on. When you're shown how he got his name and who he really is, it's kind of lame at first. The concept eventually grows on you though and is pretty original as far as serial killers from slasher films go.

If you ever saw Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, one of its peaks was that it not only pointed out cliche moments in other horror films and dissected them but also wound up breaking most of them while going in a different direction. The Hills Run Red touches on this a bit, as well. Some examples are cell phones actually work out in secluded areas, a gun is brought just in case they run into trouble, and flares are brought in case flashlights don't work. Horror movies need to be as fresh as possible as it seems like just about everything has been done, which is probably one of the reasons remakes are so popular right now. It's just refreshing to see a movie not follow the same generic formula.

You can't always rely on your first impression as The Hills Run Red seemed like nothing more than a copycat horror film that was rushed straight to DVD. In all actuality, however, it turns out to be a sexy, blood-splattering wet dream for horror fans with a better than expected storyline, above par acting, and what could be a new face in the horror franchise. If you like films like this, give this one a go. You may be pleasantly surprised and be sure to catch the extra scene in the middle of the credits at the end.
Us (2019)
Us (2019)
2019 | Horror, Thriller
When it is a director’s second, or sophomore movie, if you like, there is a lot of unfair pressure that finds people comparing the new work to the first one. Especially if that first work has set you up as the saviour of a particular genre, as was the case with Jordan Peele. Get Out was an excellent film for its type – a breath of fresh air, so they say, that subverted what a modern horror movie is and can be.

I actually don’t think Get Out deserves all the praise it gets, to be honest. Because Peele is not on his own in resurrecting dead ideas of what disturbs us, and I prefer both his main sophomore competitors: Ari Aster and Robert Eggers, of Hereditary/Midsommar and The Witch/The Lighthouse fame respectively. The Wasteland has already well documented this triumvirate of chillers, and perhaps only the man who produces the best third film will win the argument…

Not that Get Out isn’t great, in its way. It is. It has a lot to say in terms of social commentary, and plays very satisfyingly for tone, pace and momentum. It also has some wonderful performances at its heart. Which is the main thing that it shares with the less impressive, but equally ambitious Us.

Elisabeth Moss, who is racking up some very nice credits in recent years, is very watchable and sympathetic as the heroine of the tale forced into a survival situation. But it is the consistently superlative Lupito Nyong’o who shines most. Her ability to hold a moment is extraordinary! She has a chameleon quality as an actress, which when you see and understand the theme of this film is indispensable.

In the pivotal and most memorable early scene, her sheer presence and incredible voice fill the screen with dread and eerieness to an almost unbearable degree. It is a wow moment that lasts about 5 minutes. In that part of the film I was prepared to see something very special indeed. Sadly, the tension built so superbly is not maintained for long. In fact it is somewhat thrown away, and diluted by predictable tropes and simple chase scenes, rather than more moments of unique suspense, as it needed.

Note that I am not saying anything about the plot or the premise in any way here – on this occasion, even to explain the basic idea would be to spoil the experience from the start. Peele wants you to discover his themes as The “white” family are discovering them, to increase the creepiness and anxiety of it all. This works to a degree, but all too soon, I found, it becomes a mere slasher chase film, with little extra to say. Anything great about it happens in the first half hour. After that it is still watchable, just not amazing. Even the conclusion is a little flat, which is a rookie mistake if ever there was one.

I think Peele will have learned a lot from this film. Mostly that he can’t just create magic by willing it to exist. He has to hold the reigns a little tighter to create something of equal meaning to Get Out again. Perhaps it is a scripting issue as much as a directing issue, but he wrote it too, so there is no escaping the blame! Saying this, he still retains a lot of potential to go on and fix the things that didn’t work next time. And if he manages to string a good run together then this film will be very interesting to look back on as a cult movie that just misses the mark.

One thing I do like is how he uses images and names and colours etc. to create a larger puzzle within the film. The idea being that every detail is part of a bigger meaning. When reading about the film afterwards, I was surprised and thrilled to learn there were so many intentional nods to a theme and mythology beyond what I had already grasped. Something that is also true of Aster and Eggers, as if this approach is what the new Horror movement is based on – enough background detail to be able to revisit many times and geek out over later on fan forums.

The first thing to debate, and perhaps the last, is the title. Now that does deserve a round of applause. Let’s talk about that privately later… See this movie for Moss and especially Nyong’o, and that one astonishing scene early on. Otherwise it’s a take it or leave it kind of thing.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
1984 | Horror
Introduce a horror icon (3 more)
Robert Englund
Wes Craven
The ending (0 more)
Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep!
Contains spoilers, click to show
A Nightmare on Elm Street- is one of my all time favorite horror films. Its also one of the greatest horror movies of all time. That being said, the ending sucks and i will get to that, but first lets talk more about the film.

I just love the idea of someone who appears in your dreams. Someone who stalks you, someone who messes with you, someone who kills you in your dreams. Now Wes got the idea from several newspaper articles printed in the Los Angeles Times in the 1970s about Southeast Asian refugees, who, after fleeing to the United States because of war and genocide in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, suffered disturbing nightmares and refused to sleep. Some of the men died in their sleep soon after and some of his own childhood nightmares.

The idea of Freddy was Craven's early life. One night, a young Craven saw an elderly man walking on the sidepath outside the window of his home. The man stopped to glance at a startled Craven and walked off. Now Initially, Fred Krueger was intended to be a child molester, but Craven eventually characterized him as a child murderer to avoid being accused of exploiting a spate of highly publicized child molestation cases that occurred in California around the time of production of the film. This idea happened in the 2010 remake.

Lets talk about the plot: In Wes Craven's classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams -- which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends' parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it's too late?

The plot/story is excellent, the mystery surrounded of Krueger. Who he exactly is, why is he do this, what made him do this, how do the parnets know about Krueger? All of these questions and more your trying to figure out and the movie does a excellent job explaining them.

The deaths: the death scenes are excellent. Tina revolving around her room, Rod's bed sheets wrapping around him while he is in a prison cell and dies hanging and Glen getting pulled through his bed and then his blood gushes to the ceiling. Excellent deaths and memorable.

The Ending: Craven originally planned for the film to have a more evocative ending: Nancy kills Krueger by ceasing to believe in him, then awakens to discover that everything that happened in the film was an elongated nightmare. However, New Line leader Robert Shaye demanded a twist ending, in which Krueger disappears and all seems to have been a dream, only for the audience to discover that it was a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream.

According to Craven, "The original ending of the script has Nancy come out the door. It's an unusually cloudy and foggy day. A car pulls up with her dead friends in it. She's startled. She goes out and gets in the car wondering what the hell is going on, and they drive off into the fog, with the mother left standing on the doorstep and that's it. It was very brief, and suggestive that maybe life is sort of dream-like too. Shaye wanted Freddy Krueger to be driving the car, and have the kids screaming. It all became very negative. I felt a philosophical tension to my ending. Shaye said, "That's so 60s, it's stupid." I refused to have Freddy in the driver's seat, and we thought up about five different endings. The one we used, with Freddy pulling the mother through the doorway amused us all so much, we couldn't not use it."

Heather Langenkamp states that "there always was this sense that Freddy was the car", while according to Sara Risher, "it was always Wes' idea to pan to the little girls' jumping rope". Both a happy ending and a twist ending were filmed, but the final film used the twist ending. As a result, Craven who never wanted the film to be an ongoing franchise, did not work on the first sequel, Freddy's Revenge (1985).

Also Nancy's mom getting pulles through the window door was wierd and you can tell it was a blow up doll.

The Music: The lyrics for Freddy's theme song, sung by the jumprope children throughout the series and based on One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, was already written and included in the script when Bernstein started writing the soundtrack, while the melody for it was not set by Bernstein, but by Heather Langenkamp's boyfriend and soon-to-be husband at the time, Alan Pasqua, who was a musician himself. One of the three girls who recorded the vocal part of the theme was Robert Shaye's then 14-year-old daughter. Per the script, the lyrics are as follow: One two, Freddie's coming for you.Three four, better lock your door. Five six, grab your crucifix. Seven eight, gonna stay up late. Nine ten, never sleep again.

End Thoughts: A Nightmare on Elm Street is a excellent horror movie, it introduces a horror icon, has great charcters, has great death scenes and above all is perfect. Thank you Wes for giving us this movie.
Halloween (2018)
Halloween (2018)
2018 | Horror
First off I want to address the elephant in the room, or more accurately, the serial killer in the room. Kudos to Cineworld for always engaging in dressing up banter for their movies, but honestly, I don't need to be tormented by them during the movie too. We're all familiar with the hovering member of staff who checks the screens during the performance. When the titles started to role on Halloween I was aware of the lurking figure, unlike other times though when I glanced out of the corner of my eye I wasn't greeted with the friendly face of an employee but rather the mask-clad face of a serial killer. At least he wasn't creeping up on me otherwise I would have unleashed the power of my flying handbag... you try and scare people there WILL be consequences! Saying that I would love them to re-release Scream so I could dress up as Ghostface and just tilt my head at people.

Anyway, to the film!

Having just seen the original I found it very easy to draw parallels between the two. The links were everywhere and it made for a nice familiar touch, which I found surprising as it isn't a film that I'm really that well versed in.

The opening credits were obviously a highlight and it was fun to watch the scene unfold, literally. Having not seen many of the other Halloween offerings I don't know how they dealt with Michael and Laurie's connection, not that it really matters I suppose as they tossed out the rest of the timeline out of the window for this one.

Comparing the two films you can really see how they've given Laurie some of Michael's traits. He's so much a part of her that she's even taken to lurking like him outside the school watching her granddaughter. She progresses through the film much like he did in the first, with little flashes of him in her actions like when we see her exit a restaurant and stand at the end of the path like he did after murdering his sister.

We see the escape from the transfer but we don't really know how it happened, although I had my suspicions. Yet again we see a mirror of events from the first film. The patients are roaming around and Michael attacks without mercy to get what he wants/needs.

I'll take a quick diversion here to talk about one of my dislikes about the film. The journalists doing the interviews with Michael and Laurie. I understand why they were there. Michael needed to get his identity back and some groundwork needed to be laid so that the audience could see what Laurie had been working to her whole life... but... I didn't find either character to be particularly effective and the small monologues for the tape seemed poorly executed. Yes, yes, they're just making audio notes for the final piece, but as a film they're supposed to be crafting the scene in a way that flows, and they really don't. Of course as I said, they need to be there so that Michael can get his face back so *shrug* their fate wasn't such a sad one for the story line.

I think what makes Michael so effective as the bad guy is that he's just so brazen. He's got one objective and his single mindedness means that he never stops. It doesn't matter that he's wearing his hospital clothing, he has to do something and that confidence makes him invisible to almost everyone until it's too late. Seeing him in the background of shots brings on the anticipation of what's to come. When it's dark you're squinting at an area that seems unusually framed waiting to see that face emerge from the gloom. It works incredibly well and brings almost a glee to the watcher. You know something that the characters don't... you could survive this thing.

Movies these days seem to be finding some very talented kids and the writers are furnishing them with excellent lines. Jibrail Nantambu as Julian, the ill-fated babysitting job of Haddonfield, brings the comedy in what is otherwise the bleak slasher-fest you'd expect. He's got the witty banter, the attitude, and he delivers perfectly. Watch out for my favourite piece of the movie where Vicky his babysitter attempts to go and investigate for a possible intruder. Julian knows where horror films are at, and he knows who's expendable, good job kid.

As a sequel I think it works really well. Trying to erase the knowledge that there were films in between was challenging though. It's an 18 certificate though and the more I watch them these days the more I wonder exactly how TV and film has jaded my perception of things. Sure, there's a lot of murdering! But none of it seemed particularly graphic or violent to me. Like I say... perhaps I've just become accustomed to it.

What you should do

If you enjoy horror films then I think this one would appeal. Especially if you see the original before you go. I'm sure it would work as a standalone film with only basic knowledge of the first, but there's no denying how well they'll work together in a double bill.

Movie thing you wish you could take home

As with the original, I would still like some of Laurie Strode's luck at surviving against the odds.
Until Dawn
Until Dawn
2015 | Action/Adventure
Cast (1 more)
Obvious twist (0 more)
A Bloody Good Time
This game by all accounts, should have been a flop. The fact that it was a cliché teen horror story, the fact that it started out as a move game for the ps3 and has had a long, unsteady development cycle and the fact that it was coming out in August, a time of year that is known as the stealth zone, as it is after the summer blockbuster season, but before the big fall line up drops. Yet, Supermassive games have managed to produce an engaging, genuinely scary story that plays on your expectations of this genre and succeeds in keeping the player engaged for a 10-12 hour story that follows the teens trying to survive through a horrific night of terror. I have been a gamer for the vast majority of my time on this earth and while I am very proud of that fact, I do realise that it may cloud my judgement somewhat and I could lose sight somewhat of what really makes a game special, which is why I will always greatly value an outsider’s opinion. I have been with my girlfriend for the past 3 years and before meeting me she was a casual gamer at best, playing Wii games and mobile games, I do believe she owned a PS1 when she was young but she definitely isn’t a gamer like I am. So, when I get a game and she watches me playing it and has a reaction more than just, ‘is this all you do?’ I know that it is something a bit more special than any old game. It happened with season 1 of Telltale’s Walking Dead, it happened with The Last Of Us and it happened a few nights ago with Until Dawn. As soon as I put the disc in and we played the first chapter, we were both hooked and dying to find out what happens next. This game is very well written, with an intriguing, engaging narrative coupled with purposefully written bad cheesy dialogue creating many memorable moments. The cast is very talented also, the facial capture in this game is very good and when playing you can see each tiny expression of fear or anger on the actor’s faces and the VO work is also pretty impeccable. Hayden Pannietre and Rami Malek stand out, as does Peter Stromare and the actor who plays Mike. The first quarter of the game is full of ‘mock’ scares that the group are seen pranking each other with, however not to an annoying extent. The scares that follow are very real with the next part of the game being reminiscent of a 70’s slasher movie. The atmosphere is built very well, with well timed audio cues and the use of a fixed camera working both as a homage to classic ps1 era horror games and as to give the player a feeling they are constantly being watched. Some camera angles are unsettling and the tracking shots can be particularly creepy, especially when you could have sworn that you saw something move in the far corner of the screen. The game then delves more into supernatural horror, which I will talk about more in the spoiler section of the review. Really though, there isn’t anything to spoil in this game in the respect that you can beat the game with everyone alive, or everybody dead. The only thing to spoil is how the characters die, which can be in a few different but increasingly gruesome ways which I won’t spoil here.

That’s not to say that everything that this game has to offer is positive, several of the big twists can be seen coming from a mile away, for example my better half guessed who the killer was going to be within the first hour of our playthrough, but other than that I am struggling to find any real criticisms in this game. It is just a fun experience that I would recommend to anyone, whether you are a horror fan or not.

Okay, spoiler time.

The twists in the game are fairly obvious. From very early on in the game it is clear that the ‘therapy’ sessions with Peter Stromare are a hallucination, probably a hallucination of the psycho in the clown mask and that psycho is probably Josh. All of these things come to pass, which means when they are revealed to be true the shock value is pretty much lost. It is also fairly obvious that there is something after the group besides the psycho, something that is more than likely to be supernatural. The only twist is finding out what that is and when it’s revealed to be the Gollum-like Wendigos, I was somewhat disappointed. The creatures are pretty cool in how they move, as they very twitchy and quick, but they are fairly generic and not all that scary once you know what they look like. The character deaths are quite well done, but half of the characters have fake ‘deaths,’ before their actual death scenes which makes the actual death scenes less impactful and somewhat fall flat.

Overall, Until Dawn is an engaging, entertaining experience that doesn’t really have any major flaws. For the most part the humour and the scares are well executed and while not all of the characters are likeable, they are all well written horror stereotypes that are played very well by their real life counterparts. This game was unexpectedly great by a number of people, and is seen as a surprise hit and likewise for me, it exceeded my expectations and served as a very pleasant and welcome addition to the modern horror genre.
Halloween (2018)
Halloween (2018)
2018 | Horror
A True successor to the original
Halloween 1978 and little-known director John Carpenter terrifies thousands of impressionable horror fans with the introduction of ‘The Shape’. Jamie Lee Curtis becomes the new ‘scream queen’ and all is well in the world of the slasher genre.

Fast-forward to 2009 and Rob Zombie directs the sequel to his reasonably successful remake of Halloween, but it was poorly received by critics and audiences alike. Why? Well Zombie’s grungy, rock-anthem vibe didn’t really sit too well with Michael Myers and the result was a distasteful and messy outing that set the franchise back nearly 10 years.

Of course, in between 1978 and 2009, the series was ripped apart, put back together again until it was a shadow of its former self. Anyone remember Busta Rhymes doing a vague impression of a karate master in Halloween: Resurrection? Best forget about that.

Nevertheless, director David Gordon Green, a lifetime fan of Carpenter’s iconic original is in the chair to helm a direct sequel to the 1978 classic. That’s right, it forgoes every single film apart from the first. But is it a worthy sequel to one of the greatest horror films of all time?

It’s been 40 years since Laurie Strode survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when his bus transfer goes horribly wrong. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the masked madman returns to Haddonfield. But this time, she’s ready for him.

Having Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter back for this instalment is already a coup for Gordon Green. Clearly, they thought enough of the material that he and co-writer Danny McBride had produced to give one more shot at crafting a properly deserved sequel. And it works very well, so well in fact that we have, barring the original, the best Halloween movie to date.

Jamie Lee Curtis is absolutely fabulous as a world-weary Laurie Strode. Traumatised by the events of 40 years ago, she holds herself up in a cabin on the outskirts of Haddonfield, flanked by floodlights and CCTV cameras. The script does a very good job at showing how massive events can destroy an individual’s life and Curtis’ understated performance is a highlight here.

Judy Greer gets a nicely fleshed out role as Karen, Laurie’s daughter. She’s an incredibly talented actress and it’s a world away from the one-dimensional characters she’s been given to play in blockbusters like Jurassic World. The great thing about this film is that each of the main characters feels real. There’s no cheap sex scenes, the kills are well-placed and the dialogue is superbly written – you actually believe these are real people, rather than characters in a movie.

While the body count is high, Halloween doesn’t rely on the murders to progress the story forward. This is very much Laurie’s film as opposed to Michael’s and it works very well. There’s some nice juxtaposition as shots that would have involved Michael in the original, choose to put Laurie front and centre here. Halloween features some tasteful references to the original as well as its less-well received sequels. They’re not immediately obvious for those not too familiar with the series, but die-hards will enjoy seeing those homages pop up every now and then.

Halloween is a resounding success. It takes what audiences loved about the original and updates them in a sequel that, while not being wholly original, respects what came before it
The film starts relatively slowly with a not quite successful side-plot involving two investigative journalists, but once Michael Myers gets his mask back, the film rarely lets up until the end. Populated by enough kills and scares to keep the audience happy, this is a Halloween movie that doesn’t rely too much on jump scares. There’s a few, but they’re nicely filmed which helps lift them above the mundane.

To look at, this is a film that is head and shoulders above anything else in the genre. Gordon Green uses incredibly fluid camera techniques that almost mimic those of the original. In one extended sequence, Myers moves in and out of shot as the camera follows him from house to house, selecting his next victim. With no cuts in between, it’s a stunning scene to watch and very effective.

Thankfully, the writing duo has decided to pass on giving Michael anything resembling a back story. The embodiment of ‘pure evil’ as Samuel Loomis once put it, Myers needn’t have any motives – and that’s what makes him so terrifying. In fact, his first kill here reaffirms his evil characteristics and it’s clear that David Gordon Green and Danny McBride were aiming for this take on the character.

Then there’s the score. John Carpenter has returned to craft new music for this instalment and it is by far the best score in the series, possibly even better than the original. That haunting Halloween theme tune is back, but upgraded with guitar riffs and electronic percussion. It’s a fabulous update that works perfectly with the modern characters and an older Michael.

While it’s true that the film isn’t out-and-out scary, the finale is exquisite as Laurie and Michael come face-to-face once again. Only the abrupt ending and forgetting of some key characters lets it down. After all, what’s the point in caring about a character and never learning of their fate?

Overall, Halloween is a resounding success. It takes what audiences loved about the original and updates them in a sequel that, while not being wholly original, respects what came before it. While this is sure to make bucket loads at the box-office, it feels like it was crafted with care by a writing team and director that absolutely adores the series. It’s a must watch.

Chris Sawin (406 KP) rated A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) in Movies

Jun 22, 2019 (Updated Jun 23, 2019)  
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
2010 | Drama, Horror, Mystery
5.7 (23 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Nancy (Rooney Mara) thinks she's suffering from an average case of nightmares that are causing her to lose sleep. A burned man with blades on his fingers haunts her dreams. She doesn't think much of it until her friends start getting picked off one by one while they sleep and are dreaming of the same man. Something happened during their childhood that connects them to this man that their parents are trying to cover up. As far as anyone else is concerned, Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley) never existed. What their parents refuse to believe is that Freddy exists in the dreams of their children causing them to remember their past and kill them. Now it's up to Nancy and her friend Quentin (Kyle Gallner) to figure out how the pieces of the puzzle fit before they become Freddy's next victims.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most beloved horror classics of all time. The original introduced us to Fred Krueger who would later be known as "Freddy" and evolve into one of the most popular icons in the horror genre. 26 years later, the film has been remade and Jackie Earle Haley has replaced Robert Englund as the dream-stalking child killer. Fans of the original franchise were left wondering if there was a slight chance of this being somewhat decent and if Haley's version of Freddy wouldn't be cringeworthy. Truth be told, the film may not be as bad as you're expecting.

This remake rests on the shoulders of Haley's portrayal of Freddy. If die hard horror fans can get past constantly comparing him to Englund, then they'll realize that Haley doesn't do a bad job. His Rorschach voice was actually a great choice for the role as it seemed to reverberate off the walls of the theater throughout the entire film. His stalking methods were a bit different than expected. Haley's Freddy doesn't talk as much as Englund's and seems to be off-screen just as often as he is on. The wisecracking has been toned way down, as well, but he does manage to squeeze in, "How's this for a wet dream?" Haley's version of Freddy is angry. He is PISSED that these kids squealed on him and he wants them to pay, but wants to dish out his revenge in a way that lets him have fun at the same time. His body language speaks volumes, too. His bladed fingers itch in anticipation of the kill. In fact, it seems like his fingers talk more than he does. The realistic burn victim route with the make-up seems like it's just as much a blessing as it is a curse. Freddy's eyes look really weird. They're too small and beady. He looks like kind of like a monkey when you do catch a full glimpse of his face. That's a shame, too. Since everything else looks pretty fantastic.

The storyline seems to basically follow the same path as the original film, but it probably should have skipped some of the new detours it makes along the way. Kris dreams of herself as a child with bloody claw marks across her torso and then finds the same dress with four gashes in her attic, but she doesn't have any scars from this rather severe injury she obtained when she was five? Even if the explanation was she had some sort of cosmetic surgery, wouldn't that be just as traumatic for a child? The CG version of the scene where we see Freddy coming out of the wall in the remake is probably the weakest in the entire film. The scene in the original is one of its most memorable visuals. In the remake, it's botched thanks to crummy CG. Even in comparison to the rest of the CG in the film, it doesn't measure up. It's the one scene that I wasn't able to look past. However, the micronaps idea is truly fantastic for the film. That was one thing I highly approved of going into it. The way that is pulled off is one of the highlights of the remake. It's one of those ideas that fits so perfectly, you're surprised it wasn't in the original film. Fred Krueger's background is where the film really goes into its own territory though. Fred was a gardener who lived in the basement of Badham Pre-School and the children were his life. He apparently took them to his "cave" where they emerged with scratches on their bodies. The parents of Elm Street don't bother trying to inform the police. They just burn Krueger alive as retribution to what he did to their children. While the original franchise never really came right out and said that Freddy was a child molester, it always strongly hinted at it. The remake seems to basically come right out and say that he is one without actually saying it. The evidence they find in his "cave" solidifies that fact. Maybe they felt like they needed to do that since this is such a "serious" version of Freddy...? Certain things just don't add up in the long run. Quentin and Nancy are driving in a car at one point and Quentin has a micronap where he sees Freddy in front of the car. He swerves out of the way to avoid hitting him and winds up in this boggy marsh off the side of the road. The question is WHY would you swerve out of the way of a man who was trying to kill you?

The kills seem to get more gruesome as the film goes on. It's a nice route to go, really. The last kill of the film is probably the one you'll remember most. I wasn't too incredibly attached to Nancy in the original film, but Rooney Mara's version was really boring. You don't care about what happens to her at all. You're more interested in what happens to her friends. She's an art student that can't sleep and is connected to Freddy somehow. That's pretty much all that's revealed. Why should we care that she may die?

A Nightmare on Elm Street certainly has its misfires when it comes to special effects and its storyline, but the problems it has aren't really any different than the problems most modern day horror movies have. At least the acting wasn't terrible like in an 80s slasher and the CG effects aren't incredibly outdated or anything. The film was designed to appeal to the demographic going to movie theaters to see a horror movie in 2010 and it seems to do that very well. Sure, it probably doesn't live up to the original film, but not many remakes do. If people see this without seeing the original film first, they'll probably love the remake. For original Freddy fans though, it'll probably come down to Haley's portrayal of Freddy. If you can see the film without any expectations or with finally accepting the fact that Robert Englund is no longer Freddy, it actually isn't quite as terrible as you may have originally thought. Strangely enough, it's even entertaining at times. Go figure.

Chris Sawin (406 KP) rated Halloween (2007) in Movies

Jun 19, 2019 (Updated Jun 21, 2019)  
Halloween (2007)
Halloween (2007)
2007 | Horror
You probably already know the story of Michael Myers and the horror that took place in Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night. How Michael Myers became one of the biggest slasher icons in horror movie history. Now we get to hear the story told by Rob Zombie, the man who brought us House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects. He gives us some insight as to why Michael Myers is the way he is by showing us some of his childhood, the environment he grew up in, and how his family was. After he's institutionalized, we see how his progress continues to deteriorate as Dr. Samuel Loomis tries to do everything he can to save this young boy. Fifteen years go by when Loomis finally throws in the towel and Myers escapes Smith's Grove. Now on his way back to Haddonfield, Myers seeks his sister, Laurie, to finish what he started almost two decades ago.

There seems to be a huge debate amongst horror fans about whether this film was good or not. The results seemed to be pretty one-sided in favor of the original horror film from 1978, but now it seems the remake has almost just as many fans. I wouldn't say it was a 50/50 ratio, but 60/40 (60% of horror fans either hate the remake or prefer the original, 40% like the remake or prefer it over the original) seems about right these days. I managed to see the work print a few years ago and I wasn't impressed. With the release of Halloween 2 at the end of this month though, I promised myself I would give this film another shot. So that time has finally come and I can honestly say that the film isn't as bad as I remembered.

A few aspects of the film are actually quite good. Tyler Mane is a great Michael Myers. He's almost seven feet tall and is built like a giant. He's a total monster and the destruction and mayhem he causes is believable given his size. The adult version of Michael Myers is spot-on for a re-imagining of the film. Malcolm McDowell also does a good job as Dr. Loomis. He's no Donald Pleasance, but McDowell's take on the character isn't bad. Scout Taylor-Compton is also a worthy mention. She slips into the shoes of a modern day Laurie Strode rather flawlessly. Moving on from the acting though, the film is pretty solid from the time Michael gets his iconic mask through the finale. The way Michael made so many masks while he was in Smith's Grove was an interesting idea and the scene where you see his room fifteen years later with nothing but masks on every wall is one of the best in the film. The cinematography is also something that is often overlooked, which is a shame since it's actually pretty exceptional. It seemed to stand out most during the scenes where Michael was stalking Laurie, especially in the abandoned Myers house at the end. There's a scene right after Michael gets out of Smith's Grove where he goes to a truck stop and winds up getting the jumpsuit we're all familiar with. While there, he runs into Big Joe Grizzly in the bathroom stall and is banging Grizzly's hand, which is holding a knife, against the bathroom stall wall. As he's doing this though, the bathroom stall is just getting demolished but with every smashing blow, the camera violently shakes. The camera just always seemed to have a knack for giving a good perspective of what the character was going through, whether it was Michael or Laurie.

The disappointing part of this is pretty much everything leading up to Michael getting his mask back after his escape is pretty terrible. The dialogue, especially in the first ten to fifteen minutes of the film, is horrendous. Everything that's said between Deborah Myers and Ronnie White is just awful. The white trash upbringing just doesn't seem worthy for a horror icon like Michael Myers. It's just hard to believe that Michael Myers is the way he is because his mom was a stripper and his older sister was a whore. Logic seems to just be thrown by the way side as the film progresses. After Michael escapes from Smith's Grove, he returns to his old house where his mask and knife that he used to kill his family happen to just be lying under the floorboards. So did the police just pick up the bodies without searching the house or what? So he got his jumpsuit by stealing it from a guy taking a dump at a truck stop? Really? Hearing some of the original music return from John Carpenter's version of the film was a bit bittersweet. On one hand, it was great hearing it again. On the other, however, it just didn't seem to fit. Made me miss the original film more than anything. Giving Michael Myers a specific origin was probably Zombie's biggest mistake. The most terrifying thing about Michael Myers was that he was The Shape and had a bit of mystery to him. You knew he was going after Laurie, but other than that you had Loomis' word to fall back on. Michael was the human incarnation of pure evil. That's it. That's all you need. Humanizing the character and introducing us to his childhood only watered down the Michael Myers character.

There's a scene with Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis in Smith's Grove Sanitarium where Michael has made a mask that he's colored completely black. When Loomis asks him why it's black, Michael says that it's his favorite color. Loomis goes into an explanation about the color spectrum. Black is on one end and is the absence of color while white is at the opposite end and is every color. That's actually a great explanation of the differences between the original film and the remake. The original film would be the black segment of the spectrum. Carpenter's version leaves more to the viewer's imagination as the only explanation for Michael Myers is that he is "pure evil." While the remake would be the white segment of the spectrum as it goes into full detail why Michael Myers is the way he is and it shows every little violent and vulgar detail. Some people would say that having a little bit of mystery would be a good thing when it comes to a film like this while others like having everything laid out for them. It all depends on the viewer and which end of the spectrum they prefer. In my opinion though, that's the biggest mistake Rob Zombie made. There's no mystery left with the Michael Myers character. He's no longer The Shape, but is a psychopathic killer because he was raised by a white trash family, liked to torture animals, and whose sister didn't take him trick or treating.

The best thing Zombie can do is distance himself from the original film(s) as much as possible. To do something original with these characters. He looks like he'll do just that when Halloween 2 hits theaters on August 28th. One thing re-watching the remake accomplished was that it made me look forward to the sequel. The trailer looks really good (but to be fair, so did the trailer for the original film) and I was on the fence about it until I saw this again. The only problem I have is that Zombie seems to be telling the same story with the same initial cast with all of his films. House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects, and Halloween (first half of the film) are all way too similar. Zombie needs something new to add to his resume. Will Halloween 2 deliver that? Probably not, but a guy can hope.