#319 - Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Halloween 5 blows. Not even because it’s even a bad movie, it’s a pretty by-the-numbers slasher flick, but it undoes all the greatness of Part 4.
The Return of Michael Myers ends amazingly: Dr. Loomis says Michael Myers is in hell, we all think we’re happily ever after, then little Jamie Lloyd, Michael’s niece, stabs her mother to death with a pair of scissors. Loomis attempts to shoot her, before the sheriff knocks the gun out of his hand and he falls to the floor screaming “NO!” That’s hardcore. Way more hardcore than most mainstream horror movies at the time, it was a gutsy move that said this franchise wasn’t done breaking the rules. So how do they follow it up? By resetting the status quo.
Jamie didn’t kill her mom, she merely wounded her. And really, she wasn’t even doing the killing, she’s psychically linked to Michael and that’s what influenced her (seriously). Meanwhile, Michael Myers survived the fall down an exploding mine shaft and floats down a stream (yep) during what I like to call the Michael Myers Log Flume Ride. Michael is unconscious, but saved by some dude who lives in a fucking shack (for real), who nurses him back to health, just in time for him to wake up and kill the guy the following Halloween (uh huh).
Completely pointless characters start dying, the only person of importance except Jamie and Loomis is killed off minutes into the film and it’s just a really long slog to the only thing that matters. Jamie vs. Michael is a great sequence and the idea that Michael wants to kill his niece because she calms his rage is as good an explanation as they’ve given for anything, so just when it looks like Part 5 is going to redeem itself, it falls apart again.
25-year SPOILER ALERT!
So Loomis captures Michael in a net (seriously²) and a guy who has survived being shot at least three dozen times, burned alive *twice* and had his eyes stabbed, is incapacitated by a tranquilizer dart and a dying old man hitting him with a wooden board. But hey, at least Ahab got his whale, right?
WRONG! The Man in Black shows up and breaks Michael out of prison. Now, this leads us to the Curse of Thorn stuff, which I’m eager to revisit with the finally released Producer’s Cut of Halloween 6, but keep in mind that Part 5 came out in 1989 and ended on a massive cliffhanger that didn’t get answered until 1995… and even then it’s up for debate if it was worth it. 
I reiterate: Halloween 5 blows.
Viewed on October 20, 2014.

#319 - Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Halloween 5 blows. Not even because it’s even a bad movie, it’s a pretty by-the-numbers slasher flick, but it undoes all the greatness of Part 4.

The Return of Michael Myers ends amazingly: Dr. Loomis says Michael Myers is in hell, we all think we’re happily ever after, then little Jamie Lloyd, Michael’s niece, stabs her mother to death with a pair of scissors. Loomis attempts to shoot her, before the sheriff knocks the gun out of his hand and he falls to the floor screaming “NO!” That’s hardcore. Way more hardcore than most mainstream horror movies at the time, it was a gutsy move that said this franchise wasn’t done breaking the rules. So how do they follow it up? By resetting the status quo.

Jamie didn’t kill her mom, she merely wounded her. And really, she wasn’t even doing the killing, she’s psychically linked to Michael and that’s what influenced her (seriously). Meanwhile, Michael Myers survived the fall down an exploding mine shaft and floats down a stream (yep) during what I like to call the Michael Myers Log Flume Ride. Michael is unconscious, but saved by some dude who lives in a fucking shack (for real), who nurses him back to health, just in time for him to wake up and kill the guy the following Halloween (uh huh).

Completely pointless characters start dying, the only person of importance except Jamie and Loomis is killed off minutes into the film and it’s just a really long slog to the only thing that matters. Jamie vs. Michael is a great sequence and the idea that Michael wants to kill his niece because she calms his rage is as good an explanation as they’ve given for anything, so just when it looks like Part 5 is going to redeem itself, it falls apart again.

25-year SPOILER ALERT!

So Loomis captures Michael in a net (seriously²) and a guy who has survived being shot at least three dozen times, burned alive *twice* and had his eyes stabbed, is incapacitated by a tranquilizer dart and a dying old man hitting him with a wooden board. But hey, at least Ahab got his whale, right?

WRONG! The Man in Black shows up and breaks Michael out of prison. Now, this leads us to the Curse of Thorn stuff, which I’m eager to revisit with the finally released Producer’s Cut of Halloween 6, but keep in mind that Part 5 came out in 1989 and ended on a massive cliffhanger that didn’t get answered until 1995… and even then it’s up for debate if it was worth it. 

I reiterate: Halloween 5 blows.

Viewed on October 20, 2014.

#318 - Cursed
How does a movie from 2005 have worse CGI than a movie from 1995? 
Talk about a “how did this happen?!” movie. How did a collaboration between Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, the minds behind Scream, featuring a cast of anyone who was anyone in the early 00s, turn out like this?
Cursed is an incredibly fascinating tale of Studio Fuckery™, one that could probably be made into a more interesting movie than the film itself, but it does feature a werewolf Judy Greer flipping off Christina Ricci, so at least there’s that.
Viewed on October 19, 2014.

#318 - Cursed

How does a movie from 2005 have worse CGI than a movie from 1995?

Talk about a “how did this happen?!” movie. How did a collaboration between Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, the minds behind Scream, featuring a cast of anyone who was anyone in the early 00s, turn out like this?

Cursed is an incredibly fascinating tale of Studio Fuckery™, one that could probably be made into a more interesting movie than the film itself, but it does feature a werewolf Judy Greer flipping off Christina Ricci, so at least there’s that.

Viewed on October 19, 2014.

#317 - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
A lot of folks have started to come around on the back trilogy of the Halloween series. I’m not sure I’m quite there yet (especially after revisiting Part 5), but there are a lot of good ideas in The Return of Michael Myers.
Okay, so it became an accepted truth that doing Halloween without Michael was a bad idea. I disagree, but it was 26 years ago, so let’s move on. Without Jame Lee Curtis, there had to be something to bring Michael back to Haddonfield, and a niece, the daughter of the “dead” Laurie Strode, was as good a reason as any.
Danielle Harris is great as Jamie Lloyd and the story makes sense… the bumbling feds want to move Michael Myers (bad idea alert!), he learns of a niece mid-transport and it wakes him from his coma. Michael wants to continue annihilating his family, people in the way get stabbed, etc. Formulaic, especially for late 80s slasher flicks, but it works. There’s a lot of stupid stuff, like the band of renegade rednecks teaching us a lesson about the perils of vigilante justice, but it’s perfectly fine for what it is.
But the ending of Halloween 4 is the true genius of the film. In case you haven’t seen it, here’s your 26-year-old spoiler warning!
After “killing” Michael Myers, Jamie returns home with her adopted family, only to stab her mother repeatedly with a pair of scissors while wearing the clown costume from the opening moments of the original Halloween. Dr. Loomis screams in horror (Donald Pleasence never phoned it in, even in these later sequels) as Jamie just stands there, completely emotionless, the horror of Michael Myers will live on, etc. Brilliant finale, probably the ballsiest move in the series besides the ending to H20. Of course, much like H20, they ruined it with the sequel.
Viewed on October 19, 2014.

#317 - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

A lot of folks have started to come around on the back trilogy of the Halloween series. I’m not sure I’m quite there yet (especially after revisiting Part 5), but there are a lot of good ideas in The Return of Michael Myers.

Okay, so it became an accepted truth that doing Halloween without Michael was a bad idea. I disagree, but it was 26 years ago, so let’s move on. Without Jame Lee Curtis, there had to be something to bring Michael back to Haddonfield, and a niece, the daughter of the “dead” Laurie Strode, was as good a reason as any.

Danielle Harris is great as Jamie Lloyd and the story makes sense… the bumbling feds want to move Michael Myers (bad idea alert!), he learns of a niece mid-transport and it wakes him from his coma. Michael wants to continue annihilating his family, people in the way get stabbed, etc. Formulaic, especially for late 80s slasher flicks, but it works. There’s a lot of stupid stuff, like the band of renegade rednecks teaching us a lesson about the perils of vigilante justice, but it’s perfectly fine for what it is.

But the ending of Halloween 4 is the true genius of the film. In case you haven’t seen it, here’s your 26-year-old spoiler warning!

After “killing” Michael Myers, Jamie returns home with her adopted family, only to stab her mother repeatedly with a pair of scissors while wearing the clown costume from the opening moments of the original Halloween. Dr. Loomis screams in horror (Donald Pleasence never phoned it in, even in these later sequels) as Jamie just stands there, completely emotionless, the horror of Michael Myers will live on, etc. Brilliant finale, probably the ballsiest move in the series besides the ending to H20. Of course, much like H20, they ruined it with the sequel.

Viewed on October 19, 2014.

#316 - The Houses October Built
How are there not more horror movies that take place in haunted houses? Not Paranormal Activity haunted houses, but the haunted attractions that you go to every October, where you pay $20 to have creepy clowns chase you with a chainsaw? It’s fertile horror movie ground and aside from a handful of films, most of which are terrible, it hasn’t been explored much.
Enter The Houses October Built. A found footage flick where five friends take an RV and head out on the road for a week to find the scariest haunted house in America. They’re looking for the really extreme, scary stuff that is starting to become more popular, something like San Diego’s McKamey Manor.
But what if there was something even more extreme than that? THOB has a phenomenal build up to that haunted house, their search for it and the creeps they meet along the way are among the most terrifying moments I’ve had watching films this year. Unfortunately, the payoff isn’t quite there and the film fizzles out near its conclusion, but it’s a great concept for a horror movie that keeps you guessing until the very last second. I know that sounds like a cliché, but I promise it applies here. Give it a shot.
Viewed on October 18, 2014.

#316 - The Houses October Built

How are there not more horror movies that take place in haunted houses? Not Paranormal Activity haunted houses, but the haunted attractions that you go to every October, where you pay $20 to have creepy clowns chase you with a chainsaw? It’s fertile horror movie ground and aside from a handful of films, most of which are terrible, it hasn’t been explored much.

Enter The Houses October Built. A found footage flick where five friends take an RV and head out on the road for a week to find the scariest haunted house in America. They’re looking for the really extreme, scary stuff that is starting to become more popular, something like San Diego’s McKamey Manor.

But what if there was something even more extreme than that? THOB has a phenomenal build up to that haunted house, their search for it and the creeps they meet along the way are among the most terrifying moments I’ve had watching films this year. Unfortunately, the payoff isn’t quite there and the film fizzles out near its conclusion, but it’s a great concept for a horror movie that keeps you guessing until the very last second. I know that sounds like a cliché, but I promise it applies here. Give it a shot.

Viewed on October 18, 2014.

#315 - We Are What We Are
I’ve been saving this movie for a rainy day, unaware that it’s about what happens after a really bad rainy day. Perfect atmosphere for a very atmospheric film. Seriously, if you’re like me and you’ve been sitting on this one, wait till it’s storming, a really gloomy day, turn off the lights, and enjoy.
The film has a lot to say about religion, and the concept of “tradition” in general, as well as the family unit, but it never bludgeons you with it. Family patriarch, Frank Parker is certainly a sick and twisted individual, but he’s never a cartoon villain. His horrific actions make him come across more of a victim of circumstance, not one that you necessarily sympathize with, but at least pity, if that distinction makes sense.
Viewed on October 18, 2014.

#315 - We Are What We Are

I’ve been saving this movie for a rainy day, unaware that it’s about what happens after a really bad rainy day. Perfect atmosphere for a very atmospheric film. Seriously, if you’re like me and you’ve been sitting on this one, wait till it’s storming, a really gloomy day, turn off the lights, and enjoy.

The film has a lot to say about religion, and the concept of “tradition” in general, as well as the family unit, but it never bludgeons you with it. Family patriarch, Frank Parker is certainly a sick and twisted individual, but he’s never a cartoon villain. His horrific actions make him come across more of a victim of circumstance, not one that you necessarily sympathize with, but at least pity, if that distinction makes sense.

Viewed on October 18, 2014.

#314 - Halloween III: Season of the Witch
The infamous Halloween film without Michael Myers is actually one of the franchise’s better sequels. It’s a shame they didn’t stick with this format, telling a different Halloween-centered story every year probably could’ve kept the series afloat a lot longer. Hell, there’d be filmmakers begging to be the ones to get the Halloween name attached to their film, it’d probably still going today.
And really, that’s Season of the Witch's big problem, its name. Had it been released just as Season of the Witch, it probably would’ve been regarded as a cult classic much sooner. The movie is pretty silly and not very scary, but it’s loaded with interesting ideas and quite original, which is the beauty of so many 80s horror films. 
Witchcraft in the digital age? Haunted masks that murder the children wearing them so they can be used as human sacrifices? Scathing commentary on advertising to children? See, lots of ideas here, the kind of stuff that’s missing from a lot of the horror movies that get churned out today.
But because audiences just wanted more Michael Myers (which didn’t work out so well either), we didn’t get to see how well the concept could’ve developed. But at least we got the Silver Shamrock jingle.
Viewed on October 18, 2014.

#314 - Halloween III: Season of the Witch

The infamous Halloween film without Michael Myers is actually one of the franchise’s better sequels. It’s a shame they didn’t stick with this format, telling a different Halloween-centered story every year probably could’ve kept the series afloat a lot longer. Hell, there’d be filmmakers begging to be the ones to get the Halloween name attached to their film, it’d probably still going today.

And really, that’s Season of the Witch's big problem, its name. Had it been released just as Season of the Witch, it probably would’ve been regarded as a cult classic much sooner. The movie is pretty silly and not very scary, but it’s loaded with interesting ideas and quite original, which is the beauty of so many 80s horror films. 

Witchcraft in the digital age? Haunted masks that murder the children wearing them so they can be used as human sacrifices? Scathing commentary on advertising to children? See, lots of ideas here, the kind of stuff that’s missing from a lot of the horror movies that get churned out today.

But because audiences just wanted more Michael Myers (which didn’t work out so well either), we didn’t get to see how well the concept could’ve developed. But at least we got the Silver Shamrock jingle.

Viewed on October 18, 2014.

#313 - Halloween II (1981)
After having so much fun with My Week In Hell(raiser), and with Scream Factory’s awesome Halloween box set, I figured why not have Halloweek? We’ve already covered John Carpenter’s original masterpiece with My Years in Horror, as well as Jamie Lee Curtis’ return in H20, but how does the rest of the series stack up?
I always thought Halloween II was extremely underrated, it doesn’t have the everlasting presence of the original, which is still scary, but it’s a more than effective slasher, before the genre was completely watered down. And we get a little more of Michael’s backstory and motivation before the series got extremely weird. My only gripe is that there’s not nearly enough Jamie Lee or Donald Pleasance. Laurie doesn’t even come face-to-face with Michael until over an hour into the film, which could’ve been a good tension builder, but it was really just The Shape plowing through disposable hospital workers.
Viewed on October 18, 2014.

#313 - Halloween II (1981)

After having so much fun with My Week In Hell(raiser), and with Scream Factory’s awesome Halloween box set, I figured why not have Halloweek? We’ve already covered John Carpenter’s original masterpiece with My Years in Horror, as well as Jamie Lee Curtis’ return in H20, but how does the rest of the series stack up?

I always thought Halloween II was extremely underrated, it doesn’t have the everlasting presence of the original, which is still scary, but it’s a more than effective slasher, before the genre was completely watered down. And we get a little more of Michael’s backstory and motivation before the series got extremely weird. My only gripe is that there’s not nearly enough Jamie Lee or Donald Pleasance. Laurie doesn’t even come face-to-face with Michael until over an hour into the film, which could’ve been a good tension builder, but it was really just The Shape plowing through disposable hospital workers.

Viewed on October 18, 2014.

#312 - Hellraiser: Revelations
I’m probably gonna lose some horror cred here… but I didn’t think Revelations was as bad as everyone says.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s awful, but the way it had been built up, I was expecting something with the production value of a mid-90s porno, boom mics dropping in the frame, basically an incomplete movie since it was a rush job so Dimension could keep the rights to the franchise… which is hilarious since Hellraiser is the lowest grossing major horror franchise.
But there are some decent ideas here: it gets back to Hellraiser’s roots with the sadomasochism, escaping the Cenobites through the blood of the dead, wearing someone else’s skin, etc. It basically makes it a glorified fan film, and the laughable script, atrocious acting, bad fx, etc. certainly reflect that, but I’d at least say there was a seed of a good idea in this cynical cash-grab, never really intended to be a movie, movie.
No Doug Bradley is an unforgivable trespass though, and the guy they got to replace him was just bad. I don’t know how you screw up something as simple as a dude with needles in his face, but they pulled it off.
Viewed on October 16, 2014.

#312 - Hellraiser: Revelations

I’m probably gonna lose some horror cred here… but I didn’t think Revelations was as bad as everyone says.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s awful, but the way it had been built up, I was expecting something with the production value of a mid-90s porno, boom mics dropping in the frame, basically an incomplete movie since it was a rush job so Dimension could keep the rights to the franchise… which is hilarious since Hellraiser is the lowest grossing major horror franchise.

But there are some decent ideas here: it gets back to Hellraiser’s roots with the sadomasochism, escaping the Cenobites through the blood of the dead, wearing someone else’s skin, etc. It basically makes it a glorified fan film, and the laughable script, atrocious acting, bad fx, etc. certainly reflect that, but I’d at least say there was a seed of a good idea in this cynical cash-grab, never really intended to be a movie, movie.

No Doug Bradley is an unforgivable trespass though, and the guy they got to replace him was just bad. I don’t know how you screw up something as simple as a dude with needles in his face, but they pulled it off.

Viewed on October 16, 2014.

#311 - Hellraiser: Hellworld
The only thing worse than “it’s [insert movie here]… IN SPACE!” is when it’s “it’s [insert movie here]… ONLINE!”
I was dreading Hellworld most of all because I knew the MMORPG elements would be so cringeworthy, but surprisingly, they were kept to a minimum. It really wasn’t even about the game after the first 15 minutes, I think it was all just a clever ruse to use the Matrix-effect on the poster.
I actually didn’t hate the movie. It’s cheesy as hell, sure, but it at least felt a little different and Lance Henriksen hamming it up helped immensely.
Viewed on October 16, 2014.

#311 - Hellraiser: Hellworld

The only thing worse than “it’s [insert movie here]… IN SPACE!” is when it’s “it’s [insert movie here]… ONLINE!”

I was dreading Hellworld most of all because I knew the MMORPG elements would be so cringeworthy, but surprisingly, they were kept to a minimum. It really wasn’t even about the game after the first 15 minutes, I think it was all just a clever ruse to use the Matrix-effect on the poster.

I actually didn’t hate the movie. It’s cheesy as hell, sure, but it at least felt a little different and Lance Henriksen hamming it up helped immensely.

Viewed on October 16, 2014.

#310 - Hellraiser: Deader
At least it’s not Hellraiser… IN SPACE! 
Deader has its moments, its premise is actually pretty great for a Hellraiser flick: a journalist investigates a suicide cult that’s rumored to be able to bring the dead back to life. Messing with this kind of otherwordly occultism is the cult leader’s way to controlling the Cenobites, all hell breaks loose, etc.
And Kari Wuhrer is in it, which is pretty perfect casting, but the big problem is it’s every other Hellraiser movie. Hero finds the box, weird visions start happening, big showdown with the villain, villain gets ripped apart by Pinhead, the end.
It’s pretty weird they kept making these movies exactly the same when none of them after 4 were ever supposed to be Hellraiser flicks, they were just altered scripts. But hey, if you have a formula…
Viewed on October 15, 2014.

#310 - Hellraiser: Deader

At least it’s not Hellraiser… IN SPACE!

Deader has its moments, its premise is actually pretty great for a Hellraiser flick: a journalist investigates a suicide cult that’s rumored to be able to bring the dead back to life. Messing with this kind of otherwordly occultism is the cult leader’s way to controlling the Cenobites, all hell breaks loose, etc.

And Kari Wuhrer is in it, which is pretty perfect casting, but the big problem is it’s every other Hellraiser movie. Hero finds the box, weird visions start happening, big showdown with the villain, villain gets ripped apart by Pinhead, the end.

It’s pretty weird they kept making these movies exactly the same when none of them after 4 were ever supposed to be Hellraiser flicks, they were just altered scripts. But hey, if you have a formula…

Viewed on October 15, 2014.