Bob Clark , best known for starting the Porky's franchise, delivers a nail-bitingly suspenseful horror film. It is regarded as a classic, and supposedly inspired Halloween . However, it avoids the conventions that modern slasher films have developed. The killer does not have a mask, or a backstory.
A spree-killer escapes from an Asylum, and returns home. The family home (and murder scene) is now a sorority house, where a group of college girls (including Michelle Trachtenberg, Lacey Chabert, Mary Elizabeth Winstead ) spend Christmas. Unfortunately, the serial killer is lurking in their attic.
There are several red herrings, but nothing really new (although it is slightly tongue in cheek). Kristen Cloke (the Director's wife) pops up, claiming to be the elder sister of one of the missing girls ... The girls will not leave their friends, which explains a suicidal action towards the end.
This film in particular has come in for a lot of criticism. Instead of being over-empowered, as in Buffy the Vampire Slayer , the heroine is a generic damsel in distress. Worse, it is part of the torture-porn sub-genre.
The director is apparently an Academy Award winner. Unfortunately, this film is so bad that ... Let's just accept that the plot is so full of holes and the film is so deeply flawed that the unfortunate director must be well past his best.
This owes a lot to the 1970s film Death Line , about murderous inbred cannibals living in a disused Victorian tunnel. And when we finally see the killer ... There is a damn torture porn scene!
The title, along with the plot, appears stolen from a story in 2000AD. A bald ugly mutant murdered people in the Undercity, a maze of tunnels beneath Mega-City One (Home of Judge Dredd ). In truth, the movie seems a mix of both these sources - but it would be nice to see credit given where it is duely deserved!
A bunch of gorgeous young women got for a night out in Austin, Texas. At the bar they meet up with the likes of barman Quentin Tarantino and regular Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell - The Thing, Escape From New York ).
The story takes a turn for the worse. One or more characters ends up in the hospital featured in the other half of the Grindhouse double bill, Planet Terror .
Fourteen months later, in Tennessee:
Zoe Bell, Tracie Thoms, Marie Elizabeth Winstead, Rosario Dawson go for a drive along some quiet country roads ...
Shia LeBoeuf ( Transformers ) punches his teacher, and the police put him under house arrest for the summer holidays. His mother ( Carrie Anne Moss ) cancels his X-Box subscription, so he has nothing to do but spy on his sexy new neighbour - Sarah Roemer .
Unforunately he begins to suspect that his other neighbour, David Morse ( Green Mile (1999) ), is a serial killer! This leads to all the predictable scenes, as the police do not believe him and he tries to get proof ...
The climax involves Shia being stalked by a thug in a boiler-suit. Yet another Jason Vorhees rip-off, one may suppose, but it works quite well. And while we see the killer's torture tools, this does not descend into torture porn. All in all, it is a well-paced suspense thriller for a younger audience.
This is basically another example of the new trend in horror films - Torture Porn. Anyone who has seen Wolf Creek will not get any surprises. The only thing that really stands out about this film is the fact that making the inbred villagers Brazilian (instead of Scottish, Appalachian or whatever) makes it liable to accusations of racism!
During the night, their local friend tells them a gruesome campfire tale about the Borstal's horrible past. And in the morning, the deranged killers from his story start to pick the kids off, one by one.
This was the great hope for the Northern Ireland film industry. Unfortunately, the characters are completely stereotypical and two-dimensional, the story is cliched and the ending is predictable. There is a lot of repetition - we get a long build-up of suspense, followed by a loud sound-effect to make the audience jump! All in all, a great disappointment!
The Sheriff (Beau Starr - Due South ) has his own SWAT team. Yes, he has been preparing for this night. But Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasance You Only Live Twice ) lets his obsession with Michael take over.
The film takes up a few years after the previous movie. Myers was abducted by the Cult of Thorn, a group of satanists who are responsible for his demonic possession by the murderous spirit of Samhain. Or whatever. They also abducted Jamie, who is now played by a different actress.
Billy (Paul Rudd - Ant-Man and Wasp (2018) ) is back, now a full-grown man. He makes a decent hero, in a franchise best known for female protagonists.
Myers' shrink, Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasance You Only Live Twice ) is still on his tail. This is the last film Pleasance made, and is dedicated to his memory. Unfortunately Pleasance died before the ending was re-shot, which means it is a bit jumbled at the end.
The story starts with ten-year-old Michael Myers getting bullied by drunken step-dad Ronnie (William Forsythe - Virtuosity ) and schoolboy thug Darrell Sabara ( Spy Kids ). Myers also enjoys torturing small animals, so School Principal Richard Lynch ( Galactica 1980 ) calls in child psychologist Dr Loomis (Malcolm McDowell - Tank Girl ). Unfortunately, this just sets the little creep on a kill-crazy rampage!
Michael ends up in a mental institution staffed by nurse Sybil Danning , janitor Danny Trejo ( Spy Kids ) and security guard Leslie Easterbrook . Yes, that is right - Callaghan from Police Academy. Which should give you some idea of the quality of the security that is meant to keep Myers from getting loose. After almost two decades of incarceration, Myers has grown from a chubby boy with long girlie hair into a seven-foot-tall giant with superhuman strength and long, rock-star hair. Naturally, he massacres the entire staff and then goes home ...
Loomis and Sheriff Brad Dourif ( Alien: Resurrection ) must save the townsfolk from the kill-crazy maniac. The sex-crazed teenagers include a familiar face from the original series. The sheriff's daughter is Danielle Lloyd (who, despite being about thirty years old in reality, can pass for seventeen years old in this film).
The original film's Michael Myers was a genuinely creepy, terrifying character. Unfortunately as the series developed he became more like the lumbering thug he had inspired - Jason Voorhees. And now Michael has been reinvented as a slasher with too much backstory who kills without reason ... Michael Myers is the core of the film. And since the makers did not get Myers right, the film has no chance of working.
This version takes up the story where the original left off, ignoring all subsequent films. Michael only has five victims at the start - his sister, the driver and the three teenagers. He is looked after by the protege of the now-dead Dr Loomis, although the new shrink is obsessive in his own way.
The exposition at the start is delivered by a couple of journalists. They are podcasters, a reference to online media that seems reminiscent of the Internet streaming concept that was central to Halloween: Resurrection (2002) . Many other bits are taken from the sequels. Unfortunately, the best improvement from the Rob Zombie version (the action-packed escape scene) is forgotten and we are left with the same off-screen anticlimax as in the original film.
In this timeline, Laurie Strode ( Jamie Lee Curtis ) did not become a school principal with a devoted son. Instead she became a reclusive survivalist with an estranged daughter ( Judy Greer ), who in turn became mother to a teenage girl ( Andi Matichak ). Yes, this movie has three generations of Final Girls.
This version of Michael Myers is not personally obsessed with Laurie as he was in H20. He goes on a kill-crazy rampage, like in the middle sections of the original series. It is Laurie that is hunting him. The local cop (Will Patton - Punisher (2005) ) also has a grudge against Michael.
The final act of the story takes place in Laurie's new home, a remote cabin in the woods that she has fortified. Unfortunately the security system has not bee updated since 1978 - the CCTV is monochrome and uses cathode-ray TV sets, while she relies on floodlighting instead of night-vision. Worst of all there is no central control for the system, so she has to manually secure every single internal door. This works wonderfully for a suspenseful stalk-and-slash sequence, but it strains the viewer's supension of disbelief.
This was adapted from a novel, but the screenplay was written by Kevin Williamson , known (among other things) for the Scream series. It includes a number of recognisable tropes. The cliched make-up of the group of teenage protagonists, to start with. The large, fast-walking killer keeps pace with smaller damsels in distress as they run away as fast as they can. Thus, chase scenes are dragged out for greater suspense.
This is a standard stalk-and-slash, a cheap straight-to-DVD cash-in on the franchise, but it is not a bad effort. The cast of unknowns acquit themselves well, despite working with a script which has none of their characters linked to the original. The amazing Colorado scenery gets squeezed into as many camera-shots as possible. And while the Rocky Mountains location is over a thousand miles from the sea, it certainly makes this fisherman tale worth watching.
This has a bigger budget than the original, but is more tongue-in-cheek ... Leatherface gets a love interest!
Our protagonists, brother and sister, drive along a remote country road. They pass a site where Texas Police are excavating a newly-discovered Body pit. Someone has murdered dozens of people. They run into friendly cowboy Tex (Viggo Mortensen - Lord of the Rings ), and take a shortcut along a road that is not even on the map.
Things liven up when they meet Survivalist Ken Foree (token black guy in Dawn of the Dead - the kind of role that these days would be played by Tony Todd or even Samuel L Jackson). There is also the Last Girl from a previous group of victims.
This might be the third (and least original so far) of the series, but it is still very watchable. It is just as suspenseful as the similarly-plotted Jeepers Creepers , but much less disappointing.
Leatherface is now a tame, harmless crossdresser, and there are only a couple of scenes with chainsaws. It is hardly a massacre! The brains and brawn of the family is Matthew McConaughey ( Reign of Fire ), who is a decent actor but due to the mediocre cinematography is less than threatening.
Despite the pair of big-name stars, this is a low-budget effort from BEFORE they were famous! It is very poorly made, and the stars have disowned it. No wonder that the series had to revert to a remake of the original! This is the weakest of the series that this reviewer has seen. The remakes did not come out soon enough! A pity the treacherous Darla ( ) did not get more of a career afterwards.
The main story starts twenty years later, when the 1970s original gives way to the 21st century era of video-streaming smart-phones. Alexandra Daddario and a couple of friends visit her family's property. Yes, she is the heir to the psycho hillbilly family!
The story evokes every cliche that Joss Whedon mocked in the previous year's amazing Cabin in the Woods . In comparison, the most original thing about this film is the casting of Tania Raymonde , who acquits herself very admirably in the cliched slut role, which is unlike anything she has played before.
The ending is particularly vile. The moral centre of the film has to decide - is a cannibalistic serial-killer worse than a sleazy redneck? Who is the REAL villain? And should any of us care?
The couple are menaced by a couple of men in masks and boiler-suits. Cut-price Jasons, really. It is all a bit lightweight, compared to other slasher films. It has its moments, but it is really not a very impressive film.