Saturday, October 20, 2018

31 Days of Halloween 2018: Michael Meyers Is Back Yet Again In 'Halloween' (2018)

[Once again I'm going to attempt to do a horror(ish) movie review a day for the entire month of October. I've done this the last few years on The Cleveland Movie Blog. Most of the time I succeeded (usually with the help of a few other writers). Other times I didn't. We'll see if I can pull it off this year.] 

This is a longer review than usual because this is a film that warrants it.

I have no doubt that writer/director David Gordon Green is a fan of the horror genre in general and John Carpenter’s 1978  HALLOWEEN in particular. The director of both notable indie films like GEORGE WASHINGTON, and stupid but fun stoner comedies like PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, Green has expressed interest in making a horror film for a while. In fact, he had been attached to direct a remake of SUSPIRIA and had evidently spent some time developing it. However, that fell through. Instead Green, along with his writing partners Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley, wound up making HALLOWEEN, a higher profile project that comes with both greater risks and greater potential rewards.

Off the bat, it’s fair to say that HALLOWEEN is not some half-assed quickie cash-in. Whatever criticisms one might level against it (and I will be leveling some shortly), it treats John Carpenter’s original and its fans with respect. It also treats the film’s sequels, which range in quality from mediocre to downright awful, with no respect, acting as if none of them ever happened. So if nothing else, I appreciate HALLOWEEN for that.

Friday, October 19, 2018

31 Days of Halloween 2018: 'The Evil Of Frankenstein' Could Stand To Be A Little More Evil

[Once again I'm going to attempt to do a horror(ish) movie review a day for the entire month of October. I've done this the last few years on The Cleveland Movie Blog. Most of the time I succeeded (usually with the help of a few other writers). Other times I didn't. We'll see if I can pull it off this year.] 

For a film titled THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN, Peter Cushing’s amoral Baron is uncharacteristically heroic here. Apparently that’s because Hammer Films, the makers of the Frankenstein films starring Cushing, had entered into a distribution deal with Universal Pictures about this time. That allowed them to make a Frankenstein film more in line with Universal’s classic take on the monster, right down to the props in the Baron’s lab and a more Karloffian, square-headed monster.

That’s not to say the Baron is totally a nice guy here. The film begins with a terrified young girl witnessing someone steal the body of a dead relative. She then runs screaming into the woods where she runs smack dab into Frankenstein, who evidently didn’t want to get his own hands dirty. He doesn’t harm her, but it’s clear he could care less about any emotional scarring he’s caused. His work is too important.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

31 Days of Halloween 2018: Bank Robbers Open Up 'The Vault' And Get More Than They Bargained For

[Once again I'm going to attempt to do a horror(ish) movie review a day for the entire month of October. I've done this the last few years on The Cleveland Movie Blog. Most of the time I succeeded (usually with the help of a few other writers). Other times I didn't. We'll see if I can pull it off this year.] 

Amateur criminals find themselves in deep supernatural doo-doo when they pick the wrong bank to rob in THE VAULT. Turns out the particular financial institution they've chosen to pilfer was previously held up some 30 plus years ago. That crime ended in the deaths of many hostages when the robber went berserk. Now that another group of criminals have shown up and taken more hostages, the spirits of the dead arise to prevent history from repeating itself in violent fashion.