Halloween

Forty years ago, a slasher movie came out, by John Carpenter, and people really liked it. I don’t know if Halloween changed the game from movies in that time, but it was well liked, it had some long cut scenes, surprises, boobs, and a lot of scary scary moments. It spanned a lot of sequels.

Three weeks ago, I finally watched that movie, and hey, I liked it enough. It was fun and I was excited for the sequel. I definitely did not watch any of the follow ups, because hey, new Halloween said they don’t matter. This is a direct sequel, fuck the other movies.

Sounds good to me.

Mask
This killer is now super old, and his mask really shows those stress lines.

Forty years ago, some bad stuff happened in Haddonfield, Illinois. You may have seen the documentary about it. And since that moment, since Michael Myers was apprehended, he has been studied in psych wards for decades. He barely moves. He doesn’t speak. No one can figure out his deal. We even have a new scientist (Haluk Bilginer), protege of the old scientist, who has made Myers his life’s work to unravel. And the state is finally done with Myers, so they are going to transfer him to real prison for him to just be jailed and ignored, no more chance for study.

Back in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is living life on her own, in a compound in the wood. She’s got gates, security cameras, hidden rooms, and a lot of gun training. She is ready for the big day she knows is coming at some point. It has ruined her life in more ways than one. Her daughter was taken away from her when she was 12 years old due to her training, and her daughter (Judy Greer) hasn’t really let her back in her life much sense. That daughter is now married (Toby Huss), raising her own daughter (Andi Matichak) and trying to become normal and not driven by paranoia.

Needless to say, due to events, Michael is breaking out again, and he is ready to finish what he started. His obsession. His reason for breathing heavily.

And the plot involves some damn investigative journalists (Jefferson Hall, Rhian Rees) trying to stir up some memories. It is not the fault of the local Sheriff (Will Patton) this time. Also starring a few other teenage sidekicks to up the body count of people we potentially may care about, like Miles Robbins, Dylan Arnold, Virginia Gardner, and Drew Scheid with the worst Hobbit face known to man.

Door
And fuck this door in particular.

Halloween starts out strong and keeps up the pace for most of the film. We get to have a similar score from the original film, similar opening credits, and a whole lot of intense moments that have nothing to do with people dying from kitchen knives.

It does have jump scares early on, of relatively silly things, that modern movies love to do with teenagers. They can be annoying. This Hall actor being a journalist feels like he really just wants to be Kenneth Branagh. I really hate the fat jokester friend by a lot. He has a hobbit face, and it confuses me, and I just don’t want him in this movie.

Michael kills a lot more in this film, and seems far more superhuman than he did in the first film. Ridiculous deaths, jaws ripped off and more. Would make sense from a more supernatural point of view, but I thought this was meant to be more realistic slasher film.

I still did enjoy most of the film. But the last act felt very rushed (minus one search the house scene). Things were cut quickly, scenes moved quickly, and it became harder to follow while also being less exciting overall.

Honestly, the ending pushed it into just average territory. It was a fine follow up and probably lead to adequate follow ups in the future. Hopefully Kenny Fucking Powers will be in those follow ups.

2 out of 4.

Holidays

Horror anthologies are all of the rage. I probably said that in my last review of a horror anthology, V/H/S: Viral, in October of 2014. Since then there hasn’t really been any horror anthologies. They died really quick.

There was another film called Southbound, but I missed it, so I will just have to wait for the DVD release or around Halloween. Whenever I remember it exists. Other than Southbound, the latest film to match this category is of course Holidays.

Holidays!? Yes, Holidays. A horror anthology with a common theme of several different holidays. Eight to be exact, with a bunch of random directors. That is a low enough number for me to talk about each one quickly!

Bunny!?
So many holidays, you probably can’t even guess what this one is about!

For Valentine’s day, we have a little girl (Madeleine Coghlan), who gets teased by a different girl (Savannah Kennick) because she is a bitch. Our first girl also has a crush on her swimming coach (Rick Peters), who just wants her to be happy and not get picked on.

In St. Patrick’s Day, our Irish teacher (Ruth Bradley), wants to make a new girl (Isolt McCaffrey) smile, so that girl puts a curse on her to give birth to a snake.

For Easter, a little girl (Ava Acres) confuses the Bunny with Jesus, but is also told that no one has ever seen the Easter Bunny before for a pretty scary reason.

In Mother’s Day, we learn about a woman (Sophie Traub) who always gets pregnant after sex, regardless of birth control or condom usage. She is 100% fertile and it is ruining her life, so she goes to a middle of nowhere to people who claim that they can help her, when in reality, they want to just force her to stay.

On the other side for Father’s Day, we have a girl (Jocelin Donahue) who thought her dad (Michael Gross) was dead and gone since she was 11, but when she finds a voice recorder with a message on it, she has to go and investigate.

For Halloween (directed by Kevin Smith), we see a dude (Harley Morenstein) operating a small time cam girl operation, where the girls (Ashley Greene, Olivia Roush, Harley Quinn Smith) decide to get even and put him through the same abuse. You know, just worse.

On Christmas, a guy (Seth Green) goes to great lengths to get the latest VR tech for his son, but when the virtual reality starts to show his inner secrets, he and his wife (Clare Grant) have to cope with them.

Finally, on New Year’s Eve, a man (Andrew Bowen) has been killing a woman on each holiday that he has met while online dating, and now he will complete his collection (Lorenza Izzo). He hopes.

Love
What is love? Baby don’t hurt me.

I spent most of my alloted time just going over 1-2 sentence synopsis’ of each short. I figured I could do that with only eight segments, but I may have been wrong.

Like almost every single horror anthology before it, Holidays is definitely hit or miss. The entire thing is less than two hours so overall it is probably worth a late night viewing.

In particular, I liked the Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day and Halloween shorts the most. New Year’s Eve told a decent story as well.

Christmas felt too short, St. Patrick’s Day was mostly weird, and Easter was also incredibly weird (but mostly just short).

Mother’s Day might have been the longest short story, I didn’t really keep track. It had an interesting premise, but I thought it dulled too much in the middle, despite the also pretty good ending.

Now I am ready for the Horror Anthologies to die. I think they are running out of ideas on how to package them together.

2 out of 4.