Rapid Review: Halloween II (2009)

5

halloween-ii-poster

“Hey, world! Guess what? I’m Michael Myers’ sister!”
– Laurie Strode

SYNOPSIS: Laurie Strode struggles to come to terms with her brother Michael’s deadly return to Haddonfield, Illinois; meanwhile, Michael prepares for another reunion with his sister. – via IMDB

micheal-myers-halloween-ii-2009

GRADE 4Nope. Nope, nope, nope. I get why this installment gets so much flak, and it breaks my heart to say that because I really am a Rob Zombie fan. But this movie? What a freaking wreck! The best thing about it is seeing more Brad Dourif as Sheriff Brackett – because he really is the only likable character. I have no idea how we are supposed to root for either Laurie or Loomis, always fan favourites, in Halloween II. They are both terrible, wretched characters with no redeeming qualities. I was also not a fan of a new young actor taking over from Daeg Faerch as Michael, because I just don’t like inconsistencies. At all. Halloween II is still bloody, gory, and brutal, and holds back on no punches there, and is serious to boot, no little bits of campy horror here. Visually, the film is still appealing, so there is that, and I still enjoyed the mustic. But that aside, the movie is long and it is messy. Long, and yet it feels rushed. What a juxtaposition. There is just no other way. Sloppy writing and a lot of silly stuff is happening, plus so many inexplicable scenes and scenarios (for reals, why the heck did the Sheriff’s house look like a bloody junkie den?), not to mention an overkill of cussing, and that rarely bothers me – but here? Just came across as forced. Let’s not even forget that Michael Myers is really noisy in this one. All that grunting when he kills? I was also no fan of Deborah Myers and her white horse showing up all the time. I can appreciate what Zombie was trying to do, I can, and there were glimpses of stuff that could have been brilliant, but this just didn’t work out quite as well as I would have liked.

Rapid Review: Halloween (2007)

5

halloweenposter

” These eyes will deceive you, they will destroy you. They will take from you, your innocence, your pride, and eventually your soul. These eyes do not see what you and I see. Behind these eyes one finds only blackness, the absence of light, these are of a psychopath.”
– Dr Sam Loomis

SYNOPSIS: Young Michael Myers is committed to Smith’s Grove after the brutal murder of his mom and sister’s boyfriends, and his sister Judith. After being there for roughly 17 years, he returns to his home town of Haddonfield in search of one of the only people he has ever cared about, his baby sister Laurie Strode. As he is tracked down by Dr. Sam Loomis he will kill anybody who gets in his path. – via IMDB

halloween-michael

GRADE 6.5You know, I have always felt that this movie gets way too much hate! I know Zombie is pretty divisive for people, but I am a big Zombie fan, that’s for sure. When it comes to his movies, I always respect what he is going for, whether it works out as well as you would hope or not. Zombie’s Halloween tries to give a more psychologically sound explanation as to Michael Myers’s murderous antics, and I appreciate what he was going for. The pre-psychopathic warning tendencies/indicators were shown in their full glory here, as well as the crappy home situation that Michael found himself in (definitely tacky to boot, not the regular middle class family he was from originally). Zombie’s rendition is also a hell of a lot more brutal, gory, and bloody. Plus Michael’s first attack on that kid? It was sinister. Not to mention the extremely graphic rape scene that invaded our screens – that was OTT! Daeg Faerch was a really creepy pick to play a young Michael. I also enjoyed the soundtrack quite a bit, and I think the film was shot really well. However, Halloween is a movie filled with awful characters I just could’t give a crap about, even our new Laurie Strode, even our new Dr Loomis, and that is a pity. There wasn’t really anyone to root for at all. It was cool to see Danielle Harris return to the series (totally different character), but I felt like a total pedophile. Seriously – four movies ago she was a nine year old girl, and here she had her rack out on display. It was madness! Also, I was not a fan of the dialogue – all constantly cussing, and everyone seemed a little… common? You can tell that Zombie loves the original movies, and there are a lot of throwbacks here, but Zombie still tried to make it his own, and his mark is evident. I didn’t love the fact that the movie is littered with a lot of tacky moments, and the modernisation of this did not really help the cause. Anyway, not nearly worth the hate that it gets, and it is a decent watch all around, if I am being honest. Not the best Myers film, but a solid one nonetheless.

Rapid Review: Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

7

halloween_resurrection_poster

“You failed, Michael. Want to know why? Because I’m not afraid of you.”
– Laurie Strode

SYNOPSIS: Three years after he last terrorized his sister, Michael Myers confronts her again, before traveling to Haddonfield to deal with the cast and crew of a reality show which is being broadcast from his old home. – via IMDB

halloween-resurrection-beheading

GRADE 1Holy crapsticks. I know this movie gets a lot of hate, and you know what? Totally justifiable. Like really. I remember this one from when I was younger (I was itty bitty when this came out, so obviously we were checking this out as teens), but what a waste of a film! I especially do not like the fact that it negated the end of H20, which was damn near perfect, and then totally peed all over the Laurie/Michael thing, and the way Laurie was handled here? Criminal. This movie has such a super long, bland title credits opening that I was already regretting this. Something I did think about in this one more than any of the others movies is how we never actually wonder too much about how Michael passes the time between hunting down Laurie/some doomed bloodline. Seriously – what does he do? Where does he get his information? It’s not like he chills at the library or goes to the DMV or anything. Like there were fresh spices in the house now – granted, most likely put there by Dangertainment – but all I could picture was Michael like this:

michael-myers-halloween-cooking-free-time

I know, right?! Anyway. Resurrection touts two disjointed stories – the opening with Laurie and Michael, and their messed up family history, and then this stupid found footage/explore the Myers house on Halloween angle. Ugh. They both sucked. The dialogue is cringe-worthy, and the camera work is shoddy. Plus there was the constant splicing of found footage in here, which felt gimmicky, and you know how much I love found footage. Also, the lead was constantly screaming, which just annoyed the heck out of me. And she didn’t know how to use a chainsaw, which is not the most shocking, but when it is the only thing between you and life or death, make it count! Michael Myers also had a crappy mask in this one, no lies. Hands down the worst sequel of the bunch. The others were fine, but this thing? A disgrace, a mess, a wreck. I totally get why it is so reviled. Pfffffffffff.

Rapid Review: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

8

halloween_h20_poster

“If you want to stay handcuffed to your dead brother, that’s fine. But you’re not dragging me along. Not anymore.”
– John

SYNOPSIS: Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time and now the life of her own son hangs in the balance. – via IMDB

halloween-h20-laurie-michaelhalloween-h20-laurie-michael

GRADE 8Heck yeah! I really liked this one. I feel that the sequels in this canon have been okay, but I outright loved this one again. I had a total blast. Michael Myers was sort of a different kind of beast here, different than what we have seen from him so far, but creepy as heck. I liked the story and the plot progression, even though I feel there were flaws. It took a moment to get used to this working in a different timeline from the last, but in a way I thoroughly enjoyed it because it meant no messy explanations trying to shoehorn Jamie in, or how Laurie wasn’t around, or why the son got preference. It just makes for neater storytelling. I really didn’t like Michael’s mask in this one – it made him look super stupid. It was the eyes. The pacing was good for this, and keeps you hooked from the off. The setting was also fantastic – rich boarding school? Heck yeah! I was also a fan of the throwbacks that were in this film, always worth it, and I enjoyed the little bit of humour that was mixed all about in H20. A lot of focus is placed on the emotional issues of actually surviving Michael (explored using Laurie), and how her trauma has affected those around her (son and relationships). It was quite something to see her come out of her shell a bit and fight back against Michael. Goodness knows this is a showdown we have been holding out for! Anyway, I thought that H20 looked good, it was entertaining, had all the relevant tributes, was creepy and had more scares, was pretty well acted, and most importantly, it was fun. Worth a watch, and an awesome memorial movie.

Rapid Review: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

2

halloween-curse-of-michael-myers-cover

“I knew what he was, but I never knew why.”
– Dr Sam Loomis

SYNOPSIS: Six years after Michael Myers last terrorized Haddonfield, he returns there in pursuit of his niece, Jamie Lloyd, who has escaped with her newborn child, for which Michael and a mysterious cult have sinister plans. – via IMDB

halloween-6-myers-house

GRADE 6I only saw after watching this that it was eventually ruled non-canon, and that’s okay. This was a bit of a messy movie, because there were distinct sections that had possibility, and some of it was realised, and some of it was not. For one, I will always love Pleasence as Loomis, his character is core and so important, and he seems a little more in control of himself in this movie, although it seemed he was given a significantly smaller part. I also liked the fact that we saw a little more of the Strode family – not Laurie’s direct peeps, but the uncle and his family. Speaking of, that uncle was a tosser, and I shed no tears when he was wiped out. Then there is the plot line of bringing Tommy back (Laurie’s charge when she was babysitting in 1978), and I had absolutely not objections to it being the looky and super adorable Paul Rudd, who was an extremely awkward turkey here, but I liked that. I also think it was a good way to look at what happens to people in the wake of a Myers encounter. I think the Halloween sequels get way too much flak, as they are not even remotely as bad as most horror sequels go. Myers was omnipresent again in The Curse of Michael Myers, which at times annoys me because it leaves me asking why and how all the damn time. Also, there was this whole thing about Myers and a mark and some cult and all that, and I was not pleased by this business, that’s for damn sure. It was just silliness, what with symbols that mimic constellations on Halloween, and sacrifices. Pfffff. Too much whishy washy now, if you ask me. Sometimes this movie was shot well, and then other times it was messy and too much flashing and it was too busy on screen. While this is by no means a spectacular film, it is nonetheless entertaining in a ridiculous and silly way, and is certainly different from the other films in this canon. A whole lot different.

Rapid Review: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

4

halloween-5-the-revenge-of-michael-myers-poster

“They know that Michael Myers is her uncle and that she attacked her foster mother, that’s why they fear her, especially on Halloween.”
– Dr Sam Loomis

SYNOPSIS: It is exactly one year later since Michael Myers returned to terrorize his hometown of Haddonfield, and his long-lost niece, Jamie Lloyd. Now, he wants revenge! Young Jamie, who has lost her ability to speak since attacking her foster mother, has developed a telepathic link with her demonic uncle. The ever resourceful Dr. Sam Loomis has realized this, and plans to use it to finally put an end to Michael’s rage. But unbeknownst to them, a stranger has come to Haddonfield, and he is a key factor in the outcome of the madness that has plagued Haddonfield on Halloween for over ten years! – via IMDB

halloween-5-michael-rachel

GRADE 6The Revenge of Michael Myers starts off with Michael Myers, and how he escaped the end ordeal of the last movie, and displays almost instantaneously that Myers really is a force of nature. This dude is unstoppable and single minded, only wanting to exterminate his entire family. I was quite confused as to how Jamie was still fitting in with everyone, then I established she did not kill foster mama last time, but still, the fact that the family is still so supportive is pretty cool. Something I have got to ask why the heck Haddonfield has not banned the sale and wearing of the Michael Myers costume?! It is beyond me, and how these kids are going to get themselves shot at some point. Anyway. Dr Sam Loomis is again painted the crackpot, and while the man might be going a little cuckoo (in his own obsession with Michael), he is also the only one that knows what the heck is going down at any given time, and yet people ignore him. But he’s been right every time?! People, come on! He has a viable track record! I thought the friendship between Jamie and Billy was absolutely adorable, really! I thought that the story for this one was a little bit disjointed, and the flow was not as smooth. I also didn’t find this one to be a particularly chilling or scary entry at all (but that laundry chute scene was great), though it was mindlessly entertaining. Oh, let’s talk about the touching moment between Jamie and Michael later in the movie (Jamie calling him uncle and wanting to wipe away his tears). It was so out of place, but sweet, and then it was just all gone, so fast. Anyway, I thought that the movie was alright, although far weaker than the other movies in this canon. Still decent for a movie night binge though!

Rapid Review: Halloween II (1981)

11

halloween-ii-1981-poster

“He was my patient for fifteen years. He became an obsession with me until I realized that there was nothing within him, neither conscious nor reason that was… even remotely human.”
– Dr Sam Loomis

SYNOPSIS: While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for Michael Myers, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the serial killer is not far behind her. – via IMDB

halloween-ii-laurie-shoots-michael

GRADE 7.5The first sequel to Halloween is not bad. In fact, it is a darn solid entry, if you ask me. It takes place on the same night as its predecessor, and pretty much entirely goes down at the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, and that’s great. Initially when watching this, I thought the sheriff was awfully calm about his daughter Annie being killed, only to find out he had not been informed of this development, and then he did his nut, which was far more realistic. The iconic score is back and kicking, and cuckoo-katchoo Michael Myers is back on the hunt for Laurie. When Laurie woke in the hospital with Jimmy stroking her hand, I was like “wtf”, because let me tell you, if I woke up in hospital with some random stranger stroking my hand, there would be hell to pay. No kidding. No touchy, man! The direct continuation from the last movie is interesting, and makes it nice to watch back to back with the initial film as a marathon. It doesn’t bring anything super new to the table, and the plot progression barrels along. I don’t feel that the characters got as much development here as they did in the last movie, but they were still really fun to watch. Myers was way more aggressive in this one. The deaths improved here, too, which just goes to show what a little bit of extra budget can do. Loomis and Laurie were both excellent characters, and Pleasence and Curtis were brilliant picks to play them. Anyway, the atmosphere was maybe not as creepy as the last, but Halloween II is a solid movie that is well worth a watch, and complements the original every step of the way. Check it out!

Rapid Review: Halloween (1978)

25

halloween-poster

“You’ve got to believe me, Officer, he is coming to Haddonfield… Because I know him! I’m his doctor! You must be ready for him… If you don’t, it’s your funeral.”
– Dr Sam Loomis

SYNOPSIS: On Halloween night of 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death. After sitting in a mental hospital for 15 years, Myers escapes and returns to Haddonfield to kill. – via IMDB

halloween-1978-closet-hiding

GRADE 8I have been itching for the longest time to rewatch these movies, it has been a good long while since I have! Finally, I decided screw it, it’s time. Watching Halloween made me super nostalgic for old school horror… this is just how horror is supposed to be. Halloween is a prime example of a fantastic horror, and features the introduction of so many things we take for granted in horror movies nowadays (the final girl, sex = death, etc). I absolutely love the iconic intro tune and score for this movie – people just know what this is, and that’s fantastic! Let’s not forget the simple plot that was given to us to introduce Michael Myers, and his subsequent murder binge. It didn’t want bells and whistles, it was all about the horror, and it shows. The movie is shot well and is very atmospheric, which drives in the creep factor. The movie is also quite a slow burn, which is actually a really good thing (though it makes the movie feel a little longer than it is) – it takes time getting into the meat of the movie, and that is okay. It takes time to unnerve the audience, and then Halloween gets right down to the slash and kill factor. The progression is good, never loses the viewer, and it isn’t over the top, and is accompanied by solid performances and an exceptionally memorable score. This movie is a prime example of how less is most certainly more, more often than not. A million people have sung the praises of this film before me, and probably better than I can. Just know that it is a brilliant old school horror that is well worth the watch!

Creepy Television Opening Credits

20

I was thinking about opening credits of television shows the other day, and it occurred to me that some shows have some exceptional credits to open with, whether those shows be good and bad. Some of these credits stick with us because they are awesome, some because they are fun, some because they are annoying, and others because they linger after the fact because they got under your skin. Seeing as this is the month of October and all that, I figured I would take some time to pick out some opening credits for shows that I loved for all sorts of reasons, but the primary reason being that they are all hair-raising in some way. I would not call this the definitive list, but here are five choices.

If you have opening credits that you would like to have added to the list, give me a shout with a reason why (email me or just stick it in the comments) and I will most certainly put it up here!

Hannibal

Okay, right off the bat we all know that I am a huge Hannibal addict. In fact, when it was announced that NBC would not be continuing with the show, I went into a mourning state. How dare those bastards cancel such a great show?! I hope another network picks it up and continues, but if not? Season three ended flawlessly, so even if that is the end of our journey, it was at least a good one. Now, the intro of Hannibal is perfectly suited for the show – stark, clean white background with these face moulds that are drenched with red blood liquid to enhance their features and that tune that is just poignant, understated and chilling the entire time. The Hannibal intro highlights the fact that less is certainly more sometimes. It didn’t go overboard for guts, gore, or darkness, but it went for white, stark and creepy – definitely drives home the entire concept of the show!

The X-Files

This is likely going to be the most well-known intro of the list, and for a damn fine reason! The X-Files was an excellent show that I absolutely loved watching with my folks when growing up (I know – I was way too young to be watching it with them but they had no qualms and I was totally not going to complain). The into is scary, it is weird, it’s awesome and entertaining as hell – that tune is infamous for a reason and speaks of nothing but bizarre and freaky, and the images as they are displayed on screen? They  just fit. In fact, as soon as I am free of my exams I am definitely going to be doing an X-Files marathon – I just can’t wait!

I apologise – again something I cannot get to play while embedded in the post!

True Detective

A show that ran rampant and gained incredible popularity for all the right reasons (well, season one at any rate – I haven’t heard anything good about season two thus far). Dark country song Far From Any Road sets the tone and scatters disjointed images of the South, factories, Rust and Cohle, religion, desolation, stark reds, fire, plenty silhouettes and just more plain down strange to drive the point home. The opening credits linger, and really get you into the feeling of a season that was executed with precision and really chills you to the bone. The credits don’t rush, which reflects the show down to a tee, and they are weird, which really captures the essence of what True Detective season one had in spades.

American Horror Story

Come on, no matter what happened with this show, the intro has always been one to scare the hell out of people (with the exception of Freakshow – which had so much wasted potential). I have uploaded a compilation of the seasons and their respective intros, because while that disturbing music plays, the most grotesque and spine-chilling pictures/short clips play on the screen, and they are all so dark and messed up and absolutely perfect. They are like the epitome of freaky, horror filled opening credits. It is a pity that eventually the show no longer reflected the super wicked intros – maybe Hotel will be the redeemer, but I have my doubts. I know that this is a great choice because I have plenty of friends who get too unnerved to watch the intro for this show (and even struggled with the content of the first two seasons) and so they always skip it. Now, if that does not attest to the forbidding nature of the intros, then I don’t know what does.

True Blood

I am sure most people are familiar with True Blood, the show renowned for all its insanity and the way it embraced its absolute cheesiness and ludicrous nature and played it up for seven seasons, that was fun but went downhill at a crazy pace. However, the one thing that was always excellent about the show was its intro. Jace Everett’s Bad Things was an excellent choice for song, being all heavy and seductive, and meanwhile there is this montage of all this crazy stuff – lonely swamps, kids with bloody mouths (but fruit people!), religious exorcisms or just getting real up close and personal with the Spirit, river baptisms, highly sexualised encounters, dancing, all flickering across the screen? I thought it was brilliant, and I have always loved it. Truly a great piece.

Salem

Now this is a great intro that peeves me no end. Why? Because the show freaking sucks and does in no way reflect the intro really at all. Which is a real pity. When I hooked the show up to watch and it opened with a brand spanking new  Manson track (Cupid Carries A Gun) I was so amped. The song is suited, brash, in your face, haunting, all underscored with this insane little intro – I mean people were bound to chairs, dumped in water, hung, full moons, flames, torture and messed up dolls swinging in trees? Scratchy writing naming the cast? Sweet goodness, sign me the hell up! That was freaking fantastic! However, in no way does it really highlight what is coming, which will rankle me for life. I mean just watching the intro again I am amped to watch it, except, sadly for me, I know what an immense disappointment it will be.

Daredevil

Ah, how could I forget this one?! It’s unforgivable! Thanks to Adam over at Consumed By Film, this has to be put up here. Daredevil’s intro is sullen and dark, what with everything bleeding red tones and being built up with images taking shape, the symbolism of religion and justice, it all comes together in a very chilling way and is all highlighted with that beautiful tune that builds into a driving crescendo as the credits continue. Adam is right, it is so moody and eerie, two words to perfectly sum up the intro. Daredevil itself is dark, gritty, and heavy, and the intro does not miss a beat when it showcases all these things seamlessly in the opening credits.

The Twilight Zone

The lovely Miss Mutant of Cinema Parrot Disco volunteered The Twilight Zone, providing the following:

I’d add my favorite TV show EVER. It’s not “creepy” in the same way these are but the music became so iconic and is so often spoofed now for when anything is “weird”.

Sleepy Hollow

Vic of Vic’s Movie Den has said that Sleepy Hollow has a creepy into, and so I have added it to the list!

Sporadic Scene: Se7en (1995) – Sloth

7

So, let’s not even pretend that Se7en didn’t have an awful lot going for it, because it did. It had a great cast hunting a whacko serial killer on the run, exercising his right to recreate the Seven Deadly Sins. However, after finding corpse after corpse, there it the one discovery that gets the audience – and I think that Fincher executed this flawlessly: Mills and Somerset go into an apartment and investigate a terrifying, gross and mutilated corpse, and when they are right up there with it the corpse coughs. Yes, that’s right, cue plenty jumps and squeals.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.