Thursday, October 31, 2013

Feng Shui (Filipino) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: After a woman finds a bagua mirror, she receives nothing but good luck at the cost of those around her being killed by a malevolent spirit.

Review: Now we come to the final film in the Kris Aquino quartet of horror although it was technically the first made. As much as I've trashed the stupidity of "Segunda Mano" and "Dalaw," I actually really like this movie and "Sukob." There is a lot of originality and imagination being displayed even if it slowly crosses into the realm of the ridiculous. Out of the four, this film certainly has the highest quality of production value and appears to be the most plotted out. However, the main reason why "Sukob" is the best of the bunch is because A) it's scarier B) the ghost/force is more creative and unique and C) it lacks this stupid husband drama the other movies all have including "Feng Shui." Seriously, this lame drama with cheating husbands/boyfriends feels so unnecessary and more as filler; save it for the beloved soap operas that comprise Filipino TV. Oh wait, "Sukob's" entire plot is set into motion because of a cheating husband...FUCK!

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but Ms. Aquino always has this unusual hot/not thing going on. She is a curvy woman, which is perfect, but sometimes she looks stunning while other times like a corpse with very little grey area in between. Well anyway, this time around Ms. Aquino plays Joy who is similar to her other roles in that timid, wimpy kind of way when dealing with her cheating husband. The family, which includes two little kids, have just moved into a new house in some kind of gated community. Educate me here filipinos, is it typical for there to be security guards in your average neighborhood or is this something out the ordinary? I only bring this up because the security guards play a big role in the story and mostly serve as the police when shenanigans occur. One day while coming home from work, Joy finds a bagua, which is a taoist mirror used in, you guessed it, feng shui, which was left behind on a bus; later Joy learns the man that left the bagua was run over by a bus. Joy is encouraged by her friends to hang the bagua outdoors as it will supposedly bring good luck. Sure enough, Joy starts to have success at work, random wins and free money, and her husband has equal success. Unbeknownst to Joy, each time she receives such unbelievable good luck someone who has looked into the bagua's mirror dies. You know, this sounds a lot like it should have been an episode of "Friday the 13th: The Series." There is a cool concept they introduce whereby the death of the individual will have a connection to their Chinese zodiac sign. For example, the guy that was run over by the bus is year of the rabbit and the bus company was called rabbit, or an old lady died from some disease coming from a rat and she was year of the rat--you get the idea. For the most part this works, but a few deaths are farfetched and test your limits of plausibility.

Because they couldn't simply make a plot that revolved around imaginative ideas, Joy stumbles on her husband cheating with his old girlfriend, Dina. I'd love to say this drama is a subplot, but it almost takes center stage as a lot of Joy's motives relate to this shit. The husband is so fucking annoying to boot and you want to roundhouse kick him in the head. He doesn't even have a good reason to be cheating on Joy and Dina looks like a tranny. If that wasn't dumb enough, Dina has fucking drama with her husband discovering that she's cheating with Joy's husband! I'm like clenching my fists in frustration at how stupid this all feels, oh, and the delivery of all this is terrible. To counter the stupidity, a growing number of zombie-ish ghosts are amassing at Joy's house whenever she's away as the bagua racks up victims; I'll give this film some credit, the ghosts look pretty decent and sort of scary. We discover that the guy at the beginning was trying to get rid of the bagua, but it wouldn't explain why he'd simply allow it to end up in the hands of another family. Then some dude explains that this bagua belonged to a Chinese aristocrat that was betrayed and burned while holding the bagua. This adds a primary ghost which we do see lurking in the background from time to time with her twisted feet from that foot-binding shit they used to do. It was a creative notion, but this Chinese ghost doesn't look all that scary. Apparently the only way to permanently destroy the bagua is to refuse the good fortune it offers and then destroy it or else it will simply come back. Thankfully, Dina's husband kills Dina and Joy's husband epically while sparing Joy in, I guess, another opportunity for good luck. At the end, Joy is offered tons of money from the original owner's wife in order to get back the bagua. Joy refuses and believes she is rejecting good fortune and then destroys the bagua. Since it was plain as day that that was not an instance of good luck, and more about greed, she discovers her kids and best friend had been killed in an accident and added to the ghostly horde as they turn on Joy. The final shot is of kids taking the bagua from the trash at Joy's home, presumably weeks after her death, as the Chinese ghost looks onward; but who knows, maybe Joy wasn't killed. "Feng Shui 2" anyone?

If they only removed the super lame and cliched cheating plotline, this would have been significantly better; at least downplay it or change things up and make Joy use the bagua to get the husband killed! As it stands, this is still an excellent film with some creative ideas, okay scares, a haunting musical score, and an imaginative way to tie everything altogether. There were a few things that could have been done better, like the main ghost, but, for the most part, the ideas don't come off as too over the top and there were some original deaths. Give this one a shot as it's one of the better Filipino horror movies out there and the production values were high especially in comparison to some of the other garbage. Or, if you feel so inclined, watch all four Kris Aquino horror films and tell me which you thought was the best/worst.

Notable Moment: When Dina is shot and killed with a shotgun by her husband. She goes flying so far that it's almost comical and given the abrupt and satisfying nature to the shot, it becomes pure awesomeness.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

TerrorVision Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A family installs a new satellite dish which unleashes an unstoppable killer alien upon their household.

Review: Everybody has that one movie they vaguely remember from their childhood where they can recall random scenes and moments, but they have no clue the name of the movie or even if their recollection is accurate. Well, "TerrorVision" is that movie for me. For some reason I was under the impression this film was meant to be serious, and the only major scene I could remember was the end because I was left hanging not knowing if everyone dies. Well after, maybe, 22-24 years I have finally managed to view this bad boy again. Was it better or worse than I thought? More or less, it's better than I anticipated but for completely different reasons than I was expecting.

Right from the start you must understand this is cheesy as all hell '80s style. Second, this is a comedy horror with a certain mix of sci-fi and play on old school creature features. Finally, to fully appreciate the nuances of what they were trying to accomplish through the jokes you need a base knowledge of '80s suburban life. Anyway, the Putterman family ("Gremlins" anyone?) has recently installed some piece of shit satellite dish that they think will give them a leg up on cable. Oh the glory days of wanting more channels on your TV...even with a 1000+ channels, I can't bear to watch TV anymore due to excessive stupidity. In some ways, this movie was kind of ahead of its time, because the parents in the family are swingers. To add to the humor, the couple they plan to swing with at the moment want to swap partners but to pair up with the same gender; the mom's reaction to this is great when she realizes the swinger guy isn't into her. The rest of the Putterman family is comprised of an over the top, MTV junky daughter, a militarily obsessed Grandpa, and a young son as the Grandpa's protege. I always identified with the son because he was all into guns and explosives and such as I was when I was a kid. Rounding out the cast is some douchebag repairman, the daughter's wannabe heavy metal boyfriend, and a late night horror host obviously inspired by Elvira, named Medusa.

Unfortunately for the Puttermans, their shitty satellite has intercepted space garbage in the form of an alien monster known as a "hungry beast" that would rather do nothing more than eat some humans. Eh, the hungry beast looks okay since it is meant to be more reminiscent of '50s B-movies than anything groundbreaking in special effects. Despite a mostly weird look, there is a lot of creativity in the monster's means for attack as it has a claw that liquifies its prey as well as a vacuum-like tongue to mop up the mess. Also, when it kills someone, it can generate tentacles that take on the form of the head of the victim and appears to retain most of the working knowledge of the individual. This process creates all kinds of shenanigans in the film like when the kids are looking for the parents and think they find them, the swinger couple, and the grandpa all in an orgy; truly disturbing. The son repeatedly tries to kill the hungry beast but conventional weaponry appears to do no damage and the monster is nearly invincible. Eventually the hungry beast intends to kill the boyfriend but relents, because it is confused by his arm band believing it belongs to his alien owner. You see, hungry beasts are apparently pets that can sometimes mutate and they are disposed of by being teleported to far corners of the universe. This specific hungry beast's owner, Pluthar, attempts to beam himself to Earth and help the pathetic humans kill the creature before it does too much damage. Unfortunately for Pluthar and the humans, Medusa had been invited over to see the hungry beast and inadvertently kills Pluthar instead. In a surprise twist, the hungry beast in turn kills everyone still alive and the movie ends with the creature pretending to be Medusa trying to go to the major TV studios.

This movie appears to have fallen into total obscurity, but I think it's more than worth a view. You'd be surprised by how funny a lot of the moments are and how it satirizes the era quite successfully. The lame yuppie lifestyle, MTV crazed fiends dressing like whoever they idolize, and those disturbing colors--it's all here. There is even a classic song with the film's title built can't go wrong with that! Granted, there are obvious flaws, many stupid moments, cheap effects, some bad acting, and you sort of have to appreciate the decade to truly enjoy the film. If you love cornball '80s movies as much as I do, you will definitely enjoy this forgotten entry.

Notable Moment: When Pluthar is accidentally killed by Medusa right before he is about to save the day. It was funny and you don't think it's going to happen especially considering his head explodes in the process.

Final Rating: 6/10

The Bell Witch Haunting (2013) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: After a family moves into a new home they find themselves haunted by the legendary Bell Witch.

Review: Well what do we have here? Oh, it's yet another "Paranormal Activity" ripoff. I swear, there is virtually no other movie that has been this copied and/or parodied in history! Okay, maybe it's not a complete duplicate, but it follows the formula as cookie-cutter as possible while never doing anything different and failing on almost all technical fronts. It's really pathetic too, because the whole Bell Witch idea could have opened up a lot of possibilities that were never capitalized on. For those unfamiliar with the legend, it has something to do with a poltergeist-like haunting accompanied by rumors of the source being a witch sometime in the early 1800s. But there appears to be little evidence to substantiate the stories which this movie perpetuates these rumors while never quite making sense to boot.

The story pretty much plays out like PA with the one daughter slowly becoming possessed by the witch while various people film random phenomenon but mostly the brother. This wouldn't be entirely bad if it weren't for the fact that we keep seeing a witch running around not looking scary in the least. So she has an apparent physical form but can still possess people? Most of the events don't add up because there are multiple houses residing on the land that the Bell Witch supposedly haunts yet she is fixated on haunting this one particular family for some inexplicable reason. To somewhat compensate for this asinine plotline, we do see random people picked off by the witch here and there but that only creates more problems whereby why is the witch killing random people who spend like 5 minutes in the area while toying with the family for weeks? Plus, what's up with that one idiotic cop that keeps appearing? Did he draw the short straw or something; why is he the only one always finding the dead bodies? Once the witch successfully possesses the daughter, all she does is rampage and kill the family only to then release the was the point again? If she can kill people while in the physical form we see popping up for cheap, jump scares, then why the need to possess someone simply to kill people?! You know what, why am I even trying to decipher a pathetic ripoff like this? Of course this kind of shit will not make sense because it is made in the most incompetent manner possible. The acting is atrocious with some terrible crying from the daughter that sounds a lot like laughing or orgasming...hard to say which. A lot of the other characters are equally bad, but maybe they were being influenced by the witch? Nah! The special effects are especially bad with the worst sense of direction on how to present them. If you lack the budget to pull off sophisticated effects, please don't do them; at least find ways to mask your flaws or maybe, and I know it's asking a lot, try ingenuity and develop your own tricks to pull off some stunts. They couldn't even get the cliched ghostly voice correct as you suddenly hear some random chick saying shit like, "get out." If you waste your time enough to watch this, you'll see what I'm talking about. Well, at least there were some titties so there's that, right?

Why do I keep watching these horrible movies? They keep tricking me with halfway decent openings suckering me into completing them; to be fair, the beginning did start off promising enough, but I should have known I was in for stupidity when it's supposed be January and people are swimming and wearing summer-esque clothing. The acting, effects, camera work, and story all suck completely with one of the single worst shots I have ever watched when one of the characters is randomly killed. I could easily tear into this film so much more and trash it all day, but honestly I'm running out of insults to hurl at these pieces of shit. Other than an intriguing start, there is absolutely nothing positive to say. Needless to say, this movie is a waste of time and definitely under the avoid category.

Notable Moment: When the bed sheet "floats" in the air as if to be scary. Not only is it so painfully obvious that it's being pulled up by wires, but they let this shot linger far too long considering how embarrassingly bad it looks. Don't even roll your eyes during this scene--simply close your eyes and go to sleep.

Final Rating: 3.5/10

Carrie (2013) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A girl with telekinetic powers is tormented by her controlling mother and bullied by her classmates until she snaps.

Review: It's been quite a few years since the last time I saw the original so I will try and keep comparisons to a minimum. On top of that, I never saw the made for TV remake nor have I read the book, but, from what I have read, the adaptations have been relatively faithful and Stephen King was mostly pleased with the original movie. Most changes appear to be minor or to add dramatic flair although I don't think any of the actresses portraying Carrie White look as the book describes her. The original "Carrie" film is typically regarded as a horror film, but I don't think it would be fair to label this version as such. In some ways, that fact is the downfall of the film, while, in other ways, transitioning the focus more toward Carrie's development enhances the story. I'd say the majority of the film is a hit or miss kind of situation whereby some elements are made better, but some come off as stupid and/or pointless.

Let's first deal with Carrie herself since she is the center of the whole story. I know a lot of people disagreed with the choice of Chloe Grace Moretz for the role, but I think she did a commendable job even if perhaps a little too cute to be portraying an ugly outcast. Ms. Moretz captures the timid nature of Carrie successfully while bringing a certain sympathetic charm to the character not wholeheartedly present in the original. Granted, Carrie is meant to be scary by the end of the film, but that's not what they were going for anyway so I guess mission accomplished for better or worse; although the red eyes stained with the pig's blood was a nice touch. It's kind of hard to explain but one of the main reasons why you can relate to this incarnation of Carrie is because she looks more normal and appears more altruistic than the first film; instead of becoming a villain, she becomes a tragic hero of sorts. For example, in the original, Carrie kills pretty much everyone regardless of whether or not they messed with her or not. In this movie Carrie only kills the individuals that wronged her with slight collateral damage. I prefer her to be in control of her powers out for revenge rather than rampaging psychotically; it was satisfying to see her exact her revenge while she was simultaneously sparing those that had tried to help her throughout the film like her gym teacher (I'm aware they weren't chummy in the book). I should also note that Carrie's revenge actually created a few inconsistencies since some of the people she killed she would have had no idea they were involved with the prank against her. If it weren't for the whole killing everyone at prom deal, much of this film could have worked as a romance film and wouldn't have been half bad. In fact, Carrie's torment is probably more severe than in the original since now people are recording her bleeding in the shower and loading it on the internet to make a bigger fool out of her which emphasizes her goodness, because she kills even less people while having more reason to than before. Maybe I simply liked Ms. Moretz too much as Hit-Girl and I'm projecting, but I really wanted to see things work out for this Carrie and her not end up dead!

Much like Carrie, most of the other characters have become more sympathetic with outright reasons why they are the way they are or implications as to why. So now Sue has more guilt and maybe even cares for Carrie, Miss Desjardin is concerned for Carrie's well-being realizing the cruelty of the kids, and Chris is perhaps abused by her dad and so she vents through Carrie and would explain why she's attracted to a sleazy guy like Billy. Neutral characters like Tommy have now been altered to be full-fledged good guys but they added a certain layer to him that was interesting; he talks about how he used to be bullied and eventually beat up the kid so he wonders why people mess with Carrie for no reason since he can relate. But he's not so over the top that he likes Carrie, just enough to show why he wouldn't object to taking her to the prom but would still prefer to be with Chris. This is one of those situations where it flows better when watching the film, but I can see how it would infuriate purists of the book. As far as Carrie's mom, I think they vastly improved the character through Julianne Moore's performance. They definitely capture the insanity while adding a masochistic side not properly presented in the original as she struggles to cope with an ungodly world stabbing and cutting herself. There is a point when the mom is waiting for Carrie at night and you see her rocking back and forth on the lawn, and you definitely get the vibe she's been crazily doing this for hours.

As for other nuances and details: I was really disappointed in the weak CGI effects; there is a part where Carrie is flying, and I'm laughing it's so bad. You'd think they could have made the final prom massacre and subsequent fight against Chris, Billy, and the mom look better. But speaking of such, Carrie killing Chris and Billy was great with an almost "Final Destination" vibe to their demises. The massacre in the original looked so much better and Carrie walking out of the school, soaked in blood, looked unsettling in comparison. Also, keeping with the nicer Carrie theme, she doesn't attack random people on her way home after prom either. The ending is really bad here with a final shot of Carrie's grave and stupid CGI cracks coming out of it as if Carrie is still alive or something. Sue's creepy dream of Carrie's hand coming out of the grave is a creepier zinger if you feel so inclined to include a fucking zinger. Something that never really amounted to anything and maybe belongs with a deleted scene was one of the girls that messed with Carrie was greatly implied to be having some relationship with the one douchebag teacher. Finally, Sue is declared pregnant unlike the book but in a weird way as if Carrie is connected to it rather than the implication she possibly killed it; eh, make of it what you will.

By now you are either raging over what you've read or considering to check out this version. I will admit that another "Carrie" was kind of unnecessary, but I enjoyed the direction they took it. I prefer Carrie as a more sympathetic and nice character who wants revenge rather than a morally ambiguous turned berserk character. I guess a part of me would like the hero to be redeemed rather than fall, and the regular Carrie wouldn't be able to be redeemed while the Ms. Moretz version could be. I hate to say it, but this really would have worked better as a chick flick and it had a lot of hallmarks of one too. Because of the numerous flaws and huge changes to the characters' personalities, I had to lower the score. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the film, because I did, I simply recognize the problems and accept them. I would still recommend this film if you're not entirely a purist as more of an alternate take on the character rather than a straight up remake, but go in with an open mind nonetheless.

Notable Moment: When Tommy defends Carrie after she reads her poem in class. It was actually a heartfelt moment and could have made for an interesting romance setup if this were a whole different film.

Final Rating: 6/10

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Invitation Only Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: An average guy is invited by his employer to a party for the super wealthy where all is not as it seems.

Review: Hailed as Taiwan's first slasher movie, many have instead referred to this film as a "Hostel" ripoff or a "Saw" wannabe. While I definitely agree with those assertions, I felt this movie stood on its own enough and presented many plot elements superiorly to the films it's compared to. It's not to say that this film is amazing or anything, but it's not as bad as others would have you believe simply based off the imitation notion. I actually liked the characters more here since they were more likable, and, even though it is completely squandered, it was an interesting idea to address class warfare.

The first thing you will notice, or maybe it's just me, is all the hot chicks everywhere! I was really disappointed that in this little prologue, of sorts, such a hottie dies first. Typically I wouldn't even mention a detail like this since this scene does not contribute to the plot, but that's half the point this time around. Given the events later in the film, this scene has no reason to exist and pretty much contradicts the premise. Oh well, I guess you must start things off with a bang, right? So, the story revolves around Wade who is your typical young guy without much ambition, but he comes off somewhat shy and sometimes amusing in his simplicity; I like Wade because he's a decent guy while not an outright saint so they blended his average joe personality well. Wade is the driver for some douchebag, simply named Mr. Yang, who gives Wade an invitation to an illustrious party where Mr. Yang tells him he can network and pretend to be someone really important; Mr. Yang also gives him clothes, money, etc. to make him appear more respectable. Before going over the party, I have to note that there is this strange, overly upbeat tone to the film for a good half hour which feels so odd given the events of the film and few other reviews have addressed this oddity. Also, let's talk about the single best thing going for this movie: Maria Ozawa, playing some model named Dana. Ms. Ozawa, besides being so unbelievably sexy, is a Japanese pornstar (AV idol if you're feeling formal) that totally steals the show, and let's just say you get a good view of what she's working with during this film! Although, it's kind of weird because she speaks a little Japanese and mostly english in a film where everyone else is speaking Mandarin. Don't care...I'm going with it!

When Wade gets to this little shindig you can tell something is off, but Wade simply thinks it's because they believe he's Mr. Yang's cousin or whatever; oh, and the chicks at the party are smokin' hot as well! The party is headed by some dude named Warren who is American, I think, which is funny because he is yet another character that speaks english the whole movie. Warren claims they will fulfill any dream for a handful of "special" guests which include Wade and four other seemingly wealthy individuals. The five get to talking and they're mostly snobs with the exception of Hitomi who is your overly saintly character but is likable nonetheless and pretty cute. To complete Wade's amazing night, he gets to bang Dana (lucky bastard) and then given his dream of some badass car. Okay, this plot element is so stupid because why would Warren and crew give these people these items when it's clear as day they're going to die? But before the fun can begin, my dear Ms. Ozawa is killed! They never really tell you why, but I guess she was sacrificed since Wade liked her and they don't want a girl who banged a low class guy I'm assuming. I actually thought she'd be in on it considering how much she appears to be stringing Wade along, but I guess not. Surprise surprise, the other four people besides Wade were also pretending to be wealthy people when they, like Wade, merely work for the true rich people. They are now subject to being tortured and killed by Warren and his crew of flunkies. Some people get off a little easy while others have grotesquely painful deaths like some dude getting his balls electrocuted and this chick having her face sliced and diced while salt is poured in the wounds. All of the suffering is viewed in front of an audience of the other partygoers who are a part of this group that get off on this shit. The gore is pretty good and the creativity of the deaths were on par with anything "Hostel" or "Saw" would come up with, but obviously they are stealing ideas to create this movie. The whole hunting club vibe is the same and the reason for why everything is happening is flimsy as hell with some bull about the poor trying to steal from the rich. None of this would explain why they would take the time to give these people so much happiness before they die. If anything, it sounds like kind of a good way to go out which doesn't jive with the absolute hate and disgust supposedly fueling the events to begin with. Lastly, since the goal is to torture these people for amusement, you get now why that girl dying at the beginning made no sense when she could have easily been captured.

After an almost unforgivable amount of shenanigans which includes a lame car chase, among other things, only Wade and Hitomi are left alive with Wade attempting to rescue Hitomi before she is killed by Mr. Yang who had joined the fray of Warren's flunkies earlier on. Speaking of which, after talking a ton of trash, albeit amusing, Warren is finally killed by Wade allowing him to more easily slip back into the party to get Hitomi. In a decent final fight, Hitomi is stabbed, but Wade manages to behead Mr. Yang with an axe. This whole rescue situation does wreak to high heaven of "Hostel," but I just felt the events and conclusion were more satisfying in this film. In the end it is ambiguous whether or not Hitomi survived, but the film ends with Wade working as a mechanic when one of the cars he's working on has the same invitation inside that he had received from Mr. Yang. Oh no, what could this possibly mean?!

Overall, this is a decent movie that's much better than it would appear despite it's obvious sources for material. The acting is pretty good with some personable characters that lighten up the mood even from the killers like Warren. The effects and gore were better than I thought they would be and should satiate people who enjoy these kind of films. Obviously you cannot ignore the show-stealer, Ms. Ozawa, killing it every moment she's on the screen as well as the numerous background babes. On the other hand, the movie definitely borders that fine line between inspiration and ripoff which is up to the viewer to decide which side it falls under. There are some dumb moments and nonsensical plot elements accompanied by a misguided direction regarding the film's message. I do recommend this film in spite of the gripes, but I can tell this will be a love it or hate it situation.

Notable Moment: Probably when the one girl is getting her face slashed up and then salt poured into the wound. It wasn't unbearably graphic, but I had to wince over the sheer thought of the scenario; I can only imagine how painful that would have been.

Final Rating: 6/10

A small taste of the luscious Ms. Ozawa. If you want to see more of her "films" you know how:

Boo Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A group of teens spend their Halloween trapped in an abandoned hospital as they become possessed by a malevolent spirit hellbent on living again.

Review: Sad to say, but there really aren't that many horror movies that take place on Halloween, and this is the last one I could track down; there are a few more out there but are a pain in the ass to get a hold of. I guess watch some kid's movies? Anyway, this movie starts off decent enough and almost tricks you into believing this could be good, but with such a stupid title like "Boo" you just knew this was going to suck, and this film does not disappoint in that regard. Is it really this difficult to make an entertaining horror movie about Halloween? And much like the "Night of the Demons" franchise, Halloween contributes so little to the plot to the point that this film could have taken place any other night of the year; it merely serves as a contrived reason why the kids go to the hospital, but you could have easily substituted the plot point with it's a dare or initiation prank or whatever.

The story should have been straightforward given the idiotic nature of the plot, but they couldn't leave it at that and had to make it as convoluted as possible. Things start off simple enough with a group of friends going to some abandoned hospital on Halloween where another friend was trying to set up some gags. Supposedly this place is haunted after some fire years ago, and they say to stay away from the third floor--oh no, so ominous! Seemingly for the sake of annoying me, the main girl has some ill-defined psychic powers where she thinks she is communicating with her dead mom and some of the ghosts, and it really makes so little sense. I kept thinking that surely this retarded plotline will help save the day, but it doesn't and the mama drama plays no part unless I missed something; I have to admit this was another one of those pieces of shit boring me to the point I had to watch it in intervals. For some reason you don't know when you're being possessed by the ghosts until you start oozing ectoplasm or something and you have to be wounded first anyway. Honestly, it plays out nonsensically, the acting sucks, and the characters react predictably when they're in danger. Because the cliched nature of the main group wasn't enough to pad out the film, they added some random bullshit about a guy looking for his sister and getting help from some former actor turned detective with a backstory we never understand. So the main evil ghost was some child molester or something who killed a little girl that also haunts the hospital, but then there is also the nurse that died stopping the evil guy from escaping in the first place when he set the initial fire that closed the hospital down. The dumbest part is how the dead body of the little girl is just chilling out in some closet as if no one would have found (or smelled) her there. Then the main girl proposes the most asinine of ideas that she should try and "scare" the evil ghost into being afraid to live again. Ugh...are you fucking kidding me?! Yeah, you get right on that, hun. This kind of works...I guess...but there's something about the ghost of the nurse blocking him from escaping anyway as the few survivors escape and the ghost plans to wait for more victims some day like this is some kind epic battle of good versus evil (which it most assuredly is not).

I feel like they were trying to tell a grander story than they realized, because something went wrong here. There were bouts of potential strewn about, and I genuinely liked the first 20 minutes or so and had some hope for this movie before it came to a crashing halt. The notion that you could be turning evil without realizing it was interesting in theory, and invoked a sense of paranoia similar to "The Thing," but they failed to see it through and the delivery was lacking. Pretty much every other plot element felt like a mishmash of bullshit that did not have cohesion with the overall premise. The acting is hilariously bad from a few, the effects are an array of decent to garbage, and the flow of the story is too boring with moments of standing around talking because clearly the sets were too small to involve excessive amounts of running about. I obviously don't recommend this even if you're craving some Halloween-themed films. I read other reviews saying how good this movie was, and I have no idea what on earth they were talking about. And seriously, trying to scare a ghost and make him afraid of living is maybe one of the dumbest plotlines I have ever heard of, and I'm not exaggerating one bit. I wanted to punch someone so badly when the main girl said that, and that's not a good reaction you want out of your audience.

Notable Moment: I guess when we see the comical 70s movies one of the characters was meant to have starred in under his alter ego, Dynamite Jones. It made for an interesting plot element although amounts to jack shit since it never contributes at any moment.

Final Rating: 4.5/10

Night of the Demons (remake) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A Halloween party at a famously haunted estate unleashes demons bent on destroying the world.

Review: Since pretty much every horror movie that made it to the theaters in the 70's and 80s has been remade it should come as no shock that even a little movie like "Night of the Demons" got the remake treatment. Unfortunately, other than the title, a few character names, and it taking place on Halloween, this remake has nothing in common with the original. They don't even reuse the Hull House plot which was the most unusual decision and instead focus on some mansion in Louisiana as if that hasn't been played out to death by this point. While most of the changes are for the worse, I will say that this film is a definite step above the lowly part 3 but doesn't come close to capturing the charm of the original or awesome factor of part 2.

The film teases you at first because the Halloween element was severely lacking in the other movies but is more integral to this story. It was nice to see shots of hundreds of people dressed up and running about to set the tone with the aid of a cameo by Linnea Quigely from the original; although wouldn't a cameo by Amelia Kinkade be a bit more appropriate? Also, the main cast are all dressed in costumes for once with the exception of Edward Furlong's character, Colin; Mr. Furlong, who looks like shit by the way, is one of the dumber change ups to the story since he's some low level drug dealer, but, to his credit, he's the best actor in the movie. The girls are decent looking in that fake Hollywood-esque kind of way and most of the actors are familiar in one way or another from other horror movies so there's that in the positive category...sort of. Shannon Elizabeth takes on the role of Angela this time around and does an okay job; she looks a lot better that's for sure--sorry Ms. Kinkade! Although, to the original film's credit, the effects on the demons look terrible in this entry. Well, actually, the remake demons do look scarier, but they look too fake and are obvious masks often which really blows; there are also moments of cheap, fast animation which is painfully bad to behold.

The story this time around is in 1925 some chick threw a Halloween party and summoned demons inadvertently through a seance. For some inexplicable reason the demons needed a specific number of victims to complete their moronic plan to destroy the world, and the girl kills herself to prevent them from completing the ritual; certain plot elements like the demons only having Halloween night to work with and not being able to leave the estate remain intact. In modern times, Angela is throwing her own Halloween bash at the house until cops break up the party. Colin pointlessly ditches his drugs down a pipe or something only to later attempt to find said drugs once the cops leave; this scene feels so contrived in order to set the story in motion. As the remaining group dicks around at the mansion, Colin and Angela discover a secret room where the bodies of the 1925 guests were hidden. The group thinks they must have been a part of some ritual and then decide to leave the mansion only to discover it's locked (although clearly low enough to be climbed). Before this, Angela is somehow bitten by one of the bodies transferring a demon into her. Slowly, the group is killed and turned into demons in a similar vein as the original but nothing feels all that impressive or imaginative with the deaths. So as if there weren't enough filler to begin with, we spend a large amount of time with a couple characters hanging out in one room discussing plot points for exposition purposes. Apparently the chick from the beginning had a maid that knew all kinds of magic spells to block the demons and her wards against the demons still line the walls. This wouldn't have been too bad if it weren't for how easily the demons remove the wards implying they could have easily done that in 1925 to get their last victim then. Also, how the hell does collecting a few souls destroy the world? And if this isn't an instant destruction kind of situation, then how are these goofball demons going to take over the world on foot?! They are weak as fuck and get their asses handed to them left and right by the main girl! In the end, the main girl pretty much stalls long enough for Halloween night to end and fakes her death at one point to escape the demons. The end...except for some kind of funny last scene at the end of the credits.

Certain things are okay this time around like Halloween being more pivotal to the plot and a few cool effects. But I think it's safe to say this film differentiates enough from the source material that they didn't have to declare this a remake. I mean, the original has a cult following, but not enough to really garner much money so I don't see a point. Why not simply drop a few plot points and call this your own movie? Whatever. Either way, there are enough good and bad points to simply say this film is mediocre and call it a night. If you're tired of watching the "Halloween" franchise every year and looking for something new, perhaps give the "Night of the Demons" franchise a try but keep your hopes low.

Notable Moment: When we have the brief cameo of Linnea Quigley still in her little ballerina costume from the original. It's a nice touch but sort of creepy that she's doing her bending over shtick in front of two little girls.

Final Rating: 5/10

Night of the Demons 3 Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: After fleeing the scene of a crime, a group of teens hide out at Hull House with predictable results.

Review: After the surprisingly well made second entry you may have some hope for the third act, but don't be fooled. Part one had charm, the sequel had cool characters and effects, and the third movie has absolutely nothing worth noting while maintaining all the flaws previously discussed and adding more. I guess it was simply too much to ask that a franchise continue with good ideas even when it's plot is as basic as a haunted house on Halloween. It's not as if they took a mere step down in quality which would be understandable as it's a part three in a direct-to-video franchise, but they took a major plunge as this entry is significantly more pathetic and doesn't even have any decent gore or monster effects.

Essentially, there are a bunch of losers roaming around town when they stumble upon two girls whose car broke down and pick them up. The group stops at a convenience store and somehow ends up in a shootout with police leading to them panicking and holding up at Hull House believing no one will find them there. The plot is stupid right from the beginning as it's supposed to be Halloween and yet there is almost no indication of such. This was one of the main detractors from part 2, but at least there was a Halloween party at one point in that movie. Here, there is one character with a mask, the two girls dressed up, and they may mention Halloween a couple times and that's it! Once again, it's as if they forgot that the premise of this series revolves around the demons rising every Halloween. The characters are stupid, annoying, and nowhere near as fun as part 2; I should probably stress the stupidity more, because they make so many bad decisions you want to jump into the movie and stab them yourself. I get that they were attempting to channel the creativity of part 2, but they do not pull it off one bit. Angela is still there for some reason even though she was killed twice in the last film. Her makeup effects are mostly the same, but everything feels toned down especially on some of the secondary demons. Hull House looks like shit with a whole new set not even attempting to look like the previous designs or taking the time to make the place look remotely creepy. This wouldn't even be entirely bad if they weren't so idiotic as to include reused footage from the last two movies! Needless to say everyone is killed one way or another with emphasis on the Reggie character who is bleeding to death all movie long and no one seems to care. The only survivors are some chick and wannbe cool guy who escape through shenanigans and they defeat Angela by pulling her across the beloved underground stream we keep hearing about. It wouldn't have been so bad with these two surviving if it weren't for the retarded sidestory about them, pretty much, falling in love at first sight one day in algebra class. Setting aside that these two look like they're in their thirties, are you serious here with a plotline that moronic?! It just sounds so badly..."Oh yeah, that magic day in algebra class when I met my soulmate!" Come the fuck on!

You know it's not a good sign when the writer of this movie admits it was stupid. They couldn't even do me the courtesy of throwing in some hot chicks like the other movies. Why didn't they find a way to incorporate Halloween more into the plot? If you removed what little Halloween elements there were, just about nothing would change except the look of two demons. The one detective is kind of interesting, despite his cliche retirement approaching, but he adds almost nothing to the story when he could have provided a new dynamic. The acting sucks, the effects are weak, the set design was beyond lazy, the characters are annoying, the chicks are busted, and they couldn't even get Halloween straight. Suffice to say, the stupidity with this film is why they gave up on this franchise until the remake.

Notable Moment: When the one detective says he will show the convenient store cashier a magic trick and asks him to pick a card. The cashier pulls out a Miranda Rights card which was an amusing moment and somewhat clever.

Final Rating: 4.5/10

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Night of the Demons 2 Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: Years after the events of the previous film, a group of kids from a Catholic boarding school decide to spice up their Halloween at Hull House.

Review: You would think a direct to video sequel to a forgettable '80s film made in the early '90s would surely be beyond stupid, right? Well, surprisingly the second installment is significantly better than the first "Night of the Demons" in almost every regard. We're talking improved visual effects, better story, more interesting characters with even better looking chicks, and an all around more entertaining film. On the other hand, there are certain disadvantages that stop this film from genuinely surpassing the original when it really should have with ease. For one, that charm from the original is missing and replaced by a comical approach to the situations. I know they were trying to have fun with the material, but what made the original so amusing was that the actors were trying to play it straight as if the material was scary. I do like the change in this entry, but it's hard to compare the feeling I have when watching the two. The other major flaw is that you do not feel it is Halloween nor does the imagery stress that it's Halloween; this sort of defeats the purpose of the film itself. Only one character is ever dressed up and one loser wears a mask. Save for a few decorations and mentioning that it was Halloween, like once, that's about all there is to the Halloween plot elements. This is what I was talking about in the last review about how this franchise does not acknowledge the holiday enough when it's supposedly pivotal to the story.

The film opens with a plot hole or continuity error depending on your outlook since it's not Halloween yet and Angela, possessed by a demon(s), is killing people. As I mentioned, you'd never guess it was Halloween by the background, and even when you realize it is the day, it feels so tacked on as if they forgot that was the original premise for why the demons can emerge from hell. Also, as you've probably guessed at this point, Angela is sort of the mascot of this franchise since I guess any horror series must have one. This resurrection aspect is somewhat explained by one of the characters as they tell us that all the bodies were recovered from the first film except Angela who was supposedly taken to hell to, I guess, become permanently possessed by a demon(s)? Sure, whatever. I still feel as though Suzanne would make more sense as the main antagonist since she was the first possessed and her beloved lipstick plays a crucial role in the story here. Anyway, this Catholic boarding school is cliched, but they find a way to make things interesting by introducing a lot of clever and original characters. Everyone starts off kind of lame, but once the story gets rolling you hear some witty dialogue and amusing reactions to the events as they unfold. I especially liked Perry trying to be a wannabe demon-fighter with holy water guns and water balloons and the main nun, Sister Gloria, using a ruler like a sword and her rosary like "nunchucks." But besides these two badasses, the main Priest delivers some awesome lines, and most characters have a moment to shine with various smarmy remarks. About half of the film is dedicated to displaying the characters in all their glory and then the other half focuses on Angela's sister, nicknamed Mouse, whom Angela wants as a pure, virgin sacrifice. When the main characters are kicked out of their Halloween party, they decide to throw one of their own at Hull House to pretty much screw with Mouse in the most fucked up of ways. Unfortunately for them, after their gag ends, one idiot decides to bring back Suzanne's lipstick to the boarding school which allows Angela to wreak havoc there. After all manner of zany antics, they return to Hull House to rescue a captured Mouse, and the remaining characters fight the demons until eventually kicking Angela's ass momentarily. Just when you think things are over, Angela emerges as a giant, demonic snake which actually looks pretty good. After a quick fight, they manage to stall until sunup and the light, in the shape of a cross, burns into Angela destroying her for least until the next movie. There are quite a few survivors as well which is somewhat atypical but welcomed since some of the hotties didn't need to die.

For the most part, this was a highly successful sequel--taking the material they had to work with and amping everything up the second time around. The effects alone, involving the gore and demons, were a vast improvement, and I was shocked how decent the snake-Angela turned out. I should note though that they kept that stupid demon-voice from the first one which is really pitiful. The characters are great, and, even when someone is a douchebag or bitch, they are still amusing and deliver funny lines with such conviction you can't help but like them. It was as if they were trying to invoke a bit of "The Lost Boys" into the original's plot which is fine with me, because they made it work somehow. But as fun and amusing as this film was, and I truly wanted to rate it higher, it is simply missing a certain oomph that the first film provided that puts the two on the same level rather than this readily surpassing the first movie. I guess I'm mostly disappointed that the Halloween element is virtually nonexistent when it should have been a central theme. Sure, the '80s charm missing is one thing, which the '90s had their own tone to rival it, but not taking full advantage of the Halloween aspect was a waste and the tacked on nature to the presentation only exasperated my disappointment. If you liked the first movie you will not be disappointed, since this is the superior film, but realize how inconsequential Halloween is to the plot.

Notable Moment: When Kurt is playing basketball with his own head and dribbling with it. It's such a bizarre idea, but it works, is highly amusing, and demonstrates the degree of imagination that went into this film.

Final Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Night of the Demons (original) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A group of teens throw a party at an abandoned mortuary only to discover the house is possessed by demons.

Review: Believe it or not, there really aren't all that many horror movies that take place on Halloween. Surprisingly, there are way more family films revolving around the holiday, and there are actually more horror movies about Christmas! I guess filmmakers figure that the "Halloween" franchise has the market cornered, but I've already discussed the sad state that franchise is currently in. Although there are a few stray films out there that I hope to get to, there is one other franchise that revolves around Halloween, and, as you may have guessed, this is that series. Unfortunately, Halloween as the backdrop is more of a plot device than a major drive to the story since it is the excuse for why the events are unfolding and even that isn't necessarily true in the other entries. I do like this film for it's '80s charm and cheesiness, but it's so hard to ignore the horrendous acting and cheap effects.

Essentially, the story plays out like your typical '80s slasher fare except that they stress that there are no ghosts and that you are dealing with demons--you know, in case you couldn't figure it out from the title. We only get a little bit of a backstory, but supposedly the location of the mortuary, known as Hull House, has always been a mysterious area that is possibly a gateway to hell. There is an underground stream that surrounds the house that apparently keeps the demons contained because of some bullshit about demons being unable to cross running water. I have heard this lore before, but it's sort of a generic way to ward off evil in older myths that doesn't see a lot of action in modern times; vampires were even said to be affected by this at one point of their ridiculously glamorized mythology. Well, since it's Halloween, the demons can come out to play for one night of the year and terrorize our unsuspecting characters just trying to have a good time '80s style! Speaking of which, there is a certain degree of banter and humor to the characters that I find entertaining that helps a lame movie become better. I mean, you have your cliches, no doubt about that, but the actors play it straight even when overacting which adds to the entertainment value. It also helps to have a few '80s babes to spice things up the way I like it! I should note that one of the main characters is infamous scream queen Linnea Quigley doing her usual thing (stripping down and being eye candy), but she was never quite my type. Even though I find a lot of likability to these characters, the acting simply sucks and some of the deliveries of the lines are embarrassing considering this was a theatrical release at the time; actually, the acting is the single worst element to the whole film and detracts considerably when there is surprisingly a lot to like here.

The Angela character eventually becomes sort of the main antagonist to the franchise, but in this movie she isn't the first to be possessed; that privilege goes to Ms. Quigley's character, Suzanne. There are sort of makeshift rules to this series that you can either be possessed by the house or if you're killed in the house your corpse resurrects possessed. At the same time, most of the deaths are tame and could have used some more effort to make things memorable. Some of the visual and makeup effects are pretty good, but there are a lot of questionable one like the demons' true form and the laughably bad voices for the possessed individuals. Eventually everyone is either killed or possessed until the final two characters escape just as the sun comes up ending Halloween and the demons' ability to remain on earth. There is something sort of lackluster to the ending that makes the experience feel shallow which is why I suppose the film closes out with some goofball old guy being killed by the apples he put razors in earlier in the film. This tacked on plot element emphasizes how dumb the ending is especially when you realize he ate apples after they were baked into a pie which there's no way this would work or you wouldn't taste the damn razors! There is a decent attempt to portray Halloween festivities and decorations, but you could easily remove the holiday elements and the story would still make sense with a little rework. I wish there had been more emphasis on it being Halloween since a bunch of characters aren't even in costumes and some look like they could simply blend in with the '80s decor in general--costume or not.

Overall, this is a decent foray into Halloween horror that is overshadowed by the fact that its plot does not involve the holiday enough. There is a kind of '80s charm to the story, presentation, and characters that creates an effectively entertaining film allowing the viewer to overlook the flaws for the most part. There are some cool visuals, decent chicks, and I thought the music was great if you can appreciate that era. If only this film weren't hindered by the terrible acting, shoddy effects, and uninspired ending, this would have been a bigger hit. If you're looking for something to watch this Halloween, this may be a choice for you, but don't expect to be blown away with a compelling story or anything.

Notable Moment: When Billy and Sal are discussing the location of the party at Hull House. The banter is amusing, but I just can't stop imagining Sal as Joey Wheeler from "Yu-gi-oh." I mean, it's like a dead on impression except obviously this came first.

Final Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Trick 'r Treat Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: An anthology of four interlocking tales that coincide on Halloween in a small Ohio town.

Review: It's October again which means it's time for horror movies all month long. Oh but wait, I'm always reviewing horror movies all year long! Well, I knocked out the "Halloween" franchise last year so this year I will try to touch on films that take place on Halloween to get into the spirit, and what better way than to start things off with one of the best Halloween-themed films out there: "Trick 'r Treat." I never understood how this awesome film was delayed for years and only had a direct-to-DVD release; talk about embarrassing. So many have missed out on this rare gem, but, thankfully, it's gaining a strong following who appreciate that this should be up there with the many horror greats and is probably the second best Halloween-themed film besides the original "Halloween;" in some respects, this is the superior film.

Before delving into the creative and fantastic presentation of the stories, I want to first discuss the overall look, tone, and atmosphere of the film which is one of the best aspects to this movie. The moment the film gets rolling you see a truly classic Halloween-look to the town that brings out the nostalgia and harkens back to the heyday of Halloween in the USA. The decorations, the celebration, and that cold, autumn-vibe are simply amazing and the scenery is tearfully beatiful. Honestly, at this point, other countries are doing Halloween better since they practice the holiday to its fullest potential instead of being a little bitch about every fucking little thing. There is a moment in the film when they say it's 8 o'clock and that the festivities are just beginning--recently, Halloween is over in most towns the moment it gets dark (are you fucking kidding me?!). This film made Halloween look like how it was when I was a kid with everyone running around for all hours of the night without fear. In my mind, this is the epitome of what Halloween should look like in every town and more people need to be back out there celebrating instead of being babies waiting for Christmas to stroll around. Okay, enough of my bitterness...

One of the best features about this film is that all the individual stories are intertwined at various points as they play out in this little town. This is something I've mentioned before as a downside to most anthology films, because they don't take the initiative to work in some kind of link to their entries no matter how simplistic. I love the crafting of the story to incorporate moments where you see other character's perspectives of the other character's stories as they all come together; sometimes it is simply a character passing by for a second, but it is so enjoyable. In a way, the stories aren't even entirely separate as they're all constantly progressing until it is their time to take the focus for 10-20 minutes. To start things off as a makeshift wraparound, we are introduced to a couple calling it quits for the night as the husband warns not to mess with Halloween traditions and the nagging wife does not comply. Lurking in the background is Sam, short for Samhain, who is this little Halloween deity, of sorts, that runs around in the background for the stories; I loved this idea of an embodiment to the holiday itself that wreaks his own brand of havoc and serves as an ongoing link to each story. Not taking kindly to the wife's decision to take down the decorations early, Sam dispenses with the wife in a gruesome way adding her head to the display!

Earlier in the night, and across the street, we see some punk ass kid smashing pumpkins and eating way too much candy until he runs into the school principal. The principal, Steven Wilkins, is played wonderfully by Dylan Baker who channels a successfully creepy and sinister feel as a quiet and unassuming murderer. Wilkins has poisoned the candy to take care of our dear punk ass in order to carve his decapitated head as jack-o-lantern with the aid of his young son and protege. We see a large grave at one point that might be filled with many bodies implying that this is a yearly tradition or perhaps he's knocking out the school bullies or something. Wilkins also sees his old, cranky neighbor screaming for help, but he ignores this as we our left with a suspenseful build up for later when we see this neighbor tackled by something. Finally, during this tale we have the introduction of a group of kids collecting jack-o-lanterns, a group of sexy young women trying to find dates for a party, and Sam ominously trick or treats at Wilkins' home.

Before the next tale takes off, we see what appears to be a vampire dressed up in a dark cloak killing a woman in the town square and seeking more victims...perhaps one of our sexy girls? So those kids that were collecting jack-o-lanterns are obviously planning a prank on another girl, Rhonda, who I guess is supposed to be autistic or something. They eventually find themselves near an abandoned quarry as the leader of the group regales us with the tale of special needs kids that were killed decades ago when their rich parents paid their bus driver to dispose of them one fateful Halloween. Things sort of went wrong when one of the special needs kids broke free and drove them all off a cliff into the quarry, filled with water, but the bus driver managed to survive. This leader explains that they will offer up a jack-o-lantern for each kid that was drowned in the bus crash, but instead they pretend they are being attacked by the ghosts of the dead kids; with Rhonda scared and confused she is nearly immobile as the group hears strange noises. Perhaps through the help of Sam, the zombie form of the special needs kids emerge from the watery bus wreck (which looks awesome by the way), and kill the group with only Rhonda surviving as she coldly leaves the group to their miserable fate; though, I didn't think these kids were that deserving of death since really only the leader was a bitch. Before Rhonda embarks toward home, she sees Sam innocently admiring the show.

The next tale is the shortest, but it is the one told most progressively as we constantly have cuts back and forth to the sexy girls and their party. The main girl, Laurie (oh, I see what you did there!), played by Anna Paquin, is our apparent virgin looking for that special guy, but there is obviously more to it than that. She is slowly being stalked by our vampire-man until he moves in for the kill only to discover a surprise. We realize that all the dates are dead as our sexy girls are werewolves and Laurie was looking for her first meal we can assume. There are a few ironic aspects to this because Laurie is dressed up as little red riding hood, and Ms. Paquin has been playing a vampire for years on "True Blood." I didn't really care for the way the werwolves were depicted because it was implied they look that way under their skin rather than actually transforming from human to wolf. Regardless, it is revealed that vampire-man was Wilkins using fake teeth as he becomes puppy chow with Sam looking on with a sense of glee emanating from under his mask. I should note that I thought Ms. Paquin looked significantly better when half-transformed than not, but I'm weird like that.

Just a glimpse at the sexy girls:

The final story involves that cranky old neighbor, Kreeg, who is the equivalent to the Scrooge of Halloween. This entry actually takes place much earlier in the film since this is during the same time Wilkins is carving his little jack-o-lantern. Since Kreeg is against Halloween so much, it should be no surprise that Sam comes to personally screw with him. After sneaking into his home, Sam uses various supernatural abilities to unnerve Kreeg like materializing jack-o-lanterns and writing "trick or treat give me something good to eat" all over his walls in blood. Eventually the two start to fight almost comically since Sam is so small and Kreeg keeps shooting him with a shotgun. It's shown that underneath Sam's mask his face looks like a pumpkin and he even appears to bleed pumpkin juices ("What were you expecting? PUMPKIN JUICE?!") and seeds. Eventually Sam gains the upper hand and appears to go in for the kill but spares Kreeg in favor of taking his candy. Baffled, Kreeg interprets this as his motivation to get into the spirit of Halloween, again, in a similar vein as Scrooge as we realize he was the bus driver that drowned the special needs kids (which was painfully obvious). We then see the injured Kreeg giving out candy as Sam sets his sights on the couple from the beginning as all of our stories masterfully cross paths simultaneously; the couple walks home, Wilkins' son looks on, and the werewolf girls pass by nearly hitting Rhonda. Just when it appears things are safe, Kreeg hears another knock at the door and is greeted by the zombie special needs kids who exact their long overdue revenge as the credits roll.

Everything about this film just works down to the tiniest detail with special attention toward the scenery, atmosphere, and general sense of indulgence of the material. I have a few minor gripes here and there with certain aspects of the tales, but the only major complaint I have is that the film is too short and could have used another segment to even things out; the film isn't even 90 minutes with the credits...come on! If there ever was essential Halloween viewing, the only films I would say have to make such a list are this film and the original "Halloween." If you're a big fan of the holiday like me you should have watched this movie by now or seek it out as soon as possible. I can only hope they make a sequel at some point, but, as it stands, it doesn't seem like one is anywhere even close to a script phase which sucks. In the meantime, let's get into that glorious Halloween spirit!

Notable Moment: Probably at the end when you see all the stories cross paths at the same time. It only lasts for a split second, but it was cool nonetheless.

Final Rating: 8/10