Jeepers Creepers 3 Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It is time for the return of Jeepers Creepers. I wasn’t exactly a big fan of the first two and I can’t say that anything has really changed with the third one. This time the Creeper actually gets to be outshined by his own truck though so that’s a bit of a twist. It does make for a very imposing threat since you can see how the heroes would have almost no shot of getting out of it. The movie doesn’t really do anything all that different from the first two though so there’s not much reason to check this one out.

The movie starts off with the Creeper messing everyone up as he escapes with his van from police headquarters. Dan arrives and informs the local police chief Davis that this is just the beginning. Apparently everyone has their big awakening where the Creeper is concerned where they decide to do something about this madness. He makes the case that Davis needs to help him track the Creeper down now before he gets away again. What can you do against something that can fly, regenerate, has super strength, speed, and a car of gadgets that would even impress Batman? Well they have another one of those spear gatling guns. These films seem to love this thing despite it never working for long but hey it’s better to try something as opposed to nothing right? Meanwhile there are a bunch of teenagers running around and you figure that they’re doomed.

The film doesn’t have many positives so lets go over those first. First off we have the ending of the film which does a nice job of tying all 3 movies together. Presumably the 4th movie would have been really solid if they had actually stuck to this plot. Okay…that’s probably giving it too much credit but I do think that it could have been rather decent compared to this one. The ending leaves things off on a hype note even if you figure that the characters don’t have much of a chance of really making a difference.

I also thought that the plot with Sheriff Dan was decent for a while. It’s certainly more engaging than the main one at least as everyone is very dramatic and they all talk a good game. The problem is that this doesn’t directly translate into wins. No matter how much planning they do, it’s not like they’re ever closer to actually securing the win. That’s probably the most annoying part of the movie, there is never a single moment where you think that they have a shot. The Creeper is just too powerful with no true weaknesses so the movie feels futile right out of the gate.

There is a whole subplot about finding out his past but it’s super pointless. Basically if you grab onto his hand you see things…presumably his origin story and stuff like that. At no point in the film does it ever become important or useful in the fight though so I don’t know what the writers were thinking. Gaylen grabs the hand first and is taken into a trance but for the rest of the film all she can do is talk cryptically. It would be nice if she could have hared the intel…you know so nobody else has to grab the hand? Since she does not then Dan has to do it next…and also doesn’t tell people anything useful. Sure we get a sign at the end taunting the Creeper but does it matter?

Sounds like they’re trying to hurl some insults by saying that they know about his past but why would he even care? Apparently he does but they really couldn’t have known that. A significant chunk of the movie is spent on this pointless mystery so that didn’t do the film any favors. Dan looks all the worse for it since he deserves a lot of blame on the planning. Davis at least did decent in covering him with the gun. I thought he meant well and while he didn’t stand a chance, he didn’t back away from danger.

Gaylen at least told Addison to leave so she wouldn’t be in danger but didn’t do much beyond that. She was just way too old for this kind of adventure. Addison has a little romance plot running around but her family is rather annoying which doesn’t help matters. Her brother is a juvenile delinquent who runs around putting animals in cages for no good reason so of course he gets bumped off. His friends aren’t much better and everyone takes years to take the animal out of the cage. Cmon now guys.

Addison and Buddy also handled one situation terribly. So they drive up to this ranch where everyone is hiding underneath their cars. You might figure this is a great chance to just drive on out of there, slowly back up, dial 9-11…or something. We know you wouldn’t get out of the car…right? Wrong! Buddy gets out and walks up to the guys asking why they’re hiding under a car. No matter what the answer is, it’s probably smarter to be in the car. Maybe it’s a guy with a gun running around, a bear, hornets, etc. Why get out of the car? He’s lucky he wasn’t taken out on the spot by the Creeper but that guy likes messing around to increase the level of fright since he still consumes that as energy. Addison and Buddy did not handle anything very well here so they could be annoying.

The film’s writing is bad for all the reasons I already listed above. It’s also about as violent as you would expect with this kind of slasher film. Everyone is getting bumped off left and right by the Creeper and are unable to do anything about it. The van makes for a very unique set of deaths for the heroes but ultimately this isn’t a movie that is used to showing a lot of restraint. It’s just going for the shock value and at the end of the day that isn’t going to really help it surpass the earlier films. The Creeper is also still such a bad villain, there’s nothing cool about him. The design is weak and while his powers are good, there’s just not much to him.

Overall, The only appeal to this movie would be the ending as the franchise starts to form something of a real story but since the sequel never came out there is no longer much reason to watch this film. It goes through all of the usual motions of a slasher film but the writers couldn’t figure out what kind of plot they wanted to tack onto it. As a result you’ve just got narrative dead ends that don’t do anyone any good. The movie just needed to be honest with itself about wanting to just have an excuse to get everyone bumped off.

Overall 1/10

Halloween: Resurrection Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the uncut version would be more negative

Halloween has returned and you can bet that it is just as gruesome as ever. It suffers from all of the usual issues such as a weak cast, over the top violence and characters making the worst decisions possible. I wouldn’t say that it is the worst film in the series as it still ends up beating two of the prior ones but it’s all relative in the race to the bottom. The movie’s quite short at least so it’s over in a flash.

The movie kicks off with explaining how the ending of the film didn’t have us watch Laurie destroy Michael and instead he tricked her by swapping masks. This may sound a little crazy because it is but I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes. A few years pass by and Myers attacks Laurie again but she handles herself well and defeats him. Unfortunately she decides to go in close to try and remove his mask as if this was Scooby Doo and so this allows him to turn the tables and destroy her. He’s now ready to go back home but it turns out that a group of teenagers are filming a spooky reality show in his house. Myers figures that it’s time to take them all down.

Right off the bat it is annoying that Laurie would make the mistake of underestimating Myers by getting too close like this. The film tries to blame it on her feeling guilt so she had to make sure that she got the right person but it didn’t matter in this instance. Whoever was behind the mask was clearly trying to murder her so take him out and then worry about whoever is behind the mask. That would have been the best way to handle this and then she would still be around. Definitely a shame.

The security here also seemed pretty bad. This is evidently a bit of an insane asylum with the patients behind bars so how is it so easy for the guy in the clown mask to keep escaping? It’s treated as if this was a normal thing and you’d think that they would be a lot more serious about it. The guy may seem harmless but is he really? He’s a little too interested in the murders so I have my doubts on that one.

Once we get to the main cast we’re reminded why nobody tends to like the horror casts all that much. While there are a few exceptions, the characters always seem to be super annoying and as a result as unprepared for the dangers ahead. They throw in so many fake jump scares and cry wolf to the point where nobody believes them when the danger is actually real. That’s on them when everyone is slow to react when things really happen. I’d also say that going to the Myers house is in really bad taste. I’d say the same is true of picking someone older, but someone who (seemingly) just died 3 years ago and the victims are still fresh in everyone’s memories? Yeah this is definitely going to be an exploitative scary show.

The guys here are only interested in booking up with the girls while the main girl’s friend just wants to be famous. The main heroine Sara is really here out of peer pressure which is a common factor as her pen pal Deckard goes to a party for the same reason. They need to learn to just say no to going places where they don’t want to be and it will absolutely help them out later in life. You can’t let peer pressure just toss you around like that. It’s not a good idea in the slightest!

As mentioned the film is fairly short at around an hour and a half and it feels short so I guess that’s good on the pacing. On the other hand, while usually you could at least expect to be engaged in the human scenes when Myers isn’t going around murdering everyone, that isn’t the case here since the characters are so bad. That puts you in a rather tough position because there is nobody to really root for here. I guess I would go with the head of the show Freddie.

The guy may be the head of this operation and so he’s really the one getting everyone into trouble but he can fight and gets some good lines against Myers. In fact I would go as far as to say he gets all of the best scenes. I liked seeing him glad Myers on and actually land some really good hits. Wishing him a Happy Halloween was really intense too. You just know that he better get as far out of the country as possible because if Myers gets back then he will absolutely be holding a grudge here. He’s not really the forgive and forget kind of guy.

If the film did something right here it’s that the characters actually fought back against Myers more. Laurie took him out early on, Freddie got multiple victories against him and that’s good because he is just a guy with super strength. You should be trying to push him around because of you can take him out at least for a little bit then you’re all set. It may backfire but it’s better to go down with a fight than not at all.

The death scenes aren’t quite as brutal as in a few other films as they don’t tend to be as prolonged but make no mistake, the film is still intensely violent and one of the reasons the movie won’t make it to the big time. There is still quite a body count here before the film is over as nobody is safe from his rampage. At least we still have a solid soundtrack as always. The Myers theme is iconic at this point and for good reason. It’s very distinctive and has that spooky kind of feel to it as well so it just works really well.

There’s just not much more to say about the film though because the writing is just that bad. Just think about it for a minute, it’s actually hard to make all of the characters this bad. Freddy is the only silver lining here as everyone else is absolutely out of their league and not doing much to make themselves likable characters. If they would quit it with the jump scares and all then maybe they would finally be better than average but that’s too much for the Halloween series.

Overall, At least the movie is short but this is one that you will want to skip. It really doesn’t do anything to add to the Halloween mythos and is instead a film that you will forget right away. It’s easy to see why people didn’t like this one although I can’t talk as much there since I haven’t liked any of them. At least we always have the iconic Halloween theme which is still a classic. That theme holds up well to this day which is quite impressive. You can’t say that about every theme.

Overall 1/10

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Review

Halloween has returned with another stinker. While the bar for Halloween movies is already underground, this one did manage to still be a particularly weak installment in the series. We’ve got more action with the cult that is awful and somehow the murders here felt even more intense than in some of the other installments. It is fairly relative by this point I’ll grant you that. Either way, I highly recommend staying far away from these film and definitely away from this one.

So the film starts off with a prison break as Jamie tries to escape with her kid from Michael Myers and the cult. She barely makes it out but gets murdered by the barn anyway. Her kid Kara gets to live a normal life for a while or as normal as it can be but unfortunately her new family are all rather crazy. The film really goes out of its way to make the family as unlikable as possible with the father being abusive and the rest not being able to do much of anything. You have the little kid who is on his way to being the next psycho with his knife skills. All you need to know about these guys is that most of them are completely doomed.

Myers is on his way and the only ones who can stop him are Loomis and Tommy, a kid who has made it his life’s work to stop Michael Myers from terrorizing anyone else. Naturally nobody else is taking the threat seriously. Half the town thinks that Michael Myers never existed and the others figure that he’s dead. Everyone treats the whole thing as a big joke to the point where they are reinstating Halloween and everyone is dressing up in Michael Myers costumes now. The town really isn’t very smart, you’d think either way they wouldn’t be glorifying the guy at least.

Well, it’s all going to be easy pickings for Myers now. For once he feels more like a lackey though which is odd. So the film introduces some new concepts here and one is that there is a whole sacrifice system behind Myers’ madness. See, he only murdered people when the right stars are aligned and you can sacrifice someone to him so that he spares your family. It would have been nice if the cult was just crazy and Myers shows up randomly anyway but he actually does feel like their minion here.

There’s a scene early on where the cult basically summons him to take Jamie down. Myers walks out of one of the office rooms as if he worked there. It’s weird to see him as a minion and it take away from him being the big boss that he usually is. It was a very odd move and one that didn’t do the film any favors. Myers is still going to get wrecked by the end and his regeneration and super strength are not enough to save him. He is definitely a character who isn’t all that great.

As for the cult, well they’re awful. The opening scenes have a long drawn out sequence where they are preparing a baby to be sacrificed and so they’re putting marks on him and such. It’s all rather awful and you’re just waiting for that scene to end already. If the film was trying to make you a bit eery from the jump then it succeeded but at the detriment of the film. The cult guys also have no business being here. They were never supposed to be the focus and yet they do a lot here. There’s even a new guy who shows up…I wonder if he could be the mysterious man in black??

Then we have the heroes. Well Tommy is decent at least. It would just be nice if he communicated more and had some kind of a plan beyond just messing around and finding out. This was his life’s work so shouldn’t he have some heavy artillery or gadgets or some kind? It felt like he was going in blind each time and that’s not a good idea against someone like this. Perhaps he thought that Myers really wouldn’t put up more of a fight than the average dude but since he knew about the prophecy and all that just seems like a very illogical thing to think.

At least he does get some good moments in like clubbing Myers with the bat and all. I can give him some credit here but I was still underwhelmed considering that he basically lived for this. In comparison I can cut Loomis some more slack because the guy is old by this point and he really thought that he was done with all of this. Instead he’s being forced into yet another confrontation and this was one that he was definitely not ready for. It’s always nice to see Loomis but when you think about it he really didn’t do much here.

As for Kara, well I guess she’s an okay main character for the most part. She’s better than some but ultimately doesn’t stick out much beyond being the next target. Kara seemed to have a little less character than previous heroines and that’s because the film was busy with so many plots. There just wasn’t a whole lot of time for her. Maybe for the best though because that meant we didn’t have to have too many scenes with her family. I doubt those would have been very good.

At least the film avoids one cliché which is that when the heroes knock the villain to the ground they suddenly walk away. This happens in Scream when they knock someone down and drop the knife and just about every other series. There’s nothing worse than the main character getting the edge and suddenly her “friends” show up to stop her saying that he’s had enough or he’s dead already. Look, we’re talking about a serial killer who has a massive body count. There is no “enough” yet, you gotta put him down. Then on the other hand if he’s already dead, what’s the problem in landing a few more hits? So when Tommy kept on whacking Myers with the bat until he was literally changing shape, that was the best way to handle it. Even if he regenerates, you’ve bought yourself some time.

Overall, There really isn’t anything else good to say about the film. It’s really just mindless slaughtering as Myers goes around and takes everyone out. The plot is absolutely secondary and you can tell with how halfheartedly they handle the plot with the cult. The whole film is really about shock value instead and you can immediately see this with how drawn out and extended the Jamie death scene was. It was like he murdered her 5 times over with how graphic that was. He definitely was salty about how the last film went but we really don’t gotta see that. Slashers are usually awful but this one stands out even among them. You’ll want to keep it moving and forget that this one existed.

Overall 0/10

The Stepfather (2009) Review

Man, the Stepfather was big enough to get a whole trilogy and then a remake? I’d never have guessed since you don’t see this guy brought up in the same breath as the horror legends like Jason or Freddy. Now those guys have withstood the test of time. This movie plays out like the others so you can sense all of the plot threads from the jump but the important thing for a film like this is always in the execution. Unfortunately I would not say that it succeeds in this. This film doesn’t really have much going for it and will end up being forgotten in the end.

The movie starts with Grady getting a shave and preparing his new guise as he gets to work on murdering another family. The guy has been unstoppable for a while now because his charms are so unbelievable that people just want to marry him right away. He only goes after families that are missing a father though as he aspires to have the perfect family. Well, he meets Susan at the supermarket and they quickly hit it off. They get engaged very quickly and Grady figures he has the perfect setup here as nobody suspects him. Well, Michael returns from military school and immediately distrusts Grady. What can the villain do now?

I did think that early on there wasn’t much of a good reason for Grady to be suspicious at all. We get the ominous music and all as Michael peers down the stairs and shoots looks at Grady but you just don’t really get it. Sure, you get that in general Michael isn’t happy to have anyone around right now but Grady helped get him back into school and even promised he would help make sure Michael isn’t sent off to military school again. Take away the shady music and as the viewer you would think he is doing all of the right things.

So I didn’t think the suspicion was all that earned initially. Of course as the film goes on then Grady gives him a lot of reason to be nervous and upset but it definitely takes a long while to get there. As a character I’m glad that Michael’s a little older so he can actually fight but I wouldn’t call him all that likable. It feels like he’s always trying to start a fight and is awfully defensive about everything. He’s rather annoying the whole time.

His girlfriend Kelly doesn’t really get much to do here. You could take her out of the film and not much would change. She tries to at least keep Michael from making a lot of mistakes like spying on Grady or digging into the past which makes sense since it all seems crazy from her point of view. Ultimately she isn’t able to stop him though and both of them have to really brace themselves for the climax.

I wouldn’t say Susan is a very likable character here either. As always she falls hook line and sinker for Grady to the point where she will not let anyone even think about looking into his past. She doesn’t find anything particularly suspicious about him and just goes with the flow the whole time. I think that would be admirable if they have been together for years and the trust is completely there but everyone has a super valid point when they mention that she doesn’t know much about him. He shows up out of nowhere and suddenly she trusts him 100%? It’s all just way too fast and part of what’s hard to buy about these films is how easily Grady is able to show up and get married each time. Cmon now.

At least the ex-husband Jay does decently well here as he suspects the guy and finds out the lies pretty quick. Unfortunately he isn’t too smart in how he handles the follow up. Look, if you’re talking to someone and the guy just walks out of there then you should probably be careful about following him. He’s clearly not afraid to lie to his family so what else do you think he might do to keep his secrets? The whole scene with Jay is rather tragic too since he gets the longest death with nobody to help him.

Finally you have Grady but there isn’t much to say about the guy. He’s just insane the whole time and forgets his identity really quick. Instead of it being a moment of genuine confusion like in the original, here it’s just played off as this guy being off his rocker. In fairness, the guy is completely insane so that tracks well enough. There’s just not anything interesting about him, his goals aren’t anything special. Additionally he’s just too insecure. He murders anyone who even thinks about starting a rumor on him which just makes the whole thing more suspicious. I dare say that it would have been smarter to keep everyone alive since it’s unlikely that they would do anything more than talk. Was the old lady really a threat? Really??

Overall, The Stepfather is a film you’ll want to void. I wouldn’t say that it has any particularly interesting characters and it’s as predictable as possible. The violence has been toned down from the earlier installments which is good at least but everyone’s still getting bumped off. Dying through suffocation is always a rough way to go out. It would be nice to change up the formula one of these days and have a new villain show up to stop Grady and make his presence known as an alternate villain. I think something like that would potentially be very interesting. Either way I’d recommend giving this one the skip, it’s not going to do anything for you.

Overall 2/10

Stepfather III Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

You can tell that the writers stopped caring with this one but I can at least give the poster some props. It’s one of those images where it’s hard to see exactly what’s going on at first. Is it a knife, shovel, or a candle? If the guy bleeding, just blasted someone else who’s bleeding, or is it the rain? Is he looking sad, mad, or glad? The more you look at the poster, the more it changes. I know what you’re thinking though, it’s bad when you have to start complementing the poster!

Okay so Jerry survived yet again because he’s just that powerful. He runs over to a plastic surgeon who agrees to give him a new look and doesn’t question how dangerous this situation is. Jerry murders the guy afterwards and heads to a new town. There he meets the desperate widow Christine and quickly marries her. This time he is sure that he’s found the perfect family but he will have to deal with her ex-boyfriend Mark, her ex-husband Steve, and his mistress Jennifer. Can Jerry defeat all of these obstacles? Man that’s a lot of people here.

Okay so the first big issue with this film is that it seems like Jerry’s character doesn’t make a lot of sense here. Yes the guy is insane and all but at least he did have his vision of a perfect family. Every little thing that goes against his values would set him off and his view of a perfect family was a bit warped but he wouldn’t sabotage it himself. Now we have a subplot where he is cheating on his wife with the new neighbor. Really? That doesn’t make any sense. Yes he would look for his next targets as he’s ending the current arrangement but he never actually makes a move until that’s happened.

Also…having an affair in the same small town where everybody knows everybody? No disguise or anything, he just drives on over there. Of course he’s caught but the whole thing is so obvious that it doesn’t work. Jerry was a master strategist who evaded the cops for years and had plans for his plans. You can’t expect me to believe that he would suddenly be making rookie mistakes like this. Of course he ends up blaming Jennifer for tempting him and tries to turn it all around but it doesn’t change the fact that he made the errors here. He’s the one ruining the perfect family concept and it goes against his character. That’s really his only gimmick as the villain so if you toss that aside then there’s not much left.

Meanwhile it is almost funny to see an ex boyfriend and ex husband in the same movie. I feel like that’s really rare at this point. The ex husband is lucky that he doesn’t stick around since I thought he was doomed. Of course Jerry makes quick work out of the ex boyfriend but that almost felt like a bit of satire with how the guy just shows up to get bumped off. It’s not played out that way but what are the odds right?

This guy wasn’t that smart or good with his reaction times either. Don’t just stand there and get pounded like a sack of toast. Meanwhile I wasn’t a big fan of Christine either. Naturally she is tricked rather quickly and the whole wedding was rather quick. She ignored everyone’s advice that she was going too fast and just kept moving along. Now everyone may have seemed like they were just being sour grapes but the warning bells were there. Like Jerry laying hands on one of her sons when he was playing video games. The way she found out may have been rather dramatic but she overlooks it so quickly.

Then we have the affair going on and she lets herself be manipulated a little too easily. Her plans are always thrown away and she is never able to stay one step ahead of the game. In this film Jerry left a lot of clues that something was not right and she didn’t pick up on them. Then you have Father Ernest who was at least helping the kid try to crack the case here but unfortunately that didn’t work out. Ultimately Jerry did sniff that plan out quick and unfortunately the roads were deserted. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything Ernest could have done there so the whole thing is just tragic for him. He didn’t even make any mistakes necessarily, he just didn’t drive quick enough.

As for Jennifer, well she was moving rather fast but at least she didn’t know that Jerry was married. Again it does continue the trend of everyone being so desperate in these films. It’s like nobody is content to just be alone and happy, you always gotta be looking for the next rebound. The romances here are all rather weak but that was probably obvious from the jump. This isn’t really the film you’re looking for when trying to find a quality romance.

Now while the film is definitely not good and the writing for Jerry didn’t work at all, there is one positive I can say about the film. The soundtrack is actually surprisingly good. I dare say I would even call it great. There are a lot of tunes that sound like they’re from the 90’s X-Men show. The music is definitely more comic book movie material than your average horror fare. I was surprised whenever a good tune would show up and it happened several times. Perhaps even though the budget was lower they were able to spend more on music or they chose these to save money and they just ended up being really good. However they pulled that off, it definitely worked for me.

It doesn’t save the film of course though as it still suffers from all the usual horror pitfalls. Aside from the writing being sub par you’ve also got to deal with the over the top violence that is always around. Everyone gets bumped off in rather brutal ways. The surgery scene at the beginning is also very graphic and so the movie is trying to put in as much grit as possible. It should have stuck to the Matrix effects like in the first murder where it’s like the guy was phasing out of existence with a lot of clones and tremor effects. Instead we just go back to normal murders after that and that never helps a film out.

Overall, Stepfather III is a film you should certainly skip. In a way I’d probably say that this beats the first two and ends up as the best in the trilogy but that would be due entirely to the soundtrack. After all it’s similar to the first two but they didn’t have good music. Jerry betrays his entire character here but in a way it shows that he was always a villain with no morals so that may not be a bad thing. He’s so bad at covering his tracks that it buys time for the main characters as well. It’s a bit ironic that the final movie would end up being the best one as usually it tends to fall off but it’s not like it matters much since the gap between them is fairly small anyway.

Overall 2/10

Stepfather II Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time for the Stepfather to return for another adventure. How did he survive his wounds from the first film? Well, I guess you could say that he’s just built different. Nothing’s putting him down, at least not right now. Unfortunately this movie is more of the same and so there’s not much good to say about it. It’s your classic slasher film with everyone making some questionable decisions.

The movie starts off with showing us that Jerry is now at an asylum. At least he’s not being allowed to run rampant around the world but it’s a very small consolation at this point because the therapist in charge of him isn’t really the cautious type. He is quickly convinced to let Jerry have his way around the place and gets promptly bumped off. Jerry has to look for a new widow and that isn’t hard either. Carol is very eager to get together with him and the two hit it off. Will she be able to realize what a phony he is in time or will it all be game over for her?

Right off the bat it feels like the film is winking at us a bit. This therapist was just way too trusting. Seriously he got fooled this easily? All it took was Jerry playing on the guy’s ego a bit and he was twisting him around with ease. The guy should have seen this coming and even telling the guard to leave the room was a bit much. You knew the guy was doomed either way but he made it all so easy on Jerry.

Meanwhile I wouldn’t say that Carol looks very good here either. Her friends are right that Carol barely even knows this guy. Sure, most of them are happy either way but this is why you shouldn’t go on the rebound so quickly. Every guy is going to try and appear normal at first, that part’s obvious. It’s why you gotta take it real slow. Now I’m not saying that you have to take a few years but at least enough time to hopefully really get to know him. The rebound shouldn’t be considered automatic though, like Carol doesn’t absolutely have to find a new man. Maybe she’s happy on her own and that’s completely okay.

It’s why I still find Jerry’s whole gimmick to be annoying because it resides on the assumption that he will find someone who wants to marry him at every town. That feels like it should be a stretch and yet it ends up working out for him every time. It shouldn’t be so easy. Jerry himself is just as insane as always. He does lay on the nice guy act rather thick but I guess everyone just eats it up. It’s too bad he’s saying every line ironically since the whole family message could be rather decent if it was coming from someone else. It just loses all of its weight when he’s saying it.

Matty is Carol’s best friend and you feel bad for her since Carol immediately turns on the lady. You’d think Carol would appreciate how hard Matty was working to try and make sure that everything was good. Instead Carol basically threatens to terminate their friendship. Matty is nice enough where she still keeps on going with the investigation but ultimately makes the mistake of going to Jerry directly about this. When you’ve already proven that someone is lying, why not go straight to the local authorities or if you don’t think they’ll take the stolen identity angle seriously, then tell Carol. Force the issue or make a big stink about it throughout the neighborhood so everybody knows. Confronting the villain one on one is not the way to go about it.

Yeah Carol made it hard on her which is why Carol’s not a great heroine either but this still wasn’t the way to go about it. Todd actually got along with Jerry well enough in this version so the act actually could have worked but ultimately Jerry made too many mistakes and it came back to bite him. Todd was able to step up when it was crunch time. Then you have Phil who shows up to get absolutely wrecked right away. Again, this didn’t make Carol look great since she seemed willing to jump ship and go back to Phil only to rebound with Jerry once again when that guy mysteriously vanished.

The worst part is that Phil didn’t seem like he was going to be a great guy either, he was just going to be better than Jerry and that’s not a tall order to fulfill. Jerry does a good job of covering his tracks but the victims really make this easy on him the whole time. There are a lot of ways to explain their disappearances each time because they ended up meeting with Jerry 1 on 1. You know that eventually things will work out but it always takes quite a while to get to that point.

The film’s fairly violent as you would expect and follows the usual horror formula. Everyone gets bumped off over and over again here. Sometimes it’s almost out of nowhere like a random driver showing up and getting taken out. This time around Jerry even starts to throw in some one liners when he takes the characters down. That was definitely different as I don’t really remember him doing this much in the first film. Maybe he did and I forgot but I don’t think that was the case. This would then continue into the next movie.

Overall, Stepfather II has no real good excuse to get Jerry back onto the field so the whole opening scenes are as contrived as possible. In general the film only barely works because it’s all such a big stretch. Then it stumbles for the rest of the duration anyway with Jerry not being a very interesting villain. Yeah we know he’s crazy but at least in the first film he’s trying to have some kind of plan which is to have a perfect family while here he’s letting everything get in the way of that. It’s almost like he’s sabotaging everything on his own. Just don’t give out so much information that could be easily traced to show that he’s lying. He’s almost better off just claiming amnesia with some of the lies he’s telling here. He should also quit naming such small towns where everybody has heard of everyone. Start saying New York City or something since nobody would be able to verify that so easily back in the day.

Overall 2/10

Copycat Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Copycat is one of those films where you know it’s not going to be so good right from the jump. The question is will it rise to mid status or will it just be bad? Well, in this case it never ended up recovering and this is probably a film you aren’t going to be checking out a second time anyway. It’ll just fade away into obscurity.

The movie starts with Helen giving a lecture on the various mass murderers of the day and how you have to be scared because right now even some of the classmates could be evil. Her doom and gloom speech is a big hit but unfortunately one of those murderers was in attendance and attacks her. The guy murders one of the cops but is ultimately captured. Unfortunately the experience scarred Helen for life and she can no longer leave her apartment now. She is completely trapped.

This gets a little intense for her when she reads the news and sees that another mass murderer has appeared. This is her specialty but it’s not like she can go out there to take names and find out what’s going on. Helen is given little choice in the matter though when the villain sends her a threatening message. Monahan and Reuben are the two cops who will be helping her out here but can any of them take down this new villain? One thing’s for sure, they need to keep their guards up at all times.

I’ve noticed that these mass murder mystery films tend to put the main character in a rather difficult spot so they can’t help too much. At least it happened twice which is enough to make me raise an eyebrow as bone collector did the same thing. Since Helen can’t leave and is racked with fear that limits what she can actually contribute to the case. Considering all of this she actually does rather well in looking at the clues and helping out. You feel bad for her too because you figure one traumatic experience is enough for a life time and yet she’s going to have to go for a second one now.

I thought she was a good character though. Helen is tough and talks back to the other characters while also keeping up her boundaries. She only allows her friend Andy to see any moment of weakness within her. To everyone else she at least tries to keep the image up the whole time. Her friend Andy means well and looks after her but you get the feeling that he is doomed from the jump.

In these films just about everyone is doomed for being too close to the lead. Usually as soon as a character appears you know they could be next on the chopping block. The villain here doesn’t have any special powers or anything like that but at the end of the day he does have the element of surprise and that’s hard to fight off. Certainly it’s difficult to combat that on short notice at least.

The villain here is one of those psychotic kind of characters as you can probably guess. It’s also hard to call this a murder mystery to the extent that the film isn’t really giving you a chance to find out who the murderer is for the most part. I suppose the mystery is more about finding him before he bumps someone else off. Unfortunately the tricky part is that it takes a while to find a pattern or any leads so the body count here is already rather high.

I liked the two cops on the case though. Monahan does her best to manipulate everyone and shows that she has what it takes as a cop. Her approach to everything is rather by the book which isn’t a bad thing but the film uses that against her at one point. She ultimately gets off a shot just like how the manual said to do but in the end it wasn’t enough. I blame everyone else at the scene far more than her though because she still did her part.

At one point I almost started to wonder if she was going to end up being a villain in a twist or something but I’m glad the movie didn’t go in that direction. As for Reuben, he’s a good partner. Helen even tries to give him some romance tips at one point although I think it’s a little dicey to be thinking about how to make a move while there’s a serious threat on the loose like this. Ultimately Reuben may be a quick shot but that doesn’t mean he’s super safe.

The villain from the opening scene: Daryll, sticks around for the film and that was unfortunate. We already have one psychopath in this film, did we really need 2? Any scene with this guy in it is super annoying and drags on. I don’t think they should have even given that creep much attention. I suppose they were desperate for leads but that’s when you get someone on the inside to rough him up a bit. That may be easier said than done of course but it’s just a shame that Helen had to work with this guy even for a minute after what happened.

The movie’s stinger for the sequel is also really weak. It doesn’t make you hyped for a possible sequel at all and is just a groaner. It could have done something, almost anything more interesting than that. I would have no reason to believe the sequel would be any better than this film. In fact, there is even the chance that it would just be worse in the end depending on who the main villain is.

Overall, There isn’t much to like about Copycat. It’s your run of the mill horror/slasher title. It’s really gritty and by the time the heroes come around it’s always too late. The victories here feel hollow as a result and nobody is ever prepared so they get bumped like it’s nothing. The writing isn’t anything special and this film is really one of those dime a dozen horror titles. I would recommend just steering clear of this one. It doesn’t even have anything super entertaining to talk about or that at least would make it stand out. I suppose I won’t forget the scene with the random criminal at the police station because of how random it was. Whatever could go wrong for the heroes certainly did each time.

Overall 2/10

The Stepfather Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

This film plays out just like you would expect it to. It’s a dime a dozen horror/slasher kind of film where everyone is too oblivious for their own good. There was one scene which was an interesting subversion but on the other hand the whole scene felt really annoying and stretched my disbelief to the max so I’m not sure it was a great tradeoff. This film doesn’t do much right tbh, I suppose at least it reminds you on the dangers of rebounding. It can always get a little dangerous.

So the movie starts off with Jerry murdering a family and then running off to his next disguise. Basically his gimmick is that he will take on a new identity and marry a widow who has a kid. They’ll then live a normal life until he gets bored or upset and then he takes them out before repeating the process. What you have to understand is that for him to do this so often, a lot of people are just marrying him real quick. We don’t know how many times he’s pulled this off but it’s heavily implied that the scene we saw in the beginning of the film wasn’t the first time.

With the current family he is able to quickly get on Susan’s good side but her daughter Stephanie is a harder sell. She doesn’t like Jerry and isn’t happy about having to get used to him. Jerry needs to win her over quickly because he wants a perfect family and so if that doesn’t happen then she will have to go. Stephanie didn’t like Jerry from the start so unfortunately nobody takes her too seriously when she starts to say that he might be shady. After all that may just be sour bananas right?

It’s just a little hard to buy into the fact that all these widows are so desperate that they’d marry Jerry right away. During the film there’s a quick scene where he’s already starting to get his next life all set up and immediately after a few seconds of flirting it semes like he’s got his next victim all picked out. Cmon now, the film’s going to have to work a little harder to make that seem even slightly realistic. It’s an interesting gimmick for the main villain to have but it’s not too practical.

Now the whole film there is a guy named Jim who is on the case. This paragraph and the next 4 will have big spoilers so skip them if you haven’t seen the movie yet. I just have to dive in here because this character was just so bad. Whew……this guy was really bad. SO here’s what happens, he’s the brother of the last girl that Jerry took down for the count. He has follows the guy across the state and has narrowed his search down to a few people left. Finally he gets a definitive lead and knows exactly who he is looking for. So Jim goes to the house and yes he brought his gun with him. Jim sees that the door is open and everything is awful quiet. Okay that means Jim is ready right? He takes out his gun and just starts popping off??

No, Jim walks in and starts to look around. That’s when Jerry tries to sneak up on him but the door is so old that it makes a noise so Jim sees him. “Is that you sir???” Jim basically asks and Jerry just grins. “Long time no see Jim”…..and you figure Jerry is out of ideas and options because there’s nothing he can do. Jim has the gun and there is no element of surprise. There is absolutely nothing that Jerry can even hope to do in this situation. It’s all curtains, roll credits. Except…..that’s actually not what happens here.

See….Jim…..forgot to take his gun out of his pocket. Why…..I can’t even….what’s even worse is that Jim’s pocket is closed with a zipper and it gets jammed. Noooooooo

This is one of the most contrived moments I’ve seen in cinematic history. So Jim starts fumbling with the zipper while Jerry walks over and murders him. That’s just embarrassing. That’s not only awful writing in what was already a terrible movie but it makes no sense. Clearly the idea here was to subvert your expectations since the entire film has Jim running around looking for Jerry so you’re expecting the big payoff. No instead he gets neg diffed (Defeated with negative difficulty) and wastes his gun.

You need the full context here. Jim already knew what the guy looked like, he knew his address, and he knew that the guy just quit his job in the current alias which means he is about to murder his family. Jim’s the one who connected all of these dots earlier and even warned the cops. So he knows exactly what to expect and the door was open plus the house was eerily quiet. Why didn’t he already have his gun out? Why use a pocket with a zipper so you can’t take the gun out at a moment’s notice? Man………

Okay that’s it for spoilers. So back to the film, Jim’s a pretty awful character and I don’t need to talk about him much. Jerry’s bad which is pretty much automatic as one of those random serial killers. It’s not like there is any interesting motivations to his actions or anything like that. He’s just one of those lunatics so you’re waiting for him to get his at some point. He just tends to get lucky that his opponents are either not very smart, have 0 IQ, come in with no plan, or forget their own stories. He gets a lot of breaks here.

You’ve got the therapist Dr. Bondurant who seems decent at times but then tends to fumble. I appreciate that he’s proactive and tries to meet with Jerry but then he quickly starts making easy mistakes. Being obvious about his questions, forgetting his lies even though he just needs to bluff his way through 10 minutes, etc. This guy should have done way better and the way he goes out is just awful. Look, if you’re going to die anyway then at least try fighting back, jump out the window (They’re on the ground floor), tackle, do something. Instead he’s still trying to say that he’s not lying while he’s being stabbed. At that point nobody cares, certainly not the murderer. You need to fight back instead of hoping that he’ll stop.

As one of those films where you know Jerry is evil from the jump, it does always make for an interesting perspective. You get to really backseat drive the main characters here and their decisions feel even worse this way. I like the idea though even if it doesn’t do anything to save the film here. Stephanie is okay but unfortunately she did make it tough for anyone to believe her with how she never even gave Jerry a chance. I think she should have made a bigger deal about Jerry’s random episode in the basement but realistically almost anything she did would have had her get murdered anyway so I’m not sure it would have done much. At the end of the day when you’re a kid there’s not a whole lot you can do.

The film can be quite violent so you’ll want to give this one a pass if you’re not up for that. It definitely limits the film’s potential from the jump but in this case you also had to factor in the writing. Jerry also gets the family a dog and right away there were a lot of red flags. Now, the dog does escape initially when Stephanie gets home but I don’t recall the dog appearing after that in the ending. Did it survive or not? It’s hard to tell and at least from my recollection it didn’t feel definitive. I like to imagine that he did live for that result but the film was treading on very murky water there.

Overall, The Stepfather is a movie where the plot is hard to buy right from the start. Nobody is ever helpful in trying to take him down and if anything they’re just getting in each other’s way. There are no true standout characters and the film just doesn’t have much of a soul to it. If any of the characters were even remotely tough then you expect that they would have been able to do more here. It’s also why you probably want to really take your time in a relationship before you get serious. Not sure how much it would have helped in this case but to an extent I like to think the cracks in Jerry’s façade would have started to appear. It’s not like he’s the best actor with how he forgets who he is once in a while and even uses the wrong names in random conversations. He’s not all there so it’s not like he’s some kind of genius mastermind.

Overall 2/10

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Looks like Halloween is back once more with another installment in the series. It hasn’t had any good films yet and I wasn’t expecting this one to change things. Halloween 5 is a very by the books slasher where Myers is just taking down anyone who gets in his way. The characters just can’t get away from him anymore and should really go as far away from town as possible when it’s Halloween. Too bad the residents of this town aren’t nicer though as nobody seems to take Myers seriously until it’s too late. The movie plays out exactly as you would expect it too so don’t expect anything different here. The tagline may make you think that the town’s going to fight back or something but that was in Halloween 4, not 5.

So the film starts off by changing the last film’s ending a bit. Myers actually ended up surviving and falls into the river where he ends up in a coma for a year before waking up and murdering the guy who found him. I have to assume that this guy was insane for keeping Michael Myers at his place for a year and not doing anything about it. From the creepy set up though I assume the guy was probably another villain though so it all evened out. Well, now that it’s Halloween time again, Myers wants to destroy Jamie once and for all. Can he pull it off or will the cops manage to stop him?

Jamie’s not in a great place either though. After the events of the last film she was traumatized so hard that she can’t really talk anymore. Additionally, she has a psychic link where she can feel everything that the victims feel before Myers takes them out for good. It’s probably the worst kind of psychic link you could ever have since that means it’s like Jamie is murdered multiple times here. I don’t think there was much of a point to this plot because the psychic link randomly ends later on. That’s probably for the best for Jamie’s sanity. Her plot of not being able to talk also ends when the writers are done with it.

Jamie ends up being a very annoying character throughout thanks to this though. She never helps with the investigation and almost seems to protect Myers at some points. I don’t understand her in this film and if she’s conflicted then the movie should have given us a reason for this. Even near the end she tries to have an emotional moment with Myers before he just goes crazy again. It’s a terrible film for her that’s for sure.

It’s no better for Loomis though. He’s even crazier than usual here as he uses Jamie as bait more than once. He’s still yelling about Myers but since he has failed so many times I can see why nobody takes him seriously. There’s a man in a black cloak who even follows him into a house and could have murdered the guy but doesn’t for some reason. The absolute worst scene for Loomis though is when he breaks down and tries to hug Myers as if this unrepentant serial killer zombie would suddenly have a human moment.

The movie has a ton of crazy scenes like this throughout but this one really stood out to me because of how absurd the whole thing was. Nobody should know better than Loomis how crazy this guy is. A hug was never going to be in the cards. As for Myers himself, well the guy is about the same as always. He mindlessly goes around destroying everyone who gets in his way. He’s not completely mindless as he comes up with some plans like impersonating one of the teenagers he murdered. It’s not a super realistic disguise but it works so I guess it paid off. There just isn’t anything to know about Myers, he may as well be a robot with how automatically he tackles every task.

It almost goes without saying that the film is incredibly violent here. Someone is getting murdered at all times and usually in very intense ways. Jamie having the psychic link means that she also takes a ton of damage in the film even if it isn’t bloody since it’s in her mind. Then the film has the teenagers do their one night stand real quick just to force that into the movie as well. It’s a rather gritty movie all around and just feels less focused than some of the others. This one feels like they just needed another Halloween film and didn’t bother to come up with more of a plot.

If anything I was more interested in the shadowy figure the whole time. He only gets a few scenes but at least he adds the air of mystery to the film. He also has an impact on the ending which leaves the film on a nice cliffhanger. Horror films pretty much have to have a cliffhanger in each title and I can safely say that this one was on point. It’s not like it would make me be hyped for Halloween 6 but it’s a silver lining that I can grab onto.

The other human characters like Tina just don’t have a chance to do much. I would make the case that the heroines from the earlier films all had more character. For Tina you’re really just wondering if she will be able to make it to the end of the film or if she’ll be doomed. Either way at least she’s better than all the other randoms here. You have the guy who owns a car and is rude to everyone at all times. (Guy is ready to murder the others over his car) You have the best friend who doesn’t take anything seriously and then her guy who is just around for romance.

There are no human characters that are good here. You can barely even tell that one of the cops from the last film is still around. His daughter died in the last film so you figure he would have an axe to grind but the film really doesn’t pay him any mind at all. I think she is maybe referenced once at best. The other cops are even able to be tricked by Loomis and overpowered at gunpoint. Two others admit that they aren’t good cops and get clown music when they’re destroyed.

It’s such a random scene too. I don’t think this film is necessarily trying to go the comedic route but maybe they decided these characters would be an exception. There are also a ton of fake jump scares so get ready for those. Half the time the build up to these moments is all fake so after a while you will probably start tuning these moments out. Sometimes you’ll even have fake jump scares back to back which is certainly a bold approach.

Overall, This is a film I would definitely say to avoid. Halloween has never been a film series with any real quality but at least you usually felt like the stories had a real focus. This one just never seems to have any real point to it. One bright side is that the film really breezes by as a result but it’s definitely a sequel that adds nothing to the franchise. I would highly recommend avoiding this one as much as possible.

Overall 2/10

Cube Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Time for one of those death trap films where you have to survive until the end to win. Of course it won’t be very easy and if you know your genre well then it’s unlikely that more than 2 will survive. In fact, sometimes you can’t even expect 2 to make it. So as you watch the film you will be wondering just when these guys are gonna die. Unfortunately the film is pretty bad and doesn’t end up using the concept to its full potential.

The movie starts with all of the characters waking up in a mysterious Cube. Each room is lit up by the same 4-5 colors and it’s easy to get lost. The place seems to be endless as well which causes the characters to start cracking. Making matters even worse is the fact that many rooms have death traps installed within them. Can the heroes really find a way out of here or is it game over for them?

A movie like this is usually doomed as soon as you see the cast since the characters tend to be unlikable and this one is no exception. The characters always end up being either mean, evil, or complain a lot. They’re not ready for this kind of adventure and it’s why you always wish they would do a film with a group of trained professionals instead. For once it would be nice to see the characters not be panicking the whole time and actually just make the right calls when it counted. This isn’t that film though.

First you have Quentin who’s the worst character in the film. You know how his character arc is going to play out almost as soon as he starts talking. Maybe it’s an escape room type gimmick but you know that you’ve seen this character arc play out before. It’s a shame since the drama should really be focused on the literal death traps instead. Quentin’s scenes just get worse and worse as he film goes on which is a shame since it just drives the film lower and lower.

Granted, the film was always going to be a really low one. It’s a pretty violent film with the death traps everywhere and each death is always rather gruesome. One guy gets his face melted off, others are stabbed. There aren’t really any happy moments in the film. Since the characters started off already in the cube, we don’t even get a happy intro with the characters talking as they walked in an area for a test or something. The film is part mystery as they don’t even know why they are in the Cube in the first place.

Joan is effectively the main character here. She’s a math genius which really comes in handy here due to how the Cube works. The film throws a lot of twists about this but the key thing to remember is that as a trap/puzzle there is a right way to move around. If you find this method then you will end up going far and claiming victory. Of course it isn’t easy though. Joan definitely goes through quite a lot in the film. I wasn’t particularly a fan of hers either though. She complains a lot with the rest of the group and isn’t particularly nice to Kazan.

Nobody is safe from cracking in this film. Kazan is one of the biggest examples as the whole experience basically broke him completely. Unfortunately you feel like he’s just here to make everything more uncomfortable for the rest of the characters. One of the worst scenes is when he has to use the bathroom and it’s crude moments like that which will hold the film back even more. You don’t need anything like that in this film or any other.

David is the cynic of the group who thinks everyone is dead anyway so we may as well not try further. He is hiding some secrets which strengthen his case on why they shouldn’t do much but of course that’s not very helpful in trying to stay alive. He’s really not being helpful to the cast at all. Someone like this is just really annoying to have in the group spreading more negativity.

Helen also can’t stay focused as she talks about the government conspiracies and how someone is always watching. Her theories only serve to aggravate the rest of the characters even more. She seems nicer than most of the other characters at least even if she breaks down a lot. The only character who seemed likable was Wren. He wasn’t panicking and was at least making some moves in trying to get out of here. I can at least respect that.

But yeah this is the kind of film that’s just very mean spirited the whole time. It’s about throwing the cast into an unwinnable situation as you watch them all get bumped off and turn on each other. If the film had stayed about survival and didn’t go down the “Lord of the Flies” route then it would have been better. Likely not good of course but at least it would have been better. The death traps are all you need and everyone turning on each other is always one of the worst plot points.

In fighting is bad enough but the films always have to go way too far with it. If everyone was just upset at each other or snapping with insults that would be fine. It’s when they try to murder each other or go further that we have a problem. That’s most of the second half unfortunately because the characters figure out how to get around the traps reasonably early on and so after that the people are the real danger.

The ending is your classic horror ending so I won’t say how it goes but you aren’t expecting a happy ending here anyway. We get a few jump scares but the last one doesn’t even make any sense. I don’t see how this person would be here given what we just saw. That’s absolutely impossible, it’s just not going to happen and is here for pure shock value. The film simply couldn’t leave well enough alone and it makes the whole journey feel even more pointless.

Overall, This film is just pretty bad. There’s already not much to salvage within the sub genre when you take it to the horror extreme and this one lowers the bar further by adding all kinds of unnecessary plot elements. The only thing I would say for it is that the design of the Cube is rather solid. I liked the various colors and there were some decent background music tracks within. The mystery itself might compel you a bit but as the film goes on you get the sense that you’re not going to be getting any answers to it anyway. You will have your headcanon at least which will have to do. Of course with more films out you may get all of the answers there. I wouldn’t advise checking this film out or any of the sequels though.

Overall 1/10