Fright Night (1985) 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 a classic film about a vampire and they even throw in a werewolf and a zombie creature for good measure. As you may or may not know, I’m not typically fond of vampire films. The whole drinking blood aspect is always really iffy at best and they just aren’t my kind of villains. I wouldn’t say this film is really able to escape that. It has its moments to be sure but on the whole it really just devolves into a standard title in the genre. The main characters could have definitely handled some things a bit better as well.

The movie starts with Charley getting some next door neighbors. He’s initially excited about this but this turns into terror as he realizes that his next door neighbor is a vampire. See, people have been dying recently with their blood drained and as Jerry (the vampire) isn’t very subtle, he tends to take down his victims by the window. Additionally, Charley sees him store a body in the basement. He tries to tell the cops but this doesn’t work out and now Jerry is planning his revenge. Charley will need the help of his two school friends Amy and Ed as well as the TV vampire expert known as Peter to stop this guy. Will they be enough to stop Jerry or is it already too late for them?

I do have to say that while Charley started out decently with his explanation to the cop, he really fumbled towards the end. See, when you’re accusing someone of murder, it’s best not to start talking about vampires and such. Charley seemed to know that initially but Billy (Jerry’s right hand man) goads him into talking about the vampires. This makes Charley look crazy of course and so now all he has done is let the villains know that he is on to them. It’s not a great moment for Charley in the slightest.

In general the only thing I will give Charley credit for is believing his own lies and not being fooled into thinking that Jerry is normal. He knows Jerry is a vampire after all so it would have been crazy if someone had convinced him otherwise. There are limits to what he can do as a kid but he definitely should have warned his mother Judy ahead of time more about the neighbor. By the time he does, it’s far too late and the guy has broken in the house.

Charley’s romance with Amy is also rather sub par. I don’t think that element really needed to be in the film. Amy tends to get upset at the drop of a hat and Charley is way more interested in what’s going on outside than hanging out so it’s just not the right time for either of them. Amy’s loyal as she helps Charley out even when she doesn’t actually believe him. So at least she has that going for her there, but otherwise she’s a bit forgettable and she makes it too easy for Jerry to catch her at the party. Splitting up is never a good idea even if it wasn’t intentional there.

As for Jerry, well he talks tough but his abilities aren’t quite as tough as you would expect. Charley was able to wound him with ease and the guy has so many weaknesses that he would be doomed if not for Billy. Jerry’s motivations are also the kind that I don’t like for a villain in that he wants Amy as a bride. It’s not one of the more ambitious villain plots out there, that’s for sure.

He really gets outshined by Billy who ends up being the best character in the film. I like how completely sarcastic he is to Charley right from the first scene. He openly threatens the lead and always has a big grin on his face. Considering that Jerry has to hide throughout the night, Billy is really the one doing all the work. At one point the heroes get the upper hand on Jerry only for Billy to show up and toss them to the side. After all, he isn’t a vampire so the crosses and holy water don’t work on him. It was an intense moment to be sure and he even gets a plot twist by the end.

Then there’s Charley’s friend Ed but I use the term loosely. It doesn’t actually seem like they get along very well at all. Ed also seems really unhinged from the beginning. Finally, the guy makes one of the classic horror movie blunders when he decides to go into a dark alley by himself. Keep in mind that this is a bad idea under any circumstances. Even if Ed doesn’t believe in vampires, why go through this alley? It’s an incredibly long one due to how long he was walking so this was just a bad idea all around.

As for Peter, it takes longer for this guy to show up than I would have guessed. Initially he goes through the motions of not wanting to help the characters and being scared all of the time. Finally he steps up and does well once he gets into the swing of things. The guy is an adult so it makes sense that he could actually fight a bit. Peter was definitely a fun character and the best of the heroes but you do wish that he would have acted a bit sooner. The guy just hides in his house a lot until we get near the climax.

Finally you have Charley’s mother Judy who seemed like she would be a big character initially and then sort of vanished for the whole second half of the film. The reason was she had a late shift but because of that she misses out on the movie. Too bad since now she really won’t believe anything that went on. The film has a twist ending though so make sure you stick around. It ends things off on an epic note.

Fright Night isn’t really a film that you’ll find very memorable by the time you finish it. Billy was the most iconic part with how he changed up the usual vampire storyline. It’s rare to see a main villain that actually needs a bodyguard after all. The actual vampire scenes are still net negatives with the classic blood draining. Never was a fan of that. The final Werewolf transformation back into the human form was also way too drawn out pretty much as an excuse to make the whole thing even grittier. I’d prefer a streamlined transformation myself.

The characters also just aren’t that good which hurts. Even ignoring that the romance wasn’t handled well, Charley is easily distracted by a lady he sees through the window and it’s clear that he doesn’t think about Amy at all. This isn’t exactly the reliable guy you want to have by your side and that hurts him even more as the main character.

Overall, Fright Night is a title you’ll want to skip. I’ll give the film credit for snagging this title though, it’s catchy and memorable. The kind of title you figure must have a film at this point and so a lot of people will probably end up checking this out at some point or another. That being said, it just never grows out of the shadow of being a vampire flick.

Overall 3/10

The Prodigy 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

Whenever a film has a kid as the main villain it doesn’t tend to end well. I’ve seen quite a few horror films in my time and all of the ones in this particularly sub genre just tend to be awful. Well, this one is no exception and the main character makes a really awful choice at the end of the film. It all adds up to the point where you’re just waiting for the film to breeze by.

The movie starts with a serial killer finally being caught and destroyed by the police. Before dying he is able to quickly throw his soul into the unborn baby known as Miles. Sarah gives birth to him that day and at first Miles appears to be normal. Very quickly this shell begins to fade though as he shows a lot of violent tendencies. He talks in different languages and even eavesdrops on his parents using some equipment. John thinks they should send Miles away but he can’t have that. Can the two main characters figure out what is up with Miles before he tears their marriage apart? Also, does he have any big plans aside from general violence and mayhem?

For the plans bit, in the opening scene we find out that the cops stopped the killer right before he could get the final victim. So naturally he wants to even out the score. Fortunately as a kid it should be difficult to get close enough stop her. It goes without saying that he makes for an awfully petty main villain though. The guy doesn’t have much in the way of motive either, he just wants to destroy a bunch of women. This makes him a lousy villain by all accounts.

As for the kid himself, well it’s hard to tell when Miles is even around. Based on how the killer was there since the beginning, I’d make the case that Miles was probably taken out a long time ago. You just don’t know how long this guy may have been faking it or what lies he could have told. As a result you would have to assume Miles has been a plant for a very long time.

Meanwhile, I definitely did not like Sarah as the main character. Yeah it’s a tough spot having a kid who is being mind controlled by a serial killer but she goes way too far with her big plan. See, she is told that often times the spirit will move on if his goal is accomplished. This guy’s plan is to murder the final survivor so Sarah figures if she murders this victim, then the spirit will leave. This is messed up on a lot of levels.

For one, Sarah is helping out a serial killer and 2, she’s actually targeting a victim who is completely innocent in all of this? That’s just awful, one of the worst protagonist decisions I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s just disgraceful and there’s now way to like her after that. She reacts very slowly in the climax and there’s a lot of damage that is done because of her. That’s why in the end I just have to give her a thumbs down. There are some mistakes and decisions you just can’t make.

Meanwhile John handles the situation better. While he doesn’t believe in the supernatural elements of this, his decision to get Miles out of there at least made more sense. At this point Miles was even lying about the parents and trying to frame John. Depending on how far Miles would go (I’m using the name Miles in place of the killer. I forgot that guy’s name) John would even end up in prison at some point. We see from how Miles blackmails the psychologist that he is willing to go to any lengths so I’m sure it would have happened at some point.

The Prodigy also ends on a really sour note. It has the usual horror twist to an extent as things happen quickly in the last segments, but it’s certainly not in a cool way. You don’t really expect a horror film to end on a happy note but this just felt mean spirited in a lot of ways. It really should not have gone down like this and so you’ll walk away from the movie just feeling disappointed.

There aren’t a lot of things that the characters could have done differently to stop Miles. Part of the tricky thing about having a kid as the main villain is you can’t exactly beat him up or anything like that. I would have liked them to have at least tied him up though and call in some psychics. Usually I’d disregard most of them as quacks but in a world where spirit possession is possible then that should cause you to reconsider all of the magic practitioners in the area.

Unfortunately in these things there are never any heroic ghosts out there so the main characters can expect no backup. I’ve always said that this kind of film doesn’t work and this film just furthers the notions. None of the characters are likable and it’s hard to take Miles seriously as a villain. The “suspense” in the film is really just about seeing how he’ll mess everyone over next but as they can’t do much about this, it all just feels futile.

Overall, I’d give this one a hard thumbs down. There really just isn’t anything engaging about The Prodigy. I’ll give the film props for the stylistic cover but that’s about all I can say for it. Miles gives himself away quite early on as he yells obscenities in a foreign language but even that wasn’t enough for Sarah to do anything until it was too late. Then she made the wrong call in the climax so ultimately I guess there was never any hope. The best way for the franchise to recover is a sequel where Miles is now an adult and is being hunted by some kind of spirit detectives. Now there you would have an interesting premise to get behind.

Overall 1/10

Jacob’s Ladder Review

This review’s of the 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

Jacob’s Ladder is one of those films where you know something is off with the main character from the start and you have to decide exactly what is going on before the film starts to connect the dots. It’s a pretty interesting film with some fun ideas but one that is ultimately held back by the main character who is…sub par to say the least. Get ready for a lot of panicking!

The movie starts with Jacob and his team in Vietnam getting ready for their next mission when some kind of invisible weapon appears to hit them. His allies start having seizures and are seemingly destroyed by sound vibrations. The ones who escape are taken out by bombs and gunfire. Jacob is injured but seemingly lives as we cut to the present where he’s on a train. He must have fallen asleep and missed his stop but he’s seeing some rather odd things and when he leaves the train there is no exit. He’ll have to cross to get to the other side. Everything appears to be rather dim and the colors aren’t of this world. Fortunately he does make it home to his girlfriend Jezebel.

He works a normal job at the post office but his troubles aren’t over just yet. He begins to see more and more odd things like horns growing out of people, strange visions, dreams that keep on going, people that he thought he knew the other day are dead, etc. Jacob will need to get to the bottom of this quickly because there are also people trying to murder him in hit and run attempts but nobody will believe him. Something’s fishy about all of this.

I actually thought the opening scene where Jacob wakes up in the train was the most powerful moment in the entire film. Mainly because it does feel like a dystopian moment from a video game. Everything just feels off from how the train itself looked to the old lady that wouldn’t say anything, to even the color that the camera was using for the shot. It had an elseworlds feel to it and that worked really well. With the movie being called Jacob’s ladder and all, it also made sense that he likely died at Vietnam and was now in some kind of purgatory realm.

Depending on the rules of purgatory that the film would be following, this meant that it would be almost a complete replica of Earth, but with a few added twists to make Jacob’s life a real struggle by the end. The film slowly starts to show what is actually happening by the end of the film and it’s not exactly what I thought based on the opening scene but it was a great way to open things up. Unfortunately the film just couldn’t maintain that level of success.

It slows down a whole lot once Jacob gets back home. I wasn’t nearly as interested in the whole government conspiracy angle for once. I love that stuff ordinarily but I don’t see why Jacob assumes this is from the government. I mean, as the film plays out this does start to get more and more likely but it doesn’t really connect with what he’s seeing. Jacob literally sees people with no face, people growing tails, demonic imagery, horns on people’s heads, etc. How could the government be pulling all of that off?

I think his first guess should have been that something is wrong and he should also be connecting why he can’t remember how the Vietnam mission ended. Shouldn’t that start giving him some different conclusions? Well, no matter how he got to the result, he does make some headway but of course if the government is on this then you can bet that he won’t be able to get far.

My issue with Jacobs is that he’s really not a likable main character. You feel bad for him with all of the nightmares that he constantly has, but he doesn’t help his case either. For one thing, he has dreams where his first wife is alive and of course he starts bashing his new girlfriend and being happy it was all a dream. So does he really like her or is she truly a rebound only because his wife is dead? Seems to me like the film is heavily implying that this is the latter.

My issue with Jacobs here is that he’s perfectly content in either life, whether it be the “real world” or the dream world so no matter who he is married to, he’s cool with it. Seems to me like he’s a very indecisive main character in that respect and on the whole the romance here is extremely weak. Then he just doesn’t seem very grateful to Jezebel considering how much she is helping him out. When he’s sick she quickly runs to the neighbors and gets everyone ready to help him. She puts in a ton of work and never gets any real gratitude from Jacobs.

He’s just too busy sulking or being fixated on the whole conspiracy angle and he should really be including her in all of this instead of pushing her away. If he thinks she may have been replaced with one of the demons then just get out of the area entirely but you can’t be half on the fence and half out of it on something like this. Even by the end I would make the case that Jacobs makes the wrong call in the very final scene.

As mentioned, Jezebel is a solid heroine. She has to put up with a lot from Jacobs but always seems to make the best of it. She is at least trying her best through these tough circumstances and just seems like a likable person. Then you have Louis who is a good chiropractor whose techniques seem extremely painful. He seems to be one of the only guys that Jacob really trusts. Louis seems like a good man though and does help Jacob whenever he is in a pinch.

The final main character here is Michael who shows up out of nowhere to an extent to give all of the revelations on the conspiracy plot. Honestly Jacob got really lucky with this because when he got that random phone call to go meet with him one on one that seemed like a trap under any circumstance. I would even say Jacob wasn’t smart in going there since there’s no way that should have ended well. Jacob doesn’t tend to think ahead like that though.

The film is mainly a psychological thriller as opposed to a physical one but it does tend to get a little violent when we get the Vietnam flashbacks or Jacob’s tough venture in the hospital room. Lets just say that you don’t want to find yourself being operated on my some monsters. I could do without the romance scenes as well and really the film’s biggest drawback is that it didn’t live up to the full potential. Now while the film’s end result is different from what I imagined, it still could have used a little more activity. Cut some of the scenes where Jacob is convinced that he is still in a normal world and keep up the suspenseful atmosphere of the opening scene.

Okay spoilers time. I’m going to discuss what my theory was and then what I think the film went with. It’s a little subjective and open to interpretation but this is what I got out of it. Skip the next three paragraphs if you have not watched the film yet.

So after the opening scene my theory was that Jacob died in Vietnam. His soul was sent to purgatory and he has to hopefully find his way out instead of being dragged to hell. Louis was his guardian angel who went to Purgatory to save him. An unspoken agreement in most purgatory settings is that neither the angels nor demons can tell you that you’re in purgatory and the lead must ultimately come to that revelation by himself. It would explain why the world was so weird and of course Jezebel was one of the demons with the whole party scene. It would have been interesting if the film kept this up as opposed to a more grounded explanation and all of the set up was there.

Now as to what the film actually did. So at the end of the film we learn that Jacob hadn’t actually been dead yet and was just gravely injured. So instead of purgatory it seems like the whole film was just in his mind. It wasn’t so much a battle of angels and demons as it was a battle of Jacob’s will to live and will to die. Presumably the whole government conspiracy about the team getting injected and turning on each other may have been true although I don’t think we can say that for certain. It would explain his flashbacks though and honestly its a better explanation than not having it so I would include that. As to the demon heads and flashbacks, well that could just be the drugs invading his dreams or his soul was sent to purgatory prior to death. The first explanation still works but it’s just a lot messier. Honestly I would just cut out the scene of him dying to show that he was dead the whole time. It’s like the film missed an easy layup there. The plot works perfectly if he was already dead. Him dying at the end…I mean it’s not like it can’t work but it overcomplicates the example more than necessary.

Both sides fighting over a soul when he’s near death is an established concept so it’s not bad per say I just find it far less interesting. Of course by following the kid up the stairs that meant Jacob chose death over life. If he was already dead, it would be him choosing heaven over hell. A much more powerful choice and in that case going up the stairs would be the right choice. In this case, I think life is the right choice so he should have picked that. You could make the case that the choice wouldn’t have been life, but staying in purgatory but my pushback would be that the film showing he had been alive up to that point hints that he would have stayed alive. It’s an interesting scenario to ponder and maybe it doesn’t make a lot of difference in the end. The film just could and should have been a lot more exciting than how it turned out.

End spoilers

Overall, Jacob’s Ladder is a unique film. While the first half destroys the second, I wouldn’t say it completely falls down the stairs. It has to be the first time where a government conspiracy plot wasn’t one of the best parts of the film though. It just feels like filler here and almost unnecessary. I suppose Jacob would have had less to do otherwise but I would have just thrown in some more demons and chase scenes to keep things interesting. If you want to watch effectively a darker version of Inception then this would be the one to pick but I would just say to watch Inception again instead.

Overall 3/10

Eyes Without a Face Review


When you’ve got a title like this you know that something’s going to be happening to someone’s face. It certainly builds up the sense of dread as you wonder what’s going to happen next. The film is definitely going for an ominous feel as there are long stretches of silence but ultimately the film just doesn’t land and I would give this one a thumbs down.

The movie starts with Louise tossing a body into the river on behalf of Genessier so nobody will suspect a thing. See, Genessier’s daughter was in a bad accident a while back and so her face is quite disfigured. He has decided to try getting someone else’s face to use in her place but no luck yet. Each face just hasn’t worked and he aims to continue performing these experiments. The cops notice that girls are going missing but they have no leads at present. Can they figure out what is going on before more bodies continue to pile up?

It’s your classic evil scientist scenario here with Genessier trying to justify what he is doing in the name of science and helping his daughter but the guy’s just crazy. He doesn’t feel anything with murdering all of these innocent bystanders and was also running experiments on his dogs. Definitely checks off all the boxes for this kind of insane villain. You’re just hoping the heroes can put an end to him before too much goes on.

While this isn’t the kind of film that has a lot of deaths or anything like that, we do get a rather brutal surgical scene where someone’s face is removed. That almost seems out of place in what is otherwise a very tame film. It certainly sets the stage for how this guy is insane though. You’ll want to tune out for this moment but otherwise there aren’t many other intense moments like that. Someone does jump off of a building (Well more like pushed) at one point though and we see the aftermath.

It goes without saying that Genessier just doesn’t make for a great villain because we’ve seen a million evil scientists before and most of them were more interesting. The goal of wanting to help his daughter could have made him more interesting but that plot point isn’t played up as much as it could have been. If anything this seems more like an excuse and Genessier was going to do whatever he wanted anyway. This just gave him his justification for going the extra mile.

Christiane is the daughter in question and she’s had a rough time of it because her face was severely injured after the car crash. She seems to have lost a lot of her empathy over time though as she just watches Genessier murder these innocent women. She finally steps up near the end of the flick which was good but it was just so late into the game.

Meanwhile you have Jacques who was engaged to Christiane but believes her to be dead after Genessier framed that situation. He comes in handy since he is the one who starts to tip off the police but unfortunately he doesn’t have a lot of evidence and doesn’t investigate the situation as much as he should have. If not for Christiane taking the situation into her own hands then he ultimately wouldn’t have ended up helping out all that much.

Louise is Genessier’s right hand woman and she is certainly devoted to the cause of helping him out. No matter how corrupt he gets, she is willing to do the dirty work. We learn that he helped heal her face in the past but you’d like to think that she would have still stopped him once he became a mass murderer. Devotion being placed into the wrong person is always quite tragic. No excuses for her, she’s just as guilty as he is.

Finally you have Paulette who is used as bait by the police to try and see what’s going on here. Unfortunately they don’t do a very good job of this. It’s always a bit irritating when you use someone as bait but don’t actually have someone around to help if things go sideways. They didn’t think to have at least one officer outside to make sure that she got home all right? That seems like a really big oversight into the entire plan. By all accounts Paulette would have been dead if there wasn’t some outside help.

The Inspector loses some points there but otherwise he was a fun character. In a way he reminded me of Poirot, not just because their names were similar but he had those kinds of mannerisms too. The guy seemed to know what he was doing so the plan being so bad was an outlier I suppose. Ideally this would have made the doctor even more of a suspect later on but by then it would just be too late.

This film goes through the motions of being an evil scientist film and the pacing is decent, but ultimately I would not say that it was a good movie. The surgery scene is iffy and seeing the before and after pictures of the face can also be a bit disturbing. The Doctor gets away with a whole lot here and while it was nice to see him taken down by the dogs at the end, you feel like he got away with way too much before the film was over.

I will give the film credit in one area though which is that the soundtrack was actually rather decent. There’s a circus theme that plays several times during the film and it’s actually the villain theme. You wouldn’t really guess that at first since it seems so upbeat but maybe that’s to show just how shady these villains really are. That to them, murder and kidnapping is as normal a thing as going to a circus. Perhaps that is reading too much into it though.

Overall, Eyes Without a Face is one of those films that reiterates why you must not lower your guard too much around strangers. If someone asks to show you a possible place to live and then tells you to get into the car…it’s not a good idea. Going anywhere at the drop of a hat when nobody knows where you are going is not a good idea. It was a safer time in this era but at the same time it’s why so many crimes would happen. Based on how easily the characters would follow total strangers, it seems like people were too relaxed. Give this film a pass and check something else out instead.

Overall 3/10

Alien: Covenant 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’s time to take a look at the final Alien film on the block. It’s the film to end the franchise so this should be pretty intense right? Well, it definitely brings back the Xenomorphs which is cool and it continues on with a lot of the story elements from Prometheus. That said, some questionable decisions near the end shoot the momentum that the film had going for it.

The movie starts with a quick flashback scene where David effectively threatens his creator by talking about his eternal life and all that. The creator looks shook but still manages to keep his cool. In the present, the android Walter is overseeing a new ship known as the Covenant which is on a mission to land on a planet where humans can colonize again. Unfortunately a solar flare knocks the ship for a loop so Walter is forces to wake up members of the crew.

Naturally they aren’t too happy about this and take shots at Walter…of course. The captain burned up in his pod so now we have to have a replacement leader known as Christopher who is determined to get off on the wrong foot with everyone. Not only does he forbid a funeral for the very well liked captain but he is on a major power trip right off the bat. Yeah this is definitely not the kind of guy that you want in your corner. A human signal is received from a nearby planet that hints there may be life there. Christopher decides to land here instead of the safe planet that was previously scouted out and while there is some opposition, he makes a command decision.

A scouting party lands on this planet but shortly afterwards their craft is destroyed so they’re stranded here. The main ship won’t be able to dock for a few days due to the storm so now the heroes have to try and survive on this planet for a while. It’s filled with alien creatures though and the mysterious David has returned from the first film. Is he friend or foe? Can they really trust him? The heroes will have to think about this carefully because otherwise they’re going to be in a tough spot if they guess wrong.

This is definitely one sequel that’s doing its best to be bigger than the last one. Sequels have a rep of trying to outdo the last ones after all and this lives up to it. That does mean that the violence is at an all time high though. I would consider this to be the most violent Alien film although it’s probably close. As always the characters are completely slaughtered here once the aliens show up. They just don’t stand a chance and the thing is, you know this. There’s no way out for the humans to fight back especially without proper gear.

The chestbursters are back of course, definitely still the most vicious of the creatures. One character in particular acts like a bit of a sucker with how he approaches one though. Why put your face so close? I don’t care what the other characters say I wouldn’t be going near that thing. So if you want to avoid the ultra violence you’d want to skip this one right off the bar.

Then there is also David who was my favorite character in Prometheus but my least favorite one here. The film’s going for a very philosophical angle with his character but one that doesn’t work. He was a crafty villain in the first film to be sure but in this one he discusses the difference between androids and humans and tries to be all high concept. What it boils down to though is him trying to be as immoral as possible as that’s what it takes to be one of the creators. The scene with him and Walter, then him and Katherine are both pretty awful. This guy suddenly turns into a Sword Art Online villain and while the guy may lack emotions on the surface, I would say he’s developed them by this point with how he gets upset.

They just changed him from being a cool villain who enacts his plans in secret to one that is a lot bolder but more in a demented way. I wasn’t a fan of how that played out. He still is in the best scene of the film though when Walter shows up for round 2 and they have a fight. I didn’t expect there would be a fight between androids in an Alien film but that worked out quite nicely. It was a good battle that really went back and forth.

David does also add a lot of suspense into the film. As the only survivor on the planet you’ll be wondering what happened to Elizabeth and also how he has survived for so long. You’ll likely start figuring out the answers to that pretty quickly. There is an interesting flashback with the Engineers as well which was intense. In a way the humans from Prometheus may have been right about them creating humanity although to this day I still find their assumptions to have been rather large ones. They could have just been a random species that visited Earth a bunch of times right? Either way their planetary defenses need a lot of work.

The humans aren’t always great at being prepared for things either though. In Prometheus at least they waited to take off their suits and masks until they did a readout of the air. In this film they take off the suits almost immediately and surprise…one of them gets contaminated by a nearby plant that gets into his system. I mean that should be basic protocol for visiting a new planet right? Who knows what kinds of flus, bugs, and such this place would have. It felt a little lazy on their part. You’d expect better from the last hope of humanity.

As mentioned earlier, Walter makes for a fun character. This time we have an android who doesn’t have as much emotions and such so he is a bit more trustworthy. Like in the first film I feel like the characters are a bit antagonistic to him for no reason but it’s not quite as drastic. Walter shrugs off the blows and keeps going though. He does well against the alien in one skirmish although I feel like he should have taken more of an active role in the battles and that would have helped the team out a lot.

Meanwhile you have the new lead Katherine who is a solid character. She thinks this is a bad idea from the start and it’s hard to blame her since this planet has a huge storm going on and seems ultra suspicious. Once they’re on the island it’s not like there is a whole lot that she can do so she gets credit for doing her best.

Then you have Christopher who is just impossible to like here. He does a really poor job of giving out orders as the captain. He puts people in unnecessary danger and splitting up the crew so soon wasn’t a good idea. I was a much bigger fan of Tennessee who always put doing the right thing ahead of the rules. He would have made for a much better captain. Even once he loses his primary reason for dashing to the planet, he doesn’t hesitate to hurry as much as he can. This was a guy who was in control of his emotions.

A lot of the other characters were really below average though. First you have the two characters who figure it’s the best time to quickly have a shower affair even though they’re on an alien planet. Seems like just a really quick way to throw in some fanservice and both characters had huge red flags the whole time. Then you have the member of staff who locks in one of the girls with the creature. By the time she opens the door it’s naturally too late. Not only did this character choke under pressure but she made sure that someone else died as well which makes this mistake even worse.

I was just not a big fan of the characters here. That may be intentional to a point so you don’t feel bad when the aliens wreck them all but even in a horror film I think you should try to have a good main cast. The main positive here would be that it’s nostalgic to see the Xenomorphs. They look as fierce as ever and maybe even a bit stronger than they used to be. The sheer strength one of them had even as a baby was really impressive.

Then the film does have a really effective ending. You feel bad for any survivors because things are probably not going to go very well for them. In these films it’s often best to die quickly and painlessly early on because the more you survive the worse things get. Horror films should always have some kind of twist and this one was handled really well.

Overall, Alien: Covenant is probably the most intense installment in the series which is really saying something at this point. It makes for an interesting survival mission at times but the first half really destroys the second. Initially landing on the planet and trying to survive is always compelling. The second half devolves more into everyone just getting ripped apart or being played for fools. If you can get past the violence and are a big Alien fan then you’ll enjoy this one but otherwise it’s time to abandon ship!

Overall 1/10

The Hypnotic Eye Review


Well, it’s time for a film about hypnosis and as I always chuckle at the concept it means that I have a hard time taking the villain here seriously. Every hypnosis I’ve ever seen in real life has been woefully underwhelming and ineffective. So in a film I’m just trying to tell the characters to stand their ground but in the end they just end up getting wrecked all the same. Throw in the fact that all of the characters make a lot of iffy decisions here and things don’t end well for them.

The film starts with a lady effectively committing suicide by burning her head and we find out that she is just the latest in a string of victims like this. The only common element is that they were all women. All of them seemed to not know what they were doing until it was too late. Dave’s been on the case for a while but he just can’t figure out what is going on here. On a completely unrelated note, there is a new hypnotist in town who has been really impressing the masses with his skills.

He only performs tricks on women and can use hypnosis to have them perform fantastic feats. Dave doesn’t believe in this nonsense though so when his girlfriend Marcia has him take her to a show he is bored beyond belief. After Marcia’s friend Dodie is used for one of the tests and commits an act of terror against herself, Marcia is convinced that the hypnotist Desmond is to blame. The trick is that she will need to prove it and of course Dave isn’t buying into it. Will she be able to stop him?

There are a lot of things to be annoyed about in this film. One of those things is certainly that Dave isn’t piecing the puzzle together or even trying to. Now I get why he is skeptical of the hypnotism itself since I don’t buy into it but when the bodies start piling up then you have to make a move. Maybe he’s using some kind of trick or blackmail but it does seem obvious that Desmond is at the center of this. Instead Dave prefers to be rather passive about the whole thing.

He also doesn’t trust Marcia much at all. Her plan is to allow herself to get hypnotized (Or at least appear to be) while Dave and Philip watch over her from afar. The problem is that since Dave believes there is no chance she could be mind controlled, he just thinks she is cheating on him and quickly jumps to conclusions. He even wanted to abandon her in Desmond’s house because of this apparent betrayal and his friend Philip has to talk him out of this.

Later on Philip heads home to play the piano though and Dave leaves anyway. These two are absolutely the last people you would want to have your back because they really didn’t. Marcia easily could have died in the time it took to actually get serious about this and came very close to that point. It was more luck than anything that saved her in this film so Dave loses a tremendous amount of points. When your skepticism interferes with your job then you know it’s gone too far.

I also have to take points away from Philip. At least he believed Marcia a lot sooner but he wasn’t really doing anything about it. Again, the guy went home to play the piano so that tells you the level of determination that he had. Meanwhile Marcia’s friend Dodie gets the short end of the stick. It’s always rough being the friend to the main characters because your odds aren’t great of making it to the end. In this case she has to go through quite a lot. Dodie was a nice character so it’s a shame that things didn’t go better for her.

Then we have Marcia who is a decent heroine. I do like that she was proactive about trying to stop Desmond but her plan was extremely risky. Much like how I don’t like the ole plan of “Lets get captured on purpose” putting herself in a position to be mind controlled does not seem worth it. This guy has seemingly mind controlled a ton of people over the years so what would make her so special? I just don’t think she thought this one through quite as much as she should have and ultimately it came back to bite her. She very nearly didn’t make it this time.

As for the villains, well Desmond is not impressive at all. There are some twists for his character and they just make him look worse and worse. The guy just could not keep up with the other characters and he’s not much of a mastermind. At least he does get a quick action scene where he tries to use the eye on Dave and Philip but they’re able to power through. That was the closest the film got to actually having a Shonen moment of breaking through with pure willpower.

As for Justine she’s another one of the villains and her motivations are rather petty the whole time. I won’t say why she wants to get rid of all the ladies but lets just say that it’s not a whole get rich quick scheme or trying to rule the world. It’s a much more personal angle and one where you realize that her goal will never be complete because there are too many targets.

The Hypnotic Eye really just ends up failing because the heroes take way too long to confront Desmond and the characters are annoying. Dave really shouldn’t be getting so jealous when Marcia keeps trying to say that there is mind control at play. Any and all affairs with Desmond are rather cringeworthy due to the hypnosis in effect. The heroes should have broken that up a lot sooner if you ask me.

It’s hard to even say this film is in any genre. Thriller and horror don’t quite work for me because the film is more on the low key side. The only intense moments are when we see the victims and realize that once again there has been a whole lot of damage already. Suspense might be the best genre to pick here I suppose. The writing’s not bad but I think the story needed some more elements here to keep the film interesting as well as to give a plausible reason for why Desmond could keep practicing in the state. Not believing in hypnosis just isn’t enough of a reason if you ask me considering how many people were dying mysteriously. That alone should have cancelled the shows for a while.

Overall, The Hypnotic Eye is a film you can safely skip. It doesn’t really bring anything to the table so by sidestepping it you will actually be doing yourself a favor. Hypnosis just doesn’t tend to make for a great plot device and the whole time you’ll be shaking your head at how slowly the characters make any progress here. The scene of the heroes heading home to play the piano and sulk is probably one of the most surreal moments in a while.

Overall 3/10

The Dead Zone 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 likely be more negative.

With a title like Dead Zone you are probably thinking of another world or a haunted area kind of movie. Well this one’s more about the block of time that the lead has to change the future. Of course this is difficult when you have no other superpowers since you have to really hope that your persuasion skill is on point. Otherwise nobody will believe you and bad things may ensue.

The movie starts with introducing us to Johnny who is a teacher that enjoys his job. He has a good position and a nice girlfriend in Sarah so everything is going well. One day he walks her home in a downpour and she reminds him to drive safely. With all of these red flags at the ready, Johnny embarks on this car ride and sure enough it ends up being a rather dangerous one. He crashes and falls into a coma for 5 years. When he wakes, Johnny is under the care of Dr. Sam and the guy explains that Johnny should be able to walk again soon.

Unfortunately this won’t be such a simple adventure for him as we find out that Sarah ended up marrying somebody else in the meantime. Additionally, Johnny now has super powers which allow him to see into the memories of anyone he touches. So if he grabs someone’s hand he can see a part of their past or future. It’s an incredibly useful ability in the right hands and a dangerous one in others. Can Johnny manage to utilize this well?

In a way the film serves as an anthology as he tries to help different people out whether by seeing the future or seeing the past. It’s a very versatile skill of his but you have to hope that he knows whether he is watching the future or the past as otherwise that could get a little tricky for him. Fortunately in the film all of the visions are obvious in that they are the past or future based on what is seen in the vision so that part isn’t really an issue.

Unfortunately Johnny is the wrong person to get these abilities. He was already a little unstable after waking up and this just made the issues even more pronounced. For starters, he cracks very quickly so when one reporter starts asking the hard questions Johnny goes straight into threatening mode. Then you have the mass murderer on the loose and Johnny decides not to help for a while.

Now granted, this is more understandable than the earlier panic attack because as part of how the powers work, he effectively relives the memory as a third party which can be pretty traumatic since he knows how the victims died. At least he does make the right call in the end even if he probably did get too aggressive in following the police officer. If he had stayed at his post and kept the mom under control then he would have been in the clear as far as injuries go.

Johnny also has a hard time letting go of his old flame Sarah to the point where she pretty much has a one night pity stand with him. Both of them are massively to blame on this because she’s married and both of them know it. Johnny really needed to find someone else because the 5 years may have felt like a day to him but it really wasn’t. Sarah is no longer on the market and so he shouldn’t even be trying for her.

Of course for Sarah this is inexcusable as well. There’s no way she should have even gone to his house if she had these intentions and bringing the kid along makes it even worse. It’s fully acknowledging that she is in a family and she is still doing this. As a result I would definitely say that the romance in this film is quite lacking. That aspect definitely could and should have been cut out since it doesn’t serve any purpose in the film other than to make the characters more unlivable.

So Sarah was no good and as you’ve probably guessed I didn’t like Johnny either. He doesn’t handle any of the situations very well at all. The security officer was good though, he was willing to try anything to put the mass murderer to justice. I’m sure he got a lot of heat for trying to use a psychic but that’s just how much he wanted to put this guy behind bars. He gets a lot of credit here.

Dead Zone holds itself back with how it has to add unnecessarily dark details though. The perfect example of this is how the victims die. Just have them be murdered in a normal way. That would be standard and would still capture all of the themes that the movie was trying to convey. Instead we are told they died in an incredibly gruesome way and it’s just details that we didn’t need to know and that should not have been included. It’s the extra details that tend to trip up films like this so sometimes just keep your plots general and it’s for the best.

In general Dead Zone isn’t even a super dark film. The case with Johnny trying to help the piano kid has a dark end but there is a silver lining in that he was able to help the main kid. So I wouldn’t consider it to be a very dark plot but has more of an ominous feeling since Johnny now knows exactly what his powers can do. This leads up to the final arc where he really begins to use his powers more actively. He comes up with a whole plan and everything. The fact that he is completely untrained and nearly comes out on top shows how different security was back then. You’re not getting anywhere close to the area with a big shotgun nowadays.

As for Stillson he’s a decent final boss to the movie. He certainly has a lot of ambition and keeps the characters in check. The scenes with him suddenly switch the whole movie to more of a gangster/mob type film which is interesting. Stillson has a lot of presence and makes for a good villain. I wouldn’t have minded seeing some more of him because he was just that interesting. The vision of the future also shows just how far he would have ultimately gone for his ambitions.

Dead Zone isn’t very violent for the most part. The early case with the mass murderer is really the only one with violence like when they catch the villain and of course the victims. The rest of the film is rather mild in that respect. The soundtrack isn’t all that memorable but I did like the camera effects for when Johnny was in a vision. It was a good way to quickly tell if you were in the present or somewhere else.

Overall, Dead Zone has an interesting premise since who wouldn’t like to have telepathic abilities right? Pure future sight isn’t super handy in this case though since you can’t use it on yourself and the film makes a decent case for why you would really not want to have this ability. If you just cut out the first case then I would say this was actually a decent film. Throw that in as well as Johnny’s relationship with Sarah and the cracks not only show themselves within the film but they burst it wide open. As a result I wouldn’t recommend checking this film out. Go watch something else instead.

Overall 3/10

Predator 2 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

All right, it’s time to re-enter the world of the Predator. Much like Halloween III, this one feels a lot different from the other Predator films. Well, as the second one there hadn’t been more than one at the time but knowing about the newer films, this one just doesn’t have that survival vibe that the others had. If anything the gangs take up a decent chunk of this film’s run time.

So there have been a lot of gang fights lately which isn’t really abnormal for the neighborhood. Harrigan is trying to keep the peace as always and breaks up fights when need be. Lately the murders have been a lot more violent though and Harrigan suspects that a new player is in town. The murder methods are very creative though so whoever is doing this should be feared. The problem is that a high ranking government official known as Peter shows up and seems to be trying to make sure that Harrigan doesn’t get any more info on the case. What is he hiding?

Whenever the government is hiding something in these films you can bet that it’s important. The most annoying thing for Harrigan is likely the knowledge that if his team had known about the true threat from the start then things could have gone differently. I’m sure the Predator would have still murdered a bunch of people but it’d be nice to know that you are fighting an alien right away than going after street thugs right?

I also feel like Peter just didn’t handle the situation well. He becomes useful by the end of the film but keeping secrets just really didn’t benefit the heroes in the long run. His squad was woefully unprepared for the Predator as it is. At least Harrigan knows how to fight and chase the villains down. Now granted, when we get the inevitable fight between the Predator and Harrigan it is a little hard to see how the human was doing so well. Granted, the Predator got injured and they aren’t as strong as Xenomorphs but I felt like Harrigan should have lost the fight.

As it is, in the first film the main character was mostly losing in the physical confrontations and that guy seemed way more powerful physically than this lead. Predators should be stronger than humans anyway, they have super armor and are just built different. They have camouflaged tech and can plan things out as well. In theory there is no way the Predator should lose even when vastly outnumbered.

This does give us an exciting climax though so that part’s good. It’s nice to see the Predator ship and we even a foreboding ending with Harrigan setting us up for film 3. Of course, with a planet as big as Earth, the Predators will probably pick a new location to hit up next time since they never seem to go to the same place twice.

The humans aren’t super memorable. Peter and Harrigan are really the main guys here. I still say Peter’s secrets weren’t very helpful in keeping people alive but Harrigan did well in staying on the case until he got his answers. Jerry was a solid newcomer to the group. He’s a hot shot and initially you figure the guy is all talk but he actually proves himself in every instance of the film. He tails the villain without their realizing it, he is quick on his feet and the scene where he takes on the reporter was really solid. I like how smoothly he took that guy down.

Where the film falters is really with the gang elements. Nobody really cares about all this in fighting with the gangs just murdering each other. We want to see the Predator and of course he does murder all of those guys with ease but you could really take out the whole gang plot and that would be even better. Have Predator be the only villain and his mere presence is scaring everyone. That level of terror would really establish the Predator as one of the big bads to watch out for. instead he’s sharing time and while the gangs are no threat to him, why even have them around?

The film is naturally rather violent as the characters tend to get ripped apart by the Predator. It’s not quite at the level of Halloween or something like that but it doesn’t make for a pretty sight. The only death that was more stylistic than violent was when the Predator takes out King Willy. Now that scene was effective because it showed that even the city’s greatest swordsman couldn’t take him down. I’m not sure exactly how skilled the guy was but he knew about the supernatural elements and at least faced off against the Predator. Even if he didn’t end up putting any kind of fight, at least he was ready for action which is more than you can say for a lot of the characters.

The idea of having the Predator attack a city isn’t a bad one but this movie just didn’t utilize the idea very well. This should be exciting and nerve wrecking as the cops have to step in and fight the Predator. Instead you can easily forget that this is a big down at times. It’s all quite dusty and you can almost feel the heat wave that is taking place in the film. Everything feels dusty and isolated. The town is also so far gone with all of the crime everywhere that it isn’t really the big city experience you would hope for. The writing isn’t impressive nor is the cast. A film can’t really win under those circumstances.

Overall, Predator 2 is definitely a step down from the first film. I also don’t really get the point of the Predator here. It makes sense that one would test his limits in the forest, but a random city? I suppose the idea is that by beating all of the mobsters the Predator will prove that he is the strongest in the land but the actions almost feel aimless at times. He’s also moving rather slowly with the kills so you wonder what he is doing to kill time every day. If the cast was more likable and the violence was toned down then maybe you would have something here. Instead this ends up being more of a forgettable horror title. We don’t even get a true twist ending here. It ends on a note where you know sequels are on the way but nothing that really pops out at you. If you want to check out a Predator adventure, just watch the first one instead.

Overall 2/10

The Client Review


The Client is one of those films where you have different factions who are both technically good guys but they’re at odds with each other so you have to choose who to root for. Meanwhile the real villains are still on the loose so you have to hope that the heroes can take them down in time. The Client is definitely a solid film, one that would have been even better if the main character was older but still good all the same.

The movie starts with Mark and his brother Rick out in the woods when they see a guy trying to destroy himself using fumes from his car. Mark decides to prevent this from happening but ends up being caught. Fortunately he is able to escape right as the guy is blown up but this traumatizes Rick so that he can no longer talk. This ends up being a big deal because the guy who destroyed himself had the big testimony that was going to seal the case for Reverend Roy. Roy figures that he may have told the kid the location of the missing body that would be the ultimate proof to convict one of the gang heads known as Muldano.

Mark is approached by the mob and told not to say anything though or they will destroy him and his family. As evidence of their sincerity they burn down his home but of course nobody can prove it. Mark figures that he will need an attorney and hires a lady named Reggie. She is nice enough to be doing this case for free but how much can she help Mark when the guy is keeping so many secrets from her? The trial is in a few days so everyone is on the clock.

The Mob and Roy both want to be the first ones to the body to destroy or salvage it and they each have a hurdle here. The Mob knows where the body is but have a hard time getting past security to find it. Roy wouldn’t have that trouble since he is security but doesn’t know where the body is. That’s why the whole situation with Mark keeping the secrets tends to be annoying. I’m often not a fan of kids being the main character in a film like this and this movie really reinforces why that is the case.

There are a lot of scenes here where if Mark was a grown up then the film would have ended early. Strike a deal with Roy to enter the witness protection program or something and then tell him about the body. That would have been the best way to do things and would have ended the film in minutes. The problem is that he won’t tell anyone including his own attorney. I thought Mark was very ungrateful to her considering that she doesn’t even need to be helping him. Reggie does everything that she can but Mark tends to storm off every other scene instead of actually helping.

Suffice to say, he was one of the worst characters in the film. Any scene with him was one where he was impeding the legal process and just putting everyone into more danger than they needed to be. Reggie would have wrapped this whole thing up a lot sooner otherwise. Maybe tell her that a member of the mob broke into the hospital so they could get some more security around the place? That would have been productive at least. His mother’s also rather mean to Reggie for no real reason either.

Reggie is really given a tough task here but she still does her best to get to the bottom of this in every scenario. She talks tough to Roy during each of their confrontations and usually comes out on top. Only time she is left on the defensive is when Mark withheld more crucial info from her that Roy was able to find. It’s tough to defend someone when they give you fake stories all the time. Ultimately she did go with him to the dangerous spot to find the body and really came in clutch each time.

As for Roy, he was a fun character. I like the levels of confidence he brought with him to each of the hearings. It’s easy to see why he is known as one of the best in the business. When he has an opening he takes it and just rides this all the way to the end. He does want to get more political power but it’s clear that he has earned the position that he has currently. He studied a lot to get to this point and it’s all paid off quite nicely. Even in his first questioning with Mark he was able to defeat the kid quite handily. A few more minutes and he would have won if not for Reggie showing up.

The villain Muldano is more on the forgettable side though. There’s not really a whole lot to him. He flies off the handle too much which is what gets him into these jams in the first place. When the alarm went off in the climax his only hope was to quickly charge the heroes since fleeing would confirm that they got the bodies. Ultimately he wasn’t quite brave enough for this and that’s why he’s not the top boss of the mob.

The Client is really solid because the writing is strong. Put the kids to the side and you can really focus on the solid banter between Reggie and Roy. They’re both professionals on opposite sides of the fence here so they really have to go at it. The court scenes with the judge were a lot of fun as well. These bits don’t take up most of the movie but the scenes that we do get are really presented well.

We also get a good amount of thriller elements and a reasonably tense atmosphere that works well here. I don’t really have any big negatives here aside from the main character who was just really grating the whole time. I would have written him out after the intro scene so most of the big scenes were with Reggie instead as the mob goes after her. It would switch the movie up a bit but also ensure that all of the characters are solid.

Overall, The Client is a good film and I’d recommend checking it out. You really get to see the dangers of being a witness and ensuring that you have a good deal set up before telling all that you know. If Reggie wasn’t there to make sure of that, it seems like Roy’s team would have left the witness off to dry. In a dangerous business like this you have to keep your guard up and wits about you at all time. I’m always up for a film that deals with the court room so this worked out nicely.

Overall 6/10

Halloween III: Season of the Witch 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
Halloween certainly took a different approach with this installment. No Myers this time and well it’s just nothing like the rest. It does manage to capture a tense atmosphere and you almost have a bit of a Twilight Zone kind of feel here but the film is very quickly not content for the slow burner approach and keeps on going back to being a normal slasher and wasting this tense feeling.

The movie starts with a guy getting attacked and barely managing to make it to the hospital. He tries to warn the staff that everybody is going to die but they quickly subdue him and get the guy into emergency care. Unfortunately the hospital was not quite protected well enough and he is murdered by one of the assailants. Doctor Daniel is disturbed by this so he heads out to get drunk out of his mind. That’s when the victim’s daughter Ellie shows up and declares that she is going to find out what happened. Her father shouldn’t have had any enemies so why would he be taken out like this? Daniel decides to help her out so the two travel to a nearly abandoned town with a mask making company that is their only lead. Have they just stumbled onto something bigger than themselves?

Okay so right off the bat the first scenes have one of the most vicious deaths in the movie as the guy’s head gets completely crushed. This movie really didn’t hold back on just how brutal the deaths were. It’s quite creative in a way as these may be even more devastating than the average slasher film murders. Each and every death here is like that as one person even takes an energy beam to the face and this isn’t Dragon Ball Z so lets just say that it leaves a lot of damage.

The film’s already dooming itself quite a bit with all the violence but even beyond that none of the characters are likable. Lets take Buddy first. He’s already having a lot of family issues because he is not reliable and always missing important days. Well, he’s about to miss a lot of others because he doesn’t even tell them that he’s trying to solve the murder of this latest victim.

Now, this is a pretty serious moment for Ellie and Buddy since murder is no joke. Yet 5 minutes after they get to the hotel they decide to mess around with each other. Okay….it’s probably not the best time to start an affair particularly as they are in enemy territory and believe there was some foul play. All they’re doing is making sure they are extra defenseless now.

Bobby also splits up with Ellie quite a bit considering how dangerous the situation is. Shouldn’t they at least stay together when walking around the town? Buddy just ends up being annoying the whole time and keep in mind that he is also flirting with a coworker the entire time even while he’s having an affair with Ellie. Just keep that in mind. This guy cannot keep his mind on the task at hand.

Then Ellie is just really not smart and handles everything in the worst way possible. She makes it obvious that the heroes suspect the villains like when she runs towards her father’s car or when she nearly bursts into tears after that. She’s super willing to go on the tour and everything to find the evidence but doesn’t really take any precautions. Now there’s probably not a whole lot they could do against the androids but I’d like to at least have seen her head be in the game.

The only person you’ll probably feel bad for here s Marge who just showed up to get some more masks. It’s tough having to go all the way to the factory direct but she did it because she needs those masks in time for Halloween and won’t miss out on the sales. It’s really a case of her being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong product.

Same with Buddy who really did a great job in selling as many masks as possible. Apparently there was nobody better at this which just makes the whole thing even more tragic. He seemed like a good guy too so you just feel bad for him. He probably should have taken down the snakes as they appeared so they didn’t build up but it was a high pressure situation and unfortunately he just wasn’t ready for it. Then you have Cochran who is the main villain here.

The guy is one of those team corporate members who just enjoys a good joke and reliving the old traditions. He has an origin story that explains the supernatural part of the story but it seems like his motivation was really just to play a joke on the whole world by selling these masks that melt into you and summon a bunch of insects. The fact that it only works when watching a commercial is fairly meta.

You won’t be remembering this villain very well after the movie but the one thing you can say for him is that he does have a lot of patience. He had to really build up the company to get it to this point and couldn’t make any slip ups in the meantime. Additionally the Halloween jingle for the commercials is rather catchy. I can definitely picture the characters getting tired of it when it plays numerously every day leading up to Halloween though.

The film ends in a way where you can decide how it plays out. Personally I think there’s no way the company is able to help Daniel out a third time. As it is, I was surprised they even listened on the first two attempts because with the commercials selling so well on the other days they probably wouldn’t dare shut it down. They don’t want to say goodbye to those $$$ after all. It works as a solid ending though and again goes for that Twilight Zone feeling where nothing is at it seems. A sequel would have been interesting assuming that the snakes keep spawning as we see what the government would want to do here.

The climax gives us some action but it was really convenient that throwing the emblems was able to perfectly link the TVs in a circle to burn everyone away and turn someone into a ghost. That was very convenient to be sure. The villain has a bunch of androids with him which explains how they were able to literally rip people apart. I don’t see how Daniel was able to defeat one of them though. It shouldn’t have broken down that quickly or been slow enough to be tagged like that. I had a hard time believing those bits because they just didn’t seem very likely. Low key it was kind of funny to see Daniel take out a napkin to clean his hand while Cochran was monologuing only for him to realize that the substance was too thick to actually be removed that way and he just tossed the napkin.

So I don’t have many good things to say about the film but the one thing I will give it is that the atmosphere was handled well. The scenes where they first drive into the village and we see how oddly everyone was acting is quite solid. You know that something isn’t right and the people here just don’t seem normal. It’s that 80s vibe that is really hard to recreate nowadays. So at least that’s something. Also, having the original Halloween exist in this continuity as a fictional movie is rather meta.

The climax was also decent in some respects. I like that we got several fake outs with the final robot that kept choking Daniel. It made for a decent back and forth fight even if once again I feel like Daniel should have been taken down. If a robot is strong enough to utterly crush someone’s skull with ease then it’s definitely strong enough to choke someone out way before they have time to push you off or grab some loose object on the ground.

Overall, Halloween took some risks but ultimately they did not pay off. It keeps all of the usual slasher elements like particularly gruesome deaths and then doubled down by making the main characters not be all that likable. The spooky atmosphere would have been more effective in a subtle movie where the violence isn’t so high and the tension slowly builds up. I dare say that this film would have been better off falling back on its usual formula if anything because this one just didn’t work. Definitely skip on checking this one out.

Overall 1/10