Thursday, November 19, 2020

Wrong Turn (2003)

Does Wrong Turn warrant critical analysis? I think so. One would expect a new franchise in the slasher genre to be warmly received, especially during the dry spell of the 2000s. It’s The Hills Have Eyes (1977) meets Deliverance (1972). Both films are more artful by a mile, but Wrong Turn has the magic formula of idiots going into the woods and not coming out.

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Saturday, November 14, 2020

Jason X (2001)

It’s Friday the 13th in space. Rarely does such a collision of genres exceed expectations. When your expectations are anchored in a character with Jason’s long and varied history, anything is possible.

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Sunday, November 8, 2020

Scream (1996)

The only true slasher franchises (stories built around mythical, unstoppable serial killers) are Halloween and Friday the 13th. All of the others have villains who are either too sympathetic or too impotent to rack up a real body count and make the audience jump. Scream falls into that large category of wannabe slasher films, more of a Scary Movie (2000) than an actual scary movie.

This is a horror-comedy that is too clever for its own good, satirizing rather than celebrating. Intentional comedy belongs in comedy films rather than horror films. The unintentional kind is funnier anyways. Not that Scream is a bad movie. It’s pretty enjoyable, but it could have been better in different hands.

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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Friday the 13th (2009)

The evolution of Jason Voorhees from slasher movie villain to folk hero is an interesting story with the entire franchise taken into account. However, the story in each individual film is usually dull. This one is over-hyped, slow, willfully stupid, and the MPAA probably cut it to pieces. In other words a perfect Friday the 13th movie.

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Friday, September 11, 2020

Hellraiser (1987)

In romance fiction, there is very little that could be considered conflict. Therefore, S&M is sometimes used as seasoning for an otherwise bland dish. Take out everything but the seasoning and you have Hellraiser.

This is one of those movies I watched in my college apartment before I realized the value of headphones. If you had passed my door late one night, you might have heard a mix of screams, rattling chains, and raspy moaning. A neighbor complained of me playing World of Warcraft. (A less lascivious assumption than could have been made.)

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