Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

logoDirector: Jack Sholder

Writer: David Chaskin (Screenplay) Wes Craven (Characters)

Starring: Robert Englund, Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Rusler, Clu Gulager, Hope Lange

 

Plot: A teenage boy is haunted in his dreams by Freddy Krueger who is out to possess him to continue his murdering in the real world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappoint Sequel

 

Story: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge starts with a school bus journey home that seems to be going smoothly before leaving three teenagers including Jesse Walsh (Patton) trapped on a speeding rampage bus driven by none other than Freddy Krueger (Englund). Of course this is just a nightmare to show us Freddy isn’t dead yet.

The Walsh family has moved into the very house where the events of the first film took place and Jesse seems to be the person Freddy has targeted to help him make his return to the killing game. Jesse has already made new friend at school with Lisa (Myers) as they learn the truth about what happened in the house before the Walsh family moves in. as the time goes on it becomes apparent that Freddy isn’t trying to kill Jesse but encouraging Jesse to do the killing for him.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge picks up five years after the events of the previous film, Nancy and her family are gone and we have to follow a new family in the same house. The whole incident has almost been forgotten so Freddy needs to find a way to come back. I do like the idea of him trying to make the children believe in him again which we will see used a lot through the later parts of the series. The problem I have is that most of what Jesse learns seems to start from nowhere and there is no explanation to where the first visit has come from. We do learn the slight increase of information about Freddy which will also happen through the series more, but in the end we just don’t get the same scares we did have and everything just comes off very much pushed to try and create a franchise with no real plan on where it was going. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Robert Englund: Freddy Krueger is still struggling to regain his powers after the effects of the first film but he has a new target Jesse who he is trying to make kill so the children of Elm Street will believe in him again so he can continue his revenge on the people of Elm Street. Robert does what he does best being creepy and scary in every scene he is in continuing to build the Freddy legacy. (7/10)

 freddy

Mark Patton: Jesse Walsh is the new kid in town with his family who have moved into Nancy’s house. He starts getting haunted by Freddy who wants him to start killing for him. Mark struggles in this role and it is clear that he wasn’t lead acting material when you look at how much acting he has gone on to do. (4/10)

jesse

Kim Myers: Lisa Webber is the local girl who befriends Jesse and helps him uncover the truth about Freddy Krueger and his past crimes. Kim does a solid job as the investigation member of the cast but surely her character would have heard about the murders. (6/10)

girl

Support Cast: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge has a supporting cast that is generic parents worrying but letting their kids get away with things. We also have the generic teenage friends who are the opposite to our leading pair.

 

Director Review: Jack Sholder – Jack does a solid job directing but let’s face it he isn’t on the same level as Mr Craven. (6/10)

 

Horror: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge does have solid horror moments but most try to be disturbing rather than scary. (6/10)

Settings: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge keeps the action in and around Elm Street but also gives us an insight into Freddy’s time at the boiler room. (8/10)
Special Effects
: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge still uses good practical effects with the knife glove bursting through Jesse’s hand being the highlight. (8/10)

Suggestion: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is one that the franchise fans should watch because it does bring Freddy back and without this one we wouldn’t see where it would all end up going. (Franchise Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Freddy exiting the party.

Worst Part: Not enough scares for my liking.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 2nd part of the franchise

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $30 Million

Budget: $2,2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: The Man of Your Dreams Is Back.

Trivia: New Line originally refused to give Robert Englund a pay raise, and an extra was cast as Freddy at the start of production. After two weeks of filming, Robert Shaye realized his error and met Englund’s demands.

 

Overall: A sequel that tries to bring the killer back but lacks storyline direction that later films do possess.

Rating 50

The Crow Week – The Crow: Salvation (2000)

logoDirector: Bharat Nalluri

Writer: Chip Johannessen (Screenplay) James O’Barr (Comic Book Characters)

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Eric Mabius, Fred Ward, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, William Atherton, K.C. Clyde, Debbie Fan

Plot: Alex Corvis returns to the world of the living to solve the murder of a young woman that he was wrongly accused of.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Getting Back on Tracks

Story: The Crow Salvation starts with the Randall’s Erin (Dunst) & Nathan (Atherton) who are going to witness the execution of Alex Corvis (Mabius) the man found guilty of killing their sister and daughter Lauren (O’Keefe). Alex continues to confirm he is innocent and knows the man who killed her but the state has decided.

When Alex wakes following his execution he is greeted by the crows who lead him out of the prison and on the path to discovering who really killed his girlfriend. Alex goes up against corrupt cops while trying to convince Erin that he wasn’t the man responsible for her sister’s death.

The Crow Salvation tries to bring the franchise back in the right to where it should be, and while it improves on what the last one gave us and was brave enough to change its style by making the villains cops instead of gangsters works well. I like the building of this crow too because it shows the built up rage of our character to get revenge for what ha happened. I will saw say the tracking down does feel like we have seen before to start with and does end up leaving us wondering why the innocent characters get killed along the way. (6/10)

Actor Review

Kirsten Dunst: Erin Randall is the sister of the murdered girl Lauren, she believes Alex did commit the crime but once he returns she listens to his story. Kirsten gives a solid performance but ends up falling into the damsel in distress. (6/10)

Eric Mabius: Alex Corvis/The Crow is the young man executed for a crime he didn’t commit, he returns from the dead to find out the truth and kill all of the people responsible for his girlfriend’s death. Eric gives a solid performance in the leading role but doesn’t reach the level that Lee did. (6/10)

Fred Ward: The Captain is the leader of the corrupt cops who were involved in Lauren’s death, he sends his men out not caring if they don’t come back alive. Fred makes for a solid villain but doesn’t reach the menacing level previous villains have. (6/10)

William Atherton: Nathan Randall had a deal with The Captain to commit a couple of crimes, but when his daughter is killed he ends the relationship and has to live with his part in her death forever. William steps away from his usual villainous roles to give a solid supporting performance. (6/10)

Support Cast: The Crow Salvation has a supporting cast that includes the generic villains being picked off one by one and the trademark of the series a lady guiding the villains.

Director Review: Bharat Nalluri Bharat does a solid job bringing us a revenge film that doesn’t hold back on the punches. (6/10)

Action: The Crow Salvation has action sequences that all feel very similar with plenty of bullets being fired at Alex. (7/10)

Fantasy: The Crow Salvation doesn’t enter into the world of the legend behind the Crow as much as previous films holding the films fantasy level back. (6/10)

Settings: The Crow Salvation loses the dark tone of a town bring the action into a much realer world. (7/10)
Special Effects: The Crow Salvation has solid effects the explosion do end up looking slightly iffy though. (6/10)

Suggestion: The Crow Salvation is one for the fans of the franchise to watch, if you liked the first to you will like otherwise this isn’t going to be for you. (Franchise Fans Watch)

Best Part: Alex versus all the police in the warehouse.

Worst Part: Innocent cops killed off.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one more.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: For Vengeance, For Justice, For Love.

Overall: Better than the sequel still not to the standard of the original.

Rating 60

Halloween Kingathon – Bag of Bones (2011)

Banner-2logoDirector: Mick Garris

Writer: Stephen King, Matt Venne (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George, Annabeth Gish, Anika Noni Rose, Matt Frewer, Jason Priestley

Plot: After his wife’s sudden death, a best selling author returns to his cabin retreat where he receives paranormal visitations and becomes involved in a custody battle.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fright Filled Mini Series

Story: Bag of Bones starts author Mike Noonan (Brosnan) who has given his wife Jo (Gish) the chance to write the final lines of his book which he always has for good luck. 4 months later at a book signing Jo is killed in a road traffic accident taking away Mike’s motivation, but leaving Mike with a big question about whether Jo had been having an affair because she was pregnant but he couldn’t have children.

Mike descends into mourning after his wife’s death that questions his writing abilities while have nightmares about his wife. Most of the visions include the couple’s holiday home on Dark Score Lake pushing Mike into spending time at the lake house.

When Mike discovers he isn’t alone in the cabin he communicates with Jo as they work together to unlock the mystery of Dark Score Lake. When Mike meets Mattie Devore (George) who is trying to keep custody of her little girl while her father in law the power Max Devore (Schallert) is stuck in a battle for her. When the ghost of Sara Tidwell (Rose) comes haunting Mike has to learn to balance the truth while doing the right thing in his wife’s final wishes.

Bag of Bones is a typical ghost investigation film which is my favourite type of horror film. It builds to show our main character Mike having to figure out why he is being haunted but it also doesn’t take long before he ends up getting involved in the story that has lead to the haunting by accident. I will say that at times it could be considered being slightly slow to start with but by the end you won’t believe how long it actually was. This won’t stand out as brilliant but it will kep you n the edge throughout the whole time. (7/10)

Actor Review

Pierce Brosnan: Mike Noonan is the recently widowed author who returns to his lake house for the first time in years, while there he gets haunted by his recently deceased wife along with a vengeful spirit. Mike also ends up in the middle of a custody battle between local rich man and his daughter in law. With all this going on Mike struggles to find a way to right his latest novel. Pierce gives a good performance having to go through all the horror emotions. (7/10)mike

Melissa George: Mattie Devore is the local lady trying to keep custody of her only child, she ends up offer a potential new romance for Mike but is grateful for all the help he gives in the case. Melissa goes a good job in the supporting role. (7/10)mattie

Annabeth Gish: Jo Noonan is Mike’s wife who died but has stayed with Mike in spirit to guide him through this latest situation. Annabeth does a solid job but due to her characters early death she doesn’t get much screen time. (6/10)jo

Anika Noni Rose: Sara Tidwell is the vengeful spirit haunting Mike as she looks for someone to help uncover her story, she was a brilliant singer in late 30’s and whenever her music plays she communicates to Mike. Anika does a good job in this role that we learn more about as the film unfolds. (7/10)sara

Support Cast: Bag of Bones has a supporting cast that all have their own agendas to what has been happening, but it is easy to work out who is on what side of the fence.

Director Review: Mick GarrisMick does what he does best and make a Stephen King novel into an interesting absorbing story. (8/10)

Horror: Bag of Bones has basic horror but because the story wants to focus on the mystery works for the film. (6/10)

Mystery: Bag of Bones gives us a mystery to try and solve along with the leading character Mike. (8/10)

Settings: Bag of Bones brings the action to a small lake community which works to show one places dirty little secret. (9/10)
Special Effects: Bag of Bones only uses a few special effects but doesn’t rely on them for anything. (8/10)

Suggestion: Bag of Bones is one for the Stephen King fans to enjoy, it was set up to be a two part story too which means you can split it up too. (King Fans Watch)

Best Part: Mystery created.

Worst Part: Slightly slow early on.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 37 Minutes

Tagline: Beware the lake.

Overall: A mini series that simply keeps you guessing from start to finish.

Rating 70