Halloween Kills (2021) Movie Review ‘Tries Something Amongst the Chaos’

Halloween Kills – Tries Something Amongst the Chaos

 

Director: David Gordon Green

Writer: Scott Teems, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green (Screenplay) John Carpenter, Debra Hill (Characters)

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Will Patton, Nick Castle, Anthony Michael Hall, Thomas Mann, Jim Cummings

Plot: The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Halloween Kills starts in the aftermath of the latest attack, Laurie (Curtis), Karen (Greer) and Allyson (Matichak) are leaving Michael to burn, only for him to escape and continue the rampage.

This will bring other survivors lead by Tommy Doyle (Hall) to bring the city together, to go hunting for Michael to end his reign of terror forever.

Thoughts on Halloween Kills

Characters & Performances – Laurie injured from the last movie is filled with the relief of ending it all, only to learn the truth and wanting to get back out there and finish the job. Jamie Lee Curtis doesn’t have much to do in this outing, she feels underused, but understandable after the injury in the last one. Karen is the nagging daughter of Laurie, who always looks and acts like the most innocent person in the story, she has just lost her husband, learnt her mother was always telling the truth and that her daughter is in danger, with her still trying to do the right thing. Judy Greer in the trailers, looked like a miscast, but with his genuine performance, it fits the film a lot better. Allyson is the daughter, who has seen her father killed, decided to take back her cheating boyfriend and sudden is ready to fight a serial killer. This is the beginning of the very annoying characters in this film, and it is a long list. Saying that, Andy Matichak does what she can with the role, not getting enough time to shine. The strangest decision in this movie, is to put a firm spotlight on a grown up Tommy Doyle, who is leading the charge to hunt down Michael, this is interesting because it will show us another victim who has dealt with this for years and it will show how somebody can swing a violent crowd in their favour. Officer Hawkins does have an interested addition to his character, only for most if this to get hidden away in a minute sequence, when it could have been a lot more interesting to dive into. In fact the next two character we can say are fun for this genre, are Big and Little John, living the Myers home and even then we didn’t get the pay off offered up.

StoryThe story does pick up right where the last one ended, seeing the aftermath of the town learning about the murders and deciding to band together to end the terror Michael is causing. This is a story that I feel I could talk about for a long time, I want to start by praising the idea of turning the slasher genre around, ditching the innocent victims and diving head first into trying to hunt the killer down, not be afraid of him. This works because it creates the mob mentality in the town, with the people getting out of control, not listening to the full story before action. This sadly doesn’t get enough spotlight because we end up going through the routinely mostly annoying characters that never seem real and by the end of the film, it does feel like we are meant to be rooting for Michael. The story does dive back in time too, looking at Hawkins part within the hunt for Michael, trying to create a new narrative for him to be hunting. With so many smarter ideas here, the story does end up getting bogged down into a chaotic situation, which is more about the blood splatter than anything else.

ThemesHalloween Kills is a horror that won’t hold back on the violence, which we knew was coming from the trailers, this one is relentless with the attacks, even if some feel more over the top than what we would expect from Michael as a character. This film seems to be set in the longest night ever, which works to contain the story, but to see someone have a lifesaving operation, wake up and walk about, just doesn’t seem realistic in a time frame side of things.

Final Thoughts Halloween Kills is a chaotic mess of storytelling, despite trying to do something different to the typical slasher movie.

Grave Intentions (2021) Movie Review ‘Excellent Series of Horror Shorts’

Grave Intentions – High Quality Short Horrors

 

Director: Lukas Hassel, Brian Patrick Lim, Gabriel Olson, Matthew Richards, Brian Rish, Jocelyn Rish, Jaime Snyder

Writer: Peter S Beagle, Michael L Fawcett, Lukas Hassel, Brian Patrick Lim, Levi San Luis, Gabriel Olson, Matthew Richards, Jocelyn Rish, Jaime Snyder (Screenplay)

Starring: Astarte Abraham, Johanah Basanta, Paw Aya Bugarin, Colleen Carey, Catherine Carlen, Kevin Dee, Robert Forster, Gregory J Fryer, Beth Grant, Lukas Hassel, Sharon Lawrence, Sharva Maynard, Christopher Morson, Lucas Oktay, Charly Thorn, Joy Vandervort-Cobb

Plot: In this anthology of chills, thrills, and kills, a practitioner of the magical arts teaches the basics of her craft. The most important lesson? You must be mindful of your intention. Five of her customers are about to learn this the hard way: A woman looking to change her luck gets ensnared in a dangerous game; In the quest for justice, a man is transformed into a monster; In an attempt to right a wrong, a woman rescues a stray cat; A father and son are torn apart when a joke goes too far; A young girl needs protection from the demons in her life. We all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so where does the road lead when your intentions are grave?

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Thoughts on Grave Intentions

The Son, the Father – The Son, The Father follows a young boy Luke (Oktay) who on his birthday gets pranked about death by his mother, causing a ripple affect in the family leading to tragic consequences. Ten years later Luke (Morson) finds himself starting to see his mother again, trapped inside an endless game of faking deaths on each other again.

MarianMarian follows the young girl Marian (Basanta) who finds herself trapped between worlds with her Aunt (Abraham) trying to lead her, but a creature in the shadows is having more control over her, being used to unleash the frustration she has been suffering through.

The Bridge PartnerThe Bridge Partner follows Mattie Whalen (Grant) who is part of the local bridge club, she isn’t the strongest player and is often seen as the outsider of the group, leaving her without a partner, until stranger Olivia Korhonen (Lawrence) arrives to join her, leaving her with one set of parting words ‘I going to kill you’ echoing through her ears, leaving her watching over her shoulder, fearing for her life.

The Disappearance of Willie BinghamThe Disappearance of Willie Bingham takes us to an alternative world where criminals are punished by having body parts amputated, Willie Bingham (Dee) a murdered, was left to become the poster child for this punishment, trying to show the consequences of the crime, but it is the victim’s family that decide when the surgeries stop. This will offer up the bigger moral discussion, along with an ethical one, easily becoming one of the most disturbing short stories I have ever seen.

WraparoundMadam Josephine (Vandervort-Cobb) is the connection to each story, bringing us the introduction before we jump into the world. This will give the film the classic horror feel, with the presenter making us prepared for the world we are about to enter, leading into each story being gift wrapped like a gift for the audience.

Violent FlorenceViolent Florence follows a lone homeless woman Florence (Thron) that saves a cat, looking to do the right thing for the small animal. Florence however has a darker side, one that will see her go into battle against the cat in a violent unsettling series of events.

ThoughtsGrave Intentions does bring us a collection of great, well 4 out of 5 horror shorts that will leave you shocked, one The Disappearance of Willie Bingham might well be one of the best ones I have seen in years, one that I would love to see a longer feature diving into everything involved with what happens and the disturbing consequences. Each horror will offer up something fresh, despite a couple running at a much short time limit and the wraparound introduction is wonderful to watch too, gifting us a way into the stories.

Final Thoughts Grave Intentions is an excellent series of short horrors.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – O – Outback (2019) Movie Review

Outback – Plain Bad

Director: Mike Green

Writer: Brien Kelly, Mike Green (Screenplay)

Starring: Lauren Lofberg, Taylor Wiese, Brendan Donoghue, Kym Cramp, Jim Winton Porter

Plot: Down Under for an adventure-filled vacation, a young American couple quickly find themselves stranded in the unforgiving Australian outback.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Outback starts as we follow two America tourists Lisa (Lofberg) and Wade (Wiese) as they head to Australia for an adventure of a lifetime, even though it doesn’t start well after Lisa rejects the proposal from Wade. Wade has planned the trip, but Lisa wants to change the plan, which will see them drive into the outback and get lost.

The two try and figure out their position, only to find themselves lost on foot, separated in a battle to survive the elements and nature itself.

Thoughts on Outback

Characters & Performances – Lisa is the woman that just broke her partner’s heart by rejecting his proposal on their trip of a lifetime, she pushes Wade into going off the plan they had made before arriving and spends most of the time moaning at everything he does, including they when get stuck in the outback. Wade is down after having his heart broken and isn’t wanting to spend the time with Lisa, despite the trip being a dream of his too, he is left to try and find help, not willing to ask for directions or get a satnav to help them on the journey. The biggest problems with both these characters come from their decision making process, which is just terrible through the whole film, leaving you shaking your head at everything they do. The two actors really struggle to make anything from these bad characters.

StoryThe story follows two American tourists that get lost in the Australian outback and must battle the elements to survive. This is a story that will leave you frustrated with just how stupid the characters, you will find yourself shaking you head for the whole movie, because the story is so paper thin, nothing actually happens, we do end up watching a bloke piss for a solid 10-minutes combined time, which we don’t need to see, but he won’t blow the horn on the car after he finds it.

ThemesOutback is a horror thriller that shows the harsh reality of the outback in Australia if you get lost in it, we see how a couple are trapped here facing a hopeless outcome. The outback itself is the best part of the film, looking beautiful, while being deadly.

Outback is just a very bad movie that seemed to have a thin script and no characters we can invest in.