Popcorn (1991)

ppcornDirector: Mark Herrier, Alan Ormsby

Writer: Alan Ormsby (Screenplay) Mitchell Smith (Story)

Starring: Jill Schoelen, Tom Villard, Dee Wallace, Derek Rydall, Malcolm Danare, Elliott Hurst, Ivette Soler, Freddie Simpson, Kelly Jo Minter

 

Plot: A “Leatherface” type murderer who wears other people’s faces, kills at an all-night horrorthon at an old theatre put on by a bunch of film students. Maggie, the lead character, believes it’s really Lanyard Gates, a crazed film maker who killed his family live on stage, fifteen years ago. And now he’s back to kill his daughter, Sara, who is believed to be really Maggie.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Slasher Horror Comedy

 

Story: Popcorn starts as Maggie (Schoelen) an aspiring film maker is dreaming of her script which is filled with horror. The film class tired of being bumped around the campus decide to put on their own horror show. While setting up the up the soon to be destroyed theatre the students discover a film that was made by crazed film maker Lanyard Gates who infamously killed his family as the final act of his last piece of work Possessor.

The film night still goes ahead as plan and the turnout is brilliant, but while the films are showing the students start getting picked off by the famous film maker who is back to collect his daughter who he believes is Maggie or so we think.

Popcorn takes the horror film to a different direction with having a revenge like slasher based entirely inside of movie theatre. We have the audience watching horror films while the students get picked off one by one which all works really because the audience reacts like we would to the comical kills being used in the film. The revenge side of the story works well because we don’t fully know what is going on and the final twists while slightly light weight does give us a welcome surprise. This is a good horror comedy slasher that will please the fans enough to enjoy.

 

Actor Review

 

Jill Schoelen: Maggie is our leading lady who is dreaming of becoming a film maker and her latest story is literally happening in her dreams. When her dreams starts to become a reality Maggie finds herself the target of the ghost of former film maker that wants her to replace his lost daughter. Jill is good in this role without being a true stand out in the horror genre.

Tom Villard: Toby is the man who wants to host the horror film night and with the rest of the students behind him he makes the arrangements to make this an interactive experience. Tom does well in this role which is the most memorable character in the film.

Dee Wallace: Suzanne is the mother of Maggie who seems to be a single parent that is always trying to protect her from any dangers in the world, but when the dreams start appear she starts receiving phone calls during the night which seem to be from an unknown caller threatening her daughter. Dee is a bit of an icon in horror so you know you will see her appear in a mix of roles where she will always give us a god performance.

Derek Rydall: Mark is the love interest of Maggie, she keeps pushing him away so she can study but he isn’t willing to just stay away, he leaves his date at the theatre to spend more time with Maggie. Derek makes for good supporting lead who gets most of the comical moments with his character’s clumsy side.

Support Cast: Popcorn has your typical generic cast for a horror that all do what they need to do.

Director Review: Mark Herrier, Alan OrmsbyThe pair give us a horror slasher with a few twists along the way which is all you ask for going into these movies.

 

Comedy: Popcorn has a few laughs but not enough for my liking, we get most when it comes to the kills.

Horror: Popcorn takes horror to a new arena with a horror that the audience can be parallel with the audience in the film.

Settings: Popcorn uses the movie theatre for the setting which is brilliant choice and original.
Special Effects
: Popcorn has good effects when it comes to the kills as well as the image of the killer.

Suggestion: Popcorn is one for the horror slasher fans to enjoy. (Horror Slasher Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Setting is brilliant choice.

Worst Part: Has dated a bit.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: Pay to get in, pray to get out.

 

Overall: Fun slasher that is filled with well created kills and a clever twist.

Ratingcard

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The People Under the Stairs (1991)

logoDirector: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven (Screenplay)

Starring: Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A.J. Langer, Ving Rhames, Sean Whalen, Bill Cobbs, Kelly Jo Minter

Plot: Two adults and a juvenile burglar break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children and can’t escape.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Creepy Little Horror

Story: The People Under the Stairs starts with Fool (Adams) a young boy who is about to lose his house in the ghetto when Leroy (Rhames) offers him a chance to make some money to help keep the roof over their heads. When Leroy finds out who is evicting them he wants to bring Fool in on the job where they can steal gold.

The couple living in this house known simply as Man (McGill) and Woman (Robie) have their own dark secret with their hidden children and something living in the walls.

With the job going ahead as planned Fool and Leroy find themselves trapped in the house where Fool discovers the people under the stairs. Fool later finds himself stuck in the house alone being hunted down by the owners of the house while befriending the residents inside the house.

The People Under the Stairs is a horror film that keeps us guessing, we get the home invasion angle mixed with a dark secret idea which all works for the story. I liked the idea of trying to get even with the people making them homeless. I liked the idea of people being kept prisoner and that the residents in the house look normal on the outside. I think the overall mix of these stories all work to make this an effects horror that will keep your attention to the end.

Actor Review

Brandon Quintin Adams: Fool is the ghetto by who reluctantly joins forces with two men as the try to rob a house only to discover a secret lying the basement and the residents not taking to strangers too well. He is full of fight and will never give up when it comes to defending his friends. Brandon gives us a good performance for such a young actor.

Everett McGill: Man is the son of the lady of the house, he is the hapless man trying to hunt down Fool inside the house as well as hunting an escaped prisoner Roach. Everett gets most of the laughs in his villainous role where he is always getting hit while Fool escapes his grasp.

Wendy Robie: Woman is the lady of the house who has been searching for the perfect child and while the rejects end up in the basement her perfect little angel is the one who helps Fools. Wendy does a good job in this role as the family’s mother who expects perfection.

A.J. Langer: Alice is the chosen child for the odd couple who is the perfect look for them, she ends up helping Fool escape from the prison that is their home. A.J. gives a good early role.

Ving Rhames: Leroy is the streetwise man who pushes Fool into robbing the people who are evicting his family, he makes for a good leader of the crime as he is getting involved in something he doesn’t understand. Ving gives us a solid early performance though heavily stereotyped.

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Support Cast: The People Under the Stairs has a good supporting cast that mostly includes the people of the neighbourhood who want to band together along with the people who are being held under the stairs.

Director Review: Wes CravenWes showed once more how he could manage horror and comedy without looking towards on too often.

Comedy: The People Under the Stairs has good slapstick comedy while dealing with Fool escaping the Man.

Horror: The People Under the Stairs has good horror when you look at what the family are doing inside the house.

Mystery: The People Under the Stairs leaves you wondering what could be going on inside the house.

Thriller: The People Under the Stairs does keep you guessing to what will happening next even though you could judge what could happen easily.

Settings: The People Under the Stairs keeps nearly all the action inside the house which helps make it feel trapped.
Special Effects: The People Under the Stairs has good effects when needed but tries to make a lot of the scares natural rather than effects heavy.

Suggestion: The People Under the Stairs is one for the Craven fans to watch but I can see people giving it a miss. (Craven Fans Watch)

Best Part: Final act.

Worst Part: It would have been good to see how the couple dealt with the unwanted people when they planned how to deal with them.

Favourite Quote: FoolYou thought he was white before, you should see that sucker now!

Believability: It is based on a real story just how things happen less so.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $24 Million

Budget: $6 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: In every neighbourhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid. Now Wes Craven, creator of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” takes you inside.

Trivia: Wes Craven was inspired to write this film after reading a real-life news story about burglars breaking into a house. When authorities arrived, the burglars had disappeared but they discovered locked doors with noises coming from behind. Children had been locked up inside the rooms by their parents, never allowed to go outside.

Overall: Horror comedy that works on both levels making it feel like a very dark version of Home Alone

Ratingcard

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

logoDirector: Stephen Hopkins

Writer: Leslie Bohem (Screenplay) John Skipp, Craig Spector, Leslie Bohem (Story) Wes Craven (Characters)

Starring: Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Kelly Jo Minter, Danny Hassel, Erika Anderson, Nicholas Mele

 

Plot: Alice, having survived the previous installment of the Nightmare series, finds the deadly dreams of Freddy Krueger starting once again. This time, the taunting murderer is striking through the sleeping mind of Alice’s unborn child. His intention is to be “born again” into the real world. The only one who can stop Freddy is his dead mother, but can Alice free her spirit in time to save her own son?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Running Low on Ideas

 

Story: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child starts up bring back our two surviving members of the last movie Alice (Wilcox) and Dan (Hassel) still happily in love. It is in the opening nightmare we see that Alice is still having the nightmares that included Freddy as she and we learn more about his origin story. Alice and her friends Yvonne (Minter), Greta (Anderson) and Mark (Seely) have all graduated High School now. (I do like how easily Alice makes friend because her last lot all got killed by Freddy).friends

Alice gets caught up in the middle of a battle between the ghosts of Freddy Krueger and his mother Amanda Krueger. Alice has to follow the instruction to stop Freddy once more before he takes too many lives. When Alice’s boyfriend is killed by Freddy she learns that she is pregnant and Freddy is using her baby’s dreams to take out her friends.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child tries to continue the Freddy Krueger legacy by bringing yet another idea up to let him return. This time Freddy uses genetics to help him kill the teenagers. We don’t learn how Alice suddenly has a large group of friends after her last group all got killed and the new group all have horrendously generic traits. I will say this is easily the most confusing of all of the Elm Street films because you have to find it hard to believe that these kids will fall asleep in the situation they do including a dinner table, driving or Jacuzzi. On the positive it was cleaver trying to continue building the origin of Freddy but let’s face it, it was designed to try and extend and dying franchise. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Robert Englund: Freddy Krueger who has found another way back from the dead through the children’s of Elm Streets dreams. He continues to fall into the comical villain with his one liners on the kills. Robert does continue what he will always be remembered for but it isn’t his best outing. (6/10)

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Lisa Wilcox: Alice is the returning heroine who has got sucked into the fighting Freddy once more only this time she learns about how Freddy became who he is, she also has the ability to shut her eyes and enter dreams now. Lisa does a good job continuing to be the leading lady after number four. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child has a supporting cast that are all used to become the latest victims to Freddy once he finds his way back to the real world.

 

Director Review: Stephen Hopkins – Stephen does a good job considering the time restriction he has on this film, it won’t go down as a classic but it will be remembered when people study putting together a solid film in very limited time. (6/10)

 

Horror: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child really does lose even more of its scare factor this time out. (4/10)

Thriller: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child does make you wonder what will happen in the Alice versus Freddy story as it seems to go a different direction that previous haunting by Freddy. (7/10)

Settings: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child uses generic horror settings to make the kills look like the life the characters might one day have. (7/10)
Special Effects
: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child falls on the special effects but still has better than CGI ones. (6/10)

Suggestion: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is one for the franchise fans to continue watching but don’t start here. (Franchise Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Trying to do something different with the franchise.

Worst Part: Confusing when it comes to working out who is asleep.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 5th of the Franchise

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $22 Million

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: Freddy has a son

Trivia: Hopkins was given just four weeks to shoot and a further four weeks to edit the film. This meant that he had to shoot on one stage while the crew dressed the other, so they could shot almost continually. After he made it, the studio was so impressed that he was given the task of directing Predator 2.

 

Overall: Freddy is back for another payday with a side of killing kids

Rating 50