In the town of Fairwater seemingly healthy citizens are dropping like flies due to mysterious and sudden heart conditions. Frank Bannister, a fake psychic investigator, discovers that an entity resembling the Grim Reaper is literally stopping the hearts of people and carving numbers in their foreheads detailing it’s amount of fatalities…
High school friends Julie, Helen, Barry and Ray accidentally hit a man with their car after a night of partying. Instead of doing the right thing and report the accident they decide to get rid of the body in fear of what would happen to their futures if they came clean. A year later Julie gets an ominous message simply stating “I know what you did last summer” and soon it’s apparent that the group’s buried secret is coming back to haunt them in deadly ways…
“The House With Laughing Windows” is one of those chillers that sets an uneasy tone from the start and maintains the ominous mood admirably throughout. It doesn’t hurt that stylistically the film is wonderfully lensed and the surroundings gradually become a bit otherworldly as the oppressing mood slowly tightens around the lead character. Director Pupi Avati manages to maintain the sombre mood and gradually escalate the tension. But be forewarned that it’s a fairly slow burn affair.
The small mining town of Valentine’s Bluffs has a bloody history that coincides with Valentine’s Day. The annual celebration is eagerly awaited and two supervisors of the Hanniger mine leave early and fail to check on methane levels with a number of workers still below. An explosion occurs and leaves the miners buried beneath as the celebrations go on above….
“Part 3” introduced the iconic image of a hockey masked maniac who’s essentially a killing machine that refuses to die and dispatches of his victims in spectacular ways. Type “hockey mask” in Google and there are numerous references for Jason on the first page of websites and images. So iconic is the look of this serial killer and for this fact alone then “Part 3” is an important piece of horror cinema. As an entry in the long running series it’s in the upper tier; surpassed by Parts 1 and 4 (the best of the bunch), Part 2 and Part 6 but narrowly beating out Part 5.
While the film has never been a critical darling or even that well liked by it’s own director it has always been well regarded among a huge number of Wes Craven fans and a general cult item with steadily increasing followers. I’d describe it as the closest thing you’d get to a family oriented graphic horror movie as it’s mash up of genres create a unique viewing experience that somehow works like a charm.
“The Night Stalker” and “The Night Strangler” are a great watch for retro horror fans. Although they are very similar in tone and story there are a few notable differences in the way they are presented. I tend to sway a bit more to “The Night Strangler” overall but I never watch one without the other. There’s also a vibe, or a feel, associated to these 70’s made for TV efforts that makes sure they age like fine wine. Also it’s funny to think there was once a time when millions of viewers gathered around the TV set at the same time to experience a single movie event. Times sure have changed.
Coming at the tail end of the slasher film’s popularity and subsequent inevitable foray into self-parody; “The Initiation” is a thriller/slasher that’s very competent in every department and takes itself seriously. It has a terrific cast of old pros and good up-and-comers, a neat mystery that’s very well played out and solid set-pieces that are both well staged and executed with flair.