Recently I watched the entire “Final Destination” (2000 – 2011) franchise. It’s a solid collection of horror films with a knockout premise that has the Grim Reaper as it’s baddie. Every film starts out the same and every film follows the same formula and tries and be as imaginative as possible with the death sequences that really are the franchise’s raison d’etre.
A group of scientists are working on a freezing cold planet excavating the ruins of an ancient civilization believed to have lived there. Soon one crew member starts showing signs of being possessed and another one, Sandy, is attacked and impregnated by a creature there. At first she seems to have survived the ordeal intact but soon starts behaving weirdly and eventually starts killing her colleagues and drinking their blood in order to protect her rapidly growing fetuses.
“Sleepaway Camp” is fairly un-original for the majority of it’s running time but it has gone down favorably in the annals of horror for it’s bizarre twist ending. It’s really something and caps the film off in great fashion although it doesn’t neatly explain a few things and actually creates a few holes as well if you really dive into it. But no matter; it’s one of the better shock endings in slasher history.
“The Amityville Horror” was based on a book by Jay Anson, published in 1977, and “Amityville II: The Possession” was based on a book by Hans Holzer called “Murder in Amityville” published in 1979. Both these books took the demonic elements and went to town with it. The latter publication explained how demonic forces compelled Ronald DeFeo to kill his family and told how he hadn’t been acting out of free will.
“Terror Train” is excellent. It has everything that a slasher film fan could want in spades and delivers it with a straightforward narrative that’s blissfully free of absurd red herrings that make no sense. That said it does present a possibly implausible revelation but it actually ends up being a clever mislead in a film noted for it’s twist free nature. The script for “Terror Train” is pretty good.
My favourite director is John Carpenter and I’ve spent an un-Godly amount of time devouring his work for more than 30 years. I’ve been rather hesitant at sharing my thoughts on his films on my blog as so much has been written about them and they’ve been fairly well dissected by many. But what the heck! I recently got into a Carpenter mood and viewed three of his early features and wanted to write a few things down.
My personal favourite of his is “The Fog”. It’s not what I consider his best work as I think “The Thing” is his crowning achievement. The one I’ve viewed most often is “Halloween” and the whole Michael Myers franchise is a big part of why horror/slasher films got a hold of me early on and have kept me interested for all these years.
These three early features by Carpenter are movies I revisit regularly and think very highly of.
“Night of the Creeps” is mostly comically driven, at least in the beginning, but once the threat becomes apparent there’s some grisly gore on display and a few well realized suspense set-pieces. It’s never really scary but it is well paced and has enough enjoyable lulls that add tremendously to the characters and it’s a gamble that more than pays off due to the terrific lead performers.
Dubbed “Jaws with Claws” when it was released; “Grizzly” is not exactly original. I think every reviewer who’s covered the film has pointed out it’s unabashed similarity with “Jaws” (1975) and of course “Grizzly” is a rip-off of that classic film. But on it’s own lo-fi terms it’s a terrific B-movie that still entertains to this day.