Archive for the Halloween Month Category

September 2016: Horror Catch Up

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Halloween Month, Horror Festivals, Love Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2016 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Hello Horror Hounds!

I know it’s been an age since I’ve updated this blog but I can assure you that I haven’t stopped working on all things Horror these past few months.

The main bulk of my reviewing will now be on LoveHorror.co.uk; however I will provide regular links on here to all my recent work. This blog will be active for articles such as personal top 10 lists, Halloween month etc. I’d really love to bring Halloween Month back this October so if you have any requests or suggestions for films you’d like me to talk about, drop me a comment below.

letherout

I was unable to attend this year’s Horror Channel’s FrightFest due to work commitments however I have reviewed a few films that were shown at the festival. So far, stylish body horror Let Her Out is available to check out on the site. If you haven’t seen this one I highly recommend it, it has a gore-geous visual style accompanied by an intriguing premise. You can read my full thoughts here: http://lovehorror.co.uk/horror-reviews/let-2016-review/

noss1

I watched/reviewed Night of Something Strange today so be sure to check out my review of that when it’s available on the site. It’s a real blast and if you love parodies, horror/comedy and gross out humour then it’s certainly worth checking out. Also coming up will be reviews of the independent short films of Mark McFarlane and Jimmi Johnson and Welsh language thriller The Library Suicides

neon demon

I finally saw The Neon Demon this week at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre Cinema. I went into the film with mixed expectations but was incredibly impressed. It’s such a stunning, messed up film and even though the pacing is rather slow in places I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen and needed to know what was going to happen.

Ghostface Girls are back! Following our trip to Horror Con UK back in July, Caitlyn and I have recorded and uploaded another podcast where we discuss Horror on TV. With the new season of American Horror Story coming out soon and Stranger Things currently being one of the most popular genre shows on Netflix and in general we had a lot to talk about. Accompanying the podcast we interviewed author and interviewer Tony Earnshaw on his book Fantastique which has incorporated interviews from the world’s most iconic filmmakers from Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy:

Read our Fantastique interview here: https://creators.co/@ghostfacegirls/4034542

Our latest interview was published this week where we spoke to Russell Hillman of Freaktown Comics on his Kickstarer project and graphic novel, Slashermania. His campaign ends on September 13th so if you’d like to show some support click the link below:

Read our interview with Russell Here: https://creators.co/@ghostfacegirls/4070488

In other Ghostface Girls news, we will be heading to Celluloid Screams from the 21st-23rd October then Wales Comic Con on the 5th and 6th November. As always you will find us at the Abertoir Horror Festival from the 15th-20th November. There’s a lot of exciting things coming up.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

 

Advertisements

Halloween Month: Top 5 Wes Craven Films to watch this Spooky Season!

Posted in Halloween Month with tags , , , , , on October 1, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

The loss of one of genre cinema’s greatest directors is still very raw amongst fans. So, if you’re planning on a movie marathon this Halloween season then what better way to celebrate than pay homage to the beloved Wes Craven, the ultimate master of our nightmares! Here are my personal (and of course subjective) top picks of Craven films  to enjoy this October. So sit back, relax with some sugary treats and don’t forget to Scream!

craven

**CONTAINS SPOILERS**

5. Red Eye (2005)

Red Eye is Craven’s strongest genre film from the noughties and one of his more underrated in his overall career. Its Final Destination meets Scream in a calculating thriller about a hotel manager Lisa (Rachel McAdams) who is terrorized on a routine flight by a sinister stranger (Cillian Murphy) linked to a menacing and dangerous plot to assassinate a politician. With the threat of her father being killed dangling in front of her, Lisa is trapped yet surrounded by people. She is threatened and unable to say a word, otherwise she risks everything. Red Eye is well executed, slowly introducing the main characters, keeping Murphy’s Jackson Rippner charming and charismatic before revealing his nasty intentions. Its edge of your seat stuff, as the conspiracy unfolds. The primary setting of the plane ramps up the tension signifying the notion of no escape. Lisa has to be careful of every move she makes. She is reminiscent of Sidney Prescott with her resourcefulness and mannerisms; allegedly the role was considered for Neve Campbell at one stage and it does feel as if it was written for her, Rachel McAdams however delivers a powerhouse performance. Its a cat and mouse game with intense direction from Craven. Catch Red Eye on Netflix.

4. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

hills

This bleak homage to Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) was Craven’s second feature film. Following his controversial début The Last House on the Left (1972), Craven continued with a similar gritty tone as a family become stranded in the desolate Nevada desert only to be brutalized by a group of cannibals. The Hills Have Eyes is exploitation at its finest and an example of Craven’s earlier and more seedier work before his more polished offerings years later. Adding to the grubbiness was the fact that Craven rented the camera to shoot the movie from a well-known pornographer. He had a lot of dark ideas when creating The Hills Have Eyes, including toying with the idea of killing off a baby but instead settled with the dog death which is harrowing enough for any animal lover! The film kick started a career in Horror for Dee Wallace (most famous for playing Elliot’s mother in ET) before going on to roles in 80’s flicks Cujo (1983) and The Howling (1981). Michael Berryman’s hillbilly villain named Pluto is one of the most iconic monsters and is instantly recognizable as a significant horror character. On the whole the film is extremely disturbing and doesn’t hold back on the malice, the burning scene being one of its most harrowing. The Hills Have Eyes legacy lives on through inspiring a number of inbred themed films, the Wrong Turn franchise being the most well-known. It received the remake treatment in 2006 which was actually pretty well-executed. One of the most interesting and violent films of Craven’s earlier career, The Hills Have Eyes is worth watching this Halloween if you’re looking for something macabre and brutal.

3. Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

nightmare-3-poster-e1398290524170

The only film in this countdown that Craven didn’t actually direct but he did contribute towards the screenplay. Every horror fan knows that Dream Warriors is the most well-regarded Elm Street Sequel as it went back to the origins of both Freddy and Nancy’s story arcs. It was one of the first horror films I recall really getting into at a young age. Set in a hospital, our heroine Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkampis now a psychiatrist helping teenage survivors of Freddy Kruger fight back using their dreams against him. The teens include Kristen Parker (played by Patricia Arquette this time round) who became a significant part of the franchise in her own right. Chocked full of mesmerizing imagery (gory puppetry scene) and containing many memorable death scenes (“Prime Time, Bitch!” being an exceptional highlight). Dream Warriors was a major improvement on the second instalment Freddy’s Revenge (1985), guaranteeing Kruger as a relevant horror villain for years to come. The original idea Craven had intended for the film was what eventually became 1994’s New Nightmare which was completely ahead of its time and a prelude to Scream (1996). If you’re going to watch an Elm Street sequel this Halloween, make sure its this one!

2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

noes

The movie that guaranteed that we’d never sleep again. A Nightmare on Elm Street completely speaks for itself and was the film that put Craven on the map to success. This imaginative and terrifying concept has frightened generations for years to come. It’s the movie that Johnny Depp owes his entire career to and also made an icon out of Robert Englund. If you want a classic movie this year, Nightmare on Elm Street is the one to go for. Also, there’s a chance to see it on the big screen at Celluloid Screams Horror Festival’s All-Nighter, in honour of the master of nightmares!

1.Scream 2 (1997)

scream2

Scream 2  is one of the strongest slasher sequels out there if not the best. Slicing its way onto cinema screens a year after Craven’s 1996 post-modern masterpiece, Scream 2 delivered more chills, more blood and more scares as it continued the Sidney Prescott story to university. Our beloved characters were brought back including Courtney Cox’s feisty news reporter (now author!) Gale Weathers and movie buff Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy). Scream 2 took risks (killing off Sarah Michelle Gellar in her second film written by Kevin Williamson) and some unsuspecting turns as it taught us no one is safe! It also provides a witty commentary on sequels, the status of race in horror as well as reverted to the classic tale of revenge paying homage to Friday the 13th (1980). Scream 2 upped the ante making it the most compelling sequel out of the franchise. For me, its incredibly nostalgic. If you’re ready to Scream this Halloween, this is the sequel for you! After Craven’s distaste for his nightmarish creation Elm Street being transformed into a franchise, he truly proved here that this is how a follow-up to a successful film should really be done!

Read my Ghostface Girls Debate Article on which is the best Scream sequelhttp://moviepilot.com/posts/2015/01/27/ghostface-girls-debate-which-is-the-best-scream-sequel-2629914?lt_source=external,manual

Which Wes Craven films do you plan on watching this Halloween season, what would be your top picks? Feel free to comment below! Or Tweet @HayleyR1989

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Coming Soon…

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Halloween Month with tags , on September 6, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Halloween Month.

halloween

Hayley’s Horror Reviews takes a look at some spooktacular classic films that are perfect for Halloween Season…

Ghostface Girls

ghostface-ghostface-girls-episode-two

Podcasts, Articles, Videos and more from these two Scream and all things Horror fanatics.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Poll: Which Halloween Month Article Did You like the most? + Ghostface Girls.

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Halloween Month, Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

-6fbcddb3-22a5-4211-b958-23719ab01644

Just a fun little feedback poll for my readers.

With #HalloweenMonth on the site at an end, which article did you guys enjoy reading the most and what are you most likely to watch on the special day, this October 31st?!

 

halloween_crimson_quill-17

ghostface-ghostface-girls-episode-two

On another note please check out my side project Ghostface Girls latest podcast, Episode 6: Celluloid Screaming. We talk Friday’s upcoming Sheffield Horror Festival, Abertoir’s Halloween events in Cardiff and a couple of things we’re looking forward to at the Aberystwyth Festival in November. We discuss our plans for an upcoming ‘nasty’ little video to be filmed at Abertoir and we want YOU guys to get involved. Fast forward to the end of the podcast to find out how!

You can listen to the latest episode here.

For Caitlyn’s site visit: http://scaredsheepless.com/ for a spooky article on The Woman in Black. 

Also check out our Facebook page, we’re aiming for 100 likes by Friday! Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far.

You can also tweet us at @GhostfaceGirls

I will see you guys at Celluloid Screams and will return with plenty of video coverage!

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

 

Halloween Month: The Burning (1981)

Posted in Halloween Month with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

This week its time to present a campfire chiller all vengeful and bloody ready for Halloween. With the Abertoir Horror Festival on its way next month, complete with a notorious video nasties theme, it seemed appropriate to offer one of the first films that made it onto the UK’s banned list back in the 1980’s. Now while I’m all for recommending a certain iconic hockey-masked wearing, machete-wielding psycho that goes around slaying sexually-charged happy campers, The Burning is an interesting film in its own right. This is mainly because while the film pays homage to the sub-genre and shares its style and themes with the studio-slasher from the previous year, Friday the 13th (1980), it doesn’t wholly stick with expected conventions. However for its time of production The Burning still played it safe in terms of not diverting too far from conventionality. The early 80’s saw a out pour in popularity with the stalk’n slash teen movie and this was one of the earliest. Before Freddy Kruger there was Cropsy.

BurningUKQuad

A summer camp prank goes horribly wrong when a group of young teen males band together to exact revenge on their mean caretaker Cropsy (Lou David). What begins as a harmless scare turns into terror as the boys accidentally cause a drunk Cropsy to burn alive after knocking over a lit, decomposed skull. After five years of hospital rehabilitation, Cropsy is unleashed back into society, hell bent on murdering groups of youths near the summer camp he endured his fateful accident. The hormone-driven adolescents have no idea what’s in store once Cropsy and his sharp shears returns to bump them all off.

burning1

The Burning materialized following well-known movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s desire to break into the film industry. Spotting the opportunity to capitalize on the success of low-budget horror films such as Halloween (1978) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Weinstein discovered a niche and then began to swap scary stories with his producing partner Michael Cohl. Recalling the legend of The Cropsy Maniac (the intended title) that he heard at a upstate New York summer camp as a child, Weinstein and Cohl had an idea on their hands. Upon the film’s release certain reviews (one found in J.A. Kerswell’s Teenage Wasteland (p.192) suggested that The Burning had attempted to replicate the success of Sean. S Cunnigham’s Friday the 13th which coincidentally was released a year prior. Weinstein has adamantly stated that he wrote his treatment for The Burning in 1979 and registered it in April 1980 a month before Friday the 13th was released. Tom Savini who was noted for his effective make up work on Friday the 13th opted to work on The Burning over the second part in the Friday franchise also released in 1981. His effects that transform Cropsy into a frightful monster are exceptional, providing a sense that he’s not quite human like the storytelling campers talk about within the film.

friday-vs-burning

The Burning is a classic tale of a murderous maniac exacting revenge on those who wronged him, one that has been heard from a friend of a friend and so on. Cleverly The Burning doesn’t let on as to whether the events of the film are real or not. Are we the audience just part of a campfire tale? Delving into the anxieties modern society faced such as the rebellion of youth and the lack of adult authority, The Burning is one of many 80’s horror films that achieves the notion of paranoia. Much of the killings take place during daylight which frighteningly allows the threat (the killer) to step into our supposed safe every day lives.

the-burning-pic-5

There’s plenty of horror in store but also an interesting mix of teen movie/comedy tropes involving pre-marital sex ( a big no in slashers!) and elements of the coming-of-age film which lulls the viewer into a false sense of security as the The Burning really does slow-burn before getting to its bloodiest moments, allowing us to get acquainted with the young campers and their care-free attitudes that makes us forget horrible things are about to happen. There’s a sense of friendship at play as The Burning does something rare in comparison to the lot of slashers, it shortly does touch on the subject of remorse experienced by the remaining survivors following the discovery of the bodies of their dead friends on the abandoned raft; highlighting the severity of the ghastly events and their impact on the young.

Glazer is persistent for Sally’s affections.

Just like several films of its era, The Burning is a fable to suggest that if teenagers engage in sexual activity there will be dire consequences. However this is made complex throughout the narrative, the young female characters aren’t completely susceptible to the charms and occasionally forcefulness of their male peers, providing uncomfortable viewing. Interestingly, Cropsy’s first three on-screen victims are female (excluding the infamous raft scene). The first is a prostitute that Cropsy visits on his release from hospital, a sequence echoing the famous scene from Peeping Tom (1960), where we see the victim’s fear from Cropsy’s point-of-view. The second is Karen (Carolyn Houlihan) after she behaves like a cock-tease towards Eddy (Ned Eisenberg). She goes as far as skinny dipping with him but refuses to let him go the whole way, apprehensive due to his ladies-man persona, Karen worries that she’ll just be another “statistic” which hints as a metaphor to the fear of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease. Despite her decision to not have sex she still ends up dead, ironically a statistic in a teenage bloodbath. The frustrations of Eddy and Karen mirror those of the killer’s, all based in rejection, rejection from human contact.

Sally’s death scene. Sex = Death trope.

 

Cropsy’s third victim is Sally (Carrick Glenn). Sally plays hard to get against Glazer (Larry Joshua), who’s persistent and makes promises of a wonderful experience. On the outside Glazer is a brute and disrespectful to his peers but demonstrates signs of naivety and vulnerability. Sally eventually gives into him but the sex is far from the greatness she expected and is then the next to meet her demise. Even though the female characters are written a little more than one-dimensional with elements of headstrong personalities, they all fall into the the sex equals death category which wasn’t turned on its head until mid-90’s horror and beyond.

Todd, The Final Boy seeks out to defeat Cropsy.

Now where the film differs from its Halloween’s and Friday the 13th’s is by subverting the traditional dynamic of the inclusion of the final girl. The active character this time round who faces the killer head on is in fact male and one of the pranksters from the beginning of the movie, camp counsellor Todd (Brian Matthews). From a storytelling point of view this made sense with Todd confronting his mistakes in early adult-hood as he was partly responsible for Cropsy’s disfigurement. Interestingly he rescues another male character, Alfred (Brian Backer), the observant one that first sees a glimpse of Cropsy from the window early on while the others dismiss him. Together these characters embody the tropes associated with the final girl. The Burning remains one of the only films of the genre to feature a final boy instead with Todd representing the muscle and Alfred the mind. Together they combine the essential ingredients for a horror movie survivor while eliminating the boy saves girl or vice versa convention.

pov

The identification with the killer in slasher cinema was fast becoming a sub-genre staple. Point-of-view shots from Cropsy are depicted early on within the film, the effect was created with the use of vaseline rubbed onto the camera lens to indicate distortion. In this case the teenagers describe him as a monster and use him as scary-story material but from an audience perspective there is a slight sense of empathy for our shear-swinging psycho. The Burning doesn’t establish enough as to what sort of brutal acts Cropsy conducted during his time as a caretaker and whether he warranted such an unpleasant fate at the hands of the kids who claimed his cruelty. Therefore there’s a complexity at play as to who’s side the audience should be on, or possibly we’re meant to see it from both angles. Unlike Michael and Jason, Cropsy does not disguise himself with a mask, however he embodies the tropes of the silent killer. His burned face was possibly an early inspiration for Freddy Krueger.

burningcropsy

download (2)

Strangely, the BBFC over here in the UK had let Friday the 13th off the hook and was released uncut in 1980. James Ferman, the censorship director at the time had deemed it too “far-fetched” to even be considered realistic. However by 1981 things had changed. 26 cuts to the gore effects were made to The Burning when it came out on September 23rd 1981 with a big, fat X certificate. The 26 seconds did reduce the impact of the film’s goriest scenes which depict close-ups of impalements courtesy of  a sharp object. When home video was on the rise, Thorn-EMI allegedly put the the uncut version of the film by accident onto VHS. This was where the controversy began. When the film was seized under the Obscene Publications Act, Thorn-EMI tried their hardest to ensure the government that they had not purposely intended to release the film in its original state. They attempted a compromise where they would bring out a BBFC-approved version, however video-store owners and gore-hungry horror fans alike tried to keep their copies of the version that was meant to be seen making it one of the most infamous video nasties of the decade. Looking back now in 2014, it does go to show that when banning certain films, while letting others into the public domain unscathed that were thematically similar to each other that there was little knowledge about horror films when it came to censors, making them appear contradictory and ignorant but this is something that has been covered exceedingly well in both of Jake West’s Video Nasties documentaries, Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape (2010) and Draconian Days (2014).

VideoNasties_4258

The Burning is one to watch this Halloween. While it didn’t hit the same chord as the Friday the 13th franchise or generate mindless sequels (thank God!), its a gem in its own right. While not the greatest horror film ever made, its by far not the worst, it includes some of Tom Savini’s best FX work and an insight into a different slasher perspective. Who could forget the iconic imagery of Cropsy holding up his shears ready to kill?! Its based on a real-life urban legend too! The Burning launched the careers of Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander and Fisher Stevens, all the best actors start out in horror (yes I’m referring to you Johnny Depp!). But best of all you can watch it completely and totally uncut!

The-Burning

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Halloween Month: Halloween: 20 Years Later, H20 (1998)

Posted in Halloween Month with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

It wouldn’t be Halloween month without a revisiting a film from this well-loved franchise. This time round we’re swapping Haddonfield for sunny California; where Laurie Strode returns under a new identity for a showdown with her murderous long-lost brother, 20 years after the night HE came home. Halloween: 20 Years Later or most commonly referred to as H20 (easily confused with the chemical name for water!) unsurprisingly returned to the slasher screen following the resurgence in popularity for the sub-genre thanks to Scream. Miramax’s genre based film company Dimension garnered success with Scream and also owned the rights to the Halloween franchise so it made perfect sense to attempt to generate another horror hit. Considering fans were disappointed with the outcome of the sixth film in the franchise, The Curse of Michael Myers following negative feedback at test screenings that resulted in cuts, another film in the series was therefore a must.

HalloweenH20poster

Twenty years following the Haddonfield Halloween Massacre, Michael Myers breaks into the home of Dr. Sam Loomis and steals confidential papers that contain information about his long-lost sister’s whereabouts while slashing his way through some brand new victims including Joseph Gordon-Levitt in an early role. Now, we’re in the post-Scream era, there needed to be a big important opening death scene to convey that anything can happen. Nurse Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) Loomis’s nurse in the first film was therefore one of the first to be butchered by Michael. Under the new identity of Keri Tate, Laurie is now a headmistress at Hillcrest Academy, still living in fear of the traumatic events she suffered at the hands of Myers while raising a teenage son and turning to alcoholism to cope. Soon enough Laurie is confronted by her past as Michael continues to kill until he gets to her.

llcoolj-halloween-h20

In the late 90’s every slasher poster was constructed by featuring images of the cast posing with their ‘afraid faces’ at the forefront, spawned after the success of Fisherman stalk n’ slash flick I Know What You Did Last Summer. Typically a famous rapper of the time (in this case LL Cool J) would also star and be a main attraction on the cover to y’know be hip! In all fairness LL Cool J gives an entertaining performance in the movie, much better than Busta Rhymes in Halloween: Resurrection but we’ll talk about that insulting film later!

summer17f-2-web

scream2posterurban_legend

While it wasn’t the worst idea in the world to resurrect this franchise and provide the grizzly showdown fans had been waiting for, H20 goes by in a blur with a short run time of 86 minutes, making it the shortest of all the Halloween movies to unsatisfying effect. There’s heaps of potential there to explore while placing the story in a 90’s context. Laurie Strode’s arc is strong, Jamie Lee Curtis packs a punch in her performance and updates Laurie from frightened teenager to a headstrong but damaged woman. Ultimately, H20 is Laurie’s story however the inclusion of younger teen characters didn’t bring as much depth as it could have which has its short run time to blame; causing the film to feel rushed and underdeveloped. Fresh off the new teen show at the time, Dawson’s Creek, Michelle Williams starred as Molly Cartwell. Williams is the one actress in the film that didn’t receive enough screen-time which was a shame considering how talented she is, there was potential for a new scream-Queen in the making rather than just the ‘girlfriend’ archetype. To its credit, while slightly bloodier than the 1978 original, H20 didn’t go down the gratuity route with the camera lingering on gruesome death scenes like studios had insisted on with previous sequels in order to keep up with horror trends. It managed to keep the spirit of Halloween while generating its own edge to determine that a Halloween movie could translate into post-modern 90’s horror.

halloween-h20-2

In general the Halloween franchise is a problematic mess in terms of its story arc. H20 decisively ignored the presence of IV, V and The Curse of Michael Myers. Part IV indicated that Laurie Strode had died in a tragic accident leaving a daughter she had around 1980 in the care of foster parents. Her apparent husband only referred to as Mr. Lloyd was also killed. Clearly the idea was to awaken the terror all over again, ten years after the Haddonfield massacre with Laurie 2.0. Same story, different characters with links back to the original. Young Jamie Lloyd (the first horror role for Danielle Harris) was subsequently targeted by her psychotic uncle throughout the span of three films. Jamie (later played by J.C. Brandy) eventually met her demise in the sixth part, The Curse of Michael Myers, prior to that she had a child.

Jamie Lloyd, Laurie’s forgotten daughter.

 

In H20, its revealed that Laurie faked her own death to escape her evil brother all those years ago. There’s no mention of the daughter she would have practically abandoned or the notion of a grandchild, however as mentioned Laurie does have a teenage son John Tate (Josh Hartnett). John is seventeen in the film to make it all the more fitting that he’s the same age his mother was when she was originally targeted by Myers. The time span between Laurie faking her own death and then having another child doesn’t really add up, considering John would have been born in 1981.  It has been said in  Kevin Williamson’s (Writer of Scream & Scream 2) original idea, there was to be a scene where the Jamie Lloyd arc was acknowledged. A bitchy student at Hillcrest Academy reads out a class report on Michael Myers reign of terror discussing what happened to Jamie. The revelations become too much for Laurie, who is seen to flee the classroom to throw up. Many fans tend to place the 1978 movie, 1981 sequel and H20 as in canon with parts 4-6 set in a separate universe while avoiding the horrible Halloween: Resurrection completely.

1_7eds6

Laurie’s seventeen year old son, John Tate.

 

The idea for Halloween: 20 Years Later initially came about when Jamie Lee Curtis expressed interest in developing a movie to mark the anniversary of one of slasher film’s greatest. Excitingly John Carpenter was named as a possible director and Curtis eagerly wanted to collaborate with him again. Carpenter did agree to direct but with a starting fee of $10 million which he deemed as fair after some financial problems with the revenue following the original Halloween. His salary for H20 would have been his compensation however when he was refused the money he made the decision to step away from directing a further sequel. The directorial reigns ended up in the hands of Steve Miner, director of Friday the 13th Part II and III. Its possible that if Carpenter had been director then fans may have experienced an even better film than the final product despite Miner’s horror background.

usa-which-of-these-john-carpenter-flicks-are-your-favorite

As previously mentioned the initial treatment for H20 was written by Kevin Williamson. Known for his edgy and witty dialogue and ability to challenge horror conventions incredibly well. If Williamson had written the finished screenplay and teamed up with Carpenter as director, much like his pairing with Wes Craven two years previous then H20 could have been even bigger than Scream. There were attempts in H20 at being meta. When the characters of Sarah (Jodi Lynn O’Keefe) and Molly (Michelle Williams) are preparing for their Halloween party, the scene where Cici Cooper (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is terrorized by Ghostface in Scream 2 plays on the television. The purpose of this was to break the fourth wall. In Scream, Jamie Kennedy’s character Randy Meeks dissected and analysed the first Halloween film as part of constructing the rules of the horror genre. Incorporating the Cici death scene in H20 came as a homage. Originally, it was said that Sarah and Molly were to be watching So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993) with an in-joke that they were watching a film starring Mike Myers which in terms of irony works a lot better. The Scream 2 clip was added in post-production as a nod to Williamson’s involvement.

tumblr_m6t2sftutA1r74762o1_500

 

Another reference to Scream is where Laurie tells her son and his girlfriend to “go down the street to the Becker’s house” which is of course referring to Drew Barrymoore’s short-lived character Casey Becker who spectacularly opens the first Scream movie. However in Halloween, there is a similar line which is “go down the street to the McKenzie’s house”, it was also uttered in the Barrymoore death scene. The most meta aspect of all was the casting of Jamie Lee Curtis’s real life mother Janet Leigh as her secretary Norma. Leigh was of course famous for her portrayal of Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho (1960) and is even accompanied with the original car from the legendary film. Having these two appear together in the film is a real joy for fans especially with the tongue-in-cheek dialogue between them. Curtis and Leigh had starred alongside each other in John Carpenter’s The Fog (1980) however their characters did interact as much, sharing only one scene to my recollection. P.J. Soles was asked to play the role of Norma Watson initially but was sceptical toward the idea of playing a different character to Lynda, her character from the 1978 film who was killed off.

Janet.Leigh_.Halloween.H20

John Ottoman composed the score for this instalment but was however displeased after part of the Scream score by Marco Beltrami was placed in during post-production as producers opted for a darker, 90s slasher edge. The inclusion of Mr Sandman performed by The Chordettes to open the film on the Dimension logo added in a nice touch and brought in a reference to the old school Halloween. Another controversial aspect of production that was discussed in documentary Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2006) was a dispute regarding the masks used for Michael Myers. Several re-shoots were done with a CGI mask inserted over footage of Chris Durand (The Myers Actor) and in total 4 masks were created.

owo5btvuyxjosjvsfnoqt6tijgj

H20 opened  in the August of 1998 to a mix of reviews. Many were disappointed with its ignorance of previous instalments while other criticized its slow pace. It is a difficult film to watch considering the knowledge of what came after it especially with how final this film feels. Laurie’s battle with Myers is one of epic proportions, providing the satisfying closure the series deserved as she unapologetically slays him with an axe. It is considered one of the more favourable sequels and is second highest grossing instalment within the franchise, next to Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake.  As a stand alone it has its moments. The cinematography is stunning, romanticizing the Halloween season, capturing the holiday incredibly well. Even though underdeveloped the young cast do well with the given material. Josh Hartnett is believable as Cutis’s teenage son and Curtis herself delivers a phenomenal and unforgettable performance.

Laurie face to face with her evil brother is one of the film’s most iconic moments.

H20 is one to watch this Halloween because despite its flaws it wouldn’t be Halloween without it and it has Laurie Strode kick some psychopath ass!

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Interview with Halloweenerrific.

Posted in Halloween Month, Love Horror with tags , , , , on October 10, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Usually I’m the one asking the questions therefore I’m honoured to have recently done an interview with Halloween themed site http://halloweenerrific.co.uk about my interest in horror, what makes a good horror film for me and what I’m getting up to this Halloween season.

new-happy-halloween-pic

You can check out the interview here.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.