Halloween is already over, and even if one more movie feature is coming (I’m a bit lagging behind, I know), let’s have some more fun with Halloween-themed horror, this time for adults.
So grab your popcorn and don’t be squeamish when we watch House of 1000 Corpses, Goblin and Donnie Darko.
House of 1000 Corpses
(USA 2013, director: Rob Zombie)
Some friends on a curiosity road trip through the USA find themselves captured by a psychopathic family.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre with a humorous twist is the best way to describe this often sick but also fun movie. The videoclip aesthetics can be a bit too intrusive at times as if the director was just trying to deliver something with a unique look. In a way, he already succeeds by having so many WTF moments that the change of camera angles and various filter techniques feel forced.
There’s not a lot of plot, and it’s obvious that the influences of 70s and 80s terror and slasher flicks turn the movie into a farce at times. Still there are enough memorable scenes which can’t be found in any other flicks. The sense of humor, the amount of gore and the general FY attitude wins over the audience if they’re willing to accept that this is one very sick family who likes nothing better than to torture people, even though the reasons are not as black-and-white as critics would like to have them, which is further emphasized in its much better sequel The Devil’s Rejects which already got a review treatment here.
(Canada 2010, director: Jeffery Scott Lando)
A small town is haunted by a curse which brings a creature to its doors every Halloween to steal children.
This is one of those flicks which look and feel like a TV production (which it is), characterized by cheap effects and not so well-known actors, except maybe for Gil Bellows who played the love interest in Ally McBeal. Still despite some conversations which are way too long, drag on with characters who themselves aren’t that interesting to begin with, the theme of Halloween is nicely interwoven as a mythological part in the story.
Of course there isn’t much of a plot, and the creature looks pretty bad, but when the splatter scenes do occur, they’re pretty satisfying with lots of ensuing carnage, even if the CGI blood doesn’t look that great. Not really a must-see, but for a nice little medium-gore snack, it’s more than enough.
(USA 2001, director: Richard Kelly)
Troubled teenager Donnie is visited by Frank, a bunny, who predicts the end of the world.
Okay, even if the term horror is a bit far-fetched for this one and it’s not strictly a movie which has Halloween as its theme, it at least takes place during that time and it’s about masks and appearances, or how to quote the memorable line of Frank the human-like rabbit in reply to Donnie’s question why he wears that stupid bunny suit: “Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?”
It’s one of those movies which defies categorization and is the better for it. Even if sci-fi elements like time travel and premonition prevail, there’s also a subtle sense of social criticism against the downfall of values (against pop culture among others) and teenage angst (together with some excellent acting by Patrick Swayze who leads a campaign against fear and makes money of these positive talks in front of an audience). The 80ies soundtrack and nice camera work plus a story which slowly presents more and more revelations while offering some genuinely touching scenes with memorable quotes and characters makes this quite simply a true gem which is only let down in the Director’s Cut version that explains way too much.
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