Showing posts from September, 2021

The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

HALLOWEEN REVIEWS 2021 Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly Writers: Damien Chazelle and Ed Gass-Donnelly, story by Damien Chazelle, characters created by Huck Botko & Andrew Gurland Stars: Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spencer Treat Clark, David Jensen, Tarra Riggs, Louis Hertham Traumatized after the events of the first movie, Nell  Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) is placed in a home for abused teenage girls.  She tries to get her life back together, but she continues to be haunted by a cabal of production companies who still smell a buck to be made from her story...uh, I mean, the demon Abalam.  I liked the first last exorcism, but the second last exorcism was totally unnecessary.  It’s well-made and well-acted enough that it seems to hold some promise in its early scenes, but there is just nothing there.  Dull, dull, dull.  Thankfully, this seems to have been the last last exorcism.

From Dusk till Dawn (1996)

HALLOWEEN REVIEWS 2021 Director: Robert Rodriguez Writers: Quentin Tarantino, story by Robert Kurtzman Stars: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek A couple of convicts on the run (George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino)  take a former preacher and his kids (Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, and Ernest Liu) hostage before ending up in a vampire strip bar.  This movie is like watching a double feature.   The first half is a taut crime drama with Tarantino’s trademark dialog.   The second half is a dull gore-splattered assault of a horror movie with Tarantino’s trademark dialog.  The moral: Tarantino’s trademark dialog is not enough to save a movie.

The Stand (1978)

HALLOWEEN REVIEWS 2021 by Stephen King I read the shorter version of Stephen King's beloved apocalyptic epic  as it was originally published, and although I found much to enjoy, I do not wish that I had read the expanded, restored version that was published later.   It starts with a bang and sustains impressive narrative drive during the initial outbreak of the superflu and the rapid collapse of society that follows.  Once the survivors begin segregating themselves to the emerging communities of Boulder (under the prophetic Mother Abagail) and Las Vegas (under the demonic Randall Flagg), the plot stagnates.  The final showdown with Flagg is disappointingly underwhelming and conventionally religious with a literal deus ex machina.  There's still enough good stuff here to fill two or three novels of more moderate length, but in the end, King's achievement doesn't quite equal his vision. "Confrontation" (Russian) "The Dance of Death" (Spanish) "Bas

Oculus (2013)

HALLOWEEN REVIEWS 2021 Director: Mike Flanagan Writers: Mike Flanagan & Jeff Howard, based on a short screenplay by Mike Flanagan & Jeff Seidman Stars: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan A woman (Karen Gillan) enlists her younger brother  (Brenton Thwaites), recently released from a mental institution, in a scheme to document the paranormal characteristics of an antique mirror that she blames for the destruction of her family.   Writer/director Mike Flanagan (with co-writer Jeff Howard) has effectively intertwined two timelines, following both the interactions of the siblings with the mirror in the present and the mirror’s horrific attack on the family in the past.  Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane are excellent as the parents.   The foregone conclusion may rob the flashbacks of some of their power, but this is offset by the quality of acting, characterization, and some very creepy visuals.   The present action kept me of

Waiting (1999)

  HALLOWEEN REVIEWS 2021 by Frank M. Robinson Someone who picks up a horror novel must, of course,  be willing to suspend disbelief, but the concept of another race living among us and maintaining some level of cohesion as a society for 35,000 years without discovery is just a little too far-fetched.   Worse than that, it's boring.   "Just Wait" (Polish) Toward the end of the story, there were some twists in the plot that I didn't see coming, but by that time I didn't care anymore.