Halloween movie mini-reviews
I’ve fallen behind on Halloween movie reviews, so here’s a bunch of mini-reviews to catch up. It’s a copout, I know. I’ll post proper reviews the rest of the month.
Night of the Living Dead
The definitive zombie film is still probably the best one ever made. Spare and still quite brutal, and its smaller scope (it’s a rare zombie film that is not apocalyptic in scale) lends it a sense of singular desperation: All of humanity is not at stake in this film, just six people trying to get through the night alive.
Well, this one’s a crowd-pleaser.
This is abso-friggin-lutely not a movie for everyone. It’s grimy, silent, and profoundly strange; an original creation myth, depicted entirely through wordless actions. Since creation myths often involve gruesome violence and baffling sex, well, that’s what this film depicts. Despite being incomprehensible at times, whether or not you can make sense of the imagery, it’s pretty damn unsettling.
Evil Dead II
It wasn’t on my list, but I felt like watching it, so I did. I guess it replaces something else that I’ll figure out later.
Anyway, there’s not to explain about Evil Dead II. It’s the same basic plot as Evil Dead. You know the drill: absurd gore, chainsaws, and Bruce Campbell making faces. Always enjoyable.
There’s no denying the craft behind this film: Wes Craven was clearly having a blast making it. Yeah, watching it now, its deconstruction of the genre doesn’t feel as fresh as it once did, and its thrills don’t hold up to the very best horror films. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre still has the power to unsettle me. This film doesn’t. Regardless, it’s still a very good time.
Trick ‘r Treat
I did review this film earlier. It was a blast. Not really frightening, but its purpose is less to disturb than to capture the ineffable essence of Halloween that still makes October such a fun time of year. A very entertaining film that will definitely become a Halloween tradition for me.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
I also reviewed this one. Still one of the greatest horror films ever made, a movie that still feels fresher than its gory remake. Excess isn’t what drives this movie, but a disquieting sense of believability underneath the mayhem. It’s a masterpiece of the genre, and one of my favorite films of any genre. Go watch it.
That’s what I’ve got so far. I’ll have my review of Lords of Salem (what a strange movie, but I’m glad I watched it) up tomorrow. I’m also working on my review for The Exorcist, which will be longer. I can’t just snippet all of these, after all.