With Halloween less than a week away, we’re gonna take a look at five new Halloween classics that I can highly recommend to you folks beginning with The Cabin In The Woods:
The Cabin in the Woods is a 2012 American horror comedy film directed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut, produced by Joss Whedon, and written by Whedon and Goddard. The film stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. The plot follows a group of college students who retreat to a remote forest cabin where they fall victim to backwoods zombies and the two technicians who manipulate the ongoing events from an underground facility. Goddard and Whedon, having worked together previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, wrote the screenplay in three days, describing it as an attempt to “revitalize” the slasher film genre and as a critical satire on torture porn.
A slick, really funny, really clever, really great satire of cliché horror movies with the brilliant scripting of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and Goddard’s nice direction and a cast that works together so well and one of the best over the top craziest twists you’ll ever come across.
Sinister is a 2012 American supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. It stars Ethan Hawke as fictional true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt who discovers a box of home movies in his attic that puts his family in danger.
Sinister 2 (also stylized as Sinister II) is a 2015 American supernatural horror film directed by Ciaran Foy and written by Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. The sequel to the 2012 film Sinister, the film stars James Ransone, reprising his role from the original film, and Shannyn Sossamon as a mother whose sons are tormented by the ghostly children taken by Bughuul at their rural farmhouse.
Now, the first Sinister movie was a great horror movie using old school horror clichés but being very clever about them, having great characters you can relate to, and genuinely effective scares that don’t rely specifically on jumpscares, pretty much everything wrong with every horror movie released today.
Another key part of the first film’s rousing success as a film comes from the brilliant writing of Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, who clearly do have an idea of what makes for good horror and also the clever production style of Jason Blum, who has found a way to make smart intelligent and entertaining horror films such as this one mixing it with the ones that just plain suck.
Sinister 2 has 12% on Rotten Tomatoes which means it’s a huge critical failure especially compared to the first film’s 62%. So, does this make this movie as bad as everybody puts it out to be?
Again, no, it’s not that bad. In fact, this is probably one of the best horror sequels in recent years, maybe since Evil Dead 2, because there is clearly an approach that they are taking with this that they don’t want to redo the first movie all over again and once again, the writing of Derrickson and Cargill puts the movie to another level than before.
Now, with that said, this is not nearly as good as Sinister is. And I think I know the reason why, it’s because Scott Derrickson did not direct this one and did not have as much creative control as he did with the first one. And having heard that there was a difference in opinion about where the story of Bhughul would go, you can definitely see that sense of ideas not coming together as well as they should in this movie.
James Ransone, returning as Detective So & So, is great in this once again, Shannyn Sossamon is very good in this, although some of the lines that she’s given in this come off as pretty corny in some spots, the kids in this are great and definitely come off as very menacing in the best possible way.
The scares in this movie seem to go more for specifically jumpscares in most parts compared to the first film in which they went for more genuine old fashioned scared, they’re still here but you can definitely tell they are going more for the typical jumpscare fashion that we’re used to see in today’s really lousy horror films.
The main problem with Sinister 2 is that they go more for the typical lousy horror movie style instead of the different approach that the first film took but to the movie’s credit, it’s definitely showing a lot more effort and interest in expanding the universe’s story than most horror sequels do.
I mean, really think about it, when was the last time we saw a great horror sequel? Evil Dead 2. Actually, if we want to talk about recent sequels, I think Paranormal Activity 2 and 3 are actually great sequels, expanding on the story of the first film but not repeating the story of the first film. Final Destination 2 is another one we can throw into the mix and I’ll even go as far as to say Scream 2 was a good sequel. I just named off five horror sequels that were good out of hundreds, they are very few and far between to come by and Sinister 2 is one of the better horror sequels we’ve seen in a while.
It’s not quite as good as the first movie but you can definitely still see the effort being put in there to make a worthy followup to such a great movie. A lot of it works but a lot of it doesn’t. Don’t let the critics tell you that this is one of the worst movies of the year because I damn well can tell you that is not the case at all. It’s a good sequel but not as good as the first movie, watch it at your own risk.
It Follows is a 2014 American supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. It stars Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe. The plot follows a girl pursued by a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter.
I gotta say, this is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a long time. The plot is very clever, the style and look of the film is very nicely done, the creature designs are fantastic, and the main character is played very well by Maika Monroe. Definitely check it out if you’re looking for a horror movie that’s a great homage to 80s horror and also really unique and clever.
When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.
Getting to this one a little bit late but really, I think it was worth the wait because I gotta say, this is not only one of the most enjoyable Christmas movies I’ve seen since Arthur Christmas but it’s also one of the best horror movies in recent memory.
I really dug the hell out of this movie, it was just one hell of a good time at the movies.
The movie pays tribute to classic horror comedies of the past like Ghostbusters and Gremlins as well as an opening shot that’s reminiscent of Psycho but it also manages to take modern horror tropes and make it work, the demonic toys are so reminiscent of the toys from Five Nights At Freddy’s, it’s even scarier than that game is. Plus, the movie does what good horror films should do, create new scares while also using some of the older more clichéd tropes and even make those come off as scary too. The jumpscares in this movie are surprisingly really damn good and those are usually the biggest problems with most of today’s horror films.
But really, I think it’s because of the writer/director, Michael Dougherty, who nearly 10 years ago brought up the equally as good Trick R’ Treat, who clearly wants to create horror movies that are absolutely different than the craphola of horror films we have today and use old school techniques to get the best scares and he definitely makes it clear in this movie doing for Christmas what he did with Halloween and Trick R’ Treat.
What’s unique about this movie is the impressive cast of people it has. You’ve got your more comedic stars involved with Adam Scott, David Koechner, and Concheta Ferrell but you also have more prestigious names such as Alison Tolman from Fargo and Toni Collette involved. And they all play into their parts really well and even the kid actors involved do a really good job here.
The visuals are incredible, the whole movie is set up in this dark sepia-toned feel and the mostly practical effects they show here are incredible, even the CG effects are nicely done too. The look of the Krampus monster itself is so friggin’ cool, he looks exactly what’d you expect to see when you think of a giant goat like monster and he just looks so badass.
If there was any real complaints or criticism I could throw towards the film is that the movie does fall into a little bit of predictability in its’ story especially towards the end. However, the ending for the movie and the last few minutes of the film and the way it’s shot and the way it ends, it’s a clichéd tease for a sequel but nevertheless, I thought it was pretty tense and scary with the way the camera and the music and the actors’ looks and expressions made the scene just work so much better that it could’ve. It would’ve been so easy to just make this a cheap little tease for a potential sequel but the way it’s done, it just works so much better than it could’ve been.
Krampus is a movie that has a lot of elements that work to its’ advantage, a great cast, a great story, a great buildup, great horror, great bits of comedy, great visuals and an excellent ending, Krampus not only works as one of the best Christmas movies of recent memory but one of the best new horror movie classics. If you’re looking for a great horror comedy in the tradition of Gremlins and Ghostbusters, look no further than this potential classic in the making.
MOVIES MENTIONED IN THIS POST
Follow The Reviewing Network at our Facebook page at Facebook.com/TheReviewingNetwork for continuing updates and debuts for new blog posts and also follow my Twitter feed so you can see new postings right as they are posted.