REVIEW: HALLOWEEN H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER

CAST

Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens)
Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night)
Michelle Williams (Oz The Great and Powerful)
Adam Arkin (8 Simple Rules)
LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Adam Hann-Byrd (Jumanji)
Janet Leigh (Psycho)
Nancy Stephens (A Time for Dancing)
Chris Durand (Angel)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
Lisa Gay Hamilton (12 Monkeys)
Tom Kane (Grim & Evil)

Twenty years after the events of Halloween and Halloween II, on October 29, 1998, Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), Dr. Sam Loomis’ former colleague, returns to her house in Langdon, Illinois, to find it has been burglarized. Her teenage neighbor Jimmy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) searches the house and finds nothing. While waiting for the police in her house, Marion discovers a file is missing, the one on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Michael Myers’ sister who escaped the attacks two decades earlier. She also realizes that someone has been in her house and immediately rushes back over to Jimmy’s house, where she finds him and his friend dead. Michael Myers (Chris Durand) appears, and attacks Marion before slitting her throat, killing her. The police arrive as Michael leaves the house with Laurie’s file.
On Halloween, two days later, Laurie Strode awakens from a nightmare. Since 1978, she has tried to get her life together with the hope that her psychotic older brother Michael would never come after her again. She faked her death in a car accident, and then relocated to Northern California under the assumed name “Keri Tate”. She has a seemingly perfect life with her teenage son John (Josh Hartnett), her boyfriend Will (Adam Arkin), and a job as headmistress at Hillcrest Academy, a private boarding school. However, Laurie is far from happy, as the tragic events from 1978 still haunt her.

Michael finds Laurie using the file, and stalks the school grounds. The students leave for a weekend getaway. Later that evening, John and his friends are having an intimate Halloween party in the basement when John’s classmate, Charlie (Adam Hann-Byrd), is attacked and killed by Michael. When Charlie’s girlfriend Sarah (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) goes looking for him, she finds him dead in the kitchen dumbwaiter with a corkscrew embedded in his throat, and Michael appears. She manages to get into the dumbwaiter next to Charlie and just as she closes the door Michael stabs her in the leg. The dumbwaiter heads up a level and as Sarah gets out Michael slashes the rope, causing the dumbwaiter to fall onto Sarah’s leg, savagely disfiguring it. As she attempts to crawl for help Michael stabs her to death. John and his girlfriend Molly (Michelle Williams) go looking for their classmates. They find Sarah’s body hung in the pantry and are chased by Michael through the school grounds. At one point in the chase, John is stabbed in the leg by Michael. Just as Michael is about to get Molly and John, they are saved by Laurie and Will, who open the door for them just in time. Just as the door closes behind them, Laurie and Michael come face to face for the first time since their last encounter two decades ago. Laurie and Will hide Molly and John and decide to try to kill Michael.
When Will sees a shape approaching from the far end of the hall, he takes Laurie’s handgun and shoots the shape five times, only to discover that it was the school’s security guard, Ronny (LL Cool J). Michael then appears and stabs Will in the back, killing him. Laurie helps John and Molly escape but she tells them to go for help while she chooses to go back to the school with a fire ax. She finds Michael and attempts to kill him several times, and finally after stabbing him multiple times, he topples over a balcony. She approaches his body and pulls one of the knives out of his chest. She slowly raises the knife high above her head, but before she can deliver the final blow, Ronny suddenly appears, having survived the shooting, and grabs her. He restrains her from attacking Michael and drags her out of the cafeteria. The police come and put Michael’s corpse in a body bag, loading it into a coroner’s van. Laurie, knowing that Michael is extremely difficult to kill and not believing that he is really dead, grabs the ax from earlier and an officer’s gun, and she steals the van. While driving away, Michael sits up and escapes the body bag. She slams on the brakes, throwing him through the windshield. She then tries unsuccessfully to run him over. The vehicle tumbles down a cliff but she escapes, while Michael gets pinned between the van and a tree. Laurie recovers the axe and approaches him. He reaches out to her, apparently seeking forgiveness and compassion. At first it seems she will accept this, and begins reaching out to him, but then she slowly pulls her hand back and decapitates Michael, finally killing him.

Great to see Jamie Lee Curtis back in the role and acting opposite her Mum Janet Leigh which was a nice touch by the filmmakers. The acting is good, the film is fairly scary and Michael Myers return is as jumpy as is meant to be

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REVIEW: BAD GIRLS FROM VALLEY HIGH

 

CAST

Julie Benz (Angel)
Nicole Bilderback (Dark Angel)
Monica Keena (Freddy vs Jason)
Chris D’Elia (Undateable)
Jonathan Brandis (Seaquest)
Christopher Lloyd (Piranha)
Janet Leigh (Psycho)

valley_high_07Danielle is the leader of a clique of arrogant, mean high school girls; she and her rich friends Tiffany and Brooke care only about their pampered selves (although Brooke has periodic misgivings). No one really hangs out with them except a dumb jock named Gavin, and the class nerd Jonathan, and poor Danielle is getting nowhere with the popular guy Drew, even after she and friends accidentally killed his last girlfriend. It’s been a year, and Drew still ignores her – but he doesn’t ignore the new foreign exchange student Katarina. Since Katarina can’t take a hint, Danielle begins plotting her downfall. But there’s a slight problem: Danielle and her friends begin experiencing a level of high weirdness in which all three of them rapidly age. This serves to make Danielle more desperate than ever. She’ll sacrifice anything, even Drew, to get her youth and looks back.Image result for bad girls from valley highAlthough released to video in 2005, “Bad Girls From Valley High” was actually shot in 1999 and shelved because of Jonathan Brandis Suicide  It’s too bad this movie fell into obscurity because it works well for what it is. It’s got the pizazz and quirkiness this type of film requires and a number of laugh-out-loud scenes, plus there’s no unnecessary raunch or general obnoxiousness, except of course for the main “Hun” girl (Benz). Tanja Reichert is a highlight, but she appears so briefly she’s almost not worth mentioning; and Keena is a cutie but they don’t do enough with her. But Lloyd is his usual entertaining self. Brandis would commit suicide four years later and Leigh would pass away in five.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: THE FOG (1980)

CAST

Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens)
Janet Leigh (Psycho)
John Houseman (Rollerball)
Tom Atkins (Halloween III)
Charles Cyphers (Assault on Precint 13)
Nancy Loomis (Halloween)

As the Californian coastal town of Antonio Bay is about to celebrate its 100th anniversary, paranormal activity begins to occur at the stroke of midnight. Town priest Father Malone is in his church when a piece of masonry falls from the wall, revealing a cavity containing an old journal, his grandfather’s diary from a century ago. It reveals that in 1880, six of the founders of Antonio Bay (including Malone’s grandfather) deliberately sank and plundered a clipper ship named the Elizabeth Dane. The ship was owned by Blake, a wealthy man with leprosy who wanted to establish a leper colony nearby. Gold from the ship was used to build Antonio Bay and its church.
Meanwhile, three fishermen are out at sea when a strange, glowing fog envelops their trawler. The fog brings with it the Elizabeth Dane, carrying the vengeful revenants of Blake and his crew who kill the fishermen. Meanwhile, town resident Nick Castle is driving home and picks up a young hitchhiker named Elizabeth Solley. As they drive towards town, all the truck’s windows inexplicably shatter.

The following morning, local radio DJ Stevie Wayne is given a piece of driftwood inscribed with the word “DANE” that was found on the beach by her young son Andy. Intrigued, Stevie takes it with her to the lighthouse where she broadcasts her radio show. She sets the wood down next to a tape player that is playing, but the wood inexplicably begins to seep water causing the tape player to short out. A mysterious man’s voice emerges from the tape player swearing revenge, and the words “6 must die” appear on the wood before it bursts into flames. Stevie quickly extinguishes the fire, but then sees that the wood once again reads “DANE” and the tape player begins working normally again.
Image result for the fog 1980
After locating the missing trawler, Nick and Elizabeth find the corpse of Dick Baxter with his eyes gouged out. The other two fishermen are missing, one of whom is the husband of Kathy Williams, who is overseeing the town’s centennial celebrations. While Elizabeth is alone in the autopsy room, Baxter’s corpse rises from the autopsy table and approaches her. As Elizabeth screams, Nick and coroner Dr. Phibes rush back into the room where they see the corpse lifeless again on the floor, upon which it has carved the number 3. That evening, as the town’s celebrations begin, local weatherman Dan calls Stevie at the radio station to tell her that another fog bank has appeared and is moving towards town. As they are talking, the fog gathers outside the weather station and Dan hears a knock at the door. He answers it and is slaughtered by the revenants as Stevie listens in horror. As Stevie proceeds with her radio show, the fog starts moving inland, disrupting the town’s telephone and power lines. Using a back-up generator, Stevie begs her listeners to go to her house and save her son when she sees the fog closing in from her lighthouse vantage point. As the fog envelops Stevie’s house, the revenants kill her son’s babysitter, Mrs. Kobritz. They then pursue Andy, but Nick arrives just in time to rescue him.
Image result for the fog 1980Stevie advises everyone to head to the town’s church. Once inside, Nick, Elizabeth, Andy, Kathy, her assistant Sandy, and Father Malone take refuge in a back room as the fog arrives outside. Inside the room, they locate a gold cross in the wall cavity which is made from the stolen gold. As the revenants begin their attack, Malone takes the gold cross out into the chapel. Knowing that they have returned to take six lives in lieu of the six original conspirators who led them to their deaths, Malone offers the gold and himself to Blake to spare the others. At the lighthouse, more revenants attack Stevie, trapping her on the roof. Inside the church, Blake seizes the gold cross, which begins to glow. Nick pulls Malone away from the cross seconds before it disappears in a blinding flash of light along with Blake and his crew. The revenants at the lighthouse also disappear, and the fog vanishes. Later that night, Malone is alone in the church pondering why Blake did not kill him and thus take six lives. The fog then reappears inside the church along with the revenants, and Blake decapitates Malone.Image result for the fog 1980This movie is perfect in what it tries to achieve. It creates a perfect horror atmosphere, with a typical creepy musical score by John Carpenter himself and has some good creepy moments in it. This is one of the rare real scary movies made.