[EXPRESSO] Seance (2021) | Spooky Slashing Schoolgirls

Late February isn’t exactly the usual “dumping ground” in terms of releasing horror movies that actually came out last year in most english speaking market, but whatever, i’m game.

Didn’t exactly heard much about this one besides being kinda ok… and i’m not gonna tell you it’s this underrated gem mistreated by a cruel and fickle press. I just can’t.

Set in an elite women’s college, Seance tells of the new enlisted student, Camille, able to join after the mysterious death of a student named Kerrie, following a prank at her expenses to try and scare her with the legend of the ghost of Eveldyne, a female student who killed herself there decades ago.

The newcomer gets herself and some of her bitchy asshole classmates in detention by standing up to their bullshit, but they do get spooked and intrigued when they try to make a seance to contact Kerrie… and it seems to work, but things soon get worse as the girls are stalked and killed like flies by someone or something …

Yeah, it’s teen slasher…. a very middling one at that.

It’s not that bad as a first time directing piece by Simon Barrett, who previously produced and penned horror movies such as Frankenfish, You’Re Next, 2016’s Blair Witch… and 2017’s Temple.

Sure, it’s pretty obvious who the culprit is, most of the kills leading to the reveal are very limp…. but it’s short, it redeems itself enough in the final act in terms of both gore and entertainment, helped by a good cast, decent acting and solid production values.

Thought it’s really predictable, and it’s basically the director hodgepotching horror cliches more to see what sticks than using them in service of a precise vision or tone, making for a watchable but forgettable and throwaway flick.

[EXPRESSO] Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) | Hostile Makeover

There’s a lot that could be said about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, but you won’t hear it from me now since i really didn’t bother with anything aside the original and the delightful spoof sequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. I knew this was gonna be another “Godzilla style” sequel to the original that ignores everything else, so i rewatched that for a refresher before this one released as a Netflix exclusive a couple of days ago, but that’s about it.

Set decades after the events of the original movie, the story focuses on the aged serial killer Leatherface, targeting a group of young entrepreneurs that arrive in the ghost town of Harlow to basically sell it to rich people, and him coming in contact with a veneful survivor of his killings.

Yes, it’s Angela from Sleepaway Camp. Seriously, it’s not like it could be anyone else, and the movie right away it makes no secret that Sally is still alive, but basically handles it’s legacy character in a disappointing fashion, feels like they wanted to avoid a complete mimicry of what Halloween 2018 did… even thought otherwise it’s exactly what they did anyway.

As in, the attempt is pretty clear in intention, the result is more akin to to Halloween Kills, sans the messy baggage (and overburdened script), among other things.

It’s not “good”, but it’s quite entertaining in the same way as that movie was, as in delivers gore, lots of kills and good production values, the modern stuff makes sense, but in terms of story and characters it’s a mostly forgettable wash.

For a direct-to-video sequel it’s “fine”, and since it’s also really short, i say give it a watch if you like the series or slashers in general, just don’t expect much beside some entertaining kills.

Silent Night (2012) [REVIEW] | Remake Night

Ah yes, Christmas horror, a tradition now decades old, one that inevitably leads one to talk about the Silent Night, Deadly Night series, that – while not inventing the notion, as Bob Clark’s Black Christmas was already a decade old itself by then– had quite the impact back in 1984, and definitely helped the subgenre grow into a profitable niche, while also spawning two sequels and two other numbered entries that really had nothing to do with 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night at all.

So yeah, if you know me.. you already know we ain’t talking about any of those directly, there’s always a catch, so we’re revisiting the 2012 remake of the 1984 original Silent Night Deadly Night, simply called “Silent Night”, following the then common trend of remakes shortening titles.

It was either that or Silent Night, Bloody Night, which is – odd as it may sound – not a rip-off and actually pre-dates both the original Black Christmas and the original Silent Night, Deadly Night.

Continua a leggere “Silent Night (2012) [REVIEW] | Remake Night”

Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride (2018) [REVIEW] | Crazy Fat Grandma Myers

As i pointed out in the review of Mother Krampus (a.k.a. 12 Deaths Of Christmas), this isn’t really a sequel, even by the usual lax requirements you find in horror movies there’s no connection whatsover, but was ultimately called Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride by the american distributor to cash in on the Krampus craze of these years, only to have the UK release confusingly titled just “Mother Krampus”.

At least on the box, the movie itself still says “Mother Krampus 2” (as you can see).

To fuel the confusion, technically this was slated for release in 2016 as “Naughty List”, and at one point was gonna be called “Lady Krampus”, i guess (and this is just speculation) because the other working title “Slay Bells” didn’t exactly wooed any marketing committee.

Continua a leggere “Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride (2018) [REVIEW] | Crazy Fat Grandma Myers”

[EXPRESSO] Halloween Kills (2021) | TONIGHT!!!

Hindsight it’s a terrific thing, otherwise one wouldn’t be able to say that we’re at a point where 3 different “Halloween 2” exist, this one actually being a follow up to 2018’s Halloween, a direct sequel to the original film that did so well to eventually become the first part of a trilogy by David Gordon Green, with this Halloween Kills being the middle part and Halloween Ends the conclusion.

The 2018’s movie was honestly pretty good and i would have stood as good conclusion to this continuity, but the original Halloween II already proved there’s no final rest in the industry, so i’m not instantly miffed they are making “Part II” again, this series had far worse ideas than that, as most horror fans already know the franchise’s incredibly messy history.

So the plot sees Michael Myers survive the huge fire at the end of the 2018’s movie, and then go back to Haddonfield, Illinois, where everything started, and killing whoever he stumbles upon.

This enrages the locals, haunted for 40 years by Michael’s legacy of terror and finally decide to take the matter into their own hands and end their nightmare once and for all.

I’ll start with the positives: there’s a lot of kills, great gore effects, and it’s pretty entertaining.

…. if you care about anything else, you won’t find it in Halloween Kills, as the plot could make some sense on paper but it’s senseless ridiculous gibberish that pisses all over the good stuff the 2018 movie did, and welcomes all the bullshit it avoided. With the subtlety and meaning of a hammer to the scrotum, nothing at stake, dumb ass characters that should absolutely know better.

One step forward and six backwards, so Halloween Ends will have to work hard to be worse.

The Spooktacular Eight #2: The Slayer (1982)

I did promise i would cover more Arrow Video releases.

I didn’t specify or pointed out that they also re-released a lot of slasher flicks, so we’re not talking about the works of Park Chan-wook, Miike or Buttgereit, not today.

Today we’re talking about one of the many cult slashers from the 80s (really, what slasher from that era ISN’T a cult sensation today?), The Slayer, the debut feature from genre director J.S. Cardone, and yet another one for the “video nasty” list, which in retrospect helped these movies gain more notoriety than they ever could wish for, so yeah, good one Thatcher and co.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #2: The Slayer (1982)”

[EXPRESSO] There’s Someone Inside Your House (2021) | Mid Slashing

Netflix is ramping up the horror output in October as expected and as usual i test my luck choosing what actually sit and down watch by using a bit of the old “eeny meeny miny moe” strategy.

There’s no telling if it’s good, just that it’s on Netflix…and will actually remain there since it’s an exclusive.

A fresh release (debuted worlwide on Netflix 3 days ago), There Is Someone Inside Your House is a slasher film written by Henry Garden and directed by Patrick Brice, following Makani Young, a transfer student from Hawaii that made the terrible mistake of moving to Nebraska, it’s no wonder she founds herself caught up in a case of gruesome murders happing in her new town.

Aside from the title being both straightforward and a shoe-in for a weird ass Adult Swim short film, the set up is pretty typical, with a killer going around targeting people apparently connected to a hazing ritual in an american football college team, wearing replicas of the soon to be victims’ faces, the characters are the expected ensemble of teens…. actually acting like teens, the killer exposing the victims’ secrets, the main character and her friends trying to figure out who’s the killer, etc.

Some good gore effects, decent acting, some decent setpieces, but there’s….. not really much to it, and the execution it’s a messy, misguided affari. You do the usually game of watching people die, the likeable teen characters bite the obvious bait,, until it’s actually revealed who is the killer and why, as the narrative loses focus after the first act and kinda meanders about the usual throdden path without nteresting things happening. Even the reveal of the killer’s identity is a doozy.

It’s not BAD, it’s just…. fairly forgettable, kinda throwaway average slasher fare.

Drive In Massacre (1976) [REVIEW] | Get Out Of The Car

September, perfect time for looking at some slasher movies, even lesser known (but not quite obscure) ones, like today’s Drive In Massacre.

It’s basically Targets, as in both movies have a drive-in as the central scenario of the action, and as a motif. IF Targets was directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis instead of Peter Bogdanovich.

Yeah, this one has a cult status and was quite popular at the time, i’m willing to guess in the drive-in circuits, which i always wondered about, but since that type of cinema experience never took foot here in Italy, i will just have to witness its depiction in american movies. Oh well.

Continua a leggere “Drive In Massacre (1976) [REVIEW] | Get Out Of The Car”

Shrooms (2007) [REVIEW] Trip Like I Do

Ah yes, the “weed slasher” subgenre. Which doesn’t exist… ok it does, but i’m not reviewing the Evil Bong movies. Just. No. Please no.

But cutting out the avalanche of Full Moon crap means there’s very little choice, and i did pick this movie called Shrooms up for 3 bucks on DVD while thrifting years ago, so yeah, it will do fine.

Continua a leggere “Shrooms (2007) [REVIEW] Trip Like I Do”

[EXPRESSO] Freaky (2020) | Stop ‘n’ Swop

It’s my pleasure to say that with Freaky we’re back to Christopher Langdon’s brand of energetic and delightful modern slashers movie “with a twist”.

This time it’s NOT a Groundhound Day time-loop applied to a slasher movie, but another popular twist, as in “body swapping” between the heroine/final girl and the killer (via a mystical sacrifical dagger), an indirect “reversal”, as our troubled teen girl has to go back in her body and do it fast as the spell will be irreversable after 24 hours, with the killer using the advantages of his new body to continue the murder spree at the school prom.

While the main twist is indeed fresh for the slasher subgenre, and Langdon’s script fully utilizes for dramatic and comedic effect (while also obviously giving a spin to the chasing killer trope), Freaky is both style AND substance, able to hit many of the satisfying slasher elements, like the satisfaction of the killer tearing up detestable characters, the fairly graphic and unapologetic gore of the more elaborate kills, keeping most of the traditional elements.

It’s not just a cynically conceived gimmicky twist hurriedly scribbled to akwardly “spice up” an otherwise uncaring crap slasher, it’s clearly crafted and written with a clear understanding of the genre/subgenre, and while it’s very funny, with the same whimsical tone seen in previous Langdon’s film, it’s not a satire or parody, but a proper slasher movie in itself, one with great actors like Vincent Vaughn and Kathryin Newton, giving off great performances.

Even if you weren’t crazy for the director previous films (wasn’t too fond of the second Happy Death Day, myself), it can’t be denied it’s a very confidently written, acted and directed blend of horror and comedy that successfully lays an old fan favourite twist on the slasher formula.