Child’s Play (2019)

This is the first one of the series I’ve seen in the cinema (The first one I ever saw, incidentally, was the fourth one). So this was quite a big moment for me. Remakes/reboots can be terrible though, particularly when it comes to horror movies. Was curious about this because the trailers didn’t really do a good job of selling it, to be perfectly honest I was disappointed by the trailers, the way it was edited made me worried that the actual film wouldn’t have the right tone.

Thankfully this film works. I’m not sure if it’s better than the first one, it’s an entirely different film. I think this film does more though. It has a lot more satire to it. More interesting human characters (even if they aren’t as adorable as the original Andy), and more interesting kills. I think the issue is people are comparing it to the original series as a whole, and not just the first movie, or even as just a piece of work on it’s own.

The big difference between this and the original? No voodoo. This isn’t a film about a serial killer getting his soul transferred into a doll, it’s about an A.I system. A disgruntled worker removes the safety protocols from a self-teaching robot. This fundamentally changes a lot of things, for one it makes the link between Chucky and Andy a lot stronger. Chucky genuinely cares for Andy (as much as a robot can) so his kills are made not from malice but to protect Andy from those who cause him harm (like when he strangles a cat that scratches him). This creates a much more interesting dynamic between the two, and is a lot creepier. I think it improves it as quite a few of the kills in the original didn’t really make strategic sense. In this the kills are done for a reason, that alone makes it a lot more interesting.

Another worry was that Chucky was no longer voiced by Brad Dourif. His voice was a huge part of that character, and you had to wonder how they were going to cope with replacing such an integral part of the franchise. Which unlucky bastard would they get to attempt to fill the void of one of the greatest vocal performances of horror? Oh, they got MARK FUCKING HAMILL? Yeah, I’m all for that. He NAILS the performance here. Coming off not as a manipulative killer like Dourif’s Chucky was, but like a broken angel. He sounds genuinely hurt and confused when Andy doesn’t respond to him like he wants him to. His voice performance is surrounded by other great performances too. The main 3 kid characters are great, the dynamic between them reminiscent of the Losers Club from IT.

And now onto the bad. It feels a little restrained, especially in the final section. The closing stretch takes place in a toy store, where Chucky takes control over all the wi-fi enabled toys (which is a lot). I expected this to be a true highlight, pure chaos and thrills which will build on the earlier kills to be all-out mayhem and one of the highlights of the year. As it is, it’s just another scene. With the exception of the BRILLIANT opening kill (well, the kill itself is kind of meh, but the way he kind of stumbles about whilst in costume and sprays a random kid with blood is brilliantly brutal), it feels lacking. It’s missing that sense of chaos and brutality that I felt the scene needed. It’s got multiple characters locked in a room full of things that can kill them, yet not enough happened for me to remember it (I can remember about 3 things that happened, and that’s it). Maybe if I didn’t have such high expectations I wouldn’t be so disappointed but as it I can’t help but feel a little bit let down.

So in summary; if you enjoyed the original series, I think you’ll enjoy this. It’s an entirely different animal altogether, but one you’ll still enjoy. It also has a piece of music that is both cute yet kind of creepy (sung by Mark Hamill).

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Hereditary (2018)

It’s been a few days since I watched this. I needed the cool-down period so that I could approach this with the sophistication and slick analytical nature which we are known for. So here goes: WHAT THE COCKING SHIT-FUCK WAS THAT?

I mean, I liked it, I think. I’m still not entirely sure to be honest. I thought it was very, very good, I’m just not sure if I ever want to see it again. It seems to have divided opinion, some people view it as a fantastic film that could lead the way for horror movies, whilst some people view it as a boring mess. Me? I see it as a boring mess, that could lead the way for horror movies.

There is a very good chance you’ll find the opening third incredibly tedious, and you will look at your watch/the person next to you/your own reflection in the shiny surface of something as you contemplate how you’re wasting your life. But like all films; once the small child gets decapitated, it really picks up. But only compared to what was going on before, compared to standard films it is still incredibly slow. Almost two-thirds of the film is basically foreplay, which is always a risky strategy as it means if you flub the actual orgasm then it’s just been a massive waste of everyone’s time. Luckily the cumshot here is really good. The closing section is just insane, in a brilliant way. I feel it could have been a better film if you cut a lot of the opening, but then that also could have hurt it. Part of the brilliance was the way everything was set up, there is SOOOOO much foreshadowing it’s actually genius. So many things you think are inconsequential (even the play being studied in class) actually turn out to be deeply important. After leaving the film you’ll suddenly remember a seemingly throwaway line, and how it actually foreshadowed something important, and you’ll think “fuck, that was brilliant”. And it is. The script is the work of someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. Same with the directing, scares are punctuated with audio cues. What normally happens in a lot of horror films is this: person is sitting in an empty room, suddenly there’s a loud piece of audio, and a face appears behind them. The way this does it; person sitting in an empty room, you suddenly notice there’s a face behind them, and you wonder how long it’s been there. This shows fantastic competence from a first-time director and is a brilliant idea. It forces you to feel you have to pay attention to every single moment. You can’t look away, not even for a second unless you want to risk missing. A lot of the times for films you can be a passive watcher, you’ll be watching the film but you won’t really be fully focused on it, you’ll be thinking of how hungry you are, whether England will win the world cup (Spoilers; yes! But not the football one, the cheese-rolling world cup), or whether that person sitting in front of you will ever SHUT UP and if he doesn’t stop talking you’re going to go down there and twat him with a crowbar. This, you’re very active, you can tell this even in the body language of the people who were watching it whilst I was there; everyone was leaning forward. It’s not just that that makes it seem the work of a seasoned director, the way they cut between scenes is unique, and brilliant, and is sure to lead to many poor directors attempting to imitate it and failing miserably.

This makes the very last scene even more frustrating. The film does a brilliant job throughout of teasing you with the truth, giving you glimpses of why what is happening is happening. Which makes it very puzzling that the final scene is someone explaining exactly what it was about, it would be like if you were watching The Thing and at the end John Carpenter appeared on screen and said “That guy on the left, he’s not human”. It treats the audience with so much respect for most of the film an then thinks we’re idiots who need it explained to us for the final section. I mean, I am an idiot, but still.

That being said, kudos to the film for having the sheer balls to kill what looked like the main character, and so brutally too, I like marketing works like that, when it deliberately deceives you, but not in a way that you feel cheated, but in a way that it means the story beats come as a complete surprise. It’s the way of saying “okay, now all bets are off” and it throws you off, I love it.

So should you see it? Maaaaaybe. There’s another film you should watch first: The Witch. If you hated that, you’d hate this too. But if you liked it, you’d like this too.

Contemplations Of Chucky: Day Six (Curse Of Chucky)

Director: Don Mancini

  • Okay let’s hope this goes better than Seed. It really can’t get worse. Unless it’s just ninety minutes of a doll masturbating into the gaping anus of a clown. Even then that would still be better than f*cking Annabelle.
  • Okay now is impressive opening. Looks superb, really cinematic. The director of this, Don Mancini, is doing a much better job than the director of the last movie, Don Mancini.
  • Even the colour scheme is better. Gone are the overly bright colours, to be replaced by muted greys. I know that makes it sound boring but in actuality it just makes it look like everything has been put slightly through a nostalgia filter.
  • Fiona Dourif there, playing paraplegic Nica. It’s great they have a character like that (actually, thinking about it, horror has always been fantastic for inclusion, it’s often had strong female characters, black characters, and disabled characters. Okay, usually they’re the first to die but but it’s progress, very very small progress). It’s admittedly it would have been better if they actually cast a paraplegic actor, but she does a very good job here. She’s actually Brad Dourif (the voice of Chucky)’s daughter. But it doesn’t really smack of nepotism here, you don’t watch it thinking “why on earth did they cast here? Fiona Dourif, oh okay”, you think “she’s amazing, what else has she been in?”
  • A great erection joke there, really stands up well.
  • The downside of the colour scheme: it means white light is REALLY white, to the point of almost being washed out.
  • Nica flirts with a delivery guy, but her mother shuts the door so she can’t follow him to continue to talk, booo, hiss. She’s definitely the villain of the piece (or maybe the murdering doll is, who knows?)
  • “Oh honey I don’t want to see you hurt”, then you’re in the wrong genre of movie.
  • Hey it’s Chucky. But a very very new looking one. He hasn’t looked this new since the third one. I know the last two weren’t looked upon favourably but can’t just ignore them.
  • “I DVR’d Real Housewifes” and that is why you’re going to die.
  • See, told you, you watch reality TV, you end up on the floor in the middle of the night bleeding profusely.
  • Good reveal of half of the title, poor for the other. Okay I’ll try to explain why; the camera moves back to reveal Chucky sitting there and the word “Curse” kind of hanging next to him, then the “of Chucky” comes straight in. Yet the music seemed like it was building up to a fade in of that so it was just weird.
  • “Your sister thought it might be a good idea for me to come”, I thought priests weren’t allowed to do that?
  • “The church’s official response to suicide is not to judge, but to pity”, that’s everybody’s first reaction to most things I do.
  • “She was supposed to be taking care of you”, eh, no. She’s in a wheelchair, mentally she’s in a better place to deal with this situation than someone with a chemical imbalance. I’m not sure who this is more offensive to; people with mental health issues as it pretty downplays their effects, or people with physical health issues as it says you need looking after and lack any sort of independence.
  • “He scared me half to death”, people in horror constantly make references to death, more than I do.
  • “It’s a doll, what’s the worse that could happen?” It could come to life and murder everybody in the house. But what are the odds of that happening 6 times in the same movie series? Ridiculously low, I think this will end up being a romantic comedy, they can’t keep relying on horror.
  • “You’re going to make dinner, fox six?” She’s in a wheelchair, not simple. I know they’re family but I don’t get why she doesn’t detest them on sight.
  • Chucky pours rat poison (well, his arm does, we don’t see the rest of him move). Actually pretty clever, it’s more methodical and less bloody than in the last few films. This is a new Chucky, he’s almost methodical and slow, he’s taking his time with doing everything He’s waiting for opportunities instead of hunting them out, it makes it more tense and is incredibly offensive.
  • Oh, we don’t know which one the poison got put in. This scene alone could be a short film. There’s enough there to stretch out to an entire 15 minute short.
  • Lots of good fake outs, people here going “Oh my god” *silence* “this is amazing”. Then lots of close ups of people eating. I know this blog is supposed to have jokes but this scene is just really amazing. Sadly it’s not available on youtube so I can’t include it here.
  • “This is just like my mother used to make it” your mother put rat poison in your dinner? Did she also teach you to swim by putting you in a sack and throwing you in water? I don’t think she liked you very much.
  • Oh so that’s why that couple hired a nanny, for lesbian sex.
  • “The 80’s were amazing” well now you’re just lying. The 80’s had Thatcher, Chernobyl, and Madonna
  • “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep” why would you make a child say that before going to sleep? That’s terrifying. That’s like having them say “Today could be my last day on earth, if I die, delete my browser history”
  • “Chucky says there is no God. Life’s a bitch and then you die bleeding like a stuck pig” True, I’ve died at least four times like that today.
  • “Mommy, am I going to die” “of course not. Who told you that?” bitch, you did. You make her recite a pre-death ritual every night.
  • “Chucky I’m scared” “you fucking should be” That’s Chucky’s first line: at 44 minutes. Almost half the movie’s runtime. That’s remarkable patience. It’s weird that despite this being the best one, it’s the only one that was released straight to DVD, but it might have been the straight-to-DVD nature of it that led to it being so good as it allowed them freedom to do things like wait 44 minutes to show off the main character. I think this film is the first one since the original to realise that this might be someone’s first introduction to the character, so building up tension for the reveal is fine. And people who already know the character would be eagerly awaiting the appearance of him.
  • The woman continues to flirt with the Nanny. Just realised, she’s paying her $400 and sleeping with her. Is that basically prostitution?
  • Nica discovers about Charles Lee Ray and works out he was in a family film she was watching earlier, very good callback and reminds you that Chucky was once human.
  • Chucky kills the nanny via electrocution, he seems to do that a lot with people.
  • “Ian, I am not sleeping with the nanny”, well not anymore, she’s dead. You’re a terrible person but even you have your limits.
  • She notices Chucky has weird loose skin and slowly peels it off, revealing the scarred face we’ve got used to from the last few films. Up until now you could have assumed this was a reboot, starting time depending on your personal preference. I know some thought originally this film was just a straight reboot, ignoring all the previous ones, whereas I know some who said this happens after the third one. But this attic scene sets up the placement perfectly. It doesn’t explain how, but it sets up the “when” very well.
  • You’re scared by this doll, so you decide to put your finger in its mouth. What did you think would happen?
  • “you have your mothers eyes, and they were always too fucking close together” rude! Okay the “stabbing her and gouging out her eye and throwing it down the stairs” may also be considered rude, I don’t know the etiquette on eye gouging. I think it’s customary to use a dessert spoon, not a knife though.
  • Chucky attacks someone with an axe. But this isn’t a clean decapitation, he just kind of chops his jaw off, very Mortal Kombat.
  • Chucky hits a paraplegic in the leg with an axe and is surprised when it doesn’t hurt them.
  • Flashback to his motivation. when he was alive Charles Lee Ray was in love with someone, she rejected him, so he did the obvious thing and stabbed her in the stomach whilst she was pregnant, resulting in the child being confined to a wheelchair. Most people just do heroin and alcohol. We all have different methods.
  • Oh good this is wonderfully coloured. He’s kidnapped the woman (the mother who died early on in the film) in a room surrounded by sunflowers, lots and lots of sunflowers. Everything is in black and white apart from the flowers, visually striking.
  • “a lot of families have gone, the Barclays, the Kincaids” yeah but you didn’t kill any of them. Andy and his mum are alive, as are both of the Kincaids (from Bride Of Chucky), you’re a terrible serial killer.
  • “so you never actually killed Andy Barclay did you? It’s called completion anxiety, it’s very common in males” I like her.
  • “Twenty five years, must be the slowest murder in history, what are you waiting for a sign from God?” That is basically me in a horror movie, only I’m not female, or in a wheelchair.
  • Wait, so the hero has been institutionalised and the villain wins, Was this ending scripted by me? I love it. It’s still closure but opens it for a sequel. A beautiful ending that rings true. It’s like the ending to this is the aftermath of the other films. Only with Jennifer Tilly slitting another cops throat and showing us how Chucky has been getting around. She’s been posting him around so he can get his revenge.
  • Wait, so Chucky wants to put his soul in a child’s body? Why? He’ll never be able to get as much done, or get access to someone’s house again.
  • Plan foiled by someone waking up in the best use of “final jump scare” I’ve seen in horror films in a while. It makes you jump, but it also doesn’t render the rest of the film moot, if anything it makes you more hopeful. His plan to transfer himself into a child is now likely to be foiled.
  • Ooooo post credits scene.
  • Holy crap it’s Andy again. Played by the original actor too. Chucky has posted himself to him, and he comes out of the mail to Andy pointing a gun directly at his face. After six movies Andy finally gets his happy ending. Nobody can say he hasn’t earned it. And he has a picture of Kyle in his house. That’s actually kind of sweet.

Contemplations On Chucky: Day 3 (Child’s Play 3)

Director: Jack Bender (Game Of Thrones, The Sopranos, Lost)

Budget: $13million

Box Office: $20million

  • This film is weird, was definitely seen as the weakest at the time. It was released only nine months after the second one yet the in-universe time difference between the two is about 9 years. It’s actually lucky this film was badly received as it meant that there wouldn’t be a sequel to this for almost a decade, by which time real time had caught up with the movie’s timeline. Stupid of Universal to demand a sequel that quickly really. They asked the writer to start it before the second film was even released. As such the writer (Don Mancini) was out of ideas as he used a lot of them in the second one, and because it wasn’t released yet he had no idea about what people thought worked in it and what didn’t, so he was basically going into the third one without knowing how the second one was going to be received.
  • Okay that is one hell of an opening credits sequence. It shows the Chucky doll being remade, there’s something about melted plastic forming into shapes that is quite unsettling and it’s used wonderfully here, especially when combined with the music.
  • Oooooo a presentation, I hope it ends with a duck on a boat.
  • “the notorious lakeshore strangler” not so notorious of course that when people say his name people don’t go “who?”
  • “Why put the Good Guy doll back on the market?” Guy there asking a very sensible question.
  • “Before this it was our biggest seller”, well, yeah but that was eight years ago, eight years ago from today Alexandra Burke had a UK number one, doesn’t mean she’s due for a comeback any day now.
  • “I really don’t think this is a good idea” I like this guy, he’s really sympathetic, shame he never appears after this and is probably going to be fired.
  • “Doesn’t matter what we’re selling whether it’s cars, nuclear weapons, or toys” As a toy manufacturer I’d suggest you stick to toys. There’s not much room on the Fisher Price “My First Nuclear Bomb” playset.
  • “The Good Guy of the 90’s” Looks exactly the same as the 80’s one. And why do they keep insisting on using the model that was accused of murder and has been burnt and chopped up? Try fixing one that hasn’t been almost completely destroyed.
  • I always felt these films have missed out on a really creepy shot of a line of Good Guy dolls in a toy store, all perfectly still except for the eyes are all moving at the same time, seemingly following someone walking through the aisle, then the eyes on one of them dart quickly the other way.
  • Businessman doing business things, like playing golf and watching  business news, good work Vincent Adultman.
  • Random fact: Peter Jackson was asked to direct this. First there was Nightmare On Elm Street, now this. Can Peter Jackson just make a god-damn horror movie now so we can stop wondering?
  • Chucky uses a bunch of toys to create horror movie scares. See, this annoys me as if they had more time in the scripting process this would have been a highlight of the series. As it is it’s good, but not quite great. Although the scene at the end with the two dolls “conversing” whilst sitting in chairs is unsettling enough to justify it.
  • Actually where did those two dolls come from? They said this was the first one in eight years, did he keep two dolls around in his office for almost a decade? Weird guy.
  • “Nothing like a strangulation to get the circulation going” obvious sex joke is obvious.
  • Psychological profile of Andy describes him as a “juvinile” The real crime is illiteracy. And murder. And making tea by putting in the milk first.
  • “these fantasies of killer dolls” weirdest fetish ever.
  • “Who are you?” “I’m a Good Guy”. This advert reminds me of the biggest problem I have with this re-release of the toys, the children who brought them eight years ago will all be grown up now. Children now won’t have any idea who they are, so why on earth would they want a toy they don’t know when there’s so many better ones available?
  • Guy is found tied up in the cupboard, yup, definitely nothing homoerotic about that.
  • “Do you know who I am?” Has a character, actually no, scratch that, a person, ever said that who hasn’t been a complete arsehole?
  • “You are without a doubt the most pathetic thing I have ever seen”, I take it he hasn’t seen his own penis then.
  • “asshole” “what did you say” “I said you asshole” “you think you’re pretty funny don’t you?” “yes”. That woman is basically me if I was older, and a woman, and in the military, and looked better, and was in shape.
  • Person knocks the toy out of a child’s hand, and then immediately disappears. The person who knocked it out of his hands was walking down the stairs, and the toy got knocked down them too. So in the next shot they should have been there, but nope, just disappeared yet.
  • “who the fuck are you?” “I thought you guys only said three sentences”, yeah the other two are “Go fuck yourself” and “I’m your friend to the end”
  • “What am I doing wrong?” Well when you’re shooting you miss the target, that’s your biggest problem.
  • It’s weird that they didn’t actually teach him proper gun use and instead are depending on one of the other cadets to do it.
  • “It’s not a baton Barclay”, well to be fair how would you know as you’ve never fucking taught him how to shoot.
  • “This is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for fighting, this is for fun”. To clarify the gun is his penis. And there’s a shot of him grabbing his own dick, a close up.
  • “A soldier’s rifle is his best friend”, well that’s just sad.
  • Chucky crushes the garbage collector because….reasons. That’s the trouble with constant sequelization of horror films, the characters lose their motivations. In the first film Chucky didn’t kill many people, and only really did it for personal vengeance from when he was alive, or when people discovered him. Was similar in the second one, only he seemed to have a connection with Andy so he also moved onto those who were mistreating Andy, so he was almost going against those who wrong his potential vessel. In this one he’s so far killed two people, none of which were necessary, and the second one actively helped blow his cover. If he didn’t kill the garbageman after escaping the truck then Andy wouldn’t have suspected he was there so it would have been easier for him to go about his nefarious ways.
  • Chucky slices the back of Andy’s foot. I very rarely say this but I definitely wrote a better version of that. If he got the achilles tendon that would have severely disabled Andy for the rest of the film. The actual slicing should have been a lot more visceral too, it should have made people wince, as it is it just looks like nothing.
  • “Chucky’s gonna be a bro” that’s racist. And stupid, why on earth did he reveal himself to Andy then? He’s just making things difficult for himself.
  • “I got myself another slave” I’ll take “lines that would have sounded a lot worse if the main character was black” for $1,000 please.
  • “I’m trying to weed out a thief”, but you stole it first.
  • Chucky kills someone via heart attack, even he seems disappointed by that. Funny thought, about time that happened.
  • “Do yourself a favour and get the hell out of Kent”, people have been saying the same thing to me for nigh on 30 years.
  • You may remember this character said earlier that the reason soldiers need short hair is so that someone can’t grab it and slit your throat. Predictably he dies by someone slitting his throat.
  • The idea of switching out paintball bullets for normal bullets is a good idea on paper (I actually used it in a short story for GCSE English) but it’s stupid and ridiculous in execution for two reasons: 1) Guns which fire paint rounds are usually specially modified to allow it and can’t fire normal rounds. 2) It’s standard military practice to check your ammunition before firing. So a nice idea but one that defies logic.
  • “Now we can play hide the soul” is that similar to hide the sausage? If so I don’t want to play it.
  • Surely they’d notice they’re not firing paint rounds when they change the ammunition or when their shots hit a tree or something and there’s no paint.
  • Obvious fake snow is obvious.
  • So out of all these trained cadets, not one of them noticed a live grenade being thrown towards them.
  • We now go to a nearby fairground, which to me is way too close to the military exercises to be considered safe.
  • So now we’ve moved away from the army base, which is a shame as there were a lot of opportunities for interesting set pieces that weren’t really used. Okay the fairground also has a lot of interesting things that could be used but they only have like 12 minutes left in this film in which to do so, and that’s including credits.
  • Wait, the fairground ride has paper masquerading as fire, yet has a real f*cking scythe?  More to the point, nothing of interest happened in the ghost house, massive disappointment.
  • See, now there it makes sense to have blades, in a fan, but they should still be covered by something.
  • Andy ducks to avoid being hit by a rollercoaster train. Wait, the train is still going? And nobody can see or hear the attempted murder that’s going on?
  • Chucky gets his hand cut off, again, I think that’s happened in ever film so far. You’d think he’d be used to it.
  • Chucky falls into the fan and gets cut, and seems to explode. Quick question; how on earth is this going to be covered up? How are they going to explain the gun?
  • Wait, I know that cop. That’s the manager from Chuck. Cool.
  • So now the end credits. Overall somewhat enjoyable, definitely the weakest so far though and way too many missed opportunities.

Contemplations On Chucky: Day 2 (Child’s Play 2)

Director: John Lafia (The Blue Iguana, The Rats)

Budget: $13million

Box Office: $32-35million

  • I understand they want to restart the Good Guy toyline but do they have to use the decapitated head of the one that was accused of murder? Just build a new one, doll’s heads aren’t exactly hard to come by. I used to have some on my BBQ.
  • “every tabloid is running a story on Andy Barclay and his killer doll” In America maybe, over here we were talking about Jamie Bulger and Suzanne Capper. Well, after Child’s Play 3 anyway but none of the other films talk about press reaction to murder so I’m going to have to use this opportunity to segue into a little rant here. Both of the aforementioned cases were terrible incidents which shouldn’t have happened and the people involved deserve whatever happens to them after death, whether it be an eternity of torment or blank nothingness. But the press took advantage of these murders to launch a campaign against “video nasties” and called for horror films to be more heavily regulated. Now, ignoring the fact that the newspapers that were calling for this most heavily are the ones who are now decrying a regulatory body and saying that any calls for press accuracy are “censorship” (I could write an entire essay on how ridiculous the notion is that deliberate fiction is more dangerous than disguised half-truths). The Suzanne Capper one had a somewhat tenuous link to the films as the dickholes torturing her played audio clips from the film whilst torturing her. Although it later turned out that they didn’t take these clips from the film, they took them from a popular song out at the time that was being played on Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio. A newspaper at the time reported that “21,000 4-9 year olds watched Child’s Play 3 when it was transmitted”, it later turned out that the figure was an extrapolation of people who were asked and applied that figure to the population as a whole, the actual number was two, and the margin of error applied to it means that it could have been just one. As David Elstein said at the time “but why spoil a good story by asking what the figure’s mean”, which is a damn funny thing for him to say and I commend him highly. Now the Jamie Bulger thing is a lot more tenuous. Even today people blame the films for the murders, but what evidence was there that the two were linked? One of the murderer’s dads, might have rented the film once, months before. If this is what the newspapers use as evidence I’m glad they don’t run the courts. Basically, fuck the tabloids.
  • “we rebuilt it head to toe”, but why?
  • A tricky thing with horror sequels is explaining how the killer came back. This one just goes for “his soul never died”, simple but kind of effective.
  • “what do you want me to do with the doll?” “stick it up your ass” I don’t think it’s that kind of toy.
  • Hey, it’s Jenny Agutter. I’d have assumed she’s too good for stuff like this.
  • “possessed by the soul of Charles Lee Ray” “who?” Would the world forget that quickly?
  • “what’s your favourite thing in the whole wide world?” “chocolate”. Me too kid, me too.
  • “besides chocolate” there’s other food besides chocolate? Lies and slander!
  • That house is so weirdly painted it reminds of The Shining.
  • “First rule, don’t touch the old stuff” I his wife won’t touch the old stuff anymore, that’s why he’s so angry.
  • “What do you think?” “Oh I’ll get used to him”. That’s the closest a foster parent can get to saying “I hate him he’s a little shit”
  • Christine Elise as Kyle, I always found her a really underrated actress, okay this is the only thing I saw her in but her performance is charming and likeable.
  • Jenny Agutter gets annoyed at Kyle for working too much, yeah, those damn rebellious kids, always working and obeying the rules. I bet she keeps tidying up behind herself too, she’s out of control I tell you!
  • “I bet blue is your favourite colour”. That’s sexist!
  • Andy is impressed by wooden toys, despite having a working electric car in his old house.
  • This family keeps a Good Guy doll in the house then get annoyed that Andy is scared. Those damn kids and their post traumatic stress disorder.
  • Why is he taking Chucky home? Why not just throw it in the bin or something? I’m assuming that workplace has bins.
  • “that’s a gold card, it’s just as good as cash”, really? Can you roll it up and use it to snort cocaine?
  • “you have to admit he’s a troubled boy, he may need more attention than we can give him” The father threatens to kick Andy out of the home and send him back to the orphanage and a life of neglect and suffering, because of a broken china statue. What a dick.
  • “Hi, I’m…….Tommy” that genuinely made me laugh.
  • Chucky’s eyes widen when there’s a risk of the other dead doll being uncovered. They’re really doing a lot to make the doll a character this time around, giving him unexpressed thoughts and worries, it really helps sell him as a character.
  • Andy gets tied up and gagged with a sock, Kyle sneaks in and blames him, how did he think she did it to himself? He’s way too young to be into that kind of sado-masochistic sex games.
  • “Andy, how did you tie yourself up last night?” I think she’s looking for tips. Now she’s definitely old enough to be into that kind of sadomaso-I’m going to stop there.
  • “especially new students who’s main concern should be getting on my good side” I’d have thought his main concern would be learning, since it is, you know, a school.
  • Shouldn’t she be easily able to tell that that’s not the handwriting of a child?
  • She locks him in a classroom. Isn’t that like, majorly illegal? What if he needed to go a toilet? Would she prefer he piss/defecate himself?
  • Chucky stabs her, with an air pump? Okay then.
  • “you’ve been very naughty Miss Kettlewell”, he says whilst brandishing a ruler, and the S&M continues.
  • “his teacher called”, did nobody phone home and tell the parents that the teacher is now dead? Did no cleaners or other teachers go in the room?
  • “what are you suggesting we do, send him back? “you don’t have to make it sound so horrible”, but it is horrible. You can’t take in a child you know is damaged and cry and complain that he’s not the right sort of damaged. Do your job as a parent and help.
  • Andy grabs a carving knife and goes to the basement to kill Chucky. I like that, it shows character development. He’s not sitting around as a victim waiting to be hunted, he’s hunting the hunter. It flips the dynamic slightly and is good to see, especially since he is just a child, but he’s a child who’s done this before.
  • What is it with Chucky and biting?
  • Phil dies via broken neck. Quite a good method of death actually, looks impulsive enough that a child could have accidentally done it.
  • Jenny Agutter and Christine Elise share an emotional scene which is far better than this film deserves.
  • The scene with the social worker collecting him whilst Kyle stands there has a really weird low angle which makes the space behind them seem massive and Andy seem tiny, very well created shot. Actually this film has a had a lot of moments like that, the cinematographer from this film also worked on Ed Wood, and was the DOP on Edward Scissorhands.
  • Ah man Jenny Agutter’s dead and she died off screen. Actually this scene is really good, the music, the look, everything just works to build tension until the reveal of the body, and then the slow rise of Chucky under the bedsheets behind Kyle, classic horror movie technique but very effective.
  • “That’s a Good Guy isn’t it? I love those things” really? The doll only came out two years prior to this, you’re at least in your late 40’s. It’s weird for you to like it that much.
  • “You know how some dolls pee, this one bleeds?” Hah! I would happily watch a Kyle/Chucky roadtrip sitcom.
  • “you goddamn women drivers”, ah, casual misogyny, although he is a mass murdering psychopath so I really shouldn’t be shocked that he’s not a very nice person. “yes, he killed hundreds, but he always said please and thank you”
  • Chucky sets off a fire alarm and Kyle gets the blame. Not that important a scene but the make-up on Kyle looks amazing, she looks thoroughly beaten and scared.
  • It turns out Chucky has been in the body for too long to get transported out. I guess that’s the end of this film series.
  • Wasn’t the implication earlier that the Chucky case caused a lot of bad publicity for the company and they were risking going out of business? That’s a very big production line for a product range that’s going under.
  • “Andy hurry up he’s right behind you” Why do you think he screamed?
  • Chucky’s hand gets trapped and he kind of 127 Hours his way out of it, literally just rips his own hand off.
  • “don’t be afraid” yeah, it’s just a piece of machinery that could probably kill you immediately, nothing to worry about.
  • Chucky shoves a blade into his stump, groovy.
  • Security guard/engineer notices a build up of dolls on the production line. So he didn’t notice the screaming etc before that? He also didn’t notice the two people running around the factory. He sucks at his job.
  • He puts his head directly under the mechanism of the machine whilst fixing it. He’s an idiot.
  • An unholy mess comes out of a machine, it’s 5 dolls fused together. Very Cronenberg.
  • More so as Chucky is shoved into a machine and all you can hear is agonised screaming, acidic burning, and mechanical whirring.
  • Chucky is dragging himself along the floor, at this point it would mainly be a mercy killing.
  • Andy pours molten wax over Chucky, because there’s no kill like overkill.
  • Molten wax Chucky is genuinely disturbing as hell. An air hose gets put in his mouth and he explodes in a mass of blood and plastic.
  • Film ends with a shot of a smiling Good Guy sign waving. I like it, very genteel way to end a violent movie.

Contemplations On Chucky: Day 1 (Child’s Play)

So, halloween is just around the corner, knife in hand, ready to jump out and disembowel people when they approach it (or alternatively, hand out sweets, depends how you celebrate it), so what better time than now to waste time watching horror films start a new blog series? Similar to Musings On Marvel which I did earlier this year, and extremely similar (I.E: Pretty much the same as) last years Nightmare A Day, I’ll be watching a film every day and blogging my thoughts. This year I’m doing the Chucky series, and I thought I’d start with the first film, because I’m not a complete idiot.

Director: Tom Holland ((Psycho II (unpopular opinion, I prefer it to the first one) Fright Night (including the sequel and remake))

Budget: $9million

Box Office: $44.2million

  • The cop just threw his jacket away. Littering!
  • Pretty impressive shot there. Cop attempted to shoot someone but they move out of the way and it shoots a car window instead, camera was behind the car window so it looked beautiful.
  • How different would this film have been if he put his soul into a ninja turtle toy, or a transformer?
  • Oh man I’d hate to be the shop worker who has to tidy this up in the morning.
  • “Oh god I’m dying”, really needed a better delivery of that line there. Sounds way too “ah well, shit happens”
  • “You did this” Murderer is annoyed that somebody killed him. Really the hypocrisy is worse than the murder.
  • Shop exploded. Obviously. Yet no fire alarms went off. See, that’s why you have health and safety laws.
  • “I saw this one” yeah, children famously hate repetition.
  • This toy company has it’s own cereal that’s basically diabetes in a box.
  • That giant doll costume is really really creepy.
  • Even without the soul of a psychopathic killer I still get the feeling these dolls would kill you. You specifically.
  • “so remember to tell your mum and dad you want a Good Guy”. I have two jokes for this. Delete which ever one you found less funny. 1) When I told my parents I wanted a good guy they were less than pleased. 2) No, you go get a job and buy your own dolls.
  • “and remember, you can buy all these good guy accessories too” Holy pressurised selling, Batman!
  • This kid is called Andy, I’m now saying this is a Toy Story prequel.
  • “How long have you been up?” “since forever” You lying little shit.
  • “it looks delicious” Liar!
  • “I have to give you your super duper birthday tummy gummy” That sounds strange.
  • A news report on Charles Lee Ray, do they often put news reports about serial killers on just after children’s TV shows this early in the morning?
  • You did not need to have a box that big just to put children’s clothes in. It’s just a waste of wrapping paper.
  • “there’s a guy in the alley selling the toy you want”. That statement asks more questions than it answers. 1) Why were you in the alley behind the store? This was before shops could hire snipers to shoot smokers so you could have gone out the front. 2) How did Chucky climb back into the box and close it, and clean up the blood? 3) It’s been a while since I’ve brought toys, but “stranger in an alley”? I really doubt they have a decent returns policy. “if you’re not satisfied, fucking die”
  • “Are you happy with your job here?” No manager would ever ask that question.
  • “A Good Guy, I knew it” What gave it away? The fact it was in a Good Guy box, or the fact that the box has a see-through front so you can tell what it is before you opened it?
  • The toy company has it’s own cake mix. Evil!
  • “Hey Chucky, you’re not watching me”. It’s because you’re boring, kid.
  • “Chucky wants to watch the nine O clock news” She doesn’t find it weird that a child asks to watch the news.
  • So, inside the doll is the soul of an an adult male, and he just got kissed by a child. This must be hell for him.
  • “What is wrong with me?” Off the top of my head, I’d say low self-esteem, a lack of maternal affection and a genetic predisposition for anxiety and depression.
  • How did she get hit so hard (with a toy hammer no less) that she stumbled about 6 feet back with enough force to fall through a window? Were the windows made of sugar glass?
  • If a body lands on your car, is that covered by insurance?
  • “I live there”, thankfully the police don’t ask for proof or clarification.
  • So the detective investigating this is the same one who shot Charles Lee Ray? Wow, well coinci-mental
  • “Why? What’s happened to Maggie?” Well the detective is from homicide, try and put 2 and 2 together.
  • “You got any idea what these are?” What, the footprints, I’d say they’re footprints.
  • “what would Andy be doing on the counter anyway?” There speaks somebody who obviously has never had children, those fuckers climb everything.
  • PJ Sneakers? What the fuck? No! That’s just ugly capitalism.
  • “I don’t know who did that, and I don’t care”, wait, you don’t care who killed them?
  • “I want time alone with my son” “okay, we’ll clear out”, is that how police investigations work? They stay there until they solve the case, or until somebody politely asks them to leave.
  • The main kid in this called Andy, and there’s a character called Sid, this is basically Toy Story.
  • “his real name is Charles Lee Ray”, why did he tell you that?
  • “it’s because of Aunt Maggie you’re behaving like this”, no it’s because you’re a failure and I hate you.
  • “Why don’t you sleep with me tonight?” Wait, but at the moment you suspect your kid is dangerous, so why would you want that? Why not do the opposite and sleep far away, locking the door.
  • “you sure you’re alright about last night?” He goes to school the next day? I know it’s just a family friend but surely he’d get a day off for that?
  • How did he get on a train without either 1) paying (you really think a six year old kid has that much spare change?). 2) Someone phoning the police.
  • Pretty good use of music here, they’re seemingly incorporating the basic noise from a train running on the tracks into the music. Simplistic but rather brilliant.
  • What was Chucky’s plan if Andy didn’t need a piss at this precise moment?
  • Andy urinated for over a minute, how much does this kid drink?
  • “random noise, I’ll fire towards it” Good plan.
  • Andy runs towards gunshots.
  • How did Andy find Chucky in the burning wreckage?
  • Why has she not thrown that box out? Or at the very least compacted it down for recycling. Earth-killers are the true evil.
  • Good Guy even make their own god-damn batteries?
  • “Talk or I’ll throw you in the fire”. Look, this will go one of two ways, either 1) You’re threatening a serial killer. Or 2) You’re going to burn your childs favourite toy because it wouldn’t talk to you.
  • “I brought it from a peddler behind my work, I’ll try there” Stupid idea.
  • “he’s a cop” How do you know that? All he’s done is knee a homeless rapist in the groin, that’s the least that anybody would do.
  • “It was struck by lightning the night that Charles Lee Ray died? “How do you know that?” Well I imagine a serial killer dying, and a big toy store blowing up would make the local news. And he’s a member of the police so I imagine he’s up to date with current events, even ones as small as the police shooting someone.
  • “I was the man who killed him” “why didn’t you tell me?” Is it a policy to tell civilians every single person you’ve killed? If so that’s going to make meeting new people a lot more difficult for me.
  • Chucky attempts to strangle him, instead of, you know, using the knife.
  • Chucky finally decides to use the knife.
  • Obvious Green Screen is obvious.
  • “this is his accomplice” then why aren’t you there? Why did you insist on seeing a civilian first, and then take her to a possibly dangerous scene?
  • Why does he have a voodoo doll of himself? Does he put it near the heater so that even when he’s walking around in the snow he’s warm? That’s what I would do.
  • “I have a date with a six year old boy”, Phrasing!
  • Chucky stabs the voodoo doll, instead of, you know, just stabbing the guy laying in front of him. Lazy.
  • The actor playing Andy seems to genuinely be in fear. No child actor is that good (apart from Ruby Barnhill and Madison Wolfe of course) that I’m not suspicious that that child is actually in fear of his life. In which case, meh, you gotta do what you gotta do.
  • Chucky bites a lot. If that’s his natural instinct he probably did it a lot whilst human too, so why did it take so long for the police to catch him? Or has him becoming a doll given him really weird fetishes?
  • Random fact: Whilst doing the voice-over work for when Chucky is thrown in the fire, Brad Dourif’s (the voice of Chucky) daughter crawled into the recording room. Nobody noticed until she started crying as a reaction to her dad screaming. I don’t have a joke to end this on, just found that interesting.
  • This woman who works in a department store is a better shot than most movie cops.
  • I like how this ends with a “phew we’re safe, but oh shit, everyone thinks we’re crazy”. Kind of a happy ending, but also a downer. It’s a happy downer, like a post-orgasm penis

And that’s that. The first of many (well, about 5) in a new series.

 

5 Reasons People Love Zombies

Last week I saw Pride And Prejudice And Zombies (as detailed here) and it got me thinking; if Catholics really do drink the blood of the Christ, aren’t they technically vampires? I then thought about zombies, not in a sexual way, more in a “how do these zombie films keep getting made?”. I don’t mean that in an insulting way, but they have been consistent throughout horror films over the last few decades. Vampires have waned and come back, yet zombies refuse to die. Everytime we think they’re dead they rise back up and stumble the earth, like, hmmm, what’s the word I’m looking for here?

stones
“70’s rock band?” nope, that’s not it

But why is that? Why is there a zombie film made almost every month yet there hasn’t been a flesh eating mermaid film made in forever?

the lure
Besides this one

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself that many times. Don’t you wish you could find a well researched and brilliantly written article about the subject? Well until that happens, enjoy this inarticulate blog.

1. Scary

Well this seems obvious but in this modern “every horror film needs to have comedic elements” age it’s easy to forget. Zombies can be very very scary.

Zombies011012
Okay maybe not this guy

We can mock zombies and claim that Shaun Of The Dead and their ilk made them not scary any more. But then we can put on a good zombie film and still be terrified. Part of that is down to the “other” nature of them. Film critic Robin Wood describes horror as:

“relationship between normality and the monster”

And it’s this that provides my next point.

2.They’re almost human.

We have two animals to blame for people originally being scared of zombies: not film zombies, actual zombies: ants and dogs. Picture humanity tens of thousands of years ago. When we decided to start towns and permanent dwellings whilst farming animals and the land for food. It cannot be understated what a significant change to humanity this was. We no longer had to spend our entire time in the search for food. We started thinking more, our language and thoughts exploded at a previously unknown rate, we were soon discussing concepts we had no idea how to express. We were coming up with new ideas and discovering new concepts, yet this wasn’t the start of science, this was the start of  superstition. The obvious things we needed to ask questions about was death and the dead. People would have realised there was a correlation between people spending time around decaying bodies and people suffering from sickness. So we started getting rid of the bodies, we burnt them, we buried them etc once we realised this stopped it. But one time a dog wanders upon a shallow grave, it can’t see food but it can sense food so it digs and finds a human hand. It starts to pull the hand up but is then spooked so drops the hand and runs away. Now a person comes across this, he goes to the site where he buried his friend and see’s his hand seemingly rising up from the grave. So he settles on the logical conclusion: this person is back from the dead.

But to understand why this scares us so we need to look at the the ant. Humans like to think of themselves as better than the other species we share the planet with: has any other species come up with ideas as diverse as communism, Harry Potter, and cricket? No, they haven’t!

Loxodonta_africana_-_old_bull_(Ngorongoro,_2009).jpg
Yeah that’s right, f*ck you elephants! You’ll never know how to defeat voldemort.

 

We used to think there was something special about us, we are obviously Top Species (capital T, capital S if you’re taking notes, which I assume you are). We used this rationale to justify animal cruelty for centuries, I mean, we’re obviously better. But then people started asking complex philosophical questions. Questions like: “but what if we’re not”. I mean, there’s no reason why we are Top Species, the cheetah is faster, the rabbit can reproduce quicker, and kittens are cuter. So we used our brains and figured out why we’re better: and our brains decided on the totally not egotistical and self serving: it’s our brains. Our brains allow us to build skyscrapers and cities; huge complex structures that noone else can, because our brains are better. But then we looked at ants, ants don’t make art, they don’t tell jokes or play music. Yet they built huge chambers with ventilation that regulates air quality and temperature. The kind of stuff people need years of formal training to manage and yet the ants manage it perfectly. So what does it say when our building achievements can be matched by the humble ant? Our greatest achievements can be achieved without the need for the part of our brain that makes us human.

And THATS why we fear the zombie. It’s human without the humanity. It represents our biggest fear, that under all our fancy suits and immaculate hair that we are just shambling meat sacks, walking around just fulfilling our basic needs. We’re not scared the bite would turn us into the walking dead, we’re scared we already are.

3. Guilt free deaths.

Related to the above point: when people talk about a zombie apocalypse or play video games what do they focus on? Is it the loss of their friends, hiding out somewhere not sure whether they’ll life or die. Nope, it’s “I would kill them like this”. Killing zombies is like guilt free murder of another human. That says something about the nature of humanity, but I’m too scared of people to ask what that is.

zombiedeath121010
Do this to a zombie: Hero. Do it to Laura in accounts: psychopath

4. Adaptable

Now I don’t mean that zombies are multi-use within the film itself, I mean for for the film-maker and audience. There’s no established backstory for zombies so the writer is free to do whatever they want and play up any real-life fears and prejudices. You want it to be a parasite and talk about the doomed nature of humanity? Sure. You want it to be from nuclear radiation and blame the Soviets? Well, a bit dated but sure! You want it be to about microrobots that go out of control to talk about the dangers of relying on technology? Sure! You want it to be about people being driven to kill and bite because they’re hypnotised by the music of Miley Cyrus? You’re an idiot! But sure, go ahead!

zombie-miley-cyrus-cosplay-2

5. Beatable

This is the most important thing. Zombies are slow, plodding creatures who aren’t that strong. With careful planning and organisation we can defeat them, that’s how most zombie stories end; with humanity winning. Sure, a lot of people die but humanity prevails. So there’s a lot of deaths but we still win, so ultimately they’re gory stories of hope. And that’s beautiful.

zomibe-apocalypse-cute

But none of that is important. Do you know why? Because there’s only one thing that matters in my life now: there’s a movie about flesh eating mermaids called The Lure, and it’s a musical! I have to see that!

A Nightmare A Day: Day 9 (A Nightmare On Elm Street: 2010)

Director: Samuel Beyer

Budget: $35million

US Box Office: $115.6million

  • Ok, it’s the end of the road, I’ve got my DVD, I’ve got my laptop to type on, I’ve got my cous cous. Let’s do this!
  • Sudden thought: what if it’s worse than Freddy Vs. Jason?
  • OMG what if it’s worse than Final Nightmare?
  • Creepy opening credits, already feeling unsettled. The cast names appear on screen as normal, then appear written in the background in chalk in children’s handwriting.
  • Okay the first person we see is male. Kind of strange as I liked that Nightmare was female focused and yet never really made them seem like victims. Was a nice change. But still, I suppose 2015 isn’t as progressive as the 1980’s.
  • Or I’m wrong and I can just quit whining. Yeah, let’s go with that.
  • “i look like I haven’t slept in three days?” To be fair, to prepare for his scene, the actor didn’t sleep for three days to look suitably exhausted. Impressive, yes, but you know what’s more impressive? Acting.
  • First look at Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy. Looks more like an actual burn victim. Impressive.
  • This girl falls asleep at a funeral and is scared by Freddy-based images. Yeah, it’s scary, but you know what else is scary? Being very rude and sleeping at a friends funeral. Pfft, young people today, no respect, no manners.
  • “Oh my god, a picture of me when I was young with this person, but I don’t remember knowing him until high school”. You were just standing somewhere in the vicinity of him, doesn’t exactly prove you were best buds, you could have been photobombing him.
  • “open your books to page 84”, LOL, as if these people can read.
  • Kris falls asleep in class and there’s a pretty cool visual where the colour of the scene changes and her classmates disappear. Very cool looking. That alone makes it better than Final Nightmare.
  • Big scare for the character there is that her hair fell out. It might not mean Freddy is real, you might just have alopecia.
  • “are you gonna let me in?” Yeah, because who wouldn’t let someone into their room who climbs up to their bedroom window?
  • Next time she’s asleep she dreams of a school, lots of schoolchildren being all creepy and whatnot.
  • Oh, she’s dead. She’s definitely going to die. She’s being thrown around the room (possible homage to the first film) then cuts appear in her chest and she falls back onto the bed. I like this, there was blood, but not too much. The trouble with a lot of horror films is they think “blood” equals “scary”, so the more blood the scarier the death, so a single cut automatically gushes blood, I prefer it when it seems to almost ooze out.
  • Oh, Rooney Mara is Nancy. I dunno, I like Rooney, but she’s not quite in same league as Heather CougerMellacampaLampaKappaDappalIie (I can’t remember her actual second name)
  • Guy appears in someone elses house, covered in blood, and seems surprised when he’s accused of murder.
  • Random question: when a murderer comes in covered in blood, who pays to clean it? Is it the prison/taxpayer? Don’t let The Daily Mail find this out, they’ll have a fit.
  • “Why are you screaming? I haven’t even cut you yet” That’s a damn good line.
  • Random fact: Jackie Earle Haley was asked how he got into character for this film. His response: “sitting in a make-up chair for hours. After that you fell like you could kill someone”.
  • Ok, so this guy just died.
  • “Did you know that once the heart stops beating the brain can keep functioning for seven minutes? we’ve got six more minutes to play”. Holy hell that’s good writing. The idea that even dying doesn’t stop Freddy torturing you, you’re just left being made to fight an unwinnable fight with a time limit. Just the concept of that is truly terrifying.
  • “I keep dreaming about children”, careful now
  • Freddy just licked Nancy’s face, then holds her hand and says “you smell different”. Because that’s not disturbing.
  • “he died in his sleep” yeah, of blood loss, that’s not normal.
  • The guy from (I think) Jennifer’s Body dreams (during a swim lesson, totally safe) and see the death of Freddy. He’s being chased and hunted by angry parents as he shouts he didn’t do it. Now, Jackie Earle Haley seems to be playing it as an innocent person. What if he is?
  • “what’s the right way? Our kids go on a stand and tell a room of people what happened?” Yeah, I mean, a fair trial, where’s the justice in that?
  • What if he was innocent? Adds a completely different spin to the story. Freddy is no longer a perverted serial killer, he’s just really pissed off, and who can blame him. He’s angry at the parents for killing him, and he’s angry at the kids (who he’s now killing) for lying to their parents and causing his death. Means the line “you think you can turn back time? You think you can bring the dead back to life? I didn’t fucking think so” has a LOT more to it. It would also explain why keeps bringing them to the pre-school. He’s not taunting them, he’s trying to get them to face their own bullshits.
  • “We were five, we would have said anything. The things we said he did, the cave, did you ever find it?” They didn’t. Now the film itself is raising the possibility itself. Oh, this is good. This is very very good. Please don’t fuck this up.
  • Apparently Jackie Earle Haley would improvise a lot on set, just to make the other actors panic. That’s actually pretty brilliant and method. As long as he didn’t stab someone during filming, that would be weird.
  • Random fact: Jackie Earle Haley stabbed someone during filming. Ok it was an accident and only a small one but still.
  • Okay, I’ve just figured out this kid is called Quentin. Please Freddy, please kill him, to teach his parents a lesson about suitable childrens names.
  • “what if I say no?” “why don’t you sleep in it?” Dude, in this type of context that’s super rapey
  • Oh, it turns out the kids were telling the truth, Freddy was abusing them. Kind of disappointed, they had a chance to do something chilling then pulled out at the last moment. Probably to stop whiney fans bitching about the changes. Oh, and if you’re sitting there thinking “but fans of films won’t complain about stupid things that don’t effect the previous films, fans are smart”, then remake a franchise and make a character black, then wait for the online reaction from “fans”.
  • Kind of a dull death for Quentin. Shame as had some cool set pieces which would have really suited a death. The swimming pool scene, for example, if you’re a writer and can’t think of a good-looking way to kill someone in that environment you should just give up now.
  • Oh, Quentin didn’t die, just nearly died. He manages to stab Nancy with adrenaline, Pulp Fiction style to wake her up, she holds onto Freddy and drags him into the real world. I get the feeling this isn’t going to end with Nancy just shouting at Freddy.
  • Holy crap that’s a great ending! Nancy goes home and is thought to be safe, but Freddy appears behind her mother in the mirror, sticks his claws through her mothers eyes then pulls her into the mirror, the mirror sealing up behind her. Amazing end to the film, brutal, and looked brilliant. But the best part of it? It cuts very quickly to the credits, and the song All I Have To Do Is Dream

So, that’s it. It’s over. All I have to say about this film is: f*ck you I liked it. Haley is a fantastic Freddy, like a yapping tenacious dog. The story makes sense, had good inventive set pieces etc. Of course I’m majorly disappointed that for a moment they briefly teased a much better film, but it’s still pretty impressive.

A Nightmare A Day: Day 8 (Freddy Vs. Jason)

Director: Ronny Yu (Bride Of Chucky, Bride With White Hair, The 51st State

Budget: $30million

US Box Office: $114.9million

  • Unskippable adverts on the DVD. This company REALLY wants me to hate their films don’t they?
  • I now refuse to watch Underworld on principle. On the principle that it looks awful.
  • As does Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the Michael Bay version, which is odd as I didn’t think chainsaws could explode)
  • Random fact: at one point Peter Jackson was on board to direct this. Nothing against Ronny Yu but that’s the second time a studio has turned down a chance to let Peter Jackson do a Nightmare On Elm Street film. Idiots.
  • Should point out: I won’t be counting the deaths in this one for two reasons
    1. There’s too many
    2. Not all of them are Freddy’s so would be wrong to compare body counts
  • Opening scenes show Freddy pre-death.
  • In a really disturbing scene, Freddy kills a small girl, then licks a photo of her.
  • Freddy origin story. I usually abhor this kind of thing, but it makes sense here as it was a while since the last Freddy film, and plus the Friday The 13th crowd might not know much.
  • Really good shot of Freddy’s eyes.
  • Yay, flashbacks to the earlier films. First death shown: the human puppet death. Evidently it’s not just my favourite one.
  • Also explains why there haven’t been any new films in a while.
  • “being dead is okay, but being forgotten, now that’s a bitch” Oddly poignant line there.
  • Montage of Freddy being bitch slapped by everyone.
  • Boobs! *sigh* Not needed. Could have been achieved through just shooting from the neck up and leaving it to imagination.
  • She puts a jacket on, but evidently the power of fanservice means one of the breasts attempts to escape and just hangs there outside her jacket as she runs. So disappointing. Horror films do know there’s a difference between “scared stiff” and “scared whilst stiff” right?
  • “you know what your gift is? No matter what they do to you, you cannot die” erm thanks, I got you a gift voucher, I feel our gifts are slightly uneven.
  • “make them remember what fear tastes like!” Chocolate covered gherkins?
  • Main character is called Lori, and her boyfriend disappeared, I bet that won’t come up later.
  • Hey it’s the member of Destiny’s Child who isn’t Beyonce or the other one.
  • “i only smoke when i drink” “but you always drink” “well that’s what I’ll work on next” Will admit, that made me chuckle.
  • “don’t be a total cocksmith” is that like a blacksmith, but with penis’s?
  • “i like the flow of your place, got good feng shui”, I hope this guy dies, slowly and painfully.
  • “babe, don’t make me ask you twice” All of you just die.
  • FFS more pointless boobs. This one’s even more annoying as the actress had a no-nudity clause in her contract so they had to hire a body double. See, the fact that no-nudity clauses exist are why their needs to be a greater representation of female film-makers. And the fact that directors pressure women into breaking that clause is why there these women need crossbows .
  • Hey, the guy died. Good.
  • So just saying “freddy” is enough to somehow make people who aren’t aware of Freddy Krueger scared of him. It could have been any Freddy: Mercury, Adu etc. That would be a much weirder film, people being haunted and killed by an American soccer player.
  • Lori dreams of walking past a set of posters of missing children, who turn to face her as she walks past. Proper video-game style scare. On that note: I was going to blog about Eternal Darkness today, and why that film is fantastic. I won’t now though as we’ll be having a special blog written by a guest contributor that will be very cool and we hope you enjoy. Oh, also in the dream there’s a girl with gouged out eyeballs who tells her more about Freddy and his love for little girls. I love gouged out eyes in horror, such a visceral image.
  • And now the feng shui guy is dead (I think, all white frat boys look the same to me). Hacked by a machete after waking up and seeing his dad’s head fall off. I hate when that happens.
  • Hey, there’s a mental institution with a guy in it with same name as Lori’s ex who disappeared randomly. What a crazy coincidence.
  • Hey, it’s young not-John Cusack (no, not Miles Teller, the other one).
  • “you had to sleep at a police station, I’d have had nightmares too” of course you would, you’re black, you’d get knocked the f*ck out.
  • Hey, the institution guy is her ex. Who saw that happening?
  • And luckily the guy not-Beyonce tried to hook her up with is now dead, so no moral questions of whether they’re still in a relationship or not. Lucky!
  • Oh, side note: Lori’s ex is called Will and is played by John Ritter’s son. So close to awesome.
  • “this fucker’s going to spread like the plague, kid’s are going to be falling asleep” Fairly certain that’s normal.
  • Jason appears at a rave and doesn’t dance. If this were CinemaSins they’d be a ding right there. Of course, if this was CinemaSins we’d have a bigger audience so….
  • He grabs a weird metal pipe, kind of like I do when I play Condemned. If he spends the next hour picking up dead birds this film is gonna suuuuuuuck.
  • Not John Cusack delivers a “Reason You Suck” speech to not-Beyonce. She deserved it.
  • “let’s go shake our ass on the dance floor”, says the only black character, yay stereotypes.
  • A raver basically rapes one of the characters. Some people would disagree but for me, she’s passed out, he tries to fuck her, that’s rape.
  • He dies. Good.
  • So does she, not so good. But she was kind of annoying, that’s bad too.
  • Jason steals Freddy’s kills. Come-on man, don’t be a shock-blocker (lame I know, but not many synonyms for kill rhyme with block, if he killed him with a kitchen appliance I could have said wok-block).
  • That reminds me: if a serial killer kills another serial killer does it work like conkers so he gains all his kills?
  • Jason appears in a cornfield and is heckled by two stoners. Because obviously if you see a serial killer (and in this universe Jason is real so you’d have to assume they know him) carrying a machete, you mock him.
  • Jason kills someone with a neck massage. Then goes to kill the fat stoner who attempts to run away.
  • Fat guy dies, this is why cardio is important, kids.
  • The guy spits blood at the screen when he dies. Fantastic shot.
  • Random fact: there was originally going to be a scene which showed that Freddy had raped Jason’s mother, thereby giving Jason motivation to go after Freddy. This was then changed to Freddy molesting Jason when he was a kid. This was then dropped for being “too dark”. I’d have dropped it for being kinda stupid and contrived, “too dark” is a stupid reason considering the amount of deaths in this.
  • Hey, it’s Titus’s brother. In a photo, and yet is one of the only actors I recognise in this film without having to look them up.
  • Freddy sets someone on fire, telepathically, then throws them across the room and writes a message in his back using burn marks. Personally, when I want to get a message across, I use e-mail, but I suppose he’s stuck in his ways.
  • A stoner, who’s totally not based on Jason Mewes
  • “freddy died by fire, jason by water, how can we use that?” I dunno, find someone died from air?
  • “not a virgin, even if you pay for it it still counts”
  • I think I’ve figured out the problems with these films. Too many dream fake outs. Moments where you think it’s reality but it turns out to be a dream. It pulls that trick far far too often.
  • Crushed to death by door. There must be a joke there but I’m simply not seeing it.
  • Not-jay follows a bong-smoking giant worm.
  • Jason accidentally sticks his machete in a computer console, electrocuting himself and a cop who’s name I can’t remember but he looks like he’s called “Jesse”.
  • Side note: how often do you think Jason has to sharpen his machete? Just a random deleted scene where we saw him hunched over a knife sharpner. And what does he do if it breaks? Can’t imagine there’s many places that would fix it. “Oh that, it’s just cranberry sauce, I was chopping up cranberries, why didn’t I use a normal knife? Erm, *hacks to death*”
  • Stoner gets hacked to death at the waist in a scene reminiscent of using the bastard sword from ED.
  • Jason chops of Freddy’s arms, I would make an “don’t worry about him, he’s ‘armless” joke but Freddy’s arms grow back and he makes the “wanker” hand gesture. And my room for jokes is “never be less funny than the thing you’re making jokes about”. That’s why I don’t make jokes about [insert public figure that you, dear reader, do not personally like]
  • Change of colour scheme there from red to green. Is weird as always associated red with Freddy, so it’s odd that the power struggle shift where Jason becomes weak is signified by the colour no longer being red. I’d have thought it would be the other way around.
  • I haven’t seen any Friday the 13th films so I may be wrong: but Jason isn’t afraid of water is he? So why is he here? The villain in the first film wasn’t Jason, he didn’t appear until the very end where he came out the water and killed someone. So if he was scared of water his first appearance wouldn’t work. Freddy works in dreams and has infinite powers there, you didn’t need to give Jason a weakness to make it an even fight.
  • Finally, over an hour in and we get the Jason origin story. Basically, he was bald and kids bullied him, put a bag over his head and throw in the river. Kids are awful people. Surely that goes beyond a prank is more, erm, what’s the word, homicide?
  • “what do you want me to, give him mouth to mouth?” dude, it’s not gay if it saves a life.
  • “Kia, he has asthma!” Worst dramatic line ever.
  • Beautifully lit scene where Freddy jumps out the water. One downside is the lighting makes him look like Darth Maul, or that weird thing from Insidious.
  • “always had a thing for the whores in this house” Dude, I know you’re a psychopathic child killer/rapist, but is there any need the misogyny? Freddy’s not a gentleman, he has a hat yet he never doths it.
  • Freddy says “bitch” far too often. It’s making me uncomfortable.
  • Generic rock music, track 4.
  • “it’s just a scratch” says a dying person. Sadly, not a monty python reference
  • Slow pan down to blood pouring from him to make it clear he’s dead, as if we didn’t know already.
  • Again with the calling women bitch?
  • “how sweet, dark meat” That’s racist!
  • “what kind of faggot runs around in a christmas sweater?” Kelly Rowland there being massively homophobic. Important note: it’s not the script being homophobic, she improvised that, it’s all on her. The writers detested it, because they’re halfway decent people. I bet if the writers were in Destiny’s Child then Beyonce wouldn’t have left. Basically what I’m saying is, Kelly Rowland is directly responsible for me having to google Beyonce songs to try to think of a joke to end this bit on, thereby making my google search history that little bit more embarrassing, and I couldn’t even think of one. F*ck you Kelly Rowland.
  • Kelly Roland gets hit with a machete and somehow defies the laws of physics by not being cut, but by flying into a tree. If she survives I’m going to kill her.
  • Several close ups as something heavy hits a wall. Not so much “chekovs gun” as “check out this really obvious thing that’s going to happen”.
  • Freddy has lost his hat, now he looks more like a pizza than ever.
  • Lori there carrying flames like the olympic torch. Oddly apt considering how many deaths and evictions the olympics have caused.
  • Stuff happens, massive fight scene that goes on far too long and doesn’t feature any creative set pieces.
  • Jason comes out the water carrying Freddy’s head. I guess that’s that settled then.
  • Oh wait, Freddy winks at the audience. He’s still alive. I guess this whole endeavour was as pointless as the anatomy of a Ken doll.

Overall: not bad, but really weird when compared to the rest. From the increased death count, the language and the nudity, the whole thing makes it seem like it’s aimed at teenage males to go “wooo” at. It tries so hard to be mature that it ends up coming off as downright childish. It is very well directed though, has some truly beautiful shots, it’s just a shame the script is lacking.

The issue with these “vs” films is you can’t end them. You can’t show one defeating the other fully as it says the other franchise is weaker, so kills it right there. So you have to go with the fake out ending like they do here. It might have worked better as a video game, where you control one of the two and need to outlast/outkill the other. They’re DLC in Mortal Kombat, so we’ve got that I suppose

A Nightmare A Day: Day 7 (Wes Craven’s New Nightmare)

Director: Wes Craven (Scream, and of course all of the sequels, Music Of The Heart (seriously)

Budget: $8million

US Box Office: $19.7million

  • So this is it. Super excited for this. If I remember correctly this is one of the most meta horror films until Scream practically made it essential.
  • Starts on a movie set. Always fun.
  • Heather Langenkamp is back, she was Nancy in the first and third films. Side note, her and her husband now have a special effects/Make-up business and have worked on Cabin In The Woods, Dawn Of The Dead and Angels and Demons. And here she is, having her on-screen husband show her on screen son special effects and make-up.
  • “it must have been picked up by an AD’s walkie talkie”. If that’s the case then you really need to work on your safety precautions.
  • Possible two deaths here, but not counting them as we’re not sure if they actually die. We see some of the effects from the nightmare, but not on the two supposed dead, so I’m not counting it. Basically: the previous scene was a dream, the claw came to life and killed two tech guys. Tech guys always die on set, we had four set guys crushed to death by a giant clock during Projector. But how else were we supposed to get a clear shot of a clock? Do a close up? Pfft, amateur hour.
  • “you were probably half awake and saw I got my finger cut, dreams are like that”.  He’s true, dreams are strange.
  • Someone phones her home phone and quote Freddy at her. Come on, man, if you’re going to be an abusive dickweasel and abuse people over the phone at least be original.
  • “you played that girl in that movie with the guy with the pfft” wow, it’s like you’ve known her all your life.
  • “I’m hardly a star” Come on, you’re in the back of a limo, you’re clearly either a star or 10 teenage girls.
  • “that movie’s the best, when all that blood comes out of your boyfriends bed” Creepy limo driver is creepy.
  • “we’re approaching the 10th anniversary of the original nightmare on elm street, five very popular sequels” yeah but only four of those sequels were any good.
  • “is there going to be another sequel?” How would she know she was just the actress, you know she didn’t write any of that shit right?
  • “would you trust your co-worker with your son?” What the f*ck is this dude implying? He does know there’s a difference between reality and fiction right? That’s like saying you wouldn’t trust Anthony Hopkins to make you dinner.
  • Ewww, he just touched her legs.
  • It’s odd seeing the hero worship of Freddy, I don’t just mean in this film, I mean in real life. There were actually children’s halloween costumes of Freddy. I mean, really think about that. There were children dressing up as a child molester. That would be like forcing immigrants to wear a UKIP badge (whereas we all know UKIP would much prefer if they wore yellow stars. Yeah, that’s right mother f*ckers, I’m making a holocaust reference)
  • Really cool shot of Robert Englund as Freddy standing in front of spotlights, the lights making his claws look like they stretch out into the infinite abyss. Seriously cool shot that I would love to emulate one day.
  • “just because it’s a love story doesn’t mean you can’t have a decapitation or two”. Considering our first film was a love story set during a school shooting, we wholeheartedly agree with that motto.
  • Oh, those deaths did happen. Time of first and second deaths: 5 minutes I guess? No video available online though.
  • Heather seems really confused by the concept of someone wanting to talk to her.
  • The kid was scared shitless today, and now you’re reading him Hansel and Gretel.
  • Oh, she’s aware of this, but the kid likes the story. Thereby backing up my theory that kids are stupid.
  • “And then their father covered them with kisses and they were safe” I dunno, didn’t Freddy used to do that to people too? (minus the safe part)
  • The kid is guarded by a dinosaur. Well done, kid, guarded by a species known for being dead. Smart move. Kids are stupid.
  • Time of third death: 30 minutes. Heather’s husband falls asleep whilst driving and Freddy kills him. Little sympathy for this death, he fell asleep whilst driving, he deserves to die, I’m just grateful he didn’t kill anyone else. The death isn’t available online.
  • Heather falls asleep at the funeral. I swear, half the near deaths in these films wouldn’t occur if people had some god damn common courtesy.
  • Heather gets scared when her son Dylan climbs something very high in a park and falls off whilst she’s talking to someone. That’s not Freddy, that’s just bad parenting.
  • Robert Englund makes a creepy painting of Freddy. But for some reason he doesn’t seem to realise it until he’s finished painting. This would be like me writing a story, getting to the very end then reading it and going “holy shit, this is a story about a girl called Sybil. How did that happen?” it’s like, “bitch you were creating it so could have guessed what it was like 10% of the way through.
  • Only just realised. This film didn’t have any opening credits.
  • In a nod to the original, Heather gets tongued by the phone.
  • “you haven’t shown him any of your films have you, the horror stuff? She’s done other films you know!
  • “sometimes what a child says will give a clue to what ails him” You mean, speak to someone to find out what’s wrong with them? Genius!
  • So Wes Craven is writing about a genuine ancient demon who has attached himself to the series. I dunno, even ancient demons wouldn’t want to be seen with the franchise after the abomination that was The Final Nightmare
  • “I think the only way to stop him is to make another movie” That’s how I deal with problems too.
  • They literally just showed the conversation they just had as being part of the script Craven is writing. Nice. The middle-est of high fives.
  • Okay, those special effects death were definitely genuine. Either that or they were coincidentally slashed to death.
  • “Dylan’s in an oxygen tent right now” and you didn’t think to tell the mother? The medical staff in these films are the worst.
  • “Freddy, the man from your films?” Bitch she was only in two of them, and her appearances weren’t consecutive. If you want to be annoyed at anyone be annoyed at Lisa Wilcox, she was in both 4 and 5 (before she started a footwear jewellery retailers called ToeBrights with her fellow Nightmare On Elm Street 4 cast member Tuesday Knight, true story).
  • “every kid knows who Freddy is, he’s like Santa or King Kong”. Yeah but now everything thinks of King Kong as something Peter Jackson did, and f*ck that (apparently, I haven’t seen it, but haven’t heard good things).
  • The babysitter Julie attempts to stab a nurse with a syringe “i don’t know what’s in this one, do you?” I like her. She’s fun, adorable and strange
  • She’s going to die isn’t she?
  • Time of death: 80 minutes. Julie dies in a kind of cool homage to a death in the original, being made to crawl along the ceiling and walls. It’s pretty cooler here though through a much better use of angles.
  • A nurse seems surprised by the concept of sleepwalking.
  • Only just figured out that when Heather phoned Robert Englund, the button tones created the original theme song. Nice
  • “hey man, is she okay” Yeah, that’s right everyone, worry about the adult in the middle of the road, not the child that’s also in the middle of the road. I mean, I get it, kids are dispensable, but still, rude!
  • One of the actors (playing himself) slips into his character from the first film. This would have been more effective if they did it earlier I think. This is the main event that causes Freddy to come into reality, and it occurs almost an hour and a half into the film. That’s longer than some of the original films. I get you want a slow build etc, but if you kill two people in the opening scene you can’t then switch to a slow burn. You have to chose between the two, either immediate deaths or slow burn. Can’t have both. This is why the second and third ones worked out so well for me, they were really slow burners but they didn’t feel the need to attempt to “make up” for it by killing off loads of people in the second half, they maintained the pace throughout and were all the better for it. Although I don’t think this film had opening credits so it’s possible this is all just a massive pre-credits sequence.
  • Heather slides down a concrete water path. That was either super fun or super painful to film.
  • Heather is literally reading from the script, incorrectly. “There was only….her….life” she doesn’t pause between the her and life. I don’t think she should either, but that’s how it was written.
  • Freddy looks more tendon-ey and less burn-ey in this one.
  • Freddy, destroyer of dreams, haunter of nightmares, stopped by a small gap.
  • Damnit Freddy stop tonguing children.
  • Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?
  • Freddy wraps his tongue around Heather in a scene that’s actually ridiculous and renders all comments that this film is a dark and serious one moot.
  • Dylan stabs Freddy in the tongue. That’s not the cool part, the cool part is the psycho music playing in the background.
  • More awful special effects.
  • They all go home and find a script which details pretty much exactly what happened.
  • Music comes in far too loudly after quietness. Not in a “jump scare” way, more in a “that was awkward” kind of way.

Actually disappointed with this film. It’s quite meta but isn’t really meta enough. And the whole notion of it being a script brings up interesting ideas about the concept of free will which the film doesn’t seem to pick up on (second time that’s happened in this series). It’s definitely better than the last one, but I don’t like it quite as much as the first few. Luckily Craven would perfect the meta analysis of horror with Scream (which is what I’m thinking of doing for this blog series next halloween). It just seems tonally uneven, uncertain if it wants to go for suspense or gore. It either needed ramp up the deaths (otherwise the opening half hour is basically a woman being scared by two people not turning up to work) or go the other way and make us doubt whether it’s happening or whether she’s just having hallucinations. The characters in the film think she’s just gone crazy, but what if we, the audience did to? It would tell us a lot about the pressures put on scream queens, people who are known for being the scared victim. Overall I think it’s a very good idea that just needed slight tweaking. A part of this is probably the potential, and the advertising campaign. It promises something a lot darker, a lot grittier, but in truth a lot of it is just more of the same. It promises darkness and then just hits the dimmer switch slightly.