AVP: Alien vs. Predator and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
I’d been wanting to try this double-feature for a while to see how these two movies fit together. I recalled hating the first and not understanding the hatred for the second. This time around, I had a begrudging respect for the paint-by-numbers workmanship of Anderson in AVP, while the repetitive plot points and character-free characters of AVP:R had me checked out before it ended.
In the Tall Grass
I’ll admit, this one was more interesting than I expected. But I still couldn’t get past the inherent silliness of the concept. It sounds a bit like the parody of spooky supernatural thriller books, doesn’t it? If the protagonist was a rogue, devil-may-care botanist, it could’ve been a Garth Marenghi story.
I got to see this one in a theater, thanks to TCM’s Big Screen Classics series. I’ve always had a few small quibbles with this movie – namely some choppy editing obstructing the deaths of Lambert and Parker – but come on. It’s Alien. If this movie isn’t perfect, then nothing is.
House on Haunted Hill
Speaking of perfection! I watch this one a few times a year and never, ever get sick of it.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
I’ve watched Behind the Mask every October for the last decade or so. This movie is beyond clever and has actually impacted the way I watch slasher movies.
I just discovered this one last year, but it’s become another October favorite. Director Jeremy Saulnier gives a master class on how to make a no-budget horror flick work. The script is effortlessly funny and every single character is my favorite. Some very impressive gore, too.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
So, funny story. I’ve actually never seen the first Maleficent. But one of the lady-friend’s friends has like four kids so if she is able to hang out with us, we can’t be too picky. I thought the movie was fine. It’s cool to see how much Jolie inhabits the role, and the rest of the cast was good, too. I loved the sets and costumes. The “cute” CGI creatures were nightmare fuel, though.
Even though this movie doesn’t take place in Halloweentown at all, it still captures the breezy fun of the original. I enjoyed it much more than Halloweentown II.
Return to Halloweentown
I can understand why this is the installment Halloweentown fans hate (they recast the lead, wrote out a character or two, and Debbie Reynolds barely appears) but I thought it was fine. Still much better than the first sequel.
I’m not sure why I hadn’t watched this one before, but I really enjoyed it. I’ve always loved urban legends and the interplay between fiction and reality, and there was a surprising amount of wit in the screenplay. A very cool cast, too. I’d consider this a great example of a smart/dumb movie.