Advertisements
    Advertisements
  • Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

  • Advertisements

Non-Review Review: Halloween (2018)

The Halloween franchise remains a strange beast, for a number of reasons.

Most notably, it is one of the relatively rare horror movie franchises that has actively and repeatedly refused the siren call of over-complication and entanglement. Michael Myers is an iconic horror character, on par with other seventies and eighties ghouls like the creature from Predator, the monster from Alien, Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th Franchise and even Freddie Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. However, as the mythology of those characters has spiralled and intertwined, Michael Myers remains a very simple, straightforward concept.

The Shape of things to come.

The horror reboot is a fixture of the modern pop cultural landscape, and Michael Myers went through his own version of that. There’s an argument to be made that Myers came out much better than many of his contemporaries with Rob Zombie’s Halloween. However, even before that, the Halloween franchise seemed to emphasise its essential blankness. Halloween III did not feature Myers at all, which seems crazy in hindsight. Halloween: H20 effectively rewrote the franchise’s history so that only Halloween and Halloween II actually happened.

Of course, there were films in the series that indulged in all the standard horror movie tropes, which tried to develop and cultivate a mythology around the iconic masked killer. This is most obvious in the iterations of the franchise without Jamie Lee Curtis, particularly in the sixth film Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. However, it is telling that these sorts of complications and elaborations have frequently been brushed aside as detritus, understood in hindsight to diminish the power of the character and the franchise.

Facing up to him.

The latest iteration of Halloween understands that this inherent blankness, this resistance against the pull of over-complication or over-mythologisation, is the key to the franchise’s success. Like H20, Halloween is what might be termed a “deboot” in modern parlance, a direct reversal of an earlier change in direction. Indeed, it’s notable for the thoroughness of the debooting. In its opening five minutes, Halloween wipes away not only the Rob Zombie reboot, but also the earlier H20 deboot, and everything in the past forty years.

In the teaser, the audience is bluntly informed by a British true crime journalist that Michael Myers “for the past forty years, by all accounts, has not said a word.” That statement is more than just an important bit of continuity wrangling. It is an important statement of purpose for Halloween‘s understanding of its own franchise and its central character. Halloween very pointedly updates its storytelling mechanics and framework to reflect the forty years since the original film, but it also understands that part of the appeal of Michael Myers has always been his blankness.

Homecoming.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Non-Review Review: Green Hornet

Green Hornet is an interesting film, if only because it’s hard to figure out the potential audience. It adopts a brutally cynical approach to the types of superhero films that have been released over the past few years, while remaining steeped in their trappings. It’s a comedy, but it doesn’t venture too far into slapstick or laugh-out-loud moments (though there are more than a couple). Instead, it seems to smirk its way through the movie, deconstructing the sort of plots, characters and dialogue that superhero films give us, but never completely tilting its hand. It’s hard to tell if this is a parody of a standard superhero film, or a straight-forward example of one – the movie fluctuates between the two extremes, but never really picks one and engages full throttle.

A bomb...

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Your Highness

Your Highness is crass, stupid, vulgar and fun. However, it’s endearingly aware of the fact. I found myself warming to the film quite a bit as I sat down to watch it, somewhat comfortable in the knowledge that Danny McBride’s latest will undoubtedly end up playing on the DVD players of countless college students into the wee hours of the morning for some years to come. It isn’t going to be a film for everyone, but I do think it will find an audience. It’s not perfect or classic, but then none of the films that it is attempting to emulate are. It does succeed in offering a constant and endearing stream of low-brow jokes for its runtime.

The best of the quest?

Continue reading

Your Highness Trailer

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for eighties fantasy. Classics like Willow and Labyrinth were among the favourites of my childhood (although, I must confess, I have never actually seen all of Legend – Tim Curry gave me nightmares). So I’m actually really looking forward to Your Highness, which looks to be a sort of (vaguely) affectionate spoof of all those classic campy fantasy movies. Seriously, check out the appearance from a very Jim-Hensen-esque puppet at the end of the trailer. It’s written and starring Danny McBride, who you’ll probably be familiar with from great roles in some of the better comedies of the last few years (like Pineapple Express with co-star James Franco and Tropic Thunder). The movie filmed in Northern Ireland, and recently had students from around the US competing to host the world premiere, so it’s one to watch. By the way, check out that supporting cast – Damian Lewis, Charles Dance, Toby Jones and Justin Theroux (alongside leads McBride and Franco, Natalie Portman and Zooey Dreschanel).

Non-Review Review: Pineapple Express

Ah, the almost forgotten stoner movie subgenre. Well, except for Harold and Kumar Get the Munchies and its sequel. Okay, well, you get the idea. Pineapple Express isn’t the best movie to emerge from the Judd Atapow machine, nor is it the worst. Despite a lengthy introduction and setup, it did manage to illicit a few giggles and to amuse for the bones of two hours (which may have been just a little too long).

Their bark is worse than their bite...

Their bark is worse than their bite...

Continue reading