Halloween Marathon: Lake Placid (1999)

The first non main feature to hit the Halloween Marathon this year is of one of my favorite horror sub genres: Creature Features! I love them to bits and I’m pretty forgiving of them.   I’ve never seen Lake Placid although I’d heard about it before.  I’ve watched spiders and sharks and even octopuses but never giant crocodiles so this seems like it can be lots of fun.

Enough talking! Let’s go!

Lake Placid (1999)

lake placid

Director: Steve Miner

Cast: Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, Betty White, David Lewis

A group attempts to destroy a giant, 30-foot-long man-eating crocodile, which terrorizes Black Lake, Maine.-IMDB

Its starting to feel like Maine is the center of a lot of horror movies or even places close to it.  Maybe its because Carrie was also based in somewhere in Maine that I say that.  It just feels that way.  Lake Placid is not really Lake Placid but rather they actually mention that where this went down, they wanted to call it Lake Placid but the name was somewhere else so its called Black Lake now. Lake Placid is a fun movie to watch just like most creature features are, unless they are just being way stupid or boring. The cast is fun and the dialogue is acceptable.  There are some silly moments but it does also create some genuinely tense moments and equally some comedic parts.  I’m not too harsh on it because I enjoyed the characters but it could also be because I’ve grown to be forgiving and expect characters to make stupid decisions and rather predictable deaths.  Is it a horrible creature feature? Not by a long shot.

lake placid

Remember last year, I did the whole Friday the 13th series for Halloween.  Part 2 is one of my faves in that series and guess who the director is- the same guy as this one. I guess thats why I like the style of it.  There are some jump scares, some tense moments and in the Black Lake, its rather mysterious in some shots.  They try to make you think there’s something when there isn’t and the twist is pretty funny about the reason of why the 30 foot crocodile chooses to stay there.  And that ending was hilarious and so obvious that they wanted to bank on the possibility of having a sequel, which I’ve learned has 3 sequels? I’m not sure but at a quick glance at IMDB, its there.

lake placid

One of the props does go out to the crocodile scenes being incredibly believable.  I mean, okay, eye to eye with the crocodile, maybe you won’t be so calm and there was a scene like that.  And that crocodile was pretty smart. And I had to do a little research to see if they actually used a real crocodile. Sounds stupid because it was in fact designed (which was expected) but it was fairly real.  Even the reactions and the movements.  While we never caught the crocodile close up until the end for longer moments, and the underwater scene seemed like those rehashed and repeated scenes as it went through the dark water, it still worked fairly well.

lake placid

As for the cast and their characters, this was incredibly well for what it is.  I wonder about its budget.  Brendan Gleeson is a great actor along with a personal favorite of mine being Bill Pullman, especially in the 90s, he was in a lot of random movies. I don’t think I’ve seen Bridget Fonda anywhere before but she’s good. Alongside that, the best parts that led to some comedic moments was the bickering between Brendan Gleeson’s character versus the “crocodile specialist” of the group played by Oliver Platt.  The different views and beliefs about crocodiles and the desire for Bridget Fonda’s character to break out on this “adventure” while having some underwater expeditions and whatnot made this decent.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with Lake Placid and I think that for a creature feature, its really not too bad.  There are the expected bad or clunky dialogue and there are stupid decisions to be made.  Even so, the crocodile was done well and the sequences built to a point that I had a few thrills at the end despite the stupid decision they all had.  Then that final ending scene right before the credits was pretty hilarious even if it forced a possibility for a sequel. Its definitely worth more than the 30 something % that Rotten Tomatoes gave it.

Have you seen Lake Placid? What did you think of it?

Halloween Marathon: Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

This alternating days thing is working out pretty good, right? This week there’s three main feature and this is the second of them: Friday the 13th Part 3. I’m not going to say anymore but lets check out what this is all about.  Part 1 and 2 definitely had their good features, lets see if this held up.

friday the 13th part 3Director: Steve Miner

Cast: Paul Kratka, Dana Kimmell, Larry Zerner, David Katims, Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers, Catherine Parks, Rachel Howard, Richard Brooker

After surviving the last movie’s injuries, Jason is back on Camp Crystal Lake.  This time, its hunting down a group of friends that decided to go vacation near Camp Crystal Lake.

Seriously, writing these synopsis couldn’t be easier than that because it really is just that.  The friends arrive and then something suspicious happens, after that the friends get killed one by one. Except Part 3 is playing with the early phases of 3D and watching the non-3D DVD version, it is definitely a weird viewing to say the least.

Friday the 13th Part 3

Friday the 13th Part 3 is directed by Steve Miner, also the director of the second.  In the sense of building the atmosphere it was done okay.  The only thing this movie really does increase on, probably because of the non-3D scenes is that its just so cheesy.  I mean, I like cheesy but this was over the top in some parts and to be honest, some of the characters were a tad too stupid for my liking.  Plus, the kill scenes were pretty obvious and it was more humorous than creepy (which at times is not such a bad thing).

Friday the 13th Part 3

However, another plus is that Jason does feel a little more lifelike, which is something my boyfriend and I have been discussing about the whole “What makes Jason creepy and effective as a slasher icon?” On the topic of Jason, this is the first one where he acquires his iconic hockey mask.  I still think he’s way scarier with the burlap sack but he couldn’t keep that thing forever, right? It doesn’t hide his face as well and probably isn’t as secure.  Who knows that reason for the change? Masks are scary is my guess. Being more lifelike, as in quicker motions when needed and walking faster, chasing and all that actually made this acceptable.

Friday the 13th Part 3

I really don’t have much else to say about Part 3 except that overall, its really weaker than the first two.  It was extremely cheesy and therefore more humorous than creepy slasher.  However, it is also the moment we see Jason get his mask and he is more human. I just can’t help wondering whether seeing this in 3D would make a difference.

Has anyone seen Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D? What are your thoughts on it? Did  you like it?

Halloween Marathon: Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Moving right along with the Friday the 13th series, we’re on Part 2.

Friday the 13th Part 2 is the only one I’ve seen before and that was 2 years ago.  Lets just say that my memory is slightly foggy.  I only remember little bits and parts but as I was watching it, all of it started coming back by the end. I completely forgot how it all began so it was partially a new experience.

Lets check this out, shall we?

friday the 13th part 2Director: Steve Miner

Cast: Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette

Five years after the killing at Camp Crystal Lake with the one survivor that has vanished after the events, a nearby camp reopens as a counselor training camp lead by Paul (John Furey) and his assistant Ginny (Amy Steel). On a night, half the camp counselors go in town to party before their training starts while the other half stays in.  The latter group ends up slowly being picked off one by one.

For those that wonder why I ended up starting Friday the 13th Part 2 first a few years back, it was really because I told my boyfriend to tell me which one he liked best and this was the one he chose.  So thats how it added into my intense horror.  To be fair, after that event, I changed it around because you can’t categorize anything intense until you give it a go (even if you are like me and get scared easily).

Friday the 13th Part 2

Watching this one this time after knowing how it started felt different because now there is some form of continuity.  Not sure you really need it but its probably why the first part where it flashes back to the ending bit of the first one (my referral of continuity applies here) passed over my head the last time and it was the part I completely forgot.  Weird, eh? So that beginning half, no memory at all.  Still, it kind of gave a bit of closure for the first one and set the stage for this Part 2.

Friday the 13th Part 2

We all already know who the mysterious brutal killer is.  This time, its a rather silly group that is really still on Crystal Lake except they aren’t the same camp site.  The group doesn’t believe that there is anything dangerous as usual and they make silly (*ahem* stupid) choices.  Still, Part 2 is a bit more effective in the scare territory than the first one.  I definitely like this one more especially how it reveals Jason and just how he is.  Although, my boyfriend and I was discussing the ending of the first with the beginning of the second. and how it puts to question whether the girl in the first was hallucinating at the end, because if not, the timeline might not work quite so well, unless I got lost in the track of what was going on.

Friday the 13th Part 2

On the level of scares, although the acting is nothing to call home about.  Still, Jason in here is pretty effective especially since its the first one where he is the center of the killing and he still hasn’t gotten the famous hockey mask that he has later on.  Its somewhat of an origin story although we only know that the assumption is that he’s avenging the death of his mother.  I can tell you that there was a few parts that even though I guessed what would happen, the unknown timing of when it would happen gave me a few jumps (and shrieks).

Overall, Friday the 13th Part 2 is more enjoyable than the 1st for me. It builds the tension better and Jason is proved to be a worthy murderer and a great way to start his killing spree.  It sets stage hopefully for the continuation of the series. I can say that I was fully anticipating Part 3 🙂

What do you think about Friday the 13th Part 2? Do you think that it was effectively scary? Was it better than the first or did you enjoy the first more?


Halloween Marathon: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

The light at the end of the tunnel is how I feel right now.  Its just right there! This month has been a bit intense with work and keeping up with the blog.  The first time its really gotten to me.  This time really went completely spontaneous and ended up being hectic to finish up the focus of the marathon: the Halloween series.  I had a list before I started the marathon and lets say I pretty much tossed it out the window.  Last night, at something like 11pm, I finally turned on Netflix and saw Halloween H20. I’ve mentioned it, but I will again, I’m not doing the final one due to time constraints.  I will eventually, just not immediately.  So, lets see whats up with this one!

HalloweenH20posterDirector: Steve Miner

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, Adam Arkin, LL Cool J, Adam Hann-Byrd, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe

Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time and now the life of her own son hangs in the balance.-IMDB

The only relevance Halloween H20 had was to the very first (and well, second) Halloween.  That makes it kind of meh, because then its like, should I take in account that 4 to 6 happened then.  I mean, from what I got from the 4th one, Laurie either died or left her daughter.  So  now, she has a son, why did she choose to keep her son but leave her daughter and then her daughter gets stuck with that ridiculous fate and happened from 4 to 6.  She has issues and we know that already. Who wouldn’t, right? Lets say we forget about Laurie. Michael Myers makes no sense either.  He always struck in Haddonfield, so what makes him leave that comfort zone 20 years later and head to kill Laurie in North California now? I mean, if he was all high and mighty and knew all, as he seems to be in the previous instalments, then why not just go straight for her after his first escape back in 4? I know the technicalities are probably they couldn’t get back Jamie Lee Curtis to do that role or whatnot, but still, doesn’t matter who really gets slashed as long as they get hunted by Michael Myers, no? Either way, my head hurts from all the questions.

Halloween H20 2

I’m not saying that I hated Halloween H20, I really am not. I watched this by myself so my imagination went running wild, as always so there were times I’d be tense but then this one was so predictable. I think its the fault of how they shot this one. Somewhere along the way, I started thinking that the purpose of Halloween H20 was to show why the first (or any of the others) was so creepy. For one, even when this movie was dark, it was still pretty bright.  Second, we aren’t supposed to see Michael Myers up close and personal.  He was scary because he was lurking around, and we never got a good look at him.  The shots were quick and we never knew when he’d attack.  This time, Michael was walking faster and always visible.  Plus, the mask was not scary and excuse me but blackest eyes, no they aren’t.  Are you lying to me Dr. Loomis or did his eyes change over the years? Maybe he’s softened up, but then, he hasn’t.

Halloween H20 3

I went into this with little expectations that I was so happy to actually see JGL little role at the beginning.  I’m not exactly sure that part was supposed to yield that much excitement.  And then there was LL Cool J.  Hey, I thought he was pretty awesome in Deep Blue Sea and he was pretty hilarious in this one.  That was probably deliberate.  Not very fitting for Halloween but I liked it! Another thought going through my head for the cast was that I never saw anything with Josh Hartnett since Pearl Harbor and now I have 2 in a week.  I’m indifferent to Josh Hartnett but at least he wasn’t a brainless teenager in this one along with a young Michelle Williams.  So many familiar faces does give it a few extra points, right?

halloween h20 4

I think at this point, my review is already way out of hand.  Its just a lot of ranting and sarcasm.  Okay, I’m serious, I didn’t hate it because I was tired and by myself.  Overall, some tense parts but not a coherent storyline if you look at this in a whole.  Its predictable and doesn’t really have many scares.  I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to see this.

Happy Halloween everyone! I should have one more post up if everything goes as planned to do this my own way! 🙂 I’m getting that together right after dinner!

There you go! Seven Halloweens done! Have you seen them all? Which is your favorite? Is there something I’m missing in the story to link it better?