Halloween Marathon: Scream 3 (2000)

Moving right along! Very unusual this time to not have other horror movies in between yet but I just haven’t been able to fit any in yet. I did actually have one but it felt slightly insensitive to post up a review as its a somewhat disaster movie and with deadly hurricanes in the news, I just couldn’t. It will be posted probably a week or so later. Regardless, Scream 3 is here! This is the point where we have no idea where the Scream franchise can go so we’re both intrigued and worried but trying hard to stay positive. The second one was enjoyable but still started feeling a little wash, rinse and repeat. I’m hoping this one will feel at least at par with the second. Fingers crossed!

Let’s check it out! ūüôā

Scream 3 (2000)

Scream 3

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Emily Mortimer, Jenny McCarthy, Deon Richmond

While Sidney and her friends visit the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, a new Ghostface begins to terrorize them once again.- IMDB

Oh IMDB, why do you do this to me? First of all, Sidney and her friends do not start off visiting Hollywood set of Stab 3, murders based on the Woodsboro murders is what is causing it while Sidney hides away before getting pulled back into the equation, while Dewey and Gale are still not together and reunited again. That might the simple way of setting the stage for how this write-up will go.

Scream 3

Scream 3 is probably the most lackluster of the three. What seems like the end of a trilogy really wasn’t as we know now because Scream 4 came out over ten years later. But, we’re not here to talk about Scream 4 just yet. That will happen a little later this week. Scream 3 is lackluster because it pulls a lot of movie troupes. It is predictable and formulaic and just lacks the atmosphere and jumpscares that the previous two had. There is still some deliberately entertaining dialogue and it is always fun to watch David Arquette’s Dewey have his silly little conversations with Courtney Cox’s Gale Weathers. Those are almost always the most tension breaking moments and I love the franchise for how it does still keep the witty aspect of it.

Scream 3

To say that Scream 3 is not atmospheric is inaccurate though. There were some rather creepy scenes with Neve Campbell’s Sidney and the dream sequences of her mom coming back. There is a strong character built with Sidney. She can still mess around with Ghostface regardless of who is behind the mask. Scream 3 still manages to keep the audience guessing on who to suspect. There are some very obvious ones. However, the sequence of kills or what will happen next or even who the killer is starts becoming wildly apparent as to who is being cast in the wrong on purpose. Some parts of overly deliberate and that takes out some of the fun.

Scream 3

Scream 3 does have a few familiar faces. I think the success comes there for the most part. Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox makes up a lot of the faults with their recurring roles. Surprisingly, Patrick Dempsey also has a role as the detective. There are definitely familiar faces and voice like Emily Mortimer, Scott Foley and Patrick Warburton. Even the setting of using a Hollywood set and using the formula of a movie being made based on real events and being morphed as the sequels continue is a good one. However, the downfall comes with a lot of the cast here who delivers somewhat awkward roles.

Overall, there isn’t really much to say. Scream 3 isn’t a horror movie but it is forgettable. As I write up the review, I struggle to remember a lot of the scenes. It is full of predictable turnouts and cliches. Its returning cast members give the story continuity and keeps some of the fun in the equation but there isn’t really much here to warrant a repeat viewing even if it isn’t particularly a horrible horror flick. In the end, it has merit but just never latches onto to anything original.

Have you seen Scream 3?

Check back later this week for the review of Scream 4 to wrap up the franchise! ūüôā

Halloween Marathon: Scream 2 (1997)

Next up on the Halloween marathon is Scream 2. Scream was surprisingly fun to watch and the tons it had appealed to me quite a bit. I am hoping for a similar feeling with Scream 2.

Lets check it out!

Scream 2

Scream 2

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Jerry O’Donnell, Timothy Olymphant, Liev Schreiber

Two years after the first series of murders, a new psychopath dons the Ghostface costume and a new string of killings begins.-IMDB

Would you look at the cast? Some familiar faces right off the bat. It is always great when sequels get back their characters from the original. There is a sense of continuity to it that makes it more engaging right off the bat. On top of that, Scream 2 keeps generally the same tone as the first. If at all possible, the dialogue for David Arquette is awesomely funny but I am getting ahead of myself.

Scream 2 starts in quite the same way where Ghostface is no longer an unknown serial killer. In fact, two years has passed by and the survivors of that horrible night have tried to move on but the movies has now brought him to life and he did indeed come back. The beginning sequence has a lot of fun with making us remember how the first movie started but also that this killer, because of the media, is able to hide in plain sight even more.

Scream 2

Neve Campbell’s Sidney is back stronger than before. She is older and maybe wiser. Whatever it is, her suspicions are high this time around and almost everyone is a suspect especially her current boyfriend. This is where Scream 2 is done well. We never can quite figure out who is behind it all. We are guessing right along with Sidney. At the same time, Ghostface still has some pretty fantastic sneak attacks. He keeps everyone on alert and for some reason, the movie still has that sly humor from the first one.

Scream 2

When we talk about humor, we cannot forget our stars. Courtney Cox is pretty great in this one. Her character has more substance and we realize that she is kind of a bad-ass herself. However, in almost every scene, David Arquette’s Dewey just cracked me up. He had the funniest dialogue whether it was silly responses or his facial expression when he said it. It was funny and endearing. He quickly became one of my favorites of this franchise.

Scream 2

Overall, Scream 2 feels a lot like the first one which in itself is a compliment. We have a different setting and slightly more mature cast and a copycat killer. The story opens up a few side stories linking to the first movie like Liev Schreiber’s Cotton Weary. The return of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette are great and adds continuity to the sequel. Scream 2 doesn’t forget its success with the first one and manages to keep its tone. Perhaps not as great as the first one but still a lot of fun to watch.

Have you seen Scream 2? What do you think about it?

Scream 3’s review will be next week. Drop by and check it out! ūüôā

Halloween Marathon: Scream (1996)

Welcome to the Halloween movie marathon!!!

The first franchise we are working on is SCREAM! We have to get that Wes Craven love back after last year’s highlight of Nightmare on Elm Street. I’ve only ever seen Scream 2 so getting the franchise in is going to be really cool. For the record, I think the scariest mask is Ghostface for some absolutely odd reason. I don’t even know why. When I see that mask, I tell myself that it is just some dude with a mask on but it creeps the heck out of me. It might be because Scream 2 is actually one of the first slasher movies I saw when I was young. My family is not huge on horror so this genre was a much later discovery.

We’re done with the rambling! Time to check out the first movie, SCREAM!

Scream (1996)

scream

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy

Sidney, attempting to cope with her mother’s mysterious murder, and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by an unknown killer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go. – IMDB

Just a quick question before we start, does Scream feel like it has similar tones to Nightmare on Elm Street? It would make sense because they are both directed by Wes Craven. Scream was definitely something a little different from what I expected. Don’t get me wrong. It was an extremely fun and full of jumpscares experience. That is what Wes Craven was really great at: building the atmosphere and winding up the audience. Scream does not fail at that. For the most part, Ghostface is actually less scary now that I’ve seen Scream. I still think that mask gives me the shivers at times but the tone of Scream ranges from scary and creepy to silly in just a single moment. That is what I totally love about it though. It captures a fine balance between witty and creepy.

scream

Other than the masterful atmosphere here, the characters are pretty cool. Neve Campbell is iconic as Sidney. She isn’t a wimpy girl to say the least. She holds her morals and ethics high and has suffered loss that keeps her apart from others. Sidney is a strong girl and for the most part, the best part, is that she can hold her own. In many cases, it seems like she can outsmart the slasher quite a few times. While the rest of her friends are a bit more cliche and fits the slasher formula. The standout goes to her best friend Tatum, played by Rose McGowan. Her boyfriend Billy, played by Skeet Ulrich is also rather good. He is a little mysterious and weird but sweet in other moments. The same goes for his buddy who feels a little more unhinged but really just a simpleton. Of course, there is also the nerd of the group Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy, that adds a little horror movie cliche references. They all balance the film and propel it forward. However, the silliest part of Scream goes to some of the dialogue which can be extremely random at times.

Scream

Among all the characters, nothing beats the entertainment value of Courtney Cox and especially David Arquette. These two characters both are rather simple minded but seem to have some more depth in a way. Courtney Cox, as a TV reporter is fighting for a belief and suspicion and doing her job. David Arquette is just a young silly cop who seems to be out of place because he has a gentle heart and the best intentions. Let me say, his expressions and dialogue was awesome.

Scream

No one can get out of looking at a slasher flick and ignoring the slasher itself. I actually think the reveal was pretty clever. It sure fooled me for the most part. However, while Ghostface is incredibly.creepy at times, there is still a Freddy Krueger silliness here especially when we have that one scene where Ghostface creeps behind the bushes weirdly, then suddenly stops and looks into the camera and keeps going in a weird walking or exaggerated sneaking style. It is these moments that make the slasher feel less deadly when the slasher is. As weird as it is, that might all be to relieve some existing tension and also let the audience know what the characters in the movie doesn’t so we can wonder who goes next.

Overall, Scream is an entertaining and fun slasher flick. In all his silliness, Ghostface is still very creepy and deadly. Neve Campbell brings to life a great character in Sidney who is smart and strong and can hold her own. David Arquette is funny to watch as the young cop and the early interaction with the reporter played by Courtney Cox gives it some fun moments as well. Plus, we get a young Drew Barrymore cameo in the beginning.

Have you seen Scream? Did you like it?
Later this week, Scream 2 review coming up!

Halloween Marathon: Red Eye (2005)

We’re almost at the end of our highlight series but before we head into the final movie, lets get some other movies done. ¬†This one kind of matches up as it is directed by Wes Craven, the mastermind behind the start of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. ¬†We’re taking a look at Red Eye. ¬†Its funny because for the longest time, I thought that I had seen Red Eye but it turns out that I mixed it up with Flight Plan. ¬†You know, the one with Jodie Foster? Yeah, my bad, right?

Let’s give this a go!

Red Eye (2005)

red eye

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Rachel McAdam, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Jayma Mays, Jack Scalia

A woman is kidnapped by a stranger on a routine flight. Threatened by the potential murder of her father, she is pulled into a plot to assist her captor in offing a politician.-IMDB

Red Eye is more of a thriller than a horror. ¬†But if you know me well, thrillers sometimes can create a sort of intense dread or fear that pure horrors aren’t able to achieve quite so well. ¬†Its for the mere fact that it relates to real life more and can just hit those psychological notes. ¬†On that note, Red Eye works for the most part. ¬†The setting of being enclosed in a plane and then just dealing within confined spaces and one that you truly can’t escape is a good. ¬†Then we have Wes Craven as the director who sets the perfect atmosphere along with the characters to give the story a nice push. ¬†It manages to give us a sudden twist around in the situation that catches us off guard.

red eye

The cast in Red Eye is pretty great. I’m not a huge fan of Rachel McAdams. ¬†I liked her well enough in The Notebook and then she was rather fun in Mean Girls being the mean popular girl, I never really thought much of her acting skills. ¬†However, as a thriller story protagonist, she works great. ¬†She captured this role with a wonderful performance that managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. ¬†I guess part of that praise goes out to Cillian Murphy who is fantastic as the bad guy here. ¬†He takes on the wolf in a sheep skin role very good. ¬†He goes from this amazing charming guy that Lisa (Rachel McAdam’s character) meets randomly and helps her out of a frustrating situation then turns into a man that sits next to her and threatens to kill her father if she doesn’t comply to his wishes for her to switch the rooms of a politician staying at the hotel that she is a manager of. ¬†With the decision of either choosing to save your father or the life of a politician, what do you choose? Its a tough decision.

red eye

At the same time, Red Eye had some interesting side roles. ¬†Of course, we have Brian Cox as the father of Lisa. I’m not entirely familiar with his work but he did look incredibly familiar. But my biggest surprise watching this was that Jayma Mays was in this as a supporting role as Cynthia, the girl working at the hotel desk in communication with Lisa during this event. ¬†Jayma Mays is in Glee as a guidance counselor. ¬†I love Glee and I’m starting to notice parts of her being here and there nowadays which makes me happy. ¬†She’s a fun character who can pull off some cute expressions and she has a very unique voice that gives her some personality as well.

red eye

Overall, I don’t have too much to say about Red Eye. ¬†It was a thrilling watch. ¬†I loved it. ¬†It wasn’t exactly unpredictable but it had a lot of pretty intense moments and it all comes down to the great performances and being able to build up the atmosphere for it to feel that way on and off the plane. ¬†Red Eye has a little something going for it. ¬†Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy do an outstanding job at taking on their roles and making us connect with their character. ¬†Red Eye became a thrill ride because of that. ¬†We never knew whether anything would work out or not. ¬†Even if the ending, the plot seemed to unravel a little too much, there were some pretty edgy scenes that worked. For that, its worth a watch ūüôā

Have you seen Red Eye? What do you think of it? 

Halloween Marathon: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

In the last Nightmare on Elm Street, we said our goodbyes to the series in a pretty mediocre way, in my opinion. ¬†Some of you have recommended strongly that this next one also going back to Wes Craven as the director for the New Nightmare is a strong entry. ¬†I’d like to believe that it really can’t go any lower than that last one. ¬†I’m going to trust that this one is a good one especially since, the few Wes Craven movies that I’ve seen have been pretty good.

Here we go! ūüôā

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

wes craven's new nightmare

Director & Writer: Wes Craven

Cast: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Miko Hughes, David Newsom, Wes Craven, Tracy Middendorf

A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?-IMDB

Wow! Now we’re talking! Wes Craven’s New Nightmare had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. ¬†For one, what absolutely works is the set-up of the story and the premise of how Freddy is properly reintroduced into the real world. Making him not just a fictional character in movies but one that can come to life in reality adds to the scares. With that said, all the actors in the first part comes back as their real selves to play in this one adding to the authenticity. ¬†We never see the real Freddy except till the end and even then, he’s portrayed in a much scarier way. All this works absolutely fantastic to create the perfect atmosphere that just makes us wonder when he’ll show up, what is real or not, and whether he will be reach his goal. ¬†Its all in the dark especially since, the revival of his character is in hand with Wes Craven’s ability to bring his story to life.

wes craven's new nightmare

Another thing is that, while there was probably one or two parts paying tribute to the first movie that started up this Nightmare on Elm Street series and might even fall a little in the campy area, the whole feeling of this series has shifted in this one. ¬†Its a new take. ¬†Freddy is a nightmare. ¬†He can get you in your sleep and he’s found a way to be a part of what some kids would consider a nightmare that adults might think is just an overhyped imagination. ¬†Except we all know it isn’t, we just don’t know when we’ll see the extent of his powers now. ¬†However, it does take back from what happened in the past few movies and deduct it completely to a figment of the imagination of all the writers involved where Freddy’s character is imaginary and his existence is based on being a part of a story that traps him in one. ¬†The moment we don’t have one to trap him in one, he is let loose and he can come into the real world. Reason why, he is double the fright this time.

wes craven's new nightmare

On top of that, while Freddy is more scary and we still debate in the first part whether he is real or not because it is still a movie character, Heather Langenkamp has a son here and this little boy is super great at looking like he is possessed or lack of sleep or scared or just having the effect that something is going to turn incredibly wrong. At the same time, we see Freddy’s primary target is the little boy, Dylan. ¬†In this sense, we turn this horrific character into something like a boogeyman (is this how you spell it?). ¬†He hides under the bed, his stuffed dinosaur protects him, he is scared to sleep. ¬†Its those nostalgic naive fear of the night feelings (I guess I still have them) that pop up from scenes like that for me.

wes craven's new nightmare

While A Nightmare on Elm Street is what started this off and has a good thing going, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare will undoubtedly be the best in this franchise for me. For the first time, it felt like I was watching a horror movie. ¬†I was tense and nervous and really worried about the characters. ¬†It made me a little scared to go to bed at night in fear. An effective horror movie that has great atmosphere, builds Freddy up and gives us the impression that this isn’t fiction but reality is just a thought away.

Have you seen Wes Craven’s New Nightmare? What did you think of it?¬†

Halloween Marathon: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Welcome to the Halloween Marathon! We’re officially kicking off with our highlight series: A Nightmare on Elm Street!

I’m working hard on catching up on all the horror series that I’ve missed year after year. You can see my past two years recap over in the menu under Halloween Marathon. ¬†There’s all the reviews from the Halloween and Friday the 13th series (which you can find on the Halloween Marathon page HERE). ¬†Now, we’re moving onto the next iconic series. ¬†I’m super stoked for this one because this year, it gives it even more reason to celebrate this series even though I had planned it a year ago.

Let’s begin!

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

a nightmare on elm street

Director & Writer: Wes Craven

Cast: Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Robert Englund, Ronee Blakley, Johnny Depp, Jsu Garcia

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. When the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep. – IMDB

Last year while I was doing the Halloween Marathon featuring the Friday the 13ths was the first time I saw Freddy Kreuger in Freddy vs Jason. ¬†Freddy Krueger is a downright creepy looking dude. ¬†I don’t know much about A Nightmare on Elm Street except for the fragmented bits here and there and some iconic scenes I’ve seen here and there. ¬†I’ve postponed this series for a few years because I never found the movies on a reasonable price but now, we’re all assembled and to me, the best part about A Nightmare on Elm Street is the premise and the character Freddy Kreuger. ¬†Someone who can kill you while you are sleeping in your nightmares is crazy because its something that’s basically out of your control. What is the easiest way to tap into your inner/psychological fears? Its targeting whatever is out of our control. ¬†After all, that is the basis of fear factories, right?

A Nightmare on Elm Street

¬†With that said, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a different sort of horror. ¬†Its not even really slasher and as much as there is blood and its campy and mega dated, it still keeps a fun factor but also gives a rather creepy vibe. ¬†I mean, there’s a few scenes that while the effects aren’t great because its been like 30 years (almost), and I’m rather forgiving on that, it still got under my skin a little. ¬†I have to admit that while this first one didn’t show Freddy much because we’re just learning about who this man is before he became the monster killer on Elm Street, he had some goofy moments like that long arm scene. But then, we have this scene below…that picture kind of gives me the creeps…

a nightmare on elm street

Most of the cast here is new to me. ¬†I did a quite rundown of them and maybe they did some roles here and there. ¬†Of course, we have the notable Johnny Depp who makes an appearance here. ¬†Honestly, the cast here is rather decent. ¬†The script itself is a little cheesy at times but the cast is convincing enough. However, what the script does have are some remarkably creative death scenes. ¬†Johnny Depp’s character’s death scene is easily one of the best ones. ¬†It just kind of emphasizes how Freddy Kreuger can kill in any way as long as you fall asleep.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

As a first entry into a long-running franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a strong one. While I still think, Halloween and Michael Myers offered a little more creeps, Freddy Kreuger does a good job as well. ¬†Its all in the premise of his character and how he kills and just that disgusting look that we only ever get a glimpse of. Wes Craven is a master in horror in building atmosphere and building a legit character that is threatening. ¬†Sleep is something that is obligatory in our lives, dreaming is a subconscious state of mind and he takes control of something we can’t control. ¬†Just think about that. Smart move, Mr. Craven. I should’ve appreciated your work a lot earlier.

Overall, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a great first entry bring forth a memorable and effectively creepy character Freddy Kreuger.  It has a great premise and builds decent atmosphere.  It still has the campy feeling, mostly because of the supposed low budget and the dated effects from 30 years ago. However, it still made me jump a few times and the deaths were done in a rather creative way.  Definitely worth a watch!

What do you think of A Nightmare on Elm Street? How about the series in general? Which is your favorite?

**Remember to drop by tomorrow to see the review for Nightmare on Elm Street 2!!**

Halloween Marathon: My Soul To Take (2010)

On a slightly boring and gloomy Saturday morning, I decided to pick up my courage and watch My Soul To Take.  The only reason I had of watching this was that the summary sounded alright and well, there was Max Theriot.  I like him from Bates Motel so hey, why not give it a chance, right? Plus, Netflix seems to think its a good match for me.

my soul to take posterDirector: Wes Craven

Cast: Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker, Zena Grey, Nick Lashaway, Pauliina Olszynski, Emily Meade, Frank Grillo

One night in Riverton, a serial killer murders his wife and takes his own life, however, surviving him is his daughter.  That same night, 7 children were born the moment that he died.  Its rumored that his soul split and went into each of these 7 children and that he would come back to claim his soul back.  16 years later, these seven: Bug (Max Thieriot), Alex (John Magaro), Jerome (Denzel Whitaker), Penelope (Zena Grey), Brandon (Nick Lashaway), Brittany (Paulina Olszynski) and Jay (Jeremy Chu) celebrate their birthday but they realize that one by one, they start disappearing.  Is the Riverton killer really back from the dead to take back his soul?

my soul to take 1

My Soul To Take is a horror thriller which actually may have its few thrills but not much horror.  It does built a nice atmosphere in a eerie with the dark scenes in the forest, the house, etc.  However, even with that, it still feel somewhat flawed.  There were questionable parts and a lot of the scenes were predictable. It tried to bring in a lot of evil symbols such as the crow. It was a mix of supernatural, slasher and mystery.

my soul to take 4

One of the biggest flaws in this flick would have to be its characters. ¬†A lot of them aren’t too impressive acting-wise. ¬†Their roles were a bit weird and nothing made me connect to them much. ¬†The only exception was Max Thieriot as the lead character, or else I might have either turned off the movie or fell asleep. ¬†I can see that he has some acting potential as he lead his role very well. ¬†He was the mystery of this movie more than the actual Riverton killer as he had so many secrets revolving his life and his past with his family. ¬†Another character that I liked was the girl playing his sister, Leah, known to her friends as Fang, played by Emily Meade. ¬†She had a pretty good part and she was an essential part to the puzzle of learning Bug’s past.

my soul to take 2

Hmm…I’m all talked out. ¬†This movie just didn’t really do much for me. ¬†Its not that I hated it though. ¬†I just wasn’t that impressed and I haven’t even seen anything from Wes Craven’s work to begin with so no comparison since that seems to be what disappoints mostly. ¬†The only reason I’d pick up this movie to watch again would be to watch Max Thieriot do his role ūüôā He was definitely the positive in this movie. ¬†So, would I recommend it? Well, if you like Max Thieriot or Emily Meade, then go for it (but then you might has well check out Bates Motel). ¬†If you like a mild mystery/thriller but not to be scared, then this could be a good choice. ¬†You won’t have much to guess because you’ll see everything happening a mile away, especially the kids disappear or getting killed.

I’m going into so many of these movies in the Halloween marathon blind. ¬†My expectations being low could make me have better impressions of the movie than they actually are. ¬†Let’s see if the next one is better…Halloween 4 review FINALLY going up next!