I’ve written in great length about director Fred Dekker’s “The Monster Squad” over and over. I love it. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, and I love it now. I wore out the VHS when I was a wee lad, I had a bootleg DVD in my collection when it was out of print for many years, and ever since I love to re-visit it whenever I can. “The Monster Squad” is a drastic departure from director Fred Dekker’s other cult classic “Night of the Creeps,” but like it, “The Monster Squad” is an unabashed love letter to horror movies, and the horror genre in general.
2023 was abundant in religious based horror movies, and while many were an absolute bust, I have to say that I quite liked “The Nun II.” I am well aware that I am in the minority in this regard, as “The Nun II” proves to be as divisive as the original film. The original works fine but is still the highest grossing film from “The Conjuring” universe; the producers don’t really aim for a soft reboot, this time continuing the saga of young Sister Irene and her new friend and colleague Sister Debra.
With great success of a blockbuster, there’s always bound to be a mockbuster that comes up from the rear to pull from the momentum. What with the shocking success of “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” we have the UK mockbuster known unsubtly as “Freddy’s Fridays.” From director Ben J. Williams (who gave us “Supernado,” and “Spiders on a Plane”) comes a pretty dull horror movie that is a hefty mixture of “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and “Hellraiser.” It’s a paper thin premise that probably took a paragraph to expound on on paper, and amounts to a barely eighty minute movie that works hard to stretch the run time with a ton of filler.
For a long time, “Halloween” has been a lot about the inexplicable evil that arose in Haddonfield. But what Danny McBride and director David Gordon Green attempt to do is explain that Michael Myers is only symptomatic of what resides at Haddonfield. Like everywhere in humanity, there always has to be a scapegoat for to pit hatred and fear on to something, and Michael Myers was for a long time the epicenter of it in Haddonfield. “Halloween Ends” explores more the idea of evil as an amorphous entity rather than a maniac in a mask. While Michael Myers was every bit as evil and a force of darkness as we saw in “Halloween,” the final film in the new trilogy takes a step back to look deeper in to the darkness.
I’d love to have been a fly on the wall where Rubèn Galindo Jr., director of “Don’t Panic,” actually watched as someone from the wardrobe department went out, bought dinosaur pajamas in a man’s size, and decided to make it the primary outfit for his film’s protagonist. Dinosaur pajamas with red and blue dinosaurs that you’d find on a seven year old unironically became the motif for the central hero of a horror movie. And that’s not all that “Don’t Panic” has in store for its audience. Rubèn Galindo Jr.’s “Don’t Panic” is a mélange of plot devices that rip wholesale from the likes of Wes Craven, and Sam Raimi.
If Justin M. Seaman’s “The Barn” was “Ghoulies,” then “The Barn Part II” is the “Ghoulies II” of his horror movie series. His Halloween centric horror movie series has managed to deliver in surprises and good old fashioned vintage scares and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the mythos that Seaman and co. have created. “The Bart Part II” is superior to the first film in every way, as while the original is a very good small scale Halloween movie, this follow up doubles up on every aspect. There’s double the gore, double the body count, double the T&A and even larger scale monsters.
Subtlety is not one of Shana Feste’s strong suits and that’s probably why I loved “Run Sweet heart Run.” It’s not subtle at all. It, in fact, clubs us over the head with its message about the dangers of being a woman in modern society. It’s a horror movie in every sense of the word that takes every probable situation that a woman can find herself in, and then amplifies it with a villain that is absolutely more human than human. It’s so blatant in fact with its message about the predatory society women are stuck in, that director Feste even breaks the fourth wall on multiple occasions.
It’s the number two block for the “Home Invasion” shorts list and it’s a stellar list of great short films by up and coming directors and artists. With the “Brooklyn Horror Film Festival” coming to an end, I happily viewed their third big short film program which centers on some form of personal invasion.