Horror for the Discerning Fan

Tag: Final Girl

Halloween (2018) Review: Entertaining, Violent, and Thought-Provoking

***Warning! Spoilers for Halloween (2018)***

It’s a rare thing to see a horror movie sequel that expands upon and develops the source material in an exciting, worthwhile way. It’s even more unusual and unexpected for a film with as storied a following as John Carpenter’s Halloween. A groundbreaking film that spawned a stream of uninspired sequels, the original Halloween finally has a sequel worthy of its legacy in the latest Halloween film, from Blumhouse Productions.

This horror fan enjoyed the film immensely because it did much more than pay fan service to horror legend. Halloween (2018) dove deep into the genre in a way that slashers rarely do. Sure, it’s got the body count, jump scares, and genre conventions of a slasher (along with some clever role reversals and callbacks), but Halloween will be remembered as a meta-slasher.

halloween

40 years after the events of John Carpenter’s Halloween, Laurie Strode, the only survivor of that fateful night, is convinced that Michael Myers will come for her again. Between not treating her PTSD and struggling to live a functional life, Laurie has become a hardcore survivalist. But she’s lost a lot in the process. She has a strained relationship with her family—daughter Karen, son-in-law Ray, and granddaughter Allyson. She is a recovering alcoholic. She doesn’t seem happy at all. But at least she knows that when Michael Myers returns, she’ll be ready for him.

And sure enough, Michael Myers escapes from state custody the night before Halloween. He hasn’t forgotten about Laurie either, and he will stop at nothing before he finds her and kills her. After all, she’s literally the one that got away.

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Expectation and Judgment in You’re Next

“Grab anything that might make a good weapon.” – Erin

This movie review contains spoilers! If you haven’t seen this movie, do not read on! Or maybe you don’t care and you’re like me and some movies sound too scary and graphic but you want to know what happens anyway because while you’re chicken you’re not that chicken. If that’s the case, read on!

I want to discuss something that is the source of endless frustration in a lot of horror movies—stupid characters. You know the ones, existing purely to drive the plot.

A dark, intimidating figure has been stalking you and your friends. You find yourself home alone and hear the sound of footsteps on the second floor. Should you go investigate? No! Do you?

Yes, and now you’re dead.

Or, you’re supposedly a super-smart biologist who has traveled across the universe to a barren planet in search of alien life. The first living creature you encounter looks like the offspring of an earthworm and a cobra. Should you try to touch it? Hell no! Do you?

Yes, and now you’re dead.

You guys! It’s so cute WHY DON’T I TOUCH IT

Now, I’ll be honest. I have a love-hate relationship with slasher movies for two reasons. First, some characters in these movies act in such idiotic ways; clearly, I would never die in such a stupid, keep-the-plot-moving kind of way. That’s what I tell myself, and I take solace in the belief that I could keep it together enough to call the cops and run away. It’s entertaining and self-affirming to say, yep, at least I’m not that dumb.

The second reason, however, isn’t really fun, but it’s valuable and compelling. It targets the insecurities I’d rather not acknowledge.

In slasher movies, there’s always at least one character who doesn’t act stupidly but still meets a horrific end. Maybe she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe the stupid character didn’t fill the car with gas and she couldn’t escape. Maybe the killer was just that much smarter and stronger than she was. In short, this character just wasn’t good enough to make it out alive.

That’s what makes me squirm. I like to pretend I would know what to do and could protect myself in such a situation, and I probably could in some instances. Freaky-looking worm-cobra alien slithers towards me? Run away! Don’t touch it! Masked murderer has broken into the house and I’m in the middle of nowhere without a car or cell service? Crap, this might turn ugly.

I could be next.

Not gonna lie, I’d probably just hole up in a closet and hope for the best.

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