Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street is the perfect horror film. It is one of my all-time favorites. Not only did Writer/Director Wes Craven create one of the most iconic horror villains ever, he also wowed us with amazing special effects on a modest budget. The basic story centers on Fred Krueger [played to perfection by Robert Englund], a child murderer who haunts the dreams of the teens whose parents killed him many years ago in an act of revenge. If he is able to kill the teens in their dreams, they die in real life as well. The screenplay is virtually flawless and stands out as highly original. I believe it to be Wes Craven's finest work as a writer.

The cast includes Johnny Depp in his first feature film as well as the perfect horror heroine in Heather Langenkamp. She portrays her character Nancy as strong yet vulnerable, smart yet capable of great emotional depth. She's the perfect example of an empowered 1980's woman and I enjoy watching her in every scene. Veteran actor John Saxon [Enter the Dragon, From Dusk Till Dawn] is also great as Nancy's father. He provides the perfect adult skepticism to what's happening on Elm Street but eventually gets it before it's too late.

Kudos as well to Charles Bernstein [April Fool's Day, Kill Bill Vol. 1] for the exceptional musical score that adds greatly to the overall feel of the film.  Nightmare wouldn't be the same without it! It sets the perfect mood time and time again.

Tons of scholarly analysis has already been written about Nightmare so I won't bore you with all the details. Simply enjoy this classic film which has the right amount of gore, scares and characters you care about to keep you on the edge of your set every second of this finely crafted film.

I saw the 2010 remake and, like most critics, I consider it to be pure crap. They spent a lot of money on it but it doesn't come close to the original. The 2010 Freddy just doesn't work for me at all. He is humorless and boring. Furthermore, they may have upped the gore in the sequel and included a back story on Freddy, but both of these things seem totally unnecessary. Stick with the original!

RATING: Excellent.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982)

If you are wondering when in the hell Michael Meyers is going to make an appearance in Halloween 3, you'll be waiting for a very long time. There is a quick shot of his looming presence on a TV set in the film and that's it. Halloween 3 is really not an end to a trilogy but a whole new story. This makes people either love it or hate it. I fall somewhere in-between.

H3 has several things going for it. 1) The story is interesting and has a few surprises along the way. I have watched H3 many times and never get tired of it. 2) John Carpenter supplies a creepy soundtrack which greatly adds to the feel of the film. This includes the nerve-wrecking Silver Shamrock Jingle that taunts its listeners throughout the film. 3) Tom Atkins [The Fog, Escape From New York] gives a strong performance as Daniel Challis, a doctor who suspects that something fishy is happening over at the Silver Shamrock plant. This movie would be in trouble without him.

Now for the negatives: 1) Toward the end of the film there's some utter BS abut Samhain and witchcraft that is not only pure fiction but it has little to do with the rest of the film. It's not needed at all. 2) Some of the special effects are a bit laughable. They pale in comparison to some of Carpenter's other masterpieces such as The Thing. 3) Carpenter gives the director's and writer's tasks to Tommy Lee Wallace [It, Fright Night 2] who does a decent job but he's no John Carpenter. The same thing happened to Wes Craven in the Nightmare on Elm street franchise. The best of those films [the Original and A New Nightmare] were the ones where Craven had control of the project.

So, don't believe the haters. It's really a decent film if you haven't seen it. Just remember that it's not a sequel to the original. It's a totally different beast. Happy, happy Halloween!

RATING: Good.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.