Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Fright Night (2011, Craig Gillespie)


Hear me out on this: I like the original Fright Night a lot. It is one of the quintessential horror movies of the 1980s, and a very wonderful original vampire movie. Despite this I still slightly, ever so slightly, prefer the remake. Usually folks are aghast when you tell them you think a remake is better than the original, even when there are a good number of remakes that are easily better and some are among the best movies ever made. I now know how a certain Mail Girl on a certain streaming site feels when she admits that she prefers the remake. The modern Fright Night though is just as creepy and eerie as the original, and I really dug some of the changes they made which thankfully resulted in a movie that isn’t just a paint by the numbers flick only with a modern finish.

The cast for this helps a lot, as the late Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, David Tennant and Imogen Poots form the main cast. It also helps that Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Dave Franco also show up, although Franco isn’t given a major part and Mintz-Plasse unfortunately disappears for a good chunk of the movie. Craig Gillespie decided to make Farrell more as a sleek monster vampire who charms every one else around Yelchin’s Charley while threatening the young man and giving him one warning before deciding to wreck his life. The fears of suburbia hiding awful things manifests itself again in the remake, and I really dig how this movie was shot in terms of color schemes and the feeling that night was always present or just around the corner.

Plus David Tennant is utterly hilarious in this movie as Peter Vincent, and he almost steals the movie right out from under Farrell. It helped to cast an excellent actress and horror veteran in Collette as Charley’s mom, and Poots is actually pretty good in the thankless supportive girlfriend role. Despite being really cheesy at times and lacking some of the elements that made the original so effective, this is a pretty good remake and definitely is one I would like to watch again. I also need to track down the 1980s sequel to the original and create my own marathon featuring all three movies.

Horrorfest 2014 Presents: You’re Next (2013, Adam Wingard)


Adam Wingard’s You’re Next was the second Netflix Instant Viewing pick on Halloween night. After this I fell asleep watching Barton Fink and dragged my drunk ass into bed when I woke back up to use the bathroom. Good times, heh. This movie is literally Home Alone as a slasher movie, which honestly Home Alone felt like a slasher movie in the second one anyways. The kids version of one, to say the least. Wingard did better than this one later on but it’s still a pretty great modern horror flick.

Barbara Crampton headlines a really good cast that make up a rich family meeting at a remote estate that is of course not close to any major population centers. Sharni Vinson is also excellent in this movie as the heroine who battles the killers. This is definitely not a movie for the faint of heart or those who cannot handle gore, because there is plenty of that and most of the kills are quite brutal.

From what I recall I was a tad mixed about the final act, yet the cell phones being jammed was a decent touch. The killers wearing animal masks was cool although I’m sure other movies have done that before. Still the masks were really wicked looking and the last scene is funny in a pretty bleak way. This concludes Horrorfest 2014 finally although I will link reviews to the movies I didn’t get to back then as I watch them in future Horrorfests. Cheers!

Horrorfest 2020/Its Hammer Time Presents: Let Me In (2010, Matt Reeves)


Chloë Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee have pretty good chemistry together in Let Me In, Matt Reeves’ quasi remake of Let The Right One In. I prefer the original but the remake is a good film, and has its own unique moments even if at times it felt like a copy of the Swedish film that was made two years before. Sometimes imitation is the best kind of flattery.

I rather like how the film was shot, with Abby and Owen’s relationship being as tender and complicated as the one in the original film. I like good remakes, and this was certainly one of them, although I am not sure it needed to exist. Still Reeves definitely has talent and is a good director, and I want to check out some of his other films. Especially since I really enjoyed Cloverfield. Oddly enough I prefer the pool scene in this film to the one in the original, mostly for a particular shot of Owen that is very remarkable and memorable.

Slasher Sequel Fest


Inspired by numerous movie marathons over the years, I was thinking about doing one for only sequels of slasher films. My list would be:

1. Scream 2 (1997)
2. ANOES 3: The Dream Warriors (1987)
3. Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)
4. H20 (1998)
5. Leprechaun 2 (1994)
6. TCM 2 (1986)
7. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 (1987)
8. Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)
9. Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
10. Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)
11. Slumber Party Massacre Part II (1990)
12. Hellraiser II: Hellbound (1988)
13. Final Destination 2 (2003)

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Byzantium (2013, Neil Jordan)


Every vampire movie focuses on the cost of immortality, as the creatures of the night live forever by subsisting on the blood of the living. Neil Jordan has made horror films before, and his elegant and stylish Byzantium, while good feels a tad familiar. As if it’s a female based version of his 1990s vampire epic Interview With the Vampire, a film I did enjoy. Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton play daughter and mother vampit’s who are forced to move from place to place.

What Ronan’s young Eleanor mistakenly does is establish a connection with a young local man who falls in love with her. Its clear that her mother, Clara is controlling yet wishes to keep her safe matter the cost. This is conveyed also through rather compelling flashbacks which also feature Jonny Lee Miller and Sam Riley.

However Byzantium has the same problem and issues that Interview did, although I prefer Byzantium slightly. Each movie is a bit too cold and moves too slowly at times, and certain scenes don’t work even though the cinematography is stunning. Later day vampire movies have raised the bar a bit, and so I might not be properly appreciating this movie enough. I doubt it, though.

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