Horrorfest 2015 Presents: Campfire Tales (1997, Matt Cooper, Martin Kunert, and David Semel)


Overall this isn’t a bad anthology even though some of the tales are stronger than others. Also the overall wrap around story has what is now considered to be a cliche twist. I wanted to really like this film yet Campfire Tales is not consistent and has only really great story out of the whole bunch. Too bad since focusing on urban legends is a cool idea. Which reminds me that I need to watch Urban Legend at some point.

The film opens with a good yet very short tale, called The Hook. It’s a nice creepy beginning and is also notable for staring Amy Smart and James Marsden before either one became famous. This segways into the main wrap around story, called The Campfire, which stars Christine Taylor as one of the four young adults that share stories after surviving a car crash.

Now the best story of the bunch is The Honeymoon, which stars Ron Livingston and Jennifer Macdonald as a couple that have the misfortune to break down in the desert. It’s a really frightening entry and is mostly responsible for the film’s barely fresh rating. This is followed by People Can Lick Too, which although merely solid/good has a nice buildup leading to an eerie conclusion and is a modern day twist on an old tale.

Unfortunately the last story, The Locket, is really boring which is a shame considering it stars Glenn Quinn. Nothing of note really happens and the twist is rather awful in terms of being a bad attempt at shock value. Better anthology choices exist out there although Campfire Tales is not a complete waste of time.

Horrorfest 2015 Presents: Night of the Demons 2 (1994, Brian Trenchard-Smith)


Many horror sequels have a high rate of diminishing returns. However in the case of Night of the Demons 2 the sequel is that rare one that inproves upon the original. Although the first one didn’t set the bar very high-yet I did enjoy it despite it’s low budget and B movie cast. The sequel continues along the same lines, mixing dark humor with gross out gore.

Also this film has some star power in a young, not yet famous Christine Taylor, who has since appeared in many famous comedies. Plus the characters here are better than the ones in the first film. I rather liked Mouse, yet its Gloria, the take no prisoners nun, who is the film’s main attraction. Naturally Angela returns to wreck more havoc, which makes me wonder why people would go into a cursed old house in the first place. Oh right, it’s a horror movie.

One of the best nasty moments is when one of the possessed girls spouts an arm out of her chest,  using it to nab a perverted greaser. Sure this isn’t high art and I’m sure they ripped off The Evil Dead II, yet I was entertained. Besides this film has an Uzi filled with holy water and a big grand monster style finale. I’m also wondering why a 90s movie felt like an 80s release. Odd. Good, but odd. I have little hope for the third one, and I’m amused that this is a series.

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