Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995, Bill Condon)


Woof that title is a mouthful. I loved the 1992 Candyman and so I decided to check out the sequel before it expired on Tubi. While the sequel is not as good as the first classic flick, Tony Todd remains creepy and menacing as ever in the title role. Also the New Orleans’ location is a nice eerie setting for the film’s events. Does Todd utter poetic lines full of death and despair still? Yep. Is the main female lead destined to watch loved ones get slaughtered right in front of her? Absolutely. Roll film.

Annie (Kelly Rowan) ends up investigating the Candyman legend because of her brother and her deceased father. Trying to uncover the truth she of course ends up summoning Candyman because no one in these movies believes he exists until it’s too late. Cue more gore and bees showing up. We even get a historical flashback thrown in for good measure. I’m a sucker for those.

I’m not sure if I care to watch the third film, however I am excited about the upcoming remake, which could breathe new life into the franchise. These movies are very 1990s which is both a good and a bad thing. Oh and I liked seeing veterans Veronica Cartwright and Bill Nunn popping up in the movie. One thing I’ve learned and which this move leans heavily on is that kids are always creepy no matter what in a horror movie. Even if they are on your side.

Horrorfest 2017 Presents: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935, James Whale)


Everyone knows about The Bride of Frankenstein, widely mentioned as that rare sequel to equal or be superior to the original film, and its a shame I have taken so long to finally watch it. Luckily for me my local library had a blu ray copy, and it had not been too long ago that I had seen the first film, which is also a classic in its own right. There are certain things about the sequel that I prefer to the original, most notably the addition of a key member: Dr. Pretorius (a wonderfully flamboyant Ernest Thesiger). The good doctor is the driving force that makes Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) proceed to create a new monster, one to be a mate for the Monster (the legendary Boris Karloff), who of course survived the mob attack depicted in the previous installment.

This film begins the trend of horror sequels depicting previous events so new viewers would not be left behind, and it is also more brutal than the original film. Karloff starts off by murdering a poor couple who had the misfortune to investigate if he was dead or not, and yet in this film he begins to discover his own humanity. The Monster even learns how to speak, and it is this film where the poor blind man (hilariously parodied in Young Frankenstein) befriends the creature, only for others to drive the poor beast away. I also am amused that the titular creature is hardly even in the film, saved away for a wonderfully dramatic and intense moment near the film’s end. This movie also has a surprisingly amount of comedy, which Whale perhaps inserted to dull some of its more harsh edges.

While I am not sure if this is better than the first film, I still love it just as much, seeing as Universal wisely brought back the original cast and crew that made the first film so great. Too bad the rest of the sequels did not involve James Whale, although I still want to seek them out as well. I have an odd fascination with horror film series, and Universal deserves both praise and disdain for giving birth to them in the first place.

Horrorfest 2014 Presents: Child’s Play (1988, Holland)


While I still have yet to view the rest of the series I doubt any of the entries measure up to the original Child’s Play, directed by famous horror filmmaker Tom Holland. Despite the ridiculous nature of the film’s premise Holland never lets the material get out of hand or stop being really creepy. Everyone knows who Chucky is by now so the surprise of him being the killer is long gone, however this film was well directed and executed to the point where that didn’t matter. I’m reminded of Friday the 13th (1980) where in the modern era you know who the killer is and yet the film is suspenseful enough that having prior knowledge is mostly irrelevant to the film’s success. Also Brad Dourif brings Chucky to villainous life in a manner that only a good actor can do-after all, playing a doll is tough work. The film also benefits from the Chicago setting, which is utilized properly and adds to the film’s eerie atmosphere.

Plus this film has a great cast: Chris Sarandon in a rare good guy role, Catherine Hicks as Andy’s troubled mom, and of course Dourif plus Alex Vincent, who is one of those child actors that isn’t annoying in a horror movie. Even though killer doll movies aren’t the most scariest in the world, Child’s Play manages to be a really spooky and entertaining horror film with a chilling finale. I look forward to viewing the rest of the series even if my expectations will be lower-I have heard that the second one is rather underrated. The 80s has some really quality horror films and I think that Child’s Play is certainly one of those, even if it falls short of being a truly great horror film.

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