Being somewhat of a newcomer to the Halloween movies, I didn’t have any particular idea of what I was going into with this movie. What was interesting was watching two cuts of the same film. What I found was an interesting choice (actually, less interesting) of a re-cut.
I watched the ‘producer’s cut’ first. Again, not coming from a huge Halloween fanatic background, I actually thought the movie was pretty good. In terms of rhythm and shot choice, it reminded me a lot of the Exorcist III, one of my favorites! I thought it was a fairly intelligent, well done movie, considering it was the 6th in the run of things.
Within 10 minutes of the re-edit, I could already tell what a room full of 15-year old’s did to the original cut. The movie was quicker, dumber, and more brutal. Many scenes I really enjoyed were taken out, including ones that actually explained the plot, which left this re-cut a little too open-ended. MIchael was played up as even more of a bloodthirsty villain, taking away from the sinister sub-plot of the movie, which was abandoned in the re-edit.
However, I would watch the re-edit of this movie more than I would ever watch A Nightmare on Elm Street. :)
A Nightmare on Elm Street
I’ll probably get burned at the stake for this, but, I didn’t really enjoy this movie. I thought it had some great moments and who doesn’t mind seeing a young, fresh-faced Johnny Depp in boxers, but I wasn’t pulled into the story. I feel like it was a lack of background on Freddy. His whole persona was built up for one line about how he was a child murderer, and then....that’s really all we got. It’s a balance struggle in any horror story of knowing just enough about the bad guy to be terrified versus letting the movie become about the bad guy entirely, I think they steered away from Freddy too prematurely.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
In a way, I think the downfall of this film (I should say, ONE of the down falls) is that the origin story not being more touched on in the first one allowed for this catastrophe of a movie. Again, we were steered away from the actual Freddy and led around by what I assume was supposed to be someone who became possessed by him. It was just strange...and awful.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
With that kind of a title, I was almost ready to grab a pillow and snooze while this flick played on. However, I was actually brought back into the story a bit. There was more fumbling to find a genesis story for Freddy, but at least it was slightly subtle and fit into the story as a whole nicely. I thought this one was actually scarier at times than the first.
As I hit play, I figured I was about to watch some incredibly awful re-mix of the original COTC. But I was surprised to find myself actually pulled in to what seemed like a pretty intelligently written story. I was most impressed with the dialogue of the story. It was smart and really believable. While I thought the plot had a slow burn with a bit of an unfinished/nonsensical ending, I was engaged up until the very last shot (which was maybe the most epic). Overall, I thought it was well written, but might have fallen short due to time limits or some complexities that left plot holes post-production.
Children of the Corn
As a Stephen King fan, I was immediately taken in by the simple storyline of this classic horror flick. What if a group of Satan worshiping children took over a small Nebraska town? Only King can make that an epic, edge of your seat experience. Lined with political and religious undertones, COTC had me flinching at every changing shot. Who knows when that ginger Steven Tyler look-a-like could haul off and decapitate someone! I thoroughly enjoyed being terrorized by that shrimpy little Isaac, and the ever present ‘He Who Walks Behind the Rows’. As with many King film adaptations, the effects were a little hard to buy in to, but hey, the 80’s gave it a good college try and I wasn’t too put out.
The use of music and quick, simple shots to scared the hell out of an audience is amazing to me, even years and years later. Simple and just plain scary, that’s how I like to roll.
Just had a wonderful week in Pasadena, CA. Twitchy Dolphin Flix screened 2 features and a short at the festival, all of which were well received. James Christopher took home Best Script for Snatch N Grab.
However, the most inspiring part of the trip wasn't just seeing our work on the big screen. Over the course of the week I was able to meet and visit with so many wonderful people in the indie filmmaking industry. Watching their projects and listening to how much effort was put into them was a reminder of how much I love being a part of this community. I was taken aback by the overwhelming support being given to one another. I look forward to seeing everyone again and I wish them all the best of luck with their upcoming projects! Thanks for a fantastic week!!