In our effort to explore lesser known films that didn’t get big budget film releases, we will be doing 2 of these a month. No theme whatsoever. They are simply lesser known but quality horror films. I have Teddy, Cece, Dom, Chris, and Kristi all here to help me out.
In the Invitation, what was the significance of Will hitting and then killing the dog, if there was one?
Teddy: just a crazy happenstance
Cece: I mean, it could have been a bad omen for the entire rest of what happens in the movie. Dom:Wrong place, wrong time…..Death can happen anywhere, anytime
Chris: It sets the unsettling tone at the beginning. Juxtaposes randomness with brutality as well. Sets up the whole putting those in pain out of their misery later on as well
Kent: This is a film about doing things that you don’t really want to have to do, not in the way of the Saw franchise, but in a slightly more realistic approach. The dog, the video, the staying at the party, being someplace that’s essentially on lockdown, Claire not wanting to play the game (insert HHH’s music), and even Will just coming back to that house.
Who was your favorite character in The Invitation and why?
Cece: Will. He was the only one keen on all the fucked up shit. Dom: Will/Eden. Will was the “sane” one in the situation. Eden was all kinds of fucked up. I felt most of the other characters, aside from David, were kinda throw away or filler.
Chris: Kira. Imagine being invited to your boyfriend’s ex’s house for a party, where you aren’t part of any of the memories or nostalgia being displayed. You don’t really know anyone, aren’t in on the inside jokes, your boyfriends is being all sorts of weird and moody and non-committal, and then his ex and her psychos try to kill you. What a shitty date night
Kent: Ben and Pruitt are my favorites because Ben is a joking dude who likes to drink, very relatable. Pruitt holds some power and yet is calm and quiet for such a large chunk of the film, and then he unleashes his story about Margaret. Major props to Eden and Sadie as well.
How deep did you get into the film before you were 100% convinced that Will was right?
Teddy: the cult video. Shit always go down with cults in horror movies
Cece: I knew he was right from the beginning. Dom: When they got to the party. It all had that creepy no good vibe.
Chris: Pretty much Choi’s voice message, although they then do a good job of making it seem like a red herring
Kent: Well, here’s the thing. I also had seen They Look Like People on NetFlix which has a similar vibe of reality versus what’s just in someone’s head. With that being said, how highly rated this was, I figured as soon as he killed the dog that something bad was going to happen. Therein lies the big differences between the 2 films, violence started one out, the other didn’t. Sometimes it is as simple as that.
What is your interpretation of what was happening at the end of the film in regards to the rest of the neighborhood/city?
Teddy: mass suicide like what happened in real life
Cece: Assuming the whole community was a mass suicide. Dom: Mass cult suicide/take over
Chris: A lot of fucked up cult people murdered the shit out of their family and friends because they couldn’t deal with their grief
Kent: I hate to say this, but I don’t know. I refuse to believe that so many households were all into this cult. I know that is the implication, but for such a reasonably told story, this last bit is too much of a leap of faith, in my opinion. So my theory is it was day 7 of a lot of people having watched the Ring video.
Who was your favorite character in We Are Still Here and why?
Dom: The house or the demons? The house or the demons? Can’t say. But on a side note I do love when a filmmaker is able to take a place and make it it’s own character. (i.e: The Overlook in the Shining, the Bates house in Psycho) Those paces become the silent talkers. They say nothing but speak volumes.
Kristi: The fiery demons because they are fiery freaking demons!
Chris: The Dagmars. You start out thinking this fucked up family is going to be evil-haunting and murdering people who move into their house, and then find out that they are enslaved to some kind of “entity” living under where they built their house and are forced to do its bidding.
Kent: This isn’t fair to the rest of the cast, but Larry Fessenden is one of my favorite actors, so Jacob is the answer. Still, I love Paul and Dave as well. Jacob being possessed was too great to not rank #1 though for me.
Did We Are Still Here remind you of any other films that you have seen? If so, which one(s)?
Dom: I think of House, the Shining, The Evil Dead, Children of the Corn. This movie makes me think of Evil dwellings or a collective or killers/murderers. Of course both these films we’ve watched and are now doing a questionnaire on, have the same idea. They each have a group of people (Cultists/Towns folk) who are trying to sacrifice others for their own gains/purpose.
Kristi: Evil Dead is the only one that comes to mind. The part where the chick is driving off, thinking she escaped then Bam! Fiery demon.
Chris: To go along with what Dom said, add in Black Death ,The Wickerman, and Cabin in the Woods. Trying to sacrifice others so that you may live, prosper, etc
Kent: Wicker Man, the original with Christopher Lee and not that Nic Cage pile of shit, is the first to come to mind. The House of the Devil, which is a phenomenal film that came out in the past decade or so. Children of the Corn is an obvious one. The Pact 1 & 2, The Others, The Shining, and so many more. Let’s keep going. The Sacrament, Last Shift, The Legend of Hell House, House on Haunted Hill (both), and I’ll stop.
What was your favorite aspect of the film? Was it the creepiness, the history of the house, the townsfolk, or something else?
Dom: All of it. I enjoyed the slow reveal of the whole thing. And the demons were kinda cool looking too.
Kristi: The history of the house.
Chris: The way the movie accelerated. Slow, slow, slow, slow, nightmare, youth murders, possession, all hell breaks loose
Kent: The history of the house and especially how they showed so many cool things at the end was like 92 cherries on top. The slow burn was the selling point and just how well they did it where you didn’t mind the slow burn. Some slow moving films bore you.
If you could change one thing in We Are Still Here, what would it be?
Dom: The location of the tree in the front yard. Bothers me sooooo much!!!! (Hahaha, that was an unexpected response.)
Kristi: It started off entirely too slow for me. I actually ended up fast forwarding through some of it.
Chris: I like ambiguous endings, but I also like knowing. When she says her son’s name at the end, I want to know what she sees that would make her think her son was anywhere near that place
Kent: If I could have summed up the first 10 minutes in 2 minutes, I would have been okay with that.
Which movie did you prefer between the two?
Dom: Can’t say. Both were good and bad in their own ways. Pace, characters, story…Special effects, gore…
Kristi: We are Still Here. I didn’t care for The Invitation at all. Made it halfway through until I decided to turn it off.
Chris: 2 Different examples of two very different types of horror both came out in 2015 and show that horror isn’t dead. We are Still Here might edge the Invitation for me, only because I can’t fight ghosts, and I am pretty sure I could out shoot most cultists
Kent: We Are Still Here gets the edge for me, but very narrowly. I felt the pacing of We Are Still Here is more appealing, and the payoff may be as well. I still am freaked out by cult stories, and both served that in certain ways.
John Carroll Lynch is a pretty awesome actor. He’s known for playing Drew Carey’s brother on the Drew Carey show, Eastman who is the guy who trained Morgan on the Walking Dead, Twisty the Clown in American Horror Story, and John Wayne Gacy in American Horror Story. He’s also been in Shutter Island, Zodiac, Gran Torino, and a bunch of other stuff. What is your favorite role of his? Also, he will be starring in season 2 of Channel Zero, which is a pretty awesome show.
Teddy: I would say it’s a tie between John Wayne Gacy and Drew Carey’s brother
Dom: Drew Carey’s brother
Kristi: I love Twisty but I really enjoyed the Morgan episode so I have to go with Eastman.
Chris: Zodiac. He was in one of the really good scenes. Underrated movie IMO
Kent: Eastman was probably my favorite character of his. He did such a wonderful job for an episode that was long and yet one of the most memorable, due to his and Lennie James’ performance.
Would you like to see Larry Fessenden play the role of Jack in a remake of The Shining? I’m not asking if you want to see a remake, but if they were going to do it, would he fit the role?
Chris: There is one facial still where he looks like Jack in The Shining,but no
Kent: I don’t know who you people are. Of course! Boooooooo the rest of you. BOOOOO!!
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Welcome to our 9 Deuce Horror group’s Evil Dead franchise discussion. You know the drill by now. I ask 9 film specific questions and then have some wiggle room for 2 bonus questions that may not be film specific. I am your host, Kent, and today I am here with Kristi, Chris, and Dom. Please, if you are reading this and would like to participate in one of these, contact me. All comments in bold are from me. We will be tackling The Evil Dead franchise on July 20th in our next blog, so I hope that pleases the masses.
Which of the 3 Evil Dead films is your favorite? Please keep in mind that nobody would ever say the remake and be allowed to post on this blog.
Kristi: I have to go with the original. It holds a special place in my heart. The beginning of an era, if you will.
Chris: Army of Darkness. My parents relatively sheltered me from horror movies growing up, so I hadn’t seen either Evil Dead or Evil Dead 2 before it came out (although I do remember seeing the cover of the VHS for it in Video World). Army I saw in the theater with my dad. After that the next time I spent a weekend with him we rented ED 1+2 to watch. But Army stills hold a place in my heart for being the first. (Horror movies bringing families together. Honestly, my mom took me to see a bunch and rented even more for me.)
Dom: In terms of horror, the first one, though I do have few issues with it. (Hmmm, you have me intrigued about your issues.)
Kent: I’m sticking with the original because it was the closest to horror and had a lot of my favorite scenes from the franchise. All are great in their own way. Poor part 2 gets no love because it’s not extreme in either direction, or at least that’s my guess why.
Sam Raimi has made plenty of films aside from this trilogy. Which is your favorite of his, and tell me why? Other notable films include the Spiderman trilogy, Darkman, The Gift, Simple Plan, Drag Me To Hell, For The Love of the Game, and The Quick and the Dead.
Kristi: I had to do some googling for this one. The Grudge. I dig those flix. (I had no idea that he produced The Grudge. Gotta love IMDB!)
Chris: I forgot that I had never seen the Gift, which is now on my watch list. I guess The Quick and the Dead for introducing Russell Crowe. Or if you mean his scary movies Spiderman 3 for shitting all over the franchise. (I do love me some Russell Crowe. This is also how you can tell that I am not a Spiderman fan, as part 3 was my favorite of the 3. I know, I know, I’m an awful person in the eyes of every comic book fan, to which I am 100% ok with. I also liked XMen Origins Wolverine and XMen 3 better than the first and second films, and I will defend that position.) Dom: The Gift and Oz the Great and Powerful (I only know about The Gift because of Katie Holmes, and had never heard of the Oz film. I would watch both I think.)
Kent: A Simple Plan was a brilliant film. I don’t know why it flew under the radar, but I absolutely loved it. It had Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton. I also gotta give props to Drag Me To Hell as it was fun at the very least. I’m honestly not a Spiderman fan though.
Were you a kid or an adult when you first saw these films? Did it frighten you, or at least make you jump the first time that you saw it?
Kristi: I was late teens, early 20s. I had just eaten some Shrooms so it was friggin hilarious!!!
Chris: I was a teenager. No they didn’t. While I can appreciate what they were attempting in ED1 it wasn’t scary to my badass teenage self. And ED2 and Army were to comedic to really be scary
Dom: Teenager. And yes. If horror (or even suspense/thriller) movies are done right then you should have at least one moment you “jump”
Kent: I was probably in my mid to late teens. It was from Captain Video when you could get 5 movies for 5 nights for $5. I loved that place. The first film gave me a jump scare, so I was happy.
The Evil Dead franchise is, by far, the most well loved and known horror franchise with a male protagonist and survivor. It’s an incredibly popular franchise, so why do you think that horror movies still stick to the cliched female survivor thing that we have had for decades?
Kristi: I have no idea but Ash is, by far, the best of the survivors!
Chris: Because by and large women are physically weaker than men. How often do you see roided out he-men as the protagonist in horror movies? It is usually children and women. I like when movies try to break the mold, but horror usually comes from placing the protagonist or the victim in a state of vulnerability. Depending on the type of situation you have in your movie that can lead to cliches or what have you.
Dom: Because young, beautiful girls in danger sells tickets. The idea that a girl is the main protagonist and the villain is generally male sets up a brains vs brawn scenario. We as an audience tend to root for the underdog. Yes we may get behind the villain for 85% of the film but in the end we want to know that the heroine can best the bad guy and if her or her (girl) friends boob happen to pop out so much the better. More Ticket sales.
Kent: I honestly don’t get it. A little variety would do this genre good. I could understand if this franchise failed, but it didn’t. I don’t really care how you take it, most women I know would absolutely panic and die in these scenarios, but when put in the film, suddenly they become smart and crafty. Please, spare me this nonsense. I feel the price of surviving is to get topless, male or female. That way everybody wins! I gotta give a shout out to Kincaid in Nightmare on Elm Street 3 for surviving. Poor dude didn’t last long in part 4, but that’s to be expected. Also, I don’t know where the fellas in the Phantasm franchise come into play, but that is another big franchise with male survivors, but it’s an odd one. These memes are for my enjoyment only.
Army of Darkness isn’t really much of a horror. I think most people would agree that it’s a fantasy comedy with hints of horror, more or less. Can you think of any other films where the sequel(s) was/were such a sudden directional change in genre or theme? I don’t mean lousy sequels that made no sense like Blair Witch 2. I’m talking about going from drama to action or something along those lines.
Kristi: I can’t think of any that changed genres. The only one that comes to mind that was different is Halloween- Season of the Witch. I dig that movie but it really had no place in the Halloween trilogy. I feel like it would have done a lot better if it had been on its own. (We recently had a talk about this film. It’s pretty damn good and underrated.)
Chris: Waxwork and Waxwork 2. The first one was a relatively decent conglomeration of horror vignettes. The sequel went straight up comedy. The Aliens franchise: 1-sci-fi/horror, 2-action/horror, 3-nihilism/horror, 4- w/e the hell that shit was, AvP- sci-fi/action?, AvP Requiem-direct to video shit. The Puppet Master series, where the dolls went from being serial killers to getting revenge on Nazis to protecting people from demons. Wtf (Waxwork is a really good call, and I feel it’s one of those films that not many people remember. Alien franchise, that was going to be one that I tackled, but you did such a wonderful job, I left it alone.)
Kent: I should have written these down as I had a few of them, but alas, I’m a moron. Pet Sematary 2 was quite the change from the first one. Wolf Creek 2 became more of a comedy. Nightmare on Elm Street 2 was thematically different in many ways. One of the Children of teh Corn, like part 8 is very different from what the others had done. Leprechaun In The Hood was a big change comparatively. Hellraiser went into space, so did Jason Voorhees. Jason in Manhattan was also an oddity and very funny. The Last Exorcism’s sequel wasn’t quite right compared to the first one, which I absolutely loved. There was the Paranormal Activity with the Spanish or Mexican folks, somebody was definitely Latin, and I think it was the 5th one, and it was pretty different. I think I liked it better than some of the previous ones to be honest. The Phantasm franchise in general goes through some odd changes. OK, I’ll stop now.
What is your favorite scene from The Evil Dead (part 1)?
Kristi: I love clown face Linda. Best part is when she’s sitting there all creepy as shit saying “We’re Gonna Get You”! Love that shit.
Chris: the chainsaw in the shack Dom: this scene also happens to be the one of the worst scenes for me as well: The tree rape scene.
Kent: Tree rape. If you know me and didn’t guess that, then shame on you.
What is your favorite scene from Evil Dead II?
Kristi: Dead Linda dancing in the woods. Like seriously, what the f%$k was that!!
Chris: the whole possessed hand scene is great
Dom: When Ash gets the Chainsaw hand
Kent: The whole house just going ape shit, that whole scene is amazing.
What is your favorite scene from Army of Darkness?
Kristi: Being as this was originally an Army of Darkness blog, I decided to choose a few scenes. Most of them one liners.. “Well Hello My Fancypants”.. I laugh every time. Introducing his gun “This is my Boomstick!” “Say hello the 21st century” and driving up with his car windmill murder car. That thing was awesome! I also very much enjoyed the fighing skeletons. I know it took a different direction but i thouroghly enjoyed it! I just love the zero F%$ks giving, Ash in this film. Ash is my hero. 😉 (This is, by far, the biggest answer that you have provided. Kudos to you, and glad to see you really getting into this one.)
Chris: So many. But probably the most iconic is “Klatthu, barrada, necktie” in the graveyard Kent: The whole “This is my boomstick” scene will always get me pumped. I don’t care how cliche that answer is, it’s great!
Aside from the Evil Dead world, what is your favorite Bruce Campbell role, whether it was on TV or in a film?
Kristi: I enjoy his role in Burn Notice. Its a pretty entertaining show.
Chris: I liked Sam Axe on Burn Notice because it gave him something different than what he always seemed to be typecast as. Or Elvis in Bubba-Ho-Tep
Dom: When he played on Hercules and Xena. Also the TV series Jack of All Trades.
Kent: I got 3 to offer. Maniac Cop was a fun one. The ring announcer in Spiderman, mainly because of Macho Man Randy Savage being involved. Finally, he had this real bit part in The Ladykillers, but that movie is a real treat.
Bonus Double Deuce
If they ever made a legit reboot of The Evil Dead, not that trash from 2013, would you prefer that they focus more on the horror or comedic vibe that this franchise has given us?
Kristi: I’d like more like Ash vs the Evil Dead. Has a lot of comedic elements but still a little horrorish.
Chris: Let’s face it, the more successful the films became the funnier they became. There really is an untapped market for intelligent horror comedies. We get maybe one or two a year. (I would love to have more that worked well, unlike Zombeavers.)
Dom: Horror. The movie is horror based. Keep it that way.
Kent: I would keep it horror with a few witty one liners. Scary movies are allowed to make you laugh every once in awhile to lighten the mood, depending on the scenario. Just keep it scary when it needs to be. In Friday the 13th, it’s ok if the counselors are joking in the first 30 minutes, but then there’s a time to get serious.
Name another film that you liked that you could see was directly influenced by these films. It would be nice if you told us what aspect was influenced. Be creative!
Chris: Cabin in the Woods riffed heavily on several of the scenes/themes present in a pretty good way. The whole title could be cribbed from the ed trilogy. (Yeah, this was going to be my answer as well.) Dom: My mind is blanking on me
Kent: Drag Me To Hell had some of that tongue in cheek comedy and it reminded me of this, but that’s an obvious connection. I feel the need to bring up Home Alone and scary things in the basement, just to keep that joke running. I hate the fact that I am blanking on any number of horror films in the woods. Seriously, I am losing faith in my memory. Dreamcatcher maybe….let’s say that it counts. I’m sorry.
Let’s talk about what has happened recently. In 2013, they remade Evil Dead. Did you see it? If so, what was your take on the film? Keep in mind that I will not be commenting on anything positive said about the film as iI don’t feel like hurting people’s feelings with scathing commentary.
Kristi: It was just a gore fest. I didn’t hate it as much as you but it’s not something I will be watching again.
Chris: Blasphemy. I didn’t see it. The only positive I have heard about it was a plausible excuse for why they were so remote in the woods. Dom: I did not see it
Kent: It’s one of the lowest rated big budget horror films ever for me. So many issues with it.Just avoid at all costs.
Have you watched any of Ash vs The Evil Dead, and if so, are they doing the franchise justice?
Kristi: Thanks to you, Yes I have!! I really like it. I think they did it well and I’m looking forward to season 2.
Chris: Yes it is great. The only thing I would love would have been for them to be able to acknowledge AoD in Ash’s past, but they can’t since they don’t own the rights. Lee Majors as his dad was awesome Dom: I have and I love it. My only complaint is that it’s too short per episode. I’d love it if someone took all the episodes and sliced them together as a “film”
Kent: Yeah, it took a little bit of adjusting for me, but I got into it and was pleased.
I just want to say that although Army of Darkness was the original winner, I felt that people would feel ripped off not to get the full Evil Dead experience. I hope that you enjoyed this larger endeavor. Thank you Kristi, Chris, and Dom so very much for actually following through and helping me get through this monster project.
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Welcome to our 9 Deuce Horror group’s Jaws discussion. You know the drill by now. I ask 9 film specific questions and then have some wiggle room for 2 bonus questions that may not be film specific. I am your host, Kent, and today I am here with Tom, Kristi, Chris, Sara, Thomas, and Dom. Please, if you are reading this and would like to participate in one of these, contact me. All comments in bold are from me. We will be tackling The Evil Dead franchise on July 20th in our next blog, so I hope that pleases the masses.
Let’s start you off with an easy one. Name your favorite character in the film and why. Yes, Jaws counts as a character.
Tom: Quint by a long shot! He’s a man’s man, he’s got blend of toughness and crazy, and he’s a fisherman! (Picturing Tom saying this as a battle cry makes it far more exciting.)
Kristi: I have 2. The main fisherman dude just because he’s creepy and shows no fear. Also, the black lab in the beach scene. He was super cute when he was running in the water. (I had to assume that the dog had to mentioned by you at some point. Glad we got right to it.)
Chris: When I was a kid it was Martin (probably because he seemed like the hero). When I got older and realized that this movie is a good example of realistic people it became Hooper.(I’d guess that I probably liked Hooper more when I was a kid.)
Sara: I am a huge fan of Quint. He shows no fear and is a total badass…..ya know, until he’s not anymore. (He’s the fishing equivalent of Maximus basically.)
Thomas: Jaws; because he’s like a honey badger; and honey badger’s don’t currrrrr. (But seriously, any animal that savage has my respect.) (Bout time somebody picked Jaws!)
Dom: Brody. He’s trying to stop this “monster” from terrorizing his town/beaches and all he gets is shit for it. You stand behind a character when you know they’re right, and not being a douche about it, and they’re trying to do the right thing. (Brody is an incredibly relatable character for a lot of the reasons that you mentioned. Actually, he’s a damn good role model.)
Kent: Quint because of his story about the USS Indianapolis. There’s something to the art of his delivery. Plus he just seemed pissy and cocky most of the time. Remind you of anybody? Yes, Bob Barker.
Where would you rank Jaws among the best horror films of the 70’s? (I’m looking for a number, say 5, and maybe if you want to say what you would have ranked above it, that would be awesome. Consider this forward thinking on my end. Yes, I am aware that you haven’t seen all of these, neither have I. Just go by what you have seen.) I highly recommend using this list here
Tom: I know there are some huge horror movies that came out of the 70’s but I’m partial to Jaws, so it’s number 1 for me. As far as runner ups, I recently learned Alien is a 70s movie and not an 80s movie, so that may be number 2. Not sure how to order the rest of the big ones. (True story, based on this man’s love of the film, I almost bought him a Jaws themed shower curtain for Christmas.”
Kristi: I really don’t consider Jaws a horror flick so it would rate pretty low on my scale. I do love this movie though (What genre would you consider this and why? I’m asking because it is a clear cut monster film to me, only with great actors which we never get. Like imagine if for some reason they remade a classic film like The Mummy and put A list actors in it. That would be weird, right? Thankfully that will never happen. I could see the argument for a drama I suppose. Just curious.)
Chris: There are definitely more that should be on that list, but Jaws is a solid number 3, following Alien, and both losing to The Exorcist. (I’m mainly disappointed as I started reading this and was waiting for you to start naming movies that belonged on the list. Chris, I feel ripped off, and yet I don’t pay you.)
Sara: Ok, as the baby of this group (other than my kid) I wasn’t born when this came out, and didn’t see it until WAY later in life than I should have. (I was probably 15-16 or so?) It never really scared me, so I would say this is pretty low on my list. There are MANY from the 70’s that I love more than this. (I am pretty sure this film came out before any of us was born… I think. Even as a kid watching it on VHS, it wasn’t scary, but it was cool. )
Thomas: I’m 10. I haven’t seen any of the other movies on the list, but I would rank it a 4. It felt more cheesy to me than scary, and didn’t make me think twice about going in the ocean. (Honestly, you sold me at “I’m 10”. Asking 10 years olds about their favorite 70’s movies should typically result in this type of response.)
Dom: Having seen 12 of the 25 posted on that list, I’d put it at 6. (Damn, now I want to know what you would have above it. Come on Dom, post in the comment section at Facebook.)
Kent: Out of that list, I have seen: The Exorcist, Suspiria, Halloween, Alien, Salo, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jaws, Dawn of the Dead, Black Christmas, Wicker Man, The Omen, Carrie, Phantasm, and the Hills Have Eyes. I plan on watching some of the other ones this October. I hate how I asked the question because it’s a question of am I asking for film quality or horror quality. Those are separate things. I’ll give a top 10 and immediately regret my decisions. Honorable mention for Salo, and no, I am not recommending that film to any of you. Don’t do it. 10. Halloween 9. Black Christmas 8. The Exorcist 7. Suspiria . 6. Phantasm 5. Jaws 4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3. The Wicker Man 2. Carrie 1. Alien
(We are in trouble if we do a top 10 of 80’s horror.)
One of the things that Jaws is most beloved for, is the music. It’s definitely iconic. Where would you rank this all time for horror? (A few examples of other classic music would be Psycho, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, The Exorcist, Saw, Devil’s Rejects although that’s more of a killer soundtrack, etc.)
Tom: Well it may be the most recognizable, close with the “shh shh shh shh ahh ahh ahh ahh” of Friday the 13th. I love how it’s used in the movie to represent the presence of the leviathan even though you can’t see it beneath the water. Its simple but still somehow raises your anxiety level. Number 1 for me. (Is this because of the F13 video game?)
Kristi: Again, don’t really consider it horror but this is most definitely a soundtrack that is highly recognizable.
Chris: It’s definitely number 1. While a lot of the other ones you posted are also iconic, Jaws theme became a cultural phenomenon. My wife uses it to scare my kid in the pool 40 years later. Mr. Mom used it to mock a vacuum cleaner. While the Halloween theme and Psycho’s shower “music” come close, none have become as iconic as Jaws (I’m just enjoying the great stories here of scaring children.)
Sara: As far as the epic-ness of the music, it’s #1, but I think that it really gives too much away about when the ‘scary stuff’ is going to happen. (I hate to have the same answer as Thomas, but he’s right. lol) (Let’s face it, it was the way that horror did it. Throughout the 80’s, a lot changed and evolved.)
Thomas: This ranks second for me, after Freddy. I almost wish that it wasn’t used that way, because it took the surprise out of the gore for me. (That’s an interesting perspective. I’d guess the vast majority of us had seen this many years ago. Nowadays, you get the foreshadowing music, and you know what to expect. All I can say is that it used to be an art form. Then Insideous happened unfortunately.)
Dom: I don’t have a favorite in terms of Horror music. They emotions each of them stir up are different. If I was ever in a real life moment where any of those movie stories are happening to me I would hope that the correlated theme music would play so I’d know what to do or expect. (So, your theory intrigues me. In my head, I picture you in the woods near some water. You then hear the the Halloween song, so you acknowledge that it’s a good thing it’s not October. Then you hear the Friday the 13th sounds, and you’re like “aww crap”. So you head into the water only to hear the Jaws song. You get out of the boat and hear Dueling Banjos. You then get back in the boat and take your chances.)
Kent: I’ve been playing a lot of the recently released Friday the 13th video game and the music and sound effects are such a huge part of the overall presentation. Dom’s answer is along the same lines of my thought process. I’m torn between Psycho and Jaws. I think I will go with Jaws because I think it spans so many generations and it so attached to water and sharks. I never listed Deliverance, and while people may not consider it a horror, it has horror elements, and Dueling Banjos may even top Jaws. I’m surprised nobody went with Tubular Bells from Exorcist. Props to Freebird in Devil’s Rejects because that scene is iconic.
This film has a lot of great, memorable scenes. Name your favorite and tell us why if you wouldn’t mind.
Tom: By far, the scene where Quint tells the story of the USS Indianapolis. May be my favorite scene in any movie. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, I get hypnotized and drawn into the story.
Kristi: When they see Jaws in the pond. The part where the dude is on the little boat, the music starts, and you see his fin in the background. It gets my heart racing every time. (It’s cool that certain scenes can still elicit feelings so many years later.)
Chris: To not plagiarize any of the others (who picked great scenes), let’s go with the scene on the boat where Brody is going to chum the water and the shark pops up. “You’re going to need a bigger boat” is one of the most famous lines in film (You are like the anti-Russ of my blogs with not plagiarizing. Much obliged. I always feel that boat line is considered to be the best known when people talk about the film.)
Sara: My favorite bit has always been the ending sequence, from about where they push the boat to breaking on. Quint is my favorite character, but his death is sort of poetic justice in this film.
Thomas: The drunk boat scene is my fav., along with the quote “Cheers to swimmin’ with bow-legged women!” because it’s just all out funny. (Bow-legged women are the best.)
Dom: the first death scene with the girl. What a great way to start a flick. I also enjoy the whole Jaws attacking the boat and getting blown to shreds as well. You feel for these guys trapped on this boat (which seems to be about the same size as the shark) as they battle for their lives, watching this vessel get torn smaller and smaller hoping to God they make it. (It’s rare for a horror film to have such a great beginning and ending sequence, but this one pulled it off.)
Kent: I alluded to it before, and Tom already said it. Still, I listen to the “Show Me the Way To Go Home” scene monthly. You have the story and then this brief moment in time of bonding and not sure if there is impending doom, it feels so surreal to watch it.
Speaking of scenes, this has a very underrated opening scene. Name your favorite opening scene in a horror film.
Tom: Chrissy’s death is quite something, violent yet you never see what’s tearing her up beneath the water. I also like it goes back to an eerie calm after she’s pulled under. If I had to pick another opening horror scene I might go with the Twilight Zone Movie. “You wanna see something really scary?” (Cue me singing “The Midnight Special” by CCR. Great opening and always entertained me, especially as a kid.)
Kristi: Halloween. Little Michael Myers becoming the psycho I love so much. (The original or remake?)
Chris: It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, but I really liked the opening in The Conjuring. Annabelle was creepy as fuck before the movie Annabelle ruined her. (Annebelle never happened. At least that’s what I tell myself because it was just so bad. The Conjuring may be the best horror film of the past decade. It’s up there at the very least.)
Sara: The opening of Scream. While not my favorite horror movie by any stretch of the imagination, the opening is killer. (It really is, from my perspective. I rewatched it like 2 weeks ago. I was not disappointed.)
Thomas: (Keep in mind, I have a limited knowledge of horror movies, but my mom’s working on that.) I really loved the opening of IT. I loved Pennywise popping out from behind the clothes. (Kudos to your mom for working on this with you. Also, great choice. I now am a proud owner of a Pennywise shirt, thanks to the other Tom. I still may get a Pennywise tattoo someday.)
Dom: This beginning scene is fantastic. The unknown scares us and the fact that she’s being attacked by something unknown should slightly terrify you. That being said, there’s so many good opening scenes I can’t decide on just one. (Please tell me that you remember Sleepaway Camp 3.)
Kent: Seriously, nobody said Scream? (Sara responded after I wrote this, so not my fault.) How is that possible? I even asked other friends this question and Scream was universally one of the first 2 responses. I’m happy because I so rarely get to give an answer that somebody else hasn’t provided. That opening set the bar for openings. Also, a major shout out to The Ring. That opening is one of the all time greats and doesn’t get enough recognition. Both incarnations of TCM belong, as does Sleepaway Camp 3 for cheesiness, The Stand with Don’t Fear the Reaper, and all of the Nightmare films.
The mechanical shark, “Bruce”, malfunctioned a lot during filming forcing Spielberg to come up with creative ways to film scenes with it. Do you think this helped or hindered the movie?
Tom: Helped. It may have been advanced for the 70’s, but the mechanical shark is almost laughable in appearance. I think it was way more effective to find ways to represent the shark while it remained unseen, fear of the unknown. Like the barrels, or the section of dock following the fisherman as he swam in. “Swim Charlie, don’t look back!”
Kristi: I don’t know how the movie would be different so I guess I don’t have much of an opinion.
Chris: If you count the number of scenes the shark actually appears in it isn’t many. Yet the movie is still close to perfect. So I think it worked
Sara: I think that Spielberg is a master at his craft, and even then made the best of a bad situation. If it were re-done, (though I hope that never happens) I’d hope to see even more of it shot w/o the shark, or possibly from the shark’s perspective.
Thomas: I think it made it better, and it made Mr. Spielberg a better director to have to figure out how to give that illusion.
Dom: Both. It forced him to film things in a different way which hopefully translated into his later work, but then on the other hand all that malfunctioning didn’t allow him to get the shots he wanted, which may have given us a slightly different movie.
Kent: I would like to know how much this altered what Spielberg had originally planned. If it mean keeping the shark out of more scenes, then I consider it a success. Let’s face it, this is the type of film that thrived on the idea of the less you see, the scarier it is. Anyway, some of you alluded to how it made Spielberg get creative, and that’s a good thing as it probably helped him down the road. Consider 3 of his next 4 films were Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T., I’d say it helped.
What do you feel Quint’s motivation was in overworking the engines around the 3/4 mark of the film?
Tom: Well I think it was the same reason he busted up the radio. He reveals his torrid past with sharks in his old war story. Now he has built a life catching and killing sharks. I think he sees this shark as his nemesis and aims to take it out himself, like a fight to the death, him or me. He doesn’t want to retreat or call for backup.
Chris: Calling Captain Ahab. Points at Tom’s answer. Or maybe since it hasn’t been mentioned yet, he was going to try to use the broken parts to be an aquatic Kevin MccAllister, but the shark ate him first. (Slow clap worthy. We must keep bringing up Home Alone in some capacity. I am so proud of everybody who keeps that funk alive.)
Sara: While I hate to copy anyone else’s’ answer, I think Tom and Chris nail this one. I like to believe that it was part PTSD, and part that Quint knew his doom was imminent, though I’m unsure as to why he felt like he should take the other 2 down with him.
Thomas: It was definitely a fight to the death, and it was definitely an issue of pride for him. No matter what it cost, he was going to kill that shark.
Dom: I agree with Tom. Quint made it personal and all be damned if someone else was gonna kill that shark (aka his Moby Dick)
Kent: While Tom’s point makes way more sense than the drivel I am about to write, I’m going to give a slightly different perspective while acknowledging how wrong I am. Sometimes people know that they are in way over their head with a task, and at some point, the LeBron James of the world look for excuses, sometimes even self sabotaging. Yes, we know that Quint is super bad ass, Captain Ahab. Could it be possible that he at least considered having a built in excuse for his failure to capture it once he realized what he was dealing with? Nah, probably not.
Regarding Bruce Gardner’s death, did everyone that he left the docks with die or did he go out solo afterwards and meet his end? If his body was still in the boat, how did he die? How did he lose his eye? Let your theories fly.
Tom: Well I’m gunna say he went out alone later because no other victims were ever discussed. Now when they find the boat a chunk is missing out of the side, almost like a big bite mark. Maybe while he was fishing the shark lunged up getting his arm and the side of the boat. After losing his arm he went into shock and bled out. Once dead and adrift at sea, it is pretty feasible that seagulls came and pecked out his eye. I think the missing eye was just for shock value, but that could account for it.
Kristi: He went out alone. I think if everyone was missing, there would have been some word of that. As far as his eye, Jaws left some of him for other sea creatures and something else got to his eye. Or Jaws squeezed him so hard, his eye couldn’t handle the pressure. 🙂
Chris: It’s like the Lost World:Jurassic Park 2. If the Tyrannosaurus was still captive in the hold how did everyone on the ship transporting it die? We may never know. (Another Spielberg reference. Nice. Maybe that is part of his charm, leaving random things left unknown.)
Sara: I like to believe that everyone died, and that the shark left him behind like leaving a coin for One-Eyed Willy. (lol) My father always said that you’ve got to leave at least one, “to tell the story” (Points for One-Eyed Willy reference!)
Thomas: It could be from swimmin’ with bowlegged women? (*Mom-note; I wanted to make him really answer this, but his answer made me giggle, so I let it go.*) (Yup, and I am laughing reading it, so I feel the answer is apropos.)
Dom: Solo, or else more people woulda been out there.
Kent: I love me a good conspiracy theory, so allow me to create. I feel that him and one other buddy got to drinking, possibly some shine or whiskey. They get to talking about the damn shark. Bruce’s buddy is pissed at the shark but acknowledges that there’s nothing that they can do about it. Bruce then takes another swig and asks why the hell not? His buddy sits there, thinks on it a moment, takes a swig, and asks: “What’s the plan?” They go out and the boat start a rockin cause Jaws came a knockin. Bruce gets the adrenaline sober going on while his buddy is tanked. He pushes his buddy overboard to buy him time. While trying to push his buddy out, buddy grabs his eye, doing some 80’s wrestling eye gouge mixed in with The Bride in Kill Bill. Bruce succeeds in pushing the buddy over and heads back to the dock. He died of a panic/heart attack because his eye was ripped out and he feared that the shark was gonna get him. Come on, it’s not a bad theory, and we’ve all been drunk and been talked into really dumb things, or came up with really dumb tasks to perform. I await people finding holes in my plot.
If you are the mayor, Larry Vaughn, would you: A) shut the beaches down entirely, B) would you let people know and swim at their own risk, or C) Not say anything and hope to make more money?
Tom: Choice B. If you make people aware of the shark, why not let them swim at their own risk.
Kristi: Shut that shit down! (Negan would approve.)
Chris: D. Shut down the beaches and then invite the media to town bragging about how we have the biggest goddamn killer shark ever, and try to recoup Amity’s tourist money through 15 minutes of fame. (And this is why option D for Other is always so much fun. I like it, but now I don’t feel right stealing it.)
Sara: I say B. He’s not their mom, or in charge of deciding what’s in their best interest.
Thomas: A; shut down the beaches. It isn’t worth people dying from a blood-thirsty shark ready to kill EVERYONE.
Dom: Choice A
Kent: B is probably the right answer, but I say go with C. You gotta make money, right? Giving people a choice i nice, but that choice isn’t really going to benefit you too much. Stubborn people would stay, but a lot would just leave. Something big like mysterious deaths to tend to attract some weird people, and also know it alls who think that they can figure it all out or save the day. I feel that Larry isn’t going to be re-elected no matter what option occurs, so make as much money, and try to keep some for yourself.
If they remade the film today, who would you cast as the 3 leads? This isn’t asking if you want it remade, because that answer is no. If the film definitely was being made, who would you choose? Just for reference, I’ll provide their ages. Hooper was 26-27, Quint 46-47, and Brody 40-41. Also, ff they remade this film with the lead characters all being female, would you watch it?
Tom: Tough question. Quint has to be that tough old sea dog with a touch of crazy. I think Tommy Lee Jones might fit the part. Chief Brody must be kind of naive but well-meaning. Possibly Ed Norton or Jim Caviezel for that role. Lastly, Hooper needs to be that snarky intellectual and I could see Robert Downey Jr. playing that part quite well.
Kristi: I’m not sure about who to cast. I feel like it would need to be some people I have not heard of. All female leads, No thanks… On that note, I just saw a preview for a new shark flick. It doesn’t look horrible. (Hopefully it wasn’t The Shallows because fuck that movie.)
Chris: Brody-Liev Shrieber, Hooper- Oscar Isaac, Quint- Ian McShane. Although Dom’s answer is kind of awesome. So to kick it up a notch we get Mario Van Peebles to play Hooper (Jaws the Revenge) Dennis Quaid to play Brody (Jaws 3-d) and Mr. Dreyfuss to play Quint. (Ian McShane is a solid choice. I really like that one.)
Sara: No to an all-female cast. Even as a chick myself, there are some things you just don’t do. Like lady-ghostbusters. Or lady-sailors. Just no. As far as re-casting, I’m not playing this game, because I feel as though we’re tempting the film gods to ruin yet ANOTHER movie with a re-make. (Rest assured, the film gods pay no attention to anything that we have said……yet. Still, it is wise to play it safe.)
Thomas: (I can’t necessarily choose actors, because I don’t know many of them by name) The second part of this question; if it were all -female, I would not want to watch it, most especially because (if it’s set in the 70’s still) it wouldn’t make sense for them to be women, and it ruins the ‘swimmin’ with bowlegged women’ quote for me too. (Yeah, I mean, he’s got a point. You can’t take that line out, so no all female cast. )
Dom: Quint would have to be Richard Dreyfuss. You can’t remake without an original actor being in it. Brody would be Matt Damon or Ben Affleck. Hooper could be played by Jonah Hill. (I like the idea of Dreyfuss being involved, just not sure about that role for him. I admittedly haven’t seen enough of his films to form an educated opinion. Just no Affleck. He can direct it! I know that I need to give him a second chance, but I don’t know where to begin.)
Kent: Quint would be played by Viggo Mortensen, Ron Perlman, or Michael Rooker. Beyond that, I have been thinking about this for a damn month. Some of that time was spent watching people do cocaine in a Stewarts parking lot. Seriously. I guess Brody could be done by Edward Norton, Michael Cudlitz, or Andrew Lincoln because I will cast Edward in anything. Hooper is the problem. I don’t know many young funny actors, especially ones that I like. Evan Peters might work because he has a smaller stature and could be funny. Maybe Leigh Whannel, who played Adam in the original Saw movie and was trapped in the main room with Cary Elwes. If Joaquin Phoenix was available, make him Larry Vaughn. I won’t ever watch an all female cast of anything unless it involves prison.
When Jaws came out, it scared a lot of people. We know that this kept people away from water for a bit. Has a film ever scared you so badly that it bled over into your everyday life?’
Tom: Well as a child I saw the cover to the film Ghoulies in a video store. For a while I could only use toilets when it was absolutely necessary. (Hearing this story has entertained me.)
Kristi: That damn Final Destination scene with the log truck. Everytime I see one I do my best to stay away from it! We have log trains out here. When I see one, I turn around and get further back. (I think that was part 2, and it was good. I think the plane crash in part 1 actually prevented some people from flying for a bit.)
Chris: Fuck yeah. This and a short I saw on HBO when I was a kid. The short had people diving into a pool that had a shark in it. And the Raft segment from Creepshow 2. I fucking hate swimming when I can’t see the bottom. (Holy balls dude! The raft thing I can absolutely agree with you on. Still, that segment also had the only nudity and the best line at the end when the) dude tried celebrating.
Sara: I thought about this really hard last night. This movie doesn’t scare me, partially for the reason Thomas listed (my mom did the same for me.), but also because we’re nowhere near the ocean, and while the Mayfield lake is said to have some gross shit in it, a man-eating fish is not one of those things. In general, though, while there were plenty of movies that made me jump-kinda scared, I’m yet to come across a movie that scares me after the fact. (The only one that did was the book version of the Amityville Horror; I had nightmares about that book for weeks afterwards, but the movie was ‘meh’ in comparison.) (I saw Amityville when I was way too young for it, and it never really bothered me. It was neat, but not scary. Jump scares are cheap. I will argue that point until I am blue in the face, then die, and come back to haunt those who oppose me.)
Thomas: No, because my mom taught me before we started watching horror movies that it’s JUST a movie. (*Another mom-note, we’ve yet to find a horror movie that has REALLY scared him, so this is sort of a moot point.*) (BUT it does give me hope that at some point you will find one that does. Everybody should have a bit of terror from a film in their childhood. I feel like The Strangers may have frightened me as a child, or Them, which is the original French film which doesn’t have Liv Tyler.)
Dom: Yes and partly still does
Kent: Candyman is my obvious choice. I’m telling you, the first time you see it, you inevitably go to the bathroom within 2 hours of it ending. Don’t lie to me and tell that you don’t think about it, even for a split second. That was awesome. Then sometimes you decide to say Candyman repeatedly in hopes of meeting Tony Todd. The Blair Witch made me want to go camping. I regret that decision to this day.
All the pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are the property of:
Welcome to our 9 Deuce Horror group’s The Babadook discussion. You know the drill by now. I ask 9 film specific questions and then have some wiggle room for 2 bonus questions that may not be film specific. I am your host, Kent, and today I am here with Kristi, Chris, Teddy, Kayleigh, and Cece Please, if you are reading this and would like to participate in one of these, contact me. All comments in bold are from me. Jaws will be the next film that we blog about on July 1st followed by Army of Darkness on July 15.
The obvious question first, give me your thoughts on Samuel. Be nice, mean, whatever. He’s a very interesting kid character for a horror flick.
Kristi: I like him. I think he really did a good job at being the creepy ass kid that I like so much. (Kent: We’ll have to do Pet Sematary real soon so you can get more creep kids, or Village of the Damned. There’s a 2008 film called “The Children” that may serve you well. It fell apart a bit but I have watched it like 3 times, so it’s not terrible.)
Chris: Poor kid. Between his fucked up mom and lack of a dad, how is he supposed to know how to behave? His mom doesn’t punish or reward behavior correctly because she is having to be both sides of the parental division. Instead of being mother and child they have become each other’s support system. (I think you nailed it with them being each other’s support system.)
Teddy: Dude fuck that kid…like idk if I could put him into a rocket and fire him into the sun I would. Who makes fun of parkinsons?? I do give him credit for the home alone-esk takedown of his mom 10/10 (I’m just happy that Home Alone has been brought up in another horror blog.)
Kayleigh: There was always that feeling of pity in the back of my mind because of his dead father. With that being said, I definitely had my fingers crossed that his mother would just give him a good smack to the face. So yeah, I thought he was a little prick begging for attention in the beginning. (Early on, I suspected that he was a child who didn’t get properly punished so he exhibited little self control. I still feel that way, but as Chris pointed out, Sam served as her support system, so that would make it hard to punish him properly.)
Cece: He was severely annoying to start, I would have slapped him multiple times and probably would have sent him to a mental ward…(So basically everybody is wondering about the parenting. I concur.)
Kent: The first time that I saw this film, the kid was making me regret watching for like 20-30 minutes. The kid then started to grow on me. In subsequent viewings, Samuel has become borderline loveable, minus the screeching. I loathe screeching.
Were you hoping that Amelia and Robbie (the dude that she works with) would end up in a relationship?
Kristi: This is an unexpected question from you. (Believe me, I wasn’t really sure whether to ask it or not, but it felt right in this particular instance, because I’m always so negative.)I like the guy but I think she needs to work on her mental state before she enters a new relationship.
Chris: Hopefully down the road she gets that chance
Teddy: I mean it’s kinda short lived so I cannot make that call.
Kayleigh: The kind of relationship I was hoping for was her just getting laid.I mean she definitely needed it. There was that whole scene with the vibrator and Sam running in. I felt she at least deserved a one night stand. (I’m worried at how often I agree with you during this. Yeah, I think she really needed to bust her lady nut and maybe have a slightly clearer mind, some sleep, and maybe she could have parented better.)
Cece: Yes, I kind of was hoping that because she clearly needed something to take her mind off shit.
Kent: I am rarely ever supportive of relationships in films, as Kristi alluded to. In this case, I really liked Robbie, for some reason, so I was cheering him on, especially once we knew just how much Amelia could have used some intimacy.
Was Claire (Samuel’s Aunt) a likable character for you? Also, did Ruby deserved to be pushed out of her tree house?
Kristi: Claire was a bitch just like her shitty daughter. She definitely deserved to he pushed. It wasn’t Samuel’s fault it just so happened to be out of a tree house. (Yeah, I think it’s definitely a circumstance of she had it coming and it’s not his fault that she chose to run her mouth when she was 10 feet in the air. That’s on her.)
Chris: Was she likable, no? Realistic and living in the real world, yes. Barring supernatural entities possessing you, her advice was mostly spot on. Little kids are dicks. Period. But if I broke the arm of everyone who was a dick to me, people wouldn’t be able to shake hands. So no Ruby deserved a spanking or being sent to bed without dinner, but not being pushed out of the tree house. (I’m sure we’ll talk about this sometime during ESO, but if we take the tree house variable out of it, did she at least deserved the shove? If we got broken arms for being mean, I’d never be able to do this blog.)
Teddy: I’m not gonna touch that one because of my past trauma’s but I understand Claire taking care of her daughter first
Kayleigh: I felt like Claire was just aggravated with her sister and wanted her to get over her depression after seven years. She was further aggravated that Sam was a little dickhead. Yes, she came off as a complete bitch constantly, but if I was in her shoes I can’t say I wouldn’t of done the same thing. As for her child’s little tumble out of the tree house, kudos. (The point about dealing with Amelia and her depression is something to touch on. I feel we all know somebody who has been depressed for years and years, and even if you get it, you understand it, and you support the person, there are times when it grows tiresome and you offer up a bit of tough love. Or maybe I’m just a dick, and there’s another broken arm.)
Cece: Claire was snooty and yes, her kid was a brat and spoiled. (I’m not sure I got snooty, but I suppose I can see that side. Ruby was just, well you said it nicely. For all of the talk about Amelia’s parenting, Ruby turned out to be an ass as well.)
Kent: The issue with Claire is in the manner in which she is portrayed. To get in a Walking Dead reference, if the show revolved around Negan for 6 seasons and then got attacked by Rick’s group, public perception would have been different. Consider that if the film was about Claire and Ruby, then the first time we meet Amelia and Samuel, you would probably loathe our 2 stars. I feel that Claire was being a quality parent, making tough decisions. On the other hand, Ruby so(ho) deserved that shove. Now I kinda want to listen to Rancid.
Was the Babadook present throughout the whole film, or was it only Samuel’s imagination early on?
Kristi: I think he was there. I think that’s who he was smashing the head in at the park. (I hadn’t considered this, but it makes a lot of sense.)
Chris: I was talking about this the other night with Kent. My son was about 15 months old or so when I watched this and he would sleep in my bed when he’d wake up in the middle of the night. I would come home in the morning and my wife would be a zombie because he would always be touching her, kicking her, grabbing her face. I told myself Krista couldn’t watch this until he was older, it hit too close to home. This movie succeeds because it can be read either way: a paranormal entity terrorized and possesses a family or a psychological horror where grief and lack of sleep drive a mother to attempt to kill her son. I vacillate between both views.
Teddy: I feel like lack of them sleeping aided in the whole babadook craziness (A lack of sleep is a common theme in numerous horror films, but I really liked how they utilized it in this one.)
Kayleigh: I got the vibe that maybe Sam could see the Babadook because he came to terms with it early on. It said in the story book that if you deny the Babadook is real it will only get stronger. And that’s what the mother did through the whole thing, was deny it’s existence. Sam told her “don’t let him in” constantly. I feel like because Sam came to terms with the Babadook early on, maybe it was easier for the monster to fuck with the mother compared to Sam. (This was very spot on.)
Cece: I believe it to have been his imagination early on. I think he sensed it coming, though. (That was my initial take the first time watching.)
Kent: What Kayleigh said. The acceptance and denial of the Babadook’s existence keep this film rolling throughout. I say that he was real all along.
What do you think about the ending? Did you feel like you had proper closure?
Kristi: Not at all. The ending was weird for me. So they kept The Babadook as a pet? Like the pet dragon thing in the Munsters? I don’t know about that. (Nice shout out to the Munsters.)
Chris: See the above question. Because either interpretation works you have two different endings:a) it’s symbolic of the fact that mom’s madness still exists but she is able to keep it locked away(scary because it could get out again). Or (b) their denial of the Babadook and reaffirmation of their love for each other have them power over it but did not allow them to get rid of it. Kind of creepy when you think that it could look like her dead husband and mom hadn’t been fulfilled that way in a while… No idea about the worms. (I really liked your B Side here because it is creepy to think about it in that way, and I like to think of it in that way.)
Teddy: Are they really keeping the babadook like a pet? I really feel like it was her coming to grips with her mental illness. (Why dig up worms for mental illness? I get that it’s a widely accepted interpretation, but really, were the worms like to say that this monster is definite?)
Kayleigh: I hated the ending. I feel like the movie can obviously be construed in two different ways. One, it was all in their minds long story short. Or two, it was all real. And if we’re going with the second option, which is the one I’m leaning towards, I’m pissed. Because I just have two major questions. Why the fuck are they keeping it as a pet locked up in the basement? Secondly, why the fuck does it eat worms for dinner? (They needed a replacement pet. The worms thing has been brought up, but knowing how horrified you are of them makes this far more interesting to me.)
Cece: I do, in a sense. I feel like this movie was very much alluding to a person and how they deal with their own mental illnesses/depression. In the end, she is ‘seeing the Babadook’ and confronting it, in turn, she tells her son it’s getting better. That, to me, is referring to her finally coming to grips with things and seeing it for what it really is and how it’s continuing to get better each day. (Then why the worms? Everything you said makes 100% sense, but why the worms? Why the big to do about feeding it? If it was about mental illness of sorts, wouldn’t they have done the ending slightly differently to leave it more open minded?)
Kent: In case it’s not obvious by now, this film has 2 schools of thought. A literal one in that the Babadook was a real monster and they conquered it and now feed it, which is cool as hell. The other one about mental illness and whatnot is ok, but it’s a less satisfying ending to me. Sometimes the absurd is more fun than the probable reality. I can’t sit here and say that it was 100% proper closure, but for a genre known for 85% horrible endings, this one was good and gave us something. So I will give it a thumbs up.
What was the creepiest or scariest part of the film for you? I’m not asking if you were scared.
Kristi: There were a couple. The book reappearing with the added pages and the bedroom scene when The Babadook was all doing his Babadook creepy ass voice. (How I enjoyed the creepy voice!)
Chris: The dog, the tooth, just his appearance. They did a good job of making him creepy as fuck. I liked the scene where he lunges at her and turns into the coat on the floor too (Teeth and dental stuff always makes me cringe when watching. )
Teddy: dog neck snappin was no bueno.
Kayleigh: For me I had two different scenes that stuck. First, when the mother ripped her own tooth out after she murdered the dog. Gross. Second, one of the first times the Babadook really messed with her. She’s laying in bed sleeping, gets awakened by the door slowly opening, and then you see it’s hands (or whatever it’s got) appear on the side of the door. Dumb bitch pulls the blankets over her head, and when she looks out again it’s crawling all over the ceiling. I would have shit my pants. (I have never understood the whole ideology of pulling sheets or blankets over your head. I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I want to keep my eyes on whatever is fucking with me.)
Cece: The most cringe worthy was the killing of Bugsby. I hate when they kill dogs in movies. Also, creepiest would probably be when Babadook moved in those creepy motions. Also when he ‘possesses her’. (The dog was a common response, and totally warranted given how it was done.)
Kent: The kid screaming/screeching in the backseat of the car. I also really found some of the stuff on TV to be of the creepy variety and helped set a neat tone.
At the end, who did you feel worse for: Amelia or Samuel?
Kristi: Samuel. I know it was technically The Babadook that killed the dog but still, she killed the dog!!
Chris: both, but Kayleigh’s answer is awesome (Nodding)
Teddy: Mostly I would say her because it seems like she is legitimately suffering from PPD regardless of Babadook possession. (Well, plus you have to consider how bad you feel after the possession. There’s a film on NetFlix called Ava’s Possession that goes into the aftermath of being possessed and I really enjoyed the film. Good story, good ending surprisingly. I highly recommend it for a film that didn’t get any hype.)
Kayleigh: Honestly, I think I feel worse for the kid. His mother can’t cope with shit. Bitch has had seven years to get over her dead husband and move on, but can’t. I mean this kid is only six years old, his father died on his birthday, the mother refused to celebrate on the actual day of his birth for his whole life. For a six year old he’s had to grow up pretty quick. Setting traps, making weapons, dealing with a Babadook possessed mother, your dog got murdered, your mom drugs you with tranquilizers because she’s seeing shit, and she chases you with knives…. The best we can hope for is this kids gonna be a serial killer when he grows up. (I can’t really add to this great response, but as a person who still treats their birthday with some enthusiasm, it really irked me how shitty his BDays had been celebrated. LingFest still happens.)
Cece: I felt worse for Samuel. Yes, I was highly annoyed by him in the beginning, but like, he was seeing this coming from a mile away and had to deal with his mom undergoing everything. (I really like this point. Everybody has been in a situation where you not only see something bad happening in the future, and you warn the person, but then you have to deal with the bad shit that you tried to avoid to begin with. Totally shitty.)
Kent: I say Samuel. Not to be too redundant, but his mom didn’t do a great job sticking up for herself or him, and I feel that is an important aspect of parenting. Both are sympathetic in their own right, but as the child of an insane person, I can find a better bond with Samuel.
Would a sequel for this film work for you under any conditions?
Kristi: Not so much.
Chris: No it’s ambiguity is it’s success and a sequel would either seem redundant from framing a similar situation or answer the ending one way or another
Teddy: no, unless its Kevin Mcallister from home alone lol (I truly hope that Home Alone gets mentioned in the Jaws blog. This really needs to be a thing for us.)
Kayleigh: I’d only watch it under the condition they explain the worms for dinner. (You and the fucking worms. I will ask you, is there any possible reason that they could present to you that you would find satisfying, since you’re a hater of worms?)
Cece: Nah. I think it’s respectable in it’s own right.
Kent: Well, why the hell not? They have it trapped. Maybe Amelia starts up a proper relationship and he finds the book. He then moves in and starts noticing oddities only to have Samuel reveal what is happening, because that boy doesn’t have a filter. Maybe Amelia has to go away somewhere for the weekend. This could lead to the guy getting taken over by the Babadook. It may not be great, but it would still be better than numerous other sequels. If nothing else, I know that I would watch it and promptly bitch about it on social media. Just had another idea. Amelia is sick of Ruby being a little rude bitch to Samuel, so she reads the book to Ruby and then Ruby and Claire have to deal with it in the sequel. Kinda like passing the curse along. Think about it like “It Follows: Babadook Edition”.
Would you ever read this book that is in this film (Mister Babadook), to a child?
Kristi: Nope. That shit would give me nightmares after I watched it the first time. For a kid, I think the book would have the same effect. (That’s the hope and the dream.)
Chris: not to my kids. Maybe my nieces or nephews (I enjoyed this response.)
Teddy: hell yeah I would. Be it a lesson to never be bad (my parents did it with Stephen King’s IT) (I’m really curious if there was any one particular part of IT that may have gotten to you as a kid. Feel free to message me. I had a few that got me as a kid.)
Kayleigh: Yes, yes I would. And then I would move the book around the house, and make sure to put it in places where the child would keep finding it. I’d maybe even go as far as knocking on the front door three times too. Occasionally whispering “Babadook dook dook…” Shit would be funny. It’s no different really from that creepy elf thing that people move around at Christmas time. (That’s just fucked up. I’m very impressed and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.)
Cece: Nah, man. That shit is scary. (Go on.)
Kent: Well, we all know that I would make a terrible parent, so this response will not improve my standing. Of course I would. I think back to my childhood and I loved a good ghost story when I was young. Sometimes that stuff would keep me up for hours at night. I wouldn’t sleep well, have nightmares, wake up to a shadow that didn’t look quite right, all that stuff that makes your mind wander. So yeah, I would love for my child to have similar experiences. It builds character. Also, here’s a picture of the special edition case for the blu ray.
Have you ever seen any other Australian horror flicks, like The Loved Ones, Wolf Creek 1 & 2, The Snowtown Murders, or any other?
Kristi: I have not. I’m down for suggestions though. (I always have suggestions for you.)
Chris: Wolf Creek 1. Wyrmwood:Road of the Dead. The early Peter Jackson movies that I can’t remember the names now. Edit: Dead Alive and Bad Taste. Remember one in the ‘80’s called Fortress about a class of children and their teacher being kidnapped and tortured in the outback. (I feel that I’m the only person that has seen Dead Alive. I liked that movie long before I knew Peter Jackson’s name. Wyrmwood is really good, and I don’t think it’s on NetFlix anymore, but if it is, people should check it out. I want to check out Fortress as it sounds awesome.)
Teddy: I have not most of my foreign horror experience comes from Asia (I would like to know what you have seen from Asia. I’ve seen some stuff and generally like it. Aside from the popular stuff, I dig Takashi Miike and Dumplings, for example.)
Kayleigh: I’ve seen Wolf Creek 1. And I’m pretty sure there’s a tv series out there right now that’s based in Australia with an Australian killer. He like goes around finding tourists, and kills them. I don’t remember the name though. (Kayleigh and I later talked and came to the conclusion that it was the TV show based on Wolf Creek.)
Cece: Nope! But maybe I should! (Get TubiTV if you have a Firestick or Chromecast or something like that, and download TubiTV and search for The Loved Ones. I think you will enjoy that.)
Kent: Obviously, I have. I strongly encourage horror fans to check out The Loved Ones. It’s a really good film. It may not be for all of you, but it’s solid. I liked Wolf Creek 2 better than the original. Part 2 knew what it was trying to be and it was unapologetic about it. The Snowtown Murders was interesting to say the least, and it may still be on NetFlix. I had totally forgotten about Wyrmwood which was awesome as hell, as well as Dead Alive. Thanks Chris.
Just to get you thinking, name a few foreign horror flicks that you enjoyed. Canada doesn’t count. Yes, Shaun of the Dead counts, and yes, everybody here has seen it, so pick something else if you have others.
Kristi: If you haven’t suggested it to me, I haven’t seen it. Lol. I think this is the first and only.
Chris: Pontypool(Canada does count). The Audition. Under the Shadow. Martyrs. Haute Tension (High Tension). The Host. Let the Right One In. Ringu. I’m sure there are more that I am forgetting (I can’t even be mad about you bringing up Canada because you went with one of the most underrated horror flicks of all time in Pontypool. I love that film. It’s so good. It’s still on NetFlix I believe. Martyrs is fucking amazing too and I feel is must see for horror fans looking for something fresh. Just don’t watch the American remake. I would rather get punched in the balls once than to watch that awfulness again. They lost so much from the original and fucked the ending. Makes me mad. Haute Tension is a tad overrated in my opinion, but I own it and I don’t hate it, BUT I have gripes. I don’t think I have seen Under the Shadow or The Host, so something for me to check out.)
Teddy: Ju-ON 1&2 were amazing. I also love the REC series (hate the quarantine version though) (Alright, first of all, I liked Quarantine 1, but the sequels were shit. I struggle with somebody saying they liked Rec but not Quarantine because it was almost a shot for shot remake only in English. Maybe you got some gripes that I didn’t notice or can’t recall. With that being said, Rec 2 is really good and I liked the 4th one. Part 3 was the only one that I felt missed the mark. It’s a great franchise that I highly recommend as well.)
Kayleigh: I’ve seen Funny Games, which is set in Austria. It’s really more strange than scary. It’s about a home invasion. These two guys get in this nice family’s house under false pretenses, then pretty much take them out one by one after psychologically torturing them. It’s worth a watch. (It’s a solid movie that got remade 10 years later in America with Tim Roth and Naomi Watts. You can watch the American one and not miss anything as it’s a shot for shot remake and Naomi is fucking amazing and hot. It’s such a quirky movie, and I loved the breaking of the 4th wall. Good movie to bring up!)
Cece: i haven’t seen many, but I guess I could mention the ABC’s of Death films since they have many contributing directors. (Shit yeah you gotta mention those ABC’s of Death, both 1 & 2. They tried some interesting stuff. The first one is better, and not every letter is a winner, but you will have fun with some, and if you watch it with others, the same things you enjoy probably won’t be what they like.)
Kent: Marytyrs, Frontiere(s), Inside, Takashi Miike’s Imprint, Irreversible, A Serbian Film, Salo, Antichrist (maybe??), Ringu, The Eye, and a host of others that I have seen. I love me some French horror. Haute Tension (or High Tension) is also French I believe. I’m probably omitting about 20-30 other great ones. Oh, and Baskin (on Netflix). If you have Amazon Prime, check out Asylum. It’s a really solid British Anthology that was surprisingly rewarding. The Theatre Bizarre is worth a watch, I think.
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Welcome to our 9 Deuce Horror group’s New Nightmare 9 Deuce discussion. This, of course, is a follow up to our last blog about A Nightmare on Elm Street. You know the drill by now. I ask 9 film specific questions and then have some wiggle room for 2 bonus questions that may not be film specific. I am your host, Kent, and today I am here with Dom, Kristi, Chris, and Sara. Please, if you are reading this and would like to participate in one of these, contact me.
I have to do it. Let’s talk about Dylan and the boy who played him. Give me an adjective to describe him because some people like him, some found him grating. Whip out the old thesaurus if you must.
Dom: I always remember him from Pet Sematary and Kindergarten Cop (Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina) He’s like most kids in a movie you love or hate them. He was tolerable. (Wait wait wait, this ground-breaking news to me that he played Gage. My mind is blown and yet it makes so much sense. Wow, we are off to a great start. Hopefully we get to that movie by the end of the year.)
Kristi: Disturbing. I remember when I first watched this. That kid scared the crap out of me. Something about a little kid being possessed by Freddy is extremely unsettling. Kids freak me out as it is. This took it to a different level. (I know how you are with kids, so I was absolutely looking forward to this response.)
Chris: Annoying or cute. He vacillated between the 2. I feel a lot of it was the directing though. (Kids are so hit or miss in films, and I don’t usually blame the talent, it’s definitely more to do with the writing and how to relate to a child to get the right performance. )
Sara: I really love the one you used above; grating. I think, though, that like Chris said, a lot of that may have been directing. Also, it must be very difficult to be a child-actor in horror movies. (Or, really, any movie with a plotline that goes so far over a child’s head.) (Yeah, I can’t imagine, as a child, fully understanding what the adults are trying to get you to do.)
Kent: I have always found this kid grating and obnoxious. At times, his role gets a tad superfluous. Honestly, I think that they asked too much of the kid and he did as good of a job as he could, but as a viewer, I was close to pulling my hair …..oh wait. Nevermind.
What is your favorite dream sequence or kill?
Dom: I agree with Chris. I feel this movie had way lack of death and creativity for them as well. (This may have had the worst nightmare sequences of the franchise. It survives as a good movie thanks to the story, but you are 100% right.)
Kristi: Watching the sitter get killed and dragged through the room made me a little happy. (So, as a 13 year old watching this, I was pissed to lose out on the eye candy, but enjoyed the death. As an adult, yeah, it definitely pleases me.)
Chris: The animatronic claw kills at the beginning. They shot their wad early. (I’ll ask you this, and I am sure we will discuss this at some point on FB or on XBox, but wasn’t it almost necessary to shoot their proverbial wad early? In the same way that Scream gave us that opening scene that set the tone. Tradition states that every Nightmare film has to start with a nightmare, but this one felt like it wasn’t a dream, until you realized it was a dream and you were happy.)
Sara: My favorite kill was Chase’s, but partially because while watching it, Thomas couldn’t stop laughing at ‘Freddy getting creepy with that guy’s…..junk (his term, not mine.) (I do enjoy that boy’s take on things, haha.)
Kent: I gotta go with the opening, as it set the tone that this was something different. The hospital room may have been better, it didn’t have the lasting impact.
What was the most uncomfortable or awkward scene in the film? There are a lot of them.
Dom: The credits.
Kristi: The Freddy claw coming out of the seat to grab Chases junk. It just makes me cringe for him (I thought for sure that more people would have given this answer. Razor blades and dude’s junk do not mix. Plus, his awful singing.)
Chris: The hospital. The whole thing. Obviously no one studied parental rights before writing the script. (I think they knew the rights, but for a film, it’s just easier to ignore things because they can fall back on the whole idea of a person bitching about reality in a film with a guy killing people in their dreams. Sometimes, you just gotta go for convenience and they wanted a way to have Julie alone with Dylan. Off the top of my bald head, I can’t really think of an easy explanation of how to do that without some lack of realism. Maybe Heather had to go to the bathroom. I don’t know. Not many good options to set up the kill.)
Sara: The first time I watched it, the scene near the beginning when Heather is talking to Robert England and he’s painting; the conversation just feels so forced and uncomfortable. As an adult, I was most bothered by the hospital chunk of the movie; like Chris states above, it’s painfully obvious that they never did any real research on how parental rights work. (I really like the painting scene, maybe because of the uncomfort level.)
Kent: I found Chase’s funeral to be a tad silly. Yes, it was a dream, but the aftermath was just foolish. Thankfully John Saxson was there to help me through such a scene.
Heather Langenkamp (Nancy) has appeared in 3 Nightmare on Elm Street flicks, and she looks and dresses differently in each one. Which Heather/Nancy do you prefer?
Dom: Dream Warriors Nancy.
Kristi: I don’t recall 3 so I’m going with one. Her style annoyed me a little in this film. This is one of my favorites in the franchise but the chosen style for her wasn’t great.
Chris: New Nightmare. It had been a while and I forgot how well she rocked the short skirt, pantyhose combo
Sara: I am a fan of new nightmare Nancy; she was kinda a hottie, and you really don’t get that from the first and third movie. Also, it’s fair to note that last night it was making me CRAZY trying to figure out where else I knew her from, and after (REALLY) thinking about it, and doing some googling, she played a similarly dressed character in a late 80’s sitcom (Just the 10 of us.) (I absolutely remember watching that show as a kid. Heather also had a really small role in Wes Craven’s Shocker, which did not age well at all.)
Kent: Basically, my answer was going to be what Chris said. You can’t fault her look in the first one, and at times, she had some good looks to her. In Dream Warriors, in never worked for me, and I always thought that to be a shame. I think that they could have made her look a tad sexier, at least early on as she practically seduces Neil.
Was the opening dream sequence really good, really cheesy, or both?
Kristi: I enjoyed it. I hadn’t watched this film in a while so it caught me off guard.
Sara: Absolutely both, but for me that’s the best part of every Freddy movie; the REALLY good cheese.
Kent: I’m going to simply say really good. I don’t find it cheesy. Especially compared to other opening dream sequences like parts 2 and 6.
Do you feel that they killed off Chase too soon?
Dom: It was needed when it happened to progress the movie, so no.
Kristi: It was a little irritating that he fell asleep on a 3 hour drive, heading home to a family that was clearly in distress. I didn’t find that to be too believable but I think his character was unnecessary so it was good timing.
Chris: Not really, but there definitely wasn’t enough of a reaction to his death
Sara: The timing of his death within the movie didn’t bother me nearly so much as how fast Nancy seemed to move back to everyday life with just a few ‘he lost his father’/’my husband is dead.’ moments.
Kent: Everybody touched on pretty much every valid point that I had. It needed to happen so Heather could spiral quicker, as could Dylan. It was a short enough trip, and if he feared being tired, I’m sure other options could have been made.Yes, Nancy really didn’t have a long mourning phase, or so it seemed. I think that they could have had him last longer since his character and his occupation could have really added to the story, but they chose to not focus much on it. Really, Chase’s character was totally unnecessary aside from the opening. She could have just been a single mom.
This film was a sudden departure from every Nightmare film prior, in that it wasn’t about killing a bunch of teens. Was this a much needed break in the horror genre or do you still crave the slaying of teens in your horror flicks?
Dom: Teens in trouble are always great but they wanted to try something new and went for it. Was it the greatest thing? No. Was it the Worst? No
Kristi: Much needed break. I think that’s why I liked this film so much. It is different from the teen slaying but still a solid flick. Creepy kids make for a good horror movie to me.
Chris: Teens are annoying as hell. But horror movies shouldn’t discriminate. Some of the most effective either put children in danger or make them the danger
Sara: I think this was a departure that was sort of necessary; I mean, how many different ways can the same bad guy kill teenagers. To stay relevant, they had to try something different, I say.
Kent: Had they stayed the course with what they had been doing, the film would have bombed, especially since Freddy was dead. Killing kids and adults can make for truly satisfying storytelling. Teens, well how much can you really invest in a teen’s character? As a kid, you relate to the kid. As an adult, you can relate to the adult and the kid, and if you’re a parent, there’s that added relation. Teens are just obnoxious. This was absolutely necessary in order to make a part 7. I really am in need of a good “kill a lot of teens” slasher flick though.
Was this version of Freddy scarier than previous incarnations?
Kristi: When it first came out, it definitely freaked me out more so than the previous films. That kid seriously f*☆*ed with me. Now, I really don’t find any of them scary.
Sara: I went into this prepared to say ‘yes, he was scarier’ but then once I re-watched it, he wasn’t. I did, however really like the way that they tied the scare-factor of Freddy into Wes’ dreams. It wasn’t something I had considered before I saw this movie originally; that Freddy was a way for Wes to get the bad dreams out. (I would highly recommend finding the book for this film. It was one of the few books that I read as a teen that wasn’t for school. I simply didn’t like reading books at that point in my life. The extra bits that they add to the narrative from the writer’s perspective reminded me of what you talk about.)
Kent: I really thought that we would get a lot of yes responses. Dream Master Freddy is the scariest. He knew your weaknesses, toyed with you and still F’d you up.
Looking back at your horror history, the 80’s was a golden age, and the 90’s had a few gems, but the genre didn’t pick up until the late 90’s and into the 2000’s. A lot of people credit Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer for bringing horror back. Do you feel that this film deserves more credit for helping to alter the genre or is in just another sequel in a well known franchise to you?
Dom: Just another film in the franchise. Interesting that they tried to make this film seem more “mature” than the previous ones. Like they looked at the earlier films and decided they were too “corny” and wanted to be more on the scare/intellect side of horror. But where would they have gone from here if they made a “sequel” to this film? Do you as Movie studio say it was a movie of a movie about a myth and wasn’t real? Do you even acknowledge it all? Is this the Halloween III of the Nightmare Series? (There’s a lot to soak in there. I wonder if Wes would have been willing to make a sequel to this if the studio asked, or if Wes really wanted this to be it. It is an outlier, just not as out there as Halloween III, but it’s an apt analogy and I will toss out Friday the 13th V due to Tommy Jarvis. But you have me thinking about this, and it’s a weird situation of how do you sell a movie based on a franchise that you have made popular.)
Kristi: Absolutley! In its time, it was pretty awesome!
Chris: It tried to differentiate itself from the earlier incarnations of the series and ended up being a mixed bag. For as many innovative movies as Wes Craven did, most were pretty formulaic I want to argue against your point about Wes being formulaic. I want to, but I simply can’t. I would say that Last House on the Left and Hills Have Eyes offered up something less formulaic than everything after that. Nightmare, Shocker, Scream, The Girl in the Photograph, and I am probably missing some all had a very similar formula. While I often complain about the predictability of modern horror, it’s really only when they are critically acclaimed. The reality is that I do love seeing certain formulas. Wes’ formula was something that I was a sucker for.)
Sara: I liked this film better than either of the two you mentioned above (Scream and I know what you did last summer) but don’t know that this deserves credit for bringing back horror, though I’m positive that it likely introduced a whole new group of people to Freddy movies, and that should always be celebrated. (I gotta say, I always thought that the “I Know What You Did” franchise was fairly cheesy and borderline awful, but they have aged surprisingly well if you are in the mood for that film formula. Well the first 2 did.)
Kent: I don’t think that Scream happens without this film being made. This was the turning point, I would say a huge inspiration for Scream. This was the first domino to fall, but it doesn’t get the respect that it deserves for being a catalyst. I consider this much more than a sequel. I also feel that this film inspired another favorite of mine, Behind The Mask: The RIse of Leslie Vernon. I highly recommend that one. Still, this probably doesn’t deserve credit for bringing horror back, but just know that without this, we wouldn’t have the landscape of late 90’s horror.
Should they ever consider making another Nightmare on Elm Street, even in like 30 years, or should it belong to that time period?
Dom: The remake was ok. Like all remakes you compare it to the original and rarely does it ever seem as good or better. Nightmare on Elm Street is a product of it’s time. Nostalgic 80’s/90’s. So no, no other film UNLESS you can make it tie into the original franchise with the same cast. (Something that you didn’t out and out say, but knowing you, I think that you would agree, a remake would have to be rated R and as you know, studios are more and more reluctant to make a really good rated R film nowadays. The money is in PG-13. There are always exceptions, but the 80’s didn’t mind just going rated R. It’s a big reason why the 80’s is the golden age of horror. If they did remake it, I think it would be wise to utilize Lin Shaye’s brilliance in telling stories. She’s the white female horror version of Morgan Freeman. I just said a lot there.)
Kristi: This is a hard one. I would love to see another one but with all the crappy remakes and such that have come out, or are coming out, I don’t think so. And with Wes passing.. I feel like we should leave his legacy alone. If there was some way of honoring him and making the film not suck, yes. (You bring up a point that I hadn’t considered in all of this, and that’s Wes’ legacy. I agree with you on that.)
Chris: With the right script, cast, and director it could work. Mostly I think people would fuck it up like they did with the 2014(?) remake. (2010, I had to look it up. It was the first film that I took Raylene to, mainly because Freddy creeped her out as a child and I’m a total asshole.)
Sara: I say no. Just no. Even with good intentions, it generally gets screwed up and then I’m disappointed. (To that end, it’s going to be tough to have a good enough director and writer to really do it justice, and for the well established people, are they willing to tarnish their legacy remaking a cheesy, yet beloved horror franchise? Quite frankly, Halloween was very fortunate to have a guy like Rob Zombie remake the film.)
Kent: For years, I had suggested that Nightmare on Elm Street was a perfect candidate for a remake because of all the cheesiness of the original. Like there was an opportunity to really nail it and potentially perfect a great story with a bigger budget and better technique. I stand by that notion, that idea. The reality is that no remake is going to even make half of the old fans happy. Your idea of what a good sequel should be could very well be freshly squeezed garbage juice to me, and vice versa. OK, my remake would kick a lot of ass, but it still wouldn’t appease the masses. It’s all a subjective mess. We saw what happens when you remake it. Look at Rob Zombie’s great remake of Halloween and how much shit it takes. Honestly, if you look at the Nightmare remake, it is not a bad film. I will argue this until I am blue in the face. It’s not a bad film, but it could never reach the majority of people’s lofty expectations. We have learned that you can do some things to keep your fans happy if you follow along with the Star Wars franchise. The prequels are widely despised despite not being terrible films. They simply pale in comparison to the holy trilogy. OK, maybe Episode 2 was a bad film. Anyway, along comes Episode VII and they rehashed enough stuff from the original to appease the old fans, but enough new stuff to create new fans and keep the fans wanting more. Then they did Rogue One and killed it. I say all of this because it is entirely possible to do it, but the odds are extremely against it. In the same breathe, would a film about Freddy when he was alive doing all the bad shit, up to the finale of the parents exacting their revenge, would that film be of interest to you? I say that if you get the right talent, that could be the horror version of Rogue One and could be a hell of a film.
Would you be up for another Nightmare on Elm Street blog at some point down the road? Most likely part 3, 4, or Freddy vs Jason?
Dom: Sure. Any of them.
Kristi: Not so much. There are so many other great films to explore. Time to move on.
Kent: I’m glad to see that 3 of you would be down. As long as these blogs keep going, it’s almost a guarantee that we will be touching on Dream Warriors at some point. Maybe next year for the first year anniversary or something. A break is a good thing. It would simply be insulting to my integrity if we never tackled that one and a handful of others. I have no qualms to suggest that we will inevitably tackle Pet Sematary, Carrie, both Halloween’s, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Ring, Psycho, Phantasm, Child’s Play, Saw, and so many more. My hope is that as time goes by, we find ways to tackle more content. There are so many amazing horror films to discuss, and Nightmare on Elm Street 2, that I am very excited.
We will be holding a vote in the Facebook group this week to determine the July 1st film. I hope to see you back on June 15th for The Babadook. Thank you so much for reading.
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We started off with The Shining, and our second film is a hell of a follow up. I can say that this is my favorite film franchise of all time, yes, even more so than Star Wars. Freddy Krueger is the greatest horror film villain that I have ever seen, and he is usually among most people’s top 3. While the Nightmare franchise isn’t known for it’s body count like Friday the 13th is, it makes up for it in some of the most creative death scenes ever. So if you are a fan of quality over quantity, you probably dig the Elm Street franchise just a little more.
Anyway, I got this 9 Deuce Horror Facebook Group, and we started small, and added a few people. A good chunk of them agreed to participate in this discussion, so you are going to see some unfamiliar names if you have been reading my other work, and you will see a few familiar folks as well. If you would like to join us, just go to that link and we’d be happy to have you. This is a rare blog in that the males outnumber the females. That’s rarely the case. For the first time ever, we have a 10 year old participating, and it’s pretty damn cool. As usual, all comments in bold are by me. The more that you write, the more likely you are to get a comment. Mentioning cool stuff also works. Thank you for contributing and reading. I hope to see some new faces on June 1st for the New Nightmare 9 Deuce Discussion. Also, this is where I make the announcement for what the next mid month horror blog will be. I have chosen The Babadook. I know that not a lot of people have seen it, but I am hoping that this prompts people to get on NetFlix and watch one of the better made modern horror films out there.
Who is your favorite character in this, aside from Freddy?
Chris T: Nancy
Kristi: I did enjoy Nancy’s character. It may be cliche to pick her as she is the main on other than Freddy but she was the only one that was smart enough to figure it out. Also, the only one to have the balls to try to do something about it.
Sara: Nancy; I remember her being the first chick in a horror movie (that I’d seen at the time) that didn’t just run around (mostly) naked and scream. She fought back. (Yeah, that brought me down too. Her stunt double in the tub scene did try to provide some levity. You bring up a good point in that horror actresses back then were still often sex symbols, but Nancy really helped change the mold. I still enjoy my girls falling in woods though.)
Cece: Johnny Depp’s character (Glenn)
Teddy: Depp’s character fer sure (Glenn fer sure)
Jeni: Nancy, of course!
Thomas: Nancy, because she’s a badass.
Kent: I am actually a little surprised at all the love for Nancy. I will go with Nancy’s daddy because he uses his daughter to get to Rod. I approve of that.
Which parent of Nancy do you prefer: Marge or Daddy?
Chris T: Daddy. John Saxon learned Jute Kune Do from Bruce Lee (And that is how you get a comment. I would have asked you how you knew that back in February, BUT I happened to be flipping through the channels and saw that Enter the Dragon was on. I had never seen it, but it had already started. I then got super excited and was practically screaming “There’s Nancy’s dad!!!” Good times!)
Kristi: Marge, Daddy was annoying. Marge at least understood who Freddy was. Also, I would like to have a drink with her. Shes seems like a crazy chic that would have some stories. (Really good point in that I would absolutely have some drinks with Marge just for the stories.)
Sara: I think they’re both equally awful in their own ways, but I will say I prefer Marge. Poor drunk momma was just doing the best she could to protect her daughter AND deal with her own guilt over the whole murder situation. (I always wondered why there was guilt over it. Maybe I am just a heartless person, but a dude who does the things that he did deserves death, in my opinion. It was an interesting aspect of her character to have that extra layer of depth.)
Cece: I guess Marge because the dad was worse.
Teddy: dad was a dick who tried to drug nancy so fuck him. (Did he use hypnocil? I honestly can’t remember. I don’t think he had access to it at the time. My memory sucks.)
Jeni: Daddy seemed like a pretty awful parent, so probably Marge. Neither were great parents. (I will say this now, but it will make more sense when you get to like #8 or 9. Since my theory down there is apt, I am wondering if Daddy was away most of the time burying himself in his work, for whatever reason. Was it along the same line as Marge with guilt and her drinking?)
Dom: Neither. You have a drunk and an asshole Dad, who helped create the monster who’s trying to kill you. Way to go Mom and Dad. (I laughed at this response. All I could think of was Bud and Kelly Bundy saying “Thanks dad!” in Married With Children.)
Thomas: Daddy, because he would have saved her if he had been able to get in. (In theory, Daddy would have been the parent to save Nancy, or try to.)
Kent: Well I already said that he was my favorite character. Drunk Marge though was also a champ. These were my 2 favorites after Freddy.
Have you ever had a nightmare with Freddy in it?
Chris T: All the time when I was younger. My parents never let me watch the movies when they came out, and as a result, seeing the trailers, and hearing my friends talk about Freddy, he became my fucking boogeyman. A fucked up looking serial killer, who kills kids in their dreams! Existing in my head definitely made him scarier than he actually was. I was 18 when I finally saw the first movie; I had just watched The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth Sense in the theaters that day, and a Nightmare on Elm Street was playing on tv when I got home. My dreams were fucked up that night
Kristi: unfortunately not
Cece: Not yet! *knock on wood*
Teddy: I mean I have had the 1,2, freddy is coming for you in my dream if that counts? (It counts, but now I am left wondering if you just heard the song, or were the girls playing with their jump rope? A cool tidbit about that song is that very early on when the teens first start talking about their dreams and we first hear the song, have you ever thought about that? Like it’s just this song that little girls sing while playing. That’s pretty F’N creepy.)
Dom: Not that I can recall, but maybe
Kent: What the hell people? I thought that this was going to be close to unanimous with one or two outliers. I am shocked and baffled. I used to have them more frequently in my teens and early 20’s, but now if he shows up, it’s usually on way funnier terms for me.
Is this the scariest Freddy Krueger or is he scarier in a different film? If you say different, please tell us which film.
Chris T: Of the numbered movies, yes. The farther along they went the more creative the kills got, but they also made Freddy the king of one liners, some of which were funny, some were dumb. By the time Freddy vs. Jason came around he was a straight comedian. (Freddy playing with the Power Glove in Freddy’s Dead I think was the height of the one liners. It’s debatable because he had the “How sweet, dark meat” line in F vs J, but Freddy’s Dead is so loaded with lines. They haven’t aged well either, but it’s a worthy drinking game.)
Kristi: none of them scare me now but when i was younger New Nightmare scared the hell out of me. That damn kid when he was possessed by Freddy.. that was terrifying. (Oh man, I can’t wait to see your responses for the next blog then.)
Sara: I was very afraid of Freddy in the first movie when I first saw it, but I would say that Freddy in New Nightmare is scarier to me, because he’s evolved and seems to be more powerful. (I used to think on that level too. I think it was because I was so wowed at the idea when it came out. There’s a lot to be said in how they really made Freddy “scary” again for that film.)
Cece: He is scariest in Freddy Vs. Jason
Teddy: I personally never viewed Freddy as scary
Jeni: That’s a tough question.. I want to say that he was scarier in Dream Warriors, but that’s probably because Freddy didn’t scare me anymore after that. I remember when The Dream Master came out and the first time I watched it I felt more fascinated by the story of Freddy than scared. (I really wish I could have articulated a better question about the evolution of Freddy. He started as this unknown dream guy, but we learn his dark past which is awful if you apply it to real life terms. Then in part 2, not that I consider that film to exist, he tries to get more powerful so he can disrupt a pool party and possibly be gay, I don’t know. That whole thing is it’s own discussion. In part 3, Freddy now has a persona and he starts to openly mock his victims, pretending to give them a chance, like with the Wizard Master kid and the junkie chick. By 4, he turns up the mockery even more. By five, he cares about mocking, but he’s back on a mission to get the kid. In 6, I don’t even know. Stuff with his daughter and one liners is all I got. By 7, he has regained all focus and in that regard, a focused Freddy should be the scariest. There’s a lot to be said about his development.)
Dom: Hard to say. It’s the first film so I feel that they tried to make him as scary as possible but I didn’t find him scary.
Thomas: I have only seen the 1st Nightmare on Elm St., so I have no opinion on this.
Kent: I want to say that he was scarier in Part 3, but that awful skeleton fight at the end…..I just can’t. I will go with Part 4 Freddy, and it’s for 2 reasons. The cockroach dream sequence and the people running around and repeating themselves, which may be the same sequence. Anyway, as a person who has had the same dream sequence play out, that stuff freaks me out. Plus he killed a teen with asthma. Come on. He’s not scary ever in reality, but I would suggest that 4 is his scariest.
Who’s the worst character in this? Worst can mean that they are awful, or you simply don’t like them for whatever reason.
Chris T: the retarded deputy. I’m surprised any cops lived through the ‘80’s ( i am just enjoying the cops living through the 80’s comment.)
Kristi: Rod, I think that’s his name, the one that they thought killed Tina. He was just a little too arrogant for my liking. Watching him get hung was a highlight for me. (I used to feel that way, but Rod is just a dude. He’s a teen trying to score, and if he can have fun by F’N with Glenn, it’s like bonus points. He really isn’t a bad guy, but I am willing to bet a lot of people would agree with you.)
Sara: Rod. He just annoyed me for some reason.
Cece: Nancy’s father
Teddy: the dad (like who tries to ruffie their own daughter smh) (Bonus point for the ruffie line.)
Jeni: Aside from the parents.. I found Rod a little annoying, but I don’t know if he’s the worst character. It bothers me that he ran after Tina was killed. He just made the cops think that he was guilty by running. (I am curious, is that something that you have always thought of or something you think of as an adult, regarding the running away part? He’s a dumb 17 or 18 year old in a room where his girlfriend got slaughtered. I feel that in his circumstance, I would also run. Nobody is going to believe your story. You’re kinda screwed.)
Thomas: Nancy’s mom, because she wouldn’t give Nancy the keys to get out to save Glen. (When I was younger, that used to bug the hell out of me as well. I get it now, but at the time, I was more irritated.)
Kent: When I was younger, it absolutely would have been Rod. Now, it’s actually Glenn. He’s pretty useless, and somewhat of a pussy. Like he doesn’t stay awake for Nancy. He let’s Rod bully him. His attire. I have no idea how Depp became a star after this film, but good for him.
What is your favorite dream sequence in the film?
Chris T: the opening sequence (At the time, I can’t think of a horror film that had a better opening sequence. Maybe Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Burning would be contenders, but for very different reasons. Of course the grand daddy of them all is the opening to Night of the Living Dead. Then you fast forward 12 years, and Scream set the standard for opening sequences that still holds today.)
Kristi: I don’t know if it counts but when Tina dies. The flashing back and forth of Freddy killing her in real life and the dream was awesome! (Of course it counts! Without that scene, the franchise may never have gotten the praise that it did.)
Sara: The study hall dream-sequence. “Screw your hall pass!” was always a huge favorite of mine. (Nodding my head in agreement.)
Cece: Boiler room with Nancy (This film made boiler rooms cool! I admit, after this film and part 3, I started looking forward to a boiler room scene in every film. There’s a cool boiler room scene in a film called Los Innocentes. I think it’s on NetFlix. The people who made the film actually liked my review.)
Teddy: not sure if it counts but when Depp’s character gets pulled into the bed and then it has it’s period all over the place. (As with Kristi, of course that counts! I can’t think of a film prior to this that would do something that awesome and bloody. I think this was the scene that almost electrocuted Nancy in real life, and Robert Englund saved her. I think I read about that in the DVD box set.)
Jeni: The dream sequence that comes to mind is when Nancy asks Glen to watch her sleep. The scene when she is running up the melting stairs.. Could you imagine the feeling of running away from a serial killer and the ground beneath you is melting? Also, Freddy walks through a jail cell seven years before T2! (The melting stairs was really something unique, and actually creep’d me out when I was younger. A T2 reference will get you bonus points on this blog. The points are meaningless, but it’s like getting a sticker.)
Dom: Johnny Depp’s. A dude pulled into his mattress and then we see his blood spurt out. Awesome
Thomas: When Glen gets sucked into his bed and there is a giant blood explosion.
Kent: I gotta go with the school and Nancy following Tina. The whole sequence is pretty neat and eerie, especially for it’s time.Plus it gives me an opportunity to give props to the great Lin Shaye, who is the sister of Robert Shaye, who is the producer. You know Lin Shaye. She’s one of the best storytellers in horror. She’s the saving grace of Insideous.
Please give me your interpretation of the ending. Please, please make sure to answer this on your own. (I just have to say that there are true pieces in everybody’s interpretation, and I didn’t want to leave comments for this one.)
Chris T: The studio made Craven go back and shoot that ending because no one liked the original happy ending. The original ending was never released in the states. Basically the studio wanted a new franchise, which worked out well for them, but gave us the cliche ‘80’s horror movie ending, with the ‘not-really’ dead villain jumping out at the last second
Kristi: That it was an illusion that he died and she was actually killed. It brought them into an alternate world where they were constantly trying to defeat him. They were in his dream world though so even if they win it basically starts over.
Sara: I always thought that it was a way of saying that even though Nancy thought she had beaten Freddy, she was kidding herself, and that Freddy was going to win in the end.
Cece: She’s just dreaming again because of her PTSD. Idk.
Teddy: Freddy used Nancy’s mom to jump back into the dream world. So i feel like Nancy was having another nightmare
Jeni: The ending feels like it’s Marge or possibly even Daddy’s dream. They feel guilt for burning Freddy and the deaths that have resulted. Marge and Daddy want their daughter to overcome Freddy, so the film uses a quick symbolic way (turning her back) to show that Nancy can defeat Freddy by overcoming her fear of him. It’s really sad because they want Nancy to be happy and have her friends back again. It shows that Nancy’s parents had good intentions and maybe they are ultimately good parents because they wants what’s best for their daughter. Freddy shows them, though, that he’s not easily beaten and you can’t escape him.
Dom: An endless nightmare/dream cycle. She thought she defeated him by not believing and hence conquered her fears, but the are others who believe in him and thus he’s “reborn”
Thomas: I think they’re giving you a clue that there will be a second movie. The car means that Freddy’s not dead yet, even though he burned.
Kent: Well, like the last 20 or so minutes of the film is a dream. For close to 20 years I had issues with how it ended. Nothing added up nor did it make sense. In Freddy’s Dead, they brought him to the real world and killed him, but that’s what they allegedly did here. We know by the ending that she was still dreaming. The reality is that Nancy dreamed most of the final quarter of the film. The next time that you watch the film, wait for her to start her dream sequence shortly after Glenn’s death I believe. Here’s the thing, Marge still dies though. This is fact. Maybe she didn’t die when we saw her, but she in fact dies. What we do know is that Nancy returns in part 3 because part 2 never happened as far as I’m concerned. Nancy returns as this dream specialist. So what happened from the time that she fell asleep around the 65 minute mark until Dream Warriors? Marge died. Nancy became institutionalized. Her dad became a drunk. Nancy gets better and studies dreams. If you remember in Dream Warriors, there’s a bit about how Kristen Parker can pull people into dreams. Had we chosen Dream Warriors, I would have saved some of this analysis, but here it goes. We know that people can pull another person into their dream. Kristen does it to Nancy as well as Alice in part 4. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Nancy couldn’t have pulled her drunk mom into a dream and bam. Technically, we could have seen her death. Seeing Marge at the end was meaningless since it was all just a dream anyway. Lots to think about there, but that is my best explanation.
Towards the end when Nancy is fighting with Freddy and breaking all of the windows, why was the one officer so calm outside prior to getting her dad’s attention?
Chris T: I’m pretty sure he is an example of natural selection at its finest (That was an unexpected response, but it got a chuckle out of me.)
Kristi: One, they had a superiority complex. The young girl obviously knows nothing. Two, she lost her best friend, best friends boyfriend, and her man so they thought she was just losing it. (Minus the superiority thing, I had basically came to that conclusion for years. It was the only reasonable solution that I had.)
Sara: I always thought it was because they assumed Nancy was nuts, but Thomas’ suggestion about it being a part of her dream made me think that maybe THAT was the case. (Yeah, he’s right.)
Cece: He was part of the dream…? (Correctamundo!)
Teddy: maybe the father said “dont bother me unless its super important” (I could picture John Saxon saying that with a beer in his hand.)
Jeni: I guess it’s supposed to show how terrible and worthless the cops are in Springwood. Nancy keeps trying to get people to help her, but she can’t really rely on anyone. (That’s an interesting take because they already alluded a bit to the flawed legal system. I like this answer.)
Dom: He didn’t care or didn’t “hear” her (Well Dom, if he was wearing those big ass headphone that Glenn had on, he surely wouldn’t have heard anything.)
Thomas: Because he couldn’t really see what was going on, or maybe it was part of a nightmare. (The latter part of your statement is spot on.)
Kent: I think that in all fairness, he’s probably sick of attention whores. With all the teens dying, maybe he had worked one too many days in a row or was on hour #47 of his shift, who knows. I don’t think he was necessarily malicious, but rather, he didn’t want to deal with anymore BS. She had bars on the windows, so she was fine. Here’s the best part. I think that was also part of the dream. You practically have to view this Memento style. Remember, Nancy was trying to call Glenn, but instead got his folks. They hung up, took the phone off the hook. Nancy then gets the call with Freddy’s blade sound, so she rips the line out and wraps it around the phone, but he calls again and we get the sill mouth and tongue thing on the phone. Well that is indicative to me that she’s already dreaming. You have to go from before then and try to pinpoint when she fell asleep, or was the whole film just a dream? That was an original intention. Could so much stuff have happened to Nancy that we are seeing a long dream while she’s in the institution? I don’t know if we ever officially know the causes of her friend’s deaths, we just know what we were presented, but that could all just be a dream. At this point, you’re probably pissed and not wanting to think about it, or I’m ruining the film for you, but we don’t know what is real in this film aside from the fact that Nancy and her dad survived. Nancy had some friends who died, as well as her mother. We know the story about the parents killing Freddy to be true. To me, all of this not knowing makes this film all the better.
Most people consider Tina’s death the best in the franchise. Would you agree? If not, name one that you think is the best.
Chris T: Dream Warriors and Dream Master had some cool deaths. From this movie with its relatively small body count it would be Tina’s (As a kid, I used to think Rod’s was the best. I have no idea why. Compared to Tina and Glenn’s, Rod’s is terrible, but it’s what I gravitated towards.)
Kristi: Her death was pretty legit! (Was it 2 Legit 2 Quit? I just got that song stuck in like 30 people’s heads.)
Sara: My *favorite* Freddy death is from dream warriors, when the girl gets yanked into the TV, and Freddy’s all ‘Welcome to Prime Time, bitch!’ That said, after watching ‘Never Sleep Again’ I loved learning about how they executed Tina’s death, and think it was brilliant for the time. (I must watch Never Sleep Again. I have been saying this for years. Maybe Saturday. So keep in mind, Dream Warriors was my first Nightmare, and we get Phillip and her death back to back. How could a child not be hooked? Also, she got to talk to Larry Fishburne before dying, right before he became Lawrence. It was also cool to see Zsa Zsa Gabor.)
Cece: It’s aside from this movie, I like the puppeteer one! (Mine too!)
Teddy: i would say brecken Meyer’s death, the comic book cut up scene, or the scene where its Freddy vs the guy with the hearing aids (Alright, so we are dealing with the video game death (Spencer) and hearing aid death (Carlos) in Freddy’s Dead, and the kick ass comic book one (Mark) that was partially in black and white in part 5. You basically nailed the 3 best death scenes from those 2 films. Breckin’s cracks me up still. Greta’s in part 5 was also fun. )
Jeni: Really? There were much better and far more creative death scenes in the later films. Philip in Dream Warriors.. It was gross, but what a crazy puppet sequence! The television scene from Dream Warriors is also pretty classic. Also, Debbie’s death in Dream Master always freaked me out! (Debbie’s death scene doesn’t get enough love. The amount of hell he puts her through. First she is lifting weight and he snaps he elbows, then she ends up in the sticky hell, and it rips her skin off, and then she gets squished. That is my #2 all time behind Phillip. I used to sleepwalk a lot, so that one hit home.) Dom: My favorite death is Nancy’s. Not cause I wanna see her die but cause you’re like oh she and the other’s made it. Look here comes dad and there’s going to be a loving reunion but wait, isn’t Dad dead? Oh shit!! No don;t hug him…oh you’re dead. (By then, I have to admit that I didn’t see it coming the first time because I was naive as hell. It was such a great way to kill her and underappreciated. I think that film hits you with so much stuff that you aren’t even thinking clear by the time it gets to that scene.)
Thomas: It’s a toss up between Glen’s death and Marge’s. (The fact that you included Marge’s makes me happy.)
Kent: A lot of my favorites were mentioned, as I have already commented on them. For me, it has to be Phillip’s in Dream Warriors. I will go so far as to say that my dream tattoo is to slim down and get my back down with Freddy in the sky and Phillip on the puppet strings. I have talked about this for a long time. I know that back tattoos are stupid, admit it, they are. But if you are going to get one, make sure it is something that you can proudly show off…..or a tramp stamp.
Do you think that this film influenced Home Alone?
Chris T: If it did I would have to research John Hughes movies for darker interpretations
Kristi: I cant wait to read the responses to this one because I do not see the connection.
Sara: I had never thought of that until I (just this weekend) showed this film to my son (so he could play along here) and that was his first reaction to the booby-trap scene. I see the connection. (After reading her son’s response, I actually messaged her at like 3AM just to pay a compliment because I keep weird hours.)
Cece: I’m not too sure how. Maybe Kevin saw this film and that’s why he’s scared to go downstairs.
Teddy: never heard of that correlation tbh
Jeni: Wow.. I never thought of this, but the boobytraps are weirdly the same and the furnace sounds like Freddy when it’s calling to Kevin. I guess it’s impossible for filmmakers not to be influenced by Nightmare! It’s also possible that they intentionally used it as a reference because it’s such an iconic horror film and people would subconsciously understand. (I had never correlated the furnace thing, but you are very right. I love this because now I wanna watch Home Alone to hear it, and the whole “Keep the change you filthy animal” bit.)
Thomas: Yes. The hammer hitting Freddy reminded me immediately of when the burglars get hit with the paint can in Home Alone. (You were the first person who responded and got the correlation. So kudos to you!)
Kent: I read these responses as they came in, so not necessarily in the order that you are currently seeing them. Props to Thomas for being the first one to get it. There is no doubt in my mind that the traps were inspired by this film.
Looking back on it, some of the sound effects are cheesy. At the time, do you think they were cheesy or did they add to the aura and presentation of the film?
Chris T: At the time it was the norm. Look at Freddy’s disappearing FX at the end. Pretty cool back then, huh? Not so much now. (To kinda go along with what you’re saying, isn’t it amazing how well the special effects held up on John Carpenter’s The Thing and also Independence Day? Both still look incredibly well. One had a slightly bigger budget than the other though.)
Kristi: This was the very first horror flick i saw when I was a kid. It didn’t scare me at all. It definitely adds something to the film. Its cheesy but necessary! (You’re right, it does add to the film. It doesn’t detract, and if they just cut it out now, I think it would make the film feel weird.)
Sara: I mean, yes, it’s cheesy, but looking back, wasn’t all horror movie music cheesy in the 80’s? I’m not sure if they scared people originally, because I was 2. Lol All in all, I’m still a fan. (I will say that The Thing was made in 1982. It has to be one of the best soundtracks for the time frame. Aside from that exception, I am trying to think of other ones. Mostly I can think of films that may have had a memorable song like Dream Warriors or Alice Cooper’s “Man Behind the Mask”. I will say that Maximum Overdrive’s soundtrack is no joke….if you like ACDC.)
Cece: These sound effects are some of my favorite!
Teddy: Cheesy doesn’t make it any less scary, look at the Friday the 13th movies. Music was cheesy but it didn’t take away from the oh shit moments when Jason popped out (I agree, and more importantly, I will use this as a platform for everybody to hear one of the greatest Nintendo game soundtracks of all time, yes, Friday the 13th. As a kid, playing that with the lights off and suddenly Jason bum rushes you and it is absolutely pee pee pants city, as Negan would say.)
Jeni: In the 80’s the sound effects seemed more scary. It’s hard to watch these films now and not see the effects as cheezy. I’m sure that we’ll look back at films made today and think that the effects are cheezy. (I can pinpoint quite a few present day audio sound effects, notably for horror films that are downright cringeworthy. It baffles me how certain sound effects have been so overused, especially in horror trailers. I’ll also just toss out how overused record players have become in horror. It used to be a special treat. Now it’s done way too often.)
Dom: It’s 80’s cheese though. Gotta love 80’s cheesy-ness (We should get a pizza. You are making me really want a pizza.)
Thomas: Back then they would still let kids play dodge ball, so they were probably tougher back then. So I say no, it’s always been cheesy. (I thoroughly enjoyed this comment. Judging by this, am I to assume that kids don’t play dodge ball anymore? Yes, the generation before you was tougher, and the generation before that and so on and so forth, as a whole. There are probably more reasons than I can think of off the top of my head, but the main ones are technology, genetics, and knowledge. Technology has obviously made us soft compared to 50 or 100 years ago, that one is obvious. Genetics should be considered because every parent has a chance of passing down their bad genes to their children, so long term that is bound to affect the situation. Then there’s the knowledge that we get as kids. The bad shit that we went through so when we become adults and have kids, we try to help kids avoid that stuff. All it takes nowadays is one loudmouth with a cause to ruin the fun for everybody, but we live in a country where we bend at the knee for these loud people, and as a group effectively become softer. You mention dodge ball, and I will say that in 50 years, I am guessing the NFL doesn’t exist, and boxing may not either due to the knowledge that we are gaining about head trauma. Combine that with the right loud mouth and it could be gone. Then in 50 years you’ll be reminiscing with your neighbor about how much you miss the Super Bowl.)
Kent: I found them silly when I first saw them, but it felt right at home with other stuff. The goat thing always seemed so out of place for me. Now that we have nostalgia, it’s easy to forgive it, but they could have done a better job and heightened the scare factor, in hindsight. The audio in a horror flick can sometimes really make or break a film. Look at Psycho and Jaws and how the music added so much to it. The 80’s is just an era unto itself where you could do so many wacky things, and it’s still beloved. You can say that for every generation, but I think 80’s horror holds a special place in the hearts of all horror fans.
All the pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are the property of:
Welcome everybody to a new edition to the 9 Deuce family. We are going to be tackling films monthly, possibly twice a month. I want to thank Kristi for coming up with this wonderful idea. I have a great group of people here to discuss the 1980 Stanley Kubrick classic, The Shining. Since Jack just celebrated his 80th birthday, this just felt appropriate to be the first one that we did. For this go round, we have Kristi, Dana, Sara, Teddy, and Chris T. In future editions, I welcome you to contact me about participating. All comments in bold print are made by me, because it’s my blog and I like to comment on stuff.
Who was your favorite character in this film, aside from Jack?
Kristi: Halloran- He knows whats up!
Dana: Mr. Halloran was the Man! Check out the paintings on his bedroom wall! *Giggles
Sara: Tony. When I first saw the movie I remember being most creeped out by that aspect of the movie; the “imaginary” friend. (And then later, as an adult, I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of traumas Danny used Tony to cope with.)
Teddy: The bartender. Because he allowed jack to go to a place where everyone knew his name (pun intended)
Chris T: Dick Halloran, really aside from Jack, Danny, and Wendy, he was the only semi-developed character.
Kent: I know that this is a bit of a cop out, but the hotel itself. It alone is such a big facet and just as much of a character in a lot of ways in how it houses these entities. By the way, I came across this cool idea while researching the characters. Let’s face it, I was torn between Lloyd, Grady, and the Grady twins, I implore you to check this out, but if you are super lazy, just know that there are numerous instances of a chair moving in the film. Rest assured, with this being Stanley Kubrick, that shit was not accidental.
Have you ever read the book by Stephen King? If you have, feel free to bitch and moan that this wasn’t enough like the book, be one of those people.
Dana: Hell no. The reason is kinda shallow… but Shelly creeps me out. She looks scary without even trying! (Poor Shelley. She went through all kinds of hell during this.)
Sara: Yep. I loved the book, but equally love the movie. (This is one of the few examples of a movie made from a book that I enjoy both formats of.) Normally it would bug the crap out of me that the movie doesn’t match the book (pretty extensively) but maybe it’s because I saw the movie before I read the book? (Usually it’s the other way around.) (Doesn’t that go back to the whole psychological thing where whatever “version” of something that you see or hear is usually your preferred option. If you hear a remade song first, there’s a good chance that since you are acquainted with it, that you prefer that to the original, or vice versa. I think that happens more with music than with films, but it still happens. I also get very irritated when people just bitch and moan as soon as the word remake is tossed out because a remake isn’t inherently evil. For example, John Carpenter’s The Thing and the Clooney and Pitt version of Ocean’s Eleven. I have seen the originals and just can’t get into them as much. The flip side of the coin has way more to nitpick though, obviously. Ghostbusters.)
Teddy: I have read the book (all stephen king’s books really). The reason I don’t like this movie is because of how it strays from the source material just to stroke whatever kinks Stanley Kubrick had during that time. (Since I like to give people a hard time, I wanna tackle this. I don’t get it. Am I the only person that wants some artistic change from book to film? If I wanted the exact same thing as the book, I would have just read the damn book. I cannot vouch for which is better, although having seen the remake which was supposedly closer to the novel, I think both are excellent. Why Kubrick’s is better though is due to his artistic touches and excellent film making. In the same breath, to contradict my point slightly, because, why not, having read The Stand, it always bothered me how they left out some key things. Of course that was directed by Mick Garris who never seems to get things 92% right. Stanley Kubrick, on the other hand, is the greatest director of all time.)
Chris T: I read the book a long time ago, but probably more recently than I had seen the movie version. I read the semi-sequel “Dr.Sleep” much more recently and that experience clouded a lot of my perception of this story upon rewatching it. (I have yet to read that, but have truly been meaning to, but would prefer to read Shining first. Would Dr. Sleep make for a good film, from your perspective?)
Kent: No, I have not. I admit to not reading nearly as much as I would like to, and intend to. I choose video games and movies, and I’m okay with that decision.
Approximately how old were you when you first saw the film?
Kristi: I was actually in my late 20s.- early 30s. I slacked on movie watching for many years.
Dana: About 13/14 and I watched it through my fingers.
Sara: Middle school-age….12/13
Teddy: I would say I was maybe 19-20ish when I saw it.
Chris T: I saw parts when it was played on HBO back in the day, probably one of those mornings my parents slept in and Jay and I turned on the tv while they were sleeping. I watched the whole thing through when I was in High School, but I can’t give an exact date/time.
Kent: I think I was 6, give or take a year. I remember the nightmares that the hedge maze used to give me. I am eternally grateful for them though because this was probably my second horror film that I saw, after The Amityville Horror, and before American Werewolf in London. Without films like them, I would probably not be a huge horror fan.
Do you have a favorite quote from the film?
Dana: White man’s burden, Lloyd, my man. White man’s burden.
Sara: Chris took my first choice, so rather than copying that, I’ll go with… “Don’t worry, Mom. I know all about cannibalism. I saw it on TV.”
Teddy: “Here’s johnny!” Because it reminds me of the simpsons parody of it lol
Chris T: “Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya. You didn’t let me finish my sentence. I said, I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in!”
Kent: “We don’t drink.” This is one of those classic films that has a high number of worthy quotes. I may as well link you to a bunch of them. “I’ve always been here.”
Have you ever seen the remake miniseries that ABC put out in the 90’s that was more in line with the novel and starred Steven Weber?
Sara: I vaguely remember this re-make…..wasn’t the guy from Wings in it? I’m going to say I must not have really paid any attention to it, or I would likely remember better. (lol) (Yes, it starred Steven Weber, Rebecca De Mornay, and Melvin Van Peebles. It also had appearances by Pat Hingle (Maximum Overdrive), Miguel Ferrer (The Stand) , Elliott Gould, Shawnee Smith (Saw Franchise), Mick Garris, Sam Raimi, Frank Darabont, and even Stephen King. Yes, too much info, I know.)
Teddy: the remake was actually way better even though it was toned down for ABC (look at IT as well) closer to source material is what I look for
Chris T: Yeah, it was pretty shitty. It was way closer to the book, but in the wrong ways. It was boring and the casting wasn’t that great. Steven Weber was a better Jack in the pre-madness part, he actually gave you the feeling that he was a flawed man, who cared about his family. But when it came time to bring it, he made you laugh instead of being scared. (Well, you saved me a lot of typing. Weber doesn’t get enough credit for his performance in it, and it bothers me. No, it wasn’t as good as the OG, BUT there were aspects that were better in my mind.)
Kent: Yes, I really liked it. It’s different enough from this one that it felt like a very different film, and quite frankly, that’s preferable to watching a shot for shot remake. I can’t convince you that it’s good, if not great, but if you go in knowing that it isn’t the same film, that can help provide a more even perspective.
Do you believe in any of the conspiracy theories surrounding this film? The most notorious one being that this is Stanley Kubrick’s admission to being involved in the faking of the moon landing.
Kristi: I honestly didn’t know there were conspiracy theories, so no.
Dana: No, but my sister was telling me that apparently Jack was already dead too? What!
Sara: I am honestly not sure. I mean, I feel like if the government was going to fake the moon-landing, Kubrick would absolutely be the guy to do it. He is pretty brilliant, after all. I also (in general) am kinda a tin-foil-hat-wearer, (lol) so I’m going to say that it’s a possibility. After seeing/thinking about this question some, I decided to try out the netflix documentary called Room 237 about this very subject. I guess I’m not entirely convinced that he DIDN’T fake the moon landing. Nor am I convinced that he wasn’t discussing a few other topics, both subliminally and through a variety of mediums in the film.
Teddy: I tend to take conspiracy theories with a grain of salt so I’m gonna say someone believe in the“faking” the moon landing theory is kinda stupid
Chris T: Most of the elaborate urban legends and conspiracy theories surrounding this film (ranging from it serving as a Holocaust metaphor to a confession that Kubrick helped fake the moon landings) were refuted byStanley Kubrick during his lifetime or later by the surviving cast and crew. For example, the famous “impossible corridors” are a result of set logistics, Kubrick wanted to shoot Danny on his big wheel in unbroken takes, so the hallways had to connect and the only way the crew could construct them to fit Kubrick’s vision meant mirroring the set to fit available sound stage space. The shadow of the helicopter in the opening shot was the result of a framing error.
Kent: As Sara points out, there is an interesting documentary called Room 237, which is absolutely worth a watch for those who do and do not believe in these things. If the government wanted to fake it, then you would recruit Kubrick. I tend to not believe in many conspiracy theories, but if you put a gun to my head, I’m going to say that it happened. I get that a lot of these things have logical explanations. Still, for those of you who really follow Kubrick, you know damn well that everything he does is methodical and with purpose. If people are allowed to believe in God, I can believe that Kubrick faked the moon landing. Even if I’m wrong, I find more joy in believing that it happened, much in the same way religious people feel.
Would you consider this one of the top 100 films that you have ever seen?
Dana: Fuck no. Okay.. maybe. Its not fair I guess that I’m watching it now and comparing it to others I have seen. But it looks so bad, watching it now.
Sara: I completely concur with Chris here. Top 100 horror movies, but not top 100 of all time, or even MY favorite 100. (Though, admittedly, there are a lot of terrible movies on my personal top 100 list.)
Teddy: not even top 200.
Chris T: Maybe top 100 Horror Movies, but not top 100 Movies of all time
Kent: Wow, everybody aside from Kristi has horrible taste in movies apparently. GAWD! I kid….kinda. From a technical standpoint, you would be hard pressed to find many that stand above this. Of course, that’s not what everybody looks for in a movie. Quite frankly, most people just want to be entertained. Well this film also does that in a huge way, per my tastes. So yeah, this is actually in my top 30. It’s one of the only horror films that I would give a 9.2 rating to. If this film has one hang up, I must admit to not really liking Shelley’s performance, but knowing all of the horror stories, I get it, and she did the best that she could.
Does the movie still hold up, considering how old it is?
Kristi: Abso-freaking-lutley! (You didn’t go for the swear. Kudos.)
Dana: I mean… with cult followers… I guess so. But I don’t have to watch it again. (Am I in a cult?)
Sara: Eh….kinda? The idea still holds up, and when it was made Kubrick was cutting edge, but I also think I could likely show my 10 year old this and it wouldn’t frighten him at all. (Most of my favorite old horror doesn’t, in fact.) I will also say, though, that he’s not really old enough to get the psychological aspect of it. (What does scare a kid nowadays? I personally know what holds up for me, and what can still be somewhat scary. Jaws and Exorcist are great films, but have no real scare factor today. Shining and Candyman can still provide chills from my perspective, and even something like The Ring. When I watch modern horror, I struggle figuring out what would be considered scary to today’s youth.)
Teddy: I personally do not think so. We’re in an era in which people like things to remain close to source material and I believe this movie wasn’t close at all. (Although I don’t agree with disliking the film due to source material, let’s face it, those people bitch about every comic book film ever made it seems, rather than simply enjoying it. I do concur with your point, in that there are a lot of people with a similar mindset. I do believe that by holding on to this idea that a film is going to be able to represent a book or comic, no, it shouldn’t. It can provide elements, but the written word can be so descriptive. I really have issues with the expectations sometime. Yet, I am also guilty of it some time. Depends on what hat I am wearing that particular day.)
Chris T: Yes and no. For a film buff or student some of the shots, effects and performances were groundbreaking at the time, as was the way Kubrick filmed the movie. For a person never having seen it or just coming into now, they would probably be like “WTF people thought this was scary?” (Do you think that people thought that Shelley’s performance was good at the time? I have wondered this for years.)
Kent: I think that it still holds up, but in all fairness, I could be romanticizing it with nostalgia and stuff. Quite frankly, I am too deep in the forest to see the trees. With that being said, I would certainly debate against anybody and probably win. This film has too many merits and there’s not enough examples to discredit it aside from being old, which should never be an excuse. Citizen Kane is still a great f’n film. It just may not appeal to today’s audience’s taste.
What is the scariest part of the film for you?
Kristi: Have to go with creepy ass redrum kid part. That is just not right.
Dana: For me, the lady in the bathtub. I don’t really want to shower right now. I guess my husband is going to turn into some old dead guy. (Eyes ins. policy)
Sara: Now? Shelly Long’s acting. As a child, the bit where the whole hotel goes dark and full of cobwebs and Wendy starts seeing shit.
Teddy: The room with the furry in it.
Chris T: Definitely the furry’s ass
Kent: I loved every response here. I was really starting to wonder how nobody had mentioned the furry, but Teddy and Chris renewed my faith in this blog. The lady in the bathtub terrified me as a kid, as did the hedge maze. Now, the obvious answer is the furry.
Just for fun, if a remake were to be done over the next 5 years, who would you cast as Jack, Wendy, and Halloran (Scatman Crothers’ character)?
Kristi: Jack- Michael C Hall- AKA- Dexter
Wendy- Wynona Rider or Christina Ricci
Halloran- I really don’t know. I feel like this should be done by some we do not know. I have nothing. (I like both choices for Wendy. They are better than what I had come up with.)
Dana: Wendy: Rebecca Romin.. Yeah… she is not as hard on the eyes as Shelly, but she is a subpar actress and it would fit.
Jack: Nicolas Cage: He plays a good crazy
Holloran: Clarence Williams III would be PERFECT! (I like everything that you suggested. Oddly enough, I wanted to choose the creepy dude from Tales From the Hood as Halloran. I had no idea that was Clarence Williams III. So we picked the same dude!)
Sara: This one is hard. I can see Johnny Depp could play a balls to the wall Jack, and maybe that Amanda Seyfried as Wendy. Halloran is the tough one for me, but maybe just for fun, Samuel L. Jackson (Samuel L would work great. I would like to see Amanda do a role that I want to watch her in because it’s been a long time for me. I really don’t like Depp, but the way that he did Secret Window…..I could see it.)
Teddy: I could maybe see Fassbender as Jack…wendy I would say Liv Tyler (someone has to fill Shelly Duvall’s horrible acting shoes lol) and maybe Idris Elba for Halloran. Bonus: Michael Sheen as the bartender (I like everything, but let me just point out the joy you provided me by mocking Liv Tyler. Great job! She’s actually not terrible in The Leftovers, but yeah, she typically is not a stellar actress and would really carry on Shelley’s legacy.)
Chris T: To copy Teddy Fassbender could do Jack. So could James Mcavoy. Basically it would take someone with balls to beat Nicholson going bat-faced fucking crazy, but be able to be a sympathetic alcoholic, family abuser before that. In the book Wendy was a good looking woman who had never really seen adversity before Jack and the Overlook, and was significantly younger than Jack I believe. Truthfully after 2 versions I would rather see them make a movie of the sequel, Dr. Sleep (If you’ve seen Split, you know that James could do this role pretty damn well.)
Kent: Ah, the question that I have spent far too much time pondering. I will offer up a few of my consideration before telling you the best casting that I can offer that would knock your socks off. First off, I’d really enjoy seeing Denzel as Jack. Kinda get him into his Training Day mode, I think this is a role that he could really own. As for a wife for him, I guess I’d give him some lesser known actress so she doesn’t attempt to outshine him. Then give Michael Caine the role of Halloran. In scenario 2, I chose Jon Berenthal, Sarah Michelle Gellar or Naomi Watts or Maria Bello, and then John Witherspoon. This would have name recognition without overshadowing the story. My final and decisive picks are.
Larry Fessenden as Jack. Seriously, watch him in I Sell the Dead or We Are Still Here, or just look him up. Lauren Ashley Carter as Wendy. Her and Larry have done some work together, but she has done some very good stuff, at least her acting. Darlin, Jug Face, Pod, The Woman, etc. She’s younger than Larry and is pretty. Finally, to please the horror buffs, Tony Todd as Halloran. Yes, the Candyman can play this role and he has such a presence. I would like to find a role for Keith David and David Keith as well. Can we get Stacy Keibler as the nude bathtub chick?
Name up to 3 horror movies that you would consider doing another blog about with me.
Kristi: House of 1000 Corpses or Devils Rejects, Silence of the Lambs- not really horror but I think it could be fun, and Pet Semetary (While I love all of those films, I think Devil’s Rejects and Pet Sematary would get the most interesting responses. Not enough people love House of 1000 Corpses like we do.)
Dana: Psycho is my absolute favorite horror movie, The Blob, and The Omen. (Psycho is an absolutely fantastic film. I own The Omen, but I have never really loved it, but I don’t mind it. The Blob, my question is which one? The newer one with Shawnee Smith or the old Steve McQueen one with the great cheesy song?)
Sara: There is no real way to narrow it down to just 3, but if I had to, I’d say Quarantine (that movie scared the ever-loving shit out of me. lol), Killer Clowns from Outerspace, and the Chucky Series (I only chose this because then you would get 2 sets of answers, because my son would insist on playing along too. He LOVES Chucky.) (I liked Quarantine a lot. Then I saw the original, Rec which is Spanish, and those movies are close to shot for shot. The cool part is that Rev went on to have a stellar part 2 and 4. 3 was garbage, but 2 was directly after 1 in the same building and worked really well. The American sequels…ugh. Killer Klowns could be fun and attract a whole different audience, as would Childs Play. I like them all.)
Teddy: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Sinister, I guess would say IT since it’s coming out soon and Tales from the Hood (Wait a second. Did Tales From The Hood just get brought up a second time? What the hell? That’s great! Sinister was really fun. IT would be another fun one to go back to. Younger people won’t appreciate it, and jaded adults are going to see all of the flaws.)
Chris T: Dude, just 3. Should do many fucking more of these. Stage them thematically: horror series (Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the Thirteenth, Saw, etc); creator( Stephen King, Clive Barker, James Wan, etc); country of origin, theme, etc. That being said there are some gems that no one ever talks about: Nightbreed, The Children of Twilight, and Phantasm are the three I would go with (As I just tackled Phantasm this past October, I wholeheartedly agree. It is one of those fantastic gems. Have you seen the last one, part V Ravager I think it was called. It was weird…duh, but an interesting way to end the franchise, Booooooy! I can say that I haven’t seen the other 2. So those are getting on my list this year.)
Kent: Well, obviously I have final say, but I want to do a lot of these. Quite frankly, I would love to do 2 of these a month. So I may be able to do this if there is enough interest. In October, I think it would be fun to tackle both John Carpenter’s Halloween as well as Rob Zombie’s because there are a lot of differing opinions regarding those 2 films, and that will be fun. Chris actually nailed 2 of my upcoming choices. In the meantime, I will ponder this question. Do you fans want to see blogs on more well known films, or lesser known gems? Do you want both recent and classic and really classic films? From the responses, it seems like the vast majority were of 80’s or later. Still, Dana brought up 3 really good films to discuss. A lot of people love Psycho and The Omen.
With that being said, while it is still available on NetFlix, I can say that the next film will feature, in my opinion, the greatest of all time. 1….2……Freddy’s coming for you next.
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I gotta be honest, I am not even looking forward to this film, but it is a film that I have always avoided, and this is why I do the blogs.
So I guess the premise here is that Samantha’s family has forgotten her birthday, mainly because her older sister is getting married the next day. I am aware that people are thinking “Duh, you dumb bastard.” I deserve that. I just don’t really care much for high school style films, unless it involves a white teacher teaching inner city youths how to do poetry, or some such nonsensical shit while Coolio is rapping. Also, I really enjoy high school horror films, like The Faciity. Hey, titties! Where was I? I don’t know, but titties and doing pull ups the lazy. That’s cool. “I loathe the bus”, I totally agree with the sentiment. Anthony Michael Hall is way better is a dickhead. These things are obvious.
I am hearing the Twilight Zone theme song…..OK, you have my attention again. Grandpa’s boxers are up so high. How does he not have male camel toe going? Geez. Grandma talking about perky boobies, that gave me a clue. Her grabbing her tits gave me a raging clue. Really, they called a character Long Duk Dong? That alone gets this film a point. An extra 0.3 for the gong. Seeing Molly Ringwold angers up he blood. She was terrible in The Stand as Frannie, and I don’t know if that’s on her, Mick Garris, or the producers, but damnit. I had to vent. Also, John Cusack is one of those people I cannot get away from.
I feel that if I was in a room with girls who were alive in the 80’s, they’d be giggling hysterically at a lot of this stuff. This bitch, she’s blowing off the geek and is totally excited about Jake just asking about her. Why am I watching this again? Dong and his chick are what is keeping me going at this point, that and dedication to being awful at my craft. OK, I can get behind the dad’s thought process about why crushes are called that, because if they were easy, they’d have a different name. Makes perfectly good sense. I appreciate that Jake said that he could go violate Caroline any time that he wants. That gets my approval. I am also approving of this plan to take Caroline home. This drive home is pretty good.
“Dong, where is my automobile?” The only scene that I was familiar with thanks to Tom. So Ted ended up with Caroline. Good for him! Holy shit, Zelda Rubinstein! What a great surprise. Can I just consider the film complete after Zelda’s appearance? Everything since that has been awful.
OK, I will say that it was better than I anticipated in that I expected Molly to have more of a role. She brought the film down with her nonsense. Anthony Michael Hall carried this one, big time. He did a great job. I thought Jake was dull as hell. He lacked charisma. The sister at the end was funny. There should have been more focus on the missed birthday, and her just saying fuck it and having a great day, like Ferris Bueller. While the movie exceeded my expectations, they were incredibly low. I am cool if I never see this again. Long Duk Dong was by far the best thing in this whole film. It wasn’t poorly done, but it bored me at times. Just being realistic here. It’s a movie that was never meant to appeal to me, but to make it palpable for me to sit through, and in that regard, it succeeded. I’ll give this a 4.3. I doubt that I would ever sit through this again.
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This is easily one of my 5 favorite films that I will be reviewing this month. I have lots of great memories due to this film. For those who say that this isn’t a chick flick, find any cool chick who was a teen in the 90’s, rest assured, she has seen this film. That is the way it is. The soundtrack was spectacular. I remember, due to this soundtrack, I got to talk to this smokin’ chick named Jen Demarco. We hung out, I taught her how to tie a bandanna properly, she taught me how to braid, so lots of hands on heads moments. Though I never, ever had a shot at her, I won’t forget it, and it all happened to the sounds of this fine film’s soundtrack. Man, she was gorgeous. There won’t be too many pictures because of how dark the movie itself is, it doesn’t lend itself to a ton of great pictures, yet it is marvelous to see.
This is a story about a young couple, Eric Draven and his fiancee, Shelly Webster, are killed in a brutal way on Devil’s Night. A year later, a Crow has brought back Eric’s soul, and it’s time for him to get revenge and have some unique abilities. The story never gets dull, and it’s violent, but not terrible, and everything feels totally justified.
The cast in this one is stacked. Aside from the star of the film, Brandon Lee, and his unfortunate accident that led to his death, there is a cast full of great character actors. Tony Todd (Candyman), Joe Polito (The Big Lebowski), Michael Wincott (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), and Rochelle Davis. She stopped acting after this role for close to 15 years due to the accident. She actually stood out in this as probably my second favorite character, and this is a film with plenty of characters to like.
I feel like I have to talk about a particular scene in this film that has long stood the test of time. I think we all have seen a scene or heard some song that just sticks with you. One of those scene is the scene when Eric saves Sarah from getting run over. “It can’t rain all the time” may have been a throwaway line for all I know. For me, I think about it when things are beyond shitty and things snowball. When I’m low, this helps keep shit in perspective. No, it can’t rain all the time, and eventually, you get through whatever shit storm that you are experiencing.
Finally, I would like to touch on the importance of this particular film. I’m not going to make sweeping statements in generalities. I will say this. This is one of the all time great films that uses a hard rock/alternative/metal soundtrack. I’m sure others came before it, like Maximum Overdrive, but this was a film that used a soundtrack to perfection. On top of that, I felt that it made soundtracks cool to buy. I can’t recall how many awesome soundtracks that I had owned prior, and if I did, most of them were for one or two songs. This one was simply special. On top of that, I would make the argument that without this film, we don’t have the modern day superhero films, or comic inspired films. Do you really think that the Dark Knight/Batman trilogy happens the way that it is without this film? This film proved that dark and gritty can work. Then you have stuff like Sin City and Watchmen, and once again, I feel that without this film’s success, maybe those films don’t come out the way that they do. I feel that this film was an influence in so many films. It’s not fucking Star Wars, but it was really ahead of it’s time, and one needs to acknowledge that at the very least.
As far as a rating goes, this is easy. It gets a 9.2, the highest rating that I am willing to give a film. All films have flaws to them, there is no such thing as a perfect 10. Nothing by Stanley Kubrick or Spielberg, or Tarantino is perfection, but I would put this film, this story, this everything up with any of the masterpieces and would have no qualms arguing it’s merit. This film was never considered to be Oscar worthy because it had the misfortune of coming out in the single greatest film year ever. I will straight up fight you to the death if you try rationalizing that there was a better film year than 94. Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, True Lies, Lion King, Ed Wood, Blue Sky, Interview with the Vampire, Quiz Show, Four Weddings and a Funeral, New Nightmare, Airheads, Ace Ventura, Cabin Boy, Reality Bites, The Hudsucker Proxy, Above The Rim, Surviving the Game, Maverick, The Client, The Mask, Killing Zoe, Natural Born Killers, The River Wild, Stargate, The Santa Clause, Leon: The Professional, Killing Zoe, Dumb and Dumber, Legends of the Fall, and I’m sure other greats that I am quickly overlooking. Yeah, top that year in film, leave me a comment. I’ll wait.
One final thing. David Patrick Kelly is in this, and that name may not be terribly familiar to you. He played Luther in The Warriors. You have assuredly heard “Warriors, come out to play” at least once in your life. Well he plays T Bird in The Crow. As his car drives off for the explosion, we see Eric wave goodbye by clasping his 3 fingers like Luther did with the bottles towards the end of the Warriors. Here’s video from The Warriors and then a still of Eric.
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Yeah, another Tim Burton and Johnny Depp film. I haven’t seen this one in years but I really loved it way back when it came out and probably saw it twice. We get Winona Ryder, Anthony Michael Hall, Dianne Weist (the mom in Lost Boys), Conchatta Ferrell, and Vincent Price. On top of that, Danny Elfman did the music. There, that should sell you on this if you have never seen it. I don’t know many people who dislike this, but more girls will rave about this than guys, by a huge margin, so this is a chick flick. Deal with it.
I actually really enjoy a film being a story told by somebody. I miss old school Burton, in the styles that he used, with colors and whatnot. It was simple stuff that made us fall in love with him oh so many years ago. Screw CGI! I feel that in some ways, this film was the precursor to Big Fish. Man, young Winona, good stuff. Man, do none of the women in this town have jobs? Seeing old Vincent Price really makes me happy. That dude was one of the all time greats. I love how early on, everybody is so easily adjusted to this unique man. No real hatred aside from the religious lady. People are really nice and accepting of him. Oh man, “It’s Not Unusual” is playing. Yes, I want to do the Carlton. “You can’t buy he necessities of life with cookies.” Bill, I gotta disagree with you sir. Dianne Weist was really perfect for this role, probably the best cast in this whole thing.
I’m not quite sure why Peg is trying to cover up Edward’s scars. Like, of course he’s going to have them given the circumstances. Anthony Michael Hall has been a tremendous dickhead. Joyce has not thought things through in the salon. I love when Edward is on teh run, and the dog just sits right next to him. I don’t know why, but it’s something I enjoy. That film ends on such a bummer, or beautiful for you eternal optimists.
This film is fantastic. It’s the Tim Burton that we all love. It’s the Johnny Depp that we all love. It’s so many things. I am not even going with nostalgia because i had forgotten 99% of this movie. It’s a simple tale of an outcast given a chance to fit in, and of mob mentality and fear. It’s a great story. The acting was great. Aside from being slightly angry at the ending, because you want it to end knowing that Kim visits him once a year or something, I can’t complain at all. Everything about this is really F’N great. I give this an 8.5. Yeah, that’s really high for me. If you don’t get why this gets one of my all time highest ratings, then you clearly haven’t seen this film.
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