Halloween Kills

Vampire Owl: So we are having Halloween two times again.

Vampire Bat: We have the movie as much as we have the festival.

Vampire Owl: I don’t even remember much about the earlier movies.

Vampire Bat: Well, that was indeed too long ago for anyone to remember.

Vampire Owl: Well, we vampires remember things from hundreds of years ago.

Vampire Bat: That won’t include things like these.

Vampire Owl: These are all parts of life too.

Vampire Bat: World within movies don’t count as part of life.

Vampire Owl: What about the realistic ones which stay close to life?

Vampire Bat: Maybe we can say so about a few vampire movies.

[Gets a strawberry cake and three cups of orange tea].

What is the movie about? :: Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton and Thomas Mann) is left for the dead, but is found by Cameron Elam (Dylan Arnold) who seems to be coming right out of a break-up. Forty years earlier, he had accidentally shot his partner dead while trying to save him from the psycho serial killer, Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle). Even though he was against the execution earlier, this time he hopes to finish him off. Meanwhile, the survivors are celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Michael being caught, and all of them surviving against all odds. As he seems to be spotted in a car again, Tommy Doyl (Anthony Michael Hall) with the other survivors, supported by the people of the town, comes together to try and hunt him. Allyson Nelson (Andi Matichak) and Karen Nelson (Judy Greer), along with the heavily injured Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) are left in the hospital, and seems to be an easy target for Michael, but the town tries to rely on the strength in numbers to find and kill the killer.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: It seems that Michael is going towards his childhood home, but on the way, he leaves a trail of bodies including those who had started hunting for him. The bodies keep coming to the hospital where Frank and Laurie are admitted, and they also come to know that Michael is on the hunt again. The people of the hospital also promises to come together and end the legend of Michael Myers for the last time despite the police officers telling them that they got this under control. At the same time, Michael murders the present owners of his house who were expecting children for the Halloween night. Meanwhile, people misunderstands another person who escaped with Michael as the killer and goes on a rampage against him. But Laurie and Karen are sure that this person is not him – nobody can stop Tommy though, who is determined to stop what he calls ultimate evil. Are any of these people good enough to stop the danger that lurks in the shadows with a white mask?

The defence of Halloween Kills :: Even though the full essence of a slasher movie is not here with Halloween Kills, there is enough of kills to give some justice to the genre – the elements of old style horror has been mostly lost with the new generation horror, and so that is not something new for our eyes. Having a killer for Halloween never gets old, and after all, Michael Myers is a serial killer of legendary status along with Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th, Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare of Elm Street, Ghostface of Scream, Jesse Cromeans of Chrome Skull, Ben Willis of I Know What You did Last Summer, Rusty Nail of Joy Ride and Leatherface of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. All these killers belong to a league of their own, and we enjoy watching them do what they do the best. The background music is effective, and there are some fine creepy scenes which lift the movie. The setting of night and the atmosphere are well created too, and the elements of nostalgia will work very well for the older fans.

The claws of flaw :: It is disappointing to see that this movie depends too much on nostalgia – getting old people to fight the seemingly invincible antagonist is a dumb idea; bringing the old woman back for Terminator: Dark Fate was as foolish as we know it; brining Arnold Schwarzenegger was okay as he was at least a machine from the future and not a human. Now, if this movie is going to have Jamie Lee Curtis kill the murderer in a sequel, that is going to be as foolish as Linda Hamilton – Sarah Connor nonsense. The movie could learn something from My Bloody Valentine which used its modern makeover with its scream queens Jaime King and Betsy Rue so effectively, leaving some iconic scenes which could rise above even that original film from 1981. Halloween franchise actually have had so many earlier movies to learn from and bring innovation, but has none of these done, not even close to getting as much as Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street could do with the sequels and reboots. You cannot live with a well-known killer alone. There’s Someone Inside Your House, Malignant and Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight made it clear.

The performers of the soul :: Andi Matichak and Judy Greer who plays daughter and mother steals the show here. The former seems to have a fine path ahead of her to become a scream queen of high quality, as she seems to have been enrolled into the slasher world effectively through this franchise. She would shine in an action and adventure movie with the same effectiveness, seeing her determination and attraction towards action. Judy is not far behind in that case, and as an actress whom we have been seeing for long, gets into the genre well too. Jamie Lee Curtis remains useless as the character who remains in the hospital all the time, and the makers should stop putting old people like her and Linda Hamilton in front of serial killers just because they were featured in earlier horror movies of the same franchise – the antagonist Michael Myers is ageless, but these people are not, and nobody is going to believe that the senior citizens are the only ones who can stop of a nearly supernatural serial killer who can kill as many people whenever he likes. Will Patton’s role is also limited into the hospital soon enough.

How it finishes :: The movie manages to manage as another pretty good slasher with its antagonist, kills, use of darkness and some nice music in the background. But the movie that one would be worried about might be Halloween Ends, which will be the final film of the franchise as it seems. From the description, it seems to bring a senior citizen against the seemingly unstoppable serial killer – if you ask me, it is something which is really cruel, unless she somehow defeats the killer, which calls for that much of a willing suspension of disbelief as in the mass masala movies. It is also disappointing to see that a grand serial killer like Michael Myers is not given the story that he deserves. It makes me wonder if this is the worst film of the whole slasher series. The reboots can learn some thing from the new Wrong Turn. Yet, we have this one becoming a natural serial killer journey with lots of murders and bodies piling up everywhere. If that is all which we need, there is no need to look further. We can watch the terror which started a long time ago unleashing again.

Release date: 15th October 2021
Running time: 105 minutes
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Andi Matichak, Judy Greer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Will Patton, Thomas Mann, Anthony Michael Hall, Kyle Richards, Dylan Arnold, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Stephens, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle, Airon Armstrong, Christian Michael, Carmela McNeal, Michael Smallwood

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Kong: Skull Island

Vampire Owl: Oh, Mr. Kong. I have heard that the humans used to call him King Kong. What happened to the king title?

Vampire Bat: Well, it seems that the humans has once again decided that only the mankind is the king and ruler above all species on Earth.

Vampire Owl: It is absurd. We are cent percent better than them. These people got such a huge mountain of ego that jumping off it to their sensible side is rather suicide.

Vampire Bat: What can we do? They are just proud of one thing or the other all the time. Then there are a few others who kill their own kind in the name of animals.

Vampire Owl: I don’t understand these humans. I actually understand werewolves better, which should be why are having a war with them.

Vampire Bat: Even humans never understand each other.

Vampire Owl: I would have been surprised if they did.

Vampire Bat: They even form teams to kill each other.

Vampire Owl: I wish werewolves had such teams, but they are so united.

Vampire Bat: Maybe Kong could work to get rid of those really bad ones among them.

[Gets three cups of strong tea with Mariegold biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: We see that two fighter planes which were going through combat in the air crashes on an unknown island. The American soldier named Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly) and a Japanese soldier named Gunpei Ikari (Miyavi) who have been fighting each other as the World War II was coming near the end, continues the combat, this time on the ground. While Gunpei manages to get the advantage with his samurai sword, a giant hand emerges from under the cliff, and the two gets back in shock. Later, in the year 1973, a team is sent by the United States to an island in the South Pacific known as Skull Island intending to discover what awaits inside before its Cold War opponent the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics decides to find its secrets first. The newfound opponent getting there before them was something that they couldn’t agree to, and due to the same, a former British Special Air Service named Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) is hired as the tracker to guide the new expedition.

So, what happens next? :: William Randa (John Goodman) is in charge of the operation, and intends to prove something, and Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) who has suspicions that there some secret warfare going on, also manages to join the gang to know what war is coming up after the failure of the Vietnam war. When a team lead by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) joins the expedition, her suspicions increase. As the team drops explosives at different part of the island according to the plan by the seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) to map out the island, they face something which they had not witnessed before, a giant creature which reveals itself as a huge ape, of the size of a skyscraper – the creature attacks the helicopters, easily destroying all air units, killing a number of men, and the others crashing at different parts of the island.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Preston feels that there is more than what meets the eye about this island, and when confronted, William reveals that he has been tracking these monsters for a long time, and there is a secret government wing which deals with these supernatural creatures, and they have been trying to get enough proof about the same, so that this possible threat against humanity could be dealt with, in one way or the other. He asks Preston to get him out of there, so that he could prove to the outside the world that such creatures exist, and there is reason for humans to be afraid of the monsters, thus proving that he has always been right, and not a nutcase. But Preston is more interested in something else, to kill the giant ape which murdered his soldiers – he would not stop until he sees the monster dead. The other team meets Hank Marlow who had survived on the island from the Second World War times, and he tells them that it is not Kong whom they should be worried about, as there are more, including the Skull crawlers – well, will anyone survive all these horror?

The defence of Kong: Skull Island :: You know what to expect of this movie, and you know that there is no chance of such a movie doing terribly – well, this one really manages to work on that formula so nicely. There is no shortage of fun in an old-fashioned tale about an island full of monsters, and will some skill, they have brought more quality into that idea. The special effects are too good, and CGI, as usual is nothing less than grand – we see more than one creature causing trouble, and we see the monsters battling each other, as we had seen in the last Godzilla movie, and this one doesn’t have that dark setting; the whole setting on the island is just some great joy to watch. We are also have a certain improvement from the 2005 version of King Kong, and this feels so much bigger on the screen. You will end up asking for more of Kong after this movie, and we have the monster who is capable of more than just destruction. Here, you will get to witness the monster power and all the action with less drama.

The claws of flaw :: You will always want more with a monster movie with the giant ape. The human characters are also very less significant in this movie which provides them only secondary or even lower status compared to the monsters on whom the movie is all about – we have so many of them here, but not much is there to be done with them. We would have also wished for more monsters – Kong could have used all the space used by humans too, because they do less and be the bad side of the movie, despite a lot of talent being present there. They could have at least thought and talked further about a philosophical side like Godzilla of 2014 did. We also wanted terrifying sequences with those which were called skull crawlers, or even other creatures who had the scope to unleash terror. Getting closer to simple monster horror would have been the best point of this movie, but this one chooses to go around on so many occasions – we can forgive most of them, but the viewers have to wonder what would have happened otherwise.

How it finishes :: Kong: Skull Island leaves us with the idea that there are some lines which shouldn’t be crossed, and that humans are not in control of nature or Earth, as they think – there will always be enough within this world to teach humans one lesson or two. We had seen the same in the movie Godzilla when balance was brought, and humanity was saved as monsters battled each other. There is even more to come in that case with Godzilla: King of the Monsters coming up in 2019, and the two movie series combining to bring Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020. Well, the monsters are going to attack our theatre screens more and more, and lets get ready for the same by watching Kong: Skull Island, which is the one King Kong movie which will take you back to your childhood, and enjoy this new, superior take of the myth with all that nostalgia and also the newly found glory with the best of visual effects, and the wonderful evolution of the tale of the giant ape. Well, when a monster calls, you have to listen and see the wonder that he is.

Release date: 10th March 2017
Running time: 118 minutes
Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary, John C. Reilly, Eugene Cordero, Miyavi, Richard Jenkins, Marc Evan Jackson

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl

meandearlandthedyinggirl (1)

Vampire Owl :: This is obviously a movie about the Lich Queen.

Vampire Bat :: What? I am pretty much confident that you have got it wrong.

Vampire Owl :: I am talking about the last part of this title.

Vampire Bat :: Dude, the Lich Queen hasn’t been dying for that long; she was always the undead, and it was one of the quickest transformations ever.

Vampire Owl :: Okay, that guess didn’t work that well.

Vampire Bat :: And you can’t even find out the last time Lich Queen was a girl; that was like thousands of years ago.

Vampire Owl :: So, she really belong to the “old is gold” category.

Vampire Bat :: Do you know that when this movie premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, there was a standing ovation?

Vampire Owl :: How can I know? I wasn’t there at that time.

Vampire Bat :: Just watch the movie, will you?

[Gets three cups of tea with jackfruit chips].

What is it about? :: Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann) goes through the high school without any real friend, and being just okay with every group of people around him. With people around him divided into groups, he just maintains friendly relationships with everyone and manages to go around being kind of invisible. The only one person who is close to being called a friend is Earl (RJ Cyler) with whom he had been making weird short-films parodying various popular movie titles. He has a crush on a girl at the high school, Madison (Katherine C. Hughes). He doesn’t have a high opinion about himself, and wishes to go on unnoticed; but things change when one of the girls at the same high school, Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke) is diagnosed with blood cancer.

So what happens next? :: As his parents (Nick Offerman and Connie Britton) force him to go out with her and provide some confidence in this time of need, he decides to just go – his words about him not knowing her enough goes through into deaf ears. Both of them don’t really like the company of each other, but they get along later, and Earl also joins their team. The two decide to make a movie dedicated to her according to a suggestion made by Madison, but falls short of ideas while her disease gets worse very fast and she decides not to fight this situation anymore. Most of the schoolwork just go ignored too. So, what will happen to this doomed friendship? Does Rachel survive, or will she at least have enough time until the movie is made? Will Greg’s relations with others get any better?

The defence of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl :: This one surely feels real and close enough to life, and there are no exaggerations of any moment. Even without such an attempt, this one manages to be a sweet movie close to heart. There is nothing extraordinary being done here in the tale, as everything goes on towards that awaiting end which is emotional as well as satisfying. We become part of this journey, and it is one that is worth traveling – the light-hearted take on the whole thing helps, and we get to see a positive side in almost everything. Well, going to watch this movie, you know what you will be expecting, that is a lot of tears in store, but the movie manages to rise above that with its funny side, and all the laughter there will make the day better. The movie also leave you with something to think about, related to friendship and brotherhood – there is none that is really mismatched.

The claws of flaw :: This is one movie which had potential for more, not only with its emotional side, but also with those funny moments which seem to be rather too less utilized. With each character, and with each moment, you just feel that there was going to be something more, but almost every character other than the three in the title goes a little less used. Most of this movie also remains predictable, as we move towards that finish which brings no big surprise. The use of commentary about happenings won’t help much either; talking about the dying girl not going to die or getting better just for the audience to hear can’t help at all. I haven’t read the book on which it is based, but Me and Earl and the Dying Girl doesn’t make an attempt to create a difference with this material as a whole; it mostly sticks to the safe zone to move you.

Performers of the soul :: Olivia Cooke is the one person who makes this role very much believable here with an amazing performance – she expresses herself as this character so well. I had seen her for the last time in Ouija, and she is surely someone with a lot of potential, as we watch the cute, talented actress here making the best use of this opportunity. Thomas Mann and RJ Cyler makes a nice team here too; the former cent percent reminding us of someone we have known at some point of time, and the love for movies that these people show will also make sure that someone else we know gets reflected there. The former’s character with his ability to do distant friendships will be one of the best reflections of some people who keep strange and different ideas about friendships, keeping everyone as friends just for the sake of doing so.

How it finishes :: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is that particular movie that makes one feel as one with the protagonists. There is nothing outside the normal world here, as there are many things to which we can relate to. There will be moments when this one will remind you of the Shailene Woodley starrer The Fault in Our Stars, but Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is no romantic flick, as the focus remains on friendship throughout its time. It is that kind of a movie that takes us through the transformation that the protagonist has, and we get so close to the characters there, and in the end, we are part of that world in which enough has been discovered, and more than that needs to be found out later. There is no real “dying” as far as trying to make things better is concerned, right?

Release date: 12th June 2015
Running time: 105 minutes
Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, Connie Britton, Katherine C. Hughes, Chelsea T. Zhang, Natalie Marchelletta, Matt Bennett, Bobb’e J. Thompson, Karriem Sami, Marco Zappala, Etta Cox, Masam Holden, Kaza Marie Ayersman, Cheryl Kline, Joan Augustin, Mark Granatire, Kayana White, Linda Kanyarusoke, Drew Palajsa, Elly Silberstein, Nicole Tubbs

meandearlandthedyinggirl

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.