What’s poppin’, y’all! Week two of my Halloween Extravaganza has come and gone, and here’s the reviews for all the movies I watched!
Day 9: The Rocky Horror Picture Show 👄
In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, newly engaged couple Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) travel to their former professor’s (Jonathan Adams) house, only to find themselves stranded on the road due to a flat tire. They go to Dr. Frank-n-Furter’s (Tim Curry) mansion for help, and end up being sucked into his and his servants’ wild and hedonistic world. Will Brad and Janet get away from the house with their morals in tact, or will they give themselves over to absolute pleasure? 💋
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is not only one of my favorite Halloween movies, it’s also one of my favorite LGBTQ films (it was number five on my top 10 list, as a matter of fact). It’s not frightening at all (Meatloaf’s death scene freaked me out when I was 14, but that’s just my scary ass), and when you really stop and think about the plot, there’s a lot of things that don’t make sense, but I believe that’s intentionally done. The movie is still hella entertaining and the songs are so infectious. Not only that, but the film is hilarious. I crack up everytime I watch it. Most of all, Tim Curry’s portrayal as Dr. Frank-n-Furter is iconic. Just seeing his performance alone is worth the price of admission.
Day 10: Little Shop of Horrors
Little Shop of Horrors takes place in 1960s Skid Row, where shy and timid Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis) works at a failing flower shop with his longtime crush Audrey (Ellen Green) and his greedy manager/guardian Mr. Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia). Seymour comes across a strange plant one day and displays it at the flower shop, singlehandedly helping the business out of financial ruin. However, Seymour soon learns that the plant—now coined Audrey II—needs something specific to survive: human blood. As Audrey II (voiced by Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops) grows, he becomes sentient and demands more blood, with the promise to bring Seymour wealth and fame in exchange. Now that Audrey seems to be noticing him and Seymour is starting to make some serious change, will he completely give in to the plant?
I know, y’all are thinking I’m cheating by watching a family-friendly horror/comedy as part of the Extravaganza. In my defense however, I never said all the movies were going to be scary. When I learned Little Shop of Horrors was available on one of my Prime Video Channels, I had to add it to my 31 days of Halloween fest. This is another film that I’ve loved since childhood and adore to this very day. Like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it’s funny as all hell, and the songs are excellent, especially Steve Martin’s “Dentist!” song (that’s my favorite next to “Suppertime”). Plus, how could you not love Tichina Arnold and Tisha Campbell (aka Pam and Gina) as the chorus girls?
Oh, and the actress playing chorus girl Ronette is great, too. 😀
It’s true, Little Shop of Horrors is a family friendly movie (in all honesty, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Little Shop of Horrors won’t be the only horror/comedies in the Extravaganza), but believe it or not, there’s a darker aspect to the film. Little Shop of Horrors is actually a morality play. When Audrey II temps Seymour into feeding people to him by promising to grant all the young man’s desires, it’s akin to someone selling his soul for riches and fame. Plus, there’s the original endings for Audrey, Seymour, and the entire world that were so “morbid” that the test audiences demanded a happier ending be released theatrically. Don’t sleep on this gem.
Day 11: 1BR
In 1BR (the abbreviation of “one bedroom”), aspiring costume designer Sarah (Nicole Brydon Bloom) can hardly believe her luck when she’s chosen to out of a dozen other applicants to move into a comfortable apartment in Los Angeles. To top it off, the neighbors are welcoming, making the complex seem like the perfect place to live. However, as time passes, Sarah starts noticing some things about her environment that are off, and when all is revealed, Sarah’s dream living space quickly devolves into a never ending nightmare.
Y’all, 1BR is hella creepy. There’s not a ton of gore or jump scares; there’s no supernatural elements or crazed serial killers stalking young Sarah. What makes 1BR scary is the psychological terror we see Sarah go through once she realizes that the landlord—and the tenants—in her apartment complex aren’t what they appear to be. My mom, the reigning queen of horror films, was creeped out by this movie simply for the mere fact these events can actually happen. There’s tons of documentaries out at this very moment where people speak on surviving real life events somewhat similar to what Sarah experienced in 1BR. If you’re looking for a different type of horror film to check out this Halloween, I highly recommend you watch this one.
Day 12: Prey
Prey is about a teenager named Toby (Logan Miller), who’s participating in a Tough Love program in Indonesia due to acting out after his father’s untimely death. One of the last projects the program participants have to complete is to stay on an uninhabited island by himself for two days. While on the island, Toby soon realizes he’s not alone. A teenage girl named Madeleine (Kristine Froseth) is also stranded on the island along with her mother (Jolene Anderson), who, according to Madeleine, is very dangerous. There’s also someone—or something—on the island that stalks Toby at night. Is it Madeleine’s mother or something non-human?
This movie is decent for what it is. It’s no where near the best horror film I’ve ever watched, and although the twist toward the end was somewhat interesting, the actual ending kind of got on my nerves. In spite of all that, it’s an enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes. My biggest gripe is the storyline about the kids spending two days by themselves on an uninhabited island. That has to be the dumbest shit I’ve heard in my life! I still cringe when I see Kevin Bacon leave teenage Sean Astin and his crew alone in the forest in White Water Summer! At least the boys in White Water Summer were together and could help each other out after their leader went AWOL. The chick in Prey left each child alone for days on a deserted island! Oh, and did I forget to mention that the kids had little to no survival skills or training? WTF? Anything could’ve happened to those kids, and as the plot unfolds, we see that anything does! Other than that, the movie’s aiight.
Side note: another good horror flick to watch that follows a similar plot line is Sweetheart. The big difference between the two films, however, is that in Sweetheart, the young woman was shipwrecked on a deserted island and had no choice but to learn how to survive. I still can’t believe they thought leaving kids alone on an island was a good idea! 🙄
Day 13: Scream
Y’all knew this classic was going to be of the Extravaganza, right? In Scream, two teenagers are brutally murdered in the small town of Woodsboro, nearly one year after Sydney Prescott’s (Neve Campbell) mother was raped and killed. Sydney is shaken after learning about her classmates’ death, especially since it’s days shy of the anniversary of her own mother’s demise, but she’s even more horrified when the killer sets his sights on her as his next victim.
What can I say? Scream is all that and a bag of chips. I loved it when I was 15, and I still love it to this very day. The movie has the perfect combination of horror and comedy, with its flawless slasher scenes and tongue-in-cheek approach to horror movie tropes. And I swear, the older I get, the more I crack up at Stu and Randy (Matthew Lillard and Jamie Kennedy). Those two are hilarious! If you haven’t seen Scream yet, I’m assuming you’re either a) living in a cave or b) were born sometime after 2005. Please see this film for Halloween if you haven’t already.
Day 14: I Know What You Did Last Summer
In 1997, nearly a year after Scream was released, audiences were treated to I Know What You Did Last Summer. This tale is about four close friends celebrating their last Fourth of July together before leaving for college, but their jovial mood is perpetually broken after accidentally running over a man while driving back home. The teens throw the body in the ocean and vow never to speak of the incident again. However, almost a year after discarding the body, someone lets them know that he/she’s in on their secret…and this person wants blood.
I recently watched Chris Stuckmann’s review for I Know What You Did Last Summer, and he basically admitted that although he liked the film, it’s pretty much a guilty pleasure for him. I have to disagree. I think it’s just as a solid a slasher movie as Scream or Halloween. Does the movie have flaws? Of course! For example, when Julie (Jennifer Love-Hewitt) found that dead body in her car, how the hell did the killer take it away so fast and manage to clean up the mess, all in the middle of a neighborhood in broad daylight!? Make it make sense, y’all. However, aside from things like that, I still think it deserves to be up there with the greats. Or maybe I’m like Chris and that’s just my nostalgia talking. Either way, I love it.
Day 15: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer takes place a year after the events of the previous film. Julie James is still suffering from PTSD after she and her boyfriend Ray (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) survived an attack from the murderous fisherman Ben Willis (Muse Watson) and presumably killed him. When Julie’s best friend, Carla (Brandy), wins tickets to travel to the Bahamas for the Fourth of July, Julie jumps at the chance to get away from it all. However, it appears that not only is Ben Willis still alive, he’s now followed Julie and her friends to the Bahamas to go on another murder spree. And that’s only the half of it! Happy July 4th!
Y’all know if I watched I Know What You Did Last Summer, I had to follow it up with the sequel, right? You’re probably wondering why I didn’t do the same for Scream. Simply put, with the exception of Scream 3, I didn’t like the follow ups enough to pay my good hard-earned money for them. Plus, the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise came with my Showtime Prime Movie Channel, so I could watch them for free. I know, I’m a cheap heffa. Anyway, for me, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is the guilty pleasure film that I watch mainly for nostalgia’s sake. Yeah, I enjoy it, but it’s weaker than its predecessor. The music and constant jump scares border on the cheesy side, as does some of the dialog. “We saw the voodoo stuff!” *Groan* 😶
However, I never fail to crack up at Jack Black’s death scene (as a matter of fact, Jack Black’s character makes me laugh whenever he makes an appearance) or at Julie screaming at nothing (again). Also, the twist in the movie was actually pretty well done—at least in my opinion it was—and Brandy was pure gold. She really brought it. I remember watching the film for the first time when I was 17 and being surprised at hearing her cuss. That was so un-Brandylike. 😂😂 Oh, and Mekhi Phifer was smokin’ hot back then. Yeah, his character could be a bit of an ass at times, but man, was he nice to look at. Again, it’s a great popcorn flick to tune into for the holiday.
Day 16: The Thing (1982)
The Thing tells the story of an American research team stationed on Antarctica that finds itself in the crosshairs of a Norwegian researcher with an itchy trigger finger and a sled dog. While investigating the reason the Norwegian researcher wanted a dog dead so badly, the researchers learn the Norwegian team stumbled onto an alien lifeform that can replicate anything it consumes, and the beautiful dog that found its way to their base is actually a dangerous carrier of said lifeform, and has possibly infected some of the men on the station.
For years I was scared to watch The Thing. The bits and pieces of the film I saw looked extremely frightening, and believe it or not, if a movie is too creepy, it can seriously disturb my sleep…and I cherish my sleep. Now y’all know why some of the flicks in this Extravaganza are horror/comedies. Anyway, I decided to face my fear and give The Thing a chance. Real talk, it turns out The Thing wasn’t as scary as I thought, but instead, it’s nasty as all hell. This movie has some gross out scenes that would put Eli Roth to shame. What really got me about The Thing was the growing distrust and paranoia between the men. For the majority of the film, there’s no way for them to know who’s human and who’s been replicated, which causes a lot of them to rush to judgement and make rash decisions. Despite the vomit inducing scenes, I’d say this film is actually more of a psychological horror, and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed it. Check it out, y’all.
—Written by Nadiya
So what did you think about week two of my Halloween Extravaganza? Do you agree with movies I chose and/or the review I posted? What are you watching this Halloween? Let me know in the comments section!