What’s poppin’, y’all? My 2020 Halloween Extravaganza is officially over, and I have to say, I’m sad to see it end. I’ve had so much fun watching these horror films, and there were so many other ones I want to see, but alas, I only had so much time. Anyway, here’s what I watched during my third week!
Day 17: Scary Movie
In this now legendary spoof of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) and her friends accidentally kill a man during Halloween and find themselves being terrorized by a killer a year after the incident. Hilarity ensues as the teens try to figure who’s targeting them, all while spoofing other popular films such as The Matrix, Scream 2, The Blair Witch Project, The Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspects.
Real talk, when I watched I Know What You Did Last Summer the week before and saw the now infamous “What are you waiting for?” scene, I had the intense urge to watch Scary Movie. I loved this film ever since I was 19, and I still adore it. It’d been a while since I watched it, and it turns out the film was even funnier than I remembered. There were a lot of hilarious scenes I forgot about over time. Of course, there were also the scenes that I never forgot that had me rollin’, like Brenda’s death scene in the movie theatre. I still randomly quote her lines to this day (“I don’t know why y’all is actin’ like this! My girlfriend already saw the movie; she said they don’t even stay together in the end!”). During this rewatch, I noticed that Dimension Films, the same studio that released Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, also distributed Scary Movie. I guess they figured as long as they were getting paid, they didn’t care if their box office smashes were getting spoofed.
Fun Fact: Scary Movie was the original title for Scream. Scary Movie was originally entitled Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween, but a similar movie spoof starring Tiffani Amber-Theissen was released with the title Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th. Needless to say, Scary Movie ended up being the more popular as well as memorable film. If the traditional horror films start to get to you, check Scary Movie out for a good laugh.
Day 18: Scary Movie 2
In Scary Movie 2, Cindy and the gang are back, and this time they’re staying in a mansion for a weekend to have their sleeping disorders studied by a psychology professor (Tim Curry). However, the real reason they’re there is so the lecherous Professor Oldman and his paraplegic assistant Dwight (David Cross) can observe all the paranormal activity taking place in the haunted residence (and so the horny professor can get some). Of course, the experiment doesn’t go as planned and more hilarity ensues. This time, the sequel spoofs The Haunting, Charlie’s Angels, The Exorcist, Titanic, Hollow Man, Poltergiest, and even a Nike commercial!
Scary Movie 2 wasn’t quite as funny as its predecessor, but it was still doggone hilarious. My mother bought me the film for my 21st birthday, and it was one of the best gifts I received that day (which was saying a lot, considering all the gifts I got that year were boss). My homegirls and I couldn’t stop crackin’ up at it, and it still has me rollin’ to this day. There’s still a ton of scenes that I quote from the film, namely from the dinner scene (Chris Elliot’s tiny deformed hand gets me going every time). This is another great film to check out for Halloween laughs.
Day 19: Evil Eye
Evil Eye is about a young woman named Pallavi (Sunita Mani), whose somewhat overbearing mother, Usha (Sarita Choudhury), is desperate to see her child married off. However, when Pallavi meets the perfect man in Sandeep (Omar Maskati), Usha starts noticing a great deal of similarities between him and an abusive man she once dated decades ago. Is it a coincidence, or is Sandeep her former lover reincarnated?
Evil Eye was enjoyable for me (my mother hated it), but it is VERY slow paced. It takes over an hour for things to really happen, and when they do, it’s a bit rushed. I guess I enjoyed the film because it was interesting seeing everyone’s reaction to Usha’s fears about her daughter’s relationship. Naturally, everyone believes she’s crazy. It’s even harder for Usha to prove her case since she and Pallavi are literally a continent apart (Pallavi is in New Orleans, while Usha is abroad in India), never mind the fact that she honestly believes her daughter’s boyfriend is her old boyfriend come back to life. What I really loved about Evil Eye was seeing Trenton (that’s Sunita Mani; she’ll always be Trenton to me!) outside of Mr. Robot! It was nice seeing Mina again, too (aka Sarita Choudhury; she’ll always be Mina to me). All in all, Evil Eye wasn’t horrendous, but it could’ve been better executed. If you don’t mind a slow paced, psychological type horror film, give Evil Eye a try. If not, skip it.
Day 20: Alien: Director’s Cut
We all know the story of Alien. However, for those of you that either lived in a cave or were born in or after 2015, the film depicts the crew of a commercial spaceship summoned by a distress signal coming from planet LV-426. While exploring the planet, crew member Kane (John Hurt) ends up with a facehugger attached to his face, and all attempts to remove it are futile. A day later, the facehugger is dead and Kane seems fine…until a newborn alien bursts free from the man’s chest. It doesn’t take long for the alien to grow to an adult and start picking off the crew members one at a time. Will anyone survive?
***SPOILER ALERT!!**** THE FOLLOWING REVIEW FOR ALIEN CONTAINS SPOILERS, SO IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS FILM YET, YOU NEED TO A) GO OUT AND WATCH IT AND B) NOT CONTINUE READING THE REST OF THIS SECTION! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
Y’all, Alien and Aliens (which I’ll get to in just a second) are my favorite movies to watch for Halloween. Alien is slow paced at first, but once it gets going, it really gets going! One thing I caught during this rewatch that I never noticed before is that the first half of the movie gives a sense of misdirection. At the start, we see Kane awaken from his pod first, allowing the audience to believe he’s the main protagonist. Turns out, the movie was just foreshadowing that he’d be the first one to die. There’s also a good deal of focus on Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), leading an unsuspecting viewer to believe the movie will be centered around him, but he’s taken out of the equation midway through the film. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the true heroin of Alien, barely gets screen time during the first 15 min. of the film. When we do see her, she’s depicted as a hard ass that no one really cares for. It just turns out that Ripley had more sense than most of her crew. She was dead on the money about leaving Kane in quarantine after that facehugger attached itself to him. Of course, the rest of the crew—except Parker (Yaphet Kotto)—saw her as being cruel and difficult and allowed him to re-enter the ship anyway (we know the real reason Ash (Ian Holm) allowed him to come back). They should’ve listened. Fools.
I enjoyed the director’s cut a bit more than the theatrical version. The director’s cut contained a ton of scenes that I felt should’ve remained in the film. For example, there’s a scene where Lambert (Veronica Cartright) slaps the tar out of Ripley for making the wise decision to not let John Hurt in the ship (my girl didn’t take that lying down; Ripley almost handed Lambert her ass to her). There’s also a scene where we see Dallas and Brett’s (Harry Dean Stanton) fate, as opposed to the theatrical version where they encounter the alien and disappear entirely. My only issue with Alien is the full body look of the alien itself. The alien’s head is perfect, but the creature’s limbs are overtly large and overall fake looking. I’m glad they perfected the alien’s design in Aliens. Alien is a classic gem for Halloween that everyone should watch at least once.
Day 21: Aliens: Special Edition
Aliens takes place 57 years after the events of Alien, where we find find Lt. Ellen Ripley—and her cat Jonesey—still floating in space under cryo-sleep. After she’s awakened and written off as a lunatic for informing the Weyland-Yutani Corporation about the alien aboard her ship, she’s asked to join a group of marines to help locate missing terraformers on planet LV-426…the same planet the alien originated from. Ripley and the marines soon learn they have to fight not one, but hundreds of aliens on the planet to survive. Will they make it out?
***SPOILER ALERT!!**** THE FOLLOWING REVIEW FOR ALIENS CONTAINS SPOILERS, SO AGAIN, IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS FILM YET, GO OUT AND WATCH IT, AND DON’T READ THE REST OF THIS REVIEW! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
Aliens is one of those few sequels that actually outshine the original installment. With Ripley and the crew dealing with a planet full of aliens, the stakes are extremely high, and the movie is action packed. Even during the moments of calm and/or brevity, the dialog is so engaging and well acted that you’re never bored. Also, I can’t stress this enough, the alien design in this film was a massive improvement over the original. Everything on the alien’s body looked proportionate this time around, as opposed to the alien having arms and legs that don’t match its head.
Nearly every character in the film was memorable, too. Aside from Ripley, Hicks (Michael Bien), and Newt (Carrie Henn)—or as some like to call them, “the space family”—my favorite character had to be Hudson (Bill Paxton, may he rest in peace). He had some of the best lines in the film, and his scary ass kept me on my side laughing! Besides, I know if I were in the same situation, I’d be just like Hudson: bitchin’, moanin’ and pissin’ my pants. Jeanette Goldstein killed it as Vasquez, and I loved her character, but at the same time I have to question why the studio didn’t hire a Latina actress to play a Latina. I’m gonna chalk that up to the ’80s just being tone deaf when it came to diversity. Not condoning it at all, but just sayin’. Another actor I have to give props to is Paul Reiser, who played the dubious Carter J. Burke. During season two of Mr. Robot, Leon remarked that Paul Reiser doesn’t get the credit he deserves, and truer words have never been spoken. Folks only think of Paul Reiser the comedian (and he’s pretty damn funny), but when he has to play a serious role, he brings it. I especially have to give him his just due for going against type and playing a character that’s a complete slimeball to perfection.
Like the director’s cut of Alien, the special edition of Aliens contains some great scenes that were later removed from the theatrical cut. The special edition shows that Ripley had a daughter that she ended up losing thanks to being in cryo-sleep for so long (by the way, I love how they took a picture of Sigourney Weaver’s mother to represent Ripley’s then 60+ year old daughter). We also see Ripley and Hicks decide to be on a first name basis, clearly showing that they had feelings for each other. Damn, I hate Alien 3 for busting them up. Sometimes Hollywood and their studio interference gets on my last nerve. Anyway, Aliens is hands down the best film in the Alien franchise, and if you haven’t seen it yet, what the hell you waitin’ for?
Day 22: Bone Tomahawk
Bone Tomahawk is a western set in the small town of Bright Hope, where a cannibalistic tribe of Native American troglodytes (cave dwellers) enters into town to settle a score with a drifter (David Arquette) that vandalized their burial ground. They also kidnap the local deputy (Evan Jonigkeit) and the town doctor’s assistant (Lilli Simmons) for dinner. The sheriff (Kurt Russell) takes a a crew consisting of the assistant’s crippled husband (Patrick Wilson), the backup deputy (Richard Jenkins), and a gunslinger (Matthew Fox) to rescue the victims. However, considering the dangers of being on the road as well as the murderous tribe they’re fighting, the trip proves to be even more perilous than they initially thought.
I really enjoyed Bone Tomahawk, although it’s a movie with a slow burn. The tribe is shown a bit in the first few moments in the film, and then once more before they ride off with their victims. They’re not seen again until the last 30 min. However, what keeps the movie going is the banter between the men as they ride toward the dangerous territory. As Quentin Tarantino proved time and time again, great dialog can make a film, and the verbal exchanges between the men as they make their journey is very interesting. Not only that, but the posse encounters many other threats on their way to their location that keep the audience engaged, and when they reach their destination, the tribe’s final appearance is one no viewer will ever forget.
Day 23: They Live
They Live tells the story of a homeless drifter credited as “Nada” (the late, great Roddy Piper), that finally seems to land on his feet when he gets a construction job and refuge at a homeless shelter. However, he notices some strange occurrences at the church across the street from the shelter, and after the police force shuts the church down, Nada locates a box of sunglasses the people operating from the church manufactured. However, these sunglasses ain’t your usual pair of Ray-Bans. They reveal aliens walking among us, controlling humans with subliminal messages. Will Nada succeed in stopping them?
They Live is another childhood favorite of mine. The film’s message was definitely relevant in the ’80s, and it’s damn sure relevant today. No matter how many times I watch this movie, the subliminal messages always get me, but the one that really sends chills down my spine is the message printed on money: “This Is Your God.” Considering how the past few years have exposed people putting profit over human life, I’d bet my wrestling DVD’s that there’s a subliminal message on dollar bills in real life! The acting in the movie is great as well. Roddy Piper and Keith David do an excellent job as Nada and Frank, and that fight scene between the two of them is brutal, to say the least. They Live is an underrated horror film that deserves a lot more recognition than it gets. Please check this classic out.
Day 24: 10 Cloverfield Lane
The Cloverfield series continues with 10 Cloverfield Lane, where a young woman named Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finds herself locked away in an underground bunker with two other men. Howard, the gentleman that brought her there (John Goodman), insists aliens have invaded the planet and contaminated the air. After attempting to escape, Michelle slowly comes to realize Howard is more than what he seems and may not be crazy after all…or is he?
Out of all the movies in the Cloverfield franchise, 10 Cloverfield Lane is the best one, hands down. First, it’s the tension and uncertainty that pulls us in. Next, we learn what’s going on—or at least we think we do—and we’re interested to see what Michelle has planned to help herself out of her situation. Then, we’re introduced to the final act, and although it was a bit too abrupt for my taste, it still manages to leave your doggone mouth agape. John Goodman was great as usual. He has us questioning whether or not Howard really is insane or an actual genius that had sense enough to be prepared for a disaster. I also liked Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle. She wasn’t a damsel in distress character that just sat in the corner and cried. Michelle was smart and resourceful, and she wasn’t afraid to kick ass when the occasion called for it. I’d also like to give props to John Gallagher, Jr., who played Emmett, another inhabitant of the doomsday bunker. I really enjoyed his sweet and affable character. In short, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a great horror/sci-fi film to check out for the Halloween season.
The Halloween Extravaganza finale is coming very soon! It’ll be late as hell, but hopefully I’ll have it ready by the end of the week. Stay tuned!
—Written by Nadiya
So what did you think about week three of my Halloween Extravaganza? I know Halloween is over, but what movies did you watch this year, if any? Let me know in the comments section!