Thursday, November 16, 2017

Horror Movie Mini-Reviews: The Houses October Built 2 and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

* The Houses October Built 2

The gang is back and infamous on the internet. Brandy, widely known as Coffin Girl, refuses to go to any more haunts after the Blue Skeleton incident. Jeff, Mikey, Bobby, and Zack want to ride out their wave of fame and continue their haunt tour across the US, but they would earn much more money with Coffin Girl in attendance. They basically bribe her and won’t leave her alone, so Brandy concedes with the caveat that if weird stuff starts happening like last time, she’s out. Will their trip be conventional scary fun or is there something more sinister at work?

I loved the first film despite its flaws because it captured the Halloween spirit, had lovable if a bit annoying characters, and included a discussion on people’s obsession for more and more disturbing haunts in the form of interviews with scare actors and documentary style clips. The cast is back, but the discussion aspect is gone with the entire film being found footage. It’s a lesser rehash of the first film where they go to haunts across the country and weird stuff starts happening. The actual haunts are real and awesome including a huge zombie 5k and a zombie themed escape room among others. That’s the only good thing about the whole movie. The raise in production value does nothing for the film except remove the charm and make it seem more like a conventional film.

The characters aren’t as fun this time around except Brandy. She is traumatized from the events of the last film and doesn’t want to go on this trip at all. Her “friends” don’t care and only want to cash in on her more considerable fame. The ending of the film shows they were lying to her and exploiting her even more severely than on the surface without care for her wellbeing. They figured the bigger payout would be worth the damage which it obviously isn’t to her. The guys are scum and I only took away that these guys are even bigger idiots than they were in the first movie plus having the capacity to be cruel to the woman they previously seemed to care about. I’m disappointed in this movie and all its male characters.

My rating: 2/5 fishmuffins

* Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers

The day before a Halloween 1998, Michael Myers awakens from his coma after ten years to pursue his niece, Jamie, who is cared for by a foster family in Haddonfield. A scarred Dr. Loomis returns to save the girl and subdue Michael once and for all.

The fourth installment of the Halloween series follows the slasher formula well and looks especially amazing next to the convoluted mess of Season of the Witch. Jamie, played by Danielle Harris, is bullied mercilessly at school as its common knowledge that her uncle is Michael Myers. Her family doesn’t do much to help and she has strange dreams of Michael even though she doesn’t know it’s him. Her foster sister Rachel is kind of awful and horrible at a babysitting. She’s a typical teenage girl who would rather be on a date, but she loses track of Jamie when she finds out her scumbag boyfriend was cheating on her. Afterwards, she makes up for it by fighting Michael and trying to protect Jamie the rest of the film.

The biggest difference between this and the first couple movies is the formation of a lynch mob. Before, people thought Laurie screaming for help was a joke and refused to even open their doors. This new Haddonfield rises up and goes after Michael, which was refreshing. The ending is tragic, but not unexpected considering her choice of costume. The film ends as the series began. The only drawback is the new mask. It looks like a cheap imitation of the old one. I’m interested to see what The Curse of Michael Myers will bring. The Return of Michael Myers has a few tricks up its sleeve, but stays firmly in slasher movie tropes.

My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins

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