Sunday, November 4, 2012

October ends with a whimper, not a scream

I really do apologize for the incredible lameness of this year's Third Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series:  not only did I only manage to see five scary movies in October, they mostly weren't any good.  I will try to do better next year, I promise.  As a small consolation, I have managed to eke out two more "scary" movies in these first couple of days of November:

Scream 4 - Parts of Scream 4 I really liked a lot.  I liked the framing conceit, done fairly well throughout the series's run, of having this fourth installment be a reboot rather than just another sequel.  I liked the opening, with a movie within a movie within a movie, and the cameos by Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) and Julie Taylor (Amee Teegarden).  I liked seeing the old gang back together, Sidney/Neve Campbell, Dewey/David Arquette and Gail/Courteney Cox.  And I loved the best line of the movie, Sidney's triumphant "You forgot the first rule of remakes: don't fuck with the original."  But as an actual scary movie, Scream 4 just isn't scary.  Yes, there is plenty Ghostface fodder, slashings galore, but there's no suspense at all.  The first Scream was clever and had a fair share of jump-scares but I think the franchise is just too familiar now.

The Frighteners - This 1996 offering from writer/director/producer Peter Jackson stars Michael J. Fox as psychic Ray Bannister, who normally uses his otherworldly gifts to con people.  Bannister changes his ways when he learns that an evil presence is mass-murdering the townsfolk.  The special effects are quite good for 1996 (but nothing compared to now), the story is entertaining and MJF is cute as a button.  But don't go into The Frighteners expecting another Dead Alive: there's spooky violence and a couple of jumps, and one guy gets his head blown off, but there is by no means the level of gore and ichor that Dead Alive has.

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