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HORROR

One Thing ‘Trick’ Has In Bulk Is Gore

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Genre : Horror
Rating : Unrated
Director: Patrick Lussier

Cast:
Omar Epps
Kristina Reyes
Tom Atkins
Jamie Kennedy

It seems that few genres of film are as collaborative as horror. Despite being considered the black sheep of the film genres horror has produced some incredible creative teams over the years. Whether it’s Wes Craven turning Robert Englund into a bonafide icon or director Guillermo del Toro working with Guillermo Navarro to bring fairy tales to life there’s no denying that there is something about scary movies that brings people together. One of the most promising duos of the 2000’s was director Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer. Collaborating on 2009’s My Bloody Valentine 3D they would go on to cement their place in genre film history with the bats**t insane Nicolas Cage film Drive Angry. The two seemed to be on the verge of their big break with a sequel to Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 before going their separate ways. A decade after their first collaboration the two are back to try and make their mark on the slasher genre. Will this Trick be a disaster or more of a treat?

Considered a smart and quiet teenager Patrick Weaver goes on a stabbing spree at a Halloween party in 2015. Claiming several victims, he is able to escape despite capture, being shot several times and falling out of as second story window. Despite this Detective Mike Denver (Omar Epps) and Sheriff Lisa Jayne (Ellen Adair) are unable to find a body. Over the next four years a killer, now simply known as “Trick”, wreaks havoc every year on Halloween tormenting the two. Convinced that Patrick is behind these massacres Mike is back on the hunt, certain that he can capture the elusive killer.

 

 

Needless to say, it isn’t the most original of plots. Between Trick being a stand in for Michael Myers and Detective Denver as a new version of Dr. Loomis it would be easy to mistake Trick as Lussier and Farmer’s old Halloween script with a few name changes. They even have Tom Atkins from Halloween 3: Season of the Witch in a fun cameo as Mr. Talbot. Rounding out the cast are Ellen Adair as Sheriff Jayne and Kristina Reyes as Cheryl, a survivor from Trick’s initial killing spree. Despite being two very different characters the two put their all into the role with Sheriff Jayne being the consummate professional and Cheryl as your classic final girl. Aside from a poorly cast Jamie Kennedy in a supporting role the cast do all they can to carry Trick’s cliché-ridden script.

With visual effects from Jean-Francois Beaulieu and visual effects supervisor Pete Sussi the one thing Trick has in bulk is gore. With Trick utilizing a mix of Saw-esque traps and good old-fashioned slashing Trick accumulates a nice little body count. Each kill emphasized by some gnarly looking practical effects. This would be great if Trick had a great slasher of its own. With a painted face and a variety of masks Trick is somehow not only the smartest guy in the room but also the faster than Usain Bolt and more proficient with weaponry than three John Wicks. So instead of Myers we get a 13-year old’s version of what the coolest and most XTREME Halloween movie would be like. We get an explanation for this near the end of the film but by then it’s too little too late.

 

Watching Trick I couldn’t help but think of Mark Millar’s (writer of Kick-Ass and Old Man Logan) comic book Nemesis. Working with artist Steve McNiven the two created classics. Letting the two work on their own project without any continuity to worry about seemed like a perfect idea. Yet when left unrestrained and to their own devices they stumbled over their own feet. The same can be said of director Patrick Lussier and writer Todd Farmer with Trick. With one too many ideas without all the resources Trick ends up feeling more like a collection of cool scenes without a proper through line and instead of creating the next horror legend we get another horror what if.

 

Rating: 4/10
Links : IMDB

Trick is now available on VOD, DVD and Bluray

https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0006-CUSA05770_00-CELEUP0000000000

 

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HORROR

Scream (2022) | Wes Craven Would Be Proud

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Scream has officially slashed its way into cinemas and brings with it a killer opening as Ghostface returns, serving up a self-deprecating meta buffet of a slasher sequel that relaunches with terrific terror and nostalgic scares which are bloody brutal. Scream has some big shoes to fill, the directors have to fill the shoes of horror icon Wes Craven, which they honourably do, and the screenwriters also have to honour the brilliance of Kevin Williamson and what he brought to this genre and his script for 1996’s Scream.

The fifth entry in the franchise is filled with references to the franchise’s past, movies of the past, present, sequels, remakes, and now Requel, which in itself is part reboot and part sequel. Scream also discusses topics, specifically horror films released throughout the 2000s to now as it’s very self-referential by using Halloween (2018) and Ghostbusters Afterlife, for example, showcasing that these franchises are making requels by setting the film in the same world, at a different time but adding new characters that are in ways related to the “Legacy” characters from the original. Scream knows that it’s a horror movie, and most importantly, it knows this fifth entry is no doubt a “legacy sequel”.

Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past. Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) and David Arquette (“Dewey Riley”) return to their iconic roles in Scream alongside Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.

Years after the Ghostface killer first struck, teen Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) gets an ominous phone call, whilst home alone, from a stranger asking what her favourite scary movie is. Scream opening sequences are so iconic to the franchise and this new modern take doesn’t disappoint as Tara is attacked and stabbed multiple times by someone wearing the Ghostface outfit from the in-universe “Stab” franchise, based on the Westboro murders committed by Billy Loomis and Stu Macher. The opening is shockingly suspenseful and wholly entertaining. 

Paramount Pictures

The focus here is on a group of young people who certainly have seen enough “Stab” movies to know that the killer could be one of their own including Tara’s estranged sister, Samantha (Melissa Barrera) along with her boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid), who returns to Woodsboro to be with her.

Paramount Pictures

In any sequel, you hope that the new cast doesn’t fall flat and ultimately works well with the returning cast. Take 2018’s Halloween for example with Jamie Lee Curtis returning brings a new generation of Strode women specifically Laurie’s daughter and granddaughter, showing the audience how well the newcomers mix with the legacy characters. Scream successfully achieves this as all characters are handled well, though the body count, unfortunately, rises as Ghostface has some new tricks up its sleeve.

In passing the torch to fresh blood, this fifth entry showcases that there are layers of meta to uncover, fresh scars, and wicked fun to be had. The highlights were Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid. All work to drive the narrative along with the help of Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette), and Gale (Courteney Cox). The legacy characters truly provide the nostalgia and emotional connection, the filmmakers treat these iconic characters with the utmost respect.

Scream lives up to its slasher roots as Ghostface goes to town with the hapless victims like a butcher skewing his meat. Characters are sliced, stabbed, and ultimately gutted with glee. They’re brutal when happening but gory and glorious for some. However, some kills have impacts attached as many are heartbreaking and some you want Ghostface to go to town on. I was on the edge of my seat, as directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett who both previously directed Ready or Not, know how to build tension especially with Brian Tyler’s haunting and eerie score that truly intensifies the film.

Paramount pictures

Scream is about deconstructing the genre and pop culture of the day and aims at filmmaking with killing commentary that’ll make you scream with laughter, whilst still containing the known tropes of a slasher movie. Its squeal-inducing traps and false alarms are so well-earned.

Overall, I believe Wes Craven would be proud of this movie and what it does for fans of the slasher genre. It strikes a visual cord with its toxic fandom commentary and provides a phenomenal entry to the 21st century of modern horror. It’s entertaining with laughter and brutal deaths as Scream continues to reinvent itself and still manages to remain a consistent franchise 25 years later since it started it all.

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Classics

Reel Recommendations: Possession – One Restoration You Do Not Want To Miss

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One of my favorite elements in the horror genre is taking a contemporary story and somehow implementing the genre’s core elements. Take the film Cure (1997) directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa; the film is about a detective who is investigating a series of grizzly attacks by a serial killer. On the film’s surface, it is your simple crime-thriller ala David Fincher’s Se7en (1995) or his 2007, Zodiac. However, throughout the film, the viewer gets inside of the mind of his victims in a psychological battle between light and dark; understanding the killer’s motivations and way of attack. Enough talk about Cure (1997), that is for another time.

I hold this element of the genre close to my creative heart because the genre does not always need a monster or killer or the loose, the genre is about set-up, execution, and the atmosphere in which those two elements listed are contained. If you are looking for more horror films like that, that are not about unstable detectives, look no further than Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession.

This 40-year-old lost film has recently been gaining a cult following and the film distributor Metrograph has graced film fans with a restoration. My thoughts on that are listed below the review.

Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill @ Possession (Andrzej Żuławski, 1981

Possession is a film about how division; division of two people who seem to be at odds and have fallen out of love for one another amidst the middle of the Berlin Wall, a division of communication between a couple and the affair that has brought them down as well as a division of body and state. Possession is about the breaking point between a couple as they’re in the very early stages of a divorce. They both have simply fallen out of love with one another and have started sleeping with other people, mainly Isabelle Adjani’s Anna. As Sam Neil’s Mark understands the situation unfolds, the more angry and sickly he becomes. There are points where he will look like he has not eaten in days and looks incredibly pale-skinned. There is a moment throughout the first 25 minutes where Neil is having a seizure in a cold sweat.

While Possession is a body horror in terms of visual effects, its a body horror from the performances given. We see both of the films leads reach sadistic and stomach-churning when it ocmes to range. The first half being dedicated to Sam Neil’s perspective of the situation and how he is treating himself during this change, where he goes from calm to physically abusive. Then as the story unfolds, Żuławski pays more attention to Adjani’s Anna, as an audiences we are opening the curtain to what she has been up to when the camera is not focused on her. The camera work works in one takes with very abrupt takes in its editing. Żuławski wants everything to feel like one fluid motion rather than have multiple takes for one single scene. The subway scene in particular roughly has about two-three takes and you do not evne notice because of how hypnotized you are to Adjani’s otherworldly performance. I am treading lightly on the plot due ot the genius of this film is to go in knowing nothing.

Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill @ Possession (Andrzej Żuławski, 1981

Possession is one of those horror films that were lost in time but recently have been gaining a resurgence through word of mouth and many clamoring for a Criterion blu-ray release, and for good reason. Possession includes some of the best performances I have ever witnessed with direction that is unpredictable and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. If there is one restoration you should have eyes on it is this one.

Restoration Review

Possession not only is a wonderful film but is also one of the best restorations I have seen recently. Metrograph elevates the horror film and at times looks like it was made from the last decade. The stark blue color pallette shines due to how cold and emotionally distant the characters are. The sound design is wonderful, every whisper is heard and understood, every scream feels like a scare, every tension-building moment plays like gangbusters. This is one restoration you do not want to miss especially for cult-genre fans.

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HORROR

Stranger Things | Season 4 – Official Trailer

The upcoming fourth season of the American science fiction horror drama television series Stranger Things, titled Stranger Things 4, is scheduled to be released worldwide exclusively via Netflix’s streaming service in 2022.

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Genre:

Horror, Sci-fi

Release Date:

2022

Director:

Netflix

Cast:

Millie Bobby Brown, David Harbour, Gaten Matarazzo, Natalia Dyer

Plot Summary:

The upcoming fourth season of the American science fiction horror drama television series Stranger Things, titled Stranger Things 4, is scheduled to be released worldwide exclusively via Netflix’s streaming service in 2022.

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