Even on my birthday, 31 Days of Spooky Stuff continues. In today’s Journal, I look at the apocalyptic comedy THIS IS THE END, the just released CURSE OF CHUCKY and I revisit my favorite Halloween film, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS.
The Best – Reserved for the absolute cream of the crop.
Highly Recommended – Very good. Far better than your typical film and one that I will remember for some time.
Recommended – Just what it says. This is a good film and earns a recommendation. Don’t think that because it’s not one of the top two categories that these films aren’t worth your time. The “recommended” tag is a winner and nothing to sneer at.
Barely Recommended – The middle of the road. Those films where I didn’t feel it was a complete waste of time, but it didn’t set my world on fire either. Not bad, but leaves me feeling bored and/or apathetic.
Disappointing – Close but no cigar. Does a few things right but is ultimately a whole lot of wasted potential. Not recommended.
Awful – A bad movie. Pure and simple. Not worth your time.
The Worst – The Britta Perry of ratings, though not as entertaining. The bottom of the barrel.
What was the film trying to accomplish and how well did it meet those goals?
In addition to (or sometimes despite) that, how does the film hold up on sheer entertainment value?
FILM GEEK JOURNAL – ENTRY 72
(31 DAYS OF SPOOKY STUFF – DAY 9 – OCT. 9, 2013)
NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988) – On Halloween night, sexy goth Angela (Mimi Kinkade) throws a party at an old, haunted funeral parlor. Unfortunately, this is the one night of the year where the demons can escape their hellish prison and claim some human victims. And let me tell you, these demons know how to party. Soon, just about everyone is getting killed and then possessed by demonic spirits.
I watch NIGHT OF THE DEMONS once every October, and usually a couple more times during the year for good measure. In my opinion, it is the best movie to watch during the Halloween season. I have already stated my love of this film last year in a lengthy, gushing article, where DEMONS earned every single kudo. The Best.
CURSE OF CHUCKY (2013) – Nica (Fiona Dourif, and yes she is) is a young wheelchair-bound woman who chose to retreat back into her mother’s large house rather than complete her psychology degree. One day, her mother receives a package without a return address. Inside is the Chucky doll, looking much smoother than it has in recent films. After dark, the mother is killed but everyone believes it to be a suicide. Nica’s remaining family and other acquaintances come back for the funeral. But before they get a chance to have the service, there are another pile of bodies to worry about. Chucky is on the prowl again and has a very particular grudge against Nica’s family. The fact that there is a little girl (Summer Howell) with a fresh soul is just icing on the cake.
With 1998’s BRIDE OF CHUCKY, the series took a turn for parody that I quite enjoyed. It was headed that way anyway and only the first film could really be considered completely series. That is, until now. If you’re expecting more wise-cracking and self-aware humor, turn back now. CURSE OF CHUCKY returns the series to its roots with a dark storyline that manages to remain mysterious for most of the running time. There are a couple stumbling blocks along the way, but once the film gets to the midway point, it’s pretty much smooth sailing. There are even a few moments that deliver genuine scares, which I don’t recall happening in a CHILD’S PLAY movie for 25 years.
Series creator Don Mancini has created a film that incorporates the entire history of the Chucky character and gives it a new menacing spin. I was very surprised by how good this film was. Highly Recommended.
THIS IS THE END (2013) – Jay Baruchel arrives in Los Angeles, a town he hates, in order to reconnect with his old friend Seth Rogen. Rogen has gone a bit Hollywood, but still seems friendly. Much to Baruchel’s chagrin, Rogen takes them both to a party over at James Franco’s house where Baruchel has to make nice with several Hollywood types he doesn’t like, including Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, a coked-out Michael Cera and eventually Danny McBride. In the middle of all this, the Rapture happens. Now, not only does he have to deal with the end of the world but he has to do it with people he hates.
This is a great premise for a movie, which is what saves it from being a complete disaster. Your opinion of the film will likely be better than mine. The reason I disliked much of this film so much is that I dislike many of the people in it. Everybody is playing themselves and you get the feeling that most of the dialogue was improvised. But I found myself agreeing with Baruchel’s character for most of the film, which made him one of the only people I liked. Yes, the celebs in this film are incredibly obnoxious. This is the point, that they are playing more obnoxious versions of themselves. But when you already consider these people to be some of the most obnoxious people in Hollywood, as I do, the whole thing becomes unbearable. They can’t even parody themselves without somehow seeming to revel in how awesome they think they are.
The film gets additional points for its original premise as well as a couple scene-stealing turns from Emma Watson. Otherwise, consider me in the minority on this one. It’s more stoner/hipster bullshit. Awful.
Number of films covered in the Journal so far: 307
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